Startup life-cycle has simple stages – Idea Stage, Prototype / MVP phase, Real Product phase, Expansion / Modification phase and finally either survival or death phase. Idea stage is the most promising phase when nothing exists in real and every entrepreneur is confident enough to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. When prototype or minimum viable product is constructed, entrepreneurs realize the need of improvement in the initial thought. When actual product developed based on the prototype feedback is made available in the market, the real struggle begins to convince consumers to use your product, stand against direct and indirect competitors, manage cash flow – in and out etc.
In all the stages, it’s only consumer who allows startup to survive or die at any point in time. A startup attracting more and more consumers day by day and making its loyal base generally survives in long run.
Role of consumers starts to decide the fate of startup since the idea phase itself. It’s only consumers who give the hint of acceptance on prototype basis. It’s again consumers who accepts the final product and recommend it to others. So the development of startup must be done considering the mind set of consumers from very first day.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
Here are few thoughts on startup launch strategy considering the consumers satisfaction and acquisition from the very day –
Startup Launch Strategy
When the product or service is ready after the prototype testing and validation, the very next step is to launch your product in the highly competitive market. The launching of startup includes two major objectives to make it successful–
[A] Startup Promotion – Allowing concerned people to know about the product / service being provided by the startup and convincing them to use the same.
[B] Customer Acquisition – Forcing consumers to return back as per the frequency of usage of the product / service ie making them the loyal consumers in first time itself and the brand ambassador to refer other potential consumers as well.
Promotion of startup covers the objective of developing market reach of product and service excellence and lucrative strategies helps in acquiring consumers.
Startup Marketing Strategies
Marketing is the essential tool to make the presence of startup visible in the market. To fulfill the objective of startup launch, following qualities must be incorporated in the marketing campaign-
[A] Convincing – Marketing tactics must be strong enough to convince consumers to get attracted towards new startup concept/product.
[B] Comparing – Most of the people have habit of comparing the available solutions. So the marketing campaigns must include the benefits of new concept/product over the existing ones.
[C] Converting – Finally the marketing campaign should be strong enough to convert unaware users or users of other players into the loyal consumers.
Based on the targeted consumers of startup concept, any of the suitable marketing medium – social media, press media, targeted marketing, television ads etc can be selected to reach the maximum number of consumers –
[A] Social Media – Based on the type of product and targeted consumers, any of the social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, Slideshare, StumbleUpon etc can be used to reach the maximum number of people with little efforts. Though approach required for every platform is different based on the working mechanism of the same, ultimately it helps in marking your presence visible in a short span.
[B] Press Media – Press media is one of the oldest and reliable resources for marketing. Most of the people have habit to read newspaper every day, so based on the reach of the targeted consumers, local or national newspaper can be used for the promotion.
[C] Media and Television Ads – Promoting the startup on television, YouTube, startup news portals, promotion platforms etc are good techniques to allow people to know your existence.
[D] Targeted Marketing – Targeted marketing is one of the most effective technique for your startup. Door to door marketing, targeted canopy marketing, email and SMS marketing etc are some of good examples of targeted marketing.
Based on the budget of marketing, suitable medium should be selected for startup marketing.
Customer Acquisition Strategies
Though reaching and convincing maximum number of consumers is good to penetrate the market of other players but for long term survival loyal consumer base is required.
Based on the frequency of use of product / service, following startegies should be followed to acquire consumers –
[A] High Frequency Purchase Products – Products with high frequency of use have advantage to attract same consumer base if the service is strong enough to convince them. Following are some of the good customer acquisition strategies for such products –
- Providing better service than the existing alternatives to force consumer to return
- Giving discounts, loyalty points to consumers who return back
- Making the process of procurement simplified for high frequency of procurement
For example – Grocery delivery startups can provide daily, weekly, monthly inventory management system to attract consumers.
[B] Medium Frequency Purchase Product – For products having medium frequency of usage, following strategies should be adopted for forcing consumers to return –
- Providing related services and products for next need of consumers
- Recommending accessories to consumers
- Consumer luring offers on recommending other consumers
For example – An e-commerce startup offering clothing can recommend related accessories and products on particular purchase and offer some additional discount on the same.
[C] Low Frequency Purchase Product – For products having low frequency of next purchase, it’s better to attract them by giving service, spare products etc and rewards on recommending to others.
Promotion combined with customer acquisition has high probability of giving good initial traction that needs to be maintained by managing the relationship with consumers in the best possible way.
Wish you luck for your startup. Stay tuned with FS for more.