3 Unorthodox Strategies To Make Your Marketing ‘Stickier’

You have an idea. It’s a brilliant idea and you are absolutely certain it will change how the world works for the better. You’ve tested it and are ready to start selling it except there’s one problem: nobody knows about it.

To separate yourself from every other startup out there, you need to distinguish not only your product or service, but your brand. You need to be different. And in order to be different, you need to think differently.

However, there’s a fine line between being “different” and being flat-out weird. You want to separate yourself from the pack but you also want to create value and not cross any legal, moral, or ethical boundaries.

Having a great product or service means nothing if you can’t weaponize it. What you bring to bear as a startup is important, yes, but equally important (and I would argue even more) is how you do it.

Take Dollar Shave Club, for example. The California-based company started in 2012 with just over one million dollars from investors. They went against conventional wisdom and used a shock-value strategy that distinguished them from the Gillette’s of the world.

Then, in 2016, Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion. The point is, Unilever wasn’t looking to sell razors. They were looking for data that Dollar Shave Club had compiled as a result of the brand it had built.

Here are three more unconventional marketing strategies to make your brand “stick:”

1. Offer the unexpected.

In their book Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath share the example of an Israeli research team that collected 200 award-winning ads. Eighty-nine percent of the ads could be categorized into six templates with most of them relating to the phenomenon of unexpectedness.

The unexpected is alluring because it it incites curiosity as it also allows the user to creatively imagine possibilities.

2. Limit your resources.

While constraints may feel limiting, they can also be empowering. Consider Southwest Airlines, for instance. The low cost airline entered an industry replete with big name competitors yet managed to stay afloat by offering something different: low cost airfare with a personality.

The secret to Southwest’s success: limited resources. When you remove options for what you could have (peanuts, pretzels, or trail mix) your optimize the resources for what you already do (pretzels). In doing so, you also optimize your costs.

3. Trial by fire.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve changed my CRM four or five times in the past few years. It’s been a nightmare. But, the fact is you just don’t know what you like or dislike until you try them.

The same goes for networking events and online search tools. Below are a few places where you can start trying alternative marketing strategies:

  • Email marketing. If you think email marketing is over, it’s not. The Direct Marketing Association reports email marketing is responsible for 66 percent of consumer sales. There are tons of email marketing software programs out there. I use ConvertKit because it’s easy and, well, I don’t need complication in my life.
  • SEO. If you to improve your SEO rankings but don’t know where to start, Semalt will suggest keywords for your website and track them based on your business offering. You can also input your competitors website and check out their keywords.
  • RSS. If it’s inspiration you’re looking for, check out Feedly. You can subscribe to industry blogs, news sites and RSS feeds to help stay informed — and ahead — of the competition.
  • Research Reports. One of the biggest challenges of sticky marketing is identifying customer needs relative to product/service supply. Consumer Barometer lets you make better business decisions by providing insight into online customer behavior, buying trends and the cues that prompt them to act.

No matter what method you choose, marketing is only as good as the effort behind it. If you don’t succeed at first, try again — and keep trying.

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