• nat sharp

5 marketing mistakes of a start up

Updated: Oct 16


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Mistakes to avoid as a start up business

Marketing is difficult to tackle when you're launching a business. There are countless decisions to make and often it’s seen as one to invest in later. The trouble is, it can be impossible to find the time and reverse some of the decisions you’ve made.

Here are five common mistakes:

1. Your logo isn’t your brand

Fledgling businesses get carried away with prioritising the shiny part of marketing which they see as their logo. Your logo is one part of your visual identity not your brand or marketing strategy. You need a clear brand positioning before you embark on logo development.


Your brand positioning describes how your brand is different from your competitors. It tackles the what, why and who you are. Yet many businesses fast-track this as trying to articulate the what and who you are is trickier than you think. The result is a disconnect with the logo, messaging, and product offering. It creates confusion in the mind of the consumer as it doesn't gel together.

As Jef Richards said, "Creative without strategy is art, creative with strategy is called advertising”.


2. Marketing shouldn’t be wheeled out just for launch


Often businesses make a lot of noise around the launch particularly using social media and PR, but they don’t have a plan or the resources to sustain it.


Marketing requires patience and commitment. Did you know that start-up businesses should invest 10 to 20% of projected revenue on marketing?

It takes years to build a brand. Most of us are familiar with the sales funnel and moving the customer from awareness, interest, desire and then to take action. This doesn’t happen overnight. You need continuous momentum to keep this going. Plus, you want to keep your brand forefront of mind to your existing customers, after all, it costs five times as much to win a new customer than generate new business from an existing one.

3. Build a brand, not just a business

"I don't need marketing, I'm going to focus on sales". This is something I hear regularly.

There is a big difference between creating a business that sells a product or service and creating a brand that has longevity and value.

To have a lasting impact, you need magic ingredients. Your business needs to be bigger than you and what you’re selling. It needs to have a long-term vision, strong values, and a moving story, not to mention an incredible product. Simple.

4. Everyone is my customer

It’s hard when you're launching and don't have historical data to identify who is your customer. The outcome is many start-ups launch with a broad brush approach and think everyone could be their customer.

But the more defined you can be the easier it is to shape your business. By honing in on your ideal customer, you can tailor your message, product, logistics, and the channels you use to ensure they are hitting the mark. To get this right market research is essential.

5. No business plan


Diary entitled 'My secret plan to rule the world'

And arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, the absence of a business plan. A business plan is integral to any business but is even more crucial for a start-up. Having a business plan doubles the chances of success of a new venture. Countless studies also show that the founders are more likely to follow through, be motivated and be accountable. Plus a business plan is essential if funding is needed to be secured.


The best chance of success


Starting a new business or launching a new product to market is an exciting time and could be life-changing. Put in the groundwork and ensure you’ve done your research and sufficient planning before you launch to ensure you have the best chance of success. All the very best!


Discover more insight and tips including which social media platform to use and the small business guide to SEO.

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