Pay attention to the competition.
An important thing to remember is that you’re not only competing with other start-ups or small businesses, you’re entering into a marketplace that may have competitors of all shapes and sizes. In response, your brand has to be able to stand up to the best at something, even if you can’t yet compete on everything.
Creativity is a way to counter-program against larger organizations with larger budgets—if you can disrupt the marketing “best practices” you’re seeing from the bigger players, you have the opportunity to stand out. Don’t underestimate the ability of humour, frankness or simplicity to help you make an impact and a lasting impression (as long as it’s genuine to your brand and what you offer)
Tip: Identify up to 10 of your top competitors and map their brand elements (creative, voice, etc.) against each other. This comparative view will help you find holes and opportunities in the marketplace for your brand.
Tip: Do some online research of other new players outside of your industry to see what they’re creatively doing to build brand and attract customers—check out award websites, they often highlight new players with creative marketing ideas.
Tip: Follow all of your competitors on social media and pay attention! Knowing what they’re doing will allow you to stay different and carve out your own unique place in the market.