Start Up Blog

Espousing others

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 7, 2009

In world of media proliferation it’s becoming harder to get someone, anyone, let alone our target audience to listen. A better way than blasting our own foghorn is to espouse others. Something I’ve seen a lot of smart startups do lately is become brand advocates. That is, take a lead role in communicating, promoting and essentially spreading the love for other companies whose values we feel aligned to. It’s even better if we all move in the same entrepreneurial circles. Though it doesn’t have to be this way.

When we share great stuff other people are doing it rubs off on us. Just like proper referencing does in academia. We need to find stuff other companies are doing that we think is worth sharing. Ideas we think rock and companies with cultures we admire.

This is my current love list of other Startups & SME’s

Some of which even loosely compete with each other. This is fine in my view as often the biggest challenge we have in startup land is market development. Helping our competitors, though counter intuitive, can also benefit us. It get’s more people interested in the space, generates mainstream media coverage and can increase market size. This type of thinking would have been a sackable offense in my old consumer goods marketing days. The world has changed.

We’ve always been told it’s better to give than receive and the on-line world is the greatest exemplar of this theorem. It’s also a super way build significant brand credentials and trust. When people trust what we have to say by introducing them to other cool stuff it gives us a chance at gaining our own momentum.

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4 Responses

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  1. Ned said, on September 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Great post. I think it’s important to share the love with resources as well. When you find that amazing way to get something done or you see something that is relevant to a colleagues business it’s almost a duty to pass it on and lift everyone up.

    On a kind of related note I dig Jakob Lodwicks toomanybrands.com – the idea is that there is so much choice in mostly consumer products that referrals should make differentiation easier.

  2. Steve Sammartino said, on September 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Yep, forget to add that Ned – it’s much about sharing promotional duties as it is in sharing the secrets how to get things done and tricks of the trade. I think the spirit of collaboration is that much stronger with entrepreneurs than it is in companies, because in the corporate scene there is that over riding fear we are all competing for the same jobs in a thinning hierarchy.
    Steve.

  3. Scott Kilmartin said, on September 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    As a self respecting shizzler, I wordup with Val, learn my [smokin’] recipes from the Sliver Fox in Brisvegas.

    I vote that starvin for your ART is overrated, it’s all about shizzlin whilst you’re in the land of the livin.

    All shizzler guests consult a Fenn diagram before flying and always choose to drive Flexicars on their way to collecting their FRENCHLETTERs [coz you never know when you’ll need some protection after having a few DRINKs at some joint you’ll probably Yabble about to all and sundry….but that’ll be tomorrow]

    Shizzlers…do yourself [& your bruvvers] a favour.

    That is all, just saying.

  4. Andre Sammartino said, on September 8, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I share your enthusiasm for Haul, Flexicar, Ivoteforart and Yabble. I’ve been known to rave about some less web-based entities too, like Wicked Campers:

    http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/a-wicked-business-model/

    Not quite an SME anymore, but they certainly were back in the day.

    I used to search high and low for examples of such firms for teaching examples for my startegic management classes (although less so since I changed teaching approach). It’s funny how long the examples stick with you, and how attached you get to their growth. I had students doing assignments on Boost Juice back when they hadn’t headed offshore yet… and it has lead me to keep posting about them 5-6 years later:

    http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/a-juicy-tale-of-international-expansion/


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