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Strategy That Works - Book Review via Curagami

Strategy That Works - Book Review via Curagami | Startup Revolution |

Strategy That Works Book Review discusses an important new book by Paul Leinwand sharing an HBR podcast interview with the author, our favorite related example and a link to the book on Amazon. If you need to close the gap between your strategy and execution, and who doesn't, we highly recommend Paul's book. 

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Branding For Startups: Win Hearts, Minds, Loyalty

Branding For Startups: Win Hearts, Minds, Loyalty | Startup Revolution |

Marty Note
The linked post is important, but not for the reasons they think. The post mentions the factoid that most people wouldn't mind if 73% of brands disappeared. The post discusses brands like Tom's who wins hearts and minds with cause marketing.

We love Tom's too. Yes, what you do with customer money is important these days. We prefer the Cone Communications ( ) "social good" study that shows a growing trend. Consumers what to know how your STUFF helps change the world.

People don't BUY brands they JOIN them.
Faith Popcorn

Marketing guru Faith Popcorn's quote is a favorite. We would reposition the linked post toward the more important question - how is your brand creating sustainable community. Since most of customers are online merchants we would write the goal as, "How is your brand creating sustainable ONLINE community".

Online community is the secret to branding and engagement over time. We think of loyalty with two dimensions:

* Engagement over TIME (joining and visiting).

* Advocacy (willing to share with friends).

Every visitor can achieve #1, but a tiny % of your website's traffic will ever do #1 due to the 1:9:90 Rule. The 1:9:90 Rule explains the strange math of website visitors:

1% Contributors - 1% of your traffic will contribute content such as comments, reviews and the social shares such User Generated Content (UGC) generate.
9% Supporters - this group loves to share your content especially if it came from the 1%ers.
90% Readers - More important than their label makes them sound, Readders are the core of your visitors and so essential to SEO and your expanding web universe.

The trick to web marketing few discuss is converting that tribe of Contributors, Supporters and Readers into a sustainable online community. Branding creates the shorthand your Contributors and Supports use to ADVOCATE.

When you market by proxy, you are using Contributors and Supporters to reach their friends, you must encapsulate deep meaning into shareable "Made To Stick" bits and bytes. Your advocates can't share if your message is too complicated, so boil it down, mix it up and test, test and test some more. In there somewhere is the strange alchemy your brand needs to compel action (joining and advocating) and so win hearts, minds and loyalty.

BTW, I bent this post toward startups because every startup is tabula rasa when it comes to branding. Startups are blank slates written on by every piece of content, social share and tool created. We don't brand in order to create loyalty we win hearts, minds and loyalty in order to create brands and First Rule of Branding is what the linked post has backwards.

Via Eric_Determined / Eric Silverstein, Michael Allenberg
Eric_Determined / Eric Silverstein's curator insight, November 7, 2014 2:07 PM

According to a survey, most people would not care if 73% of the brands would disappear!?

Share your latest experience on what your favorite brands are doing to earn your Loyalty, and ultimately your Advocacy?

It does start with earning your #trust.

Great insight @annettefranz @SDLjames with strong value connections @TOMS @USAA

Fred Zimny's curator insight, November 8, 2014 12:20 AM

Focus on encounters and experiences in stead of managing relations.

Ahmed Alkandari's curator insight, November 15, 2014 9:01 PM

"Most people worldwide would not care if more than 73% of brand disappeared." So, are companies wasting their money on advertisements and marketing; since, most people won't care about weather the brand will disappeared or not?! People who have brand loyalty are supposed to care if the brand they are loyal to will be available or not on the future. Also would these people considered faithful to their brand if they don't care?

What are brands might been doing wrong with customers?

don't focus on the customersare not providing value relative to priceare not providing value relative to the competition/alternativeshave broken customers' trustdon't deliver on their promisesdon't care about customersdon't meet customer expectationsare not innovative (think "same old same old")deliver a fragmented or poor experience

With all of these point, the relationship between them and their customers will be broken. Therefore, companies should focus more on their customers and design a good customer experience. Companies shouldn't only care about making money, they should also care and focus about being a part of something that matters to people and mean something to them.


Most of the article was asking questions and some questions didn't have answers in the article, they are open for general thinking and answering. It's interesting about how most people won't care if a brand disappeared on the future; for me I would! Of course life won't stop and new brands will enter the market. However, Some brands people got used to it and can's change that easily; the example of Apple. I also found it important about what they mentioned for customers relationship with the company. In my opinion, companies that focuses more on their relationship with their customers and making sure to build an experience with their customers are more successful than companies that focusses on making profits and increase their revenue. I a customer became loyal to a company and he had an experience with that company, he won't mind paying more on that company's goods. The reason is that the company had built a trust and an experience to that customer so he will be faithful and he would care about the brand and the company.

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Neuromarketing Anyone Can Do It, But Should You?

Neuromarketing Anyone Can Do It, But Should You? | Startup Revolution |

In the neuro gold rush, be sure you're looking for human insight and strategy, not pretty brain scans and shiny new measurement tools.

Via Karen Dietz, Os Ishmael
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I agree with the idea that Neuromarketing isn't a secret ticket to man's inner most desires. EVEN if you could see inside the soul of your customers doing so would be wrong and your view would change the wrong things in the wrong way.

I also agree anyone can do Neuromarketing these days. Big Data, analytics and wisdom of crowds can provide as much if not more actionable information than sticking people in Catscans and postulating on motivations, persuasion and the secret Stimulus - Response curves we all understand to some lesser or greater degree.

Karen Dietz's curator insight, September 30, 2014 2:16 PM

OK -- I  think this is a pretty important article because it directly addresses how neuromarketing is being reduced to being "weapons of subconscious influence not insights into unmet hidden needs. The emergent field of neuromarketing is being reduced and defined as the “the study of neurological responses to marketing messages.” 

Sounds like the state storytelling is sometimes finding itself in!

Written by Douglas Van Praet, this post talks about the true value of neuromarketing beyond the simplistic (and manipulative) notion of 'let me activate your brain to make a sale'. Or in my world, 'let me tell you a story and you'll buy my product'.

Van Praet goes on to talk about the insights into essential strategies instead of short-term tactics of persuasion. He also goes into the biology of branding, and creating profits with a purpose. This all leads ultimately to deep win-wins and progress for the lives of both businesses and customers. Almost every point he makes applies to business storytelling too.

This is a great read that you won't want to miss if you are into long-term success.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

malek's curator insight, October 1, 2014 7:29 AM

When it's all about falling in love with a purpose not a brand.

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Business Plans: 10 Tips For "Riding In The Rain" & Scoring Big

Business Plans: 10 Tips For "Riding In The Rain" & Scoring Big | Startup Revolution |
The best tips from expert business plan reviewers for bplans, templates and more
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Thanks to Marc for making this suggestion on Biz Plans are something I like about as much as going tot he dentist so any helpful tools or suggestions are WELCOMED.

Writing a business plan reminds me of Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer. In the summer of 2010 I rode a bicycle across America over 60 days. Based on weather patterns we predicted riding in the rain 10 days. We actually had to ride in the rain for 6 days.

Since we were going to need to ride in the rain I practiced in it and worked on convincing myself that I LOVED riding in the rain, that it was fun. Not so much and NEVER made that sale (lol). Appreciate anything that will help me create Biz Plans.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, February 7, 2014 11:09 AM

The business plan creation process can be very time consuming and the benefit of this exercise can be invaluable. I am at FAU in a session right now about how to develop the financial models needed for the business plans. We're talking about the assumptions we are making and justifying where we are getting our numbers and amazing things such as going out into the marketplace and doing the research about what people are willing to pay for. There's an upcoming business plan competition and a room full of people who intend to compete in this huge event at FAU. I recently met several business plan competition winners who have used this money to help them launch their businesses-there can be a huge benefit in creating excellent business plans. Too many businesses go out of business because they don't have the money to stay in business. Many companies that don't make it are gone because they didn't have plans and they weren't prepared for the challenges they actually faced. 

Lou Hemmer's curator insight, February 16, 2014 12:20 PM

Good article about steps to cover when seeking investment dollars for start ups.  A solid management team and understanding  where your business fits in the marketplace a essential.

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Basic Marketing Strategies For Startups

Basic Marketing Strategies For Startups | Startup Revolution |
Marketing is one of the most important features in a business. A good marketing strategy makes a business look more appealing and gives it a larger exposure. It gives a jumpstart and makes the owner a better marketer.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

"Basic" Startup Marketing
The linked post provides a good overview of "basic marketing" strategies. Startups have some different needs. The nature of being a startup is some things that many businesses know startups do not.

Startups are organic, quickly evolving and strategies must keep pace. Here are 5 Startup Marketing Tips Not covered in the post:

Marketing For Startups

1. Uniqueness - What is your "Unique Selling Proposition" or USP?

2. Values - Who are you and what principles guide your actions.

3. Flexible Tactics by estimated ROI (how will you make money now?).

4. Brand Persona & Values - what UCA (Unique Customer Aspirations) does your brand promote (see Stengel's Brand Ideals here: ).
5. Save The World - how is your marketing related to saving the world in some meaningful and measurable way?

You can think of each of these five ideas as stories you need to tell, stories you must be able to tell in an elevator, at dinner or in passing. What and who you are must be automatic and confident. Know these 5 stories and your startup can create winning marketing, marketing that is aligned, concise and clear.

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, August 9, 2013 2:42 PM
Thanks Jan :). Marty
Agnipravo Sengupta's comment, August 11, 2013 1:51 AM
Hey Marty, it's so awesome to know that you liked my write-up... Thank you!!
Angela Heath's curator insight, August 19, 2013 2:16 PM

I'd add to this....share with customers what you know about them...without telling them directly -- naturally.  It's important to let your market know you understand and feel their pains.  It's great when you share there pain.

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5 Marketing Ideas To Steal From Netflix via @Curagami

5 Marketing Ideas To Steal From Netflix via @Curagami | Startup Revolution |

Steal These 5 Netflix Marketing Ideas

  • Almost Freemium.
  • Build Your Tribe as a Distributor.
  • Migrate from Distribution to Production.
  • Mine the long tail.
  • Keep some proprietary something.


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How QDF Changes Content Marketing - Curagami

How QDF Changes Content Marketing  - Curagami | Startup Revolution |
Quality Deserves Freshness QDF is important to "new SEO". This post & Haiku Deck share marketing, tactics & strategy tips so QDF works for not against you.
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Startups Vs. Fortune 100: Keep Thinking Like a Startup

Startups Vs. Fortune 100: Keep Thinking Like a Startup | Startup Revolution |

Thinking Like A Startup
Startups have to be innovative and nimble. This post from FoxBusiness suggests continuing to "think like a startup" is a good idea no matter what stage of Biz Dev you are in.

The tendency, the post explains, is to bring in a "professional management" layer too early. That layer is used to the big budgets of the Fortune 1000 and can't thrive in startup land.

I have an interesting perspective since I left a Fortune 1000 company to start Here is what was difficult about that transitions:

* Was used to legitimacy being granted automatically.
* Had to train & develop new muscles because we had NO MONEY.
* Had to solve problems differently because we had NO MONEY.

* Planning cycle shortened and became more about MONEY today instead of market domination tomorrow.
* Tactics changed because low hanging less expensive to develop fruit had to come to the top.
* Partnerships changed because we had to trade things other than money and that usually meant looking for partners in similar stages of development.

That last bullet is a key. Don't try and pitch a Fortune 1000 when you are a startup unless you are trying to sell them something and only do that when invited. You can't crack those vaults, tempting as it may seem, unless they are already interested.

This means you have to create alliances with companies in similar stages of development or maybe one or two steps up the ladder. Hit singles to learn how to hit homers.

QUANTITY in startups is often more important than quality and it RARELY is when working for a giant. Giants can afford to be snobs, startups can't. Why I like startups :).M

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

add your insight...

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7 Steps To Market Definition

7 Steps To Market Definition | Startup Revolution |
No business can be all things to all customers, especially a small business. Here's how to find a niche to set up your company for success.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great 7 step process to define a market:

1. Make a wish list.

2. Focus.

3. Describe the customer's worldview.

4. Synthesize.

5. Evaluate.

6. Test.

7. Go for it.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 6, 2013 10:40 PM

There is power in focus and it makes it easier for the consumers to identify you company with the one thing you do best. Consumers are so overwhelmed with messages that having a clear message about what your company does helps you to stand out#brand#influence#marketing

Jeremy Barton's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:25 AM

No business can be all things to all customers, especially a small business. Here's how to find a niche to set up your company for success.

Kimberley Vico's curator insight, February 11, 2014 7:40 PM

Essentials to find a niche for your success.... follow the 7 steps!