How to Grow Your Business and Achieve Inc. 500 Exponential Growth
High-growth, Inc. 500 growth, now they call it growth hacking. Whatever you want to call growing a business as fast and profitably as possible, it is merely aggressive and good business practice. This is a quick & dirty guide for growth hacking.I placed in the Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies for 3 consecutive years, back when the web didn't even exist. The internet and social media has made it much easier to achieve high growth rates than it used to be, but that doesn't mean it is easy to achieve high growth. Both then, and now, the number one key to high growth is to create a marketing machine that provides you with a large base addressable market, and that allows you to quickly replicate & refine.
The Marketing Machine
To create hyper-growth you need:
Without the marketing machine, you'll need one heck of lot of luck.
Branding & Positioning
Branding and positioning help create the soul of your product. Without it, again, you'll need one heck of a lot of luck. What would Apple be without the Apple branding. Half as successful? So much has been written about branding that I won't take much time with it here, but I want to make sure you REALLY understand why you need great branding.
What Branding IS
Branding is the foundation upon which you create customer value. Branding is the personification of your company or your product. Branding provides you a strategic point of view, a personality, a point of differentiation, and is central to your company's "identity." It takes hard work, an understanding of consumer behavior, an understanding of your market and its players, creativity, insight, and inspiration to create your brand.
To really understand this, let's take a look at the top 5 most valuable global brands, their market capitalization (as of this writing) and the brand equity assigned to them by Millward Brown Optimor for Marketing Week's Top 100 Most Vauable Global Brands 2013.
This table is saying that the average brand value of these companies is 42% of their market capitalization (total worth). You'll notice some interesting anomalies, such as the fact that China Telecom's market cap is less than their brand value. Whether you believe the numbers or not, even if you cut them in half, the number is staggering. That is why big brands pay so much attention to branding. You should too because branding makes growth hacking infinitely easier.
What Branding Is NOT
However, all of the above things should be created with your brand in mind. If you don't solidly link you brand to these items, you are merely handicapping yourself.
Below is a check list of channels and marketing tactics and business models for testing. Please let me know if I've missed anything! Good luck!
User Generated Content
Growth Hacking For a Startup or From Scratch
Tactics for Testing