Developing a billion dollar business to change the world and defining a new business category is a great accomplishment for an entrepreneur but contrary to many entrepreneurs’ expectation, it is very rare in reality! The fact that fewer than 200 technology start-ups are worth more than a $1 billion, supports the above statement. Yes, only 200 of all startups are unicorns. Your chances of starting up and scaling up your business to be a unicorn are very thin! Traditional wisdom states, “If you want to succeed then you should focus on creating innovative & groundbreaking technological products and to thrive in a vast new market”, is gravely wrong.
What aspiring entrepreneurs often do not recognize is that they don’t need to ideate an innovative product or create a new market to be a billion-dollar company. You can start from what you always love and know well.
You can either copy a successful / potentially successful product or a business model operating elsewhere in the same industry or a different industry and implement the same with Innovation and Growth Hacking to grow your business rather than bearing the burden of creating a new product or a new business model which will be followed by a huge market risk. In simple words, you can start with a well-known service or product offering and focus on Growth Hacking. This will be an highly effective approach and the odds of business failure will be less. This also frees up resources and helps you to focus on becoming the best innovator in your niche market.
Of course, there are challenges in using this approach. One among it, is that competitive markets have well-funded and well-identified contenders. But small bootstrapped firms have three advantages over the others: SPEED, EDGE and AGILITY. Founders can move from decision to action in a matter of hours. Early adopters are powerful, because the noise of the laggers is small. The smaller firms are early adopters who want to explore and are more curious. Large firms on other hand, are almost never early adopters due to risk aversion and lack of quick decisiveness.
In the past year, Facebook has introduced significant changes to its news feed algorithm, created messaging bots and instant articles. Instagram has released a new direct response advertising product. All these new opportunities are available for start-ups & SMEs who are looking to Growth Hack their business. We have repeatedly seen strong brands emerging from creative marketing.
We can hack the growth in two ways.
1) Offline Growth Hack
Strategic Marketing team of Duracell and Federal Express owned a word in people's mind by Innovative Offline Growth hack.
Eveready was the long-time leader in batteries. Eveready has extended the line of service in every category like heavy duty, alkaline etc. as the battery industry evolved. Eveready called these batteries as Eveready heavy-duty battery, Eveready alkaline battery respectively. However Duracell focused only on alkaline batteries and has put the line “Long Lasting Batteries” in the mind of the customers and advertised saying “Duracell lasts twice as long as Eveready”. Duracell had already become the leader in the battery market because of focusing on the biggest market segment and sacrificing on other segments to improve brand virality.
Similarly, Emery was in the air freight services business. Anything you wanted to ship you could ship via Emery (Small & Large packages, overnight services, delayed service etc.). From a marketing point of view, what did Federal Express do? It concentrated on one service: Small packages which is the predominant market in freight service business and has put the line “Small packages overnight” in people’s mind. Today Federal Express is a much bigger company than Emery.
These are the perfect examples which prove that you can outpace your business competition unprecedentedly by hacking your market innovatively.
2) Online Growth Hack
Let us have a look at how founders of Helloflo and Dollar Shave Club embraced Innovative Online Growth hack strategies.
Fourteen months after its launch, the Dollar Shave Club published its first video on YouTube. This video went viral in social media and has generated 23 million views. The company has got unicorn status through the brand following that it generated with this video. Last year, Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion.
Similarly Helloflo, a brand of women's care products, went from under $100,000 in revenue to over $1 million with only two viral videos.
Warren Buffett didn’t become billionaire in a day. It took him careful investment over years. If he had waited for an opportunity that would make him a billionaire in a day, we would have never had a Warren Buffet. Instead of focusing on your next billion-dollar idea, start focusing on doing something really smart work with the tools that are out there to hack your growth using creative marketing. Social media marketing provides a kind of liberty and luxury to be more creative to hack your growth, which means that there has never been a better time to hack your business growth.