How to build a brand on a budget

"Industrial era" marketing – where you "throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks" – is over. Instead, our digitally networked world has given rise to communities with shared passions, where new brands and businesses have a real chance of stealing customers from the incumbent mega-brands.

It's a world in which household-name cosmetics giants, for example, quake at the competition posed by a teenager whose business – and brand, and influence – was built in the space of a few years with no original investment other than a smartphone.

This is the radical view of Mark Adams, founder in 2005 of the first digital talent consultancy (since sold to William Morris Endeavour), Chairman of the UK's Digital Leadership Council and Head of Innovation at Vice Media in London. In this video clip he spells out the opportunity for young businesses to grow their brand online – and for almost zero cost – by:

  • finding their first 1,000 true fans
  • marketing with them, not at them
  • creating deep relationships with limited numbers of people – and let them become your brand advocates.

Mark was a keynote speaker at a Cazenove Capital Thoughts on Enterprise event earlier this month. These regular events draw together our broad network of entrepreneurs, angel investors, advisers and mentors. They offer the chance to hear expert speakers on all aspects of business growth from day one through to exit and beyond. They're also a venue in which you can socialise and build your network.

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