- B2B or B2C? Who makes the sale? If the company you are working with as a freelancer is in a licensing deal, their marketing will look very different from a DTC company.
- Local is NOT global. Be aware of the verbiage and the local interpretations in your brand and product name. Do research to confirm you do not have similar brands/products out there. Leverage social listening and basic Google/Bing search. Basic, but important. Do not invest in brand building until you have trademarks.
- Patents? Crucial, especially for retail brands. Unless you own a patent your brand’s point of difference will be down the drain fast. Very fast. It will become a race to the bottom of the production cost: who can produce it faster and cheaper? And who has the better network?
- Lesson for marketing freelancers: make sure you understand if the brand you work for has patents/is different from others in a substantial way. If they do and you help them build their brand, that particular brand will be considerably more valuable if they have a patent for 5-10 years compared to no patent at all.
- Lesson for entrepreneurs: try to get that patent before you secure investment. That way you have leverage and can get a better valuation.
Do you want to work with a tech startup? Ask them if one of the key stakeholders is a techie (thanks for this one, Steve!). If that’s not the case, the startup risks losing a lot of money outsourcing very expensive tech. Them burning through that cash might end up hurting their bottom line and, as a direct result, your collaboration with them – they will not have marketing dollars if they do not have a great product.
I think I just had to write all of this down for my own sake. Hope it helps someone else out there.