1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

And if you want, binge watch Shark Tank AUS and learn something on your own.