5 Fundamental Marketing Principles Everyone Forgets

Kamreno | 5 Fundamental Marketing Principles Everyone Forgets

In the dynamic world of marketing, where each day brings new tools and strategies, it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamentals that remain crucial for effective communication between a brand and its audience. Having worked with both small start-ups and large corporations, we’ve noticed that certain marketing principles are often overlooked or forgotten. Here are five such principles that every entrepreneur should keep in mind, regardless of their company’s size or tenure.

1. Your Brand is Not You

Many of my clients have often fallen into the trap of treating the brand too personally. It’s very easy to succumb to the temptation to make everything “about you.” However, a company is not us, and a brand is not our property. A brand is how the world sees us. When creating a logo or visual identity, we easily succumb to our own tastes and preferences. But the truth is that a brand is much more than just us – it’s how the company is perceived in the market.

Instead of insisting on our favourite colours or designs, it’s worthwhile to conduct thorough market research. We need to understand how our brand is perceived by customers, partners, and competitors because their opinions matter most. Let’s not forget, our brand is not something we have to like. We have repeatedly encountered situations where CEOs and CFOs, like little children in a sandbox, argued whether yellow or red would be better for a banner. It is therefore worth investing time to understand market expectations, instead of just following our own intuition.

2. Strategic Thinking in Every Action

Have you ever launched a product or service into the market without a defined marketing plan? If so, you probably quickly realized that success is hard to come by without a strategy. Nowadays, there is no such thing as a unique product without competition – at least not for long. We often remind clients that just because we don’t have competition today doesn’t mean we won’t have it tomorrow. The example of cameras being replaced by smartphones perfectly illustrates how easy it is to miss changes in the market and realize that competition never sleeps.

Every company, regardless of size, should have a clearly defined marketing plan that answers the questions: What are we selling? To whom? Why exactly this? And where and how are we selling it? Strategy is not reserved only for large corporations. It’s a bit like saying that only drivers of large cars should use navigation or maps, while the rest should travel blindly. Sounds a bit absurd, right?

Every marketing action should be thoughtful and coordinated with the overall business plan. This plan does not have to be extensive and lengthy. The important thing is to have one! In practice, it will change many times, but it’s important to know in which direction we are heading. Well-planned marketing is not just sporadic promotional campaigns, but continuous adjustment of actions to the changing environment and needs of the audience. What worked the first time may not necessarily work the second time. This applies to both new companies and those that have been on the market for a longer time. The only correct strategy is continuous adaptation and development. We often hear, for example in the construction or cosmetic industry, that owners did not include any marketing plans because they were lucky to start at a time when customers themselves knocked on their doors. However, that time has passed.

3. Your Competition May Also Be Your Client

Competition does not always mean hostility. For startups entering mature markets, cooperating with larger players can prove to be the key to success. Is it possible to sell a license for your products instead of competing directly? My experience shows that this approach often brings much better results, opening the door to long-term business relationships and a stable stream of revenue.

Sometimes a better approach than direct competition with large players is to look for ways to cooperate. Many logistics companies, mainly working for giants like Amazon, are well aware that cooperation can bring more benefits than competition. It’s worth considering whether you can offer something unique that would interest your competition? Many start-ups effectively use this approach, securing valuable orders from larger companies that initially seemed like unreachable giants.

4. First Impressions Are Irreversible

Remember the old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? It holds a lot of truth, especially in a business context. If you are not able to provide at least a basic, professionally made website, appropriately designed logo (not in programs like Canva, but professional graphic tools) or solid business cards, it’s hard to expect that customers will perceive you as a reliable business partner.

Examples? We remember a lady who complained about “cheap” clients, and her business card looked like a torn piece of paper from advertisements. At trade shows, we have often met companies from the cybersecurity industry directing potential clients to a website without security certificates. Well, if you get disappointed once, you rarely give a second chance. Our favourite example is a logo designed in Microsoft Word by the company’s president, which was later even patented.

5. Tailor Your Marketing Actions to Real Needs

Not every business needs to be present on every social media platform. It is important to consider where your actual customers are. Before you open another account, ask yourself whether your customers are there. Instead of trying to be everywhere, focus on the channels that bring the most benefits. Marketing is about strategically placing your brand where it can most effectively communicate with your audience, not mindlessly following the latest trends.

Not every business needs to be on Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok. Think about where your customers really are. Instead of being everywhere, it’s better to choose places and tools that are most effective. Networking is not a sprint, but a marathon—choose trade shows and conferences where you have a chance to meet real customers, not just to “be seen.”

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