After my experience of 1) failing to grow a marketplace (Emntr) and 2) successfully helping to grow a marketplace (Rover), I enter Assurance with a strong foundation marketing for marketplaces. I'd like to share the same wisdom here.
Every human has their own "lens" that's been beveled through their past, so if you think you know your audience, you're lying to yourself. So why not consider include your customer in the naming of your startup? Google AdWords, at your service.
Lifer: a person who has made a lifelong commitment, usually in a certain career.
Some of the most influential humans in recent history have made powerful statements by doing the complete opposite and bestowed powerful marketing lessons along the way.
Like who, you say?
With their sharp marketing and simplistic designs, they seem to have come out of no where: MVMT, Warby Parker, Casper, Everlane.
Where the hell did all these direct-to-consumer companies come from and is there any room to begin your own? There is more hope than you think.
In the early days of a startup, you should deliberately take action to grow your business that DOES NOT scale. Why? Because 1:1 communication is invaluable.
Look, I'm not here to tell you to "go to networking events" but to share some of the more creative yet effective tactics to grow your customer base in a non-scalable, low-cost way.