The moment you have attended your 1st start-up event at SUP46 (Start-up people of Sweden) or any of the other amazing start-up hubs here, you will find yourself being absolutely excited. Promised! But that’s just the start. After 3 months and dozens of events, I’m still flashed every time I meet new entrepreneurs and hear new amazing ideas.
Sweden and especially Stockholm have – over several years – created an environment pushing forward innovation and entrepreneurial thinking across industries. VC’s – early stage investors, crowdfunding platforms (Funded by me) and even the ones from the other Scandinavian countries- have quickly noticed it and are present everywhere in Stockholm.
Just recently Stockholm’s Start-Ups scene has seen more than 10 huge investments within one month! That wasn’t only a new record for the city but apparently also one for Europe.
Still wonder why Stockholm is a great place for Start-Ups? It’s one of the cities with the highest amount of companies that actually make it. Here some examples:
So, come visit Stockholm and get infected with the innovation virus!
Just 2 months ago I have moved to the beautiful city of Stockholm, the capital of Scandinavia and largest Start-Up space in Europe. According to several reports it is said to be the 2nd most profitable Start-Up city in the world right after Silicon Valley. In case you wonder who’s really made it just think of Skype and Spotify as two great examples.
Once arrived, I started to dive into the community, networked and analyzed a few businesses that got my attention. Surprisingly, all of them had something in common: a fuzzy marketing strategy combined with great design that just didn’t seem to support the amazing product that was created. Traffic acquisition seems to be mainly based on word of mouth – which without any doubt is awesome but can be made even greater with engagement & social marketing tricks a la BuzzFeed – instead of a well-executed SEO strategy for search engines and app stores combined with smart AdWords investments that usually have an ROI of two or more if done right.
In today’s advanced technological ecosystem, I would expect tech companies but especially Start-Ups to step up and take their own Marketing to the next level of personalization and cross-channel integration. It takes an initial effort of creating templates (not that I’m a fan of them but they simply make the start so much easier) that can be easily reused and a cross-channel campaign strategy that allows individual optimizations. Most of today’s growth strategies don’t even require a huge budget. With a great product you can count on a very engaged user community that just waits for a great opportunity to share a blog post to tell others about you. E-mail is free and one of the most powerful tools for conversion (see Amazon) and sharing (see BuzzFeed). Facebook and LinkedIn sponsored posts are usually ridiculously cheap compared to AdWords and if well targeted always pay off.
Where are the Start-Up CEO’s that are ready to go a different way and implement a cross-channel Marketing strategy from day 1?
Most of us used to play with Lego as kids. We assembled according to the picture on the box or just did whatever we believed was right. But would we, grown-ups, still do that today? Well, I’m seeing two very interesting small businesses on the rise that just seem to understand to address the inner kid of their customers.
Mr. Gill, a retail store in Stockholm sells original Lego boxes in his cozy shop in Stockholm’s hip neighborhood Södermalm and according to TheLocal.se had more than 400 customers on his 1st business day in March 2015 besides being located in a rarely visited side street and rather far from Götgatan, the main street of Södermalm. While the focus seems to be on reselling original Lego-packages you can also find some 2nd hand pieces and what appears to be self-made characters. The owner relocated from UK and made his dream true in the fascinating city of Stockholm. Interestingly it is doing well with a Facebook page as the only marketing channel with just more than 700 friends. The key to success is the great customer service at Mr. Gill. A look on their Facebook page says it all.
FamousBrick is the 2nd great example I see out there. Located in Germany and focused on self-made Lego figures from the IT-industry like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg it really has created an amazing community that is just waiting to see new personalities added to stock. The Marketing strategy really seems to make it for the niche market they are operating in. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the website of FamousBrick together with E-mail newsletters and smartly chosen cross-sell offers like a frame really make FamousBrick a start-up that understands the power of social media marketing and customer retention. With the continuously increasing tech-community in Germany and the entire world, I can’t wait to see them getting bigger.
Lego might not have a 2nd spring yet but there is potential to unlock more and more customer segments that truly have an interest and are willing to spend a lot of money. It is great to see entrepreneurs going back to their roots and making a business based on their childhood. Keep it going FamousBrick & Mr.Gill!