Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Startups

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Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Startups

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Startups

In the fantastic world of marketing, one technique has always shined, Guerrilla Marketing. The name is not so old, and the basic idea is one of the easiest, get the attention of people by using Creativity and Unconventional resources. This is also why guerrilla marketing ideas for startups could be an easy implementation.

This marketing strategy is perfect for startups since it is low-cost and, if done well, also very powerful. Compete with the giants of industry is almost impossible, and this is why you could apply guerrilla marketing ideas for your startup or small business to get great results.

In this article, you will see some of the infinite examples of this approach. Remember that it is a strategy which, with a ridiculous bunch of money, can boost your brand awareness and sales.

The simple reason why guerrilla marketing for startups works so well is that it is surprising and memorable from all the other kinds of strategies. The aim is to take one particular idea that you are offering with your startup and show it in a completely different way.


NIKE is the king of Guerilla Marketing


One of the most famous companies which implemented guerrilla marketing from the time it was born, is Nike. This company had the original idea to incorporate the brand values to real objects like benches or walls by applying its famous tagline “Just do it.”

As a good inspiration, you need to take into consideration some examples of Nike, which has a long history of this strategy.

This one went very popular and also increased the brand awareness of the company; even more, it is strictly coherent with the motto of Nike.

Think about one of the metro stations below, you exit from the tube and see this ad, how do you react? Maybe not so well, but you will remember carefully not only the brand of the company but also you start to think about the message that they wanted to transmit to people.

Nike guerrilla marketing
                                       Nike guerrilla marketing example in a metro station (Source)

Maybe, many of the people by seeing this advertisement started to take the stairs and noticed that it would be great if sometimes they would go running or do some workout, maybe using Nike equipment.

But if you think you could even improve the message by using some subtle phrase or considering other stuff around you.

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So for instance, if you as a startup decide to make this advertisement the first of January, by writing something like “The first day of your life!”, well, indeed you reinforced the message, and it is aligned with the brand’s values for “doing” instead of “procrastinating something.”


Think vintage


Old fashion marketing can be an excellent opportunity to differentiate your marketing strategy. Think about a brochure; they are perceived so obsolete that they will very probably take the attention of your target. Especially if you are an online startup, people will be surprised to receive something physical from you.

IKEA is a perfect example of applying printed materials (catalog, brochure…) as a marketing strategy. Just to understand the power of this tactic, around 70% of the annual marketing budget is spent on these printed advertising. Instead of making brochures in regular shape, IKEA decided to invest more in Creativity and use a 3D model of furniture in eye-catching colors.

Brochure of IKEA
                                 Good example of old fashioned guerrilla marketing from IKEA (Source)

This not only has the aim to provide brief information about IKEA’s products but also acts as a display object on the table or in the bookshelf. These kinds of creative printed advertisements have made IKEA among the most recognizable brand in the world during these years.

By the way, one must rule that is always applied for digital advertising is also applied in the real ones, and it is Call to action or if you prefer CTA.

If you want your reader to respond, include website address, phone number, or some forms of response mechanism. To increase your brochures selling power, you should include your offer and a response method on every page.


Use the space around you.


Another obvious but impactful guerrilla marketing ideas for startups is to use modern art and the space around you, literally. Many of the best ideas require far less money to achieve an extraordinary impact.

There are many examples that we can choose from. One is graffiti, not only the usual ones but also the so-called moss graffiti. This type is done by using living moss to create by zero an image to expose on the street; this indeed can be applied by companies that want to make creative advertising and also an image of health responsibility.

Another quick idea is done by using outdoor installations. We can take as an example the one done by “It” horror movie It was met with both delight and horror on social media, with users saying it was “awesomely creepy.”

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In September 2017, several red balloons appeared attached to drainage grates around Sydney CBD, accompanied by a stenciled chalk note saying, “It is closer than you think.”

Promoting the horror movie “It”
                          Guerrilla marketing used to promote a horror movie (Source)

These few strategically placed balloons yielded massive social media traffic and led to boost the views of the film’s trailer.

The third one is about “Reverse graffiti” is when, instead of adding to a surface, marketers remove dirt and grime from a street or wall to create an all-natural marking message. Just put a stencil on a sidewalk and then wash the uncovered spaces. Domino’s is one of the larger companies to try this strategy.

Domino's reverse graffiti
               Domino’s reverse graffiti example of outdoor guerrilla marketing (Source)

Colgate gives the last great example of this section. To promote the new Colgate Max Night, different local pizzerias were supplied with special Colgate-branded boxes for their deliveries.

Looking inside the Pizza Box, you could see a designed to look like the inside of a mouth. The message was so easy and impactful, reminded people to use Colgate max night, so their dinner breath does not become their morning breath.

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Startups
Colgate pizza’s box example of guerrilla marketing using delivery products (Source)

Risky ironic strategy


Continuing with physical guerrilla marketing ideas for startups, another famous company advertising went viral for its successful idea. Jeep, as Nike did, played on the outdoors and cliché of a typical Jeep’s driver while parking.

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Startups
                                                Jeep parking space for guerrilla marketing (Source)

This is another excellent guerilla marketing tactic. Not only because it is powerful and perfect for an automotive brand such as Jeep, but also because it uses an ironic message that everyone can easily understand.

Of course, some may argue that this is a little on the risky side because there could be arguments over parking guidelines and respect within the community.

But, you can think that also for comment against this advertisement increased the success of this idea by applying a sort of provocative marketing.

It expresses the brand’s positioning, and it establishes the brand’s relationship with the world (customers and not).

Make video viral

Switching on digital guerrilla marketing ideas for startups, one could be the creation of a viral video.

Indeed it is not that easy as it seems. Still, everybody knows that the internet is mostly about entertainment; you may notice this by watching on social media videos of cute cats, funny videos, and memes.

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So basically, the idea is to catch the eyes with an entertaining video.

One of the pillars in how to succeed in guerrilla marketing is not to take oneself too seriously, which was what Dollar Shave Club did.

The subscription shaving company (later on bought over for 1 billion dollars by Unilever) blew up the Internet with a hilarious video. The video, which meant to launch the service, has accumulated over 26 million views since Dollar Shave Club’s launch.

The video echoed Old Spice’s popular ads and left many companies scrambling to try to recreate the success of Dollar Shave Club.


Create a playlist to share with your customers


To impress your customers, you as a startup need to result in more personal than other companies like Facebook or Google that often seem managed more by robots and algorithms than real people. To get this personal touch, an effortless way is to create a playlist on Spotify or YouTube, with all the songs that you think can connect your clients with you.

For instance, think about now that many people are staying at home for days, you could use this situation to improve the relationship with your customers by suggesting a playlist with songs that could improve the day of people.

Creating a playlist is a fun and easy way for brands to connect on a more intimate level with their customers.

Brands can spend a couple of days compiling their favorite songs and then send their customers a link to their playlist with a short note like: “These are some of our team’s favorite songs (we hope you love them), send us one of your favorites and we’ll be sure to add it to the playlist.”

Final Thoughts

In this article, you saw some ideas to use the guerrilla marketing strategy for your startup; we suggest you look for other examples since there are millions and millions of other cases that will surprise you.

Everyone is continuously exposed to a vast amount of advertisements every single day. Still, we remember only the ones that caught our attention with Creativity or something different from other advertisings. Guerrilla Marketing is somehow an answer to this tough question.

Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.  Albert Einstein

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ARDOXSO Weekly Blog currently has 5 members at its editorial board and publishes about 250 articles annually on ARDOXSO blog.

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