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Every company wants to see massive growth in a short amount of time. Catching the attention of your target audience to drive sales and potentially expand into new markets is a dream come true for many entrepreneurs.
While each business has its own methods for quantifying success, there is no denying that “growth” in terms of total sales, profit margins or other metrics is a desired outcome for every startup.
Though there is no guarantee for success in the business world, following proven strategies that have led other brands to significant growth could be key to your own success.
1. Put quality first
As cliche as it may sound, quality must always come first if you want to achieve rapid growth. While your own marketing efforts will certainly make a difference, word of mouth provides much-needed social proof that will drive growth for your brand.
For example, SEMRush reports that in the United Kingdom, over half of craft beer drinkers said they would be willing to try a new drink simply if a friend recommended it. BrightLocal reports that in 2020, 87 percent of consumers looked at online reviews for local businesses.
With the recent popularity of podcasting, Vurbl has experienced unreal business growth as a free platform to distribute quality audio content. In addition to publishing audio media, creators can also “cut” short clips out of long-form audio, like a podcast, then embed those clips on web pages, social platforms, or a playlist they created on Vurbl. With hundreds of thousands of monthly active users searching for audio content, creators and podcasters have a new distribution channel to share their content, build an audience, and even earn ad revenue.
In a recent email conversation, Audra Gold, CEO of Vurbl explained what helped them grow a massive user base in less than one year, “We focus on audio content that is highly sought after but hard to find and consume. We also remove all the barriers to finding and listening to audio across 100’s of topics. Many of our unique features are built to facilitate better listening experience through curated playlists, portability and sharing. We also give audio content creators better tools to grow and engage their audience so that when they are ready, we can help them monetize their content through programmatic audio advertising.”
Needless to say, the experiences of your earliest customers matter a lot. Regardless of other efforts on your end, delivering a positive memorable experience will be your best way to get the word of mouth that generates meaningful growth from others who trust social proof above all else.
2. Identify strategic partnerships
While you wouldn’t partner with a direct competitor, there are undoubtedly many brands that offer products or services that are complementary to your own. A strategic partnership can ultimately benefit both companies involved by introducing the brands to new customers, while also adding value to previous customers.
For example, Starbucks partnered with bookstore chain Barnes & Noble in the 1990s to place their coffee shops in most Barnes & Noble locations. Many bookstore shoppers enjoy a cup of coffee after browsing the shelves or while reading their latest purchase.
Combining these two customer bases has clearly been a success, and was part of Starbucks’ massive growth in the early 1990s. While other bookstore chains like Borders and Waldenbooks have gone out of business, Barnes & Noble has managed to maintain a retail presence. Though the bookseller is still struggling due to a changing market, the strategic partnership with the ever-thriving Starbucks is helping it avoid the fate of its former competitors.
Related: 4 Crucial Considerations Before Launching a Strategic Partnership
3. Continue introducing new products
Gourmet cookie company Crumbl Cookies offers an excellent example of how an ever-evolving product lineup can contribute to rapid brand growth. In just three years, the brand has opened over 250 stores and introduced over 170 cookie flavors, with social media fueling much of the hype surrounding the brand.
The brand uses social media to reveal the week’s rotating menu of cookies, with flavors that will only be available for one week. The sense of exclusivity encourages customers to go back to the store each week, while also driving massive social media engagement as influencers review each new flavor using the hashtag #CrumblReview. On TikTok alone, the brand has gained over 2.5 million followers, thanks in part to the constantly changing product lineup.
Similar approaches can be seen in countless other industries, from sneakers to video gaming. An ever-evolving product lineup (including limited-time items) can greatly increase the lifetime value of each customer.
Loyalty programs can also have a big impact on customer retention and acquisition.
In fact, 69 percent of customers state that the availability of customer loyalty or rewards programs influences their choice of retailer. Fifty-eight percent of those who belong to a loyalty program will buy from the associated business at least once a month.
Which incentives are right for your brand can vary from business to business. For example, Kroger grocery stores offer “fuel points” that give shoppers a discount at select gas stations. Dental offices will often give existing patients discounted service or other perks when they refer a new patient to the practice.
When deciding on loyalty program perks, consider the behaviors and motives of your target audience. The right incentives will help you keep existing customers and encourage them to spend more with you in the future.
5. Never dismiss content creation
SEO is no secret, but its value is still remarkably underutilized. As a HubSpot case study highlights, IT distribution company ROGETECH used keyword-focused content creation to grow its web traffic by 4,000 percent in a single year — with 84 percent of all traffic coming from organic search results tied to the content.
Of course, an on-site blog is hardly the only type of content that can fuel rapid growth. As previously noted, Crumbl has achieved much of its growth thanks in part to an active social media presence that takes advantage of the highly visual nature of its products.
Investing in quality content helps establish your brand as a niche authority, while also providing materials that your most loyal customers can share as part of their word of mouth efforts.
Related: How to Create Great Content for Your Website
Find your path to rapid business growth
Achieving rapid growth can be an exciting and challenging prospect for any startup. As you implement strategic measures to better appeal to your target audience — and keep them coming back to your brand — you will be better positioned to scale successfully.