If there’s a single buzzword that describes what every entrepreneur and investor is chasing right now, it’s “hyper-growth.” Hypergrowth refers to the exponential expansion that certain businesses experience as they quickly go from non-entity to ubiquity in their field. Think Zoom, Uber, Facebook, and many of the other fastest-growing companies you’ve heard of. But while rapid expansion might not seem like a bad problem to have, if you aren’t prepared for it, your business’s growth could collapse just as quickly.

If your company is seeking a hyper-growth model or otherwise finds itself in a period of massive growth, it is imperative that you have a plan in place to prevent your company’s leadership and workers from getting burned out by the challenges of dealing with rapid expansion. Let’s take a closer look at what a hyper-growth company is, and what you can do to ensure that a period of hyper-growth doesn’t end in an equally steep downturn.

What Does Hypergrowth Look Like?

The term hyper-growth first appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 2008. According to the World Economic Forum, compound annual growth rates (CAGR) above 40% define hyper-growth. Hypergrowth is at least double the rate at which a company’s growth can be considered rapid (20% CAGR), which is itself very fast. To put all those numbers In perspective, most medium-sized companies would be thrilled at sustained 10% growth. Hypergrowth usually occurs after the business’s products and services first become available but before the company has fully developed.

Hypergrowth companies are the envy of the business world. Some examples of well-known hyper-growth companies include Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Stripes, and more recently, Zoom, a company whose hyper-growth was fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entrepreneurs are constantly trying to start the next big hyper-growth business, and venture capitalists are constantly trying to be the first to identify the next big hyper-growth company (and shove cash into its hands).

Although companies like Facebook, Uber, and Amazon all maintained their growth and did not experience a rapid downturn, they are the exception to the rule. The reason why so many hyper-growth businesses fail is because company leadership failed to properly plan for the many challenges inherent to rapid change and wildly increasing demand.

Challenges of A Hypergrowth Business

Companies that deliberately seek hyper-growth often lose money for years as they rapidly grow, snap up competitors, corner markets, and slash the costs of their products to appeal to consumers. It can sometimes be many years before investors in the business finally see a return on their investment.

For instance, Amazon was unprofitable nearly 20 years before it finally starting turning a profit in the middle of the last decade. Investors take a risk by putting their money in potential hyper-growth businesses, and if they do not remain committed to keeping the business afloat through frequent cash infusion, then collapse could be inevitable.

But while the concept of hyper-growth runs counter to a more traditional model of growth, successful hyper-growth businesses can eventually turn into giant corporations that deliver huge, regular profits to investors.

Unsurprisingly, businesses pursuing hyper-growth face certain unique challenges, including:

  • Too much focus on growth – Although prioritizing growth is one of the hallmarks of a hyper-growth business, a company can fail if leadership gets too focused on scaling the business. By focusing too much on revenue growth, you may neglect problems in areas like IT and operations — the areas that ultimately fuel that growth. As the company grows, more money must be spent updating systems to adapt to the business’s increasing size and workforce. While you are focused on growing revenue, you should also focus on scaling other areas of your business to keep pace. Consider your internal communication with employees and utilize internal and external hyper-growth PR strategies to ensure you’re staying focused on emerging trends that may impact your reputation.
  • Overworking employees – Employees at booming businesses may be expected to work long hours, but there can come a point where those workers get burned out — and even startup culture can’t prevent the exhaustion that working 80+ hour weeks can bring. When some employees put in excessive work hours, that signals to other employees that they should do the same, and it’s at that point that hyper-growth business culture can become toxic and unsustainable. Even though many employees may be eager to work exhausting hours because they believe in the company’s vision and business objectives, overwork leads to mental and physical health issues that could hurt the company more than that hard work helps it.
  • Marketing expenses – The bigger your business gets, the more it will cost to market your business effectively. At some point you may need to reevaluate your marketing solutions and determine if there are any lower-cost options. By maintaining exhaustive and meticulous metrics, you’ll be able to track your profit margins appropriately.

The following tips can help you manage a hyper-growth business in a responsible way and ensure that it successfully overcomes the challenges listed above:

  • Strategize – If you are too focused on growth, you may lose sight of other challenges that may obstruct your business’s path to success. Have a solid growth strategy in place, and consider working with a PR firm to develop a plan that serves your business’s best interests. Select a PR firm that has experience working with clients in your specific field, a vast network of industry influencers and experts, a team of creative content developers who understand your target audience, and access to top-level consultants who can help you safely sustain this period of hypergrowth.
  • Focus on culture – A good company culture is what keeps employees committed to your vision and your company’s growth, and attracts the high-quality candidates you’ll need in order to sustain that growth. Ensure that your employees have a healthy work-life balance, and foster camaraderie and friendship among your workers. As you are developing your company’s culture, remember to provide employees with benefits and perks that they actually want and that actually improve their lives. Beer on tap and arcade games in the lobby may seem cool, but they’re a poor substitute for a company that actually cares about its employees as people and fosters a good work-life balance.
  • Don’t forget about profits – Many companies can successfully burn through cash as they fuel rapid growth, but few can turn endless investor patience into a long-term business model. The end goal should always be sustained profits, not eye-popping revenue fueled by even larger losses. Build loyalty and trust with your investors by laying out a future profit plan.

PR for Fast-Growing Companies

If you have more questions about hyper-growth business strategies, contact our PR professionals at Avaans Media today to discuss your business objectives and get to know our team.

While there is no blueprint for creating a successful hyper-growth company, many of these businesses share some common qualities that help them stand out in the crowd of tech startups. But first, it’s essential to understand what a hypergrowth business is.

What Is A Hypergrowth Business?

Hypergrowth businesses are businesses that maintain a rapid rate of growth over time. The term “hyper-growth” was first coined in the Harvard Business Review. To be called a “hyper-growth” business, it must have a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 40% or more. Businesses with “rapid growth” have a CAGR between 20% and 40%. And businesses with “normal growth” maintain a CAGR below 20%. Hypergrowth usually occurs before a business has fully matured.

Many startup businesses are looking to be the next big hyper-growth company. Amazon, Uber, and Facebook are all excellent examples of hyper-growth companies. However, many hyper-growth companies eventually take a quick downturn and ultimately fail. Many hyper-growth companies fail because they get so focused on growth that they neglect to plan for challenges that the business will most certainly face during its rapid rise, including overworked employees, marketing costs, and a customer-focused culture, and more.

How Hypergrowth Companies Stand Out

Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Uber all set themselves apart from other hypergrowth companies and continued to maintain a steady growth rate over time. You gain insight into how hypergrowth companies like these stand out from the competition by following these tips.

They Keep Track of Emerging Trends and Offer Customers Real Value

Because the market is constantly in flux and consumers are continuously rethinking their wants and needs, hypergrowth businesses understand that they must keep track of emerging trends. When they see an opportunity, they take it. When they see a gap in the marketplace, they fill it with a product or service that has value for customers. Hypergrowth businesses understand that perceived value is not enough; customers seek products and services that add real value to their lives. Being flexible and focused on the company’s target audience and their changing wants and needs enables hypergrowth businesses to scale rapidly when an opportunity becomes successful.

They Know How To Identify Areas for Growth

Most businesses grow by expanding their current customer base by regularly offering new products and services or by targeting new customers by diversifying the products and services they offer and testing opportunities in new markets. Hypergrowth companies are successful because they know how to identify the most significant opportunities for growth and then strategically pursue that opportunity while keeping an eye on product performance and marketplace trends.

They Hire Focused Leadership

Hypergrowth companies understand the value of competent, focused leadership. Hypergrowth businesses that fail often do so because company leadership got so focused on the company’s rapid growth that they were unable to focus on other challenges that would inevitably arise due to rapid expansion. Successful hypergrowth companies hire leadership that can focus on both scaling the business and scaling other business areas to match the company’s growth.

Successful business leaders do much more than share a vision for the company’s growth. They also move the business forward by spotting emerging trends and constantly adapting to the constantly changing market. While remaining focused on the overall vision, they also focus on executing a business strategy to achieve their business objectives.

They Value Their Employees

Hypergrowth companies value the people who work for them and strive to foster a healthy workplace culture. Overworking employees can quickly cause a business’s culture to become toxic. Hypergrowth businesses provide employees with rewards and benefits that have value. A good work-life balance is far more rewarding and important to the average worker than access to ping pong tables and craft beer on tap. Hypergrowth company leaders understand that their employees are the catalysts for rapid growth and that the company’s culture starts with its workers. Hypergrowth company leaders are intentional about developing a healthy and unique company culture from the outset.

They Turn Their Customers Into Brand Ambassadors

Successful hyper-growth companies turn their customers into ambassadors for their brand. There are few things more powerful for a company than its customers going out into the world and gushing about the company’s product or service. Hypergrowth businesses rely on word of mouth and constantly identify potential brand ambassadors to promote their products and services. In addition to customers, other brand ambassadors might be employees or industry influencers. No matter how they spread the word about your brand, word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools a business can leverage.

They Measure Their Success

Hypergrowth businesses understand that success doesn’t happen due to dumb luck. Successful hyper growth businesses are constantly tracking their successes and failures, gaining insights into what is working and what isn’t by harnessing as much data as they can — the more data, the better.

They Are Flexible and Innovative

Perhaps one of the most important qualities of successful hyper-growth businesses is their flexibility and ability to innovate constantly. In the digital age, the world is changing rapidly every day. Successful hyper-growth companies understand that to achieve success, they must be malleable, constantly reassessing consumers’ wants and needs and new marketplace opportunities. Because consumers today have more choice, successful hyper-growth companies must constantly innovate to stand out above other companies.

Marketing for Hypergrowth

How can you market your company for hyper-growth? Implementing a focused and strategic public relations campaign is one of the best methods for customer-driven companies that are on the brink of or are already experiencing hypergrowth. The keys to successful hyper-growth PR is to reach a broad audience, keep them engaged, and letting your service or product sell itself. Some ways to do this include:

  • Running giveaways and other promotions to attract new customers and keep them engaged
  • Keep your existing customers informed and engaged with your company
  • Show all of your customers that you care, not just through words but through your actions

PR for fast-growing companies can be challenging, and especially for those experiencing hypergrowth. With so many tasks to complete, outsourcing some of these efforts to a company with specific experience with hypergrowth PR is often recommended.

Contact Avaans Media

The foundation of any company is its vision, but a successful hyper-growth company grows due to a solid business strategy that meets its goals. If you have questions about hyper-growth business strategies, the PR team at Avaans Media is here to answer all your questions. Contact us today to discuss your business objectives.

Combine PR and Social Together for CPG Brand Success

There’s good news and bad news for any brand trying to break into the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. First, the good news: The value of the CPG market in the United States alone was estimated at $635 billion in 2019, so there’s a ravenous audience for these products. The bad news, though, is there are so many brands within the CPG space it can be difficult for newcomers to make their mark and reach potential customers.

Many CPG brands rely on social media to increase their reach and engage with their audience. This is an excellent strategy, but it shouldn’t be the only approach aspiring brands take if they’re looking to expand. A well-crafted public relations campaign can enhance the benefits of social media while also furthering a brand’s reach in other ways. A strategic public relations campaign can do things that social media can’t, and vice-versa, so brands should incorporate both PR and social media into their marketing.

At Avaans Media, our innovative PR and social media tools make us the ideal team to help your CPG brand extend its reach and better engage with customers. With our proven track record of success and dedication to helping purpose-driven brands find success, we can help you reach your goals and make a positive impression on consumers. We’ll craft an innovative, personalized campaign highlighting what makes you unique and put that message where it will produce the best results for your brand.

If you’re ready to see what a truly modern, virtually enabled PR agency can do for your purpose-driven brand, get in touch with us. We have team members in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Denver, Honolulu, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.. You can also set up a call by filling out the form on our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.

CPG PR vs. CPG Social Media: Why Not Both?

It’s a mistake to think of PR and social media as an “either/or” choice for how you market your CPG brand. While social media has tremendous influence, it should not cannibalize all of your marketing efforts. Social media may have a broader reach than PR, at least in the abstract, but marketing is about more than the number of people who see your content. If you don’t put that content in front of a receptive and engaged audience, all your efforts will have been for nothing.

The key reason to incorporate PR in your marketing efforts is the inherent skepticism many people have about the messages they receive on social media. A study from the Content Marketing Institute found that 70 percent of consumers prefer to get information about a company from articles rather than advertisements.

The preference for third-party articles makes sense when you consider the issue from a consumer’s viewpoint. Many consumers tend to distrust what companies say about themselves because consumers generally have no way to verify the message they’re receiving. If they get that same message from a blog, newspaper, magazine, or some other platform they already trust, they’re much more likely to believe the content of the message.

How To Use PR In Combination With Social Media To Promote Your CPG Brand

Your PR and social media campaigns shouldn’t compete with each other or be siloed. To get the best results for your company, you need to harness the strengths of PR and social media in ways that enhance both efforts. Here are a few ways CPG brands can combine PR and social media in their marketing:

  • Branding- With so many iconic brands already established in the CPG space, a clear and distinct visual identity is essential for any newcomer. You need a consistent color scheme, logo, text style, tagline, tone, and imagery across all your marketing channels. This is where PR shines, and once you’ve established your brand, you can send the materials to your social media team. This way, you know all your content has a clear, concise, well-established theme that reflects your company and your values.
  • Media relations- The cornerstone of PR is getting positive coverage of your CPG brand in various media outlets. However, social media can supplement and amplify the efforts of your PR team. If you generate enough social media buzz, media outlets will come calling to find out more. And once you’ve gotten some coverage in third-party outlets, your social media team can post those stories across your channels, creating a positive feedback loop.
  • Live events and affiliate marketing- One of the best ways to get other people interested in your product is to show someone else using it. There are two key ways to do this: Live events and affiliate marketing. If your PR team stages a live event to show off your products, your social media team can share photos and video clips from the event to reach new customers. And if your PR team can get other social media influencers to market your product, you can use social media to piggyback off the influencers’ content and their built-in trust with their audience.

Work With Avaans Media PR Firm To Help Your CPG Brand Find Its Potential

At Avaans Media, we’ve already showed how we can help CPG brands reach the next level. One of our biggest successes involved our PR firm’s ability to combine social media and public relations a hemp-based CPG wellness brand that was looking to grow its customer base ahead of its initial public offering (IPO). We offered personalized review opportunities for journalists, hosted live events, and used branded social media content to shape the client’s image in a more positive light.

By the time of the client’s IPO, we had generated more than 200 pieces of positive press coverage over three years. Our custom content also generated more than 10 billion earned media impressions, at an estimated value of more than $5 million. Best of all, the client’s share price had risen by 300 percent.

It’s always a challenge for CPG brands to find new audiences, but a quality PR firm can make a massive difference. If you’d like to see what Avaans Media can bring to your organization, let’s talk. You can set up a call by visiting our contact page or contact one of our team members across the United States. We look forward to working with you.

What Google’s Latest Product Reviews Update Means for Consumer Products Digital PR

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Product reviews are about to change and this will impact your digital PR and earned media, especially CPG or consumer product brands. Google is constantly updating how it evaluates websites, to surface the best content. As Google gets smarter, so must brand and their PR agencies, especially those like ours that incorporate digital PR and SEO into our strategies and recommendations.

Constantly watching Google’s changes is part of being a digitally forward PR company.  

We’re extremely aware that SEO plays a role in brand communication decisions and as importantly, editors and publishers, and influencers of the online outlets our clients want coverage. Modern PR and reputation management takes into account many inputs and SEO is absolutely one of them.

Why Google’s High Quality Content Changes Your Digital PR

Yoast SEO has an outstanding blog if you want to dig deeper into SEO hints and tips; that’s where we picked up on a recent change that affects CPG PR and Consumer Goods PR because it’s all about product reviews. Product reviews play a considerable role in consumer goods PR like fashion, DTC brands, or home goods, or CPG PR like beverages, snacks, and wellness supplements. Journalists often do a “round-up” of products because they’re reasonably easy to create, they usually include samples, and they do well with readers who appreciate a curated perspective from a trusted third party. In otherwords, they’re a cornerstone of digital brand awareness for CPG, DTC, and consumer product brands.

But in Google’s quest for “high quality content,” it’s caught on to the fact that these product reviews might be juuuuust a tad too easy to create, so it’s updated how it views product reviews.  Savvy editors and journalists who are keenly aware that their content is in a constant battle for eyeballs will adjust the way they do product reviews, which means consumer brands and their consumer product PR agencies should be in the know too.

 

What Will Qualify As a High Quality Product Review in Google’s Eyes

As a brand, it’s in your best interest to secure earned media in outlets that do well with Google product reviews. Rarely is Google transparent about how it’s changing its algorithm, leaving SEO experts to read the tea leaves instead. BUT, this time, Google left some breadcrumbs. In it’s Google Search Central Blog, Google recently published an entire page of documentation about its product reviews update that every brand and PR agency in the United States should be reading. In this update, Google asks product reviewers to ask themselves these questions to answer whether their article is “high quality content:”

  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
  • Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
  • Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

 

How Does This Change Earned Media Coverage for Consumer Brands or CPG Brands?

Here at Avaans Media, we have a saying, “media relations don’t happen without relationships.” We work extremely hard to consider the needs of the outlet and the journalists, and Google has just provided us with a modern roadmap for improved media relations.

  • For one, CPG brands or consumer product brands should be helping journalists understand these key differentiation, and those key differentiators should vary from the exact language on the brand’s website.
  • Further, CPG or consumer product brands should be prepared to develop more content, that’s exclusive to the press, which shows the product in a lifestyle setting. Most CPG and consumer goods products do a quarterly photoshoot, but they should also set aside some images for journalists only and be aware of using the same image repeatedly.
  • Your owned media and earned media should not look identical, and if you help editors and journalists by providing images that don’t appear on your site, it will help the brand get more eyeballs and the editor will appreciate your effort.
  • The information provided to a journalist should walk them through the decision-making behind certain features and design choices while also providing hard data as to how a product compares to it’s competitors.
  • PR agencies should get really great at identifying the expert journalists covering their products and lifestyle use cases and contextualizing them to different reader considerations in order to secure product reviews. This will allow a journalist to include your product in a series of different articles targeting different readers. Making the job of hardworking journalists just a little easier is one way PR and journalists create trust with one another. That trust translates into better coverage for the brands.

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Listen up: Going viral is a benefit to creating great content, not the goal.

But if you’re really committed to creating a viral video marketing campaign:

Creating viral content is this easy.
And this difficult.
Here’s my fool-proof 3-step process.

Create content that strikes an emotional cord (funny, sad, inspirational) and is distinctly unique and you’re one step closer to viral. 
Create content that tells a story, not a tagline and you’re one step closer to viral. 
If your branding it, make the product part of the story, not THE story. 
Not all that helpful, right? Truly the devil is in the details. Storytelling. More art than science. That’s why there is no Einstein-esque formula for viral. If only “viral” were as simple as math. It takes time to create and make a story. Song writers, ad professionals, photographers, marketers, movie makers, writers, videographers, graphic designers. We’re all storytellers. And once in awhile a storyteller also gets lucky. And viral happens. Think of all the stories out there today. Not too many go viral, but does that make them not worth making? Of course not.

So, in honor of The Story, let me tell you one. About 4 years ago, I talked with Judson Laipply, whose own viral video 2006 “Evolution of Dance” received 70 million views in under 8 months. At the time it was the #1 most viewed video of all time on YouTube (waaay before Gangam Style). Judson’s performance tells a great story in an entertaining, unique way. When I asked him about his own viral video, he said that he put it up on YouTube as a fluke, that in fact, someone in the audience recorded it and sent it to him. Judson was as surprised as anyone at the response, he wasn’t already famous (like some other viral video creators)  and he didn’t have a huge social media following at the time.  Since then, he’s done several follow-ups but none so successful as the original. Today, Judson is a working motivational speaker. The point is, completely of the moment? Yep. Complete accident? Yep. Repeatable? Probably not. With all due respect to Judson, we’ve all been there, and done that.

It’s pretty rare that branded material go viral. If you look at the most popular YouTube videos of all time (YouTube Charts), not a single one is a branded video. Almost all of them are music videos (YouTube being to this generation what MTV was

viral, branding, video,

Bloomberg Businessweek 6/14/2012

to mine). Coincidence? No.  Does that mean that branded content can’t still be powerful? No. Check out the videos in particular categories. The all-time #1 video in the auto & vehicles segment is a COMMERCIAL. The Volkswagen/Darth Vadar commercial that originally aired during the Superbowl 2011 (you don’t even have to go find it do you? You remember it). Notably, none of the other Superbowl ads from that year or this year can claim the number one spot in any category. There were some great branded viral videos in 2012, my personal favorite was the Dollar Shave Club, which was appears deceptively simple, but once you break it down you realize its the product of a lot of talent and planning.

There is a theme here: either viral is completely planned, thought out and scripted or its completely of the moment, off-the-cuff. One is time consuming, expensive and lucky and one is JUST lucky.  Which are you? 

So go forth, my marketing compadres. Create amazing content in whatever medium you wish. Please. But create amazing content because its the right thing to do if your going to create content at all. Because by creating content, you’re saying something about your brand…whether 1,000 people see it or 1 Billion people see it. Create the best, most memorable content you can create. And move on. And remember, sometimes its about quality over quantity.

 Header Image: Creative Commons Karl Jonsson