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.

A GLOBAL TOURISM DESTINATION TELLS SUSTAINABILITY STORY-GLOBALLY WITH PR & SOCIAL MEDIA

THE CHALLENGE

One of the world’s best-known visitor destinations seeks to unify its global social media story-telling by providing agencies representing the destination in Europe, Asia, North America and Pacific regions with best practices, guidelines, processes, and procedures which reflect the global nature of its social media communications.

The organization also needs insights on tracking successful social media campaigns, both organic and paid with KPIs which can be easily reported to stakeholders.

Global social media crisis communication systems and processes are also needed.

At the same time, maximizing resources and merging brand paid social media budget.

THE SOLUTION

Support development of social media KPIs, establish best practices, including user-generated content UGC policies and guidance regarding GDPR. We maintain communication with agencies in Hong Kong, China, New Zealand, Australia, UK, and Germany to ensure consistent on-brand storytelling in social media.

We also manage a global social ad campaign, with a sophisticated funnel, that reaches into 12 countries and is translated into 10 different languages or dialects.

GLOBAL REPUTATION MANAGEMENT


From copy to images and video our international social media oversight ensures the brand story is consistent across languages and platforms including WeChat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

ESTABLISH GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA KPIs


We identify, evaluate and maintain organic and paid social media KPIs across 12 different global markets. We watch for shifts and changes and make recommendations to partner agencies and brand based on trends or shifts.

ESTABLISH & MANAGE GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA AD CAMPAIGNS


In addition to developing successful advertising campaigns, we developed a system and a process to manage multiple languages and cultural touch points across campaigns.

SUPPORT CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS


We help build systems and processes to implement crisis planning to agencies around the globe for social media distribution. Additionally, we create and establish guidelines for agencies for confident brand communication during periods of crisis for their location.

ESTABLISH INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMUNICATION CHANNELS


We help build systems and processes to implement crisis planning to agencies around the globe for social media distribution. Additionally, we create and establish guidelines for agencies for confident brand communication during periods of crisis for their location.

ESTABLISH SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES


From crisis management to content and branding, our team develops guidelines and training for agencies around the globe. We also support the organization with recommendations on important changes including GDPR, FTC Influencer Guidelines, and User Generated Content (UGC)

THE PR SUCCESS RESULTS

494%


Increase in social brand reach

494%


Increase in social brand reach

91%


Increase in social media brand engagement

25% 


Action rate on paid social website click campaigns.

133.6% 


Action rate on paid social video view campaigns

100.4% 


Overall action rate on paid social ad campaigns.

A GLOBAL WELLNESS CPG BRAND FINDS PR SUCCESS IN AN EMERGING MARKET AS IT PREPARES FOR AN IPO

THE PR CHALLENGE

To normalize hemp-based products to the general consumer market while establishing the brand as an international consumer packaged goods leader in the vertical, increase consumer awareness, and prepare for a successful IPO.

THE PR KUDOS

“Nearly solely responsible for the development and implementation of our public relations campaigns, offerings and promotions, and media management…an excellent feel for gauging public opinion and projecting public reaction to certain campaigns. Best of all, the  campaigns were universally successful, providing significant and measurable growth…comes with my highest recommendation.”


Chris H.,
Marketing VP

THE PR SOLUTION

Engage scientific, lifestyle, vertical, and business journalists on a weekly basis with timely, newsworthy storylines, tied in with announcements, conferences, and media calendars. Ensure global reputation management with media monitoring and on-going strategic counsel. Ensure key messaging consistency through internal training and on-going media training.

GLOBAL REPUTATION MANAGEMENT


Our international brand and category monitoring inform corporate decisions including partnerships, product development, and U.S., European, and Asian consumer trends in the lifestyle and wellness category.

ON-GOING COAST-TO-COAST MEDIA ENGAGEMENT


Activate media calendars with personalized review opportunities for selected journalists quarterly, which increased journalistic coverage as well as word of mouth.

SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT


On-brand owned media, including organic social media and blogging content calendars that support PR & branding initiatives through inviting copy and engagement tactics.

EXECUTIVE BRANDING


Reinforce executive thought leadership through media profiles, speaking engagements, and custom content development including paid, earned, and owned content.

SPORTS CELEBRITY ACTIVATION


Activate athletic spokespersons including a former NFL player, as a spokespersons and faces of the brand in social media, owned content including, earned media and in-person appearances.

THE DTC CPG PR RESULTS

200+


Pieces of press coverage over 3 years, averaging 5 pieces of coverage per month.

10+ Billion


Earned media impressions over 3 years, with an earned media value of over $5 million.

300% 


Increase in the stock price of an over subscribed IPO.

Consumer Product PR Firm
National Media PR Agency Los Angeles
Business PR Firm California
Wellness PR Firm
PR Agency Los Angeles

A Hyper-Growth Consumer Tech PR Company Leverages PR to Change the Narrative


Making New CPG Wellness Product Part of Daily Life


Defining Drones in a New Age


Driving Early Education Outcomes Through Social Impact Messaging


Global Tourism: Storytelling in Social Media Across Cultures


Launching a National Brand with Press Coverage


A Consumer Tech Startup Taps Parental Influencers


Launching a Consumer Lifestyle-By Subscription


Consumer Technology PR Brings Home Company Sales Records


Cannabis Beverage PR Sprint Product Launch


Because of continuing conversations with colleagues, brands, and influencers, I wanted to put some guidelines together for based on the FTC’s native advertising guidelines or influencer disclosure.

The FTC has shot some arrows over the bow in the last several years regarding native advertising disclosure, including calling out Warner Bros. and Lord and Taylor.

In both cases, the brand was held liable, not the influencers or content creators, strongly signaling that it’s the brand’s responsibility to ensure disclosure. But, the FTC native advertising guidelines make it clear: ” …the FTC has taken action against other parties who helped create deceptive advertising content – for example, ad agencies and operators of affiliate advertising networks.  Everyone who participates directly or indirectly in creating or presenting native ads should make sure that ads don’t mislead consumers about their commercial nature.”

Basically, no one is off the hook.

As if by magic, the FTC slapped 45 celebrity influencers with warning letters but didn’t forget to include their agents and the brands – in total 90 letters were issued about the FTC native advertising guidelines. It’s safe to say this isn’t going away. It’s always been best practice, but if you didn’t take it seriously before, it’s time to do so now.

My view is this: disclosure and transparency are good for all.

A brand should have no shame about showcasing its products and experiences in a real life scenario. Influencers shouldn’t have shame either, because working with a brand is a badge of honor. It’s a real compliment to a community that a brand values their eyeballs. If you’re ashamed of working with a particular brand or influencer, perhaps you’re working with the wrong partner.

Often times when I have conversations about disclosure with brands and influencers, I get questions like “what if…we do….”

Whether you are a brand or an influencer, if you’re asking questions about how to get around these guidelines, you’re on the wrong track. The guidelines make it very clear: make it obvious to an uneducated viewer that there is a material relationship (basically, anything which might effect the outcome of the endorsement). Influencers are often concerned about “selling out” their community. As an influencer, if you’re making a living from your community with native advertising and you’re not disclosing those relationships, you’re REALLY selling them out.

The Edelman Trust Barometer makes it clear: trust is in crisis. 

Establishing trust and adhering to guidelines is necessary for native advertising and influencer relations to continue. If trust is eroded the FTC guidelines won’t be at fault for the collapse of social native advertising.

So here are the guidelines based on reading hundreds of pages including all of the FTC links provided below.


When do social media influencers need to disclose a relationship with a brand?

Always.

Does this apply to me?

Yes.

Why does it matter?

The FTC says it does.
Consumer trust is important to all of us. 

How do I disclose?

Make it “clear and conspicuous” and leave no doubt.


If you want to read through the FTC’s own words on this:

FTC Native Advertising Guideline Resources

.com Disclosures (2013)

Native Advertising: A Guide For Business

FTC Endorsement Guidelines: What People Are Asking (2015)

The Lord & Taylor Disclosure Case-FTC Blog (2015)

The Warner Bros Disclosure Case-FTC Blog (2015)

Enforcement Policy Statement On Deceptively Formatted Ads (2015)