Tag Archive for: pr for fast growing companies

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. 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. The term “hyper-growth” was first coined in the Harvard Business Review.

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 face during its rapid rise, including overworked employees, marketing costs, and a customer-focused culture, and more.

How Hypergrowth Companies Stand Out

Hyper-growth companies are usually ahead of the trend, which means they’ve probably toiled in a constant state of underfunding until they didn’t. This means that many hyper-growth CEOs are unprepared for the needs of a company suddenly thrust into the public eye.

But whether their fast-growing status is due to an emerging industry, an outspoken leader, or an up-and-coming trend, the fastest-growing companies take the opportunity to create a brand for themselves.  This means engaging in marketing and PR before the trend hits. A well-positioned hyper-growth company leads the conversation because they are an already known expert.

 

How Hypergrowth Companies Tell Their Story

When you’ve had your head down, creating something truly remarkable, it can be hard to remember not everyone can see the genius immediately. This is why it’s essential to dive down into your stakeholders and identify what they need to know about your company, and what will make it stand out. Tech PR firms are often tapped for this. But even those who don’t have a PR firm will need to figure out their story, whether it’s to venture capitalists or pre-IPO. Corporate storytelling isn’t nice to have during hypergrowth, it’s required. Successful hypergrowth companies take their story apart and know when to use each element and where it fits into storytelling dichotomies.

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 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.

The world is hyperconnected, and perception reigns supreme. How stakeholders like consumers, investors, and even employees view organizations can make or break their success. Enter public relations, where strategic communication and the power of perception are the keys to building brand authority with PR strategies.

The Evolution of Public Relations

 

Like every other industry, the 21st century has changed public relations. The concept of PR as “spin” is outdated and myopic. Today, PR touches almost every department of a growing company and encompasses reputation management, crisis communication, and stakeholder engagement. It touches almost every department of a growing company, from the C-Suite to HR to product development and, of course, marketing.

From ancient civilizations using symbols and rhetoric to monarchies employing courtiers for image management, managing perception has always been woven into the fabric of human societies. In the early 20th century, figures like Edward Bernays (often hailed as the father of PR) laid the groundwork for modern practices. Bernays, drawing insights from psychology and sociology, emphasized persuasion, image crafting, and media collaboration.

Fast forward to today—the global PR market is estimated at a staggering $114.1 billion. But what makes PR truly powerful? Let’s explore the power of perception as the keys to building brand authority with PR strategies.

Harnessing the Power of Storytelling

Storytelling has become indispensable for brand authority. It weaves narratives that resonate emotionally, and no doubt, PR is at this table. Whether it’s perception-changing narratives, thought leadership, or awards, navigating the land mines of purpose-driven initiatives, or providing data and insight into your most important audiences, the power of perception IS building brand authority with premium PR strategies.

Storytelling is the activity that humanizes entities and builds genuine, memorable connections with audiences.

 

Navigating the Media Landscape

The media world is dynamic and has its own set of rules and expectations; agility and fitness are paramount for navigating trends and opportunities and handling crisis communications. PR can weigh in on the perceptions of advertising platforms or choices, expand upon the impact of marketing initiatives, and help brands navigate the very important phase of pre-IPO.

Because much of PR has a long life span, the thought process behind it is very strategic. PR often considers five years down the road. For example, how will a CEO’s thought leadership contribution age after the company has gone public?

The CEO’s Role: A Balancing Act with PR Strategies

For CEOs and marketing directors of hypergrowth companies in the pre-IPO phase or with venture funding, PR is both art and science. For CEOs, PR isn’t just about the company’s branding, it’s about their own as well. PR impacts not only the IPO offering but it can affect CEO pay as well. Here’s how PR can build brand authority and wield its power:

  1. Authenticity: CEOs must embody authenticity. Transparent communication builds trust. Whether addressing challenges or celebrating victories, honesty resonates with stakeholders. PR supports these messages strategically, keeping their fingers on the media’s and other stakeholders’ pulse.
  2. Thought Leadership: CEOs should position themselves as thought leaders. By sharing insights, participating in industry discussions, and contributing to relevant publications, they elevate their personal brand and, by extension, the company’s authority. Emerging industry leaders are very often exceptionally smart and laser focused. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge for CEOs because it’s important that leaders know how to relate to a broader range of stakeholders, which is often a process that takes practice. PR can help leaders of emerging industry harness all the power of the technology they have championed for each stakeholder.
  3. Crisis Management: PR shines during crises. CEOs need a well-defined crisis communication strategy. Swift, transparent responses mitigate damage and maintain credibility.
  4. Media Relations: CEOs should cultivate strong media relationships. PR professionals ensure that CEOs remain accessible to journalists and provide valuable insights to improve positive coverage.
  5. Social Responsibility: Companies with purpose-driven initiatives garner respect. CEOs championing social causes create a ripple effect, enhancing brand perception.

Building Brand Authority with Industry Spotlight: Tech, Green Tech, and Beyond

For emerging industries like GreenTech, FinTech, cannabis, AI, and drone companies, building brand authority with PR strategies is pivotal.

  1. Tech Titans: Tech CEOs wield immense influence. Their vision shapes the future. PR helps them communicate breakthroughs, navigate regulatory landscapes, and foster investor confidence.
  2. Green Tech Innovators: Sustainability is no longer a buzzword—it’s a mandate. Green tech leaders use PR to showcase eco-friendly solutions, attract investors, and rally public support. And yet, sustainability comes with its own set of storytelling pitfalls, so PR can help shape a story that help prevent a crisis.
  3. Emerging Industries: Whether it’s space exploration, healthtech, fintech, or quantum computing, emerging sectors rely on PR to establish credibility. CEOs must articulate their vision and impact, and with emerging industries, there is often the balance of a regulatory environment alongside explaining difficult concepts to stakeholders in a way that is both understandable and exciting.
  4. Fintech Revolutionaries: Fintech CEOs disrupt traditional finance. PR helps them demystify complex concepts, build trust, and foster adoption.
  5. Cannabis Pioneers: Cannabis CEOs face unique challenges. PR destigmatizes the industry, educates the public, and advocates for sensible policies.
  6. AI Architects: AI CEOs bridge the power of tomorrow with today’s businesses. PR showcases AI’s potential, addresses ethical concerns, and fosters collaboration.
  7. Drone Visionaries: Drones are revolutionizing industries. CEOs must communicate safety, innovation, and societal benefits through PR.

 

Give yourself the space to have your brand grow and leverage PR as early as possible and to the extent your PR budget will allow. If you’re incorporating PR from the start, then leveraging the opportunities when its critical will

Have you ever wondered who are the leaders in AI that are shaping the future of the emerging technology of artificial intelligence? Today’s world is rapidly revolutionizing how we live and work due to the integration of AI into our daily lives. But who are those visionary leaders that are driving this technology forward?

The AI landscape is populated with great brains with expertise in various fields, whether deep learning, neural networks, or computer vision. So let us see the top 10 leaders in AI who stand at the forefront of innovation and pave the way towards an advanced future, and there will be much written about AI leaders in the press.

1.      Geoffrey Hinton

Geoffrey Hinton is a very well-known computer scientist from the UK. He is a trailblazer in the field of Artificial Intelligence and performed groundbreaking research that has significantly impacted technology, particularly in neural networks, which brought significant advancements in AI.

Hinton is a co-founder of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He is also a professor at the University of Toronto. Hinton also holds the title of Distinguished Emeritus Professor. He was also Google’s vice president and engineering fellow until May 2023.

Machine learning, memory perception, and symbol processing utilize Hinton’s work for neural networks. His work gave glimpses of brain-like structures that are truly precise and intelligent. They can now learn themselves without the need for human teaching or intervention.

Hinton has received numerous awards throughout his career for his contribution to AI technology. Hinton’s work on deep learning and neural networks has paved the way for top AI solutions and revolutionary AI applications. Being one of the top AI leaders, Hinton continues to put effort into developing AI technologies.

2.      Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng is the co-founder and Head of Google Brain, where he contributed to deep learning algorithms and various applications. He is one of the prominent leaders in AI. He is the CEO of Landing AI, which mainly works at helping people with limited datasets move AI projects.

Andrew is also the co-founder of Coursera, an online learning platform with a wide scale of courses on almost every topic. “Machine Learning” is his popular online course that has contributed significantly to society by making AI and machine learning fundamentals easier for beginners.

His contribution to the world of AI is of significant importance, which is why he is a leading voice and influencer in the field of AI. Ng is also a former chief scientist at Baidu. He has also led the development of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform at Stanford University and is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford.

Dr. Ng’s top interests were deep learning, computer vision, machine learning, and machine perception. He has frequently won awards for the best paper at academic conferences. These papers also contributed to his popularity, making him an influential data scientist.

3.      Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis is a British-born neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and AI researcher. He co-founded DeepMind, one of the fast-growing AI companies majorly inspired by neuroscience. He is also the founder of Elixir Studios and Isomorphic Labs.

We are talking about DeepMind, an AI research company that mainly revolves around developing artificial general intelligence (AGI). It is an emerging technology that can perform tasks in a human capacity. The company remained in the spotlight for quite a while for the development of AlphaGo, which is an AI program that defeated the Go Player in 2016. It shows the AI potential in strategic games.

Demis was exceptional at chess, which led him to the gaming industry by completing the Theme Park (a simulation game) in his late teens. After he graduated from Cambridge University, he founded Elixir Studios, which produced a lot of award-winning games.

Later, Demis got enrolled in Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience and conducted his research on amnesia and memory. He also has a successful career in the gaming industry and has developed many popular video games.

4.      Dario Gil

He is a well-known Italian-American entrepreneur and computer scientist who has contributed a lot to the field of quantum computing. Dario Gil is also the Senior Vice President and Director and IBM Research, the leading organization in the world, majorly dedicated to innovation and advanced technology.

Gil has brought top AI solutions through IBM, which focuses on exploring technologies, including quantum computing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and similar technologies. IBM Research has contributed a lot to the technology under the leadership of Gil.

IBM is also the first company in the world to develop programmable quantum computers and make them available universally through the cloud.

Dario Gil’s quantum computing and artificial intelligence expertise make him a prominent AI marketplace leader. He is still serving at IBM with the mission to solve the world’s complex challenges through innovation and technology.

5.      Fei-Fei Li

Deep learning, machine learning, computer vision, and artificial intelligence are the working areas of Dr. Fei-Fei Li, who is also the inaugural Sequoia Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Stanford. She remained the Vice President at Google from 2017 to 2018 and the Chief Scientist in Artificial Intelligence at Google Cloud.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li co-founded AI4ALL, a non-profit organization that aims to increase diversity in AI by providing mentorship and education, particularly to women and minorities.

She also remained the director of the Stanford AI Lab and the Stanford Vision Lab. Dr. Li played a significant role in advancing computer vision research, especially in image recognition.

She has a role in producing top AI solutions in the form of ImageNet, which plays a role in evaluating deep learning models. It is her contributions that lead to various applications of deep learning.

6.      Andrej Karpathy

Andrej Karpathy, a renowned computer scientist, has his contributions to training deep neural networks on large datasets. He is also the former Senior Director at Tesla, a worldwide famous American-based electric vehicle and clean energy company. He joined Tesla in 2017 and worked on developing AI and neural network technology, its Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving.

Karpathy’s major work for Tesla included advancing AI algorithms enabling vehicles to interpret and respond to their surroundings. This advancement truly helped the company in achieving autonomous driving.

Karpathy has also served as a Research Scientist at Open AI, an independent AI research organization. He contributed to deep learning during his work at Open AI. Other than that, Karpathy also enrolled in Ph.D. in which his research involved neural networks and their applications in computer vision.

7.      David Hanson

David Hanson is a pioneer robotics developer, well-known for his human-like robots and lifelike androids. He founded Hanson Robotics in 2003 and served as its CEO. It is an AI company specializing in producing and developing top realistic humanoid robots. These robots are capable of interacting with humans in a very social manner.

The company is based in Hong Kong and is one of the fast-growing AI companies that gained international popularity for its advanced humanoid robotic creations.

Sophia and Han are popular robots developed with facial recognition systems and top-notch AI algorithms. These robots can engage in face-to-face conversations with people. All this allows them to express human emotions, mimic human expressions, and engage in conversations.

David has always been fond of forming human-like caring machines that are authentic living. Hanson combined cognitive science with figurative arts and robotics engineering to achieve his goals. His vision is to create robots that would contribute significantly to society by assisting in education, healthcare, and other fields.

Though he has made significant contributions to the world of humanoid robotics, all this brought our attention to ethical considerations concerning human-robot interactions.

8.      Sam Altman

Sam Altman is a well-known American Entrepreneur and a prominent figure in the world of technology. He is the former president of Y Combinator, a renowned startup accelerator. This company is recognized globally for helping startups in their early stages and providing them with mentorship. The company also provides startups with resources and funding to help them grow and succeed.

Y Combinatory reached the heights of success under the leadership of Altman. It has greatly influenced the startup ecosystem as it helped launch and support many fast-growing AI companies. Some of these include Reddit, Dropbox, and Airbnb. Due to his contributions to Y Combinator, Altman has become a worldwide respected figure in the world of startups.

Now, he is serving as the CEO of one of the prominent AI tech companies; Open AI. Altman co-founded Open AI alongside Elon Musk, which has gained significant success in recent years. Y Combinator has been a keen supporter of Open AI from its early stages. Open AI is operating with the aim that artificial general intelligence benefits all humankind.

9.      Poppy Gustafsson

Poppy Gustafsson is a British-based entrepreneur and the CEO of Darktrace, a leading cybersecurity company. It was founded in 2013 and covers machine learning and artificial intelligence-based cybersecurity solutions. There is no doubt that Poppy has contributed a lot to the development of this company.

The Enterprise Immune System, the company’s flagship product, utilizes AI algorithms to detect and respond to all cyber threats in real-time. It provides organizations with adaptive and proactive defense against threats and cyber-attacks.

The company took an innovative approach towards cybersecurity, all with the contribution of Gustafsson. The human immune system significantly inspired it.

She also gained experience in the tech industry by working for the software company Autonomy. Her passion for AI and machine learning brought her to address the complex challenges in cybersecurity.

She was also named Vodafone’s Woman of the Year of Technology and Innovation in 2020. She won the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award and Tech Businesswoman of the Year at the UK Tech Awards in 2019.

10. Yoshua Bengio

Yoshua Bengio is a Canadian computer scientist majoring in artificial neural networks and deep learning. He is one of the important leaders in AI and a professor at the University of Montreal. His research has proved helpful in finding the top AI solutions, and he is one of the “Godfathers of Deep Learning.”

Bengio’s work revolves around developing algorithms and models that can learn data representation through hierarchical layers. His work enables efficient and more accurate machine learning.

Along with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun, Yoshua Bengio also received the 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award for Deep Learning. Bengio co-founded Element AI in 2016, an AI solution provider that helps various organizations leverage AI. The companies also develop AI tools and technologies that address real-world problems.

Bengio has received numerous awards throughout his career and has contributed a lot to AI through his research. His ongoing work will undoubtedly shape the future of machine learning and deep learning.

 

Wrapping Up!

After exploring the lives of the top 10 leaders in AI, it has become evident that the future of AI and technology in general lies in the hands of these brilliant individuals. They have taken AI as a tool and a powerful force that would help us bring positive changes.

As they all go ahead with their research, we watch them push the boundaries of technology and innovation to see how they will shape the world of tomorrow.

Ever since the pandemic, there has been a new emphasis on the emerging industry of telehealth, many of which are on the pre-IPO track. And while telehealth VC investment is expected to stay flat in 2023, the industry received an exciting $29.1 billion in funding in 2021, mostly for consumer tech services and apps, but B2B is also on solid footing. Regardless of funding levels, how has healthtech PR helped hypergrowth brands thrive through the disruptive business environment?

 

Hims/Hers HealthTech and Consumer Goods Maximizes Growth with PR

  • $233 million raised
  • First day of trading: Jan. 21, 2021
  • SPAC proceeds: $280 million
  • SPAC valuation: $1.6 billion, according to Forbes

Hims/Hers operates two websites offering medical services specific to men (Hims) and women (Hers). To catch the attention of VCs and to eventually go public in 2021,  healthtech PR helped hypergrowth tech brand Hims/Hers maximize their most opportune moments. With a total funding amount of $233 million and a successful SPAC IPO, Hims/Hers PR was strategic and purpose-driven, which helped it create consumer trust and make them a media darling at the right time.

Authentic Purpose-Driven PR for HealthTech

In 2021, Hims/Hers followed AirBnB in offering services to displaced Afghan refugees in the wake of the U.S. military’s sudden departure from Afghanistan. Not only did this create trust for their customers, many of whom expect brands to be socially impactful, but they also leveraged tech-based media such as TechCrunch to report the news and capture investors’ imaginations. It may have caught the attention of Walgreens, who missed the chance to contribute when their competitor, Walmart beat them to the punch because three months later, Walgreens started carrying the Hims & Hers personal care products in-store and online.

Targeting Early Adopters with Content

Although it went dark in 2021, Hims/Hers used Medium to own their story, create interest in the early-adopter crowd, and help them navigate the choppy consumer waters during the pandemic. Hims/Hers used Medium to make announcements, and they also hosted Q&As with medical professionals over topics that showed their consumers they understood them and their most personal medical problems.

 

Healthtech Kiira Health Leverages Healthcare PR at Opportune Moments

  • $4 million raised
  • Named one of the most promising startups in 2021 by VCs in Business Insider

Kiira is a healthtech startup that provides an online health clinic to college-aged women with an inclusive and culture-centered approach. The platform provided 24/7 365 access to trusted health experts, including primary care providers, ObGyn, nurse practitioners, and mental health experts. When the pandemic hit, many college-aged women found themselves without access to healthcare. This an especially acute issue because without “adequate resources and guidance, students are at risk for high rates of STDs on campus, unintended pregnancies, adolescent maternal deaths, and other adverse events.” according to CEO and cofounder Crystal Evuleocha, so she teamed up Dr. Candice Fraser, MD FACOG to solve the issue for millions of young women.

Using the Media to Reach Your Target Community

Both co-founders are open about their own experiences with a lack of access to care or questions about how to access care and the dangerous consequences. By leveraging personal stories that speak directly to the organization’s community, the co-founders have shown their audiences that they truly understand them, as they did in Forbes and Essence in 2021.

Moreover, when the founders speak to their community, they stay on message. They share the same information that inspired them to start Kiira Health and they underscore the most pressing issues for young women.

Using Press Releases For Corporate History

Should you issue a press release, or shouldn’t you? One time it’s crystal clear that you should, when there is a big corporate moment that will build your brand credibility with press and/or consumers, as Kiira Health did when it announced its first flagship location in Los Angeles. While press releases aren’t usually the source of media coverage by themselves, it likely didn’t hurt when Crunchbase included them in a story about health and wellness startups. This kind of press release acts a flagpole in the sand for future credibility building for both VC and media.

 

Folx Health Using PR to Elevate Understanding

  • $59 million raised
  • #28 on Fast Company’s list of World’s Most Innovative Companies 2023

Taking Control of their Founding Story

Folx Health is a healthtech platform that provides healthcare services tailored to the LGBTQIA+ community, starting at $59/month. In May 2020, Folx founder A.G. Breitenstein took to Medium to tell how Folx came to be. Although this Medium post is their only Medium post, it shows a particular media savvy. In December that year Folx’s $4.4 million funding led to coverage on Mashable, Built in Boston, and Crunchbase. The Medium post is so important because it is an early flag in the sand about the founding story of the then little-known startup Folx, which is important when a big media announcement hits and suddenly there is a lot of press and a lot of opportunities for the founding story to be misunderstood or misrepresented.

PR to Take a Stand

On the heels of its $30 million raise in October 2022, Folx appears to take control of its narrative again. This time, it does so as a fierce source of information about healthcare’s inadequacy for the queer community. Time after time, Folx uses an intelligent combination of data and storytelling to articulate Folx’s purpose and need to a broader audience. And this time, Folx CEO is the spokesperson for thier entire community: The American healthcare system, “at best, wasn’t built for us. And actually, more often than not, it’s openly discriminatory,” says Liana Douillet-Guzmán, of the LGBTQ community. Folx isn’t simply leveraging purpose-driven PR, they are CULTURALLY purpose-driven, making their PR story all the more attractive.

 

 

All of these hypergrowth healthtech brands provide examples of PR in healthcare brands, but these examples can also be useful for all startups in any phase of growth. Taking ownership of PR in the earliest stages can pay remarkable dividends in the early development and later hypergrowth stages. During times of volatility, PR can be the shining beacon into the future and light the path for future growth, even with past coverage.

We live in a world where ideas, products, and signals are happening so fast that it’s hard for the consumer to process everything. Yet, direct-to-consumer brands can continue to grow with a strategic eye on awareness and trust.  If we weren’t bombarded with over 5,000 advertisements per day, we could be more subtle.

The fact is, worldwide, the average person spends 473 minutes per day engaging with media. We also live in a post-ChatGPT world, and one still ruled by search engines and algorithms. Plus, newsrooms are shrinking (in 2021, they had fallen by 25% since 2008) as competition for ad dollars becomes less and less centralized. For this reason, DTC PR strategies need to keep up with the changing media environment and rethink earned media.

There are two ways to approach CPG PR; one is a holistic approach of communications, digital visibility, thought leadership, and product PR where metrics match key business objectives; the other is a laser-focused approach, which could be consumer product PR or thought leadership, depending on the brand strategy with more PR-focused KPIs. In an ideal world, all brands embrace a holistic point of view with a complete bespoke PR program. But, by choosing a strategic consumer PR lever, challenger consumer brands can be precise and thoughtful about their earned media. This is about the laser-focused approach, and consumer brand PR firms must expand their definition of PR to stay useful to DTC, CPG, and consumer product brands.

The Argument for Laser-Focused Media Relations

It’s a harsh world for direct-to-consumer brands to continue growing. For challenger consumer product, DTC and CPG brands – those past startup mode but not a household name – there are an overwhelming number of media options. From Instagram influencers to a dizzying array of advertising choices, the challenger brand has more choices than money. Therefore, it needs to act strategically to do two things at once to scale: build awareness and trust.

That’s one reason PR is the signature choice for consumer product PR: Trust and Awareness.

Trust is the longest game but the most crucial communication goal of any brand. Yet, trust takes a long time to build. Unlike Instagram Influencers (whose influence is waning) and paid advertisements, and the 68% of consumers who think cookie-based advertising is creepy (Marigold 2023), earned media addresses the #1 PR challenge for upstart brands: trusted reach. Whether your target audience is GenZ or a target broader, consumers must trust your brand before you edge in on the market share of competitors or create a new product category altogether, trusted reach is where the smart money goes.

So how do you build trust and awareness when your branding budget is limited? The fact is that branding is expensive, and brands with hyper-growth ambitions need a more direct form of branding.  Indeed, product reviews play a vital role in both trust and awareness, and there’s one way to super charge product trust: product reviews in trusted media outlets. Media coverage has several advantages over other brand awareness options, including stickiness. Unlike a fleeting social media post or a questionably targeted ad, product coverage, especially reviews on online media sites, is extremely sticky, lasting in search results for years.

Owning Content and Messaging with Thought Leadership

Executive visibility has never been so vital. A well-developed owned content program isn’t a blog program; it’s a program that embraces all the thought leadership opportunities available to hypergrowth brands today. From blog posts and contributions to emerging topics to the multitude of contributor opportunities to executives willing to share insights with the broader public, thought leadership is ripe with opportunities for challenger brands. This is especially true for younger audiences who distrust established and entrenched brands more than they do startup consumer brands.

Even if your audience isn’t reading those contribution sites, they add a credible and authoritative SEO link to the website and present executives as willing and open to engaging with their customers. According to the Edelman Trust Report, businesses were more trusted than the government and NGOs. But that trust is tenuous because CEO trust isn’t on solid ground, yet business leaders are seen as unifiers next to NGO leaders and teachers; that’s some pretty good company business leaders are keeping. Plus, the best way to earn trust is to be more visible.  Harvard Business Review says one of the most important ways for consumer brands to succeed includes deepening customer relationship, not just making comparisons with competitors.

Now is truly the time to embrace thought leadership because of the trusted status of businesses. From 2022 to 2023, businesses earned a 20-point bump in ethics on the Edelman Trust Report, so this is an area of opportunity for consumer brands – especially if they embrace purpose-driven PR. But even if a true purpose-driven message isn’t right for a consumer brand, there are likely aspects of ethics to which the leaders of the consumer brands can speak. And that’s important because 63% of consumers buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values.

 

Embrace Digital PR Completely with Product Reviews

Digitally savvy PR keeps their eye on the future instead of “of the moment.” Let’s be clear: for trust and authority, there are no short cuts Google sees those work around tactics and actively adjusts against them. This is not a recommendation to game the system; it’s a recommendation to embrace the system. Getting a bunch of low-grade links is actually more damaging than helpful. And the idea of an influencer is changing. A few years ago, brands rushed to implement Instagram influencer campaigns, 90% of which fell flat because they weren’t well executed influencer campaigns. And as the influencer’s trust continues to wane, brands need to understand where their target markets are and who they trust. GenZ audiences don’t trust social media but look to social media to find the news. And 49% of GenZ trust cable news and network news, while 52% trust online only news sites. These online-only news sites are a boon to consumer brand PR because they constantly work to churn out content; they always need new ideas and angles. Plus, product reviews drive eyeballs and, as an added benefit, can also be sources of revenue through affiliate programs. Creating digitally savvy content that supports hero reviews alongside gift guide inclusions is an excellent way to focus consumer product PR budgets.

How Digital PR and Earned Media Work Together

Working alongside journalists to support their objectives is and always will be the objective of media relations. Today’s savvy media relations teams understand how to help digitally savvy online news outlets so that their content surfaces on Google (and AI-driven search like Chat GPT). It goes beyond keywords into the deep algorithm that is Google’s search engine. Direct-to-consumer brands can continue to grow by leveraging Google’s search and trust algorithm for themselves. And that search engine is leaning heavily into authority and trust. There are millions of ways to signal that your brand is trustworthy, but one of the most attainable is aligning with Google’s most trusted sources, and that’s where consumer product PR can make the biggest impact.

Upstart consumer brands can become hypergrowth consumer brands by investing in very defined strategic PR initiatives. Connect with us today to learn more about our laser-focused PR programs for ambitious brands.

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 startups 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.