Brands and start-ups told to collaborate as ‘you are both in the survival business’

Image: The Corner Studio

Image: The Corner Studio

Established brands and start-ups have been urged to collaborate more closely after being told that such partnerships could ensure the survival of both.

Joseph Jaffe, chief executive and co-founder of business matchmaker Evolution, insisted the marketing professionalism of brands and the creative minds of start-ups should join forces.

Too often start-ups are left to flounder with no access to cash when they could provide the answer to a brand’s creative problems, he said.

“Start-ups are full of ideas but they have got no money. The brand, you have money, but you have no ideas and you guys are looking for ideas to cut through the clutter,” Jaffe told marketers at the Association of Data Driven Marketing and Advertising Global Forum in Sydney.

“Early stage start-ups have the engineers, the designers, the developers, the coders, but they don’t have the marketing talent that you guys have, ” he added. “You have the marketing professionalism.

“You both need each other. You are both in the survival business.”

Brands should not only collaborate with start-ups but even consider acquiring them, he added, with such a move the possible difference between failure and survival.

“What if Kodak had acquired Instagram. Might they have survived?” Jaffe asked.

Jaffe revealed that of half a million start-ups which launch in the US every month, 97 per cent “never get beyond the valley of death” and fail because they can’t get funding.

Delegates heard that with marketing budgets under pressure, companies need to innovate – which is where start-ups come into their own.

“Our budgets aren’t growing, they are stagnating or getting cut. We need to produce more with less and more from less, that is the reality of our business so we have got to become more creative and innovative and be able to create new approaches. We have to do things differently to get a result.”

He continued: “There are those sceptics who say there are no new ideas. But I reject that. I honestly believe that technology can solve any business problem. You come to me with a marketing challenge, a business problem, a consumer insight, technology can solve the problem. And at the heart of this technology based innovation is the start up.”

Earlier, Jaffe told the conference that marketers should stop worrying about what “the next big thing” may be.

“As we keep trying to figure out what comes next we get more and more desperate and more and more clueless,” he said.

Steve Jones


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