3 Advertising Tips From An Ad SVP Turned Founder
How do you know a startup will succeed from the start? One thing we believe is startups, no matter what size or industry, can succeed if they have a clear vision, precise messaging and strong branding from launch and T is for Tame is doing exactly that.
With a seasoned advertising executive founding the company, T is for Tame was able to launch and become a top-selling Amazon product in their category. Becky Bavli has spent her career working at advertising agencies for large clients like Unilever, Kraft, Microsoft and Toyota.
Then, last year Bavli quit her 6-figure job to found T is for Tame, a children’s hair care brand. After learning how big brands advertise and take risks, Becky was ready to strike out on her own. Today, Bavli is sharing her top startup advertising and branding tips every startup should implement to launch successfully and grow quickly.
Becky Bavli Quit Her 6-Figure Job at an Ad Agency to Build Her Company
Becky has helped develop and launch integrated campaigns for blue chip clients worldwide including Unilever, Kraft, Microsoft, Eli Lilly and Toyota to name a few. She has a diverse background across multiple categories in new product launches, evolving creative campaigns and partnering with clients to bring ideas to market. Whether it’s for a dog biscuit that cleans teeth, the cure-all for ADHD or a superior hair care brand that has long been forgotten, Becky commits to each project with gusto. She is a driven, strategic leader that believes in building strong relationships, motivating teams and working collaboratively. Last year, Becky left her career as a seasoned marketing professional to venture out on her own. She founded a haircare brand for kids called, T is for Tame. In less than 6 months, the brand has become an Amazon darling, earning the top-selling new product in its category. Becky lives in the suburbs of NY with her three kids and husband.
What was your day to day like as an SVP at an ad agency?
"The beauty of working at an ad agency is that each day if different and brings new challenges. I spent about a week out of the month on the road, traveling to client sites, presenting creative ideas or marketing plans. Back at the agency, I worked to understand the needs of senior clients and partners, communicated those to the team, and delivering either strategy or creative to meet business objectives."
How did you know this was the right time to quit your job and start T is for Tame?
"I started working on the idea about 6 months before I officially left my job. I’m a Mom of 2 year old twins, and my time between family responsibilities and work is very limited. It got to the point where I knew I needed to prioritize T is for Tame over my job. If I didn’t put the business first when I knew it needed the most attention, I likely never would."
What has been the most helpful thing about having a marketing background while building T is for Tame?
"I was fortunate to partner with some of the top marketing minds in the industry. One thing I noticed, whether I was advertising crackers, dog treats or hairspray: the clients that took the biggest risks, were almost always the most successful. Those clients recognized that mistakes may happen, but one of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing is to go unnoticed. I take that to heart in everything I do for T is for Tame."
What is your best tip for someone considering making the jump into entrepreneurship?
"Ask everyone and anyone questions. I had to teach myself the manufacturing process; from stability testing to sourcing product. I find that people are more understanding and gracious if you simply admit that you are learning, and ask for help. I still like to end every call with a simple question, 'can you think of anything important that I didn’t ask you?' You would be surprised what you learn when you just ask."
3 Advertising Tips From An Ad SVP Turned Founder
1. SPEND THE MONEY ON BRANDING
"You have just a few second to capture attention. If your idea is unique, that's half the battle, but getting someone to stop and actually listen long enough to know that it is unique, is the truly difficult part. Branding is the easiest way to set yourself apart (everything from design, to packaging, or how your message comes across.)"
2. DETERMINE THE RICHEST TARGET FIRST
"First, you need to narrow your target. It can't just be Moms. It should be first time Moms that stay at home or work from home that love photography. Start with the person you KNOW will love your product, service or idea. If you get them to buy, they will tell others about it."
3. TALK TO YOUR TARGET DIRECTLY
"I'm assuming like me, you don't have a lot of money to spend on advertising. Find out where your target is, and spend your money to speak to her directly. For instance, you could run a FB targeted ad, but even better, you could join a FB group about your topic and ask the admin to post about your business (for a fee, but sometimes free.)"
Startup Advertising & Branding Takeaways
If you were planning to launch quickly and focus on branding later on once you have more money, this is big mistake. Building a strong brand, targeting your customers and being willing to learn are all key to launching and growing your company successfully from the start.
Invest in strong branding early on
Find your niche target audience asap
Spend advertising smart with detailed targeting
Be willing to take risks
Don't be afraid to ask questions