As a startup marketing agency often building in stealth-mode on behalf of our startup and challenger brand agency clients, we’ve been hunkered down for the last year working on all kinds of goodness for our clients: building new brands, growing existing brands in omni-channel-blitz-mode, helping our clients build full-blown precision marketing machines, fixing & optimizing everything from digital to key process issues, producing some sweet video action, and much more. Truthfully, it's really hard to summarize thousands of hours of work at a marketing agency for startups in a simple blog post.

While this moment may feel like a strange, unwelcome “pause” on the business landscape, I challenge you to look at this differently.

Entirely differently. 

This is an opportunity...a chance to ZAG, and a chance to win in the turns

And whether you’re a CEO at an active startup or established challenger brand navigating some tricky turns at the moment, or a startup founder getting ready to engage in an adventure of your own — Carpe Diem baby!

With that’s just a few ideas:
  • Retail brands should simply reward your customers with a little love. Zappos is the only brand I’ve seen execute this well, so far. “Here’s $15 towards some shoes. Love ya” That’s all. 
  • Clean out your inbox. Seriously, cleanliness adds a clarity of mind for Leaders and it does not come from an inbox with hundreds of year-old emails. 
  • Stop putting off working ON the business. Let’s be honest: You’re always working IN the business. It doesn’t improve anything for the long-haul, it just maintains your status quo at best, and let’s face it: there’s probably some inefficiency and internal process issues you need to deal with.
  • Get a second opinion on your marketing & advertising budget and plans for the year (or lack thereof). Maybe this pause is hinting at you to rethink a few things before you go speeding off in the wrong direction...maybe off a cliff, even.
  • Startup Founders: Just getting ready to get it all going? Awesome! Now is the time...go go go! While your future competitors are sitting around watching the entire Marvel franchise chronologically by release date on Disney+, hit the “go” button — which is unique for each of you — and take the chance at gaining some serious ground when things are back to “normal.” Remember, this too shall's just a matter of time. I cannot stress this enough!

Lastly, I learned many key lessons during the last blip on the business landscape radar (2008-2010). We put fixes and processes in place to never let our agency be vulnerable during any sort of challenging event again.

We can’t be, our startup marketing and challenger brand clients rely on us for guidance always, and especially now when decision direction can literally change (and is changing) day-to-day.
I can proudly say that we are 100% operational thanks to our processes, geo-proximity, and decentralized model, and geo-redundancies we have in place for situations exactly like this. Our team of senior startup marketing agency ninjas can work from anywhere, whether at desks here at our office or at home in this strange blip (this is not a new concept for us, I’ve had this working remotely thing baked into HypeLife’s DNA for over 15 years...we can and do work from whenever, when necessary).

Our proactive approach, task delegation/management processes, and efficiency to tackle navy seal style challenges — yes, we can still turn on a dime — is unparalleled to what I’ve seen in most businesses I’ve encountered and that we’ve worked with in the last 19 years of business. 

Our clients recognize us for it too — as the premier startup marketing agency on Clutch. Clutch is a ratings and reviews platform for B2B service providers, letting businesses consult with industry experts. We have a perfect 5.0-star rating on the platform, including a recent 5.0-star review from the founder of HUDL Music, Lashion Robinson!

“They take everything seriously and contribute as if they were a part of our team.”

~ Lashion Robinson, Founder and CEO, HUDL Music (

So if you need us, we’ll be here.

Now take a deep breath, and

“Be like water, my friend” (Bruce Lee).

Your competitors — and future competitors — probably aren’t.

Curt Cuscino
HypeLife Brands

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