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Have you noticed how some of today's biggest brands seem to have popped up out of nowhere and become overnight successes? I always wondered how that was possible. Is it just a matter of having one ingenius idea that no one else has thought about, ever? Or is it that these hugely successful companies are started by billionaires who have the money and contacts to create something that we could only dream of? As it turns out, no is the answer to both of those questions -- all we really need is a bit of creativity!
In this SlideShare, we take a look at some of 'overnight' success stories and see what they did to scale their growth in such a short amount of time, and what we can learn from them.
As it turns out ...
All you need is a bit of
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE
OVERNIGHT SUCCESS STORIES AND SEE
WHAT THEY DID TO SCALE THEIR GROWTH
IN SUCH A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME.
11 brands who scaled their
growth in lightning speed –
and how they did it.
1) UNIQLO – A Japanese company that provides
casual clothes for all kinds of people.
IDEA: Partner with Other Brands
UNIQLO sponsored free admission to the Museum of Modern Art every Friday
from 4 p.m – 8 p.m.
This got their name in front of a brand new audience that they may never have
reached before, and generated positive word-of-mouth from people who get
to enjoy the museum compliments of the clothing company.
LESSON: Partnering with another brand will
help you inherit some of their image and rep-
utation and create brand evangelists outside
2. DROPBOX – A free service that lets you bring
your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share
them easily with others.
IDEA: Refer a Friend
Dropbox gave users more space when they referred friends to the service.
Users could share via email, social or any other method they preferred..
This helped Dropbox increase their signups by 60%.
LESSON: Consider how your product can help
promote itself. The Dropbox product created a
heap of referral signups because people wanted
to get more space. What would your users want
in exchange for referrals?
IDEA: Launch as a Closed Beta
Evernote initially launched as a closed beta. This lasted 4 months. During this
time people had to sign up and send invitations to their network in order to
actually use the service. This created a lot of buzz around Evernote.
By the end of the 4 months of the closed beta Evernote had attracted 125,000
LESSON: Exclusivity creates buzz. Plus mandatory
sharing to access a really valuable product will
spread the word without costing you a penny.
IDEA: Guest Blogging
By writing 150 guest posts, Buffer grew from 0 to 100,000+ users in 9 months.
They had to start on smaller sites and work their way up to the most
popular in their industry. They got their name everywhere by creating really
valuable content - even though it wasn’t on their own site.
This strategy accounted for over 70% of daily signups.
LESSON: Be everywhere in your niche. Providing
valuable content on other sites outside of your own
will build an engaged audience. Once they know, like,
and trust you, you can then market your product or
service to them.
“GUEST BLOGGING NEEDS TO BE A
LONG-TERM PROJECT. 1 GUEST POST
WON’T DO MUCH. BUT 1 A WEEK FOR 10
5. KISSMETRICS – A web analytics solution that
helps you to increase customer acquisition and re-
IDEA: Create Infographics
Creating 47 infographics has gotten KISSmetrics 2,512,596 visitors, 41,142
backlinks, and 3,741 unique referring domains.
They consider infographics to be one of the main reasons they have grown
their blog from 0 – 350,000 readers a month in 24 months.
“If you can make complex data easy to understand in a visual format, you can
get millions of visitors to your website.” – Neil Patel, KISSmetrics
LESSON: Experiment with the right formats for your
audience. Infographics worked awesome for
KISSmetrics, but something else may work for your
6. QUALAROO – A pop up survey for your web-
site to help with user experience on your site.
IDEA: Conversion Optimisation
Qualaroo has ‘Powered by Qualaroo [?]’ featured on every customer website,
unless the customer upgrades to a paid account.
The question mark is clickable and leads to a sign up page for a free trial of
LESSON: Use your freemium product in clever ways
to get your brand name in front of people. Leverage
your customers for marketing real estate.
7. UBER – A mobile app that connects you with a
driver within minutes.
IDEA: Freebies to Well-Connected Influencers
Uber provided free rides to well-connected attendees of local tech and venture
capital events. They knew that these people would be very likely to share the
experience with tech press and social media audiences, getting Uber’s name
in front of their target audience.
LESSON: Provide a wow experience to your ideal
customers free of charge – bonus points if they have
a large network they can share the experience with.
8. YELP – A site for user reviews and recommenda-
tions for restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertain-
IDEA: Make It Social
Yelp made each reviewer a profile, making the whole experience feel much
more human. Profiles made reviews more trustworthy and reviewers felt like
they were becoming part of a community and building their reputation by
using the site.
Members could interact with each other by becoming friends, chatting online,
or meeting at offline events.
Yelp has accumulated over 47 million reviews.
LESSON: Make your customers’ experience human
and personal. Build communities that enable your
customers to communicate with each other, allow-
ing them to learn from their experiences and interact
over a shared interest.
9. UPWORTHY – A website with curated, viral
IDEA: Test Headlines
At Upworthy, the curators need to come up with 25 headlines for every piece
of content. They then select their favourite four, and the managing editor
selects two, which are rigorously split tested. The winning headline is
Upworthy saw 9 million monthly unique visitors in just 9 months.
LESSON: Coming up with an attention-grabbing
headline for your content will help maximise the
reach of your content and your brand.
10. HOTMAIL – A free email service from Microsoft.
IDEA: Email Tagline
Hotmail grew its subscriber base from 0 to 12 million users in 18 months by
adding ‘P.s. I love you – Get your free e-mail at Hotmail’ at the bottom of all
The link directed people to a landing page where they could sign up for a free
LESSON: Optimise real estate like your email signa-
ture to make it easy for recipients to spread the word
of your brand, subscribe to your blog, or sign up for a
11. HUBSPOT – An inbound marketing software
platform that helps companies attract visitors,
convert leads, and close customers.
IDEA: Marketing Grader
A free tool that allows visitors to input their website URL and receive
automated suggestions on what they can improve in their marketing.
In the first week alone, it was used by more than 140,000 companies. To date,
it has graded over 4 million websites.
LESSON: Thinking outside the box to create a tool
that offers immense value to the user will help grow
need to be a
Download our free guide
for lots of tips on growing
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