Guerilla Marketing Strategies for small companies....

So this is more for the professional designers out there (sorry students, this is an area where you are asked to read and learn…not contribute).

From what I gather most established design consultancies either chase after the fortune 500 companies, large local companies or companies that have developed new technology and looking for a product/means to introduce this technology to the consumer market. This appears to be more reactive than pro-active.

As a new or less established consultancy; how one can beat the large players to these bids? What areas/organizations do the large consultancies neglect that have the potential to reap large financial benefits?

Again, I ask for professional replies only. I have already established a marketing strategy on a local scale, but not nationally. I am looking to establish a more national/global marketing network with other entrepreneurs and learn about their location and means of gathering/getting business. I am willing to share my local knowledge for yours. This may sound as though we are cannibalizing our own market, but I am trying to set up a network of designers that can consistently under bidding large consultancies while maximizing our profit. “We’ll scratch each others back to gain profit”

This probably appeals more to those designers who are getting billed out at $130/hour or greater but only receive about $20-40/hours of that personally. Please reply to my mail account registered here on core and I will explain more.

Please leave the insincere comments to the other discussions, thanks!

Fortune 500 companies work with established consultancies for many reasons.

  • Reputation
  • Specialty
  • long relationship with the consultancy
  • Have been around a while and are less likely to go out of business before the project is due.
  • etc.

You need to overcome those issues before you can ‘beat out’ your larger competitors
BTW students are welcome to contribute in this area. The ‘students n’ schools’ section is for student ISSUES and CONCERNS. Not the only place they are allowed to post. Guess what, you may learn from some of those students.

You want sincere comments and ones that speak to the issue of Guerrilla Marketing Strategies… then leave the anti student remarks out of your post. You come off as being rather arrogant… which many times is the biggest problem small new consultancies have.

why do you need to reap large financial benefits?

i’m learning to exist on small profit. future isnt industry as we know imo. survive to see that day all that matters to me.

True on all points, but small consultancies can compete and I have addressed or am still evaluating possible solutions to these issues…

The biggest advantage that larger consultancies from a large corporation viewpoint, is that they usually have at least a 2 million dollar or greater insurance policy. Something goes wrong, those corporations can sue for the entire amount they invested and lost in potential sales.

On your first point about reputation. This can be overcome by buying into the market. Reputation is only one quality used to evaluate risk, a better way of reducing risk for a corporation is by not investing a lot of capital into a project (this is tangible, unlike reputation). Thats where a small consultancy can gain ground (eg. Astro and Nike at the beginning).

Long Relationship? Your only as good as your last project, maybe your last three or four at most (IDEO, Continuum, etc.). In addition, if a new marketing VP/manager is introduced to a corporation this relationship is re-evaluated. Again, small consultancies can compete if they present themselves hungry for business and underbidding.

Your last point about having been around for awhile…I agree that this allows for greater internal sales (they don’t have to hunt) which is why I posted. If this interests a core group who have their ears to the ground we can increase our sales resources to become more competitive.

Small, new consultancies have just as many advantages over large consultancies. But I’ll keep this reply short.

You also asked about why large accounts? I’m not interested in making an extra 500 bucks here and there, done that many times before and the financial gain did not compensate for the stress. My large projects had the same amount of stress, but the end profit made it all worth it.

Thats it in a nut-shell. Business is tough, but thats not a good reason to sit back.

i only posted once.

you wouldnt want to network with someone like me. too risky. you want big profits to compensate for stress. i dont. i only want to survive the glut of free Asian design services until the winds shift. risk of someone like me undercutting you makes any relationship unstable. untrustworthy.

thats the big issue right now. not small vs large. its paid vs amortized w tooling.

Sorry, read both responses as coming from you.

Yea, china is sucking business out. Hopefully they flop soon in trust, quality and communication…bring more design business back.


Totally agree, YKH is all about offering bare bones pricing. Just another freelancer looking to help devalue the profession as a whole.

IMO cut throat pricing is what is pushing the design to china, made design look like a tactical commodity/expense, not the strategic company image building tool that it is. I personally am just feed up with the disparity of some freelance talent out there who are only concerned with their own pockets, and give no thought to the long-term effects on the industry as a whole.

Haha…well, hopefully YKH is just trying to make sure he/she can pay their rent and afford Mac and Cheese on a regular basis.

If that is the case I understand their point.


could call you an arrogant inexperienced prick. but that wouldnt be professional. i could post something intelligent. but you wouldnt understand. could chase after clients in the midwest. so maybe i’ll do that instead.

the Value in design is not in how much money was spent developing it, but on what was produced. the [$$$] Value in the design profession is not what we think we should earn but what consumers and clients assign to it. fact of life.

alot to be said for paying bills and putting food on the table. Asian designers arent going away. wishing they would is ignorant. believing design went overseas bc of devalued ID is also ignorant. plenty of practical reasons why it happened. but one 25 year old Designer is looking for someone to blame. stupidity doesnt win clients either.

ykh…i agree completely that a lot can be said for paying bills and putting food on the table…been there. Corporate america is finding out that Chinese design is not all its cracked up to be, but domestic firms have yet to capatalize on their ability to have better communication, confidentiality, quality and flexibility.

US design firms devalued themselves, I remember when design firms ignored the clients needs and would produce cool products that increased their own portfolios instead of the clients.

BUT, I would like to keep this discussion on track regarding the abilities that small design groups/individuals have over the medium-large size firms.

China really is not competition for the market I am approaching, their design departments operate under manufacturing driven management…not as much ergonomic, semantic, etc. driven aspects. Understand my point?

Well If I looked at ID as you do I might understand your points, however I never said the value of ID is the $$ you can charge. Instead that we need to find the value that we offer the client and bill adequately for that added value. There is a threshold that the client is willing to pay for the value you bring to the table. Through asking simple questions you can obtain how badly the client needs your services and what they are willing to pay for them. What is ignorant is under bidding jobs to the point that you barely cover your own expenses and time.

BTW we are in mid west, largest portion of our clients are on the coasts, and two are actually in Beijing. Said that the “Chinese Industrial Design’s do not understand the US markets and design trends.”

Like I said before, changing our methodology and mentality to only target senior management and CEO’s has increased our client list, and revenue. As well as taken us out of the bidding races. Last time we had to compete for a project through a bidding program we came in 50k higher, but still received to job. We addressed every issue, showed the client that the way they were approaching the program was wrong, and that our proposed program would allow them to hit the market 10 months sooner. Actually just finished it, and will be on the shelves 11 months sooner.

Two different views of the ID industry…

Small Picture.
Big Picture.

Lets just agree to disagree on this point.

agreed. partial move came from overpriced ID. i also remember. add the communication issue with China. low-pricing and eagerness to please. top it with consumers who dont know good design or care…

not sure chasing those big clients is the future tho. not with them hiring big staffs overseas managed by American designer managers. or hiring all-in-one places like IDEO. theres laziness factor too. some corporate types want to hand off and not bother with project till first shots arrive. waste of time to chase them imo. i get my big projects through insiders i know. reputation keeps me alive more than sales.

Were you replying to ykh or me? It sounds as if we’re talking about the same thing; the difference being how this market (getting large clients who want complete development programs)differs from large firm to smaller firm.

…my post may have been mis-interpreted, or I misread the reply above.

Lets just agree to disagree on this point.

thought we’d done that while ago on the first thread. not sure why you feel the need to attack me. not just now. but on several other threads since which i ignored.

and when did i ever say i barely cover costs? you wish.

i believe we’d all appreciate if you would refrain from inflammatory comments. i dont like being unpleasant. and dont care to pick apart your comments. again.


replying to me. here’s the background

here is a job for the designers not interested in market/consumer/product research.

Join the TASER team! TASER International is an extraordinary company with exceptional people. The TASER culture reflects our pride in our products and balances our commitment to growth and prosperity with our concern for our environment, our community and for the quality of life.

TASER International is looking for a full time creative Industrial Drafting and Design Engineer to work on the drafting and design of electro-mechanical components with a primary focus in plastics. A minimum education of an Associates Degree in Drafting and Design is required. Work experience is not necessary - we are willing to train.

If you would like to be considered for a career at TASER, please go to our website at and create your personal experience and skills profile in our data base. We will notify you if your profile matches this position. If not, we will keep your profile in our data base to match against any future job openings. Please do not call the TASER offices.

TASER is a great place to work. Thank you for your interest in being part of our team.


Post your resume and professional profile on the TASER website at
No phone calls please.


By the looks of the products they need more than a drafter!

“here is a job for the designers not interested in market/consumer/product research.”

odd post. sounds familiar. not sure either what it really means.