Bad marketing is often one reason why 90 percent of all Startup´s fail. Prof. Dr. Jens Mueller, marketing lecturer at the UE Iserlohn, calls us not only the golden rules for successful Startup marketing, but also the deadliest trap.

A good business idea is great, but by no means everything to make a startup big. Successful marketing is the be-all and end-all to make the product known. When should a startup start thinking about marketing?

Prof. Dr. Jens Müller: From the very first second! Especially at the beginning, the customer’s point of view is incredibly important and in marketing you always see through the customer’s eyes. I can invent a product, which I think is great. But if it doesn’t meet with approval on the market, I can also push it right back into the bin. The market is the decisive prerequisite for the product’s success.

What is most important? What are the golden rules for successful start-up marketing?

Prof. Dr. Jens Müller: Be original, find your communicative USP – your unique selling point! Based on this, think from the consumer’s point of view: Who needs my product? Who is my target group? Which channels do I use to reach my target group?

What I can recommend to everyone: Let us help you, get informed and look for incubators! So institutions that will help you start your own business. These can be coaches or associations, also the state offers great projects.

And what should founders absolutely avoid?

Prof. Dr. Jens Müller: Hybris! Hybris is an extreme form of self-overestimation. In marketing it refers to product infatuation. If I assume that my product is a self-runner, then I cannot establish a connection to the target group. I have to get away from the product and think about customer benefits.

Take the knitting needle example: A startup wants to conquer the market with a self-heating knitting needle. None of the founders can knit, but everyone agrees: The knitting needle is a self-runner. Now the mistake – knitting fans don’t want warm needles, the need is not there. However, the motivated founders do not take this view into account at all. They put a lot of work into a project that will ultimately fail because of their tunnel vision.


Prof. Dr. Jens Müller
Lecturer for Media and Communication at the University of Applied Sciences Europe (UE)
Corporate Development ZDF