In the early months, Stitch Fix did not have enough money to do advertising. This was a good thing. Start-ups today often have A or B round money to spend on demand generation ad programs. I like the idea of running a start-up without advertising – for a while at least. It puts employees and consumers in charge of marketing. Not agents. Creative directors, media buyers and English majors shouldn’t be responsible for new product success.
When there is no start-up ad budget, there are no false prophets. Just product and consumers.
Advertising is an accelerant to be introduced when the product is right. When the product meets pent-up demand. Ads, done well, are also expensive. Ads done poorly can also be expensive, by making the company look gooberish. Unprofessional.
Just as France has a moratorium on media 24 hours before an election, start-ups should have a moratorium on advertising for the first 6 months.