How famous products marketed themselves for free


It is a community website which has subreddits that are used as micro communities to help like minded people come together and discuss a range of topics that they are interested in. Reddit has grown exponentially, from a garage startup to millions of DAUs and high retention numbers. In the initial days, advertising budget was limited to $500. According to co-founder Alexis Ohanian, that’s the entire expense till date that reddit has spent on advertising. All of it he says, was spent on stickers. Yes, stickers.

Sticker icons hand drawn doodle Free Vector

The reddit team printed stickers and began handing them out at events, parties and meetups to random people. The focus, as he puts it, was on building a great product and a community around it. They began to interact with the community and spread the brand through word of mouth. Wherever they travelled, they would put reddit stickers on poles, walls and everything that they could get their hands on.


The average commuters in Mumbai, India pick up their shoes and lunchbox to commute using the local train and auto-rickshaws to get to their workplaces. Along the way, odd looking signs started emerging everywhere. Rooftops, public walls, toilets and places full of people. You could not, not see it. Spray painted along the sides of the walk or seen when you go pick up your kids from school.

bean bags sales ad spray painted on a tin sheets

Without spending a lot of money, everyone just knew where to call if they wanted Bean Bags.

bean bags of different colours

The idea works strikingly well. Looking at the marketing funnel, instead of spending money to create product awareness, you spend as little as possible at this stage and have a good budget at the evaluation stage of the funnel.

Digital marketing funnel infographic design Premium Vector

The best products also know how to manage their cash flow well. By spending as little as possible during the awareness stage, you will be able to formulate a better sales and revenue strategy since you have that flexibility now. You can drive market penetration by reducing your unit sales cost and still make a profit (although how to drive the prices back up is a different topic altogether). Happy marketing!

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