It’s arguably never been easier and harder for brands to stand out. That might seem like a paradox, but it doesn’t have to be. There are more ways to reach consumers than ever before, and that gets more true every day. But that ease of access also means that every brand is fighting for attention and multiple platforms. Brands with big budgets can afford to plaster their name everywhere and cover all of their bases. But businesses who need to stretch their marketing spend need to be smart and targeted. 

Maximizing your marketing budget means knowing where to meet your customers and giving them valuable content. As a digital agency, Swarm is always happy to see smart, digital marketing campaigns that get their clients big results. Here are three examples of brands that capitalized on smart marketing. 

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club reached hall-of-fame status for their underdog marketing back in 2012. Their founder, Michael Dubin, knew what people wanted from their razors: cheap, reliable, and no frills. The company used that insight to film a video that went viral and launched their brand into the spotlight. The total cost of that video was $4,500 and took one day to shoot. In 2016, Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion. 


Even though they’re a well-known brand in the cooking world, Crockpot isn’t a household name. That changed in 2018 when a popular character on the TV show This Is Us died in a house fire caused by a slow cooker. Viewers were shocked and the brand started taking major heat online. Social media was ablaze with anger, but Crockpot decided to use the free publicity to their advantage. They started the #CrockPotIsInnocent campaign to clear their name, resulting in over 3.7 billion impressions in less than three weeks. 


Being a startup in the personal finance world isn’t easy. When you’re competing with established companies that own the market, you have to make every last dollar count. Mint, like Dollar Shave Club, knew where to find their customers. They went all-in on digital, spending thousands of dollars producing content pieces that ranged from blogs to humorous infographics. All of what they created was available for free. In just two years, Mint gained over one million users and sold to Intuit for $170 million. 

In addition to smart marketing, these three companies also have quality products. But there are countless other examples of small-budget brands making the most out of their spend. We know, because Swarm helps large and small businesses find and target their ideal consumer every day. You don’t need a mighty budget to get noticed, you just have to know where to be.