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Q. What’s the most creative thing you’ve seen a small biz do recently (contest, ad, promotion, event, etc.) to stand out from competitors?

1. Largest-Ever Beach Ball War at Fenway

Typically, RaceMenu helps host races, but recently they branched out with an incredibly successful event that brought entrepreneurs, investors, and executives together at a Red Sox game. It was a unique way to stand out because it involved the entire community, was a ton of fun and included hundreds of RaceMenu beach balls flying around the Fenway bleachers.

John Harthorne, MassChallenge

2. Get Directly in Competitor’s Faces!

One of our tech startup associates booked a party right next to their competitors at a tradeshow. They got crazy, switched around signs and wore T-shirts into the competitors’ area that directed the attendees to the other party. It’s a little shady, but they were the talk of the convention and drove major traffic to their booth.

Jordan Guernsey, Molding Box

3. Party With the People

One business I know of parties when they hit their milestones — even little ones. Then, they posts these photos throughout their social media profiles. This strategy seems to generate positive buzz, as people have a tendency to root for small businesses –perhaps they relate it with the possibility of their own success.

– Nicolas Gremion,

4. Get Attention at Any Cost

Grasshopper just sent out packages of chocolate-covered grasshoppers.  Within ten minutes of being delivered, they messaged the recipient through social media and followed up. Brilliant — they caught people’s attention and kept it.

Brent Beshore, AdVentures

5. A360 Million Dollar Club

Peter Nguyen with Advertiser 360 had a contest in which one of his clients could use his program to make a million dollars. He got great results, and he now has an A360 Million Dollar Club and has increased customer loyalty.

John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

6. Epic Web Video Parody

I saw the popular video series, Epic Meal Time, get parodied by a company called Six Pack Shortcuts in a skit called Healthy Meal Time. It’s collected over 2 million views and, I’m sure, a boost in sales.

Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

7. Ice Cream Socials in San Francisco

Zimride is a great car sharing service that just launched a new mobile product, Lyft. To build awareness in the San Francisco startup scene, they spent a day bringing Bi-Rite ice cream to various startups. They met the teams of Smule, Modify, Zynga and more. Aside from building awareness about their cool product, they created great content for their social media channels.

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

8. Viral Videos Work Well

Dollar Shave Club isn’t a particularly innovate idea, but they put themselves on the map with a creative and hilarious video that went viral on Facebook.

Josh Weiss, Bluegala