Jarvis writes (and videos) on Buzzmachine of the notion of advertising as failure.
He says in part: "the ideal relationship a company should have with its customer is that it produces a great product the customer loves and talks about and thus sells; there is no need for advertising there."
True enough, and this is naturally where the concept of social media and listening come into play, as everyone knows now. Customer evangelists spreading the word, company listens and responds to concerns and problems, a two way conversation.
I think this begs one small question...isn't advertising sometimes used to get a product in front of some consumers, not always because the product is a failure that needs to be propped up by advertising?
New companies should consider the "too small to fail" approach when launching. Launch as small as you can, so you can be as nimble as possible, so you can change your strategy on the fly if need be...or change your PRODUCT on the fly if need be. It's the companies with giant burn rates that have to advertise their way into the consumer's heart. Combining the too small to fail approach, with the conversational tools available, and a targeted media and advertising spend to "grease the wheels" of beginning the conversation might be a good hybrid approach.