Don’t Think Product- Think Brand!
Recently, I have seen a trend amongst the entrepreneurs that I meet. They are all passionate business owners who dedicate their time, money and lives to their startup business- and they have created amazing products.
After months and years of hard work, their product is ready to be sold, but they can’t make sales because no one has heard about their brand…or at least not enough people.
Did you know that 70 percent of startups fail because of poor marketing? How can you be sure that you won’t become part of this statistic?
Here is my simple rule:
Don’t think product- think brand identity!
You are not selling a product, you are selling a brand identity that the customer is interacting with every time they choose your product over another product in the same category.
You probably already know that a brand is what differentiates you from other products within your niche, however, to be competitive today, you must also construct your brand identity with:
1) Your brand’s story and what “your promise” or mission statement is to the people who will use your product.
2) Why you have chosen to peruse this avenue, why have you chosen this passion
3) A simple and recognizable message paired with suitable graphic design
When it comes to startups, marketing is the key that will make your product stand out from the crowd.
Of course, good marketing takes time, money, dedication and brainstorming- A LOT of brainstorming. After all this investment, it is the quality of your marketing and branding strategy combined that will determine if your product will be the next big thing, a passing trend, or a shelf product that no one will ever hear of.
Once you’ve built the foundations of your brand, the second step will be your marketing strategy. You marketing strategy must be aligned with your brand to be effective. Sometimes these two processes happen almost simultaneously while thinking about your target audience and the best way to communicate and deliver your message through various channels.
If it doesn’t though, you will have to decide on a marketing channel.
Choosing your marketing channel means choosing where you are going to sell and promote your product.
Will you use business to business (B2B), Business to client (B2C), or both? Will your products be found for sale online or in retail stores?
How will you promote it- through traditional or digital marketing? And on the same topic, in which medium or platform will you choose to invest your capital?
every product can be delivered to the world in so many ways; sometimes you will find it best to combine a few different channels.
It is likely that there will be some element of trial and error to find the right marketing strategy, but the most important thing is to be collecting data on the failed attempts, to better your future results. If you do not collect the valuable data that comes from trial and error with your strategy, you are gambling, not marketing!
Keeping track of cost-effectiveness in each marketing campaign is pivotal to ensuring long term success.
Once you launch your first campaigns you will start to discover the channels that are the most effective for reaching your ideal clients.
Think out side the box to create an integrated campaign that will make it easy to penetrate the market with your message.
Be sure not to neglect your current clients! Did you know its SIX times easier to sell more products to existing clients than to create new clients from scratch? Always capitalize on the value you’ve already built within your brand because it will always bring the highest return on your investment.
I hope this short article has helped to open your mind to the importance of marketing and branding to any size business.
Just as there is a tremendous gap between an “idea on paper” and the actual product in your hand, there is also a huge difference between the idea for a campaign and its actual execution. Focus your energy on launching campaigns in a few relevant channels, and monitor your campaign’s successes and failures diligently.
Pair this with sleek and clean graphic design, and watch your business take off before your eyes.