Whether you are launching a boutique brand, investing in a franchise or rebranding an established company, taking on sole responsibility for a brand launch − and the ultimate success of a business − is a daunting task.
At Mindspin Studio, we work with entrepreneurs across multiple industries, helping our clients turn their visions into outstanding businesses. Over the years, we’ve picked up more than a few tricks to conquer common entrepreneurial concerns and help you build a brand that’s worth shouting about.
1. Know your market (and your product)
Most of us enter a field as specialists, with a detailed understanding of our sector and a more general idea of the broader industry. That all changes during a brand launch. From production to shipping, operations to marketing, it’s ultimately all on you now. Taking the time to come to grips with the market is critical.
Consider your major competitors, their target market, price points and daily operations. What mistakes did they make during launch? What worked for them? Are there seasonal fluctuations in demand or supply? How will you accommodate this? What’s the best time of year to launch? Forewarned is forearmed, and the more information you have available to you, the less stressful your launch will be.
Timing and finance are the biggest concerns for entrepreneurs. Paying bills and covering expenses when there’s no money coming in is incredibly stressful and has pushed more than one business owner to launch far too early.
Now is not the time to cut corners, so budget for legal, accounting and specialist advice. Give yourself a sizeable contingency fund and more than enough time to carry out market research, develop your network, hire staff and source contractors.
Marketing, web design, accounting … a brand launch often means taking a crash course in skills you never thought you would need. Recognize that no one is an expert in everything and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Investing in a couple of hours with an experienced business consultant might seem extravagant now, but an expert opinion could mean the difference between success and failure further down the line.
4. Think long-term
When you are just starting out, the temptation to attract new customers with low prices is a difficult urge to fight. While there are advantages to undercutting the competition, offering your products or services at a fraction of their true value will hurt your brand long-term.
Building a business takes time, and rock bottom prices will influence the public’s perception of your brand quality. Have confidence in your products and don’t let your fear of not making a sale cloud your judgement. If you really feel the need to cut prices, consider doing so as a one-off or limited special offer and make sure customers who purchase at that price are aware of the discount.
5. Create a following
Social media and crowdfunding platforms are fantastic for creating momentum prior to a launch. An engaged online community can bolster your brand, creating a buzz around your products and delivering invaluable insights into customer behaviour and target demographics. A great reception from people outside of your immediate circle will also boost your confidence, helping to overcome any last minute doubts and niggling details ahead of your brand launch.