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Marketing 101: Why Is Strong Marketing & Branding So Important For New Startups?

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30 June 2023

Marketing 101: Why Is Strong Marketing & Branding So Important For New Startups?

Is Marketing Your Product More Important Than The Product Itself? After all, it is not the best product that wins, but the best-known one.

Nearly 8 out of 10 online stores fail within the first 24 months, often due to an excessive emphasis on the product itself rather than marketing the product. Thousands of companies shut their doors every year, not because they do not have a great product, but because potential customers cannot figure out how that product will make their lives better. 

If you do not analyse and focus on your customers’ stories, needs, and aspirations, the customers will sense that no one cares about them and move on to a competing brand. Identifying your customers’ problems deepens their interest in the story you are telling. 

CREATE A SECRET WEAPON THAT WILL GROW YOUR BUSINESS

How many times have you asked yourself: ”Is it all smoke and mirrors or are all of these brands really as successful as they claim to be?” 

Start with doing your homework. Put your Sherlock Holmes hat on and spy on your competitors and benchmark online activity. 

The internet is full of information if you know what you are looking for. Increase your competitive advantage by finding out what the other industry players are doing on social and how strong their SEO and website performance is. Discover where they have been successful, inspire your future content and communication strategy, and learn from their mistakes. 

A thorough SEO and digital analysis can test your product idea, help you build a well-performing, user-friendly website, and give you insight into how well your competitors are truly doing.

THE STORY IS NOT ABOUT US

The first mistake both established and new brands make is failing to focus on the aspects of their collection that will improve their customers’ quality of life. In other words, they neglect to create a strong USP (Unique Selling Point/Proposition). 

With the fashion industry being saturated and new brands emerging every month, it is more crucial than ever for you to think of communicating the added value to your customers. 

The truth is, you are not only in a race to get your products to the market. You are in a race to communicate why your customers need your products in their lives.  

Brands that commit themselves to their customers’ journey – to helping fulfill their external, internal, and philosophical needs, and inspire their followers with an aspirational identity – these brands do more than just sell products, they change lives.

Okay, now we’ve got that part right! Your product (with a strong USP) is critical to sustainable business success. So what’s next?

BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION

Start with a strong Brand Identity (logo, distinctive colour palette, look, feel, and tone of voice of your brand) as well as thorough market positioning research. Poor branding in this digital era of social credibility, no brand recognition, or lack of consumer engagement can make your company and product appear irrelevant.

Examining your benchmarks and product idea before you invest your budget into design and manufacturing is key. 

When you are happy with your vision, find a team who will help you bring your idea to life. Whether it is your visual identity, your website, or your social media channels, you have only one chance to make a great first impression. 

Become distinctive and recognisable. Your brand and products should speak the same visual language and share the same inspirational and aspirational values.

START BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE BEFORE YOUR PRODUCT

Most first-time business owners ignore marketing or they do not allocate sufficient budget towards promoting their brand and products. Well, at least until they see their first project crash and burn within weeks of the launch because no one knows their brand or feels compelled to buy their products. 

Don’t make that mistake. Don’t wait until after you’ve launched your collection to start building your audience.Think about promoting yourself and growing your audience before you have finished your production process. In fact, the best practice is to work on your marketing alongside the design and manufacturing process. 

Start an account on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and even TikTok (if you are targeting Gen Z). Communicate with your future potential customers. Engage with them and build meaningful relationships.Check who follows and engages with your competitors and share your passion with anyone who wants to listen. You are your best influencer and brand ambassador. Be genuine and share your passion with others, build your community.

If you surround yourself with followers who will genuinely care about you and what you stand for, they will not need much convincing to buy from you when your product is ready to launch. Bear in mind that social media is not only about sharing pretty photos. Most importantly, it is about sharing value. It is important to have a clear goal in mind and work towards it.

Your social media activity will prove to be significantly more lucrative with useful analytics, conversion optimisation, and a clear strategy working towards a clear goal.

 DON’T WORK ON A RENTED GROUND

You might have thought that your social strategy should focus on growing your following. Now, imagine that you wake up tomorrow and Instagram is gone. Your 20k followers (potential customers) disappeared overnight. You don’t own them, cannot access them, have no way of communicating your news and campaigns to them.

Okay, I do not want to focus on spreading doom and gloom, but things do happen. Accounts get deleted, stolen, glitched. However, it is widely known that social media is definitely not a bullet-proof communication channel. Due to the different algorithms in place, you rarely get more than 10% of your total audience to see any message that you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others.

Use your social media as a lead generation tool and direct your followers to your website and a newsletter sign up form. Own your list, it’s the most valuable asset you may have. Make your messages personal and personalised, make every single one count.

IT’S MORE THAN JUST A WEBSITE

Keep it simple. Think of your website as your digital storefront. 

It is the most important sales tool you own and it is so much more than a hosting platform for your products. Most of us don’t have millions to spend on a marketing campaign. Don’t worry! These days we can get serious traction by just paying attention to our digital presence.When designing your website, think of the customer journey. When consumers land on your website, it needs to fulfil their expectations and they need to be convinced your platform is going to provide a solution to their problem. In short, you need a website that will easily convert browsers into buyers.

Here are a few simple tools that will help you step-up your website game: 

– Start with a strong SEO. 

– Invest in a UX (User Experience) design service.

– Get your imagery right. The value of a well-executed photoshoot is indispensable.

– Have an engaging content strategy and post on your blog regularly.

– Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what may distract or discourage them from buying your products. If in doubt, get a specialist on board to analyse your website and provide you with a list of recommendations. 

Our marketing team

SPREAD THE WORD AROUND

Journalists, bloggers and other influencers have already built their audiences and have access to platforms that can extend the reach of your messages too.

– Journalists are looking for things to write about

– Influencers are looking for content to share

– Bloggers are looking for companies to work with

If you are ready to take the next step and start your PR journey, check out our Intro To PR or book a session with our Public Relations Specialist. Whether you’re ready to DIY your PR strategy or need someone to manage it for you, we have a solution that will suit your needs.

LET’S GET THE BALL ROLLING

This is it. I have shared my trusty guide to your brand’s success. 

Whether you decide to do it all yourself or want us to become a part of your team and your ‘partner in crime’, you are now set with a great foundation and a better understanding of marketing. 

Now it’s the time for the hard part. Doing the actual work and seeing tiny progress day after day. Good luck!

Get in touch if you need help, tips or tricks! We are here for you!

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