The world is drowning in brands. We’re living in the world of infinite supply and opportunity. Starting a business used to take a lot of time and planning ahead, and a lot of paperwork. Nowadays, you can set up your own business in just a few clicks. It’s never been easier to create a product and set up your own online shop and reach your target audience. Everyone is online, you just have to find the best and most cost-effective way to reach them.
While it’s easier than ever to get going and start your own business, it’s also never been harder to actually stand out as virtually every market is becoming flooded with businesses offering similar, if not basically the same products, services and solutions.
The UK is now the sixth-largest market for beauty and personal care, worth around £10.2bn in 2017.
No wonder there are numerous new brands and products coming out every single day. And even if only a fraction of those businesses compete with yours, that’s an overwhelming number to deal with. To stand out you need to have a brand that your customers connect with, and care about deeply.
Crafting a brand takes time and effort, and you need a thoughtful strategy if you want to resonate with your customers and followers. If you’re not sure where to start, try with our How to build a brand guide created specifically with young, growing brands in mind where we covered all of the most important things you should take into consideration when starting your own brand.
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In an age where information is plentiful and digital exchanges are commonplace, we see new brands launching big every day just to disappear both from our Instagram feeds and our minds within a few months. All startups seek to disrupt and disintermediate a smug status quo and become the leader in their own niche. But what makes a brand bland is the lack of authenticity.
While claiming to provide a completely new and unique solution to our everyday problems, whether it’s dry skin or battling traffic, what most of up and coming brands have in common is not just their business model, but look and feel and tone of voice as well. No matter how complex the product, new brands offer one-click solutions, and personalization and customization are at the very heart of it. When you’re doing the same thing as just about everyone else, it makes it hard to stand out and ‘beat’ your competition.
An easily recognized brand benefits from exposure alone
One look at an online shop or a retailer, you can tell that visually the majority of new brands look exactly the same. They are simple, neutral and flat. The design is clean, minimalistic and sleek, and color palettes are mostly neutral with a pop of bright pink or blue every now and then. With similar-looking logos, fonts and even product names, at first glance you can’t easily distinguish between different brands – and blending in is not a good sales strategy. If you want to succeed, you need a product that works, that is safe and effective and has strong branding behind it.
Investment in indie beauty is soaring, making it harder than ever to stand out as a new player. According to Reuters, 82% of investors consider a brand’s strength and recognition when making investment decisions. But, before you start looking for ways to establish your presence, you need to define the message you want to communicate. That’s where branding comes in.
Before starting your new venture it’s essential to do market research. If you were to start selling your product today, what brands would stand next to you on the same shelf? Take a good look at not just what the product and the price point are but also what’s the story they’re selling. That will give you a great insight into what works and what doesn’t saving you time and resources.
Your story is everything
People are interested in how you got to the point where you are at today, what path you went through, and what the core principles of your work are. Your story is what’s genuinely unique to you and no one else. That’s why finding the right way to tell it is the most important thing that will set you apart from your competitors. Your story are your core values, it’s why you do what you do and it’s how you talk to your customers. People buy authenticity, so don’t be afraid to follow your own path.
A lot of young brands launch just to exit. Rather than building a business for the long-haul, they launch to seize a fraction of a specific market and then exit quickly before spinning off an IPO or seeking an acquisition. While there’s nothing wrong with the strategy, as we can see from numerous acquisitions of beauty brands by big corporations, if you truly want to succeed on your own terms, your business strategy needs to be set up for growth, with a high-quality product, excellent user experience and strong and distinctive brand image. If you look, feel, taste and smell just like everything else on the market, how will you convince anyone to buy your product and not the one promising the exact same thing – but in pink.