Starting up a business is tricky. You’re an unknown brand, with an unfamiliar product, and generally, customers prefer to buy from familiar brands. In many cases, brands that they have bought from before that they trust. Research by Econsultancy finds that 82% of searchers choose a brand that they have bought from before when shopping for a party dress or searching for a holiday.
This is a key reason why great products like yours can get overlooked at the start-up phase. Other brands are already reputable, and so the revenue circulates amongst the big brands. So, how does a fledgling business leader get noticed? The answer has many components, from refining and presenting your USP (unique selling point), to crafting your marketing endeavors. In this article, we cover all of this and more. Read on to learn about how to give your product the best chance of success.
USP & Marketing
The first step is to craft an amazing unique selling point that will persuade new customers to buy from you. Perhaps you already have one, and if so, great! But having it refined is one thing, selling it is another. You will need to find a way to present that USP to swathes of potential customers. This can be difficult in a crowded market.
Expert, reliable marketing is paramount to a new product launch. Not surprisingly, it costs money. The big brands have tonnes of that, and start-ups generally don’t. But fret not, because things like this are earned with time, patience, and learning. The first step is to seek expertise.
You will need experts who specialize in the different areas of digital marketing, preferably one who understands your product and what you are trying to do. Perhaps you have someone like that in your team or know somebody. If not, locating one should be your goal. Design2Market has a broad range of contacts who can help out in this regard, so get in touch if you need more details.
Selling Your Product
Then comes the question of how to sell your product. Here is an old trick: sell it cheaper than your branded competitors. This requires some research, and for you to stay up to date with the trends and what your prime competitors are up to. Consider finding out what the average market price of a similar product is, and then adjusting your price accordingly.
Initially, it’s trickier to make money this way. But it’s a good way to get people to know about your product, which is the first objective.
For manufacturing, start with a low MOQ (minimum order quantity). This is for a few reasons. Firstly, your manufacturer is taking a risk. Every business ultimately wants a decent ROI (return on investment), and it is no different here. As you are unestablished, the manufacturer is likely to charge you more than their big-brand customer. This is to ensure that they are covered in cases where new products don’t sell.
Naturally, your profit margin will be lower than that of your competitors, but this is just the beginning. Over time, you can build up the volume of sales and increase your profit exponentially.
Never Smooth Sailing
It is also important to note that when manufacturing a new product, it isn’t all smooth sailing. There will be all sorts of bugs and issues to iron out and resolve. Often, it takes several batches to refine and hone your product. This is okay, and part of the process, but it is important to prepare for it. It takes time, effort, and money. This process can steal these assets away from other areas of your business that need care and attention. But the key is to use your start-up agility. Preparation and flexibility are on your side. Also, as a start-up, there are fewer deadlines and expectations to meet. This is a huge benefit that you should use to your advantage!
It’s important to know that when you sell through a retailer, you are more or less destined to get a worse price than existing businesses and established brands. Simply put, retailers want to stock products that customers are ready to buy, and brands drive customers into stores.
With new brands, retailers have to work much harder to make sales. They have to convince customers of your product’s value, which they don’t have to do with established products. This means that they have to work much harder to make sales, and will require a higher margin from you.
Your options here are either to work this into your budget, look for alternate ways of disseminating your product or work on refined marketing strategies to raise your profile. All of these options are worth considering, to optimize your chances of sales.
Starting From Scratch
This leads us nicely to another important point and one that can leave entrepreneurs a little disillusioned. Start-ups tend to have to build their businesses from the ground up, and there are many components to this including:
Many more areas of focus will become apparent as you progress, but in short, a new business demands a lot of work and it’s difficult to strike gold in every area when you are overstretched. Plus, you won’t (yet) have the budget to employ experts, ‘senior’ staff, and executive employees, and will need to build from scratch with junior staffing.
The Conclusion: How To Succeed
Phew! Reading this, one could get pretty despondent about starting a business or launching a product. But what you see above are the challenges that every start-up faces. Every established brand began where you are. If they can get there, why not you?
There are ways to ameliorate the challenges too. For instance, being unestablished you have a lot more flexibility to adapt and evolve to the constantly evolving industry (and they do change rapidly, blink and you miss it!). Also, in the modern world, there are platforms like Kickstarter that can help you to fund your launch or any other aspect. Some campaigns raise hundreds of thousands from donors who believe in the product and want to see it come to life.
Lastly, Amazon supports new product launches. There is a checklist to follow, and Amazon takes an 18% margin, but if you get accepted you can compete with big brands without it costing much at all.
Overall, look to the challenges and allow celebration at each milestone. After all, every step is a great achievement and brings you one step closer to launching your product.
Having worked with hundreds of Start-Ups and SMEs we’ve learned a thing or so about getting a project off to the right start.
Don’t miss out on this invaluable guide to turning your idea into the next big thing!
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