You have this idea, you’re ready to roll it out, but will people care? And where will you find customers? The old ‘build it and they will come’ thought process is dying if not dead. There are so many competitors, so many niches, and so much market noise (think about how many people are trying to sell you something on a daily basis). So what do you do?
Last week I mentioned a few things around creating a culture, and fans for your brand. This is essential nowadays unless you have millions and millions of dollars to market your product. Even then, people’s BS meters are so high that marketing efforts are becoming less and less effective. The reason why my wife, and I are trying to create a culture is because people who buy into the culture of your brand will be your fans for life (as long as you don’t screw it up). On top of that, my wife and I’s beliefs go hand-in-hand with what we’re doing. This isn’t solely a money making venture. There’s more to it than that.
Don’t be afraid to piss people off for the sake of furthering your beliefs and your cause. Yes, my wife, and I are going to ruffle a few feathers in the fashioin industry, and that’s okay. By telling people who we’re not, we immediately tell people WHO WE ARE (if that makes sense). It’s okay for you to do the same. Don’t be shy about pointing out how you’re different, and pulling back the curtain on what you’re doing and why. Think of all the tech companies that are distrupting the status quo. You can do the same with your business as long as you’re not afraid to take a stand. If people hate you, that means there will be people out there who LOVE you. For every culture there’s a proftiable counter-culture.
In going through this process, my wife and I have decided to grow organically through friends, and family in order to get our processes down. When / if we see there’s a definite market, then we’re going to start plugging away on a larger scale. The plan is to target market (we don’t have the funds or the inventory to mass market, and I still believe mass marketing mediums like TV, and radio are the most cost effective way to go about your marketing, especially when starting out. In most cases, the cost per person reached is so low). Our philosophy is to own what we can own. Can we own everyone in our target market? No, because we don’t have the funds necessary to reach them, and even if we did, we don’t have the inventory necessary to fulfill orders on a mass scale. More on how to develop a marketing budget here.
We’ll do some targeted marketing in a few cities across the country to see the kind of traction we get. We’re going to do a bit online, and possibly through social media. The biggest thing is we’re going to test, and work our PR and media contacts to see what works and what doesn’t. We’re not afraid to make a mistake, and you shouldn’t be either. The catch is most people who spend their marketing dollars love to test stuff. The trouble with this is most people don’t test LONG enough. They try something for one month, and then give up after they don’t get a response. WRONG! Usually when you start marketing, and are about to give up on the medium you chose, that’s the exact time that things are probably going to start working. On top of that – if your message isn’t working that probably means your message is so off point that the people who you’re trying to market to, don’t care about what you’re saying. You’re not speaking to them in a way that’s meaningful. More on purposeful copy here.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on the culture around your business. Who are you? Why do you exist? Do the people in your organization believe in the same things you do? Is your marketing message clear? Does it say what you stand for, and what you stand against? Most importantly – why is what you’re doing important? Not for your sake, but for the sake of your potential fans.
I’ll out line some of the marketing messages we’re working on next week.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft
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