Are you a Start Up?
Focus first on your brand, not your business...
By CHARMAINE DAVISON
In the business world, there are a lot of different approaches that startups can take in order to achieve success. One debate that continues to rage on is whether it’s better to have a product-first or channel-first strategy. In my opinion, a channel-first approach is always going to be the better option.
You’re More Likely to Fail from the Lack of a Brand than from an Inability to Build a Product
The sad truth is that most businesses fail not because they lack a good product, but because they lack a good distribution channel.
If you don’t have a way to get your product into the hands of your target customer, then it doesn’t matter how great your product is—it’s never going to be successful. That’s why a channel-first approach is so important; without a solid distribution plan in place, your business is destined to fail.
A Channel-First Approach Helps you Focus on Your Customers’ Needs
When you have a product-first mindset, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the features and benefits of your product and lose sight of what your customers actually need and want.
However, when you take a channel-first approach, you’re forced to focus on your customers and what they need in order to be successful. This helps you create a better product that meets their needs and ultimately leads to more sales.
Read our blog about understanding your target marketing: Know Your Audience.
A Channel-First Strategy Helps you Mitigate Risk
There’s always inherent risk involved in starting a business, but by taking a channel-first approach, you can mitigate much of that risk.
Product failures happen all the time, even with big brands—just look at Google Glass, New Coke or Windows Vista.
But if you’ve spent time and effort developing a brand before launching your product, then you’ll still have a chance at success even if your product doesn’t live up to expectations.
The Best Distribution Channel is Your Brand
So if you’re looking to start or grow a business, make sure you focus on building a strong distribution channel first and foremost.
The quality of your product will always be important, but without a way to reach potential customers, it won’t matter nearly as much as you think it does.
But, how do you build your Brand?
Here are 3 questions to start with when building your brand:
- What do people ask you for advice on?
- What can you talk endlessly about?
- What are you best at: pictures, videos, writing, or talking?
The advice that people ask you for is the universe telling you what content you need to be making.
What can you talk about endlessly? Start with this as it means you’ll never run out of content on this subject.
And whatever communication medium you are good at is your future channel:
You’re more likely to fail from the lack of a brand than from an inability to build a product, and focusing on the needs of your customers is essential for long-term success.
If you can take these points into consideration and develop a solid brand before launching your product, then you’ll be well on your way to achieving success.
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