Does speed deliver sustainable start-up brands?


Many start-up brands think incubator sessions and hackathons are designed to get their products to market overnight and have expectations of instant success.

We have ‘The Apprentice’ to thank for that!

But they are looking for a unicorn – sustainability comes from putting in the hard yards.

We understand the need for hitting the market quickly and capitalising on new product trends. But you can’t just slap a logo on a product and expect to build traction.

It’s proven that consumers buy brands not products. It’s the power of the brand that makes an aspirational product and brand loyalists will always be first in line to own it.

Marketing convinces you to buy once, but branding ensures you buy again and again. Loyalists will always find a way to buy their favourite brands, regardless of their circumstances. This is why start-ups need to invest in strong brand foundations.

They should learn from established brands and why they are successful, but have the confidence, determination and mind-set of a challenger. It’s more about being coherent rather than consistent.

Consistency is boring, while coherence delivers the energy that start-ups truly value.

Botanic Lab produce premium press juices, and from seed to start-up, we helped them develop their brand strategy. By understanding their audience, the category and trends in the world of juices, we gave them the tools to confidently enter the market. They are now a serious player and capable of defending their territory among the plethora of copycat and lower quality brands.

Start-up brand marketing: Botanic Labs

Through our experience with Botanic Lab and other brands, such as LELO, here are four considerations for start-ups looking to build their brand:

  1. Partner creatively – corporate innovation units don’t work. Enable collision; think about a collaborative working relationship with your agency. Let them deliver the solution to make your logic succeed.
  2. Leverage data and understand your audience – obvious, but fundamental. It’s amazing that many brands continue to bypass this and wonder why they fail.
  3. Look at the big corporations. What is their model for success? Use their platform to spearhead a breakthrough approach to stand out.
  4. Have a strong point of view. Some will love you, others won’t – but it’s better than being a brand that nobody loves or hates. Starbucks, one of the biggest global brands, have millions of people who dislike them but equally have millions of loyal customers.