6 Questions for Launching Your BrandBy Tom Nixon on December 7th, 2015 /
We recently launched a new brand incubator, called Tadpole. The idea behind Tadpole is to help companies that are in the early startup or infancy stage understand that there is a complex strategy to successfully bringing a concept to market. Many companies start up, but only brands launch! Our goal in founding Tadpole was to help entrepreneurs and starts up have an intriguing idea, but are unsure of how to successfully take the next step in bringing their brand to life.
When it comes to launching a business — this goes for all brands (not just startups) — there are certain questions that an entrepreneur or leader needs to ask themselves. If you can’t answer these questions (confidently and correctly), you need to do some more work on your startup launch strategy:
Who is your target market? If you answered anything along the lines of, “Well, it could be anybody,” you’re making some ill-fated assumptions. All brands launch according to the law of the diffusion of innovation. Google “Simon Sykes Golden Circle” and what the video. Most people get enamored with the “power of why” message in the video, but miss the part about the law of the diffusion of innovation.
What is your revenue model? If you default back to “We’re not concerned with monetization just yet,” you haven’t thought far enough ahead. Facebook and Twitter are the exceptions, not the rule. And they’re only two exceptions among a thousands and thousands of startups that need to generate revenue to survive.
Who are your competitors? If you think, “We don’t have any,” you’re wrong…you just haven’t identified them yet. Danger. Sometimes, competitors are other brands or products; other times, it can simply be market inertia or that you haven’t solved a problem the market is feeling just yet.
What is the market willing to pay for this product or service? If you begin your answer with, “Well, we think…” you still have some research to do. More times than not, startups overestimate what the market is willing to pay for their product or service. They tend to reverse engineer a product price based on their profit models, when in reality, that calculation needs to go in the reverse.
When will you be profitable? If you don’t know, you can’t answer the first question an investor is going to ask. You at least need to demonstrate that you’ve thought this through. Investors, by and large, don’t want to gamble on good ideas. They want to get in on the ground floor of something that’s going to generate a fairly confident return.
What makes you different and what makes you necessary? A great idea is not enough. It has to solve a problem, alleviate a pain, or create an opportunity that the market is already aware and in search of.
There are plenty more questions to ask and answer. Have you thought them all through? Learn more about our new program here or comment below with questions.