You’ve got a pretty well established brand. You have repeat customers, and they recommend your products or services. You’ve received some good reviews, have a website—maintain your social media. So, what’s next?
Advertising, branding, communication, and marketing go deeper than your copy, logo, content, and budget. These business functions should inform all aspects of your organization. Never get too comfortable; there are endless opportunities for improving upon and expanding your brand.
Often, advice suggests keeping your product line tight. Quality over quantity. And this holds true. Especially as you’re getting started out. Build trust amongst your consumer base, and build a good reputation by providing high quality products and/or services.
But once you’ve mastered quality—what is there? Quantity. Use the knowledge you’ve amassed from the development of your existing product line, to expand upon it. What supplementary products do you frequently recommend. Could you offer an equal or superior option?
You want to develop relevant products and services that will begin to take flight off the reputation runway of your existing ones. Work into directly adjacent columns, try to avoid jumping around without direction.
Open a Second, Third…Twentieth Location
There are various ways in which a brand owner may decide to open a second location. While one of the more difficult ways, it is usually preferable for the original owner to expand (rather than franchising, licensing, etc.). This takes either years of successful profit margins, or a non-predatory investor relationship.
If your brand has a physical component, this is the goal. Physical expansion. Opening yourself up to new audiences, in new places. Find out where people travel from to interact with your brand in person. What markets are similar, or better fit the niche you’ve created for yourself?
If your brand doesn’t have a physical component, you can still steep inspiration from this sentiment by focusing your marketing efforts in new locations. Or, by creating different ways for consumers to experience a physical interaction with your brand in strategically planned locations.
This and product development may go hand-in-hand. If you don’t currently have an e-commerce presence, invest in one. Preferably, a little deeper than just ‘merch.’
If you’re really looking to grow your brand uncontrollably, this is the way to go. Well developed e-commerce capabilities will allow you to continue to access your local audience, while reaching one as infinite as the global community. Perhaps you develop a product line that is easier to ship, or cheaper and quicker for you to produce. There is endless potential for e-commerce.
Start an Industry Publication
Once you’ve established your brand as one with a range of experience and knowledge in your industry, publishing an industry magazine, journal, or newsletter allows you to begin to establish your brand as a thought leader amongst your peers.
This is some real high-level stuff. You’ve got to have the reputation, and the confidence, to pull it off. You’ll be creating a platform for other industry professionals to share and gain knowledge. And, while it’s yours—and you curate it—you can’t allow it to seem too bias.
Embrace Change & Adapt
It seems like a topic we cover quite frequently here, but the ability for a brand to accept and adapt to changes in the market, their environment—everything around them—is one of the most important.
A brand will never grow, or grow at an extremely stunted pace, if it is not open to evolving. If you’re in the business, any business, exclusively to do what you want to do; not to do what your consumer wants; get out. There are plenty of eager to please entrepreneurs ready to ride the wave, and adapt to their consumer each and every day.
What was the biggest moment of inspiration or insight you had that allowed you to accelerate the growth of your brand? What other advice do you have for those looking to expand their brand, today? Let’s brainstorm below!