Finding the right market for your brand

23 Apr

Finding the right market for your brand

by: Aaron Bunton

Before we get started with “Finding the right market for your brand,” I must let you know (my targeted audience) that I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on selling a brand, perhaps save for myself (@arabbunton).

The little experience I have is working with Ris3n Clothing Company, based out of Stillwater, Minn., with a buddy of mine, who is the founder and owner. We are currently working to revitalize his brand that has been in-and-out of commission throughout the past year. .

I, however, consider myself a proficient “Googler,” and would like to save time and resources for anybody that can benefit from the following information that I have collected, analyzed, and summarized.

1.)  Starting off, have a product/service that you understand.

The product or service that you are selling to your targeted market is already going to have a formidable industry. Whether it be pencils, socks, glasses, shoes, clothes, sports equipment, etc. There is always going to be someone with a similar product or service that you provide; unless you truly have something that is one-of-a-kind.

This means that you’re going to have to know both your product and your industry back and forwards. Researching your industry using simply Google, or simple surveys, is a good way to start collect data. For example, a lot of man hours I put in with Ris3n Clothing were spent looking at other clothing company blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram, and many other social media sites.

This is a good place to start researching the related industry you are about to introduce your brand into, and you may be able to collaborate or receive feedback from other companies through many of these sites.

2.) Follow a similar company’s business model

Every successful company knows a good business model is not developed overnight. It’s not developed in a day, month, or year. It may work to a certain extent for some companies, depending on the industry, but it’s never perfected (a solid reason why there is a stock trade).

So what is a good way to start out a business and its brand? Do your research of the product and industry, and develop and outline a strategy that other competition use and have used.

From here, you have a solid starting platform for your brand and you can use the trial-error method to determine your own model.

I am currently trying to copy a social media model, which uses blogging as one of its main focal points to gain traffic to the company’s website, check out www.winkyboo.com

3.) Determine a vision or unique aspect for your brand

Don’t go into your business thinking you’re going to take the whole industry by fire. It’s going to take time to learn and develop a message to provide to your target market. Make sure you have a solid customer base, and enough frequency and reach with your brand before you make any drastic decisions.

As the old saying goes, “don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.” After all, it’s still a business you are running and anything can happen at anytime whether it be legal issues, bad marketing, different trends, bad publicity, etc.

In this step, make sure to utilize all resources you have to use. For example, if you have employees, get their opinion on the matter. See if they have any ideas how the brand could be better improved.

An example of this comes from my buddy, Tyler Chilson, who is the owner and founder of Ris3n Clothing Co., which originally was created as a way to express himself through his passions in life such as the sport he played; baseball.  Since revitalizing his brand, his vision has changed to “The Ris3n Brand represents a side of Tyler Chilson that nobody saw coming…An expression of style and design, and a reflection of creativity.”


Words that come straight from his mouth, that put confidence into his brand for his customer base, but also makes the clothing line personable for the customers he is trying to reach out to.

The same thing goes for your individuals who buy your brand. Send out a simple survey that gathers information about who your customers are, and what they like/dislike about the brand. This will help you further develop the brand’s message or purpose.

4.) Determine goals and objectives

Let me better define this part.

IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!

If you don’t have goals or objectives for your brand’s message you won’t know where to proceed in the upcoming months.

Goals and objectives differ from each other.

Q: What is a goal?

A: A goal is a vision or purpose for planning. They are usually broad (in terms of non-measurable, and non-specific), brief (a sentence-ish), and aren’t meant to be attained.

Q: What is an objective?

A: An objective gives realistic targets or milestones for a product, project, department, employee, etc. There are three objectives you must set in order for this step to be useful; process objectives, impact objectives, and outcome objectives.

A good place to start is following the “SMART Objectives” model;

S-Specific

M-Measurable

A-Achievable

R-Relevant

T-Timely

For more information, click this link http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/cfh/ophp/consultation/qi/resources/toolbox/smartobjectives.html

or view this PDF;

http://www.marchofdimes.com/chapterassets/files/SMART_objectives.pdf 

5.) Integrate social media (My opinion)

Social media and the Internet is the largest platform to market your brand.

Do not flake on this step. This will be one of your most important, and most helpful ways to market your brand. This is the most effective way to reach your targeted market, with the most frequency and reach for your brand’s message.

It is also incredibly helpful for two-way communication with your brand’s consumers. Feedback from your customers is something you want, but you also want to be able to understand why they are saying something, whether positive or negative, about your brand. Plus, it’s always nice to be more than just a business and be able to give a reply to an unsatisfied customer. If your brand/business pisses off the wrong customer, it could be the beginning of a bad publicity campaign. Something you don’t want when all a person has to do is go to their computer.

Social Media can be a double-edged sword, but if you use it correctly it can become one of your best selling points.

In an interesting article written by Shea Bennett, she showed statistics interesting tactics used by professionals for both B2B, business to business, and B2C, business to consumers:

emarketer-effective-social-marketing-tactics

emarketer-difficult-social-marketing-tactics1213

Hopefully this is a good start to getting your brand started. I will be continually blogging more posts with relevant information related to this post.

As I gain more knowledge, I hope to pass it along to you as well!

Thanks for reading, and remember comments and feedback are always helpful, and needed.

Aaron Bunton

atbunt10@smumn.edu

Twitter: @arabbunton

 

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Ris3n supports local Minnesota music movement

17 Apr

Back in January, Ris3n Clothing Co., sponsored “651 Records,”a local Minnesota Hip Hop group, at a local Twin Cities night club.

Based out of Stillwater, Minn., 651 Records has made a name for itself by gaining popularity throughout the Twin Cities and throughout many social media websites.  The main artists who make up the group:

Image

“651 Records”

all play a role for “promoting and publishing the music of underground rappers,” according to 651 Record’s Facebook page.

Tyler Chilson, the owner of Ris3n, has supported 651 Records for more than year, supplying them with free Ris3n gear and inspiration at their concerts.  The most recent 651 Records concert was last January at the Honey Night Club in Minneapolis.(See video link for  651 Records @ Honey Night Club, Minneapolis, Minn.)

“I love these guys, I grew up with them (Trinh, Amos, Everett) and have always been supportive even before I created the Ris3n line,” Chilson said.

“It just so happens that I’m now able to be supportive of their music, and be able to sponsor and supply them with Ris3n gear throughout their movement.”

For rapper Trinh, one of the original 651 Records’ members, he has found inspiration with the Ris3n brand and has even rapped about Ris3n in the song “Fast Life (Prod. Amos).”

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything Chilson has done for us,” Trinh said, “he is definitely part of the 651 crew.”

“We’re all our own solo artists, but we’re all trying to get our music heard throughout Minnesota…it helps us knowing that we have him at our backs every step of the way.”

Looking forward, 651 Records will be performing along side Doomtree’s Mike Mictlan on Thursday, April 18 @ 9:00PM.  The performance is in Duluth, Minn., at The Rafters and is free to students.

For more information, click this link http:/https://www.facebook.com/events/482102395194870/

4 tips to help sell a brand

16 Apr

by: Aaron Bunton

It’s not easy to sell a brand to a completely random stranger.

There are definitely steps to take before you can just start selling a product.  These steps however are not concrete and allow for a unique way to get your product noticed by the intended audience or other companies within the related industry.

First off, have a vision, or purpose for your brand that other people can relate to.  For example, the company that I am currently working for is called Ris3n Clothing Co., and the main purpose or message that the designer wants to send to its intended audience is to stay passionate about life and continue putting effort towards a goal, hobby, career, whatever it is, and to rise above the animosity you may receive for it.  If you can develop a strong message and something different, or unique, you will have a solid foundation for your brand.

Second, know your intended audience.  If you have not the slightest clue of who you are selling your brand to, my question to you is, why are you selling that brand?  To know your intended audience you must take the proper steps towards really getting down to the nitty-gritty stuff such as: the age of the customer, their disposable income, their location, what types of access they have to your product (online or traditional advertisements), what type of education they have, how many family members, basically just demographics of your intended customers.

Third, remember to be personal, not just a business.  Your brand can’t be overwhelming on the Internet and social media sites.  You can’t sell a brand by putting CAPS LOCKS and !!!! after every sentence.  You must understand that most people on the Internet aren’t going to click on any links like these.  People are looking for other links, the ones that not a lot of people know about.  Most people enjoy word-of-mouth communicating with their friends, whether it is gossip, new music, new products, etc.  Thinking critically about your audience, most people want to find something that’s not well-known and share it with their friend either through physical word-of-mouth communication or online social media websites.  This is why there are ‘share’ buttons on Facebook, Retweets on Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Fourth, take your time developing the brand.  To get people to like or accept the brand and become a repeat customer, you must take the time and develop the brand beyond what you think is necessary.  Take your time with designs.  Don’t just throw something half-assed onto the Internet and expect it to take hold.  You must get general conversation going within the related industry.  Take a look at this article by Jon Kruse which gives ten articles for a starting out entrepreneur.  Although he writes about specifically the clothing industry, you can use your imagination and twist what he says slightly for whatever your product or service you are trying to sell.

As I continue learning more and more about selling products and brands, I will continue posting interesting blogs and related content to my readers.

Thanks for reading!

Feedback and comments are always helpful!

Twitter: @arabbunton

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