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It’s no doubt that COVID-19 is redefining the way we do business, and there are many opportunities arising for start-ups to embrace the new environment we find ourselves in.

Creating a new product is undoubtably an exciting venture, but it can also be rather daunting, especially if it is your first venture.

Here Juliet Barratt, co-founder of Grenade and non-executive director of Booch and Brew and Hello Pure, outlines her top tips for those establishing business during the current climate.

Keep things simple

When establishing a new brand, it’s important to simplify who you are and what your products do. Taking Hello Pure as an example, we ensured that all labels on products were clear and concise, so the consumer knows exactly what the product is meant for.

If you’re in a sector like health and wellbeing, things can often get complicated, especially when it comes down to the science behind products. Ensuring that your messaging behind the brand is coherent and explains the science in layman’s terms will give the consumer piece of mind and a real understanding of the product.

A common situation start-ups find themselves in is having a product that is over complicated. This can be detrimental to the business as if the product is not clear to the consumer from the off, they will lose interest and are less likely to engage with your brand. If your consumer can’t look at your product and understand its purpose, then you should reflect on how to simplify it.

Created a demand

It goes without saying that your product needs to meet the demands of your consumers. This may be a gap in the market that you have noticed, or you can create the demand through clever marketing.

A great way to do this, which is something I have done before for Kombucha brand, Booch and Brew, is to ensure the imagery used on the website and social media reflects the consumer, making content relatable. For example, imagery depicting people drinking Booch and Brew Kombucha is different relatable scenarios shows how the drink is versatile and something the consumer could integrate into their everyday lives.

Attack any issues head on

As a start-up, you’re most likely going to face issues along the way. This is normal and the majority of large companies faced hiccups in their first few months. Successful start-ups tackle these issues head on to ensure they are not detrimental to the business as a whole.

Taking Booch and Brew as an example, although Kombucha is marketed as a healthy drink, there is sugar in it. We were faced with the choice of deciding whether to try and hide it, or to make it clear why the drink has sugar present. We decided that by not mentioning it, it would raise further questions about the business and how transparent we were with our consumers. Therefore, we ensured that there was information available to our consumers so they could understand that the sugar present in our Kombucha is important for the fermentation process and that it is a fundamental ingredients of our beverages.

Any start-up who may find an issue which may lead consumers to question their brand should tackle this at the earliest opportunity to ensure it doesn’t damage customer trust and brand image.

Don’t be a vanilla brand

Personality is a big part of building a brand. Nowadays, many consumers, especially in the health and wellbeing sector, prefer a brand with an edge. There’s been a move away from vanilla brands as consumers just don’t buy into them, they’re looking for something different.

When establishing a brand, injecting personality that matches your own values is a great way to set you out from the crowd. With Booch and Brew, we launched a campaign called ‘what the f**k is Kombucha’ to give the brand some personality, whilst outlining what Kombucha is and its health benefits.

One of the most important parts of establishing your brand’s identity is the packaging of your product. Have fun with it and make sure it will stand out from your competitors. Once you have designed a strong branding that is consistent across all products, make sure this is also reflected through your digital marketing, website and social media.

Get good people in to make your life easier

Many business-owners put pressure on themselves to do everything in the initial start-up phase, however this can lead to burn out and a lot of stress! By bringing in people who can help you with an element of the business you may be weaker on, such as branding or digital marketing, this can help catapult your business. Although this may come at an initial cost, you are far more likely to see a return on your original investment.

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