Startups face an uphill battle when it comes to building a successful brand in today’s highly competitive business environment. With consumers increasingly demanding sustainability and transparency, creating a sustainable brand is more important than ever. However, achieving sustainability is a little trickier now than it was in the past. Startups need to navigate an ever-changing digital landscape and rising branding costs, while also differentiating themselves from established players in the market.
In this article, we recap the mentoring session of Budiman Goh, Endeavor Mentor and an experienced lead in the consumer goods industry, who shared his thoughts on building a sustainable brand in the digital era. With the increasing cost of branding and the need for a unique selling proposition, he emphasized the importance of achieving critical mass and surviving as a startup. As a mindful leader and a synergist, Mr. Budiman’s unlimited passion for humanity and social welfare has led him to help many startups find their growth and contribute to society. Let’s explore Mr. Budiman strategies for building a successful brand in today’s ever-changing digital landscape.
The High Cost of Branding and the Importance of Sustainability
Branding has always been a costly endeavor, with no guarantee of success. And in Indonesia, branding costs have only been increasing over time. Two decades ago, 100 billion rupiahs might have sufficed for advertising, but now 350 billion rupiahs might not even guarantee a successful brand.
Additionally, building a sustainable brand is not an overnight process. It requires investment, time, and effort. To succeed in the digital era, it’s not just about communicating your brand but also about playing in both the offline and online realms, for example having a strong presence in below-the-line (BTL) and above-the-line (ATL) channels.
Multi-Brand vs. Single-Brand: Which is the Way to Go?
When it comes to branding, the question of multi-branding versus single-branding arises. In the past, creating 10 brands might have been easy to manage, but it’s not the case today. It can be said that new brands cannot use the same branding techniques as old brands. The focus now is on building one strong brand that will resonate with consumers.
The Importance of Having a Unique Selling Proposition
You can’t please every customer, nor should you try. If you try to cater to everyone’s needs, you risk sacrificing your business. Focus on the products that you have and the target market that you’re trying to serve. This way, you’ll be able to develop a unique selling proposition (USP) that sets your brand apart.
To capture a critical mass, instead of trying to compete with industry giants, consider playing in a niche market. Your brand must have a unique selling proposition (USP) that sets it apart from others in the market. In the past, building a business required personal resources and power. Nowadays, the “tagline” is collaboration.
Achieving Critical Mass and Surviving as a Startup
As a startup, there are two things to consider: seek venture capital to grow your business and learn to survive without any investors. It’s essential to have operational excellence, partner with third parties, and earn a profit. The business game is not about size, but rather about sustaining your business model.
It’s better to start small in one or two regions and achieve positive results than to expand nationwide and struggle to keep up. You can create a brand, but first, you need to achieve critical mass.
Critical mass is a key aspect, even if you’re targeting a small market segment. If you want to expand your brand, you need to do it efficiently with fewer resources and less working capital. Remember, building a brand is not just about the cost of branding, but you also need to think of the value that your brand brings to the market.