Have you ever had an idea for a new product or wanted to manufacture your own brand in an existing category? If so, you have probably dreaded the process, from concept to launch. Well, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t as difficult as you might think, as I recently just launched a new brand in under a week.
I’ve consulted with brands in several different industries, and I have always been fascinated with how large you can scale a product that appeals to a worldwide audience. It led me to brainstorm a half-dozen consumer products that I will be launching over the next year. The first product, a teeth whitening kit, is now live, and it only took a week to take it from idea to launch. Here is how I did it.
1. Lock down a ‘MBA’ name.
MBA = memorable, brandable and available.
Your name needs to be memorable and easy to brand, but it also needs to be available — from your website’s domain name to all of the social media platforms you plan to use. I would suggest going with a .com domain name simply because it’s the universal extension. As far as social media goes, you will want to make sure the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles are available, at the bare minimum.
2. Interview potential manufacturers.
It’s extremely important that you secure a manufacture that can deliver product on time, making communication the key to this relationship. I interviewed multiple manufacturers and grilled them with very specific questions. If they didn’t fully understand my request or took too long to reply, they were crossed off the list.
Production delays or mishaps due to poor communication can crush your brand before you even get it off the ground. Make sure you are 100 percent confident in your manufacturer before pulling the trigger. Our manufacturer was identified in less than 48 hours.
3. Create your logo, packaging and website.
As soon as the idea to create a new teeth whitening brand entered my mind I had one of my freelance graphic designers working on logo concepts. While he was doing that I was working on the label design and sketching out the framework of our website.
We moved very fast. All of the designs — logo, packaging and website – were finalized in less than three days. Since launching, we have made several website changes and we are on version three of our packaging. It doesn’t have to be 100 percent perfect in the beginning, as you will undoubtedly have several minor changes after you launch.
4. Get your website live immediately.
Get your website up and fully functional ASAP — even if you don’t have your products in stock yet. Why? Because in the beginning, every single visitor and conversion gives you priceless data that you can use to improve the user experience and conversion rate.
There is never a perfect time to launch.
“I’m not going to launch until we receive all of the inventory from the manufacturer.” That’s an excuse.
“We are going to wait until we think the website will convert high.” Another excuse — the only way to know how it’s going to convert and then improve that rate, is by getting real visitors on the website. From there, you will need to test, optimize and then test some more. As soon as your website is coded, flip the switch to “live” and start sending traffic.
5. Establish advertising channels and revenue goals.
You’re not going to want to spread yourself too thin in the beginning. You will most likely have a limited budget, so identify a few solid advertising channels and scale them up before moving onto another traffic source.
For us, we are running targeted Facebook ads mixed in with some influencer marketing. We have an entire AdWords campaign already built out — standard pay-per-click and Google shopping — that we will introduce into the mix next.