In today’s online market, building a brand is all about being refined and focused, even if it just starts with one product.I once read that a great brand is a privilege, a privilege best earned through an item rather than a collection. While designers and entrepreneurs may care about satisfying a wide range of consumers, consumers only care about a great product, and that’s the difference between a consumer-centric company and an ego-centric company. It’s not about providing something you want people to want; it’s all about giving consumers what they want and becoming a leader in that niche industry. As the world of business becomes more digital, e-commerce is becoming more popular and accessible, but in order to stand out amongst the rest, we are seeing a revolution of small, individual brands that are setting up shop almost exclusively online. Rather than the large e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, ASOS, and Zappos that provide a multitude of popular brands, the new e-commerce is all about eliminating the middleman and curating unique and exclusive items.
This model of specializing in one product and engaging with customers directly all started with Warby Parker eyewear. The company began with creating affordable frames, designed in-house and sold directly to consumers online, and since then, we have been seeing many other shops do the same— Everlane with it’s basic tees, and Bonobos setting out to create the perfect pant for men. From there, Everlane has revolutionized affordable, high quality basics and has expanded to coats, shoes, and bags, while Bonobos now designs shirts and suits. And what do all these online companies have in common? A modest start focused on a specific niche.
With brands becoming more transparent due to social media, consumers are starting to care more about the quality and credibility of a company. Focus on one item, make it great, and let that product tell your brand’s story and what you’re all about. In the long run, that’ll give your company greater success as you diversify your products. Earning that trust and credibility may take time, but in the end, having a strong foundation of loyal customers will give your company the opportunity to expand with less risk.Bonobos, branding, digital, ecommerce, Everlane, fashion, startup, Warby Parker