Strategy toolkit: Start-ups

A tale by

Ryan O'Neill

Every business venture, regardless of size, requires some sort of strategic direction. Whether this comes naturally or is meticulously planned, every entrepreneur desires a positive outcome. So, what’s in an essential startup strategy toolkit? Keep reading, and I will outline three key, yet uncomplicated areas of focus startups of any nature can adapt.

The 3 key components of your strategy toolkit

Establish your ideal target audience

First out of the strategy toolkit is your ideal consumer. This is the basis of all your strategic efforts going forward, from the ideation of your corporate identity, to the execution of your product or service rollout. An all-too-common mistake is the “we target everybody” mentality. This can lead to significant complications, straight from business inception. A generalised target audience will both limit your targeting abilities, and be far too expensive to execute. Spend your money where you are most likely to gain a return. Carpet bombing the entire market with your advertising efforts is unaffordable for start-ups, and essentially means you are wasting funds on uninterested individuals. Vegans do not want to receive an ad for your new smokehouse. Simple.

Analyse (or stalk) your competition

No strategy toolkit comes without a healthy understanding of the competition. Launching your brand is more often than not, not a cheap exercise, and cost-saving should be an area of importance. However, a competitor analysis can be a cost-saving exercise. There’s no point in squandering precious financial resources into your research when your competitors have already done the dirty work for you. Why do things twice? It is not efficient, time or cost-wise.

The importance of a solid competitor analysis continues…

Flighting your ‘revolutionary’ offering into the marketplace, and then realising your offering is, well, ‘not so revolutionary’ makes the entrepreneurial road all that more difficult. The key to a product/service adoption is the ability to meet a want or fulfil a need. To achieve this, a differentiation within your offering, or a differentiation in how your offering reaches your end consumer, is what attracts said consumer. Differentiators can be simple, or increasingly complex, depending on your desired target audience.  

Common differentiators:

  • Cost
  • Location/convenience
  • Quality
  • Post-sale service

Joyful emotions arise when you meet a want/need (often achieved through differentiation) – which can justify higher prices and create brand loyalty, leading to a competitive advantage within the crowded marketplace. Golden.

The business of branding

Often overlooked by startups, branding is wrongly seen as an unnecessary expense, as a positive brand identity creates benefits that are indirect and difficult to quantify. The development of brand identity should, from the outset, be an essential launch cost (or investment).

Onto the brand strategy, there are countless benefits of delivering your offering to market alongside solid strategic thought. I’ll run through a few below:

  • A well-executed brand is recognisable, heightens brand recall, and keeps your business in front of mind – increasing the ability for repeat purchases and heightened brand loyalty.
  • There is a need in the millennial market to associate with unique brands. Think luxuries, positive branding can justify the cost.
  • When housing an identifiable brand, future product/service launches become exponentially easier.
  • A well-executed brand strategy is a source of credibility.

Ready for a strategy?

The business of branding is our business – we’ve got a strategy toolkit filled to the brim. So if you are ever in need of a bunch of creative badasses to execute your creative briefs, swing past Brand Candy HQ. The team may even help out with your SEO (search engine optimisation), web development, strategy, social media management, and Google Ads too. Pull in, or contact us.

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