When AvidUnion was first conceived, I knew better than to think that creating a brand was going to be an easy task even with 15 years of advertising experience.
Before we get into details, There are a couple of very important questions you should ask yourself. These are the questions that you need to focus on because this will help determine the product that you'll be selling based on your interest.
1. What are you truly passionate about?
2. Do I see myself doing this for the next 20 years?
Understand that these questions are vital because this will ultimately be your livelihood if possible. Would you want to spend all your time and energy in producing income for something that you might eventually lose interest? It may sound cliché but your success comes from your interest and interest comes from passion. Without passion, your interest in making your brand better would ultimately be a complete waste of time.
You have to be your brand's first advocate.
So now you you have answered these questions and have discovered the direction you will be heading. The next thing is to investigate into the marketplace whether there are other brand advocates to buy into your brand.
Who are your best initial consumers, and which sales channel will you have to use to get their attention and win their advocacy? For me, at that time the target and channel was ! It was an easy choice for me because that was where I got my inspiration from.
When Kickstarter first started out, it was a very exciting concept of a group of people making great products and actually delivering. The consumers were people like me, high performing professionals that appreciate and expect their products to perform - Aesthetically pleasing, highly functional and affordable. My other concern was not to add to the highly wasteful economy that we've come to know now - fast fashion.
Unfortunately, we made a huge mistake, called Assumption.
We assumed that young professionals would care very much about sustainability. We assumed that everyone knows about Global Warming and would want to do their part. We assumed many things on many levels that sustainability was the key to engage consumers and drive sales.
We were WRONG.
Since Kickstarter didn't approve of campaigns relating to charity, we couldn't test this assumptive theory in the beginning that sustainability do not sell. It was later on when we tried to have the idea of "buy our products and save the world" that we realized we made not one single sale.
And so we were back to square one. We then chose to go back to the men's products that revolved around the idea of travel and technology. We needed something that was both easy to understand but innovative so the video content we created will be engaging. This was when I truly discovered the strength in having a great video content. (This will be something I will get into deeper with my later posts.)
Having a great brand doesn't mean just having a great product. There are many amazing products out in the market with unfortunately a bad brand. What It really does mean is having a great foundation to deliver that product before, during and after, to your intended customers.
Telling that story within your budget of your business is truly important. This, however, is still not enough. You really need to make sure your supply chain is strong. When you don't own your own factory and logistic company, all you have to rely on from your suppliers is their trust. Keep that relationship strong and like any good relationship, do not take it for granted.
It's been an amazing ride and this journey is still going strong. My original partner is no longer here with me. However, I am very grateful that my wife has taken up this challenge with me along with some other very important business partners. The road I have taken is well worth the experience, and something tells me it's only the beginning.
Steven Yu | Founder and Executive Creative Director | AvidUnion