29 Mar Battling Through Infancy
Let’s talk infancy for a moment here; by which, of course, I mean the earliest stages of your business or product conception.
If you’re at all curious as to why I’ve titled my new book, The Birth of a Brand, instead of something more along the lines of, say, How to Build a Successful Business Overnight, or 10 Easy Steps to Becoming Stupid Rich, it’s because I truly believe that any, and every business, undergoes phases of maturation much like we, as people, do.
And that means there’s inevitably a fussy infancy and toddler stage that we must power on through before it begins to stand on its own, and carry its own weight.
After all – you don’t expect your newborn child to obtain a college degree and begin earning his/her own income overnight, do you?
There’s a process to these things.
It is absolutely crucial during these early stages that you tirelessly tend to your business – much as you would an infant child – in order to nurture it into fruition.
This means a lot of personal sacrifice; it means having to rethink what you thought you knew about business and entrepreneurship, and rolling with the punches.
Business is definitely a Darwinist field.
You’ve got to adapt to each and every situation that presents itself.
During the infancy stage of my Ugg Australia product, I made the mistake of attempting to break into the mainstream market too early, too directly. I hadn’t yet learned that building a brand takes time – I was young, restless, and bright-eyed; I didn’t want to raise my product, I just wanted my fortune now.
Looking back on my youthful optimism and relentless endeavors – which are recounted in much better detail in my book, The Birth of a Brand – I can’t help but laugh.
I wasn’t so much a caretaker and father to my brand, than I was an overzealous farmer wanting to sell my prized goose before it even laid its first golden egg.
That said, it sure took me for a whirlwind.
I was frustrated that my Ugg Australia boots were not making the huge splash on Americans in the way that I predicted. Most consumers saw my product as too fragile, or too delicate for everyday use, not truly understanding the durability and versatility of sheepskin.
So that became my next goal.
I had to change the lens through which my product was being viewed.
One step a time, I had to adjust my scope and shoot for a smaller audience; a niche audience.
So I figured, what better an audience to target than the one I felt a part of – local surfers.
After making a few adjustments to my sales approach – namely forgoing selling directly to Nordstrom without a demand, and photographing up and coming surfers wearing my Ugg Australia products – I finally began to see an increase in mainstream appeal a little at a time.
Unfortunately my product was still mainly selling during the colder winter season, which meant during the spring and summer, I had to keep myself afloat by picking up odd jobs here and there.
And that my friends, is where the personal sacrifice comes in.
Much like how you’re bound to lose many nights of restful sleep and carefree weekends with your mates when bringing a newborn into your life – expect the same level of change to hit you when you begin your business empire.
Fortunately, in The Birth of a Brand, I not only help outline and prepare you for this drastic (and inevitable!) phase of your business, but I also provide esoteric insight into what to expect and how to best adapt to your ever-changing consumer market.
Fear not my friends, infancy is but one step along the path to success – and with my book at your side, I am confident we can get through this together.