Launching a brand is a thrilling yet daunting journey, especially for first-time founders who are navigating the entrepreneurial waters with limited resources. This blog is a guide for those bootstrapped founders, CEOs or CMOs of scaling retail or CPG brands, and investors looking to write the first check into a promising brand. Today, we focus on helping the bootstrapped founder move from launch euphoria to sustained success.
The Launch Honeymoon: A Fleeting Joy Imagine this: You've left a stable job, fueled by the vision of your "next big idea" in CPG, DTC, or Retail. You've done the legwork – R&D, sample testing, setting up your Shopify store, and even a successful launch day buoyed by friends, family, and colleagues. But then, the initial buzz fades, and sales plummet. Welcome to the harsh reality post-launch, where your brand is now one among many, vying for attention in a competitive market.
From Panic to Plan: The Post-Launch Strategy This scenario is common, yet many founders are unprepared for the sudden drop in attention and sales. The key is not to panic but to have a strategic plan in place. This plan should not just focus on the launch day but on sustained growth and customer acquisition strategies for the days and months following the launch.
Pre-Launch Testing: Validating Your Idea Consider a pre-launch test to gauge market interest. This involves setting up a landing page with a fake brand and using paid ads to drive traffic. The goal is to understand customer response and validate demand before investing further. This step can save time, effort, and capital from being sunk into a non-viable idea.
Post-Launch Essentials: Building for the Long Haul The true measure of success lies in what happens after the launch. Here's a roadmap to guide you through this critical phase:
Landing Page and Offer: Ensure your landing page is compelling and clearly communicates your product's value. Offers like discounts or gifts with purchase can boost conversion rates.
Organic Content Marketing: Leverage social media platforms for organic reach and engagement. Test different content types to see what resonates with your audience.
Review Collection: Genuine customer reviews are crucial for building social proof. Send personalized emails requesting reviews a few days after product delivery.
Paid Ads Strategy: Invest in ads with a clear understanding of your audience and targeted messaging. Use tools like Microsoft Clarity to refine your landing page based on user interactions.
Constant Iteration and Testing: Keep refining your approach based on data and feedback. Adjust your ads, content, and landing page for optimal performance.
Upsells and Cross-sells: Explore ways to increase your average order value through strategic product placement and offers.
Conclusion The path from zero to one for DTC founders is filled with challenges, but with the right strategy, it's achievable. Remember, retail and wholesale, influencer marketing, and other growth tactics are just the beginning. This guide is a starting point for your entrepreneurial journey, providing the foundational steps for achieving your first significant milestones in e-commerce.