Are you excited to know about the secret formula I used to create dozens of million dollar brands in the last decade?
Today, when 90% of the startups struggle to survive, it may come across as a far reality when I talk about launching dozens successful brands and businesses reaching millions of dollars, and that too with a pretty simple formula. So, I hope I have got you curious about this exciting piece am about to reveal to create your own million dollar brands. But wait, before we get to the formula, let me take you back to where it all started.
I hail from an entrepreneurial family in India, and during my childhood I had seen my family get into multiple businesses, of which some tanked and some generated mediocre revenues in a long period. I had learnt 3 things during that phase, 1) We need to launch a killer product or offering to win in the intensely competitive marketplace, 2) We should De-risk ourselves by putting our eggs in multiple baskets and 3) It takes years of investment and hard work to establish and break even in a business, and a lifetime to create a million dollar enterprise.
And then I went on to complete my studies and join a renowned consumer organisation. As I moved into a role where I was driving the country business in some markets, I got an opportunity to launch a couple of brands from scratch, which is when I experienced and learnt something very powerful- Every brand we went to the market with did not actually start by thinking of what we wanted to deliver or how we wanted to differentiate ourselves or what our competition was doing, but it started with understanding which customer we wanted to serve, and then profiling the customer in relation to the categories we operated in. Then we went deep into identifying the need gap and that became the focal point for us to sketch the rest of game plan. I then moved to multiple industries and was amazed to see this theme work so consistently in every setup. It was like a clockwork mechanism, working beautifully to launch successful brands and changing the world for better.
There were times in the last decade where i have worked with bootstrapped startups and scaled them to Millions of dollars within months of launch, and guess what, the same consistent theme — Start with the identifying and understanding the customer and then begin the value creation process.
During my stint with Amazon, I saw this theme play out across the board and would love to quote Jeff Bezos here:
We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Over the last decade, the 3 myths i started with got completely broken with a new contrasting reality, 1) We need to start with customer and go deep to understand the customer need, 2) We need to focus our efforts to generate momentum and scale with agility and 3) Done right, we can put a self-powering mechanism in place which can create a Million dollar enterprise overnight!
This now brings us to the point you were waiting for. The million dollar brands game changer formula which led to this consistent success.
Discover the latent unfulfilled need of your customer which triggers an AHA reaction
I have seen umpteen number of startups falter at this very fundamental stage, as they get too obsessed with their product offering and get distracted from the very core of why they exist in the first place i.e. to fulfill an unsatiated latent need of the dream customer, for which they need to first connect at the emotional level with the customer to evoke a change in their state. Many brands geek out on their products and go to consumers with a technobabble around the product, and doesn’t really resonate with customers, leading to wastage of advertising dollars and eventual fall. This stage of our formula really starts with getting deep into the lifestyle and mind of our dream customer through observation, surveys, interviews and different forms of research as suited for the product. This helps us identify the cues which we should further split test with customers and come up with our winning insight which ignites that deep emotional reaction from our dream customer.
Describe the benefits of your solution and connect with the new reality
Once we have got the customers into listening state with the right hook, its time to tell our best story and take them on a journey where they get inspired with the new reality and position how our product uniquely helps them attain that outcome.
Decode why they should believe in your solution
Now you have got the customers into a state where they are ready for the new reality, but you still need to prove to them that your vehicle (product offering) is the one which while help them with the transition. There are multiple levers which can be used at this stage from magic words (Proven xx System, xx Formula, xx Method), giving them a reason to believe which can be via addressing certain biases like authority (e.g. Pediatrician endorsement for a baby product), likability (e.g. being able to resonate with the hero of your story) etc., Testimonials from people who have tried your offering and achieved the new reality and more…
Using this formula I have launched products ranging from a shoe polish to a nutrition supplement to clothing brands and it has always worked. The key is to start with the customer, which if done right really creates a tailwind for everything else to fall in place to create your own million dollar brands.
At this stage let me also caution you against a pitfall many businesses get into while starting on the right track i.e. identifying how they can delight customers by offering a lower priced product, and burn the moolah on getting the product to customer, while bleeding on the overall business and the funds dry up putting the whole business in a vicious cycle.
Don’t get me wrong, if it makes commercial sense to create the cheapest product for the customer while delivering superior product, that may be a sweet spot, but there is no strategic advantage to being the cheapest with no funds or be in the race to be second cheapest. What is important is to create a proposition where a customer sees more value in the offering, and becomes your USP and a blue ocean to drive the momentum of your business.
I hope this inspires you for your next venture or customer offering, and plays a positive role as you work towards creating your own Million Dollar Brands. Do let me know how you found this article and feel free to connect and reach out to me for any support.