Whether you’re already running your own consumer product brand or are just in the planning phase, the environment has never been better to launch an indie brand – and you’re perfectly positioned to take advantage of the incredible opportunities available to entrepreneurs today.
Why there’s never been a better time to launch an Indie Brand:
Access to capital
With interest rates at all-time lows, capital is cheap. Combine that with the rise of crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter (for innovative pre-launch products to raise manufacturing costs) and Circle-up (which helps fast-growing consumer product brands connect with angel investors), and there is virtually no reason why a great idea shouldn’t get a chance.
Check out: How to Raise Capital on the CircleUp Crowdfunding Platform
Lower barriers to entry in manufacturing
While manufacturing can still be one of the most challenging parts of launching a new consumer product, things have come a long way. The transformation of countries like China into manufacturing powerhouses has lead to increased competition, which in turn has meant that many factories are willing to offer lower minimums and more flexible terms to smaller brands. In addition, global platforms and communication technology have made it easier to source and correspond with potential manufacturing partners.
Check out How to Manufacture Products in China
A yearning for authenticity
In a world of mass-produced products pumped out by faceless corporations, more and more people crave goods and experiences that feel authentic and unique. With a few notable exceptions, the sheer size and character of mass brands prevent them from competing with smaller brands in terms of creating deep, meaningful relationships with customers.
Read: The five qualities that define Indie Brands
I once ran a digital agency that was building e-commerce sites way back in 2004. It was a complete slog, as EVERYTHING had to be built from scratch. Today, however, cloud-based e-commerce solutions like Shopify allow you to launch a sophisticated e-commerce site in a matter of hours. In addition, nearly every system required to efficiently run a small business is available as cloud software that can be instantly switched on, and in many cases integrated with existing software, to create a high level of automation that rivals the 7 and 8 figure ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems of corporate behemoths.
Read: 6 Essential Cloud Applications Powering our Small Business
The online consumer
Not long ago, many consumers were wary of purchasing products online. Today, however, most purchase journeys begin with an online search, and an increasing percentage end with the buyer simply ordering through an e-commerce site.
While this is bad news for traditional retailers, it is great news for brands who design and sell original products. You now have the potential to own the customer relationship from beginning to end and capture much higher margins by selling directly through your own e-commerce site.
Read: 9 ways to increase e-commerce traffic and conversions
The ability to reach a global audience
When you combine the potential to transcend geographical borders via the internet, with international logistics companies that can warehouse and deliver your products anywhere in the world, there are virtually no barriers to taking your brand global.
You no longer need a global sales team to sell your products in foreign countries. In fact, our e-commerce business regularly has foreign distributors requesting our permission to represent our products in their homeland.
Keep going and growing!
So, while running a business is never easy, try to maintain the perspective that we are living in an era of unbelievable opportunity. Seize the day and do whatever you need to do to make your product idea successful!