Starting a new Brand

Many dream of starting their own company, being their own boss, and to finally control their destiny, it’s a life changing path that is not intended for everyone.

It can happen early in life, just out of school, or when you face a midlife crisis. Sometimes, it’s just because you’ve been fired and are considered a “has-been” by job placement companies, simply because being 40 is already thought of as “old and replaceable.”

Whatever the reason, you are ready, you have the idea, the concept, the drive, the passion, and a little money.

You know you’re smart, you do your market surveys, customer focus groups; you identify the niche that you think will be the key to your success. You know that there will be big sacrifices, but the decision is taken … you are going to do it!

Then the long intellectual process begins: What will be the name? Who will design the logo? How will you let the world know about your fabulous brand?

Here are the essential steps to take:

  1. Your name, logo, and integrity of your brand become the true foundation of your business. Work with professionals — that’s an absolute necessity … seriously! Well chosen partners, friends and advocates will be your best investment. Be focused, as it’s easy to get sidetracked and want to do everything.
  2. Build a great team around you. Delegate!
  3. Think ahead about financing, because you will burn a substantial amount of money before being profitable and banks are not there at the beginning. They will ask twice about guaranteed assets, and few will be willing to lend to you. Only a limited number will see your vision and work with you to reach the “Grail”.
  4. Be ready to accept failure, to learn from your mistakes, to never give up and to never lose your optimism. If you don’t believe in your success, it will never happen.
  5. Be stubborn. This will never be easy. Your family, inner circle of friends, even your best advocates will sometimes doubt you, but hold firm and stay the course.
  6. Focus on quality and customer satisfaction and never underestimate your marketing budget. This is the key to successful sales.
  7. If you are targeting an international market, be prepared to understand the culture of each country, it’s essential to immerse yourself in the subtle variations. As an example: Even with a common language, a Parisian from France has a completely different perception of life than a French speaking Canadian.
  8. In this era of social media and multi-platform networks, video communication is crucial. However, do not neglect the power of human contact — build on it, pick up the phone, shake hands, connect in real life as this, more than anything else, will strengthen your relationship with your suppliers and your customers.
  9. If you succeed, and only a minority will, you will look back at all those long nights, stressful moments, calls where you had to say the check is coming, arguments with your life partner explaining that it will work … after all this you will know, without doubt, that the totality of your efforts was all worthwhile.

Starting a new brand is not for everyone. You must be able to live on the edge, take risks and be strong enough to fail. If you fail, this doesn’t mean you will never succeed again. Many of the world’s greatest brands have been the result of failure upon failure. But, as every dedicated entrepreneur knows, “Fortune favors the brave.”

Epilogue

Starting a new brand is the most exhilarating endeavor a person can undertake, because it’s possible to project ones whole identity and soul into the unknown. Being true to your vision is a way to achieve a kind of immortality. This is your chance to contribute something of quality and to leave something of worth behind.

Your passion will inspire future generations, and that’s what success is all about. Be bold, live your dream!

First published March 14, 2014.

www.dardant.com

Dardant is a European Haute Couture brand, specialized in made to measures equestrian apparel, footwear, saddles and riding accessories focused on fashion & technology. Dardant’s acclaimed products are created by riders and thrive on delivering Equestrian merchandise on the cutting edge of design.

Dardant Equestrian products are currently available in more than 12 countries around the world. All products are Bespoke in Europe by Master Artisans.

After an impressive Brand launch, International Flagship Stores are scheduled to open in 2016 in London, Paris & Milano and will carry the Luxury Haute Couture Fashion Collections of Dardant.

Should you be interested in our Shop-in-Shop opportunities worldwide please write to: equestrians@dardant.com

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