This year, my partner and I (who six years ago, also agreed to be my wife) have had the privilege of looking back on a decade of success in business together. As a C-level consulting agency for luxury CPG brands, our work has allowed us the opportunity to positively impact founders and brand managers from around the globe.
When we started this company, it was with the understanding that we were up against serious competition. From a top level view, our competitors appeared to have everything we didn’t-investors, awards, expensive offices, and staff ready to schmooze a potential client at every major industry event. Whatever you needed, they said they did it. However, we weren’t looking to just be another ‘agency’. We wanted to be better.
A Reliable Guide
As we began reaching out to potential clients, we noted that the business of communications itself had become convoluted-either from poorly trained staff, a lack of proficiency needed to understand what impacted each client’s bottom line, or simply bad business practices. On more than one occasion, prospects shared horror stories of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a marketing agency, only to end up with less than they expected, or worse-nothing to show for the investment.
For larger, established organizations, choosing the wrong agency partner was simply the cost of doing business. For emerging brands, however, this type of decision could make or break their business, as the consulting agency usually had a direct impact on their bottom line. To be successful, they had to choose the right navigator to get them where they needed to go, a dependable partner who knew better than they did how to chart the right course.
A Fast Track to Brand Equity
In order to stand out, we had to do something different. We had to establish ourselves not only as good marketers, but as a trustworthy resource that could provide real clarity for our clients. We had to understand their industry and competition even more than they did, so we could help them achieve their goals. They needed a partner capable of clarifying the path that other successful brands had taken, and envision how their brand could then compete in that space.
As a team, we made it our goal to establish value for our clients, and offer something no agency could: the ability to fast-track industry awareness for our client’s products/services, driving credibility and brand lift that might take others months, if not years to curate. It wasn’t long before the second largest beverage retailer in the country, and the world’s largest spirits supplier, both became early clients.
Clarity and Vision Create Results
What allowed us to stand out? First, we built out a network of influencers around the globe, in order to provide turn-key strategies that would reach millions of customers for our clients, leveraging partnerships with some of the largest publications, bloggers, social influencers, and industry events in the country. This meant faster credibility, increased brand equity, and visibility for their products and services. It also directly impacted their bottom line, by creating value for more than just our clients, but also the retailers that bought from them.
Next, we learned how to deep dive into specific market opportunities, trends, competition, and consumer preferences and purchasing habits, as well as storytelling on packaging-an area where our own competition was weak, and generally had to outsource to those with greater skill sets. This process wasn’t overnight, and it required intense commitment, but the result was a process that taught us how to evaluate a brand, clearly see what was needed, and then create strategies to stand out in the market-something we’re now able to do for our management clients, and the brands we advise on a daily basis.
Telling Stories That Sell
In CPG, we knew that attempting to be all things to all people meant guaranteed failure, or the need to spend millions each year on advertising. The more we could make their story and purpose connect with buyers, the better they would understand why they were the right brand for their lifestyle.
We found consistently proven methods to accomplish this, helping our clients clarify and strengthen their voice. This also established purpose for when and why to make packaging changes, eliminating the guesswork in rebranding and new product launches, and creating equity on the shelf to help them stand out from the competition.
The Ultimate Customer Experience
As a founder, choosing the right partner agency-for marketing, public relations, management training, or especially to advise on something as critical as when and why to rebrand-can be challenging, if not downright terrifying.
In a recent conversation, one of our clients revealed that before hiring us, their team had hesitated to trust another agency. They’d been burned before, and it took a great deal of due diligence for them to trust other firm again. The owner shared that, after working together with us, their team felt like they had ‘a 24/7, in-house marketing partner that knew more about our operations than many of our staff’. Another shared that our time with his team was the ‘best experience with a brand consulting agency we ever had’.
We’re honored to have impacted their businesses so positively, and can only hope to continue to do so as we grow in breadth and depth as industry leaders.
Our commitment to our clients’ success is a big reason why we do what we do, and we appreciate it when they realize our level of dedication to them. If your goal as a founder is to compete in CPG or retail, and you plan to stay in business for a decade or more, then we’d like to pay it forward to you.
This month, we’re releasing a free white paper, detailing Ten Vital Steps for CPG Success. When put into practice correctly, these steps will set any brand-from startup, to SMB, to enterprise level corporation-on the path to success.
If you’re interested in growing your brand to compete in the US markets, fill out our contact form here, and we’ll be happy to personally send you a copy.