Today, it has become a big craze for individuals and companies to start an exciting new brand of products and dream of it being the next biggest thing to hit the market, whether that be a fashion or sports brand.
But, is starting a new brand really that easy or is it just a dream and something you only read about?
It is great to have a wide variety of brands on the market as it gives us plenty of choice when we look to purchase our favourite products.
But, unfortunately for many brands they seem to be a quick flash in the pan and come and go too often.
What is a brand?
A brand is a when you see a particular logo and you instantly recognise it for its product or service and you think about its quality and image in a certain way. The company will market their products in a way to give off the image they are looking for.
The Sidekick Boxing brand
When we launched Sidekick Boxing back in 2010, the social networking world was nowhere near like it is today, so starting a new brand of kickboxing equipment seemed quite original.
When we first saw the other brands on the market, they was all quite similar in design, so we wanted to be completely different, after all, what is the point of doing something the same as everyone else.
We took the modern style graffiti art design for our Sidekick logo and added the red and white colours which made it extremely striking. We wasn’t going to be missed!
Read our article about how we since have changed our brand logo ‘Time for a change’ here.
Nowadays, it is quite easy for people to start their own lines of merchandise as it has become very easy to source the products as opposed to manufacturing themselves. It is easy to see why people love the thought of having their own branded empire as it can bring huge financial success and a great sense of achievement seeing people wanting to wear your brand.
So, is it a bad thing that everyone wants their own brand or does it make it more exciting for your own brand to succeed?
We all start out with all the same goal in mind, to be the biggest selling fashion or sports brand, but sometimes we can be a bit optimistic with our goals or we end up diverting from our original path.
But, how hard is it to make a brand?
Let’s be honest, simply slapping a logo on something is just not going to cut the mustard. Creating a brand is one of the most challenging things you can do.
It is extremely difficult because its not just about growing the brand but also to keep the company profitable to keep it alive. It requires constant investment and advertising to keep your brand fresh in people’s minds.
However, the fact it is difficult makes it all the more rewarding. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.
It is like any long term investment, when your products are popular and valuable that is when you see the rewards. This could be a reason why many brands do not last as long because they want to see the success to early. YFS Magazine have given their top 10 list on why brands don’t seem to last and generally fail before the one year mark.
Daniel Knight, owner of Sidekick Boxing suggests:
“It is extremely challenging to create a solid brand. Initially you see results right away which is amazing, especially when you see your first sponsor using your equipment. However, you need to be consistent and keep plugging away.
You will have to be prepared to compete with the multi million pound companies in ways to cut into the market. This requires a strong strategy that will take time and will take many years for your brand to get established.”
In any market a brand needs to be recognised in the industry. For example, Sidekick couldn’t be the next biggest kickboxing brand without working with any kickboxers. Yes, we may of still developed fantastic products, but that will only take you so far. You need the products to be tested by the fighters themselves to review. After all, self-appraisal is no recommendation.
That is why we put our products to the test and worked with many professional kickboxing world champions. The feedback we have received on our quality is second to none.
We wanted to be the top leading brand of kickboxing equipment and nothing else.
Sidekick always strive to be better and better so we wanted to grow into other martial arts and have since worked with the best in MMA and Muay Thai. So, we have now become a house hold name in the martial arts industry.
This establishment does not come cheap, if anything it costs a fortune and that is something anyone starting a brand would need to consider.
It is important that you are starting a brand of products for the right reasons, not just to make money. Daniel Knight, the owner of Sidekick has been passionate about kickboxing and martial arts his whole life so he couldn’t imagine a life without it.
Something we have seen over the years is companies don’t grow steadily. They invest like mad for about a year and then the funds tend to run out and they lose the passion for it.
When you start your business the financial side of things is crucial. Your pricing needs to reflect your marketing and advertising efforts. Also, you need to see yourself positioned in the market.
The key to success is to work with the right people. It is important to hand pick your sponsors with the right image and in your industry rather than just collaborating with a celebrity and hoping everyone will buy your products.
As much as how each individual will play a vital role in growing your brand, solely relying on one individual could be asking a little too much and could be a bit frustrating if they are not delivering exactly what you need. So, ideally you need to work with multiple sponsors to endorse the brand and hit a wide audience.
As you can see creating a brand is a very challenging task to set out and this is why some companies set up online stores to sell already established brands as it is a way of selling high end value of equipment as opposed to building a brand and its value. Owning a store is better for a business who’s main objective is to start making money right away as they only having to focus on their marketing.
Brands tend to follow the popularity in the industry. When MMA was relatively new companies were starting out with either a MMA fightwear or fightgear brand, targeting on a selected range of MMA products. Boxing has grew massively over the past 5 years and brands are now focusing branding their products to suit that niche.
What is a fightwear brand?
Fightwear brands become in early days of MMA as certain apparel was needed to train or fight in MMA. Companies would have their own unique designs on rash guards, MMA shorts and t-shirts.
What is a fightgear brand?
A fightgear brand is a company that produce the equipment for combat sports. They may produce the MMA gloves, boxing gloves, shin guards and head guards. They may not produce training equipment like Thai kick pads and focus pads.
If you are thinking of starting a new brand of products, the most important thing is to be passionate about the industry. Then, do a bit of market research to see where you could see yourself in the market.
To learn more about business read our article ’10 years later: Evolving E-commerce’ here.