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Growing a Business Branding future

How to Future-Proof your Brand

When you ask global leaders about the future of business, you might often hear responses that involve the words “crypto,” “metaverse,” or “NFTs.” While this might be true, it doesn’t exactly help retail store owners or independent brands practically plan for the future on the scale of a small business. So, in the spirit of forward-thinking, we asked some members of the CREOATE community, as well as some of our very own team members, for advice on the one thing they would do to “future proof” a brand today. How can artisan creators and quaint high-street shops alike implement tactics now to seal their success down the line and ensure long-term growth? Let’s find out. 

Hannah: Home County Candle Co.
Telling a story, either your brand’s story or the one’s your products tell, is only going to get more important. Tell the story of how your product will be used by your customer and how it relates to them. Not just “burn this candle in your home” but “lighting this candle will take 5 minutes out of your day to do something for you.” Tell your story, and not just once, but litter it through everything that you’re communicating. 

Therese: Small Business Collaborative
I think that sustainability isn’t going anywhere, so even if you’re not a sustainable brand, everyone is going to try to figure out how it fits in with their business and values and how to communicate that. We can all make little tweaks, like printing less invoices and sending an email instead. Stockists and consumers want to know what part you’re playing. Having that transparency is important. Additionally, story led and value based brands are what we’re going to see retailers continue to want. 

Hannah: CREOATE Content Marketing Manager
There are so many great things you can do to future-proof your business! On a practical note, I would say try to avoid relying too much on one marketing channel, especially if it’s content you don’t actually own (e.g. social media) or need to pay for (e.g. Google ads).

Things go wrong. Prices hike. Algorithms change. Our Instagram account was hacked in August, and we were never able to reach anyone at Instagram to help us recover it. If we had been reliant on Instagram for finding most of our new customers, it would have been pretty devastating.

That brings me on to two other important points: first, enable two factor authentication on everything to protect yourself and your business. And second, build a community as wonderful as the CREOATE community, who will go out of their way to support you if things ever do go wrong.

Jack: Paper Plane Designs
If you’ve got one hero product that you’re proud of and consistently sells well, it can be tempting to push everything else to reach that level. But I would suggest you just get behind that product and sell as much of it as you can and promote it as much as you can, because the more that gets seen, the more exposure that gets, the more people will find your other products naturally. Get behind that product and let it be the beacon that draws people in. 

Alice: CREOATE Senior Brand Partnerships Manager
If you’re a brand, produce unique products, and if you’re a retailer, stock unique products. It’s not that you have to come up with very obscure ideas, even if you make candles or soaps, find something that easily identifies your brand, whether it’s a unique story, package design, or twist, and run with it. 

Jae: Shop Michella
Hustle. If you have a lead, call them. If you have trade shows, attend them. Do whatever you can right now because it will return later. The phone call that you make today will come back to you and help you out sales wise or feedback wise down the road.

Tijo: CREOATE Marketing Manager
Traditional retailers are being squeezed out by changing consumer preferences and cost management. In order to stay relevant to the customers as their needs evolve the retailers should also be adaptable to that change by combining digital transformation to their business.

Anna: CREOATE Brand Partnerships Manager
For brands, I would say make sure you’re future-proofing your business by working on strong branding and keeping a consistent theme with product offerings.

Thank you to the voices of our team and community members for sharing your insight! What’s a piece of advice you’ve received (or what advice would you give to other small business owners) on how to “future-proof” your brand?

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