I am an Indie Brand Builder. My primary role is to serve as the Chief Marketing Officer of SoYoung, a brand of stylish lunch bags that started in our living room nearly 10 years ago. Since then, we’ve grown SoYoung into a 7 figure business with products that are sold all over the world including in about 500 North American retailers. We’ve been featured in Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, People Magazine, and on national US cable shows like The Today Show and The View.
When we started, we had no idea what we were doing.
Like many creative entrepreneurs, we started with very little industry knowledge and picked up everything as we went along. We had to learn about manufacturing processes and slowly build relationships with reliable agents and suppliers. We had to learn how to sell into retailers and build up our wholesale channel. We had to learn about e-commerce and how to create, manage and enhance our online store.
In the beginning, we had no formal business structures or processes in place. So we had to learn how to properly manage the business and move from reacting to issues to proactively planning objectives and eliminating ongoing issues permanently. In many cases, this meant implementing processes or software that automated various aspects of the business.
While I had some experience in marketing from my previous role running a creative agency, online marketing is so dynamic that we are constantly refining and adjusting our approach as new opportunities emerge.
So we’ve gradually come to accept that this is just a very complex business that we’re involved in. Everyone else is dealing with the same issues and many of them are succeeding, so we want to insure that we know what the most successful brands are doing so that we can emulate that.
The Key to Success as an Indie Brand Builder
The one thing we’ve always had is a creative vision and a willingness to learn by asking questions of others. By staying open, we’ve met a ton of other people like ourselves with whom we’ve developed strong relationships, shared our successes and defeats, as well as what works and what doesn’t.
This is what separates successful entrepreneurs from those who give up in defeat: the willingness work through tough challenges by being in community with others who have been there or are working through similar issues themselves.
Indie Brand Builder is a platform where I share the knowledge that we’ve acquired in building an independent brand over the past 10 years, and invite others into my ongoing journey of learning. Whether you’re just getting started in developing a product based brand, or are looking to build an existing brand, you’ll find a ton of useful information here, and it’s growing all the time.
We’re thrilled that you dropped by and if you’re interested in learning more about how to grow your brand and reach a global audience, we’d love to have you as part of our community. To join, just opt-in to one of our free offers and we’ll keep you posted on all of the new resources we are creating.