Many brands adopting D2C brands have been growing ever since the pandemic hit the Indian market. With lockdown restrictions, people relied on online shopping including basic necessities like groceries and everyday essentials. The change in consumer behaviour also led many brands to adopt the D2C model. There’s a lot more going on behind building a D2C brand starting right from getting the idea, doing the right PR, the right marketing, getting angel investors etc.
On our episode of the Forever in Motion podcast with Sumit Suneja (Founder of Headway), we have Arman Sood, Co-founder of Sleepy Owl sharing his thoughts and learnings while building his co-owned coffee brand. Arman listed 5 important steps or learnings while building his own brand at a consumer base and those are:
- Idea- Every business is born from an idea whether it’s a product you are selling or a service you are giving. It defines the direction your business is going to take.
- Having co-founders- It’s beneficial to have co-founders where different minds come together with different ideologies, different ways of thinking about things with different strengths. More than that, you have someone to bank on, cry and laugh with you and the journey becomes more fun.
- A solid team- A business cannot be built by one individual alone and you need a team for that. A team of individuals right from your janitor up to your senior-most in the company, everybody has a part to play and each of them should be respected as they are contributing to your success.
- Stick to brand value- You need to know what your brand stands for, what you want to do or create, what you want to look and feel like and just stick to your core. Focus on who you are, what you are building, how will you succeed and learn from that.
- Patience and persistence- Everything takes time and you need patience and persistence for things to work. Don’t give up to early, have the patience, put your head down do the work that is necessary. It has to be inbuild into your personality and translate to your team.
“Make sure that your mental state stays okay, you have the right co-founders, you have the right team, the right market research, everything comes together, but the bigger point driving home, there are multiple combinations of things and not one thing, everything will come through if you just keep forever in motion”- Sumit Suneja
Your business is most likely to do well if the marketing is done right. Strategic marketing will most likely result in the growth of your business. There is a need to educate customers, have the right communications, keep them engaged and most importantly building trust which will result in a life-long relationship. Arman believes marketing is the most crucial part of a business and is divided into a couple of things, one of which is brand identity, be it the name or the logo.
“The name itself is an oxymoron, it’s catchy, we’ve got a lot of feedback that people love the name, it’s catchy, easy to remember. So marketing starts from there, from the moment a customer hears-oh have you heard of the Sleepy Owl? That’s the marketing beginning.”- Arman Sood
Arman also insists on appreciating and understanding two things of marketing- one is Performance Marketing that includes advertising on Google, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms where one can optimize them, spend wisely on these platforms, get returns and acquire new customers. The other is PR where you have to make noise at the right places among the right people, be published in the right places, be on the right podcasts, get people to hear more about your story.
Apart from all these steps and roles, one needs funds to make all these happen. And especially for startups, fundraising is important, funds needed to be raised in order to achieve the financial agenda or financial business goals. Apart from Bank loans, venture capital or angel investor is a growing opportunity for funding businesses. But convincing investors may not be easy.
Sumit believes that there is so much supply of capital, today the world is flipping on its head, what was there 10 years ago is not here today, there’s more capital than the worthy companies. He says one should be worthy and anybody who wants to double their money in a year or two or four times their money in the next 5 years or even more would be wanting to sit with that person on that board.
“Better be worthy and be it through reference or open emails, first be worthy of that capital.”-Sumit Suneja
You do need capital to run your business, pay for the production of goods and services and create profit. From the economists' perspective, capital is key to the functioning of any unit, be it a family, a small business, a large corporation, or an entire economy. But what builds capital?
“Profit is not what builds capital but it’s the value in your business”- Sumit Suneja
“You have to ensure what you are building is sustainable- your unit economics have to make sense, your cash flow needs to be managed well, you need to be running a sound business, your business principles and economics of it should be sound, that’s more important.”- Arman Sood
Catch up with Arman Sood and Sumit Suneja for more tips and learnings in building a D2C brand on our Forever in Motion podcast.