Sustainable businesses are on the rise, with the increase of coverage about climate change and innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint becoming more widely known. But it is evident that some businesses are struggling to keep up and have no clue where to start.
It is important to distinguish the brand’s mission before setting out any guidelines for products and services and means you as a business owner will have a fundamental understanding of your business without having to think. Purpose driven, ethical marketing is the way forward.
Messaging and branding is important for the growth of any business, and even more so when it comes to ethical start-ups. Many brands are under scrutiny when their messaging becomes wishy washy and negative media starts overtaking the benefits.
Pre-launch marketing aims to raise awareness and build growth around the brand before the launch of the products or service. It is also a good tactic to understand your audience and to perfect the message, to see what works best for your brand.
Therefore researching and constructing the messaging at the beginning, prior to launch, is the most effective way to start an ethical business. So here are the best steps for preparing your business using Confident Tiger as an example.
Research should be key to starting ANY business, right? It is the process of how we can gather data on the market and our ideal consumers. Without this, how can we position ourselves in the market to compete and become a unique stand-out brand?
Starting with surveys and digital analysis of the market is a great way to start understanding the key problems your ideal clients have and how you can solve them. What are other businesses failing to fix?
Setting up a brand proposition is your next step after researching the ins and outs of the market. This will lay out the groundwork for your brand vision, values and mission, to refer back to at any time and should be at the core of your marketing plan.
It should be a constantly evolving document that you add to and change as your brand changes. Don’t feel you have to get everything detailed at this point, but start scoping out your ideas.
One way to showcase your initial mission is by creating your website pre-launch as a place for your audience to land for lead generation. This landing page can simply state what your brand is with a single call-to-action for example sign up, buy now or learn more.
Becoming visible before launching any products, allows consumers to sign up to email marketing, where they can receive brand updates and can opt-in for newsletters. Pre-launch Confident Tiger had an average of 15 sign-ups a day and a total of 1,000 people fully engaged before even having a product offering.
These are the crucial supportive customers, who will follow the journey of your brand through the startup process to launch. It also means that when products are finally launched, there will be immediate engagement as the process has been planned to include market and consumer research.
Once you have set up a landing page, social media is the next best way to create and engage with your audience, reflecting your values and mission. Posts should be targeted to your ideal personas, to ensure interaction between you and the audience can flow and enable conversation.
Alongside creating social media profiles, low cost ads on these platforms can drive traffic before you even have products. This sort of traction will enable consumers to engage with your brand and become emotionally invested, captivating as many followers as possible right from the beginning.This is where you can build on the relationship, to educate consumers throughout the process for example, Confident Tiger used social media strategy to pull an audience using educational material and videos. The brand also used this platform to gain valuable data from these followers through a survey 3-6 months before officially launching.
Once you have a prototype of a product or service, you can start contacting nano-influencers, who have a following between 1,000 and 10,000. These influencers generally have high engagement with their followers and they themselves are looking out for opportunities to grow.
Contacting this type of influencer will allow you to increase word-of-mouth marketing for your brand. There are various different deals you can do with influencers including sending a free sample or they may have a charge for specific posts/ stories, usually depending on their following and engagement rate.
Confident Tiger collaborated with a few nano-influencers, providing an arrangement to send a measuring tape and a sustainable bra once produced in return for two reels: one with the tape and one with the bra.
Sufficient market and consumer research will allow for a ready engaging audience to build on once products have been launched. In the build up to your launch, you can constantly update your existing audience by sending emails, keeping them updated with what’s happening on social and giving them exclusive behind the scenes insights. This makes your audience feel like part of a secret society and builds loyalty fast – especially if you can get them involved in the product or service development.
In the meantime, you can engage with and create related content on social media and blogs that will increase sign ups and will increase interaction to ensure you have the ability to gain loyal customers from the beginning.
About Clare Martin, Founder, Confident Tiger
Confident Tiger was launched by sustainable business expert Clare Martin, Director of Blue Cactus Digital: a digital marketing agency that works with eco businesses to have a better impact on the world. Her marketing background means she sees a lot of brand messaging from businesses big and small. Unfortunately, this also means she can see a lot of what’s missing in the world too.
When her bra broke mid-lockdown, she could not find one that was flattering for her body shape, padded to offer a lot of support and that was made from materials that didn’t have a significant negative impact on the environment. After a deep dive into the way brands source their materials and manufacture and deliver their products, she found huge gaps when it came to ethics and sustainability. So, Clare decided to create her own and Confident Tiger was born.