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Sourcing Journal Podcast: Episode 11 The Making of a Consumer Brand in Today’s Climate

New brands seem to pop up all the time. The question is which ones will last. While there’s no set roadmap to success, there are a few truisms that separate the innovators with legs from the also-rans with limited runway.

For this episode, we’re joined by Avani Patel of the Ember Company, formerly Trendseeder, which provides a platform for start-up businesses to pair fashion expertise with business acumen. The program gives entrepreneurs the educational, advisory and networking opportunities they need in order to create sustainable brands.

Here, Patel shares what it takes to launch a new brand in the current consumer climate, how to identify white space in the market and what new companies bring to the retail landscape that many established players can learn from.

Below are some excerpts from the conversation:

Patel on whether new brands can only be successful by going after so-called white space:

“I do think that you can go mainstream by changing product, by changing brand story, which is what the Naadam’s and the Everlane’s of the world are doing. Because today’s consumer is looking for something different. They’re no longer just interested in a product because of the brand name, they want something that aligns with their values. As you’re seeing that shift in the ways that consumers are thinking about brands, there’s definitely an opportunity to take market share from mainstream brands in mainstream categories.”

Patel on the keys to building a client base in the current economy:

“Everything comes down to product. You have to have an amazing product out there. I think if you don’t, somebody will purchase once but they’re never coming back. The second is brand and story. I think you have to have a story that resonates with that particular consumer. If it doesn’t, there are enough brands out there that are telling that story, where the consumer will go to that brand because they believe in the values that brand stands for. The third is value proposition. When I say value proposition, I’m not saying it has to be inexpensive. I’m not saying it should be something that’s cheap. When I say value proposition, the end consumer has to feel like they’re getting something that’s worth more than what they’re paying for.”

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This podcast episode is made possible by Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit company funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers, and whose mission is to increase the demand and profitability of cotton. Discover What Cotton Can Do.

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