…None of these entrepreneurs had a full vision of where their businesses would ultimately go. But they had energy, curiosity, courage, and a willingness to adapt to new circumstances. They were hungry to provide opportunities for their associates, their investors, their customers, and themselves. Their stories offer valuable lessons on how to build a startup into an iconic brand.
From the outset, all three men viewed themselves as serving in multiple roles: founder, custodian, brand manager, chief financial officer, recruiter, and head of consumer insights. They operated on shoestrings.
These entrepreneurs knew that you need to make the big leap for consumers. You need to provide them with a reason to buy and a reason to brag to their friends. The lesson: entrepreneurs in the creation phase should expect novel ideas to fall on deaf ears.
For the budding entrepreneur, a good starting point is to create a qualitative understanding of market drivers. You need to get into the head of the consumer and be able to tell her story. It is both art and science. The purpose of this map of users and usage is to define dissatisfactions, hopes, dreams, and fears. Winning solutions respond to the distinct and specific needs of a group of consumers.
Originally Posted: What It Takes to Build a Startup Into a Brand [Harvard Business Review]
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