In yesterday’s post we considered how important it is for a recent company formation to differentiate their brand’s positioning, if they are to compete with bigger brands in the same market. We concluded that, if your proposition is compelling and your communication creative, success is possible. In today’s post we talk to Graham Cox, the CEO of online glasses e-tailer Glasses 4 U, who formed his company in the context of overwhelming competition and yet has emerged with a substantial market share. Here, he gives his top tips on how his strategy can work for you.
Change the consumer’s perception
“Historically, consumers purchased glasses from two places; their local opticians or one of the well established high street retailers. However, a couple of years ago the market changed. Customers, while still caring about their eye health, started to feel they weren’t getting good value for money and – as a consequence, the market became more competitive as all of the leading opticians embarked on aggressive marketing campaigns. This market context compounded by the impact of the recession motivated me to take the optical retail market to the next step – and Glasses 4 U was formed.”
“As a start up brand in a sector dominated by well known and established brands, the main challenge was creating a brand that encouraged the consumer to change their perception of how to buy glasses. We were never going to be able to capture some elements of the market so we decided not to direct a huge amount of resource into trying. Instead, we began to segment the market and target our advertising to the demographic we felt we would most appeal to and began communicating with them via a media they understood – online.”
“Very early on in the start up phase, we knew that we could never hope to target the mass market. Therefore we made the strategic decision to only advertise via mediums we could dominate and online provided us with that platform.”
“While we did concentrate on Google AdWords, we also embraced viral marketing and ventured into Facebook applications.”
“Though the start up phase was difficult, nothing compared to the challenge of actually bringing my product and proposition to market.” Says Cox. “I gave up my job and the security of the steady income that came with it and in that context rejection was difficult to take. I would say that the fundamental reason for our success is the total and utter belief we had from the point of company formation that our brand would be a success. That confidence allowed us to bridge that massive gap between us and our larger competitors.”