So, you’re starting a new company. What are the first things you should do? How can you build firm foundations for your growth?
This is the story of the birth of a new company.
If you’re not involved in the garment industry, you won’t be aware of how important having a quality label produced for the garment is – on time and within budget.
Tight Margins, Immense Logistical Challenges
Unless the right label is available at the correct point in the garment production process, garments will arrive late in shops and may miss the season they’re intended for.
For retailer margins to be protected and brand owners to ensure the integrity of their brand, good management of label design, production and shipping is vital.
This industry operates at high speed, all around the world, twenty-four hours a day.
Birth of a Company
So when a British manufacturer devised a new way of managing this process effectively, using in-house developed web software, the question was: ‘how to bring this to market most effectively?’
‘It may be unusual to bring in high-powered help right at the birth of a startup, but we knew it was the right thing to do’, said Peter Needle, managing director for the new company. ‘We had a limited window in which to launch our label management solution and take a leading position in the market. So we sought the advice of good people with deep experience in software and B2B marketing.’
The company needed a name. ‘We developed some alternative names, but I always think we should recommend the most appropriate one to our client’, said Ian Guiver, managing director of axongarside. ‘They’re paying us not only to be creative, but to use our experience of what works, and to encourage them to take brave steps when necessary.’
Of the options presented, axongarside’s proposal of Segura was the clear favourite, and was immediately chosen.
First Things First: Define the Value Proposition
But I’m telling the story out of sequence. Before naming the company, its value proposition had to be defined. I led this first part of the project.
Being able to say precisely why someone should choose what you’re offering, over all of the alternatives, is fundamental to good marketing.
To do that well, you really have to dig into the real concerns of the people you’re selling to, and see the world from their point of view.
How the Product Will Be Bought
The next problem I solved was how the software should be packaged and priced. By understanding the needs of different types of user, functionality in the web-based software was grouped into packages that would make sense to those users, and match what they needed to do.
Ian Hepworth, technology and operations director at Segura, commented, ‘Understanding how the product needed to be packaged for our users wasn’t just important for marketing. It really helped our software development. It was clear to us how the product should operate within those packages and we were working with a clear idea of what users would expect.’
I devised a tiered pricing structure that would allow a customer’s requirements to be catered for in the short and long term, with paths defined for them to take on additional functionality as they needed it.
‘Above all,’ said Peter Needle, ‘the pricing structure was simple for anyone to understand, yet it enabled us to sell our offering at a fair price that matched the customer’s requirements.
‘We’d discussed alternative pricing plans for a long time, without reaching a conclusion. Matthew brought clarity, and ensured that we are now able to get paid for the full value of what we’re selling.’
Turning the Value Proposition into Brand Identity
axongarside now came to the forefront to develop the brand identity for Segura, building on the work done on value proposition, packaging and pricing.
The creative work was based on researching what prospective customers would be familiar with in their working environment, and identifying the key elements that would communicate the core values of Segura to an international audience.
‘This was exactly what was needed for us to be in tune with what our customers would like to see,’ said Ian Hepworth, ‘And yet, different enough from other companies in the market such that our new approach would come across.’
It was time to take the new identity out into the world, on a new website designed and built by axongarside. The website is designed to offer multiple pathways for people to get to know what Segura offers them, and then encourage them to find out more.
The website provides valuable backup to the sales approach, allowing the download of brochures and fact sheets. For customers, it also provides a portal through which they can manage their Segura account.
‘We have come a long way in a very short time,’ said Peter Needle. ‘With the help of goldsbrough and axongarside, we have put Segura on very firm foundations from which we to expect to rapidly grow.’