The Ultimate Guide to Launching, De-risking, and Scaling Your Growing Brand: Unleash Your Product’s Maximum Potential in 2024

Manufactured's Top Twelve Tips To Empower The Year Ahead

Entrepreneurship, product manufacturing and brand building is a dynamic journey where innovation and opportunity are met with challenges and risks. In 2024, the key to success for brand merchants lies in aligning with the right partners and utilizing a holistic approach to production, from inception to market domination. 

In today’s age, technology and connectivity have made it easier than ever before to bring products to market. However, with the ever-changing complexity of world events, supply chains, and market conditions, launching and scaling a product brings new challenges. Fortunately, brands don’t have to go it alone. Working with the right teams, tools, and services will streamline the process and prepare you for rapid growth.

This guide will take you through twelve essential tips brands can leverage to ensure success in the evolving marketplace. These steps highlight why it’s critical to choose partners that can help simplify, streamline, and de-risk product manufacturing from sourcing to the shelf. So, let’s dive in and discover how brands can unleash a product’s maximum potential in this transformational time!

1. Tailor Products That Align With Your Brand

Modern Approaches to Development and Design

Your brand identity is the bedrock of your business. It’s the first thing your customers encounter, and it needs to resonate with them. Partnering with Manufactured enables brands to tap into our preferred partner network offering a range of creative services to help brands design products that strengthen their brand identity and resonate with their targeted audience. 

Modern Brands is a valued partner within our network, offering expertise in product development and design. Their services encompass modern approaches to product development, ensuring that brands can create products that not only meet market demands but also reflect their unique brand identity. By collaborating with MFD+Modern Brands, businesses can benefit from innovative design strategies and development processes that are tailored to their specific brand requirements.

2. Data at the Speed of Business

Real-Time Insights Drive Success

The data and intelligence revolution will continue to drive manufacturing’s evolution in 2024.  To stay in the fast lane, rising brands must embrace and leverage data to stay competitive.  

With the pace of technological change accelerating every year, it’s critical for brands to secure partners and platforms that can capture real-time data, and analytics in order to leverage key metrics that will optimize their production processes, reduce waste, and improve overall efficiency.  Manufactured’s platform, vast network and partner ecosystem provides a wealth of up-to-the-minute information and insights into supply chain operations, and essential market intelligence that allows brands to adapt to changes quickly. Through the various tools, platforms, and datasets, brands can access unprecedented visibility into every aspect of operations to optimize performance. This data ensures brands can maintain adequate stock levels, fulfill orders quickly and efficiently, and gather valuable insights to make data-driven decisions.

3. Establish a Strong Online Presence

In today’s digital age, establishing a strong online presence is non-negotiable. It’s how you reach and engage with your target audience. Listing your products on various sales channels isn’t merely a strategic move, it’s critical for success. Leveraging the right tools for seamless integration with key e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Amazon, and Walmart is crucial to efficiently manage inventory, orders, and shipping operations across multiple channels. 

Platforms like Pietra specialize in assisting brands with building their e-commerce business and further supports them with an affordable and transparently-priced suite of services to efficiently manage that business. Their one-stop e-commerce studio offers all the essential tools to not only start and scale a brand but also ensure brands have a strong online presence that effectively connects with target customers. Particularly helpful for new brands starting from the idea stage, Pietra’s infrastructure can help brands design and market their e-commerce site, seamlessly integrate with leading e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Amazon, and Walmart, and efficiently manage inventory, orders, and shipping operations. With Pietra’s wealth of valuable resources, expert toolkits, and support services, brands can confidently establish or enhance a digital presence from idea to execution to ongoing success.

Manufactured’s partner network not only helps brands establish their e-commerce sites but also optimizes and empowers their ability to take advantage of social commerce, tapping into platforms like TikTok Shop and other social selling platforms.   

Every brand has a unique story, and TikTok Shop presents an exciting opportunity for rising brands to captivate and connect with their audience in a fresh and innovative way. Brand leaders can supercharge their online presence by mastering storytelling and live selling with the help of a first-of-its-kind ebook, “The Ultimate Guide to Success on TikTok Shop.” 

TikTok Shop is more than just a sales platform—it’s a stage for your brand to shine before an audience of over a billion users.  Our friends at Pipe17 compiled this groundbreaking resource, packed with invaluable insights, actionable advice, and expert contributions from Manufactured and others in our partner network, to help brands take advantage of the social commerce revolution.  With this guide as your compass, you can confidently navigate your TikTok Shop journey, and make a powerful impact on your online presence. 

4. Manage Logistics

From Launch to Long-term Success

Brands face a number of logistical obstacles, from managing inventory to coordinating shipping and receiving to ensuring timely delivery to retailers. Efficient inventory management is key for launches as well as long-term success. 

When it comes to launching a new product in retail, proper planning, and a rock-solid logistics solution are essential. Choosing a capable 3PL provider can help businesses focus on high-level initiatives, streamline processes, decrease costs, and drive efficiency across the entire supply chain. 3PL providers offer a range of services, including warehousing, shipping and receiving, inventory management and storage, picking and packing, FTL and LTL freight shipping, kitting and customization, and reverse logistics. With real-time access to SKU-level inventory updates through tracking integrations, businesses can avoid logistical nightmares that can derail product launches.  

Long-term success requires the ability to expand reach and reliably in order to meet growing demand.  Expanding across platforms like Amazon and Instagram is easier with 3PL partners supporting fulfillment and logistics. Supply chain automation streamlines operations, reduces costs, and boosts efficiency. With proper planning and a reliable logistics partner, businesses can achieve scalability by ensuring products arrive on time and in top condition, setting the stage for long-term success.  

Efficient logistics management is a paramount aspect of any successful business. It plays a significant role in the overall growth and prosperity of your brand.  Pietra members can to take advantage of their private third-party logistics (3PL) service which caters specifically to scaling brands across multiple channels, including direct-to-consumer (DTC), wholesale, and retail. Their exclusive 3PL service allows brands to seamlessly manage shipments directly from the factory floor, handle order kitting and photography, and save between 30-50% on fulfillment and shipping costs. 

In a recent webinar, Pietra founder, Ronak Trivedi explained that the old-school fulfillment industry is fundamentally broken, with a business model that incentivizes progressively rising costs and limited transparency. 

Unlike traditional players focused on maximizing margins in fulfillment itself each year, Pietra recognizes it should be a commodity service with predictable, bundled pricing. So they offer a Costco-inspired model with no hidden fees and consistent costs over time.

“Pietra, like Costco, offers a bundled service to its members at cost plus pricing. We’re transparent about our costs and markup and aim to provide better pricing than most others in the US. We don’t have hidden fees and rarely change our pricing,” Ronak explains. “We didn’t increase rates last year because, like Costco, we’re not trying to profit from just one aspect of our business”

Pietra’s innovative approach offers a vastly different paradigm that finally introduces stability, affordability, and reliability into a historically opaque operational area. One that provides immense value for the brands relying on outsourced order fulfillment to drive their business.

By rethinking fulfillment’s role, Pietra is overhauling an ecosystem that has hamstrung e-commerce merchants for far too long. Their solution may well provide the foundation for a new generation of resilient, thriving online brands.

“We're a tech company that profits from software and subscriptions, not from charging you for every box you send us. Just as Costco doesn't profit from selling hot dogs, we don't need to profit from every service. We keep our pricing low, which is how we provide value. This is a model we believe the world has needed for a long time.

- Ronak Trivoli, CEO, Pietra

5. Secure Financing to Enable Smooth Scaling

Access working capital ahead of growth initiatives to produce an adequate supply of products. Inventory financing provides immediate capital from existing stock, allowing you to meet surging demand without cash flow constraints.

Accessing funds can significantly improve cash flow, de-risk inventory, and help businesses scale with speed and efficiency. MFD’s financial services provide immediate capital from existing stock, allowing businesses to meet surging demand without cash flow constraints. This type of non-dilutive financing is essential for producing an adequate supply of popular products and avoiding stockouts.

By securing financing, businesses can maintain adequate stock levels, fulfill orders quickly and efficiently, and gather valuable insights to make data-driven decisions. This immediate capital injection enables businesses to adapt to changes quickly and maintain sufficient inventory to meet surging demand, ultimately improving their cash flow and de-risking their inventory.

6. Streamline Accounting

Track Important Metrics

With funding secured, a robust accounting system is vital for business success.  FlowFi matches small and medium businesses with on-demand finance experts and provides real-time metrics through an integrated app, enabling data-driven decisions and optimized operations. 

With FlowFi, you’ll receive accurate monthly financial reports conveying your company’s performance story. The platform also delivers strategic insights via FlowFi CFO to boost financial acumen. Seamless integration with popular business apps offers a unified view of key metrics in one dashboard.

Alert systems ensure books stay closed and models stay updated without tedious email exchanges. Proprietary data grants valuable business intelligence without any effort.

By leveraging FlowFi’s accounting power, you can ensure financial stability, directing focus toward growth. The platform’s combination of automated software and human expertise provides the foundation for success.

7. Maximize Profitability Through COGs Visibility

Having clear visibility into your Costs of Goods Sold (COGs) is the first step toward reducing costs and improving profitability.  With a lightweight ERP like Turbine, companies can monitor and manage COGs and easily scale sourcing, production, and logistics within a single platform. With efficient and integrated workflows, Turbine’s command center reduces tool sprawl and streamlines your processes, allowing you to handle multichannel procurement, inventory management, supply chains, and accounting tasks with ease, enhancing profitability and paving the way for expansion and growth.

Turbine enhances profitability by:

  • Providing visibility into COGs to enable data-driven decisions
  • Streamlining workflows for improved efficiency
  • Supporting seamless scaling of operations
  • Facilitating optimization of supply chains and capital allocation

Combining Manufactured’s platform with tools like Turbine dramatically simplifies the manufacturing process, enabling you to efficiently scale production, lower unit costs, optimize supply chains, and maximize profit potential with cost-efficient capital allocation.  

 

8. Build a Successful Retention Strategy

As your brand scales up, it’s important to understand the role of retention in demand planning. Retaining customers is vital to long-term success as it not only enables you to sell more products through repeat orders and reduces acquisition costs but also boosts revenue through loyal customers’ referrals.

Manufactured’s integrated platform helps brands build a successful retention strategy with easy access to customized reports and expert recommendations to make your data speak louder. Brands gain insights into key metrics such as customer retention rate, customer lifetime value (CLV), and repeat purchase rate, which directly impact business profitability. Insights into reorder rates can help brands devise dedicated experiences for returning customers to increase conversion rates, drive recurring revenue through subscriptions and customer loyalty programs, and empower demand planning.

9. Enhance Subscription Retention with Gamification

In the competitive direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketplace, keeping customers engaged is crucial. Gamification can significantly boost subscription revenue and decrease cancellations. Loop, a full-stack subscription management platform, incorporates fun and engaging techniques to transform customer interactions and create a rewarding subscription experience.

Loop helps brands manage subscriptions, track customer behavior, and implement retention strategies. It provides insights into subscription performance, enabling data-driven decisions to optimize subscription models. Loop’s gamification features incentivize customer loyalty and engagement, encouraging customers to maintain subscriptions and interact more with the brand, leading to increased retention, higher revenue, and fewer cancellations.

By integrating Loop into your business strategy, you can add an element of fun and gamification to support subscription retention, ultimately increasing revenue and growth for your business.

10. Be Prepared for Surges to Avoid Stockouts

One of the most common challenges in inventory management is anticipating the right stock levels to meet fluctuating demand, especially during sudden sales surges. Whether it’s a spike due to seasonal sales or a viral trend, being prepared for these surges is crucial to avoid the dreaded stockouts that can harm your brand’s reputation and result in lost sales.

Effective inventory management is key to this preparation. It involves maintaining adequate stock levels to fulfill orders quickly and efficiently and leveraging real-time data and analytics to optimize production processes, reduce waste, and improve overall efficiency. This ensures that you can adapt to changes quickly and maintain adequate stock levels to meet surging demand.

However, maintaining adequate stock to weather sales surges often requires significant capital. Inventory financing provides immediate capital from existing stock, allowing you to meet surging demand without cash flow constraints. This type of financing is particularly useful for businesses that need to purchase inventory in preparation for a busy season, cover short-term cash flow gaps, or buy additional stock to meet increased customer demand.

For insights and advice on how to ride the tides of sales surges, from seasonal spikes to viral tsunamis and ensure you’re prepared for maximum profitability, read our guide to Demand Planning

Demand Planning: Riding the Tides of Sales Surges from Seasonal Spikes to Viral TikTok Tsunamis

11. Ensure Resilience

Partner with Supply Chain Experts

In these transformative times, the supply chain is evolving rapidly.  This is why global manufacturing experts play a more crucial role than ever before when it comes to setting businesses up for success and ensuring supply chain resilience.  Brands that seek to reduce supply chain risk and increase profits are faced with an assortment of options, but it’s not always clear which option is the best for your business.  Preparation and forecasting mitigate risk and ensure resilience. Platforms like Manufactured’s all-in-one solution enable quick pivoting when new vendors are needed. 

By partnering with supply chain experts, businesses can benefit from a wealth of deep industry knowledge, critical resources, and technology that can help optimize supply chain operations for efficiency and competitiveness. This empowers businesses to adapt to changes quickly and maintain resilience in the face of evolving market conditions and supply chain dynamics.

Trends like reshoring manufacturing are likely to continue as brands seek to reduce supply chain risk and improve speed to market. However, while many brands like the idea of near-shoring their manufacturing, it may not be the best solution for everyone.   To better understand the complexities, it’s critical to evaluate all the pros and cons.  To learn more about how reshoring and near-shoring are transforming U.S. manufacturing and how supply chain experts like Manufactured are helping to ensure resilience, check out our article on the strategic shift in the reshoring and near-shoring revolution.  

12. Expand Reach with Brand Extensions

White Labeling and Private Labeling

White labeling and private labeling are fast and cost-effective ways for brands to expand their business. These strategies allow brands to offer new products under their own brand name without the need for extensive research and development, ultimately saving time and resources.

White labeling involves purchasing a generic product from a manufacturer and rebranding it with your own brand name and logo. This approach allows businesses to quickly enter new markets and offer a wider range of products to their customers.

Private labeling, on the other hand, involves working with a manufacturer to create a unique product exclusively for your brand. This approach offers more control over product design and quality, allowing businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors. 

Both white labeling and private labeling can be effective strategies for expanding your brand’s reach and increasing revenue.  Keep in mind that developing a new product takes time, and it’s essential to understand the timeline involved in the process.  By leveraging white labeling and private labeling strategies, businesses can expand their reach, offer a wider range of products, and ultimately grow their brand.

Sustain Success for Years to Come

As your business evolves, having the right partners can unlock efficient manufacturing ecosystems, enabling your brand to confidently expand into new markets. Utilizing comprehensive manufacturing services and inventory management platforms can keep your operations efficient and adaptable. Incorporating customer feedback and performance tracking into your strategy allows for data-driven decisions. 

In the face of opportunities and challenges in product manufacturing, the keys to success are strategic alignment, comprehensive solutions, and transformative partnerships. With the right teams, tools, and services, the complex process of bringing products to market can be streamlined, unlocking your brand’s full potential for sustainable growth

ARE YOU A BRAND MERCHANT LOOKING TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?

Whether you need sourcing assistance, inventory optimization or financing, Manufactured’s end-to-end manufacturing support platform can help.  Contact us to speak with one of the inventory experts at Manufactured.  Our solutions specialists can help you navigate complex financing options while providing valuable information and insights, so you can choose the option that’s best for you.

Learn how to apply for vendor financing, and get help receiving purchase order financing. Manufactured helps customers in over 20 categories across 25 countries with product manufacturing and inventory financing. 

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