Hey - it's Jonny from the Squeeze. Happy Friday!
...and welcome to our first newsletter. We’ll be trying out several formats and types of content as we grow, so please do throw feedback, ideas or anything you might want to share with the community our way!
We’re just getting started - but how did we get here?
A two-year virtual relationship with Lou, Katherine and myself working on projects together. We’ve worked on various paid and organic social projects, growth strategies for several apps and the creation of a very successful crowdfunding pitch deck for a fast growing startup.
Through that time, we began hosting ‘Brand Sprints’ with a few select brands - intensive 2-day workshops to help startup founders and their teams get alignment on their purpose and how they want customers to perceive them. The response has been hugely positive, but it got us thinking...
These intensive workshops are exhausting. Both for us and the teams involved!
Katherine and I usually spend all night preparing, and then by the end, we all lose our voices. We also priced low, but what we learned from running through the process has been incredibly valuable.
So here’s the thing - for all the well-funded startups and brands we’ve collectively worked with, there are 5x more who have contacted us and then even more of you out there wanting to build your own brand too.
And everyone has a tonne of great business ideas. Brilliant ideas found in trying to solve real problems with passion. And we want to see them all succeed.
But most people (especially founders) aren’t brand marketers; you're specialists in your field or industry, and you know how to create innovative products.
The natural solution to that problem is to hire an agency.
The problem is agencies are expensive, and even our sprint workshop isn't accessible for everyone. So like thousands before you, you'll probably get started, read everything you can and then hire a student or someone from Upwork to help. Or spend thousands with a consultant!?
But none of it works. And you go on to launch or try to scale, constantly banging your head against a wall.
Frankly - we've been there.
Are you starting to see where we’re going with this?
Well, maybe you’re at the beginning of starting a business with friends, turning a side project into something more or building the brand you’ve always wanted to!? Mayyyyybe you've already launched, but you've hit a wall, burned through your marketing budget and can’t figure out why your brand isn’t resonating with your audience.
In short - the Squeeze will solve this. And we’ll be sharing how as we work on it.
Know someone who might want in? Forward this email now!
Eyes on the money!?
We're all for building mega brands from nothing, but let's be clear - you must have a product people want or need.
And while no one can predict how successful your brand will be, here are three questions to help guide your thinking and know if you're on to a winner:
1. How unique is your ‘how’?
A common mistake we've found is thinking a product has to be completely unique. It’s generally ‘how you do it’ rather than ‘what you do’ that needs to be unique.
When Nick Jenkins started Moonpig, he knew this - so he made choosing and buying cards 10x easier and more fun. Two ingredients to fuel virality.
Another company was already selling the same thing online, but their way of doing it and the brand they’d built around it wasn’t working. That company failed after a few years while Moonpig is now worth £1.2b.
2. Is there any competition?
Sometimes you think you've struck gold with an unexplored niche!
But if you can’t find anyone doing something similar, it’s worth digging a little deeper to understand why that might be. Has someone has tried in the past and failed? Or is it impossible?
You can learn a lot from those who have already tested the waters and if there’s no one doing anything similar, be sure you find out why.
It might be that your idea is the first of its kind or that new technology now makes it possible, but never assume that’s the reason for no competition!
3. How many people does your idea have the potential to impact?
If your idea is too niche and only helpful for a very small group of people, you may find it difficult to grow beyond that specific target audience.
We always suggest targeting a niche audience for launch, but if you want to scale, your product must be useful for a wider audience.
Keep being an outlier 💪
J + K