Here’s How Rachel Blumenthal Of Rockets Of Awesome Built A Brand That Stands Out
Rachel Blumenthal is the Founder and CEO of the children’s clothing company and personal shopping service Rockets Of Awesome. She’s also a branding expert, having worked to build several brands over the course of her career, including Warby Parker, the eyewear startup that transformed retail when it launched in 2010 (co-founded by Neil Blumenthal, Rachel’s husband).
At Rockets of Awesome, Rachel is building a brand that needs to resonate with both moms and their kids, be both an apparel label and a shopping service, and serve children of all genders over a range of ages and sizes, so she understands the ins and outs of what it takes to build a differentiated brand that resonates with customers at several touchpoints. At the 2017 PE Summit in New York City, Rachel shared her insider knowledge and told us four things early-stage founders need to do in order to create a brand that stands out from the competition.
“At the end of the day, you’re choosing brands because they mean something to you. They same something to you. They make you feel a certain way.” Rachel believes founders should tap into the emotional side of their companies when building their brands, but do so in a way that’s authentic and true to “what your business stands for and how you want customers to feel.”
Rachel says it’s important for founders to think through what they can do to compel their customers to act (i.e. to purchase your product or service) once they interact with your brand. One way is to invite customers to become a part of your brand story. Get your customers to “become a part of your journey [and] what you’re building so they feel personally invested [and] become ambassadors for you.” In order to do that though, you need to be authentic.
Have a Clear Mission:
“You really need to have a clear mission [and] a defined point of view, and make sure that you’re communicating that very clearly at every single touchpoint,” says Rachel. She recommends communicating the brand mission through a very unique voice that is consistent, and easily-identifiable visual assets.
Know Who You Are (And Who You Aren’t):
“I believe a brand is a living, breathing human mechanism—it is what makes the customer care about you vs. somebody else,” says Rachel. With that in mind, Rachel believes it’s really important for companies to know who they are as a brand—and who they aren’t—in order to make that real human connection with their customers. “When you have a vision [and] you know who your customer is, you can actually build something that is valuable—then you can actually serve your customer.”
Rachel also believes that companies need to know their customers inside and out. “For [Rockets Of Awesome], it was really important to have a founding team that was the customer and that really understood and appreciated the customer intimately.” Rachel says founders should be “living the problem every day” in order to really know how to solve it in a way that will appeal to their customers.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat:
“For customers…it’s about the repetition. It’s about showing [customers] things that are familiar, but always keeping them on their toes a little bit, and always keeping it fresh,” says Rachel. “The more repetition [you have] with a little bit of the unexpected, the better. Your brand should be a little bit of a broken record in a fresh way.”
Rachel’s advice comes from her 2017 #PESummitNYC workshop, “Building a Differentiated Brand on a Budget.” Listen to the entire workshop on episode 53 of #theTools, Project Entrepreneur’s podcast, and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud.