Is It Time to Pivot Your Brand?


Is it time to pivot your brand? Hey guys, I’m Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail. And today I want to talk to you a little bit about when you know when it’s time to make a shift. You know, it’s oftentimes that we launch brands that we don’t really think about the longevity or, really, the purpose of the brand. And so, today we’re going to talk about two ways in which you can start to really think about, when it’s the right time for your business to make a decision, and how to do so. Now, really, there are two different kinds of brands that I found out there. The first kind of brand is really born out of a need for a creative ambition, right? This is the company or the designer who has a huge idea and by any means necessary, they want to convey that vision. This is a brand that is very centered on the look and the feeling, right? It doesn’t really matter what exactly the products are as long as it’s all coming underneath this one umbrella.

Now, the second kind of brand that I found out there is really the brand that’s very focused on a particular product, right? And so that means that they’re really driven and want to make sure they have the right product. And so all becomes about product development, and it becomes about getting that particular product, and then finding the right branding that can then be the vehicle to sell that product. So oftentimes, if you’ve been in business for, let’s say, a few years, and you’re wondering, “What’s going on with the traction here? Why is someone not buying my product, or why am I not getting the market feedback?” You want to take a look and say, “Hey, is there something that’s wrong with the product here, or is there something that’s wrong with the branding?” But this is the point where you have to evaluate that something’s got to change.

Now, as an entrepreneur, you know that this is going to be possibly the first of many businesses, or maybe it’s already the second, third, or fourth business that you’re in. But when you are at that critical moment to say, “Do I pivot or pursue?” You want to ask yourself, “What is it that I’m most attached to? Am I most attached to the branding, the feeling, am I this creative director that really wants to evoke a certain lifestyle?” In which case, it really just might be about just redeveloping the products, relooking at the price points, and finding a way to create something that’s really commensurate with your branding and with your brand values. But if you are the type of person who is more attached to the product itself, meaning, you have created the most interesting XYZ product or you’ve introduced a brand new product category or some kind of technology mix with this item, and you really want to focus on the product, then maybe what’s lacking here is actually the connection between your branding and your price points to that product.

Possibly, it’s a good time to sit down and rethink what you’re branding is telling you, and what that story is, and how you can pivot and change that to better match up to your product. And those are the two main ways in which you would start to think about this. Now, the last thing that I’d say is so important is to really think about your timeline. Now, by timeline I mean, if you’ve been in business 18 months and you’re going, “Oh crap, I’m not really getting anywhere,” or have you been in business for about five years, you know, or three to five years. I always tell designers in their first 18 months, “If you are truly committed to growing your business, you should see some traction.” Whether that’s traction on the direct to consumer front, or that traction on the wholesale side, whatever your main goals are. But it should take you about 18 months of continuous selling, firing on all cylinders across your business channels to really be able to see some results here.

If it’s been less than 18 months, then you may not be ready to fully pivot. Because think of it like this, pivoting your brand is going to take another injection of capital. It’s going to take another vision, other that’s creating a new creative board, another marketing campaign, rebranding, maybe it’s about create new products, and then we’re looking at the product development, the design, the margins, the price points, it’s really about understanding what are the areas of investment that you’re going to have to reinvest into your business. Now, sometimes guys, and I know we’ve all heard this, brands that had been around for about 10 or 15 years that are now starting to get a lot of notoriety, and we’re learning about them, we go, “Man, that’s so cool, they’re having so much success.” But think of it from this perspective, it took like 10 years to get there, right?

And certainly, guys, I’m not going to be… I’ll play devil’s advocate on myself. I certainly know there are brands out there that’ve been around just two or three years and they’re starting to see a huge amount of press and they’re already starting to gain a lot of distribution. But those are examples of two very different things, right? One is you have brands that are saying, “All right, it’s been two years, we know it’s working, we’re going to keep pursuing.” And then you have brands that are becoming big after 10 years. And those are the brands that have either really stuck to their vision and waited it out to find the right customer. Really waited it out because they were very much attached to their branding, maybe they tried different products, different price points in order to get in front of that right customer. Or, guys, you’re looking at brands that have really pivoted their entire models in order to be able to continue to find that growth and success.

All right, guys, good luck on evaluating your business. I know it’s not easy to decide whether or not to pivot, or a pursue. But here at Scaling Retail, we are here to help. So shoot us an an email at Let’s find some time to chat. Do follow us on YouTube as well as leave comments below. And come find us, we are where you are, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Have a great day. Bye.

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