A rising tide lifts all boats.
This saying rings true in a lot of scenarios, but let’s get SPECIFIC:
In your Go-to-Market planning, one of your first steps will be to validate if your idea should indeed, Go-to-Market.
PRODUCT MARKET FIT is very real and very important to assess EARLY ON.
🔮: Is this a category I want to play in?
🔮: Is my product any good?
🔮: Can I make the math add up to where I’m leaving enough margin to turn this idea into a successful company that will go to the moon (aka make millions and MILLIONS of dollars in PROFIT one day?)
Today, we’ll focus on CATEGORY!
Specifically, on two of my FAVORITE BRANDS in the world (that I am extremely loyal to).
The two BEST sock brands in the world (just my opinion, but an opinion I hold STRONGLY).
Life (and commerce) aren’t usually about choosing between APPLES AND ORANGES. It’s usually more like choosing between Honeycrisp Apples and Fuji Apples.
Two things (two choices) that, on the surface, are pretty similar. So similar in fact, that they could be in competition.
But, I for one, happen to like BOTH Honeycrisp and Fuji Apples.
I also happen to LOVE both Bombas Socks and Comrad Socks. And, I think that both of them existing (in the same space) HELPS THEM BOTH to win long-term.
These sock brands both cost a pretty penny.
Both brands have to work to convince their potential customers that expensive socks are worth it!
That expensive socks are BETTER.
That what you put on your feet EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. isn’t something to mess around with.
That you can become passionate about socks. (On the surface, not the sexist, most thrilling online purchase to make).
Sometimes, a saturated market is actually a VERY GOOD SIGN. I’d honestly be super hesitant to launch a first-of-its-category kind of brand.
Innovation is great.
It’s also REALLY SCARY (and risky). A category existing already = a key indicator from the market that there is demand.
Demand IS EVERYTHING as you Go-to-Market.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A MARKET TO GO-to-MARKET.
CB INSIGHTS: No market need = 35% of the reasons why startups fail
WHEN YOU HAVE A “GREAT” IDEA for what to sell, you may be pre-dispositioned to think that the thing you are about to sell is going to matter to everyone! That there’s an unlimited market, and that therefore, your brand/ idea has UNLIMITED POTENTIAL.
Follow Daniel on Twitter.
However, that is wrong. Oh.so.wrong.
Every market has a cap. Every company should be forecasting using real numbers that they are seeing in their industry. Data is essential here (you can’t Go-to-Millions on a gut feeling).
There are only so many people in the country that are going to buy expensive socks.
There are only so many people in the country that are going to buy socks online.
There are only so many socks bought each year. X % of customers have bought the same sock brand for 10 years, and won’t switch, etc. etc. etc.
So, in this example (our socks example), Bombas is the market leader.
Bombas is the real deal. Over the last year, I personally have bought the following from Bombas (all online, all MULTIPLE TIMES):
🛒: Baby Socks. I buy these for all new babies in my life – is there anything cuter than BABY SOCKS?) Makes the best present. A real crowd-pleaser.
🛒: Women’s Lightweight Calf Socks. These are my go-to wear around the house socks. I also gifted these to every woman that’s invited to my wedding! We’re all gonna wear these as we get ready!
Bombas does well. $$$$$$$$$$$$$
However, enter Comrad.
Comrad is a brand I actually first heard about in December 2021. The way the brand was described to me was super simple: “When I think Comrad, I think compression socks.”
🛍️: Had I ever bought compression socks before? NO
🛍️: Did my feet hurt on every flight I had ever taken? YES
🛍️: Am I a victim of plane bloat? YES
🛍️: Was Comrad going to solve all of my problems (aka my lack of compression socks = my feet pain)? YES YES YES
Did I need to be convinced to buy expensive socks? NO.
BECAUSE I ALREADY BUY BOMBAS.
Price is a big objection. It’s a huge reason why people won’t shop your product. It’s a huge reason why carts are abandoned. Price is a big, big deal.
Luckily for Comrad, Bombas had already convinced me (and a lot of other buyers) that expensive socks were more than worth it.
So, the second I heard about socks that would solve a literal pain point in my life (or shall I say two pain points – one for each foot), I.WAS.SOLD.
The price of Comrad didn’t hold me back for a second – thank you, Bombas.
Since December 2021, I have HAPPILY purchased the following from Comrad:
😄: Knee-High Companion Compression Socks – in Pink (these are super compression-y and are LIFESAVERS)
😄: Knee-High Companion Compression Socks – in Grey (these are the same as right above – super compression-y and are also LIFESAVERS)
I love Bombas and Comrad equally. I respect both brands. I gift both brands. I have convinced every member of my family to buy both brands.
I’ll never fly without my Comrads &
I’ll never buy any other brand of baby socks (Baby Bombas are adorable).
WOULD I EVER BUY COMPRESSION SOCKS FROM BOMBAS? Maybe, but I don’t really plan to / feel like it.
WOULD I EVER BUY BABY SOCKS FROM COMRAD? No, probably not. Not on the top of my wishlist.
And that, my friends, is why sharing a category is a very, very good thing. There’s room for so many great brands to SUCCEED.
Sharing a category = you’re on to something!
ON THIS EPISODE OF BRANDS TO WATCH: Feastables just launched MILK CHOCOLATE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. THERE’S A FREE TESLA WITH YOUR NAME ON IT (MAYBE, MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR).
Sorry for the caps, Feastables is my favorite and their milk chocolate SLAPS.