As a consultancy that continuously champions small and independent brands, it’s great to see an undeniable boom in new business launches. According the US Census Bureau, 187,000 have been registered in America in the first two months of 2021 alone, double the amount in the same period of last year. With the pandemic opening many up to a new life motto of ‘just do it’, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a similar data level across the UK and beyond. Why are so many people choosing to take the plunge, and what are their priorities?
One thing that the last twelve months has given us in abundance, is time. An unprecedented wave of entrepreneurship may well be attributed to the level of self-reflection – forced or not – that led to the question ‘what do I do next?’. New lines have been launched from living rooms and garages, with an uptick in local boutiques and venture backed start-ups. Aside from this news being incredibly promising for the many facets of retail that are on the brink of extinction, what are the other contributing factors to this new 20s boom? Aside from global mass unemployment making many confront those tricky personal questions we often try to avoid; some are making moves to capitalise on the changes in lifestyle trends – particularly reliant on e-commerce. Clothes now provide more seamless transitions than ever before, fulfilling more than one purpose to anticipate our adapted way of living.
Setting up a new business has never been easier, either. Alongside our collective calling into question of how things used to be done, initial business strategy can be consolidated easily – pay your website platform to be your storefront, your social channels to find your customers. Despite this, it’s obvious that not everyone has the same amount of access to this suspected goldrush. Those that were less likely to lose their jobs with more overall financial security may well have the advantage, while social emphasis remains on have a post-pandemic renewed sense of purpose. Our professional priorities have changed, with focus firmly on fulfilment and creative expression instead of the career ladder and noughts on a paycheck. Trends that these baby brands are relying on may well be here to stay. Comfort remains untouched on the priority pedestal, while workplace flexibility could ensure this to be the case for years to come. With potential savings made over the last year, small brands can now invest more time than ever into sustaining these trends, many proving to be self-funded. On the physical store front, the record-low rates of rent have made taking a punt on a retail space feel like less of a risk, also allowing those brands that already existed to expand. This being said, the current excitement will come back to the age-old question of whether a brand can be sustained. With our reliance on the digital world comes higher costs to advertise, so aspects such as community building and utilising existing social bases will be key. As this part of the market remains densely saturated, the longevity of a brand will rely in the power of its products, hopefully able to match the much-needed excitement the initial post-COVID landscape has generated.
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