By: Sam Arcadipane, Founder of Fusspot Collagen Beauty Teas
So… you’re asking… what’s all the fuss about when it comes to branding, particularly when starting your own business?
So, have you dreamt of having your own brand, your own business? And on a day to day basis, are there certain advertising campaigns and brands that catch YOUR attention, and that appeal to you?
You may be attracted by the prospect of having your own freedom to make decisions, that is – making key decisions about marketing, branding, advertising, finances, budget P&L and product offering quickly and to become nimble and agile every day….. pivot and change without having to go through the red tape and preparation of board meeting packs for approvals, which are often associated with any shift in a corporate business plan – especially when it comes to branding, product development and consumer campaigns? But do you look at the appeal of work/life balance that comes with running your own business, and not being the stereo-typical 9-5 standard hours which we all know are now far longer – including nights and weekends ‘working in the machine”.
Well, if you’re looking to start your own business, you won’t regret it. That’s the first thing I want to share!!!
But… (and there’s always a but)…. The hours are never-ending! The money you relied upon for marketing and driving new acquisition previously when working for an established business now all comes from your back pocket, and it hurts when you’re spending it, and you don’t have enough funds to do a lot of the things that you want to do….. And the team you’re used to delegating all those tasks to, well, now it’s just YOU…. And you’re speed-learning how to do tax, GST, make Instagram posts, writing briefs, chasing up payments, uploading to websites, learning basic IT and running your business, product development, marketing and finance… all with just how many hours a day?
Did I mention the hours are never-ending!?
And of course deciding on your branding, messaging, copy and content creation – there is A LOT to do!!!
But, yes, there IS a lot of fuss to be made of having your own business and creating your own brand…. And here’s why I think you’ll understand the ‘why’….
I had been in corporate life for 20+ years in marketing and eCommerce and had large budgets and large teams working for global companies and online retailers and loving the fast-paced life as well as the secure and regular salary that comes with building your career and working for established companies. I had managed to get to the top of my game in a GM role and loved that, but I always had a hankering for running my own business, creating my own brand – the way I saw it – just like those brands that appealed to me many times when walking down the street or flicking through a magazine – however, I just hadn’t found the ‘what’ my business was going to be…..
Fast-forward to 2020 where I launched my very own brand! Yes – I created an entire brand, with a full product like that took over 15 months to develop where I traveled the globe in search of how to make it happen….
And, I had a strong vision of what I wanted my brand to be…….
You see, it all stems from I love tea. I drink a lot of tea…. And yes as I’m also getting older ( rather: ageing), I had also been looking into the effects of collagen for my skin and wrinkles at that point in my life ( probably due from the stress of corporate life!)! And I also knew of the powerful benefits of drinking tea – how it’s great for your skin, immunity, wellbeing, detoxifying, cleansing, antioxidant boosting, great for your gut and even beneficial for your teeth!
And then the lightbulb moment!!! Why not combine collagen with tea? Really? Why not! And I’m sure there’s thousands of women, just like me out there, who also would drink this as their caffeine, beauty and collagen daily fix all in one! What a solution!!!
After months of development, and many companies saying “You can’t do it, it can’t be done” – I found the right suppliers and partners and developed a way to establish collagen-infused organic beauty teas – jumping into the wellness space and there you go – my newly launched brand and business – Fusspot Collagen Beauty Tea . I had a very strong vision of what I wanted my brand to be – it had to stand out, it wasn’t just a regular tea, and it couldn’t look like any other tea -so I chose a distinct hot pink irreverent colour theme, created sassy branding and launched to market, and so started selling my collagen tea to other women – yes, just like me – who wanted to get their collagen fix from an easy to drink, ready-made organic beauty tea formulated with herbs, tisanes and plants.
So, you ask – “How do you take the leap, especially after big corporate roles – is there ever a catalyst? “
For me, it really wasn’t a hard decision, it was more about what the business could be and when to take the leap… I had wanted my own brand, my own business, for so long, but just didn’t have a solid idea that resonated with me to be both in demand by the mass market and to be profitable. After starting several business plans and doing a lot of research, and deciding these ideas weren’t going to ‘cut it’ – I continued researching until I found something I both loved and believed in, that was in demand, and that I could stand behind. Once the idea came to life – it was all systems go!!
This is tip #1 – you’ve got to be passionate and believe in what you’re doing! If you’re not passionate, why would anyone else be? And this is certainly portrayed in your branding, your messaging, your copy, your content and your product offer.
So, what would lead anyone into creating a product or brand from scratch? And how did I choose organic teas infused with collagen as my chosen business startup?
I had been reading a lot about hydrolyzed collagen peptides and was extremely curious! We’re all getting older and I was doing a lot of research into this space, and being an avid tea drinker – the idea popped up one morning and then I started to investigate the feasibility. Once I had researched and found the incredible benefits of tea for both your skin, your health and your wellness, well, it just stemmed from there… but that was the easy part – then it was “how am I going to make this happen?”
So, for tip #2 – you’ve got to do your due diligence, who’s in the market? Is it a new product or service? Is there demand for it? What is trending in that space? How can my brand stand out? What does my brand stand for? There’s lots of tools to help you look into these facets before you go out and launch ( and invest), in your business! But this step is crucial!
“So, what are the first steps? How do I even start?” you ask….
This is the easy bit……. I had a very clear vision what I wanted the product to be… short of changing the name about a hundred times and ensuring that it sat well with various age demographics, and would look good on packaging, the vision was clear – it had to reflect its’ point of difference – this is not just another ‘tea’ – this is a hybrid beauty product – a “Beauty Tea” – as it’s infused with hydrolyzed collagen peptides and the teas themselves are all specifically formulated tea blends that have been developed with a Tea Master to support your beauty and health from within – they’re all rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids, so I wanted this brand to really stand out, and not be just another ‘tea-brand’. I wanted to create marketing for it as a ‘beauty-brand’!! If you’re after a basic tea – go to your local supermarket – because this is a premium beauty/tea/supplement ‘hybrid’ product, and it’s the first in the world! I also wanted to ensure that I had environmentally friendly teabags, so that was also a challenge, as they had to be biodegradable, compostable and aid in minimising micro-plastics, which was important to me, especially being an Australian brand and business, and with our love of the planet! Packaging is just so important today, it’s impactful and tells a story, so I believed the bright pink would shout out – “I’m different – check me out!!”
So, tip #3 – have a clear vision! What does your brand stand for, how do you see it, and how does it look on shelf, on socials, on website, in store… alternatively if it’s a service, what does it talk about and in what tone of voice, and what impact does it have? Be clear in your vision and your brand’s personality. Map it out, make moodboards, and ensure that you have a clear line of this vision from development, copy, imagery, photography, channels all the way through to launch!
Once you are clear of your idea and your brand vision – then, you’re no doubt asking “ How do I even launch to the big wide world…..?”
I knew that I wanted this to be direct to consumers online, with a wholesale arm to support it and I was extremely clear on the channels to drive growth and consumer purchasing and what content I needed.
My all-planned-out launch to debut to market for Fusspot Tea was smashed apart as I launched to market one month before Covid shut the world down, with partners ready to amplify the launch to market, and designated media plans to drive the awareness……
But this thing called a ‘global pandemic’ came, 4 weeks and 3 days after I launched and literally shut down the entire world! Yes, it’s true!
So, then what does one do? Well, you move forward with the channels and plans that you can, you hold off some money from PR and other launch channels and either pivot them back into other areas of the business, (I launched subscriptions so that customers could buy every 15, 30 or 60 days and get a discount and Fusspot Tea could be delivered directly to their homes on a autoship plan). You just have to find a new path to market and to your customers….. Yes, it’s hard, and yes, it sucks, and yes it was de-motivating, but here I am, 18 months later, and I’ve just had to adapt to where I thought I should have been by this stage in 2021 and keep adapting as we have more lockdowns, restrictions, border closures, shipping delays, uneasy job markets and people re-building their lives.
This is business… you’ve got to have thick skin and not give up. Ever!
So, my tip number #4 is – just keep going, no matter how hard, no matter what challenges you face, you’re not alone but you’ve just got to get through it – that’s what having a business is – some days are simply amazing, other days are horrendous, you’ll have money one minute, none the next, you’re shifting gears, working late nights, ( in fact longer days than ever before!), but it’s all about pivoting and taking on the challenges and just simply – not giving up!!!
So, what is all the fuss about? There’s a lot to be said, that’s for sure, about the rewards you gain with running your own business, creating your own brand, developing your own brand strategy and product range! It’s rewarding when you make your first sale, first customer, first client, your tenth order, your one hundredth order, your first wholesale order and so on, and you start to see this little idea you had come to life and that brand vision become stronger and more apparent with every creative, photo shoot, blog article, customer feedback, customer purchase and so it goes……. The activities to build your brand, and to form your brand’s vision become the backbone that makes your brand unique!
The Covid’s will come and go, and permanent full time work will always be there, but as my husband said to me – if I never gave it a go, I would never know what it COULD be – and that’s the most exciting thing of all – giving it a go, finding out what you’re all about and navigating through the journey of your own business, at your own speed to reap the wonderful benefits of your own little concept and hard work to what could become anything!!!
Remember, many big brands started out as an idea, and have become household names, so there’s not much difference between their businesses when they started out, compared to yours – except YOU!!!
Today, I say “What’s all the fuss about” When I talk about Fusspot Collagen Beauty Tea – because heck yes, there is a fuss, this is a new beauty tea product, it’s a new brand, and it’s all been created by ME!!
Written by Sam Arcadipane, Founder of Fusspot Collagen Beauty Teas, left corporate life to pursue her own business with the dream of giving women a solution to address their ageing process via a little time out with a cup of tea – a tea with major benefits! She had a vision for this beauty tea, but it’s no ordinary tea, it’s a super-boosting beauty tea that’s formulated to enhance your body and your skin, hair and nails! She formulated various organic teas with a Tea Master, all developed for your skin, packed with antioxidants and polyphenols and then infused with world class, highest grade, hydrolyzed collagen peptides to support and enhance your beauty from within. Having spent months researching and developing her concept, travelling to global trade fairs and meeting with global suppliers, she settled with Australian suppliers to develop this range of 11 beauty blends to support your skin and complexion goals, all infused with collagen with a variety of organic herbs, tisanes, roots and plants that will also assist your sleep, energy, skin and detoxing needs. There are loose leaf blends, environmentally friendly and biodegradable teabag blends, and two powder blends. You can find out about the powerful benefits of each beauty tea at www.fusspottea.com