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Want to build a household name? These four brands reveal how it can be done

With the road to the top being hard to travel, we asked a panel of our Future 50 alumni – those disrupting their industries – how they grew their own companies to the tune of great success.
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Being a household name is a title few brands possess, as taking your business to that level of recognition comes hand-in-hand with incredible passion and laser-focused effort. 

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Successfully building awareness of your business doesn’t usually happen overnight, nor a week or a month, so we posed the question of how to become a household brand to previous winners of our Everline Future 50 Awards at a panel session.

Held at the Bankside Vaults in London, Real Business Disrupts 2016 kicked off with Harry Thuillier, marketing director and co-owner of Oppo Ice Cream, unveiling how the company ensures it’s constantly on everyone’s minds.

Alongside co-founding sibling Charlie Thuillier, the two set out to compete in a world record event which took them to Brazil on a kite buggying expedition over a stretch of 1,000km.

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“We could be doing a marathon each day but the route wasn’t always straightforward – some days we couldn’t go along the beach and we came across swamps,” he explained. “We ran out of energy bars and Charlie lost a stone in two weeks. We saw the way locals prepared coconuts, which are really nutritious super-foods, so we started eating those.”

Let’s just say the rest was history – and in February 2015 it went on to gain £100,000 on Seedrs within one hour.

But although it raised the company’s profile along the way, marketing was deemed essential, Thuillier said. When done successfully, it will go a long way in raising awareness, exciting interest in your product and creating a desire for it – including using PRs and being active (and responsive) on social media. It also helped to have the backing of Andy Murray, he said, hinting to the news that the tennis star had invested in the company.

Essentially, however, he explained that it all came down to creating a brand that people wanted to talk about – a concept echoed by Urban Message product experience lead Odiseo Viveros, who explained that ultimately success came down to making sure you never lose the “human touch”.

The biggest reason for the disconnect between customers and business is the erosion of trust, he said. No brand can become truly great if it doesn’t build on the closer, more intimate relationships it can have with customers.

The mobile massage service has gone from strength to strength and in 2015 was valued at £8m after being backed by Passion Capital in a funding round. But despite being revolutionary, the company isn’t the first to offer massages online. This hardly matters though when you have a way of simplifying and improving prior services. 

It turns out the first-mover advantage is mostly a myth, Viveros suggested, claiming that home brands aren’t always those that come up with completely different offerings. And he has a point! Look at Facebook, waiting to build a social network until after Myspace and Friendster. You don’t have to be first, you just have to be different and better.

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It was also agreed upon by PrivateFly marketing director Carol Cork that firms sometimes viewed the lack of original concept as a hurdle – “but it doesn’t have to be that way as success also stems from being able to give people a better way of doing things.”

Read on to find out more tips from companies PrivateFly and Girl Meets Dress.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

Real Business