Master Of One
Start-ups are winning today by zeroing in on a single product
Whilst the behemoths go wide, with strategies that are designed to appeal to as many consumers as possible, the upstarts go deep, focusing on a single product or category. The secret to their success is keeping it tight for launch. Alex Ingildsen, CCO at LTP Group states
“Startups are increasingly upending the usual start-up formula, whereby a new brand creates a wide product assortment. Savvy bootstrapped newcomers are increasingly zeroing in on one thing and doing it very well.”
Here Ingildsen and designer/trend forecaster Chantell Fenton discuss how and why to build a brand with just one product.
A Mono- vs Multi-product Approach
The advice 'do one thing and do it really well’ springs to mind. As the market is becoming increasingly crowded, consumers are faced with the paradox of choice. Whilst some might believe that being presented with multiple options actually makes it easier to choose one and be happy with that choice, thus increasing consumer satisfaction, in fact the opposite is true. Having an abundance of options can actually leave consumers feeling confused and frustrated.
These changing consumer sentiments and expectations are forcing some companies to rethink their strategy, particularly around product launches.
Taking a single product strategy like Spanx or even Crocs gives brands the ability to be laser focused and niche, honing in on customers specific wants and needs. Instead of creating a vast product range with multiple options, entrepreneurs can build one awesome product or service one product category.
This is a strategy cutting-edge menswear label Shaping New Tomorrow have implemented. Crafting the perfect pant and then moving on to the perfect shirt and short.
The Perfect Pants are a combination of timeless and classic design using advanced material to stretch with the bodies movements for optimal comfort.
The ability to focus marketing and design efforts is a key advantage to this strategy.
Vollabak are another brand that take a similar approach, crafting a solution based product that ticks all the boxes, before solving another problem with their next product launch.
Becoming The Master Of One
A strategic curated approach enables brands to focus marketing and company resources on a single “hero” product. Used to build a loyal customer base and in the process a cult following.
Narratives centred around one or two products a year can help keep the company’s products front of mind and crucially front of social feeds.
To win with this strategy brands first need a killer product and then need to educate consumers as to the nuances of said product.
The drawback of a single product strategy is the inability to cross-sell complimentary purchases to an already-existing customer base.
As brands grow and hero products gain a following, thoughts inevitably turn to growth strategies armed with new learnings, data and customer feedback. Brands use this momentum generated to create adjacent lines and expand into new categories to reach more customers and flesh out assortments. This strategy was employed by Wahoo Fitness. The brand begun with a single product used to track cycling stats, then expanded to an indoor bike trainer and a variety of devices and accessories for endurance athletes.
Similarly Ten Thousand gained success with this strategy. The brand launched with the best workout shorts and then years later added complimentary products to their assortment but the company still insists
“No BS. No gimmicks. No endless scrolling through indistinguishable products. We pared back our line to just the essentials, creating a system of gear that’s perfectly designed for all the ways you train. Everything you need, nothing you don’t”
LTP is a Danish owned garment manufacturer for +60 premium brands within active sportswear, outdoor, athleisure and sustainable fashion. LTP was established in 1991, and is probably the biggest Sport & Outdoor garment manufacturer in Europe with bluesign & GOTS setups in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Vietnam.
LTP consists of two divisions; LTP Garment and LTP Contract Furniture producing in nine fully-owned factories.
About Chantell Fenton
Chantell is an experienced performance sportswear designer and trend forecaster, with a passion for wellness, technology and function-first design. Chantell has an in-depth knowledge of how to spot and translate the must-have trends and macro shifts for the sports and outdoor industry. For more details visit www.chantellfenton.com