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How Smart Branding Led to Quick Success for Cory Vines

December 3, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230051

When it comes to business, it doesn’t always matter how many years of experience you have under your belt. Sometimes if you have a good idea combined with killer branding, you can find success right away. Just look at Cory Vines, the six-month-old activewear startup. The company blew through two months of inventory in just two weeks. This success came from not only allocating capital into their marketing budget but also capitalizing on an opportunity in the industry and developing a strong brand.

After three years in the New York financial sector, 25-year-old Daniel Lieberman decided to launch an online activewear business designed to beat megabrands at their own game. His family has been in the apparel industry for over 60 years, and he felt the industry was missing “affordable, minimalist workout clothes.” He decided it was time to fill the void and Cory Vines made its debut.

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The success of Cory Vines should prove to you that if you have an idea, and you can execute it well, then it doesn’t matter how long your company has been around. Here are a few things we can all learn from Lieberman and his team when it comes to the role that branding can play in instant success:

1. Keep the prices affordable.
Pricing can most definitely be part of your overall branding strategy. Cory Vines has made it their mission to keep prices affordable without sacrificing quality. 

“We're able to do this by providing an online-only retail experience where we cut the costs associated with traditional shopping and pass the savings on to our consumers,” says Lieberman. 

If you want to be known for your pricing, it is fine to spell it out for your customers. However, you have to be certain you will always be able to stay around the price point you are known for because customers get accustomed to it.

2. Take advantage of your competitor’s downfall.
Recently, Cory Vines capitalized on the PR disaster their biggest competitor, Lululemon, faced. When Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson blamed the sheerness of their products on women's bodies, Cory Vines used the opportunity to position itself as an inclusive brand.

“Our sales jump resulted from some very effective and creative social media marketing at the time of bad press for them, which people reacted quite positively," says Lieberman. 

3. Create an easy shopping experience.
Customers aren’t looking for surprises. Through embracing simplicity, Cory Vines is able to provide an easy shopping experience for customers. From the clean, simple design of the website to the limited product offerings, the brand does not have a lot of unnecessary fluff.

Sometimes when you have too many options it can become an overwhelming shopping experience, and no one likes that. If you create a few “hero pieces” extremely well your customers will come back for more. This theory is why each season, Cory Vines only offers a handful of tops and leggings in a few different colors.

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4. Know what your customers want.
Before you start a company, you should pinpoint your ideal customer and identify what they want. You need to differentiate what you want and think is best for your company and what is important to your customer.

In the case of Cory Vines, Lieberman realized his customers didn’t want overly-branded pieces, so the company created basic workout clothes. Part of creating a loyal fan base is predicting what your customer wants before they know they want it.

It is every entrepreneur’s dream to see success quickly. However, the flip side is you have to keep delivering on what your customers instantaneously fell in love with. You have to be able to maintain and innovate all at the same time to meet expectations.