• Brandkenstein
  • Posts
  • Brandkenstein Lab Report #2: Painful lessons in patience [Mar 2024] 🧪

Brandkenstein Lab Report #2: Painful lessons in patience [Mar 2024] 🧪

Lab Report #2 documenting the road to $100,000 in sales. Some big set backs and painful lessons this month!

Yo! Welcome to the Lab! 👋

Here, la me will whip out the proverbial microscope to share the DTC brand’s spend, results, strategy, and next steps.

The premise of Lab Reports are simple: I’ll recap the results of the previous month and share my hypotheses and plans for the next month.

In this report I share:

  • Why it’s been a painful month.

  • The key initiatives I’ve dropped the ball on.

  • How we’ve adapted around not being able to launch our main product.

Randy Marsh writing equations on whiteboard

🤔 Store and product launch postponed

You know how I said we should launch our flagship product and store by the end of Feb?

Well, that didn’t happen! 😭

We’re still grappling with product packaging 🤦. 

From left to right: our journey with developing the perfect packaging for the product. It’s taken 4+ months to nail this for the flagship “MVP,” which needs to feel like a premium product.

On the bright side, we’re at the final stage of assessing suppliers and waiting on prototypes. It turns out that bespoke luxury brand packaging is VERY expensive, and admittedly, a little tough to get right. What a surprise, aye?  

Truth is: I underestimated how confusing nailing custom luxury packaging is. Especially when you have no connections or knowledge.

The “ignorance tax“ we’re paying here is real lol, and that means we have to postpone launching our flagship product to April-May 2024. 

Anyways, it’s all part of the process…

The show must go on!

We’re relying on our flagship product’s uniqueness to generate initial brand awareness and affinity.

But if it isn’t ready on time, the store will still go “live” regardless and open up for business in April. So are we going live with zero products for sale? 

Fortunately not, hehe. We’re able to launch without the flagship product thanks to ensuring there’s more than one SKU to sell.

We’ve: 

  • Expanded into new products based on trends in our market. 

  • Created a small pool of stock that we’ve produced in-house. 

This opens up an entire new category of product on our site with very little downside in terms of set up cost and commitment. 

The key benefit? We can potentially generate more sales from fewer customers, improving ROAS and purchase values

Overall, I’m bummed about not launching on the target date. I wanted to launch the flagship product in March-April. But there’s not much I can do about it now it except learn from mistakes and keep on “keeping on.” 

“The numbers, Mason Hassan”

Again, not much to report on sales and revenue here since we’re pre-launch. In fact, there’s more spending than anything. (Which is kinda making me uncomfortable 🥶.)

Sure, we’re opening new product lines and getting closer to a bespoke packaging design we’re happy with—and rising expenses are a natural byproduct. 

But I believe this is the cost of carving out a brand from the ground up. I’m betting on the investment paying off in the long term. 

Current stats: 

  • Total spend on the business/brand: £5,600

  • Total visits: 89 store sessions

  • Total sales: £0.00 

  • Total orders: 0

  • Conversion rate: 0%

  • Brand growth: n/a at this stage

Ignorance tax: You don’t know what you don’t know

Working with some local packaging suppliers made me realize the value of having an expert to speak with. 

There’s a smorgasbord of things I had to consider when designing packaging, from dimensions, material, print types etc. But I wouldn’t have known these things without engaging the experts and the market. 

For example, last month we got busy working on packaging mockups and struggled to communicate the ideal design we wanted to suppliers. 

A few embarrassing mockups later, we realized that we needed to use a proper tool like Adobe to create a proper dieline (the file used to show a render of a box before it’s designed) to show what we wanted. 

Currently, I’m anxiously waiting for our packaging sample and new line of products to arrive. Then we can worry about how we’re going to package & send those new juicy SKUs 😂. 

And that’s a wrap!

Share the newsletter, make me famous, and all that 💩 people say. Support the mission by:

👋 Following me on LinkedIn here.

👉 Sharing the #Brandkenstein newsletter 👈

Join the conversation

or to participate.