Level 2 - Sprout
You’ve had a few years to hone your brand messages and are now an excellent storyteller. You know how to leverage your authority to expand into new products and categories. Your larger customer base equates to more customer testimonials, many of them glowing, as well as bigger audiences to whom you can introduce new products. Within the company you’ve cultivated the vision, tactics and product development skills required to expand into other categories (e.g. Hydrant drinks + “swag” products). You’re nimble enough to introduce new products in response to market demand.
You may be feeling some growing pains in production, and at times find it challenging to keep up with demand. You may also feel pressure from existing customers to release more products, and if you can’t for any reason, you can run the risk of losing them as they consider other brands to meet their needs. At this point, you’ll need to leverage advanced marketing tactics — affinity marketing, collaborations with other brands, marketplace strategies — to reach more people and take your business to the next level. You might not have this skill set within your existing staff.
You may face market pressure to offer lower price points, especially during a downturn. The combination of brand prestige, production snags and higher price points may open the door to copycat brands that seek to win over your more budget-conscious shoppers. Knockoffs are a risk, and you’ll need to expend some resources to combat them, as well as warn the market of the potential dangers fake products pose to their health and safety. Customers are closer to the end of the life cycle and are at risk for leaving without continued innovation. Dark horses can disrupt your brand by introducing trendier products. Your company’s financials may come under more scrutiny, and you can even become a takeover target of an incumbent player who sees your brand as a threat.
An established brand reputation will allow you to introduce new products and categories that are targeted at a broader range of cohorts. You have enough brand cachet that allows you to attract social media influencers with bigger followings. You can leverage customer testimonials as social proof across all marketing touch points — your website, email and SMS campaigns, marketplaces — in order to expand your realm of influence and build trust among prospects. Your experience and relatively small size means you’re nimble enough to move the market, e.g. introduce really innovative things (makeup for men, sunscreen for hair). The category is inherently conducive to marketing and customer retention programs which you can use to attract budget-conscious people.
An established brand, the Sprout has mastered the craft of storytelling and has successfully expanded its product line. An active social media following is one of the Sprouts greatest assets. Sprouts can grow their businesses by introducing products that target consumers outside of the brand’s original demographic, and by leveraging its social proof in every channel. Copycats may pose a challenge, especially those that can offer lower price points.
Level 1 - Seed
You are implementing basic ecommerce and marketing strategies. Your customers can navigate the site, enter the checkout funnel, and securely purchase products. But you have the potential to drive even more traffic and conversions, with some expert guidance.
Level 2 - Sprout
You are implementing more ecommerce and marketing strategies. You are actively acquiring new customers and streamlining checkout.
Level 3 - Bud
You are improving the customer experience by incorporating personalization and allowing for user generated content. You are actively monitoring and improving performance.
Level 4 - Blossom
You are providing more services to your customers inside and outside of ecommerce. Even more marketing and UX improvements are also paramount.
Level 5 - Bloom
You have optimized your store throughout. You are innovating and offering better customer experiences than most.