Not every entrepreneur wants to sell the business, but for those who do, moving from branded product to brand platform is one way to add value.
Andrew Whitman, managing partner at 2X Consumer Products Growth Partners, talked about the process of what he called – and trademarked as – “Brand Platformation,” and the benefits and challenges that come with creating that kind of broad product suite during a presentation at NOSH Live in New York last month.
When deciding the ways a brand can form a broader business platform, or variety of product types, Whitman said “it always, always, always starts and ends with the consumer.” He advised businesses to consider packaging, ingredients, technology and distribution, as well as determining which potential pillar means the most to customers.
For flax-milk and yogurt maker Good Karma, a 2X Consumer Products Growth portfolio company, it was the “amazing nutrient profile” of flax seed that allowed the brand to build an alluring platform, which ultimately led to an investment by Dean Foods.
“They were hyper-focused on their consumer and where their supply chain was,” Whitman said. “So then Good Karma wasn’t just our name, but became inspiration for everything we do. That messaging led to our portfolio expansion.”
While Whitman noted that platforming a brand can make it more valuable, for brands to see that return “the devil’s in the details.” Platforming without catering to those details, Whitman said, can be potentially harmful.
“[Platforming] is not something you would do on day one, and a matter of fact if you do it too early, it will be the death of your business,” he said. “Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.”
Watch below to see Whitman’s complete presentation.