I want to talk about B2C (business to consumer) industries to avoid getting involved in as an entrepreneur – no matter how much you may love them. There are specific industries (many consumer products which are prone to ‘brand affinity‘) to avoid as an entrepreneur because you’re going to have to throw a lot of money and sweat equity at trying to change people’s seemingly irrational minds.
In specific B2C industries you will spend a lot of time, and money, trying to convince people why they should merely consider your product, never mind buy it. You won’t be selling in these industries; you’ll be trying to dispel prejudices, some of which span generations!
Funny example: Growing up as a kid, my mom was a loyal customer to Chevron. I can’t remember a time when she didn’t fill up her Toyota Celica in another gas station other than Chevron. It was remarkable. Even as a kid I noticed we always went to Chevron, despite its competitor being closer to our house. One day I asked my mom why she always went to Chevron – I was probably nine years old at the time. She said it had the cleanest gas… was that true? Unlikely. But guess where I filled up once I started driving? Think Ricky Bobby. Generational biases are potent things.
Despite my warning, if you’re passionate about these landmine industries, ones where purchases are based on emotional connections to brands, not feature-sets and benefits, you need to know what you’re getting in to. It’s going to be a long slog as an entrepreneur, often requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) in marketing just to change public opinion on why consumers should consider an alternative brand. That’s not money well spent in my opinion.
I call these ‘brand affinity industries,’ and they’re a nightmare for new entrants. Not saying they can’t be cracked, but why bother? Seriously… you may think I’m pessimistic, but I’m just an entrepreneur who likes to measure ROI very clearly and hit the ground running when my product rolls off the assembly line.
Quickly making sales is priority number one for any new B2C business. And I’m not a fan of running up sand hills.
What entrepreneur wants to spend their capital convincing consumers why they should cut the cord on an established brand they’re devoutly loyal to? I want to make sales quickly. Avoiding strong brand biases when you need to ramp up revenue is wise.
What is a Brand Affinity Industry?
Brand affinity is when a consumer has a powerful bond or loyalty to a specific company – and its brand. This connection occurs for various reasons, but usually it’s due to generational ties (examples are pickup trucks and Chevron in my case) and trustworthiness (think Volvo for safety). Brand affinity industries are those selling personal products, social status products and anything requiring precision or safety – think luxury watches, makeup, bras, high-end cameras, smartphones, coffee, pickup trucks and women’s jeans.
When starting a new B2C venture as an entrepreneur, it’s critically important to know the consumer biases you are up against. There will almost always be a few hurdles to clear. However, industries with extreme brand affinity, such as the examples mentioned above, should be avoided unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to burn. Strong emotional connections of consumers to other brands are costly to compete against, and time-consuming to break. Not worth it.
P.S. I’ve walked the walk and generated millions of dollars in revenue from my online business. Subscribe to my newsletter below to learn tips and strategies which helped me rapidly grow as an entrepreneur.