This post originally appeared on the Nexus Louisiana Tech Park blog.
When Joe Kovacs founded Brand Guarde a few years ago, he didn’t have much competition in the space. But that didn’t stop him from thinking ahead and creating a resilient business model. As the name suggests, Brand Guarde protects their clients’ brands — and revenue — from being diluted by unauthorized resellers, most commonly on Amazon’s marketplace.
But in a world still dominated by COVID-19’s long shadow, e-commerce is only growing — by a whopping 44% in 2020 in the United States alone. The resale market is taking off, and businesses need solutions. With competitors infringing on his turf, Kovacs focused on observing the market, listening to client needs and investing in a marketing strategy.
To protect his brand from competitors, Kovacs prioritized future-proofing his business model. Here’s how.
Anticipate the Market
Brand Guarde’s initial offerings included e-commerce consulting, identifying unauthorized resellers online and communicating with them on behalf of their clients. But something was still missing: They needed to monitor several marketplaces 24/7. “We tried utilizing other people’s software in the beginning to fill that need, but none of it worked for what we needed it for or how we wanted it to,” Kovacs says. “So we decided, let’s just go build it.”
Kovacs and his team already had a client base and high enough profit margins from the service side that they could fund their software’s development with little risk. And as the primary users, they knew precisely what they wanted from the software. Kovacs recognized the need for a software component if he wanted his business to remain viable in the future, so his decision to build it in-house wasn’t a hard one, he says.