When you’re a new business and no one knows your name, branding is at the top of your list of things to do. Established companies are going for brand trust. As a new business, you are going for brand awareness; letting people know who you are, what you stand for and what your unique selling proposition is.

Of course, in such a competitive world market, it’s not enough to give a “just the facts” introduction…people today need incentive, they need creativity and they need vision if they’re to stay interested.

Here are five examples of new businesses that “killed it” with branding concepts, even without having a built in customer base.


This new jewelry brand was founded by sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder. For this particular brand, storytelling was the angle, and their attention to romantic storytelling, as a part of the brand, not only drew in over 100,000 Instagram followers, but also attracted celebrity clientele such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Zosia Mamet, and Beyoncé.

They use social media to showcase themselves, as well as their products and their associations with new celebrity client. Her advice to other entrepreneurs were to “creative compelling narratives”, and in doing so, promoting a lifestyle and not just a product.

Each video tells a story and that’s what’s reeling customers in. We’ll call that a great success for a new company launched within the last few years.

2. Man Crates

Man Crates has been making a lot of noise and firmly building their brand awareness by making an appeal to women—all about men. Their mission is to help women easily shop for the mysterious man in her life, with a line of humorous and man-centric ideas, but with a catalog written for a woman.

Since the audience is mostly female, Man Crates has assembled gifts that are male-oriented and for a college crowd. They want the gifts witty and bro-friendly so that they will be just as much fun to give (for the woman) as they are for the man to receive.

The gifts are based on popular eating, drinking, grilling and tools/gadgetry that most men find classic. Even better is their “High Give Guarantee” that if men don’t respond very favorably (as in chest bumping or high five) the buyer gets a refund.

The winning combination in their branding campaign was to put a fun (and funny) spin on a common problem. Now that’s confidence!

3. The Middle Finger Project

Since their business is copywriting and content creation, it’s easy to see what they’ve done. Using a sort of radical honesty approach, they’ve put greater emphasis on content over sales.

They put focus on the writing and take an iconoclastic approach to business, essentially downplaying (and devaluing) anything that’s “business as usual”.

They use outrageous brand messages to essentially make the art of writing excellent copy a lifestyle within an organization and a state of mind. They offer to teach the same state of mind through classes, online tools and free email tips. They’ve recently received coverage from The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Why are they winning at branding? Simply because they weren’t afraid to take a risk, and be different.

4. Dollar Shave Club

This company is relatively new and yet they’ve made a big name for themselves, not necessarily by innovating, but by making a common product convenient to the public. They ship new razor blades to customers on a schedule. This ensures they are never without one because of scheduling conflicts.

It sounds simple and yes, the only reason they have found success is because of a unique branding approach. They’ve kept ordering and changing orders a very simple email / website interface, as well as focusing on generating helpful customer-centered content. They publish infographics and articles about their customers to their customers. This unites a diverse customer base with a community spirit.

To sum it up, they’re winning because they provide an easy solution to a common problem, and they have a united community.

5. Wisconsin Skydiving Center

This company is capitalizing on a new trend that highlights the customers AS the brand, which means they tell stories about their operations, as seen through the customer’s eyes.

They called attention to their students, and used social media to tell their stories, before the big jump and then after. They let their customers tell their stories of empowerment, and in essence, let future customers imagine themselves living the same story, with their own personal touch. They are showing the world who they are, not merely what they do.