A thriving online shop, a team of over 180 members, a vast social media community and shelf presence in over 11,500 stores – a shared vision of three university friends has resulted in one of Germany’s best known food brands, Just Spices.
As we continue to grow the business across Europe, and with the UK being our latest market, we have been reflecting on how Just Spices has evolved from an idea to a household name.
The path to a love brand is a long process that doesn’t work overnight without a lot of investment. After Florian, Ole and I had invested all our start-up capital with great expectations in the launch of our online shop, not much happened at first. Hardly anyone ordered and we had no money left for marketing. Looking back, it’s not very surprising that the first orders came from our friends and families ;-). But how did we get Just Spices on the right track after that? Five key factors, for building our brand:
Never without my team
In the beginning it was us: three friends,with a determined goal of becoming the biggest spice brand worldwide. As we grew it was important to maintain this value across the team and so we looked for new members who would really fit in. Because without the shared belief, values and cohesion of our team, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Prepare to fail
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or failing. When I look on our way, we have done many things right, but made just as many mistakes. Things don’t always work out the way you think they will. Mistakes happen – the most important thing is that you learn from them.
So many people told us the idea wouldn’t work. With hindsight, the original business plan was pretty flawed – we were new to entrepreneurship, we had no knowledge of the market, we were learning on the go. Even with the products it was a lot about trial and error but we were so determined to get it 100%. I truly believe that by recognising areas that weren’t working and rectifying them really quickly was key to the business being sustained.
Build a brand people love
Many of our customers (our spice buddies) have been with us since our inception. They are the ones who use our products every day and share their creative dishes with us, as well as their passion and joy for cooking. That’s exactly why we involve them in the development of new ideas and create our own food world full of inspiration and help for cooking on our channels. We feel the love of our customers enormously, especially through social media.
Faith moves mountains
A proverb that is characteristic of the beginning of an idea and of being a founder. If the faith is not there, the road will be incredibly difficult. Because founding means a lot of work and requires patience – this is easier if you are in love with your idea and burn 100% for your product.