Building a Modern Retail Brand

Factory Beta
Immersive, part-time
9 weeks, 3 sessions

How to build, differentiate and scale a modern retail brand online and IRL.

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About this bootcamp

For entrepreneurs, the internet has provided the tools to cheaply start and sell products to customers anywhere, anytime. In retail, it looked like online was going to be the death of bricks-and-mortar stores. This rise of "direct-to-consumer" (DTC) brands, like Warby Parker, Away and Casper, leveraged internet-first retail, direct distribution and savvy social media marketing. Fast forward to today, and the modern retail brand can’t be defined by tech platforms and influencer campaigns, but good old fashioned brand building and understanding how to connect with customers both online and IRL.

Factory Beta is a hands-on, immersive program aimed at founders and startups building emerging food, hospitality and retail brands. Over the course of 90 days, our guides take a cohort of companies through weekly live talks, facilitated sessions and actionable plans. Together, we'll discuss challenge areas for your business and build strategies and recommendations to break through roadblocks and unlock growth.

Who's this for
  • You’ve been testing your brand through pop-ups, markets and other retail channels
  • You have customers and a mailing list to work with
  • You’re looking for help figuring out a path to scale as a DTC brand
What you'll learn
  • How to plan, launch, grow and sustain a DTC brand
  • Deep-dives into essential concepts including: brand identity, product development, market positioning
  • Online and offline retailing, marketing touch points, innovation and financing
What's included
  • 10 hours of instruction across 3 sessions, hosted over 9 weeks
  • Access to a toolkit and resources
  • Dedicated and featured mentors who’ll be your guides
  • Credits for office hours and live events hosted by Factory

Your Factory guides

Dennis Lenarduzzi

Partner and Creative Director at Makespace.

Ken Bautista

Partner at Makespace. Co-founded Startup Edmonton.

What we'll cover

Level up your mindset

Session One
2 online workshops
3 weeks

For entrepreneurs, the internet has provided the tools to cheaply start and sell products to customers anywhere, anytime. In retail, it looked like online was going to be the death of bricks-and-mortar stores. This rise of "direct-to-consumer" (DTC) brands, like Warby Parker, Away and Casper, leveraged internet-first retail, direct distribution and savvy social media marketing. Fast forward to today, and the modern retail brand can’t be defined by tech platforms and influencer campaigns, but good old fashioned brand building and understanding how to connect with customers both online and IRL.

In this session, we'll lay the groundwork for a growth strategy:

  • Understanding the economic and technological characteristics driving the rise of direct-to-consumer retail brands
  • Reflecting on your brand vision and your vision of the role you'll play in growth mode
  • Exploring what drives a winning omnichannel customer experience for your brand online and IRL
  • How to gather and analyze actionable data through systems like point of sales, marketplace platforms and social channels

Modernizing your brand

Session Two
2 online workshops
3 weeks

Once you figure out if growth is the path you really see in the future, you can put blinders on and laser-focus on scaling your brand. Moving from online to offline retail is a big step, and driving foot traffic to a physical store requires a different approach than online sales. Physical retail is an important touch point for consumers who expect to interact with brands in the most convenient way for them at any given moment, whether that means on mobile, on desktop, or in their closest local store. Promoting your store by simply blasting your email list with sale offers won't be good enough.

In this session, we'll explore how to optimize for replicability:

  • Breaking down your current operation into what scales, what doesn't and what’s missing
  • Mixing online and offline channels to optimize customer acquisition, retention and supply chain logistics
  • How to use playbooks to figure out replicability across the business
  • How to leverage technology to scale systems and concepts with consistency

Scaling your roadmap

Session Three
2 online workshops
3 weeks

Among the crucial steps in the scaling-up process is figuring out location, real estate, operating team and increasingly, supply chain logistics. You can change everything about your brand and concept, but it's difficult to change location once you've committed. Studying your original base of loyal customers can point to the strongest demographics for the brand and help to weed out the not-so-great neighborhoods from areas where the concept can flourish.

In this session, we'll map out a framework for a market entry plan:

  • Understanding the benefits and challenges of scaling through corporate or franchise models
  • How to manage the site selection process to best align with your scale up strategy and in-market supply chain
  • What to look for in potential leasing agreements with building owners

Putting it together

By the end of this bootcamp, you'll have the mindset and tools to start digging into your scaled-up vision for the brand and business. You'll also be potentially ready to join a Factory accelerator which includes more hands-on opportunities to grow your brand.

  • Individual access to a Factory Beta bootcamp only $350/month over 3 months
  • Bootcamps included in your Factory membership
  • Pricing includes access to all course playbooks and toolkits
  • Take less than 90 days to build a roadmap to scale your brand