[TechSparks 2020] It is vital to build customer trust to sustain your digital brand, says Chaitanya Ramalingegowda of Wakefit

At TechSparks 2020, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder of sleep solutions brand Wakefit, took a masterclass to explain the importance of building a quality product and why listening and learning from customer feedback is central to sustaining a digital brand.
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The last few years have changed the way business is done. Digitisation has been the disruptor – it has helped in brand building, increased transparency, and enhanced customer engagement.

But it’s important to use technology correctly and back it up with quality to build and retain customer trust.

At a masterclass at YourStory’s flagship event, TechSparks 2020, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder of Wakefit, said it was extremely important for aspiring entrepreneurs to build customer trust through product quality to sustain an online brand for the long term.  

Borrowing from Jeff Bezos’ ideologies, Chaitanya explained that customers can now compare products from different brands, analyse, and read reviews and feedback from other customers before deciding to make a purchase. This makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to sell their product only on the back of good marketing strategies.

“It is very hard to build an inferior product into a brand. You need to be on your toes, you need to respond to customers and build customer trust in the best possible way otherwise your brand will not stand the test of time,” he said. 

Bengaluru-based Wakefit was launched almost five years ago by Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda. It manufactures mattresses, pillows, beds, and more to “promote a disciplined and healthy sleep culture”. 

While addressing the audience at TechSparks 2020, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder of Wakefit said it is important to build customer trust for sustaining digital businesses.

Disrupt the market

Speaking about starting a digital brand, Chaitanya said it was important for entrepreneurs to understand inefficiencies in the supply chain and take advantage of the gap to disrupt the market.

“There is a need to see if there are any inefficiencies in the supply chain. If not, then there will be not much to disrupt,” he said.

The co-founder added that everything being done needed to translate into faster delivery, cheaper costs, and better solutions, including the flexibility to personalise and customise solutions to be different from existing players. 

He argued that if one can’t be at least 10x better in these parameters than existing solutions, it will be difficult to disrupt the market.

Chaitanya said those looking to start up also need to know and study about their total addressable market (TAM), adding that entrepreneurs catering to at least a billion-dollar size market may have a higher chance of receiving venture capital funding. 

‘Choose the right problem to solve’

Chaitanya said aspiring entrepreneurs need to focus on building a quality product and meeting customer needs. According to him, investing in creating multifeature apps and websites can be done over time, but the focus should be the customers and getting the product to them.

In cases where it can become difficult to focus on several things together, customers and products should always take priority.

He highlighted the importance of creating several prototypes and getting customer feedback on the product and service to move forward and sustain the business. He said it was important for innovators to focus on the minimum viable product (MVP), which involves launching the product in the market with the basic and most important features and testing the waters. Feedback from customers will help scale it up and launch in the market.

“Focus on delivering products to customers and get demand. Create a prototype and learn from customer feedback,” he says.

Chaitanya advised that entrepreneurs should try and talk directly with the first 1,000 customers as they serve as the most important source of information. Their feedback can help innovators gain consumer perspective and realise ways to improve. He added that it was important for entrepreneurs to build a core team to realise customer satisfaction and solve related problems.

On funding, he said it would be “advantageous” after the product has found market fit and created demand for itself. 

Digitisation has simplified access to technology infrastructure, analytics, and data, but innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs must focus on how they can add value to the existing situation, how can they help solve a gap or inefficiencies in the segment, and tap those opportunities, Chaitanya said.

To know more, watch the full interview here.


TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020. 

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Edited by Teja Lele Desai