by Megan Williams
You may be starting your BJJ business just for fun or challenge, but I urge you to make another consideration. The concept of community can sound cliche or cheesy, but considering how much people invest into jiu jitsu, and how much we’re putting ourselves at risk, BJJ consumers are more than a market. Each practitioner has time, safety and emotion invested into the products and services they purchase, and each one deserves respect from the business community. That said, there are additional reasons why your brand deserves some thought and planning…
Your audience is informed-Some things we buy, we have no idea what goes into them…cars, food, electronics, the majority of consumers buy in ignorance. In BJJ, everyone but the newest of new white belts is experiencing the art first hand on a regular basis. There are no loose connections.
The community is small-And not just Internet-small…the gis you sell in Tblisi can make their way through the online BJJ world in a matter of hours, but it’s also likely that a world champion from the US is over in Georgia giving a seminar when some unfortunate student finds out first hand that you skimped on the jacket stitching. Product quality is part of the brand.
You want to stick around-I’m assuming you’re not just pouring time and effort into your project because you’re bored. Your brand is a part of your story, and your story is what your customers buy. Learn how to tell a good story that people care about.
It reflects on all of us-I remember when the Lloyd Irving scandal hit, a friend came to me, with no affiliation with BJJ, and said they’d heard about him. That’s an extreme example, but be aware that in your quest for attention, future community members might be watching, learning, and getting an impression of what jiu jitsu is.
Running any endeavor in BJJ is just like stepping onto the mats as a white belt…it’s hard, you’re going to doubt yourself and there will be times you wonder if starting was worth it in the first place (it probably was). Just like training though, commit yourself to something bigger, and you’ll see results.
We’ll be talking more about some of the hurdles and issues you’ll face in the future, so keep an eye on our branding series. Want updates on the series delivered to your mailbox? Sign up for our business newsletter.