Miso Tasty – 5 Key Lessons from a Start-Up
As innovators we love to engage with new start-ups, to gain insight into what’s fuelling passions and driving growth.
Miso Tasty is a striking new premium miso soup – a modern version of the ancient Japanese superfood. Targeting modern busy urbanites, it’s already selling in such well-heeled establishments as Selfridges, Wholefoods and Harvey Nichols. Bonnie Chung is the driving force behind Miso Tasty – so what are her 5 Top Tips from her experience so far?
- Your brand is your baby: protect it fiercely
“Nurture and protect your brand in the same way you would a child; patiently and passionately. New brands, like newborns, need a lot of guidance. Stay alert to customers airing their views. Stand up for your brand if it’s being wronged, and shout it from the rooftops when it’s doing well.”
- Refine, refine, refine – then scale
“Don’t be tempted to rush. Success requires long periods of trialing, testing, refining and evolving. Keep very close control, monitoring everything carefully; feedback from customers, suppliers, friends and family. What’s working, and what’s not? Stay in trial mode as long as you can, listening, learning and adapting.”
- Things go wrong all the time! Embrace the ‘spanner in the works’
“There are so many times when things have not gone to plan. But we have learnt that often this is a blessing in disguise. Laugh when things go wrong, celebrate when things go right and keep going! It took us three years to launch because of countless production setbacks – but this helped create the product it was always meant to be.”
- Don’t lose the personal touch as you grow
“As the face of Miso Tasty, it is important that I connect with our customers directly. A brand needs to be authentic and have a real voice. I still run all our in-store tastings, as customers are excited to meet the person behind the brand – and we handwrite a note of thanks to accompany every online sale. These personal touches are the little quirks that help make a brand truly unique and authentic.”
- Build a diverse team, but don’t try to please them all
“Our team all have very different personalities and skills; some are risk takers, some are conservative, some are bubbly, some are reserved, some are technical, and some are artistic! Different situations require different approaches – but don’t look for total agreement before making a decision. The point of a team is not for consensus, but to challenge ideas and plans with real rigour. Not everyone will be pleased all the time… and that’s OK!”
Bonnie has just been nominated in the O2 Smarta 100 Awards ‘Ones to Watch’, and is a Finalist in NatWest Bank’s ‘Great British Entrepreneur Awards’ in the Start-Up Category. Congratulations to Miso Tasty – and we so grateful for your shared insight and experience!