Entrepreneur Advice: Brooklyn is So Over, Does that Mean My Business Is, Too?


HollyHowardDear Holly,

I’m sure like everyone else in Brooklyn,you’ve been reading a lot recently about how “Brooklyn is over.”  I’m concerned about how this perception might impact my business.  I’m a small food producer here in Brooklyn and lean heavily on that branding for my product.  

I have noticed that the markets are fuller than ever with vendors, and at times, I feel like because the market is so crowded that we’re actually cannibalizing ourselves rather than building a movement that’s sustainable.  Now on top of that, there’s all of this talk about Brooklyn the brand, being over.  Should I be worried?  And what can I do now to ensure that my business continues to thrive.  


Brooklyn Branded


Dear Branded,

I’m so glad to hear that you are anticipating what all of this means for your business.  You should be concerned about this as every business owner in Brooklyn should be. The over-saturation of the markets and the potential shift in perspective about the borough could have a negative impact on you if you started your business to cash in on trends.

Though everyone benefits by working together as a thriving community, no one benefits if we build businesses that lack true vision and purpose.  Because of all of the focus on Brooklyn as a brand, the market place has become highly saturated.  The cost of doing business in the borough has sky rocketed for brick and mortar operations.  It’s not the same game it was 10 years ago, and you need to realize that the landscape has changed.

What I mean by that is if you want longevity and steady growth, you need to build a brand and a business around your own personal story and not around the current fad.  Doing this gives you depth, purpose, continued relevance, and connection to consumers long after trends have come and gone.

So, look at the products you’re producing and your marketing message.  Are they true to who you are personally or have you created a business to be part of these trends?  As long as you’re following trends, you have to be prepared to come and go as trends do.  That’s their nature.  Trends work well for some businesses that can cash in quickly and get out just as quickly, but as a small food producer, that’s likely not you.

If you want staying power, I recommend you re-evaluate your business.  Find the core of your vision and your story and build a brand and a product around that.  It’s likely that you don’t need to start from scratch.  You just need to make some adjustments to what you’re already doing.

I wouldn’t see this shift in perspective about Brooklyn as a threat to what you’re doing, but instead I would see it as a call to action to re-evaluate why and how you’re doing it.

Good luck!


Want valuable insights into how to grow your business? Email Holly to set up a time to talk at hhoward@askhollyhow.com or to ask a question for the next Ask Holly How. Register for her next business development program here.

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