Context: BRANDiD is the most personal shopping experience for men. Try multiple sizes of any clothes from any online store at home to make sure they fit. Anything you don’t want, we come and collect in-person, for free.
So, how did we generate $13k in 24hrs?
Here’s the trick: we didn’t pull any tricks. One of our customers unexpectedly posted us to Product Hunt, and we resonated with every customer. And if you build a resonating experience, people tell their friends. This is what that looks like:
Craft an experience that resonates.
We get these kinds of messages daily at BRANDiD. We also get emails:
A resonating experience is delivering 4 “aha” moments
When Chamath Palihapitiya, Josh Elman and Sean Ellis talk about the “aha moment” aka the “must-have experience”, they are talking about the first of the 4 moments. For early startups, this is the most important, and you absolutely need to nail it. But if you stop there, your product is guaranteed to suck. Do you really think Facebook only has one must-have experience and then you’re hooked for life?
Great products deliver continuous value
More specifically, great products deliver 4 aha moments at 4 key parts of every customer’s lifecycle.
The 4-Step User Lifecycle Framework
The first step to building a resonating product is understanding that you need to deliver continuous value. Then your job is to find out what value to deliver at what time.
We use a framework championed by @gaganbiyani in his talk from #commercism below. There is nothing new about this framework, but we’ve applied it to delivering continuous value. This talk has had a direct impact on the product we’ve built and is the reason why we invest in our product experience and not paid acquisition. Next, I’ll walk you through exactly how we put this strategy to work with real examples and screenshots of resulting messages from customers (at its core, BRANDiD is a messaging app).
In this talk, Gagan explains the different approaches to growth at Udemy vs. Lyft, and how that influenced Sprig’s focus on building a delightful experience before doing any paid marketing.
Here is the 4-step framework mentioned in the talk. Gagan used this at Lyft and we used it at BRANDiD to simplify our otherwise complex value proposition at the different stages of a user’s life.
1. Before they buy
Aha moment: 100% of visits result in speaking to a personal shopper within 20 seconds
For us, this is the first aha moment that delivers the wow-factor for every visitor, every time they visit.
We bust our balls to make this happen, and this is what the typical result looks like. We’ve built extensive notification and real-time internal systems to get this right. For us, the first 20 seconds of a customer’s experience drastically impacts their lifetime value. Importantly, even if you aren’t in the market for clothes at the moment, you have such a reliable and positive experience every time you visit, that when you or your friends need clothes, you’re going to come back to BRANDiD. In fact, our day 30 retention is consistently upwards of 88%.
2. First Purchase
Aha moment: Try multiple sizes of any clothes from any store, at home for free.
When customers see something they like, we then drop one of the most disruptive features of BRANDiD — try multiple sizes of any item from any store at home for free.
Never pay up front for clothes ever again.
Reactions like Jim’s shown are a regular occurrence on BRANDiD.
3. Repeat Purchase
Aha moment: Our drivers come and collect and process all your returns for free.
Our Return Like a Man™ service is where we come and collect anything you don’t want for free. We do all the hard work of dealing with pesky retailers who are incentivised to make you mess this part up. RLAM™ has such an incredible impact on lifetime value that we invest in the RLAM™ experience instead of paid acquisition.
Aha moment: “BRANDiD delivered way more value than I was expecting”
This usually comes at the end, but in some cases we’ve been able to shorten the viral loop down to minutes without the need for a financial incentive, as shown here. Using the 4-step framework to simplify your messaging, you can shorten the time to resonate with a customer, and therefore shorten the viral loop like we have.
5. Bonus: The must-have experience vs. overarching value proposition
In some situations, like speaking to investors, you need to communicate an overarching value proposition quickly and easily.
This is not simply a combination of your aha moments. If it is, it is a sign that you probably haven’t thought hard enough about delivering continuous value.
It takes incredible empathy and distance to distill your value proposition into a simple sentence by yourself, you should ask an outsider to help you. We hadn’t figured this out until Andrew McCollum, Facebook co-founder and one our most cherished investors, was able to communicate it to us:
Guys spend more with BRANDiD than any other clothing service because we deliver the most personal shopping experience they’ve ever had.
All the features, all the experiences, all the communication stems from the fact that we’re the most personal shopping experience you’ve ever had.
This makes sense for investors
In all my years building ecommerce businesses, every single one is trying to be more personalised, because it drives more value. This is especially poignant in clothing because it is such an emotional and subjective purchase. As technology improves, things are getting more personalised. This trend converges at 1-to-1 personalisation. In the future, it is inconceivable that there won’t be a platform for 1-to-1 individually personalised shopping. We are building that platform. Mens clothing alone is a $500B market, so we’re enormously disruptive in an enormous market.
This makes sense for customers
As a customer of BRANDiD, you know all your current and future clothing needs are always taken care of, because you have a team of personal shoppers and drivers on call 24/7. Jeans too long? We collect it and get it done for you for free. Need to know how take care of suede? Drop a message in the live chat. We’re always here, waiting to serve you. No matter what feature we add to the app in the future, we know it will always align with our value proposition, which makes it easy to communicate to customers and investors. That’s how we built a resonating experience.