Credit: http://www.beardbrand.com

The Beardbrand Experience — Part I

I am excited to kick-off a three part blog series this week on the value of delivering superior customer experiences. As our markets flood with more efficient tools, powered by technology, the reason to focus on the human experience has never been more important. Follow me on this exciting journey to learn more about a company that is focusing on this key element to distance itself from competitors.

As new economies emerge and evolve, sometimes at the speed of technology, how do businesses win the hearts and minds of customers? Should they collect more data? Should they pursue product line extensions? Or should they focus more on their customers? I believe the answer to these questions, and similar other ones, is simple — focus on the experience. It is my conclusion that a business can win the hearts and minds of prospects by influencing perception through elevated experiences not offered by competitors.

A business has to offer a product or service, preferably one that people want, and an experience that compliments it. Experiences have a way of leaving an indelible mark in the minds of prospects. We will discuss more about why that is and how to create these experiences to make distinguished products and services. Many companies deliver incredible products. However, only a few deliver incredible experiences. Let’s look at a company that is doing both successfully.

Why create an experience?

While we like to believe that most of our decisions are both logical and rational, emerging research points to the fact that many of our decisions, including purchasing decisions, are governed by emotions and feelings. According to Janet Crawford, a neuroscientist specializing in business, logic is the last step in the decision making process. Generally, people will act on feelings first and then find the data to confirm their decision. For companies looking to build a following and a brand, this is powerful information. It implies that companies that focus on feelings may have a longer shelf-life and influence purchasing decisions.

Our Story

All positive experiences begin with a memorable connection. To make a memorable connection, a business must, at a basic level, focus on unconscious needs and hidden personal demands. For example, the yearning to belong to a community or a tribe is a basic human need. It’s as primordial as the instinct to survive. Even though we share this planet with 7 billion people, it’s easier to feel lonely than it is to feel connected. If a business recognizes such basic human needs, it can create a connection much deeper and far stronger than the product it sells.

Our story is about man without a tribe, something we all have experienced at some point in our lives. Eric Bandholz worked in the corporate world as a banker. He also wore a beard. Often Eric was pressured to look a certain way in order to fit in at work. He felt that those surrounding him had a negative perception of his beard and what it represented. He recalls beards, at work, being symbols of laziness and uncleanliness.

Only bikers, outdoorsmen, and lumberjacks wear beards, right? What about the urban working man? Eric often wondered if there were other urban professionals who enjoyed wearing full beards like him. At first, finding other urban beardsmen was not easy. So, Eric decided to create a platform around which people like him could connect. This platform would soon sell beard care products and the urban bearded lifestyle experience.

Eric’s company is called Beardbrand.

How to create an experience?

By focusing on building a community through powerful customer experiences, Beardbrand is currently exploding in popularity and in sales. Beardbrand is currently pulling in $120K in monthly sales and continues to grow. Beardbrand’s strategies provide a blueprint for all companies, new and established, to deliver a product and an elevated experience. To design a compelling experience, a company must focus on three key principles.

  • Capturing attention
  • Prioritizing emotional engagement
  • Striving to continuously surprise

It is my intent to use Beardbrand as a case study to uncover insights into how a business can create elevated experiences to sustain meaningful relationships with people.

For details on each of these principles and how Beardbrand is successfully employing them please check out my second blog post — The Beardbrand Experience Part II.