Some of us are counting down the days until the end of November when the faces of Movember men are replaced by the clean-shaven. For those lamenting the passing of this hairy month, you may find solstice in the Canadian made Beardo or Beermo courtesy of http://www.beardowear.ca/
The brainchild of Jeff Phillips, a snowboarder who found his face frozen atop Whistler Mountain, this quirky product line has taken off, mostly courtesy of the power of social media, which then fueled traditional media, and then was funneled, back to social to keep the interest embers stoked and burning. I stumbled upon it initially while peering over the shoulder of my 14 year old son’s Facebook page. I’m not sure if he was feeling prematurely follically challenged, or simply helping to further fuel the word of mouth, mouse and mobile, but currently the Beardowear Facebook page sits at 83,846 likes and 7,426 talking about this. Have a look: http://www.facebook.com/beardowear
There’s some great marketing and social media lessons to be learned here:
1. Be creative and innovative. This product line has gone beyond just a clever hat, to include fashionably innovative scarves for women, reversible beanies, hats for toddlers, bendable mos for Movember, bottle top stashes and custom beard colour combos. The company markets to the southern hemisphere’s winter during Canadian summers. They’re a year round business by virtue of having global reach and an internet based virtual store. Smart.
2. Have a product that invites talk. Quirky photos, irreverent video. This is a feel good and fun product. It’s a perfect distraction to send a friend when they should be preparing for a meeting. Youtube views 1.3 million and counting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwt6OrQHj6Q I dare you NOT to watch it!
3. Fuel the story initially using social. Instagram, Pintrest and Youtube were perfect platforms for this very visual product. Facebook and Twitter further gained organic word of mouse and mobile.
4. Work social media to earn the interest of traditional media. Then repurpose national and international TV, radio and print on social to gain further recognition. Rinse and repeat.
5. Have a plan for when imitators come to market. While I’m sure Jeff secured a patent on his design, low price imitators are bound to come calling. On this point, I am not sure where the young company stands, other than to say the cult-like following of their target segment likely values authenticity as part of the story of ownership. Provided Beardo can continue to cultivate their story, and be innovative, they can likely sustain the ride.