2017 Master Plan
I've always thought that transparency was one of the best "services" that any company could offer. That's why I'm excited to share with you what our plans are for 2017 and beyond. As you know, from my previous "Master Plan" article, we've always had a lot of things in store. To talk about 2017, we've first gotta dig a little into our past.
For us, 2016 was a very eventful year and we tried many new things. The Urban Beardsman brand was the primary focus of those efforts and it encompassed a YouTube channel, Social Media presence, regular blog, and eventually an e-commerce store. For those not familiar with Urban Beardsman's history; it started off as the Beardbrand blog, where we featured articles on different beardsman who were doing cool things. We decided to double down on the content and spun it off to it's own website, urbanbeardsman.com. We continued adding more features until eventually we launched the store.
With the store we worked with Carlos Costa, Jeff Buoncristiano, and myself to select items in our lives that we loved and thought our customers would also love. Sadly, we didn't get the response from the community that we expected and rather than prolonging it's eventual demise, we bit the bullet and pulled the plug at the end of 2016.
With no store left to anchor the Urban Beardsman blog we decided to bring our focus back to Beardbrand and what we do best.
2017 is A Year of Focus
We are in our 5th year of business now and we have tried a lot of things over that timeframe - some with success and others not so much. We've never been afraid to fail, as long as we make sure we learned from those mistakes. And boy have we learned a lot!
We learned that we are very good at uniting a community, at developing industry-leading grooming products, at setting clear guidance for how to use those the products, and providing the tools & inspiration to help men keep on growing beyond the beard.
We are pretty good when it comes to the ordering experience, but there is room for improvement. The biggest lesson was that we aren't very good at being a clothing, lifestyle & accessory store.
We are taking what we learned and are having 'focus' be the top theme for our company. That means our efforts will be put in improving the things we do well and to stop trying new things that are outside our core expertise.
So let's get into more specifics
With all that said, here are the action steps for the core parts of our business.
Blog Strategy - We've moved our blog back to blog.beardbrand.com and we've shifted our core article focus from short, frequent blurbs to more thorough, in-depth grooming & lifestyle articles. We will also be sharing our videos on the blog so you will be able to get regular content by visiting daily.
YouTube Strategy - We are planning to continue posting four videos a week, however, we are working on improving our internal production processes so that we can produce higher quality videos. That means we will spend more time outside of the studio to get fresh new content. Our focus will continue to be on beard care, hair care, self-improvement, and lifestyle.
Product Strategy - Last year we had a very aggressive plan to launch new products and we were quite successful, as we had 12 product launches. This year we will be scaling back the amount of launches and making sure it's the right type of product to launch. There will be some brand new products that you might not expect, and others that slide in nicely with other products. Beardbrand t-shirts and hats will finally hit the shelves.
Customer Experience Strategy - We've made transparency a top priority this year. We've made it easier to understand the ingredients in our products by launching an ingredient transparency blog into our website (see here: https://www.beardbrand.com/blogs/ingredients/). We've also included new icons to help you quickly establish key attributes for a product; such as vegan, all natural, etc.
Why do we do what we do?
Our mission at Beardbrand is still the same. We've always wanted to make a mark on the world and empower men to become the person they want to be. When we were founded in February 2012, that meant giving men the tools they needed to grow out their beard. It was about helping them handle the challenges that came with it - everything from internal doubt to dealing with pressures from others to shave.
We've made a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of people and want to help millions more. Our tagline in the early days was, "To Foster Style for the Urban Beardsman" then we shifted it to "Change the Way Society Views Beardsmen" and today it is "Keep on Growing."
With "Keep on Growing" it's about more than the beard. It's about the man behind the beard and how can we help him become the best version of himself. How can we help him show the world the person who he is on the inside, and how can we help him feel confident to tackle new endeavors.
Beardbrand has always been, and will always be more than a company that sells products. Hell, we sell the products to help fund our mission of making the world a better place. To many outsiders, they may just snicker that a beard can empower men, but those who have gone through the journey know what it's like.
It means the world to me that you take the time to read this post and that you choose to let us help you invest in yourself. It's without any doubt in the world that Beardbrand customers are fundamentally the best people in the world. I would not choose to be around any others. Y'all are smart, passionate, hungry, and damn good looking! :D I'm so thankful for your support!
Beard on and keep on growing!