Branding is Your First Conversation with Your Customer

Recently I switched from using Dollar Shave Club to Harry’s. This was due to my

I love this stuff. Keep doing this please.

Mother in Law buying me a trial kit. I honestly figured I’d try it out but stick with DSC just because I had used them for well over a year. However, after using the blades for the first time I really fell in love with the company. The thing is though it wasn’t the quality of the blades that got me but the overall presentation of the product. Everything from the blade handle to the included shaving foam had a more premium feel to it that, I suppose, I’ve been wanting. It felt a little bit classier and a step above DSC. Now I haven’t even bothered to look into the reality of either companies claims about their blades (Harry’s says they’re made in Germany and DSC is, well, they’re made somewhere) but both seem to cut about the same and extra products they offer both seem to be good enough. I was thinking why I’m so into this brand and then I realized I was persuaded by branding, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Solid branding starts when you open the package

I know lots of marketers (perk, or curse, of being one myself) and we all talk about how much we buy into good marketing. Kinda like when an NBA player seems someone else on their team throw down a monster jam, we get that excited when we see others market well. Branding is a function of marketing and Harry’s is doing it right on the money. DSC really claimed the market early with their very well made and viral-ready ads, but Harry’s seems to be cornering the market on brand aesthetics and implied status. In fact, they have to do this because they only own about 9% of the market.

Smart marketing is knowing your position in your industry and exploiting your

A bit more premium from the beginning - speaking the right language
A bit more premium from the beginning – speaking the right language

niche as much as you possibly can. Harry’s seems to be doing just that. What’s most interesting is how much they’re associated with Warby Parker (whom I have written about in the past). Both brands know they can’t just repeat their competitors formula and hope to outsell them, but instead they focus on finding the pockets of people within the market they want to capture and they pursue them with integrity, honesty, and transparency. I say this all the time but when you speak an audiences language they will listen.


This isn’t a paid post for Harry’s – not in the slightest. I just like to point out good branding when I see it and make sure others do the same.

Bottom of the box - I was hoping for a secret compartment.
Bottom of the box – I was hoping for a secret compartment. This was just as good though.

Warby Parker and the Great Content Marketing Caper

Warby Parker has done something amazing when it comes to content marketing. Not only do they have one of the best email marketing teams in the game but they are starting to up their content. Both of these things are going to be huge in 2015. Especially since Rand Fishkin in one of his recent webinars explained how important content is going to be for SEO in 2015. But in all of the “end of 2014” content creations that are out there the one that stuck with me is the Warby Parker unscientific year in review. It’s honestly just silly questions that generate funny answers for any user that asks somewhat generic questions but it’s really fun and most importantly really shareable. And it’s not even brand centric, which makes it easier for anyone to share. Partially why I think it’s such a brilliant piece of content marketing to begin with.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 1.17.29 PM
My 2014 Annual Report “Motto”. Personally, I couldn’t agree more.

Share-ability is going to be a huge problem in 2015 with Facebook announcing that they’re going to be eliminating organic posts from business pages. That’s a huge hit to smaller businesses that rely on organic posts to increase their visibility without spending $100k on FB advertising. So what does that mean for marketers? Creating content that is easy to share and easy to digest can be your biggest win in the coming year. For example, Guy Kawasaki recently gave some tips to on the best ways to exist on social media and they’re pretty important. They’re worth looking at and you can do so here but the one I found most important is this:

  • Share at least one post per day. Think of social media as flossing but with greater benefits: enhanced relationships, greater visibility, and, seriously, fun. These goals are imminently achievable, but they require consistent effort over the course of several months to see results. You’ll have to stand by the side of a river a long time before a roast duck or social-media goodness flies into your mouth. Very few people post too much good stuff.

When we share, or create things worth sharing, we are giving consumers content that they want but also content that they can own. Giving any consumer the ability to own something that isn’t exactly theirs but can be a reflection on themselves is a huge asset in today’s digital landscape.

Possible New Nicknames...
Possible New Nicknames…

All in all, Warby Parker sets an amazing example of what you can do with content in 2015 and how you can create something that doesn’t reflect completely on the brand itself but generates awareness and easily shareable content. Because that’s literally the whole point of this blog post and after all, if they only receive 3% of new customers off of 1,000,000 shares, that’s not exactly a bad place to be in.