Culture & Innovation (with Guest Mike Del Ponte)


Building Your Brand


Lesson Info

Culture & Innovation (with Guest Mike Del Ponte)

Day two what we're going to be talking about we're really going to get into more of the web basics and the digital basics but I want to recap a little bit first because I did get some e mails about the funnel test so we're going to do another funnel test and then we're going to move on we're going to talk about culture and innovation then I have a great surprise we're going to another skype call this morning with an amazing entrepreneur named mike del ponte a he's with soma water he just launched he launched his product with kickstarter campaigns we're going to talk to him about that then we are going to dio web basics then we're going to move on to email and then we're gonna have a great segment on communication planning so we have another full day of activities so to start off what I wanted to do was to do one more funnel tests before we jump in okay so I picked one just because we did reference see yes to carrots products yesterday right remember that it was thie natural skincare pr...

oduct it's one of the prizes and I went on the yes to website this morning and I took a look at it and what's interesting to me is that sometimes it's really easy to put these together right? You can see it there's a lot of clarity of vision and other times it's complicated what I want you to remember is that if it's complicated that is not ah unique problem major corporations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to figure out what their core attributes are so if you can't get this done in one day, don't worry about it it what it is is it's really a test and a goal for you to think about the process and to think about what you want your company to be so yes to carrots and I did not take my calligraphy class last night either so okay, we've got our three things um the three things that I found on their web site that were really clear to me is that they want to be affordable they also with their tone ality they actually use the word kick ass said they want to kick ass products which I think is part of kind of their brand they want to have a lot of fun so they want to have kick ass products and they want to be sustainable okay coming down to the tone ality again when you look at the website you can really get the feeling of the company based on a lot of the programs that they're doing happy and healthy now I think yesterday I said one word in tone ality obviously I've got to here so you can have some leeway in your funnel tests it doesn't have to be exact klay fifteen words for the mission, the vision or exactly one word for tone ality but so here we are we're starting to get kind of a feeling of it and their mission I was a little bit higher and elevated mission just like we talked about with zappos yesterday about zappa's is really delivering happiness they want to make the world a better place one bottle of lotion at a time all right, so again kind of funny, you know make the world better place that's great that's all about the higher sustainability the natural products the one bottle of lotion about at a time is the category they're in they're in skin care but it's fun it's witty but I think when you look at this what's easy to do now I didn't even talk to their ceo about this I just looked at their materials and I could kind of figure out hey, this is what they're doing it's very clear and easy so think about that again I know that some of you did a great job with her final some of you are still working on it but this is just another example for you. All right? So before we move on to the next s module, which is culture and technology and innovation, I just wanted to hear a little bit more from you guys if you had any questions or follow ups from yesterday so we've talked about our schedule for the day culture and innovation culture in innovation the reason that I wanted to talk about this because branding, as I mentioned yesterday it's really a three hundred sixty five degree look at what's happening with the company what happens inside your corporate office and your your headquarters is really going to impact your brand. I also wanted to talk a lot about technology because they're so maney technology changes happening, but first some of the resource is that I'm recommending and this is just a couple of them that are pulled out of the e book there's probably about fifty resource is in the book but some great sites to be looking at now a lot of these are domestic sites, but you can still find them business insider techcrunch mashable, entrepreneur dot com giga home and then I also encourage all of you to find all of the industry publications or the industry blog's that are relevant to your category. You have so much information at your fingertips and it's really important to like stay on top of the trends get a smart issue can okay culture impacts brand here are a couple of examples I don't want to mention the liquor companies name because we can't really talk about liquor on ah web show but there is a liquor company I know the founders of it it's, an echo base liquor company and what I love is that they're so focused on their their core purpose and they're positioning that not only is there liquor product carbon neutral but everything that they've done at their headquarters their manufacturing they think about recycling they have bamboo floors in their office they have a wind turbine that they used to manufacture their products so they've taken the d n a of their company and their product and they've extended it into their company culture right yes to carrots which we just talked about there obviously very natural I have been to their office in san francisco it's a very fun office what happens there at lunch they've got group cooking where people are in the kitchen together cooking right? They've got yoga classes it's an open work space and it's a very health focused environment they're all really in it together and they're living and breathing kind of the same mind set zoe's e you're going to be meeting t j from zero z tomorrow zero z is an experience and kind of adventure website dan I know you used to do a lot of experience travel so you probably are familiar with them but they're all about living kind of life in the moment right taking adventures and so t j one thing that he's done for his team he's got about forty employees as he gives them adventure credits so they get to experience the adventures on a monthly basis it's again it's very casual and it's a health focus workplace but what you start to see is that the culture actually represents the product that's being delivered to the marketplace. So I want you to think about this even if your company is just one or two people right now what happens when it's five people how are you going to bring those brand and those company values toe life in your organization for fashion it could be something like bringing in curated topics and lectures on fashion talking about design going to art galleries all sorts of things but you want to make sure that you are living and breathing the culture that you want your products and your service to be okay virgin america obviously I talked about working with them for four years. One thing that's pretty amazing about virgin america or the virgin companies is that there's this long legacy in history to the verge virgin brand sir richard has been working on virgin since he was probably in his early twenties. He had virgin records, virgin mobile all sorts of companies. But for the younger employees who comes in somebody who's maybe twenty five who's working the airline industry they may not know the history and all of those amazing things that happened so this is actually in the main lobby a virgin america we actually created a history while where we brought the whole kind of history of the company toe life so when you walk into the main office you can hear about that you could read about the sex pistols and you can read about all of the things he did now this was important because virgin you really want people to understand the culture you want them to understand what they're part of right so things like this creating them in your environment having people be part of the experience could be really, really important and really powerful so I could see in yoga situation right talking about great yoga classes maybe go to yoga together but making sure that you bring this into your culture another thing that I do believe is is key and we talked about this a little bit yesterday is that collaboration is really what is going to drive success in the past if you look at how innovation was done henry ford the light bob a lot of things were done in a soul in a silo individuals creating innovation but today because of globalization because of technology innovation is much more collaboratively based because of social media I do have a a theory that product is actually marketing now and what I mean by that is that in the past a lot of companies could market their brands or their companies with false histories or hypothetical histories because the consumer actually never got all the details now because of so shil media brands that are transparent and honest are the ones that are going to thrive you can't pull the wool over people's eyes anymore, right? So think about that that product is marketing and that's why fighting mediocrity with your product in your service is so important because dan, after you go when you meet with someone and you do a consultation if they want are they going to post on facebook they're going to post on yelp maybe do a review right? So it's very transparent we didn't have that before. One thing that did help that virgin was that we actually didn't have a product department marketing and engineering developed product together so that's how the process worked that again shows you how important your product is to your marketing reese I'm sure that when you're thinking about your magazine aa lot of what's going into it it's your product but it's those images that people are going to share its those images that are bringing them back to the magazine another thing that's happening and this may sound more relevant for the larger company but I do think it's relevant for small businesses too is that the role between marketing and I t is blurring and they used to be very, very separate in the past your marketing person would be planning the ads the person would probably be working on the website but now because we've been in such a digital shift a lot of this is blurring and what you're seeing is that things like asio search engine optimization search ended marketing aa lot of those air moving into the I t departments and so being able to work across boundaries and figuring out the language so that the marketing person or the photographer khun talk with the I t person and figure out how to get the best results it's incredibly important dan I saw you shaking your head you're probably the marketing person and the person right? Yes I wear many hats yeah tell me about that what what's it like well I mean I think coming from sort of having that endless thirst of technology when I was conceptualizing my idea I thought, you know when it comes to the websites and that's such a big part of my business I could a either outsource that and have somebody else do it or because I sort of have that background and of doesn't websites before I saw it as a challenge and so I made the website on my lonesome I did it myself it took a lot longer right? But then when you deal with the marketing and everything like that it's sort of you wear a lot of different caps especially starting out a new company when you don't have employees right? So you wear a lot of cap right now it's great because you can see all the data you can see, the analytics, you know, what's working what's not working, right? Exactly. You don't have to rely on somebody else. Maybe to figure that out. That's, right? If they're not available in a great great. Okay, um, so that's really important. I also think that having, you know, as much collaboration and a lot of times in office spaces in the past, think about how office spaces have changed or a lot of closed doors. Now we've got a lot of open work spaces. We have a lot of co working spaces, at least here in the united states and that's. One thing that I think is actually really great for entrepreneurs if you can find that I noticed yesterday that with the group of you that there was some magic happening, that you guys were getting excited, you were, like, feeding off of each other. Tracy, I can see you nodding your head. We like. And emily, you had a tweet last night that was I have more ideas, and I know what to deal with, right? So surround yourself with people that are going to support your ideas and people that are going to support entrepreneurialism. There are going to be people in your world that are going to be the naysayers and the you know, the nose in the cans and the won't send the don'ts you need to make sure that you try to get those that time to talk out of your mind set and bring yourself in with claverie people you have a comment on that one tracy any any thoughts so like dan, I've been doing everything myself and I think we even talked this morning that I'm trying to find my posse because it's so important because you know especially when you're starting out you're just you know you're being scrappy and you're you're hustling and we're doing everything that you possibly can and just like you I mean even just with talking briefly with everybody here I mean because you're so amazing just oui oui feet like you said feed off of each other and just like it's so much easier it's like it's like the floodgates opened right right great emily oh no I just I do have so many ideas that I don't know what to do with but it's been really great bouncing my ideas off other people and I showed jeff my logo and he was like oh that's looks so great and you know it's just it's it's exciting and um you know, I only got like three hours of sleep the night before but I was I I was just feeding off the energy that I'm getting from this work shy so it's really agree so I want to encourage all of you to figure out how to get a team around you how to find your mastermind group because what's going to happen is that you're going to be excited and inspired by that, but you're also going to find those growth lessons that are going to save you time help you find resource is and help you be more effective. So it's really, really important when we talked to mike who is soma waters ceo who just launched this last year, what you're going to find is that he actually has been living in a live work mansion with other entrepreneurs so he's surrounded twenty four seven by entrepreneurs now we don't all have that opportunity, but I want to think about how that impacts your productivity, your success and your happiness. The other thing is is that if you can't find these people right next to you sky thing google huddles we have so many tools now where you can start bringing people together. There is even a tons of things obviously like creative live but there are other people that were doing all sorts of google huddles on fundraising techniques and and all sorts of topics so use these tools to get smarter and make your businesses grow all right, so attracting and keeping greek talent again, this is something that you might not be thinking about yet you're like, I don't even have the money to pay myself yet, but I want you to think big right? And jeff, you've got some talent that's working on various products within your business, but I want you to really think about when you're growing the things that are going to help you attract talent. One is a culture that people relate to and that they want to be part of they want to be excited about it that they believe in your vision, and so when you get to the place, when I had yesterday carrots having the higher vision that's something that people can oh, grab onto right it's not just being attracted to skin care or lotion it's making the world a better place, people get inspired by that reinforce your culture. I'm a big believer in limiting hierarchy I don't think people need to throw around unnecessary job titles, things like that a good idea can come from anywhere, especially in today's world. In the past, there was a lot more hierarchy and organizations and you had to kind of raise up the ladder. Now you're seeing interns who can all a sudden turn into ceos, we have people that are coming out of school, that air starting companies we just had someone yesterday who sold his app to yahoo I think he was eighteen he's still in high school for thirty million dollars so it's really important to be respectful and also to see what can I learn from every person that I'm meeting in my path? Encourage your team to network at events I'm a big believer in this you can meet incredible people if you just get out there and find them this is just a small example of some connections and it looks like jeff has a thought on this something you're saying which is so important, you know when when you're a start up in it and you get it's just you you know you khun express your vision and what have you but when you've got ah business part and then you get employees and what have you it changes and it's really important that you work to spread the gospel in terms of what your vision and mission is because when you bring somebody also in the office, if they're meeting with if somebody's meeting with five different people and they're all saying five different things in terms of what the culture stands for, it tells you that ok, they may have a great product but they don't completely have their cultural house in order, so it is definitely something to work on and it's something that when it's right it's amazing because that you know its vitality and somebody picks up on that what wittes? A tip that maybe you've done in your culture to kind of give that energy and that passion? Well, you know, sometimes that there will be one person I'm in a two person partnership, and then we've got employees, but, you know, maybe one person is going to be a little bit more vision and mission focus in terms of expressing it, but actually taking the time to get together at the top and to get on the same page and actually go through an exercise and, um, you know, you know, always continually be open to shaping it. And so, jeffrey, you know, when I sit down with him that's, my business partner, jeffrey jeffrey, you know, make it easy, you know, I'm very open to hearing when he says, but when we get together, we try toe, hone and just just get our get aligned, and sometimes, you know, there's there could be misalignment, and you always need to sort of bring it back to center, so you gotta work at it it's like a marriage really great, the original team that I put together because we were all so excited about it and everyone was talking about it, and you could sense, like we would go to events, and we would just be so excited about it people started coming to me I don't even have to look for him anymore that literally I get probably five e mails a day saying I want to write for your magazine I want to be a part of this how do I you get to be a part of posse and it's been really exciting and it's all just based off of our excitement and the way that the entire team just is really passionate about what we're doing great there is a youtube video that's ted x video and I have it in the book but it's all about how to create a movement and in the video it's it's really fun because basically what it says is it's not as important with the first person thinks it's the number two number three and number four because once they've joined in than other people think wow something's going on over there so the people that are believing in your movement are just as important as you all right so think about that um making sure people feel value this is another thing it's really small but it could have huge ramifications I think a lot of times we get so busy and this could be with your customers or with your teammates your contractors but giving them great feedback like you know that was a great job I really value what you did letting people know that you care there was ah a thing that I saw the other day where the ceo of campbell soup used to write personal hand letters to his employees and over the course of his career he wrote about ten thousand letters saying thank you for being involved in the business I appreciate what you did those things make a huge difference on how people are going to be passionate and committed to your company all right fostering a culture of innovation we've talked a little bit about this I think it's all about the values but valuing creativity, rewarding innovation there certain companies that I'm just going to highlight google has a thing called twenty percent time where they actually allow their employees to take twenty percent of their data work on things that they believe in so they say, hey, this is important we want you to be innovative an agency that I was at before it was very small but it was ah thing that they did they called it the golden bagel award it was in new york obviously and whoever had the best idea of the week got a a gold shellacked bagel that sat on their desk and it was it was simple but you felt good if you have that gold bangle on your desk you're like I got the gold bagel right? So little things they don't have to be expensive but it says, hey, good idea keep it up twitter I think I might have mentioned this yesterday but it twitter they've got ten values since I want you to think about the values and to keep it simple how about five values five things that your company values they actually reinforce them at all of their internal meetings I think that we did at virgin america was that we had kind of big idea meetings where people were brought together to bring in innovation and new thinking on a regular basis so make sure that you're bringing new ideas to the company we talked about this a little bit how marketing is shifting and again this is a little different because we're smaller businesses but it is totally revolutionized and I want you all to really think about digital and how to use technology to improve your business it is not going away, we have more people on mobile more people on ipads and that's going to continue the data revolution has also changed everything. The other thing that I want you to think about is that there's a lot of enterprise software out there where you can key into products that are existing especially in the yoga in the fitness space there's a lot of loyalty programs that are software based you can plug into them so you don't have to build things from scratch so think about what can you use and access that's already been built that works for your company right, there's recruiting software, there's all sorts of things you can do. So what can you do that, khun save you time building from the ground up. A lot of scheduling software. All sorts of things again. Big data. You may think. What does big data have to do with my new company? But you need to be thinking about the data. I loved that. Jeff, you were talking about the importance of getting the email. The more information you have about your customer, the better off you're going to be. Dan. Yesterday you were mentioning ah, you know, your target audience. You know that it's a little bit older, but think about all that data that you can collect when you're working with them. And when you start to know when their birthday issue khun send them thank you's and all sorts of things and happy birthdays, all of that stuff makes for stickier relationships. Remember our chart when we had our customers, we had the one time customer and we're trying to move them over into the loyal customer, right? The more information you have, the easier it's going to be to move them across. So use data to help you make decisions, figure out a couple key metrics that are important for you. Jeff we were talking about one of your e mails we're going go through that later on today but you were saying you had your click through rates you're open rates larisa with your magazine I think you said something to me that people are spending a couple of minutes on this on the magazine and you want to improve that and get more engagement track those macro metrics and set goals okay what could we maybe talk a little bit about those metrics because I think that's so important but I think people's don't necessarily know how to establish what that would be for their particular business. So what advice would you give people sure all right, okay, so metrics what you need to do is again I'm all for simplicity so I would think about three or four things that are really important and these metrics might change over time but we'll give a couple of of examples so michelle, if you have content on your site there's some obvious things that we're going to want to look at we're going to want to look at the daily hits that are coming to the site you can also track your social media metrix uh click a ways how many pages are they going into your side? Are they going in two or three pages air they just bouncing off of the home page so you're going to have a lot of web metrics that you can start tracking google analytics will be really important and great for that jeff since you have a product, a lot of things that would be important for you are to look at the size of order repeat business things that are happening you know, with your customers um one thing that a lot of people would track is called a net promoter score and that's how happy people are with your business it's a little bit more sophisticated but I think that you can start to think about how are people perceiving the product in the quality are they enjoying it? Do they like it? You can do a survey monkey and just ask people how likely are you to recommend this to a friend that's actually that question right there how likely are you to recommend this to a friend is a very good indicator of business success and also business growth because that means I'm happy with it I'm going to recommend it to a friend ok, so those air certain things that you could track but there's you know a whole variety based on the business thank you. I mean, I think people generally just think, ok, I'm just going to track my revenue period and that's right, right? Well revenue was great too, but if you have the metrics then you can start having formulas to help you improve your revenue so again yesterday we had our costs per acquisition or c p a you want to start figuring out some kind of sepa in your business tracy you're going to want to figure out every time I sell a calendar how much is it as a take for me to bring someone into my sight to sell that product right? Because then you can start deciding when I do another one how many do I need to sell he need to start kind of figuring out those numbers ok? Any questions before we move on any questions over here all right um something that I am very passionate about it is technology and how it's changing and three to four years from now the world is going to be completely different than it is now I know a lot of you have read about google glasses, right? Put on the glasses and tons of information just coming at you well certain things that are happening in technology and especially for people there doing web based content localization is happening what I mean by this is that now with your smartphone and most everybody has a smartphone or maybe two now when you're walking consider that you are going to a restaurant and what if on your smartphone it pops up oh three of your friends are in the restaurant next door and there's an offer for a discount at the gap and free cappuccinos down the street and it's all popping up because they know exactly where you are. They also know your shopping preferences. They know what you're interested in who your friends are, who you're linked in that's all going to be popping up on your phones. So how does localization impact your business? I have a screen shot here. I know a lot of you in this market in seattle are using uber, uber has revolutionised car service and it's all based on using an nfc chip, which is a near field communication ship it's in your phone, so when you hit uber, your app, it knows exactly where you are. A couple of minutes later, it will say, I've got a car that's eight minutes away that didn't happen in the past. Think about the old model look for a phone book who even has a phone book, right phone book or go online call a cab it's because even sounds dirty touching a phone book, right? So you'd call a cab, but now it's completely revolutionised so localization is is one big change contextual ization. You know when you go to the grocery store and you put in your loyalty code and they know everything that you're buying, they know few by cap food, they know few by soto, they know if you buy yogurt, the coupons all pop out well, there is so much data about you and all of that is going to be popping up on your phone everyone can access that and so offers air going to be popping up soon you'll be able to figure out michelle, who likes yoga and you could just pop up and offer on their phone because they've gone to a yoga class and that information is accessible on their phone shopper vacation. There are companies that are putting sensors in, especially in shopping malls and shopping areas, so we'll be able to figure out how long have you been looking? We at ads what's your traffic pattern through a store, so again, there's just a lot more information happening and that's all happening on our phones and changing the way we make decisions automation again, lots of automation happening and then another one that I just wanted to highlight there's a little image here of square so san francisco based company and it basically is a device that you put on your phone some of you probably used it, but what it's done is it's changed the distribution model because now people can take credit cards at the flea market, they can take credit cards at an event they can actually have a cash register in their hand just by using their phone, so that changes how we're creating businesses and how we're selling products any questions I'm just wondering I look at this as when I was a small business owner and this scares me overwhelms me I immediately think like this's big businesses or maybe this is expensive how would we think about this for this crew right here or right? Your small business is well, you know it for the photographers and for the small businesses things like square yeah and becoming completely empowering because now you're invoicing you can actually go on a job and you could just have square on your phone and you can invoice automatically instead of going back and you know, mailing an invoice to the client so that instant money coming in and tracking things and receipts that are emailed and so it's much easier so you have to look at these as empowerment tools and think about them and so even larisa and michelle dan all of you with website oriented businesses you're probably building based on the web but I want you to think about what do I need to do for mobile and mobile? Because there's so many mobile devices it gets a little complicated. There are different versions, but you need to think simple and what's the simplest thing that might be good on mobile right for dan at a certain point it might be appointment scheduling something like that but keep it simple but think about how does mobile come into my business you know I've loved who just amplify that a little bit because I just attended a few conferences lately and people are just saying mobile is it? You know, because everything is going well we're all moving around more and our offices are necessarily just our laptops treatment alright pads but it's our it's our smartphones and so developing things that don't you know I can't sort of work I'm oh but actually are specifically you know, odd optimized for mobile seems like it's, you know, really for people of what they base business is very important do you agree with that? I do and I think that the way that I like to think about it is that mobile people are looking for time savings and also curation, right? So they're looking at the ap set they're downloading are probably to give them you know, quicker information they're giving them in sight on no prices or all sorts of things so think about is there anything that I can do? Marissa you might want to have something that shows kind of the top stories that are in the magazine to get them excited had to move in further and deeper um think about what can you do to help give your information to your customers to save them time, jeff, it could be anything where maybe there's some great event that's coming that you're connected with the band and you are sending out a message to people that are in the area come to this event there's this great band experience you happen to be doing the t shirts but you've got vips access to come see the band, right? I hope so great. So think about that and think big because things are happening very quickly so I want you to think about how you are how you're doing that what you're doing with technology we've talked a little bit I want you to stay informed in your business so we've talked about researching industry publications follow the influencers in your industry you confined them now you confined the reporters often have their email addresses you can find the people that are tweeting about your business areas, follow them and start relationships with them send them a tweet if you like an article that they wrote read all the free content there's tons of e books out there and all sorts of different categories but if you go on, you know online and on sites you confined that great information study the trends another important thing I learned from the companies that have already failed. So look at the people that have tried a tech business, similar tours and where did they fail? Did they have scaling problems or where did they succeed? But so learn from that and try to make your business is better a ten conferences that's another thing that I think is really important and really interesting and good thing to do. Alright, so I'm going to talk a little bit about soma and then in about fifteen minutes, we're going to have mike come on the line. But soma, what I think is interesting about this is that I met mike two years ago at a conference, and at that point he was a marketing manager at a company called branch out. Now, he's, the founder of his own company, look how fast that happened. Within a year and a half, two years, he's launched his own business, started it from scratch. We are going to talk to him about this kickstarter campaign that he did, where he raised one hundred forty seven thousand dollars in ten days, but I think what's interesting he raised one hundred forty seven thousand dollars in ten days. Wow, yeah, and in the book there is an article that he has given us all the email templates, all the tips and all the advice on how he did that. What was interesting is that he actually before he did his kickstarter campaign, he interviewed fifteen people that had already done kickstarter campaigns toe learn from them brilliant, right this very easy. People want to share their success, but that's something I wouldn't have thought of, he went out there and he did it, so I want to give you his final test, and this is not one that he did, but it was me reading his materials and have you think about that before we have him join us? So, mike, I was studying to be a priest, and he changed his course and he's not a priest anymore, but he still is wanting to give back and do good. And so when you read his bio in the in the book, you'll see that he has volunteered he's helped orphans, he's done all sorts of things, and so his business obviously has a lot of causal cutting intent, his three circles design health and sustainability. Okay, the word that I'm using from his tone and jeff, I see you thinking is that is that right there, we might have some comments on this. He has a very positive tone and everything that he has that he's done it's very positive, so I'm giving him a positive tone and up optimistic tone. He wants to redefine how the world consumes beverages in the home, okay, and his strategy, he has a whole campaign that he's done with his team called soma thrive, and we can ask him about that so when you look at this, what we're going to do is I'm going to show you the video, and I think that what you're going to see it again, this is me interpreting his business based on his materials, but I think that you're actually going to see this in the product that he has also in the video that he has in the materials that he has, and in his personality it all comes through so he's setting himself up for a very clearly defined brand and proposition, any questions now, any questions from the internet? Do you want to go back to this section, you know, or the questions about this particularly? I think what we could do is watch the video because the video is actually two or three minute ok, talk about the video and then we'll get him on the line. Perfect. Thank you. I'm mike and I'm one of the creators of selma as someone we make beautiful watercraft and innovative water filters and deliver them right to your door on a subscription so you never forget to change your filter again. The idea for selma came from years of frustration and using one of these things. There are a number of problems with pictures one is when you go to port with lid flies off your water all over the floor you look inside and you get those disgusting black flakes of charcoal. A lot of people feel like they have to hide this in the fridge because it's made of cheap plastic worst of all, you never know when you should really change your filter. We spoke to more and more people and found that everyone felt the same way we knew we could do better, so believe it or not, we quit our jobs partner with some of san francisco's best designers and we've created something that solves all of these problems. We went through dozens of designs and it took months to reiterate on the product and to find the exact form that we like way knew we needed something that not only worked well the looked beautiful for months we obsessed over every single detail. When it came to the filter, we knew we needed the best david I've been in the water treatment industry for thirty five years I developed the water formula for starbucks about twenty years ago designed the water for pete's d drinks, coffee bean and tea leaf I love most water filters out there composed mostly a plastic resin mixed with a little bit of card so much product is completely organic we're working with a catalytic activated coconut shell carbon you know burke coconut shells it will do everything that plastic will do in an organic method which rather be drinking water that's filtered through coconut shell or filter to plastic on its pretty soon now this is the soma filter truly unique in the industry this is a start based plastic p l a together with a vegan silk is filtering pad rather than plastic screen this entire filter is composed doble there's nothing else like it in the world when we first got the prototype it was actually awesome to just fill with water and holding my hands and see something that we had really poured our lives into we knew we were onto something when we actually showed this is some of the thought leaders and health sustainability and design and they were blown away the hardest thing to do the world is a good buying great design and sustainability into a kill consumer experience and that's what these guys have done clean water is the starting point for he survived three weeks that food against right three days without water there are so many products on the market that create more waste I think that summer is revolutionary. What I love about the soma craft is you could leave in the fridge aerator or you could leave it on the dining room table the middle of a fancy dinner party. Either way it looks beautiful on its super functional I've no doubt whatsoever that these guys will execute above the on expectations that deliver the product to market and I say that because I know these guys what we want is we want lots of little actions that build that becoming one major sea change what do you think? How did we dio matching the final tests to the company? Right? Lots of clarity of mission any thoughts on that because when you look at it what I love about mike's company is that he actually has taken a category that probably we thought there wasn't room for innovation and he's innovated jeff yesterday you were asking about subscription models he's also done that he's looked at how do we develop a subscription model in this category where people by the craft and they get the filter as a subscription? And I think what I really want you to think about is that a year ago mike didn't have this company he built it by surrounding himself with talented people finding the right designers the right partners any win for it jeff craft and get the get the craft and then they buy the filters with you get you by the craft so it's a subscription so you're going to buy it online and you're going to buy the craft and then the filter shows up every month so when the filter shows up then you change it so in the subscription model business actually if you have a unit then you're going to be more likely to stay and keep the things so the keurig the coffee makers with the little coffee pods very successful business because once you have the unit you're tied into the pods so so this is another way that a subscription business could be very powerful distribution it's an online distribution model that he's doing so again very revolutionary not only in terms of product development but the distribution the funding using kickstarter crowd sourcing its pretty much innovated on on every level any other questions about his business dan I think the bigger picture is is about kickstarter and what it's allowing these companies to do so gone are the days of having toe walk into a bank and to get it big loan and to prove yourself you can now subscribe your business to the masses and if people see the potential they can give you money and then once you reach that threshold you've now got all this funding that you needed to create this dream you have but all the backers who are backing your product they're not they're not asking or you though the person making the product is not giving any guarantee that the product is going to be successful so you're not having to and essentially pay back all the money if something does go wrong refuting more money it's a very interesting company kickstarter is and how it's completely I'd say revolutionizing how businesses can start up that's right and there's another one called indiegogo so I want you to think about your questions for mike when we have him online because kickstarter what you do is you you figure out kind of tears and level said if people give x number of dollars, maybe they get the craft and they get a branded t shirt, maybe they get dinner with one of the influencers who was on the video so you have different levels that you set up to incent people to be part of your community. Veronica mars the film just did a kickstarter campaign and they raised, you know, several million dollars and went beyond their goal and I believe one day's time, so a lot of people are using it, but what you have to have is clarity of business idea and really clear incentives and the other thing and we'll talk about this with mike is that he did activate all his social media channels he also pitch tons of blog's so he had a press effort that was going on at the same time where he was looking at what publications can I pitch to get buzz exactly at the same time is launch so just like mike did yesterday with his viral video where he kind of set everything up and he knew it was all coming together that's what he did with kickstarter campaign get randy gee in the chat rooms was saying, I like this distinct message of the video problem credibility, a solution, and then call the action and that was something that I noticed that a lot of kid stars are missing is that why would I want this product? It seems like any product, but why don't actually need it? And so the way I really loved how clearly he laid that out, it was really effective, you know, I love that, too, and I also noticed that about the dollar shave club video last night, even though the tone ality was in a humorous way, it basically was telling us all the reasons why buying raisers from the store was an archaic process, and so mike did the same thing, but you're right, he brings in the credibility and, you know, when somebody starts saying, do you want to be drinking water out of the plastic or out of the coconut it's like, well, of course, the coconut rights, right? So we have some more questions while we're still I'm getting like, uh, continuing on with the kick starter randy g asked, would you recommend connecting with other kickstarter project owners for cross promoting, so we talked about interviewing them and I'm not exactly sure how that would work, so I don't know if people have thoughts on cross promoting with kickstarter, you know, I'm not an expert in that, so we'll have to ask mike, but I would think that learning from the kickstarter people that you might be able to figure out who has funded other kickstarter campaign, so maybe there's people that have funded various sustainable or health oriented campaigns that you could then start following them on twitter s so that they know that you're getting, you know, the message out to the right people. So again, looking at that data, and what can we learn? Because I believe on kickstarter, you can see who has funded at various levels unless the person puts an anonymous listing up so again, project's, similar to yours, what can you learn from them? And I'm just amazed at how just watching that video is so educational on the expertise that's there and, like you were saying about drinking the water, either through the plastic or the coconut. I'm just amazed at how long we will limp along, being frustrated with having to buy razors, or I hated my britta filter for years and went out and got a home, a home system that was much more expensive, and I'm just amazed that we can just having a simple idea, like what yet the pain, right, and what don't you like about that? And creating a business out of it is just amazing, and I think that the spanx example yesterday that before and after photo was another good example of that. So you need to think about in your businesses, what are those pain points that you can solve? And what can you do better and in photography? Maybe people want faster access to their photos and their images in dams, business, maybe they want that that frustration eliminated, and they want to know that they're taken care of. So what can you do that solves existing problems in the business? Probably in your business, we're getting rid of the paper waste we want to do stuff online, we want in austin access, so we don't have to go to the store and dig through the shelf and look for the magazine, and we want more control, right? So there's, all sorts of things, any other questions? We got one over here? Yeah, so we've got about a minute or so until we get him on d c, patterson said, the best part of kickstarter is you have already proved your market if you reach your target, at least on a small scale onda profits interesting, I have a background. I used to be a video game designer and a kick starter, and you go. There have been huge for for video games because one of the problems in the industry right now is that with the technological fire mints of the modern systems being so high, it requires a huge outpouring of capital in order to build a game without knowing whether that new, innovative game is going to be interesting to your market, right? And so that's one things that I love about kickstarter is the ability to really actually find your audience before you even have a product to give to them, right? Right? And they could become your early adopters and your advocates to one thing that amedo does with yes to carrots, the people that are his loyal fans, he actually does phone calls where it's ah, like a webinar conference call, you know, say, if anyone wants to know what's going on with the company joined the call. Now you could do the same thing with a kickstarter community, you know, thank you so much for for supporting us. Come on and be on a phone call and let us know what you think, so these are the people, what I'm talking about, starting the movement. And the passion people that support you at this level are going to be your your advocates and your your helpers in your supporters. This comes from seoul harbor soap who says quick question, I would like to give a portion of my profits to local organic farming to help sustain it in my community does that sound gimmicky? You know what I actually think that businesses I really applaud them when they start building in kind of a social entrepreneurship angle into their business is what you really need to have is thie integrity and the follow through and to do it what I don't like is when people are using, you know, a pink ribbon on everything to try to market and sell products, and they're not actually like giving back and doing what they say, but so again it comes down to culture, so the sustainability and the local farming that's amazing and what I would hope is that it actually fits with what the product is, what the idea is, what the culture is right and reinforces it and also get your employees involved have him go out to the local farm, have them recognize the positive impact there they're making so I'm all for that I think it's very positive but make sure you're following through and and being honest and transparent cool all right? Well, we now have like all right, mike. Hey, welcome by porter. So glad to have you. Can you see me? I can see you. Yeah, well, welcome. I just shared your video with everybody and congratulations. Thank you. Thank you were really proud of it. Well, we I was talking about how you've innovated and you've created this product and probably a year and a half or two years. And, sir, I actually in a little lesson in a year and a half. So we've been going at lightning speed. Can you tell me a little bit about your kind of your entrepreneurial process and how it happened? Absolutely. So it's actually a very funny story. We were hosting a party here in san francisco. And porter, as you know, san franciscans are really obsessed with great design and sustainability. And I was having this cocktail party in our home it's this beautiful victorian mansion with a really nice kind of modern design inside which you've seen here in almost square and ah, friend walks in and he said, hey, I'd like some filtered water and I start kind of giving him a bad time. Jeter okay, filter water. We have all these great beverages. He said, well, I'm on this health kick and I want to make sure it's safe to drink with these old buildings you know? Sometimes you don't know what's in the pipes I only drink filtered water and so I kind of chuckle and walked to the kitchen and as I pull out my brutal water pitcher from my fridge, I take a look at this thing and it's made of cheap plastic there's block flakes of carbon floating around in the water yeah, you know, I don't even remember last time we've changed the filters I don't even know if it's healthy or how the water's going taste and I'm thinking I can't bring this out all my designer friends you're obsessed with great design and so I see it to cantor like this beautiful glass wine decanter and I put on my counter and I go to pour my filtered water into the decanter and as I do, the lid falls off of my britta and it almost knocks to the cantor off water spills everywhere and I'm about to throw this thing across the room and as I do, my friend walks in who's, another really outstanding entrepreneur and I tell him about this problem he just starts laughing and says, you know, I've had the same problem as well and we said, you know, why don't we design something that actually looks great works well and does good for the world, and right then and there I decided to be the ceo, and he became the chairman and and the rest is history. Wow, that is amazing. Well, congratulations and how did you do not have fear? I mean that's a huge leap tall this and say, I'm going to do this? Yeah, you know, I was working at a really great job here in san francisco at a tech company that was just exploding, and on the one hand, I could have stayed there and really enjoyed it working with a great team. But for me, I really believe that if you know it's the passion you're calling your purpose in life, then it takes all the risk away, because not only are you setting yourself up for success, but you're really going to enjoy your work because you're fully aligned with it. And when we had the idea of combining great design with a fantastic consumer product and the sustainability aspect, I knew crystal clear this was the right decision to make you just felt it that you knew this is what you wanted to d'oh absolutely. Now, one thing that I've noticed in your video and also in the materials is that you do have a very clear mission and very clear vision. Tell me about how you created kind of the whole kind of brand attributes and the look and feel. What did you do to make sure that everything was consistent and integrated? Sure. So our brand and you can see this clinton a product is really a reflection of how we want to live our life. So one of the phrases that we use a lot here in the soma offices thirst for more is this idea. We always want a thirst for more in our lives, and you see it in the product. The product design is beautiful as sustainable elements it's the first filter to use all natural and compostable materials. We have a delivery system where your filters actually delivered to your home and the packaging the branding is fantastic on did it gives you the best tasting water so in our lives, you know, we want to live lives that are fun and meaningful, and certainly with family and friends. We want it all and in our product we try and deliver it all, and the brand is a reflection of that as well. All the brand communications air about living this really thriving, healthy, fun and meaningful life and s o it's truly just a reflection of what we want in our own. Once that's great I love that I do want to talk about kick started but first I know that you do live in a live work mansion and I fortunately have been there it's very uh invigorating and I think that that collaboration probably gives you tons of inspiration tell me how important have the people around you been to your success? There are one hundred percent of it it's been absolutely amazing so with so much we have this grand vision and we said it was going to be kind of like the method design with tom shoes social good for britta water pictures and sounds like a great idea water filtration is a big market it's an industry where you have ah market leader with high dissatisfaction so that's all good and well but we've never designed a product let alone a water filter and through our network of friends we connected with david beeman who is the top water filtration expert for thirty five years he's been in water filters for starbucks, pete's, coffee bean and other great companies. We met him literally through our industrial designer who was a friend and so if it weren't for our network the product itself probably could have never come to market and that's just scratching the surface when we think of our advisers are investors, all the people involved with marketing and really frankly the people who made the kick starter says successful well, let's transition to that. Emily has one question before we move to kickstarter. Go ahead. Emily. Hi, my name's. Emily and I have a quick question for you when the light ball went off, I've been getting all these ideas since I've been at this workshop and when the light bulb goes off like what? What were your first steps? How do you have? Like, what was the process? Did you start writing everything down that you were thinking right then? Did you go to a lawyer? How did you like what? What did you d'oh that's a great question when you get the idea what's the next step for us we just went for it literally. It was a lunch meeting when we decided ok, we're really going to make this company happen on and there is no turning back, so I'd say actually, the first step is commitment. I met a lot of people who are starting projects and starting companies. They say I think this might be a good idea and it's great to experiment, but at one point you have to commit and just go all in. So the first step for us, we committed to the idea and I remember going directly back to my computer researching and just trying to learn as much as I could and then you know, we had a lot of lunches and coffees and we just started talking to people we respected they could be people in the industry they could be prospective investors, mentors, perspective team members and just having open idea conversations with people getting their feedback and then force me what happened and almost every meeting said, hey, you've got to talk to this person and sooner rather later we had this many coalition of people who all wanted to see so must succeed and from there came our investors advisers, designers, teammates, all the people who have made some successful thus far but were you ever worried that someone was going to take the idea and try toe make it their own like how do you get that? How do you do that? Sure that's another great a great question and it's something debated on the one hand uh yeah, you know you never want something to take your idea and we were somewhat cautious we didn't go straight to our competitors and tell him what we're up to. On the other hand, we realized that there was a lot more to gain by having open and transparent conversations with the trusted people in our network and therefore we just tried to get people excited and tell us many people in our network is possible what we were up to and that definitely paid off for us and then do you sorry, is it? Do you have to get the idea? Um, like, how did like how do you secure it as yours? Have a patent? Or maybe did you do a patent her, you know, we're investigating intellectual property right now. One thing I do want to say that's important around that issue is, well, yes, it is important to consider how you might be ableto protect certain technologies on dh, especially when you're a new startup, protect from larger incumbents. We try and be as open as possible. So after we did our kickstarter campaign, we gave away all the secrets to our success in the hacking kickstarter article, which included everything from the e mails that we wrote to our virtual assistance to do a lot of the work. Teo spread she's, tio, even code to build your own website. So on the one hand, we are investigating some intellectual property and seeing what might be necessary. On the other hand, we try and be open and really help as a marketplace in general, to think about how we can have open technologies and open collaboration, which we believe is ah much more efficient way for business to work awesome things, so I don't have any more from thank you. Um so I'm going to move us into the kickstarter campaign because you raised in ten days one hundred and forty seven thousand dollars and I think it probably would have kept going if you if you kept it open. What I just heard you say is that before you launch that there was a lot of planning I know you also interviewed people who had done kickstarter campaigns and he had already started a movement but tell us a little bit more about your great success with kickstarter yeah, thank you we raise over one hundred forty seven thousand dollars that was for the duration of our campaign, but what was remarkable that you're pointing to porter is that we really only ran the campaign for nine days, so we had a goal of one hundred thousand dollars we said if we could raise one hundred thousand dollars over the duration of this campaign that a huge success but we also have a company to run and a product to develop and we don't want to be spending the whole thirty days marketing. So in nine days we were able to raise over one hundred thousand dollars and ultimately we had over twenty, three hundred customers and for us this was just a test launch, so that was wonderful proof of concept and now we have all these customers that we've been learning from to answer your question about the preparation interviews yes, it took so much work a lot of people don't realize that if you want to have a successful crowdfunding campaign that this is really a marketing campaign and a product launch, and so we spent months on this and one of the first things we did was we said, who are the people who have done this most successfully? And then we reach out to them and we got introductions, and we interviewed over fifteen kickstarter campaign leaders, most of which have done campaigns over one hundred thousand one of which is, which is the second most successful and the number one fastest growing kick started they did over eight million dollars, and we sat down and we asked them what their secrets to success for so that we could emulate them. Great, great, I love that so often we don't think that people are going to share their ideas and their secrets with us, but you're open and you're transparent approach it sounds like you're getting the same feedback from others. It's great! Did you trace of a question really quick? Could you kind of describe hi, my name is tracy. Could you kind of describe a day in your life of when you're actually running the campaign, like what was one of those nine days? What did it look like for you? What did you d'oh? Sure so one of the things that we realize when we're innovating excuse me when we're interviewing all of these kickstarter creators is that kickstarter and a crowdfunding campaign can be a real nightmare and what I mean by that is you're doing marketing customer service analytics uh you're managing your social media you're liaising with kickstarter or indiegogo whatever crowdfunding platform you're doing, you're managing your team plus you have all the other day to day stuff that you were doing before your campaign so we said, how can we anticipate all these things and essentially outsource them? So the typical day let me give you two to polka today's launch day and then about a week after launch say launch day will be one of the most insane yet thrilling days of your life because the minute you launch you're just going for it's like, you know, running a race right when that gun shoots off you are just sprinting. And so what we tried to do is line up as much as possible meaning getting as many stories confirmed in advance, letting all of our networks know we're launching on this specific time and day and uh and having most of the e mails that we needed to send out for more pitching to be pre written, so for us we launched eight a m on a tuesday right when we did that we had the whole team e mailing everyone reporters are personal network answering questions because you you've got some people answer asking you questions and really it was about eighteen hour day where we're just hitting social media, npr and all those things a week later, it was a little less frenzied, but you're still doing pretty much the same thing, which is china as much. Buzz on social media is possible as many stories on blog's as possible and doing with customer service what we did to handle down what I would highly recommend is I'm getting a virtual assistant or maybe to their very low cost and training them on how to do customer service for you because you're essentially going to get the same questions. When will this product we sold, where is it made doesn't use sustainable materials? We anticipated those questions, we made templates for our virtual assistants, and then when customer service came in, that was something that my core team did not even have to think about because the virtual citizens were taking care of it one hundred percent great. Um, I know that in your block post, and we put all the information in the e book, you have a link to all the templates, everything that you did, and it also is on tim farris is block because I know he's one of your advisers, any other kind of advice our thoughts for people on kickstarter and indiegogo. Sure. So when we did those initial fifteen interviews of some of the most successful kickstarter campaigns, we learned three key lessons that we kept saying with our team as we lost the campaign number one is you need a compelling video, so kick starter and crowdfunding it's still about storytelling and a cz you seen in our video, we had a strong story about design dissatisfaction with the current market offerings, and then this really great product development phase, where you're seeing the product actually being designed and developed. And then lastly, we have those great testimonials by tim ferriss and zam and from eric from method, they've given a lot of credibility, and at the end you're doing, you're called action, so number one, you have to have a compelling video that was a compelling story. This second thing is what we call you have to win the race before it starts, and what I mean by that is what you don't want to be doing is somewhat what I just described and what we did, which is on day one, going out and pitching. Luckily, we had about twelve stories already committed, but on day one, we're so, you know, sending out e mails and pitching pretty hard what you want to do is lock up his many stories and even where you could do is scheduled all of your e mails the week before so when you launch you where they have a clear mind and you're being able to respond to things as opposed to frenzy ing pitching so you need to win the race before it begins and then the last thing to remember is the first forty eight hours are all that matters. So what these campaigns their lot is do you need to get as much buzz and many stories as possible within the first forty eight hours? If you're able to do that a snowball you need to get that snowball really big so it rolls quickly down the hill and continues to grow so really focused on getting as much as you can in those first forty eight hours that's great because I'm in your network I did get some of your e mails and I also remember and I remember thinking it was so lovely you guys also sent out a video where it was thinking people so you not only have the video that you did, but you did a thank you video and I thought that was so nice that you actually appreciated people. So can you just tell me a little bit more about that about bringing these kickstarter people in to be kind of your advocates in your community? Yeah, so you know it's all about the network and the people who made the kick starter campaign so successful it's not the small team that we had here at summer it was all the folks in our networks who became out of the kids and we're purchasing so much they were spreading the word on social media and they're making introductions to the reporters who wrote stories what we decided do which actually I hope we do this for the duration of our company's existence because it was so fun and people loved it is we literally shot those videos on our iphones so we went out on the back porch and with our phones we recorded thirty second videos and they were very simple. They just say, hey, thank you so much because of you we've accomplished this goal and you guys have been so helpful but many of you asked what else can I do to help here's? One easy thing that you could do today and those videos they were free. They took about five to ten minutes issue and then about fifteen to thirty minutes actually put up on the landing page and there are enormously successful. Great. Um it looks like we might have a couple of questions and we have tons of questions in from our internet audience to we have a couple questions from the internet audience mike so hold on one second let's hear one okay, let's, start there, and then we'll go back to emily. So I question from claire a bar, a who's, a regular. What tips did those kick start early leaders give you for your campaign that were actual thatyou that worked for you? Well, the three things I just shared about the compelling video winning the race before it begins and really focused on the forty eight hours those were the three big takeaways we were also concerned about the amount of effort that goes into heroin told us that, you know, the customer service can be really difficult because you're getting hundreds of messages, so that was something that was unimportant takeaways anticipate how much customer service you're going to be doing, and then the other thing is that we got a lot of advice on what type of rewards to offer. So, as you know, in kickstarter campaigns, you're always offering rewards for some people. It's a t shirt, other people is the physical product, other people it's an actual event, and you need to remember that if you're going to do something, say, t shirts, well, you're not in the business, probably of printing t shirts and it's probably cost more and take more time than you anticipate, so when you're thinking about the rewards that you're offering for us, essentially was products and events. Because we're going to make this product anyways and events are pretty easy to do and you know, you could have one hundred people come to your event as opposed to shipping out one hundred t shirts and so we we were very, very cautious on that and I think that that was the right choice, teo, you know, only offer rewards there were either events or the product itself. Um, I think you got a quick follow up to that joy online is saying so how did you find these kickstarted creators? And then how did you open the door to actually meeting them? You know, most of us don't have these people like on speed dial, so how how did you get into actually talking to them? Great question. So one how did we find them? We have a virtual assistant literally go through our category, which was product design and make a list of the most successful kick starters and then search online to see if number one. If we had someone in our network who could make an introduction that's most important and number two, if not if we could track down their contact information and reach out cold with an email so that's how we source the thing the second is you have to remember that people really put their whole lives into making these campaigns successful and they learned so much and after the campaigns done they want to help and so we were really blown away by how generous people were with their time we had a lot of phone calls him in person meetings and so I would just encourage you certainly talk tio first that people in your personal network your first degree connections who have done this and get their advice but secondly look at kickstarter campaigns that are similar to what you're trying to accomplish and somehow either get an introduction or reach out cold and get the advice of the people have successfully done this that's awesome because one might think that you already had all these people in your role index and so that's really inspiring to hear that that's not necessarily the case yeah emily emily I wouldn't have any more questions, but ideo um so you currently live in a live work mansion um and I'm curious about that how do I sign up to do that? Where do I know you love it? I've been there several times I love the live work mansion yeah, you know, one of things that's need is especially in san francisco people are realizing that splitting your time between work and what we call I guess time off just doesn't make so much sense so for us in this in our live work space uh really our lives are more fluid meaning if you want to take a break for three hours in the middle of the day and go to yoga are going a walk or just enjoy time with a friend you can do that and in these locations you're eliminating the commute you have cross pollination of all these fantastic inspiring people in the house and uh you're live in your work are tied together so your hours aren't just nine to five work and then the other hours your home and I said these things are popping up all over I'm not sure where everyone eyes located but any big city you're going to find a lot more of these live work communities well I live in san jose so do you have any rooms available key to the gentleman you're getting there so it's a coed mansion perfect I tried to get in there but I have a daughter and my daughter said no I don't want to live in their mom so but I lived right I would love to sign up if that's classic all right uh car you get online is wondering is it important to validate results prior to going to kickstarter did you do testing on your on your concept before you actually went to kick start and ask for the money so I think it's important to do as much testing is possible I don't know what things you do and don't need to validate so for example for us, the most important thing of actually doing the kickstarter campaign was validate our big assumption which is people want our product unfortunately we had over twenty, three hundred people who said yes we really want this product and pulled out their checkbook and and actually transacted so that's the big test that you want to dio ultimately for your company other things we tested though we were pretty rigorous about this we were doing google adwords tests on the title of our kickstarter campaign so for us if you look at any campaign at the top you know typically says the name of the product and then it has a tagline so for us it was soma beautifully innovative water filters now that's a long time of both talking to people and pitching them different titles and actually doing some testing online now you don't necessarily need to spend money on this we spent a little bit but that's super important why? Because every time someone goes your kickstarter page and either clicks like on facebook or tweet kick started controls the content of that message and the content is your headline. So for us we we knew that different headlines would have different conversion rates and therefore a good headline every time someone clicked like on facebook is going to get more conversions over two or kickstarter page than a bad one so that's one of the things that we tested also, when you set up your campaign pages, you get a previous screen meaning before you actually go live with your campaign, you're able to share that with your family and friends and get feedback so we shared him got feedback on the pricing, the pictures, the video, the headlines, all sorts of stuff so I would highly recommend doing not before you launch your campaign. I love all the collaboration. One thing that we talked about yesterday, mike was naming and I know that with you your you are l is soma water dot co ceo and there was a question yesterday about is that a problem starting to go with the co instead of the dot com? So could you just tell us a little bit about your name? Sure. So selma is a great name because it means the elixir of the gods in the vedek tradition, and it was actually believed that if you could drink this elixir almost like an ambrosia in greek mythology, it would give you eternal life. And so for a beverage company like soba who's providing the best facing and healthiest water, it was the perfect name, and so we spend months and months and months going through plenty of names, and this one was great because it's four letters two syllables, easy to pronounce, easy to spell when we went to look for the domain uh that's where things get tricky there two things to remember when you're naming your company number one is trademark availability and number two is domain name availability now we have the doc co ceo on dh dot com still reign supreme so if you could get the dot com you should definitely do that because some people will type it enron but what I will say about that is dot ceo and all of these shorter extensions are becoming much more prominent, so it is still somewhat of a problem, but it is becoming less of a problem every day. Great. Any last? Quite it looks like we have a question from the shelf. Hi. My question is having not made products before, how did you initiate the manufacturing process after you finished? Are, you know, got it designed together. How did you begin to make those contacts and get product to test? And also what was the ratio of your costs, manufacturing and marketing? Sure. So, uh, again for us is people, people, people. So it was all of our network. So when we came up with the idea way needed an industrial designer and we immediately just started e mailing and calling our friends, saying, hey, who do you know in your networks that might be able to help us here, and so the process for us was really about leveraging our network I mean, even this morning I had about three phone calls and meetings with people just asking for their advice and asking for connections to get help and say you really need to feel confident um and open about asking for the help that you need to get your business off the ground there are essentially in my mind to simplify two different routes in product development one is much slower but it's probably more thoughtful, less risky and certainly less expensive and the other is kind of a fast track approach for us we chose the fast track approach we want to get our product to market very quickly it's been mohr expensive and you know you have to work longer hours you have to push a little bit harder but ultimately we believe getting into the market sooner will pay dividends down the road if you want to take a more thoughtful approach or one let's say you're working full time and you're doing a side project I would just say how can you get the best people involved for the least amount of resource is and if you have an inspiring product like for us it's about great design and changing the world and when people hear that story that gets so inspired they just want to help and you'd be surprised by how much help you could get for low cost or even sometimes free when develop your product great, I think we've got one more question with two more questions, tracy, hi, I'm actually interested also in developing or building a community for a movement, and I was kind of wondering if you could talk maybe a little bit about you know, how your kickstarter campaign maybe help that our help build that, and then also how it's kind of carried through into your business now? Yeah, so I had mentioned our primary goal the kickstarter campaign was proving demand our second goal was building a community the community for us is incredibly valuable for two reasons number one is they're teaching us so much we did a survey of our kickstarter backers, we sent it out to all twenty, three hundred plus of them, we had over eight hundred fifty responses and we've had phone calls with over fifty of them, and they've told us so much about their personal preference and buying decisions, their demographics as well as a great feedback on our products and how to make the product and service better. So that's number one is learning from our customers, and the great thing about doing it on kickstarter is it's essentially free market research. The second thing is, these early adopters are going to be your best marketers when you launch fully after your campaign, so in our case we did our kickstarter campaign december twenty twelve we're launching the companies, shipping those kickstarter backers their product and making our product available for the mass market this summer in twenty thirteen when we do that big launch are early adopters are kickstarter backers are going to be going out and really proud to be the first ones to discover soma and they're going tio help us get the word out to all of their family and friends and so building that community is essential and what we found is, uh, the key thing is religious correspondents and being open and available to them, so we send out updates we just sent out actually really great run with all of our survey results, we're about to send out another one that's really? We have a huge announcement actually coming up in april that we're really, really excited sharing their kickstarter community and there's constant going back and forth on social media kicks earners a messaging platform in via email so you just heard that toe realize that these are so important, these people are so important in your community, and if you take care of them, especially in the early days, they're going to be with you in the long haul and really helped to spread your message mike, my name is jeff iona sf made fashion t shirt company, and right now our model is b two b I'm developing things for great brands and rock bands would have you, but we're in the process of scoping the launch of a of a nikon model that's going to be to see play, and I'm very intrigued by the subscription model, so love to have you, um, just speak to some of the ahh key takeaways you've had from getting started in that area. Well, I think what's interesting about your business and ours is you're essentially going be shipping the same product on a regular installment. Yours is much more exciting because I'm assuming each shirt will probably different either by design or color fabric for us, we're literally sending the same filter every two months, and so how do you make that exciting so that people maintain their subscription for years and years? And to me that that's a blast we get to every time we send out a shipment to our customers make it like a gift that means great packaging, a surprise inside, which could be a sample or a coupon, some kind of literature inside, which could be a flyer. It could just be kind of brand statements to get your brand voice out there something that's, funny or quirky, but the key is when you're doing these subscription service products is making sure that every time someone gets something in the mail, it is something that they don't just love but they're telling their friends about I remember there is a friend of mine got a ah product in the mail and it was this beautiful box and you open it up and on the inside of flat but the lit it's like boom and then there were some other really kind of funny copy written on the inside he saved this box and he showed it to everyone and this is a guy you know who has unlimited resource is he doesn't need to be saving cardboard boxes and he can afford to buy a lot of great things but it was the brand really cared to go the extra mile to make that that packaging experience fantastic and that's what we're striving to do as we think through our subscription product and I think that that's what could differentiate your subscription product from the others is not just having the great products but having the great experience it's great regarding the tell a friend do you actually have incentives that you're considering in place for soma top ten friends and get x y z? Absolutely so we have our own systems. There are other companies in the market if you were just do some online research that actually how software and referral based products so after someone buys or after someone gets the shipment notification that they're incentivized to share with their friends and when their friends by that they get discounts or money back so you can look online a one company that comes to mind is called push forty four so push for four out of boston they have great software and yeah, that were furrow engine it's just gonna be still important to your subscription business, mike I want it. I want to thank you for sharing all of your ideas. You're so inspiring and this module was all about innovation and technology and you are just a perfect example in an inspiration how can people get involved in support you now that we've heard the soma story you're launching this summer, how can we support your efforts? Well, well, thank you. And thanks for having me in the kind words port as you know, we are so honored to be here you've been a huge inspiration. We've learned a lot you built a brand that for us we love and we're trying to emulate, and the advice that you offer is always so valuable. So here thank you. We really we really appreciate it being part of this in terms of, you know, getting involved, I'd say one we have some really big announcement, so keep an eye on the internet for a lot of stories they're going to coming out pretty soon secondly is this summer were opening up for sales again, so we'll be doing a public launch which we hope you guys will all notice as we make a big splash but thirdly if you want to keep in touch just go to twitter and follows that at some water on day like I said, we have some pretty big announcements coming up next few months and we're gonna have the product online and ready and available to purchase this summer and you definitely don't want to miss that so it's uh it's gonna be a pretty big year for us thanks great well I know you're busy so we're going to let you get back to work but thank you so much for your time and I can't wait to see you again in san francisco thanks for everything thank you all right porter I think we're about ready to go to break do you wanna have geovany final thoughts on this segment things people should take away from it well, you know what I really wanted you guys to take away and I think this was just a perfect example is that only a year and a half has transpired since he started his business and so think big you know surround yourself with the people that can support your ideas look at how you can use technology and innovation toe launch more efficiently and know that great things can happen, eh? So I hope that that inspires you I also think he was amazing because his brand in his positioning it's. So crystal clear. And so, I think that's really important to think about that.

Class Description

Every successful business needs to have a clear brand message. Porter Gale is a consultant and former VP of marketing for Virgin America. In this class she’ll teach you everything you need to know to a business idea all the way to the front pages of major publications.

This class condenses 20 years of knowledge in creative development, social media, email marketing and PR and delivers it all in concise, easy to follow steps. 

During this class, Porter will discuss:

  • Naming your company
  • Creating a corporate culture
  • Multi-channel marketing and more!

She’ll share the stage with entrepreneurs from some of the world’s most innovative brands, like Virgin America, Dollar Shave Club, and Hint Water. You’ll learn how the pros build a brand through interviews, case histories, resource lists, and how-to tips.

A successful business brand understands its ideal customers and employs a team that consistently finds a way to stand out in the crowd. Learn how to build that brand from Porter Gale.