Moiz Ali is the founder of Native Deodorant.
His company was recently acquired for $100M by Procter & Gamble, but 2 years prior it was a solo operation out of his house. Seriously.
You would ask yourself, how he did it. It’s simple. He was just doing it all the right way.
One day, Moiz was looking at the Axe’s deodorant label while standing in the line and couldn’t understand the majority of the ingredients. At that particular moment, he came up with a new business idea. He connected with a small supplier in Southern California who was making deodorant out of natural ingredients and ordered his first batch. Native was born.
In two years, Native became one of the fastest-growing deodorant companies in the United States that energized the entire market for natural deodorants.
Moiz owed his success to a few key distinctions he made early on:
He made sure he had a product-market fit before he started selling
Moiz Ali launched the business in July 2015 with a pretty mediocre product and the ambition to sell the natural deodorant for $12 a stick — more than 3x the typical price of deodorant at the drug store.
So the very first thing he had to figure out was whether people wanted to buy deodorant that doesn’t have aluminum in it. Do they care? Are they willing to pay a premium for it?
He soon understood that people were looking for that product and were willing to pay a higher price for it.
He listened carefully to his customers
As I already mentioned, Native deodorant was first born as an average product, but what Moiz did was to listen to his customers. He was collecting customer opinions, reviews, and feedback – what they like and dislike about the products. Based on it, he was changing the formula – adding or removing ingredients – until people really LOVED the Native deodorants.
This devotion paid off well. Moiz was able to offer a better formula and quintupled company’s revenue.
He created a powerful brand value proposition
Well, honestly – deodorant isn’t really an exciting product that people get an emotional attachment to it. But when you look at Native brand’s mission statement, it gets you thinking about what you’re using.
“Deodorant that isn’t a chemistry experiment”
His value proposition doesn’t make huge health statements. It doesn’t even mention the possible harms of the deodorants. But even if you didn’t care what you put on your skin before, it makes you alert and conscious now.
That’s the power of a bold message and he really nailed it.
He focused on customer retention
He knew that repeat customers are the best customers because when customers ordered 2, 3, and more, he was making money.
So, early on he focused much of his marketing efforts on repeat customers. It was basic stuff like handwriting thank you notes, and asking for reviews. But it worked. Even though his products were way pricier than the average on the market, people were more than happy to buy them again and again.
In fact, half of Native’s monthly revenue comes from repeat customers.
And that’s impressive.
One of his retention strategies was utilizing the subscription model. Customers save 15% on average if they go with the subscription. He had subscriptions for Native’s deodorant with a few delivery intervals to choose from, depending on his customers’ personal habits and preferences.
To sum it up, if you want to build a $100M ecommerce business, focus on the following:
- Stand out from the crowd with a bold brand message.
- Try to really understand your customers – what they LOVE and what they don’t about your brand and perfect your product based on the feedback
- Build your business in a way that stimulates repeat business.
Keep these points in mind next time when you think about your business and remember, you have to go through your own unique experience and focus on your core competencies.
Entrepreneurship is all about having the experience of building something great.