Building a sharper Bevel

bevel tristan walker and company

A few awesome ways to build a brand for people of color.

The purpose of this post is to share my notes on a company that has the potential to become a household name globally. Hopefully this will help other entrepreneurs maximize profits and gain exponential growth.

Im not saying I could do Tristan Walker’s job or that their marketing is not working. That would be unwise. Here is a complementary approach to building a dominating force in the ethnic beauty industry.

Bevel has the opportunity to sell a lifestyle, a dream and a purpose but Bevel is selling a solution to irritation and razor bumps instead. I think that can be fixed.

Bevel says it’s in the shaving system game but it’s really into the image enhancement game.

The history

nas tristan walker bevel investment

tristan walker is right when he says that he believes black culture impacts global culture especially economically.

Anyone who wasn’t born here or has travelled extensively will know this to be true.

Secondly Tristan says part of the reason he started Bevel was to embellish and disrupt the “ ethnic beauty aisle”.

Bevel has done a great job with design, branding and product developmentbut I think there is something lacking in the messaging or at least oneare one key ingredient that I’d like to highlight.

The not-so-perfect message

a better bevel

Please do not build the black version of P&G. Build a Nike or Starbucks instead.

The Dna of Bevel seems to be to help people of color live without irritation and razor bumps but that is at best secondary to our primary desires.

Let me explain:

bevel trimmer shaving

What’s the Biggest Desire of the Ideal Bevel Customer ?

In basic psychological terms, all humans have outer and inner desires. An outer desire is usually something physical(external) and an inner desire is usually the driving force for wanting the outer desire.

For example in my work with men over the age of 35 who are professionals and want to start a business, I found out two things.

First, their outer desire was to have more money.

The second and more important desire is freedom. This is because they are tired of waking up and going to a job that does not fulfill them. They are tired of working on someone’s dream instead of theirs and don’t like feeling less significant than they know they should be. Lastly they want to be able to contribute by building something they are proud of and to have their community recognize this contribution.

They say things like *What I would love to do is make enough money to quit my job. If I could just do that, life would be better.*

Freedom, flexibility and significance are really what they truly want.

Your customer may say they want to be able to pay off their mortgage, buy a new car, pay for private school for their kids or be able to fit into the clothes they bought last Christmas. Ask questions to find out both the outer and inner desire.

Starbucks knows the inner desire of their customers has nothing to do with the kind of coffee beans they use. They know it has to do more with a mental image and a lifestyle choice so Starbucks focuses on those. Is it a surprise their competition is struggling to compete? While others are selling only coffee, Starbucks is selling something else with the coffee.

With Bevel, I’m not convinced that the larger majority of the audience I think they are targeting care more about razor bumps and irritation than looking fresh or being at the top of their game in whichever field they are in.

Maybe the fear of irritation and razor bumps is the outer desire and the inner desire is to look fly. Am I right about this?

Interestingly in a recent interview…

Tristan mentioned that growing up, he wanted to get rich as quickly as possible.

In another interview on Thisis50 interview, the interviewer, a gentleman called Pvnch ended by saying “it feels good to be around success.

Being a black male, I can’t think of a single person of color who is my age who didn’t want to be a rapper or baller. In my consulting experience 9 out of 10 CEO’s of color say they want contribution, fame, flexibility and money.

Think of coffee, cola and Red Bull. They all give a boost of energy but none of them are pitched “primarily” as a solution to drowsiness or lethargy.

I believe the primary messaging of bevel should be inspirational and the secondary messaging should be functional, not the other way around like it is today.

Practical Solutions

  1. Heart before beard. Dream before Utility.

One reason we market products is to spread word of mouth. At a meetup or dinner, let’s arm people with two pieces of content. First, Bevel is the brand for progressive people of color. Secondly, Bevel gives you a fresh cut without irritation or bumps.

Instead of trying to change the shaving game, I believe there is a bigger opportunity for Walker and Company to lead an entire generation of people of color to aim higher and reach for bigger things. better.

The company already did away with earth tones in the design of the product so they are already doing unconventional things. Bob Marley did not invent Rastafarianism, he just decided to lead them.

Buying Bevel can give it’s customer’s a piece of success the same way buying Jays made us think we were vicariously getting some of MJ’s jumps.

2. Focus on the end result

Look at Instagram, Tumblr or Snapchat. I bet less than 1 percent of people get a shave or haircut and say #norazorbumps. It’s most #freshcut #fressshhh #freshtadeath etc etc. See what I mean?

Biggest Desire

In basic psychological terms, all humans have a few outer and inner desires. An outer desire is usually something physical and an inner desire is usually the driving force for wanting the outer desire.

For example in our work with men over the age of 35 who are professionals and want to start a business, we found out two things.

First, their outer desire was to have more money.

The second and more important desire is freedom. This is because they are tired of waking up and going to a job that does not fulfill them. They are tired of working on someone’s dream instead of theirs and don’t like feeling less significant than they know they should be. Lastly they want to be able to contribute by building something they are proud of and to have their community recognize this contribution.

They say things like *What I would love to do is make enough money to quit my job. If I could just do that, life would be better.*

Freedom, flexibility and significance are really what they truly want.

Your customer may say they want to be able to pay off their mortgage, buy a new car, pay for private school for their kids or be able to fit into the clothes they bought last Christmas. Ask questions to find out both the outer and inner desire.

Starbucks knows the inner desire of their customers has nothing to do with the kind of coffee beans they use. They know it has to do more with a mental image and a lifestyle choice so Starbucks focuses on those. Is it a surprise their competition is struggling to compete? While others are selling only coffee, Starbucks is selling something else with the coffee.

We may say in a survey that we care more about razor bumps but in our hearts we want that fresh cut. We want to look fly. We want that extra boost of confidence when our spouse or friends see us after a shave or haircut.

3. Bevel as a gift

Women who date or are married to men of color are always looking for meaningful gifts. The socks, ties and power tools don’t cut it after a while.

If I was running marketing at Bevel, I’d go hard on interracial couples and encourage them to testify online about the perfect gift i.e Bevel.

4. Product placement, endorsements and complementary distribution

Not sure why Bevel did not make an appearance in Barbershop 3(the movie) but no biggie.

Sites like @blavity and other ethnic focused social media accounts could be great partners.

5. Ads and Content

The most important line in the Nas X Bevel commercial was “we believe in shaping a new legacy”. I’m glad he didn’t focus on his half moon trim. This way no one focuses on the price of the trimmer because building a new legacy is priceless (an infinitely more appealing).

I propose. Less of this

More of these in Bevel images

Not necessarily pics of Tristan and Nas but more images of the progressive black, latino and asian culture.

There are a few things I could say about Bevel’s blog but I’ll perhaps save that for another post.

Conclusion

Bevel (and walker and company) can and should be seen as leaders of a progressive generation of black, asian and latino men.

Education, inspiration and motivation would really help to increase word of mouth sales.

Finally…

Walker and Company have the opportunity to give people of color a brand we can love. They can give us something to rally behind. As long as the messaging is deeper than a utility or selling blades, I believe this really could become a one hundred year old company.

P.S

Did you learn anything new about creating your marketing message from this post? Am I wrong in any respect? Please email me at jeff@growingstartup.com.

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Start here

Leave a comment here

You Might Also Like