A great case study on Reddit…
Who: Matt Griffin
What: Combat Flip Flops
Great quote from the article:
Seriously, there are problems and obstacles in any business. Our most highlighted failure was the 100% rejection of our first run of footwear in Kabul, shutdown of three factories to make footwear and the subsequent production of our first footwear in a garage behind my house.
We leveraged everything of value to get it going, got hustled by companies trying to take advantage of our media, and dealt with the family stress as a result of doing something so difficult.
As far as pricing the flip-flops, we started with keystone pricing to support retailers thinking that they would want to buy our product (Nordstroms, Army Exchange, Navy Exchange, etc). Using Keystone pricing actually priced us above our competitors. Retailers weren’t buying our product and neither were consumers because of the price.
When we dropped pricing to reflect healthy margins direct-to-consumer, we came in line with the competition, and volume skyrocketed.
When we launched, we simply targeted bloggers and media sites that were willing to talk about our product. If you get enough of those bloggers, the clickthrough and conversion math equates to a functioning business.
Our first customer was the Special Operations. We targeted servicemembers working in Special Operations units. Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Special Forces, etc.. These customers understand what we’re working to accomplish, support the mission, have the funds to buy the product. They also hold an “influencer” status in the market. If they buy, wear, and support our product, the rest of the market will follow.