Late last year Jordy and I visited the US for WooCommerce conference and a bit of an eCommerce roadshow. While we were there we caught up with the folks behind booming mens ecommerce startup Huckberry. We originally met Andy and Richard at our own event with Bellroy so it was good to spend some time with them over in their side of the world.
Huckberry have had a massive few years after launching their mens clothing and adventure lifestyle site in mid-2011. Today they sit in a space of their own, selling a pretty wide range of clothing and accessories predominantly to guys who work in professional jobs during the day but like to explore and get outdoors come the weekend.
They’ve done a few things remarkably well along the journey. Email marketing is one of those. I’d go as far to say that it’s the best email marketing from an ecommerce brand that I’ve seen. They say it better than I could – “We endeavour to be the most interesting email in your inbox each week”.
I won’t give too much away. Huckberry co-founder and all-round good dude Andy Forch shares a great story of their bootstrapped success and dealing with growth along the way. If you listen carefully you’ll pick the moment where I stop talking for long enough to let Jordy ask a question (my bad!). Enjoy the Huckberry Story!
6 key takeaways from the Huckberry story…
– Be Positive.
Huckberry aimed to deliver the ‘lunch-time mailer’ to let your mind be inspired and wander for a bit during your busy corporate work day. Being a reliable, positive influence in someone’s day is invaluable and inspires your community to share your story.
– Tell me a story.
Expert storytelling is such an important value proposition that helps Huckberry attract a high quality of featured brands. Each mailer is carefully crafted and themed to the subject headline, so it entices you to open and read the whole thing, sometimes twice.
– Be Real.
Despite being a pureplay ecommerce brand, Huckberry gets tremendous engagement with their community of customers through ‘real life’ events.
– Community Matters.
Huckberry’s selection process has flipped from initially sourcing all products themselves, to now becoming more ‘custodians’ of the brand as their community alerts them to new products and brands that match their brand values. You can’t buy that.
– Be Authentic.
Huckberry’s product selection is strongly linked to their founder’s tastes, so they know their ideal customer inside out…Themselves! If they wouldn’t wear it personally, then it won’t be featured on their site.
– Measure it.
Huckberry have had strong success to date trusting their gut for decision making. With a new data scientist/analyst coming onboard, they can now review more intricate metrics around customer acquisition & life time customer values from different sources to improve their business.
Mentioned in the interview
– Sign up for the magic of the Huckberry newsletter for yourself here.
– Orbit Key – a Melbourne brand that was recently featured on Huckberry’s site
– There is a great interview with them on the 37 Signals Bootstrapped, Profitable & Proud blog