As strange as it might sound, men’s underwear is a very stable business. Men will always need underwear, but the quantity of them depends directly on the economic conditions.
While the need remains virtually unchanged, the way people buy their tighty-whiteys is definitely changing. MeUndies is on the forefront of innovation with their direct-to-consumer business model. You can now order your comfy underwear one by one, by pack, or subscribe. You heard it right – subscribe.
While subscription business is regarded as risky and hard to scale, MeUndies seem to be doing just fine. They have managed to overcome the high costs of acquiring subscription customers and have figured out the way to keep men engaged. Men, after all, never need new underwear, even when their undergarments fall apart at the seams. They are also very fickle about buying and usually dislike shopping. So how do you get them to sign up for an underwear subscription?
First of all, it’s the quality of the product. Most men and women that tried the underwear from MeUndies had no complaints. Everybody raved about softness and comfort. While that’s great, how do you get to that point of men having the product in their hands to try? It might be very likely that their significant others heard about this website and decided to order for them, but it can’t always be the case, so the question remains: how do you overcome the odds and market something that is so hard to market?
We have talked to Bryan Lalezarian, CEO of MyUndies, to find out about their business model, mission, and future.
According to him, the first step for success is to create a strong team with strong core values, where everybody believes in what they do and gives their all. The team should be motivated and love going to work every day. This crucial step can’t be avoided if you want good relationships with customers because that starts with the company’s culture.
MeUndies takes on to inspire people to be comfortable in their own skin. Sexiness starts with feeling good and not with superficial and uncomfortable. Being who you truly are is the first step towards self-assurance that will definitely be noticed.
The mission of the company translates into overall culture and guides people with the help of core values. Core values serve as a reference for what is expected of all people and how the company achieves its goals. Knowing that MeUndies promotes staying balanced, going further, forming relationships, creating differences, and staying humble, tells employees that team collaboration will be celebrated, while big egos will not be allowed.
Core values and strong mission protects the company from people that would not fit the culture and would end up being destructive to it.
Creating such a strong mission and guiding principles is not an easy or fast task, it takes time and input from many people. Modern young companies are well aware of the importance of core values to the company’s culture and ultimately its success. Old-style corporations don’t focus on this and that’s why employees don’t enjoy the cut throat politicized environment there for very long.
Innovative companies start from the mission and then build it up by asking questions about how will they treat their employees and how will they help them grow.
This is the next step once the mission is established and understood. Strategy is the “how” of doing things. MeUndies follows the Objectives and Key Results framework to help them connect peoples’ input with the big picture to keep everybody engaged and motivated. This especially applies to companies that have over 20 employees, where they are far from each other and can be feeling disconnected. This disconnection and lack of motivation can easily lead to chaos and lost vision.
As a company grows, people that are used to be doing a bit of everything during start-up days can focus on more specific tasks and keep it going. It becomes important to create road blocks and see them done. New goals keep us moving and keep businesses moving forward. For example, this year’s goal at MeUndies is to create strong sense of community among customers and engage them digitally and via events. Creating such communities serves a bigger goal of staying relevant in the age of technology and social aspect of everything.
MeUndies focuses on people and processes simply because they never followed the model of raising $20 million funds each year and then burning through them while hoping to make money sometime in the future. The young e-commerce company hit the ground running and focused on revenue from day one. Being lean and grow healthy has always been the desired model for MeUndies and instead of heavy advertising spending the company focused on great customer care and relationship building.
MeUndies launched with 100% subscription in mind and didn’t offer modifications to their once a month delivery. Sure, some people loved having their drawers full of new, comfy, and colorful underwear all the time, but this model didn’t work for all. This is why they now have a la carte or pack ordering, but subscription is still 50% of the business and is growing fast.
This model works because there is trust established with customers, high quality expectations are always met, and no shortcuts are ever taken for the sake of a dollar. Brand identity can’t be forced and expedited; it takes time and great care to build it, which is what MeUndies brings to all their consumers consistently.
When it really comes to it, what matters most is the quality of the product, customer service, innovation, and how it makes you feel. The rest of the success comes from selecting the highest quality materials, obsessive quality control, fast shipping, and relentless focus on that one product that you make and are judged by. Chasing the top dollar might be profitable, but short-lived, while relationships with customers can last a lifetime and keep your company on top.