Co-Founder and CEO of LIV Watches, a DTC swiss watch micro-brand based in Miami, Florida. He co-founded the company in 2012 with his wife, Esti Chazanow, and has over 20 years of experience in the swiss watch industry.
On today’s episode, Kunle interviews Sholom ‘Chaz’ Chazanow, Co-Founder and CEO of LIV Watches, a DTC swiss watch micro-brand based in Miami, Florida. He co-founded the company in 2012 with his wife, Esti Chazanow, and has over 20 years of experience in the swiss watch industry.
Chaz shares his story of how he built a career around his life-long love of swiss watches. You will also get to hear about how he funded and scaled his company through 4 highly successful (7-figure!) Kickstarter campaigns. He shares his company’s customer success philosophy which has helped him achieve a 40% repeat-customer rate.
The focus of the conversation was to understand some of the marketing & branding strategies and tools used to grow his DTC brand. For those of you who are doing or thinking of doing a crowdfunding campaign, you’ll definitely want to listen to this one! You’ll get to hear about what it takes to make a success of your first and subsequent campaigns.
Here is a summary of some of the most important points made,
Investing a lot of passion and $10,000 on their 1st kickstarter campaign raising almost $200,000.
They have raised more than $3 million over 4 kickstarter campaigns.
They have built their customer base by focusing on building relationships and connections. This has helped them achieve a 40% repeat-customer rate.
Chaz spends nearly 40% of his day personally responding to fans and customers.
Email & SMS are their top 2 channels of communication.
On today’s interview Kunle and Chaz discuss,
How to get your DTC brand off the ground
Raising funds through kickstarter(s)
Preparing for Repeat crowdfunding campaigns
Creating customers who love to come back
Managing Press & Launches
Effective Marketing practices
00:02 – What to Expect from this episode
07:38 – Meet Chaz Chazanow
Chaz quit school to pursue his passion of watches
He got in on the ground floor of the swiss watch industry and worked his way up
Frustrations of a decade-long ecommerce venture
Learnings from the growth of Amazon
13:50 – Building a company that totally breaks the norms
The best selling LIV watch was the outcome of a design competition
You don’t need agencies to run your campaigns
“Stores are dead” – how the online-only approach made them Covid-ready well before Covid.
Kickstarter was the launch party for LIV watches.
Cutting out the distributors and retailers let’s you provide high quality at affordable prices
21:40 – Why just selling on Amazon doesn’t grow your brand
23:40 – The Pros of launching your brand on kickstarter
It forces you to clearly define your business identity
The connect you have with the backers allows you to get the best feedback for FREE
28:21 – Strategies to get traction on your kickstarter campaign
It starts with your family and friends
Use rewards that will help you tap your network to the full
The press will only write about you once you’ve got the traction
43:48 – What you need to know before you back a campaign on kickstarter
46:45 – LIV Watches brand DNA – Build Connections!
Why their customers are 40% likely to come back and buy again
Personalised communication – we write our own emails
Connections gives you all the feedback you need
Aim to make the customer want to own all of your products!
49:40 – The evolution of using Kickstarter through all their campaigns
51:25 – Tips to launch successful kickstarter campaigns
Create the “want”
Warm up the target audience and create buzz
Leverage landing pages to collect emails
Marketing should start at least 4 weeks before launch
Always aim to make a profit
58:00 – Creating strong “connections” with your fans
Use very personal language and messaging
“Customer is dirty word”
Focus on creating relationships, not customers
60:05 – Their top 2 most effective communication channels
64:50 – How to automate communication without losing the personal touch
Create multiple segments of your audience using data
Use customized email flows and messaging for each segment
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