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Talking Shop: Building A Lifestyle Brand With Live Bearded

talking-shop:-building-a-lifestyle-brand-with-live-bearded
Talking Shop: Building A Lifestyle Brand With Live Bearded

Everybody wants to feel like they’re a part of something. Humans crave connection and community because it leaves us with a sense of belonging. And it’s no different when it comes to your customers. 

This month, we sat down with a brand that embeds community into every part of its business. Founded in 2016 by friends Anthony and Spencer, Live Bearded is a beard grooming and care brand. But it’s so much more than that. 

Live Bearded is built on the value of brotherhood and aims to help beardsmen look, feel, and be their best. We sat down with co-founder Anthony Mink to uncover some of the secrets behind this thriving lifestyle brand. 

Side-by-side headshots of the Live Bearded founders Anthony Mink and Spencer Davis. They are smiling in front of a black backdrop, and both of them have beards and mustaches. 
Live Bearded founders Anthony Mink (left) and Spencer Davis (right). 

5 unique strategies to build a lifestyle brand

We’re going to say something you may not want to hear—building a successful brand has nothing to do with your products. You can have the best product in the world, but guess what? Without customers who actually care, you won’t get anywhere. 

Start every decision with only one thing in mind—your customers. 

  • What do they value? 
  • What are their interests and ideals? 
  • How do they communicate?
  • What kind of lifestyle do they live?

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Build your brand around your customers’ ideals, values, and interests.

This all boils down to a concept called lifestyle marketing. This type of marketing allows brands to embed themselves so deeply into their customers’ daily lives that the brand itself becomes a way of life for its biggest fans. 

This is precisely what Live Bearded has done with its brotherhood of beardsmen. 

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Loyalty & Reward Program Insights from Smile.ioGabrielle Policella

1. Leaving the door open to customer feedback (literally)

If you want your customers to think of your brand as a way of life, you better talk to them. From day one, Live Bearded has taken a casual, friendly approach to its customer experience. And that remains the same today, 8 years after launching. 

“We don’t have a storefront, but we tell people to come by the warehouse if they’re ever in Arizona to grab products and meet the team,” Anthony explains. It’s one thing to send a thoughtful post-purchase email, but inviting customers behind the scenes is another level of approachability. 

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“The one piece of feedback we get a lot is, ‘I’m a better man because I shop with Live Bearded,” and I never understood that initially.”
– Anthony Mink, Co-Founder of Live Bearded

“But I’ve realized over the years that because we are focused on giving guys the tools to groom themselves and put their best foot forward when they do that, they start to get positive recognition or affirmation, and they associate that change or growth to us as a brand and it becomes this really beautiful friendship.”

One of the core pillars of Live Bearded’s brand is authenticity, playful marketing, and social posts. 

Initially, Live Bearded grew its online community through casual Facebook Live videos set in their backyards while they grilled some steaks. This brotherly, playful approach has been very intentional since day one. The co-founders knew friendship and brotherhood set them apart, so that’s what they presented online.   

Live Bearded’s social channels are full of authentic series from their Motivational Monday Instagram Reels to its brand new podcast, The Beardsmen Podcast. This content allows customers to feel like they are friends with the brand. 

“People buy from people that they like and or look up to. I think the key in the modern world is putting who you are as a brand on display and allowing authenticity to attract that customer base you want,” Anthony explains. 

3. Bringing people together through IRL events

If you think you must be an established brand with thousands of dollars in monthly revenue to host an in-person event, think again. 

For its first anniversary, Live Bearded celebrated in a big way. Co-founders Anthony and Spencer hosted a contest to fly 3 customers out to Hawaii to hang out with them.

“We were one year old; we weren’t that big. And we ended up having a bunch of people ask if they could crash if they bought their own tickets,” Anthony recounts. 

☀️

“I remember we had nine random dudes from all over the place who got together in Hawaii to hang out on the beach, hike, watch the sunset, and just talk shop.” 

One weekend was all they needed to see they had something special. “We thought about how much faster the company could grow and how much more impact we could have if we did this type of stuff all the time,” Anthony tells us. 

After one of the brand’s earliest advocates from North Carolina shared Live Bearded with his network, they built a strong following there. So that’s exactly where they went next. They decided to host a barbeque. And then they hosted another one in Colorado. And then, it became an annual tradition of bringing men together in a casual environment to connect.

“We didn’t make money from them often, but we knew if we built the community and people really had an affinity or an association with the brand, they would tell friends, and it would be worth it long-term.” 

So, should your brand host a weekend retreat in Hawaii or a BBQ? Maybe. But only if that’s what matters to your customers. This approach worked wonders for Live Bearded because it resonated with the lifestyle of their target customer–the everyman.

As an ecommerce brand, Live Bearded knows how important it is to make its brand community accessible online. 

“Even though the majority of commerce for Live Bearded takes place online, we have to remember that every email address, every customer account, every social follower is a human on the other side of the screen that has challenges and problems. And ultimately, they’re coming to us to solve a problem or find a feeling.” 

How to Build Emotional Connections When Separated by Screen

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Loyalty & Reward Program Insights from Smile.ioKirsten Burkard

Live Bearded owes much of its success to its private Facebook group, the Live Bearded Brotherhood. “With about 30,000 members in it, it’s probably the number one way we foster the community online,” Anthony tells us. 

A dedicated online space for customers to connect is crucial in building a lifestyle brand. Craving community is human nature, and Live Bearded’s customers can connect, learn, and grow from one another through this outlet. 

Last but not least, Live Bearded appeals to its customers because it stands for something bigger than itself. Supporting the local community beyond themselves has always been a core value to founders Anthony and Spencer. 

“Events have become part of our brand ethos because we believe A) whenever you can get people together in a community, that benefits everyone involved and B) it’s our duty to protect and provide and support people that are less fortunate or that are in need, especially our families and our local communities. So we encourage men, friends, and family to come out and participate in those events,” Anthony shares. 

This belief was the inspiration behind Live Bearded’s annual 5k charity run, Running With the Beards. Through this event, Live Bearded has been able to raise money for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital over the past few years. 

True to its commitment to delivering an equally awesome online customer experience, Live Bearded extends its philanthropic efforts online as well. After receiving a call from Jonathan Goldsmith asking if they wanted to participate in an online Beard Competition with Make-A-Wish, the Live Bearded founders took action. Over the past 3 years, Live Bearded has raised over $30,000 for the organization thanks to its brand community.

Whether it's offline or online, Live Bearded keeps community at the forefront of everything it does—cultivating it, celebrating it, and most importantly, giving back to it. 

Building a lifestyle brand one beard at a time

Whether we’re talking about its 30K+ Facebook community or its loyal customers who visit the team in person, it’s clear Live Bearded is more than a brand to its most devoted advocates. This is because they’ve successfully created a lifestyle brand.

Live Bearded is more than the high-quality beard oils and grooming products it sells—it’s a way of life. 

Want to create a community as strong as Live Bearded’s?

Start with a loyalty program to foster brand loyalty.

This originally appeared on Smile.io and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
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