Before starting Anyday, founder Stephanie Chen used her microwave like everyone else—for reheating leftovers. Then, she stumbled upon the possibilities of cooking in the microwave.
“The chefs that I had a lot of respect for actually had very positive things to say about cooking from scratch in the microwave,” Stephanie says. “And it hit me then that there was something here that the larger part of society didn’t realize, which is that the microwave can cook really good food really quickly and really easily.”
Why, then, weren’t more people doing it? After a bit of research, Stephanie found that people just didn’t trust microwaves. They thought the appliances were unsafe and killed nutrients. They didn’t know how to use a microwave in a way that would make their food taste good.
Stephanie was confident, though, that if she could tell the story effectively, her Anyday cookware designed for the microwave would sell. “Where opportunity comes from, I think, is if you have a strong opinion and are sort of sitting on a truth that nobody else knows,” Stephanie says.
Learn from Stephanie’s journey to help build your own business around a maligned product or idea.
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5 tips for busting myths with a product
In some ways, Stephanie had a blueprint for her company’s path, because it had already been done with pressure cookers. “We knew what we had to do was get credible, respected people on board,” Stephanie says.
These are some of her tips for building credibility and educating customers on their misconceptions in order to launch a brand.
1. Find people who already see your value proposition
From the beginning, Anyday had a clear celebrity spokesperson in mind—someone who already believed in microwave cooking and was one of the most famous chefs in North America. David Chang.
Stephanie knew David was a good fit because he had done some myth busting already around MSG. “He likes to take the things that society has thrown away unnecessarily and bring them back to the forefront to show how valuable they are. And there’s almost no better contender for that concept than microwave cooking,” she explains.
If you have a dream celebrity or influencer partnership in mind, Stephanie’s advice is to look for mutual connections and put yourself out there to pitch it to them.
2. Let your spokesperson create genuine content
David has been an active Anyday partner and a frequent content creator for the brand. He often films himself with one hand while cooking with the other, and Stephanie says those types of videos have resonated with their target audience.
“Allow the person you’re working with to create the content that they want to create, as opposed to trying to fit them into something that you have designated,” Stephanie says. She encourages giving influencers and celebrities more creative license because it allows them to make content that feels more authentic, which performs better in the end.
3. “Onboard” your customers
Anyday keeps the content coming after buyers have made a purchase. “The last thing I want is for that product to sit in their closet or sit in their cabinet, unused because they weren’t sure how to use it,” Stephanie says. “I want our consumers to within the first 24 hours cook something from scratch using Anyday.”
Customer information and education can be created and shared throughout the customer journey. Consider how-to TikTok videos for marketing, packaging inserts in orders, post-purchase Instagram Live Q&As, downloadable content like recipes, and in-person events and demos in your top markets that help convert the most skeptical.
4. Present your content in different formats
To convince customers to buy and use Anyday containers for cooking, the company invested in custom functionality on its Shopify website to show how to use the product. For example, Anyday lets visitors select their microwave wattage and serving size, so that the recipe will show the most accurate cook time.
In addition to recipes, Anyday also has videos and GIFs on its website that show the cooking process. “We know, especially on the video and GIF front, it’s important to be able to show consumers how this product works in practice, because without that it can feel a little bit intangible,” Stephanie says.
5. Take your story to the media
The media loves stories about misconceptions, so in some ways, Anyday was a natural fit for PR coverage. Stephanie says that media outlets help provide credibility in the same way a celebrity spokesperson might.
“When [publications like] Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The Kitchn, or Epicurious, write a piece that talks about how they were shocked by how good the food coming out of an Anyday was, it’s a very big deal,” Stephanie says. “And it has a huge impact on our conversion rate, too.”
Depending on your budget, you can seek media placement by hiring a PR company or sending cold outreach emails to relevant journalists and publications.
To learn more about Anyday’s strategies to educate customers and work with a celebrity spokesperson, listen to Stephanie’s full interview on Shopify Masters.