Let Go & Lead
Eric Ryan Co-founder
Method

On Creating Loyal Customers (3:07)

MARIL MACDONALD:
You have some, amazingly loyal employees or course, but you also have very loyal customers.  And you have found ways to create real advocacy and scale and how have you done that?  What actually do you think is that bond that your customers have with Method?

ERIC RYAN:
Yeah, I think there’s two key ingredients to that.

First of all it’s over serving an audience.  And so, when we looked across ah, these categories it’s very mass market, it’s all things to all people.

And nobody was really like segmenting and focusing on a core audience.  So, we selected a core audience to, to really focus on and I — our idea is let’s over serve their needs and really you know focus on them.

And then where the advocacy comes from is just a simple — it — shared values.  And when you share the same values with your consumers, that’s where advocacy comes from.  And I think what’s given us a little extra help is um, you know we’re very, we’re, we’re very ecological driven — and sustainability is very, very important to the company.  Um, you know getting toxicity out of the home, human health.  But when you look at our products you don’t get that right away.  Um, people often buy in to our products because of the great design, great fragrance, the fact that we make cleaning you know a little bit more of an enjoyable experience.

So, what typically happens is they’ll buy it because of the design or the fragrance.  They get home, they use it, they discover the stuff works and then they you know look at the label carefully and realize is it’s non toxic, biodegradable, and cruelty free and all these other great things and that’s what creates a, a little bit of a — you know a cult following — is that discovery.  I always use the example it, it’s kind of like if you found out Skittles were good for you which they’re not.  Um, that’s what Method is, like you discover this thing you’re so — you, you like on an emotional level, is actually good for you, good for the planet.

And that helps to inspire the advocacy.  But it really comes down to having those shared values.  And for us the shared values we have with our core advocates is a love of design, a love of home and a love of the planet.

MARIL MACDONALD:
So, you, you kind of push that first big hurdle of getting the shared values, then how do you get the momentum going to actually have you advocates advocate for you?

ERIC RYAN:
Yeah, it’s — you know I think the biggest mistake most companies have is trying to push it too fast.

And advocacy is a ground swell.  And it’s the reason why major companies struggle to create a new brand.  If you look at anything that is h-huge success in the world, the characteristics are always the same.  It starts with you know a core passionate following that helps you build the brand over time.  And if you try to build it too fast you alienate those people who would have ultimately helped build it and that authenticity that comes along with it.

So, it’s about pacing, pacing the right way and you know we’re very lucky we live in an area, we have things like social media that can definitely help accelerate it.

Ah, but it comes back to having patience, building that core audience, taking care of them and then letting it grow over time at the right, at the right pace.