Building an Audience Before Your Digital Product Launches
How do you build an audience when you don’t yet have a product?
This week on the Better Product podcast, we’re talking with Dave Gerhardt (@davegerhardt), VP of Marketing at Drift and author of Conversational Marketing. When Dave, a.k.a “DG”, started with Drift, there was no product. Yet his first assignment was to build an audience. So, how did he do it?
He started by asking questions. Just like when you go to build your product, you talk to who you think the end user is. You ask them questions, you seek to understand their pain. Then you build, or, in this case, you create the content.
You’ll learn how DG focused his content to serve their future product users. In doing so, he built an established audience who already trusted Drift as a brand. So when it was time to launch the product, they already had users in place.
If you feel like you’re fighting a product feature war – or just struggling with marketing in general – this episode is a must-listen.LISTEN NOW
Christian Beck: Today's episode goes into territory Anna and I don't focus on too often, product marketing. Our guest today is Dave Gerhardt, VP of Marketing from Drift, and the biggest thing you can expect to take away from this episode is to start mar-
Anna Eaglin: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. Before we get there, let's slow down. I know you're excited. First of all, Drift is the new way businesses buy from businesses. They coined this term conversational marketing, which we will touch on in the conversation.
Dave Gerhardt: Conversational marketing is about bringing in conversations back to marketing and sales. Marketing and sales have become, basically, a one-way communication shadow where you just kind of do marketing and then you don't actually want to hear anything back.
Christian Beck: Dave has been with Drift from seemingly the beginning. He joined the company after having DC, otherwise known as David Cancel, the CEO, on his own local podcast and learned they were hiring their first marketing person. And his first assignment was to build an audience.
Dave Gerhardt: We had like no website traffic, no leads, we had no blog, we had no podcast. We had none of the things that we have today and so my only mission, the only mission David got me was I need you to build an audience for us.
Anna Eaglin: That's where he started. He started creating content, he started building an email list, before they were ready to market their product.
Dave Gerhardt: I think most companies, they come up out of nowhere, nobody's ever heard of them and they're like, "Hey, you don't know who we are, but use our product." Even if you have the best product in the world, people don't believe that unless they know you, unless they trust you, unless you have a brand. For us, it was brand and company first, then product.
Christian Beck: Since then, those things have obviously switched for Drift where they are now, focusing on their product. But, first, it was to focus on building an audience. This is something we've talked about on the show before. This idea or question of how do you market a product before you have a product or how do you build an audience when you don't yet have a product? Hear what Dave has to say and be sure to stick around after our conversation, because we have our own Mike Reynolds, CEO of Innovatemap, to give his take. Now, onto the show.
Dave Gerhardt: We knew in April we were going to launch something, so this was in October. Basically, the whole goal was when we had our product in April, we get to say, "Hey, you've been liking our content, you've been listening to our podcast, you've been watching our videos, you've been checking out our blog, you've been on our email list. Now, I have something for you. Go and check this out. Sign up for free." That was really the goal, was build an audience, because eventually we were going to launch something and to have a warm audience to be able to launch to was so important.
Christian Beck: Yeah, I think we're seeing that, hopefully, starting to catch fire a little bit more, but I think what people might struggle with is... I think a lot of people think, "Well, if I've got to market, I need a product that I'm actually marketing." You didn't have anything in the beginning, so would love to dive in a little bit more to that April timeframe before the October launch. What are you talking about? How are you building an audience when you don't have a product yet?
Dave Gerhardt: This is like the $1 million question, but I actually think it should be the 10 cent question, because why are you starting a company? If you don't know who you're starting this company for, building this product for, then you're never going to be able to market anything. I think the biggest mistake that happens in the early days of a company is the Product Team, PMs, Designers, Engineers, they're always going out and they're building. They're talking to customers, right?
Dave Gerhardt: That's all considered over here and then the Marketing Team has to show up and be like, "Okay, now what?" To me, all those notes from customer development, getting outside the building, talking to customers, that is gold for marketing content, because you're already getting pain from customer, from potential customers. You're getting challenges, you're getting obstacles, you're getting what they want, their dreams, their desires. All that stuff that you use to scope out a product that you might build is money for marketing.
Dave Gerhardt: We had the Product Manager, Matt Bilotti, he's still here. Awesome guy. He was out with our CTO just like doing customer research with all these people and I was in there posting on Wiki and I was able to comb through that and find, man, there's so much content we can create in here that has nothing to do with our product. The market we were going after was initially product marketers, because it was a small wedge into this bigger puzzle of marketing people. Digging through these notes, all the product marketing people that they talked to had one thing in common, which was nobody understands what we do.
Dave Gerhardt: That was it. That has nothing to do with technology, that has nothing to do with a product, that has nothing to do with selling anything, but they all had this same saying in common, which is, "Nobody understands what we do." The very first piece of content I created at Drift was this in depth guide. I interviewed a bunch of people and I published it as What Is Product Marketing? All these people in product marketing had nothing to rally around, so I wanted to create that piece of content that would be this magnet for them that they could show to their friend. This is what I do.
Dave Gerhardt: We created that piece and I think if you go to Google and type in Product Marketing, I'm pretty sure it's still the number one search result for product marketing today, which is something I created almost 4 years ago. That's an example of how you can use that content, that information you're getting from your Product Team, to create marketing content and then one thing led to another. Oh, now we got a bunch of product marketing people interested in us. Okay. What if we started the only newsletter for product marketing people? We wanted to have their email address.
Dave Gerhardt: We said, "Hey, once a week, I didn't have any content, but I'm going to curate the web. I'm going to find all of the best articles on product marketing and every Sunday night, I'm going to send you an email with the best articles on product marketing." Guess who's going to subscribe to that newsletter? Product marketing people. The people you want to sell to. One thing led to another and to kind of quote David, our CEO, we always talk about doing the things that don't scale, but I think that, so often, that gets misconstrued like people think, "Do the things that don't scale means surprise and delight somebody and send them a t-shirt."
Dave Gerhardt: We do all that, but to me, the things that don't scale was like the way that I got traffic on that first blog post was I went to LinkedIn and I found 15 product marketers that I didn't know and I messaged them. I said, "Hey, I wrote this article about product marketing, kind of a deep dive on what is product marketing, I thought you'd like it. Can I send over the link?" That worked. Then they tell their team and they tell their friends.
Dave Gerhardt: All of marketing starts with that. People having this dream that you just wake up and you send an email to 50,000 people and you have 500 customers, but it never works that way. It's always this slow pulling of a rope. We always say one-to-one, hand-to-hand is the only way.
Anna Eaglin: Drift went out and you guys basically created your own category. Tell us a little bit about that and why you decided to do that as opposed to kind of competing in the existing categories that were out there to build that audience.
Dave Gerhardt: We didn't want to compete in the existing category, because there's too much noise, there's too much competition. There's a great book called The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout and I think number two or so or whatever it is, is create a category. If you can't be first in a category, you've got to create your own. We entered this marketing technology world where there was literally 6,800 competitors. The challenge is, even if we were uniquely different than any of those companies, nobody would believe that.
Dave Gerhardt: We had two options. We could either try to compete and try to convince the world that we were somehow different than these 6,800 other companies and slightly better and maybe have... Basically, we didn't want to fight the future war. I don't ever want to fight the future war. I think the future war thing is a cop-out during the sales process, which is like, well, in Mailchimp, I can do it this way and in Constant-Content I can't do it that way, so I'm going to go with them. That means you didn't do a good enough job selling them on your brand and the vision and the mission of the company, to me.
Dave Gerhardt: For us, very early on, it was obvious that we are going to create a whole new way of doing things and so we have to re-segment this market and we are going to go and create something that is much bigger. Now, the challenges, you can definitely build a good business inside of that world with those 6,000 other companies. There's no doubt. You can make a couple million dollars easily in that world, but the goal for Drift is to be this enduring company. The founders talk about being a company that lasts much longer than we do, a pillar company that's going to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the road still there.
Dave Gerhardt: By definition, all those companies have created their own category. Another book is a book called Play Bigger by a guy named Christopher Lochhead and a couple other writers. They basically talk about how all the most successful companies in the last 20 years were category creators. The most successful IPOs were all category creators. Very early on, we knew that the goals and the ambitions for the company were so big that the only way to get there was to create a category. You don't get to just wake up and be like, "I want to have a category."
Dave Gerhardt: You have to have all the right ingredients, which is like there's something just in pattern that people... People are already doing marketing in sales, but the results weren't starting to work like they used to. Things were starting to break in that world and so we started talking about this new way. All of a sudden, people outside of Drift started talking about. Then we were like, "Wait a second, this is much bigger than us." A category only works if it's much bigger than you.
Dave Gerhardt: Conversational marketing, the category can't be Drift. There has to be competitors, there has to be other people that come into the category to help make it bigger and elevate it. It was once we started to see people from outside of the company talk about conversational marketing that we started to know if this is something big, this is something massive here and a category, the hard part about it, it just happens.
Dave Gerhardt: You don't sit down and like, "Okay, by April 15th, we're going to have a category." We always wanted to create it, but we didn't know when it was going to happen, how fast it was going to happen. A category happens when more people are talking about it outside of the company than you are.
Christian Beck: At some point, you have got to say, "This is the category we're going to own and then you start doubling down on it, write books and all that stuff." How did that part happen?
Dave Gerhardt: To me, you can't have a category unless you have a name for it. You have to have a name that everybody's going to talk about and be able to repeat. Because of this topic, I've talked to a lot of people and they're like, "Dave, I want to give you the pitch. We are creating a category for the case for these remotes and we're going to call it... " It's like, "What? Are people even asking for that?" The way that this became a category was we just needed to name it. We had a feeling it would take off, but we hadn't given it a name.
Dave Gerhardt: If you don't have a name for it, people can't tell you that they're part of something. How does somebody tell you that they're part of this movement if you don't even have a name for it? Marketing lesson number one, Marketing 101, was name it. We had messed around trying to name it. We called it conversation driven marketing, conversation marketing and we just didn't like any of the names, because it didn't sound sexy. It didn't sound like iPad or Tablet. It was like, conversational marketing.
Dave Gerhardt: But, we had to pick one, and so we found the one we hated the least, which was conversational marketing, and then something magic happened, which is once we started calling it conversational marketing, the whole world started saying it back to us. I'm doing conversational marketing, I'm doing conversational marketing. This is my conversational market competitors, customers, analysts, influencers, G2 crowd. Everybody was starting to talk about conversational marketing and that's when we were like, "Whoa. Okay." That's when we doubled down.
Dave Gerhardt: Go bigger on the conference, write the book, write all the content, create Conversational Marketing University. Create all this stuff around conversational marketing. It was really like the whole idea had been there, but it wasn't until the name that it took off, but it's not like the name was what made it happen. It was like people are doing it and they're already doing it, but they just didn't have a name for it.
Dave Gerhardt: It's like 10 years ago you used to do burpees and pull-ups and box jumps and beyond our rower and you always did these workouts that kind of jacked up your heart rate and you really like them, high intensity workouts. It wasn't until somebody called back CrossFit, that you were like, "Yeah, I do CrossFit." That's an example of I think the same thing happened in the category, which is it then pulls up all these people and then you have all these people who now can give... I can tell my mom, "Mom, I'm doing CrossFit." Not, "I go to the gym, I do like burpees, and box jumps, and whatnot." No, "I do CrossFit." It's a huge difference.
Christian Beck: Yeah, if I were also to guess, too, tying it back to building the audience first is required. You couldn't start the category if nobody's listening, but you had a lot of people listening to you at that point.
Dave Gerhardt: Yeah. Unless there's people there, you can't have a category, so I think you have to have this groundswell. You have to have people using the product, asking questions, wanting more and then a category starts to form. Apple did not invent the tablet, but they created iPad and iPad grew the category of tablets. There are lots of other companies that have tablets, but Apple is the leader. Then, the other example they give is Jawbone, the Bluetooth headset.
Dave Gerhardt: They had a great product, they had product market fit, everybody was using it, but they failed to create a bigger category around it and there were no other competitors in it and the category didn't grow bigger than them. They missed out on the opportunity to create a wearable Bluetooth category, as opposed to just being a headset.
Christian Beck: There's something I've been curious to ask you that I think is a little bit related to this, which is your brand around you all is very prominent, as well. I would like to understand if there was any conscious decision about elevating yourselves and tying that to Drift?
Dave Gerhardt: No. Again, there was no meeting, which was like, "All right, Dave, you're going to come here, you're going to be the face of a lot of this stuff." What it was, was I'm a marketer who's doing marketing to marketers. It's really easy for me to create content without having to... If I was doing marketing at a cyber security company, which I would be terrible at, I don't know anything about it, I wouldn't be the face of it, because I would need to go find somebody else. Every time I wanted to say something, I would need to get somebody else's opinion.
Dave Gerhardt: The amazing part about being in this industry is this is what I know and live and breathe. If I'm walking to work and I'm like, "You know what? I just had an idea." I can pull out my phone and make a video and talk to the world to try to start a conversation and that becomes marketing. We can just turn on the podcast mics and just go and rant about something and that becomes marketing. Or we could do a podcast and I can just not have a script and just talk and that becomes marketing.
Dave Gerhardt: I think it's more of a combination of the industry that we're in, but also having some background in this space. Ultimately, the reason why we do it is because people don't want to hear from a logo. We all want to hear from real people, because buyers today are more skeptical than ever. Nobody wants to be sold to, nobody wants to be marketed to and so the way you can cut through that is to be real. I want to be the same Dave. I hope I sound the same and feel the same as I do right now as you guys listening to my podcast or meeting me in person or bumping into me on a Sunday at the grocery store.
Dave Gerhardt: That should be who I am and I think that's my... To me, that's the secret to marketing today is you have to be real, you have to be authentic, you have to be human. One of my favorite lessons is from Yvon Chouinard, who's a founder of Patagonia, in his book Let My People Go Surfing, where Patagonia has an amazing brand and he talks about how their brand, he's like, "People ask about our brand and I say our brand is just us. The reason why is because writing fiction is so much harder than writing nonfiction."
Dave Gerhardt: What he means by that is if I had to come into work every day and think about what is the Drift brand? Okay, all right, I've got to go do this podcast with you guys and I've got to be on brand. Our brand is us, our brand is me, our brand is being real, our brand is being authentic. When you are real, then you don't have to fake it. Now, people say, "It's easier to tell the truth than it is to lie." Same thing is true in marketing.
Dave Gerhardt: In the book, he talks about how they didn't have to come up with some fake slogan or fake cartoon character like the Marlboro man. They were like, "This is us," so they only used pictures of them and their customers, as an example.
Anna Eaglin: You hear that a lot with B2C, like consumer facing brands. It's very friendly, it's very approachable. You don't as often hear that in a B2B situation like you are with Drift. Tell me about your strategy in being more friendly and approachable and yourselves in that B2B space.
Dave Gerhardt: None of us think, "I'm B2C Dave and now I'm B2B Dave, because I'm back at work." No, we're all people. Even people who say, "But, Dave, I'm in a very traditional, very, very old industry, very enterprise." I'm like, "Bullshit. You're still marketing to people." That is how we all talk, that is how we all communicate. We are all people. We all have motivations, desires, fears, wants, needs that have nothing to do with us at work. Everything that we do, from a marketing perspective, is I want to connect with you as a person.
Dave Gerhardt: Then, as a person, we then earned the right, hopefully, to try to sell you our product or try to market our product. Everything is always about starting there. I think, especially today, because of technology, the lines have blurred so much between what's B2C, what's B2B. Another example inside of B2B, everybody on the Marketing Team at Drift has access to our marketing credit card and can buy today.
Dave Gerhardt: There is not one buyer and most people, most good leaders, what they do is if somebody reaches out to sell them something, they say, "I don't know, it's my Team's decision," and they pass it to the team anyway. I think there's really only one way to market today and that's B2P, like our business to people. There is not B2C, there is not B2B, it's all just marketing to people.
Anna Eaglin: Sounds like a new category.
Christian Beck: B2P.
Dave Gerhardt: B2P.
Christian Beck: Does your team on the marketing side, do you have any ways that you sort of ensure that the trust and thought leadership you built up on the marketing side gets translated through the product?
Dave Gerhardt: I think our marketing has become our brand and I think we all have to be on the same team. It doesn't matter what type of marketing that we do, whether it's this reality TV type of marketing that you guys talked about or other type of marketing, like in any business, if the product doesn't pay off on what marketing is delivering, then it's not going to work. I don't know what the solution is, it's just you have to have a great product.
Dave Gerhardt: This guy is that I used to work with at Constant-Content, his name is Mark Schmulen, and I haven't heard from him in forever, but he had this great quote where he said, "There's no marketing cure for sucking," which is like if the product is no good, it doesn't matter if you're the best marketer in the world. If you're the best marketer in the world, you're telling people like... Think about it. You're the guy on the street.
Dave Gerhardt: "Come to my restaurant. Come on in. Come on in, it's the best. It's the best." You actually go in the restaurant, you eat the food and it's terrible. Then, it doesn't matter, right? There isn't some type of meeting that we have or sync or whatever. It's just marketing is our brand and our brand has translated to so much more than marketing. Our brand has resonated into sit, our Sales Team, our Product Team, our HR Team, all tap into the Drift brand.
Dave Gerhardt: I think they know and we all know together, but I also can't be out there promising the market things that don't exist. I think it's a balance of it starts with a product. What problem are we solving and then how can we creatively go and tell that to the world to get them interested?
Anna Eaglin: What does better product mean to you?
Dave Gerhardt: Better product to me means that things work like they should work, which seems so silly but so many times you go to pull up and app and you go to do something and it makes you feel stupid or it doesn't actually do the thing that you want to do. I think the best products almost get out of the way.
Anna Eaglin: That was Dave Gerhardt. The best way to get in touch with him is over at Drift.com or email him directly, email@example.com.
Christian Beck: Anna, do you happen to know who wrote the book on conversational marketing?
Anna Eaglin: That's a great question, Christian. Actually, Dave Gerhardt just launched a book called Conversational Marketing. Make sure you grab a copy wherever books are sold.
Christian Beck: Welcome Mike.
Mike Reynolds: Thank you very much.
Christian Beck: Now, with me and Mike in a room, it's always a problem. We're still going to try to keep this under 10 minutes and [crosstalk 00:20:56]-
Anna Eaglin: ... confirm.
Christian Beck: Yes, Anna will make sure.
Anna Eaglin: One place to get started, Mike, lend me your thoughts on we talked a lot with Dave about building an audience before a product is launched. In your experience, I know you've done that in your past, tell us your thoughts about that as a strategy.
Mike Reynolds: Yeah, I think it's more of a modern strategy that's really starting to embrace more of a customer experience how people buy. When everything past was maybe built up for one launch, as if it was an event, that felt like it was almost an internal convenience to the company, to celebrate it. When the reality is, you want to keep momentum about your product, all the way, even if you're drumming up momentum before it exists.
Mike Reynolds: It's very digital, but the most practical example I can give you is like a movie. You don't get told on Friday, "This new movie is out. We're very proud of it and it's launched. You've got trailers, you've got things sneaking, there's buzz, coming soon stuff, there's digital stuff that reveals a little bit. Builds a bit of anticipation. That can work very well for a digital product.
Mike Reynolds: We often will recommend, even if you're a couple months out, just starting to even create awareness, have marketing campaigns, where it isn't just an event, it's a series. It's honestly a consistent series of communications out there, whether that be before it's ready, certainly when it's ready, and then even reminding people that's not one and done after it's out. Keeping a consistent education. People aren't going to buy the minute you just launch it and that's just really at the heart of it.
Christian Beck: I think that ties in well with what Dave was talking about. He was building the audience for Drift before they even had any product. His background is marketing, so he's out there marketing like a marketer would and drumming up interest, but they didn't even have a product. You're even talking about if you are building a product, you still should be doing that almost that as well while you're building.
Mike Reynolds: Yeah, and I'd say it's absolutely essential for building a market, because you've actually are going to have to educate people on a world that doesn't exist today, on possibly terminology and speak that they're not familiar with today. It's not like you're joining a commoditized market, where your go-to-market strategy messaging is why we're better than everyone else. This is why you even exist in the first place. It is absolutely imperative if you're going to market with a novel or new idea or creating a space.
Anna Eaglin: Dave talked about their market was product marketers, a market that not even a lot of people understand. They were putting out, I think he said, they did some groups, they were putting out content. They were already building value with this market and then once they built this trust they were like, "Hey, guess what else? We have a product." It seems like it's a little different from traditional marketing where it's not just like warming people up. You're literally saying, "We are one of you, you trust us, guess what we've got?"
Mike Reynolds: Yeah, and I'd say what he's probably weaving in there is the brilliance and respect of brand playing in that role, where it's basically I'm going to establish awareness of myself, our brand, trust, giving content, educating the market, where, very naturally, then when you come out with a solution, if you've got pave the way with some brand equity and trust and even admiration or fandom, people are going to be more willing to listen to your message and then the more willing to even consider or sample your product.
Christian Beck: The brand equity that you mentioned is a really good way, it's like a savings account, you don't want to make withdrawals before you have that brand equity and I think withdrawal would be asking someone to buy your product. You mentioned using brand to build up that brand equity, so once you have that product, it's almost like people are like, "Well, I trust these people," even though they weren't really even necessarily looking at you as a product person up until that point, but they certainly trust you with your thought leadership in the domain. The second you come out with a product, they're like, "I get it. I get your brand, I get what you're trying to do and I'm going to buy from you."
Anna Eaglin: One way to be a part of that audience is by building your authenticity. We talk a lot here at Innovatemap about not just B2P, business to people, but like business to user as a marketing channel in and of itself as opposed to traditional B2B sales models. Mike, what are your thoughts about...
Mike Reynolds: Yeah. It's not as simple as B2C or B2B anymore and I think if you're a traditional B2B business, you need to start paying attention to we need trends in B2C because they're starting to convert, whether it's business to person, you're focused on the person, or whether you're focused on the user. If you traditionally sold into a head at an enterprise company and then they made a decision and declared that everyone in the organization needed to use that, that's not necessarily how people are always buying these days.
Mike Reynolds: This is very different than 10 years ago. Consumers are very savvy buying technology. It used to be, 10 years ago, only IT knew how to buy technology, so what's happened is you're going into the work world and they have an opinion about what's good technology and they have access to tools and access to educate themselves. What the pressure is, is instead of necessarily selling to or marketing to the head of an organization that's going to decree or make a decision that everyone uses it, the users actually are getting educated themselves and going to the boss and saying, "Hey, I want to try using this."
Mike Reynolds: Or, "I've already started experimenting this. It's working for me. I want to share it with my peers," and it's almost like bottom-up. They don't demonstrate themselves with consumer behaviors. The marketing channel and way to resonate with them would be very different, but it is like a consumer. A decision-maker might also be the user.
Christian Beck: What you're saying totally makes sense. B2B isn't going anywhere. You still have people that make buying decisions, but gone are the days where the only way a user in a business scenario finds out through somebody ahead of him saying, "Hey, we're trying out this software." Well, these days, that person's already tried the software. They might've already been using Slack and they build that up and then they go up and the chain and say, "Hey, we're using this. We want to try this out."
Mike Reynolds: Yeah, and I like giving a personal example. It's not B2C. My wife, my kids, myself, personally, whether it be a fantasy basketball app or something like that, that's B2C, but I'll tell you, even at Innovatemap, we must use 30 distinct technologies and very few of them we have been sold or bought by us in a traditional B2B model with a rep and series of calls and so forth.
Mike Reynolds: It's really been our team started, had a problem, found a product on their own, started using it, saw value, told the rest of the team, next thing you know, we're all using it. Slack, Trello, you name it, Dropbox, and that's a phenomenon that people just need to pay attention to and make a decision whether that's the right call for their product or not.
Christian Beck: Another byproduct of going directly to users, at least from my perspective, is that it changes the way that you can sort of talk to people. We had Kyle Lacy on in episode one that talked a lot about how Lessonly built a lot of trust by being honest and direct with people and they leveraged an honest and genuine brand. Authenticity is big.
Christian Beck: Drift does it really well with Dave. Well, and David Cancel their CEO. They talk to people all the time and they're very genuine. B2B seems to almost put a veil over what you're doing and make you wear a suit in the way that you talk, but in the B2C world or a B2U where you're getting to talk to people, it almost seems like you can lift that veil and be a little bit more honest with people. Do you see that?
Mike Reynolds: Yeah. What's happening is gone is the ability to convince them of something. You're leveraging your brand to do a lot of the legwork and selling for you and people are going to see through that. The dynamic of that is you're having more consumers than users making the buying decisions. They're going to buy products from brands that are authentic and resonate with them. If you really think about this dynamic, you don't have to convince... Gone is the day of convincing them.
Mike Reynolds: People are searching, they're getting educated on you and, in the sea of everything is a tech play in very crowded spaces, companies that actually focus on their brand, and it is authentic not just who they are, but it is backed by a product that is authentic as well. I know I think we even had Kyle Lacy cover this lesson, he's a very good example of this we talked about in one of our other podcasts, but authentic brands are resonating.
Mike Reynolds: Most successful companies today are having a very authentic brand that people resonated with, a great product backed by delivering insane customer experience. Those are a common pattern of what you would see right now winning companies. I cite like Dollar Shave Club, Casper, Warby Parker, I just think of these brands, I don't know if Dollar Shave Club is the best razor. I use it, I've given them my business for a long time. Why? I admired their brand when it came out.
Mike Reynolds: That's a consumer type mentality. That is creeping into the business world. As the users and team members are starting to be the ones that are making technology decisions, it's something to pay attention to.
Christian Beck: Yeah, I think it's a really great insight. Well, thanks a lot for joining us, Mike. I think your thoughts were fantastic and a great way to recap what Dave told us from Drift. You've got a unique perspective that kind of captures a lot of the trends that are going on in the startup space. I personally hope that listeners that are in a B2B model listening and thinking, "Oh, that's not really our thing. We have to talk a certain way," might start thinking that maybe there is something that you can do to change the way that you operate to be more authentic and honest.
Anna Eaglin: Thanks so much for listening to the show this week. If you haven't yet, be sure to subscribe, rate and review this podcast. Until then, visit innovatemap.staging.wpengine.com/podcast and subscribe to learn how you can take your product to the next level. As always, we are curious, what does better product mean to you? Hit us up on Twitter @innovatemap or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Beck: I'm Christian.
Anna Eaglin: And I'm Anna, and you've been listening to Better Product.
Christian Beck: Better Product.
Anna Eaglin: Drop mic.