Chubbies makes men’s shorts. Not jet-powered hoverboards. Not spider drones that can film every moment and beam it to the interweb. Shorts. A product that hasn’t changed since the early 19th century. Here are four quick steps to launch your new venture without selling your home.
1. They started small. Really small.
As Tom explains in the interview, the company started by taking 50 shorts out to Lake Tahoe and trying to sell them to people. Within moments, people were lining up to buy them. They sold the 50 and then traded the shorts they were wearing, telling them that this was an idea worth pursuing.
2. The co-founders live the values of the brand.
The co-founders each had a quirky collection of shorts they owned, or had inherited from people. The weirder the better. And this passion flowed into their values and ultimately made the brand more relatable. They were the face of the brand, not some hired models.
3. They put content first.
Chubbies had been working on content for over 5 years before they went big with it. And that intense preparation shows, with what they say, how they say it and where they say it. Chubbies treated their content as a unique asset separate from their product, which made the content more valuable. 95% of the content on their Instagram account is user-generated. Their social content has no link back to product and never tries to sell it.
4. They created a mission that was much bigger than themselves.
And that mission is front and center on their website.
We believe in the weekend
We believe that “short shorts” is a redundancy
We believe in swim trunks, swim shorts, bathing
suits, swim suits or whatever the heck else you
wanna call ‘em because we believe that if you’ve got a
pair of those on, well, you must be doing something
We believe in the right your quads have to a life of
freedom and sunshine
We believe in aloha shirts (aka Hawaiian shirts)
We believe in comfort
We DO NOT believe in the top button – well, we
believe it EXISTS, but we don’t believe in the principle
for which it stands
We believe in our fathers – they led the way; we are
but revolutionaries standing on the shoulders of
amazingly mustachio’d giants in proper length
We believe in things with American flags on them,
whether that’s shorts, swim trunks,or the feathers of
a bald eagle being ridden by George Washington
We believe sweat shorts are the greatest innovation
in lounging since hammock cup holders were
invented in the early 1780s
And we damn sure believe in Friday at Five
Each of those sentences above gives them an opportunity to create new types of content. It gives them a chance to start a conversation and then have the brand own it. It gives them a chance to live those values and create a loyal audience that is willing to engage with them.
Do not make starting a brand harder then it needs to be. You don’t need to raise a bunch of money and you don’t need to invent the world’s coolest tech product to be successful. Focus on execution and building a brand.
So, now what’s your excuse?