As one of the founders and the CMO of Anthros (a science-backed startup office chair company), I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend one hour of consulting time and then sit down as a podcast guest with one of my biggest mentors, Gary Vaynerchuk. As an entrepreneur and Marketing nerd, learning from and having my ideas validated by one of the best minds in the world was a dream come true. Here are some of the highlights from my hour with Gary.
You aren’t selling a product; you are selling an outcome
I will never forget how Gary described our company with one simple statement: “You are not an office chair company. You are a health and wellness company.” This wasn’t a moment of identity crisis but a precise distillation of everything we are. After understanding the science and data-driven approach used to design our product, Gary could clearly see the product itself as a vehicle to improve health. We have already positioned ourselves as a company that offers education and products to improve posture, reduce pain, and maximize productivity, but Gary took it to the next level. He very simply articulated that the outcome being delivered to our customer is what matters more than the features and benefits of the product we sell. As a Marketer, this perspective shift inspires an entirely different way of interacting with potential customers.
Give, Give, Give, Ask
“How can you add massive value and GIVE more than anyone else in your space?” Gary asked. Most companies are self-focused and looking to monetize everything they offer. Gary flips the script and preaches that by giving first (with no expectation of return), you create trust and loyalty within your customer base. I draw a parallel between deciding what type of friends you want. Would you rather be around someone who asks questions and genuinely cares about you, or someone who only talks about themselves? The answer is pretty easy. Be the type of company you would want to do business with.
Kindness first, the rest will follow
A direct quote from a member of Gary’s team was, “Gary’s number one requirement of his employees is that they possess kindness as a primary character trait.” I can vouch that this isn’t simply a desire, but a reality Gary has created within the Vayner culture. I had the privilege of meeting members of five different Vayner companies (Vayner x, Vayner Sports, VeeFriends, One37pm, and Sasha Group), and the one constant was pure kindness and genuine care for supporting us in our startup journey. We were met in the lobby by one of Gary’s team members who we had only known through email and online meetings. Instead of the standard handshake, nice-to-meet-you greeting, he gave all five of us hugs to genuinely welcome us to the Vayner family. If you can emulate this culture of kindness, I know from my personal experience with Gary’s team, you will develop loyal customers who eagerly share their experience with friends and family. Thanks Sinan, Jon, Nik, Andy, Adam, Charlie, Darren, Kevin, Gary, and the rest of the team that welcomed us!
The “at bats” are the entry to doing business
What did he mean by this? Creating content around your message on a consistent basis is the necessary prerequisite for becoming established as a trusted brand. If you are to be trusted as an expert in your field, you must have the content to validate your expertise. Additionally, if you are a give-first business, one of the ways in which you give is through “entertainment education” (another Gary-ism). If you can educate and entertain on a consistent cadence, you are adding incredible value while building trust (Branding) with your customer base.
Back pain, posture and sitting poorly are big problems
Gary has been very vocal about his personal battle with back pain, and during our time with him, he stated that he believed sitting to be a major culprit of his pain. As Gary put it, “this is a REALLY, REALLY big deal”. Research shows that up to 80% of the population will have back pain at some point in their life, and sitting/poor posture is one of the primary causes. When he asked us “Which company is doing it best?” (conveying our particular health and wellness outcome), I couldn’t answer the question because I haven’t seen a company doing it in the way he was describing. If no one is doing it, and we know the magnitude of the problem, then I can only conclude that the world is ready for a new solution.
As I reflect on my time with Gary, I am most appreciative of his sincerity, willingness to help, and genuine desire for us to succeed. In less than 2 hours spent with Gary, I walked away with lessons to last a lifetime, along with validation that we have created something that the world needs! To hear more of our conversation, listen to the podcast here.
And to see how Anthros is changing the health and wellness landscape, visit us here.
- Eric Murphy, Co-founder and CMO of Anthros
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