The Bluebeards Revenge is a company that’s making serious moves in the male grooming market. I reached out to the founder and the team to find out more:
What’s the big idea behind your business?
Men’s grooming is fast becoming a big business – however when we researched the market many of the products looked slightly effeminate and not something a real man’s man would be comfortable to be seen buying. The Bluebeards Revenge is all about being macho but with a tad of self-deprecating humour. The Bluebeards Revenge is billed as “The Ultimate Shaving Experience For Real Men”
What inspired you to set up the business?
Our online shop (Shaving Shack) retails niche Double Edge shaving products, creams, balms and colognes. Many men who are fed up with Cartridge razors and sub-standard products find a way to our shop in the quest for shaving enlightenment. There was nothing on the market that really drew in new customers and many shaving products are carbon copies of each other. We wanted to create something that was unique, effective, eye catching – a product designed by men – for men.
What is your progress to date?
The Bluebeards Revenge started out with one 180ml shaving cream barely two years ago and now boasts more than 20 products, including, luxury razors, gift sets and merchandise.
It is now retailed in over 20 countries, has over 150 high street stockists and has won countless awards – not only for its quality of products but also its Social Media and Marketing strategy.
We re-branded the range for the North American market – Dreadnought Shaving is now taking the Americas by storm and is set to be a major market for the business.
What key lessons have you learned?
We’ve learnt a lot of lessons since our beginnings back in 2010. Supply chain for example is fundamental to establishing a strong business – if you fail to deliver in an efficient and timely manner than it extremely damages your reputation. Work out lead times and projected sales but more importantly than that make sure your suppliers are reliable.
Product testing and TQM (Total Quality Management) have been essential in ensuring that once the product has been sold the end user always gets a consistent excellent result. Our lids for the Aftershave Cologne incurred a fault and if it wasn’t for TQM then we would never have discovered it and sent out faulty products. It may have cost time and resources to rectify but the damage it could of caused in the long run would have been detrimental.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Gaining exposure for the brand through PR, Marketing and Advertising is an expensive business. Early on we decided to bring our efforts in-house as the London agencies offer expensive packages with little ROI. Since bringing it in-house we have gained a vast number of contacts and coverage through our efforts. The team is amazingly cost effective with the results speaking for themselves – we are the envy of many businesses in our sector.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Part 1 – Learn from the mistakes of others! Part 2 – Try not to forget or ignore Part 1!
What plans do you have for the future?
We are looking to increase the range more and make ourselves a male grooming brand with an international footprint and not just settle in the shaving niche. Products in development include a shower gel, hair products and fragrances.
What advice do you have for other businesses?
To really create a brand PR is essential in telling a story and getting consumers to engage with the brand. Businesses might find PR an added cost but to really drive home the message it is crucial. As Bill Gates once said “If I had 2 Dollars left I would spend 1 on PR”.
Always look to develop new products and not rest on your laurels. Developing new products not only keeps you looking busy whilst adding to your existing products but helps keep the buzz alive in the business.
You can find out more here: www.Bluebeards-Revenge.co.uk
Can you control your emotions when negotiating an important deal? It can be tough to deal with stressful situations without having natural reactions; it’s in our DNA to be emotional and have erratic break outs in circumstances that make us feel uncomfortable.
It doesn’t really matter whether women are more sensitive than men; bottom line, you must learn to manage your emotional ups and downs, particularly in situations when an opponent makes you feel threatened or overly-challenged. Each time something surprises or shocks you, use your inner strength to fight back.
The easiest way to harness and manage emotions in negotiations is to prepare you for unforeseen situations. Here are some excellent strategies for negotiators to help them deal with their emotions in business negotiations.
Prior to entering a negotiation you have to be knowledgeable and aware that anything can happen. You can win, lose or reach mutual ground. You have to accept the facts and keep your calm, no matter what. Don’t allow opponents to “read” you. Although you may be anxious and nervous, others can’t see those feelings written all over your face.
Let’s assume that you’re pitching new ideas in front of a company’s marketing department. You’re proud of your strategies but at the same time, you feel frustrated that people are not buying your proposal. What do you do? First, you have to become aware of those feelings; then, you must thoroughly assess them.
What can you do to make the audience pay attention? Redirect your frustration towards better feelings. Don’t many any assumptions as you can’t read people’s minds. Stay positive and keep your cool.
If you must change gears, make sure to identify alternate strategies and objectives. Understand the negotiation, assess its importance and make a list with wishes and concessions you’re willing to make. Set the tone by crafting a strong opening statement; always remember that thoughtful preparation breeds confidence and helps keep emotions away.
Be open minded
When an opponent asks you for something, don’t react aggressively. Be open-minded, express your thoughts clearly, and put conditions. Let’s assume that a supplier won’t agree to a 10% discount for his merchandise. That’s ok as you may ask for some incentives that you can consider valuable for your business. You could ask for free shipping and faster delivery for example.
Look for signals
Listening and observing an opponent’s reactions to a proposed deal is a skill you should master. Phrases and words such as “not now” “maybe” “we’ll see” and requesting small concessions (make sure they indicate that you are prepared to seal the deal) may get ignored if you’re too fixated on your responses. Pay close attention to red flags and internal signals, meant to guide and steer you on the right path.
Use emotions to your advantage
Believe it or not, emotions can be used to your benefit in business negotiations. All you have to do is select the right feelings to guide you. Rather than feel anxious and concerned, choose to remain calm and relaxed. Why feel insecure when there’s no reason to feel insecure? You could easily swap your anxiety for curiosity. Listen to the vocal tone of your opponent and become interested in what they’re saying. By focusing on the actual conversation, your feelings of angst will fade away.
Put your anger to good use
Anger can become your best attribute during a business negotiation. You just have to learn how to use it. Some business people feel more resourceful when they’re irritated; it may sound surprising but this conflicting sentiment can stimulate the brain and make it more lucrative. In special circumstances, anger can be associated with resilience. A hard-hitting attitude may frighten counterparts, and thus you will be free to use persuasive techniques to win negotiations.
Always know your limits and don’t permit anger to become your worst enemy. If you’re not attentive, this feeling can become dangerous and it can interfere with your abilities to bargain. Rookie negotiators should adhere to a detailed negotiation training program before dealing with important deals; you may have the potential to win, but you also need guts and determination to make opponents respect and esteem you.