How did a drinkware startup successfully compete against brands worth millions of dollars… with just $200,000?
Mike Beckham did it when he co-founded a drinkware company called Simple Modern, and now his company makes $100 million annually.
So how did Simple Modern successfully contend with Yeti and Hydroflask?
The answer is… They didn’t really compete.
Mike describes their approach in an excellent Twitter thread.
Here are some takeaways:
Don’t get stuck trying to invent a new product
Most successful businesses sell established products, but in a new way.
Netflix, for example, wasn’t doing anything new by selling video content.
Instead, their innovative approach was to stream it before other companies did.
So, how do you come up with a winning product?
Here’s the four-step process that Mike suggests:
- Find a product that has robust demand.
- Examine the strategies and strengths of existing companies.
- Find “white space,” or the communication and distribution channels they’re not using.
- Ask: Where do your skills and abilities line up with white space?
Here’s how Mike applied that to Simple Modern
He realized that their main competitors found success using specialty retailers like REI.
That meant companies like Hydroflask were built for physical retail, not e-commerce.
They had high prices, few variations, and no Amazon presence.
So Simple Modern attacked the e-commerce space and designed products that came in dozens of variations.
A simple strategy, to be sure. But it worked.