If you’ve ever thought of selling on Amazon then you’re probably aware of the Amazon FBA competition that you’ll face. And today is your lucky day because I’ve got something for you that your Amazon FBA competition isn’t doing it.
In fact, it’s not just the Amazon FBA competition alone… but eCommerce in general… not many brands do any of this.
So today I gladly present you with…
Invaluable Lessons From A Brand That Went From 0-500M In Sales In 6 Years With No Outside Investment And Best Of All, That Gave Away 88 Million Pairs of Shoes To Underprivileged Kids Around The World!
I love going on long 2-3 hour bike runs in the mornings where I load up my phone with some killer podcasts from my favorite people in the online and business world. Sometimes, you hear ONE idea that completely shifts your thinking or opens your eyes to a whole new world and direction. This is exactly what happened to me a few days ago, on Wednesday 15th of July 2020. I was listening to a podcast by Ed Mylett, one of my favorite business and fitness leaders in the world. On that show, Ed had brought a guest, whom I had not heard of before but one who totally blew my mind, Blake Mycoskie.
Blake has one of THE most inspirational stories I have ever heard! They go about how building a business that is much bigger than just for the sake of making money but one that actually makes money and in the process contributes back to the a worthy cause is not only infinitely more fulfilling but also has the potential to make your business competition proof. The good news is that this principle can be applied to all businesses, including Amazon FBA and E-Commerce businesses!
Link to that incredibly inspiring video:
In a nutshell, Blake built an incredible business from 0 to $500 Million in sales in 6 years, in one of the MOST competitive niches out there, shoes! And all this, without any outside investment. That alone is an incredible feat! But what truly blew my mind and made his business stand out so much was that in that time, for every pair of shoes he sold, he’d give away a pair to underprivileged kids in Argentina. In the process, he gave away 88 million pairs of shoes to kids who couldn’t afford them! His business is the best example of a perfect business with a purpose, with a cause that makes the world a better place.
What Set Toms Shoes From All Other Shoe Brands?
The idea behind Toms Shoes started with very modest beginnings in 2006. It began as a passion project called Tomorrow’s Shoes. The premise was very simple: for each pair of shoes they sell today, they’d give away one pair tomorrow to kids in need. The idea started while traveling and enjoying life in Argentina, where he noticed kids couldn’t attend school as they weren’t able to afford shoes and the kits to go to school. So with some friends, he started having shoes hand made by people in Argentina and then sells them at first to friends and family and online on his website. He would fulfill his promise of giving away shoes to those kids by flying to Argentina twice a year and handing them out himself.
Within a month of starting, he was able to get his shoes being displayed in a store in Los Angeles. At the time, they were barely making 3-4 sales a day from that store! However, one of the people who ended up buying a pair of his shoes happened to be the editor of the Los Angeles Times. She loved the story of the brand as she had never heard of any company giving a way a product each time they sold one. So she decided to write a piece on Toms Shoes.
That article, which ran on a Sunday, blew Toms business up and resulted in 2,200 sales! Additionally, that piece on the LA Times was read by the editor of Vogue Magazine, who also loved the story and they ended up writing a story in their world famous magazine. This totally took the Toms Shoes into every department store around the world! In the process, Toms Shoes were the fastest growing shoe company in the world for 6 years and they went from 0 to half a Billion dollars in sales in that time, all without ever taking any outside investors!
While I was listening to this incredibly inspiring and touching story, I couldn’t help but stop my bike and started taking tons of notes, rewinding parts of the interview over and over again and taking more notes. I stood there by the side of the highway for a good 10-15 minutes and ended up with almost 1,000 words written on my phone’s notepad app!
This story and the principle behind it of giving back to those in needs touched me so much that it shook me to the core. I got goosebumps and in my 2 hour bike run, I listened to that interview back to back to back! I kept thinking in my mind that this is genius and that I must not only share this with anyone who would listen, but to also implement this myself in my own Amazon marketing company E-Commerce/Amazon FBA business as well as in our 90 Day FBA Challenge!
However, this is all nice and dandy and makes one feel all warm and fuzzy inside but the question that comes to mind to everyone reading this piece, is:
How Can I Apply This Principle To MY Amazon FBA & E-Commerce Business?
Glad you asked! Let’s go over that, shall we? 🙂
There’s a good news and bad news.
The bad news is that everyone who is serious about becoming successful selling on Amazon, has realized that they need to differentiate as much as possible in order to stand a chance in this super competitive environment online.
Now, the good news is that 99.99% of people are only differentiating in one, or at the very most, 2 ways and 2 layers. They all usually try to improve a product a little bit, add a different packaging, maybe restructure the pricing better and add some freebie bonuses which you’ve probably seen all the Amazon FBA competition do. Now while this is good start, it’s nowhere near enough in today’s super competitive market place. It might be enough to make some money, but if you want to DOMINATE your niche, then that’s not going to cut it!
I’m going to quote Ed Mylett verbatim from that episode with Blake Mycoskie as he said it perfectly: “To distinguish your business in this day and age, depending on the industry you’re in, people are constantly trying to do the same thing: make your product 10% better than others or they price it differently. And there’s a HUGE LANE that is wide open that almost nobody explores, which is DO GOOD WITH YOUR BUSINESS. Have a cause linked to it. Forgetting the fact that you should do because that’s what a human being should do. Not just from a business perspective, you are out of your mind not to be looked at as a cause business, to get raving fans who root for your company.”
To which, Blake added, quoting him also verbatim as it’s just brilliant:
“It’s actually two important distinctions here, it’s not just doing good as a business but actually transferring the power to your customers to get to do good. Cause the customer really wants to do good but often times, they’re financially constrained or time constrained, so if you make it easy for them to experience the oxytocin high of doing good in the world through the purchase of your product, they’ll be loyal fans for ever. “
Read the two above quotes from Ed and Blake at least a couple times as they are that powerful! That simple principle can set your business apart from anything out there. Literally!
How Could We Implement That In Our Amazon FBA/E-Commerce Business?
Depending on the product/niche you’re in, it all comes down to deeply understanding your niche, identifying your ideal customer, and identifying their pain point, then it’ll be obvious for you to see which cause would best fit your Brand.
I will venture and make some suggestions here that anyone of us can implement right away in our Amazon FBA business which will drastically set our Brand apart.
- For every product sold, we’ll plant a tree.
- For every product sold, we’ll provide one warm meal to a homeless person in our town.
- For every product sold, we’ll provide school supplies for an underprivileged kid.
- For every product sold, we’ll provide 1 liter of clean drinkable water to people who do not have access to clean water.
- For each pair of jeans/t-shirt sold, we’ll donate a pair to people in Haiti.
- For every $1,000 of product sold, we’ll send x number of kids to a summer camp.
- For every $1,000 of products sold, we’ll build a well in a village in Ethiopia to provide clean drinkable water to local villagers.
- For every $1,000 of products sold, we’ll set up a school in a village in Somalia.
- For every product sold, we’ll buy life-saving food packets to malnourished kids in Afghanistan.
- For every $1,000 of products sold, we’ll set up a solar panel in a village in India to provide them with clean energy.
- For every $5,000 of products sold, we’ll set up a clinic/hospital and will fly in a full-time local doctor to provide basic medical services to underprivileged villagers in Kenya.
You get the idea. These are just off the top of my head to get your creative juices flowing and differentiate yourself from the Amazon FBA competition.
No matter what your product may be, if you brainstorm, you can find a way to give a unit to an underprivileged person each time you sell one unit. It’s just a matter of finding a cause that you believe in and simply implementing it into your business. As simple as that.
Now, when you’re giving away products in such a fashion to a cause, do not think of it as a cost or a waste! Quite the opposite! Think of it as marketing and advertising. And this kind of marketing is by far, the best way to spend your marketing budget. The kind of results and returns that you’d get through this, normal and traditional marketing would not be able to come even close to!
When you have a powerful cause and an inspiring story linked to your Brand, then your customers will become your raving fans, and will do your advertising and marketing for you. That is the ultimate goal for any organization. When you achieve that, then you become untouchable and Amazon FBA competition doesn’t matter anymore.
Why Is This Such A MASSIVE Opportunity For Us Amazon FBA/ E-Commerce Sellers To Implement This Into Our Business?
One very simple reason: Very few, if anyone, is doing that currently on Amazon! When you start implementing that principle, the principle of having a cause linked to your Brand and having a powerful story that fuels your Brand, then all of a sudden, the Amazon FBA competition becomes completely irrelevant. Especially if you are the first to do so in your niche. For which there is a very high likelihood of that happening. Why? Because no one else is doing that currently!
When you start implementing that into your business, you’ll be untouchable and the rest will scratch their heads wondering why are your sales through the roof and getting all these PR coverage left and right while theirs is stagnating if not tanking and no one is paying attention to them? And by the time they realize what’s going on, you’ll be so far ahead that it’d be near impossible for them to catch up to you!
Differentiation At Every Level Inside Our 90 Day FBA Challenge.
The 90 Day FBA Challenge is our flagship program where we take people with no experience of Amazon FBA, with no idea what to sell and we show them using our proven step by step Blueprint how to find, select, source, and launch a product on Amazon within 90 days. The program is highly interactive, with accountability groups and weekly calls where students can ask us any questions and bounce ideas to us.
The program is like a college course and has a to-do list, with daily tasks to do, weekly assignments to complete, and monthly goals to achieve. We open it every 90 days and is currently closed. We only let in a small number of highly motivated, highly vetted students into our Challenge each time. As our goal is to have a 100% success rate and we do work very closely with them to ensure that they are all successful in launching their first product within 90 days even with existing Amazon FBA competition.
In our 90 Day FBA Challenge, the one point that we constantly drill into the minds of our students is to always look for as many ways as possible to differentiate your products. We insist on differentiating because that’s what allows you to stand out in today’s ultra competitive market place.
Differentiation can be at every level, every layer and step. One of the ways we recommend is to do what others are not willing to do and to go where others are not willing to go. Over 95% of sellers on Amazon currently are sourcing from China. While China has been great and has the manufacturing and logistics on point, their products can have limitations.
Indeed, in China, products are mass produced using artificial materials (plastic, silicone, pu/fake leather etc) and where the MOQs (Minimum Order Quantity) can be large. As a result, everyone that’s sourcing their products from China has pretty much access to the same type of products as everyone else.
One great way that we recommend our students to differentiate is to source from other countries outside of China, such as India for example. My good friend Meghla Bhardwaj, from India Sourcing Trip, did a Masterclass for us not long ago where she explained in details the differences and benefits of sourcing from India vs China.
Link to Meghla’s Masterclass on sourcing from India: https://www.90dayfba.com/experts-webinars-optin-1
Products in India are mostly hand made, using natural materials (cotton, real leather, wood, stones, precious stones and metals) and as a result, because they’re hand made and with natural materials, not only are the designs and styles unique, they’re also of a much higher quality than Chinese products that are mass produced with artificial materials. Additionally, because products are hand made, MOQs from India are usually a lot lower, at times, as low as 50 units than in China where they are at a minimum 1,000 if not more units! So needless to say, sourcing your next product for your Amazon FBA business from India is going to drastically allow you and your products and Brand to stand out.
However, nothing comes close to having a cause and a beautiful story attached to your Brand. That’s your Trump Card! Throughout this piece, I’ve covered in details the reasons for that but I’ll recap them one more time as that’s such a key point to understand and that message needs to be spread far and wide.
Why Having A Cause And An Inspiring Story Behind Your Brand Are Going To Make Competition Completely Irrelevant?
Honestly, what the world needs is NOT another widget, another “me-too” copy cat product that is a little bit better than other products out there. However, what the world does need, badly and is craving for, are businesses that are tied to a cause, that are giving back and making the world a better place. This is what Social Capitalism, Ethical Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship with a Heart/Conscience or Progressive Capitalism as Ed Mylett puts it, is all about. Making money not just for the sake of making money but in order to use that to make the world a better place.
People LOVE to buy and do business with brands and companies that have a social conscience and are doing good around them. As Blake mentioned it, and I will quote him again here as that perfectly summarizes the whole principle beautifully:
“It’s actually two important distinctions here, it’s not just doing good as a business but actually transferring the power to your customers to get to do good. Cause the customer really wants to do good but often times, they’re financially constrained or time constrained, so if you make it easy for them to experience the oxytocin high of doing good in the world through the purchase of your product, they’ll be loyal fans for ever.”
When you as a Company give back to make the world a better place, you will have an incredible opportunity to get tremendous PR, which would boost your business, your image and your Brand in ways that you would not be able to do so without having a cause and a beautiful story tied to your Brand.
When you become a company that does that, you will have a unique opportunity to truly make any Amazon FBA competition irrelevant because 99.99% of them are not doing that! And when you implement that basic principle into your business, you will more than likely, be the first in your niche. This would give you, your Brand and your business, a tremendous leg up over anyone in your niche.
Implementing this basic yet crucial principle into your business will be the single greatest differentiating factor that will not only totally set your business apart but take your business to levels that others could not even dream of.
As a matter of fact, not only am I going to implement that into EVERY business that I start or get involved with from now on, but we’ll be also strongly recommending all our students inside our 90 Day FBA Challenge to implement that into their Brands as well. And when we do open up our 90 Day FBA Challenge again, in the vetting process, we’ll specifically let all applicants know that having a cause tied to their Brand is a key requirement of being accepted into our Program because we want you to stand out from the Amazon FBA competition out there.
As you can see, this is something I’m EXTREMELY PASSIONATE about. I’ve always wanted to help others ever since I can remember it. And this is the single best way that we can all do that in order to make the world a better place. The good news is that there are so many good causes that we can all get involved with. Find one that resonates with you and makes sense for your Brand and your Business and simply, Just Do It.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping those in need. We entrepreneurs, have a duty and an incredible opportunity, now to do so.
Remember, the more you give, the more you get and the more you live.
God Bless and Let’s Make The World A Better Place, Together!
Toronto, Canada, Sunday, August 19th, 2020.