Bad Birdie: 7 Valuable Branding Lessons for Building an 8-Figure DTC Brand
I recently came across Bad Birdie and was super impressed with their DTC eCommerce store.
Their design, photography, and products all looked awesome.
The more I reviewed their store, the more I realized how impressive their playbook is.
They’re checking ALL THE BOXES you need to check in order to create an 8-figure-plus DTC eCommerce brand.
Here’s a rundown of 7 incredibly valuable DTC eCommerce branding lessons you can learn from the Bad Birdie team. (Make sure you read to the end so you don’t miss the best point.)
#1: Know Your Customers
The first thing you need to do is make sure you know your customers. As in, really know your customers.
Bad Birdie is an example of a brand that really knows their customers.
They're going after younger golfers who are out on the course to hang out with their buddies, drink some beers, and have some fun.
They aren’t trying to reach older golfers, stiff corporate types, or super competitive golfers. Titelist, TaylorMade, and Nike have those customers locked down.
Bad Birdie has carved out a niche of golfers who like playing golf but who are more focused on having fun than being the next Tiger Woods.
With just one look at their website, their copy, and their social media channels, you can tell, they really get their customers. And if you happen to be one of their customers, their site is going to resonate with you right away.
Pro Tip: If your brand doesn’t turn some people away, then you’re not branding hard enough.The best brands create raving fans and never focus on making everyone happy. Oakley’s, for example, are too expensive for some people, but they don’t care since they're just right for people who want high-performance sunglasses. You always want to know who your customers are and market to them instead of trying to make everyone happy with everything you do.
While it’s cliche to say they sell a lifestyle, they really do.
What that means is that you buy into having fun while playing golf before you consider if you like their designs, if the quality is good, etc. You’re buying the outcome and the experience before you’re buying the product.
In other words, your focus is on buying into the idea of having more fun playing golf and being that kind of guy more than it is on buying the world’s greatest golf polo.
The good news is that their polos look phenomenal and well made. That’s just not what you’re focused on. You buy into the brand first, and then you want to find a polo or a hat you can wear.
It’s a subtle but important difference.
Pro Tip:Ask yourself, what am I really selling? Write down an answer, and then ask yourself the same question 5 more times...or until you find a great answer. Bad Birdie, as we know, isn’t just selling golf polos. They’re selling good times with your best friends. So, what are you really selling?
#3: Share a Clear Message
Next up is sharing a clear, consistent message.
You may think this is easy, but it’s not. Most brands get this wrong.
You should be able to share what you do and who you do it for in one to two sentences. If you can’t, you need to write it down and edit it until you can.
Here is Bad Birdie’s three-sentence elevator pitch:
These three sentences tell you what Bad Birdie is all about. They’re all about:
Playing a good game while having an even better time.
Standout apparel that’s comfortable.
Apparel that doesn’t compromise on performance.
They have a message, it’s clear, and you know what they're all about and what they stand for.
Here’s another example from their About Us page.
After just the first two sentences, you know they're about more than just great golf polos. They’re about having a good time while enjoying a few cold ones with your friends.
As you can see, their copy is on point and communicates their brand position quickly, clearly, and effectively.
Pro Tip: Make sure you can clearly communicate your brand's value and unique positioning in one to two sentences. If you can’t, you need to write it down and edit it until you can. Then, every time someone asks you what you sell, whether it’s Oprah or your neighbor, you’ll know exactly what to tell them and won’t fumble for words.
#4: Know Your Selling Points
In addition to communicating a clear, concise brand message, you also need to know what your selling points are.
You need to write them down, save them, and then repeat them over and over again.
Bad Birdie’s top selling points are:
These types of selling points sell the features and benefits of your product quickly and effectively.
After reading just 4 lines, you know that you aren’t going to sacrifice comfort and performance to have a good time, and you’re more confident about the purchase you’re about to make. It’s not the primary reason you’re buying, but it makes you more comfortable with making the purchase.
When it comes to these selling points, you don’t want to leave them up to chance. You need to write them down, save them, and then share them with everyone...over and over and over again.
This ends up being a really important step for all of your marketing. Once you know your selling points, you need to repeat them on Instagram, on your website, in your ads, etc. etc.
That's why here at ConversionEngine we always spend time to dial in our client's messaging. It's really important for us to know what your selling points are so we can hammer those points home with highly effective paid ads and email + SMS marketing.
Pro Tip: Go ahead and write out 4-5 product selling points now. It’s ok if some are similar to other brands. What matters is that you write them out succinctly and save them, because the brands that communicate the most clearly are the ones that are going to win.
#5: Build a Beautiful Brand
This one is pretty obvious, but you also need to build a beautiful brand that inspires trust, confidence, and interest in your customers.
Bad Birdie does a great job of this.
Their website is beautiful, their photography is fantastic, and their product photos are flawless.
It’s important to remember that your website is the only showroom you’ll have for your new DTC brand. Instead of spending money on a storefront, decorating a store, buying furniture, etc., you need to make sure that your website looks as good as it possibly can.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to break the bank.
Instead of designing a custom website from scratch that costs $20,000+ and probably won’t be worth it, you can pick a Shopify theme and then find a Shopify developer on Upwork who will customize it for you (if you need to).
Photography is a little trickier, but you definitely should hire a professional photographer who can create top-tier assets for your brand. We recently did a photoshoot for YNOT Lifestyle and were able to shoot photos that elevated their brand, strengthened their social media presence, and boosted their ad performance.
As mentioned before, since you won't have a physical store, it's important for your website and visual assets to impress people as soon as they land on your site and social media channels.
Pro Tip: Investing money in good photo and video assets along with a strong logo and branding will pay dividends as you grow and scale your eCommerce brand by making your ads more effective, your brand stronger, and your conversion rates higher.
#6: Premium Price Point and High AOV
Next up is price.
The most profitable brands are the ones that can charge a premium for their products. This includes brands like Starbucks, BMW, Apple, Lululemon, Spanx, etc. This leads to not only more revenue but also more profit.
The alternative is competing on price, but once you start competing on price, your product becomes a commodity.
Bad Birdie’s shirts are high quality and are priced accordingly. This also means that they're going to have a higher average order value ($100+), which makes it easier to win with marketing. (After working with a large number of eCommerce brands, we’ve found that a $45+ AOV makes it much easier to win with paid ads and email marketing.)
One of the worst things a brand can do is focus on a lower price as their unique value proposition. Once you do that, you’ve started a fast and less profitable race to the bottom...unless you plan on being as big as Amazon, Wal Mart, or Home Depot.
Pro Tip: Great photography and design will help you charge a premium for your products. Even if you’re dropshipping, the more beautiful your website is and the more eye-catching your photos are, the more likely people will be willing to pay more, which leads to more profit and easier sales growth.
#7: Go All in on Your Brand
You can tell that Bad Birdie has gone all-in on their brand.
They aren’t holding anything back.
As soon as you land on their site, you feel their passion and their excitement, which is contagious.
Even if you don’t like golf, you’re a little more excited about the prospect of playing golf. You’re a little more interested in playing a round...just so you can have fun with the guys. Even if you don’t need a golf polo, you want to find someone you can buy one for. Etc.
So how do you build a brand like that? It starts with going all in and injecting it with personality, passion, and excitement.
It starts with not holding back because people need to not only get what you do, they also need to feel what you do and why you do it.
They need to feel your passion. They need to feel your excitement. They need to feel your personality.
Very few brands do this. They don’t take any risks, and they don’t stand out.
But you can do it by going all in and communicating your passion through social media, website photos, website copy, etc.
The main thing is to make sure you don’t just play it safe and fail to inject your feeling, personality, excitement, and passion into your brand.
Go ahead, have some fun and see what you can create!
Pro Tip: Take time to write out what your brand is passionate about. What gets you excited? What gets you motivated? Write that out, and then write out a list of ways you can communicate it to your customers.
BONUS: Create Attention-Grabbing Ads
As a final bonus, we couldn’t ignore Bad Birdie’s attention-grabbing ads.
Bad Birdie creates really awesome, attention-grabbing ads.
Instead of playing it safe (once again), they go all out to grab your attention.
They’ve got videos of guys jumping out of golf carts. They’ve got a video of a guy hitting a bomb after chugging a delicious beverage. Etc.
What they don’t have is boring, “me-too” ads.
This is important because paid ads are the fastest way to accelerate your eCommerce store’s growth, but you’re always fighting for attention online.
Every ad fights for attention against thousands of organic posts and competitor ads every single day. If your ad is going to stand out, get clicked, and generate sales, it needs to grab attention...quickly.
In fact, we’ve found that you only have 1-2 seconds to grab people’s attention before people move on, which means the first 1-2 seconds of your ads are the most important part of the entire ad.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to ads that stand out and capture your attention. How do they do it? Are they UGC videos? Do they have a tight video script and are they recorded by a professional video team? Do they use color or lighting to stand out? What do they do in the first 3 seconds to grab your attention? The more you study this, the more you’ll get a feel for what works to capture attention so you can start designing and creating your own attention-grabbing ads.
Wrapping It Up
What’d you think? Did you learn some valuable lessons you can apply to your brand? Is there anything else you feel should have been included on this list?
Leave a comment to let us know what you learned and what stood out!