Back in 2010, Kevin Kauzlaric smoked a monthly stogie to relax and decompress while he was studying for his MBA. Turns out, it’s a ritual that’s stuck for more than a decade. And he’s not alone.
Smoking a cigar properly is a thing. You can’t rush it. You probably want to be outdoors somewhere scenic. And you want to invite smokemates judiciously (you’ll be there a while).
For the past 7 years, Kevin’s served an audience of about 7,000 cigar smokers through Northwoods Humidors. It’s a product-driven business and Kevin’s initial goal was to get as many brands and products onto his site as possible.
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Maxfield Cigar Accessories
But then, Kevin decided he wanted to build Maxfield Cigar Accessories, a real brand serving his cigar aficionados on a much deeper level. So, he joined the Capitalism Incubator to learn how. He’s learned exactly who his customer is, starting by going deeper with the cigar smokers on his current list. They’re even helping him develop his new brand’s products by providing feedback along the way.
The first products? Two different versions of a cigar accessory organizer. They launched in December to the tune of $5,000 right away. Next up is launching on Amazon. Kevin applied for a trademark for the new brand, and when it’s ready, he’ll create products under that brand.
Now, whaddya think he’s doing with that nice 7K list of cigar smokers? He’s offered them the opportunity to join his new VIP group. A few hundred joined because they want to be first to know about the new products - and to provide feedback throughout the product development process. They’ve even taken surveys and gotten on calls with Kevin so he could learn more about them.
Advice for You
Kevin’s best advice for you if you haven’t launched yet? Stack the deck!
Build your list up first, and communicate with them regularly. Even if you don’t think you have anything exciting to write about, just keep them engaged. Bring them along with you on the journey. Share what’s going on behind the scenes. Give them a first look at what’s happening with your prototypes and manufacturer. Let them help you make design decisions.
And for Pete’s sake, let them preorder from you! Unless you hate money. But you don’t. Because look at what you’re reading right now.
We're really proud of what Kevin Kauzlaric is creating. Just like all of our high-integrity entrepreneurs, he's all-in on making the world a better place for his customers. We'll keep following along on his progress on the road to $1 million. So, check back for updates.
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