How might we give whimsy joy to those we care about?
After taking some comedic improvisation classes, I wondered, how do I bring the absurdity and joy from the classroom into the real world?
A few years back, I had purchased a rubber chicken as stress relief. After some exposure to BuzzFeed articles about potato-mailing businesses, I hypothesized that there would be a market for mailing rubber chickens.
I didn't want to invest too much time and energy into this business before validating my product idea, so I carried a rubber chicken around with me to all my social gatherings for a month and noted the reactions I got. People universally understood the humor of a rubber chicken.
Thus, I threw an MVP site together and asked friends to use my service to send chickens. I also contacted a few journalists to gauge the novelty and appeal of the service.
People often say that if you can find your first 1,000 customers, you have validated your product.
- Recipients of the chicken were all surprised and amused. Some were a little confused, but follow-up conversations with recipients revealed that the chickens were overall a great living room and conversation piece.
- One indicator of product appeal was that some recipients subsequently sent chickens to other friends. Some early adopters also sent up to 6 chickens at once.
- One journalist from a large publication insisted that I invested in higher quality product photography in order to cover my business.
- At this point in time, I have collected about 500 customer emails. The email newsletter sign-up to paying customer conversion rate is currently around 26.8%, which leads me to believe that there is indeed a market for my product.
How might I create a trustworthy, funny, and easy-to-use e-commerce brand and website from scratch?
Website, Version 1
I ended up picking up a slew of odd skills to make flying rubber chickens a reality:
- copperplate calligraphy
- product photography
- hot wax seals
- courting journalists
- affiliate marketing
- Facebook advertising
- Google analytics
- Shopify template coding
- email marketing
- customer service
- Alibaba manufacturer communications
Chicken pun generator, carrier ducks; so many possibilities!