192: How to Build Communities Around a New Hardware Invention

192: Building Communities to Sell Hardware Products

September 7, 2023

With Lloyed Lobo, Co-Founder of Boast.AI

Hosted by Kevin Mako, President of MAKO Design + Invent

192: Building Communities to Sell Hardware Products

Lloyed Lobo is the co-founder of Boast.ai & Traction, boasting an impressive $100 million in funding, and the esteemed author of “From Grassroots To Greatness: 13 Rules to Forge Iconic Brands through Community-Led Growth”. He is here to impart invaluable insights to inventors, startups, and small-scale manufacturers. In this episode, Lloyed unveils the crucial stages of audience engagement, their profound impact on hardware product sales, and actionable tools to initiate immediate community-building efforts.

Here are the key takeaways from this episode:

  • Every obscure concept that evolves into a global sensation traverses four distinct phases.
  • Understand the progression from an audience to a cohesive community and eventually into a dedicated cult brand following.
  • Discover how to transform an obscure idea into a devoted cult brand by focusing on communication, creation, and unwavering consistency.
  • Embrace inbound marketing strategies to educate and engage your audience effectively.
  • Recognize that your audience evolves into a community when they come together around a shared purpose that transcends your product.
  • Foster an unyielding belief in your mission, as yesterday’s innovation can quickly become today’s commonplace, as seen by Nike, Harley, and Apple.
  • Cultivate a feedback loop that transforms customers into brand evangelists, driving organic growth.
  • Build a thriving community by adhering to six core values that unleash happy “CAMPERs” – Connection, Autonomy, Management, Purpose, Energy, and Recognition.
  • Identify your ideal customer profile to effectively target your community-building efforts.
  • Map out your circle of influence to discover the platforms where your potential community members congregate.
  • Choose the type of community you wish to create, be it a community of practice, product enthusiasts, or playful engagement.
  • Focus initially on building your audience, subsequently nurturing them into a thriving community.
  • Concentrate on acquiring email addresses as a key step in your journey to interact and engage with your audience effectively.

Episode Highlights

  • 4:37 – You become the sum of the 5 people around you. 
  • 4:57 – The three key learning points for success in this industry are 1) communication, 2) creation, and 3) consistency.
  • 5:24 – Consistency is the secret ingredient that turns small actions into big outcomes
  • 7:58 – The common link between every obscure idea that turned into a global phenomenon is community.
  • 8:53 – All of the big, successful brands today follow these 4 stages: 1) audience, 2) inspiring interaction to create a community, 3) movement, and 4) cult
  • 11:13 – The 6 core values to building a community using the CAMPER method
  • 13:47 – It is very important to understand your ideal customer profile from a positioning standpoint.
  • 14:10 – Draw out a circle of influence to better understand your audience and build a community
  • 14:45 – In the early stages of building your business, social proofing is everything
  • 15:00 – Figuring out what type of community you want to build based on these 3 structures: 1) practice, 2) product, or 3) play.
  • 15:29 – The framework to figuring out what kind of community to build is understanding your product-market fit
  • 16:48 – Maintaining mindshare – Ask yourself how you can immediately start gathering customer information to build a community that will withstand platform changes and trends.
  • 17:40 – Today’s biggest brands started with a small community, too, so don’t be deterred.
  • 17:50 – Compound interest on consistency is what is known as “overnight success”.
  • 18:08 – About Lloyed’s book “From Grassroots to Greatness”

Lloyed Lobo Links:

LinkedIn | Boast.AI | Book

The Product Startup Podcast Links:

Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

Mako Design Links:

YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Kevin Mako Links:

Instagram | LinkedIn | Quora | Facebook | Twitter

Partner: PTC’s best-in-class software solutions Onshape: The only cloud-native product development platform that delivers full-featured computer-aided design (CAD), integrated product data management (PDM) and enterprise analytics in a single system, and Creo: 3D CAD solution that provides designers with the most innovative tools to build better products faster, such as generative design, additive manufacturing, real-time simulation, IIoT, and augmented reality.

Producer: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories.