Man Crates, an e-commerce site that offers specialized gifts for men, is banking on word of mouth and a unique product mix aimed at “delighting gifters as well as those who receive the gifts” to propel sales.
The company’s business model focuses on offering gift packs that cover several categories including personal care, food and beverage, sports and outdoor survival. Many of the kits are shipped “in a sealed wooden crate with a laser-etched crowbar [included]. No bow, no ribbons, no fluff, and absolutely no instructions,” the company noted on its web site.
The personal care gift packs include “The Clean Shave Crate” with a price point of $139.99 and features a silver tip badger brush, Parker razor, Shark chrome blades, shave towel, Imperial pre-shave oil, glycerine face soap and bergamot aftershave. The company also offers a “Smooth Face Mini Crate” for $69.99. Other gift sets include a “Whiskey Appreciation Crate” for $149.99, a “Caveman Crate” for $69.99 (packed with paleo diet foods), and a Zombie Survival Crate for $89.99. The latter comes with a 12.9-inch Elk Ridge machete and “combat essentials” such as a first aid kit, duct tape and a can of Spam.
The site also offers personalized gifts such as pint glasses, whiskey bottles and growlers. The site’s “manifesto” is that the company believes “men deserve better gifts. Gifts that stir a primal craze of chest bumps and cheers, not polite half-smiles. We believe gifts should be just as exciting to give as they are to receive; the gifts of water cooler legend. We are Man Crates, and we do awesome gifts for men.”
Celina Johnson, chief operating officer, and Kristin Peters, vice president of marketing at Man Crates, recently spoke to WWD about the impetus behind the site, the product assortment and its marketing position.
Johnson said there are not a lot of gift sites in the market that makes the act of gifting and receiving gifts engaging. “We’re focused on the end-to-end process of gifting,” she explained. “We put a lot of thought into the experience.” That includes “making it fun to shop, making it feel like a joy rather than a chore,” Johnson added.
Johnson and Peters said word of mouth has been a key component of the site’s marketing. “So, for the recipient that means creating a great ‘opening experience’ – one that’s more than just about a product,” Johnson said. “It’s not just what’s inside a box. Receiving [the crate] is a fun and delightful experience, and something that people want to share and talk about.”
Peters said the opening of the crate is the “just the beginning of the entire experience.” What follows is the gift receiver telling their friends and sharing on social media as well as becoming a gift buyer on the site. On YouTube, there are thousands of “Man Crate Opening” videos showing the “opening experience.”
The crates are well-sealed, and if gift receivers have trouble opening the crate they can visit mancrates.com and click on the “opening instructions” tab. But the only help it offers is to tell users to “Try Harder.”
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