It’s rare that I come across a business that truly impresses me, because the Virgo in me is hard to impress. But when I do, I’m compelled to feature them. This was certainly the case with Tidal Waves Pomade.
After attempting to grow my natural hair into locs, I decided to cut them off at the 2 year mark because long hair was certainly not for me. At least I can say that I tried. Once I cut them off, I spent a lot of money and time on over-the-counter products, trying to revive my damaged and brittle hair. It wasn’t until I spent more time on Instagram that I discovered a new product that was generating a lot of buzz.
Based in Philadelphia, PA, Tidal Waves is a hair care product line that is jointly owned by Jamaal Dickerson Sr and JohnL Fooks. A chance encounter at a trade show resulted in the two becoming business partners and launching a product that they could call their own. Tidal Waves prides themselves on their natural ingredients list and the fact that they truly care about the customer experience.
With only 5 months under their belt, this dynamic team was able to grow their brand significantly and is now in the process of expanding their operation. I was truly impressed with the product; I noticed a dramatic change in my hair texture after just one application, and developed a huge respect for their work ethic. Check out the 5 things I learned about this team and their operation after speaking with JohnL:
Smart Partnering Decisions
The two partners had met at a local trade show. One was a vendor, and the other was a patron who was scouting the show for his own endeavors. Both were distributors of other hair care products, but had a desire of starting their own. It was obvious which role each partner would take in the partnership. Although they both move as one, it was apparent that Jamaal handled the operation and marketing, and JohnL took care of promotions and business development. What was key in their partnership which contributed to their success was that both had the same goal of developing their own line of products and brought skills to the table that the other lacked, thus making their partnership complete, with no greed or ego.
Strategic Product Placement
These gentlemen had done a great job at analyzing their targeted market and ensuring that their product was placed where their intended customer was located. The name “Tidal Waves” stems from the hairstyle known as “360 Waves, that is formed with the use of pomade applied to a cropped cut and frequent brushing. They knew that those who wore their hair in that manner would visit a barber shop often, so they decided to start building relationships with local barbers to either stock their product or to use on their clients. Their decision worked! As a marketer, it is imperative that you know your target audience and discover ways to place the product directly in front of them at a time that makes sense.
Social Media Works
I never understood how a business fails to utilize social media tools that would provide them with the biggest reach possible. These guys did just that by developing a marketing strategy centered around Instagram (IG). They studied their customer and knew that their customers are likely to post pictures of their haircuts and styles on IG, so they began utilizing keywords and relevant hashtags to spread the word about their product. In such a short time, their customers began posting pictures of their newly received products and the results they experienced after use. What was also a great tactic they used was having barbers (many with celebrity clientele) post pictures of their clients holding the product! When you have a good product and you work to build those key relationships, your customers will have no problem spreading the word for you.
Evolve Constantly, Never Settle
These guys experienced such a huge success in such a short time to where I was amazed at how driven they were and continued to be. I hear a lot of people talking about how they watch Shark Tank and they’re going to do this and that, but these guys are not only doing it, they’re also learning along the way. They’re currently expanding their product line, looking at mass production options, and ways to attract investors. Talk about thinking BIG! I see so many small businesses gain a local buzz (if that) and then settle with their local attention. Not Tidal Waves. They clearly see that they have produced a great product and brand, and have no plans of settling.
You’re Nothing Without Your Customer
You may have a good product, but if your customer services sucks, then you might as well dissolve your business. These guys persuaded me to make my first purchase by how polite, professional, and quick they were to answer any questions I had about the product. Remember, I was trying to resolve a problem with my hair and did not want to continue spending money on products that may not work. I continued to follow them and watched their activity on Instagram. I had even commented on a few of their posts with questions, and received nothing but great advice. My first order included the product I originally ordered, along with samples of other products. At the time of the order, they were out of an oil that I wanted to try with the pomade. After mentioning my concern when they announced that the oil was back in stock, I was guaranteed a free bottle with my next purchase, and that’s exactly what I got. If you take a look at their page, you’ll see that I wasn’t getting any kind of special treatment, these guys genuinely want to ensure that their customers are happy and are open to suggestions because they know that they’re nothing without their customers.
I want to state that this post was not a paid endorsement of any sort. These guys didn’t even know who I was or what I do when I inquired about their product. I was a woman with damaged hair looking for help and they provided. My experience with them is what encouraged me to write this post because it is extremely rare that I come across a small business with such a strong work ethic, customer service, and an excellent product. Tidal Waves gained yet another loyal customer, in me.