The Founder of Tough Mudder Explains How the Company Expanded Its Loyal Fan base
The popular race company had a problem: It needed to change, without upsetting its loyal fans.
This is an episode of our podcast, Problem Solvers. Each week, an entrepreneur reveals how they overcame an unexpected problem in their business -- and were happier and more successful as a result. The show is hosted by Entrepreneur's editor in chief, Jason Feifer. Listen below, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Every entrepreneur wants a loyal fanbase. That's the dream -- a passionate group of repeat customers who will evangelize for you.
But superfans come with challenges too: They love a company exactly the way it is, and they do not want it to change. That's not very helpful, because every business needs to change. It needs to expand, experiment and find new ways to reach new people. And when a brand has superfans, it needs to somehow do this while not alienating its greatest champions.
Tough Mudder founder Will Dean knows this problem well. His company, which puts on obstacle course races around the world, has attracted fans so rabid that 20,000 of them tattooed the company logo on their bodies. But at the start, those fans were all the same. "We were getting lots of men in their 20 and 30s that are already in shape," he says. "And that was great. But that isn't most people. And most businesses aspire to grow."
To set Tough Mudder up to be a successful global company, Dean would need to strike a delicate balance. Without diluting his brand's ruggedness -- the thing that initially attracted those young men -- he'd also have to attract more women, older people and less physically fit people. And yet, his first solution wasn't an obvious one. "The first thing we did was create World's Toughest Mudder," he says, "which is a 24 hour, non-stop Tough Mudder where you do as many laps as you can."
On this episode of Problem Solvers, we explore the surprising ways that Dean struck this balance -- creating new kinds of races, new ways for fans to engage with Tough Mudder, and even a new franchise gym, all while attracting hundreds of thousands of new racers of all kinds.
Anyone who's ever had to sign and mail a paper document has wondered: There's got to be a better way to do this. And there is! SignEasy is a easy-to-use, simple and legal way to digitally sign documents. You can sign them yourself, from anywhere and on any device, or send documents to customers, partners, or colleagues for signing, and even track the progress of documents and get notified when a document is signed. And if someone's late in signing, you can send them a reminder. With SignEasy, there's no reason to deal with documents you have to print and sign and put in a mailbox. SignEasy is faster, easier, and safer. To get started for free go to getsigneasy.com/podcast.
ProsperWorks knows what everyone in sales knows: CRMs are really tedious. "Somewhere along the way," its website says, "CRM got really hard to use." And that's why ProsperWorks has built a CRM that's the opposite. By integrating with tools you're already using and eliminating repetitive tasks with automation, ProsperWorks is beautiful, easy to use and drives productivity to help you and your team sell more, faster. Try ProsperWorks for free by using our link.
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Online Scams Are More Sophisticated Than Ever. Here's How to Shop Safely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, According to a Cyber Intelligence Expert.
This Guy Saved Barbie From Cultural Extinction. He Did It by Asking One Big Question.
The Top 5 Hot Franchise Categories for 2023, According to One Industry Expert
Why Can't We Resist Black Friday and Cyber Monday? A Behavioral Economist Explains the Psychological Forces That Make Sales Irresistible.
I Couldn't Sleep. I Obsessed Over My Failures. Then I Found the Weirdest Cure.
This Pitch Scored a $250,000 Investment — But It Almost Didn't Happen
Employees Were Demanded to Go Home. Here's How We Invite Them to Come Back.