- Eli's Newsletter
- JRB Roadies: How Jones Road is thinking about community
JRB Roadies: How Jones Road is thinking about community
Hi Kings and Queens,
Thankful you are here!
While I expected the last two weeks of the year to be slow and relaxed, it is nothing but that. 🙃
We are just about caught up on the Black Friday influx, but already knee-deep in planning for 2023.
Annual reviews, KPIs, OKRs. All the fun stuff.
This email comes from JFK airport as I wait to board a flight to TLV for the next eight days.
This newsie is slightly different from the first 31 newsies I have written.
This is the first interview-style newsletter. It’s a dive into our JRB Roadies community, which just surpassed 8k members.
It’s a blueprint of a community's ideation, implementation, and nurturing that has changed my mindset on “community” as a whole.
It highlights the mind of one of the most brilliant people I have worked with in my career, our CX lead, Sydney Friedman.
This email is brought to you by Wonderment, my retention swiss army knife. Wonderment is the easiest way to proactively set expectations on shipping timeframes, automatically update customers with delays, and measure shipping expectations vs. reality across the business.
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Community has become a buzzword in recent years. Used to describe lofty and ambiguous goals and pitch VCs, community is often described as a moat for brands.
At its core, a community is a group of people who share common interests, values, and goals and support and inspire each other. It's a place where people can come together to share ideas, offer support, and build relationships.
But how does that at all relate to brands?
Can brands create a “community” around a product they are selling?
How do you ensure your community stays pure and does not turn into a MLM-Esque sh*thole?
Building a Strong Community: Setting the Vision
Creating a Thriving Community: Tips for Successful Implementation
Maintaining a Positive Community: The Importance of Moderation
Crafting Exceptional Customer Experiences: Making Magic Happen
1. Building a Strong Community: Setting the Vision
When joining Jones Road a bit under a year ago, I admit I was a bit bearish on the idea of an organized community.
The way I think about it, just because folks choose to buy the same makeup, does that mean they would have anything else in common?
If you bought a wallet online, would you want to align with other wallet holders to talk about wallets?
When communities thrive, it is often because of a deeper vision that folks are aligned on, and purchasing a product is a way of expressing that vision.
In our case, Bobbi’s philosophy is that makeup should be quick and natural, and it should enhance who you are. It’s you, but better.
Bobbi is the pioneer of the “no-makeup makeup look.”
So many of our customers have been following Bobbi’s journey for decades and love what she stands for. It’s the core that our community is built on.
Q. Sydney, why did we even think of starting this community?
A. Kindness and authenticity reign supreme.
We wanted to do something special for our most loyal customers as well as create a home for education outside of our Customer Experience Team - sometimes it takes a bit more TLC, and we wanted to provide them with more.
The trick was determining what more we could actually do. We started posting some of our favorite tips and tricks and why we love being a part of JRB.
Our "Beauty" Community is now a sisterhood flooded with compliments and positive energy. Focusing on our own uniqueness and interests created a vessel for openness and communication while product education naturally followed.
Being able to exceed a customer's expectation - even if they come to us with such a simple task can make all the difference. Not only does it make them feel good, but it makes us feel good. It gives us a purpose and inspires us to keep going, think outside the box, and make an impact. It's a full-circle ride that I never want to end!
We can only control what we put out there, so why not give it our all? Creating Roadies was another way to push the boundaries, educate, learn, and continue to exceed our customer's expectations in different ways. The concept of customer delight vs. customer satisfaction is essential to my daily thinking.
We do all we can to leave our Roadies with unforgettable memories of their experience with Jones Road - even if it's the simple act of asking how their day was or complimenting them on their lovely new glasses. It's the little things that make a big difference.
Q. Why did we choose FB as the home for this community?
A. We decided Facebook was the perfect home for our Roadies because we didn't want to give our customers extra work to show how much we appreciate them. This is a place where they already belong, filled with a vast audience of all age ranges with endless tools and possibilities that we continue to utilize.
We started releasing “early access” links before new launches and really honing in on making our Roadies feel seen and heard.
We have executed two Live Events in less than four months, demonstrating our new launches with our Flagship Makeup Artists. We continue to post polls and questions to learn more about what makes our Roadies tick, helping us think outside the box.
Facebook also has the ability to track our growth, provide badges to our VIP Roadies, and so much more - providing us with the ability to learn from our Roadies rather than simply educating them on our product. This has since changed the way various members of our community use Facebook for the better.
What once was a vessel for them to scroll aimlessly and receive the latest updates on the news and loved ones' lives has transformed into a collaborative environment where people come for good vibes and camaraderie. Some have commented that they rejoined Facebook just to be a part of Roadies.
2. Creating a Thriving Community: Tips for Successful Implementation
Imagine walking into a large conference and seeing a Starbucks stand selling the best of brews. You might grab some, or you might not, depending on the vibes.
But what if every single person is walking around sipping on a Venti SB bev?
You might feel more inclined to grab a Venti just because everyone else seems to be in on it. This is known as the bandwagon effect - the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it.
Early on, our goal was to add as many superfans as possible to set a strong foundation.
Folks that ordered 5+ times
Folks with high NPS scores
Folks with rave product reviews
Our JRB superfans in the dm’s
Q. Sydney, I am getting ahead of myself here. Where did the name JRB Roadies even come from?
A. We started riffing off of the name of the brand and finding something that would really resonate with our customers - because they are truly more than just customers. We’re creating everlasting relationships over here! The term “Roadies” has a history of describing a group of loyal devotees and there was nothing more fitting! We have since seen members planning get-togethers and road trips to our Flagship - talk about loyalty!
Q. What did you do early on to ensure folks were welcomed to the community and understood what to expect?
A. Our focus for Roadies is to create a collaborative community where meaningful conversations are sparked rather than information being posted to boost awareness strictly. We lead from the heart with everything we do.
We want them to feel a part of what we love so much about Jones Road, instead of feeling like this was just a way to promote our products.
The very first posts in JRB Roadies were selfies of our CX team introducing ourselves in hopes our Roadies would feel comfortable doing the same. This all sparked from our want to get to know our loyal customers better.
In my mind, there was no better way to evolve and learn than to spark a discussion and discover why they love the brand / what more we can do to elevate their experience.
This turned into a wave of anecdotes filled with self-love, support, gratitude, and so much more.
We aren’t just a community about beauty, we’re a support group that lifts each other up with positive words and genuine kindness every single day. We leave no room for negativity, but ample space for transparent feedback.
3. Maintaining a Positive Community: The Importance of Moderation:
Within weeks of launching the Roadies community, we hit escape velocity and started growing like crazy. What started as 10-20 folks a day turned into 500-1,000 a week once we added the invite link to the end of our Kno post-purchase survey.
300 went to 500, and 500 soon hit 5,000. We recently flew past 8,000 Roadies, and it hasn’t even been four months.
Q. Sydney, when starting a community, moderation is a push and pull. On the one hand, we want this community to be an open forum for thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Yet, on the other hand, we don’t want this to be an extension of our CX helpline. How do you manage the push and pull of that? What are your broader thoughts on moderating a community like this?
A. My main goal is to ensure everyone feels heard. I will push most posts through, and it truly comes down to trusting my gut. If there is a question that someone asks that I feel might spark negative comments, Nurturing the positivity that continues to flourish in this group is my main priority. If I see something that might have an adverse effect, I will reach out personally with a solution.
Another example where I would reach out personally is if we do not have a definitive answer to a Roadie’s inquiry, and I know it will spark a bigger conversation. As I mentioned, I never want to leave them hanging, but I always want them to feel heard. I will never ignore a post I decline; I will always follow up in their DMs.
If a question may not be the most positive, but I know it will help others, I’ll accept it for education purposes. We have so many knowledgeable Roadies that always jump to the comments to help. I also ensure I spend the time answering these inquiries from a JRB perspective. Having different perspectives is beyond beneficial, as everyone is different inside and out!
It never hurts to post reminders! With so many new Roadies coming in, I make sure to work up a refresher and guide our newer members in the proper direction. We have a good mix of experienced newbies in our community, pushing us to have everyone’s best interest in mind.
4. Crafting Exceptional Customer Experiences: Making Magic Happen
How did our CX lead take on building a community and absolutely slay?
Well, so many of the values we preach on the CX side are also widely applicable to community building. Some of the most amazing community builders I know spend time on the CX side of the house or, at the very least, have an extra dose of empathy.
Q. Can you share some recent stories of moments we have created with the JRB Roadies?
A. We have been brainstorming ways we can make our Roadies feel extra special this Holiday Season, and the perfect opportunity was right in front of our eyes - one thing customers have been asking for is SPF. We don’t have one in our lineup yet - but we do have one we recommend! We worked up a list of our most loyal Roadies and customers who inquired and sent out Bobbi’s favorite with a note written by her. So many people are planning a holiday vacation, and this was perfect timing!
Our support and love expressed by our fellow Roadies only gets stronger as we continue to grow. We have seen some incredibly courageous women speak up about their current health journey. Three women, in particular, stood out to us as they mentioned how influential Jones Road products have been for their confidence and skin during their treatments.
We were so moved to read how impactful embracing their natural beauty has been for these women during such trying times. A light bulb went off, and we immediately knew that we had to do something to go the extra mile.
We chose to send a cozy blanket with a note from myself and the team thanking them for their support and hoping we can send a bit of warmth and comfort their way - And we genuinely mean it. Watching this come to life and the impact it had is something I will never forget. Supporting these women and building relationships within Roadies has been the highlight of my career.
It all comes down to leading with your heart, paying attention to the little things, and treating people as we would like to be treated ourselves. If I can give our Roadies just half as much joy as they give us, then I know I’ve done something right.
That's it for this week!Another huge thank you to Sydney for taking part, and for giving me the opportunity to work alongside her at JRB. P.S. Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?Just shoot me a DM or an email!See ya next week,