Within a year of starting GentleMBox, Ken has had over 100 paid customers, has generated over RM100,000 in revenue, and was featured in big-name media channels like HangOut and Locate Today. After onboarding to PopWonders, the first and only subscription e-commerce marketplace, GentleMBox’s subscriber base has grown almost fivefold in just the past six months and has experienced an average month-to-month growth rate of 50% over the past year.
The Humble Beginnings
Ken and the team at GentleMBox have spent the last couple of months building a successful subscription box business for today’s gentleman.
Ken has tirelessly pursued his vision of a carefully curated Gentleman’s Box since first conceiving the idea in 2019. In the process he’s built an impressive list of brand partners featured in each month’s box.
Like with any business, starting GentleMBox wasn’t easy. “In the beginning, I was literally up until four in the morning manually following influencers on Instagram and liking Facebook pages,” Ken explains. “It was a lot of hard work, but thanks to that we were able to scale, and now we’re getting a lot of followers every week.”
Growth via Influencer Marketing
Through it all, Ken reflected fondly on his growth. “One of the things I’m most proud of is that I was able to build this thing while I had another job. I wasn’t in the financial position not to have another income. It was really hard, but it was so worth it.”
By getting the feature of PopWonders providing, GentleMBox get to match with a KOL – Joshua, an active influencer with more than 300k followers in social media. Joshua and Ken did a particularly good job with influencer marketing. Growth efforts initially started with long nights sitting in front of a glowing screen and individually liking pages, but eventually led to partnerships with Joshua, who styles himself as a modern gentleman.
Joshua shows his followers the value of dressing well and putting effort into an outfit. He always looks put together, whether he’s doing exercise, out for a cup of coffee, or spending time with his golden retriever in the park.
Despite never hiring a PR firm, Ken has spent a fair amount of time in the public eye. GentleMBox was featured on the HangOut all because I sent them a free box. When you work your way up to big-name influencers, PR and customers tend to flow in organically.
When GentleMBox started, it was like any other side hustle. Ken was packing boxes at his house with friends and family. Once his influencer efforts took off, he was able to move to a fulfilment centre around the time he hit the 100-subscriber mark.
What advice do you have for budding subscription box entrepreneurs?
Despite all the success Ken has experienced, he says could have done better with data.
“If there’s one thing I didn’t do a good job of, it’s focusing on data. Most of my decisions were based on intuition. I don’t think that’s a sustainable approach. If we are going to scale, we have to start using data to make important decisions. But it is very lucky that I joined PopWonders, it provides me all the big data insight about my sales and customers. I am able to target and manage them better!”
Today, Ken relies heavily on data from PopWonders backend system to identify his target markets and influencers in the space.
The other thing Ken did was take the time to learn. He spent a lot of time learning about subscription commerce, researching the big players and finding out what works and what doesn’t. “There is no substitute for hard work. I watched webinars and courses from Subscription Academic by PopWonders. I read the resources on PopWonders’s blog. I tried learning everything I could, and new sellers should too. Use and take advantage of the resources available.”
Ken also touched on collaboration. “Discuss your ideas with other people and let them pick it apart, but stick to your gut. If I had executed differently, I don’t think I would have had the same success.”
With that being said, he says he learns a lot from his employees. “I rely on my employees. Many of them come from my target demographic (men 25 – 34). I learn from them constantly and that’s really humbling.”
What’s next for GentleMBox?
Growing the subscriber base is our primary target.
Down the line, I think we would love to customise boxes to the subscriber. They’ll be able to go online and fill out a member profile that really goes into depth of what they like from a grooming standpoint. For instance, not everybody has hair, there are some people who are bald. So, with the hair gel, obviously they’ll get no use out of that.
Every day, Ken and his team send a message of encouragement: a message of happiness and empowerment with every box that they send out to subscribers and influencers alike. Letting everyone know that they can love themselves. And what’s a better gift than that?
Check out about GentleMBox and PopWonders
GentleMBox Website: www.gentlembox.com
GentleMBox Facebook: www.facebook.com/gentlembox
PopWonders Website: www.popwonders.com
PopWonders Facebook: www.facebook.com/popwonders