Toronto man letting public vote on every aspect of his new brand


What would happen if you tried to start a new brand in Toronto, but let the public vote on every aspect of its creation?

That's exactly what Vinny Sehravat of Instagram account @buildabeardbrand is doing. He's conducting a social experiment building his own e-commerce beard oil brand from scratch, starting with the idea, gaining a following and giving the brand a name. His day job is running creative agency UPWRD Creative.

"The goal isn't only to build a successful beard brand, but to also inspire followers to begin their e-commerce journey sooner than later. Oftentimes, people have a business they should start but don't really know how to get started," Sehravat told blogTO.

"When looking at my account, you're able witness each business stage first hand which I believe will help push those with great ideas to also get started."

Though Sehravat is passionate about the beard oil business and his product which is made in Toronto using locally sourced ingredients, the account is meant to be as much a teaching tool as it is an actual brand.

"I figured that being extremely candid would be a really great and different way to showcase how to build a successful e-commerce brand from scratch. I post my journey daily so followers can interact and watch what I'm doing and how I'm doing it," says Sehravat.

"The best thing is that all this information is offered for free after personally spending thousands of dollars taking courses, investing hours of my time in coaching sessions, and learning from various podcasts and mentors."

He's hoping to gain a following for his beard brand, but also teach those new to e-commerce "strategies and groundwork" like idea validation, learning about your target market, naming your brand, product packaging, building a website, growing your socials and consulting with the right people.

"Followers get to vote on all my next steps, suggesting the brand name and voting for it, voting on the product bottle design, labeling, which e-commerce platform to build my site on, et cetera. For example, I asked followers to help me think of a brand name because we can't be called 'Build A Beard Brand' forever," says Sehravat.

"I created a Typeform survey a couple of days ago and to date, we've received over 120 responses! The next action step is to pick my favourite three names, and then have my followers vote on the winning brand name. We are going to be a brand built 100 per cent by the community. The community is super excited to participate daily."