Minimums is our new publication that features the most interesting possessions of the world’s most interesting people.
At Need/Want, content has been a big part of our strategy from the beginning. We’ve experienced first hand the power of putting out good content and building an audience. We are, by far, our own biggest referrer to all of our different products.
We’ve been playing around with a lot of different content ideas internally since Need/Want launched. Everything we’ve put out so far with this blog is ‘inside our business’ content. That is, until Minimums.
Jon has always wanted us to start a publication of some kind. He’s dabbled with a few ideas before, but none of them really stuck. In fact, before needwant.com was Need/Want, it was a “gift guide” website he started to make. It would feature different products that people might “need” or “want”.
This “gift guide” website didn’t really work, so we used needwant.com for our new company’s brand. The rest is history.
The benefits of creating content are clear. The problem is, creating good content that people want to consume is hard. The posts on our blog that drive the most traffic also take the most time.
Some of our best posts take upwards of a year to gather data around and put together.
Since we’ve been working together, Jon has thought a lot about different types of content that is both interesting and relatively easy to produce. There’s been a lot of concepts he’s pitched, but nothing we decided to ultimately move forward with. Nothing ever felt quite right, until he pitched the concept for Minimums.
A Serendipitous Moment
It’s kind of a running joke that Jon, David, and Marshall all have similar taste. One day at our office, Marshall received a box in the mail for some cologne he read about online. It was one of those random impulse buys. As he pulled it out of the box, Jon started to laugh. Jon had got the same cologne in the mail the day prior. After discussing it further, it turned out we both bought it from the same article on Airows for the exact same reasons – Steve McQueen supposedly wore it back in the day.
This moment, while hilarious, reminded us why people sometimes buy. It set the seed for what Minimums shaped into.
Buying A Great Domain Name
We were lucky and acquired minimums.com. How we got there was a journey…
Jon started brain storming ideas, and domain names. We put a lot of thought into naming our brands. Finding a good domain is just as important. However, today it’s harder than ever to name a product and find a matching domain.
Jon made a list of as many single words that could work. After researching design terms, shape names, animal grouping names, plant names, and a few other miscellaneous things he had a list of 169 words. 169 potential domain names.
He then went through and did a whois search on every .com version of those words, found the registrants email address and sent them a super quick email like the following…
Body: Would you ever sell this domain? Do you have a price?
Finding a great domain name (at a reasonable price) is a numbers game. If you inquire about enough of them eventually you’ll find a good deal.
Out of 169 emails like this that we sent roughly 100 people replied.
Out of the 100 people that replied about 50 of the domains were “for sale”
Out of the 50 that were for sale about 5 were reasonably priced.
Out of the 5 that were reasonably priced, minimums.com was the best deal and our favorite.
The original asking price was $3,088 but we managed to negotiate the price down to $2,250.
Proof Of Concept
We wanted to make sure to be on site for the first shoot to understand issues that may come up. During the shoot with Adam Frager, we were all so consumed with the stories Adam had for each product. We started to realize the value of the story and “why” behind each.
For example, the story and history around Green Chartreuse is very interesting. After he was done telling it, we came to the conclusion that it almost didn’t matter what it tasted like. We wanted it. The story was just too good.
Story really is everything.
The cologne incident actually happened again, this time with all three of us. As we were getting the posts together, we all could see Jack Archer recommended a S’well water bottle, and Jeff Sheldon recommended the Aquaovo glass bottle. We all ended up buying both items, in the same day. Maybe we’re just consumerist suckers. For the record though, we all love the S’well bottle, and haven’t received the Aquaovo yet.
Total Cost To Build
All said and done, Minimums has been fairly cheap to get off the ground. Our biggest expense by far was the premium domain name, and even that we got a great deal on.
Website theme: $43
Theme edits: $600
Photography & style guide: $850
It’s been fairly easy for us to justify building Minimums. We spend thousands of dollars every month on ads for our products. Surely it’s worth throwing $250-$500 a month to produce content for Minimums. It’s a great way to drive awareness to our brand & products. Based on the results we’ve seen from the blog you’re currently reading, I’m sure we’ll see an ROI on Minimums. We also have a lot of additional monetization ideas for it. Stay tuned!
If you found this post interesting, give Minimums a read here, and subscribe for future updates. We’re @Jon, @Marshal, and @Digit on Twitter… let us know what you think! You can also tweet to all of us @NeedWantInc.