Dude Wipes: Making Dollars Helping Dudes 3

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 12.49.32 PMEmbarrassed by potty talk? Then you should probably stop reading here. Want to learn how an amazing grassroots company worked all on their own to sell millions of units?? Read on…

Today we’re talking Dude Wipes! A unique flushable wipe geared towards men. Because let’s face it. Men are stinky. But they don’t have to be!

CEO Sean Riley recently gave me some insight on how Dude Wipes began and how they’re blowing the roof off the wipe world. The company is growing by leaps and bounds this coming year, and it all began online.

So you go into a bar, meet a girl, and she asks what you do for a living. When you tell her you make Dude Wipes, what’s the response?!
They’re response is very mixed, haha! Some girls would be like, “Oh, that’s cool!” Although some girls will roll their eyes at you and be like, “What is this?? You’re a creep!” No joke! You know, hygiene is a touchy subject. Some people are fine to talk about it, and other people are not. But that’s our brand mantra that we’re definitely fine with talking about it. 
How did you initially get the word out there about Dude Wipes?
We won an industry award when we had only been around for 4 or 5 months and had like $5,000 in sales. We won this award for the Most Innovative Non-Woven, which Swiffer won before when they came out with the Swiffer Dry Mop. We were against Kimberly Clark. It was a conference down in Orlando. The 5 finalists had to give a speech, and the crowd voted on the winner, and they voted Dude Wipes that year. That kind of gave us a little wind in our sails, getting industry validation from an international level.
I read that you include product review tweets from users in each package. That’s a pretty fun idea!
ackage ideas were always something we were working on and meeting on and tweaking. Funny messaging was something we knew we wanted to be part of our packaging. I think our first version just had a funny little blurb by us on the back about why you need a Dude Wipe. And those were just mockups. Then it evolved into this funny quote or tweet from somebody and then we’ll get people tweeting at us trying to get on the back of a Dude Wipe.
That’s such a smart and current idea.
I think when we won that visionary award, they really like that idea, too. We were calling it “Social Packaging.” I don’t really know if that’s a term or not!
It is now!

I guess so!
I saw on your website that Dude Wipes are also being sold online at Amazon, Target, and Walgreens which is huge. How did you get in those online stores?
Amazon was just our case study to allow people to buy them at a good price and prove that we do have movement. Once we had a listing there with movement and ratings showing that people like them, then the Walgreens people took us on, but at first when we were a brand new product they weren’t interested. Target actually came from a meeting where we were trying to get into the actual stores last summer but they wanted us to start online first, so that’s where we are right now, moving the product online.
Have you had any big moments in social media?
We’ve had some cool social media things happen. We were the #3 trend worldwide on Twitter at one point. That was when we sponsored a UFC Fighter during a pay-per-view fight so millions of people were watching it. We were “all the buzz” on the Internet! We also got a bunch of press after that. Subsequently the UFC doesn’t want us to advertise with them anymore because our product detracted from their product!
Wow! Bet you didn’t think that would happen??
Yeah! It got us a ton of Google searches, a ton of website hits. We actually got more Google searches than toilet paper that month.
What is the most effective marketing tactic that you’ve used?
Stunt marketing is a thing that we’re trying to do. We try to do more non-traditional things like, the Rob Dyrdek Fantasy Factory commercial.
Yes, a commercial Mom can be proud of!
Yeah, Facebook and Youtube won’t even let me promote it! They don’t allow any gratuitous bodily fluids or nudity, real or fake. And we pretty much broke both rules! But that was a completely grassroots campaign that we were just mailing the Fantasy Factory hand written notes telling them that we thought they would love our product. Just trying to network. We got a call from the MTV producers saying that Rob really loved our product and he had an idea for an episode, a whole funny episode script. They just did it, it was free, out of the goodness of his heart. I don’t know if people can actually count on a strategy like that, but that’s the reason you send out all those packages and write out all those notes.
Let’s say there are “4 young dudes” that are fresh out of college wanting to start a new business and launch their new product. As a dude with experience, what advice would you give to them?
Introduce the product online and get it up on Amazon. Spend 80% of your time on your first channel online, whether it’s your website or some other wholesaler. Drive volume and traffic and velocity through one channel with Internet ads. That’s the one thing that many people don’t get, products online don’t sell without advertising. Don’t think you’re going to upload a product somewhere and it’s just going to go crazy. I mean, it does happen, but for the most part it’s making sure you spend money in your budget driving traffic to your product. That’s really important.