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From Generic To Bespoke: Lessons From A Brand That Printed My Name On Shampoo

January 02, 20242 min read

I don't know about you, but shopping for hair products is one of my least favourite errands. I'll walk down those drugstore aisles, overwhelmed by the options staring back at me, and after rummaging around for 15 minutes I usually just grab whatever shampoo and conditioner bottles catch my eye. They always end up being mediocre at best. It's a frustrating experience that I know many people share.

That's why I was so intrigued when I learned about a company called Prose that has completely flipped the standard model for selling shampoo and conditioner on its head. The old way forces us into a monotonous cycle - you run out of product, trek to the store, wrestle with decisions, settle for something subpar, and repeat this draining process when you empty that bottle.

Pssst. This is NOT a paid post or affiliate post. We do not have any affiliation with Prose...we just love to reverse engineer great marketing.

Prose Custom Clean Skin & Hair Care: Made-to-order formulas designed to be one-of-a-kind


Prose said enough is enough. They started with the product itself, developing customized hair formulas tailored to each individual customer. When you visit Prose.com, you take a detailed hair quiz first. It asks you questions about your hair type, environment, stress levels - all factors that impact your locks. Then their team of experts analyzes your quiz to create a personalized shampoo, conditioner and haircare regimen with your name printed right on the bottles. How cool is that?

But they didn't stop with the products. Prose also reinvented the buying experience by eliminating the frustrating store run that the rest of the industry forces on us. They have an auto-delivery subscription model that ships your customized products straight to your door every few months. And to make sure your formula stays effective as seasons and environments change, they send reminder emails for you to retake the hair quiz and tweak the ingredients.

It's genius because Prose understands the consumer pain points and engineering the entire business to solve them. As small business owners, we may not be able to offer bespoke hair formulas but there are still several key takeaways we can apply:

  • Identify your customer's purchasing trigger and create a logical next step/request - get them to commit time or money to qualify interest

  • Deliver a personalized, made for me experience after that commitment to showcase your value

  • Illustrate progress over time so they see tangible results and want to repurchase

The bottom line is that we have to think critically about what frustrates customers in traditional models and come up with creative ways to flip the script. If you have any other brands you'd like me to spotlight and reverse engineer in a future post, let me know in the comments! I had fun analyzing how Prose made their customers feel special. Until next time...

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