Since being on shark tank in April of 2016, PrideBites has been expanding like crazy! At the helm of it all is our CEO (and his solid “flow”). He has a vision that rallies the group to keep doing more for dogs. His dream, the same as it was when we started, is to make every dog have products that are perfect for them (not those cookie cutter products you’ve seen in the past). I decided that you should get to hear his passion for yourself so that you can see the commitment he has to expand the world of pet parenting.
Meet my boss and PrideBites CEO Steven Blustein! We sat down and I asked him a few questions about the success and direction PrideBites is going into as we enter 2017. Here is what he had to say!
1. How has customer feedback played a role in PrideBites’ success?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give someone starting their own business is to listen to your customers. From the very beginning, we always asked for feedback. Whether it was good or bad, we listened respectfully, took note, and created action on what we truly believed in. Because of this notion, we have been able to lead the industry in customization; something we are extremely grateful of. By continuing to listen to feedback, we are adjusting the customer experience at PrideBites to reduce delivery time, create new and better products, and insert a level of transparency that we hope will redefine a standard in the industry.
2. Aside from product expansion, what major changes have PrideBites’ made since Shark Tank? How has the company grown?
Since Shark Tank, our focus has been 100% on creating a better customer experience. Delivering on one of a kind customization is a real challenge when you’re not the Nike’s of the world. When we first started, we had to first take steps to be able to actually provide single unit customization. Today, we are implementing processes and campaigns to give all of our supporters a better experience while shopping at PrideBites.com. In this next year, we will launch loyalty programs to reward customers who share our story to their friends and make repeat purchases, implement order tracking so customers have a better insight on where the order is, and reduce delivery time by cutting out manual inputs and streamlining our supply chain process. All of these initiatives go back to our singular focus – creating a better customer experience.
3.What new products can customers expect to see in 2017? What new product is most exciting and why?
In 2017, we will be more than doubling our product offering which includes products such as bow ties, all weather collars, running leashes, harnesses, pajamas, vests, cuddler beds, outdoor beds, towels and dog bathrobes just to name a few. For me, I am most excited for the bathrobe. I have always thought it would be so hilarious to see my dog Mona walk around the house in a bathrobe, and I wanted to make sure the dog lovers out there could share in this cuteness.
4.What Product surprised you by how popular (or unpopular) it was?
When we first started the company from our college apartment, we were so excited about the potential of owning a business for our pups that we really didn’t see the bigger vision. After the PrideBite was launched and we were awarded dog toy of the year, we started brainstorming that next big idea. We knew we had an amazing designer and outstanding production capabilities, but we were lost on how to create something out of these strengths. What came from all of our team brainstormings was the PrideBites Custom Frisbee. Customers were able to upload their dog’s name and image, then our team would hand draw their dog and print it on their Frisbee. We had a hunch people would like it, but not like this! Soon after launch, supporters started posting images of their PrideBites Frisbee side by side with their dog showcasing the amazing likeness. From that point on, we knew we had something, and that something led us to one of the biggest start up stages in the world.
5.If you were a dog, which PrideBites product would you want your owner to get for you?
If I was a dog, I would want our PrideBites Dog Bed. Soft and packed with tons of stuffing, it’s one of my favorite products and definitely one that I see dogs fall in love with time and time again!