Case StudyHow a $600 Startup Inked Its Way into Walmart and Shark Tank’s Heart

How a $600 Startup Inked Its Way into Walmart and Shark Tank's Heart

Mad Rabbit, founded by Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor began in 2019 with a $600 investment. After raising $3m through e-commerce sales within 2 years, they captured the attention of Mark Cuban on Shark Tank. Mad Rabbit effectively leveraged its 7,000 ambassadors to build a robust customer base and rich content marketing portfolio, culminating in its 2023 launch into Walmart.

Founded in 2019 by Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor, Mad Rabbit began its journey with a mere $600 investment. Driven by a gap in the tattoo aftercare market, the duo created an organic tattoo aftercare recipe using ingredients from Amazon and a crockpot.

Within the first two years, Mad Rabbit’s single balm product brought in nearly $3 million in revenue through e-commerce sales. They caught the eye of Mark Cuban on Shark Tank, securing a $500,000 investment for 12% equity. Mad Rabbit has since raised $16 million in funding, with Cuban investing in subsequent rounds.

Innovative Products and Marketing Mastery

Mad Rabbit’s natural and organic product line covers the before, during, and aftercare needs of tattoo enthusiasts. The brand’s marketing strategies, particularly its ambassador program, have been instrumental in its expansion. With over 7,000 brand ambassadors, Mad Rabbit has effectively leveraged affiliate marketing and social media to build a community and rich content marketing portfolio. Their ambassador program enables sales from a traditional affiliate marketing angle. They also customised tasks for ambassador groups to complete and earn rewards such as brand points, cash, or products.

During their Walmart launch, they ran a reward campaign for their ambassadors and followers to purchase products in-store. All these strategies were crucial in supporting its 2023 launch into Walmart, marking a significant milestone in the brand’s retail journey.

A Bright Future Ahead

Mad Rabbit continues diversifying its marketing mix and deepening its retail footprint through mass advertising, commitment to innovation and strong community ties. With tattoos becoming an increasingly accepted form of self-expression, Mad Rabbit’s mission to provide organic high-quality products is more relevant than ever. Their tattoo roadshow in collaboration with Walmart will allow them to access a whole new customer segment.

What can marketers learn from Mad Rabbit

Firstly, the power of innovation stands out as a key driver of success. Mad Rabbit’s founders identified a gap in the market and creatively formulated an organic tattoo aftercare solution, demonstrating that ingenuity can lead to substantial growth even with minimal initial investment. Secondly, their adeptness in marketing, particularly through their ambassador program, showcases the importance of building a strong community and leveraging social media to amplify brand presence.

By incentivizing brand ambassadors and engaging with followers, Mad Rabbit effectively harnessed the reach of affiliate marketing to drive sales and brand advocacy. Finally, their strategic approach to retail expansion, exemplified by the Walmart launch and reward campaigns for ambassadors, emphasises the significance of adapting marketing strategies to new platforms and partnerships. Overall, Mad Rabbit’s story emphasizes the importance of innovation, community-building, and strategic marketing in achieving digital marketing success in today’s competitive landscape.

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