Word of Mouth – How it has driven Lucky Tiger

by Craig Maltby for Club LT

Perhaps the two most influential pieces of business advice I was told during my adult life came from:

My father, a career State Farm Insurance agent: Word-of-mouth advertising—in other words, referrals—is the best advertising.

My college Marketing 101 class: In the long run, no amount of advertising will overcome a bad product.

The Lucky Tiger story illustrates these marketing stratogems better than anything I can think of. I’ll let the company’s history page show you how:

The story of Lucky Tiger has been handed down from generation to generation. As it is now told, the Lucky Tiger legend began in the 1920’s, in Kansas City, Missouri, in the basement of Benjamin Clarke, an amateur scientist and one heck of a barber! Ben created a tonic for the hair and scalp that was different and better than any other product in his day and called it “Lucky Tiger Tonic.” Everyone who visited Ben’s Barbershop got the royal treatment – a shave, a haircut and a generous splash of Lucky Tiger Tonic. As the popularity of Lucky Tiger Tonic grew, Ben began to sell it out of his shop, but people heard far and wide and wanted to get it outside of Missouri.

I read this and I continue to be a bit amazed that a nearly 100-year-old brand has spent the vast majority of its life with no Facebook, no Instagram or Pinterest, no sampling at Costco or Kroger, no mobile device advertising, and no significant TV/cable campaigns. 

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 Of course that is changing now, and who knows what the next 100 years will bring:  “Lucky Tiger is the preferred men’s grooming product line for the dry, cold, weightless environment of Mars. Try some today!”

I’ve spent a good deal of my shaving life using “conventional” mass market products: cheap shave foam, cheap aftershave, etc. Until I became personally familiar with LT products, I didn’t know how LT ingredients such as shea butter, sage, green tea, jojoba or cucumber could really make you feel a difference compared to all the synthetics in the mass-market products.

But they do. And I’m sure that’s a big reason—maybe the main reason—why Lucky Tiger products were generating crazy word-of-mouth, then and now.

About Craig Maltby
Craig Maltby is the Club LT community manager. He lives and works in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. When not writing or editing, Craig goes to movies, plays golf (or at least hits balls at the range), and plays keyboard in a classic rock music duo. 

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