VanMoof’s CMO Dave Shoemack Tells Startups What it Takes to Be Successful in Today’s Market
“Keep the focus on how to bring your brand or product or service to life in the most interesting and compelling way.” – Dave Shoemack
On the first episode of the HelloMasters podcast, Louise Doorn and Jeremy Brook interview Dave Shoemack of VanMoof bicycles about the lessons learned over his career. Before joining VanMoof, Shoemack spent over four years working as the Global Marketing Manager and Global Brand Director at Heineken, crafting the beer’s commercial image across 56 global markets. Throughout the half hour, he talks about effective branding, scaling up a small company, and the keys traits of a great marketer.
For branding, Shoemack takes a holistic approach. “You have to find what’s really true and what’s at the core DNA of the company,” he says, “Then find a creative way to make that relevant to millions of people.“ Equally important, however, is knowing what you’re not.
As Shoemack explains, the brilliance of VanMoof lies in the fact that they only cater to a very specific niche, then aspire to be the best in the world at filling that niche. The main takeaway is that good branding involves equal parts knowing what the customers want, and knowing what you can offer them better than anyone else.
When asked about scaling up a small company, Shoemack also has lots to say. “Everyone we hire has to be the best person in the company at something,“ he says. Bringing in people with unique skill sets ensures your growing business will be able to adapt and thrive.
[00:00:00] Louise intro
[00:01:21] Jeremy intro
[00:02:14] Dave’s intro and opinion on the Dutch
[00:04:34] Dave on building and leading a brand
“You don’t have to overthink it actually, you just have to find what’s really true, and what’s at the core DNA of the company, and then find a creative way to make that relevant to millions of people.”
[00:10:00] Dave on transitioning from big corporate to startup
[00:11:10] As a marketer in the startup space
“Startups and scaleups are not cooler or better than corporates. They’re just different and there is real benefits and real downsides to each.”
[00:12:32] vanMoof strategy and international distribution
“At VanMoof, we try and do one thing and we want to do it well everywhere in the world.”
“We believe that if you have a great product, then you should get it to everyone who might want it.”
[00:16:20] How to focus as a marketer
[00:18:00] How to build an effective team and work with partners
“Marketing was very separated from sales and very separated from operations, etcetera. At VanMoof, it’s all the same thing. We only sell direct to customers. I think everything is marketing. Marketing touches every part of the company.”
[00:22:54] Dave on what’s next for VanMoof
“The biggest challenge is how to reach these people without playing the old-school game of TV advertising and without playing too much of the new school game of retargeting and just spamming people.”
[00:26:10] Insights around customer adoption
[00:27:33] vanMoof worldwide markets
“I would love for more and more of that content to be locally produced, and then for these markets to all inspire each other, and build on each other’s ideas.”
[00:30:07] Where is vanMoof going
[00:31:28] The future of marketing
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