Influencer marketing with Rob Kessler of Million Dollar Collar (episode 155)

Rob Kessler is the Inventor and co-founder of Million Dollar Collar. Where he creates fashion accessories for men which provide a classy polished appearance. After 3 years of R&D they launched in Jan 2016 and now have shipped 135k units to 90 different countries, which is about 13,000 customers all via the website and Amazon.

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million dollar collar podcast
About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
  • Product Range Scale – niche
  • Based across the USA, they are a virtual team.
  • Platform: Shopify
  • Plugins:, Mailchimp, Privy, Retarget App

Listen to learn how a casual wedding on a Jamaican beach without a necktie led Rob to the idea of the Million Dollar Collar.

Getting Started

Rob had some experience in the clothing industry with his screen printing and embroidery business, which began as a clothing line called Newd, or Nothing Else Will Do. He gained experience on Magento and Shopify, and he gained the confidence he needed to move forward with Million Dollar Collar.

He came up with the idea for Million Dollar Collar during his wedding in Jamaica. Although the wedding was beautiful and amazing, his shirt was sloppy and he spent all day tugging at the collar to try to get it to sit up where it was supposed to. Upon returning home, he showed his wife his idea by shoving a piece of cardboard into his collar. Three years of development later, he came up with a highly engineered material that supports the collar.

The Team

Million Dollar Collar does almost everything in-house. They do outsource manufacturing, but they are trying to bring the finishing in-house as well.

Most Awesome Thing Right Now

The most awesome thing right now is the opportunities. Rob sees three markets for his product. The first is the end user, or people who order from the website. The second is installers, because the product has to be sewn in by either the consumer, a tailor, or a dry cleaner. The third is in licensing the technology.

Listen to learn how licensing the technology and letting brands put it into production will be awesome.

Passion for the Product

Passion is addictive.You can’t convince someone of something unless they can connect to it on an emotional level. That is especially true for the Million Dollar Collar because of the steps consumers have to go through to get it. So passion is huge, followed by execution.

YouTube Influencers for Reviews and Trust-Building

When they launched, Rob and his cofounder knew they had to get the product out to the masses quickly. They turned to YouTube influencers. Influencers can have massive audiences, and this is a product that has to be seen and demonstrated.

They found that smaller influencers with a more passionate following are the more effective influencers and produce the higher returns.

Reach out to people on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll be surprised at how many of them respond.

Listen to learn how Rob learned to go for smaller influencers. Listen to learn how his wife’s connections as a stuntwoman have helped.

To-Do for 2018

In 2018, Rob will be meeting with tons of dry cleaners. That’s the Million Dollar Collar focus. There are 40,000 dry cleaners in North America, and he can access them. As the business expands, he can expand to Europe. Sales on Amazon Europe are already doing well. Then they can expand to the rest of the world, and they already have a few international distributors lined up.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Retargeting
  • Following up with your current base
  • Getting your current customers to tell their friends

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

Tool Top Tip

  • Google Drive and email accounts
  • Evernote
  • Wunderlist

Growth Top Tip

Have excellent customer service. Deliver more than what your customer is expecting. Deliver value that far exceeds the dollars that your customer trades over. Deliver ten times what you think your product is worth. Your customer will become a fan, and your fan will tell their friends.

Interview Links

Million Dollar Collar is offering a special code to eCommerce Master Plan podcast listeners. Enter code Masterplan at the website for a 10% discount.