When Bespoke Post launched in the summer of 2012, it was intent on delivering more than just men’s products. It wanted to deliver a lifestyle experience, which is what it tries to pack into every "box of awesome" it ships.
Bespoke Post is a subscription-based e-commerce store that targets men who enjoy the experience of getting new things to try each month. Instead of selling individual products, Bespoke Post offers themed boxes of products that change monthly. The subscription cost is $45, and subscribers can view the upcoming box before it is shipped. If they don't like the theme or the particular products in the box, they can opt out.
The products Bespoke includes in its boxes are high-quality, sometimes unusual and often useful. Boxes are shipped for free, and there is no monthly commitment for subscribers.
What You Get with Bespoke Post
Each month, Bespoke Post reveals a new theme box in a monthly email, giving subscribers about a week to view its contents and opt out. They can also choose from a few other themes offered in previous months. All boxes are packed with a variety of products that match the theme, and the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the products always exceeds the $45 subscription price. Past themes have centered on shaving, steam baths, shoe care, cigar aficionados and a weekender box. Each box comes with a card detailing the contents and tips for their use.
A recent box had a spa treatment theme and included the following items:
• Blue Claw Co. Dopp Kit (retail value $90)
• Mitch Double Hitter 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner ($20)
• Mitch Reformer Matte Finish Texture Putty ($20)
• Handmade Gold Moss Soap ($7)
• Cremo Face Wash ($8)
• Gold Bond Lotion and Body Powder ($2)
• Marvis Aquatic Toothpaste ($11)
• Drinkwel Drinker's Multivitamin ($5)
This particular box retails for about $160. For men who actually use these types of products, it would have to be considered a good value. Women also subscribe to Bespoke Post and give the boxes as gifts.
The Buying Experience
Whether any particular box is a good deal financially is not really the point with Bespoke Post subscribers. It is the experience beyond the retail value that most subscribers pay for – the opportunity to open a new box of products each month. Each box is thoughtfully packed to build the excitement of surprise as each product is unpacked. Most men don't like to shop, in stores or online, but some like the idea of a shopper picking things out for them that they would not ordinarily try on their own. That is the special brand identity Bespoke Post has created with its subscribers.
Where Does Bespoke Go From Here?
Bespoke Post has carved out a unique niche in the subscriber-based e-commerce space. Manpacks is a competitor that caters to men who want to pick out their own products, specifically underwear and hygiene products. Birchbox for Men is a variation of the very popular Birchbox for Women, which sends out a monthly supply of cosmetics, mostly just samples. The men's version sends out samples of grooming products.
For men who appreciate lifestyle products and enjoy the element of surprise, Bespoke Post has no real competition. The company does not disclose financial information, but its chief executive officer (CEO), Rishi Prabhu, has revealed that its revenues are approaching $1 million. That was enough to attract a couple of rounds of financing, led by angel investors Great Oaks Venture Capital and 500 Startups for a total of $850,000. The last round of investments was in 2013.