What Went Right?: Analyzing Successful Outcomes

We have just closed down the application process for the first-ever cohort of Tide Risers members.  To my wild surprise, we received far more applications than I would ever have imagined.  I know Tide Risers is a great idea, and we know how to market a product, but I really thought it would take us longer to build faith in a brand-new offering.

So I find myself in the lucky position of being able to ask: what went right here?

Here’s my attempt at figuring this out:

1. Gorgeous branding.  

Yes.  We have a good name.  Bergen Street Strategy’s model for creative brainstorm sessions has once again paid off.  I knew we were onto something when one of our brainstorm participants declared with gusto that she wanted to tattoo “We Are Tide Risers” on her arm.  A peek behind the curtain: successful brainstorm sessions start with having the right people in the room.  I’m looking at you Maiken Erstad, Jessica Smith, and Amy Jacobus!

2. Beautiful imagery.  

Again, Maiken Erstad.  Also the talented photographers you can find at a variety of interesting stock photo sites.  And a special call-out to Karli Cadel, who made a portrait session not feel like a torture session.

3. A long-term recruitment strategy.

Also known as community engagement.  I started talking about this with the women I really really wanted to be a part of Tide Risers long before I even knew what it was going to be.  I held focus groups with key influencers, shared pitch decks over coffee, batted ideas around during Pilates sessions.  The more work women did — on their own time and unpaid — to help me create the model for Tide Risers, the faster they submitted their applications for membership.  Go figure.

4. A killer product.  

This is, of course, the most critical piece of the puzzle.  Those of you who know the work of Bergen Street Strategy know how high our standards are.  Without a great product you really have nothing.  Tide Risers has apparently struck a chord with a diverse group of women who, frankly, have a lot of options for how to spend their time and money.  Something about building a community of mentorship, skill-building, and accountability is resonating, as is the opportunity to explore and engage with other women.

5. Collaboration.

Every time I do something in collaboration with a group of smart people it's just better.  Tide Risers is no exception.  In this case, Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao of Project Inkblot worked with us to develop the curriculum for Tide Risers and the framework for our monthly Unstickher sessions.  Check them out — they are so crazy talented and also a hell of a lot of fun to work with.  But it was also the informal feedback and advice I received from people with tremendous experience in this space that was a hugely beneficial to the process.  The generosity of spirit that we encountered while creating Tide Risers has just been remarkable, and speaks to the eagerness with which people come together to build toward a better future.

Is there more to it than this?  Probably.  Let us know your thoughts.