An excerpt of our interview with method Co-Founder Eric Ryan. Mr. Ryan will lead a discussion on turning customers into brand advocates at the upcoming Liquid Brand Summit, held March 1 in Palo Alto.

Click here to learn more about the Summit and our other outstanding guest speakers and session leaders.

Eric Ryan is one-half of the “proud brain parents” of method, the leading innovator in eco-friendly household and personal care products. He started method in 2001 with his high school buddy Adam Lowry and has since built the company into a $150 million retail brand that was ranked the 7th fastest growing company in America by Inc magazine. He’s been named an eco-leader by Vanity Fair, a Food & Wine Tastemaker, an eco-revolutionary by Time Magazine, and PETA’s Person of the Year.

With method, Eric has successfully grown one of the world’s most loyal brand communities, the core of which is rooted in the company’s distinct values and brand culture.

Q: What were some of the initial challenges you faced in building a community of brand advocates for method? Can you describe the one or two things that were most successful in growing that community?

A: One of the biggest challenges for creating advocacy within method is the fact that we compete in very low-interest categories. While there are self proclaimed “clean freaks” in the world (think the character Monica in the TV show “Friends”), it is difficult to build a community around the act of cleaning, which most people consider a chore to be avoided at all cost.

We took the approach of building advocacy around a diverse set of shared values which includes the emotional connection to our homes, caring for loved ones in our homes (i.e. pets and children) and the environment our homes sit on. The end result is that our advocates share our passion for design, sustainability and eliminating toxins from the home—and it’s these shared values that allow us to create advocacy in a low-interest category.

The core of growing this community starts with our culture. The team at method is truly passionate about our values and this comes through in everything we do as an authentic brand. We purposely blur the lines between who we are and who we serve under the belief that we are all “People Against Dirty.” This allows us to build the brand from the inside-out with a high level of transparency providing a lot of ways to connect with our advocates.

Want more from the method Master Eric Ryan? FOR THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW, CLICK HERE.

Send your questions and thoughts. We’ll include them in discussions at the Liquid Brand Summit. We look forward to hearing from you.

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