BANNER, the Indonesian Razor Breakthrough

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Get mingled around the era of emerging startups in Indonesia, it`s inevitable for Banner to be called as part of the trend; while to certain extent Banner stands distinctively. The prevalence can`t be overlooked as the three talented founders Pandji Setianto, Andhika Fauzie and Panji Wicaksono really walk the talk by running the razor business in attractive yet realistic thinking. Aggressive technology usage exists with no denial, but Banner`s focus is to create real products and position the technology as selling process support; also with humane attachment to the customers – making the brand to have profound balance to strive in abundant yet competitive Indonesian market.


Mirroring Men`s Specialty in Quality

As local Indonesian brand managed under Anugerah Wajah Pria, PT; Banner drives men to have their skin taken care in the right treatment and at the same time has overseen the potential in men`s market, particularly of those living in Indonesia`s big cities. Despite pretty diverse Indonesian men`s market, Banner has truly recognised which part of the portion that captivates the products well.

Let`s say, on Banner`s starter pack having one razor-handle & two 5-blade cartridges – costs IDR 120,000 (US$ 8,6); which is a feasible price for American quality made. Some portions of Indonesian customers indeed assume that the price is rather expensive compared to disposable razor, but to many others who understand – Banner`s razor prevails with the highest quality sold at the best price. As Banner mostly occupies middle-upper market, such pricing is actually positioned as affordable.

Nonetheless, Banner doesn`t close doors to wider market scope, the brand aims to highlight that shaving with quality cartridge is a must and spending for quality is fresh mindset emphasised for more customer layers acquisition. Educating men`s market in Indonesia is the key and it isn`t random self-esteem as experience embodied inside the founders.

2012 was the year when two Banner founders – Setianto and Fauzie with other four colleagues – established barber shop in Indonesia named Patron Barber; still on the run. Before Banner`s kick off in 2017, Patron Barber was one of the comprehensive gurus that yielded evident understanding. On its basis, Patron Barber serve hair-cut but customers could also enjoy men`s grooming as of hair treatment – a simple offer but it indeed became one core idea for Banner; Indonesian men on concrete willingness of self-treatment spending.

Besides, attention eyed on mass brands that have ranged their men`s grooming products out; meaning that men are into appearance care for real. Those are massive brands known worldwide that also sell the products in Indonesia, however, there haven`t been any local Indonesian brands that create specialty for men`s grooming. Simply, it`s the cake portion where Banner focuses to grow; thus Setianto, Fauzie and Wicaksono believe that by creating the local brand, they`re able to penetrate the market in better needs understanding.

Grasping the demand out, Banner crawls products expansion – not only highlighting its quality 5-Blade Cartridge Razor – but comes up with Banner Essentials; comprising Shave Butter (IDR 89,000/US$ 6,4), After-Shave Mist (IDR 79,000/US$ 5,7), Hair Shampoo (IDR 119,000/US$ 8,5) and Shower Gel (IDR 109,000/US$ 7,8). Which are the most favourited ones? All of them for sure!

“The three of us are men who simply bring personal experience on how shaving should feel a lot better to our skin. The way we do Banner products are to genuinely make other men feel the same. We`re heavy users who know that buying razor regularly should be managed efficiently, we offer fair prices; which only resemble 60% of existing price on notable razor brands”.


Subscription Eases Men`s Life

Modern and busy men put razor as basic need for proper grooming, but to most it`s pretty handy to stop by a store solely for a single of it – plus how offline retail price is unimaginably unworthy. Hence, despite flexibility to buy products through single order, Banner offers subscription shopping model and highlights the goodness of it.

It`s nothing new, confusing or difficult about taking up subscription; it`s actually a way to prevent ourselves from being impulsive shopper as it can be budgeted in monthly basis. Perhaps it`s just a bit unfamiliar for some Indonesians – as it`s razor set to be subscribed, but what`s the difference anyway?

It`s just in identical mindset like in the past we subscribed printed newspaper or bottled beverage delivered by bicycle in our housing area. And just what`s trending today is people go through cable TV, internet/music/content providers or on-demand video by using subscription model. They`re all in the practices of subscribing, and this one is a matter of product alteration – it`s Banner, a razor set. Very simple.

When Banner got its kick off, it was a challenge to educate Indonesian market; unlike market in the United States where getting on a number of regular subscription is pretty mainstream. But after sustained effort, Banner succeeds to prove that such model is the most efficient way and customers have felt practical side of ordering Banner products through subscription.

 “Usually, customers should find premium razor at specialty store and it takes effort just to buy it; so by choosing Banner, they could prioritise their business while Banner takes care of such delicate need”.


Customers Engagement is Pivotal

Banner flavours online selling process with genuine attachment, the customer service team prevails with people`s person style when tackling feedbacks. Communication engagement is canalised through three most popular paths: website order – , Instagram account – shavewithbanner and Miss Siska – particular staff who handles the WhatsApp. And within any of the three, Banner emphasises the essential side of stay humane – thus customers found themselves be listened on than just the buying-selling importance.

In part where customers are listened, Banner likes to call the connection as validation – especially towards new products research. Original ideas to release new products always exist from Banner`s internal side, but it`s seen as important step to engage customers about what could be created next. Prevalence of Banner Essentials Shave Butter and After-Shave Mist is evident result of balancing the original idea and realizing customers expectation to have such products launched. A modest and actual strategy yet profoundly influential to make the products succeed in the market.

Wider payment gateways are also on the process as customer voices all over main big cities in Indonesia (Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Pekanbaru, Padang, Palembang, Denpasar and Makassar) urged to have more options provided. Existing methods like transfer, auto-debit and credit card will remain available; but in the future customers can pay Banner products through Indonesian franchise mini market named Alfamart, OVO digital payment and wider areas to proceed Cash on Delivery (COD).

To undergo promotion, Banner feels how social media is amazingly influential and through the platform – not only that sales are plausible – but Banner takes chance to educate how men need to take better care in shaving, maintain their tidiness ad treat their facial hair carefully. Another way of engaging customers to perceive what`s absorbed on social media would encourage more trust on the products. Soft selling path, however, it works. Even not only Indonesians who`ve become Banner`s customers, expatriates in the capital city of Jakarta have used Banner products as well.

 “We`re moving forward to occupy four-digit users, existing ones mostly shop in subscription model – though we`re actually flexible on whether they want to be routine or not. As long as they love Banner products, it`s a true satisfaction for us”.


The Start-Up Challenges

Banner creates products and that what makes the company different than most of other start-ups in Indonesia; nonetheless, newbie challenges are still there – striving with bootstrapping concept, approval to technological support and outreach handling have been three main concerns.

Kicking off as start-ups, Banner has worked a lot with existing resources available or within bootstrapping method. The team has got accustomed to bring up the most possible actions, internally sourced that still aims to provide the best for external sides. It`s a real challenge as to Banner sustainability is way more crucial than wasting what shouldn`t be disbursed.

Technological development is the second concern that in the past took Banner to experience actual challenge. Creation of subscription system led the company to connect with proper payment gateway – which at first initiation, to convince cooperation with related providers wasn`t an easy job. Despite taking months of assuring them, finally Banner could prove their business existence and now to channel up with providers isn`t difficult anymore.

Outreach of handling Indonesian market is other challenging issue; although huge portion of the market is well-educated, but many are surprisingly too lazy to read detailed provisions. Basic matter, but it made Banner to revise the website content and design by around 10 times – until all Indonesians understand easily. An attempt showing that Banner refuses to close eyes upon reality; despite targeting middle-upper market, but in further it`s hoped that every layer of the society will feel the goodness of Banner products. Thus, overall effort of website revision was actually a challenge to encounter the market faced.

Banner`s founders who applied bootstrapping method in the way they do Instagram content. Becoming the models who at the same time inspired other Indonesian men to take better care of their skin through Banner products.


Towards Business on the Founders Mindset

Banner founders believe that business should be entity with problem-solving ability; if matters appear, get on to be fixed than let them unsolved. Somehow, existence of Banner products is also evidence of answering market issues and of course through initial research. But if it has to be deep research before any business implementations, Banner founders look up to the time frame. If it takes very long time, logically somebody else would take the lead. So, to be in competition without wasting time, they do believe in gut feeling mixed with priority of customers voice; as no matter how perfect the product is, but if no customers aim to buy – what for?

Market research stays as important, but perhaps not in too long span. Business should be made in realistic paths and evidence. Banner stands where updated circumstances are always eyed on; keep being open-minded for more market needs and they aim to develop more product types. Again, because Banner is willing to listen.

 “As long as facial hair, moustache and beard feathers grow on and on, Banner`s market would sustain as it is. We always understand that men should always try before they become loyal to a product, and by trying Banner quality products, we believe they afterwards won`t runaway”


Get in touch with Banner`s founders:

Pandji Setianto:

Andhika Fauzie:

Panji Wicaksono:

Purchase Banner`s products through:

Website order:

Instagram: shavewithbanner

Miss Siska (WhatsApp): +62811-9777-101

Anisa Kirana | Jakarta. 2019 | Photo Credits: Irfan Maulana & Banner`s  Instagram Account

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