Bevel, a black-owned business, diversifies its consumer base while staying loyal to its founding ethos.
Operated under Walker’s parent company of health-and-beauty brands, Walker & Company, last year Bevel debuted on the shelves of Target and added distribution via Amazon. Consisting of a range of shaving products and signature trimmer, the popular subscription shave system is marketed as a solution for men who suffer from skin-irritation problems.
While Walker started the company to provide shaving tools for the kind of bumps and irritation that are more prevalent among black men, Walker tells HuffPost that since expanding Bevel to retail customers he has noticed more diversity amongst its clientele, which now includes women.
“We’re noticing there are different people who purchase our products offline than online,” Walker said during an interview with The Huffington Post. “I’ve mentioned in the past, a lot of folks think Bevel is just shaving for black men, but we’ve never said that, and that’s never been our thinking. We’re trying to solve a very important issue that black men and women over-index on, but everyone has.”
Though a majority of Bevel’s online customers are black men, Walker went on to add that their offline demographic is slightly skewed from its target market.
“They’re white men,” he adds. “So it’s a really interesting kind of mix of folks who buy our product, and it hasn’t affected the way that we operate either our online or offline business as a result.”
Walker’s sharp attention to diversity and America’s census data has also resulted as a competitive advantage for the shaving startup. The Stanford University Graduate School of Business alum notes that a majority of the company’s employees includes people of color and women to mirror Bevel’s consumer base.
To that notion, Walker believes more health and beauty companies should make a concerted effort to tailor their personnel to reflect underserved markets in America.
“You look at the larger companies elsewhere, they don’t look like or reflect the diversity of America. And they sure as hell don’t reflect the diversity of what America’s going to be like in 20 years,” he said. “This is incredibly important. So that’s how we approach it, and that’s how I hope and think everyone else should.”
As part of Bevel’s ambitions to become the industry’s leading brand for all things grooming, Walker said the company plans to release an additional line of skincare products for men and women with a range of skincare concerns, including hyper pigmentation.
Last year, Bevel received a major marketing push for its Bevel Trimmer thanks to brand ambassador-investor Nas’ lyrics on the chorus of DJ Khaled’s single “Nas Album Done.” For Walker, the hip-hop veteran underscored the company’s instinct to uplift and enrich black businesses.
“By [Nas] saying ‘My signature fade with the Bevel blade,’ everybody knows about Nas’ haircuts. So for him giving us the cosign and taking responsibility for his lineup, that’s significant,” he said. “It’s not only significant, it’s authentic. It makes sense. And also, his message is celebrating black business and empowerment and that’s something that we talk a lot about.”
Following the song’s release, the trimmer was named among GQ’s best grooming products of 2016.
“We’re thankful for that and we’re thankful that we have the partners and investors to do stuff like that on our behalf without our knowing,” he continued. “And we’re only gonna see more of that.”