Making an Outdoor Cooking Product a Shopify Leader

Innovation From the Ashes

It all started with three-foot-high flames. When Michael Sandeen accidentally incinerated the two expensive steaks he was preparing for a celebratory dinner, he knew there had to be a better way. So he invented a combination griddle and press system that anyone could use to achieve consistent results in half the time. The SearBQ came to outperform his wildest expectations, deliciously searing steaks, chicken, fish and vegetables to perfection. But would consumers buy it?

Roadmap for (Delectable) Success

The Graphos Product team worked with SearBQ to dial in the fledgling company’s strategy, articulate its positioning and build out an action plan in an Innovative Product Go-to-Market Roadmap™ that explored buyer types from end users to gift purchasers.

We developed key messaging and worked to de-risk the SearBQ against potential pitfalls of food handling and extreme heat for an audience base with wide-ranging prior outdoor cooking experience.

A Beautiful, Flexible Online Store

We designed the SearBQ website to attract, convince and convert, using appetizing images, engaging video and compelling calls to action. By launch, the store included a collection of recipes we’d helped finesse by taste-testing them ourselves, as well as an AI chatbot and customer review functionality.

Sear BQ

An Immediate Shopify Sales Leader

Supply chain issues had dashed the client’s hopes for a pre-holidays start, and the first SearBQ was not available for sale until just three days before Christmas. But soon after launch, sales began to click. As the first ads rolled out and we optimized for what performed best, we worked to quickly scale up. Despite PayPal nearly shutting the store down because its analysts couldn’t believe SearBQ’s blistering start, went on to became one of Shopify’s top-performing startup stores.

Sales surpassed US $1 million in just over five months, and consumers loved what they were buying.

Explosive PR

Most new products hit the market with zero reputation or credibility, in a visibility vacuum. With consumer trust at an all-time low, it can be a significant barrier to conversions, if the product can be found at all. We combated this challenge with an aggressive PR campaign to spread the word about what an amazing product the SearBQ is. Coverage in popular podcasts, gift guides and trusted publications like Food & Nutrition expanded organic reach and bolstered organic SEO efforts, while offering coveted “as seen in” logo credibility for visitors to the online store. When BBQ legends like Derrick Riches weighed in to recommended the SearBQ, it helped create inroads with outdoor cooking purists.