EPISODE 6:
Creating a Culture of Raving Fans With Kyle Hoover of Ezra Zion Cigar Co.
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Creating a Culture of Raving Fans With Kyle Hoover of Ezra Zion Cigar Co.

“I hate the status quo. What is no one else doing? Where is nobody else looking? That’s what we’re constantly asking ourselves.”

– Kyle Hoover (48:53-49:03)

Kyle Willis
Marketing from the Roosevelt Room

Building a compelling and memorable brand isn’t easy. Consumers face an endless array of options anytime they make a purchase. To stand out, and create a culture of raving fans, requires an ability and willingness to go above and beyond.

Co-founders Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly of Ezra Zion Cigar Co. have done what many would consider impossible. They turned a weekend idea into a thriving business while establishing a brand name in one of the most difficult markets to break into. Ezra Zion Cigar Co. is a boutique cigar company that offers coffee, whiskey, and related products to dedicated fans. Boutique cigars appeal to enthusiasts who want something other than the typical big-name brands. They look for products that reflect their lifestyle, interests, and tastes.

“Humility, along with tenacity and drive, propels a business forward.”– Kyle Willis (15:27-15:34)

Successful businesses understand the value of true craftsmanship. They infuse brand ownership into every detail of the products they create. Companies like Ezra Zion Cigar Co. take a hands-on small-batch approach to make the kind of products they always wanted for themselves.

The right mindset is key to creating a business with a culture of raving fans. You need to have the confidence to take risks even when you’re facing huge competition. Every business starts with nothing more than an idea. But desire, passion, and a willingness to learn can turn a single idea into a thriving business.

Entrepreneurs need to become students of the product they want to share with others. The path to business success may be longer than you think. If you’re willing to listen, put in the work, and do what others aren’t willing to do, then you can create something of real and lasting value.

There is no fast track to success. Finding a mentor who can educate and guide you along the journey is an invaluable strategy for building your business. Without the right guidance, business owners rush to market and end up offering an inferior product. Instead, foster a willingness to learn, grow, and become better. Learning from industry competitors takes humility, but it helps you learn from the mistakes of others.

“There are two ways you can learn: Your mistakes or somebody else’s mistakes. I’d rather learn from somebody else’s.” – Kyle Hoover (13:58-14:04)

You turn customers into brand champions by delivering top-level service. When things go wrong, it’s an opportunity for you to exceed the expectations of your customers and give them another “wow” moment. When you listen and respond to their needs, you create a culture of raving fans, and those needs can inform the products you offer in the future. Ezra Zion Cigar Co. began offering coffee and whiskey based on what they knew about their cigar customers. This approach made their business more accessible and communal for their fans.

You grow a culture of raving fans by improving the quality of your product and the customer experience. Successful businesses are always challenging themselves to make something better than before. Figure out what’s unique to you and your business. What is it that makes you different? Use your unique gifts to your advantage so you come out of the gate with an amazing product that blows people’s minds. Look at what others in your industry aren’t doing. What can you do better than the rest?

When you love what you do, it’s easy to build a culture of raving fans because you’re one of them. But you have to take the time to learn and put in the work. Focus on making a great product, meeting the needs of your customers, and making sure they love your brand.

How to Get Involved

  • Visit N2Q online to learn how they can help you renovate your marketing strategies.
  • Join the marketing conversation with Kyle on Facebook in the Marketing from the Roosevelt Room group.

Interested in becoming one of Ezra Zion Cigar Co.’s raving fans? You can find their incredible brand and fantastic products at ezrazionstore.com.


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