Assembling a high-performance ecommerce site & social manufacturing platform with an army of field testers

At the heart of the new trailblazing personal-care company BRAVO SIERRA is its community. The groundbreaking military-native brand prides itself on a 2,000+ members strong product tester group, made of Special Operations Forces, active duty service members, and veterans.

At the heart of the new trailblazing personal-care company BRAVO SIERRA is its community. The groundbreaking military-native brand prides itself on a 2,000+ members strong product tester group, made of Special Operations Forces, active duty service members, and veterans.

Members of the U.S. Military field-test BRAVO SIERRA products in the harshest of environments. That’s how the brand ensures it has the most robust product offering in the market.

When the founders of BRAVO SIERRA first came to us at Reaktor they were looking to engage and elevate that same core group of Active Duty Forces, and with it, the BRAVO SIERRA brand. 

There was a need not only for a centralized, user-driven, community-building R&D platform but also for a consumer-facing ecommerce site that would open up the BRAVO SIERRA brand story to a mass audience.

The results of Reaktor’s collaboration with BRAVO SIERRA are two-fold: a high-performance, military-native testing platform – driving never-before-seen innovation – and a beautifully designed, commercially successful ecommerce site bravosierra.com

Project highlights

High-performance ecommerce site

  • Impressively visual, interactive, and inspiring digital storytelling, complete with mobile-first design
  • Built on Shopify with custom software
  • Up and running in 3 months
  • Featured in The New York Times 14 weeks after kickoff

Project highlights

Robust social manufacturing platform

  • A new hub for human-centered R&D, incorporating machine learning, AI, and sentiment analysis
  • Assembled in 10 weeks
  • Built-in automation enables the community to grow fast without increasing admin support
  • Marked increases in both engagement and retention of BRAVO SIERRA’s valued testers, with a three-fold increase in qualified signups and a greater volume of on-platform conversation

How it works

U.S. Special Forces stress test products

 Troops receive BRAVO SIERRA shipments with samples like sunscreen and deodorant, putting the products to the test in grueling conditions.

 

Testers provide comments through social manufacturing platform

BRAVO SIERRA members log in to the testing community – accessible at all hours from all over the world – to share thoughts and suggestions on the products.

 

R&D incorporates user testing

BRAVO SIERRA integrates testers’ feedback into its research and development. The early adoption of consumer feedback means that the brand can pioneer first-to-market technologies, ranging from a 4-in-1 wash-and-shave to the first non-flammable hydrocarbon-free propellant.

 

Ecommerce site sells brand direct to consumer

 Consumers shop the products and explore the BRAVO SIERRA brand story at bravosierra.com, a highly visual, inspiring digital experience that offers personalized care product suggestions.

 

Share of revenue benefits community

 BRAVO SIERRA reroutes 5% of all its revenue back to service members, veterans, and their families, thereby strengthening the community that forms the backbone of its mission.

New home base

Creating a dual consumer-community platform

When BRAVO SIERRA first contacted us at Reaktor the founders needed a new, muscular e-commerce site up and running fast. The timeline was tight – just three months – but by getting our working software up quickly, we at Reaktor were able to flexibly iterate on the design while simultaneously building out the digital platform. This is what created the speed.

With field testers reaching the thousands, we also quickly set out to streamline BRAVO SIERRA’s R&D processes by starting work on a high-functioning, nimble social manufacturing platform, one that could automate the manual labor needed to run BRAVO SIERRA’s broad testing effort. The platform we built allows the company to easily pair the right testers with new prototypes and uses machine learning and sentiment analysis to distill incoming tester feedback.

Our ecommerce site runs on automated personalization. The Shopify platform, customized for BRAVO SIERRA’s needs with our tailored software, allows for an efficient, easy-to-use interface. The customer experience is made smooth with a mobile-first design. Customers’ average spend increases furthermore with built-in personalized, bundled purchases. 

Our modular implementation approach means that both BRAVO SIERRA’s testing platform and e-commerce site can easily accommodate changes now and in the future, organically growing with BRAVO SIERRA in whichever direction the brand pursues next.

“The Reaktor-built social manufacturing platform has helped us engage our community in ways we never thought possible: uncovering needs, testing product, and scaling the program.”

Benjamin Bernet, co-founder, BRAVO SIERRA

Community interaction during product development

Close ranks

Building community through transparency

The BRAVO SIERRA project is unique in its mission and special conditions. What was clear to us from the start was that any community built around the BRAVO SIERRA brand would ultimately need to support what is at the heart of the company’s work: the military community. 

BRAVO SIERRA prides itself on its transparency. At Reaktor, we share that value, so the relationship with BRAVO SIERRA felt seamless. We worked on-site to ensure full immersion and exchange of information, and our working methods – including daily sharing of new iterations of the platform as well as talking the client through possible pitfalls – meant that we were able to form a deep level of trust.

 By engaging with BRAVO SIERRA on a 360-approach to brand building, through our Reaktor approach, we created in record time a sturdy dual-purpose platform that is at once authentic and holistic – and does a world of good.

“The Reaktor engineers and designers became an integral part of our team. Sitting in the office together, we became a single team focused on a single goal. This played a significant part in our company securing an additional $12 million in Series A funding.”

Benjamin Bernet, co-founder, BRAVO SIERRA

Our contribution

  • Custom software
  • Human-centered product development
  • Digital brand identity and style
  • Blended storytelling with ecommerce mechanics

Ready to join forces?

Get in touch

Dan DeCoste

Head of Growth, Reaktor

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