#273 - Matt Danna, CEO Boulevard - on gaining pricing power

A story about building a SaaS business that customers want to belong to

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give self-care businesses give their clients more of the magical moments that matter. My guest is Matt Danna, CEO of Boulevard. 

Matt is a tech entrepreneur on a mission. He’s addicted to building technology for the creative class and passionate about the intersection between design and technology. 

Matt has spent his entire career building technologies to empower creative professionals., Matt was head of product for the LA-based talent agency Wasserman. His career also includes product leadership positions with Awesomeness, a multi-media platform company, and the global media company Fullscreen. 

He co-founding Boulevard in 2016 as he and his co-founder realized this industry – the professionals who help us look and feel our best – has traditionally been underserved when it comes to tech and support. 

So their mission is to change that by enabling their customers to give their clients more of the magical moments that matter.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Matt to my podcast. We explore how the company evolved from a scheduling solution into a complete experience platform, positioning for the salon and spa industry. 

Matt explains how they carved out their niche and how early architectural design now provides them with a multi-year competitive advantage. helping them stand out from competitors who added these features later. He elaborates on how they accelerated growth and reduced CAC by leveraging the power of network effects and customer referrals.

He shares his story of how brand trust, design, and community have become core differentiators for the company, thereby creating a magnetic effect. Last but not least, he explains how the company achieved minimal customer churn during covid, and was able to add well over 600 customers in a market that was effectively closed. 

Here’s one of his quotes

The hardest nut to crack over time has been our go-to market motion. My co-founder and I were both engineers. And so, learning how to sell a product was entirely new territory for us. And there’s this perception out there from some founders if you build it, they’ll come. That never happens. And so you have to be so intentional about your go-to market. You have to be very, very focused on what’s your ideal customer profile. That is something that we continue to refine on a quarterly basis, Who are we best set up to support? Who do we have pricing power over?

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. What it really means to understand a problem in its full depth – and why that makes all the difference for your success 
  2. What it takes to find the sweetspot where you have pricing power
  3. What they did differently that gave them defensible differentiation from day one
  4. Why we should think differently about product market fit

For more information about the guest from this week:

 

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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.