How to turn Senior Experts Knowledge into luxury products
I have read that most of the ventures have a bit of the essence, passion, and aspirations of their founders. Susurradores.com or “Whisperers” is not the exception since it combines pretty well 2 topics that I am passionate about: Fashion and Knowledge.
I am a Fashion lover, not from a frivolous and superficial point of view, but rather portraying fashion as a way to generate positive emotions, mitigate insecurities, exalt the beauty that we all have through colors, aromas, textures and shapes, and as a way to feel comfortable with our own personal aesthetics, assuming that what we all see reflected on the mirror is what we project, regardless of the established canons.
And there is the Knowledge. I think that in life you have to be exceptionally good at whatever you choose to do, and in order to achieve this, knowledge is essential. There are many conventional and unconventional sources, paid or free, face-to-face, or virtual. But there is one, unique and unbelievably valuable, yet underestimated: the experience, know how and advice of retirees with over 35 years of successful work history.
Throughout my professional life I have been fortunate to have had great mentors which most of the time had many years of experience, amazing knowledge and a great ability to transmit them. Having these mentors allowed me to move faster, asking for advice without fear, validating issues that I wasn’t comfortable to discuss with my boss or a colleague, feeling safe and knowing that both, me and my mentor, shared the same goal: to succeed and to mitigate risks.
At the end of 2018, my two “passions” became the beginning of the StartUp Susurradores.com. Back then, I had to relocate to a small city and crashed with reality, the jobs I was aiming for in order to pursue with my marketing career where not an option . I needed to reinvent myself.
Therebefore after hours upon hours of deep thinking and careful consideration, I decided to focus on a target audience long forgotten, and make it a source of wealth, knowledge wise, to help today’s professionals. The biggest challenge was to transform consumer’s perception of a large underrated group as great executives and academics retired from the workplace. Switch consumers from clichés such as “old” or “retired” to what they really are: aspirational and must-have advisors, exclusive mentors, sources of strategic thinking and knowledge, and a key to accelerate success for professionals and for companies.
Parallel to this I had to find a way to attract the former leaders to a newborn platform and make them feel comfortable in this new venture. We launched the pilot in Colombia in October 2019. 3 months later we had 600 applications, only 120 were accepted.
And Whisperers went from being an idea to a reality. Today, every “whisper expert” is the perfect definition of a luxury brand: unique, carefully selected, with character, beautiful in its wisdom and qualitatively superior. The Whisperer Experts are respected and admired people to whom we turn to ask for advice, review a project, discuss an idea and giving value to their experience, their expertise and their age.
My/Our dream is to create a global bridge where we connect the best of generations and promote development and well-being. The dream is to revive highly valued people and ensure that their knowledge is passed on to today’s leaders. The dream is to build together a stronger and more inclusive labor market where age or gender are secondary, and experience and knowledge prevail.
The team grew, and I went from being “me and my idea” to having 120 experts on board, two brilliant partners and eight exceptional external collaborators. And we are just getting started.
Some people have asked me why after so many years of marketing in FMCG´s I put myself into such an unconventional venture. Well, we all have ideas in mind, “out of the box”, and just this lifetime to put them into practice. And if some of these ideas seem to add value to consumer, and allow you to give back some of the good things you have received during your life, I invite you to validate them and to take risks. I can assure you that this is not in contradiction with a corporate professional life. Having an experience as an entrepreneur enriches, forces, and teaches you to be humbler, more creative, faster, innovative and to never lose connection with the consumer. And if your idea contributes to create human connections and fosters a more inclusive society, do not hesitate to go for it. You won’t regret it.
Ingrid Pérez-Trujillo- MD & CMO Susurradores.com