#UPPRE5 with Kelvin Long

 

The co-founder of Doof Industries shares with us the background of Malaysia’s first very own bean bag brand.

 

What inspired you to establish Doof Industries?

To be honest the reason why we started Doof was because we just couldn’t find a bean bag for our own office 8 years ago. At that time there was no Lazada, no online shopping and if you wanted one you had to get it shipped here, which was very expensive. That’s when we got the idea of why not we start a bean bag brand ourselves. Plus, at that point our creative thoughts were being restricted in the advertising agency, so we thought why not use this as an outlet.

How did you come up with the name Doof?

Originally we thought of the Doof bag as a play on the word ‘douchebag’ because our goal with the brand was to keep it silly and fun. Besides ‘doof’ is also the sound that people tend to make when they sit on beanbags. When we entered the market as a homegrown beanbag maker, people in the Klang Valley who were exposed to our roadshows started calling beanbags as Doof bags, and that was a big win for us. Our tagline of ‘Plush Booty No Cootie’ was us just being funny and keeping things light.

Photo: Doof
Who are the main clients of Doof bean bags?

When we came on to the scene it was the time when a lot companies were trying to attract the Gen Y to work for them. People wanted change, they wanted to break down the structure and they wanted a room they could chill out in. So our customers ranged from local tech companies to trendy hotels but also mostly expats. They’ve already been exposed to bean bags so for them it was cheaper to buy from us for their local companies. Also the oil and gas industry and the educational market were our big supporters. Apart from local accessibility, they also liked the quality of our products and the follow-up services that we provide, as we are not like the general retailer. We provide refills and repair any tear when customers back to us.

As a fun brand, what kind of marketing do you do?

When we started we didn’t have much money to do advertising so my wife, who is the other co-founder, and a few friends would go to shopping malls with our Doof bags, plunk it there and start giving out flyers until we get kicked out. So back then we did a lot of guerrilla marketing. We also got our fans involved by setting up some dares for them to do and in return we give them discounts. For example, we ask them to sing in the LRT or cluck like a chicken and send the recording to us for something special from us. Nowadays we are heavily involved with partnerships and roadshows where we make sales and also increase brand awareness.

What is the biggest strength of Doof Industries?

I have to say our innovation. Nowadays because of competition that we have with cheaper albeit lower-quality options on e-commerce sites we always have to come up with new designs for our buyers. Over the years we’ve come up with some good ones like floating bean bags which serve as a good substitute for those swan floats. We call them Doof Splash. There is also the Hubble which is basically a compact air bag, just to name a few!

Photo: Doof

*All images, unless stated otherwise, are by UPPRE.

Vimal Palasekaran

Vimal Palasekaran

Loud laugher. TV buff. Hispanophone.
Vimal Palasekaran

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