Episode 133
November 8, 2019

No Money. No Sales. No Customers. Start From Absolute Zero.

Brian bought 5 different mattresses and lives to tell the story. Phillip reviews DTC candle brands. Yes, really. ALSO: the guys sit down for an amazing interview with Megan Whitman, the Chief Digital Officer at Kopari Beauty, who joined us to talk about her experience growing the digital channel from "absolute zero".

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Brian bought 5 different mattresses and lives to tell the story. Phillip reviews DTC candle brands. Yes, really. ALSO: the guys sit down for an amazing interview with Megan Whitman, the Chief Digital Officer at Kopari Beauty, who joined us to talk about her experience growing the digital channel from "absolute zero". Kopari today is available everywhere from sample boxes to Ulta and is partnering with the likes of Drybar to reach even more customers.

Show Notes

Main Takeaways:

  • In today's episode (in a new format by the way), Brian and Phillip interview Chief Digital Officer at Kopari, Megan Whitman at Klaviyo: BOS.
  • Once a brand reaches a certain level of success, what are the benchmarks for measuring that success past standard KPIs?
  • Buying a bed online can sometimes not be a smooth process.
  • Brian and Phillip don't understand the online candle business or how people buy scents without first experiencing them.

Coconuts and Asymptotes: A Brief Introduction and a Fated Meeting:

  • Brian has a theory about asymptotes and was riffing on this idea with Phillip when he was overheard by Megan who joined in the conversation.
  • Megan was the first employee at Kopari, a coconut-based beauty company that has been around for about three and a half years that sells mainly on their direct-to-consumer site.
  • Kopari still mainly focuses on its direct-to-consumer business despite being in large beauty retailers because they care about what their customers want and want to create real relationships with them.
  • It all started around coconut oil and how this miracle ingredient can enhance various beauty products, but as the company grew, more parts of the coconut began to be used in Kopari's products.

From Nothing To Game-Changer: A Keynote-Worthy Journey:

Two Different Approaches: Nostalgia Brands vs. Modern Brands:

  • Phillip comments that nostalgia or legacy brands typically approach innovation with a lot of thought and deliberation while planning an intricate series of things, but more modern brands are executing on the fly and learning as they go.
  • Megan admits to doing things on the fly and the expectation of doing things on the fly is ingrained in the culture.
  • There has to be a healthy balance of doing things quickly and not doing too many things at one time that might result in conflicting messages to your customers.
  • Brian points out that technology has set the stage for the expectation of things to be done quickly.

Timing is Key: What Makes Modern Brands Different?:

  • Modern brands compete in a lot of different channels, while doing a lot of different things at the same time, all while telling different stories; so how do you balance this?
  • Timing is the key, and it is a very difficult thing to master.
  • You don't have the attention of customers for a long enough time to tell them everything about your brand, so you have to test to find out what they want to hear.
  • Which of the stories you are telling actually ties your customers back to your brand?

Evolving Metrics: Going Beyond the Sale:

  • A brand reaches a turning point once they start looking beyond basic sales metrics to measure whether or not they are successful as a brand.
  • Kopari has had a tough time deciding what their metric for success is beyond the sale (even though the sale is always the goal).
  • Soon, Kopari is going to run an experiment with customers who do not know the brand in which they will be shown one specific story via advertising during the test period and at the end of this test period, they will be asked if they know about Kopari.
  • This test will show what marketing story resonates the most with Kopari's customers as well as to measure other more qualitative KPIs.

The Capture Dilemma: Sales vs. Customers:

  • Phillip brings up Greats (which was recently acquired by Steven Madden) in a discussion about capturing a sale vs. capturing a customer.
  • Megan admits that Kopari has been traditionally more focused on the sale, but recently has been shifting from focusing on being a product company to being a brand.
  • How do you take the stories you have and leverage them to reach your customers in meaningful ways?
  • If you don't have a thoughtful and socially conscious start to your business in today's social environment, why are you even starting a business today?

Owning It: Connecting With Your Customers:

  • With today's technologies, it has never been easier to reach out directly to your customers in order to hear their thoughts and opinions.
  • What's even better is that customers enjoy giving their feedback and participating in the development of brands that they have a connection with.
  • More than ever, brands are striving for actual relationships with their customers as opposed to just storytelling alone.
  • How do you create meaningful connections with your customers, and how can you improve those that already exist?

Collaboration Nation: Finding Customers Through Other Brands:

  • Phillip has noticed that Kopari has been doing a lot of collaborations and asks what a strategy might be to identify potential customers through the existing customers of the brands you are collaborating with.
  • How deep do you take a partnership with a brand and how do you identify this level of involvement?
  • Megan gives some background on Kopari's collaboration with Drybar and gives some details on why this collaboration has been successful.
  • Even if your customers are not the exact same as the customer of the brand you are collaborating with, you have the potential to reach customers in different channels.

Megan's Advice and Predictions: A Future Commerce Sendoff:

  • Brian asks Megan what she thinks is imperative for DNVBs to be focusing on the next nine months as well as what she sees happening in the space fin the next 3-5 years.
  • One thing that drives Megan nuts is with the sheer amount of channels used to reach your customers, we need to figure out how to deliver the right message, for the right customer, in the right channel, at the right time.
  • How do you decide on what message to deliver per channel to your customers?
  • Is this something that can be solved with a tool, or is this more of a strategical approach?

Sleep Time Woes: The Online Mattress Shopping Journey:

  • Brian and Phillip both recently purchased some mattresses and take us through their experiences in buying beds online.
  • Brian originally had a Zinus and eventually bought the Wayfair Sleep mattress (which didn't go well) which they switched for a Nora Mattress (which they also didn't like) and eventually bought a Casper mattress from Costco.
  • When Brian and his wife inevitably didn't like the Casper mattress either, he had to physically return the mattress to Costco.
  • Buying mattresses in a store is probably a really good idea, but in case you need to return your bed, Phillip goes into detail on Casper's return process.

Blind Purchasing: Buying Something Online Without Experiencing It First:

  • There is a whole slew of products out there that simply don't make sense to buy online before physically experiencing them. (According to Brian and Phillip).
  • Otherland is an online candle brand that Phillip compares with the not digitally native D2C Yankee Candle.
  • Malin and Goetz, Snowe, and Year & Day are all more examples of online candle brands that Phillip wants to explore because he simply doesn't understand how you can buy a candle without smelling it first.
  • Brands that already have scents make an easy jump when incorporating that scent into candles.

Brands Mentioned in this Episode:

As always: We want to hear what our listeners think! Do you like the new format? How can you identify which stories to send to certain customers to reach them in the most impactful way?

Have any questions or comments about the show? Let us know on Futurecommerce.com, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. We love hearing from our listeners!

Retail Tech is moving fast, but Future Commerce is moving faster.

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Brian: [00:00:00] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:00:04] And I'm Phillip. And today we are joined live at Klaviyo: Boston 2019 by someone we just met, but became fast friends with based around asymptotes of all things, which will explain here in a second. Welcome to the show, Megan Whitman, who is the Chief Digital Officer at Kopari Beauty.

Megan: [00:00:25] Thank you so much for having me.

Phillip: [00:00:27] Thanks for joining the show. So as a total aside, the way that we met was Brian has a theory currently...

Brian: [00:00:33] Several theories.

Phillip: [00:00:36] Brian always has a crackpot theory about something.

Brian: [00:00:39] Oh yeah. Crackpot? Is that what you call it?

Phillip: [00:00:41] He has this whole thing about a limit approaching zero, which is in mathematics is known as an asymptote. He was riffing on this when you overheard it.

Brian: [00:00:49] It's more of a joke than anything. Possibilities. Possibilities are endless.

Megan: [00:00:54] There're a lot of nerdy jokes at an email service provider conference, and you usually don't hear asymptotes being brought up.

Brian: [00:01:01] That's a really good point. Yeah. No, this was nerdy in a completely different way.

Phillip: [00:01:06] It's a total aside. But you're speaking at the show.

Megan: [00:01:08] Yes.

Phillip: [00:01:08] You spoke yesterday, and I'd love to hear a little bit about your role and who you are, what Kopari beauty is all about, and maybe a little bit about your talk.

Megan: [00:01:17] Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, my name is Megan Whitman. I am the Chief Digital Officer at Kopari. Kopari is a coconut based beauty company. We've been around for about three and a half years selling our products largely on our direct to consumer site. That's how we were born. That's how we were brought into the world.

Brian: [00:01:38] Love it.

Megan: [00:01:39] And I was actually the first employee, so I was able to really build up the whole e-com digital marketing strategy. And it's really been, you know, our tool just since launch. We are now in retail, and in some really big retailers, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom's...

Brian: [00:01:53] Congrats.

Megan: [00:01:55] But we still focus very heavily on our direct to consumer side of things because we want to chat directly with our customers, and we want to have that relationship. We want to know what they want. We want to know if there's an issue right away.

Phillip: [00:02:08] Right.

Megan: [00:02:09] We don't want to wait for it to be stocked on the shelves, and then have to pull it off. We want to know if something breaks and shipping. We want to know if there's a problem right away. And we have that relationship through our customers, with our customers, through our direct to consumer side of things.

Phillip: [00:02:21] That's so interesting. You have a brand that I know, and I'm familiar with. But for those who may not know a little bit about the story behind Kopari, could you give us a primer?

Megan: [00:02:33] Yeah, absolutely. It's kind of a funny story. We actually have four founders. Three of them were all college friends, and the other one kind of came in as an old family friend. And basically, the common thread was that two people came to the same serial entrepreneur, James Brennan, and said, "I have a great idea. I want to do a coconut based beauty company." Within like two weeks of each other.

Phillip: [00:03:02] Wow.

Brian: [00:03:03] Wow.

Megan: [00:03:03] And this guy was like, "Wait a second. I've got two friends. Both want to basically start competing companies. And this is so weird."

Brian: [00:03:12] That's crazy.

Phillip: [00:03:13] Simultaneous inspiration.

Megan: [00:03:15] Exactly. It's so strange. So clearly, you know, there was something there and he said, "Okay, screw this, let's all do this together.".

Brian: [00:03:20] That's awesome. Yeah.

Megan: [00:03:22] And so they all came together, and kind of brought the vision together, and melded it, and that's how Kopari was born.

Phillip: [00:03:30] So from the outset it was a foundation around a product line that was based around coconut. Is that still part of the mission or the execution today?

Megan: [00:03:41] It is. It is. So it really started around coconut oil. And that was kind of the initial concept was there's this amazing ingredient out there that's so great for hair, for skin, for your body, for, you know, for so many different things. And it's got amazing properties that you just don't find in nature, in other ingredients. So they wanted to basically build a product line that really lends itself to the multi-tasking properties of coconut oil, but really enhances those properties. So, you know, you hear about people who use just coconut oil for deodorant or sunscreen or all of that stuff, but really like they wanted to make it better. They didn't want to just have the one product that you use for everything. And then ultimately what I think in their research and in starting to actually build out these product lines, what we realized was like, why just coconut oil? I mean, we use the coconut shell in our as an exfoliate in our coconut crush scrub. We use coconut water in our toner and our sunscreen. There's so many other great elements of the coconut that we don't have to limit it just to the oil. So today every single product has coconut in it. And it is based on what is coconut good for? What are these different parts of the coconut good for? And then we take those, enhance them with other natural ingredients and make an awesome product.

Brian: [00:04:55] That's so cool. I love the innovation side of this. Using ingredients in new ways and in thoughtful ways and making your customer, helping them understand the benefits. That's huge. You got to speak yesterday. You're actually one of the keynotes here at Klaviyo: Boston. You had a really interesting talks about how to fuel your brand's growth one stage at a time. For those that didn't get to be at the conference, could you tell us a little bit about what that was all about?

Megan: [00:05:29] Yeah, absolutely. So when Kopari first launched, as I mentioned, I was the first employee. And when I say was the first, I mean, I was the only employee. It was me. And just these, you know, these amazing four founders just like bootstrapping it like no other. And I mean, [00:05:47] to have no resources, no money, no sales, no customer. You know, just to start from absolutely zero was the world's best learning experience for me. And we were able to like... I was able to actually go in and explore all these different technologies. I didn't have the luxury of getting maybe the best technologies, so I had to figure out what was the cheapest, what was the easiest, what could I personally setup and do? And that's really what my topic yesterday was about is like from starting at zero, here's how we built the brand up to a point where we had enough money to hire a team or maybe advance our technologies. But ultimately we didn't even need to do that because Klaviyo was a tool that able that helped us grow from zero to where we are today. We don't feel the need to go spend a ton more money on a fancy tool because it's really the tool itself has grown with us. [00:06:36]

Phillip: [00:06:36] Oh wow.

Brian: [00:06:36] That's amazing. We talked about this yesterday, which will go into our Monday update. But the idea that these tools, like Klaviyo, have now become so good and so powerful that you don't even need like the level of developer support used to need with a lot of the enterprise level tools. And it just makes it possible for you as a CDO, as a marketer, to be able to go to market quickly and provide really great experiences for your customer without that sort of like technology angle as a core part of your business.

Phillip: [00:07:12] Closing the gap between the concept and the actual execution.

Megan: [00:07:16] Absolutely. Absolutely. It's been fun for me because this is my first role brand side. I used to actually work in an agency and I remember a while, you know, gosh, seven, eight years ago when I started working with a tool called Optimizely, and I was like blown away that me as a marketer, not as a developer, someone who doesn't know coding, I was able to go into Optimizely and set up experiences and really get like... I was able to set up experiences by myself and then ultimately do what I like to do, which is spend most of my time strategizing and also analyzing the results of those experiences. And that was kind of my first go at doing it myself. And [00:07:58] so then it gave me kind of the confidence to come back into Kopari and know that there are tools that I can actually use myself. I don't need to hire an agency. You don't need to spend money that we don't have. I'm trying to set these experiences up, and I was able to just test super rapidly. [00:08:13]

Brian: [00:08:14] Wow.

Phillip: [00:08:14] Wow. It's interesting when we talk to a legacy brand... Legacy is probably a bad, dirty word. Sorry. {laughter} A nostalgia brand... Prestige brand? There's a word for it. When you talk to a brand that has more history to it, their typical path of execution in campaigns is to do a lot of thought and planning and deliberation. And they spend a lot of time planning out very intricate sort of series of things. It sounds more like a more modern brand that's more nimble, is executing on the fly and learning as they go. Would you say that that's a fair characteristic? And is that like a necessary tool as a Chief Digital Officer, as a marketer in 2019?

Megan: [00:09:04] Honestly, I would. And I apologize to everybody back at the Kopari office right now just for admitting this. But I think, you know, [00:09:13] it's a healthy balance and as our company and our brand has grown, we've been scrappy since day one. And we do. We do so many things on the fly. I have conversations... And our CEO is super supportive of that. I mean, he'll have an idea on a Monday morning, and if it's not implemented by Wednesday, he's like, "What are you doing? Let's go. What is what is possibly taking you so long?" You know... [00:09:34]

Phillip: [00:09:33] That's so interesting. Hold on. Let me pull at that for a second. So even the expectation of the ability to execute quickly is ingrained in even the leadership, is that things shouldn't take very long to get out to market.

Megan: [00:09:49] Yeah, I screwed up at the beginning by doing things quickly. {laughter} I really set the expectation. No, I mean, I'm just kidding. But yeah, it really is. It really is ingrained to like move fast, break things, like you have to just continually be optimizing. And I'm not even joking if he's like, "We need to do a bundle of these three SKUs," he's like, "This should not take you long. The product page should be set up. There should be an email was sent out. You should have ads running to the page." It's very fast. But having said all that, [00:10:18] we are really trying to take a step back and not, you know, not do too many things at one time at the detriment of maybe conflicting messages to our customers. So it is a healthy balance because ultimately we still want things to be on brand, and we still want to have a consistent message that we're talking about. So I think we're at the place right now where we need to maybe stop implementing as quickly in the context of how does this affect other channels. [00:10:45]

Brian: [00:10:46] It is really interesting. I think that the technology has actually sort of helped set those expectations because it is so easy to go do things now. You can get into technology, and you can make a change. You can go to a bundled product like that. And [00:11:00] it's no wonder that legacy brands are struggling to compete with up and coming brands like you guys where you are able to go and like, you know, have approval to do something immediately and get it done mid-week. [00:11:16] That is... There are brands out there that would be like, "Oh, my gosh...".

Phillip: [00:11:22] "That's a year long execution strategy..."

Brian: [00:11:24] "We are screwed, because there's no way for us to be able to keep up with something like that sort of work flow."

Phillip: [00:11:31] That's what makes, you know, this this new era of modern brands so different.

Brian: [00:11:35] Yes.

Phillip: [00:11:36] One of those things that make modern brands different, too, is you said there's a lot of competing in a lot of channels now. You're probably messaging a lot of different things all at one time. [00:11:48] Modern brands have to have a lot of different stories to tell. There's the founder's story. There's the product differentiation story. There's sometimes a sustainability story. [00:11:56] How do you balance all of those things, and how do you tell what's important to your audience?

Megan: [00:12:01] Yeah. And I think the key there is really figuring out the timing. And to say that we figured it out would be a complete lie with something that we're constantly talking about. So, I mean, at the very, very, very early days, you know, when we had no customers, and it was OK... We have Kopari, we have coconut. We have the founders, like you said, we have product benefits. We have what the brand means. We also have a philanthropic aspect to the business, like the sustainability aspect. [00:12:31] There're all of these stories to tell. And at the very beginning, we did a lot of just straight up testing around the copy in our ads, around our emails, around what was on the website. I mean, we were just constantly like, what do people want to hear? Because you don't have their attention long enough to tell them everything.  [00:12:50]

Brian: [00:12:50] Right.

Phillip: [00:12:50] That's true.

Megan: [00:12:50] We just don't. [00:12:51] So we did a lot of testing around that. And ultimately at the very beginning, it was way more about product benefit. You know, this is what this product is going to do for you. This is how this product makes you feel. I think what we're getting into now is figuring out when is the right time to introduce some of these other stories. Some of the founder's stories, some of the more emotional stories for the customer to actually tie on to and actually create brand affinity for that. [00:13:14] And we're working on a campaign now that we're gonna be actually rolling out soon to a very small market just to test which story is drawing people and which story is actually resonating. So we're gonna do like a brand lift study around. Is it the founder story? Is it the story of the coconut? Is it the philanthropic story? Which actually puts Kopari in the customer's mind and makes them remember the brand? And do they actually tie back to Kopari?

Phillip: [00:13:43] Can I ask a question about that?

Megan: [00:13:44] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:13:45] So I find that that is a point, like it's an inflection point, for maturity in a brand where they start asking questions like, "Aside from the sale, and aside from the lifetime value of a customer, what are we measuring to see if we're being successful? What is our measure of success? Is it engagement? Is it time spent with partners?" How do you think about measuring those things that are not quantifiable, that are not sales based or conversion based to see if you're being successful and being top of mind for your customers?

Megan: [00:14:26] Oh it's so tough.

Phillip: [00:14:27] Right.

Megan: [00:14:27] Because if you're not going to sale, what are you doing? What else is the point? But I think it's something that we've really struggled with to really identify exactly what the goal, you know, outside of increasing revenue would be. And some of the things that we're looking at walking into this campaign, because isn't about the sale... It's not about which content gets people to purchase more. That is not the primary KPI. The primary KPI is we're actually going to be running a study with people who have never heard of Kopari, and then asking them afterwards... It's a whole test strategy around, they're only going to see one story during this test period and then they're going to be asked at the end of it, "Have you ever heard of Kopari?

Phillip: [00:15:08] Wow.

Brian: [00:15:10] Wow.

Megan: [00:15:10] And we're going to find out which story had a higher rate of people who really understood that this was a Kopari ad, essentially. And that's how we're going to measure that. So it's actually, we're setting up lift study tests that will help us with that, but some of the other KPIs of the campaign are really around... [00:15:31] It's still pretty numbers driven, even though you want it to be more qualitative. But ultimately, it's are people searching for the brand? What do our search impressions look like? What are... I mean, obviously, the global ideal scenario is that we're connecting with our customers more deeply, and we are increasing their LTV. We are getting them to come back, to  think of Kopari when they needed a new product, but that's really hard to measure in the short term. [00:15:58]

Phillip: [00:15:58] Right.

Megan: [00:15:58] So we're just kind of looking at it. We're doing an actual tester around it, and then we will be looking at the search impressions, branded, you know, people just looking for Kopari elsewhere. And then ultimately we'll probably be doing an aspect of surveying our actual customers and looking at our NPS score. I hate that they're all numbers based, but they are.

Phillip: [00:16:17] I mean, they're the things that actually that you can track and are quantifiable. But I love that that's what you're going on. One last thing I was going to ask is... Greats, which is a leather sneaker company who just sold to Steve Madden, one of the things that... Oh are you wearing Greats right now?

Megan: [00:16:39] I'm wearing Greats right now.

Phillip: [00:16:41] Oh look at that. So you're...

Megan: [00:16:41] So I'm familiar with the brand.

Brian: [00:16:44] Nice.

Phillip: [00:16:45] There's been some discussion around, you know, are they capturing a sale or capturing a customer? And is that the price point alone that differentiates them, or are they creating fans of the brand, or is it anybody who would buy a leather sneaker? They're just, they're capturing whoever is looking for a leather sneaker at the moment they're looking for it. And I'm curious if you think about how you're capturing people who just want sugar scrubs, or if you're actually creating and turning those people into like avid fans of Kopari. How do you do that?

Megan: [00:17:17] Yeah, I like that is... I think we've been too focused historically on capturing the sale, on "These people need this product, so we want to sell it to them." [00:17:31] And I think that we're at the point now, and have been for about a year now, where we're trying to say, "We're not a product company. We're a brand." [00:17:38]

Phillip: [00:17:38] Yeah. Yeah.

Megan: [00:17:39] And we're trying to be a brand. We have the stories to tell. We haven't been focused enough on telling them, I think. We've been focused on scaling the brand. And now we want to take a step back and really try to make those connections and build that customer loyalty through our stories, because we are a brand. The founders are in the company. We're real people. There was a whole concept, there's a whole story behind it that we just haven't been great about telling. And one of the ways that we're actually doing [00:18:04] that... So all of our coconut oil is sourced from Davao in the Philippines. It's from literally small family farms. It has been since day one. [00:18:13]

Brian: [00:18:14]  [00:18:14]Oh wow.

Megan: [00:18:14]  [00:18:14]But I don't think that everybody knows that. I don't think we talk about it enough. So we actually had our founders take a trip out to the Philippines and see the actual coconut groves where the coconuts are harvested. They watched the whole process. And it was amazing. They were taking little photos snapped. Are some of the founders are not on Instagram stories or Snapchat. And it was so fun to watch. We forced them to do it and send them and send all the videos back. And ultimately, like, it just it brought everyone, all the employees so much closer to the actual cause. We're actually building villages there. [00:18:48]

Brian: [00:18:47] Wow.

Megan: [00:18:48] Homes for the farmers.

Phillip: [00:18:50] Yeah.

Megan: [00:18:50] And we're about to kind of... We're trying to introduce that into our marketing because it is authentic to the brand. It's not just something we did for the content.

Brian: [00:18:59] Right.

Megan: [00:18:59] But it's important that people know that this is ingrained in our brand. It's been there since day one and we're continuing to support it.

Brian: [00:19:07] Yeah, I love that. It's right now... And we've talked about this on the show quite a bit. If you're not... If you don't have, you know, a thoughtful sustainability, human rights, fair practices... If you don't start your business without at the base, why are you even starting a business today?

Megan: [00:19:24] Yup.

Brian: [00:19:25] But I think it's... You've touched on something really important, which is you see, some brands trumpet this story very, very, very loudly. I think it's important to tell that story. It is. The fact that you don't have this surfaced yet to your customers in a very like clear way, or like a very loud way, is actually really cool.

Phillip: [00:19:49] Refreshing, yeah. {laughter}

Brian: [00:19:49]  [00:19:50]You're just doing it because that's part of who you are. I think it is important for you to tell that story. And I think it's smart that you are going in and highlighting this more. But it is really refreshing to see a brand that just did it. [00:20:04]

Megan: [00:20:05] Yes.

Brian: [00:20:05] And I hope that your customers, as you start to tell these stories, I hope it just helps... I'm sure it will help them appreciate your brand even more.

Megan: [00:20:17] Yeah.

Brian: [00:20:17] Which I think it leads to something else, which is another thing we talk about a lot of the show, which is customer relationship. And how, actually right now, even more important than brand story, customer relationship like actually supersedes brand story. And brands affinity and strength. But I think that telling that story is actually part of building that customer relationship. One of the things that we've seen at this conference is the trend of owning it. They say, "Own it." That was one of the themes.

Phillip: [00:20:47] Own it.

Brian: [00:20:50] Own it.

Megan: [00:20:51] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:20:51] It's like, "Crush it.".

Megan: [00:20:52] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:20:52] But we're not allowed to say "Crush it" anymore, so we say, "Own it.".

Brian: [00:20:54] No. "Crush it" is over. It's over. So now it's just, "Own it." But I think that your story of using Klaviyo to go build those relationships with your customer, and now you're going to be able to use Klaviyo to tell these stories in a more meaningful way. I think that's really, really refreshing and really exciting to see that.

Megan: [00:21:22] Yeah, it's been really amazing, especially... We've hired a a new CMO recently, and he came in, and he came from a very large beauty brand that is, they actually don't even have e-commerce. They're just strictly retail. And he is been such... I don't want to take it for granted that we have this ability to talk directly to our customers. But he is a true testament because he'll come in and say, "Well, what do they say? Well, what are our customers saying?" Like, well, I guess let's just ask them. Like, [00:21:49] it's just funny that he said, this is awesome. You have this this entire database of people that you know exactly what they've purchased. You know, when's the last time they purchased? You can segment them however you want and ask them anything, and they respond, and they like it. They want to be a part of it. [00:22:04]

Brian: [00:22:04] Yes.

Phillip: [00:22:05] Yeah.

Megan: [00:22:05]  [00:22:05]Because why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you want to talk to one of your favorite brands and say, "Hey, guys, you should be doing this next?" Or "I didn't like the smell of that product." We want the feedback, and they want to give it to us. So it's been... I can't imagine not having that. I don't think I would be able to do my job at all without having that database of people that we get to just reach out to. [00:22:27]

Phillip: [00:22:28] How... I've not prepared you for this question. That's a great way to start any question. Put someone on the defensive. I had asked my wife if she was familiar with the brand because I know the logo. I've not used the products. And she said, "Oh, yeah. I discovered it. It came in a Fab Fit Fun box. And she used it as the hair oil, the coconut oil for her hair. And she was saying that... She's like, "I hope they're in my next box." But I don't think it had crossed her mind to come searching for you to find you directly. So I'm wondering. I'm curious. As you get into more channels and you want more partnerships, how do you connect the dots or are you thinking about how you connect the dots to turn people who are other people's customers into yours?

Megan: [00:23:17] It's tough. I mean, I think that's that's super interesting that she said she hopes it's in her next box. I'd love that feedback because it's really tough because as we expand and we've partnered with a lot of sampling boxes and Fab Fit Fun, like we've partnered with a lot of these people. And I'll admit that internally we'll say, "Well, what's the ROI there?" Well, in a lot of times, it's brand awareness. You know, a lot of times it's now your wife is familiar with this product. And maybe if she's walking in the store and sees the logo, she might just stop and pick something up that you need. But ultimately, all over the channels have to kind of support each other. And we don't have... I would be lying if I said that, you know, somebody buys our product at Sephora, and we have this 10 step program to get them to get back into our website and back on emailing with us. But ultimately, what we do do is, we do get a lot of customers reaching out directly. If there is, you know, maybe a product issue or they have product feedback and they bought the product at a retailer. And I always encourage our customer service team to really, like, keep going with that. Keep communicating.

Brian: [00:24:23] Yes.

Megan: [00:24:24] Keep the conversation going because we just got so lucky that we have the ability to actually talk our customers.

Phillip: [00:24:29] They come to you.

Megan: [00:24:29] Yes. Yes. Yes.

Megan: [00:24:29] They came to us. This is awesome.

Phillip: [00:24:32] That's an opportunity.

Megan: [00:24:33] It's an opportunity. Exactly. So I won't say that we have a very complex way of bringing everybody back in and trying to, you know, kind of own all of our customer relationships.

Phillip: [00:24:43] Own it.

Megan: [00:24:44] But we do love it when we get a chance to actually talk to people who are purchasing and other channels. And we do try to pull some kind of some data around where people are shopping. And so we will do some survey data. And we do you know, we try to get a better understanding of like if they start on the website, where do they go next? Or if they start, you know, in retail? Do they come back to the website? And we try to figure out that mapping. But ultimately, we know that it's hard to predict. And I personally shop at so many different stories and I buy the same... There's this product that Mario Badescu... It's another beauty company. For two men, you may not know them. But I buy one of their products, and I've bought that product at Urban Outfitters. I've bought that product at Ulta.

Phillip: [00:25:32] Wow.

Megan: [00:25:32] It's in so many different stores.

Phillip: [00:25:34] That's fascinating.

Megan: [00:25:35] And I just... I see it on the shelf and like, yep, this is a product I use, and I just happened to be in the store, so I pick it up. Yeah.

Brian: [00:25:44] So having that brand awareness makes it possible for you to purchase that brand that you've already got to know a little bit anywhere that it exists. So the more places you are, the more it all just sort of builds on each other.

Megan: [00:25:58] Exactly. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:25:59] That's super interesting. I have one last question and then, Brian, I'm sure you have the final...

Brian: [00:26:05] Yeah. I'll have the final...

Phillip: [00:26:07] We always... We'll give Brian the ability to close it up.

Brian: [00:26:09] Yes.

Phillip: [00:26:09] I see you're doing a lot of collaboration, which feels very modern right now, like Drybar, or Suja....which I'm sure I've mispronounced.

Megan: [00:26:20] No, you got it right.

Phillip: [00:26:20] But I'm curious what a strategy might be to sort of broaden that to... Are you being intentional, and I want to focus this on your role... How do you see that as an opportunity to identify another person's customer as a potential customer of your own? And is there a way that you can plug that back into tools like Klaviyo that would help you sort of reinforce those affinities? Or have you thought about that at all? Because I find that to be really interesting because it is one thing to just partner with somebody and do a collab. It's another thing to try to use that as the basis of building more relationship going forward.

Megan: [00:27:03]  [00:27:03]So this is another thing that's an ongoing opportunity, but also challenge, is knowing how deep of a partnership to go with some of these brands. And I'll tell you that we don't do a lot of sweepstake type, you know, 10 brands, enter your email here... We do some I mean, and I think we do a lot on social, but we found that when we do some of those partnerships, the quality of, you know, the email address, I'll call it, that we get is not usually the same quality or somebody who's actually opted in. [00:27:38]

Phillip: [00:27:38] As your direct customer.

Megan: [00:27:39] Exactly. Exactly. And chances are it's a lot of people wanting the free trip or the free gift card or whatever it is. But when we do these brand collabs, we do try to... I mean, it's not like we're just going to partner with anybody. And the Drybar collaboration came out because, you know, we have this charcoal deodorant and this charcoal toothpaste that we're selling very well. And the CEO of Drybar actually lives in San Diego where we're based and actually have a friendly relationship with him. And he was like, "Oh, we've got charcoal products that are doing great, too."

Brian: [00:28:09] That's so cool.

Megan: [00:28:10] So it was a very organic. "Wait a second. We should do a partnership." And I think, you know, I don't know that the Drybar customer is the exact same as the Kopari customer, but ultimately, they're women using charcoal, and we're hoping that we can kind of acquire some new customers that way by partnering with an amazing brand like Drybar.

Phillip: [00:28:28] Wow.

Brian: [00:28:29] That's awesome. Well, we're wrapping up here. And one of the things that we love to ask everyone that comes on the show, because, you know, after all, we are called Future Commerce, is what do you see as the next imperative? What is something that's absolutely imperative for brands that are DNVBs such as yourself to be focused on the next nine months coming up here, and then maybe give us a little bit of future casting. What should people be paying attention to in the next three to five years?

Megan: [00:29:00] Ok, I'm going to start with three to five years.

Brian: [00:29:02] Ok start there.

Megan: [00:29:02] See if the nine month thing comes up while I'm talking about that.

Brian: [00:29:05] All right.

Megan: [00:29:06] But basically, like one thing that drives me nuts {laughter} is especially...

Phillip: [00:29:08] My favorite phrase ever... {laughter}

Megan: [00:29:13] And I don't have the answer, but I just I wish I did. But basically, there's so many different channels that you can reach directly to your customer on. You have your social channels, you have your email, you now have SMS that everyone's jumping on the bandwagon with it, which I fully support. I love SMS. We do it, etc. And you want your messages to be aligned. But [00:29:33] it doesn't make sense to have the same exact message on all of your channels and hitting your customers like with the same message on 10 different channels. It's just illogical. So what we need to figure out is, first of all, what is the right message for the right channel at the right time for the right customer? Because maybe the customer just wants to get the SMS, or maybe they just want to get the email, and how do you send them the communication that they're expecting based on the channel? [00:29:57] That's my big... I don't know if I'm going to solve it in the next nine months.

Brian: [00:30:01] That's good.

Phillip: [00:30:02] I think let's leave it there because her walk off the music is starting to play behind us here.

Brian: [00:30:05] Oh yeah. That's right.

Phillip: [00:30:07] Well, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much.
Megan: [00:30:09] Thank you guys for having me.

Phillip: [00:30:11] This has been just really refreshing. I really appreciate it.

Brian: [00:30:14] Very refreshing.

Phillip: [00:30:14] I wish you all success.

Brian: [00:30:16] This whole conference has been refreshing.

Phillip: [00:30:17] It really actually has. And I know that we should probably give some sort of disclaimer about Klaviyo being a sponsor of the show, but in theory, you didn't skip the ads when you started listening to this thing anyway, so you should know that. {laughter}.

Megan: [00:30:27] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:30:29] But yeah. Thanks again so much, Megan.

Megan: [00:30:30] Yeah. Thank you guys.

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