For start-ups and small businesses, building a brand can be difficult. Award-winning creative with wide reach when the primary focus of the business is to drive as many sales as quickly as possible and fund future growth, with a large budget to invest in his media first. It is almost impossible to secure from
Founded in 2016, Oddbox is a subscription service that delivers to customers weekly boxes of fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste due to their size, shape, or requirements. B Corp’s mission is to reduce the approximately 3 million tons of fruit and vegetables that are wasted each year.
Elisabeth Yates joined the business in January 2021 as Head of Growth. Like many direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses, subscription brands have grown significantly during the last nine months of pandemic lockdowns. However, subscribers were still concentrated in and around London, where both brand awareness and attention were low.
“Outside London, very few people knew who we were,” Yates said this week at the event “Brands: Sustainable Scale,” hosted by Channel 4 Ventures and What’s Possible Group. A One-Way Ticket to ,” he said at a panel.
“In terms of brand characteristics, when we asked people who had heard of the Oddbox brand to choose from a list of food subscription businesses that they thought would help make a difference on the planet, four times as many People chose Hello Fresh.If you are a B Corp and mission driven business, it was really disappointing to see this.”
Most new customer growth has been organic and “very contextual,” Yates added, with 90% of Oddbox’s paid media budget going to Facebook and Instagram.
“When I joined the company, it was very clear that there were three things I really needed to focus on for the rest of the year,” she explained.
Building a brand takes a long time. If you quit it, it will be very difficult to start again, and all the investments you have already made will be wasted.
Elizabeth Yates, Oddbox
The first was to diversify the brand’s media mix and reach new and existing audiences outside of social media. The second was to rethink the brand’s approach to messaging and storytelling. This is because it “clearly had problems” getting the message across to its mission to fight food waste.
“Not only do we need to think more singularly to send and empower green messages, but we also need to be able to tell our stories longer and in action,” Yates said. It was necessary to utilize a format that could be used.
Finally, Yates wanted Oddbox to start running an integration campaign and realize that “the total is greater than the parts,” she said. Running campaigns on different channels at the same time makes it more difficult to measure and attribute, but “generally has a much greater impact,” she added, especially when adjusted for seasonal peaks.
Oddbox began pushing its first big brand campaign last September, testing with out-of-home media selected for its low cost and fast execution. The brand spent £500 on the creative and secured his 50% discount on advertising in his first year by working directly with outdoor media owner Global and his JCDecaux.
“The other thing we did was really think about what is the minimum viable spending we need to invest in this channel to really see the impact. Because I’ve actually been to places where we haven’t spent enough,” Yates added.
That’s why Oddbox launched a campaign in the top 15 zip codes in London, investing in “heavy media rates” and testing different formats, including coupon codes. Importantly, it provided brands with a control group against which to compare other regions and activities.
“It was very important to be able to see what happened across all channels and what kind of increase there was from my activity over time. In fact, we’re driving six conversions overall,” says Yates.
Oddbox spent £90,000 on the entire outdoor campaign. Over the same period, he tested podcasts, influencers, direct he emails, and a variety of other media, and they “worked very well,” Yates said.
As such, the activity has been extended to January 2022, a 40% increase from the same month in 2021, making it one of the largest acquisition months in the history of the brand. It also doubled his website traffic compared to his panicked March 2020, when the first lockdown was announced in the UK. Consumers explored food purchasing options online.
Brand awareness reached 25% nationally, meaning 1 in 4 people in the UK have heard of Oddbox. “Most importantly, when people who’ve heard of Oddbox were asked to choose from a list of food subscription businesses that they believe could help make a difference on the planet, they said, ‘The more people are choosing Oddbox,” said Yates.
“So it’s been incredibly successful for us,” she added.
“I’ve spent money on TV in the past, and I can attest that it’s like pushing the magic button for sales,” she claimed. How Bloom & Wild used TV to boost brand prestige
Focus on living expenses
But as the cost of living crisis puts pressure on consumers and their discretionary spending, Oddbox has had to rethink elements of its approach. A few months ago, the company surveyed consumers to understand how economic conditions affect buyers and potential buyers of its products.
“On the surface, the average oddbox is £15 a week and people have to eat fruits and vegetables every week. We also have a very wealthy customer base, with an average household income of £150,000. No doubt everyone is affected by the cost of living, but can these people afford £15 a week of fruit and vegetables?
But survey data shows that 60% of respondents say they don’t want to pay for sustainable products, a 180-degree change from six months ago. 2 out of 3 (66%) said they would like to pay less for their subscription.
As long as you educate those stakeholders and manage their expectations, they feel more comfortable investing in your brand.
Elizabeth Yates, Oddbox
But with 70% of people saying they eat out or take away less, Yates adds that Oddbox sees an “area of opportunity” as a cook-from-scratch product and needs to rethink its “single-minded” environmental messaging strategy. I was. .
“We started thinking about prices and how they compare to supermarkets. It may not be surprising to hear that supermarkets benefit from economies of scale. You pay for shipping, on average, about £3 more per box,” Yates explains.
“So we wondered why people are paying slightly more for Oddbox. And we realize it all comes down to a feeling of knowing you’re taking action against things like climate change. It’s a really small step. It gives me strength and makes me feel good that I am doing something.”
The current news cycle is already full of “doom and gloom,” she said, so it wouldn’t be right for Oddbox to keep sending messages about food waste. As such, brands are leaning toward the emotional rewards and “little moments of joy” that consumers believe they get when they open their subscription box.
“That’s the main thing we did and changed the message to be more emotional,” Yates said.SMEs have reached a “tipping point” in brand building
On the media side, Oddbox continues to invest in brand and advertising. Yeats points to the 2008 financial crisis, and there is evidence that brands with less investment have experienced slower growth.
“It takes a long time to build a brand, and if you stop doing it, it will be very difficult to start again, and all the investments you’ve already made will go to waste,” she explained.
“Will we be able to spend as originally planned? No, I don’t think many companies will. But are we still investing? Yes.”
Yates added that there are now many opportunities for brands on a tight budget to take advantage of. For example, after being informed in September that London’s double bus panels were all booked, Yates could secure a number at a third of his original price as other advertisers attracted spending. I made it. Creative all around, she admitted.
Asked how start-up and small business marketers on tight budgets can manage stakeholder pressure and build buy-in, Yates said that national Instead of launching an aggressive campaign right away, he advised “put all your eggs in one basket.”
“The advantage of having a geotest and control group is [we can] Even if we don’t see a lot of direct conversion, we can see very clearly that we’re seeing big lifts in areas that were lacking in activity at home,” she explained.
“By starting with geographic testing, we need much less money and can focus on the media plan we need to see the impact.”
Oddbox’s first out-of-home campaign cost £90,000, and although Yates acknowledged that it costs a lot for a small business, it’s not as much as brands have previously spent on influencer activities. It was less than £100,000. “So it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility,” she said.
Will you be able to spend as originally planned? No, I don’t think many companies do. But are we still investing? yes.
Elizabeth Yates, Oddbox
For its first TV campaign later this year, Oddbox will spend between £250,000 and £350,000 on the first six weeks of pushing, she added.
“Start absolutely small and start with AB testing to give your stakeholders a very clear view of what your AB testing plan is and what metrics to look at,” advises Yates. did.
Marketers also need to make sure expectations are managed, she added. Yates warned stakeholders that Oddbox’s on-the-go campaign won’t yield immediate results, and should take at least three months to measure its success.
Brands with long sales cycles need to understand early success metrics beyond direct conversions, she says. For Oddbox, that metric was her website traffic.
“Think about what the early indicators are: As long as you educate those stakeholders and manage their expectations, they will feel more comfortable investing in the brand,” she said. rice field.