Early Observations from Amari’s Launch

Hi, I am Eric, founder & CEO of Amari, a new supplement company that provides active lifestyle consumers with convenient, effective products that help them to play longer and recover faster.

We have started posting to LinkedIn about our experience launching a company and a product in the times of COVID. Our goal is to share what learn in the hope that you will find it helpful as you navigate these unprecedented times at your company.

The previous video talked about our approach to the launch email and the reception we received.  Here are a couple of observations from the last 2 weeks. We’ll get into the course corrections in a future post.

Customers are out there.  They are experiencing all of the same things we are and you are. They are concerned about the health, safety and financial security of themselves, family and friends.

Our observation is that now is not the time to focus on the hard sale, now is the time to build community. We feel that people will ignore the hard sale, but will remember the value your company adds now and sales will follow later.

If you approach the community building authentically and with some real value, we found that people are open to connection now more than ever. Everyone is at home sheltering in place, want to stay in touch and hungry for relevant, meaningful content. We all have this shared experience of uncertainty about what the future holds and being scared for the health and safety of our loved ones and friends. This common experience we are all sharing has created the space for connection. 

While there is an openness the old rules apply, there is no free lunch. People are savvier than ever to a hollow proposition and smell the inauthenticity from a mile away. Think about the Spotify commercials encouraging you to refinance your mortgage. Make sure the content and any call to action you are posting aligns with the target audience and personalize it if possible. It may be as simple as asking someone how they are doing. We personalize by sending a handwritten thank you card when we mail samples of our product.

The current environment has forced Amari and everyone else to raise their game. The silver lining in all is that if we can figure out models to connect and drive engagement, we and others will crush it once the clouds part. 

Lessons learned
Details matter
- After looking at the website 10,000 times, we overlooked something as simple as the price missing on our product page. Ugh, that was embarrassing, we are selling a product and no one knows how much it costs. That is something we will laugh about in the future. We owe identifying that issue to a phone call from someone we just met. He understood that we have a millions things going on and helped us immensely by pointing out this oversight. This person’s business is farther along than Amari and we hope to learn from each other. 
Community – Start with the one you have. That is where Amari started and continues to build from there.  While supportive, you will get lots of email expressing congrats and kudos. Those responses make you feel great and put some wind in the sails. Think about those “attaboy” responses and respond with an ask that will help the business. We were grateful, said thank you and our ask was offering to mail them some product samples and introduce them to our social media posts. Your situation will be different.
Be Realistic – Startups want to immediately crank up the sales flywheel and grow at ever increasing rates. For young companies, the person to person connection with customers is invaluable. Do not worry about scaling those interactions right now. These days, we feel this is critical and an opportunity to deepen that consumer relationship and gain insight from their perspective. We use hand written notes with our early believers to express our gratitude. As we grow, we will leverage communication with new and repeat customers to understand their “why” behind the purchase. This feedback allows us to better service our customers and create better and better products. This helps Amari build the company story customer by customer.

Continue to Learn - We had high expectations for our email marketing. Based on our click through rates, we need to focus on adding people who are inclined to purchase as our initial send was not as productive as we had hoped. Back in February, we had many people tell us that they were going to purchase product. As we all know, much has changed since then. We’ve developed new tactics for social media that we will implement over the coming week and let you know how it goes.

That is all for this video, please let us know your feedback. Our next post will have some practical tips.
Thank you for watching.  Stay Healthy!

My Background
Prior to Amari, I spent 10+ years working with early stage CPG companies and commercializing technology from a University setting. We leveraged a community-based model that put the best domain experts in the room with our client companies. I was fortunate enough to learn from those experiences and now apply those lessons as an operator. Please reach out to continue the conversation or provide feedback, Eric at AmariBotanicals.com.

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