On the Practical Side…

In this post we share some of the practical steps we’ve taken based on the observations from our product 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.

The previous video talked about some of the observations we’ve made the implications for our company. Here a few practical steps that we’ve implemented. We are guessing you have already realized many of these, but the suggestions are worth mentioning.

Social Media Planning
Our social media planning has gone from a 6-month calendar to 1-2 weeks out due to the fluid environment we are all operating in. Our social media content centers on topics relevant to our product and consumer base keeping in mind what we discussed in the previous video about consumers state of mind and building community.  Our 4 themes are;
•Community and celebrating the people taking care of all of us
•Active vitality & staying active during these times
•Product Testimonials
•Amari’s ingredients & health

An open question for us is when and how Amari transitions away from COVID related messaging back towards more aspirational posts and imaging. We think we’ll see a divergence here of brands that continue to eloquently weave COVID realities into their brand messaging and others that just switch back over to business as usual. We’ll keep a close eye on consumer fatigue around COVID, how society begins to emerge from sheltering in place and of course doing what we feel is right.

Strategically Speaking…
At a high level, our 2020 strategic goals went from…
•Launch 1st product
•Validate & refine customer understanding
•2nd Manufacturing run of 3 SKU’s
We are working on all of those things…
To now our #1 strategic goal is;
•Be Around When the Clouds Part

For those of us in the natural products industry this last bullet is more important than ever.  There was a rising tide of interest in health and wellness before COVID, once we begin to move towards the new normal, my crystal ball is pointing towards that interest in health and wellness increasing rapidly.  If a global pandemic does not encourage this, nothing will.   This has been validated by numerous webinars presenting market data indicating huge growth in supplements and health and wellness products.  If you have not already, we would highly recommend checking out Naturally Boulder and Nutrition Business Journal and the frequent, free webinars they offer.

The key is to be around for that wave.  Make no mistake, there are some headwinds for early stage companies…

As a Founder/CEO, you need to turn over every rock to make sure you have done all that you can to ensure the survival of the business.  That means hours spent sorting through government programs designed to help us endure these times, sitting on hold waiting to talk about debt options with your bank, my personal record is 3 hours and 26 minutes to reach someone at Wells Fargo and reaching out to suppliers and customers just to check in & see how they are doing without asking for anything in return.

The reality is the valley of death just got wider, the startup mountain we are climbing just got higher, feel free to use your metaphor of choice.  Shit just got much more challenging.  Capital efficient will become the new buzzword and that means going farther on less.  Think about how your company can leverage some of the current experience to stretch your limited dollars – do you really need that expensive office space with more people working virtually, where Zoom presents a viable substitute could you reallocate travel budgets, how is your direct sales customer experience, can you scale it up, does your product ship well? Are all things to consider as the world shifts.

Once you’ve accepted the new reality and the impacts it will have on your business, think about counter intuitive measures that can allow you to pull ahead and invest in the future.  Is it training the sales team, developing a new product better suited to our new collective reality, building a stronger digital footprint to drive direct sales, providing greater transparency into how your company is accountable for your stakeholders and their health, or keeping your foot on the marketing gas to carve out a niche under served by the competition?   
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 AmariBotancials.com

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