Scaling Influence with Kettle & Fire

Yaw Aning Headshot

Yaw Aning

Founder & CEO

Jack Meredith

Jack Meredith, Director of Marketing at Kettle & Fire, describes how K&F scaled their business leveraging influencers to tell their story & more.

Twitter: @JVMeredith
Kettle and Fire

Whole Foods. Joe Rogan. Eye of the Tiger.

What do all of these things have in common?

They all have been a part of Kettle and Fire’s journey from selling just three products online to now a leading, venture backed, bone broth provider in major grocers around the entire country.

In this episode, we hear from Jack Meredith, Kettle and Fire’s Director of Marketing, about the challenges and experiences their rapid growth path brought with it.

As marketing hire #1 for Kettle and Fire, Jack has seen it all. You’ll hear how Jack and his team:

  • Built out the initial brand and marketing strategy
  • Created a blog that brings in 300K organic views a month
  • Established a world class influencer & affiliate program
  • Crossed the chasm, going from strictly being on Shopify to expanding nationwide into Whole Foods and other major grocers
  • And so much more!


Episode length: 35:52'

in their words

We’re just obsessive about different customer demographics and different interests. We are heavily invested in creative and landing pages that are specific to these pockets of people that we’ve identified that have a high chance of becoming customers. The more you can craft that message to that specific group of people, you’re going to have much more success.

Jack Meredith, Director of Marketing at Kettle and Fire

Podcast Transcript

Y: Yaw

J: Jack


J: We’re just obsessive about different customer demographics and different interests.

We are heavily invested in creative and landing pages that are specific to these pockets of people that we’ve identified that have a high chance of becoming customers. The more you can craft that message to that specific group of people, you’re going to have much more success.

Y: Hello everyone, and welcome to Touchpoints. A show where we celebrate Direct to Consumer leaders, marketers, and operators that are creating breakout brands in the digital era.

In this series, we take an inside look at how the next generation of consumer brands are being built, the unique experiences brands create to drive customer love and loyalty, and the obstacles they face in scaling their businesses.

I’m Yaw Aning. I’m the co-founder & CEO of Malomo, a shipment tracking platform helping ecommerce brands create experiences that make their customers fall in love.

Today we go inside Kettle and Fire. Kettle and Fire offers bone broth. But not your typical bone broth. The company simmers their grass-fed bones in organic ingredients for a whopping 20+ hours to extract the nutrient rich collagen, proteins and amino acids inside.

As impressive as their simmering times, the company has also been on a growth tear. In August of 2018, they raised $8 million in venture funding.

The company raised another $8 million - just two months later...

They have high hopes that they can create a category leader in the bone broth space. And with the velocity of their growth, their investors believe they can build a $100 million company in 3 years.

But, with lofty expectations come big challenges in getting to that level of scale.

One of those challenges is crossing the chasm from early adopters to mainstream consumers.

In the world of DTC, one of the unique advantages you have in launching a new brand is your ability to find an underserved niche, build a great product and deliver a highly personalized experience for your early customers. But as you grow, everything becomes harder. You must expand that niche and defend against competitors that enter the space.

Eventually, every brand hits a growth wall, and it can come in many different forms. Sometimes your cost of acquisition outpaces your profits. Sometimes you don’t have the right team. Sometimes you must move offline.

For K&F, achieving that scale has forced the brand to rethink its way of doing business.

This journey of scale is what we’re going to cover in today’s episode with Jack Meredith, Kettle & Fire’s Director of Marketing.

We’ll dive deep into their initial brand strategy and their success in fusing content with commerce. We’ll take a look at how they successfully used, and still use, affiliates to tell their story at scale. And then we’ll take you through how they’re crossing the chasm by bucking the D2C route and going into physical retail.

This is the story of how they’ve transitioned from finding pockets of incremental growth to discovering pockets of exponential growth.

J: You know at the time that we launched, bone broth was definitely coming back as like a very trendy health product, but it’s definitely not at the stage that it is now, in terms of just popularity. So what we really started to get going in terms of customer acquisition was identifying where people were already looking for bone broth, so a natural spot for us to start was through Adwords & bing ads as well, just because we were seeing a lot of search volume for bone broth related keywords like “where to buy bone broth” “bone broth benefits” you know “shelf stable, quick and easy bone broth” and so that allowed us to really capture our first set of customers. Just because these people were already aware of the benefits and were already looking for a solution.

Y: A big part of the company’s early strategy was to find demand and simply meet it with an existing product. But a key early insight came directly from their customers. They saw there were a particular set of customers whose lifestyles matched with the products benefits.

J: Really anyone that was practicing or observing any of the major diets that we’re seeing today, whether that’s paleo, auto-immune protocol, keto, just because our bone broths all fit those requirements, and if you’re a shopper that’s very health conscious and you’re trying to adhere to these diet protocols a lot of the times consumers find that it’s very tricky to find products that they enjoy and that are convenient and easy to make as well. We were able to slot ourselves in as the solution to these needs. That helped us out from the get-go, in terms of really, you know, acquiring our early customers.

Y: Once it realized who its target customer was and the lifestyles they lead, the company began creating its marketing strategy around that persona. At the time they launched their first product, bone broth was not a well understood product for health, so it was important for the brand to create educational content to help its customers understand why they needed bone broth.

But, as an early brand, they had no credibility in the market. The company needed a way to short-circuit trust with the consumer. How could they convince a customer to try out a food product bought over the internet from a brand they’d never heard of?

The fastest way they knew to hack that trust was to get someone else to tell their story on their behalf. If they could find influencers who talked a lot about healthy eating, diets, or lifestyles with audiences that already trusted that person, they could leverage those relationships to share the content they were creating with that audience and gain instant credibility.

Simple concept, but I’m sure everyone has played the game telephone as a kid? What started as “I want ice cream” ends up being “You smell like armpits” ...or something weird like that...The bottom line is that the more a story is passed between people, the more likely that story will change. So how to get influencers to share your story the right way successfully?

Jack touches on how they succeeded with influencers, while so many other brands fail. To put it simply, they did everything in their power to make it easy and lucrative for that influencer to work with them.

J: We’ve had a lot of success with affiliate & influencer partners just because we do a lot of the legwork for them. That’s something that we learned pretty early on in the process of like figuring out if affiliate was going to be a channel for us. Is that, a lot of the other brands that offered affiliate programs. From what I saw it was essentially a sign-up form on the site, they’d sign up, maybe someone reaches out with a bunch of materials & their links, and then it’s all up to them to figure everything out. And with affiliates and influencers, especially the ones with very large audiences, they’re involved in a thousand different things, they might even have their own product line that they’re promoting. So to really activate these people, you have to do all the legwork.

What I mean by that is putting together all of their copy and swipe, giving them very specific directions on what they need to do. Basically making it as easy as possible for them to promote you & that was kinda like our leading principal early on, and still is to this day is “how can we make it as easy as possible for them to promote & ultimately how can we make them more money”. And so with those two things, that’s how we’ve been able to scale. I think from the influencer and affiliate side, once you start activating and start working with them in the long term, I think it’s just a huge move in terms of building brand awareness.

Y: These conversations happening about bone broth builds trust and creates a community because most of the comments are about the product benefits and not necessarily Kettle & Fire itself.

J: We still don’t have a member on our marketing team that’s a dedicated brand manager or anything and I think that we’ve been able to skirt by primarily because we’ve had our influencers and affiliates build brand awareness for us. Being able to really tie in their own personal story or experience with our products. They know how to talk about the products and because they actually stand behind the products, which I think is key, they’re really able to build out all these marketing materials and promote to their audience in a very meaningful way where it doesn’t look like it’s coming off as just a “it’s an ad”. And so that's a big thing for us to, we want to make sure that anyone that’s promoting us or working with us absolutely loves our products. If they don’t then it probably doesn’t make sense for either of the parties to continue with the relationship because we want each partner to be all in and really stand behind what we’re doing.

Y: Fusing content and commerce became a core part of the strategy. The content is not just a “here’s something nice to read Mrs. Customer, enjoy”. It’s an extension of the product.

I think a lot of DTC brands fumble over content because it seems like a secondary part of their brand, but in Kettle and Fire’s case, the content is a part of the experience, it’s a part of the product, and it’s a part of the brand.

J: Early on when we were gonna try to figure out “how are we going to acquire new customers beyond just our tried and true channels”, we decided that there was an opportunity from a content and SEO side to capture a lot of the mindshare and top of the funnel awareness traffic for not only keywords that had to do with bone broth, but also a bunch of different topics around health & wellness that we saw an opportunity for us to create really high quality, easy to read content that could help not only educate people searching for any health & wellness topic online, but it also would allow us to capture them and then eventually nurture them and educate them about bone broth and our product lines.

Y: Go take a look at Kettle and Fire’s blog and you’ll soon become well-verse in the ways of bone broth, keto, and healthy living. It’s filled with product benefits, Keto & paleo diet ebooks, customer stories, healthy recipes, all geared towards the individuals who want to create a healthier lifestyle and optimize performance.

The same way the product creates a healthier lifestyle for the Kettle & Fire customer's body, the educational assets do the same for the customer’s mind.

When we asked Jack, “what would be the anthem in their customer’s lives?”

J: Eye of the Tiger is the first song that came to mind. It’s a very motivating song and I think for customers, for them to really jump on the whole bone broth thing, they have to be pretty motivated about their health.

Y: When these values of healthy living and motivation align between Kettle and Fire and their customers, customers turn from one time buyers to brand advocates.

Don’t take my word for it, let’s look at the results. Here’s a stat: the blog alone generates 300,000 organic visits a month.

This didn’t happen overnight though. Jack touches on how his experience before Kettle and Fire allowed him to foster a sense of creativity in finding and testing new proprietary channels. This constant experimentation, searching for new scalable acquisition channels, is paramount to Kettle & Fire’s strategy.

J: Our marketing team especially our early hires, including myself, we came from SaaS marketing backgrounds so marketing software products and 2.5-3 years ago all the rage was around growth marketing and growth hacking. One of the guys that was at the forefront of that was Brian Balfour, and so you can consider him like the king of growth marketing. Early on he would do all of these talks and put together all these presentations that talked about the experimental process & how to implement it. We’re pretty much running a version of that, in the sense that at least once a month we’ll go down the list and go through the backlog of all the ideas that we’ve pulled together over the past quarter and really go 1 by 1 determining which ideas do we want to execute on and which channels do we want to test. It’s not a complete science in the sense that its guesswork, you’re testing things, you want to see if stuff works or not but we’ll usually break it down like: What do we think the impact is, how much resources is this going to take. Is this something we’re going to have to work with our development agency to pull off or is it something that I could set up in an afternoon and then we’re ready to go?

Breaking it down into that to determine at this point in time what are the best experiments or channels to test, that we think are going to potentially unlock a new channel of growth for us. And then we’ll run the tests, we’ll move pretty quickly, it’s become a lot easier over time because we have a creative team in place and we have a lot of resources that maybe we didn’t have in the early days so that allows us to take bigger risks.

And then finally what is the most important thing is doing a full analysis. Looking at what happened, did this work? Did this bomb? If it bombed was it just because it sucked or is there something that we could improve for the next time? And it just becomes an iterative process and that’s really how we’ve stumbled into the channels that are working for us right now. Whether it’s affiliate, or even facebook ads, paid ads, any of the stuff that we’re doing it all started out at a very, very small scale. Just to see if it was gonna work or not.

Y: I mean we all know this, the name of the game is learning. The faster you can create a feedback loop for coming up with an idea, putting it into action, looking for a signal for growth, and either doubling down or scrapping it is the best way to keep your growth engine from stalling out.

Like Jack said, it isn’t rocket science. 90% of your experiments will fail and that’s just the nature of finding novel ways to grow. Starting small and having a simple way to manage the process is what’s most important.

J: I laugh because we’ve gone through a couple of iterations and ways to go about doing it. Right now it’s a culmination of Asana boards which we use for project management and spreadsheets and google slide decks. Typically how we’ll do it is we’ll set up a Kanban board...

Y: Really quick if you didn’t know, a kanban board is simple way to manage a project by using sticky notes and then moving the sticky notes through columns labeled “to-do”, “doing” and “done”. Pretty easy.

J: ...that whether it’s an excel spreadsheet or Asana board what all of our ideas, what's in the backlog, things that are in progress, stuff that’s running, etc. If an experiment or series of experiments warrants a full analysis we’ll usually throw that together in like a google doc or a slide deck to where anyone can look back at that experiment and really understand like what happened. I think information sharing is huge in that regard. I think that’s a challenge that we faced early on that we worked through is as our marketing team grows and there’s so much stuff that repurposeful to other channels, I think that’s pretty key is to share those insights and make sure everyone on our team is aware just because something that might have worked in affiliate channel could be relevant to Facebook ads, so that’s been a key thing for us is always communicate and always have ongoing meetings to where we discuss these learning so everyone knows what’s happening.

Y: We asked Jack to walk through an example of a test they recently ran.

J: Going back to our experimental framework. A couple months back we were looking through all of our opportunities particularly from a paid media front and podcast sponsorships is a channel we want to invest more into. I think we have underinvested up to this point, we've done a couple big podcast sponsorships here and there but we haven't really given it I guess enough resources that it probably needs to see if it's a viable channel for us. And we kind of had a short list of people that we'd like to work with and Joe Rogan was at the top of the list and we kind of looked at it from ‘okay is Joe’s audience going to be interested in our products’. And given the other products that he has talked about on his podcast and particularly the types of guests he has had, at the end of the conversation it just seemed like a no-brainer to us. For one, a lot of the guests on Joes podcast are actually affiliate partners or influencers of kettle and fire so that was an easy connection there. And then after doing a lot of digging through past episodes that he's done, he actually talks about bone broth and how he uses it every day. And so that's what triggered in our heads you know this is a perfect opportunity for us, he's already into the product or bone broth at least maybe not kettle and fire but he's into it.

Basically once we once we identified that this was going to be a good opportunity for us we got in contact with his people and they put together a insertion order, an IO, that sort of list out what it would cost you know what's the audience size and so we wanted to look at all the factors and really come out with some type of forecast to what we think we could achieve with this marketing activity. And the numbers made sense and again it just seemed like a great opportunity for us not only to potentially expose ourselves to new customers but also from purely a brand awareness play there's a lot of value, even though it's an ad obviously but just being able to be on the Joe Rogan podcast and getting that type of exposure is pretty huge.

When we look at the performance from that the number one thing we are going to look at is how many coupon redemptions did we get, how many purchases did we see on the site, but beyond that we're also looking at you know a little lift analysis on our Amazon channel as well just search results too just to see what is the halo effect from being on a podcast with that large of an audience. And you know that translates to retail as well especially with that form in media, too. I mean if I'm in my car listening to Joe Rogan and he talks about this awesome brand it's pretty unlikely that I'm just going to whip out my phone and purchase right there. I'll probably go in a car crash if I did that but there's a good chance that I'll maybe you know next time I'm at the I'm at the grocery store I'm just moseying around just looking for stuff to put in my shopping cart I can come across Kettle and fire and connect the dots say oh s*** you know this is the brand that Joe Rogan was talking about. So I think the halo effect is really important to consider when we're looking at performance across all the online marketing channels.

Y: (chuckling) … I love how humble Jack’s explanation of getting on the Joe Rogan podcast is. Come on Jack! It’s Joe Rogan!!

So up to this point, we’ve talked about how Jack and his team have used influencers, educational content, and their blog to catch the attention of their initial customers base.

With a strong brand strategy in place the company is now moving towards personalization.

One of those areas is segmenting its audience and delivering the right content to each segment to maximize its chances of acquiring and converting new customers. We all know that delivering the right message to the right customer is the holy grail of marketing and Jack outlines some of the strategies they use today.

J: I’d say in the past year, year and a half we’ve definitely done a 180 in terms of how we put together creatives and copy and swipe and all that & I think for a while, we would roll out the same landing page offer or the same funnel, the same everything and it was very benefits driven. Like, “you should drink bone broth because XYZ” and I think that worked really well when we were targeting our early set of customers that there's a good chance they are already aware of bone broth uh at least interested in learning about it, but now as we continue to scale and as we continue to acquire different types of customers, we’re able to understand on a very intimate level what’s driving that purchase and what’s driving their interest, as well, and from that we’re able to build detailed customer profiles, just through the data that we have and just having brainstorming sessions as a team to really identify these different pockets we’re seeing in our customer base. And really doubling down on “why” those people are drinking our products and what are the specific reasons and then incorporating all that back into our creative, all our copy, all our landing pages. And then from a targeting standpoint, it all kinda comes together because now with Facebook Ads we can target people that are interested in the keto diet or looking at affiliate promotions if we know this particular affiliate has a very big keto audience, we want to use this creative vs. an affiliate has more in to you know home cooking and all that we can use a different creative for that. So I think that’s really allowed us to really scale and see a lot of progress be made because the message is matching the consumer that we are targeting. Which I think is pretty important, especially for our line of products.

Y: Scaling a channel has its own complexities. Many brands must make the tough decision of when to build a channel in-house versus hiring from the outside to scale it out.

J: You can get in a very sticky situation if you just look at a channel and be like “Huh, I want to do this” and I just hire an agency to run it, because first of all you don’t even know if that channel works. And I’ve seen that mistake happen multiple times. Going back to our experiment framework, if we have enough service level knowledge on something for us to run it ourselves initially, we’ll tend to do that. And then eventually if the channel does work or if the experiment works, well we’ll eventually hit a breaking point, right? Because I’m a jack of all trades, master of none and thinks it gets to a certain point where it becomes obvious, where it becomes ‘hey this is as far as we can take this channel, we need like someone with expertise that specializes in this, and has done this for a couple years to really take us to the next level”.

Now, if that’s an agency or a full-time hire really it just depends. It can be different for each channel. For email marketing, for instance, I feel like that is something that HAS to be in-house for the most part. Just because there are considerations around the brand. There is a lot of stuff going on in the background that just makes sense in house, but for like an advertising agency, I think that that makes more sense to outsource and find a really great agency for you to work with and see how they can scale it, and then over time you can make a decision to bring them in-house. I mean that’s what we did, we worked with a freelancer for about a year to scale our channel, and then we made the decision “you know what this guy is really good, let’s just hire him full time” So that situation has come about as well.

Y: Once they test and find a channel that works, they figure out how to systematize the process to make it easy to repeat the playbook over and over again to predictably acquire new customers.

J: Once we find a channel that has promise, we’ll do the analysis, we’ll see like “hmm this looks interesting, there might be something here” and at that point that we’ll decide as a team “Ok, we want to double down, what does that look like?” Does that mean more resources? Does that mean we have to systemize some of these processes whether it’s through putting together step by step instructions or do we need to assign one of our virtual assistants to take care of some of the heavy lifting? And then going back to the resources part “is this something promising enough to where we can maybe onboard an agency to help out? That’s the question we come up with a lot. Ultimately, is this something we need to hire for in this role? And that’s happened for us as well. A perfect example would be our affiliate channel. Early on it was just me pretty much figuring it all out, but once we saw how much that channel was growing and how promising the results were, that’s when we made the decision to bring on a full-time partnerships manager to really just dedicate all of their time towards making sure they can continue to scale.

Y: The next challenge on the horizon for Kettle & Fire is figuring out not how to grow 20 or 50% a year, but to 3x, 5x, or 10x their growth.

This type of growth requires a new playbook, and the company thinks it will find that growth doing the opposite of what’s worked up until this point – going offline.

J: We are nationwide in Whole Foods.

Y: With an online store, the company had many advantages that a product leveraging traditional retail did not.

  • For one, you have a treasure trove of data about who every single one of your customers are, what they bought, what they like, how frequently they buy. All of which you can use to target your marketing on a near one-to-one basis
  • Secondly, you have an intimate relationship with the customer where you can talk to them directly and understand their needs and desires
  • Lastly, you have phenomenal margins because you don’t have distribution partners that cut into your profits

You lose all of that when you go into brick and mortar. Why sacrifice all of those advantages?

Let’s hear from Jack.

J: After the first year after we released our first product, we were strictly e-commerce, so all Shopify. Mostly it was through our D2C site, Through that year we started hitting a pretty insane growth curve and we were acquiring a lot of customers, we were able to retain em, and we were starting to work with a lot of bigger affiliate partners. And so yeah, like after a year, I don’t know really how this happened I think what the story was is some buyer at Whole Foods saw us on Instagram randomly and was like “that product looks awesome!” and reached out to us, and that’s how the whole Whole Foods situation got started which I think is extremely rare. Because I think at this stage, remember we didn’t have a sales team at all, like there was no one on the team that was involved with the sales side of things. So I think we had early conversations and it was decided that given the fact that Whole Foods was interested in us & our brand was growing like crazy online that is was worth a shot to at least start testing in their stores.

Just like generally speaking that’s the direction that we’d have to go regardless, just because, being a food product especially, offline purchases still make up the bulk of like retail/food purchases so there’s still only a small segment of purchases being made online through e-commerce for food product. So, if we weren’t to go into retail, I would consider that for us, a huge missed opportunity because groceries stores still exists today and there’s still a lot of people moving through those doors.

Now, yes, you know a purchase made on our main site from like a margins perspective is much better for us, uh but at the end of the day, just because there’s so much foot traffic going through the retails stores and there’s just so many groceries and conventional chains, that’s why we ultimately decided that now is the time to really ride this wave that we are on in terms of just growing out the category and building out brand & making that decision at that time was an easy one. Just because where we were at.

If we didn’t have the presence, the online presence that we did at the time I don’t even think that Whole Foods decision wouldn’t have even been available to be made just because the reason why they were even interesting in us in the first place is they heard about us and they saw everything going on on the online side & so I think that’s where some early stage food brands struggle is how to get into retail when they don’t have a brand presence at all & we got lucky in that we already did at that point. And so also the fact that on our ecommerce side of the business was growing so quickly and we were having so much success, it also gave us flexibility in that decision as well. It wasn’t like Whole Foods or some other retail was like one lifeline that we had. If we didn’t get into Whole Foods at that point in time it wasn’t going to tremendously hurt the business, just because we were already growing on the ecommerce side.

Y: I think you’re seeing this trend play out throughout the consumer space today. Where DTC brands are beginning to build their physical footprint and succeeding because of the awareness and the great customer experiences they were able to deliver online.

J: LIke I said we didn’t have a sales team and we also didn’t have any offline marketing presence at all. We ended up doing like a couple demos and activations during our time of testing with Whole Foods. What was carrying the sales velocity in the early days in Whole Foods was all the digital stuff we were doing. And I think that was kinda feeding off into selling cartons at broth at the Whole Foods in the Regions that we were in.

Y: Jack and his team realized that in order to be a category leader, they needed to cross the chasm and go from their early adopter fanbase to mainstream supporters. The best chance of survival in taking that leap was through retail distribution.

The best question to ask when thinking about growth is “what would have to be true if our sales were 10x as much as they are today?” This may seem like a simple question, but much more difficult in practice. It takes creativity and outside the box thinking to paint the picture of what the future version of your company looks like and then work your way backward.

The move to offline means that Kettle & Fire has to now manage and build two different businesses. They did it once, shouldn’t be too hard to do it again, right? ...right?

Jack talks about some of the new challenges he had to overcome as he ventured into the physical retail world.

J: When we went Nationwide in Whole Foods and started picking up some more chains that was definitely a big talking point was, “does this cannibalize online sales?” “Are people just going to cancel their online subscriptions and go find this at their local grocery store?. While that does happen, yes we will have customers that will cancel their subscription because they can just walk to the Whole Foods or whatever, we haven't really experienced a ton of cannibalization that we originally thought and I think the reason for that is really just retail customer might have different needs than someone that’s buying from us online. When you buy us online you're really getting indoctrinated into our story you're getting all the educational freebies that we're sending out, you’re getting access to all of our new product launches that are taking a while to get to retail stores so I think just from a customer experience angle that I think it's completely different so I think going back to the retail customer a lot of the times that shopper might be in the broth and soup section and they say our packaging and they go “oh this looks really neat” and they pick it up and so that experience is just completely different from someone who's buying from our e-commerce store, so I think that is why that's why we've been able to successfully navigate this and continue growing on both sides of the business.

Y: The thing they will have to grapple with is the brand strategy they built online was an education driven brand, creating an experience that teaches customers about the health benefits of bone broth. It becomes harder to translate that strategy into offline retail when a customer is making a split second decision in an aisle to buy their product.

J: Unfortunately we can't somehow put together a cardboard version of our landing page or blog posts and just have that sitting next to our cartons in the retail section but (Y: Interjections about cardboard cut out and laughter) think what we are going to be investing more resources into is your typical offline initiatives. So doing more demos at the stores, doing more brand activations. Like we just did a really cool activation at the flagship Whole Foods in Austin to where they were highlighting a bunch of like Whole30 and paleo approved products, so they had a little stand set-up right front and center and you were really able to get people to come up and educate them about the products. And so that in the sense is kind of replicating what we are doing online. So doing more of that I think it's key and then I think just beyond that I still know it's hard for us to correlate any data just because no one's figured out how to, I guess, quantify offline purchase behavior with online marketing efforts but I don't think we would have gotten to this point if we didn't have such a high growth e-commerce business. and I think still to this day while there's a lot of shoppers that find us for the first time and buy us just because it looks interesting I think a lot of retail customers either saw an ad or maybe even they even received an email from an influencer or saw something that kinda peaked your interest enough to where they're walking down the aisle and they say Kettle & Fire and they stop and do a second look and then pick it up.

Y: Ecommerce is growing, and growing fast. This industry is moving at a rapid pace, where what worked last week is now in every publication or industry newsletter this week. We asked Jack what would stay the same or what might change if they were launching Kettle & Fire today.

J: From a brand standpoint I don't think our approach would have changed that much I think we've always had a pretty strong brand from the packaging, to our voice and tone, and I think that's been an advantage because we've been able to connect with customers on a very human level. So from a brand standpoint I don't think I would have changed that much. I probably have to rethink about which channels we would start investing in first because the bone broth space has gotten a lot more competitive over time, In the early days we were able to invest a lot in AdWords because it's so cheap and there weren't many other convenient bone broth options out there whereas now it's definitely a lot more competitive. It would definitely require some rethinking just because I feel like the actual Kettle and Fire has really built a strong competitive moat whereas the hypothetical K&F where if it were to enter the market today I do wonder if there'd already be another company at that point that has already built that competitive moat.

I’m Yaw Aning, thanks for listening.


I really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as we did creating it.

Huge thanks to Jack Meredith for sharing his story. You can find out more about Kettle and Fire by visiting Or you can follow Jack @JVMeredith on Twitter.

The Touchpoints series is brought to you by Malomo. A shipment tracking platform that lets retailers create magical moments that drive engagement with customers after they buy.

To learn more about Malomo, go to

The music was created by the amazing James Kennedy.

To listen to other episodes in this series, search for other Brand Disruptor Podcasts on your favorite podcasting app, or visit

Supported Carriers

Fedex logo Usps logo Ups logo 50 graphic for carriers 50 50 px 3