Episode 5: Pura Vida, Create a brand that resonates with your customers to increase your retention

Episode 5 image

Dan Brady, Customer Success Manager at PuraVida, joins Sarah and Mariah to discuss how PuraVida connects with their customers to launch new product lines that stay true to their authenticity as a brand. Dan shares his perspective on how the new IOS privacy updates continuously change their strategic approach towards focusing on their post-purchase data to inform their roadmap. Dan details PuraVida’s very successful brand ambassador program, which is arguably one of the most successful ambassador programs in e-commerce. PuraVida believes in the importance of having a social mission and holding themselves responsible at the corporate level and Dan walks Sarah and Mariah through how PuraVida does exactly that. PuraVida recently updated their returns policy and Dan shares the trends they saw with that change and they might not be what you’d guess, so tune in for all the details. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow Malomo on social media to add your commentary!

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Mariah Parsons, Dan Brady, Sarah Leitz

Mariah Parsons 00:04

Welcome to Retention Chronicles, a podcast sponsored by Malomo, a shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn order tracking from a cost center into a profitable marketing channel. On this week's episode, Dan Brady, one of PuraVida's very own Customer Success Managers, joins Sarah and I, and wow, do we cover a bunch of great stuff in this episode, it's super packed. So Dan first starts off by telling us how PuraVida connects with their customers. And he really dives into why they launched new product lines and are trying different types of things outside of their normal jewelry realm, so stay tuned for that. And he also dives into the importance of authenticity as a brand- and how their very successful brand ambassador program, as well as their social mission and corporate responsibility that PuraVida contributes to greatly- how that all ties into their customer retention and their ultimate care for their customers. We also dive into the new iOS privacy updates, which is very relevant for marketers these days, because everyone's having hurdles, when it comes to that sort of thing, and we really emphasize the importance of post purchase data now more than ever. And we round out the episode by discussing the impact that improving a return and exchange policy can have for a brand and man, oh, man are the results not what you would expect. So with that, let's get started. So hello, and welcome to Retention Chronicles. Today, we are joined by Dan at PuraVida. And thank you so much for joining us, Dan, it is an honor. We would love to have you, you know, first explain your position and your perspective or experience with customer retention and just all about PuraVida.

Dan Brady 01:57

Yeah. Well, thank you so much for the opportunity. I'm very excited to be here. And yeah, I'll just dive right in. So PuraVida, you know, we're a direct to consumer ecommerce brand. And we specialize in jewelry, of course, bracelets is probably our most notable product. And how the company was formed, but 11 years later, and here we are selling everything from jewelry, you know, necklaces, anklets, earrings, rings, and this year has been very exciting for us because we just started selling apparel, backpacks, hats, so we're really expanding our product offerings. And we also opened our first retail store too. So a lot of exciting stuff for PuraVida over this past year.

Mariah Parsons 02:34

That's awesome, yeah. And what would you say, you know, what was that push to expand, you know, past the bracelets, the first submission that you had, you know, why was that- that expansion chosen for, you know, the upcoming years?

Dan Brady 02:49

Yeah, well, you know, I think part of being a good brand and good company is listening to your customers, right. And so I think after we kind of mastered jewelry, and came out with a lot of products that our customers really liked, you know, in the past, PuraVida had tested out swimwear, for example. And like a lot of growing brands, you know, the first time around may not always be as successful as planned. So I think they learned from their previous launch and really kind of dove in this time around, having learned from their experience previously. And yeah, so far, our products have been very well received, people are loving our t-shirts, and hoodies and backpacks, of course, for back to school and whatnot. So it's all about listening to the customer. And I think since we've been able to capitalize on our jewelry success, it was time to kind of mix it up a little bit and launch some items, which of course, has been really good for our average order value and business as a whole.

Mariah Parsons 03:39

That's great. And you know, how, how exactly did you go about listening to your customers? Because I think that's something that you have to really take into account, right, like you said, that's how you grow and how you can really fit your market. So how did PuraVida and you know, your customer success team go about doing so?

Dan Brady 03:56

Yeah, I mean, it's pretty simple, right? The customer is always going to tell us what they're interested in. And we get a lot of DMS and inquiries about, 'hey, when are you launching this product?' or 'have you ever thought about doing this or that?'. And so basically, our job in the Customer Success side of things is to relay that feedback to the product teams for consideration. And I guess the rest is history.

Mariah Parsons 04:16

Yeah, I would say, you know, I'm familiar with the brand myself, as we discussed before this call, but what would you say, you know, why do you think that customers are so willing to share their ideas? Is it something about PuraVida, the brand itself and what you're loyal to as to why, you know, your customers are so passionate about your brand?

Dan Brady 04:36

Yeah, I mean, we definitely try and be very connected to our customers. And we have a great relationship with our customers too, as well. And so yeah, I think just being real, authentic, and transparent and having that open communication with our customers and listening to their feedback, really kind of helps put that into motion.

Sarah Leitz 04:54

So it seems like Dan, you have a lot of really excited super fans and their authenticity has really really worked for you- why do you think it's worked so well for your brand?

Dan Brady 05:03

I think people just like others that are real and authentic, you know. And so I think like you said, we definitely have a lot of super fans and big brand advocates, brand ambassadors. And so I think just being real and transparent with them creates a great relationship for the brand and for our customers.

Sarah Leitz 05:19

Yeah, I mean, you've got two of them on the call right here so I think it's working!

Mariah Parsons 05:22

I know, one thing for me, you know, when- I think it's becoming more and more commonplace to have social causes that back, you know, what a brand is doing? And I know, that's a large aspect of PuraVida and, you know, your your social mission. So if you could, could you explain a little bit about that, and you know, how you think that ties into just customer engagement with your products?

Dan Brady 05:47

Definitely, yeah, I think customers are far more likely to like a brand if they have emotional connections to that. And you mentioned that one of the things that makes PuraVida so unique is the number of charities that we work with. And I think today, we're closing in on $4 million in donations to these various charities. And we do a great job of- Christie, Christie Ryan, I'll give her a shout out, she's kind of the the main person of contact for our charity program, if you will. And, you know, she's constantly listening to suggestions. And so throughout the course of the year, we're constantly introducing new charities that we work with. And of course, a percentage of the proceeds are going back to those charities and for all different types of causes, right. And so I think having that, one, people feel good about their purchases, they know that not only are we supporting over 800 artisans throughout the world, who really make our products. But in addition, we're donating to a lot of different charities that we work with, I want to say it's over 40 now at this point that we've worked with, and again, for all different types of causes. So I think by having that emotional connection, people really just love the brand and it's a great relationship that we have.

Sarah Leitz 06:54

Oh, yeah, it's crazy. I think right before we talked, maybe a couple days ago, I saw a research saying that 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand. If they're, you know, they have causes they're, they're, you know, being cautious of the environment and all that kind of stuff. And I was like, well, that kind of really fits well with what you guys are doing and accomplish. And I know, I know, it's a big part of how I make my decisions, too.

Dan Brady 07:19

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, of course, I think our products are awesome, and very beautiful and stylish, affordable, I can go on. But you know, I think at this day and age businesses have to look at competitive edges. And also- just- not just think about the profits, but think about how they, you know, corporate responsibility and how we can give back. So not only giving to charities, but something that I've been excited about is over the summer, we did release a sustainable shipping option as well, I want to say for like 60 cents, your order can be shipped with far less plastic, and we have a lot of biodegradable stuff as well. So just, you know, again, at this day and age, I think consumers not only care about the products themselves, but they care about the brand, and what is the brand doing to help, you know, sustainable efforts and working with charities. And so it's not only, you know, cute products that are affordable, but of course, it's kind of a feel good connection, which, you know, it's good for our brand and good for our customers.

Mariah Parsons 08:15

Would you say, with sustainability, you know, have you seen just more and more brands kind of hopping on that bandwagon of, oh, this is a mission, you know, we should take on as a company and really, you know, have that effort on their end to make that social push?

Dan Brady 08:32

I think so. Yeah, I think when you look at companies, they're continuing to trend in the right direction. I think this generation has seen you know, firsthand, a lot of the climate changes and some of the things that are a little concerning. So I think companies are really starting to do more in terms of trying to be sustainable. And I know PuraVida for example, we're right now in the process of finalizing our application to become B Corp certified, which is a very big deal. And I think that's something that consumers look into. I think Patagonia is probably the most notable brand that really does a great job with it. I know Allbirds, for example, they make some great sneakers, and a lot of people respect what they do in terms of sustainability efforts and just being responsible from a corporate level. So yeah, I do think that companies are starting to, you know, head in that direction and make those positive changes.

Mariah Parsons 09:17

I definitely think too, you know, hate to bring it up, but COVID I really think there's just been such an influence on people really having the extra time to focus on these issues and prioritizing them more. So I do feel, you know, with all these different social causes that are becoming more and more prevalent, I do think it's becoming increasingly more important to a consumer, when you're trying to you know, find something- if you find something that like you said- $60- or 60 cents difference, you know, you're gonna feel better about that purchase, knowing that at least you're, you're taking steps to help this global cause, whatever, you know, whatever that mission is, and I think that's super super relevant, you know, in this day and age.

Dan Brady 10:03

Yeah, totally agree. I mean, I think, at this time, people are starting to realize even just by making small changes, it adds up over time. And everyone really should do their best on an individual level, and as a company, as on a company level to really do their part to just make these positive changes to, you know, greater impact the world and future generations.

Sarah Leitz 10:24

And I think it talks to the authenticity of your brand, too, that you're doing these things, because you care about it, that you're continually trying to do better at what you're already trying to do and donate more and make things more sustainable. And then it's like, it's not just something that you talk about, you're working really hard to make it a reality too.

Dan Brady 10:43

Yeah, absolutely agreed.

Mariah Parsons 10:45

Yeah. And I think PuraVida is, you know, one of the brand names that I feel like since I've been a customer, you know, in high school, it was always one of those brands that came to mind, even before this was, you know, the social norm of this is, oh, you know, the social impact, it's gonna help with your retention. Sure, but it does go a long way. You know, when you're buying something, and you you know, where it's coming from, it's coming from artisans across the world, and you just feel I think, a little bit more validated, or there's a little bit more honor in that purchase, you know, then not knowing any of the story behind it.

Dan Brady 11:22

Yeah, absolutely. And I think from day one, you know, our co-founders, Paul and Griffin have done a great job. That's really the brand. You know, of course, I think most people know the story, you know, the surf guys went on a trip to Costa Rica, met these local artisans, brought back I want to say 400 bracelets, sold out super quickly. And next thing you know, you know, they're setting these local artisans up with PayPal accounts and email addresses and wiring the money, getting more bracelets. So PuraVida, from day one, has been a feel good story. And the company continues to make efforts and strides to really just build off that and continue to give back to the artisans, the charities, and do what we can to play our part in just making a more sustainable future.

Sarah Leitz 12:05

I think you guys and- I don't know if it was Swell- also started around the same time. And they, they both have that Clean Water Initiative. And I know you guys and them were both at big brands that I was-

Dan Brady 12:16

*Dan holds up his Swell water bottle*

Sarah Leitz 12:17

Yup I know, I had my water bottle with me this week.

Dan Brady 12:21

Seriously, why do you think I bought the Swell water bottle as opposed to all the other types that could have.

Sarah Leitz 12:25

I know.

Dan Brady 12:26

So it might have been a little bit more expensive, but it sure felt good. And I'm definitely satisfied with that purchase, so.

Sarah Leitz 12:32

Exactly. And like, you know, speaking about retention, which was the whole point of the podcast, like I go back and purchase from them over and over again, you guys over and over again. Because I like what you guys do I like the product. And that all is part of the you know, keeping these customers and getting them to purchase over and over again.

Dan Brady 12:50

Yup, absolutely.

Mariah Parsons 12:51

Yeah, I, you know, a story that always resonates. And always it sticks with you, you know, even, even past the initial first purchase. It's just, you know, every time you think about it, it's always great memories. And I think that, you know, as we're speaking to customer retention, it really does increase that engagement. And I can imagine you have seen a bunch of communities as well of people just advocating either organically or a brand ambassador program, of, you know, people taking it upon themselves to vouch for the brand name because they do believe in it so much.

Dan Brady 13:28

Yeah. And just while you touch upon the brand ambassador, I think that's been something that PuraVida is very well known for is we have so many brand ambassadors, and it's just a total win-win on the retention and marketing side where we have people who are such super fans, they want to be ambassadors, you know, they get set up with a promo code. And of course, they basically are helping to generate sales through their marketing, right. And so it's it's very cheap marketing, it's very effective marketing, I think there's numerous studies that show the power of direct referrals from friends and family. And so I think the brand ambassador program has been a big part and kind of a core thing that PuraVida has done for many years that's really helped drive sales and boost popularity when we have these fans who want to be ambassadors. And I love seeing more and more growing brands that are continuing to introduce ambassador programs. I think it's something that, you know, if a brand doesn't have, they should seriously consider because I think it's a great thing on the marketing side.

Mariah Parsons 14:28

Yeah, this is one of the things that we've, you know, constantly been seeing pop up with customer retention is that user generated content. And so, you know, as we even approach Black Friday, I think that's a huge thing, right? So I now I'm like, oh, I have to worry about getting gifts for all my family. And so, I'm trying to ask my friends like, oh, what, what places have you really liked in the past? What do you think, you know, talking to my sister about what we're going to get my brother all those fun things that come around during the holiday time. So with that, I would love to kind of pick your brain about Black Friday and customer retention there to really see, you know, in what ways does PuraVida approach Black Friday? And, you know, maybe if we could discuss different things that you've seen work, I think that would be really, really beneficial.

Dan Brady 15:15

Definitely. Yeah, I mean, I think Black Friday, Cyber Monday is something that is on the back of every company's mind, especially this time of year, and kind of figuring out what strategies may have worked, which may not have worked as well, and just trying to figure out, you know, the best way to get those sales, right. And I think something that's even more relevant this year, compared to years prior is, I think many people are aware of the Apple iOS 14 update, which really has been very difficult for marketers to work with, right, because basically, people are not being tracked as much as they were previously, we don't really have as much pre-purchase information on customers as previously. So especially in years like this, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy has to be carefully considered to make sure you're really maximizing the most out of your marketing efforts, and, of course, getting a good ROI on your marketing spend. So I think one thing, and I can't really give spoilers, but this year, I know PuraVida is going to be having some limited edition products that we're going to be releasing during that time. I think customers have gotten very smart and they understand around that time of year, there's going to be killer sales. And people expect this, this is nothing new. People are just gearing up for it. But aside from just offering really great discounts, I think something companies can consider and should consider is limited edition products that really drive that sense of urgency and get people excited and curious. Steep discounts have kind of become the norm this time of year. And people are happily waiting for that. And that's great, not to discredit that. But I think by having either like limited edition bundles or certain products that can really drive that sense of urgency, I think that's a pretty unique strategy. And like I said, I can't play spoilers, so I can't disclose of what limited edition items we will have this year. But I can say I know last year, we did like Advent gift boxes and so that was a big success. That was limited quantity. And we sold out very quickly. So I think we're going to be doing something like that again this year, and hopefully in more quantity, because I know those flew off the shelves pretty quickly.

Mariah Parsons 17:20

Right? I mean, that's such a creative way to, you know, incorporate the holiday feel. Everyone's super excited, you know, around from Thanksgiving to New Year's, it's just a feel good time. And so I think that's a great, you know, suggestion- is to have that- those unique and time sensitive gifts that you can advertise.

Dan Brady 17:39

Yeah, it's great. If you've been tied in to a certain occasion, then of course, you know, that's very aligned with the holiday season. And I know when brands that I admire come out with limited edition items, I'm very curious and probably more eager and likely to make those types of purchases if I know it could sell out, so.

Sarah Leitz 17:59

Absolutely. And advent calendars are awesome. Last year, I had like three of them. I got one from Costco, that was a wine box. And that was awesome. And like chocolates and yeah, it's great. It's a great idea. And they do sell out super quick. I realized like last year, I think I saw your guys's pretty late in the game and did not get it. So I'll have to mark it on my calendar this year.

Dan Brady 18:22

Yeah, totally.

Mariah Parsons 18:23

That's, that is so awesome. And I do love advent calendars. Just getting different ones. So I'll have to also put it on my calendar. And you know, yeah, right.

Sarah Leitz 18:33

Yeah, he didn't say it's gonna happen this year but just in case.

Mariah Parsons 18:36

Yeah, no spoilers. No, of course not. And you know, so what would you say, taking that momentum that you get during the holiday season? How does PuraVida try and capture that momentum? And really take it through after, you know, Black Friday, Cyber Monday?

Dan Brady 18:52

Yeah, I mean, I think there's a number of things. But you know, once you get the sale, there's so much that goes into retention in the post purchase experience. So one thing that I'm really proud of, for example, is this year, we improved our return and exchange policy. Previously, we had 15 days from the date of purchase. And we've expanded that to 30. So we've doubled the time frame. I think that's really important too, because we want people to be satisfied with their purchase. If you're not we want them to be able to return or exchange it. Yeah, I'm sure we've all had some experiences as consumers where maybe you purchase something if it doesn't fit, you're not crazy about it, or whatever it might be, you know, you want to make sure that you have the right size, the right color and you're satisfied. So by kind of doubling the timeframe for a return and exchange policy, I think that's been a huge thing, just to make sure that the customers are coming back and happy. So I guess the point being I really want to emphasize how important the post purchase experience is. Of course, you know, leading up to the sale, customers might have questions and then we want a good customer experience when they're purchasing hopefully, not too long of a shipping timeframe, I think a lot of companies have felt that with COVID, a little bit of a delays, but how was your post purchase experience? You know, are you giving customers a voice to leave their feedback? Are you giving customers good post purchase experience through returns and exchanges? And yeah, just continuing to foster that relationship with your customers. And, of course, hopefully get them subscribed to your email and text marketing lists. And by doing that, you know, you get a lot of good sales and even sometimes access to early sales as well. So just a big emphasis on the post purchase customer experience, I think.

Mariah Parsons 20:34

Right- I mean, this is exactly, you know, I think where every brand is starting to move and realize with the customer retention, post purchase side of things, because, you know, you get that initial buy, but how do you make sure that with that purchase alone, your customers are happy? And, you know, excited about your brand even but then how do you continue to develop that relationship, right? And, you know, you said you have expanded the return, you know, timeframe that you could, you could return the items. So, I'm curious to hear, you know, the, sure the retention side of things, but with the debate between exchanges and returns, do you think that you know, plays any role into, you know, to allow giving your customers that availability?

Dan Brady 21:20

Yeah, you know, one thing that I just want to comment on, I thought this was so interesting, when we improved the return and exchange policy, naturally, I'm thinking, all right, I'll have to keep an eye on this, we might see an increase in returns. And finance needs to be aware of that, if that happens, what's so interesting is when we actually improve the policy, our returns went down three consecutive months.

Mariah Parsons 21:45

That is fascinating, because I would think the same thing.

Dan Brady 21:48

Yeah, you know, I was thinking, we might see a big influx, and we're gonna have to keep an eye on that and make sure and, you know, when I'm doing my end of month reporting, it was just pretty cool to see that, you know, we stand by our products, as you know, kind of displayed based on this policy and improving it. And the fact that, you know, returns actually went down three consecutive months. I guess it's cliche, but the numbers never lie. And so to me, it just is a good indicator that customers are satisfied with their purchases. And, of course, that's really great to see.

Mariah Parsons 22:20

And do you have a reason as to you know, why you think that is there? Any hypothesis or?

Dan Brady 22:27

Yeah, well, I mean, I think a lot of the jewelry items, to be fair, it is kind of one size fits all, with the exception of rings. So with with that, we do see a number of ring exchanges, which doesn't indicate anything other than it doesn't fit, right. So that's not a matter of being dissatisfied, it's just maybe they didn't get the right size ring. So I think it helps that a lot of the jewelry is one size fits all. And with apparel, of course, that also could be you know, maybe they didn't like the color or the sizing. But I think just making sure that the website has up to date information, a good size guide, and really just having quick customer service that can give you the answers you need. And that pre post- in that- pre purchase, excuse me, experience, I think it's really important to make sure if people have any questions on sizing, hey, will this shrink? Is this intended to be baggy, what's the fit on this, just making sure that you're giving the customers the information they need, in order to make an informed purchase, I think that will of course, tend to drive down the number of returns and or exchanges that you see over x period of time.

Mariah Parsons 23:26

Right, it's all about that, you know, critical communication, of, you know, sharing as much as you can with a customer before they make their purchase. So hopefully, ideally, you know, they don't have to return or exchange, anything like that. And I think the difference between apparel versus jewelry is a super interesting one to note as well, because I think, I don't know if this is actually true, but in my mind, I would think that apparel is- you probably see a higher return rate with that just because jewelry, like you said, is for the most part one size fits all.

Dan Brady 23:58

Yeah, and apparel also is a little bit pricier too. So, you know, we never hope for buyer's remorse, but I'm sure that could be a factor to higher price points. You know, people have to really, really like it. And luckily, people do, you know, the vast majority of the time really, really like it. But of course we stand by our products, if you're not satisfied for whatever reason, even if it's just, you know, financial issues or what have you, then, you know, we're happy to take it back.

Mariah Parsons 24:23

And you know, this also, as, of course, it all pertains to customer retention, right. That's why we're here. But what would you say, you know, have you seen with that relationship that you're able to develop, you know, a customer if they know they can, you know, have 30 days now to return a product? What do you think that does in the customers mind? As, you know, when they're clicking the purchase button, they're able to say like, oh, I have 30 days now, right? I have a bigger buffer to be able to try it on and see probably that you like it, but what do you think in their mind, you know, what does that security do for the long term relationship?

Dan Brady 25:00

Yeah, I mean, I'm sure it's great for the long term relationship. In fact, I've even recommended to like our marketing team, like, hey, you know, are we incorporating this into ads at all? Right, like, we want people to know this, because we want to create that feeling of trust. And, yeah, the trust is the biggest thing. So it's even something I've suggested to Marketing. And I think it's very important to have that trust from the consumers. And I think it just makes them a lot more confident when they are making purchases. You know, I think there's a number of brands Costco is like notorious for their return policy, they take back, essentially anything, and it just makes people that are much more comfortable when they're going to shop there. So yeah, I think that having that trust with our customers really makes for a positive relationship with them.

Mariah Parsons 25:44

And what would you say, you know, what was the response of your marketing team to say, like, oh, like maybe putting this in ads, and having that, you know, tie into the brand image that you guys are putting out there?

Dan Brady 25:54

Yeah, they were very excited about that. They wanted to test it out and see how it impacted ads immediately. So I think within the same day of me letting them know, like the suggestion, they pretty much implemented it, and it seems to be working. So I know, they were pretty stoked on it, as was I and it's something we want to be proud of, and something we want to broadcast to customers and prospective customers as well.

Mariah Parsons 26:17

That's awesome. What a great team to just immediately put it out there, you know. So we've already mentioned the user generated content and a lot of those aspects. So we briefly touched upon it, but customer support, and that side of the post purchase experience. So what would you say, you know, as your support, what benefits does that provide your customers with?

Dan Brady 26:40

Yeah, I mean, it's hugely important, I think customer experience continues to be something that customers really take into consideration when they're purchasing from a brand, right, they want timely responses, they want the resolution resolved, ideally, in one contact, they want their preferred channels too so you know, PuraVida is a good case study, because we have over 2 million followers on social and our target demographic is 18 to 24 year olds. And so for example, we handle a lot of Instagram direct messages. Now, that might be something if you're working with older, more historical brands, they might not support that channel. But we think it's largely important to offer that preferred channel for the customers and making sure that, you know, we're giving customers the right avenue to reach out for support with whatever's convenient for them. And so I think just by having good first response times, resolving their inquiries in the first contact, and preventing all the back and forth, offering various channels and avenues, where customers can contact us, I think, and of course, just making sure that, you know, we're giving good CSAT scores and providing good service and really listening to the customers offering empathy and good resolutions. It's hugely important because there are a lot of other jewelry brands that people can purchase from and customer service is a differentiator, that's something to be considered for customers. So we take it very seriously. And it's something that we monitor on a regular basis. And, well, you know, the vast majority of people who we work with and interact with are very satisfied. When people are not satisfied you know, we want to know why. And we want to make it right, and we're having people follow up and try and, you know, recover that interaction. So it's very important.

Mariah Parsons 28:22

And that's, you know, one thing also that I think, goes a long way and in your intentionality, is making sure that you know, your customers, happy or not, do feel heard, because I think that's something you know, maybe the product that they specifically got wasn't for them. But if you can communicate that with them and hear them out, I think that also goes into retention, you know, you don't know, maybe a year down the line, they see something, maybe the limited edition Advent calendar, and they're like, wow, I want to purchase that product now. It's part of that relationship, you know, that doesn't go away.

Dan Brady 28:58

Yeah, definitely. So yeah, we have a great relationship with our customers, and we want them to know that we genuinely care and we're here for them and, and just, you know, maintain that great relationship. So they know when they purchase from PuraVida, if they have any questions, concerns, you know, we're there for them. And, yeah.

Mariah Parsons 29:17

And part of that, too, is knowing your audience, right? What- this comes up multiple times is, you know, you said your target audience is that 18 to 24 year old, so knowing that most of them are going to be on Instagram, and that'll be pretty easy to, you know, answer those support inquiries is a great thing for a brand to have, just that awareness alone.

Dan Brady 29:36

Yeah, absolutely. And while we do have a lot of younger clients, we do also have a lot of grandparents who love to purchase for their grandchildren. And that of course, is a little bit different in terms of how their preferred communication channels and their questions and inquiries and what have you, but we love all our customers the same. We're happy to support them regardless of their demographic.

Mariah Parsons 29:57

That's- that is a great point, love that. I could definitely see where that comes into play. And I would assume that it would be the traditional, you know, like support chat widgets or emails for that demographic.

Dan Brady 30:10

Yeah, the older demographic, in my opinion tends to prefer live interactions and having their answers answered in live time. So I think you're onto something with the live chat being pretty popular.

Mariah Parsons 30:19

Right, yeah. And I've seen that more and more, just as brands are continuing to grow. And, you know, so I would love to also this, I think, could really encapsulate everything that we've been talking about. But just, if you could, you know, in your opinion, why do you think that customer retention is one of the must haves for when you're approaching your strategy for you know, the upcoming years?

Dan Brady 30:42

Well, as we mentioned a little bit earlier on the podcast, with the changes that Apple has implemented with iOS 14, it's really huge for businesses, now the cost of acquiring customers is much higher, and a lot more of a struggle from what I understand. So I think it's like you, like, companies pay so much money to acquire the set customers, once you get them in the door, we don't want someone purchasing just one time, right, we want them coming back for more and more. And so I think retention is as important as ever, because the cost of marketing is tending to go up, especially on the digital side of things. So once we get a customer, the goal isn't, hey, we acquire this customer, it's, hey, we want this customer coming back, we want this customer spending more next time around, we want their average order value to be higher, we want this person, you know, referring their friends and family to shop at PuraVida, and you know, kind of getting some free marketing in that aspect. So I think it's hugely important, with this change that Apple made, it's really been a pain in the butt for a lot of marketers and costs are rising. So once you get the customer, you know, we don't want one time purchasers, we want people who become fiercely loyal and referring their friends and family. And I think companies realize that and they're doing what they can to hopefully get as many repeat purchasers as possible.

Mariah Parsons 31:59

And I think too, with those privacy data changes, that's really where that post purchase data comes into play as well. Because, you know, this might be the only one of the only avenues that brands have to analyze, you know, what their customers are engaging with, how long are they checking tracking pages, and how long are they staying on and engaging with other products, you know, that are in front of them. So I do think it's gonna be very interesting a year down the line or two to see what the common trends have been coming out of this, because it's very recent with the privacy changes.

Dan Brady 32:32

You're totally right. You know, now we don't really have the benefit of knowing anything about people before they purchase. So once we have that data in the post purchase, we want to analyze it, see what demographics were performing well, and which ones were not. Or maybe there's some room for improvement. And something that I really liked too that we do in our post purchase experience is also asking the customers hey, where did you hear about us from? And there's an option of about 10 different things like, TikTok, Snapchat, you know, and, and we want to know exactly who referred you, how did you hear about us? And that is carefully considered as well. So yeah, it's really important to make sure that we have as much post purchase data as possible, because at this time, we don't really have a whole lot in the pre purchase data.

Mariah Parsons 33:17

And you know, you mentioned the demographics, you don't have to share, if you know, that's one of your secrets. But what demographics do you look for specifically, on those- on that post purchase side of things?

Dan Brady 33:29

You know, if I knew I'd be happy to share with you, but I just stick to trying to keep our customers happy. I'm not as ingrained in the marketing side of things. So I'd be lying if I knew I'm just speculating. But that's really a better question for our Marketing team, I guess

Mariah Parsons 33:43

We'll have to follow up with them.

Dan Brady 33:44


Mariah Parsons 33:47

That is yes, that is totally fair. And I respect that honesty. And, you know, one thing that we like to close out with is, you know, what's one random piece of advice that you know, you'd like to carry through you, as you're constantly learning in the customer success side of things and all about retention? You know, what would be one piece of advice that you'd share?

Dan Brady 34:06

I guess as far as retention is concerned, I think one piece of advice I would have is let the customers do the marketing for you. Right? So we talked about all the changes with Apple and that. So really, just, if you have your customers doing the marketing for you, and they're referring their friends and family, one that tends to be far cheaper. And two, you know, people tend to listen to their friends and family a lot more than scrolling through Instagram and seeing an ad from a company. You know, people feel much more comfortable when they have direct referrals. So I guess my advice would be really just do everything you can to make your customers become huge brand advocates and big ambassadors for your brand. Let them do the marketing for you because it's far cheaper and far more effective.

Mariah Parsons 34:53

Yes, I love that.

Sarah Leitz 34:55

I know I love that. I think it's so true if you just focus on making really happy customers. Happy customers will tell a lot of other people.

Dan Brady 35:03

Exactly. And so I think that's something that our brand has done really well over the years is with our brand ambassador program. We have 1000s and 1000s of people who are just huge fans of ours, and they're happy to offer discounts and refer friends and family and it's a total win-win. You know, these ambassadors, of course, are getting a portion of the sales. We're bringing in tons of new customers through that avenue. And yeah, it's it's really a win-win win for all three parties. And you don't always see that in sales and marketing, so.

Mariah Parsons 35:32

Yeah, I would say PuraVida honestly has one of the strongest brand ambassador programs that I'm aware of. So I'd say it's working very well.

Dan Brady 35:39

I'll give a big shout out to our brand ambassador Kelly, who oversees that program. She's been with PuraVida for over five years now. And she really has done an outstanding job with that. So Kelly, if you're listening, big shout out to you. You've done a heck of a job with that. And huge kudos to you.

Mariah Parsons 35:55

Go, Kelly. Well, Dan, this has been so awesome. And so much great insight. So thank you for taking the time, you know, to share everything with us and you know, just really pumped about the holiday season and customer retention.

Dan Brady 36:11

Yeah. Well, thank you for having me on. It was a pleasure. I really enjoyed our conversation. And I hope that any listeners get some good pieces of information from this.

Mariah Parsons 36:19

I hope so too, we'll have to let you know, you know in the comments.

Sarah Leitz 36:23

I'm sure they will. Thanks so much, Dan. It was great meeting you.

Dan Brady 36:26

You're very welcome. Thanks so much.

Mariah Parsons 36:32

This episode is definitely a goldmine for facts. So here we go. PuraVida has donated 3.8 million to over 200 charities that they partner with. And they also support over 800 artisans. Dan mentioned this in the episodes so just wanted to recap that fact. This is all published on PuraVida's website, so I encourage you to go check it out. The next is from Sarah, where she speaks to the marketingdive.com article that states 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand if they have causes and if they are being cautious of the environment. We also discussed the sustainable shipping option that PuraVida offers its customers for an added 60 cents, they can use less plastic in their shipping. We also discussed how PuraVida doubled their timeframe to be a 30 day return process instead of 15 days. And this is something that I found really interesting because I don't know much about the B Corp certified space. But as Dan mentioned, PuraVida is in the process of becoming B Corp certified. And what this means is that they'll soon be part of this new type of business that balances both having a purpose and a profit. And so as Dan notes, he mentions Patagonia as well as Allbirds as being very- as being B Corp certified. But then I found it super interesting that other brands like Ben and Jerry's and Bombas and Swell, of course, including so many more, were also B Corp certified. And I think that's just a great initiative. Dan and Sarah also bond over both of them having their Swells quite literally next to them while we were recording this podcast, and I have to admit mine was sitting in the kitchen. So shout out to Swell and all the companies that are taking it upon themselves to have a social mission. In addition to their business, Dan speaks to the very successful brand ambassador program that PuraVida has. And so I wanted to note some of their well-known ambassadors like Charlie D'Amelio and Madison Bailey, as being some of their celebrity ambassadors. We also briefly mentioned the power of family and friends when it comes to recommending products. And so I found a quick stat on that, after the episode where Jay Baer and Daniel Lemon found in 2018, that word of mouth marketing is directly responsible for 19% of purchases and influences as much as 90%. So there are other studies that I found that had very similar results, but this was the most recent. And here is our last fact for you today. But PuraVida change their return policy, and they saw their numbers go down for three consecutive months, which is not instinctive when you think about giving people more time to make returns, but it is very telling of PuraVida's product and their customer satisfaction. So I think with that all combined, that's just maybe an incentive to always think about change and really not knowing how things can change until you actually do them and try it out. So with that, that is the end of our fact check. We hope you enjoyed this episode. And as always, subscribe and comment on social media, follow us!