S4 E22: Developing different customer personas for a DTC health & wellness brand with Ryan Gresh (Founder & CEO, The Feel Good Lab)


Ryan Gresh, Founder & CEO of The Feel Good Lab, joins Retention Chronicles to discuss his journey in creating a natural pain relief cream to help their customers feel good and soothe chronic pain.

If you’ve ever experienced searing pain, you know that the one thing you want is for that pain to be gone. But, common over the counter medicines, such as NSAIDs, are bad for your GI health if taken for long periods of time. That’s why Ryan and his father founded The Feel Good Lab to help people find hope through their products.

One of the things Ryan wanted to guarantee with their customers was that their solution had credibility and was FDA backed.

On the business side of things, Ryan talks about how the AOV is low for their pain relief cream because it’s a commoditized product, which can be hard to break even on. Which is why customer retention and the lifetime value of their business is so essential. Where The Feel Good Lab team wins is with their LTV and credibility with their customers. Their customers fall in love with the brand, and come back time and time again for that reason.

But not only do they fall in love with The Feel Good Lab brand, but the educational resources they provide. They educate their customers on the best way to use their products, such as right after a steaming shower because the product will absorb better.

Ryan also tells Mariah about how they make their packaging standout because none of their competitors were using clean, white packaging.

Knowing one’s ideal customer profile (ICP) is essential for accurate and successful marketing. Ryan dives deep into the 3 ICPs their 3 products market best with. It’s an interesting dynamic between the age groups and goals of their three customer profiles that you won’t want to miss out on.

Episode Timestamps:

  • Chronic pain relief and the importance of hope. 1:13

  • Branding and marketing strategies for a direct-to-consumer wellness brand. 5:44

  • Building a successful brand through customer service and authenticity. 10:11

  • Customer service, product development, and branding. 16:12

  • Product development and packaging design. 19:47

  • Pain relief and natural remedies. 22:24

  • Wellness, pain management, and education. 28:36

  • Targeting different customer personas for a health and wellness brand. 33:43

  • Social media marketing for a wellness brand. 38:18

  • Marketing strategies for a health and wellness company. 42:39

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This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.


product, pain, customer, brand, talking, inflammation, delivering, body, good, wellness, social media, work, day, marketing, opioids, education, people, amazon, dad, dealing


Mariah Parsons, Ryan Gresh

Mariah Parsons 00:04

Hi there, I'm Mariah Parsons, your host of retention Chronicles, ecommerce brands are starting to shift their strategy to focus on retention in the customer experience. And so we've decided to reach out to top DC brands and dive deeper into their tactics and challenges. But here's the thing, we love going on tangents. And so with our guests, you'll often find us talking about the latest trends, as well as any and all things in the Shopify ecosystem. So go ahead and start that workout or go on that walk and tune in as we chat with the leading minds in the space retention Chronicles is sponsored by Malomo. A shipment in order tracking platform, improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our other episodes at go. malomo.com. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to retention Chronicles. Ryan, thank you so much for joining us today. Super excited for this episode, I'm gonna kick it off to you to give yourself an intro give us a background on the feelgood lab. For our listeners who might not be familiar with y'all. Sure,

Ryan Gresh 01:13

yes, I'm Ryan grush, founder and CEO of the field lab. But I like to give all the credit to my dad. He's the brains of the operation. So I actually used to be an aerospace engineer in the field elevens and wellness business. And really, the transition happened when I was at home at dinner and my dad who's a pharmacist, and he's been practicing for 30 years in our local community, he told me a story about a product he developed at the pharmacy that was just getting amazing results. And so this particular instance was a patient called back in tears, because it was the first thing that had ever worked for her chronic pain. And it happened to be an all natural formula that he had made in the pharmacy. And so I said right then and there, I said, Dad, we got to bring this out to the world. And that's where the feel good lab was created. Now I like to say we're going to be a six year overnight success, because it certainly hasn't been easy. I thought having a great product was table stakes, like, Hey, we got a great product, it's gonna sell fly off the shelves, you know, you need a great product, especially if it's treating pain. I mean, if it doesn't work, trust me, they will let you know. But a lot of the challenges are distribution, sales, marketing, things that we'll probably get into on this podcast. And so you know, we were going to be a six year overnight success. Like I said, we've got a lot of great things going on with the business, but our core stays the same. It's all about what my dad does at the pharmacy, which is helping people improve their wellness, we don't want pain relievers that make us sick, you know, opioids, we know the the really serious side effects of them. But a lot of people don't realize that if you're in chronic pain, and you take non steroidal anti inflammatories, like Advil every single day, those side effects actually stack up as well. And they're really bad for your GI tract. So, you know, we're really about healthy pain relief. It needs to work, but also we want to reduce those side effects.

Mariah Parsons 02:52

Yeah, I love it. I love this office. And so my mother, she's a nurse practitioner, so very familiar with the health care system. And my sister is data analyst. So in our we actually studied neuroscience was considering that's cool for a bit, but I wanted, you know, the more difficult 95 route. And we were talking on this call that I'm currently dealing with some chronic pain. And so it's very, very, very, I like to say like simulation that we get to talk today because it's very relevant. But I think it's so awesome that you had that one patient come into your your dad's office and finally got the relief that I believe you said she who Yeah, yes, that she had been craving and wanting. And NSAIDs, like you said, can have a lot of issues within your body once you're taking them chronically, or for long term. And one of the things that you had said before we hopped on this call was your quote, at the top of the call I'd like you to do you know which one I'm referencing I say

Ryan Gresh 04:03

every day, it's you know, a rich person wants 10,000 things, but a sick person only wants one. It's from Confucius, like all the way back right? And really, and you're dealing with it right now unfortunately, like when you have a flare up in your neck pain or back pain, you can't think about anything else. And so what our brand is really trying to do and when we're dealing with patients in chronic pain, most of them have had this for years, if not decades. So they've lost hope. And our job as a brand. First and foremost is to give them hope I used to be petrified about the placebo effect. We know our product works. We have 1000s of reviews, we've done some a little bit of data, but even without that I used to be people would say Oh, it's nothing but the placebo effect. Well, first of all, even if it's the placebo effect, and we're making if it were exact on people's lives, like I'm totally okay with that. But now I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a big believer that whether you think you can or you can Can't, you're often right. So when you're somebody who doesn't think anything will work, and I don't blame our demographic for feeling that way, because for a decade, they've tried and nothing has worked. Some of it may be as a band aid. But like you said, if you take that band aid, and it's not addressing the root cause, and you're using it over and over again, while the efficacy goes down, the side effects go up. And so no longer does the band aid work. So we're really about helping people find hope, through our products, now we need our products to work, but we can educate them, and give them a better chance to succeed when we make the customer feel heard when we make them feel understood. And so there's a lot of things we do with our brand, and our packaging, and our emails and our messaging that are so important in that journey.

Mariah Parsons 05:44

Oh, I want to dive into that. For sure. Because I love talking about branding. And obviously what you're trying to deliver to your customers, especially in such a not sentimental, but a very sensitive, I guess part of someone's life like it's your well being right. That's the route. That's the closest I feel like you can get to a customer between a brand and the customer. So I definitely want to dive into that. But I want to pause before we do so. Because I want to know, first, where did you get the inspiration for the name the field get lab?

Ryan Gresh 06:17


Mariah Parsons 06:19

I wanted to ask that

Ryan Gresh 06:20

Simon Sinek. He's got, he's got an amazing TED Talk. It's either like start with Y or the power of y. But if you look him up in search, why you're gonna see it. And ultimately, I'm gonna butcher this a bit. He does such an eloquent job in his 10 minute TED Talk. But the most amazing brands on the planet, they lead with the why. So his example is, you know, if Apple said, we make these computers, and they've got XYZ processor, and they work really great. You want to buy one, like starting with what it is, it doesn't work. Instead, Apple says like we challenge the status quo and make things for these New Age Creators and people that think differently. The why. Then they say like, Hey, here's some of the specs, and we happen to make these great computers. So we look convenient, right? Yeah, totally. So we did the same thing. We kind of looked at, like, you know, what, how and why. And the why is ultimately that, you know, people just want to feel good. And ultimately, the body naturally feels good, right? I mean, we're, we're intended to feel good when we're functioning properly. And so the goal of our brand, is to just help people to get back there. You know, feeling good for people is different for a lot of our customers, it's just playing with their grandkids or gardening, or just being able to do the simple things. But then we also have a demographic of athletes we work with, that want to be able to perform optimally and recover in those sort of things. So, you know, the brand is all about you see, like, you know, if you're watching, you know, I just have the word feel good. Kind of, yeah, love it just hovering around my shirt. But that's the ethos of what we do. We just want to help people feel good. I

Mariah Parsons 07:54

love it. Okay, thank you. And then I also wanted to talk about one of the points that you made was, you thought a good product was kind of like bare minimum table stakes to be able to build a brand. Also ironic, just because we were talking about the limited supply episode that dropped this morning, October 18. And they said, like, I think I can't remember if it was, I think it was Nick. But he had said, like, I used to think it was a good product, right. And then he's like, You need all this other stuff before you launch.

Ryan Gresh 08:25

Yeah. And actually, I think it was moist because he said, You know, I don't even think you need a good product. He said when I launched native, it wasn't a good product. We made it a good product. Okay, that's right. And there's initial stages. Yeah, totally. Right. Now, we were fortunate that we had this amazing product, and we thought just right away like it was going to take off. That's just not how it works. And really, marketing is like the name of the game for direct to consumer brands. And so, yes, like I said, like in our category, if you have a pain reliever that doesn't work, you people will let you know, especially if you're premium. So you know, we're priced a little bit more than the ICF and the Biofreeze of our category. So customers are not going to pay that premium unless you bring something to the table now obviously we have clean natural functional ingredients that they don't but if it doesn't work, it doesn't matter. Those are like we launched and this is what's funny, right? We launched we said oh my goodness like people were the natural pain reliever people are gonna buy it's just because it's natural. That is so far from the truth. People buy us now because it works it being natural unless side effects are a secondary benefit and they're so far down the totem pole of what's important to them because there's there's a reason why they take Advil and ibuprofen every day that does work I take it sometimes to if I get a headache I'm not anti Advil, ibuprofen The thing is you don't want to take it every day. Yeah, cuz it's not gonna work as well as it should if you are using it all the time. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 09:47

your tolerance for it just goes yeah, up and up. Okay, love that. I think before we talk about the branding, let's dive into the marketing learnings that you had because you said marketing is the name of the game for DTC. So when you started kind of catching on to that of like, okay, now we do have a good product. Fortunately, it does work. Natural ingredients are a bonus. Where did you first dedicate your energy?

Ryan Gresh 10:14

It was Amazon at first. I mean, Amazon is the greatest because they're the 800 pound gorilla. And I'll talk about the challenges with them. But you know, you have consumers that are looking to purchase. It's not like Google where like, they want to learn about a topic like they're looking to buy, if they're searching for it on Amazon, and they got the credit card in there, the checkout flow is so streamlined. So we did a lot of of our business building on Amazon. And what's funny is, so at the time, we launched, I was still part time on the business. So I was still an aerospace engineer doing that. And my partners and I quit our jobs, I remember this like it was yesterday was a Friday, we go out, we're celebrating we're choosing, you know, a beer and a glass of wine, or never forget. And as we cheers to celebrate quitting our jobs, we get an alert that we were kicked off of Amazon. Oh, and it took us two months to get back on. So like the entire business 90% of our revenue was on Amazon, completely gone. And the reason is, is first of all, there's such a big, you know, giant that they they can't look individually at different brands. So they'll have different bots and systems that scrape through for different claims and other things. And we're an FDA approved drug to make claims against arthritis, back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, et cetera. But they don't know that. I mean, we've submitted the documentation, but you know, they're bought didn't know that there's only so much yeah, so they see us as a supplement talking about arthritis, and they kick us off. And it just, you know, unless you know somebody there, if anybody who does work on Amazon knows how challenging it is to get anything done. So then next thing you know, two months later, we get back on now Amazon, still a big part of our business, but we learned an important lesson, we cannot just rely on the Amazon machine. So now we've pretty much got a third split between our website, Amazon. And then we also do really well on QVC. So QVC is has been an amazing channel for me, because I get seven minutes to tell my story. But more important than that, what I've learned, so the biggest key and I think this was maybe where you were gonna go with the marketing question like, if in our category, if we don't have credibility, we have nothing. I told you like our customer, we call her battling Barbara, she's had chronic pain for over a decade, nothing has worked for her. So in order to give her hope, you know, I'm pretty passionate. And people do trust me. But honestly, like, you're not going to trust the guy that runs the brand. You're not

Mariah Parsons 12:35

right, you you have just a little bit of an extra incentive. Yeah, doesn't

Ryan Gresh 12:38

matter, right. So I need to find those people that you do trust that can be authentic, and also share in my storytelling. And that's what happened on QVC. I've done over 20 times, not every time has been a success. But I'll tell you every time that we have not been successful, it's because the host didn't believe. And you can tell the host that really fell in love with the product and genuinely used it. I mean, we would sell out pretty much. So wow, that's the key is that credibility. And so we're trying to leverage that in kind of what we do going forward, it's hard to just run paid ads in our category, our average order value is low, because we have a commoditized product, you can go get Biofreeze and ICL for $12 at Target and Walmart, right. So when you have a low average order value, but you need a lot of credibility, that just means that it's going to be hard for you to break even, you know, we can win on lifetime value, and we do but it's a cash flow game, then. So really what we're looking for is ways that we can leverage credibility and people that believe in us, and really, you know, are part of this whole wellness journey of understanding that nature is medicine. And if they can tell their audience about what we're doing, it can just be a much easier way to acquire the right type of customer for us. Oh, I

Mariah Parsons 13:49

love that. Okay, so, right when you said like the host, you know, you can kind of tell like, make or break if they're believing in the product. And that correlates to if you're selling out versus not. Would you say like in my mind, right, it went right to like UGC, but for cable. Right. So is getting the authenticity of your brand across getting the, I guess. Yeah, the trust established between customers has it been once someone like, someone buys with you all, and then they're sharing reviews? Or they're sharing on their platform? What's the process there of like, getting that customer to share their experience and then amplifying that to hopefully get other? acquire other customers?

Ryan Gresh 14:45

I would say the superpower that we have, and I don't know how scalable it is, but I hope it is because I genuinely want to do this forever. If we were a billion dollar brand like the guys we compete against, right? I want to do the customer service. I actually love it. The cool thing is I would this This is gonna sound crazy, but I can't even think of an instance where it's not true. Every single customer that's called most customers call you not to tell you how great you are. Now, I do have some handwritten notes here from people that say we've changed their life, and I have a handful desk. It's amazing. But most people calling me are because something's wrong, whether the product didn't work, the order got messed up, every single customer, by the end of that experience, they may still return the product. But they become a raving fan of the brand. So maybe it didn't work for them. But I let them keep it to give to somebody else in their life and pain. And they understand that we aren't just one of the big conglomerates that, you know, yes, we're out here to make a profit. But they they hear my story about my dad, they, they feel that I really care for them, because they do. And so I'm able to take that experience, and really make us like no other brand in the space they've ever dealt with. And that's our superpower. And so, you know, what we're often doing is throwing in free samples in their, in their second time order and writing handwritten notes to them, saying, Hey, thank you so much for your second, your third order, we're giving you a couple of free samples to give to people in your life. Because if this is working for you, we'd love you to share the gift of pain relief with other people. Right? And unfortunately, everybody experiences pain. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 16:11

in some way, shape or form at some point. Yeah. So it makes us all human. Right, it brings us back down. But yeah, it's a it's something that I think when it connects us all, I think that's awesome with the, I guess the practice that you have have, even if a customer, the product isn't working for them, keeping the product and then sharing it with others. And I think that's something that just through this podcast and through interacting with other founders. I've and you know, being a consumer myself, of course, seeing the difference of your affinity for a brand, just like you mentioned, where if someone says, Okay, we understand it didn't work for you. But we still have faith in the product, like, please share it with someone else, see if they can, if they can benefit. And then we'll issue you you your return. It's exactly what you said, like you fall in love with the brand, even if you the product isn't exactly right for you. And I know you all have a couple of different products. So even who's to say right, if like, one specific product doesn't work for someone that they wouldn't be a repeat purchaser for, like through your brand for a different product right in because they're still staying connected to you all because of, you know, getting to chat with you and you helping them through maybe a frustrating experience to turn that frustrating experience into a good one with your brand.

Ryan Gresh 17:43

Exactly. The other big thing to the reason why I want to do the customer service like one is to help people. But two is you have no idea. I told you early like we thought people just wanted a natural pain reliever. Well guess what? I actually know what people want now, because I listen to them every day. So we take their words, you know, first of all, I'm a 36 year old guy that's relatively healthy. Most of my customers are 50 to 60 year old women. So who am I? And I'm not in chronic pain. So who am I to try to put my language into our marketing that's going to resonate with them? I try my best. And you know, it's every marketers dilemma. But now I know, I take her language. I've tried everything. Right. I just want more good days. So those are some of the things that we use in our marketing. I didn't come up with them. I just heard him like 10 times over and I'm like, wait a minute, there's something here. They keep saying the same thing over and over again.

Mariah Parsons 18:37

Oh, wow. Okay, I love that you take. Yeah, I love that you take the exact words from your customers and use that in your marketing. I think there's a lot for our listeners to dive in there. I'm going to take us to carry out the conversation that you mentioned with because we're talking all about the customer experience and making sure that it's always a good interaction with your brand no matter what their experiences with the product. So I want to talk about how that also fulfills the like packaging and the branding side of things. Because I think I think there's a lot of value in branding and I think anyone would understand that but I always love getting a founders takes on trying to qualify and quantify and explain the pack the the impact of packaging and branding and everything else that kind of surrounds a product

Ryan Gresh 19:36

totally And what's funny is you know as I sit here in my office up on my shelf, I have all the iterations of our packaging. Yeah, cuz the all the different colors because just it's changed drastically. But one thing is consistent is we've always understood that we wanted to create an experience wanted our brand to be based in experience. And the second thing we always understood is we needed to educate. So even when you receive the product as an example peat, most people don't know this, anything you want to get absorbed through the skin, if you actually use it right out of the shower, it's going to absorb over 10 times better. People often are like, Oh, the pores are open, well, that does increase the surface area. But things that actually go through the skin don't go through the pores, right? So it's the warmth, it's the moisture, it's the cleanliness, those things are game changing, if you ever put a body lotion on right out of the shower, you can feel the difference. So we educate our customer in ways that they can make our product work better. Now, a lot of the other products on the shelf, you wouldn't want those ingredients to get absorbed. So it doesn't necessarily benefit that we're pretty much the only company I know of that actually has that educational piece. So the other thing that that education does is it creates an experience. So now, when you get out of the shower, it's that point in your day, whether you're an athlete, or you're in chronic pain, that you're triggered to say, oh, I need to put on my feel good lab cream. And you get, you know, this amazing sensation, the product absorbs really nice, you get a subtle, subtle, subtle cooling sensation, it kind of tells you that it's working, but it's really those other ingredients that are absorbing that are going to give you the benefit. So we've known that from day one. The differences as we've iterated through time, we've made so many different mistakes with their packaging. I mean, the first one was like $5. Like, I can't believe we even tried it. A second one, you know, was like a perfume box that basically was like almost like an apple box very thick. Well, we didn't realize that when we were shipping 10,000 of these, you know, across the world that we're shipping air. So you know, and then all these then the next iteration, we had like four different pieces. And it was so complex. And yes, it was relatively inexpensive, and it could ship flat. But now we had to assemble it. So we finally gotten to this iteration of the packaging today as you see it. And you know, some of the highlights are, we wanted it to be premium, we wanted it to show our unique selling proposition which is photos of all the amazing plant base and natural ingredients so you can actually see them. But at the same time, we wanted to look at our shelf, like I said, we're in a commoditized category Biofreeze ici, Aspera, cream, Tiger Balm, etc. These products have been on the shelf for decades. So we looked at that shelf and said, How are we going to stand out. And one thing that we realized is nobody really was using, you know, white clean for the packaging. And so that's what we went with. And that really, you know, that's kind of what our brand has been from the beginning. But it allows us to create a product and a package that when we do get into retail is going to be well positioned for that. Hmm,

Mariah Parsons 22:22

okay, I love that note. Yeah, I feel like I'm just trying to picture them on the other players in the space of like them on the shelf. And I feel like yeah, the light teal, the white, it does pop up and it does pop out. And it does make make you all stand out in that your mind immediately goes to clean, natural. Not like untouched, but like you know what I'm saying in that

Ryan Gresh 22:51

because the other ones are really focused on powerful, you know, Biofreeze and ACICIS like black, red and blue. And yeah, trust me these brands are doing amazing, you know, like Biofreeze sold for 1.1 billion last year two years ago. So I mean like, kudos to them. We're not haters, but we're trying to play you know a little differently because we don't think everybody just cares about max strength right? We think that there is a space for natural plant based and something that that actually works beyond just the freezing sensation you get.

Mariah Parsons 23:23

Yes and it also it plays well the branding because it is different like there is that distinctive difference between what you know the Biofreeze is of the world or the icy hot are doing and then what you all are doing and I yeah, I don't remember if I mentioned this but I was a rower in college and so like very familiar with just that sensation I've I've like always battled if I'm like, is it actually working? Is it just giving me the fact that it's working, let me just

Ryan Gresh 23:51

tell you why it is working. So and this is why we use 1% menthol like Biofreeze, ICL, probably 10 to 20% menthol, depending on the product. That's what kind of makes you smell like a cough drop all day. But it also gives you a really cool sensation. But here's what it's called the gate theory of pain relief. So and this is why we're an FDA approved drug etc. It's because we have 1%, menthol, the 99% of real stuff that actually works actually has nothing to the claims we can make, unfortunately, but we got to play that game. So we do when you have pain in your shoulder and I step on your toe, right? Do you feel your shoulder pain anymore? Like your body? Hopefully not? Signals? Right? So what happens is our body actually prioritizes temperature sensation up the nerve more than it does pain. So you know, the analogy I like to say is like imagine if you're in Antarctica and you break your leg, like the broken leg is not going to kill you. It's the hypothermia. So the body needs to prioritize which sensation it's going to deliver for you to basically get out of harm's way. And cold and temperature happens to be that so when you put on this, this cold, even if it was ice, right, you send that temperature signal up the nerve, it can't send the pain signal. So it has to stop. But all that's doing thing is masking the symptom pain is a symptom of something else going on. Pain is an important symptom, pain is letting the bother, there's something wrong, we need to fix it. The problem is when it becomes out of control. So like if you're dealing with this chronic pain for many years, sometimes that root causes and even still there, but the signals firing. So that's really where we need to figure out and what my dad specializes in is understanding what's the root cause of that pain. Right. And it's not just one thing, and everyone's unique. And by the way, pain is subjective. So you may be in a 10, out of 10 pain for you. But for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's a two out of 10 We don't know, or it could be 10 out of 10 for him and two out of two for you. Like you know, it's, it's hard. That's why pain is one of the most complex things that we could deal with. And to make matters even worse, and this is where my dad really became frustrated with the conventional system. If you go to a doctor today, pretty much 90% of the time, they're going to ask you one question, what's the level of pain? This subject I charge L, one to 10 not is it tingling, pain, stabbing, pain, shooting pain, there are different types of pain, and those different types of pain can get can give you insights into what that root cause might be, and can be treated differently. So unfortunately, you know, the level of pain and maybe it's an opioid tour towards a more powerful and sad towards something get over the counter. That's kind of how we're treating pain today. Whereas there's got to be a better way. Right? And that's really what our brand exists for. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 26:24

so would you say that, and this is getting into the weeds a little bit. But as you're talking, I was like, oh my god, this is bringing me back to when I used to study all this stuff. And definitely what I'm going through now, so would you say like, when you're dealing right opioids and anything that's of lower intensity, that's more systemic. Would you say? Like in my, in my book, I would say that's more systemic. And then the feel good labs Creme is more localized or? Yes.

Ryan Gresh 26:54

So would you agree to answer that question? I mean, really, what made my dad an expert in treating pain is early in the 90s, he became an expert delivering medicine through the skin. So a lot of hormone replacement therapies, but also became an expert in treating chronic pain because pain is typically a localized issue. Right? If you have, you know, pain in in your vertebrae, like pain in your elbow pain in your knee? Why are we delivering this potent medicine to the entire body, because most of it, you know, what's happening in our gut. I mean, there's a lot of the repercussions there. But then our gut is really controlling the rest of our body, that gut brain connection, all these things. So when we wreak havoc on our gut, our immune system starts in our gut, like there's all these different downstream consequences of delivering this potent medicine through the GI tract when you take things orally, and then what percentage of that actually gets to the area that it needs to. So when you can deliver like early days, he was actually taking opioids and delivering them through the skin, and then even things like ketamine. So ketamine is a crazy psychoactive, but when you deliver it locally, it's a local pain reliever. So the pharmaceuticals that he was developing early on, were the same ones you would take orally but just delivering them to the site because we could get the local efficacy and reduce the systemic side effects. The big breakthrough was when he realized like nature often provides a better source of these medicines, then even Pharma. Now, it's not always the case. But oftentimes, the pharmaceutical companies take nature look and see the way the amazing way that it works with our body and then they can modify it slightly to patent it, because you can't patent turmeric, one of our favorite ingredients in our formula, right?

Mariah Parsons 28:36

Yeah. Okay, that's so fascinating. I also have started watching Dope Sick sidenote, but if you have if you wash it, okay, it's on my list. I

Ryan Gresh 28:45

haven't started it yet. Okay, it's

Mariah Parsons 28:47

a really good show. But it's also wildly alarming. Just, totally

Ryan Gresh 28:53

Well, I'm based in Connecticut, right where the the family is in Purdue. Like, it's, it's wild. Yeah, the whole thing is wild. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 29:02

that's the best I can say about it. But I started watching so now like even while I was in the hospital, just figuring this herniation out like the pain scale that they established during that time period. I was like looking at it as like, oh my god, like the way you just look at things differently once you know right? So I hope all that to say our listeners are learning a lot of like, not only your founding story and how knowledgeable you and your father are in this space, but also like just the awareness from baseline levels of wellness like things you should consider things to educate yourself on. And it brings us back to the education that you all are providing to your consumers in that when they're purchasing with you all like this is how you should properly use it or if you know you're if you're just getting out of the shower like this will deliver an the deliberate deliverability of it is way better. Then like say, right at other times during the day. And that's one of the things Malomo that we love to talk to brands about because a lot of the post purchase experience, we are helping brands enable or maximize is that educational piece like because people are waiting for their product if they're ordering from online, right and not not in retail? So if they're waiting for their product, or always, they're super excited, that's a perfect point where someone is probably going to take the time to see like, oh, how should I use this product? How should I take take care for if that's something you need to consider all those things, and the perfect place to put those is transactional emails, because, you know, that's where, where your customers are looking. So I love that we're talking about education in every single way that we possibly can.

Ryan Gresh 30:49

Well, just to double click on that, the goal for me for the feelgood lab is to be an education company, I do believe in our products, but we have a tagline, it's fight pain with wellness. And so we believe if, if, if we had a perfectly healthy society, and we could get into why we don't, but that's a different conversation.

Mariah Parsons 31:09

That'll take much, much longer.

Ryan Gresh 31:10

Yeah, our body is so amazing. So amazing. And so you know, it would be much more well suited to deal with all the sort of things that we throw at it. Unfortunately, our body is often fighting, even healthy foods that we're eating. So our immune systems are are just overactive, the rise in autoimmune disease, so we're not functioning properly. And so one of our goals as a brand is to help people improve their wellness. And the ultimate way to do that is through sleep, diet, nutrition, hydration, things that we couldn't even sell you now we do sell a line of supplements, and we sell a food inflammation test to help you identify foods in your diet that in your body are causing inflammation. But ultimately, like if I see 1020 years from now, I would like to be the WebMD for wellness, right? And be able to help people like if you're looking for tools to optimize your health, that we would be the source that you go to now we can still sell products. But I would like that to be a secondary piece of of our mission, because we don't want you to have to use our products.

Mariah Parsons 32:16

Yes, yeah. I love that. Um, two quick things. Have you read by chance? They asked. They asked you answer. But Mark is shared. And I want to say oh my god.

Ryan Gresh 32:27

It's so funny. Yeah, I shared an office with his company. Oh,

Mariah Parsons 32:33

no way. There. You got well, so very packed. Yes, yeah. And education and content first and sharing value before trying to sell. So just just not just but I read that a little while ago. And so when you were talking, I was like, Oh my God, that's exactly what's coming to mind. And then just also had to net note that when you said WebMD I think there's a lot of fear, associated with pain, but like looking up something on the internet and then being like, told by WebMD, that you have something that is very scary to face. So I love the notion of you all being a Web MD for wellness to enable people, even if they're not customers, but just people in general to take care of themselves. Because I don't think there's any there's not there's there's a shortage of that. And there's not enough that we could have to fill, you know, the educational gaps that

Ryan Gresh 33:31

totally in my thought process is like think about yourself, right? You when you're dealing with this, this chronic pain, you're now more motivated than ever to do something about it.

Mariah Parsons 33:41

Oh, so motivated. I

Ryan Gresh 33:43

couldn't move. Don't you feel like, damn, I wish I knew what I would feel like because if you were motivated a year ago, you probably never would have had this issue. Mm

Mariah Parsons 33:51

hmm. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Is that exactly like my PT, which was perfect? Because it's like, it's just a it's a domino effect. Right. And you like my case? I don't, I didn't have an onset. So it was just probably like, I know, rowing for eight years, had some degradation on my lower back, right, like all these different things that just choices you make along the way. And yeah, 100% Funny how motivation ebbs and flows. And that goes back to what you were saying of your ideal customer of like that motivation. If your motivation is waning with time, then, you know, it's a it's a tougher reality to have to keep trying if you're not seeing results, working for you. Yeah, I love it. I also love that you brought up the other products that you sell the supplements and the inflammation tests and I did want to ask you, do you have a different like customer experience or a different marketing approach for those for the different skews or are you still following I imagine at large like the education for First, I'm falling in love with the brand strategy. But are there any is there anything that differentiates, you know, the experience between the three. So

Ryan Gresh 35:08

big time, now we have three of it, let's dig in. And I'm gonna give you the hierarchy of our customer personas. But then I'm gonna kind of flip it because the bottom ones are actually like, there's better. There's pros and cons to each. So number one persona battle and Barbara like chronic pain, I mentioned her before, she's probably 70% of our business today, QVC, et cetera. She doesn't care about our supplements and our food inflammation test, we need to really get her to believe in our brand. And then a certain percentage of them will try to adopt these things. But it's a very uphill battle. They want a product that just works. And they love our topical pain creams because they work, that's fine. Then we have healthy Heather, she's a 39 year old mom of three, she has no time, she wants only healthy things like all the things we offer, she just doesn't have time, you know, and she's doing all the shopping for the family. So she once she finally finds out about us, she becomes an amazing customer, because she buys everything. And she's taking our supplements, she does our food inflammation test, she has our natural pain cream in the medicine cabinet for her and her kids, and gives it to her mom, who's dealing with arthritis pain. So she's an amazing customer. And then we have mobility, Michael, who's kind of like myself, he's more like CrossFit athlete, right. So very interested in optimizing health. What we learned about that athletic persona is they care more about what they put on and in their body than anybody else. So they're not willing to really even if there, it means a little bit lack of performance, they're not willing to compromise their overall health and wellbeing for that. And that's why they fall in love with our brand is because we're kind of meeting them. So I think our brand resonates most from the opposite level of personas I laid out. It resonates the most with mobility, Michael and healthy Heather, and the lease with battle and Barbara, but at the same time, who's in more dire need of our products? That's the reason why Barbara, Yeah, gotta get on and most of them because Barbara has the ultimate pain point like she would do anything to get out of this pain. So one little anecdotal example is we did we work with an amazing crossfit coach. He's one of the best in the world. He's got a podcast and he had a free spot. So he's like, Hey, we're gonna do I'll do a read. Tell people about your brand. I love it. So I'll just you don't need to send me anything. I'll just talk about it. But then from for customers, we sold $2,000 of products the next day. Oh my god, right for customers. $500 average order value because wow, mobility, Michael, like he's bought the food inflammation tests, three different supplements and the sport recovery lotion. All in, right.

Mariah Parsons 37:39

Mm hmm. Yeah.

Ryan Gresh 37:40

So to answer your question, yes, we're figuring out how we want to deploy our resources to basically, you know, balance that out when it comes to digital marketing, we really can't attract battle and Barbara affordably, unfortunately. So we need to find other ways, whether it's through her chiropractor, her doctor or physical therapist, other wellness avenues that she looks for, for advice. QVC, right. But when it comes to the younger demographic, they're not in as much of a dire need, but they fall in love with our brand quicker, and the breadth of our brand. And so they become a better customer for us. Okay,

Mariah Parsons 38:17

that's super interesting. Do you think, like, they're falling in love with the brand more because they kind of have that in their mentality to like, 100% see that? Okay.

Ryan Gresh 38:28

So the we do zero marketing on our food inflammation, test zero, we need to change that it's something new. So we're just like, we don't even have the systems in place yet, because I'm delivering all the results personally. So it's now getting to the point where I actually don't have enough time to do it. And we're trying to figure out how to make that play. This week, we sold $3,000 of tests in one day, with zero marketing behind it, because it's this thing that the younger generation realizes that we food is medicine, but if we don't identify what's right for us, everyone's unique, then, you know, we're not really going to make the right progress, whereas the older generation isn't quite there yet. So the early adopter right now is like even on Tik Tok, like, we just worked with an influencer, who's 19 years old. And she's like a health and wellness influencer. And so she posted about our food inflammation test, and we sold four of them. So and again, these are all organic things. We're not paying for this placement at all. It's just people that that really believe in it and fall in love with what we're doing, but they're much younger. So then on the other side, those younger people aren't buying our natural pain cream.

Mariah Parsons 39:30

Hmm, yeah,

Ryan Gresh 39:32

they will someday. Yes.

Mariah Parsons 39:34

Yeah. That's such that's so interesting to know how that breaks out for you all like with the different different customer profiles and then, like how the buying habits obviously match those profiles. And yeah, the I think the generation that each customer comes from or is in has to have a big, big impact. Um, just with like awareness, one that there's like a difference in quality of products. And then also the want to, you know, take that extra step maybe to find something that isn't on, you know, isn't like what you typically see or isn't what you already know of, but go that extra mile and find the products that are natural and have better ingredients for you and take this the inflammation tests so you can see the effect on your body, all that stuff. Totally. That's yeah, that's fascinating. I know that we are close to time. But I did want to ask you. So because we've been talking about marketing and branding, obviously, and getting and talking about the different customers that you all have, what would you say? For like, social media, because we've been talking about like, just like you just mentioned, tick tock. Social media is one of those things that myself being in Gen Z, I feel like everyone assumes that every Gen Z technically is millennial. But that's air quotes. Everyone assumes like Gen Z is on every, like, on top of every algorithm knows how social media works. I think that's so far from the truth. I think it's so difficult to figure out if you are trying to find growth on social media. So I'd like to ask founders, what's your opinion on it? Where do you stand with like social media, trying to use it for growth? Or if you're just using it for branding purposes and education? Where are you all taking it with the feel good lab?

Ryan Gresh 41:30

Yeah. So I think, for any brand, especially for, you know, the younger generation, the first thing I do when I see a brand is I click on their Instagram, I just want to see a little bit of who they are. So I'm glad you said that. And they're just like, so outside of growth and education. It's just like, Are these people legit? How many followers do they have? Do they actually like? Am I gonna get scammed? Yeah, am I gonna get scammed? So I think that's the ultimate thing like, just need to have that as a minimum. And I think they even talked about it on we talked about limited supply the episode that came out, mentioning you guys this morning, which what a coincidence we were hopping on. Yeah, so fun. And so I think that's like table stakes. Like you just you have to show up as who are you. And then for us, like I mentioned, if our dream is really to become this wellness company around education, that's kind of what we need to use our social media. For. Now, full disclosure, go to the feelgood lab, you know, Instagram, whatnot, tick tock, we're not doing a great job. We're a super lean team and social media in the past has not driven much revenue for us. Because of all the things I told you about before, right? Who wants to get served an ad about an over the counter pain reliever on social media, like I buy? You know, yeah, so. So we want to be careful now, someday down the line, when we have deeper pockets, I see us running ads for education, because people are interested in that. And then through the education and a funnel that we can build, we can convert them to customers, today is just not happening. Now. With that being said, we are going to deploy some cash towards our food inflammation tests, because that younger generation is resonating with it so much. So there's education that we can do around it. There's collaborations with other influencers that we can do that are authentic, not just like, you know, hey, Mariah, we're gonna pay you to tell everyone how great our food inflation test is, no, like, you have to do it, you have to take it, you have to see the results after a month or two, and then really be able to explain like, oh my god, this changed my life. And it changed my life. So like, you know, not that it's going to work for everybody. But the most powerful tool that we have is this fruit inflammation test. It's absolutely amazing. And we've seen just life changing results, not for everybody, but for for a huge percentage of people that we work with. So we are going to start using that. Because again, it's depending on which demographic you're going after, if I'm going after battle, and Barbara, she's not on Instagram and Tiktok

Mariah Parsons 43:45

Yep, yeah. Yeah, no, I love it. And I think to your point of like social media, it's, it's difficult, especially with a lien team, like I know, I'm in charge of our social media. And so I relate to that and that trying to like it is a very concentrated very dedicated effort that you need to devote to see revenue and growth unless you're, you know, the 1% of cases that just goes viral overnight, right? And that's, you know, there's no predictable, no predictable way to ensure that that's going to happen. And so I appreciate you sharing that and then also with how you all are breaking down where you're going to put like what what process or what thing you're going to back with adspend like you said the inflammation test versus maybe the cream or supplements. So yeah, I love it. It's always so interesting to me to ask founders because it I think differs on so many different levels just based off of like size industry customer everything.

Ryan Gresh 44:56

So yeah, I think to like and I consider YouTube social media. I actually consume YouTube, like, I used to consume TV when I was a kid, like, I love YouTube, I think that's going to be a great platform for us. Because we need, we can't just show up with one ad to teach you about a fruit inflammation test. This is pretty complex stuff. So it leads with the pre roll ads, you can you can catch someone's attention in 1015 seconds. And they can stick with you for two, three minutes to learn what they need to. So I think YouTube is going to be a big tool for us and finding the right categories to kind of piggyback you know, that idea for clarity, there's a couple of supplement brands that I really like. And I can tell they just got a huge investment, because they are just showing up everywhere on YouTube for me, and I cannot imagine how much money they're spending. But the reality is, it's working. To some extent they wouldn't be spending this money like so, you know, supplements are in a similar category trust, obviously, we sell supplements, it's not our main thing, but it takes education, it takes credibility. So showing up with just like a single static image ad, probably not going to move the needle. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 45:58

yeah. Yeah, I love it. I also love that you brought up YouTube because it totally is I consider it social media as well, and also a Content tool that helps Seo 100%, as well. And just all the benefits of educating in the visual component of YouTube. And having it be long for media. It's a great point as well. I know we're close on time. So I wanted to ask you, considering this episode will be airing in about a month and a half or so. Is there anything that you want to share with consumers totally fine, if not, but I like to leave the space for all our guests to come on something that you're excited about whether that's a promotion, product development, anything of the sort, or just something that you're curious to be exploring. I

Ryan Gresh 46:46

mean, the thing that's been the most exciting to me recently with the business is the food inflammation test. I first did this. So the cool thing is all of the work that we do comes out of my dad's pharmacy with my brother and him. So these things are like decades in the making. It's not like we just come up with an idea, like we're gonna launch this fish oil. No, this is the same formula official they've been selling for over a decade. And we have 1000s of customers and patients that have used this. And so same with the food inflammation tests, I first did mine in 2017. And it was life changing for me. I knew that I didn't feel good when I had pizza, right? But when I got the data that gluten and dairy were like five out of five on the inflammatory scale for me, it allowed me to make the change I needed to Now I wouldn't say that I you know, sometimes I cheat, right, and we'll have pizza. But I certainly regret it now because I realized I didn't know how sick I was until I got healthy. And as a CEO and a lot of the strain. And a new dad, like you need to be functioning optimally. And I didn't realize that the food I was eating was making me sicker. So that has been game changing in my life. And I've also seen it just change. I mentioned this before, but changed the life of other people that we've worked with people with gout, that were having flare ups once or twice a month and no longer have flare ups because they cut out one or two foods. These are anecdotal pieces of data, but it can really change your life. And so the thing I'm excited about is really getting this out there more. And we've been partnering with some athletes, especially because, you know, they may not be dealing with chronic conditions. But if they can improve their recovery and their sleep, their performance is going to go up significantly. So there's just a whole bunch of of demographics. I'm excited to explore with the food inflammation test, and I think it can make such an impact on people's lives that it's probably the thing that I'm most excited about right now.

Mariah Parsons 48:30

Oh, I love that. I think that's a great note to end on. Ryan. Thank you so so so much for making the time to join me here today. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on as guests and I know our listeners are going to absolutely love this episode.

Ryan Gresh 48:42

Likewise thanks for having me.