S6 E2: Scaling a DTC brand while maintaining customer trust with Nemah CEO Madison Lee


Mariah Parsons, HOM at Malomo and Host of Retention Chronicles, and Madison Lee, Co-Founder & CEO of Nemah, discussed the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from a talent agency to a e-commerce brand. Mariah and Madison explored the importance of personal branding, consumer insights, and technology in developing a private label. They emphasized the need for brands to prioritize customer experience, retention, and the delicate balance between automation and human touch in e-commerce. Mariah Parsons and Madison Lee also discussed the challenges of founding a vegan skincare brand for moms and babies, scaling a DTC skincare brand while maintaining customer trust, and educating and supporting parents through science-backed content.

  • 4:38 Founding a vegan skincare brand for moms and babies

  • 10:30 Branding and consumer insights for a clean skincare line

  • 15:54 Scaling a DTC skincare brand for pregnant and postpartum women, focusing on customer experience and trust-building

  • 22:54 Using consumer insights to inform educational content and product development for parents

  • 26:59 Creating a clean beauty brand with a focus on community and science

  • 31:31 Post-purchase customer experience and its importance for e-commerce brands

  • 36:57 Customer experience and retention in e-commerce

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


brand, products, customers, consumer, pregnancy, feel, community, customer experience, love, postpartum, private label, motherhood, big, e commerce, talent agency, growing, piece, market, reacting, making


Madison Lee, Mariah Parsons

Mariah Parsons 00:05

Greetings and welcome to retention Chronicles, the podcast with learnings from expert e commerce brands and partners. I'm your host, Ryan Parsons. If you're here, you're either on a quest for ecommerce enlightenment, or you accidentally clicked the wrong link. Either way, I am thrilled you stumbled into our corner of the internet. And I hope you'll stick around. We've got pearls of wisdom for everyone, whether you're running a multimillion dollar business, or simply just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey. Before we unleash the brilliance of today's guest, let's give a shout out to our podcast sponsor Malomo. Malomo is so much more than just another Shopify app, their post purchase wizards making beautiful and branded order tracking smoother than a jazz solo. So our amazing founders, like our guests can keep their customers happy and up to date while they track their orders. So hit that subscribe button, like it'll increase your LTV overnight, and go listen to her other episodes. Echo malomo.com That's gomalomo.com. Get ready for insights chuckles and perhaps a profound realization or two with this newest episode of retention. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to retention Chronicles. Super excited for our guests here today. Madison, thank you so much for joining us. I'm super excited to chat with you today. But first, we'll have you say hi. And give a quick intro of yourself to our audience.

Madison Lee 01:37

Yeah, happy to be here. Thank you for having me. My name is Madison, I started a e commerce brand in pregnancy and postpartum skincare with my wife about three years ago. Before that I was at a talent agency, one of the global talent agencies totally different doing music touring agency. So Ben, we're going to NEMA about two and a half three years and loving it so far. Okay,

Mariah Parsons 02:02

wonderful. We have to dive in because I haven't we haven't had anyone who is in the talent agency, at least that they've shared with on the podcast. So I'd love just to know, like high level what that world is like.

Madison Lee 02:16

It's kind of like you think it is, you know, it's one of the big four agency CAA. And I loved my time there. I studied music, business and entrepreneurship in school, and then that kind of just, I loved concerts and love the life side of it. So that gradually led me in into a talent agency. But you know, a lot of great culture. You know, it's got a bit of a Hollywood aspect to it. I was in the Nashville office. And it's, as you can imagine, probably a bit more casual than LA, New York, London. They've got, gosh, I think probably nine or 10 global offices, several 1000 employees, and it was a great place to work and kind of cut my teeth and just learn about, you know, hard work 7080 hours a week and learn about growing growing brands from a talent level and put them out on the road. So yeah, that's fine. I definitely do not miss it as much as I thought I would I left right to start a COVID concerts were not happening. And so that took a pivot. And yeah, but it was a great learning experience. For sure.

Mariah Parsons 03:26

Okay, that's awesome. Would you say that a lot. There was kind of like, was there a big transition of a lot of people kind of getting out of the industry? With COVID or not? Yeah,

Madison Lee 03:35

I think entertainments just got shaken up the last several years anyway, especially in Hollywood with the strikes and everything going on. But yeah, you know, you're kind of a it's client representation. And so the way people have been making money, with the advancements in technology and everything going on, I think, if you're not like really innovating, then you kind of get left behind. So a lot of people were going off to start their own management company or just going off into different platforms. So yeah, there was definitely a big shake up. And I was grateful for my time there. Definitely glad not to still be doing some of that. Right.

Mariah Parsons 04:17

I'm sure the switch of the craziness of it all is a little bit. Welcome.

Madison Lee 04:23

Yeah, for sure. It was a really fun time and great place to kind of learn and, you know, meet great people work with great people, some of the biggest agents in the world represent the biggest talent. So it's always awesome to be able to kind of learn from those people and work alongside them. So Okay, wonderful.

Mariah Parsons 04:39

And then so my assumption is that I'm going to of course try and parallel this to e commerce because that's what we're here today to discuss. But in that world, you're more concerned when you're talking about like branding and building a brand more about like the personal brand, especially with social media and like, just influence that like take Talking to Instagram like, influencers more becoming entertainers rather than like your traditional celebrities? So is that kind of is that the right way? Or is that how people are thinking about it of like, when you're talking about branding? You're not per se, right? You're not marketing a product, but you're talking about marketing the person, right?

Madison Lee 05:18

Yeah, absolutely, I think, to parallel a little bit with where we are now, there's, there's a lot of people that have to do their job really well, including the talent for it to work. And, and, of course, that, you know, a lot of that is social and branding, and who they are online and to their community. But I think, to me, there was there was a little too much there was just out of my control. I think kind of, you know, there's, whereas like, in E commerce, there's all the like, you can really, there's a, there's a good playbook. And you can really innovate by kind of putting those pieces together. And then, you know, there's just so many partners and levers and stuff to pull now that you don't really have to rely on are they going to wake up and want to work as hard as I am working here want them to and what kind of feeling there. I'm sure many people, you know, in client representation with talent would would probably say some of the same things. But yeah,

Mariah Parsons 06:24

yeah. Okay. And then are you musical yourself? Because you studied music and entrepreneurship, not

Madison Lee 06:29

really, I went to Belmont here in Nashville, my guitar, but I kept it in case there was people that were than me. So I decided to go on that the other end of it.

Mariah Parsons 06:41

Okay. Wonderful. I asked how you grew up playing piano and guitar. So yeah, just you know, so fun, fun hobby to have. But Okay, wonderful. So let's dive into nema. You said two to three, two and a half 3d years ago, you founded it with your wife. So give our audience like a boilerplate, basically, of what you all do. And then we can dive into you know, what was your inspiration behind founding the brand? Yeah, so

Madison Lee 07:07

we're a vegan skincare brand for mom and baby. We help support the mom through all of her phases of the motherhood journey, and then on to parenting and every phase after that. So you know, we provide resources community, and then the best products on the market are to us right now, primarily during pregnancy and postpartum and then began will kind of expand our products we just more general product she can use after that. Okay,

Mariah Parsons 07:33

wonderful, perfect. So you founded it with your wife, I imagine that of the copious founders, I speak to you, on this podcast, it's usually a personal story that someone finds themselves wanting to start a brand, especially with your background and entrepreneurship and studying it. So can you walk us through what your thought process was with your wife of wanting to found a brand and focus on vegan progress, vegan products that parents can use throughout different stages of pregnancy?

Madison Lee 08:09

Yeah, it was kind of your traditional, I'm looking for this product, it's not out there situation there, Mary was going through her purse, first pregnancy, she's had a digital media brand, influence her platform for a while. And that's gone into licensing deals and designing collections and lots of that side. And she knew, you know, one day she wants to have her own brand, some type of private label, whether it be apparel, or skincare or something. So the community and her engagement was really pointing towards the mom and baby's face. That's what was really reacting for her. And then going through her pregnancy with our first Navy, who's five now it was she she gets so much involvement in the skincare space, and you know, top brands in the world. And there's feelings that are attached to those brands, when they're on your entity or when you're using them and buying them and you're proud and sexy, and it looks good. And she was just shocked. And kind of the same thing with our communities like where are these for pregnant women are cream C section scars, belly oils, breastfeeding balls, any of that stuff that you're kind of using in this arguably one of the most emotional time periods in your life, there's not anything that makes you have that same emotion that you can, it's skincare and beauty and makeup. So that was kind of the aha moment. You know, the scar cream, especially like we looked and there was just maybe one or two brands that were marketing a scar for C sections. And it's like, this is like such a I mean, sometimes dramatic but just such a transformative thing that happens to a woman and to not have a brand that's supporting her with the product. And then the resources of how physically and emotionally tolling pregnancy and postpartum is it's just kind of mind blowing to us. So So we decided we started working on about three and a half years ago, and really just wanted to make sure we're meeting the needs of mom. So, you know, we, we may go into clean detergents clean deodorants, we want to, most of the personal care products are bought by the mother in the household. And so it's like, we want to make sure we're establishing trusts, you know, during the most emotional time period, she's going through supporting her however we can, and then bringing products that she would need for her and her family after that. Love

Mariah Parsons 10:30

it. So so many questions are, when you're thinking about, then let's reopen branding. Because I think that, especially as consumers, like I can tell that I care more about like the products and what's going into an actual product to make sure that it's clean and make sure that it's, like clean for myself, but then also clean for the environment. And making sure that as a consumer I can I'm conscious of you know, what products are going into what I'm using. And I think when I first found your brand, which was through the limited supply Slack channel, shot them out. I was very impressed by the actual look of the of your products like the branding side of them. So how did you kind of decide like, Okay, this is how we're going to parallel the cleanness of our products and making sure that you're coupling that with like something that a woman would be proud to have on her vanity, and then also trying to convey that to your customers. Because I can imagine with your wife's kind of entrance into like having a community before trying to develop a private label, you kind of have an insight into like who your exact consumer is, especially when you're going through it yourself. So I love to kind of I guess, take your brain through the process of like, how are you choosing the look of your, your private, private label, my impression is just you know, as an onlooker of, it's very clean, and it conveys the product, it mirrors what you have in your actual product, have, you want to have these products that are well made, to influence or to also like, your branding, influencing the perception of what your consumers have. Yeah, yeah,

Madison Lee 12:21

of course, I think especially with today's consumer, you know, the design side of it is very important. It's just as important, you know, depending on where you're shopping, or what period you're shopping for in your life, what's in the bottle as how it looks, you know, we kind of see the bathroom as a sanctuary, especially if you're a current parent, that's almost sometimes the only place you go get self care. So the feeling of being able to set things out on your vanity and be proud of them is kind of a big deal to us. So we wanted to kind of mirror some of those higher and skincare brands with kind of the pregnancy and postpartum care that we were giving. So same thing with our baby stuff, we wanted to kind of be an art piece for the bathroom, you know, there's like, we just Mary's background is design and designing something with, you know, fluffy animals, or just kind of the stuff that's out there on the baby market just wasn't really going to work on on for what we were going for, we wanted to make sure that not only do you know, this product is clean and safe and effective, and it works. And that's totally that I hope through our marketing efforts. And through our website, we're super transparent on the ingredients. But you feel it, it's heavy. It looks similar to some of those higher end brands that that you get, hopefully that same feeling of when you purchase it and are setting it out. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 13:45

it's a gorgeous design. When I was scrolling through the website, as I have so much fun doing right. I also have to point out we have matching water bottles, which is so funny. Look at that. Yep, your mind's been blurred out, but you can tell by the electric to color. It's the same. Okay, wonderful. So now we want to take kind of how you all were thinking about branding, and then also chat through how you are thinking about the consumer. I don't know if you heard this part because I know we got disconnected for a second there. But I would imagine with your wife, Mary having the community aspect, before developing a private label that you have a very, very, I guess good consensus of what someone would want to see when they're shopping with these products, especially when you're seeing like okay, there's not really anything in the market right now. That is what the community is looking for. And so when I'm thinking about, you know, having a remove perspective from your brand, I can see that there are potentially different ICPs right of like someone couldn't tomber depending on what stage of pregnancy or motherhood that they're going through, that they certain products would obviously speak more to them. So I love hearing what founders have to say about how they're thinking about their consumer of like, are you thinking about, okay, just parents and you see pretty much your consumer is apparent? Or are your products also speaking to other people who are outside of motherhood and parenthood? Yeah, cuz I think it's interesting, where you can either choose to get very granular on who your consumer is, but then you can also zoom out and say, like, okay, these products any anyone could use if they have something that fits the category that your product is solving for? Yeah,

Madison Lee 15:45

I think it's a great question. I think right now, our product suite is small enough, where we're hyper focused on mom. And for the most part, that's mom, during the early stages of pregnancy and postpartum you know, as we start to come out with new products, firming serum for body, body, scrub bodywash, that'll just kind of naturally evolve. But right now, the customer profile is pregnancy, postpartum, new mom, you know, so that four or five year kind of period of their life, I think, really, if it was we wanted to kind of mirror the branding with kind of skin tones for a lot of the first few. And just because that's what we're doing, we're caring for your skin in such a delicate time. And then have the baby stuff just be kind of fun and art pieces like that. So, you know, I think one thing we take from Mary's community for sure, is we can see 12 years of buying habits, you know, what are the price points and colors that they like? And what do they react to, you know, and she creates content? And so she knows also like, what is going to catch someone's eye? Or other people that create content, we certainly made the brand in mind like Will this photograph well? Will it sit down on the end are people going to want to share this and I think that's important, especially for DTC brands, you know, in crowded spaces, we're kind of in a niche, but still, overall personal care is a very crowded space. So people are going to want to share this and why you know, is it what's in the bottle, how they the sensation, it makes them feel, how's the packaging, you know, for with the unboxing experience, there's so many things that go into that. But for mothers, especially, they want to share what they're, what they're using, what they're going through, and why they're using that. So we kind of made that, you know, the products and the branding with that in mind, to make sure that we're kind of capturing that moment, and, and filling that need. And again, it kind of always goes back to for us like we want them to be proud and the decisions they're making, you know, both, you know, just everyday life decisions with their parents and, or being with their children and toddlers and newborns, and then with their their pregnant skin during pregnancy, it's very thin, your baby's skin is very thin. So it's actually really, really important what you're putting on your skin and what you're putting on your baby's skin. So just making sure we're you can trust us, you know, the science is there behind our products. And then when you're holding it, when you're opening it, when you're using it, it gives you a feeling that, you know some of the incumbent brands, belly butter, just don't you just don't really feel like I'm doing something better for myself by using this.

Mariah Parsons 18:30

Okay, wonderful. That's super insightful. So I want to tap into more of like the customer experience and the unboxing experience in a bit. But I want to get your opinion on. Once you think you get to that point where you're, you know, growing the ICP and increasing the amount of skews that you have that you're offering, do you think it will be easier or harder to kind of have your, you know, market to your consumers? Because I've I've heard the arguments both ways. And obviously, as a marketer myself, right, I see that once you start expanding and offering more than in your ICP grows, which is great, because there's new areas of the market that you can target. But it also can be an added challenge and maybe a welcome one of instead of just focusing on, you know, copy or imagery around this specific person in this specific life stage, you now have to become more generalized, and how do you continue to stand out in a market that is saturated when you're still growing? So is that something that I guess preoccupies a sector of your mind when you're thinking about scaling?

Madison Lee 19:37

Yeah, for sure. I think a lot of that for us comes down to what how much and what channels we're spending on paid media. So we're we've been able to grow it with 30 to 35% or our sales are coming in from paid. So to me that that is a an advantage for us that we're We're able to capture her trust outside of kind of the levers and mechanisms that paid media do. So we don't have to continuously find all those new customers. And then again, it's kind of solving that next need, I think a benefit for us is, we know almost certainly that she will need the next products that we release. Especially if it's in the baby category, or kid category, or, you know, firming and toning, it has kind of stuck out for us, you know, whether the body lotion, body serum, kids detangler, spray kids scar cream, SPF for kids, like we, we do know that, you know, if they use our first set of products, and we get them in during pregnancy and postpartum, we can introduce stuff that we're fairly certain they'll need after that, I do think it will be harder, but just different to, you know, right now, I don't want to say it's easy, but we have such a targeted demographic that we're going after. But it's also that as its challenges, you know, it's it's quite hard on, you know, with a lot of the iOS stuff to find people that are in that category, I think more often we find, you can find people that are in the parenting categories, I'm really excited to start growing our kids skew count, to make sure that, okay, we served her needs during these phases like this is what her and her family need, you know, moving forward. Also, email and SMS is a big one for us. So I think if we can keep getting that right, and get them in the funnel, while they're in this time period, and two, I say, your your customer buying habits are never more drastically changed, then when you as a woman, you find out you're pregnant, you're like, reading all the labels, you're just a lot more intentful on what you're buying. So if we can capture the trust, then I think we have a good product to come out with body care moving forward, I think we'll be able to get them back for that stuff. And we have, you know, the few skews we have for postpartum or for baby, you know, over half of those buyers purchase our products was tell us they do trust us. And they they we know also what they want. Next, we're able, you know, through Mary to kind of get that direct line of communication. What are these four products, you know, which of these four products would you guys like to see next? And it's pretty clear, you know what the two are. So I'm excited. You know, that's the difficult piece with being bootstrapped is being able to innovate with new products. And you know, as a CPG brand, it's cash intensive. So, we're out kind of trying to raise some money right now to pour some fuel on what we know is working, and then again, get some more products out for mom to get our repeat customers back. But yeah, okay,

Mariah Parsons 22:54

wonderful. So, I love that you are, like pulling essentially your consumer base, right, right on social media. And I think that's unique in that someone has a community before founding something, I feel like a lot of the times, it's the opposite, where founders will, obviously have a product, and then they become more of a public personality, or they're the face of the brand, especially with the rise of E commerce and all that stuff. So I want to dive into education, and how you're kind of using those consumer insights to, like you said, inform what you all are pouring the gasoline on and, and creating more of, and with education, especially around parenthood, and motherhood. I know from the mothers my life, I'm not a parent, but I know from my own mother and my friends who are currently mothers, and that it's a very, I guess, high pressure, high opinionated realm, where there's a lot of, you know, advice and a lot of content and a lot of different products that can be chosen, right, just while you're looking at adding this this child into your life. And it can be a very, I guess, I don't want to say misleading, but a very I guess cannibalize market of like, this is quote, unquote, the right thing to do. And if like, you don't do this as a parent, or if you don't raise your kid this way, or, you know, these are the rules. And this is like the hack. Right? So, and I think there's a lot of things that go into that conversation of just, we have so much that we can consume through social media and everyone's experience is different. But there's the caveat, right of like, every single experience is different. So it has a multitude of ways that you can go about parenthood. And because it involves inherently like a child, it can be very, very quickly it can be a difficult conversation to have And so I would love to get your opinion of how you're approaching education and making sure that this is you're getting the right information out. And like the science back ingredients that you have in your products, you're sharing that, like you mentioned earlier in this episode of, you know, baby's skin is thinner. So it really, really matters what you're putting on what products you're putting on the BB skin. So how are you? In a like, how are you using those consumer insights to maybe see pockets of okay, this is maybe where our consumers could use like a video of content around this, versus okay, this is, you know, something that our consumers are very educated on. How are you? You know, how are you deciding which, which content to educate your customers on? Yeah,

Madison Lee 25:45

I think it's a it's a combination of many things. One is like, as a brand, I think it's important to have a couple of like Northstar brands follow along closely with some of ours are like, Bobby, the infant formula brand parallel, freedom and free to baby, just people that are really kind of pushing the boundaries, and you can see what's reacting. And ideally, they're a few years ahead of you and not 20 You know, just a have been here around containable Yes. So that you can say, you know, what, people are really reacting to this stuff. We have a medical advisory board, so we have dermatologist, an allergist, perinatal mental health specialists on there. So that's a big piece of it. And we're starting to roll out more things with that, you know, we've got a a social communication platform called mini chat to where we can directly communicate back and forth kind of like the clay vo of social interesting with our customers and have kind of flows that go to them. So we're launching one this week, I think that is it's maternal mental health awareness month. So what are you struggling with this, this or this, okay, here's some resources to go back from that. And we think it's important to amplify real raw, emotional, you know, vulnerable stories from our community, but at the same time, have expert opinion on here and be like, hey, just for what it's worth, like, here's stories, you know, take these with salt, but like, everybody's story matters. You can tell your story here, you can have community with us. And at the same time, like, here's somebody that does this for their job, and their purpose is to help women through this period of their life, whether that's on their skin, or you know, going through the postpartum depression, or you know, all the different changes that come during pregnancy. So, I think it's, it's helpful to have a balance of kind of unprofessional opinions. We hired a partnerships and community managers, our first hire and marketing and that was, you know, to do many things, one of which was to kind of put some guardrails on what we're doing to amplify community stories, and making sure that we're moving the ball forward there. And, you know, I think a big piece of that is, is making sure it's a safe space for everybody. But like you said, you know, we've gone back and forth, do we create a Facebook group or a Geneva group, but, and, you know, we're not there yet, we're close, but it feels like there could be some very opinionated people within the space to, and it, you know, might go south. So we're figuring out how to kind of put some guardrails on it, but what we're doing at least is saying, like, bring anything you want to us, and we'll amplify it, you know, however we can. And so that's a piece of it. I think another piece is just making sure that you know, from the expert, what's going inside the bottle, checks out. So we're, you know, Sephora clean, we're sold in Europe, and they're way way more stringent on so

Mariah Parsons 28:57

much more. I'm envious of that of their standards, for sure. So

Madison Lee 29:00

we kind of go at it with definitely the science backed element there and making sure that there's nothing to worry about on that side for sure. That just you can kind of always trust us that we're gonna check that box that it's gonna be cleaned, say for you, so for your baby. And then now let's make sure we're meeting your needs. You know, from a design perspective, that feeling and then from a community perspective, I think is kind of a big piece for us. One thing I think, is really exciting. We haven't started doing it yet, but kind of community polling you mentioned, there's so much software now that we can really develop before we develop our packaging formulas and just saying which one are you guys kind of leaning towards, you know, here's 3d renders. And now we can make a full on add of the bottle in three different colors and just see what reacts or we can kind of do it in the shadows and start testing and on social and, and see how that reacts to and there's, there's a lot a lot of data that you can get from you know, just Putting out those kinds of A B tests. And then we're lucky with Mary's community, because a lot of our community is our community and is, you know, in those phases of life, so we can just straight up ask them, like, which ones you guys want to see next, I'm excited to take that next step. With some of the new software partners we put in place to start getting packaging renders, you know, before we launch it, yeah,

Mariah Parsons 30:23

I love it. Um, would you do you want to shout out any of those packaging vendors just for founder's if they're looking for something similar? Sure, as a really

Madison Lee 30:31

cool company is called glassy with an IT. Basically, you can bring them they make 3d render content, however, you want to use that. So design reviews, you know, just using it on social ads and stuff, I think a big solve for us, it's going to be, you know, design reviews before we launch, but then also not having to do as many photo shoots. Round, you know, the brand, and the aesthetic has to be a very certain level. And so those sometimes can get kind of cash intensive. And, you know, they turn out beautiful, but for a bootstrap brand, it's tough to consistently keep those up the we found that we launched five new products last year. And a big piece of it was the creative around that. So I'm excited to kind of test the boundaries on what tech can do for us there and maybe not have so much. You know, so many photo shoots and everything lined up for those. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 31:31

yeah, I'm sure it's just time and money. Intensive. I can imagine of just, yeah, having to think through all of that. So I'll have to check them out glossy and then you mentioned mini chat as well. You said like clay do that like a plugin for? Yeah.

Madison Lee 31:49

So it basically just think of it as your Klaviyo for E commerce. So you can run direct communication back, I'm sure anytime you've seen LIKE, COMMENT x for the link, that it's either through mini chat or one of those kinds of things. But mini chat has a lot of lot of features where you can really just have a two way conversation and setup flows for them. It helps on customer service stuff, a lot of people just kind of go to the DM when they're doing something. And you can kind of Instagram and gorgeous have a few features. But this is just kind of like, a lot more robust to communicate with and you can run discounts and promotions just to exclusive, you know, lists within that. So we just launched that a couple of months ago and are growing that list, but it's been a great platform for us so far. Okay,

Mariah Parsons 32:36

wonderful. Yeah, I always love hearing, you know, the tech side, what people are finding to be innovative and helpful in the space. So more than happy to give some shout outs. You mentioned that through mini chat, the customer support angle of just being able to like automize, or automized, automate some of these things and customize, you know, what you want that customer communication to look like? So I'd love to go into the post purchase side of things, the post purchase experience of what are you all concentrating on? When you when someone buys with you of like, what do you want to make sure that the customer is seeing what kind of communications are you sending out? Are you automating for your customers? Yeah,

Madison Lee 33:20

I think it is a very delicate blend of people and tech, because if it is tech people can usually tell pretty early on Yeah, that does not garner brand loyalty. You know, we hired a dedicated customer service person a few few months ago, we kind of piecemeal that with our small bootstrap team and just found that like, we're just taking too long to get back to people. A lot of these are simple things. So of course, gorgeous, has stuff that it can solve for there. But it's just some of those things that are not so clear, you need somebody that is kind of answering the phone, so to speak, at least, you know, just depending on volume, however many times every day to come in and just make sure everything's alright. The unboxing experience is big for us. You know, one of the pieces that I didn't really realize as early on is how important the three PL partner is. I mean, I knew they were doing all this work, they have to get it to the goal line. But I didn't realize it if there's any miscommunication on how you want your customers to receive it. You're pretty disconnected by that it's a warehouse guy and whatever city you know if especially if you're going to one of the big big three PL companies and there's all the processes to go through and just doesn't really work and so, you know, customers were getting things that were not okay, I had to drive a 26 foot truck to Louisville to just pick up all my stuff. It was just like oh my God anymore. I need everything back. We're gonna figure this out and then we'll take the next steps but unboxing experience is big. The post purchase customer experience customer service is big. your post purchase flows, you know, we take a lot of data on our intake form on where you're at in your pregnancy postpartum motherhood journey, so that we make sure we're not sending you some of this just very off. And all that stuff matters, I think to make sure you're getting customers back is is do they feel like? I'm just, you know, one of these, you know, just a number here? Or do they actually, like, know where I am? Are they understanding? So I think you have to also take it with a grain of salt, people are just going to complain about things. And vice Yeah, you better have some sort of processes in place to, you know, smile and say, Thank you, I guess one thing, we brought on a great partner to I'll bring them up just a few weeks ago, onward. And it's packaged protection, shipping protection, customer service on the back end of that to kind of if you want to add that. So, you know, their thing, and it really resonated with me is for early stage brands to keep that want to have a high customer experience a high level of customer experience, you can't really do that profitably. Because there's always going to be people, there's there's mail services that just don't show up, there's going to be people that just complained because the box is dented, but it's still. But whatever, you know, there's things that you can do now to solve for that and make sure no matter what I'm not sacrificing my customer experience, if your box doesn't show up, because you PS loss it USPS whatever, got your new one, you know, and that's where that little chunk of money comes from and takes care of it. So I think it's really important to if you're trying to grow a brand, you know, that's not mass and you need kind of a premium level of experience, then pay attention to the post purchase, customer experience, how they're getting it. You know, all that stuff. It really matters. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 36:57

yeah. And I feel like most people, even if they don't have their own brand, like they're not thinking about from an operations level of a founder, as a consumer, it's an easy test, right? Because you can ask yourself have if I get something that if I have a bad customer experience? What's your personal willingness to like shop with that brand, or those people again, right, your frustration levels can overtake the, you know, the product quality, or the branding, or anything that you like, supporting with that brand. If at the end of the day, you know, you have a terrible experience and you whatever the experience is, say, product is broken, or whatever. And then you're met with the customer support team that isn't helpful, or a boss or something. And you're not able to kind of rectify the process of something that you paid for and you're disappointed with, then it can be pretty damning. And so I think it's, I always like to remind listeners of like, even if you're not, if you're thinking about founding a brand, because we've had people reach out, right, and you know, just share that all these things can be so difficult, it's very easy to get insular and think about like, okay, there's so many different things that you have to solve. But when, when you think at the end of the day of okay, bare minimum, what should you care about? And like, that's the customer experience is what it all boils down to, right? What's that sentiment that the customer is left feeling with, and you hope that it's a good one. And if it isn't a good one, then you hope that you can change the majority of them. So I love hearing that you're focused on you know, shipment protection and making sure that you want that high level of customer success or customer support, even if you aren't able to, you know, have have that in house. So I love hearing that there's, you know, people out there partners out there. Ensuring that, you know, you can focus on you can be you can rest easily or rest easier, maybe of knowing that your customers will be taken care of if something goes wrong in the delivery process.

Madison Lee 39:04

Yeah. And you think as a founder, like you're doing all this work to get people to buy your stuff. And then when they buy it, what's the experience, so we really care, we have branded boxes, every package we send out is in a nice soft touch branded box. It's got a, you know, a branded booklet that tells you about the brand and the products. You know, you know, a lot of times there's notes from Mary and myself, you know, just kind of putting those in there if we if we see some of that a lot of times like people will just kind of, I think just generally take things to the 98 yard line and then not realize the last two are probably the most important. So that's where we've kind of realized the last couple quarters is we cannot sacrifice on who is packing these things up and then you know, the service and what they're getting after it has to be topped here because there and you just don't really have a brand if people are not coming back to buy more than once

Mariah Parsons 39:59

Yeah, yeah, the the CAC costs are there too high to not focus on customer retention. And hence why I find myself very interested in this space and why this podcast is called retention Chronicles. So with that, I want to wrap us up because I know we're getting to about that time, which is always goes by so So, so quickly. But I always like to provide space, if there's anyone else you'd like to shout out, or any products or any launches that you're looking forward to. Or if you just want to provide, you know, any sort of last thought touches your audience, I would like to do that now. Yeah,

Madison Lee 40:41

I think even just to dovetail what we were just talking about it with, everyone's on Amazon now. So it, they have the growing brands have a hard time to keep up with that. So I do think it is important to make sure you are putting the right partners in place. And a lot of that just comes with software, take all of it with a grain of salt, you never kind of know, like, who's getting a kickback for this or that and like what's going on, but like, there's a lot of great great, great software and great minds out there that are solving those problems. And so don't be afraid you can do a lot with a very small team, because of all the pieces of software that are out there. You know, you're going to strike out on some and some you're just not really going to know until you get in there, what the experience is like. But I think a lot can be done now, you know, with Shopify and all these software partners coming out that really help things like getting your customers back and making sure the messaging to them is tailored and segmented so. Yeah, I was excited to come and talk about all this. This

Mariah Parsons 41:48

was really fun. Okay, wonderful. makes my day. Thank you so much Madison. It was a great, great chat, and I'm excited to stay connected and keep cheering you on. Awesome. Thank

Madison Lee 41:56

you so much. Great to meet you, as well.