This is a follow up story for SNOW. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Bootstrapping A Household Brand Beyond $100M at 28 years old
My name is Josh Elizetxe, commonly known as “Josh Snow”. I have been building and scaling businesses for 10+ years. Most recently, our brand of premium oral care products, SNOW, has garnered over 10,000 reviews and is considered a fan favorite.
The flagship product focuses on the cosmetic benefit of oral care with a teeth whitening system for professional whitening at-home.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Since SNOW has helped popularize at-home treatments (having received over 25 million unique shoppers to the website), the pandemic ended up increasing our demand as new customers and waves of returning customers wanted to rely on SNOW’s teeth whitening products to keep their confidence high during ZOOM calls and quarantine.
We wanted to wait until we hit a few thousand before/after photos submitted from real customers before launching our ambassador program. This program allows for superfans of the brand to share their results and recommend friends over to SNOW.
The biggest accomplishment this year was seeing how many customers came back to support our business during the pandemic. We more than doubled our returning customers in 2020 and see customers upgrading their entire routine to SNOW.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
We have always operated with just-in-time (JIT) inventory, but not knowing how COVID would affect supply chains was rough. I think we were all blindsided by the pandemic, but I certainly wish we would have prepared our supply chain for extreme circumstances better. Luckily, our customers stuck by our side and we were able to grow significantly as a result of our community.
Ecommerce benefits from people staying home and spending more time on social media. This is something we didn’t plan for, but it has certainly caused a rise in demand for our products.
The lesson we learned was to plan for scenarios of extreme uncertainty. Moreover, tightening up processes and honing in on your core customer base can only help.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
We survey each of our customers to ask them questions like, “what would you like us to create next?”. That question is fun because it uncovers where we might have earned permission from the audience to venture into it.
Focus closely on the customers and the efficacy of your products first, then the design and marketing afterward.
I’m overly excited about the new products we have in the pipeline. We have really reimagined some household staples based on our customer feedback. In 5-years from now, we hope for Snow to grow to 100,000+ reviews.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
Billion-Dollar Brand Club has become a recent favorite. It breaks down some of the most popular D2C brands and their rise to Unicorn valuations.
Obsessed is another recent favorite. The focus is on building a lovable brand. If your products don’t work, you don’t focus on the customer, and you lack differentiation, then your business could struggle with growth.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
If you are disrupting a category, be prepared for people to try to add friction to your rise. Focus closely on the customers and the efficacy of your products first, then the design and marketing afterward.
Look for 1 new sales channel that can be at least 25% of your marketing budget at scale. It needs to be scalable, but also profitable.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are always hiring experts seeking mastery to join the Snow family.
Some of the roles open right now include TikTok media buyer and head of new product development.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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