Parker Olson from Forij
In this episode of Beyond the Inbox, host Sam interviews Parker Olson, the founder of Forage. Throughout the conversation, Parker recounts his unique entrepreneurial journey, shares his innovative marketing strategies, and discusses his visions for Forage's future.
Parker's unconventional approach to building his business is a central theme of the conversation. He recounts his experiences of living in a tent while building the brand and later transitioning to a van. His commitment and belief in the brand, despite the anxiety of bringing a product to market, are palpable. Parker believes that to succeed, one must be all in and full of belief.
Early wins for Forage included strong local sales traction and early belief from a couple of angel investors who helped them get off the ground. One of their significant achievements was being included in a major retail distributor's emerging brand portfolio, a selection of only 10 brands out of a 10,000 brand portfolio.
Parker also discusses Forage's transition from retail to Direct-to-Consumer (DTC). Initially, they started in a few retailers around Seattle before quickly moving into DTC. Once they had access to distribution through a big distributor, Parker hit the road to "bang on doors".
The conversation then shifts towards the buyer's journey on their website. Parker explains that many people start by visiting their blog, which drives significant traffic due to their SEO efforts. On average, they attract 30 to 60,000 unique users to the blog each month. The next steps usually include visiting the product page and making a purchase, with subscriptions typically happening on the second or third purchase.
Parker shares details about their 30-day clarity commitment, a unique satisfaction guarantee that promises customers a full refund if they don't love their snacks and feel their brain clarity improve in 30 days. This guarantee stands out as a strong commitment to customer satisfaction.
One of the more unconventional marketing strategies that Parker shares involves his floating home on a lake. He talks about a potential marketing opportunity born out of tours conducted in his home. The idea is to give visitors a free sample of their product and provide a QR code for instant purchases. Parker believes in leveraging unique and personal experiences to connect with potential customers.
Parker admits that he often doesn't think big enough or long-term enough and challenges his limiting beliefs to push himself out of his comfort zone. He envisions Forage as a profitable brand that stands on its own, even if he is not directly involved. His goal is to build a brand that resonates with people and makes a difference in their lives.
Read the transcript:
- (07:10) Sam asks Parker about the anxiety of bringing a product to the market
- (07:26) Parker shares his thoughts on the importance of full commitment and belief in the brand
- (08:05) Sam asks Parker about some of their early wins
- (08:08) Parker discusses some of their early successes
- (09:08) Sam asks Parker to share more about his story of living in a tent while building the brand
- (09:42) Sam asks Parker if they started in retail and then moved to Direct-to-Consumer (DTC)
- (10:15) Sam asks Parker about the buyer's journey on their website
- (11:24) Sam asks Parker about their content marketing strategy
- (12:29) Sam asks Parker about their email marketing strategies
- (13:29) Sam asks Parker about their feedback on using SMS for marketing
- (14:08) Sam asks Parker about their approach to upselling to a subscription
- (15:13) Sam asks Parker about their 30-day clarity commitment
- (16:36) Sam asks Parker about a unique marketing opportunity related to his floating home
- (18:18) Sam asks Parker about where he gets his creative marketing ideas from
- (20:55) Sam asks Parker about his vision for the brand in the next five years
- (22:05) Sam asks Parker about the size of their team
- (22:28) Sam asks Parker about their strategy of working with a VA
- (23:15) Sam asks Parker about their approach to building a community
- (25:00) Sam asks Parker about the obstacles they face as they grow the brand
- (26:08) Sam asks Parker where listeners can learn more about Forage