Emerging brand Bulletproof definitely knows how to take on heavyweights in its class and establish itself as a premier lifestyle brand. We recently had the opportunity to speak to James Brown, Lead Business Analyst, about how he uses data to help the company meet its goals.
SpotRight (SR): Bulletproof is well known to those who purchase supplements and read studies about improving human performance. To others, they may have never heard of Bulletproof or realize there’s a company behind the famed Bulletproof Coffee. How would you describe what Bulletproof offers, and what drew you to the company?
James Brown (JB): Bulletproof is a lifestyle company with a single mission: helping everyone unlock the vast potential of being human. While our core products include the well known Bulletproof coffee, and while we embrace the key tenets of the Bulletproof diet, our mantra is much more ambitious: facilitating human improvement in pursuit of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Two things drew me to Bulletproof. First was the company culture – one clearly devoted to humble excellence and continuous growth. While the workspace is casual, flexible, and fun, every team member is expected to constantly learn, improve, and reflect. This sort of ethos is contagious, and a key reason I love my job!
Second, there was a great deal of challenge, personally and professionally, in embracing a new role as the first analytics hire at a rapidly growing ecommerce company with an expanding brick-and-mortar presence. Before joining the Bulletproof team, I’d spent a few years in social media analytics (where I also used SpotRight to great effect), and loved that world. But nearly a year into my new position, I’ve had the opportunity to dramatically expand my skillset in business intelligence and data analytics, as well as learn from some of the best across many fields – from ecommerce to retail to finance and supply chain.
SR: As a relatively new player in this space, how do you compete against more established brands?
JB: We have two primary competitive advantages. The first is our product set, which is both deeply popular among our customers and meticulously crafted. We take the time to understand our market, research our offerings, figure out what people want, and effectively execute launches. Then, we dive deep into our product data to understand what went wrong (and what went right!) so we can do a better job next time. It’s a cycle of testing, learning, and iteration that mirrors the overall culture and allows us to be highly proactive.
And this leads us to our second key advantage – the depth and granularity of our data. My team’s central goal is to map the customer journey – an ambitious task that involves collecting as much relevant data as we can, as rich as possible, to drive decisions. The result is a holistic view of our customer landscape – from initial brand exposure to acquisition pathways to purchase, fulfillment, retention, and support.
SR: What advice would you give to other companies (or marketers) seeking to establish an emerging brand in a crowded landscape? Are there certain skills or investments you’d recommend?
JB: We hear about data everywhere: how our world is becoming increasingly “datafied,” that it’s the oil of the 21st century, and the like. It can all come off as trite, but it’s demonstrably true. The companies that invest in information – about their competition, their products, their processes, their potential opportunities, and, most of all, about their customers – will thrive and win big.
So my advice for other organizations, whether it’s an entire company or a marketing department, is to invest deeply in understanding your business through your data. Not everyone needs a data warehouse, but everyone should be willing to devote the up-front time to building out an analysis infrastructure suited to their needs – even if it’s rudimentary at first. The commodification of data in recent years means it’s no longer prohibitively expensive to access the right information quickly, and often in vast quantities. So there are few excuses not to measure, learn, and test.
SR: Why did you choose to partner with SpotRight?
JB: One of the key pillars of our research at Bulletproof is customer insights. But as anyone who works in CI can tell you, there’s a bevy of data providers on the market, all of which offer different things. And, when you’re operating a nimble analytics unit on a budget, you can’t afford the suite of tools the big players can acquire.
SpotRight is an ideal solution for this problem. It’s cost-effective, allowing businesses of all sizes, and analytics initiatives of varying sophistication, to derive value. It’s intuitive, fun to use, and delivers results fast – no waiting a few days for a report to generate. And it’s comprehensive, allowing us to layer customer insights throughout our data platform. We don’t have to choose between analyzing organic conversation around our brand, deep-diving into the customer profiles of our email subscribers, and deriving insight on our customer base. With SpotRight, we can do it all with minimal effort and maximum impact.