It’s every marketer’s dream: To create a product that people don’t just enjoy, but are passionate about. Such is the case with Clio Snacks, Greek yogurt products dipped in chocolate – a craveable treat without the guilt.
In this episode of Community Powered Marketing, Sue chats with Rachel Moore, Chief Marketing Officer at Clio Snacks, who shares her insights into the Clio brand and how they’ve empowered their community.
Discover the origins of Clio Snacks, including their founder’s story and the passionate love their customers have shown from the beginning.
You’ll learn about the Clio Cravings Club, an ambassador program designed to make members feel as if they are a vital part of the brand’s journey, aiding in areas such as innovation and receiving sneak peeks at new products.
You’ll discover why embracing and engaging with your early adopter audience is so vital to creating a powerful and passionate community.
You’ll also learn how you can leverage your engaged and passionate community to drive innovation within your brand.
Join Sue and Rachel as they explore the extraordinary story of Clio snacks, and offer insights that can be implemented to enhance your own brand marketing efforts.
“…We did a lot of vetting, and as you mentioned, a lot of ambassador programs out there are really based on purchase behavior. If you buy, you get a discount, or if you buy, you get swag. And for us, we felt like that is a piece of the pie. We do have a dotcom. We do sell products on our website. But we were what was more important to us was sharing and learning, and using our ambassadors not only as kind of an internal insight group, but also as a megaphone for the brand to share with our friends and family.
You are listening to Community Powered Marketing podcast. The podcast dedicated to empowering marketers to unlock the sales potential of their audience through an online brand community. At a time of seismic change, we’ve community become the single most important tool to drive customer acquisition, retention, and sales, and companies that understand how to leverage Community Powered Marketing are really uniquely positioned to disrupt their industry and dominate their market. So, each week, we will help you discover how to cultivate your community, mobilize your brand evangelists, and how to build a game-changing relationship with your most valuable consumers. Your audience is waiting.
I’m your host, Sue Frech, CEO of Vesta, the single most powerful all-in-one online community building software for brands.
Sue: Thank you for joining me for another episode of Community Powered Marketing. I am so excited we have Rachel Moore as our guest today. Rachel is the vice president of marketing for Clio Snacks and I will tell you by the end of this podcast you will be out there running to get your Clio Snacks because they certainly are, as Rachel Moore and her team say, they are craveable. She has been with the brand for three years. She oversees every facet of marketing from brand strategy to innovation. In her day-to-day role, she leads cross-functional agency teams to drive mass awareness by introducing Clio to brand new consumers and turning them into loyalists. Previously, Rachel held marketing roles at E & J Gallo Winery where she successfully managed over 15 multimillion-dollar brands with the parent company, working on brands like Barefoot Wine, Bubbly, and Andre Champagne. I know you’re going to find it so interesting to hear how Rachel Moore’s ambassador program means a one-to-one relationship and talk about how she is able to leverage community powered marketing to engage these consumers and loyalists and advocates and ambassadors at scale. So, I am so excited to have Rachel here. Thank you for listening in, and let’s dive right in.
Sue: Rachel, I am so excited to have you on the podcast, and before we partnered with you I actually was not aware of Clio Snacks but I will tell you: Huge fan in our house. I do have a quick story: I thought I was so brilliant in putting our Clio Snacks in our freezer and then, of course, I come to find out that is actually one of the ways that people love them. So, I was all ready to tell you about my great idea.
Rachel: I love hearing it. It is always awesome to hear. We want to just bring more people to the brand, so hearing you have been able to discover, try and then fall in love is of course what any marketer and brand lover wants to hear!
Sue: So great! That brings me to the brand. It’s actually, you know, everybody that tries them loves them. It’s a snack; it’s a desert; it’s a breakfast; so delicious. Can you share, which I thought was so fun, the founder story, I really think it’s unique and the audience may like to hear it?
Rachel: Yeah of course, so it takes us back to kind of 2014-2015. Our founder, Sergey Konchakovskiy, is a Ukrainian emigrant. At the time, he was on vacation when he actually discovered how to make a Clio bar. He was on vacation in his home in Pennsylvania. They were cleaning out the fridge after a forgotten lamb roast or they were supposed to have a lamb roast, it got canceled for some reason. He had forgotten he had made this yogurt rub that was sitting in the back of his fridge and so his kids were helping to clean out the refrigerator and they came across this yogurt that had been sitting in a cheesecloth and they were playing with it like playdough and eating it. And he said, “yuck, you should just throw that away; that can’t be good” and his kids turned to him and said well, it’s not bad dad, but it could be good, especially with chocolate. Fast-forward a couple of years to 2015 when he ultimately produced the first bar. So that is where the idea for Clio kind of stemmed from in tandem with inspiration from a snack that he had back in Eastern Europe. They are kind of cottage cheese-esque snacks that are in Eastern Europe; they were covered in chocolate and so the combination of that is ultimately how he came up with the idea of Clio. Not to get into all the details, but basically, it took him quite a bit of time to make the first bar because no one could make it. Everyone he went to said there will be too much money or it will never work and through buying machinery at an auction in Europe and basically building a facility himself, he ultimately produced that first bar in 2015 and sold it in the North-East. It was pretty much in kind of regional grocers at that time and then 2018 was really when the brand took off, went through a re-brand, and now as I said, it is a nationally available snack which has been a really exciting journey to see.
Sue: That is such a great story and hopefully his kids are telling the story that they have invented it. A completely new product. I love that! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! And we are always like “Oh my gosh, I should have thought of that!” but it really is and so as you said, it is so great tasting. So, let’s talk about your background now. How did you end up at Clio Snacks and, sort of, where you’ve come from in the marketing world.
Rachel: Yeah, I joined the organization back in 2018. I was one of I think, and it is hard to remember back that far because it feels like decades ago, but I was I think one of like 10 team members at that time, came on to start and build the marketing function, and so, prior to that, I was actually at E & J Gallo Winery up in Modesto, California, focussing on kind of entry point priced wines like Barefoot, Andre, Carlo Rossi, etc. and happened to, through a co-worker, get connected to someone at Clio. Again, kind of just a friend, and ultimately had a really kind of a robust conversation and felt like it was the right time to make a change and make a jump for products that felt so unique. It’s not often that you find a product that is truly differentiated, but also has mass-market appeal and that to me is what Clio kind of perfectly encompasses. And so the opportunity to be able to make a jump to help build and grow the organization to where it is today was one I just couldn’t turn down. So I have been able to use a lot of my learnings from both E & J Gallo Winery and then prior to that was at Abercrombie & Fitch at their headquarters in Columbus, and I’m being able to kind of pull insights from all of my experiences, to ultimately help guide the brand to where it is today.
Sue: And I love that you also were able to see that opportunity which is not enough just to invent the product but also being able to join the right team and the right company, and I think that is really exciting that you have made such a great decision. Why do you think Clio Snacks had such a strong following from consumers early on?
Rachel: Yeah, that’s a great question, It kind of shocked me upfront how much people loved Clio. I have this video that I saved from probably six months after we launched our Instagram. It’s a girl running to her doorstep screaming out of excitement because there was a Clio box outside of her doorstep.
Sue: I love it.
Rachel: It’s incredible when you see a product, and I do not mean to downplay what we do, but it’s yogurt and chocolate, right? Like, it’s a cool product and it tastes delicious, but to have that amount of passion for it is pretty incredible. And so what I think really drives it is the fact that it is better for you good items; something that is good for you like greek yogurt and we have finally made it craveable. We use that word a lot and you will see it in the name of our ambassador program, but it’s the idea that we often, as a society, are told that we shouldn’t lean into our cravings. A major part of our target audience was told, like, not to lean into your cravings and you should feel guilty about it or you should feel bad about it, whether it be food-related or whether it is like giving yourself me-time if you’re a mom, and you just feel this inate sense of guilt and we feel like that shouldn’t be the case. You should be able to love what you crave and I think that insight is really why people love Clio. Because you can have this indulgent cheesecake-like experience, and not feel guilty about it, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. You should be able to lean into it and so for us that is truly what I think the magic behind Clio is. We tapped into that feeling that you just want to indulge and give yourself something just a little bit special.
Sue: I love it and that makes so much sense that your craveable element falls right within that Clio Craving’s Club, which we will talk about in one second. What I also love, just thinking about what you’re saying, is that it’s something that can be enjoyed at all times of day, but you talked about the mom, but it’s also a product that can be used by all demographics. It’s not like it’s just made for people that work out or for moms on the go. So, you really have that appeal to it and I think that is incredible.
Rachel: Absolutely, I mean I think that is why, like I said when I joined the organization, it was pretty amazing to see innovation happen in such a large category that had not really seen innovation in a long time. We’ve seen drinkables come, we’ve seen different textures come to the yogurt category, but to see an entirely new format is pretty incredible. And to your point to appeal to lots of people, we have our target audience. We know who we are going after. But we also know, and I know in my own household, my husband eats them and is always like “Can I have this last one? Can I steal this last one?” He is eating it on the regular. And then I have a 15-month old as well and we are pulling off the chocolate and allowing him to have bites of the yogurt, and so it really has kind of a role in multiple people’s lives within the household, which I think again just makes it that much more valuable as a product.
Sue: Yeah, that is incredible. So, we love that we are partnering with you, and you built a community on our Vesta platform and I can’t wait to talk about that because so many listeners are thinking: “Oh my gosh, how do I do that with communities; this is overwhelming, or how do I know I am ready”, so I can’t wait to get into that. But can you tell us more about the Clio Cravings Club: Who is it for and what is the value for the members?
Rachel: Yeah, we just feel like the Clio Cravings Club is for anyone who is a fan of yogurt and chocolate. Whoever loves Clio, we want them to join. And the objective of our ambassador program is to really help to foster this one-to-one relationship with our consumers. Again, when I joined, we had no social media. I think we may have had an Instagram account that had 400 followers and hadn’t been touched in three years I think and so, we valued and we still do at the time every single person that was willing to take the time, to follow, to communicate, to talk with us. And so for us, the Clio Cravings Club is another way for us to continue that relationship, to allow them to feel like they are part of this brand. They are just as much a part of the brand as I am, being in the organization, and allowing them to feel like they are on this journey with us. Whether it be helping us with innovation, whether it’s receiving sneak peeks or early access to things, whether it’s being able to share with their friends and family. And in return, getting some sort of discount or some sort of cool swag or whatnot. So it’s really all about just building that loyalty with our consumer base that so loves this product and we’re so grateful that they do, and so it is really about building that over time.
Sue: And I love that. You have hit on so many things that we talk about with potential partners, you know, the one-to-one relationship and how valuable ambassadors are. There is no argument about somebody that is willing to, you know, share, advocate, write testimonials, reviews, and really drive new users to your products and your brands, so I love that ambassador piece of it as well. And then just this idea that you can reward them with non-transactional rewards, too. So you’re not just saying you have to buy from us to get a reward, but if you are willing to share and give us feedback and help us innovate, that is of value to us. So, I think you really hit on so many things with that.
Rachel: Absolutely! I think the last thing to your point is that people are discovering brands in totally different ways than they did five years ago, right? We have seen the rise and the continued kind of sustainability of the influencer. And now a whole idea behind that was finding someone trusting and being able to trust in them sharing out new products that they were discovering. I think one of the most underused things is our consumers. Well, a consumer may have 300 followers that they are actively following and engaging. Their followers are actively involved and engaging with them. And the level of trust in that relationship is that much higher than someone following an influencer. So, for us, like if I share something on my social media, which I think I may have 200 followers, the people that follow me are going to probably listen and maybe it will stick a little bit harder than it would if it was some random ad received. So for us, the value of that communication out and the sharing and the word of mouth component is so valuable because we believe the stickiness of that one communication point may be a lot stronger than even some of our other tactics that we do to help build our full and robust strategy. But this is a very sticky version of driving consumers and awareness of the brand.
Sue: So Rachel, one of the things that I really appreciate for marketers is when they understand the value of those early adopters of their products and their brand. What we would call their “super fans” or ambassadors. So, talk a little bit about prior to working with us. How did you initially start engaging your fans? Maybe you can talk about your VIPs as well, you know, before working with us, and then how did you know you were ready to graduate to a platform or just software?
Rachel: Yeah, so for us, like I said, we saw really early on this kind of fanatic love for the brand and so we talked I think 6 months into rebrand about launching an ambassador platform. But at the time, we were a small business, we were just trying to grow. So, we wanted to test it. We leveraged social media primarily to build a community with 100 ambassadors. Now we call them our VIPs because they were the originals who joined the ambassador program. But we started it on Facebook. We started a group on Facebook. It was a private group, we invited these ambassadors to the group. We had them execute missions for us, whether it was sharing on social or writing reviews, and we tracked everything in a Google Doc. It was very manual, but it was a great way for us to say: Based on the time investment of we’re putting into this, what are we getting out? Are our consumers actually wanting to action for the brand? Are we seeing the kinds of responses that we were expecting to see? Then, as we started to see that grow, we built that into an exclusive Instagram account, where we could then share out missions and make sure that they were aware of new news that was happening within the brand. Then at that point, once we were able to kind of prove and validate with 100 followers or 100 ambassadors, we started to say “Okay, how do we scale this?”. And we knew in order to scale and track and more efficiently and effectively welcome more users and to be able to open it up to everyone, we needed to find a software. We did a lot of vetting, and as you mentioned, a lot of ambassador programs out there are really based on purchase behavior. If you buy, you get a discount, or if you buy, you get swag. And for us, we felt like that is a piece of the pie. We do have a dotcom. We do sell products on our website. But what was more important to us was sharing and learning, and using our ambassadors not only as kind of an internal insight group but also as a megaphone for the brand to share with our friends and family. And so, that is where we wanted to find a platform that would allow us to do all of that and that is ultimately how we ended up partnering with you all at Vesta.
Sue: Yeah! So, thank you so much. Again, I can’t thank you enough because it is so great and again everybody on our team loves your products and is so excited about how well you have really embraced your tone, which we love, and then messaging and it is fun and you can really feel the passion for the brand. What made you, during that decision process, and I love this for the listeners also because I feel like a lot of them are sort of in that decision phase. What really made you decide to work with us? Because there are lots of different solutions out there, so I would love to hear first-hand, you know, why Vesta’s community-building software versus other platforms?
Rachel: Yeah, I think I kind of mentioned that it’s really the flexibility of the platform to do more than just transactional rewards. For us, it was the ability to be able to track consumers as they were sharing on social media. We could also have active discussions with those consumers to again drive loyalty. It was the ability to poll our consumers on an ongoing basis. So, the ability to engage with the consumer in so many different ways, while also not only being rooted in transaction was really, I think, the differentiating factor. Plus the ability on the backend to garner and easily access and manage both the ambassadors and the insights that were coming through. We’re a small team; I think our marketing team totals four people. So the ability to be able to get to those insights quickly, efficiently, and effectively was also very valuable for us as an organization.
Sue: I love that. Being able to scale out of Google Docs and, you know, scaling that ambassador program overall with the community is one of the biggest goals. So, when I talk about goals, what are you hoping to achieve with your Clio Cravings Club now that you’re on a software platform and what are some of the big goals that you are hoping to really attain?
Rachel: Yeah! For us, one was scale. Starting to build and welcome people into the platform. We launched it, I think a couple of weeks ago at this point, to all of our consumers, and our objective by the end of the year was to grow from 100 to 500. We said “If we can get to 500 ambassadors, great!, those are active people talking about the brand on a monthly basis.” And we again unlocked it three weeks ago, and to our surprise, had over 900 people on the platform in three days. It is really exciting, I think, to see so many people wanting to jump in. And again, we are actively working to figure out “how do we continue to provide value to them? How can we make sure they feel engaged and valued by us as a brand?” Where they actively want to share out. So for us, it’s about continuing to build the number of people that are joining and then also how do we drive further engagement and loyalty over time. So, whether that be picking and choosing the right ways to activate and deploy our ambassadors, or again, providing value ads to them whether it be the virtual events that we can have them be a part of or even having them lead those for us as a brand. How do we engage them to make them feel like they are part of a community that is working together? They are part of the brand with us. They are helping to build this brand, and so that for us is a core objective is how do we continue to evolve our relationship with our ambassadors to best meet their needs while also best reaching our goals of driving stronger and stronger awareness and loyalty.
Sue: Yeah, and I love it. We talk about, from our perspective, how it does give brands a competitive advantage because these are relationships you own. You know, it’s data that you are capturing first hand. We call it zero-party data. You know, data consumers are willingly and knowingly sharing with Clio and you are the only brand that has access to it. So that is incredible. And then we talk about the loyalty survey. You know, we are able to really measure over time … is having a relationship with the brand in a community setting, is the engagement and the polls and fun missions, is that creating a deeper form of loyalty, emotional loyalty, lasting loyalty? And that is something that we try to measure through the tools in the platform for the partners that we work with, So it is exciting hearing your goals are exactly aligned with why we built the platform to begin with.
Are you enjoying the show so far? We had like so many resources and tools in the Podcast that it can be tough to keep up. We get it. Look, if it is not obvious already from listening to the show, one of the most important strategies for growing a brand community is in how you cultivate and incentivize your consumers. With 10 plus years of experience in the activation and engagement of online communities, who knows better than Vesta how to do that? Vesta surveyed its own community of one million plus consumers and uncovered the five personas that every marketer should know about to accelerate brand community building. Understanding what motivates and sparks action within each segment will empower you to foster enhanced engagement and drive results for your brand. To get access to this incentives made easy report revealing the five personas, head over to go.vesta-go.com/Incentives. Once again, it’s go.vesta-go.com/Incentives. Now back to the show.
Sue: So today we are here to talk about innovation as well because obviously a brand like yours is born out of incredible innovation. How do you see the community helping you as it relates to innovating forward? Are there any ways that you can share how Clio is really leveraging that community to drive innovation?
Rachel: Yeah, I would say we have always taken the approach of leveraging our consumers as a sounding board for innovation. They are the people that are buying now. They are the people that we are hoping will continue to buy in the future and how do we drive them, outside of driving new of course, to expand our purchases within our brand? And so for us, we are constantly engaging with our community, and in particular, our ambassadors, whether it be polling for flavor expansion, whether it be surveying with product sends, we’ll actually send it to our ambassadors, have them try the product, and probe and ask questions about their thoughts, feedback, about products that we are looking to launch. And like we discussed, a huge piece of this is not only getting insight but driving loyalty. They feel like they are part of the development process and for us that insight is invaluable and then on the back end that loyalty is also invaluable. And so that combination is where we see such value with an ambassador program because we can get so much strong insight from a very valuable consumer base while also again driving long-term loyalty.
Sue: I love that piece of it. And then, something else to consider when I know marketers who are listening is successful new product launches. How do you feel, so now you are leveraging for innovation clearly there is a value exchange because they are able to share feedback and feel more connected to the brand and you are getting this incredible feedback that you can use. How would you think about the community when it comes to ensuring, whether it is a new retail partner, more shelf space, but successful product launches?
Rachel: Yeah, it has definitely been something we have focussed on as well, right? We’re a retail heavy brand. We are driving distribution expansion of both our core products offerings plus innovation very rapidly and so we are really leveraging this consumer base to also share the word about it. So, whether it be going to stores and snapping a selfie and tagging Clio and tagging the retailer that were also expanded in or having them write reviews for us in the retailer.com, so that we are driving kind of this communication about what the experience is like with Clio. We also give them sneak peeks into what is coming, so they are kind of the first to know where we’re getting expanded or what new offerings are coming. And again, that not only benefits us, I would say it’s a two-way street. We are in a relationship and there needs to be a benefit on both sides. And so we are getting our benefit and they are also again reaping the benefit of kind of getting new news or insight early. And subsequently, we offer rewards for those kinds of actions as well.
Sue: I think you just shared a secret sauce. So brands when first launching say “well how do I know I am going to be successful? what do I need to do?” And the one thing we talked about is the value exchange. You know there has to be something in it for them. You have to thank them, reward them, feature them. Give them exclusive access or sneak peeks because the communities, whether or not in our platform, that is just pushing product all of the time is missing the point of that relationship building and I love that you and your team really understand that value exchange.
Rachel: Yeah! I always treat it like a dating relationship. It has to work both ways. Or if you are trying to apply for any job, it’s got to work both ways. You got to be right for the company and the company has to be right for you, and that is how it is with the consumer right? We greatly value them. We know we wouldn’t be where we are without them and so we would be highlighting and showing them how much we do value them I think as a critical piece of our successful ambassador program.
Sue: I so agree with that. So just in talking about the community overall, is there anything else that maybe we didn’t discuss how you’re thinking of leveraging you’re Clio Cravings Club?
Rachel: No, like I mentioned I think where we really see the guts of this program is really leveraging to drive and use our ambassadors as a megaphone to share the word about Clio. I think it is also a really awesome content source for us, How do we drive UGC and content that we can leverage on our social platforms? And also we’re exploring how do we leverage the abilities, strengths and passion points of our ambassadors to ultimately drive further engagement with all of our other consumers. Whether it’s “Hey! we have an ambassador who is a fitness fanatic and who loves to do Zumba dance classes.” I’m thinking of something random. This is not a real example. But we have that person do a Zumba class for full social following. Like if that’s something that we know that our audience in general likes how do we allow ambassadors to share out their passion points while also providing further value for our full consumer base? And so for us, that is how we are starting to think about it, is “how does this group become an even further extension of our brand and us as a marketing organization?”
Sue: That is why you are a marketer. That is a great idea. We talked about that, even in your own personal social circles or organizations, we have someone on our team that teaches yoga, so it is about being able to do that and at scale, but I mean, oh my gosh, you must have so many talents and resources in the community itself, so I am excited to how that develops over time.
Sue: So, now I am at the part where we talk about just from you being a marketer and a consumer, you know what is the best in class community example? So do you watch or follow any brands, which I am sure you do, that may have a community. Maybe not even on a social platform, but consider their audience a community that impresses you that you think is maybe best in class or that you’ve learned from that you can share?
Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. I think for us, one of the ones that has stuck out to me since I was actually at E & J Gallo was the Maker’s Mark community. So they have built an ambassador program and a lot of what we do is inspired by some of their original engagement with their consumers. When you sign up to be a Maker’s Mark ambassador, and I myself am not a Maker’s Mark consumer, my husband is. And when he joined he got this beautiful letter from Maker’s Mark and he got this custom stamped bottle top and it felt like this very personal experience. Like they took the time to value him as a consumer. They have also had events and opportunities for him to further engage and immerse himself in the brand. So I think what I love about what they have done is that they have really taken the personal approach of building that one-to-one relationship. So for us, we have been inspired when consumers join our ambassador program, we are actually working on active kits to send to them, so that they can have kind of fun Clio things that make them feel like a part of a broader community. And so that is one to me that is really impressive with what they have been able to do to keep their ambassadors engaged. I also think they do an incredible job of Surprise and Delight. I always think that Surprise and Delight is one of the greatest things a marketer can do because the moment someone is surprised and there is that excited factor, they are willing to share and they want to talk about it. And so Maker’s Mark is a good example where even I think at Christmas this last year, we randomly got a holiday ornament from Maker’s Mark. Again, very out-of-the-box thinking and didn’t really apply necessarily to the products, but it was made from glass from some part of the facility in which the product is made. It was some interesting tie in to the product and again was that “Surprise and Delight” experience; we weren’t expecting it. So, I think that Maker’s Mark is probably the one I think does an incredible job of really building that one-to-one relationship.
Sue: I would so agree, I will have to tell my husband; he is a huge bourbon drinker. But when you think about that category being so crowded and that feeling you know you can say and again you have to do some scale, but as that person, that consumer standing at the shelf and making that decision, is it with the brand that they are going to, you know, they have a relationship and they feel appreciated, that they are going to pick up that bottle,” and the answer is always “yes”; it is always “yes” and you do that at scale. And it is the marketers that love their product, which is again what I love about your team, but it is, you know, clearly the marketers that are really grateful for that consumer at the end of the day and making them feel special. I love that example.
Rachel: Well…I think the last thing to do is that, as a marketer, I know the time it takes to put that together, to ship it, to custom ship it, to have custom verbiage for my husband, right? Like, that personal touch takes time and so to know that they took the time to put the effort in, to ship that, to get it customized, etc makes you that much more loyal because you are feeling valued by that brand.
Sue: And what I love when I think about community or a platform, which I am not sure how they are using it, but it’s the ability for the consumers to go back and thank the brand because they are so many times this marketers, you know, I used to work in the CPG world at Kraft and GSK and we would do what we thought where these great campaigns. And yes, maybe we saw a sales lift, maybe that wasn’t the purpose, but being able to hear back from the consumers at scale, that that program or that little touch made an impact; that’s really important too. Because where you are investing your time and money moving forward, are programs that have that effect. So, I love that the community would give them that opportunity.
Sue: So, when I think about the listeners, what three things should a marketer think about before launching their community?
Rachel: I think the first thing is before you build a formal community, build that one-to-one relationship. So for us, again, when we started, it was responding quickly to every single social comment, every DM, taking the time to personalize it. I even picked up the phone when we started and I called 45 consumers and had conversations to better understand why they love Clio. And how do we further build that relationship? And so I think really first before even diving into building a formal community is to make sure you are really prioritizing the relationship with your consumer. Then I think when you make the jump I think that for us, what was really successful is that test and learn. Figure out what works, figure out what doesn’t work; like how do we best engage and what do our consumers want to see from us? What value do we need to provide them? Because that value may be different brand to brand. What they come to that brand for is very different and so being able to test and learn and understand how we are going to structure this to make this both beneficial for brand and consumer and then being able to finally scale that, I think is a really important step. Then, I think, the final thing is when you go to scale, be ready to scale. We were hopeful that we’d get 500 consumers, but we were ready to scale to whatever volume that looked like and so we were pleasantly surprised when it was 950 or 900+ versus being kind of concerned when that happened because we were able to capitalize or execute with that many consumers. So I would say, make sure you are also ready to scale and again be pleasantly surprised if it far exceeds your expectations.
Sue: I love it, that is such good advice and I think that is why brands that have, you know, a strong social presence and are focused on that one-to-one relationship maybe in a social platform like Instagram or Facebook, are ready to graduate to a platform like ours. So, I love your advice. So, hopefully, we have made listeners that have not tried your product, want to run out and grab one, and those that have it in their freezer like I do in our fridge, are going to take a break and go grab a Clio Bar. How do people find and purchase your products?
Rachel: Yeah, so we are available nationwide. You can go to Cliosnacks.com and click on our “where to buy” page to find retailers near you, but you can find us in Wal Marts, at select Targets, select Costcos, Wholefoods, Albertsons, Safeways, etc, so quite a few doors across the country. When you walk into stores, we’ll either be in the refrigerated bar, so near brands like Perfect Bar or in the yogurt side; near your traditional greek yogurts and you can look for colorful bright boxes with some cheesecakey looking yogurt on the front and we are really excited to welcome you to be a lover of yogurt and chocolate like we are.
Sue: Yes….yes….yes…and hopefully to join Clio Cravings Club as well. So anything else to add that we might have missed?
Rachel: No…I think we have covered everything. I really, really, appreciate the time and again really appreciate the partnership with you and the Vesta team. We’re really excited to scale this ambassador program and continue to build those relationships moving forward!
Sue: And Rachel, congratulations on all of your success really helping elevate the team overall and all of the work you are doing, it certainly shows. And likewise, we really are grateful for your partnership, and thank you so much for your time today!
Rachel: Of course, have a great rest of your day.
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode of the Community Powered Marketing Podcast. Make sure to hit subscribe on whichever platform you are listening on, and if you like this episode please write a review and share it. This show exists to showcase how brands can unlock the sales, advocacy and insights potential of their audience by incorporating community powered marketing into their brand strategy. Curious about how your brand stacks up in engaging your audience? We have done 10+ years’ worth of data crunching, so you don’t have to. To see how you rank against some of the best at engagement, advocacy, and insights, and to learn more about how the Vesta team can unlock the power of your audience through community, go to vesta-go.com/engagementindex to get your audience engagement index ranking. Once again, it is vesta-go.com/engagementindex. All right, that’s a wrap. We can’t wait to hang with you on the next episode.
Rachel Moore, Chief Marketing Officer, Clio Snacks
Rachel is a results-driven leader with 5+ years of experience in marketing and product management. She’s led cross-functional and agency teams to maximize success in profitability, productivity and execution. With strong analytical, creative and collaborative skills, she’s been able to build brands and drive sales in both turnaround and high-growth situations.
Host: Sue Frech, Founder and CEO, Vesta
Sue has spent her career redefining digital marketing in brand and retail marketing, Martech, and advertising, at brands such as Kraft and Glaxo-SmithKline. She is committed to creating fellow Happy Marketers through Vesta’s all-in-one online community building software, transforming the relationships between brands and consumers with Community Powered Marketing.