Safe Smiles with Spotlight Oral Care

Safe Smiles with Spotlight Oral Care
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""We have nothing to hide and neither do our products!" - that's the mantra Sisters Dr Lisa & Vanessa Creaven live by - both practising dentists - when they founded Spotlight Oral Care. 5 years on and the brand has emerged as one of Ireland's breakout brands, with a rapidly growing presence in the UK & US markets. Join founder Dr Lisa Creaven & CMO Siobhan Nolan - Mulkerrins as we dive into the strategies behind Spotlight's groundbreaking success."

Adam Kitchen  0:02  

Okay, today we're joined by my favourite clients of all time today. Dr Lisa Craven, who is the co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care and Siobhan Nolan, who is head of marketing. Welcome, guys. Why don't we start with you? Give us a background, Lisa, on how you started the brands, and then Siobhan will maybe you can give an intro on your position as well in the company.

Lisa Creaven  0:22  

Sure. So my name is Lisa Creaven, I'm one of the co-founders of Spotlight Oral Care. So I am a dentist and along with my sister about five years ago, we set up a Spotlight Oral Care. And it was really in response to a disconnection between what we know to be true as dentists, and what is available for customers to buy when they go in-store or online. Everything we do in practice is solely based on science, research, and data. And then what we would see in-store is like, to be honest, kind of like trend-led healthcare masters.

So we wanted to create an oral care company that was best in class. And that what that means is clinically proven active ingredients targeting your individual needs as a customer, because you have individual oral health needs, and sustainably packaged and ethically sourced. And so we launched five years ago, we're available across Europe, in the US where Omni channels are in D2C and in retailers and notably in the US or in CVS on and Ulta. So yeah, we've had great growth, and we're excited to continue the growth.

Adam Kitchen  1:32  

Awesome. Siobhan?

Siobhan Nolan  1:34  

So I'm Siobhan and I'm the VP of Marketing at Spotlight, which I joined almost two years ago. And at that point, Spotlight was predominantly a retail business. And since then we've kind of tried to really lead the growth across direct to consumer and, you know, grower-owned and organic channels, as well as the performance and paid media aspect. And I come from a really varied background before I joined Spotlight, so pure nonprofits into politics into digital marketing and beauty brands then, so here we are, and it's been an amazing opportunity to work in a founder-led company, but also to I suppose the growth that we've had across DTC over the last two years has been like an amazing roller coaster to have been on as well. 

Adam Kitchen  2:28  

Awesome. Okay, before we come on to Leah's yellow teeth.

Leah Magee  2:36  

I have been using Spotlight stuff. My teeth are pearly white thank you very much.

Adam Kitchen  2:40  

I did give her some teeth whitening strips.

Siobhan Nolan  2:42  

Leah you don't have to take that now.

Leah Magee  2:48  

Aye Adam, you have to see me on Monday.

Adam Kitchen  2:53  

Okay, so yet sticking on the retail message that you mentioned before because when I first spoke to you guys, as you said, COVID really accelerated the DTC sides of the business, where you traditionally went into retail and then when COVID came about it was just a quick transition online? Or was it always a cornerstone of the strategy? And after obviously, becoming predominantly to say, as it changed your perspective on the strategy in retail, like, how did that work out?

Lisa Creaven  3:25  

So I mean, I think when we started, the company was very much a very organic, you know, growth. Like it wasn't, there was no huge strategy. When we started at first, we launched first into retail. So we launched into pharmacies and like beauty stores really in Ireland. And I think the reason that that was so successful initially was that going into pharmacy, it's naturally a very good space for us because everything we do is science-backed and all focused on proper ingredients. So pharmacists want to support products that work.

So that was a really good fit for us. But a lot of our marketing from the start was all pretty much online in terms of influencer marketing, and the support was online, even for a retail initial kind of start. We had always planned to accelerate our DTC growth. And I think there was a great timing issue there as well as COVID kicked off that accelerated that growth. But that was definitely on the cards for us to go deeper into that area because that's where our customer is our customer we know is spending more time on DTC and is very engaged across social.

So kind of as founders and faces of the brand. We want to spend a lot more time on DTC and that focus. I think retail versus DTC is very dependent on the market that you're in. I mean we are available across Ireland, the UK and Europe and we see DTC so powerful there. I mean, and then there's the  US where there is no denying the power of US retailers.

So I think they're totally different in terms of how you approach it, and you have strengths and weaknesses, and as long as you're recognising how different they are and what strengths you have in retail, and what are the opportunities in retail, I think that you have to be omnichannel, I think for a lot of brands. And it's important to us that we are an omnichannel. So we were predominantly retail. Now we're 60/40 DTC, and it's very likely in the next year or two will be, you know, could be even 60 or 70%. Retail again. So I think it depends on where you are as a company and what your long term goals are in terms of where you want to be. But for us, it's very much an omnichannel in terms of our approach.

Adam Kitchen  5:47  

Yeah, that's interesting, I think you're right, you have to have that physical availability everywhere to make the product easy to pick up and consume. Before we go on to the US, you talked about the forms of being in the pharmacies in Ireland, I spoke to a few brands like health supplements, as well. And they always talk about getting into the Irish pharmacies. It's that because it's like a really strong community there?

Lisa Creaven  6:10  

Such a strong community. And also, I think Irish pharmacy is amazing in terms of the training and the level of knowledge that their team members have in store, I think they do a phenomenal job in terms of education and driving awareness of brands. And I think it's a really super channel for brand awareness, getting your brand started. And we see year on year growth in an Irish pharmacy, and it's honestly down to the skill set of amazing Irish people, and we're so intelligent and smart. So, you know, like this, this comes down to our pharmacy channel also. So it's, it's an amazing channel is something I'm proud of and proud to be associated with our pharmacy.

Adam Kitchen  6:53  

Well, definitely can't say scousers are smart. Anyway, that's going to be Leah taking over for a minute.

Leah Magee  7:04  

So leading on from what you were saying, obviously, from using the Irish pharmacies to working within the US. Me and Adam kind of had a bit of a chat about this before. It can sometimes be really hard going from the UK to going over to the US and trying to crack it. Have you had any challenges? Have you had to bring up any different marketing strategies, especially for just the US market? Like Siobhan? I think this is probably a bit more towards you. So yeah, have you come up with any more strategies for the US?

Siobhan Nolan  7:43  

I think, you know, we have to look, as Lisa said, at all of the markets, very individual, and, you know, say for example, in Ireland, and, you know, to the UK to a certain extent, we had huge brand awareness when you're moving into DTC and you can really capitalise on your customer already, knowing who you are. When you're moving into a new market, you know, you need to allow sufficient budget going into your spend that is solely on brand marketing, and just getting your brand positioning across the line. And, you know, I suppose the main thing there is the US is such an expensive place to market in versus Europe that you need to have sufficient budget within your strategy to actually grow there, it is very tough, we would find that, you know, particularly from a DTC perspective, you know, they're buying lower average order value items than we would see in Ireland in the UK.

So our strategy has to pivot into that. But as a brand, you know, the more we grow in retail within the US, the better it will be for the company overall. And the more organically our DTC will grow along with that. So we find, you know, every aspect, every single customer touchpoint is different from Ireland, to the UK to the US. And it's not really Europe versus the UK. It's just re-looking at, you know, the audience profile and your customer personas, and who's engaging with you? And What content do they want to see? And what discount do they need to see?

Or, you know, what added value did they need to see? Do they need to see a subscription and it takes a while to get to that point, and you need probably 12 months of learning. So it is a big financial strategy to do that. But I think that that's really where you see the challenge in it is how expensive it is to market there but also allowing yourself that time to take those learnings and then continually pivoting your strategy based upon what's working.

Leah Magee  9:39  

Yeah, I just wanted to ask you about branding. It's so important, I think in America compared to the UK, we look at brands in a specific way. We are powerful names. That's what we go for. You can have It's kind of ingrained in you like if your family buys something, you end up buying it. And it goes like that. Have you seen anything different in America in the way that people buy like that? Is it a household name as well? Is there any specific advice that you'd give to someone to go there?  If you want to go on crack America, do this. Like, is there any specific things that you've picked up on?

Lisa Creaven  10:22  

I think you need to look at your market research in terms of what your USP is, versus those household brands. And you're totally right, like consumer behaviour leads people to buy, what they also bought, always bought, or what their families bought, or you know, what colour they like, maybe for when it comes to oral care when they're in the supermarket, you know, maybe red stands out more, but if you can get your messaging, right, in terms of your packaging, and also, you know, your point of sale, or you know, how you're displayed across your DTC, and what differentiates you from your competitors, it'll organically grow, and then leveraging word of mouth, then from that point, you know, so if it's very clear to your consumer, why you are different compared to those other brands. They'll tell other people about it, too.

Adam Kitchen  11:06  

Yeah, it's really interesting. Going back to what you said about using retail to create brand awareness as well. We've worked with some amazing brands like you guys and others as well, who 've done really well in Europe, like Germany, the UK, different countries, like the Netherlands. But when it comes to the US, like the AOV, they just can't scale the brand, because they're losing money when they try to acquire customers. And they have basically pivoted the strategy and said, Okay, first we need to go into targets and Walmart's and then we can lower the acquisition cost and grow the brands online. That's super interesting to see the difference.

Lisa Creaven  11:45  

I think when you look at different brands in the US as well, like, you know, in Europe, you might have you if you're on DTC and Amazon, and you're in retail, and you're on other online retailers. You know, in the US, a lot of times people will launch in one channel or two channels, and they focus down on where they want success. So I think key learning is to be really careful in terms of picking the channel that suits you better and aligns with your business goals. Because if you spread yourself too thin, you're just not going to get anywhere. And just because you're huge in retail doesn't actually mean it's going to even trickle down to DTC. Just because you're great on Amazon doesn't mean anything in another channel. So it's just about being really careful about what channels you're in and making sure that you're growing success after success as a part as opposed to going too broad initially. Yeah. 

Siobhan Nolan  12:37  

I think that's a reason as well, like, why, you know, when you look at like case studies of brands who've gone to the US, and they've been in retail, they really leverage Amazon as their second channel before going to DTC because it's just a trusted marketplace. And they know that okay, maybe their acquisition cost there might be slightly higher, you know, trying to compete with, huge brands on there in terms of competitive keywords, etc. But if you can, if you can do that successfully, it also helps with your brand awareness, you know?

Adam Kitchen  13:06  

Yeah, absolutely. Makes sense. Yeah, it's an interesting market. Someone needs to start off a niche, how to crack America, like, that's an agency within itself.

Lisa Creaven  13:17  

Good luck to them.

Adam Kitchen  13:20  

So this is something we've been back and forth on over a few months. And I know, especially for a lot of founders as well in the sustainability market when they create a great product. And they've got a sustainability angle to it as well, they really tried to leverage that and push it because it's important to them. And obviously, it's nice to know that you make a difference in the world as well. And Leah and I were speaking to Matt at Fussy. Last week he also has a natural deodorant brand and said, first and foremost, the consumers want a product that works, that's the most important thing. And then the sustainability aspect is secondary to them. Like is that frustrating for you, knowing that consumers think that way? Like, and it's that major emphasis the messaging less?

Lisa Creaven  14:08  

Yeah, like, I think sustainability is such a key aspect to any business. You know, I think in particular oral care, like most oral care brands, like the big players have such a despicable record, in terms of like, you know, their impact on the environment, child slave labour, deforestation. I mean, if you just Google amnesty plus any of the bigger brands, you will, you will see a kind of litany of poor performance. But I don't think people buy products because they're sustainable. I think that it's honestly just necessary. You have to be sustainable.

You have to have an aspect of your business that you're looking at and you're constantly trying to improve. I think for the vast majority of customers, it's not the reason why they buy your product, but it's a reason that they are more loyal to a product going forward, and it might be affecting their lifetime value. But in terms of acquiring a customer for the first time, I don't think sustainability actually, unfortunately, is the biggest driver, I think that's going to change, I think it's going to become more and more important, but like similar, you know, to Fussy, like, people buy all care, because they want they need it to work, you're not going to buy toothpaste, you know, if it's not going to work, you're not going to wear or use a deodorant or if it's not going to work.

So I think your products have to be really, really good products, they have to do what they're supposed to do, they have to be really effective. And it's absolutely necessary that it's, I think, going forward, that it's sustainable, or you're looking at it, you're trying to improve it. Because honestly, in most industries, there isn't a huge amount being done. And although it seems like a very topical issue, we're really only beginning the sustainability conversation. And so, you know, it's just absolutely necessary for you to have that incorporated in your brand pillars, but not the reason to buy.

Leah Magee  16:05  

Yeah, I think what you say in there, and I think just to reiterate what Matt was saying when you go to search for a product, you don't type in toothpaste, good for the planet, you type in toothpaste, good for whitening, toothpaste, good for your gums, toothpaste, good for something, because if you really didn't want to impact the planet or you wouldn't use something. If he was gonna go to zero for nothing to have zero impact. It's like you still want to take care of yourself. And you still want it to be an additional factor.

Adam Kitchen  16:41  

That's why my teeth are so yellow because I'm doing it for the planet.

Lisa Creaven  16:47  

You're such an environmentalist Adam 

Leah Magee  16:50  

the least environmentalist person ever,

Lisa Creaven  16:52  

You're a consumer through and through

Adam Kitchen  16:56  

I always bang on about this book, Byron Sharp, on how brands grow. He talks a lot about how you think you've got like, you need multiple messages to connect with consumers. So for example, say you think you know, the main reason customers buy the products is because they want whiter teeth, which might be true. But he says it doesn't mean you should emphasise all the messages last because when you think of something like Coca Cola, for example, you say, Oh, I'm thirsty, and then Coca Cola pops into your head. But he said people also think about Coca Cola when they think about going to the cinema. And then they go oh, I'll buy a Coca Cola, or, let's go to, you know, we're going to have a meal. So they think of Coca Cola naturally, when they get these thoughts to crop up in the ads. And I think I've seen over brands as well, they become so obsessed with one message that they forgot the other ways to penetrate the markets.

Lisa Creaven  17:48  

And I think there are ways as well of communicating aspects of being so direct about every single message, you know, there's, there are thoughtful ways to communicate messages, as well. And I think this is where CRM comes in. And all its glory is where you have that opportunity to educate, and drive awareness, but the other aspects of your brand, I think that's where it's really impactful. 

Siobhan Nolan  18:13  

Yeah, I think from a sustainability perspective, again, about like, knowing who your customer is, and what message resonates with them, if you wanted to, you know, have sustainability as your core brand pillar, like I think particularly in the US market, you're going after a very young Gen Z, you know, when oral care is, you know, it's for everybody, it's not for one particular segment or cohort of customers. So as a brand, you know, thankfully, with having Lisa and Vanessa as founders, our core brand pillars that were created by dentists and that it's credible. And then it's also good for the environment and it also works you know, so there's something for everyone within that. However, if you were just going to solely focus down on that sustainable product if you don't have either the credibility or the results-driven aspect of it. I don't think that you would have the CLV you know that you need to have in order to grow a business.

Adam Kitchen  19:11  

Yeah, you are just targeting such a tiny portion of the market if you just lead with that one sway. I agree with you, really someone has commented. Some Colgate, but you don't want that you want Spotlight.

Leah Magee  19:24  

I'm not a Colgate fan. They are burning down the rainforest. I'm not into it. 

Lisa Creaven  19:33  

You said

Leah Magee  19:35  

Be gone with your Colgate.

Lisa Creaven  19:39  

I would also say though if you want to change like this is the thing as well. If you want to change in the environment and to actually make an impact, then brands have to get bigger, you know like you can't have small niche brands and how are we ever going to go up against huge players unless we are mass like so. You know, we're not a perfect brand, but we really do try to be pretty good. But you have to be available at mass like That's our whole thing is that we don't want to be a niche brand that's costs like 40 quid for toothpaste, we need to be available in every supermarket in every pharmacy because that's the only way that's actually going to create change in the oral care industry.

Adam Kitchen  20:18  

Yeah, exactly. You need to control aspects of the supply chain as well to have control of your margins. Otherwise, as you said, you're just at the mercy of the big players. 

Lisa Creaven  20:28  


Leah Magee  20:29  

We were, when we spoke to James from Faerly, he was kind of bringing up quite a similar thing. Saying, you can have really nice products, the whole point of buying something, it's usually an investment because you're invested in yourself. But then it's like if you're gonna sit and scream at people being like, the world is burning, they're gonna go, well, now I'm upset. And now I am a bit scared.  Now I feel bad about treating myself, I'm not gonna buy it. It's something like, it has to come at the right time for the right people. But we still love hippies anyway. Not, Colgate. 

Lisa Creaven  21:11  

Totally agreed.

Adam Kitchen  21:13  

Right, ask your next question Hippie.

Leah Magee  21:20  

So three pieces of software that you could not live without for DTC, and I'm going to send it to Siobhan.

Siobhan Nolan  21:28  

I feel like we have a pretty cohesive tech stack now over the last year. So if I, if I had to whittle it down to three, I would say, having a really good data warehouse is really important. And how you're looking at what your spend is your CPAs, etc, daily, what's working, what's driving in terms of performance. And we've recently moved to Daasity for that, and we're finding that you know, really helpful in order for us to be efficient.

Second of all, Klaviyo because CRM is so huge for us as a brand. But also again, for things like capturing first-party data and knowing more about your customer. And just because it's on the top of my mind, because it's very topical for us right now as a brand. But we're growing our affiliate marketing, and we've tried three or four different platforms, and we've recently moved to Awin which, you know, we're finding exceptionally user friendly and very easy to grow our affiliate marketing within that. So you know, there's plenty of other platforms out there that are, you know, maybe a little bit cheaper or that you know, you can access easier, but for all staff, that's been the most efficient ones over

Adam Kitchen  22:46  

with the affiliate marketing, any, this is something again, we've worked with a lot of brands, they just haven't managed to get it going, How'd you manage to actually get that going?

Siobhan Nolan  22:57  

It's a very topical conversation that we're having every day about how we can grow it faster. But from our side, its resources, and just taking the time to really look at it, it's not a channel that works without putting a lot of work into it, basically.  So you know, really leveraging any marketplace opportunities that are available from within it, if you're doing cold outreach that's never going to grow or scale. So you need to have a database of affiliates that are working and want to work with you, and then find multiples of those people.

Adam Kitchen  23:40  

How often should stores get rid of software that sort of bloats that open eating quietly the space and slowing the website down? Do you think that's like a missed opportunity to improve site performance?

Siobhan Nolan  23:53  

Absolutely. And again, it's another conversation, I feel like you were bugging our office. It's actually a conversation that we had today looking at apps, etc, that we have plugged into Shopify. Look, I think to be at agencies or be at any tech stack, any third party that you have any apps that you have integrated, like doing a quarterly review of all of those, it's just really important, even from a P and L perspective, like, you know, you could be paying fees for something that you know, worked at one point and is currently not working anymore, or you've moved on. It's just good practice to do an audit of that every once in a while. We try and limit the number of apps that we have plugged into our site at any point for that sole reason, in terms of the page speed. But you have to find that in a balance of having plug-ins or an app that may be slowing down your site, but that is giving a better UX or maybe as part of an upsell and so it's monitoring your conversion rate in line with your page speed and finding a balance across it.

Adam Kitchen  24:57  

Yep, I completely agree. Somebody is suddenly going to defect to the other side. And I need to know who this LinkedIn user is leaving the room with.

Leah Magee  25:05  

No, I am very tempted to log into LinkedIn and check now

Adam Kitchen  25:10  

Take a commission of any sale

Lisa Creaven  25:16  

They might work for Colgate coming to the right side

Adam Kitchen  25:22  

Okay, so for creatives, especially on social media, I know you guys on Tik Tok have done really well with the teeth whitening pen and other collateral. Do you have a formula for sharing these out? Or is it just a case of you know, see what sticks because this is a big topic in the industry at the moment, especially with what's going on with Facebook and other platforms? People are saying you need to test more creatives, you need to test more like how do you guys approach this?

Lisa Creaven  25:49  

I think again, this is one of those things that it comes down to resources and energy you know, you need to spend the time. We had a conversation during the week where I'm like, everybody in the marketing team needs to spend a lot more time on Tik Tok like you need to know you need to get a feel for the platform. And also you need to decide like, you know, like who is your customer and a lot of times people talk to us to say okay, your competitor is Colgate or whoever it's not our competitor, like our competitor is a next beauty brand like we sell, you know, options to whiten your teeth and make your teeth healthier, but like a lot of our customers want to whiten their teeth, you know, so our competition is another beauty brand selling another form of enhancing your appearance. And so where are they advertising and what is the kind of creative that they're doing as well?

So, like I look to other beauty brands for inspiration, but also you just need to be on the platform you need to like get a feel for what other brands are doing and what people are engaging with. I think for us because we're we are the face of the brand. We're the founders Vanessa and I were sisters and dentists like we have a natural space to play. And in terms of social media, we have great fun on Tik Tok. We do a lot where we're on our Instagram a lot, we do a lot of live interaction. Because that's a really easy thing for us to do. And it's like every brand has an opportunity in an area that's kind of more difficult. For us this is easy. And so like there's so much kind of trend-led content out there in oral care for us. It's like myth-busting. It's like these are how you want your teeth. This is why you should never use charcoal. This is why this just doesn't work.

This is why you should never use household bleach to whiten your teeth. Like you know, it's a bit of fun. And it's also about setting your expectation. Like I look at social engagement platforms. And I think you have to keep that really central to what you're doing. It's not a sales driver, it's an engagement platform and the sales will come but you just have to make sure that you're offering proper value to a customer or viewer. Because people are not there to soul to they're there, especially on Tik Tok. They're there to be, you know, entertained and informed and educated. And we've gone viral a good few times in Tik Tok, and it's because it's very authentic. And I hate that word, but very authentic messaging. It's not even complicated and it's also about trying lots of things and seeing what sticks.

Leah Magee  28:24  

I'm trying to get Adam on Tik Tok.

Lisa Creaven  28:27  

And I bet he's a good dancer, you should do it.

Leah Magee  28:31  

He is terrible. You know what, I've got videos to prove it and I'll leave I hope so.

Adam Kitchen  28:38  

She called two steps Something that was it the other night? I thought they were unbelievable moves but not Barry dropping in the flags speaking of people that like to get drunk.

Siobhan Nolan  28:56  

I like to use Tik Tok here and I certainly don't need to be encouraged to spend any more time on it because I mainly just Tik Tok I just send them to people. I'm just like, you know, there's no formula really to it. Like we spend a lot of time looking at what's trending or we see new ideas. And you know, we have like shared WhatsApp groups and like all like to put it in or someone in the creative team would be like, Lisa and Vanessa, we should do this. This is cool. Like this is trending where people are doing that. And it's just spending time on it and seeing what's fun and engaging and what's a good fit for our brand from what we're seeing. So you heard it from our CMOS mouth here. I can spend all the time that I want on Tik Tok.

Leah Magee  29:47  

We need a group chat for Tik Tok!

Adam Kitchen  29:51  

You and Helen do it, I'll stay out of it.

Leah Magee  29:55  

mean I would never get any work done. Me and my boyfriend now when we go to bed, we have to give each other like 10 scrolls each. Because otherwise, it just goes on for hours and hours. 

Adam Kitchen  30:14  

Leah, this has gotten really weird. Let's change subjects. I don't need to know about you and Patrick in bed.

Lisa Creaven  30:26  

Literally how I show love. Like, if I send you Tik Tok means I care about you. And if I don't? 

Adam Kitchen  30:32  

Yeah, I am still waiting for my first one.

Leah Magee  30:36  

This is what I mean. This is why nobody talks to you. It is because you are not on Tik Tok.

Lisa Creaven  30:41  

You need to be on TikTok, you're so boring.

Adam Kitchen  30:44  

I'll tell you what I'll do it after this, moving along to the last question. Dancing and Tik Tok asides. It's easier than ever to start a store, but it's very, very difficult to grow. What would your advice be to anyone who wants to get involved in the space right now?

Lisa Creaven  31:11  

I think obviously, like really basic things like setting your expectations. I think it's not just, I think you also need to look at your customers very clearly, how you're getting new customers, how you're retaining the customers that you have. I think making sure that your messaging is super clear, really obvious things like make it really easy to use and simple navigation, very basic things. And I think like, kind of being going through it all the time. And it's so funny. Like, when I have this running joke, it's like we look at lots of agencies, and I'm okay with it, they sound great at this.

And then you go and you like to try to inquire about working with them. And they're like, putting the link doesn't even work. And I'm like, Come on, guys, it's the functionality, like let's make it work. So I think like trying to keep it simple, trying to keep it really clear about who you are, as a company trying to keep the functionality of it. Super simple, and other very basic things. But like, honestly, so many times you go on to buy something it's like you're trying to make it difficult for me to check out here, like, is there like I'm called missing or like, it's just keep it simple. I would say you know, don't try to do too much too soon. Or you think spreading yourself too thin is never going to be good because you will never really be able to take a step back and look at what's actually working for you as a brand.

So you know, if you're looking to break into DTC started with your organic presence, you know, start with you know, don't go and pay celebrity ambassadors, start with some micro-influencers who want to try your product, get some good feedback, some good content from that, you know, what works in an organic basis will then work on a paid basis versus going and paying creative agency, you know, 100 grand to produce a piece of content for you if you don't know that your messaging is right, or you don't know that that's what's actually going to resonate with your customer.

And then when you have those early adopters, you know, leverage them, they're the people who will be the most loyal to your brand in the long run and treat them well have every customer touchpoint you know, for us as a brand customer service is so important to also the brands that when a customer orders from us they feel that appreciated by the fact that they have supported us as a brand.

And you know, it didn't cost us anything as a brand. But we did a Customer Appreciation Week this year, where we just did giveaways for our customers and thanked them and added 100 notes into their orders and really leverage that in the loyalty and you know, the kind of love that you get back from those early adopters. And they'll tell their friends and you spread your word of mouth. So from that perspective, I just wouldn't go if you're starting out and go spend a tonne of money on paid media to start with, I would really see what you can do in a low cost-effective organic way. And then use those early adopters to grow and scale your business.

Adam Kitchen  34:08  

Yeah, because then you've proven a product-market fit already, rather than throwing your life savings into something that might not work out. But I think in its essence, it's about having a great product and genuinely caring about your customers and for all ectomorphs and strategies and hacks and growth guru, as you see, ultimately, when you look at the best brands, I think it really boils down to those two aspects. It totally

Lisa Creaven  34:33  

does. And like, you know, for us like in Spotlight, it's like I'm always like, kind of trying to bring people back to being more old school like you know, so we did outsource our customer service, bring it back in house and like we need a full telephone line like people want to call like, I want to ring people and like ask them, you know, do you have any problems and like, I want everyone to be able to reply to all our emails like Do you have any do you not know how to turn on the toothbrush? Like do you have any issue with something like, How can I help you brush your teeth like we have a free advisory service?

So anybody can come and have nothing to do with our brand, you can ask questions about oral care. And I think it comes from a place that like we are healthcare providers like I genuinely care that people are getting a really good experience and that their oral health is improving. And so like if you keep that at the core, like, you can't really go wrong in terms of how your customer feels about us. I think customer service is so important as well and is genuinely a fundamental part of your business.

Adam Kitchen  35:34  

Yeah, I completely agree. And I think that's a great way to end things because I can see in the comments and being absolutely abused by loads from my hair.

Leah Magee  35:47  

Oh, wait, I'm gonna show this one. See what Helen said.

Adam Kitchen  35:56  

Yeah. Talk about good products, just don't buy those techs.

Lisa Creaven  36:04  

You need to give the Spotlight staff a discount code where some of your low yeah, there's over here. Everybody loves Kerrigan meets in Spotlight. So we're fine. We're big fans,

Adam Kitchen  36:16  

great quality. And obviously, if you want to find out more about Spotlight; Spotlight Oral is the easiest way. And if anyone wants to ask any more questions, best to just talk to you guys on LinkedIn. Yeah, yeah, perfect. Perfect. Okay, ladies, thank you very much for your time, massively appreciate it. But if anyone has any other questions, please just drop them in the comments. But if not, I'm going to end things here. Thank you.

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