Paul Jarrett is co-founder/CEO of Bulu and a former Inside Outside podcast co-host. Bulu creates private label subscription box programs for large companies like Disney, GNC, Lululemon, and Crayola. In this episode, Brian Ardinger and Paul discuss new trends in big brand marketing, including getting in front of specific customer segments in new ways. Paul believes that in this changing marketplace, big companies are willing to collaborate and “horse trade,” but are also focusing on key metrics like customer acquisition costs. Key highlights include:
Tell us about Bulu
- Bulu is now at 250 FTE and managing revenue of over $50 million. Challenge is finding the right people to help scale.
- Companies that want a physical interaction with customers are using subscription boxes.
Key factors when working with large brands
- People managing the project have to get stuff done, transcend the business, and get along. Bulu won’t work with companies that don’t provide that.
- Companies need entrepreneurs to understand working with startups. Non-entrepreneurs don’t see beyond the box, to see things like revenue and margin flexibility.
- Companies need to invest in the relationship with a startup for the future.
When to walk away
- Unhealthy focus on driving the price down.
- When a person starts saying “we” or “us,” Paul feels they’re on the same team. He’s not interested in a big company serving as the “coach” of the project.
How to get in front of big brands
- Pick up the phone. Call every week.
- Social media – Friend and Follow key people everywhere.
- Innovation should be in the corporate person’s title.
For More Info
See Paul and Stephanie Jarrett on PBS’s show Startup – Season 6, Ep 8
If you like this topic, you might also be interested in Ep 114 – Canva’s Cameron Adams on Democratization of Design; Ep 105 – Randy Komisar with Kleiner Perkins and Straight Talk for Startups Author; and Ep 96 – Chris Shipley – Author, Advisor, Innovation Advocate at 2017 I/O Innovation Summit.
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