Cleaning, probably not your favourite thing to do. But it does form the foundation of this fascinating case! Trust me, when you’re done reading this case, cleaning products won’t ever be the same anymore 😉
Our story begins with the Ghentian start-up BRAUZZ., that sells ecological cleaning products. Recently, they’ve even won a sustainability award for their products! Founders Lowie Vercraeye, Ruben Renaer and Manush Barvar started their e-commerce business in 2020 and launched their very first product in 2021. In only one year, they managed to scale up their monthly revenue from 10.000 euros to 100.000 euros.
How did the founders, together with dear digital, climb to 100.000 euros? We’ll explain the e-commerce success of BRAUZZ. using our dear digital framework!
Find your product/market fit by experimenting with easy to make products
Make sure your content is in line with the platform you’re publishing it to
Perform a smoke test 😉
Don’t trust your gut feeling right away, but back it with data
Know that market research can be quick and lean, and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money
Last year, BRAUZZ. launched their first and flagship product: refillable and reusable spray cleaners. How does that work? Well, when you first order, you receive a refillable plastic bottle, together with a very condensed cleaning product. Put the cleaning product in the bottle, pour in some water, and huzzah! You have your very own homemade cleaner 🤩
And you know what the real magic is? You can keep refilling your bottle countless times - if you buy refills, of course 😉 This way, BRAUZZ. not only saves a lot of plastic, but also limits transport emissions by not needlessly transporting water. Because, surprise surprise, the average cleaning product in your cupboard contains 90% water - if not more!
So, these cleaners make a brilliant idea from an ecological point of view, but BRAUZZ. is not the only player on the market offering refillable cleaners. The market for this type of cleaning product emerged about two years ago. Now you can find countless brands online, in your local ecoshop and even in the supermarket around your corner.
A competitive market, and BRAUZZ. noticed that very soon after their launch. Despite their high-quality product, the ecological benefits and beautiful design, sales did not meet expectations.
But being resilient entrepreneurs, Lowie, Manush & Ruben did not give up that easily. They started looking for new products that would also fit the BRAUZZ. brand and vision. Eventually, they developed their laundry strips: small sheets that replace your traditional laundry detergent. They contain no microplastics, are biodegradable and fit perfectly through the letterbox. And no more heavy lifting 😉
The founders launched the product on the market in June 2021. It turned out to be a massive hit!
When we first started with our marketing efforts, we decided to go with the content BRAUZZ. had already produced: mainly product-focused photos. Even though these pack shots were gorgeous, we quickly felt that they might be too ‘clean’ for social media. These kinds of shots do great in traditional media, but online, consumers crave authenticity.
Time for a different approach: we decided to put founder Ruben in the spotlights and shot videos with an iPhone. We wanted it to feel like Ruben just had shot these selfie videos himself, in his own laundry room, without a script. Hashtag behind the scenes 🤓
We noticed this had an immense impact on the customer acquisition cost: 50% of the original CAC thanks to this new content!
When the laundry sheets were launched and we noticed their success, we decided to optimise the already solid marketing foundation. We made sure the entire online customer journey included these laundry sheets. By quickly acting on this success, we noticed a firm decrease in the CAC.
The launch of Brauzz. in Belgium and the Netherlands, was accompanied by a successful PR strategy. We noticed that this strategy being absent in Germany at the moment, the brand awareness plays a big role in the success of Brauzz. Apart from the several digital touchpoints, we have to make sure that when launching in new countries, Brauzz. already has an established brand, through PR or other means.
The founders of BRAUZZ. have always had international ambitions - the product is perfect to do so. But they’ve always wanted to do this in a lean way. Before tapping into a new market, the founders made some assumptions which they then tested on a small scale. A quick way to objectify gut feeling, without breaking the bank.
Fortunately, we can copy-paste most of the marketing funnels and ads to new markets. They’re pretty much the same in every county, but always in the local language, to gain the trust of potential customers. The BRAUZZ. products are being tested in 10 different countries. Today, the biggest store fronts are in 3 countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
For Germany, BRAUZZ. decided to only offer the subscription formula. In Belgium and the Netherlands the bottles are available separately - at least for now. The trio felt that Belgian and Dutch consumers are more reluctant to buy a subscription without having tested the products first. German consumers, on the other hand, are not as reluctant to do so and are more familiar with this kind of online business. The core of Brauzz. is a subscription based business model of course, so they didn't hesitate to offer subscriptions only in Germany.
We built a separate store for each local market, where everything is translated into the local language. In this way, each webshop functions as a stand-alone. This gives the webshop a more professional look and feel towards customers and makes it easier to manage the different countries in the back office.
In addition, Brauzz. is also experimenting with other sales channels, such as marketplaces like Bol.com, but also in physical shops. Again, testing out the waters but collecting data in the meantime to make well informed decisions.
It's no secret we're big fans of Shopify. The clean UI, great checkout and simplicity of the platform itself: this platform is our go-to for DTC brands.
We also complement Shopify with several other platforms that guarantee a great customer experience. Bold, Stamped and Klaviyo are the main tools here.
Thanks to Bold's plug-and-play software, we were also able to offer a subscription model in the Shopify checkout (instead of a secondary checkout). Why we use external software for this, is explained in detail in this article by our founder Sam.
The tool Stamped allows for easy collecting of customer reviews, which gives BRAUZZ. a lot more credibility and is a crucial asset marketing-wise. Klaviyo, on the other hand, allows to manage everything related to email marketing: from abandoned cart emails to sophisticated mail flows that encourage customers to make repeat purchases. And, not insignificant, is that both tools are easy to integrate with Shopify.
When you want to launch a physical product, its development comes with a price. Ruben, Manush and Lowie did not want to proceed in a brash and careless manner. They saw a lot of potential in this product, but decided to validate their gut feeling with data.
The trio had digital renders made of what the BRAUZZ. products would look like, ran ads explaining the concept and set up a site where you could 'buy' the product. But, those who actually wanted to buy the product were directed to a landing page explaining that the product was not yet live, and that they could leave their details if they wanted to be kept informed of the launch.
This smoke test, as the founders call it, allowed them to gauge interest in their product. The data they collected through the site looked promising. This gave them objective and measurable arguments to convince product developers and manufacturers to join their adventure.
As a result, Brauzz. was able to have its products produced without needing to pay all the costs beforehand, since the manufacturers believed in their story and were willing to take the risk. This made it a lot easier for the founders to make their product a reality, without too much funding, but rather making payments when first sales came in.
As always, if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out.