Replicating Lightning in a Bottle Moments and Explosive Growth with Kate McCutchen, CMO Republic Retail

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In this week's episode, we are joined by Kate McCutchen, the CMO of Seedrs  and Global Head of Marketing for Republic Retail. As Republic looks to revolutionise the way ordinary individuals can invest in the best startups and VC funds, Kate is leading the charge with their marketing. Drawing on over 15 years of experience at Apple, Samsung, Amazon Fresh, Square and Away, she has a wealth of insight and experience in what it takes to grow a business in a new market and capture lightning in a bottle, at scale. It was such a masterclass for marketers who are trying to deliver growth at a global level.

Amongst other things, we discussed:

  • Why she thinks paint brands like Coat are incredible challengers in a redundant space
  • How to launch businesses like Square, Amazon Fresh and Republic into new markets successfully  
  • The one mindset modern marketers need to have in order to capture the viral moments

Mentioned in the show:

💻 Republic website

🎨Coat paints

🍺Union DC website

⚡️Scratch is a production of Rival, a marketing innovation consultancy that develops strategies and capabilities that help businesses grow faster. Scratch is hosted by Eric Fulwiler, and he’s joined by Kate McCutchen of Seedrs.

👉Find Rival online at, LinkedIn, Twitter.

👀Watch the video version of this Podcast on YouTube.

👉Find Eric on LinkedIn and tweet him @efulwiler.

👉Say hi at, we’d love to hear from you.


Kate: You know, taking principled risks is, is critical because if you only do what you know works, you're never going to be the one who captured lightning in a bottle. Because by its nature, it's the first person it's the first. You know that it's that rarity.

I'm Eric Fulwiler. And this is scratch, bringing you marketing lessons from the leading brands and brains rewriting the rulebook from scratch for the world of today.

Hey, everyone, my guest today is Kate McCutchen, the CMO of Seedrs is one of the leading crowd funding platforms in the world. Kate also has a role as the Global Head of Marketing for Republic retail, which acquired Seedrs last year. Kate has a fascinating background that we really get into she's 15 years of experience in marketing strategy, and coming up through kind of bigger brands like Apple and Samsung, but also doing really innovative challenger things at other organisations. So she headed up marketing for Amazon Fresh in the UK, right when it launched, she worked on Kindle, she also spent some time at square, we talk a lot about her time, at away, the challenger luggage suitcase travel brand that we've covered pretty often in our newsletter and kind of hold up is one of the great examples of a challenger brand and how they not just how they grew, but also how they navigated navigated. COVID, which Kate talks a lot about. So we get into talking about how to approach global growth, how to market through a downturn, how to replicate lightning in a bottle, and I really love the principle that she kind of leaves me and you to think about and walk away with, which is how and why to take principled risks, to grow your brand, and business. So with that, I think you're really going to enjoy this episode with Kate McCutchen of Seedrs. Kate, thank you so much for joining us, you are our first guest of 2023. Although I don't know when this episode is going to be released, but have a lot of energy for this one. It's the first one of the new year after a couple of weeks off. So I appreciate you being

Kate: We gotta set the bar high. We're setting it for the whole year.

Eric: I like it. I like the energy. All right, let's just get into it. I'm excited about this conversation. You and I connected a little while ago that we had kind of our prep call. But I still remember some of the ideas that came out of that and some of the things that I was excited to talk to you about. So before we get into the meat of the conversation, the first question that we ask every guest, what is one challenger brand that you're very passionate about right now? And why

Kate: I both love and fear this question because I feel like I spend so much of my time excited about what other people are doing. But then you get put on the spot and you forget but luckily you didn't give me a little bit of a heads up. I'm still okay, I'm going to answer with one challenger brand. But then I'm also going to answer with one really highly topical marketing thing that's happening right now that I think is fantastic. In terms of Challenger brands, one that I have really loved watching is coat paints. Don't know if they're on your radar. They are a young British company that is aiming to disrupt the home paint industry. You know, if you think about it for so long, it's been kind of, you know, you've got do locks, you've got, you know, Farrow and ball. And, you know, that was kind of it, and they come in, and they're trying to create, you know, colours that are beautiful, that are better for the environment so nontoxic, all of these things, they do these amazing both colours and names and have created this brand that's really aspirational and accessible. And speaks to you know that that kind of audience it has never thought about this as as something that they should care about. And I love it whenever I see their marketing, you know, whenever it shows up in my social feed, or I see print ads or things like that, I just think I feel like they are nailing it because they're taking a category that has been boring, or you know that people don't think about, you know, you you, your builder says this is the colour and you go with it to something that people want to make an intentional decision about. And I just think that's fantastic to see. And I'm excited to see where they go with it.

Eric: I haven't heard of them before, although I'm checking them out and it looks really interesting. I'm gonna have to dive into a little bit more of how they're building the brands and doing their marketing but I have heard of lik paint yep, that's doing a similar type of thing. But I've always been so fascinated by, you know, you see it more in like the CPG world where it's like you see the startups and the scale ups that are just taking, oftentimes what is a very boring product or category and just kind of reinventing it for the world of today. And actually, the name of this podcast, why it's called Scratch is because we think there's so many things that challenger brands do differently. But if you have to boil it down, if you have to tie all the threads back to one thing, it's about being fit for purpose for the world of today. And you can just see it when you go and look even at the website, and I'm sure the product and the marketing material have a code or link, a link. It's just so different. I remember I talked to a talk to not even Q tip, I didn't even realise that Q tip was like Kleenex, it's like the name of a company that has become the name of the category, but your cleansing thing, you know, those things that you put in your air to clear to clean it that, you know, they're just reinventing that from scratch. So I'm always so fascinated by you know, obviously, you've got like the Tesla's and like the big sexy, new innovators. But sometimes things like this are just as interesting for a marketing and business nerd like me.

Kate: Well, and I think the the other really interesting thing, as I followed them and LIC another one that I know, and there's a few others in the space is, I think the DTC model has really drastically changed from even 2019 to 2022. With the changes in iOS and other things, that means you can't be hyper targeted, you know, previously, you could come up with the world's greatest Q tip, and just target people for that you could have your one product and you could build a whole business on that. I'm not sure that that's possible anymore. With you know, the unit economics of, of advertising in this post, you know, ASTRA track world. But it's interesting to me to see brands like coat and lick, who are continuing to find ways to work directly with consumers. That does work. So I'm really interested to see how that space evolves. But I've really liked what they've done within it so far.

Eric: Awesome. All right, let's get into the conversation that we have for today. So I would have given or I will have given an overview on your background in the introduction that people would have already heard. But but because obviously, we're going to talk about what you're doing at Seedrs and Republic. But because a lot of what I think is really interesting in the conversation, we're gonna get into ties to your experience in other challenger businesses and other categories. I'd love for you to just take maybe a minute to give a bit of your background and tell your story as kind of like how you came up as a marketer?

Kate: Yeah, absolutely. Um, I so I guess the whistlestop tour is on American. But I've been in Europe now for going on 18 years. So I moved over to do my MBA. Candidly, I moved over to do my MBA because I wanted to live in Paris. I vaguely want to be a marketing I didn't know how to do that. And I was too impatient to go the sensible route which would be go get hired by a PNG or another big multinational work my way up, get myself transfer. I was like, No, we're gonna go the, you know, jump right into a master's and see see what can be done of it, which you might see is a bit of a theme as we go through my career. That brought me to Paris in the first place. I did my MBA at Aashi say one of the big business schools in Paris. And then from there, started as an intern during my MBA at Apple in their retail marketing team, stayed on with them after I finished my degree. That's what brought me to London originally because I was doing an EMBA role and that really kind of kick started a career that was unintentional, but has now become somewhat intentional of often working in and then later leading the overseas businesses for primarily American brands. So I spent a few years at Apple scaling one of their retail programmes, focusing on new stores within the premium reseller programme, I then moved to Samsung for a couple of years as their head of retail marketing in UK in Ireland. So how do you take a brand that spans from televisions, to washing machines to everything in between, and make it make sense to customers in the place where they're going to encounter all of those in you know, at a time bricks and mortar retail increasingly online, which then brought me to Amazon, originally again in hardware, rolling out Kindle into bricks and mortar retailers across Europe. You know, so continuing kind of the product marketing and the retail marketing and then from there in their spent six years in Amazon working across a variety of business units. Finishing my time they're helping them launch Amazon Fresh into the UK, which was the first international instance of their grocery delivery business. And I think that's really set me on the path that has brought me to Seedrs which was, it kind of gave me a taste of startups with the biggest guardrails possible because we were a small and scrappy team there were less than 50 of us launching a grocery store. And the Amazon offices at the time were catty corner to Sainsbury's massive offices in in Farringdon. And so we could kind of see the army of people doing it, and we're figuring out how to do it small, and, and how you make that work. And that, you know, I really loved and so as each opportunity since then, help square launch into Europe, then to help a way grow in Europe. And then finally, to help Seedrs and now Republic, develop and build this new category, I think the through thread is, it's really fun to take on challenges where you're not sure how it's going to work, it doesn't always work. But you're like, I'm going to jump in, and I'm going to see what can happen. And if we do it, right, we're going to build a brand that people love, and are excited about. And so that's that's kind of what has driven me throughout my career.

Eric: So let's start by talking about global growth. You've worked at big global brands, sometimes in regional roles, but always thinking about how do you actually drive growth globally for the brands that you work for, and have helped to shepherd? So obviously, replicating that is tough for any business? But I'd be curious to understand, like you've done it across so many different sectors and different types of businesses. So how do you do that? How do you how do you drive global growth across, you know, these different these different businesses, these different categories? Are there any kind of red threads or key takeaways that you've started to build over the years and over the jobs that you can share with our audience?

Kate: Yeah, I think that one of the really interesting takeaways is almost every brand, encounters the same challenges, whether it is groceries, whether it is whether it is card payments, whether it is luggage. And that is that global growth won't look like growth in your home market. And that, I think, is the through thread that I've taken. And, you know, and is, is helping companies to understand that. So to give an example, when when we were launching Amazon Fresh in the UK, it was the first international instance, it was the best version of Amazon Fresh that had ever been developed from a feature set perspective. But the competitive landscape was drastically different in the UK, the UK has had grocery deliveries for 30 years now. Ocado has been around for for 1015 years, the bar was not the bar in the US where this is a completely nascent business. And, and it's brand new, and it's helping to look at what does Product Market Fit look like? How does that differ? How, how have the tools and levers that you have changed, you know, away was able to build one of the most successful organic social brands, because they captured lightning in a bottle, they launched it just the right time when Instagram was taking off. And they could build, you know, a truly organic, highly engaged following of millions of people, you can't do that anymore. In a meta has locked all that down anything that like to grow organically, they're going to charge you for. And that means that the second stage of growth is always going to look different. So it's, I think, what's important is look at what has succeeded. Take that with you. But recognise that the playing field is inevitably different in each market you go to and you have to react to that. Because the more that you compare it to where you've been successful before, the harder it will be. Whereas if you can kind of take those successes through but go, let's look at this landscape. Let's look at what we're facing here. And solve that problem, the quicker you can build on everything we've done and create that momentum.

Eric: So it's a What Got You Here Won't Get You There type of thing, and also to our whole conversation about businesses being fit for purpose, thinking about things from scratch. Sounds like the same thing in terms of approaching those different stages of global growth. You can't just be beholden and try to iterate on top of what you've done. You need to actually think about how you would do it if you were starting from here, going forward. And is it the same with the marketing function? How you think about the talent you need the org structure you need? Maybe the external partners that you need is the same type of philosophy or is there something different that you think about when it comes to actually the inner workings of how you need to scale and build the marketing machine for global growth?

Kate: Yeah, it's a great question. I think that it's similar in that what you're going to start with in a new region is going to look a lot more like a startup than then where you probably are, if you've built out, you know, if you've successfully built one region, because you will have a depth of veg there, because of the growth that you've been through. And so I think what's important is to figure out what can you leverage? What's there? What works? What you know, and that will be different by company, you know, might be, some companies have like, fully brought specific channels in house? And can you build that out as a global team, if you have a team that is working on, you know, that's working on search, you know, as long as someone's feeding them the right copy for each region? Is that something you want to create as a global centre of excellence, or, actually, you know, there are channels that the nuances are so specific locally that you want to make sure that you have the right local partners and things like that. So I think the way that I always approach it is what are global Centres of Excellence? Where is there local, local knowledge and nuance that can't be can't be underestimated. Build for those first, leverage, whatever you can, you know, the the other thing that I am a big believer in that, that I think can sometimes be surprising, and tech companies and things like that. But I'm a really big believer at the beginning of not being afraid to work with agency partners and external partners. Because I think that, especially within tech companies, there's often a, you know, in houses better, and that can absolutely be true at scale. But there can be a value to paying a little bit more for the flexibility of bringing in the resource that you need, you know, because you don't actually know what you need. At first, when I joined. At square, the agency we brought on board was fantastic. But actually, we brought on board the wrong agency, because it turns out what we needed was different than what we had originally briefed them on. And being able to go through that process organically and then, you know, evolve that was really critical. Whereas if we had hired all of those people in house, you know, that would have been a very different, you know, a very different challenge for us to solve for. So I think thinking about flexibility, thinking about leveraging global Centres of Excellence, but building out for that local knowledge that can't be replicated, allows you to move as quickly as possible.

Eric: I think there's always the theory and the reality. And when it comes to in house or external partners, the way that I think about it is I think businesses should default to building the capabilities in house. However, if situationally based on where the business is at financially, and also the talent either internally or within the agency that you might be able to bring on. You need to react to that. So it might be that, you know, for now, it makes sense to bring this external partner on button at some point may do that. But I think that I think that the centre of gravity really should be in housing, unless it makes sense not to. So So what about at Seedrs and Republic right now? Can you kind of, to the extent that you're able to lift up the hood, and give us a view of what all this learning looks like when applied to your current job right now? How are you upload? How are you approaching the global growth that I'm sure you're looking to deliver at Seedrs and Republic?

Kate: Yeah, it's exciting. Um, I think the really exciting thing for me is that bringing together Seedrs and Republic is building a, you know, what is currently or soon will be the world's largest global private investing platform, you know, enabling investors, across multiple regions, to invest in startups to invest in culture, we've got culture offerings in the US to invest in real estate to invest in all of these asset classes that have traditionally been closed off, which is really exciting. Now, the question becomes, how do we tell that story? And how do we build a cohesive brand, within a space that is highly regulated and where the regulations are not the same without, with, you know, across each region? And so that's, I think the challenge we have going into 2023 is pulling together all of the parts because the sum is greater than the, the, you know, the sum is greater than the total of its parts. There we go. Um, you know, and I don't think that we've really leveraged that yet. So I think that's what I'm excited about and about bringing, because if we can, if We can build the story of where our product is, because you know, there's nowhere else in the UK that you can invest in, you know, amazing startups, we currently have planted organic on a platform, we have, you know, various other fabulous companies raising with us, but also invest in VC funds. You know, previously, we've worked with Eileen Burbidge and passion capital, and then also have a secondary market where you can sell your privately held share, so you don't have to wait until an exit event. And that's just in the UK. So we've got to take all of that, we've got to then tell the story of how that fits within the global, you know, within the global and figuring out what that customer experience looks like. But as we build these bridges, and pull these things together, you know, it's it's opening up. It's opening up finance in a way that has been gate kept for so long. And I'm always excited about brands that are, their success is aligned with their customer success, you know, and that's very much the case, our success is aligned with our entrepreneurs who are fundraising on our platform, and with our investors, who are finding investment opportunities they wouldn't have anywhere else. And that means that we can focus. If we focus on what's best for them, it's going to be what's best for us. And that I think, is the best possible place to be.

Eric: So you mentioned your experience at a way. And I want to come back to what you said about kind of capturing Lightning in a Bottle in a moment. But first, you were there during COVID. So being at a travel company during COVID. I'm just curious, you know, I think there's an interesting story. And I'm sure learnings there for anybody, even if COVID is hopefully never replicated, but just marketing through a downturn, how do you adapt to that and just be curious to let you talk about your experience during that time, for a couple of minutes,

Kate: not just the downturn of black swan event. So I I joined away on March 9 2020, I flew to New York, I was supposed to be in New York for three weeks, there's all these rumblings going on, I had an n95 mask with me in case they needed it supposed to be there three weeks, I was there for four and a half days, you know, and that's how quickly things turned. And in a week aways revenue dropped 90% You know, and, and it was because of the world ground to a halt. And now you are travel, you are retail, you are startup in this in this event. And, you know, I was brought in to help them figure out how to grow exponentially, it very quickly became existential, you know, how, how do you survive, because even a very well capitalised company, like a way you have not built your runway based on losing 90% of your revenue in seven days. Nobody does. And so, you know, it then went into you triage. What do we need to do to get through the next 30 days? What do we need to do to get the next 90 days? You know, and so I got, I had to jump in very quickly with my finance director and go, Okay, let's talk about every cost we have. You know, we have a store in central London, we had, you know, we have an office, we have products stored in two different fulfilment centres, you know, we have a staff, we have marketing costs, we have all of these things and going okay, what can we do? And how quickly can we do it? So how do we, you know, how do we make the European region as lean as possible, as quickly as possible, so that we have the time to then actually figure out what's going on, to watch what's happening, etc. And so, you know, we we furloughed, most of the employees under the COVID furlough scheme. And then, you know, and got rid of our office space, you know, kind of took a bunch of very quick steps so that we can kind of do that. And then that combined with everything that the business was doing, globally, kind of gave us that, that ability to wait and see. But then it was about, well, what can we do? How can we continue to talk to our customers at a time where maybe they're not buying, but hey, we can still continue the conversation with them. And so then it was about how do we be a little bit creative. So anytime, because you know, the store would open the store would close as we were going through these things. So it was about creating, you know, being scrappy, we would always put things up in the window when we weren't there, so that we could use that as a way to talk to people who might be walking around and seeing things and driving them to the website, creating things like curbside drop off, or curbside. ordering so that if when we were open, you didn't want to go into the store, you weren't comfortable, hey, we'll bring the bag out to you drive to the nearest space, we'll bring it to you. And kind of looking at these ways that we could talk to people, even when we couldn't, even when they may not be in the right headspace, and then thinking about new and different ways for them to engage with us as they came back. You know, I think it's one of the things I'm most proud of, because, you know, the business is in good shape. Now, the European business is in good shape. And I'm excited to see where they take it. Now that they're to the, to the other side of things.

Eric: So in terms of lessons to pull out of that, what I what I get from that is, there's kind of the triage at the beginning of moving quickly, to be able to do what you need to do to Yes, of course, keep the lights on. But it sounds like how you made decisions there was around you know, what, what can we afford to not do right now, what gives us the best chance of actually being able to survive this. And whether it's existential Black Swan, or just a tough time, I think that process is probably something for everybody to think about if they are faced with some type of downturn or headwind. And then there's the adaptation and innovation. Okay, this is the new normal, how can we actually innovate to take advantage of it, which I think is so key, and you talked before about how different the E commerce landscape is now. And one of the things that I see a lot of is, I think a lot of businesses because it's not quite as like a black and white than now as COVID was, it's, well, it's changing. It's over time, there's iOS 14, there's GA four, there's all these changes that are kind of coming about, people aren't going through that process of okay, triage, adaptation and innovation. They're kind of like, well, can we find a way to kind of keep things the way they were? Can we get back to what it used to be? Yes. And, you know, my perspective, and our perspective, is like, No, you can't, and actually, the opportunity is in figuring out how to make the most of where things are right now, and where they're going, as opposed to trying to hope that they go back or try to hold on to what they were before.

Kate: Oh, I completely agree. And it's hard. Because when, you know, when your business is entirely predicated on, you know, one platform on one tool on something, and that goes away, or, or changes the way that that your iOS 14, and things have changed things recently, it's natural to want to go back to what worked you're like, but it was going so well. But you have to adapt, like, you have to roll with it goes, Okay, well, what's next? You know, if we can't do can't do this, you know, how do we look at the data differently? How do we, you know, how do we get back to where we need to be? Or how do we move ourselves forward. And, you know, we're seeing that a bit. Within Seedrs, we, you know, social media is a part of our media mix, it's a part of the media mix of the entrepreneurs who are running campaigns on us, you know, up until recently, you can be highly targeted, you are, you know, spoke, you, you are targeting men who are 25 to 40, who have an income that's above average, you know, that are interested in clothing, etc, you know, used to be able to basically get down to Eric by name, just about, you know, and you can't do that anymore. But what you can then do is start to think about how these channels work more holistically, you know, rather than trying to get to that person, how do you start to tell a broader story? And then how do you start to get comfortable, it's almost going back to the, it's going back to marketing when I started my career. And I think probably when you started yours, when, you know, you couldn't attribute everything you had to do modelling, you had to look at uplifts, you had to do pulled out regions, you had to you know, you had to work through these things so that you could get confident in the impact of the activity that you're doing. You know, we're just back to that, but with new channels. And, and it it there's, there is a freedom and creativity in there if people are willing to jump on it.

Eric: Yeah, but I think that's just it. And one of the lines that always go through, goes through my head is in times of change, it's often survival of the fastest, not survival of the fittest. And so that speed in making decisions and adaptation and innovation and in in rethinking about things from scratch, like that's, you know, a red thread, of course, through this whole podcast, but also through this episode as well. So I think that's a good jumping off point to come back to your term and mention of capturing lightning in a bottle. And what I really like is this idea of it's not the lightning, it's the bottle. So either, you know building on what you were talking about with how a way, you know, was really at the right place, right time, but also at the right strategy and right execution to build a successful brand on Instagram at that time. But how do you think about either based on those learnings? Or, you know, just just your perspective? How do you? Or how should people be thinking about capturing lightning in a bottle in these marketing and brand building moments?

Kate: We're getting to the tough questions I see. Um, I think that the most important thing is the ability to move quickly and capitalise on moments. So I mentioned at the top, and you asked who my favourite challenger brands are, I said, there was a marketing example I want to give you, Bing give it to you now, union pub in Washington, DC. Union Pub is a few blocks from Capitol Hill. Without going into politics, the US is in a bit of a pickle at the moment. And union Pub has launched a promotion, which is for $218, you can become the Speaker of the pub, you get given a gavel, you get all of these different things, you know, you get certain drinks and food for your group and all of that. And that, to me, I think just encapsulates how do you think about the moment? How do you take advantage of it. And, and so that lightning in the bottle can be, you know, it can be a week in time, when you can capture capture on something like this. Or it can be a brand new channel or brand new avenue that opens up that you may be able to capture for for weeks, or months or years, you know, the way away was able to leverage social media, particularly in the US. And so I think that the most important thing is to recognise the moment or recognise the potential of the moment, and then not being afraid to take a couple of risks, to run with it and see what happens. I think that you know, taking principled risks is, is critical. Because if you only do what you know, works, you're never going to be the one who captured lightning in a bottle. Because by its nature, it's the first person it's the first, you know that it's that rarely

Eric: Do you think there is a difference in the mindset or model marketers need to take to capture lightning in a bottle. I'm just going to try to extend the metaphor of like just one bolt, like real time marketing, you know, you think all the way back to like Oreo dunk in the dark. And every marketer for like 10 years was trying to create their version of that. And the union pub, I think fits in there. Like there are still certainly opportunities to do it well, to I would argue the away example of them building on Instagram was smart strategy, strong execution over a period of time. And I guess what I'm saying is like, and I actually don't know how I would answer the question like, are they the same thing? And it's actually you recognise the opportunity, you take some risk, you do it well, contextually, whatever. And that's just more and longer, or is there a different approach when it's something of like, Hey, I think we can build our business on this over the next couple of years versus Hey, I think we can build a bit of buzz over the next couple of days or a couple of weeks.

Kate: I think that they require similar instincts, but they're different outcomes. Which is, I think it requires that it requires the ability to recognise that there's there is something you can capitalise on that you couldn't before. You know, but inherently the difference between trying to build a little bit of buzz and being like this is something that can fundamentally change the business will require a different level of thought consideration execution. So but I think in both cases, the criticality is your ability to say, there's something here I can capitalise on before other people.

Eric: Yep. And then moving quickly, to take advantage of it. Yeah. And also, maybe the one that I would add in there is trying to maximise the opportunity. Because I actually think that I think a lot of businesses that do it well, and I guess the inverse is true for those that don't, as they, you know, quadruple down on what works, they might be doing a bunch of different stuff. And I don't know maybe at a way they tried something different. And you know, it ended up being Instagram, but I think a lot of the success stories are ones where they're placing a good amount of bets. But at the same time, as soon as they see something working, they figure out how to maximise the opportunity that it presents

Kate: And you have to place big enough bets. I think one of the one of the challenges for the modern marketer in in the world of tech So I've learned and I'm in that world as well is, you have to know how big the test has to be, and you have to be willing to take the risk. And to give an example from when I was at Square, when I joined square square had never done any sort of brand building in the US, they were able very similarly to way to build the brand almost entirely organically, they had a free product that they could give away, there was a virality to it, when it came to launching in Europe, it was a very different market, there were a lot of competitors here already, you know, the product was not free, free is great, when you don't have free, it's much harder. And nobody had heard of us. And so, you know, ultimately, after we did a lot of the normal Silicon Valley testing playbook, I went back to leadership in San Francisco and what we got to build a brand. And I said, I'm gonna take the marketing budget, I'm gonna put us on TV, we're gonna do a brand campaign. You know, and that, and, and I basically said, I'm gonna take this risk, like, if it doesn't work, it's on me. But this is how much I have to spend to make it work. You know, if I can't spend this amount of money, then then it's not going to work. And it's going to waste but you know, and you have to be willing to take those risks, and to, and to, to put your neck on the line. Because otherwise, if we kept trying to go with the playbook of just performance, marketing, just efficient channels that were highly inefficient, because we had no top of funnel, you know, we never would have been able to get there. And then that ended up acting as a case study for them to roll out similar strategies in the US and Australia and other regions, because we were able to prove out in a smaller market. So therefore, in a lower cost market, compared to say, the US that actually what the impact of investing in brand investing in these Willie things looks like. So that then, you know, could be applied. So I think look for being willing to take risks, being willing to put your neck on the line, but also, kind of one of the beauties, when you are the small challenger brand or region within a big company as you can, you can often be the one who does that, because if it works, that can be applied much more broadly. And people get really excited. You know, whereas testing brand marketing in the US is a much more difficult, expensive, you know, challenge so if you've never done it, you don't have confidence, competence in the impact is going to have it's much harder to kind of get that test across line.

Eric: I'm reading one of the other Jim Collins books, there's good to great Built to Last but then I just discovered there's like two others that he put out and to be honest, like, they kind of talk about the same things that the first to do. But anyway, you know, one of the concepts from from his research in his books, is fire bullets, then cannonballs, which is the same same same kind of mentality of like, you need to be constantly testing and learning. But then one you don't place big bets on things that you don't aren't pretty confident are going to work. But to when you are confident, then you actually need to roll out the cannonball you actually need to go after it. All right, well, I'm very I'm very motivated to figure out what our lightning in the bottle moment is going to be for arrival of 2023 after this conversation, but Kate, I'm gonna let you go. I really appreciate the time. Love this conversation before you duck out. Last question for you. We've covered a lot of ground if you had to pull out or tie together. One thing, one theme for people to do differently after listening to this episode, what would it be?

Kate: Take principal risks you know, back them up with data. But don't be afraid to to sometimes jump try something new advocate for something new. Because you will learn a lot the company will will get a tonne from it. And you might you might get that lightning in the bottle that you're looking for.

Eric: Love it. Alright, Kate, thanks so much again. Hope to see you soon.

Kate: Thanks so much, Eric. It's good. Great to be here.

Eric: Scratch is a production of rival. We are a marketing innovation consultancy that helps businesses develop strategies and capabilities to grow faster. If you want to learn more about us check out we are If you want to connect with me, email me at or find me on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe, share with anyone you think might enjoy it. And please do leave us a review. Thanks for listening and see you next week.

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