Under The Hood: Cherene from Bobbie
Insights from Cherene Aubert, Head of Growth at Bobbie (makers of organic infant formula)
Growth has been very strong. Ultimately, I attribute that to an exceptional brand, premium product, and incredible product market fit.
To take you back to the beginning in 2021 , only a handful of months after its launch, Bobbie’s demand exceeded our expectations and we had to turn on a waitlist.
You see: Prior to Bobbie, there wasn’t a European-style infant formula in the US. European formulas were being imported and sold through black market sites to parents desperate for more options. We were the first brand to shake the stigma around formula feeding – something that has been looked at as shameful and “second best” – even though infant formula could very well be the best and only option for some parents. By providing a premium option for desperate parents, we filled a massive void in the market.
Our brand positioning and founding team of moms really shook up the space and revolutionized the market.
What happened after the waitlist phase?
We turned our site back on in spring 2021 when we were ready to take on new orders. We launched a national campaign with a full-page ad in the New York Times. Outside of that we were thriving predominantly off of organic and word-of-mouth, giving us a strong foundation for sustainable growth.
I came on as Head of Growth in September. Our subscription model hinges on the product being a good fit for the baby. If the formula is a fit, we can expect that a baby will consume Bobbie throughout the lifetime of its feeding journey.
Things were working well on the growth front. We were hitting and exceeding growth targets. Then, in February 2022, there was an infant formula recall for one of the 2 biggest infant formula manufacturers in the US. Just like that, 40% of the inventory was wiped off of the market.
So our demand blew up overnight, once again. Only this time it wasn’t just us – it was the entire industry.
Everything had to stop on the acquisition front, and we went back into waitlist mode. We’re expecting to begin reopening to waitlisters at the end of July and are excited to announce our launch in Target – making Bobbie accessible to more parents around the nation in such a critical time. For customers who are already subscribers to the business, they can continue their subscription. We’re proud to have remained in stock for our subscribers, which highlights the beauty and predictability that comes with the subscription business model.
As a head of growth, how do you think about your media placements (organic & paid)?
On the creative side, a lot of the branded content doesn't perform well on paid channels. My general advice on creative is that real content from real customers outperforms good visuals. For all the money invested in fancy creative, ultimately it is real customers’ genuine reactions which resonate most with customers.
For a high AOV and high research product, performance content (third-party press or review sites) has been incredibly effective. Our goal with 3rd party content is always to provide education that meets customers where they’re at in the purchasing journey. As a new parent trying to navigate the waters of infant feeding, we aim to make the complex science around infant formula accessible and digestible.
Let’s jump into CRO: How do you think about it?
We know that subscribers have the best experience, so our CRO efforts have been focused around optimizing the experience, enabling more product research to happen on site, and personalizing subscription onboarding.
Any insights on increasing basket size?
The biggest driver of basket size and upsell is an infant's unadulterated love for Bobbie. While we can't control this, we can make the subscription experience seamless for customers, build in ease-of-use, and reduce purchase friction.
What made Bobbie so successful from day one?
It is hands down the founders and leadership team. They truly believe growth should be sustainable and primarily organic, and they believe in the power of a strong brand. Those ingredients have played a huge role in the success so far, and in part - it’s how we’ve been able to raise our Series A and B.
Last question: What’s your stack like?