November 11, 2020
Katelyn spends most of her time helping product teams figure out who their best customers are and what triggers them to buy for a living. Little did she know that this year, she'd find herself using those skills to co-found a DTC subscription food box with her husband. In this episode, we talk about how this all came together and how her main job has proven invaluable in the launch of this new project.
Hey, everyone, this is David Hoos, and you're listening to the Modern Attention podcast, where I bring together data, see marketers and other experts to tell their stories about personal, professional and brand. Hope you enjoy this episode.
I'm pumped to introduce you to my guest, Caitlin Bourgoyne, Caitlin is the three times founder, term growth strategist. She's named the influencer by Forbes and Kaitlyn's past clients include tech startups, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies like Target and Holiday Inn. Today, Caitlin helps a frustrated product. Teams figure out who their best customers are and what triggers them to buy or stop buying. And this episode, I interviewed Caitlin about her first specific dissy venture, helping her chef husband launch ready to grill barbecue box service. It was really interesting conversation that really highlighted how much customer research can make a big difference in the success of your business. So it's a great story and a great listen. So without further ado, here's our conversation. All right.
Well, today on the show, I have Caitlin Bourgoyne and I'm really excited to have her on. I followed her on Twitter for quite a while and really enjoyed her content. Really the I think the thing that has impressed me with what you're working on is it's all about the customer. And actually, can you just kind of go into a little bit more about what you do and kind of the process behind it?
And it has evolved over the last little while, as you know, we're going to get into. But my you know, my core business is customer camp and customer camp is a training and market research company. And we help people figure out who their best customers are and why those people buy. And we do that by teaching them the methods that we would use when we're actually doing the market research services. So that's my core business. And then in the last four months, in response to covid-19 and my husband seeing his kind of career prospects dry up due to that, I've also co-founded another business which is called Charbel. And I think we may end up getting into talking about that a little bit. But that's that's most of what I do these days.
Awesome. Yeah. No, that's actually what I wanted to spend most of the time talking about because it seemed like a really interesting story there. So you kind of walk us through kind of the beginning and so forth from there.
Absolutely. And so a little backstory would probably be helpful.
So my husband is a chef by trade and a really, really talented chef. And he had owned a couple of restaurants previously and had kind of one of those bad business partner breakup's ended up walking away from those businesses and trying to figure out like, what the heck do I do next? And so he made the decision to get into safety, which is totally different than than the culinary and restaurant world. But he thought it would be a good path and it would provide stable income. And he was hoping to work in the oil and gas sector. So fast forward three years later, there's nothing really panned out for him to get into the oil and gas sector. He's really excited about getting in that sector, but he's just there's no doors opening and he's working in other types of industry. And we start touring restaurants again because that itch to do his own restaurant. It just keeps scratching. And so we're looking at Rashaun for thinking about it. We're crunching numbers, trying to figure out can we do this? We want to go down this road again. I'm still operating my business customer camp at this time and trying to decide do I want to be the wife of the restaurateur because I know what that life is. It's been there before. And, you know, it's an interesting time. And then out of the blue, he gets a call from a friend and he says, hey, I've just got this new job and they're looking for a second safety officer. Will you do it when you come out with me? And so he ends up moving to Newfoundland, which is for those that are listening, not from the from Canada Rooflines, Atlantic Canada.
We live in Nova Scotia. And so he lives in Newfoundland for a year. I'm going back and forth. He's working in oil and gas, is enjoying the work. But there's still that itch of like, yeah, this is good. But like, you know, it's not fulfilling the creative side of what I want to do. And so he had finished up a contract in Newfoundland and was sitting at home twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the next contract, getting lots of bites. And then covid-19 happened and suddenly there was no travel anywhere. And so all of those oil and gas opportunities dried up overnight. And it really presented an opportunity. It was like, OK, well, you've been talking about wanting to do something. Let's do it again. Maybe we should talk about that a little bit more seriously and explore some different ideas. And from that, we started with one idea and kind of explored that. And then that led to another idea that led to another idea. But where we eventually landed was a company called Chaar Boys. And what we do is it's sort of like pick up hello fresh, but it's specifically for ready to grill barbecue. So once a month, we deliver boxes of ready to grill barbecue all around our province of Nova Scotia and everything you need to have these chef inspired barbecue meals is in the box. So that's what we're doing. And it's been a wild ride. We're going into our fourth month and it's grown really fast, which is nice. Lots of hurdles along the way, though, too. And that's kind of the back story of where we're at right now.
No. So can you talk a little bit about I mean, it's from what I saw online, it sounded like what your expertise kind of helped make that business a reality in a lot of ways.
Well, I mean, I'm fortunate enough to have gone through enough failure myself to be able to help people to navigate certain things, like I previously had a tech company and learn about the whole concept of doing customer discovery and iterating on an idea and continuing to kind of like putting something out there quickly and seeing if the market bites and then shaping it based on demand. And so when he came up with his initial idea, which was to do a butcher shop, I was like, well, that's cool. But like right now, do we really want to invest a ton of money and resources into a brick and mortar business, especially a grocery business? Like I feel like that world is about to get massively disrupted one way or another. And maybe there's a way that you can do something to do with to do with meat, which was an interest of his without going down the brick and mortar route. And so we talked and we talked and we came up with the idea of a barbecue. And it was just the beginning of I think it was April at the time when we just started first talking about this. And I said, OK, well, this sounds like a great idea to us, but that doesn't mean that's actually a good idea. So let's go out and do customer discovery. And so we put out to our personal network. We just said, you know, we're looking to talk to people who fell into these four different categories because in my mind, I was thinking the perfect customer for this is going to fall into one of these four categories.
They're either going to be that kind of like super local buyer who cares a lot about free range organic meat. And that's going to be kind of a value proposition for them. And getting up to their door will be something that they're interested in. Maybe they'll fall more into that kind of like convenience buyer, the person who's already paying for services like Hello Frasch or Scheiße played or good food. Those are some of the big meal companies. And so I wanted to touch people in that space and get like, why are they paying for those services and what it's like what's what's really deliver for them? And then ultimately, just to talk to families who shop also at the farmer's market and who are active farmers market goers, I kind of like broken into some different segments of who we thought the customer for something like this might be. Oh, in the fourth category, of course, was barbecue heads. So people are obsessed with barbecue. I was I was thinking that those people probably wouldn't actually be the customer because people who are really obsessed with barbecue are kind of snobby about it and may not want ready to go. There's a part of the love for them might be in actually doing all the preparation themselves. So I was resistant to thinking that may not be the customer. And so at this point, we had done no actual work on the business, hadn't started coming up with a name or thinking about what a box might include.
All we knew was that we had this concept. And so I went out and I did customer discovery with I think we talked to about sixteen people. And again, they fell into these four categories. And when I do customer discovery, the thing that I learned from past mistakes in this area is you really don't want to just, like, share your idea and go like, what do you think? That's what a lot of people think customer discovery is. I think it's like, OK, like I've got an idea. I'm going to go and share it with people and then ask them for feedback. And the problem with that approach is that everybody will give you feedback and a lot of opinions. And that doesn't necessarily mean that that has anything to do with how they will actually shop and buy. And so you can really bias your your data that you're gathering from these people by sharing your idea or sharing your idea too early in the process. And so what I wanted to know instead was, again, we covid-19 had been happening. We're looking at kind of like Midde. I think it was like late April, actually. And I'm like, what has how people shopping behaviors changed prior to this? What were they doing when it came to their shopping behavior? And more specifically, like how they shop for meat? And then now in light of the changes in the world, what are they doing and how is it different? And so going into that, just really wanting to understand how they used to buy and what their behaviors were and how they've currently been buying in light of where we're at right now.
And so talk to a bunch of different people. And through that really kind of like got to create this kind of. Profile of who our target customer was and what motivated them and in the work that I do, I use this innovation framework for local jobs to be done. And it's this concept around people don't buy products and services just because of who they are, like their demographics or the psychographics they buy them because they have these specific jobs that they're trying to get done in their life. And there's progress that they're trying to make. And if you understand that progress and you understand the struggles that they're currently facing, then you can design better solutions and figure out how to market them. And so it was really interesting, kind of continuing to have these conversations and starting to spark these different patterns across these conversations and really getting drilled in on who our customer was and what they cared about. So we did that prior to to deciding, yes, we're going to move forward with that. But it was really, really good to me. Just super fascinating to learn that because all of these little patterns started bubbling up.
Mm hmm. Can you talk a little bit about I mean, if somebody is wanting to have an idea like you talked about and they're wanting to take that next step where they have an idea of who the target market might be like, how they go about sourcing those people, is it just kind of friends and family or are there particular ways that you went about doing that?
So it really depends what style of business you're thinking about starting and who you want to talk to.
I would say that it's typically quite easy if you're thinking about some type of, like consumer product. It's the easiest way to find people you want to talk to is to reach out to your personal network and say, I want to talk to people who recently bought this or I want to talk to people who are searching for a solution to this problem, because you don't want to talk to people who just might fit a target. Right. Like you want to talk to people who do shop at the farmers market, people who are buying chef's plate, like you want to understand what led them to make those decisions. So I'd be specific when you put your ask out to ask about people who either recently bought something similar to what you're considering bringing to market, it could be a direct competitor. Like in our case, you might think of Halaf Rush as a direct competitor. Well, I think we're actually quite a bit different based on kind of like where we're trying to position himself in the market. But like in our case, we talk to people with a fresh. But I also wanted to put I reach out to people who I knew shopped at the farmer's market all the time. And so it was finding those people. So I'd say prioritized looking for people who have who put their hand up and say, yeah, like I recently bought that thing or who put their hand up and say, yes, I'm currently searching for a solution to that problem, because that means they've probably tried a lot of different things in the past that haven't fully satisfied their needs.
And learning about those is going to be incredibly insightful for you as an innovator. So I would that would be my first approach. If you put out your feelers and you don't get anything back, then you can always go to kind of next step, which is go and look on review sites from your like, you know, who might fall into your competitor category. Maybe it's Google reviews, maybe its Facebook marketplace reviews like maybe its product reviews on Amazon, whatever that might be, and try to identify who those buyers or people that are leaving their views. You could reach out and talk to those people a little bit harder to get those people, but still worthwhile. And then if your B2B or again, this works for B2C as well, actually, there are services that exist that can allow you to say, I'm looking for somebody that fits this profile and they'll find those people for you. That's not my favorite method, because, again, oftentimes maybe those people might fit the demographic profile, but they may not fit the most important thing, which is like, are they currently trying to solve the same problem that you solve? But you can with most of those services, you can set up a screening question where you ask, have you recently are you using one of these other solutions or are you currently looking for a solution to a problem? And then if they say yes, then you can screen them in.
So services like that might be user interviews as one there's one called respondent dot Io. There's a site called Clarity that has a ton of different types of experts. And they're all they're willing to allow you to book their time by the minute. So depending on who you want to talk to, if you are more B2B, you might be able to find those people that way. So there's no shortage of ways to find people, but that does seem to be a sticking point for a lot of people. They often put their hands. I can't find anyone. But my response to that is often, well, if you're struggling to find people for customer discovery, how are you going to find customers now? So, you know, this is a good challenge to to. Face head on, because it gets you ready for the bigger challenge later, which is going to be finding those customers for sure.
Were there any any surprises when you did that initial customer research with those initial batch of people?
There was there was huge surprises for me because I am you know, Jason and I, we don't have a family yet or something that we want to do.
But like so we knew that the I thought that the demographic we would be going after would probably be families or I had an instinct that it might be families, but I am not not having kids myself. I didn't know how those types of people would think and how they buy and how having kids affects the types of groceries that they buy and how they eat in their home. And so just hearing the same thing over and over again, the same words coming out of people's mouths like I ask. One of the questions I would ask was know tell me what dinner looks like at your house because I don't want to be I don't want to lead them. I want them to to tell me. I don't want to say, like, you know, what are the challenges with dinner or what are what do you love of me? Did I want to just give them kind of that open canvas to to tell me? And when I talk to people with younger families, the answer often came back with this one word answer. They say chaos. And then they go into talking about the challenges that they had, getting seven year olds to eat their vegetables and having to cook three meals and wanting to eat better food, but struggling because the kids are such fussy eaters and how they tried different meal boxes. But the kids would eat this or they were too expensive and ended up making three meals anyway. And so it was really just gave me so much more insight and empathy to what it's like to be a parent and feed your kids, because that's not something I myself have experience with. So that was a neat one.
This is something else that kind of came out of it that was really interesting.
And this may be less of an issue now. I mean, here in Nova Scotia, our quarantine has been released a bit like we are from a life going back to normal perspective. Things certainly aren't normal here, but they're much more normal than they were when I was doing this research. But at the time, one of the interesting things, too, that I kept hearing is a pattern, especially when I talked to two men, was that there had been a lot of extra tension in their household and that dinnertime was something that was causing that to flare up. And that because, you know, you're together all the time, you're on top of each other. Your kids are home from school. Like dinnertime became this thing where it was supposed to be this nice experience to be able to sit down as a family. And they felt this guilt because they're like, we finally have time to, like, sit down as a family at the table because we have less running around. There's also activities you don't have to commute back and forth to work. And yet when we do sit down, the kids are happy, they're eating. But me and my wife are contentious, like I heard that a bunch of times. And I was like, interesting. OK, so like there's tensions in the household. And it's not because of the kid. That's because of what's happening in the back burner with the parents being so burned out and they're not getting what they want from those family dinners. So lots of neat things like that.
Well, I guess my follow up question would be, you know, taking all that research, all those insights that you pulled from that, how did that inform the next steps that you took with kind of planning out what direction you're going to go with the business?
So it's like it helped a lot. So it gave us some clarity.
And to kind of like who our initial target segment was that we were gonna go after again, we hadn't produced a product yet. We had done a bunch of discovery. And so one of our kind of key personas, I guess you could say, that we sell to is who I like to call Freddie, and he is the food curious jock dad. And he Freddie is dealing with all of these extra stresses at work. And he he's somebody typically that has younger kids, probably used to be fairly social, go with the friends all the time. But now that you have younger kids, that's not too much of an option. It's a pain in the butt, getting kids out and taking going to friends houses, things like that. And food is just become this this new way of channelling creative energy and, you know, enjoying this time that he has that when he does have a break, it's kind of a good relaxing activity. And so knowing that when I thought about as we were looking to launch, I was like, we're a new brand. We want to partner with other brands that are known so that we can get more visibility about what we're doing and create kind of that trust factor out of the gate.
Because when you're a brand new business and you're getting people to buy online, there's that entire does. Should I trust this business or are they legit? But if you're aligned with brands that they already trust and you can kind of borrow some of that credibility. So because I knew we were going after the Freddie food curious drop that I looked at, look, what else does Freddie like? Freddie drinks, craft beer and Freddie likes, like, you know, playing with all of these different seasonings and trying to get the perfect steak. And so we ended up partnering with two other businesses that we thought would be well aligned. And one was a local microbrewery and the other is a local company that produces all of these cool rubs and seasonings and marinades for meat. So that gave us the opportunity to kind of borrow some of their credibility. And it also felt like the right fit because we knew that they might be in front of our audience. And when we thought about creating the imagery for for our launch, we created like the GROP. The main graphic we use was like a five year old, like holding the spatula. And you could just see the adults body that you couldn't see their head, but you could see them having this family bonding moment.
And I picked that because I knew from the interviews that I'd done that parents were looking and wanting this to be a time where they could really bond with their kids because we're getting given this gift like we'd never been able to slow down like this before. And yet the stress of at all is not letting us fully realize that. And so creating this picture image of barbecue is this bonding barbecue sensitive. And right when you're barbecuing, it's not just dinner on a Tuesday. It's something kind of worth celebrating and it brings people together. And so that that imagery, I thought would work well and that did perform really well. We sold it within two and a half days with our first box. So little things like that, like little insights about who this customer is. Like, one of the things we talk about on our website is that we create a chef inspired meals that will satisfy both foodies and fussy eaters. Well, I never would have written that language and thought about it that way if I wouldn't have talked to these parents that were like starving to eat something other than chicken nuggets and yet still needed to feed the kids.
Right, right. So now their husbands basically kind of a chef for a bunch more people, really. But the time at a distance.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And that's the part of it that he loves and love. And he's so exceptional at the like.
The nice thing about this business compared to other things I've done in the past is that I know that the product is always based on like people love the actual dishes. They, like, rave about them. So that's nice because from a business perspective, getting that right product can be a struggle for sure.
Well, I guess on that note, have has you know, what you've aimed to do, has it morphed at all in the months since you've launched and in what ways and has there been any sort of ongoing market research that you've had to do?
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, we've we've been doing market research along the way. So every kind of box I look for an opportunity to test out something new.
And that's actually kind of the cornerstone of our strategy, because one of the things that we've learned about Freddy and of course, there's not just Freddy, we've now learned that we have other segments, too. But one of the things that we've learned about Freddy in particular is that the Freddy's of the world really want to be part. The boys experience, like it's not just about getting a box of food delivered to the door for them, it's like they want to come on the Facebook lives and ask Jason questions and they want to send us their food pictures and they want to be involved. They've got their own sausage recipes that they want to share with him and maybe get other people trying. And so that's been a lot of fun. And so, like after each box, we've done different kind of things to experiment and test what's working. Our biggest challenge has been logistics. If I'm really honest, like I thought, building a tech company was hard and I didn't know her like this is the hardest business I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of like this, just getting fresh food to doorsteps like and actually making sure the right things are in the boxes and they're going into the right places and the foods red carpet, the right temperatures and all of the instructions like it's been that part has been hard. And I have a lot of empathy for every time a package shows up at my door. I am very grateful for the people that fulfilled that package because I know how hard it is now. But yeah, so continued customer discovery. What has evolved is that we initially had thought the goal was going to be working towards having boxes that were kind of like Evergreen and always available.
But we don't have the capacity to do that as a company right now because we just don't have the resources to do it. And that seems to be OK, because the thing that we keep learning from our customers is what they like about our offer is that it's not like it's competing against Tuesday's dinner. It's the special thing that happens once a month. And it gives them a reason to get the kids together for a dinner. It gives them a reason to invite friends over for dinner. It's not just a meal, it's an event. And so that's kind of, again, from the whole jobs to be done mind set. That to me is really exciting because I'm like, how do we keep leaning into that? So one of the things that we've done is we every month look at how can we time our box release around something worth celebrating. So like last month or two months ago, we did Father's Day boxes and those went really, really well. We sold up quickly last month. We did Knaidel Day, which is Nova Scotia. I think it's the day Nova Scotia became independent and and that went really, really well. And so this time we're doing back to school. And so, again, knowing that our audience oftentimes tend to be parents, parents with school aged kids, we're doing back to school. But knowing that this year is going to be kind of a weird year and high stress for everyone, including teachers, we're doing some kind of cool things aligned with like other brands to celebrate teachers. And we're creating like, you know, back to school supplies for adults give away.
So lots of kind of fun things to make it an event.
And then the messaging for the for the buyers is this is kind of like not your last hurrah of the summer, but it's an opportunity before you get back into the stresses of school life to have that family time because the weather is starting to change and it's just that kind of opportunity. So that's a big insight that came out of, again, our research. Just understanding that people don't see what we do is dinner. They see what we do as a as an event.
That's really cool. You mentioned something about about kind of learned about some new segments in the process. How did that how do those come up? And then can you talk a little bit more about those segments and maybe how that's affecting business decisions?
Yeah, absolutely. And so what I would say is that intellectually, I know that we have other another segment that I have yet to actually sit down and do like full on customer discovery with.
And the reason being is that we're actually luckily thank got in the process of hiring a few new people. And I want to use this as a learning opportunity for them and have them participate in the customer discovery with me, because it will help them in understanding what we do a customer camp, and it will give them really fast insight into what tarballs is all about. So I knew that those hires were coming to take a little longer than planned to get those made, but they're going to be hopefully starting within the next couple of weeks. And but I do know that we have another audience. We've got this kind of like, you know, Freddi, the food curious job. That and again, job to be done isn't just about like gender and demographic stuff, but there are some kind of specific mind set pieces to like that target persona that tend to work well, like and that we've used to shift the marketing, but we're definitely seeing this other persona that's kind of pulling out, which is the you know, the people whose kids are kind of grown up and moved out or like, you know, they're like early university students or like about to graduate high school. And they. They tend to again, this whole idea of like barbecue is like something fun for us to do together as a couple, like, you know, the kids aren't going to participate so we can eat whatever the heck we want. They want something a little bit more risky.
And that's led us to wanting to do something with. The thing we keep hearing is, you know, ingredients I've never heard of before or like things I would never be able to conjure up on my own. And so when we think about the the Freddi with the young kids, we always think about tempering the things that are a bit kind of foodie like extreme with like things that are also really, really kid friendly. And then we also will have another box that's more towards this audience. Like, you know, for instance, in this upcoming launch, we're going to have a box that's going to have a Tomahawk steak in it with this, like, crazy sage butter. Like, I can't remember all the details. I suggest Jason question, but like knowing because we have that audience, too. And so that's been an interesting one coming out of it. And again, they it still comes down to them wanting to make an event of food, but it's more about them kind of developing the hobby of barbecue and becoming more proficient barbecuers, whereas like our other kind of segments, they want us to tell them exactly what to do. And they'll do it and they'll eat it. And they want it to be fast and easy. Whereas we're seeing this other audience is kind of like, no, like I'm like I've got the time to, like, savor and learn. And like we've seen them go out and buy smokers like two thousand dollar smokers since becoming Shalvoy spans that they never even thought about buying before.
And of course, US pictures and then like texting Jason to ask both different questions about like different seasonings and things like that. So that's a neat audience as well. And then the kind of third segment that I think is there is the segment of the the young moms who have a different reason than the dads for wanting the dad to barbecue. Not that the moms don't barbecue, too, but they often like, you know, when you ask women, a lot of the ones that we've been having conversations with, they seem to be intimidated by the barbecue. And it's something that they when it comes to barbecue, they do decides that their partner does the meat. That's certainly by no means like this goes for every household. But like we've heard that pattern a lot. And so that's exciting, too, because that gives us an opportunity to invite those people into the experience and say like, no, no, no, you can do this, too. So, like, part of it has been me kind of sharing my journey to learn how to actually be comfortable barbecuing. And like I was a vegetarian for my whole life. A week before I met Jason and then I met a chef. So I never learned to cook meat ever, let alone all the barbecue. So it's that's been kind of fun, too. And seeing those kind of three different types of customers and why they buy and and how to appeal to them has been a real blast.
That's a cool, cool story. Well, I want to kind of pivot from that, but still kind of on the same theme, but kind of talk about application that other brands can take away from this whole story. You know, you work with quite a number of other brands who are trying to kind of do more of the customer discovery, that market research piece. What sort of mistakes do you see brands typically making and how does what you're doing help out with overcoming those mistakes?
Yeah, great question. I would say that the the biggest mistake I see is people just don't make time to do it. And it's something that gets you know, they they come to my workshops, for instance, and they learn the methods, but they don't actually go and apply them.
And the reason being is often that it's easy for this to be something that kind of falls to the bottom of your list. And when you think about things from a Joss Whedon perspective, like why would somebody want to understand their customers? Right. The goal is always so that they can make informed decisions. And if you're trying to make an informed decision or trying to make a any decision, there's lots of competition that you other things you could do aside from talking to your customers. Right. You could send a survey or you could have a KOPLIK, have a brainstorming session with your team, or you could do some market research and read some stats. Right. Or you could read some blog posts and get some ideas that way. And so I often see people defaulting to other like quote unquote, solutions to help them figure out what to do and how to how to make better informed decisions. But the challenges that those just don't work as well and that they're often driven by assumptions that aren't actually based on the truth of a customers. So I'd say the biggest, biggest, biggest one is they want to learn the method, but they don't actually apply it. And beyond that, the challenge is once they actually do go out and talk to customers, they make the mistake again of falling into the bad habit. Of seeking approval and sharing, sharing their ideas and asking for opinions and feedback, as opposed to focusing in on what the customer is currently doing to solve a problem or what the customer is currently struggling with, that's stopping them from making the progress that they want to make.
And so they'll have these conversations that won't really yield what feels like really powerful or useful insights. And then they'll think, oh, well, that wasn't that helpful. And, you know, it took me a bit of time to get those people to commit to an interview and actually talk to them. So I'm not going to do that again. So I'd say that that those tend to be the big the bigger ones is that they kind of skip over the step of talking to the right people or they just put it off or they think that you can get the same type of insight from sending out a survey. And surveys are great, but they don't give you any meat. They give you kind of they help you figure out some patterns. But then ideally, you should still go and follow up with with more people. The deeper people understand the things that they're saying. So like, whenever I'm on a survey, it's three questions maybe. And then the last question is, can I talk to you more about this and ask them for email? Because, like, really what I want is to get their email. But it's nice to have this kind of preliminary questions to let me kind of see who's saying what and then decide who I'd like to prioritise conversations with. So I say those are the two of the big mistakes. And at the end of the day, one of the things that customer camp exists to do is like we give you the tools and the frameworks, the specific questions you can be asking the ways to to take action on what you're learning, the ways to organize the data, because it really is data you're gathering from these people in a way that makes it actual to marketing.
And that's another big challenge for people, is that they go out and they have the conversations, but then they can't get to the questions they stumble at. OK, well, what do I do with this? And if you're not an experienced marketer or you're kind of stuck in your own head about things, that can be a struggle. And again, that's something that we're working on internally coming up with solutions to that. So the people that are doing these interviews that might pull up these amazing insights, but then they don't know if they're not super experienced marketers or if they are kind of like. In the weeds, a bit in their own business, sometimes they can't see some clear opportunities and other people who could step in and go, oh, you learned blah, blah, blah. Well, have you thought of X, Y and Z? That can be helpful. But for most marketers that do the research, they are just exploding with ideas by the end because they are hearing so many things that are like, oh my God, like I we can be doing this and be doing that like they care about this. And this is the message we should be using for like most marketers, even a poorly done interview is going to lead to some real powerful insights. But for people who are new to it and that don't have that marketing background, then it can feel like a lot of information that you don't exactly know how to put together into it, into the right piece.
So it sounds like if I'm understanding you correctly, you know, when you're doing these interviews, you're probably wanting less to fish for affirmation of your idea of a more fishing for kind of experiences, not with any sort of particular destination in mind. Is that so?
There is a definitely a destination for like the when I structure an interview, if I'm talking to somebody who recently bought me my destination, is I want to take them from a clear journey from when they first realized that they had a problem that they needed to solve and that they started like passively looking for a new solution through to like actively seeking out a solution and comparing different options that they might try or trying different things and deciding what worked and what didn't right through to when they bought the thing that I'm interviewing them to, for instance, talking to somebody about how fresh and how was what was that experience like? What was it like the first time they tried it? And how did the experience of all the like, you know, if they continued to use it and what works and what does it? Again, some really interesting insights came out of our interviews with boys. Like we learned that we were going into this thinking we had to kind of like try to mirror what these other kind of like bigger food companies, milk companies were doing. And one of the things we learned very quickly was just how frustrated people are with how much waste are produced by these by those markets and that they feel incredibly guilty about that part of it. And so here I was thinking, oh, my God, I need to design like every little wrapper for every little thing that's going to go in there, because that's what you see, see the other people doing. And then I'm hearing from the actual customers that that's actually a big sticking point for them of what makes them stop buying from them, because it's like I feel too bad throwing out all of this extra packaging in a world where we're trying to reduce our carbon footprint. So that was an interesting insight which led us to design the product differently because I was like, well, let's just use as much recyclable materials we can. Let's just use a brown paper bag as opposed to anything plastic like you avoiding plastics when we can.
You're still there? Yeah, I'm here. Oh, sorry. Well, I wanted to, I think, kind of wrap things up, but kind of bring in some of your other experience and kind of ask the question, what is the biggest lesson that you've learned in all of your business experience so far just from running multiple businesses from this business? And what are your takeaways?
That's a great question, and it's certainly a the answer might change depending on the day.
I would say that the thing that sticks with me from all of my experiences, you know, I've been in business now and I've had a couple different businesses exits. I've had failures. And the thing that kind of sticks with me is that it, you know, the answer to most business questions is it depends. And that is an incredibly frustrating thing when people are seeking a really clear direction, because that's oftentimes what we want. We just want really clear direction. But if you want to fill in that, it depends with something more meaningful. The best way to do that is by talking to your customers to understand that and to to get a sense of what what it means for you and what it means for your business. And so I guess what I would say that kind of like sticks with me is that as I get older and maybe hopefully wiser to appreciate the journey of business and the learning that comes along and the trials and the errors that you're going to make along the way to continuing to get more and more clarity about what works and just the amazing momentum you start feeling as you get there. It's just so, so intoxicating. But also like now that we're there with Charbroil, where things are just going, going, going. And it's been, you know, in some areas, easy is taking time to to enjoy that, too, because it's it could go the other way really quickly if we're coming into winter.
So we'll see what happens in winter for sure.
Well, and this has been super awesome. I've learned a ton and I think the listeners are going to get a lot of value out of this as well. Do you have any I guess where can they find you online if they're wanting to follow up and follow what you're doing?
Yeah, absolutely. So we're in the process of redoing the customer camp site. So by the time they're listening, it might be a really great place for them to go to get some resources.
Right now, our blogs not there. We don't have some of our freebies there. That's all kind of coming. But by the time they're listening, I would say go to Customer Camp DOKO and there may be some resources there. Ultimately, follow me on Twitter is probably the best bet. If you're active on Twitter and if you have questions after listeners episode, you can check them out. I'd love to answer them. You can find me at Cape or So Katie E BAEO you are. And on my personal website, which is where I do most of my blogging, I've got a neat tool for anybody who is still in that journey trying to figure out who their customers are and really where they should be focused, especially if you're thinking about doing discovery and you want to kind of narrow down on who to talk to. I've got a tool. It's called a customer rating calculator. And you can get that on my personal website, which is Kaitlynn Bourgoyne dot com.
Awesome. Well, thanks again for coming on the show, and I'm really looking forward to sharing this episode with our listeners.
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