Welcome to this e-commerce business success story! In this profile, we interviewed Laura Brooks, the owner of Napjitsu. Our hope is that you find this interview to be enlightening and inspiring as you seek to start and grow your very own online brand!
Interview with Laura Brooks
Thank you for joining us for this e-commerce business success story! We’d like to start by getting an understanding of your backstory. How did you come to own your business?
I have always had an interest in health & wellness and better for you products. I’ve also really enjoyed the fast paced environment, true autonomy and high risk/reward of start-up life. When the opportunity came to create a revolutionary line of supplements to help better everyone’s overall health and wellbeing, I knew it was something I couldn’t pass up.
We wanted to create a better form of energy that’s natural, non-habit-forming and effective. We were over sugary energy drinks, we had become practically addicted to coffee, and we knew there has to be a better way to break the cycle of fatigue. We did a lot of research to discover the myriad benefits of the power nap, as evidenced by studies in Japan and by NASA. We level upped the power nap by combining with mind-enhancing nootropics and time released caffeine. We had a perfect opportunity to help others, and our products continue to every day.
Terrific! Now, this article is about profiling successful e-commerce businesses. So – can you share your top 3 keys to running a successful online brand?
The first piece of advice I have is to open to testing. When you start out, all you have are opinions and assumptions. Have your ideal direction, but be open to testing and learning in controlled environments – messaging, audience, creative, offers. We did a fair share of audience testing to find our target demographic as well as messaging and offers. Some of our assumptions were validated and others helped us pivot. We monitored daily and made decisions monthly. This built our confidence that we were headed in the right direction when it came time for large projects like photoshoots, full website design, and solidifying the brand guidelines.
Next, ensure you have a synergistic channel strategy where all retailers and platforms can grow. I’ve been in roles before where store sales and eCommerce sales were pitted against each other. The store buyer felt like the online buyer was “stealing” their sales even though they were part of the same company. Consumers don’t see it that way so business owners shouldn’t either. Instead, think about how can your website help your brick & mortar sales grow. For example, our website can be where consumers go to research and read reviews. The initial purchase may then happen in a physical store where the consumer can better investigate the product. Repeat purchases may move online purely for convenience. Everyone can win!
Lastly, I would encourage connecting with your consumers. We offer Zoom calls with first time buyers so they can share their experience from everything to our website to packaging to how taking the product made them feel. All opinions are welcome and valued! I personally take all the Zoom calls and value each and every minute I have with consumers. We have already implemented multiple changes to our products from this feedback.
Excellent. Now, I’m sure it hasn’t always been that easy. Can you tell a story about one challenge, setback, or mistake that you’ve had to overcome on the road to success? How can others learn from your mistakes?
This is a valuable question. Social media has led us to believe that getting a business off the ground is easy. In reality, if you’re not facing challenges then you’re not dreaming big enough.
Earlier I recommended proving out your target audiences before creating the supporting content. Upon launch, we had identified our target demos and crafted all of our content, website, brand guidelines – you name it – towards these specific audiences. When we launched, we started to realize very quickly that the niche markets we were focusing on were not sticking as we expected. We started to do a lot more A/B testing with content, creative, messaging, and influencers to better understand which audiences were most likely to purchase. From there, we were able to move forward more confidently. The downside is we had to redo a lot of that upfront work. Looking back, I would recommend starting small, especially with your website, and learn. Once you know what’s getting traction, starting adding more capabilities and robust content from there.
Thanks for that. Now – we want to know what’s next! What new initiatives are you rolling out at your business and what results are you hoping to see?
We’re just getting started! You’ll see us start to roll out to retail later this year where we can drive more awareness and trial. In addition, we have a robust innovation pipeline, thanks in part to all the consumer feedback we’ve received. We’ll continue testing and learning online so that we can ensure we’re staying true to what the consumers want.
Sounds exciting! Any final words of advice for our readers?
There is no official playbook. Consume content, be open to pivoting, ask questions, shop the competition, start with a minimum viable product website. The best thing you can do is simply to start. Nothing needs to be perfect. That’s the beauty of digital! You can (and should) launch, analyze and iterate – over and over.
Brilliant! We want to thank you for participating in today’s interview. Hopefully our readers agree that there is a lot to be learned from your brand’s story. What links can our readers use to follow along with your journey?
You can find us at www.napjitsu.com, and on Amazon at www.amazon.com/napjitsu. We are always trying to spread awareness and knowledge about nootropics and the science behind our line of supplements, which you can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @NAPJITSU and also on our blog www.napjitsu.com/blogs/news.