What CPG Brands Can Learn From Jessica Alba

Not just a pretty face, this actor is now just as famous for being a seriously successful entrepreneur as she is for her films. With her business partner, Christopher Gangen, she has built an empire taking the parenting community by storm. Last year, Honest took in $150MM, three times what they earned in 2013 and their retail presence has exploded.

So, what is it about Honest, Jessica’s business baby, that’s has made them the roaring success they are? And how can CPG brands learn from them? 

1. Emotion, emotion, emotion. Her story goes straight to the hearts of all new parents. Appealing to their instinct to protect their children and to create the safest environment possible. It’s pure, rooted in real insights and told through the eyes of Jessica and her founding partner, instantly connecting you to the mission. 

2. They put their money where their mouth is, $20 a head, to be precise. That’s how much every customer you convert is worth, crediting your account once your friends place their first order. It’s so easy. You feel good about recommending such a socially good product range, it's a clear show of your values and you get paid to do it. 



3. Free trial anyone? And I’m not talking a coupon or a 5 ml sample. When they give a free trial, you get the whole experience — a mini-version of their subscription “bundles” presented in an Honest box. It's a full brand immersion, so cute and earnest that you would feel almost ashamed canceling your bundle after you’re automatically enrolled. 

4. Three-quarters of Honest's revenue comes from online purchases. At a time where only 10% of CPG transactions happen online (according to A.T. Kearney), this is huge. While most brands fail to convert web-roomers to sales, Honest does. They invest in the direct relationship (rather than, say, partnering with Amazon) so they can offer lower prices directly to their loyalists. And their online sales figures leave no doubt that this approach works. 

5. Email is not dead. Honest uses email to craft their successful loyalty strategy, offering an exciting mixture of customized rewards and to deliver playful seasonal content with scratch-card like offers. It’s not 100% personalized but it feels personal and keeps you connected to Jessica, the mission and their admirable innovation pipeline. Gigaom last year called email the “the digital marketing workhorse,” meaning it was effective and for many the most effective tool for customer retention. 

6. Honest feedback drives innovation. They pride themselves on being a “family company” and by that, they mean they are for families by families. Their internal family has moms and dads and expert partners all providing complementary skills, sharing Jessica’s vision and values. Their commitment to their extended customer family via social and old school call center phone calls means they are deeply connected to their customer’s needs, innovating their product lines and categories to meet them. In an interview with TechCrunch, Jessica Alba spoke about how they were able to react to customer feedback on their wipes, pull them, reformulate and re-launch in under four months and now they are a bestseller. 

The strategies I’ve just listed aren’t anything new but the way they have executed it is. They understand that establishing real emotional connections is the only KPI and the gateway to creating customer value. It’s clear that Honest Company has managed to do what many brands haven't achieved; they’ve got the balance of reward and relationship just right. And in doing so, they’ve established the strongest bond you can create between customer and brand, loyalty.

Next story loading loading..