Leeatt Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of Packed with Purpose, a specialty gifting company with a social mission that makes it easy to send high-quality gifts that stand out and make an impact.
Leeatt shared how her team focused on sharing purpose rather than product details with clients to double their year-over-year sales at our October 30, 2019 Here’s How Startup Marketing Conference.
For those who don’t have time to watch the full presentation now, here are a few key takeaways:
- Target prospects whose purpose aligns with your own. If you’re a mission-driven company, your best partnerships will come from organizations that share your values.
- Look for the gaps between values and practices. Demonstrate to your customers that you're listening by locating areas (and touchpoints) where asserting their values can enhance their outcomes.
- Find opportunities for personal connections. Reaching out at the right time with the right message isn’t just a principle, it’s a call to action. Help your customers identify places where human connection can strengthen their relationships (and back up their value proposition).
Want to hear more? Read on for a transcript of her presentation.
Hi, I'm Leeatt Rothschild. I'm the founder and CEO of Packed with Purpose.
We're a gifting company with a social mission. All of the products in our gifts create a positive impact. We tell that story of impact in our gift boxes.
I'll give you a quick idea of what that looks like so that actually comes to life. For a holiday gift, we might have granola made by women who are survivors of abuse or who were previously homeless. They are part of a job training program so that they can get back on their feet and become financially stable.
Or, another example right here in Chicago: We work with a social enterprise that produces glass-blown wine stoppers. It's made by youth that are survivors of gun violence, and it's part of a program to help them basically recover from the trauma of gun violence.
We put those kinds of products together. We tell the stories of those products and how they create an impact.
Our clients use our gifts to send to their clients, to employees, to prospects, and also for conferences or attendees. As I mentioned, all of our gifts create an impact.
I founded the company in 2017. We've been growing at about 2x per year since then and we're on target to ship out about 30,000 gifts this year.
In terms of background on who I am and why I started Packed with Purpose, I'm a previous Peace Corps Volunteer that got my MBA. Right before I founded this company, I was working, advising Chief Sustainability Officers and marketing teams, and how they could use their CSR funds – oftentimes hundreds of millions of dollars – to create a business impact but also to have a societal return.
We're a startup. I'm entirely self-funded. My kids’ future college fund is being pushed into Packed with Purpose every day. We've got about two years of experience. Our goal is to maintain, if not exceed, our 2x growth since launch and to continue that into 2019.
I'd say the most important thing is that every client order becomes a new case for Packed with Purpose.
It's ingrained in the American psyche that companies send gifts to their clients to thank them around the holidays. Somehow everyone got the memo that it's supposed to be sent within the first two weeks of December. I have some thoughts on that. I'm happy to share that with you afterwards.
But what I would say is that the holidays are the obvious case. What we've realized is that there are so many other cases. Each of those cases basically provides us with another opportunity to serve our clients' needs, and that's what I'm going to be talking about in a moment.
Really understanding our clients’ business objectives is what has enabled us to meet their goals and to fulfill our goal of maintaining 2x revenue growth. We’re going to explore a few ways in which we use purpose to achieve our clients’ goals and to achieve our own.
I was just reflecting on the title as I was coming in today. I think that if I could write the title all over again, it would basically be “Here's How We Listened in Order to Double Sales,” and I'll explain why that is.
The high level thesis is: by listening to our clients’ needs and listening to how they were hoping to use Packed with Purpose or how it might be of interest, we were able to come up with different case studies, which basically provides us with new avenues to market our services as a gifting company. This gets people out of just thinking, “Oh, I send gifts for the holidays.”
Here's a few of the steps that we used.
1: ensure that prospects Are purpose-driven in their business development efforts.
One example of this is that we worked with a global background checking company. Among all the individuals that they help get their background checks for their potential new employment, they really focus on individuals that were formerly incarcerated – that were in the prison system – or perhaps have other barriers to employment.
One of the things we worked with them on was to help them improve their conversion rate for their prospect to customer (i.e., the prospect-to-customer conversion). We created a gift that was squarely focused on products that provided the benefit of job training or workforce development to people that are from underserved communities that have barriers to employment.
That company uses those gifts as part of their prospecting tool. They also did some direct mail and they were doing cold calls, but we really helped them figure out how to send a gift, a tangible, 3D item that they could actually touch and feel and interact with. The company's mission was connected to our mission, which is doing good with the emphasis being on workforce development.
2: IdentifY BLIND SPOTS where our prospects could apply purpose
We also identified company blind spots where our prospects could apply purpose, such as recruiting. We've worked with a global management consulting firm, and they’re recruiting probably like many other management consulting firms. They've got a branded water bottle, a branded tote bag, and they've got some other branded swag.
They're really excited to let you know that they can't wait for you to join their team. They've got a clever message. But this company was also really focused on the mission and actually used the word “purpose” in a lot of their recruiting material.
It felt like there was a missed opportunity to include purpose in the actual items that they were giving to their new employees if they truly wanted to onboard them into a culture of purpose.
We worked with them to provide totes that are made by individuals in a vertically integrated factory that provides them with job training and fair wages. We've got water bottles whose proceeds go in part to maintaining water projects across the world, in order to provide water conservation to communities in need. Coffee that provides job opportunities to employees with disabilities – I won't bore you (or excite you) with all of the different options.
But as you can see, sending a message of saying, “Welcome to the team! We're so happy you're here. Our culture is one of purpose,” but doing that with a gift that really emphasizes that and brings it to life is a totally different experience.
3: Educate the market about how personal touch can emphasize a company's value proposition
Another step was educating the market about how personal touch can emphasize a company's value proposition.
We work with a construction and architecture firm out of Minnesota that focuses on multifamily affordable housing and global relocation. They smartly send their gifts on Thanksgiving or right before Thanksgiving before the holiday rush. But they were really looking to send a gift to their clients that stood out. And that made their value proposition front and center.
One of the things that we did was we worked on curating a gift that had products that were focused on their industry items that were made out of reclaimed wood that they could tie into their value proposition of construction and building.
They've got a branded luggage tag that is tied into their global relocation services because that's one of their growing channels of service.
4: IdentifY opportunities to extend a company’s mission with key stakeholders
And then one other step was that we identified opportunities to extend a company mission with their key stakeholders.
As an example of this, we worked closely with a national conference organizer that's focused on cause marketing and social impact. They had been sending gifts to their speakers and organizers.
Let's just assume that those gifts were likely something that a sponsor had given them, which was nice but didn't necessarily focus on that company, the conference’s value proposition, and the entire underlying story that they have around doing good and creating a social impact.
We worked with them to create a gift that really emphasized the type of social impact that they're focused on, so that they could send this to all of their speakers, whether it's a webinar speaker or a conference speaker.
Those speakers, in turn, are important stakeholders. They’re individuals that help spread the word of this conference, and also they’re folks that can bring on future speakers and sponsors – really important stakeholders that this organization wants to keep in the loop and connected to.
I have a short quote here and I want to read you one because I feel like hearing directly from our clients is better than me paraphrasing.
One of the pieces of feedback we got was: “The results are positive. Aside from the numbers, our sales team loved these boxes. I was getting rave reviews from them every day, so that was a bonus win!”
For the background checking company, I'm just going to read what they said. Because again, part of their goal was to make sure that they were converting prospects into customers.
They said: “Our sales team has been surprised at the level of engagement these gifts lead to. If the prospect is not the right person, recipients are more likely to refer us to the right colleague. If it's not the right time, they're more likely to respond with details on when to follow up due to expiring contracts. And when we do set a meeting, prospects are curious to learn more about our mission and how it relates to our products or services.”
Even though we're a gifting company, in some ways, we're a tool that helps our clients achieve their objectives. The quote that I just read – it has to do with the gift in some respects – but really our success is achieving our clients' success.
Another one of our clients, they got the highest client response rate ever. Oftentimes our clients say they don't anticipate that they’re going to get any calls or emails or thank yous, and the outpouring far exceeds whatever they've seen in the past.
In an internal success for us, the holidays are a big time where we see volume soar. We're currently at a 70-plus percent reorder rate from previous clients. That's fantastic.
I think that the most important thing that we've learned is that our ability to actively listen to how our prospects and clients are thinking about using our gifts will enable us to continue growing because it'll give us new use cases that we can talk about for potential new prospects down the line.