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How’d They Do: Coyuchi

On my latest How’d They Do? post: Coyuchi, and why you absolutely must have Mission, Story, and Purpose.

The faceless ecommerce store is dead.

It used to be that you could just slap a product on a store and sell it without the things I just mentioned—but not anymore.

That’s when things were a lot simpler. At that point, traffic was mainly query-based. People just typed what they were looking for into the search bar, and bought the first thing that popped up. Well those times are gone.

Now everything is social, and brands are no different. People want to know more about what they’re buying and who they’re buying it from.

So in order to keep up, you have to be adding value to your market. People need to know what defines you as a brand, and what your differentiator is—what is that thing that makes you unique.

And today I’m analyzing a brand called Coyuchi that does this particularly well.

Coyuchi offers bedding and other home products that are minimally processed and produced with sustainability in mind. My wife Carrie recently purchased some products from them, and now I want to take a look at what they’ve done with they’re branding and they’re message.

Differentiator: They offer green, minimally processed beddings and home products.

Coyuchi is operating in a market filled with other sellers like Target and K-Mart that have very little interest in the sustainability of their products, so this really makes them stand out.

Branding: They target environmentally conscious people and go for a forest-y, handmade aesthetic.

They don’t just define what type of products they offer, Coyuchi also offers a very specific aesthetic targeted at a very specific group of people.

Story: This was taken straight from the Coyuchi Website—

“For twenty-five years we have been committed to using only organic cotton and natural fibers, transforming homes into unique and personal sanctuaries. We believe that knowing where your linens come from and how they are made brings peace of mind.” – Coyuchi’s website

They don’t just have values, they have history. They’ve been doing this for 25 years, so it’s something they’re committed to. And they elevate the benefit of organic and natural fibers beyond just products by connecting them to peace of mind.

Coyuchi goes even deeper into their identity as a brand on their website by including environmental and social initiatives they’re involved with, and a look at how their products are made.

Tagline: Nature Comes Home

The tagline associates your home with nature, and natural products. It does a great job at summing up their story in just 3 words.

Ethos: Mindfulness, sustainability

Their ethos combines all the elements above and forms them into an intellectual and emotional response: By supporting this brand, you identify as someone who experiences both pride and peace of mind from buying sustainable home products. (I have no affiliation with these people, promise! I just think they’re doing a good job.)

So there you have it: Coyuchi is doing a great job with their brand’s mission, story, and purpose.

I go over this in even greater detail in my video, and I also look at some of the ecommerce techniques they’re using (and some they should be using), so check it out!

Video Highlights
0:10 The Faceless eCommerce store is dead
0:30 The economy has gone social
0:49 Who are you?
1:00 Branding. Tagline. Ethos
1:25 How do you come across?
2:18 Coyuchi – How’d they do?
3:20 Packaging and Branding
4:00 The package insert
5:30 Thank you card
6:31 Sales email
7:15 The ugly table
8:04 Product tags
8:45 The value of a quality product
9:47 – Would you buy again?

Click Here For Video Transcript

Ezra: Mission. Story. Purpose. You’ve got to have that stuff or you shouldn’t be selling anything, in my opinion. The faceless e-commerce store is dead. When I got into the game, you could slap products up on a store, sell them. You didn’t need a brand, you didn’t need a message. You could literally just sell products because at that time, people were searching for products based on queries, right? They were going to Google, they were searching for a dog bed, you could show them a dog bed. It was easy.

But times have changed. The economy has gone social. People like to know who they’re buying from and if you don’t have anything beyond some random product that every other bum has, then you know, you’re not adding any value. So what you’ve got to have is a mission, sort of a story about your brand, and a purpose to what you’re doing beyond selling people stuff. So you want to know who you are. What is your differentiator? You’ve got to tell your customers who you are. You’ve got to have a core story that you tell about your brand and that has to do with the branding, the tag line, and sort of the ethos that you’re trying to have people feel when they relate with your brand.

What you want to look at is, how do you come across to people when they engage with your brand? Now this is a greater conversation in your life in general…how do you present yourself, how do you come across when you’re relating and communicating with people…but specifically about your e-commerce brand, how do you come across? You want to know what esthetic appeals to your market. What esthetic are they into? A tag line. You’ve got to have a tag line that tells your story in one sentence, and you want to know the emotional response that you are trying to elicit in your potential customer.

Now I talk a lot about this, I give examples of my own brands, and there’s a brand that my wife recently purchased from that I thought did a great job of this. So I’m using them as an example here since this video is actually a How’d They Do? video, which is where we leverage our consumption. So we buy stuff, we consume stuff, as I’m sure you do, and we document what we think about how they did as an e-commerce brand. How’d they do building a relationship with us? What were their products like? How was their communication? So this is kind of a How’d They Do? video, but I want to tell you how Coyuchi…I don’t even know if that’s how you say it…has done this.

So their differentiator is that they’re green. They’re minimally processed. That’s what makes them different. They’re green, their products are not highly processed. Who they are and who they’re targeting is environmentally conscious women. My wife fits into that demographic of a woman who is concerned with being environmentally conscious. Their story is nature to home and it actually is their tag line. Well, that is their tag line, “Nature comes home.” And their story is like, “Hey, bring nature back to your house.” The esthetic is kind of forest-y, handmade. It’s pure, it’s clean.

I’m actually going to bring Carrie on, I’m going to ask about her experience purchasing from this brand. Now the tag line is, “Nature comes home.”It tells their story about their brand in one sentence. The emotional response that they want to elicit in their customers is mindfulness. That’s sort of what they want people to feel when people are relating with their brand. So what I’d like to do now is bring Carrie on and actually ask her, kind of show you what she bought, look at their packaging, and ask her about her experience buying from this company. So you got this box of stuff. And…

Carrie: I do. Well, first thing you notice, their tape has their tag line on it.

Ezra: Ah, so they’ve branded their tape.

Carrie: “Nature comes home.” The box shows up and you’re like…

Ezra: You’re like, “Nature is here,” and you’re happy about it.

Carrie: “Nature has arrived.”

Ezra: Okay, “Nature has come home.” And then when you open the box, they’ve got some messaging for you.

Carrie: There’s a quote on the box.

Ezra: Yeah, so that’s like taking packaging to the next level. We just switched to the Apple TV behind us here. And then you open the box…

Carrie: And they also tell you, “Made from…”

Ezra: “Recycled material.”

Carrie: “…recycled material.”

Ezra: So they’re walking their talk. Their box is in line with their brand.

Carrie: Branding.

Ezra: Yeah, in branding. Now…wow. Look at that package insert.

Carrie: Right?

Ezra: Oh my God.

Carrie: Yeah.

Ezra: That might be one of the best ones I’ve ever seen.

Carrie: It’s a map.

Ezra: It’s a map?

Carrie: Uh-huh.

Ezra: You want to tell me about it?

Carrie: Sure. As you can see, I’ve bought from them before.

Ezra: She’s a repeat buyer. So is the bedding that we sleep on and stuff from this place?

Carrie: Some of it, yeah.

Ezra: Wow. How about that? So look at that, oh my goodness.

Carrie: This is a whole brochure that basically tells their story. It’s a map. This is where they started.

Ezra: And what is the significance of the map?

Carrie: Well, here’s their main store. This is where they started.

Ezra: Got it.

Carrie: It’s in Point Reyes, California, which is a very…

Ezra: So super hippies, probably.

Carrie: Yeah, it’s a very eco-friendly, caring about nature kind of place, and it’s beautiful. So all of their textiles…which is mainly what they sell, textiles and a little bit of clothing…has a beautiful, very natural palette. So colors that you would find in nature. All natural, plant-based dyes and stuff like that.

Ezra: Did you actually consume this content or was this just way too overwhelming? There’s a lot of content back here, dude. Did you consume that or did you kind of…

Carrie: No, I just looked at the pretty map.

Ezra: You looked through the pretty map?

Carrie: Yeah. It’s so pretty.

Ezra: Okay. Well done. So she’s like, “This is beautiful.” So that worked. And then for people…sorry, I dropped it…for people who might want to go a little deeper, they’ve just got a whole bunch of content on the back.

Carrie: Yeah, it’s fabric care and all this kind of thing.

Ezra: Sure. And then there’s some other stuff here. A little card. Is that cross-selling you on some stuff? Giving you a discount?

Carrie: It’s saying, “On behalf of all of us at Coyuchi and our partners around the world, from the farmers and the herders to the mill workers, weavers, and sewers, we want to take a moment to thank you for your purchase. You not only added a beautiful item to your home, but you’ve enriched the lives of many. Enjoy your purchase. We hope it will support, comfort, and rejuvenate you for years to come.” And it’s signed from their CEO and then it says, “If you’re not thrilled with your gift or purchase,” contact them.

Ezra: “You can get back to us.” I think this would have been a good opportunity to cross-sell, offer a discount, something like that, because they know you’re not reading all that. So they’re like, “The one thing we want to communicate to you, we’re going to put on this extra card,” and I think they could have maybe offered you something here. What do you think?

Carrie: Well, I think they’re just trying to say thank you.

Ezra: They just want you to get that? Yeah. So this is the acknowledgement of having purchased.

Carrie: And their stuff is expensive, so they’re saying, “Here’s your stuff. It’s worth what you paid for it. Look at all the people who helped produce it for you.”

Ezra: Right. So they’re acknowledging the people.

Carrie: Yeah, and part of their message is sustainability.

Ezra: So you got a lot of stuff here, man. All kinds of stuff. Each one has its own little tag, which is kind of cool.

Carrie: Well, you know, they had a sale. So they emailed me about their sale and then I went to their sale and…

Ezra: And they sold.

Carrie: They have my number.

Ezra: Yeah, that’s good. That was a very cute little sigh there. Let’s open one of these things up. So tell me about how you first found them. Wow, that is certainly beautiful. Look at that. Is this like a scarf?

Carrie: A table runner. No, it’s a table runner.

Ezra: Okay, but it could be a scarf, right? You could just rock this thing? What do you think?

Carrie: Real pretty. It matches your shirt.

Ezra: Yeah, come on. So you put that thing on the table and then the table looks better.

Carrie: Yes. Well, what happened is we had a party for our friend, Daniel, and we needed an extra table because we had more people than would fit around our table.

Ezra: Right. I remember this.

Carrie: And we didn’t have a nice tablecloth and I did not like having the ugly table in the middle of our beautiful party.

Ezra: Ugly tables in the middle of a beautiful party, bad news. Carrie doesn’t like that.

Carrie: And so Coyuchi sent me an email about their sale and I thought, “Maybe they have a beautiful tablecloth.”

Ezra: And there you go.

Carrie: And then they did. And they also had a table runner.

Ezra: Oh, you got a tablecloth and a runner. So this is an up-sell. This is a cross-sell. You came for the tablecloth and you left with the runner?

Carrie: And more.

Ezra: And more. That’s genius. I love it.

Carrie: This is the tablecloth to cover the ugly table and then I thought, “We need to have a matching something for the nice table.”

Ezra: Well, clearly you’ve got to have a runner, yeah.

Carrie: Yeah.

Ezra: Yeah. So…

Carrie: So that’s how that happened.

Ezra: This is great stuff.

Carrie: And then they had this other table runner and it was on sale and it was so pretty.

Ezra: I mean, come on, what are you going to do at that point?

Carrie: And I thought, “You know what? It’s not for a party because it’s white so it’ll get really dirty.”

Ezra: What do you think about the tag on every product? What do you think? That’s a little aggressive, huh? I guess every product needs a tag, right? If you were to buy it individually?

Carrie: Well, let’s see. You know, they want to constantly remind you that this stuff is organic and…

Ezra: It’s good stuff, yeah. It feels good. You want to rub it on your head.

Carrie: Yeah, it’s really nice stuff. It feels…

Ezra: Just throw it on the ground there.

Carrie: They have good sheets. And then…

Ezra: What are these?

Carrie: Okay, so the last time I bought something from them, I was $10 shy of free shipping or something so I bought a couple of kitchen towels. And it turns out they’re the best kitchen towels I’ve ever used.

Ezra: Wouldn’t you know.

Carrie: So then I bought more.

Ezra: Wow. So how about that? That’s the value of a quality product, which we experience a lot in our businesses, where we get people who come and then they keep coming back because they love our stuff. Our skin care in particular.

Carrie: That’s the best thing you can do for repeat business is…

Ezra: Have a great product.

Carrie: …have people be happy with what you sold them.

Ezra: I think I know these. I think I used these to wipe up my little coffee mess and stuff. Are these what you have in our kitchen?

Carrie: Well, they’re similar. They would feel the same. They’re slightly different.

Ezra: Got it. Yeah. Well, so you really love this company. How is their post-purchase email? Is it getting you to give them any testimonials? Are they asking for social proof? Are they doing any kind of marketing, direct response? No?

Carrie: Not really. Maybe they are. We should look into that, because I roll up…

Ezra: Probably not. Or you just get rid of them.

Carrie: Well, I roll everything up. But…

Ezra: Everything? Do I get rolled up?

Carrie: You don’t.

Ezra: I don’t get rolled up. Everything else gets rolled up.

Carrie: I get emails from them often about sales.

Ezra: Okay, so they’re kind of…

Carrie: And they also will email me if I leave something in my cart and don’t buy it.

Ezra: So they’ve got cart abandonment going on. That’s good. Cart abandonment. Well done. Carrie Firestone, Ezra Firestone, for How’d They Do? Would you buy from them again?

Carrie: Definitely.

Ezra: I think we’ve already answered that. So thanks for watching. We’ll see you in the next one.

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