UMAI social circle cpg podcast

#8: Culina Yogurt Mukbang, the Blueprint for Founder-Forward + Eco-Minded Content

This is NOT your average yogurt brand, and we’re so pumped about that – ‘cause who needs the “other guys” when you’ve got Culina Yogurt. 😉

From the moment you select one of their glass jars from the shelf, you’ll notice Founder Erin’s voice resonates across packaging and throughout social content.

There’s plenty to unpack in this one. Like, what does The Rock have to do with yogurt exactly?? As well as a look at strategic retailer shoutouts, messaging buckets, and nailing an eco-minded angle.

Let us break it down for you…

[0:55] Welcome! Here’s why we’re chatting about Culina today.
[1:33] We’ve got a few flavors to enjoy. Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry Rose, and Sour Cherry Almond. Initial thoughts on packaging, branding, and the ingredients list.
[7:37] Taste test. Mousse texture. Coconut notes shining through as well as respective flavor accents.
[11:42] So what’re they doing on social? How about their education? Tricks for your Instagram bio.
[15:25] What’s a good engagement rate for social? How does this differ between brands with bigger or smaller followings?
[19:52] What’s being talked about in the feed? Education on probiotics – how *this* product has probiotics with actual benefits.
[22:06] Founder focused. Loads of BTS videos! Retailer shoutouts.
[23:10] On the ads side – Alison’s thoughts on creatives and geo-targeted marketing efforts. Staying “native” – or, leveraging user-generated content.
[24:30] More organic content that we love. Community based (not always product forward).
[27:40] The power of messaging buckets for your brand as well as establishing brand recognition by showing face.
[31:18] Mission + packaging! Sustainability efforts with jars and DIYs. Challenges with shipping glass. New hashtag: #culinaclean
[37:25] Clever retailer announcement featuring The Rock. Call out for users to go to Whole Foods, buy product, post a photo, and tag Culina Yogurt in exchange for a coupon.
[41:20] Sync up your marketing efforts with your sales team – everyone’s got the same goals! Uplift each other!!
[43:00] Additional retailer announcement options that’re more approachable or non-designer friendly.
[44:43] Their graceful shift in packaging – from terracotta pots to glass jars.
[46:38] Look at all of that recipe content – most of it is user-generated! These recipes also go on their website (SEO boost).
[48:55] Then, there’s Lizzo! They created custom packaging for her – dang!
[53:06] Wrapping it up. We love your product and branding, Erin. 🙂

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Alison:
Hey, Hey, you all, Alison here. I wanted to quickly thank you for listening to our podcast. I know you’re about to get a lot of valuable information from it, but I also wanted to hop in and share with you guys a free SOP, which stands for standard operating procedure. We use this SOP every single day in our agency to authentically grow and engage our audiences on social. It is 1000% free, and I’d love for you to have it and use it in your business as well. So just go to umaimarketing.com/engage to go download. Alright, cheers.

Karin:
Welcome to the Umai Social Circle, where we taught consumer goods marketing tips to help business owners and marketers alike grow. I’m Karin, co founder of Umai.

Alison:
And I’m Alison the other co-founder of Umai.

Karin:
And we are diving into the coconut based yogurt brand, Culina. So on this episode, we’re going to be talking all about Culina and how this brand utilizes behind the scenes and founder focused content to really speak to the mission of the brand. Cool. So, first step is, let’s dive into this packaging and try it.

Alison:
Yes. I’m excited to try it. So I have the Blueberry Lavender, which flavor do you have?

Karin:
Ooh, I have Blueberry Lavender, I have Strawberry Rose and I have Sour Cherry Almond.

Alison:
I also got the Bourbon Vanilla and I already ate it and it was really good. So I’m excited.

Karin:
Well, I was seeing a lot of positive stuff about the Sour Cherry Almond, so I think I’m going to try that one.

Alison:
Nice. So first of all, the packaging. If you all can see this, it’s just really gorgeous. It’s very, I would say feminine, so definitely appeals to the ladies if that’s their core customer, we don’t really know, but I would assume so. Women do hold the credit cards.

Karin:
And this breathing is so beautiful. I’m sure plenty of dudes pick this up, but I feel like as a female shopper, I’m picking this up because-

Alison:
It’s pretty.

Karin:
Yeah.

Alison:
Exactly. So we didn’t really talk about… So Culina is dairy-free, so it’s coconut based, which I’ve seen maybe one other brand that does coconut yogurt that I know of.

Karin:
Yeah. I feel like there’s some trendy social brands that have this coconut based yogurt, but I feel like Culina is definitely one of the ones leading the charge. So on the packaging on top, it says, impossibly fix. So quality, delightfully dairy-free speaking to the vegan folks, super probiotic yogurt, really touching on nutrition and education there, but when it’s-

Alison:
Yeah, that’s a great point. It’s really, I think, important on your packaging and we are definitely not branding experts. It’s not what we do, but to point out the core interest of your customer. So they have vegan, dairy-free, paleo. Those are the three subsets that they’re trying to hit. It’s right there in your face.

Karin:
Yeah. Having your customer just right there on your packaging. And so mine it says, seven simple ingredients on the outside; organic coconut, water, organic maple syrup, organic cherries, agar, almond extract, and probiotic cultures.

Alison:
I don’t know what agar is.

Karin:
Neither do I.

Alison:
Maybe it’s like a sugar.

Karin:
I think that binds. I’m really not sure if-

Alison:
That’s the one thing. But I like when people stand out, if they have limited ingredients, I love when they call that out.

Karin:
And I know on the back, it boosts immune health, alive and thriving probiotics supports digestive systems. They’re giving you your pain points and they’re solving them on their packaging. I love that.

Alison:
And that’s just the one side.

Karin:
Yeah.

Alison:
They have a whole other inside, which we were saying it’s like a mini homepage. It has a little note from Erin. A little fact, did you know? Oh, it has a recipe. It’s got it at all.

Karin:
What’s your recipe that’s on there? I’m sure it’s a little bit different than mine.

Alison:
Oh, and then it also has how to reuse the glass jars. So mine is a blueberry lavender tart, and it even says from the kitchen of Erin, the founder.

Karin:
Oh my gosh, yes. Mine’s a sour cherry almond cheese cake.

Alison:
Oh, that sounds good. But yeah, the little founder story is a nice touch, right?

Karin:
Yeah. I love that. We’re talking about how the founder really speaks to the community on social and she’s doing it far beyond social, it’s right there on her packaging. It’s really personal.

Alison:
That’s what it is. It’s personal, it makes you feel really connected to the brand. You get her kitchen recipes.

Karin:
And on the inside, it’s still talking about those key points. It’s thick, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, plant powered. That thick, I never really thought of yogurt as the thickness.

Alison:
But that isn’t a part of-

Karin:
I guess so.

Alison:
I do like a thicker yogurt. I never thought about it before, but-

Karin:
Yeah-

Alison:
They’re on to something.

Karin:
Well, yeah. A website-

Alison:
Yeah, mini website. But did you know about connecting the gut to the brain? Just like that little bit of a science? Everything else is so fun. But I like that they’re bringing in some facts to let you know that this really is an important food to feed your tummy.

Karin:
Yeah. I completely agree. I find some people just get really, really caught up in the fun factor, especially on social, that they don’t remember to tie in educational points. And really, she made this yogurt because she wanted it, she needed it. It wasn’t available.

Alison:
That’s right. Yeah. So what is her story? What is Erin’s story?

Karin:
Well, let’s read it here. It says, “It all began in my kitchen, but I promise we don’t make it there anymore.” And a wink face emoji on the packaging. “After removing dairy from my diet, my curiosity and passion for food inspired me to create Culina, made with whole ingredients and nothing weird. I hope you enjoy this as much as my mom.”

Alison:
Oh, Erin.

Karin:
I love that.

Alison:
I like Erin.

Karin:
Yeah. “Head foodie and CEO.” All right, Erin. Let’s try it out, shall we?

Alison:
Yeah, let’s do it. Woo, yeah.

Karin:
Oh.

Alison:
And it’s all kind of foamy in here.

Karin:
Mine is kind of foamy too.

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
Okay. What’s the shelf life on these?

Alison:
Mine is December 30th, I believe.

Karin:
Oh, so it’s a decent shelf life.

Alison:
Okay. I’m ready to taste. This is like moosey.

Karin:
Moosey. Oh, this is a little moosey.

Alison:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karin:
Smells Like cherries and smells like almonds.

Alison:
That is great. I love how much of the coconut flavor comes through on that.

Karin:
Ooh, sour cherry. That is sour.

Alison:
It is?

Karin:
It is sour. Yeah, but in a good way, not a bad way. If you like sour things, you’ll like this. The almond-

Alison:
I’m not really getting the lavender here, but I also, maybe you can smell it. No.

Karin:
So you are getting a lot of blueberry and coconut?

Alison:
I’m getting a lot of coconut, which I love, because coconut’s my favorite thing ever. And a little bit… Yeah, I’m getting a little bit of tartness from the blueberry, but I’m not really sure what a lavender would taste like.

Karin:
No, tastes the way it smells, I suppose.

Alison:
Maybe it’s a lavender color. I’m not sure.

Karin:
What are the ingredients on the Blueberry Lavender?

Alison:
So we have organic coconut, water, organic blueberries, which we’re going to get into that, the actual using organic blueberries, organic maple syrup, agar, lavender oil, and probiotic cultures.

Karin:
Okay. And she talked so much about the probiotic cultures.

Alison:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karin:
We’ll talk about that more when we talk about all the education that she shares, but it’s just like, she’s stressing it so much because it’s lacking in so many other competitive brands and subsets. So I love that she calls attention to it as much as possible. She’s like, “We kill it with this and you need to pay attention.”

Alison:
Well yeah, I really love when a food is not only delicious, but actually is doing something really great for your body as well. And not a lot of people can utilize something as powerful as having probiotics in their foods.

Karin:
Definitely. And when you can utilize it, utilize it as much as possible.

Alison:
Go all in.

Karin:
And so it was really bubbly and moosey at the beginning, but now that I’m halfway in, it’s so creamy.

Alison:
It’s so creamy.

Karin:
And indeed very thick.

Alison:
Yeah. But mine, it feels moosey still, but I like it.

Karin:
Really?

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
Super light?

Alison:
It’s more of like a Greek yogurt thickness.

Karin:
Yeah.

Alison:
But a little bit lighter.

Karin:
Or even like a dessert that’s super, super thick that you just cut it into.

Alison:
I would eat this for dessert, 100%. If they have a chocolate one, I’m in.

Karin:
They must, they have so many flavors. They just came out with the fall flavors too.

Alison:
Ooh, I love when people do that, is it just they’re seasonal?

Karin:
I think it’s a seasonal, and she was reading that, when she had her pop-up at a farmer’s market, her booth at a farmer’s market, she sold out in 30 minutes whenever she had this pumpkin spice.

Alison:
Oh, a pumpkin spice. That’s your money maker right there.

Karin:
Classic.

Alison:
Classic. Okay. I want to hear more about their education and what they’re doing on social.

Karin:
Yeah. Lets go to their social feeds. So we’re going to focus on Instagram because that is like their community. It’s really where their target demographic lives and engages on and they just kill it. Their engagement is so high, their feed is beautiful, they have such good content. Let’s dive into it. So starting from the top. We’re looking at their bio and that is introducing the brand to everybody that comes to this page. So many people are going to discover Culina this way. So you’ve got to make your bio super informative. So the five-ish things that we look for in a bio; we want a really straightforward username, check, they got it. It’s just Culina Yogurt. Two, they want a super key word, rich headline. So right now their headline is just Culina Yogurt, which is fine. That’s what a lot of brands do because they don’t know this trick. So instead of Culina Yogurt, because that’s how people will search, you’re kind of saying, “Only people that know about my brand name can search me,” try doing something like plant-based foods, something searchable that has to do with your brand. That if plant-based people wanted to find you, they can search and you’d pop up.

Alison:
So could they do like Culina Yogurt plant-based foods? Could they do that super long headline? Or is that too much?

Karin:
That’s a good note. Maybe just putting plant-based foods first or-

Alison:
So everyone can search all of it?

Karin:
Yeah. See it first and then have Culina Yogurt. Your username is already Culina Yogurt, which is perfect. But having that searchable term within the headline is always a good, fun way to get new people to search your brand.

Alison:
That’s really cool.

Karin:
Yeah.

Alison:
That you can search that and that’s what pops up, is the headline, is what they’re searching.

Karin:
Yeah. And then the actual bio, the actual meat is just the why behind your brand. So they have, “Chronicling the adventures of a small women owned,” love it, “Plant-based food company.” And that leaves it open-ended to my understanding, that they’re keeping their options open and maybe in the future, they move beyond yogurt. So they’re really identifying with plant-based foods.

Alison:
Okay.

Karin:
And I love it.

Alison:
Oh, I did not realize that. Okay. They’re not pigeonholed inside yogurt there. Okay, cool.

Karin:
Yeah. So that’s something that I learned from Vital Farms. Their mission was, bringing ethically and sustainably produced food to the table. It was never about eggs. Yeah. It was never just about the eggs. And now look at them. They have dairy, they have butter. They have, I’m sure more things coming. So I like how they didn’t pigeonhole themselves right there. And then they touch on all those points; dairy-free, super probiotic, low sugar, vegan, and paleo, covering the bases.

Alison:
Their main points.

Karin:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then they have their link. The only thing I’m missing that they could have is a call to action. Right under paleo, right above their link they could just be like, “Learn more about us,” and have some fingers pointing down just so people can be encouraged to press it. I’m not sure how many characters they have left in their bio, but all in all, awesome.

Alison:
Yeah. So you said that they have great engagement rates. Do you know what it is? And what is a good engagement rate for social?

Karin:
So this is kind of intuitive. Obviously, we can do the math. You can also put it into some kind of software or whatever one you have. I didn’t know we’ll calculate it for you. But when I look at engagement rates, I’m like, “Okay, this brand has 27,000 followers,” and I’m scrolling through, their first post has about 360 engagements on it. Their next one has more than a thousand. The next one after that has 560, with 67 likes or 67 comments. And I can’t do fast math, I can cross multiply.

Alison:
Well, that’s a lie.

Karin:
I can cross multiply and figure it out, but I know that this engagement’s high because of how modest and excellent their follower count is. So 27,000 followers is amazing and excellent, but it’s not a hundred thousand, it’s not 200,000. So it’s easy to be able to calculate that fairly easily.

Alison:
And what’s a good engagement rate? What should people be shooting for?

Karin:
A good engagement rate? It depends on how many followers you have of course, if you have 500 followers, your engagement rate can be 10%. And that’s mostly because you have a limited amount of followers and Instagram is delivering your content to most of them. And to be honest, there’s probably a lot of your friends and family. And so when you’re at this kind of level, about 27, even 15 to 40,000 followers, if you have a one to 2% engagement rate, you’re doing great. You’re doing good. If you have over a 2% engagement rate, you’re killing it. Your community is active, they love what you’re posting, they want to talk to you. And my fast math, give me-

Alison:
Were you doing that in your head?

Karin:
No, I wish.

Alison:
I’m impressed. You can talk and do-

Karin:
Just like a math quiz.

Alison:
Put it into a calculator. Are you able to tell if any of these are boosted? I’ve visited their pages before and I’ve never been targeted or re-targeted so, I’m just seeing a thousand likes and seventy-five comments on their latest post. And that’s amazing if that’s all organic, that’s a lot.

Karin:
I want to think it’s organic because it fluctuates so much and none of it’s crazy extreme. You’ll always see like, if a brand has 15,000 followers and most of the posts have 50 likes on it and then one has like 4,000. It’s just very odd, you ask which ones have been boosted and put money behind. But my impulse is that maybe a few are, but I feel like this is mostly organic.

Alison:
Because it’s all about 300 to 500, some are a little higher range.

Karin:
And so I did the math. And so if I’m averaging this out at like 600 engagements a post, that is a, with 27,000 followers, a 2.2 engagement rate, so like I just said, one to two is great, it’s good. Over two, you’re kind of killing it. So they’re in the kind of killing it.

Alison:
So just for everyone, how did you calculate engagement rate?

Karin:
Well, I’m not going in and adding everything up, but if you wanted to, so take your top and you’re doing this without software, you’re doing it manually. Take the top out of 10 posts, out of all the engagements together. So add up the likes, the comments, the shares, the saves. You can see all of that in your backend. Add those up with all the 10 posts divided by 10 to get your average engagement on those posts and then cross multiply by your 27,000 followers. And that just gives you your percent engagement rate.

Alison:
Okay. Math.

Karin:
Math, mm-hmm (affirmative). But you can buy software.

Alison:
Yeah. You can do that. Okay, so what is she talking about in the feed? What are her main education points?

Karin:
Yeah. So what I am seeing a lot of, is number one, just like we saw on the packaging, probiotics and educating on probiotics and how a lot of them don’t live from your mouth to your gut and how these do. I’m like, “Oh, this tastes delicious and gut health?” And I don’t trust other brands that aren’t telling you the same thing because it’s probably not surviving that path.

Alison:
Yeah. Okay. So she’s saying that her probiotics are better probiotics because they actually stay alive?

Karin:
Yeah.

Alison:
And everyone else is just using the term to sell their product. By saying, “We have probiotics,” but most likely you’re not getting any benefit from it?

Karin:
Right. So during the process of creating the product… I’m not a nutritionist, I don’t know a lot about this, but I’m assuming that a lot of that is lost in the creation of the product, but it’s not lost in hers. And she tells you often, which is great.

Alison:
Yeah, that is great. And that’s a really cool thing about smaller owned businesses. The founder is so on top of the process and making sure that it’s actually quality still. And so I love that she is aware of that and is letting her fans know.

Karin:
And even if you’re a founder and you pass this task off to an agency like ours or a social media coordinator or a marketing manager, or whoever is managing it for you, having that open line of communication where you are constantly keeping them up to date on what’s going on, being super transparent with the whole process of your food, you’re going to get better social content. So even if you’re not the founder doing this yourself, communicate often with the person who is doing it. Awesome. And then other stuff that I see her doing, super founder focused or the behind the scenes. So whenever there’s a new flavor, I saw a post that was just, “New flavors alert.” She’s talking about these flavors being exclusive at Sprouts. And I got some of these that are exclusive at Sprouts.

Alison:
Oh, nice.

Karin:
Yeah. She’s just really simply not thinking too much about this, but creating a video in her kitchen where she’s shouting out her retailer and talking about these new exclusive skews.

Alison:
That’s awesome. And I’m sure Sprouts really loved that support. She actually tagged them in it. So they most likely saw it and any retailer is going to love getting things moving off shelves.

Karin:
Yeah. That is such a good call, to always hype your retailer as much as possible. It’s so hard sometimes because you’re like, “I don’t want to give one too much love than the other,” but it really depends on what they’re doing for you too, and how bad you need to stay on that shelf.

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
So Alison also does advertising for retailers. So if she wanted to advertise this, how would you do it?

Alison:
How would I advertise it?

Karin:
Yeah. How would you advertise these new skews available at Sprouts?

Alison:
Yeah. So I think is really cool. So there’s so many ways to choose creatives for retailers. And I think Karin, you’re actually going to talk about a lot of content that you can create for retailers, but there’s nothing better than a UGC looking campaign because that is so native on the Facebook and Instagram feed. So the fact that the founder just got on a simple video in her kitchen and is talking about the product, she’s probably the most knowledgeable about them. That is the perfect ad to run. And all you have to do for retailer ads is target those people that live right around those Sprout locations, it’s called geo-targeting, with this video. And you would have a rock solid campaign.

Karin:
Hmm. So Erin, you should be using this video in a Sprouts campaign. Geo-targeting-

Alison:
Geo-target.

Karin:
If you weren’t already. Yeah. So that’s awesome.

Alison:
If you’re not already sold out.

Karin:
It probably is. I feel like this was one of the last ones on the shelf. Awesome. And then other content that I love that she does with behind the scenes is super, just community-based content. What I mean by that is she’s not shoving the product down your throat. So she’ll post about a farmer’s market hall where she gets this new vegetable or new fruit, and she asks her community, “How should I use it?” And things like that. It has nothing to do with her product, but everything to do with her brand at the same time, you know?

Alison:
Yeah. And I feel like that people get so obsessed with shoving product down people’s throat. And it’s not fun to follow an Instagram account or Facebook newsfeed and all you’re doing is product, product, product benefit, product pain point, blah, blah, blah. So this is something that I think a lot of people might not realize that they can do and should do. We were talking earlier, Erin, the owner is most likely the core demographic of her customer too. So if she likes going to farmer’s markets, her customers probably like going to farmer’s markets too. So what do you think Karin? If you’re that demographic of your customer, what else can you share with people?

Karin:
Right. That’s what you have to think about. It’s like, what you like is probably so close to what your demographic likes, because usually what we see most of, is that the founder, co founder, leadership, not really the leadership, I take that back, but the co founder or founder of a company is usually creating a product that they couldn’t find themselves. And so they created it for themselves. And it just so happens that a lot of other people are similar to them.

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
So thinking of all the things that you really love to do, it’s exactly what she does. In a lot of ways, it kind of seems like her personal feed, to be completely honest.

Alison:
Yeah. Definitely.

Karin:
She even signs off her name on some posts, not all of them, but some.

Alison:
I love that.

Karin:
It’s so personal.

Alison:
Do you think she’s actually writing and do you think she’s in charge of her social feeds?

Karin:
I honestly don’t know. It’s very clear that she was at the beginning, but I feel like since her team is bigger, I think she said she has 10 people on her team now, maybe she has somebody helping her, maybe she… I’m not sure, but-

Alison:
That’s a lot of work.

Karin:
Right. But some people, it just comes naturally to them. And I’m not saying that this is going to come naturally to everybody else. And what your bandwidth is, how long it takes you to get certain things done on social. So don’t expect everybody to do this, but if she is rocking at herself, she’s killing it.

Alison:
So how can founders at small companies without any help, what can they do to run their social in a more engaging way?

Karin:
Yeah. So what we really always preach here at Umai with all of our clients and with the all of the discovery calls we take with potential brands is, you need to establish your messaging buckets. People call them content pillars, content buckets. I don’t care what you call it, I call it messaging buckets, so I’m going to continue doing that. And within those messaging buckets, you’ll have subtopics. So depending on your brand, if we’re looking at Culina, as some of her messaging buckets, she has a retailer one where she shouts out retailers, just like that Sprouts one. She has an education one, where she talks about probiotics, she talks about nutrition. There is a community one where she talks about her farmer’s market halls. There’s a product one where she talks about her actual products. So just looking at those four really quickly, within those messaging buckets are so many subtopics. So let’s take the education one for instance, she’s talking about probiotics, that’s a subtopic. She’s talking about general nutrition, that’s a sub topic. She’s creating subtopics within these messaging buckets. I’m not sure if she has these written down, but it’s so intuitive for her. But if it’s not intuitive for you, get these written down somewhere, so that you can keep your content super varied. So you always have something new to talk about. And it’s just the easiest way to stay on top of your content creation.

Alison:
And how do you feel about founders showing face? Is it a must? What if you’re camera shy? What do you do?

Karin:
Yeah, she’s egging me on because we both believe that you have to get your face on camera. You do, you don’t have to, but you should. Especially if your brand is newer and you’re still establishing yourself, being able to put a face to a brand name is so powerful for consumers these days. It’s like, Coca-Cola’s not doing it.

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
Fritos is not doing it.

Alison:
One thing you got to, over Coca-Cola. Who runs Coca Cola? Nobody knows.

Karin:
Exactly. I don’t know one name at Coca-Cola that’s not just like the… I can’t even think of a title because there’s a million of them. So it’s just like, you have this opportunity to be so personal with the people that consume your product. And that is such a powerful thing.

Alison:
You also know the most about your products. You know the most.

Karin:
Yes.

Alison:
You probably can say it better than anyone on your team. But that being said, it is hard. It’s not-

Karin:
It is hard.

Alison:
It’s hard to be natural on camera and post the things that maybe 27,000 people are going to see and look at, that’s hard.

Karin:
The bigger you get and the bigger these numbers get, it’s even more intimidating. And we used to have a client who, the story, the why behind her brand was so, so strong to her culture, but she was really shy and didn’t want to come on camera unless he made it super easy for her. So we tried as much as we could to make it super easy for her because every time she showed face on the feed, those engagement rates were through the roof.

Alison:
Yeah. People-

Karin:
So if you can’t do it all the time, try and fit it in like twice a month. And if you don’t want to just be on your feed, be in your stories, show us behind the scenes, give us the juice, tell us what’s going on.

Alison:
Yeah. Stories go away after 24 hours.

Karin:
No pressure.

Alison:
That’s actually a great place to start practicing. And then once you feel on it, post it on the feed. Okay, let’s talk about their mission, because they have these awesome glass jars. So what do they talk about with that?

Karin:
So mission, I put that under the community bucket. So if community was one of your messaging buckets, sustainability, your mission, that’s under it for me. And so what I love is that she is constantly talking about sustainability and repurposing jars. So she has one where she put her herbs clippings in it and it’s in her fridge. She has one where she’s making teeth whitener with an influencer.

Alison:
By the way, I did that with my chart my other-

Karin:
You did?

Alison:
And I put them, I was like, “Is this really going to work in the fridge?” And it’s just dying in there. So maybe it’s a certain type of herb that you need to use, I’m not really sure.

Karin:
That’s how I store my herbs. What herb are you using?

Alison:
I think it was a basil. It was from one of my fur boxes.

Karin:
Oh. And that is Freshy Fresh? Yeah. I do it with cilantro and it works. And I’m going to do it with these because these are the perfect size.

Alison:
Yeah. Okay.

Karin:
You can make candles out of them. I saw somebody comment that they were going to be making candles. Come on, when do you-

Alison:
Yeah, it’s perfect for a little candle.

Karin:
Yes. So other things that she’ll really touch on is quality, quality of the product, quality of the ingredients. And within her education bucket, she’s talking about like, how they use fresh fruit instead of processed shelf-stable ingredients that the other guys use. And that’s a direct comparison, those comparison photos, comparison ads, they do so well, but she’s just calling them out in the coffee.

Alison:
Yeah. And I think that’s just because people need to see visually a lot of times like, “This is why we are better compared to this.” She does it a lot in her copy though, too.

Karin:
Yeah. I think that’s an opportunity to make it more visual, especially with ads. Because a side-by-side comparison, she’s saying it in her copy, but listing it like, “Olipop does a great job of this.” I mean, so many brands do a great job of this.

Alison:
And there’s a reason so many brands are doing.

Karin:
Exactly.

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
So I love all those mission-based reminders. So the sustainability, using glass instead of single use plastic. It is so hard to ship refrigerated glass.

Alison:
Yeah, it’s expensive.

Karin:
Any CPG, anyone will agree that refrigerated glasses is just the hardest thing ever.

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
To ship. And she’s doing it and she’s going the extra mile. And that’s why they’re a little bit more expensive, because the sustainability. And that is what resonates with her and her target demographic.

Alison:
Right. That’s exactly right. People who buy Culina care that it’s glass, that is a selling point in its own, that it’s in a glass jar versus plastic.

Karin:
Heck yes. And I’m going to reuse… This is my second one, I am definitely going to be reusing these jars.

Alison:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:34:53].

Karin:
And what I really respect about her too, which a lot of brands are kind of scared to do this, is that she calls out those larger yogurt brands. She’s like, “You’re using plastic and you’re using garbage ingredients.”

Alison:
Is she tagging them?

Karin:
No, I don’t think she’s tagging them. I I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a brand do that, have you?

Alison:
Oh my gosh, no, I would be terrified to do that. Is she saying their name though? In the copy or is she just being vague? Okay.

Karin:
Yeah. She’s being vague. She’s like, “The other guys,” but it’s like, “We know who you’re talking about.”

Alison:
Okay.

Karin:
There’s not that many.

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
And she’s incorporating this new hashtag, it’s #culinaclean. I think I’ve only seen it on two posts, but they are stressing the mission of quality ingredients sustainability. So the two posts that they’re tagged on right now, one is about the quality of the product and the ingredients. And one is about single use plastic.

Alison:
Yeah. And honestly, these are things that I would not know about other yogurt brands, like that they’re not using fresh organic ingredients and things like that. It’s easy as a founder or when you’re working with a company for so long to forget that these little facts not everyone knows, and that you still need to share these and share them often with people. Because I would never had known that.

Karin:
Yeah. And we all do it. We forget the key points. Even if we have our messaging buckets written down, which is more of a reason for you to do it.

Alison:
Yeah. Knowledge is a curse sometimes.

Karin:
So just coming back to your mission in your social content, throughout your content, no matter what messaging bucket you’re on, it’s so vital to help build that community of people that are advocates of your brand that will continue to use your brand. Their lifetime value is so large because they’re so loyal to you. So tell your followers, tell them often, talk about how sustainable you are, how nutritious you are, what sets you apart from the competitors, keep them buying your product.

Alison:
Absolutely. People want something delicious, it’s good for them. And the fact that they can feel good about buying it because it’s not going into trash.

Karin:
Right. I love feeling good about myself.

Alison:
Okay. This retailer announcement, you need to talk about this. What is-

Karin:
So this was recent. Well, it was like a day ago, two days ago.

Alison:
It’s so good.

Karin:
This is the best retailer announcement I’ve seen, maybe ever.

Alison:
You guys see this?

Karin:
Yeah, show them. It’s the Rock holding Culina. And I’m like, “Okay, did the Rock, give them a shout out?” Like, “What is this?” And the copy is, in case you missed it over the weekend. The Rockies love us. And they’re just talking about being in the Rocky mountain region of Whole Foods, but it caught my attention so quickly more than anything else would have. And I was just like, “What in the world?” So I’m obsessed with this retailer call out. I don’t know how it can get-

Alison:
This is one of the smartest-

Karin:
Yeah. I don’t know how you can get that clever with all the regions of Whole Foods, but I’m sure they’ll try.

Alison:
But also what they’re doing with that post. So pop over to your local Whole Foods, run, don’t walk, to the yogurt section, snap a photo of us and tag us in your stories and then they will send you a free coupon.

Karin:
They’re sending a free coupon with that?

Alison:
Yes. So it says, “No catch just literally free yogurts.” And then it lists all the cities that it’s in, the Whole Foods that they’re in. So do you think that they’re just trying to obviously build brand awareness through a UGC? And then also, are they getting content or what do you think their MO?

Karin:
I love that so much. I didn’t even notice that the first time around, because I was laughing at the Rock.

Alison:
Staring at the Rock.

Karin:
So we call it a shelfie, like a selfie at the shelf is shelfie. So a lot of people will do campaigns that are, “Go to your store, snap is shelfie, tag us in it and we’ll pick one winner,” or something. But they just won’t apt it. And they’re saying, “If you tag us in it, we’re sending you free coupons.” So this is a big endeavor. I don’t exactly know what they’re doing, I don’t know if they’re sending print out coupons. I’m assuming. That’s a big endeavor, but I also like how they’re putting all of the cities in there. That’s something to note with a lot… We do it sometimes, where we’re like, “We’re available in the south region,” and people are like, “What region am I in?”

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
So having that laid out right there-

Alison:
Instead of having to go and click on the site or the link to go to the site, to look at the store locator, it’s just like, “Bam, there’s my city.”

Karin:
I love that.

Alison:
Right in the copy. So yeah, I’m so interested in this if they’re just trying to get product to move off the shelves. So Whole Foods is favoring them or is it for content? Is it for all of it? It’s just a really smart campaign.

Karin:
I don’t know if it’s for content UGC, because I don’t know how much it’s going to be shared. My instinct is that when you get into a new retailer or a new region, a buyer brings you into a new region, you need to prove your worth there. You need to prove that you have customers that are going to purchase from that store. And so getting them in the store with an incentive is the best way of doing it other than our geo-targeted ads, of course, where we’re getting a lot of brand awareness out-

Alison:
You can pull both levers.

Karin:
Ooh, pull them both.

Alison:
Well efficient.

Karin:
Yes. Pull them both, for sure. And if you have a big email list and you have it segmented from where people live, where people are located, send an email out. If there’s not that many people and that’s okay, you have 20 what? 27,000 followers, I guarantee a good number of those are within driving distance of those stores. So-

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
Along the campaign.

Alison:
Like we said earlier, retailers love to be called out and love to see that you’re actually putting effort into helping them sell.

Karin:
For sure. Like with ours, when we ever have retailer shout outs for a brand or we have those geo-targeted campaigns, we’ll always put a one-pager together for that retailer so that we can share that information with the buyer. It’s like, “Hey, we spent money getting people to the store. We’re trying here.”

Alison:
Yeah. It all goes together. So a lot of times marketing and sales think they’d butt heads, but marketing is helping the sales people and vice versa. And it’s a full-on efficient marketing machine and it all goes together. “We all have the same end goal here. That’s slaying products.”

Karin:
And that is such a good point. That’s so true, that marketing teams and sales teams are like, “Hey, why didn’t you do this? Hey, why did you do that too soon?” It’s always like this battle, but if you’re communicating well between those two departments, you’re going to kill it. You got to communicate.

Alison:
And if you’re a marketer, you need to be talking to yourselves and whoever else you can talk to that’s part of the company. Definitely. We have shared calendars and everything with our sales teams.

Karin:
Yeah. You got to know when you’re on promo, you got to know when you have a lunch. So stay in tune. And obviously if Erin’s still doing this, she’s able to do that pretty darn easily because she knows exactly what’s happening. And other retailer announcements. So yeah, imposing a huge jar of yogurt into the Rock’s cradling arms might not be within your pay grade ability as with Photoshop or knowing somebody who can do that. So other retailer announcement options, we love utilizing, get your retailer logo and a photo like a PNG transparent background of your product and impose those together, blast that. Even more simply, get a photo of your product in front of the store. So literally just holding up the product in front of the store, and we utilize that a lot for organic and for ads.

Alison:
Yeah. So what you can see in the photo, a lot of times it’s just a hand holding the product and you can see Whole Foods or HEB or Kroger in the background. So people automatically see their Whole Foods, in their head they know to drive there and pick up that product. And like we were saying earlier, the UGC, if you’re ever running an influencer program, small or large, if you can ever get a influencer or even someone on your team inside the store, like right on the shelf where the product is, a face is great in the composition, but a hand will do it too. Those work really, really well.

Karin:
And if you don’t have any availability to fly across the country, you don’t have any team members that are out there, find an influencer, give them a couple dollars, send them the product, see what you can do with a little bit of a budget. So I do want to dive in, we haven’t mentioned it yet, but their very graceful shift in packaging. So the first time I discovered Culina, it was in the coworking space that we used to co-work out of. And it was in the most beautiful little terracotta pot. It looked like a little pot for a seedling. And if you go far enough in their feed, you’ll see it. And I really feel like that was the first thing that popped off the shelf and immediately got people going like, “Ooh, I got to buy that.” It was so innovative. I’ve never seen something quite like that.

Alison:
And who doesn’t need a million, little terracotta plants for their little succulents?

Karin:
Right. It’s sustainability from the get-go, obviously that wasn’t scalable, but the shift, when you go back in their feed, it’s astounding the way from the last terracotta post to the first glass jar, the glass jars they use now, there’s no mention of it. So I’m guessing there might’ve been, it could have been archived or it could have been in the stories. I wasn’t following them at the time, but all you see is there was a terracotta pot. And now the first thing that they talk about in the first few posts is how to reuse the glass jars. So instantly being unapologetic about getting rid of it and saying, “Here, look at all of these amazing ways to use our new packaging,” so that you forget about the shift.

Alison:
Yeah. They didn’t really overthink it. They could’ve made a bigger deal that would have been a hoopla, but they just jumped right in to like, “This is how you use this jar now.”

Karin:
And they do it still.

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
And I don’t see anybody complaining about it. So I love that shift. And then another thing I really love seeing them do is all of the recipe content. So I would give recipe its own messaging bucket for them, because there’s so much of it. There’s so many recipes that they have with the yogurt in it that has nothing… You see it and you’re like, “There’s no yogurt in that.” But there is, because yogurt is such a versatile ingredient. And I love that. So one thing that I love even more than them sharing recipes is the fact that they put these recipes on their blog, on their website.

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
That’s so smart. For a brand that’s well loved and people utilize the product a lot and organically create this content for you, instead of reposting it as UGC, which is perfect, but asking them for permission and putting it on your website for more SEO power.

Alison:
Exactly. Now you have additional… I love when people are able to take one piece of content and make five pieces of content. I think that’s exactly how you should be thinking if you’re trying to market your brand, and that’s what they did. And also, obviously it’s delicious eating this way, but to give people so many more opportunities to use their product, I’m sure it’s helped with sales.

Karin:
Oh yeah. And it’s so drool worthy. The fourth post down right now is a gluten-free vegan, right up front it tells you, just as she does on her packaging, chocolate cinnamon rolls. I’m like-

Alison:
“Yum.”

Karin:
“Okay, I will.”

Alison:
Yeah. That’s like, you gain all of it right there. It’s got to be healthy if it’s gluten-free.

Karin:
I know. Yeah. That’s exactly the mindset. It’s like, “Oh, this is healthy,” but it’s healthier. And that’s a fact, it’s healthier than the garbage alternative. And I’m down for that.

Alison:
And I’m in.

Karin:
Cool. Yeah. So love how they add the recipes on there. And then the last thing that I really want to touch on.

Alison:
What’s that?

Karin:
It’s the biggest thing on their feed that I’ve seen, unbelievable. So Lizzo-

Alison:
Lizzo.

Karin:
The star of the show.

Alison:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Karin:
Okay, so here’s a rundown of what my Instagram research told me, is that Lizzo posted a TikTok and she repurposed on her Instagram, of her favorite products, I guess she’s vegan. I didn’t know that, but it was her favorite vegan products. And Culina, lucky them, was the first product that showed up. And a lot of the other ones didn’t even have labels on it, but a testament to how beautiful the label is and how people want to share it.

Alison:
You want to share it.

Karin:
She posted about it and they capitalized on it so beautifully. They created a custom label for Lizzo.

Alison:
Can you just imagine owning your dairy-free yogurt, plant-based brand and Lizzo, just out of the blue posts about you? That’s amazing.

Karin:
What? Think about that. Whoever is listening to this, think about yourself and your brand and then a star of that caliber and that influence, talks about it. And you didn’t have to pay 1 cent for it. That Is so amazing. I want to know how many sales generated just from that.

Alison:
And it has to do a lot with branding. You see this on the shelf and you’re like, “That’s so cute. I must have it, must have.” So, very important aspect.

Karin:
Incredible. It’s so incredible. And the label, the custom label they did, I don’t know how fast the turnaround time was, but it probably was fairly fast to keep that buzz generated. And she posted about it again, that’s one of the surefire ways to get an influencer all in on your product is to like slap their on it.

Alison:
Right. So they made a custom Lizzo yogurt called The Juice, got her face on it.

Karin:
So it says the brand name and above the normal label, it says cultured with probiotics. And on top of The Juice Lizzo one, it’s, Lizzo Be Eatin’ Culina.

Alison:
I can’t see that far.

Karin:
I know. I wish I could see the old packaging of this.

Alison:
God, that’s good. So good. I’m so curious what the flavor is.

Karin:
I Know, right? Did they just put it on there Bourbon Vanilla?

Alison:
Yeah, maybe. But so, Lizzo posted again, obviously, because she gets now a custom Culina flavor. So she posted twice, probably without being paid.

Karin:
Definitely. I would be so surprised if they paid a cent for this. This seems really authentic and organic to me and it’s just so fantastic. I’m just really happy for them, for her, for Erin, because that’s just such a hit. For another client of ours, we had Tabitha Brown, iamtabithabrown, which is one of my favorite influencers. We had her post about it. Her influence is a fraction of Lizzo’s, and the results from it were phenomenal.

Alison:
Right.

Karin:
So you can only imagine what happened when Lizzo posted about it.

Alison:
So do we know when was it posted? Did you see a difference in engagement, in followers?

Karin:
Like a timestamp?

Alison:
Yeah.

Karin:
Oh, a difference in engagement.

Alison:
I’m just curious if there’s a way to measure how… If we can tell people how impactful?

Karin:
Ooh, that’s a good call. Honestly, I can’t quite tell a difference right off the bat, so I’m not sure. But I wish we could ask her, “Hey, what’d that lift look like Erin?”

Alison:
“What’d that look like?” Yeah.

Karin:
Yeah. I want to see those numbers from X date to X date.

Alison:
Absolutely. What a great brand, what a delicious product.

Karin:
What a delicious product. Are you done with yours?

Alison:
I am almost done. I’m definitely going to finish though.

Karin:
We’re finishing up. Erin-

Alison:
This is single serving, right?

Karin:
Yeah, surely.

Alison:
We’re good.

Karin:
We’re not getting all of it. Thank you, Erin, for a delicious product. Kudos.

Alison:
Yes, thank you.

Karin:
Whoever did your branding, it’s gorgeous and keep killing it with those founder features, the behind the scenes, the juice, if you will.

Alison:
And give us the juice. Alrighty you all, that was our Umai Social Circle on Culina. We covered everything that we could tell you about Culina. Definitely check them out at Culina Yogurt on Instagram and see how you can apply some of their tactics to your feeds.

Karin:
Yeah, and enjoy it. Bye you all.

Alison:
Umai Social Circle is a CPG agency driven podcast based out of Austin, Texas. We’re excited to share more behind the scene insights, chats with industry leaders and whatever else we learn along the way. Follow us on Instagram at Umai Marketing or check out our website, umaimarketing.com. Catch you back here soon.

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