Superfood that tastes just like cookies 🍪

Emma Kimmerly
July 4, 2022

Who knew collagen could taste so good?

Get ready — it's time to dive into this week's rundown of the DTCX Exceptional Ecommerce podcast! Chris Meade sat down with Ash Melwani, CMO and co-founder of Obvi, to discuss the rapid growth of his $30m health and wellness brand. Check out the full episode below! ⤵

With a passion for marketing and the drive to create a collagen-based product that would blow their competition out of the water, the answer was pretty Obvious for Ash. 💁

Ash met his two other co-founders — Ankit and Ron — while working at a start-up for a sports nutrition drink company. The three branched off to create their own marketing agency with a focus on health and wellness brands.

They quickly caught on to a trend in the health and wellness industry — consumers love products with fun flavors. Noticing a gap in this trend with collagen, Ash and his co-founders created Obvi, a collagen supplement brand that focuses on flavor, in 2019.

Obvi exploded onto the market, racking up $30m in sales in just two years. With rapid growth, comes some pretty big lessons in what to do and not to do, obviously. Keep reading to learn more about Ash's biggest lessons. ⤵

Partnering with legacy brands 🤝

Flavor is the main selling point for a lot of health and wellness products nowadays, so partnering with legacy food brands like Reese's and Entennman's was crucial to Obvi's success.

These legacy brands aren't necessarily open to moving into unfamiliar industries, so according to Ash, the best way to create these partnerships is by showing them what the end product will look like. For Obvi, this meant showing companies what their branded elements would look like on their website, on a shelf, what the product would taste like, presenting the co-branded marketing strategy, and ensuring the product would resonate with the consumer base.


Prepping for that first meeting 💼

So, what does it take to make a good first impression with legacy brands and other companies that you'd like to partner with?

Ash notes that in order to get ahead and catch someone's eye, you need to bring something to the table at those initial introductory meetings. Partnering with brands who don't necessarily have your product or idea on their radar can be tricky to navigate, so it's crucial to show them what the end product will be and why they should care. This might mean spending a couple of weeks or even a month on prep, but bringing that prepared material into these meetings will infinitely boost your chances of creating partnerships.


Testing, 1-2-3 🎙️ 

If Ash could go back in time, the one thing he would do differently on the performance side of things is to take control of creative testing. Becoming reliant on what was working before the detrimental iOS changes and not bothering with testing landing pages, offers, and everything that comes after the first click from a customer saw a decline in sales over a brief period of time in 2021.

Another thing Ash would approach differently is flavor testing. In the beginning, the team was small and they tested new flavors amongst themselves. This was successful until the launch of a superfoods formula — a product they thought couldn't get any better in regards to taste. Obvi ended up receiving an enormous amount of negative feedback and had to stop production midway through in order to mitigate any loss in consumer trust.


Building your online community 💻

Obvi has built a Facebook community with thousands of members that are obsessed with their products. They utilize this online community of fans for one major purpose — creating new flavors that their customers will love!

Through surveys, polls, and daily discussions led by their Head of Community, they've been able to stockpile a vault of future flavors that they can launch when they see fit.


Teamwork makes the dream work 🏅

The key to forming a successful business with a team of co-founders comes down to a few things:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Set rules between founding partners
  3. Trust

Ash, Ankit, and Ron all have very specific and different skill sets that they were able to bring together to successfully build and run Obvi. Working within their strengths keeps them from stepping on each other's toes, bringing a perfect balance of working with one another.

Want to learn more about ecommerce growth through the personal trials and obstacles of industry professionals? Subscribe to DTCX Exceptional Ecommerce Podcast on YouTube, Spotify, and wherever else you listen to podcasts.