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Wunderkind Success Story: Hairstory

This is a podcast episode titled, Wunderkind Success Story: Hairstory. The summary for this episode is:
Intro + Wunderkind Is That Smart Software We're Looking For
01:49 MIN
Looking for Something Plug and Play
00:38 MIN
Wunderkind Supercharges My Retention Efforts
01:16 MIN
"Fun fact about me, this is the fourth time I've implemented Wunderkind."
00:53 MIN
Being True Partners - You Grow, We Grow
00:46 MIN
Wunderkind Is Invested in Me and My Career
01:45 MIN
During Our Company's Transition Wunderkind Really Stepped up to the Plate
01:07 MIN

Today's Guest

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Karthik Paramasivam

|Head of Marketing, Hairstory

Karthik: I am Karthik. I am the Head of Growth at Hairstory, which is a shampoo and conditioner alternative. We've been in business for about five years. We're trying to disrupt an industry that has been around for hundreds of years. There's a lot of education that goes with this purchase. So folks, hair is just personal. No matter who you are it's a very personal thing. Everyone views it differently, but it's a part of you. And for a lot of people, it's part of an emotional journey of what happens to your hair as you age and stuff like that. So to kind of gain the trust of the consumer, they have to come to our site, educate themselves, and some people just have to kind of think about it. So what we really need to do in this hyper- competitive industry, even though we're not shampoo and conditioner, that's who we're going against. And haircare is very similar to a lot of super competitive industries in beauty where if someone's even thinking about it, the algorithm's already sniffed you out and you're getting shown a different ad on Facebook or on Instagram from a competitor. So what Wunderkind, or what we were kind of looking for is the smart kind of software that can trigger emails very intelligently based on where you are on your purchase intent and just kind of get to that top of your inbox then you're like, " Okay, I was 85% of the way there. Let's just finish the job and let me just give this a shot." Versus potentially, if I let it linger for more than that, some other competitors probably snaked them. Yeah, we run a very standard stack that you find in most startups. A Shopify platform is our website platform, and Klaviyo is our CRM provider and basically, Wunderkind has always kept up with the times, and as they saw the rise of Shopify, made it plug and play. So in the decision- making process, it's very easy from a technical standpoint when you evaluate Wunderkind because it just plugs right on in. Looking across the tech stack, I think definitely it's much easier to see the value in things that deal with the retention side of the business clearly, because things that help you extract more and more revenue from your existing customers is kind of the easiest way to kind of get your baseline revenue. Because acquisition, as we all know, we're in a weird place where things fluctuate. One day it's Meta, the next day it's TikTok so things like Wunderkind that really supercharge my retention efforts and my CRM efforts definitely give me a lot of value. At Hairstory, we're almost at 7x ROAS. There are other things that play well with Wunderkind like RELO and things of that nature that AI kind of plays that work well with Wunderkind for that kind of target the right customer at the right time based on studying the Shopify data. That also gives a multiplier on the ROAS. So definitely tools like Wunderkind that play well across the retention stack, retention tech stack are the ones that I'm seeing the biggest bang for the buck from. I think Wunderkind, the main way we evaluate it is the amount of incremental revenue that triggered email flows provide after we implement it. So basically we want to make sure the lift, we have our prior O flows and basically we take whatever the new revenue number that Wunderkind is bringing and just compare it to the O and that incrementality is kind of how we evaluate it. Fun fact about me, this is the fourth time I've implemented Wunderkind, and most of the time it has at least, at the very least, given me a five- time return on the investment.

Producer: That's awesome. Where else have you-

Karthik: We have implemented Wunderkind at Nutrafol, Cuup, which is DDC Lingerie startup, Blue Apron, and now at Hairstory. Adaptability is generally something that I look for and from a customer success team. I am born and raised through the fires of startups. Things change on a dime. So multiple vendors, multiple reps, have stepped up to help me out on a Friday afternoon when I get a mandate that, " Hey, I got to conserve cash burn, or I got to change the discount out," and so on and so forth. So that adaptability that, " Hey, I'm not kind of nickeling and dimming you for everything. It's like, we're here, we're partners with you and you grow, we grow." And that's why I love contracts that are set up where our incentives are aligned, where if the company's making money, all my vendors and partners make money with me. It's odd for me to describe a value of a tech vendor like this, but I think they care. I think that's a huge part. Through my four implementations with Wunderkind, I never felt like, " Oh, they're just trying to sell me this tech and they don't ever want to see me again." I believe that anyone, when times are good, can give you a high five and celebrate with you. But when times are tough, what someone can help you through those times, whether it's through payment terms, flexible payment terms, or like, " Hey, maybe we mispriced this for where you are right now, let's adjust something." That kind of care and concern of, I feel that Wunderkind, as strange as it sounds, is vested in me and my career to be successful. And I don't think that's anything to do with the fact that I keep coming back to Wunderkind. So they've always just been there no matter how good or how bad times have gotten, even when I'm not working with Wunderkind to just check in to see how's it going, and in a very sincere way, not trying to sell me or anything like that. And yeah, I have put quite a few of your customer success and account managers through Wunderkind, the ringer, last minute requests, before a long weekend, so on and so forth. Always willing to step up and help out with a smile. So all that being said, so that's where I think the word care really just comes to the top of mind for me. Hairstory, when we brought on Wunderkind was going through a very transitional time, transition in leadership, transition in overall strategy, and so on and so forth. So while the return I always knew was coming, what I was kind of wondering how this iteration of Wunderkind would go would be, would they be able to adapt with kind of the craziness going on within the restructuring of the company. And they stepped up to the plate, whether it's from a design perspective, we went through a creative refresh, no questions asked, updated all the templates, so on and so forth. And if I did this by myself, one thing I have to consider is the cost of design and coding and setting up all these trigger flows and maintaining all these trigger flows. That's an added value, I think, on top of the return of what the tech and the AI does in terms of getting people back on- site and getting them to convert. So I think it's far exceeded my expectations this go around.