Wunderkind Success Story: D'Artagnan

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This is a podcast episode titled, Wunderkind Success Story: D'Artagnan. The summary for this episode is:
00:58 MIN
D'Artagnan's Brand Mission
00:48 MIN
D'Artagnan Utilizes Wunderkind to Help Understand Customer Buying Patterns
04:02 MIN
Making Sure Customers Come Back for More and Not Just One Purchase
01:32 MIN
D'Artagnan Nurtures Customer Relationships and Re-Targets Them at the Appropriate Time
01:29 MIN
Understand Customer Nuances and How to Re-Target Them Was Elevated Post-Pandemic
01:41 MIN
"We Had a Provider - but From My Prior Experience (With Wunderkind) I Knew There Was More Upside to Be Had."
01:33 MIN
Having Wunderkind in Place Allows D'Artagnan to Send Reminders to Customers in a Non-Invasive Way
01:02 MIN
D'Artagnan Uses Email and SMS as More Intimate Methods of Communication With Their Customers
02:16 MIN
D'Artagnan Understands the Importance of Finding Customers in New Spaces You May Not Have Thought About Before
01:16 MIN
Being Relevant to Individual Consumers
01:23 MIN
D2C Opportunities After Acquisition
01:52 MIN
Wunderkind Has Helped D'Artagnan Build a Better Consumer Data Set
01:12 MIN
Building Customer Lifetime Value
01:52 MIN
What D'Artagnan Products Would You Recommend?
01:11 MIN

Trey Jackson: My name is Trey Jackson and I am the head of customer marketing here at Wunderkind. And I'm joined by my friend, Magnus. I'll let you introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us a little bit about where you work and what you do there.

Magnus Gustafsson: Thank you, Trey. My name is Magnus Gustafsson. I head up the eCommerce division over at D'Artagnan. And have been there for about 18 months right now. And my chart over there is to continue the growth that the brand has seen over the last few years.

Trey Jackson: Great. And I would love to hear what you're responsible over there at D'Artagnan.

Magnus Gustafsson: It's relatively fairly simple. It's this one business unit that we call our eCommerce Unit is just to continue the growth from a P& L perspective within that unit, but also creating a user experience that people relate to and kind of create a relationship with those customer base. So it's overall, it's just a user experience, but ultimately it is the growth that's there.

Trey Jackson: Great. And we were talking a little bit about before about D'Artagnan, but just for anyone who's not familiar, we'd love to hear, tell us a little bit about what your company offers and your mission and what brought you there from your past job.

Magnus Gustafsson: Sure. Again, D'Artagnan offers premium meat and seafood. We are certainly at the higher end of that premium market. And we deliver that at home from a direct- to- consumer perspective. We believe from our heart in that sustainability and providing a better quality healthy raised food chain, so to speak. So we can have those slogans that says a healthy animal is a better tasting animal at the end of the day. And that's what we believe in. So that's been in the DNA in the brand since its origin, which goes back about 35 years now.

Trey Jackson: And then for those listening, Magnus has actually been a long time Wunderkind/ BounceX customer. So let's just go back a few years. We'd love to hear kind of... You have a long history of working in e- commerce and retail. So take us from the beginning and then up to now and we'd love to hear how Wunderkind and BounceX have played a role in that too.

Magnus Gustafsson: My experience is primarily in the apparel space. So being at D'Artagnan now was a new adventure or adventure for myself in learning a new vertical. But as I said, I've been in this direct marketing catalog space prior to the birth of the internet. Trying to date myself there. And have then after that now morphed in more into an e- commerce space and have had various P& L responsibility for both smaller and larger brand. So both in footwear and apparel and a little bit of a stint in the cosmetic space as well. I always had ultimately the P& L responsibility for those brand in the direct- to- consumer perspective, primarily online. There's been sometimes a retail component to that where we were asked to drive store traffic and whatnot, but ultimately it has been from a e- Commerce P& L that I've owned that responsibility. And as I said, have now morphed into a new vertical, which has been fantastic and exciting. And I've been, to you point, a Wunderkind/ BounceX customer for several years, probably over four different brands and companies now, and have had a very good experience with all those partnerships.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. Well, I imagine going from accessories and cosmetics to selling poultry and fish and meat is a pretty big jump in some ways, but just love to hear what you've kind of learned as you've made this transition into a new category. And is it really that different than selling T- shirts and shoes or do you find that it's kind of the same but just a different product?

Magnus Gustafsson: There is some blocking and tackling that's the same regardless of what you sell. There's some in terms of you building your tech stack and your infrastructure and what you want to do from a use experience, from navigation usability and all that good stuff and building a communication strategy doesn't really matter what you sell. Where the vertical in what you sell comes into play is understanding that consumer. And that I call the rhythm or the patterns of that consumer because that is different in terms of buying patterns, frequency, basket size, and so on. Understanding that. So it is how somebody buys a steak versus a polo shirt that differs, but the underlying foundation in which you build that business doesn't really matter what you sell.

Trey Jackson: Right. Yeah, I think it's interesting. It's like the kind of tactics of how you make your site accessible to people and how you communicate with them might be in the same channels, but ultimately it's understanding what brings them there and then kind of following them along to that journey where the content might differ a little bit.

Magnus Gustafsson: Yeah. And certainly the, as I said, how somebody relates to a, let's call it a t- shirt polo purchase versus a food purchase differs. And particularly in our space where we sit more at the premium part of that spectrum is when is somebody in market to buy. And typically, in terms of product assortment, you can imagine you don't have a big turnover in our assortment as you do in apparel where you have new colors and so on are coming in on a monthly basis. We probably working with the same assortment. So you need to understand that consumer, are they're loyal to a particular cut or are they're willing to try something new, and understanding those nuances. But ultimately what it comes down to have success in this vertical is truly to understand how the customer buying patterns and what they do and when they buy that looks slightly different than selling cosmetics or anything else. But as I said, I go back to the underlying processes and so on, you got to have the fundamentals there no matter what you sell.

Trey Jackson: Right. Well, let's continue on that trend. I mean, what is usually the buying mentality when someone would come to D'Artagnan? And how are you guys set up to kind of meet them where they are based on different tactics that you're using or channels that you're communicating with them?

Magnus Gustafsson: Our customer, they're coming to us either for a unique purchase, either because we do sell some cuts that may not be found in your store where you live. You know? Duck or lamb for example. So we are certainly a unique purchase sometimes for that. Or people are looking for a better meal that they're going to serve to friends and family. It might be even for some unique occasions, a birthday or it might be through Memorial Day, July 4th party that you're having. You want to have something better. So those are kind of the times when customers are coming to us in greater volume than on a regular Wednesday in mid- March for example. So we are a little bit of a specialty purchase sometimes. But part of our strategies is to teach our customers to some degree that we can be more than that. So we have put some tactics in place in terms of our communication and making ourself, I call, more approachable with our assortment where we can be more than just that one unique purchase that you make. So a lot of our strategies and tactics in place now is to get our customer to understand that we can be more than that one purchase. So the goal is to get that one extra purchase from that customer every year.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. And I think we were talking a little bit earlier. We'd love to hear a little bit more about how one thing you've noticed is different between maybe someone who's buying a polo shirt from your website versus a$ 200 piece of meat. You've sensed a little bit more repeat or loyalty kind of from your current customers when they develop that relationship. So is that something you've really nurtured or what's been your approach to that?

Magnus Gustafsson: Yes. We know that people have fondness of a certain type of cut or particular meat that they like and they tend to come back for that again. So we have built strategies and automations around that in terms of replenishments and understanding how quickly would they consume something and when would they be ready to buy again. And so, are going to have these certain triggers out there to remind people that it might be time for you to come back and purchase again. So again, it's an understanding on a customer segment level, how those rhythms are flowing, and then build the proper communications around that. We do that across all our channels. But as I said, it's different for people who are buying a very high- end steak than might be the$ 2 steak versus somebody that's buying a little less. You know? Do I get two big purchases or do I get five smaller purchases? And then what does that mean in terms of how to market, how we communicate and understanding the lifetime value of that customer? So we do have both of those segments we have in our file. And every day we're getting better at understanding who's who and how we're going to nurture that relationship and building on it.

Trey Jackson: Yeah, that's fascinating. And I'd love... With on that note of understanding your customer, I know you had also said that COVID, while definitely not a gift, it's helped people become more comfortable shopping online. So we'd love to hear what has the last three years, even if you've only been there for the last 18 months, meant for that transition at D'Artagnan. And how are you guys kind of continuing to build on that momentum of maybe like a more digital ready shopper for these products?

Magnus Gustafsson: Yeah. As you mentioned, the COVID still going to force consumers to be more comfortable buying food online and probably one of the last verticals to actually grow in this online space. People buying either a polo shirt or cosmetics or footwear, people have been comfortable doing that for a long time online. But now the pandemic forced people to... Well, if I want to eat, I got to get it somewhere. And online was a viable option to do that. So through that came an organic growth to the business. So business grew fairly rapidly throughout the pandemic. And now what we need to do is understanding those consumers that came to us through the pandemic when they had nowhere elsewhere to go. How do we retain them? How do we make them comfortable to continue to purchase online when they not going to go back to more pre- COVID behavior again? But those are, again, understanding the nuances of when they're ready to buy, what the triggers are, what their offerings need to be. And the more we understand that, the better off we will be. So we have done a lot of work to be smarter around where our customers are, what the triggers are that makes them want to buy and be in market to buy.

Trey Jackson: Great. And I know that Wunderkind has been kind of a recent addition to your stack. We'd love to just hear what prompted you to partner with us again. You know? Partner of yours in past jobs as well. And how has that kind of journey been so far?

Magnus Gustafsson: I knew of what you guys bring to the table through several partnerships in my past. And we had a provider in place prior to us working together. They were not bad at all, but I knew that there was more upside to be had. And based on my prior experience with BounceX or Wunderkind, I knew that we could increase not only our capture rate and build our customer file, but also get more out of our automations as well. And that was important for us to do. So the partnership was logical. And I knew that the value was there from the platform. We walked into this partnership with our eyes wide open knowing what we thought that could be delivered. And we have seen results being 2, 3, 4 times greater than what we thought originally. So it's been a very successful partnership so far. And this Wunderkind channel, both through email especially, has been very powerful. And we have seen our customers respond very, very well to it. And we are there at the right time now through some of these behaviors that the customer may have, maybe a signup through a welcome series, maybe through a cart abandonment. We have with your help figured out the cadence of those series, what the offering should be. And as I said, we have seen great success so far.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. And I think you talked a lot about meeting your customers where they are and when they're ready to shop. So has that been kind of something in particular that you've seen Wunderkind help kind of accelerate what you were able to do before?

Magnus Gustafsson: Yes. And we have certainly been through some of these automations that we have in place. There are people that have with food there's probably a little longer buying cycle that they might see in other verticals. So we know we need to be there to gently remind them of the experience that they had and what they looked at. And I think that's where Wunderkind has come in and helped give us a proper platform and toolbox to be able to be in front of those customer again at the right time or the right message to ensure that they come back and transact at the end of the day. And we have seen that in the results that the open rates, the click- through rates, and the conversion rate through all of these modules have been far greater than we originally thought when we started the partnership.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. Well, I love that you said that what we bring to the table, it feels very appropriate for D'Artagnan given what you guys sell.

Magnus Gustafsson: Yes.

Trey Jackson: But I think on that note of meeting the customer where they are, I think we've been helping you guys in your email channel. And I think there's always a question of, oh, we should be in TikTok, we should be in SMS, we should be in whatever X, Y, Z new channel is. So I'd love to hear what is your approach to deciding to maybe invest more in channels that you know already work for you versus explore new opportunities and new channels where you might have more appetite for your marketing and communication, but it's kind of maybe unclear at the beginning.

Magnus Gustafsson: I think you need to explore all these new channels because the customers are going to be at all of those touch points for sure. We know that we call the more intimate communication channels such as email and SMS with our customer base is what they are comfortable with. We do have, I say this gently, a more mature audience out there that may not necessarily be the true TikTok fan out there. So we know that email is still a primary channel in how we communicate and how our customer wants to be communicated to as well. And we have seen that. So all that we are exploring and testing new channels all the time. We do that in kind of a crawl, walk, run method to making sure that the investment is proper. But we knew in the email channel we had success there already. We just need to kind of amplify that and pour more fuel on what we knew was working already and that's what Wunderkind did for us.

Trey Jackson: Got it. So Gen Z is not yet buying$ 200 cuts of meat through TikTok yet?

Magnus Gustafsson: Not yet. We hope to get them there.

Trey Jackson: But maybe we can get them there eventually.

Magnus Gustafsson: Yes. Again, they will age up as well. And so hopefully they will age into what we believe is an appropriate customer for D'Artagnan. But certainly within our strategies is to look at that, for us, " younger audience" to get them into the brand a little sooner. And that's what we talk about being approachable to a broader customer base than we are today. And we are sort of making inroads there in terms of our product offering and how we communicate and where we market and how we market in terms of visually messaging, so to speak, to again, become a brand that could be considered, for us, would be a slightly" younger audience."

Trey Jackson: All right. And I'm kind of interested on that thread. How do you usually keep on touch of what's kind of trending in marketing, whether it's in new channels or just different tactics that are working? Is that something that you learn at conferences or you hear from maybe vendors like Wunderkind that kind of brings stuff to you like that?

Magnus Gustafsson: It's that and it's the thing to be in tuned to what inaudible work with. So it's talking to peers and colleagues, see what they know, what they're tested. So you got to build that network. Certainly talking to vendors like you guys and what do you see across your client base, what's working, what's not working, attending conferences and staying in tune through, yes, webinars or in- person events, you have to stay on top of what's going on and to see the changes and not be afraid to test sometimes. And as long as you do it smartly and you have your eyes wide open going into those channels and what they are supposed to produce, are they upper funnel, mid funnel, lower funnel, and knowing what the expectations ought to be. As long as you walk in with that, I think you should test and try a lot of things.

Trey Jackson: Yeah.

Magnus Gustafsson: You never know where you might have something that may surprise you in a good way, but it is important to continue to not be afraid to try to find your customer in a new space that may not be before.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. And on that line, has there been particular tactics or channels or new things campaign wise that have kind of surprised you recently that you maybe were taking a bet on or maybe didn't work out as you've kind of had expected?

Magnus Gustafsson: For us recently, we talked now within the last 10 to 12 months, we did launch an SMS program. Not through Wunderkind this time. And we knew that was going to be a much more intimate channel than email, for example. And knowing that, again, talking to a little more mature audience that we have, that were they going to be receptive to get communication on their phone, which again is much more of an intimate channel than any other channel that we are in. We have seen huge response to that and it's been a huge success. We now thought to bring that into our marketing mix much more aggressively than we thought it would. So if you have an appropriate message, you treat your customer well, and you nurture that relationship, the customer will hear from you, wants to hear from you, but it's all about to be relevant. And that's kind of where we come into play with Wunderkind. All the messaging that we do is triggered by something that the consumer did. And that means you stay relevant to what they have done with the brand. And I think that's key. So there's no surprises in that communication. And I think that's where a lot of the success comes from. It's all about being relevant to that individual consumer as much as you can.

Trey Jackson: And I'm interested to hear as you guys evolve, you were recently acquired by a larger company and have more D2C opportunities within some of the other brands. So how do you take what you've learned from D'Artagnan and then kind of find opportunities to expand it across maybe different companies that haven't had that D2C presence yet?

Magnus Gustafsson: Yes, as you mentioned, and it's been reported before that when D'Artagnan was acquired, we certainly now it's part of a big bigger portfolio family where there are opportunities within a product catalog and all portfolio brands that may have a D2C presence in the future. So that's being explored as we speak. And hopefully in some foreseeable future there might be additional portfolio brands that will have a end consumer facing entity through a website. But I think it just is an excitement there that there are possibilities to kind of expand and bring a broader set of offerings either through brands or categories that we don't do today that may resonate with the current D'Artagnan customer and to build that out. Hopefully there is a halo effect from the work we've done with D'Artagnan and the D'Artagnan customer that we can build up.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. I'm interested to know if you kind of could snap your fingers now and have it all pan out. Is there a particular kind of set of strategies that you would begin with with kind of a new brand that's within this portfolio of saying, " We know we're going to need to do X, Y and Z to start off" or do you think it's really have to be more dynamic based on what fits for that brand?

Magnus Gustafsson: I think it's going to be much more dynamic in terms of that. I think we will look to see where it can be a halo effect from the work that's been done with D'Artagnan and where the D'Artagnan customer may want to see as an expansion and go from there. So I think it's going to be organic growth out of the understanding the D'Artagnan customer.

Trey Jackson: Got it. Yeah. And I think kind of within that, I know we were talking a little bit about how Wunderkind has helped with your email file in particular. I would just love to hear a little bit expanding on that. How have you found that the different kind of information or data you've gotten from Wunderkind, whether it's expanding your email file or kind of with the realtime messaging has helped you broaden your view or ability to kind of understand your customer?

Magnus Gustafsson: We always looking to understand our customers better and to get those additional insights. And certainly from what we've done together we know what the consumers is responding to, what they are triggering to. So I think every day when we have one more metric from the work we do together, we understand a little bit better what that consumer is responding to and how we can build upon that both from a frequency, from a cadence of how we message to the customer. So it's all about just digesting and injecting all that the data into our systems. And truly it's going to have to parse it into understand how can we segment, how can we better understand, enhance, pivot, change our messaging to be, again, more relevant at the end of the day.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. And I guess looking forward, now that you've had this initial success, what do you see the brand prioritizing from here on out? Is it new channels? Is it doubling down kind of on what you've already seen work well with your partners like Wunderkind and the other vendors that you work with? Or what's the roadmap for D'Artagnan?

Magnus Gustafsson: I think now is to, again, get as much as we can our customer base. So it's about, again, continue to understand that customer and continue to build on the lifetime value of the base we have, and then in parallel start to produce offerings that may reach a slightly larger audience than the D'Artagnan does today, but ultimately in the foreseeable future is literally to do more with what we have, so to speak, while we still continue to figure out where our investments are going to be in terms of acquisition, driving new customers to the brand, but ultimately the current base going to have to fund any new acquisition efforts and the new channels that we do. So it comes down to getting more out of the current base.

Trey Jackson: Yeah. And I'm interested to know. Do you have kind of a rule of thumb of when you know you've reached the max of what you're able to either do internally or with one partner and you kind of seek something else out where or is there's no kind of real formula for that type of-

Magnus Gustafsson: I don't think we have a formula set yet. I think we kind of learning as we go a little bit to that. And again, being in this new world of being part of a larger portfolio family, I think we are kind learning each day what's available to us and how we can leverage that. But I think, again, it's every day we try to get smarter and understand better what's available to us that we can use. But it all comes back to the idea of the customer that we do have, how did we maximize the value of that customer, understand that and then apply that to bring in a new customer.

Trey Jackson: Yeah, I love that. And I guess last question that I have is, if someone's new to D'Artagnan, what would you recommend is the first product they should try? perhaps your own favorite product from their website?

Magnus Gustafsson: Personally my own favorite? I'm a big rib eye fan myself, so that's my personal choice for somebody to come to the brand. But certainly duck is in our DNA. So if you haven't tried duck before, I highly suggest that you do.

Trey Jackson: I have never made duck on my own. Is it something that's particularly difficult to prepare or is it more similar to like a steak?

Magnus Gustafsson: It is not that hard to prepare, but I think it's a unique taste to it. And I think if you try it, you're going to love it.

Trey Jackson: Okay. Well, you heard it here. You got to go try the duck on D'Artagnan. And if someone wants to learn more about D'Artagnan, should they just go to dartagnan. com or where should they connect with you guys?

Magnus Gustafsson: Dartagnan. com is our website, so please come and visit and look to see what we have. I think you will find something you love.

Trey Jackson: Well, thanks so much for listening. To learn more about D'Artagnan, you can go to dartagnan. com, learn about their amazing duck that I definitely will be looking more into myself. And thanks again, Magnus, for all of your insights today.


Join Trey Jackson, Director of Product and Customer Marketing at Wunderkind, in a fascinating conversation with Magnus Gustafsson, VP, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing at D'Artagnan. Discover the world of premium meat and seafood offered by D'Artagnan, a brand known for its commitment to sustainability and delivering a better-quality, healthy raised food chain. Magnus shares insights into his extensive experience in e-commerce and retail, discussing the unique challenges and strategies in selling high-end products like meats compared to apparel. The conversation delves into the success of D'Artagnan's SMS program and the role Wunderkind played in enhancing their email marketing efforts. Magnus highlights the importance of understanding customer buying patterns and shares valuable lessons learned during the transition from apparel to premium food. Discover the roadmap ahead for D'Artagnan and Magnus's personal favorite product recommendations for those new to the brand. Don't miss this insightful discussion that offers a glimpse into the dynamic world of premium food e-commerce and the strategies that drive success in this space. Visit dartagnan.com to explore their exceptional range of products and indulge in a culinary experience like no other.