Small Track, Big Market! This Amazon bestseller removes odor and sells $300 million annually
Amazon bestseller removes odor and sells $300 million annually
With careful exploration, even small markets can have big potential.
When it comes to the category of deodorizers, most sellers don’t have much commercial vision for it. In China, deodorizers are basically considered a low-level category, and neither big nor small brands treat it as a core product to research, let alone creating new consumer brands.
However, the American Amazon bestseller, Pourri, has taken toilet deodorant as a starting point and, through innovative scene insights and customer exploration, has sold more than 100 million bottles of Pourri deodorant since its establishment. Not only has it received more than 100,000 Amazon five-star reviews (currently rated 4.8), it has also been sold in more than 50,000 retail locations in 56 countries. At the same time, the brand’s video views have also exceeded 500 million times.
How did this deodorant brand achieve the commercial miracle of a small category making big business?
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How did Pourri use viral marketing to create high brand value for a weak category?
Many brands in the startup phase will consider one question – how to create a new product to break the existing market pattern?
Peng Ying, founder of Hillside Bakery, believes that there are two solutions to this problem: one is to be an innovator in a mature category, and the other is to become a definer of a new category.
Pourri not only became an innovator in a mature category (creating the popular product Poo~Pourri), but also gave birth to a new product category (toilet deodorant).
When creating a new product category and changing the bathroom scene for consumers, Pourri’s early marketing included a lot of category explanations – what exactly is toilet spray before going to the bathroom?
Air fresheners and toilet sprays are never in short supply on the market, but the magic of Pourri spray is that it only needs to be sprayed into the toilet before going to the bathroom, forming a layer of essential oil film on the water surface, locking the odor under this layer of film, while Poo~Pourri also uses natural non-harmful ingredients. It is understood that the spray is priced between $4.99 and $24.99.
This allows Pourri to have a new concept and USP (core selling point) of pre-toilet essential oil spray when entering the market. From a business perspective, Pourri’s approach will remind people of another DTC brand, Dollar Shave Club. Although toilet deodorants or razors are not really revolutionary products, these two brands have managed to create marketing methods that package products as revolutionary categories.
In the case of Dollar Shave Club, it describes the dilemma of people who do not change their blades frequently. As for Pourri, it changes the usage and habits of toilet deodorants. In terms of design, Pourri also changed the simple appearance of deodorants at the time, making Pourri’s small bottle look as luxurious as French bath products, making users feel that they are buying an elegant and unique new product.
Insight into the main user
After achieving innovation in products and categories, the brand’s dilemma is whether this innovation can be recognized by the market and users.
At this time, the brand needs to establish a deep understanding of the main consumer: What will make them excited? What is important to them? Their feelings (likes, dislikes, sensitivities…), their lives, their thoughts? What can the brand do for them? What kind of relationship does the brand want to establish with them?
Pourri initially positioned its target consumer group as young women around the world who have environmental awareness and a refined lifestyle. After determining its main user base, Pourri began selling on mainstream platforms where women shop and consume.
Online, Pourri’s main sales platforms are Amazon and independent sites, and it has long been in the Top 30 bestsellers list on Amazon. Even after several product upgrades, the star rating remains at 5 stars (4.8 points), with over 10,000 real-time reviews and over 100,000 accumulated reviews.
Offline, Pourri mainly sells in boutiques. Pourri’s data shows that 90% of its offline revenue comes from retailers, many of which are boutiques. In the fourth month after Pourri became popular, its products were already being sold in over 8,000 boutiques across the United States. As of now, it has reached over 20,000 boutiques and over 30,000 retail stores, including well-known retailers such as Costco, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Ulta. Pourri founder Batiz said that the brand did intend to develop business in boutiques, which would help cultivate a group of loyal female followers.
At the same time, Pourri’s brand marketing also reflects its strategy for its main female users. From promotional posters to advertising protagonists, they all focus on the “odor dilemma” that women often encounter in life. By using familiar scenarios, the brand has increased female consumers’ favorability towards it.
Comedy-style viral marketing
Tint Agency’s report shows that among the categories that are not suitable for marketing, bathroom-related products rank first, followed by tax and thermostat categories. Because the marketing content of these categories often falls into boredom and embarrassment, it is difficult to come up with new and creative marketing ideas.
Pourri, on the other hand, is a brand paradigm that achieved explosive sales growth through viral marketing. After Pourri’s advertising was released, not only did website traffic surge by 130 times, but sales also increased more than threefold. Through product strength + advertising power, Pourri successfully turned a bathroom-related brand into a popular internet brand with strong genes.
1. YouTube marketing
In September 2013, Pourri launched its first YouTube marketing ad “Girls Don’t Poo”, which became a sensation and one of the most viewed global ads of 2013, with over 350 million views on YouTube to date. The video humorously showcases Pourri’s deodorizing product’s effectiveness in eliminating odors, and through the protagonist’s performance in various embarrassing situations, many female viewers can relate.
After the success of the first YouTube video, Pourri produced a series of ads featuring the same protagonist in different scenarios, and this urban woman in a blue dress became the label and spokesperson for the Pourri brand. Foreign netizens affectionately referred to her as the “poo pourri girl”.
2. Social media marketing
As a deodorant brand, Pourri’s social media team wisely expanded the brand’s marketing scope, and anything that could potentially lead to going to the bathroom became potential material for their marketing team.
During the 2015 Super Bowl, Pourri posted Super Bowl-related content on Twitter, stating that the food provided during the Super Bowl inevitably brings a lot of “toilet potential motivation”. Pourri tweeted, “Nothing says ‘I’ll see you in the bathroom’ like 12 tons of ultimate corn chips.”
Pourri’s marketing genius is not a pun or a rhyme, but rather its constant search for a humorous way to talk about a product that can easily make people uncomfortable. Pourri markets by making the topic of “going to the bathroom” very interesting, sparking the attention of young consumers, and ultimately creating viral spread on social media, shaping brand power.
BrandArk’s View on Branding
No matter how small the category or product, there is potential to create huge commercial value. Therefore, when choosing a category, sellers should not underestimate vertical tracks, but pay more attention to the market potential and possibilities of the track.
Today, Pourri’s annual sales have exceeded $300 million, and its annual net income is stable at over $100 million. We can see from Pourri’s successful trajectory that there is no longer a fixed pattern for brand development. Through any advantage aspect such as the supply chain, brand creativity, brand marketing, etc., a new strong brand may grow, or even create a new category. Therefore, brands need to tell more stories, optimize products, and wait for commercial opportunities to come.
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