Moving into the DTC space after operating only in retail is a tricky tightrope to walk. You have already-established partnerships that you don’t want to jeopardize and a consumer base that you don’t want to cannibalize. But you also want to bring innovation and new products to your loyal customers, and you want to build more personal relationships with them along the way. So how do you win in all areas? Or can you win in all these areas?Andy Judd is the CMO at Yasso, Inc., and finding the answer to that question is currently at the top of his todos. . Yasso sells frozen yogurt bars, which side note, are the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. Yasso just recently began its journey into the world of DTC. Ultimately, Andy knows that building a profitable DTC arm of the business is one of the toughest challenges in the ecommerce industry today, especially when shipping frozen goods, but he’s done it before, and his tapping into all his knowledge he’s built up from prior roles at companies like ONE brands and Campbell's soup!On this episode of Up Next in Commerce, Andy tells us what the move to DTC has been like so far, including the added challenges to logistics when it comes to shipping frozen novelties, what strategies he’s been using to ensure transparency with retail and third-party partners, and why he wants everyone listening to understand that ROAS is not the same thing as ROI. Enjoy this episode … and maybe also a Yasso bar!Main Takeaways:Deep Freeze: The logistics of shipping frozen foods are still being fully fleshed out. For certain products, such as frozen fruit, or even cartons of ice cream, you have a bit more leeway in temperature states and the risk of thawing and refreezing. With something like a frozen yogurt bar, you have absolutely no wiggle room, which means that there has to be multiple layers of pressure testing, route optimization, and quality control in order to ensure that customers are getting the product they expect instead of a puddle of froyo. It is only after you have optimized every step of that process that you can feel comfortable moving more to a DTC space.ROAS Does Not Equal ROI: In ecommerce, ROAS is one of the metrics you hear about often. And while it’s important, it’s also critical to note that ROAS does not equate to ROI, because ROAS often does not account for incrementality. So be very careful when you are measuring your success and be sure to take into account all of the other activities that bring in revenue and returns. Doubling Down: As Andy put it best, “I have a general principle of double and double and double and double until it breaks. You double until that ROAS really starts to decay at a rate, and then you know where your ceilings are.” A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: When you are selling DTC on a third-party platform, it is important to be upfront and transparent with your retail partners. Talking through who you’re targeting, how you’re pricing and why bringing incremental customers into the business helps all parties — more brand-loyal customers will buy across all platforms, including in retail — will make for a much more productive relationship.For an in-depth look at this episode, check out the full transcript below. Quotes have been edited for clarity and length.---Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Respond quickly to changing customer needs with flexible Ecommerce connected to marketing, sales, and service. Deliver intelligent commerce experiences your customers can trust, across every channel. Together, we’re ready for what’s next in commerce. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce---Transcript:Stephanie:Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Up Next in Commerce. This is your host, Stephanie Postles, co-founder and CEO at mission.org. Today on the show, we have Andy Judd, the Chief Marketing Officer at Yasso. Andy, welcome.Andy:Thank you, Stephanie. Great to be here and look forward to today's discussion.Stephanie:Excited to have you here. Like I said, I am getting hungry now thinking about this conversation. My stomach actually just rumbled. I don't know if anyone heard that, but that's how I feel about this conversation today. It's going to be a good one.Andy:Yeah, no, I'm excited. I think we've got a lot of exciting things happening on the business that I think we can offer some interesting perspective to the community.Stephanie:Cool. So, I saw that you have been in the CPG space for over a decade, starting all the way back at good old Campbell's Soup, which I'm like, that's a good history there of really knowing what you're talking about.Andy:Yeah. I've been extremely blessed and fortunate to work with some great companies along the road, those large blue chip companies like Campbell's, down to smaller emerging businesses like Yasso today. Each of them is definitely different culturally, business model, go to market, marketing approaches, not only from the size of the businesses, but also what's taken place over time. I appreciate you said one decade. In that lead up, it is a bit longer than that, but-Stephanie:I think I said over, but I didn't put numbers.Andy:Over, yes. I appreciate you not going all the way to, but yeah, I've been very blessed to work at great companies, great, amazing teams and leaders that have shaped a lot of my thinking. And now I'm happy to hopefully give back some of whatever wisdom I've collected back to your community too.Stephanie:Cool. Well, to start, I want to hear, from a very high level, how do you view the food and beverage industry today compared to maybe even just a couple years ago? How has it changed and how did that lead you to creating Yasso?Andy:Yeah. The speed of change is definitely picking up pace, and I'm not even talking about the realities of the past year, because that's a whole different kind of situational change, but the speed of change has definitely changed a lot. When I started my career, there was a very set number of customers, and we had a lot of customer consolidation happening, but then really, the marketing landscape started to evolve. Obviously, around 2008, 2010, Facebook came on and just rewrote the playbook dramatically. It took a while to internalize that, particularly in the food space, I think we were a little slower to adaptation.Andy:Analytically, I don't think we were quite ready for that moment. But once we kind of got our feet underneath us as a space, it really took off, and now it's how fast can you run to the newest platform to get the most efficiency before the system goes, particularly as an emerging brand, finding those places where I can flank, get the most bang for my limited dollar set versus some of the larger spenders is really important. And I think it's bred a new capability set for today's marketing leaders, that is constant evolution. While, yes, I run, to some varying degrees, the same purchase funnel, the activity that's happened within it, wildly different.Andy:I gave a speech to my alma mater and some marketing students and walked them through like, "When I started my career, here's what we did. We ran TV commercials and a newspaper based FSI. Waited 18 months to see if it worked, and then probably made a decision before we even got the results to do it again, and it's just wildly different from how we activate today."Stephanie:Yeah, that's great. So, you have all this experience, I'm guessing you're starting to see opportunities. What led you to Yasso and what did that process look like?Andy:Sure. So, I joined the Yasso team a little over a year ago and had known the founders for a bit, and known our CEO for even longer. And like many moments where they recognize the step change from kind of the what got you here won't get you there, brought in a new management team to implement a double down on the growth strategy. So, great product. I won't talk too much about the product because you are hungry, but it is a fantastic product. Super creamy, super delicious, great nutritional, clean label, it really does have all the components. But really, it was a bit landlocked on the East Coast, founded and formed in Boston. And this team is rapidly building out that distribution footprint, investing and building the brand.Stephanie:Yeah. Also, how can you go wrong when the founders are kindergarten friends? I mean, that sold me right away.Andy:Absolutely. Yeah, Drew and Amanda, I will say this, have been just fantastic to work with, both in the principles they've set as an organization from a company culture perspective, and how we value employees, and what benefits we give them, to how we make an impact in our community. We do have a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Game On! Foundation. That's a big part of it. And then just this amazing product. As a marketer, I love that moment where it's like, "Build a brand. Here's this amazing foundation."Stephanie:Yep. So, what did your first 90 days look like? Of course, you always come in and kind of study things, see how things are working, but then what did your first 90 days look like? What did your playbook look like to start solving some problems there?Andy:Sure. It was a busy first 90 days. I had just come off of another transaction and was one of the last management members to join the organization. And so marketing, to some extent, needed to catch up. We were also moving the company from Boston to Boulder in that moment, and so there was definitely a team rebuild that happened there. So, first 90 days was establishment of strategy, getting the structure identified and a lot of recruiting, whilst simultaneously starting to build the components of activation to get us to ice cream season in 2020, which I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about, the sheer pivot that took place. Andy:So, strategy, put the playbook in place, get the key components, the critical components lined up, get the right team. Stephanie:Cool. So, you were just mentioning old school close tactics. What are you talking about [crosstalk] for anyone [crosstalk]?Andy:Yeah. Literally, couponing. I mean, I'm not kidding. Now, that evolution of incentive based activation has changed, right? The platform in which you may do that today looks a lot different than the platforms that we used to do that a while ago on. But yeah, I think there's reality to finding consumers and giving them incentives into trial and activating that personal truth in retail. It is not our largest investment, but it's an important one as we think through that funnel, particular in a category like this where taste is so critical that if I can get someone to push past that by giving them a little bit of an incentive and then know that my product is just lights out, is a great way to do it.Stephanie:Yeah. And are these coupons digital? Are they emailing coupons out? How are you doing that?Andy:Yeah. It's a number of different... So, we definitely operate that on owned basis through CRM. So, we definitely give incentives through kind of consumers that we've got into our ecosystem. That is, by far, the most valuable ones, which is keeping those people moving. Then there is outreach programs like Ibotta, that we've used, Shipt, Instacart, which also have, obviously, a shopping mechanism to them to drive trial. I'm sure we'll get into that at some detail as we talk about our omnichannel applications.Andy:And then some in-store placements, tried and true, IRCs, at shelf, to draw the consumer our way. This is definitely a very open trial based category where y'all want to try new things, and I'm looking for options, and if I can grab a millisecond of that scan at shelf by violating that with a save, definitely can do that. So yeah, it's definitely all components digitally, organic and owned, as well as in retail.Stephanie:So, let's dive into omnichannel, which you mentioned a little bit ago. Tell me a bit about how you guys had to potentially pivot post COVID, how you worked with your retail partners. I mean, I know that we're talking about how it can get kind of tricky too when you're, I guess, overly heavy on retail, and then all of a sudden, you're maybe trying to shift to DTC, and you don't want to make your retail partner sad. How did you guys think about that and explore that, especially over the past year?Andy:Sure. So, this brand was, I don't want to say 100% retail when I joined, but for this purposes, let's say it was 100% retail. Very limited investment, even on concierge based programs like Instacart, or even no investment on your platforms like Fresh, or walmart.com, it was very limited in that regard, and there was no DTC at that moment. Some of that is driven by frozen temperature state, right? I don't think... no third party platform has fully figured out that last mile in full temperature state. Retailers are definitely getting their closer and closer, Fresh is definitely pushing the boundaries there and building out an incredible footprint now. And I think COVID has exacerbated or built a lot of momentum to figuring out that for refrigerated and frozen temperature state products.Andy:We already had that in our plan. I think that all indicators of the consumer behavior was headed that way. COVID just made that evolution go faster. So, per my earlier point on change is just getting faster, COVID made this change faster. And so the dramatic shift that we saw, we knew we had to run pretty quickly. So, we were already strategically aligned to what that would look like, and for us that is four primary components of omnichannel. One is obviously DTC, and we'll talk about the intricacies there. Two is the concierge based programming and making sure that we're actively engaged there. Three is third party, and four is partnership with retail, primarily through online pickup and delivery.Andy:And so when we think about DTC, that's one component, but given that we're frozen temperature state, we really have to think broadly because of logistical challenges of working through shipping individual frozen Greek yogurt bars to a consumer's home and making sure that it gets there and it's not a puddle of Froyo is really challenging, particularly in an environment where FedEx is flushed with volume, logistics providers still haven't fully come to terms with the incremental volume in the system. So, it's definitely not without its operational, logistical challenges, but four components for us as we thought through that strategy, and we're diligently building each of them up, some of them simultaneously, and some of them we've kind of said, "Hey, we'll come to that one in a bit because these are more critical to success in the short term."Stephanie:Yeah. So, before we get more into the four pillars and the omnichannel piece, I do want to maybe jump into the operations aspect of how did you figure out this frozen shipping in a way that maybe others haven't so far?Andy:Yeah. So, let's start with our product DNA first. We make frozen novelties in a bar shape, so there's no forgiveness in that delivery, and we have to be pretty flawless against that, unlike, let's say, frozen fruit or even frozen ice cream pints, right? That can have a little bit of give, and the pint carton will hold its shape and kind of refreeze, no different than when you come home from the store. Novelties does not have that. If I have a little bit of give, that's not going to refreeze in what I believe our brand lives up to from a taste and sensorial experience.Andy:So, first and foremost was, we did a ton of pressure testing through a pretty in-depth thermal testing program. We vetted a number of different logistics partners, different packaging constructs, weights of dry ice, amounts of dry ice, what happens in delays, because we saw a lot of delays on ground shipping, hey, should we ship in air freight and taking discounts until the volume's figured out. We did a ton of pressure testing. And each of our products is also different. We make frozen yogurt bars, we also make frozen yogurt ice cream sandwiches. So, we've got a lot of different forms, even within our portfolio, that require a lot of diligence.Andy:So, a ton of diligence upfront, because at the end of the day, when we're asking consumers to buy our product, it is not a small price point for us to get over the hurdle, the cost of that seamless experience, it's not small. So, our goal is definitely very, very low fail rates through that. So, a lot of operational diligence upfront, a lot of understanding of routes and what geographies we do. We have a retail sales rep that was in Phoenix, and he got a lot of product in those early days, because we use that as our... that's the worst case scenario. If we can survive to Phoenix in August, I think we'll be okay. So, a lot of upfront thermal testing.Andy:And then engineering on the actual platform was also a good amount of diligence, and we're still evolving that as you always should be. Your selling platform, in my opinion, should be a living platform, for lack of a better word. It should never get complacent with the architecture that devils in the details on winning the SEM game, winning how consumers work through your sites, winning on how you keep them in the fold and get to repeat levels. We have a really high repeat level. That's really important to us. So yes, diligence upfront operationally, diligence on making sure the platform works right. And then once you start activating, the worst case scenario would be having someone have an experience that's anything less than superb.Stephanie:Cool. So, what does, from a high level, that back end look like? We settled on dry ice, or we didn't. We settled on a really good cooler. I'm thinking about this one cooler that shipped breast milk, it stayed frozen for four days for me. I was like, "Wow, this cooler is like a Yeti," but sadly, there was nothing you could do with it afterwards. So, what did you guys land on and what does that behind the scenes process look like now?Andy:Yeah. And also sustainability was an important factor for us and making sure that whatever format we were delivering in, we didn't want to deliver a format that would have a negative footprint on the earth either. So yeah, we had that extra variable, both the products, sustainability, surviving... like what happens if there's a day delay, right? If there's a day delay on an ambient product, if there's a day delay, most consumers don't get terribly upset by that. If there's a day to lay on a frozen Greek yogurt bar, that is a melted product, because that dry ice won't last forever.Andy:So, for us, it was a lot of diligence. We settled in on a really good package. We do use that insulated foam that put water on it, and it will dissolve. And so it was important for us to get that right. But we're talking about nuances of a half of an inch of that insulation, nuances of two to three incremental pounds of extra dry ice to ensure that. It really was fairly detailed, and I hope if our third party partner is listening or ever does listen to this, they know, one, I'm appreciative, and two, we definitely put it through the ringer on getting those details right.Stephanie:Yeah. Awesome. Let's move over to the four pillars, because I think that's a really tricky balance where you were talking about DTC, third party, retail, concierge, and I want to hear how you balance all four of those in a way that keeps everyone, including you guys, happy.Andy:Yeah. And we think about them a little bit about who we want activating through each of those. For us, incremental reach and incremental consumers into the Yasso franchise is really important. I mean, each of them plays a little bit of a different role in who we're targeting. Our DTC business is primarily pretty deep loyals because it's a pretty big price point, as well as our current baseline standard pack is an eight count. It takes up a little bit of room in your freezer too, so you got to love Yasso bars, which as we launch, we found that wasn't a problem. We definitely found some people that love Yasso bars and could take that volume on. So, that was a deep loyalty pool. It enabled us to get long... some of our tail skews and smart fan favorites available to people, get innovation in their hands early, those things.Andy:Concierge, to us, was a big win, particularly in 2020 when a lot of consumers ran, and we were able to pivot some of our investment and marketing dollars over there quickly. We had played around on the platform, and then back to your 90 days question, I had brought on someone on our team that was able to get in there, get into the self service side of things, had experience with that on other platforms, able to work in partnership with partners like Instacart and Shipt and really build that up, and we started running dollars to that. I have a general principle of double and double and double and double until it breaks, right? You double until that ROAS really starts to decay at a rate, and then you know where your ceilings are.Andy:And so for us, that was a really important one, particularly in the present temperature state. We knew consumer behavior is rapidly changing, we knew we could activate because we have the structure and the people in place to do so, and really win, particularly on buy it again. We knew that as new consumers were coming to that platform... I don't remember the stat I heard. It was something like they'd anticipated 30 million new households for the year of 2020, and they achieved that by April. And so it was definitely a double down on those types of platforms.Andy:And then we had had some initial discussions with Fresh, but it really was at a pretty good standstill. And so we knew we weren't operating on that platform relative to how we operate a retail, and brought in a new partner to help us [inaudible] on the platform, begin doing some more focused work on our side for advertising and in building out detail pages, etc, and really getting to a much better landing place there. And that has been a really nice win for us.Andy:And then the last pillar is that retail piece. And that one I think is evolving, because I think customers... there were definitely some customers that were ahead of that curve more in general merchandising, though, than anything, and definitely in some food categories, but definitely not in frozen and refrigerated food. And we've seen a definite increase from the prioritization of customers wanting to ensure that their platforms are in a good place. And we've seen a lot more requests for dollars flowing to help them build those platforms out. And so right now what we're trying to balance is, how do I see each of those platforms or pillars working together, and how do I spend the dollars accordingly? A lot of analytical rigor to that.Andy:But it's important to be really ready and flexible and flow those dollars to where you can get to the lowest CPCs, the highest ROAS, highest incrementality of households. We have third party analytic partner that helps us to look at ROIs, because ROAS does not mean ROI. If I could impart any wisdom to marketers out there that haven't lived that yet. ROAS doesn't take into account incrementality. So, it is a complement of different analytical approaches to help us flex those dollars across each of those pillars.Stephanie:Yep, I completely agree. So, are there any good lessons or learnings from going onto all those platforms, figuring it out, trying to pull them together eventually, are there any good lessons from that that other people can take away and hopefully avoid?Andy:Sure. I'll give you an example, not necessarily from my Yasso days, but some prior learnings that I had at a previous company. It is a gray space. As much as we're operating in these environments, whether it's DTC or third party platforms, retailers are also operating in these, and a lot of the questions we get is like, "Are you going to be sourcing volume from my retail in order to sell on these platforms directly?" And I think having those conversations with particularly important retailer partners upfront is important to help them understand how you're targeting, why it's good to bring net incremental people into the total business, and that helps all boats rise, how you're going to work with them through pricing strategy, in particular, how you're going to work through them with promotional and merchandising that doesn't create overlap.Andy:I have an example on Black Friday from a couple of years ago. There was a retail partner that was a very important retail partner, it was protein bars, and they operated heavily on Amazon, we operated heavily on Amazon. They were going to have their Amazon push for Black Friday, we were going to have our Amazon push for Black Friday. And we didn't get far enough ahead with them to decide who's doing what and how that may collide at the buy box. And thankfully, we decided to start our promotion early on Tuesday, because if we'd started one day later, that collision would have happened and no one would have been in the office to try and rectify it.Andy:And so what happened is they ran kind of a site-wide promotion across a number of the different brands that they sell as a broad retailer, and that discount stole the buy box and eroded a lot of your media metrics, we had obviously, some inventory challenges lined up in that. But thankfully, we were able to work through that and get it cleaned up. It had some implication with Google Shopping as well, so it was a multifaceted problem. It also gave us the opportunity to use that case as a way to talk through that with that retailer in the future, about lining up merchandising collectively, not independently. And that's not to suggest that we were comparing pricing, it was just more about talking through our approaches and what the implications on their platforms would be, our platforms, Amazon as a platform overall. I thought it led to a really collaborative place overall, but it is sticky, right? It's a bit of a frenemy reality, right? They are competing, but they're also your partners in retail.Andy:And so establishing guardrails and being transparent we found has been very helpful. Because, again, I operate from positive intent, we're all here to do the same thing, which is to drive growth and to give the consumer the right product that they want at the right time.Stephanie:Yeah. So, how do you go about talking to your retail partner to explain the incrementality piece, and this is good for me everyone type thing. How would you go about doing that in a way that makes sense to everyone?Andy:Yeah. Luckily, in the last few years, I've worked on some great brands that do have great stories about bringing in higher value consumers into the fold and figuring out ways to create total value that they may not get. And some of that is, "Hey, you don't have this portion of the portfolio on your catalog for whatever site you may be selling to, that's something that we can have...": I talked earlier about innovation as a way to get ahead. If a retailer doesn't opt into that innovation, that's okay. We definitely want you to sell our core business and operate there, but we want to give our most loyal consumers our innovation. It's also use of proof cases that we can then go back to the retailer and say, like, "Hey, this is a platform that's a little more vetted and has been cleared by our consumer," that, "hey, it's got proof here. This is an opportunity now for you to take that set to new consumers.Andy:It's also important for us to draw clean mapping to that consumer persona. Who's shopping online, and who shopping and retail, what they're looking for. And we've been very diligent about keeping that cleans. And here's who this is on my platform, here's who this is on third parties, here's who this is in your store. And collectively, that is a really nice store. And that's, I think, why we've had some success recently on outpaced growth relative to the marketplace.Stephanie:Yeah. I mean, it seems like it'd be really tricky keeping track of those consumers, seeing the online versus offline, and where are they originating from, and who's attributing to what sale? How do you go about managing all that data and keeping track of it, especially since you're on so many platforms?Andy:Yeah. I mentioned it a bit earlier, but we do have a partner that does regression based marketing, real-time marketing mix analyses for us, and we use them as a way to delineate the incrementality. That gives us a broad view to our mix, but that also helps us to understand which platforms to bet on, one from the other. I think we're at 18 different variables in that modeling, and some of those variables are literally platform level variables, and some of those are different types of campaign level variables. And so it is not without a lot of rigor, but building the model upfront... and I apologize if I'm using some of those key words, but take the diligence to really think about what the data sets are that are going to come at you and establish what they really tell you, back to my comment ROAS is not ROI. It doesn't mean it's not important, but it's not. And having a data system, and a dashboarding approach, and an operational cadence by which you analyze those and bringing all partners into that for transparency, it clears the air.Andy:I think I worked with partners before that have given us feedback that, "Nobody ever tells us this," right? "And our objectives are never your objectives. They're always different." Right? And so getting alignment upfront and clarity of data flow I think is one of those pieces, no different than the diligence we talked about earlier on frozen fulfillment. A lot of diligence upfront pays off down the road, and actually enables a ton of flexibility. It's just really painful. If I could offer any guidance to winning in omnichannel, it's details, focus on details, because the more detailed oriented you are, the better your system will be and the better you'll understand implications of changes.Stephanie:Yeah. I could see partnerships being lost because of you guys maybe coming in there and being like, "Here's the data points we need. Here's kind of how things work," which maybe needs to be lost if someone doesn't want to do that. But what are the most important data points that you asked from a partner that maybe they weren't comfortable sharing at one point, but now many are on board with doing that? What do you go in saying like, "This is the requirements, here's what we need," and which ones were they maybe more hesitant to share?Andy:Yeah. The propensity or the default position of the retailers is not necessarily to share, and that's not, I don't think, in the spirit of not being a partner, it's in the spirit of, obviously, their goal is to build a category, not necessarily an individual brand, and they're trying to optimize the total pool of brands to elevate their entire category. And so obviously, they don't want to do anything that could be detrimental to the totality of that category growth or detrimental to other brand partners that they may have. Some of that is opting in, some of that is dollars and cents.Andy:There are a number of retailers that have really great platforms for data, and some of that is opting in to those. We've made it a purpose to be data centric in how we approach, not just our retail business or our ecommerce business, all of it. And that may lead to a little bit of a higher non-working/working ratio for what it may be. But that makes us a lot more efficient with all the working dollars in that. And so some of it is dollars and cents and opting into their platforms.Andy:Some of it is having a clarity of that strategy that I mentioned earlier, like, "Here's who I serve by platform," and almost drawing a line that says, "Here's how I view the world. How do you view the world?" And soliciting that. But sometimes it means going in with a point of view. And they may not share that point of view, but at least they'll declare, "I don't share this point of view." And so opt in, have a point of view, and then you'll share results. Also, I think it has to be a two-way street. If I'm unwilling to tell them, "Here's how I'm operating in a direct model," why would I ask them to then tell me what it looks like in an online pickup or delivery model? So, I think there has to be some reciprocity that comes along to that. So, don't be scared to buy data and be more data centric, be clear about your point of view, and then you'll have a partnership, and be okay with some transparency that you otherwise may be not wanting to do in the first place.Stephanie:Yeah, I love that. So, let's talk a little bit about customer acquisition. How are you guys acquiring customers and what are your most successful channels right now, or what are some big bets that you're making in new platforms or maybe you're like, "We weren't on TikTok before, but now we are"? What are you exploring right now?Andy:Yeah. Yes is the answer always. Our team has got a great, I think, pulse for that and a great flexibility for adapting to that. And sometimes it's not just new platforms, sometimes it's new activations on current platforms. I think Reels taught us all a good lesson this year. Obviously, TikTok was a great piece of the puzzle over the last couple of years. So yeah, organically, yeah, definitely continuing to build that out. I think from a paid perspective on new platforms for us, I would say the retail environment is definitely pretty evolving. Andy:Other retailers are pushing their platforms more and bringing on new media partners. Target had their big push. I think it was two years ago when they made their media change. So, yeah, I think retail is an ever evolving world because they're recognizing different to sundry, the Amazons of the world that they're both, yes, retailer, but they're also media marketplace. And if I can get a little more down funnel awareness, consideration and purchase, they're operating in that consideration bucket, because I'm already actively involved in food buying behavior. And so I think that's a really interesting place to be playing.Andy:Yasso in particular at this life stage, though, we are moving significantly in that top of funnel place. And so it isn't necessarily new platforms, but it's new to us because we're reaching growth levels, which is such an exciting moment for any brand, where we have the opportunity to make investments in larger platforms. And so this past year, we did a lot of betting on awareness based platforms that otherwise we wouldn't have probably bet on. But streaming audio was a big win for us in this past year. I think COVID definitely helped consumers even more so get into that space.Stephanie:Like podcasts, you mean?Andy:Yeah, like podcasts. Well done. Yes, like podcasts, and even just music as well. But I think those platforms have become a bigger play, which for traditional food, probably hasn't been top box consideration for media plays, but have done really well for us. And then OTT, I think, continues to build. And so those are not necessarily new platforms, but new to us. And when we think about where we are in our life stage, that gives us opportunities to rethink our total funnel, and that's really exciting, right? So, it's, hey, we have the availability to anchor to spending dollars that are scalable on some of these platforms that we otherwise probably wouldn't have been able to afford originally, and now really evolving our down funnel work with retailers in a different way. So, it's evolving, but it's pretty exciting, actually.Andy:I think that is one of the benefits I've seen from this past year, is it's moved our industry forward and our retailer partners forward. Obviously, it's not to suggest that they were at zero state by any means, but I think it's definitely built a lot of momentum.Stephanie:Yep. And when you're thinking about creating good creatives for these new platforms that you're on, how do you go about making something that really differentiates you guys? I mean, it feels like your space is pretty competitive now. How do you stand out? How do you make ads and audio content that really sets you apart from everyone else?Andy:Yeah. Since we came on, we've thought diligently about the balance of internal external creative capabilities, where we need a differential expertise, where we need flexibility internally, and again, diligence upfront, right? So, that declaration of your brand, what it stands for, what it looks like, being very clear with that, so that as you disseminate across the internal and external content creators, whether that's influencer based or UGC, or whatever it is, you know this is it and this is what it looks like so that your brand identity is well done.Andy:And then I think voice is an interesting place, and voice in two ways. One, is having perspective. I think brands that are able to separate themselves, to your point on the competitive environment, have a really clear voice and perspective on things, and they're willing to take a stand and say, "Here's what we believe." Because consumers, from an engagement perspective, are much more likely to go there. It could bring polarization components to it, definitely, that's a possibility, but it won't bring engagement, right? So, if you don't have voice, if you don't have a perspective, you won't have engagement. So, it's kind of one of those. So, perspective is one.Andy:And then, for us in particular, in our category, I think having a definitive sense of humor. It's a joyful snacking experience, right? I typically don't see a lot of people eating our food without the intention of elevating their mood.Stephanie:Yeah. You can't eat it with a sad face.Andy:No. I mean, you can. I mean, there's the old adage of the breakup with the ice cream-Stephanie:Okay. That's more ice cream.Andy:... but you're doing it to elevate yourself, right? So, most people don't enter that space without the intention of enjoying the experience. And so I think it's important for us to bring that levity and humor to our voice. So, having perspective, having a good sense of humor that's definitive and unique, and having clear sense of art direction is really important. And the last piece I would just say is contextual, right? So, not all creative is the same across. Our organic content team I think does a great job with, "Here's what works in Twitter, and here's what works in TikTok, and here's what works on stories, versus reels, versus feed," and bringing that to the game as well.Stephanie:Yeah, I agree based on some of the things I've seen. All right, let's move over to the Lightning Round. Lightning Round is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This is where I'm going to ask you a question and you have a minute or less to answer. Are you ready, Andy?Andy:Yes, I'm ready.Stephanie:I wish my knuckles cracked so I could do it.Andy:I can't do that either, but I'm ready.Stephanie:We tried. All right.Andy:Yes.Stephanie:First, what one thing will have the biggest impact on ecommerce in the next year?Andy:What one thing will have the biggest impact on ecommerce? I would say, for me, last mile. I think the last mile is going to take a big step forward this next year. I think a lot of companies got caught flat footed on it. They spent the better part of last year figuring it out, and I think you're going to see more retail platforms figuring out last mile and betting big on it.Stephanie:Yeah, I agree. That's a good one. What's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for you?Andy:I love the two words, to of my favorite words. Thank you. So, I will always take a thank you and I always try and give them just because everybody's working really hard right now, personally and professionally, and I just think the smallest thing you can do is just to say thank you. So, thank you for having me, Stephanie.Stephanie:Okay. Thank you for coming on the show, Andy. What one thing do you not understand today that you wish you did?Andy:What one thing do I not understand today that I wish I did? There's so many things that I don't understand. I think the biggest one I had a better feel for honestly was how to get ahead on new organic platforms. That's definitely one of the tougher ones. I think we've built a good flexible ability to adapt to evolutions within platforms, but which ones to bet on just because there's so many, I think that's one I wish I had a better gut feel for it, to be able to jump there faster. As an emerging brand, I feel like that's one of our core competencies, is the flank approach and not getting trapped in the big game. And I wish I had a better feel for emerging organic platforms.Stephanie:Yeah, that does seem tricky to stay on top of, to be the first one on there and to be the one that can organically grow, because it does always say there's a lot arbitrage to be had on platforms in the beginning, especially when they're trying to figure out their maybe advertising programs. I know TikTok for a while there, you can get really good maybe ROIs because the platform was so new, they're figuring out their program. Maybe that's gone now, but that's a good one.Andy:And that's the exact point, is that it does happen quickly too. And I have seen brands be very successful in getting there first and grabbing that attention.Stephanie:Yeah. What's up next on your reading list?Andy:Right now, what is next on my... I'm looking over at my books. It is... and I'll show it to you, here. It is Hello Darkness, My Old Friend, by Sandy Greenberg. This is a book recommended by my father-in-law about the story of Art Garfunkel's college friend who went blind in college and his journey. He's a lawyer, and it's just an incredible story. So, that is next on my reading list.Stephanie:Wow. I'm writing that down. So, what was it? Hello...Andy:Hello Darkness, My Old Friend by Sanford Greenberg, or Sandy Greenberg.Stephanie:All right. I'll get it [crosstalk].Andy:Foreword by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by the way.Stephanie:Oh, sweet. Okay, now, I'm definitely checking it out.Andy:Yes.Stephanie:All right. And then the last one. What ecommerce tool or piece of tech are you experimenting or most bullish on right now?Andy:Yeah. I'm going to go back to our logistics because I'm bullish that there's going to be a lot of progress on sustainable packaging over the next coming years, and as I mentioned earlier, having sustainable frozen packaging is just fantastic. It makes us feel way better about continuing to grow in this space. But I think there's going to be a lot of technology in the packaging constructs. There's a ton of waste in this space. I think brands are getting way more savvy around designing their first rather than trying to re-architect the other retail packs and then doing the best they can. So, I'm excited to see what comes in kind of more the the operational side as much as anything. That's a personal passion for me, but I'm excited to see how that continues to evolve.Stephanie:Awesome. That's a good one. All right, Andy. Well, thank you for coming on our show and sharing your insights. Where can people learn more about you and Yasso?Andy:Yeah. So, you can find us at yasso.com, for sure. Instagram @Yasso, are the best places, and you can find me on LinkedIn, for sure.Stephanie:Amazing. Thanks so much for joining us.Andy:Absolutely. Thank you, Stephanie.