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The Advantages of Brand Licensing in a Different Country

Uri Weinberger, the owner of Milky Mama Canada.

Milky Mama is the maker of lactation treats and supplements created by Krystal Nicole Duhaney, a registered nurse and lactation consultant. After seeing the success of Milky Mama in the United States, Uri Weinberger licensed the business and brought it to Canada. In this episode of Shopify Masters, we chat with Uri on the process of licensing, marketing strategies, and scaling the business.

For the full transcript of this episode, click here.

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Show Notes

Spotting a target market and approaching a brand owner about licensing 

Felix: This is Milky Mama Canada. Tell us about the origins of your particular business in this larger brand.

Uri: There is a distinction between Milky Mama in the United States and Milky Mama Canada. Milky Mama was founded by Crystal Duhaney out of LA in 2015. She is the owner and founder of Milky Mama, the brand. I've been working with her as an advertising agency since 2017. We worked together for 2 years, growing the brand. It's still going, and every month we're breaking records. We sell lactation cookies, lactation drinks, and lactation supplements. We also offer a plethora of lactation support through education, Facebook communities, live chats, Q&A's every week. Mamas really wanted to buy the product. 

The issue was Canadian mamas were going onto the US site and placing orders. This was a problem because number one, shipping rates were very high to ship from the US to Canada. Number two, the products are cookies, so they expire. If they're held at Customs, they go stale by the time they cross the border. Number three, there isn't much support in Canada right now and the currency is huge. Any Canadian merchants or international merchants know that the American dollar is quite strong, and it affects margins and customer-facing prices.

I decided to go down and pitch opening up a full operation here in Canada. I was uniquely positioned because, one, I was to an extent, the voice of the brand. I handled all the advertising, which is Facebook, Instagram, Google ads, l, Snapchat at times. And number two, my wife Tali, who is a huge part of Milky Mama Canada, is a nurse, a certified breastfeeding specialist, and a teacher. That put us in a unique position to approach the owner and say, "Let us start Milky Mama Canada." She agreed. That was August 2018. 

Fast forward to January 9, 2020, we were trying to figure out, how is this going to work? How do you start a business that already exists in another country? How do you create a win-win situation for the brand owner, Crystal in the US, Milky Mama. How do we position that business to be profitable and localized for the market up in Canada? 

It took a year and a half to figure out how to structure everything. Are we going to start a spin-off brand? Are we going to do a licensing deal? Are we going to do a royalty deal? Myself and my wife Tali up in Canada had no experience with this. Milky Mama USA had no experience with this. So it was a good fit but we had to figure out how we were going to structure it. 

Felix: This is a very unique arrangement. Do you have any tips or recommendations for others who might be looking to structure a deal like this? 

Uri: Absolutely. There are two main things. The first is to have a very strong relationship with the person who you are trying to either license or franchise. There is no right or wrong answer and you need to find a balance. There is a pull and a push, where is the benefit for one party versus another party? You want to have a win-win situation. But you have to balance who is making the profit, and where. 

The second tip is that it takes much longer than expected, and to have good attorneys. We had to go out and find an attorney that would help us with a licensing deal. The US already had one. We all worked together as a team because ultimately we want to bring the brand over to another country. But we needed to operate at a level where pricing can't be too high for customers. There has to be an incentive for the original licensor, and a decent amount of headroom for margin for the licensee.

Felix: Do you have any recommendations for someone who might not have that existing relationship with a brand, but wants to pitch for licensing?

Uri: Be as transparent as possible. Go to an accountant, first of all, to make sure the numbers work. Ask for any financial statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, understand what the numbers are on their end. Bring it to an accountant. Have it analyzed? Figure out if it will work here, especially with the deal. Run some projections and forecasts with an accountant. Don't just do it yourself. Be transparent and when you're going to the negotiating table, be upfront and say, "This has to work within these parameters." You set the stage to say, "Hey, we want this to work. You want this to work. Let us have some ability to help you grow the brand. Let us introduce new products. Let us introduce new programs. Let us innovate for you."

A licensor wants to know that you're not just coming in for the money. You have the same goals as they have. You really believe in the brand. You really believe in what the brand is trying to accomplish and what they stand for. You can be a champion for them in that other market, whatever that market may be. Wherever that may be, the licensor wants to know that you're on the same page and that you are trying to accomplish the same goals that they are.

"The licensor wants to know that you're on the same page and that you are trying to accomplish the same goals that they are."

Felix: What advantages exist when bringing a brand into another country, as opposed to simply being a US-based brand selling into Canada? 

Uri: It really depends on the business. If you're selling apparel or a direct-to-consumer good, it might have a different answer than the consumable that we're in. We were forced to localize.

What I mean by that is number one, our product line is treated. We sell freshly baked cookies. You can't ship cookies. Let's say we found a manufacturer. We use the same manufacturer as the US-based business. By the time it ships to our warehouse it may already be a week old, and we have a three-week shelf life. So by the time that we receive orders from customers and ship it to them, that might be another five days, three to five days, and then they receive their cookies. They're a week and a half old. They're halfway through the shelf life, and that's if everything goes the way that it has to go. We have to find a bakery in Canada that can make our cookies to spec. 

Number two, labeling requirements, which is really two-pronged. Going with the treats, which are the cookies, we need to have English and French packaging. In the US, it’s English only. But in Canada, for any food you're buying, unless it's freshly packed, you need English and French. So we needed to find packaging here as well that was English and French. That’s the treat part of it. Now the supplement and drink part of it, those are herbal based. They have galactagogues, which are milk-making agents within the supplements. Galactagogues, according to Canadian policies, regulations, laws, et cetera, fall under drugs. In the US, it falls under food. Because of that, we need a special license from Health Canada. It's called an NPN, a Natural Product Number, to place on our packaging, that allows us the license to sell in Canada. We needed to localize all of our packaging, to fall within Canadian rules, laws, regulations, et cetera, with all the governing bodies to ensure that we're above board. 

On top of that, Americans think Canadians and Americans are similar. Canadians think the same until you look at the dollar. The dollar fluctuates drastically. One dollar US is a $1.30 Canadian right now, and that's strong for Canada. During COVID, unfortunately, it was up to $1.46, which is basically your dollar is worth one and a half times ours. Because of that, we couldn't be charging US dollars. We needed to be charging Canadian dollars. We use Canada Post. Everything we do is Canada based. That's important for Canadian consumers. You don't have to order from the US in US dollars, pay duties when you're bringing in the products. You know everything is made here in Toronto. Everything falls within regulation. There was a very long process of finding the suppliers, finding the right regulations, and getting all of our products above board to be within Canadian standards. We couldn't just say, "We're going to drop ship the US products." That would have been great and easy, but that also doesn't allow any incentive for the US to bring us on. Because the US can just say, "You know what, we're just going to take over the Canadian market."

If you're doing everything above board, at scale, especially in food where liability can be high, you need everything to be within regulations. Being Canadian, being in Toronto which is the hub of business of all of Canada, we were uniquely positioned to be able to go out and source all the right resources to figure out how to get us to a place where we're able to launch and not be in a gray area.

A selection of treats and supplements from Milk Mama Canada.
Initially working as Milk Mama’s marketing agency, Uri Weinberger saw an opportunity to license the brand and bring it into Canada. Milky Mama Canada 

Felix: Now that you’re a year in, are there any revisions that you had to make to the agreement that you had not originally anticipated? 

Uri: Yeah, it’s very fluid. I'll give you some examples. The US has a considerably bigger team than us because they're a considerably bigger business. They're able to put together programs that go live, such as weekly Q&As, giveaways with bigger brands, the scholarship program. The scholarship program is run by Crystal Duhaney, the owner of Milky Mama in the US, and it offers to fund black women who are looking to become IBCLC's (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), which is the highest designation of any lactation consultancy. Those are very US-centric. 

It would be great to offer all of those in Canada, but we're a whole different business. We have a different cash flow, different margins, different resources, different staff members, so it's very hard to understand, hey we can participate in some and not others. There are always considerations and programs that happen on the US side that Canada picks and chooses to participate in based on our resources.

There are obviously monetary considerations to be had with that. Those are things that weren’t originally in agreement, which goes back to the first tip of having a great relationship with the licensor so that we can understand and say, "Okay, how are we going to make this work? This isn't in the contract. Are we going to bring our attorneys into this and make this a long bureaucratic ordeal, or are we just going to come to a verbal agreement that benefits everybody?"

To answer your question, yes, there are always considerations. But we tackle them in a very positive way where we're able to get on a call, text the owner in the US in order to understand how we participate and how are you going to structure it? So that's definitely something to consider.

The pros and cons of licensing versus a start-up

Felix: What are some of the big advantages of going with a licensing deal that you capitalized on?

Uri: There are a lot. I'm going to try and hit on the most prevalent ones that come to mind. First, when you're licensing, you're licensing a brand. There's a very strong brand in the US. That includes all the brand equity, the brand recognition, obviously the social pages, so the Facebook page, Instagram page, all the links that are already existing on marketplaces and third-party review sites, et cetera. You're capitalizing on that just by licensing a different brand. You create a different website. You're under the same brand but you get all the benefits of that because you come into a new marketplace, nobody hears of you, you start advertising. People start looking it up and boom, you've been around for five, six years with phenomenal reviews.

The second thing is, you get to receive all the products from scratch. There isn't really too much R&D that goes into it. We did have a lot. We had a lot of struggles with trying to source here in Canada. But for the most part, we didn't have to create the formula ourselves. The formula came from the US. They gave us an Excel spreadsheet. We signed NDA's with bakeries. We tried to create the cookies. We didn't have to do it from scratch. 

The third is, you can basically copy and paste a website with obvious changes to localize to your market. You don't have to create a website from scratch. Any sort of marketing, you can take all the same marketing materials, all the same, user-generated content, all the same, email flows, Klaviyo flows. There's a lot that goes into it that you get to benefit from. You can either copy it or you can try and revise it. You can take all the flows that are working, you can analyze them. You can say, okay where can I improve? What's missing? 

It makes it a lot easier, but you end up paying for it. You're paying a licensing fee. You also receive support, at least we do. I'm not saying in every deal you will. We receive amazing support from the US team if we ever have product questions. We sell five supplements; what is the main difference between all five of them? We have all these FAQ's that we ask the US. Now we understand them, but in the beginning, it could have been slightly complicated. We get all the support that we need from them.

There is a lot that goes into it. You definitely do have a head start if you're licensing, versus if you're starting a brand completely from scratch, because of all the history that's there. Hopefully, it's all positive history.

"You definitely do have a head start if you're licensing, versus if you're starting a brand completely from scratch, because of all the history that's there."

Felix: Once you got the logistics settled, what were some of the main areas of focus for the Canadian market? 

Uri: We do things slightly differently than the US. We take a lot of what works, and we share the same social channels. We don't have a Milky Mama Canada Facebook page versus Instagram profile. They're all the same, so it all comes from Milky Mama. We have different ad accounts, and we do things slightly differently. Our codes are different. Our plug-ins are different. Our messaging is slightly different. We offer live chats 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, five days a week with a certified breastfeeding specialist and a registered nurse. If you come to our website right now, there's a chatbox. You open it, you're talking to a real registered nurse who's also a certified breastfeeding specialist, who can give you advice. 

That’s the way that we're carving things out a little bit differently. Our website looks a little bit different. We started making some changes where we thought that there could be an improvement. For example, on our product pages, our descriptions are the accordion-style with tabs. On the US site, they were longer descriptions, they now do it similar to us. We have little icons saying Made in Canada, Vegan for Our Vegan Products. We're peanut-free in every facility. The US isn't.

We definitely have our own feel to it. Our team is different. Customer-facing when you come to the website, they look fairly similar. They're not exactly the same. But if you speak to our team, that's where we differentiate for sure.

Some lactation cookies by Milky Mama along with a cup of iced coffee.
Learning from the US operations Milky Mama allows Milky Mama to incorporate strategies to its local market. Milky Mama Canada 

Felix: On the website, because I’m in the US, I get redirected to the US site. Does it happen in reverse? Are Canadians redirected to the Canadian site?

Uri: The reason we did that is that we started from zero. The US had five years of SEO history. If you’re in Canada you can go and purchase from the US, but because we're paying a licensing fee, that's not fair. We got all that free traffic from people who are searching for reviews on a third-party review site. They end up on Milky-mama.com which is the US site, but they're from Canada. So then they get bounced to Canada. The same thing goes backward. 

We have different products that aren't available in the US that are available here in Canada, the ones that we made ourselves. Then that wouldn't be fair if we were selling to the US because Canadians can't buy from the US so why should Americans buy from Canada? Right now, it's back and forth. On Shopify, we use an app called Geolizer, whereas in the US, I think they're embedding it into the code based on IP.

A marketing strategy that achieved $250K in the first three months 

Felix: What were the first things you did, once the deal was done, to get going in the Canadian market? 

Uri: There are two sides to it. There is the logistical side of the business that took about 18 months. Then there is also the marketing side when you actually start. We break it up into pre-launch and launch. I have a blog post about the full strategy. It's a ten-minute read that goes through the entire launch, from zero to $250K in the first three months.

On the logistical side of things, as we were putting together the licensing deal we were looking for manufacturing partners and other partners, such as the correct customs broker, and understanding the natural product number consultant with Health Canada. That was a really long process, and just developing the product here, we wanted to be as consistent as it is in the US. We would go through baking trials, taste them. If we didn't approve of them, we would have to go through another baking trial. Then we would approve of them and send them to the US for approval. Then we would get disapproval. There was back and forth. We worked with three or four bakeries before we found one that actually worked. Also finding a translator. That was all done before launch. 

Then there was the marketing side of things. We ran a small test originally and said, "Okay let's just change the country from the USA to Canada and see how people respond." We would look at the analytics to see where the drop off was. The drop off was because the shipping rates and the shipping times were much worse from the US into Canada. We said, "Okay there is definitely some demand here. I don't see why there wouldn't be. We've tested it out in the US. Let's start building a list." We had tons of time. We're talking 18 months between myself flying down to the US and pitching coming to Canada and then actually launching. It took about six months for us to start working with suppliers and getting the deals done.

I said to my wife, "Hey, I have a target in mind for the first day when we launch. We don't know when it is. There are so many moving parts. Let's start building lists now." I've already built out the Shopify site. I tried to make it as consistent as it was in the US. I started building out campaigns on Facebook to get leads for when we launched. We did that for about ten months on a very small budget, $10-$15 a day. It was very sporadic. We’d turn it on and off, and on and off, for months. As we were starting to get a little bit closer to launch and it started to feel a little bit more realistic with the target dates, we started scaling up a little bit. We used Facebook for the most part, alongside some Shopify apps, in order to build lists. We were very intentional and strategic with our messages and what the opt-in's looked like, and then what the flows look like after they opt-in.

Let's say somebody signed up ten months ago, by the time we launch, it's possible that they're not breastfeeding anymore. So they fall out of that audience. So we were really intentional with that. Once we started to understand what the launch date was, we shifted from a list building phase into a pre-launch phase. In the blog post, I break up our entire strategy from January 9, 2020, up until today. I break it up into four phases: list building, pre-launch, launch weekend momentum, and establishment—each of those utilized different apps, different types of media, and different messaging.

"We were very intentional and strategic with our messages and what the opt-in's looked like, and then what the flows look like after they opt-in."

Felix: Can you go into more detail about what the Facebook ad messaging and opt-in’s looked like? 

Uri: A year before we launched, in January 2019, we started our list building phase. We used the most simple tool that we could, which was lead ads. We would run on Facebook, lead ads using a video that was repurposed from the US. It was a PR video by CBS News, they covered Milky Mama in 2017. So we used that and said, "Hey, we're launching in Canada. Sign up to know when we're actually launching for a special launch offer." On any given day, it could be as low as 60 cents (in Canadian dollars) all the way up to $1.20, $1.50, and we would use interest-based targeting for that. They would go on the list. They would automatically pull onto the Klaviyo with the integration and then we would have a Facebook lead ad list for when eventually we would launch, which we didn't know the date yet.

The second thing we had was a website pop up. The messaging there was special pre-launch offers. We used Pixel Pop at the time to do that. We took both the lead ads, so all the segments from Klaviyo lead ads, and all the segments of people who signed up on the website and we created the blended list. That was the trigger for the flow. That was, "Hey thanks for signing up," at that point in time. We didn't have any offers. You couldn't buy any product. They were on the website. There was no price. We just knew what we were going to launch with. We didn't even know the pricing at the time. We sent a “thanks for signing up” email. Then we started to push other things.

What are those other things? Number one, we know that we already have a very large lactation support group on Facebook that is specific to Milky Mama. It is very safe. You have to prove that you're a new mom, a breastfeeding mom. It's monitored by admins out in the US that belong to the Milky Mama team. We would push that. We know that people who are in there are speaking about the product, are speaking in general about supporting breastfeeding mothers and struggles and accomplishments, et cetera. To have people in there who are Canadian, they'll be like, "When do we launch. We're super excited about it." Then they would eventually purchase from the Canadian site. So we sent an email for that.

We also created a loyalty program using Smile. Not that you could buy anything, but if you signed up, you got I think 150 points, which is equivalent to $1.50 or $3.00, I forget what our structure was like at that point in time. Then we would also send people to a reviews page, which we had built out because the US has over 20,000 five star reviews. We pulled those, and we uploaded them onto our store because it's the same product.

The whole flow lasted about a week. We were trying to get people who would sign up at any point in time pre-launch list building phase, to just know Milky Mama, to belong to the ecosystem. Because when we eventually do launch, if you're part of the group, if you're on the pre-launch list, and you're already part of our loyalty program, there's no way you're not going to buy. You're super interested. We spent about $1,500, maybe over those ten months. It really was very sporadic. We got 1,632 leads from paid media, including the Pixel Pop list we had 3,581 leads. Really, it's like 30 cents a lead.

Felix: What were you doing with the list during the pre-launch phase? 

Uri: Pre-launch was a little bit different because we now had a date in mind. We figured out the logistics. We ordered our packaging. We figured out the licensing deal. This was a reality. We knew this about two months before. There are lead times for cookies. We said, "Okay, let's try and launch in two months or so." What we ended up doing was we took users one step further. Now the products on the product page had a sign up for pre-order. It wasn't a pre-order in the sense where users would actually pay money. It was just to sign up for the list. We had four different flavors of cookies, five supplements, three drink mixes. We had our descriptions. The website was complete. Now we would just bring people one step further to sign up for specific products.

First, we blasted everyone saying, "Hey, pre-orders for products are now available." We got signups there. Now we started changing our Facebook campaigns into view content. No one could purchase anyway, so we just wanted to target cheap clicks to the website so people could sign up for the pre-order. Then we could understand “what is the demand for the product? What should we order?” If we only had ten or 20 thousand dollars to spend on inventory, how do we split that up? How many cookies of this flavor? How many drinks of that flavor? How many of these supplements? We could say there were 1,000 pre-orders total, what's the percentage breakdown? What are the ratios? We were able to make informed decisions.

We were really pushing our rewards sign-ups, our Facebook communities more, and product pre-orders, although again, they weren't real pre-orders. We used an app called Back In Stock by Swim app. We had to finnick with it a little bit because it really is a back in the stock app. It's not a pre-order app. But the team at Swim app was pretty good with customizing for us. We started driving a lot more traffic directly to the product page. We changed the home page hero image on the website to say, "Hey sign up for pre-order." We would drive that banner specific to a collection.

We wanted to move as many cookies as possible because they expire, whereas our other product lines do not. All our advertising is cookies, cookies, cookies. If you buy something else, that's a bonus for us.

The Pixel Pop pop up was for special pre-launch offers. Then they would go through a flow with the date. I understand that there's a lot going on here. But the idea is to have as much overlap as possible. If somebody signs up on the Pixel Pop list, they sign up as a reward member, and then they sign up for pre-order, we're more likely to eventually get them on launch day because they're going to be hit on multiple occasions.

So that's the idea. We scaled up there. I don't recall what the exact spend was. I'm just referencing the blog post that I have here. It looks like it was $2,200 spent within those eight weeks. It’s not a crazy amount of spend. You need to be somewhat funded, although you can do this at a lower level. It brought in close to 950 leads, 2,000 pre-orders, 518 new reward members, and 339 Facebook community applications. Hundreds if not over 1,000 people, would hopefully convert on that day when we eventually do launch.

Lactation treats and supplements created by Milky Mama.
Setting up an extensive prelaunch process of collecting a mailing list and taking pre-ordered created a solid foundation for Milky Mama Canada. Milky Mama Canada 

Felix: You mentioned you hit $250,000 at launch. What was the time period?

Uri: $250,000 was the first ten weeks, so less than a quarter. Launch weekend was close to $25,000. That was our first day. We launched on a Thursday night, so between Thursday night and maybe Sunday, it was about $25,000, which to us, was phenomenal.

Felix: That’s all pent up demand from all the work that you were doing prior to the launch weekend.

Uri: It's important that I do note that we had an offer going. The offer that we had was a combination between a percentage off, a free gift and reward points. We were pushing people to our reward program. Our reward program had five, six hundred people in it. We were running two times the points there. For every dollar they spend, they got two points instead of one. Fifteen percent off the entire store, which is the maximum deal we will ever give on anything, even Black Friday. And a free gift, the free gift was a branded laptop sticker with our logo, with the Milky Mama sticker, which is a gift and a product on our website that we sell for the first 250 purchasers. We were actually being bombarded with, "Hey did we get the gift? Did we get the gift?" We didn't know whether to answer them, because if we told one person, everybody would want to know. So we just said, "You’ll see a little gift in your order if you qualified." That basically added a ton of urgency for people to go on and purchase right away.

The website needed to be changed that morning. I worked all day. I was so excited, we were going to launch at midnight so I woke up at 4:00 AM and I'm changing the home page. I'm changing the banner. I'm getting ready. We're testing with our third-party logistics company to see if the shipment rates, the live rates, are coming through. So we're doing all this testing at 8:00 AM. I worked on the website for four hours. I called in first thing in the morning. We're on the phone. As all these test orders are coming in, we get a real order, before we even launched. We didn't send out any emails. People were waiting. The biggest smile on my face, I took my screenshot. I deal with over a dozen Shopify stores on a monthly basis on retainer and I got my first own notification. 

Scaling: how to capitalize and sustain your businesses growth

Felix: How did you sustain that growth, from $25,000 to $250,000 over the next 10 weeks? What was the strategy? 

Uri: It differed. On launch weekend we had support from paid ads, from Facebook. We sent out a Klaviyo email, multiple emails. We had 3, 200 subscribers. We sent out a Smile rewards program email because it was two times the points. And we sent out back in stock, which is really like launch emails, through the Swim app. We were really hitting from all angles and we scheduled it out multiple times. We also had an SMS go out. That was during the launch weekend. That ended Sunday night. 

Monday morning comes and we're like, now what? Luckily, I was in a very unique position to have been running Facebook ads, all paid media really, for Milky Mama in the US since early 2017. So what did I do? I basically copied campaign structures. I wrote all the ad copy. I make all the banners. At least our team at Adjust Media does, which is my other business. We basically copied that. We rolled out a split between Facebook ads running our five campaigns total, a cold campaign for number one, and then four different retargeting campaigns.

The other split was Google ad words. But for the most part, there's no brand recognition yet so you don't gain any traction, even if you run branded campaigns. Lactation cookies aren’t even really a market here in Canada yet. There are competitors but not even close to what we have in the US. It’s not really an established vertical or product that people are looking at. If you look at the search trends right now and type in “lactation cookies in Canada” on Google Trends, it's literally at zero until Milky Mama comes into the market, and basically created it. Now there's a demand for it.

We sent all this cold traffic now into our website, where we would capture people with the same sorts of methods that we were doing before. We would capture them via Klaviyo, via a pop up, put them through a flow, the general standard tactics that every e-commerce merchant should have on their website. We just tweaked them for the Canadian market and made sure that all of the tactics that we're using are working very well. Our flows are not generic like abandoned cart flows. They're not generic opt in flows. They're very much educational surrounding breastfeeding, telling people, "Hey we also have a course if you want to buy a course. It's very cheap and it's the best course on the market. Join our Facebook community. It's the largest lactation support community in the world."

"The way that we continued our momentum was driving new business all the time, because we're a consumable product. You have to come back and buy more."

We're making sure that we're not just pushing product. The ads are obviously pushing the product, but when they get to the site, it's not really about the product it’s about the whole. We’re a lactation support brand. That was how we continued. Our ad spends obviously went up as we saw it scale. I had very specific metrics that I wanted to hit. We blew by them at the beginning. Now we're at those metrics. As we scale up, results slightly go down. They diminish a little bit. Now we're doing very well. The way that we continued our momentum was driving new business all the time because we're a consumable product. You eat two cookies a day and you're done in a week. You got to come back and buy more. Within the first three months, the $250,000 that we're mentioning right now, it was very custom acquisition focused with a back end, like back end funnel, for SMS and email of people who didn't purchase in the last 21 days I'm sorry, to hit them with, "Hey re-up your supply." We get this repeat business now. We had it even then, but the only way for us to grow is to continually acquire customers.

Felix: What is the main focus of the business today?

Uri: From a marketing perspective, we're still on a customer acquisition tear. I'm trying to pump as much money as possible to get as many eyeballs as possible on our ads, obviously targeted. We're not just targeting mothers. We're targeting breastfeeding mothers. We're very unique in that sense. We're trying to get in front of as many people as possible, and then providing them as much value as possible. Not just product, but actual education around breastfeeding, support, doing different flange sizing, and then pump fitments. All these virtual services we offer outside of just product, and then people end up buying product, which is great. The ads are very product-based. We're trying to acquire as many people as possible. I've shifted my mindset from an ROI based approach to more of a lifetime value approach.

The biggest flaw I find right now with Shopify is that I cannot, for the life of me, find the average LTV. We understand that people are buying two times, three times. We just got an order yesterday for the 25th order. They've basically been placing one order a week, or every two weeks.

"We're trying to get in front of as many people as possible, and then providing them as much value as possible."

If I can continue getting people for under, $20 Canadian, if they end up buying six, seven, eight boxes of cookies over the lifespan of them breastfeeding, then why not continue spending money. I don't really have any budget limits at this point. I'm looking at, “today we spent this. Today we made this. Is it under, let's say, 20% gross profit? If it's under 20% gross profit, pump more money in.” That's the way that I'm looking at it right now because I know eventually if I had to stop advertising, I would still have some sort of revenue from repeat business.

Felix: What’s the goal for this year? If you had to hit one target, what would it be? 

Uri: Wow, one thing to isolate. There are three and I'll make it really quick. Number one, we obviously have a monetary goal that we're looking at, which we passed and now I've set a second one. Number two, we'd like to hire someone internally to help out, right now it's just me and my wife Tali. We're expecting a baby in March, our first one, so we're going to need some help very soon even. Number three, I’d like to get new products and expand our product ine, which we've been working on for a long time. Even our best seller is not available yet. If we can get that out before December so we're good for at least Christmas, that would be phenomenal. It would be game changing for us. Those are three little goals. One is monetary. One is internal. One is a new product development.

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