Cleanblend provides an affordable alternative to high-priced commercial blenders so that more people can create nutritious and healthy green smoothies. Co-founder Doug Hall talked to us about spotting a business opportunity, creating marketing content and his favorite smoothie recipe.
I knew what it took to be an entrepreneur
I was a commercial banker for 10 years working with small business owners every day and I was also doing marketing consulting on the side. My co-founder Alex Podell and I were always on the lookout for new business opportunities. He was in logistics so we could bring complementary skillsets to the table. He understood supply chains, I knew the finance side and we both had sales experience.
We saw a giant gap in the blender market
In 2011 Alex and I both got into health and fitness and wanted to start making green smoothies. But the cheaper blenders on the market wouldn’t blend fruit and vegetables like mango or kale – you just end up with a fibrous mess. You needed to buy a commercial quality product that cost $400-500. We figured there was an opportunity to develop a mid-market option.
Any blender can make a margarita
We had a good sense of what our blender needed to be. We visited factories to source materials and worked very closely with the manufacturer to make modifications that enabled us to develop a high-quality blender that we could make for a more affordable price. This makes our product attractive to health-conscious people like us who want to make soups or replace their breakfast with a green smoothie. We grew so fast that we soon both quit our jobs to work on Cleanblend full time.
Most of our focus now is on marketing
Everything is automated and scaled on the production side so now we concentrate on the marketing because that’s where we make money. Though we’ve worked with agencies in the past, we’ve found that we do it better ourselves. But we still need help with content creation and that’s where Social Motion Media comes in.
We’re always brainstorming recipes
Our content marketing strategy centers around smoothie recipes. Jennifer and Mark from Social Motion Media are great at coming up with ideas that will be visually appealing or hit on popular keywords. Once we’ve got a great one, they’ll make a step-by-step video recipe and send us lots of images for us to push it to our different platforms. My current favorite is the Warm Chai smoothie. That was really tasty and probably the best in terms of audience engagement as well.
Hightail helps us communicate more effectively
We used to use Flickr to share images, but the files all had these unhelpful labels and it was essentially just a shared folder with no conversational features. It was Jennifer who suggested using Hightail. We immediately liked the visual aspects and how simple it was to use.
Pinpointing exactly what we mean speeds up production
When you’re in the content game, you don’t want a potential customer to be put off because your image had, say, a strange glare on it. When we used Flickr, we’d have to write an email explaining where the glare was and it could take a couple of attempts for Social Motion Media to figure out what we meant. With Hightail we just drop a pin right on the image and say “fix this”. It makes feedback faster so we can get more content out there.
We’ll expand our product base very soon
With Cleanblend we knew what we had to do to fill a gap in the market and we think we can do the same for other products. You’ll soon see us develop more great products in the kitchen and homeware range but we can’t tell you what we’re working on just yet.
Find a better blend for your creative collaborationTry Hightail now