Curated monthly care packages college students love

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Thanks for the kind words David! @eriktorenberg 1) I believe the overly-used language I used was "re-imagined" ;) That said, here are a few ways we've brought an unparalleled value proposition to market: a) The stodgy incumbents in our space are these glorified gift basket companies that, for the past 20 years, have been hawking $10 worth of junk food to 'mom and dad' for $50. At Pijon, we don't feel that's a fair value proposition to be offering the consumer, which is why we feature $30-$65 worth of product in every PijonBox, and it only costs $25-$29 (depending on the plan) to send. b) Keeping families connected is at the heart of the work we do, and we think a-lot about how we can reciprocate the care back to "care-givers" who are gifting a PijonBox subscription. We help people #DeliverLove to their loved ones who are far away, and we believe that should go both ways -- with other care package products, it only goes one way. c) On the back end, we're capturing quantitative and qualitative consumer insights for our brand partners that help them with product and brand development. d) the incumbents we're up against focus on one-off, care packages -- not subscription 2) (this touches on @DavidSpinks ' question too): Our customer is almost always a "care-giver", with most of the "care-givers" being the parent of the student their sending a PijonBox to. Re: acquisition channels, we have exclusive distribution partnerships with colleges, Facebook is a cost-effective and scalable acquisition channel for us, and working with relevant digital influencers is also key (i.e. mommy bloggers). There are many more, but I can't give it all away ;) However, it's critical that we manufacture real desire among students to want to receive a PijonBox -- it can't be something sold to mom within the context of "your kids going to starve if you don't send them a PijonBox" or to dad with the pitch of "make up for all of those little league games you missed, and send your kid a PijonBox". Students need to go home at Turkey day break raving about the awesome stuff they discovered with us, which is why getting them to "Ask" for a PijonBox subscription has been very effective. 3) Thankfully it's not an operational challenge, but our biggest challenge has been fighting the fatigue of the "shit in a box" perception with both investors and press. Over the past few years there has been a-lot of noise coming from subscription commerce, and a-lot of this noise has come from companies that quickly flamed out due to flawed merchandising strategies / vendor relations, an inability to manage fulfillment as the subscriber base scales, a focus on too small of a market opportunity, and/or simply the lack of a sound marketing strategy that can grow the company in a meaningful way. It's been a big challenge making the case that very big businesses are being built on the foundation of subscription commerce, but thankfully, now people don't need to take my word for it -- they can look at the data points that have emerged over the past 6 months (BirchBox raising a $60MM Series B at a $485MM pre-money, NatureBox raising a $18MM Series B, and Julep raising a $30MM Series C). More than what you wanted? You asked... =)
@rcaucci thanks for sharing. I was browsing through the past boxes and have been pleasantly surprised by the goods you guys send (I love the reviver dry deodorant wipes). Do you see yourself moving towards more custom/personalized boxes in the future, in the same model as Birchbox?
@rcaucci I love the "why" tab! My little sister is heading to college. Any chance I can send her something that's vegan?
@rawrawray Thanks for the kind words Ray! I'm a huge fan of Reviver too... only reason I haven't had to replace my favorite hat of 3 years =) Re: personalization, we are most certainly headed in that direction with the Pijon experience. In the very near future, members will be able to get more "personalized" PijonBoxes with our "add it to the box" feature. In the not too distant future, we'll be accommodating dietary restrictions, even though the non-perishable grocery product category only represents 1/3 of a PijonBox's product mix, and further down the road ('15-'16 academic year), members will enjoy a much more personalized experience where they might receive a phone case for example (today, we don't know what phones our members have...). Early on (where we're at), what makes this challenging is fulfillment -- as you create larger variance between the boxes going out, the monthly assembly process becomes much more intricate. Question for you @rawrawray: what type of personalization would YOU want?
@EAWharton We love the "Why" tab too... that's what it's about at the end of the day, right? Great question -- check out my response to Ray re: personalization. That said, A-LOT of the brands that we have featured historically are Vegan. MSC, for example, is a company that makes personal care / health and beauty products that are all vegan. In general, we lean towards featuring more "enlightened" products (i.e. organic, vegan, eco-friendly, etc.).
@rcaucci I love the concept. ewharton6 at gmail. Let me know when I can select vegan. My little sister would be mortified if I sent here organic, farmed raised beef jerky.
Really smart team out of the most recent 500 batch. I'm sure Rob will hop in here.
yo @rcaucci! 1) how are you revolutionizing the care package space (note: I heard him say this last night but didn't hear the rest of the answer :) 2) Where have you targeted early users? Moms? Universities? 3) What are some of the biggest challenges your facing?
@rcaucci do you market to students or to parents? What's your strategy there?
Pijon is one of those companies that cares deeply about their customers and is constantly iterating. Big fan of the product and founders.
@walkerteespring we appreciate the kind words brotha man!