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S01, E06 | Sep. 8, 2020

NewAir shows how small businesses can grow and thrive

with Craig Hastings, Culinary Director & Marketer @ Baking Steel; and Lucas Walker, Founder @ Rolled Up Podcast Network
 NewAir shows how small businesses can grow and thrive

“We came from an SEO experience, where it was all about ranking on Google, with a little bit of paid advertising and that was it. Now, there are much better attribution tools, you’ve got to be really sophisticated on email, you’ve got to be really sophisticated on paid social. Even then, it doesn’t work for every product so you’ve got to test things, see what works and what doesn’t. Now we’re doing cart abandonment and all kinds of things that most well-structured ecommerce companies are doing.”

This episode of the Cart Insiders podcast welcomes to the studio the Founder and CEO of NewAir Appliances, Luke Peters.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   |   Google Podcasts   |  Spotify

NewAir Appliances is a relative veteran compared to the other companies we’ve featured so far, having been started by Luke in his garage 19 years ago. NewAir specializes in compact cooling appliances including beer and wine coolers, fans, air-conditioners, and other home products.

Luke shares how NewAir has become very diversified over the years, selling both online DTC and then through retail partners like Amazon and Home Depot. Luke further explains that while a typical customer trends toward a male demographic, their approach to content marketing can’t be so straightforward, as many home appliance purchases are often made on a couple/family basis.

Luke provides fascinating insights on the evolution of his marketing strategy as new technologies become available, discussing his willingness to take risks with the adoption of new tools and platforms while learning how to quickly pick up on trends and recognize a genuine game-changer from a passing fad.

And like every business, times weren’t always easy. Luke opens up about key challenges that NewAir has faced over the years, including the imposition of tariffs on various supply chain goods, building a cohesive team, and more recently, the COVID pandemic.

And, for Luke, what’s the best antidote for any challenge that arises? Tune in to find out.

Main discussion points

  • Being DTC in a competitive market is a key differentiator. Luke believes that the DTC side of the business gives more options when looking to stay ahead, from personalized customer relationships to a more in-depth and flexible marketing strategy. He discusses the benefits of direct relationships with his customers, which is a key aspect of NewAir’s mission of becoming the ‘most trusted brand’ in the small appliances industry.
  • Being open to change. Luke talks us through the company’s pivot from a 100% DTC business to incorporating other retail channels, as well as the key decision to focus on selling only own-brand products. He also discusses the changes over the years in things like SEO and paid advertising, relating how the impact of major platforms like Amazon has drastically altered the marketing strategies of smaller businesses like NewAir.
  • We hear about the various channels that Luke’s marketing team uses along each area of the sales funnel, from paid social and influencers targeting the various target demographics to email marketing that is essential for customer retention.
  • Key challenges that NewAir has faced over the years include the imposition of tariffs on various supply chain goods, building a cohesive team, and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Luke cites the putting together of the perfect team as the best antidote to any challenge that arises, giving us actionable advice on great team-building techniques.
  • Luke shares his sources of knowledge on industry trends, including the use of tools like SEM Rush, Google Trends, SimilarWeb, Amazon Bestsellers, and the all-important one—talking directly to buyers.

Listen to Luke’s full story on the Cart Insiders Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.