Growing a brand from nothing is a mammoth task. Trinity Mouzon Wofford, the founder of wellness brand Golde, can relate. In 2017, she became frustrated with a wellness space that offered consumers either old school granola bars or high-end luxury spa treatments and nothing in between.
In a bid to make wellness more approachable and fun, Trinity and her partner Issey launched Golde with a single product - their Turmeric Latte Blend. This marked the start of their incredible journey from an unknown entity competing against big-name brands to a community of like-minded consumers.
Everything is a learning experience
In the early days, Trinity and Issey did everything by hand. They manufactured the product by hand, taught themselves how to do packaging design and product photography, and self-funded their efforts. With zero resources to play with, everything became a potential lesson in growing a business from the ground up.
The secret? Spending as little time as possible focusing on what other people are doing, rolling up your sleeves, making something, and seeing how quickly you can turn a profit.
Strategies to scale a small business
Golde’s early success can be attributed to three main strategies:
1) Small retailer distribution: without a budget for advertising, Trinity showed up in independent retailers across NYC with an eye-catching product. The goal was to focus on a small cohort of folks and saturate them with visibility.
2) Instagram marketing: simple iPhone shots of the product and general lifestyle content quickly gained traction amongst the wellness crowd.
3) PR to share authentic stories: creating a solid foundation made up of watertight values and a compelling brand story made it easy for PR and marketing teams to take Golde to the next level.
Targeting large retailers with an omnichannel approach
More recently, partnering with household names like Target and Nordstrom has given Golde a sharp dose of visibility. But with such a robust backstory and authentic message, Trinity was keen to stay true to the brand story.
“We had to make sure we weren’t diluting the brand and the product in order to be everywhere. There’s a balance of seeing the big picture and seeing your brand at scale, but also being able to identify what feels like a good fit.” Trinity Mouzon Wofford - Co-founder, Golde
Community is everything
Trinity is on a mission to bring a new perspective to the wellness space - and she leans heavily on the Golde community to do that. From the start, community has been an integral part of the business. It’s important to make friends with customers and get them to tell the story if you want to build a strong, long-term business rather than relying on quick-fire tactics like Facebook ads.
But for Golde, community is more than just an authentic advertising method. It builds something special and creates the type of brand that modern consumers want to support.
“We’re in an interesting age where our generation and newer generations are so socially and politically aware, and there’s a new level of awareness of where your dollars go. Community isn’t just a superficial buzzword, it’s the way consumers are interacting with products today.” - Trinity Mouzon Wofford - Co-founder, Golde
The two R’s: retention and repeat purchases
Repeat purchasers are the foundation of every healthy business. Trinity describes Golde’s retention strategy as two-fold, combining community with a strong marketing program. At the core, you need to have a stellar product and a reason for someone to come back, but you also need the framework for good marketing to stay top of mind when someone is ready to be re-engaged.
An ever-evolving product and supply chain
The last two years have seen some horror stories on the supply chain front. Boats stuck in the Suez canal, a worldwide pandemic, and snowstorms across Texas all affected Golde’s ability to deliver their products - and they’re still feeling the repercussions today. Trinity’s advice for brands in a similar position is to roll with the punches and be transparent with customers. If you can, always have an extra source and an extra partner you can lean on.
Trinity’s favourite part of running Golde is developing the product line. Every new product goes through a couple of development phases:
- Spitballing: internally discussing ideas and finding the space to dream up new products
- Community data: running surveys to find out what customers want
- Community discussion: encouraging qualitative feedback from the Golde community
- Formulation: mixing things up in the kitchen and bringing the product to life
As Golde prepares to expand its retail footprint and move into the lifestyle space this summer, we’re excited to see what’s next for this awesome brand.
This article was based with Trinity with the Work in Progress podcast. Check out the full episode here: