DTC brand 0 to 7 figures in 3 years via content and email with Shivraj Bassi from Innermost (episode 301)

Shivraj Bassi is the Founder and CEO at Innermost. Originally Innermost sold their nutritional products B2B, but in 2019 shifted their focus to DTC. The combined DTC and B2B operation is now 3 years old and achieving a 7-figure run rate.

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Starting in eCommerce with Innermost

Shivraj was really interested in Health and Wellness as a trend generally.

After developing the product with some amazing nutritionists, Shivraj really wanted to prove the concept before anything else, so he pitched to businesses on the B2B side and kept winning contracts, which allowed him to build the B2B side of the business up pretty quickly and shift into D2C successfully.

They did plan this trajectory somewhat, but Shivraj says that some unexpected evolutions took place as well.

About the Business

  • London based with international reach. 
  • D2C in several markets, but B2B relationships everywhere
  • Work with distributors in hard to reach areas
  • Team of 8 people
  • Resource heavy marketing

Shifting to D2C 

Shivraj says that while there are a lot of stories of overnight Facebook Ads success stories he believes that an omnichannel approach to marketing and a strong viable product and basis is a more sustainable way to go.

Starting with wholesale allowed them to build a strong tech stack before they launched a D2C site.

Shivraj says that if you start with an eCommerce site right out of the gate, you won’t have the data, insight or product proof that are the basis of a strong D2C business. 

Shifting Consumer Base

More and more people are interested in health and fitness which has opened up opportunities, but challenges as well. Connecting with a more modern consumer means an evolution in marketing even from top brands.

Shivraj says that a lot of businesses are building a wrapper around their core offering to appeal to their consumer base. Creating products that address the real needs of consumers was Shivraj’s first priority.

Before starting the business, he polled a large group of people about their concerns which ended up being things like sleeping, stress, focus etc.

He then took those findings to respected nutritionists and developed a line of products which is customizable and relevant. 

The Team

The Innermost team consists of eight people. Shivraj really likes to do as much in house as possible.

While he recognizes that this isn’t possible with everything they do strive to do as much as possible in house.

Everyone on the team understands the business as the whole, but they also have really well defined roles. 

Favorite Shopify Widgets

Using a Customer Quiz

Shivraj points out that when you go into a shop, you’ll often speak with a sales associate in order to get tailored recommendations for products.

Online, it can be more difficult but it’s still possible. By using a dynamic quiz, Shivraj says they not only can to recommend the best products, but they are able to draw that data into their marketing campaign.

They use the data to offer increased value to customers in a personalized way. The team has resources like email courses about how to get better sleep and so on.

Shivraj says they’ve seen a lot of genuine interest in the courses. They’ve introduced courses on sleep, fasting, keto diet, and back pain.

Democratizing that content and distributing it has been a powerful influence on their business. 

The Innermost Brand

Shivraj says the brand is really about self optimization and inclusivity.

It’s been important for the marketing team to recognize that they are speaking to people in all stages of their journey.

Bringing people together and then enabling and empowering them to optimize their lives is what the brand is all about. In order to stay on brand the team has developed five core pillars.

  • Fitness—Staying active
  • Health—making healthy choices every day
  • Nutrition—making nutritional choices to meet your goals
  • Knowledge—having an understanding of what’s happening around you
  • Mindset—Having a growth mindset

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • SEO — not as sexy but at the end of the day puts the power back in your own hands

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • Really understand your customer. Understand what they are looking for and what they are interested in. When you have a good understanding of that you’ll know what to create for them. Look at your email flows and campaigns and content available to them via sign up. Create content that is relevant and interesting to your target customer. 

Interview Links

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  • Getting the foundations right for exponential growth with Bouq’s John Tabis

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