Loyalty Points, Referrals, and User-Generated Content with Laura Crawford from Mama Bamboo (episode 446)

Laura Crawford, co-founder of Mama Bamboo, shares valuable marketing insights behind the award-winning and eco-friendly nappies and wipes brand.

Laura Crawford Mama Bamboo on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[03:07] How Laura used Shopify for an easy website launch.
[07:54] Working with a small team of five and outsourced marketing expertise.
[10:16] Reaching out to wholesalers for the need of on-shelf presence.
[15:54] The mission to become the most recommended eco nappy brand.
[21:51] Achieving awards for products and sustainability.
[25:43] Why face-to-face shows matter.
[27:29] Working from home and how the company reduces their carbon footprint

Getting Into eCommerce

As a mother, Laura couldn’t find a nappy brand that met her requirements in terms of eco-friendliness and suitability for her children’s sensitive skin. Frustrated with the available options, she decided to start her own brand. After conducting extensive research on materials and manufacturing, she developed a product she was satisfied with.

Instead of launching it in traditional retail stores, she chose to start an e-commerce business. She used Shopify as her front-end platform and despite not having a background in web design, she was able to build her website in about six weeks using Shopify’s user-friendly blocks. Although she made improvements along the way, she emphasizes that Shopify provided the simplest and quickest way to establish an e-commerce business, making it a clear choice for her.

The Mama Bamboo Team

Mama Bamboo is made up of five people in the UK, consisting of individuals who are personally connected to Laura. They decided to outsource certain aspects of their business to external partners. This includes manufacturing, 3PL for pick-and-pack operations, and digital marketing.

She mentions that outsourcing these areas allows them to focus on internal agility, strategy, product development, and customer engagement. For digital marketing, they handle organic activities in-house, as it aligns with their brand identity. However, they outsource paid advertising, such as managing PPC campaigns, to experts who stay up-to-date with platform changes and have expertise in navigating various advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google.

Going Wholesale

Mama Bamboo is currently focusing on big box retailers and wholesalers to expand into the European market. They believe that their products sell better when people can feel them. Laura mentions that it’s challenging to convince parents to try their unknown brand for baby products solely through e-commerce. Having an on-shelf presence in stores allows people to easily check their products and then encourages them to visit the website and subscribe for better deals.

Convincing customers to try their products online, where personal interaction is limited, is a continuous learning journey, and Laura emphasizes that there is still value in face-to-face interactions, particularly at baby shows.

Most Recommended Eco Nappy Brand

Laura explains that their goal is to become the most recommended eco-nappy brand rather than the biggest in terms of volume. In reaching this goal, they’ve recognized the value of recommendations from friends, trusted influencers, and micro-influencers. The Bamboo Buddy Club, one of the programs they’ve implemented, allows customers to earn loyalty points and refer friends.

They also tap micro-influencers because their user-generated content helps build trust. The company also has brand ambassadors who receive free products and create high-quality content to promote the brand, earning commission based on generated sales.

These strategies aim to increase recommendations, referrals, user-generated content, and social proof for the company.

Awards as Social Proof and Sustainable Validation

Laura’s reason for pursuing awards programs is two-fold. First, they aim for product awards to gain social proof and recognition for the quality and eco-friendliness of their products. These awards validate that their products perform well.

Second, they focus on awards related to the social and business aspects of their company. These awards not only validate their sustainability claims but also facilitate business-to-business conversations, making it easier to engage with retailers and wholesalers.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Laura, one of their greatest traffic drivers is face-to-face baby shows, where they showcase their products. She understands that everything is going digital now, but she believes there is still a place in marketing for human connections that are not online.

Tool Top Tip

  • Monday project management tool

Carbon Top Tip

Laura has several tips:

  • Improve the use of images on your website because this has an impact.
  • Clear out your mailing list so you’re not wasting carbon every time you send emails.
  • On the marketing side, Laura suggests working with a marketing agency that can calculate the carbon footprint of your marketing initiatives, like what they did at Mama Bamboo.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Taking a sustainable, money saving brand to £5m a year with Helen Rankin from Cheeky Wipes (episode 388)
  • Selling 4,000 Orders a Month as a Force For Good with Laura Davies, Founder of The Kid Collective (episode 433)
  • From Studio to Wholesale: the Journey of a Sustainable Textile Brand with Helen Round (episode 439)

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