Brand Stories: Lindsay Pinchuk – Founder & Ex-CEO of Baby Bump & Beyond and is an award-winning B2B Marketing Consultant
The way businesses market themselves has changed dramatically over the last ten years or so with the adoption of social media, the way businesses attract and speak to customers has evolved.
It is easier than ever to connect and communicate with customers or prospective buyers, and market research can be done in hours, rather than weeks by going directly to the consumer.
For a lot of brands, the goal is to build a community with their audience and do so online, through Facebook groups or membership programmes. Before the mass use of social media, brands had to operate differently to be able to do this. Lindsay Pinchuk, the founder and former CEO of Bump Club & Beyond is a fantastic example of this; she built her community in 2010 when it was based on meeting face-to-face rather than solely through a computer screen.
Founded in Chicago, Bump Club & Beyond held events across North America in over 30 different cities. The brand was aimed at both parents-to-be and to parents of children under five years old, connecting them through online and in-person events and offering product advice, resources and information. Lindsay has since moved away from Bump Club & Beyond, and offers her services as a Marketing Consultant, but we chatted to Lindsay about her experience building the hugely successful platform and how she created her loyal following.
How did you come up with the idea for Bump Club & Beyond?
When I was initially pregnant in 2010, before social media was a thing, I wanted real life community and support. Living in downtown Chicago, I had no friends who were pregnant so I decided to start hosting events for pregnant women. First, we did a prenatal workout then a shopping event, and eventually educational dinners. Through word of mouth and the need for this community in a big city, we filled our events from day one. Eventually, and through my background in ad sales and integrated marketing communications, we began working with all of the major baby brands. We created custom activations for Target, Nordstrom, The Honest Company, and more. We grew to host events in 30+ cities, reached 3MM per month and generated 7-figures in topline revenue from our community every year.
What are the trends that affect your industry?
First and foremost, consumer buying habits. The mom who was our customer in 2010 is not the mom of BCB today. She consumes media differently, she shops differently and she looks for advice differently. You have to stay up-to-date with changes to continue to meet her where she is. Also, social media is a major trend that impacted BCB and continues to do so. With the addition of new platforms, moms are in different places. Facebook was huge for BCB in 2010-2011, but now they need to be on Snapchat and TikTok. Lastly, in the baby space new products come out all the time because it is an incredibly innovative industry. It’s important to remain on top of all of the latest products and information because that is what this community wants. They want to know the latest and the greatest because they only want the best for their baby.
What is your favourite anecdote from Bump Club & Beyond?
I had a big competitor and we hated each other, but at the same time we were reaching different geographies. I also knew that these two women were the only people on the planet who understood what I did every day and what I dealt with.
One day, they asked me for lunch. We had a really great time, and forged both a friendship and relationship of support that still exists today, even after we both sold and exited our businesses. This just proves the point that there is enough business for everyone.
If your brand could be endorsed by a celebrity, who would it be?
Kristen Bell, we interviewed her once.
What sets your brand apart from its competitors?
There was a face, a person, a human tied to this brand. Me.
I started this company by showing up and sharing my life as an expectant mom. People connected with me and a community was formed. Later, when we travelled all over for events, moms-to-be would come to the events to meet me and take pictures with me – I was the one talking to them on social media.
When I was at the company there was always a human connection, our competitors didn’t have that. They didn’t put themselves out there, or put their faces out there the way that we did. Even now that I left BCB, it is not the same. They don’t have a face of the company anymore. People reach out to me daily telling me how much they miss seeing me on BCB.
How did you build your loyal following?
I showed up as myself on BCB every single day. Additionally, I never took money from brands or products I myself wouldn’t use. It is incredibly important not to compromise your integrity for short term financial gain. Consumers see right through this.
What was the best business decision you made, and why?
Selling my company. As my kids grew older I knew I could not be the face of this company forever. I built the brand on authenticity and yet I was all of a sudden telling people which stroller to push, but I was no longer pushing one. It didn’t feel right. I knew that I wanted an exit at some point, but I didn’t want to close down the business. I believe so much in the services we were providing to parents and parents-to-be.
Now the brand and the mission can live on for others to reap the benefit of.
What was the worst business decision you made, and why?
Not hiring a bookkeeper and a CFO sooner. Had I made this investment 2-3 years prior to when I did, I believe that the business would have grown faster and potentially I could have eventually made more money from the sale. I am not a numbers person, but when I finally asked for help the business began to grow leaps and bounds and people started taking me seriously.
Lindsay Pinchuk is an award-winning entrepreneur, consultant, community builder, connector, storyteller, expert marketer, social media maven, spokesperson, on-air expert, small business champion, and Mother. Since selling Baby Bump & Beyond, Lindsay is using her experience to help brands tell their own story and build a community, whilst growing their business.
If you’d like to learn more about Lindsay Pinchuk, head to www.lindsaypinchuk.com or follow her Instagram @lindsaypinchuk