How Bloom & Wild are responding to Uber's Children
When did we all get so demanding? We want our taxis to arrive in under 3 minutes. We want our wrap at lunch to be tasty, healthy and sustainably sourced. And we want flowers sent at the push of a button and to be delivered even if the recipient isn't in on arrival. With a seamless app-based purchasing process and letterbox delivery, Bloom & Wild can thankfully help with the latter and they've built a successful business on the back of fulfilling this need. The question is: how do companies keep up with this ever-demanding consumer, coined 'Uber's Children' by Adam Morgan. We sat down with Sara Gordon, Creative and Brand Director of Bloom & Wild to find out how they stay ahead of today's biggest disrupter: the consumer.
How do you describe the Bloom & Wild customer?
A writer from the New York Times wrote an article a few years ago, called The 'Busy' Trap, and he talks about people always saying that we’re constantly busy, we have too much to do, we’re on the go, we can’t possibly achieve everything that we want to achieve. That is really our customer.
She is female, and lives her life in that really busy, on-the-go way. The one thing she can’t do is be there for her friends and family all the time. What we’ve done is allowed her to be there from anywhere, and to be able to give a gift she’s proud of, to her friends or her family, from wherever she might be.
What does 'Uber's Children' mean to Bloom & Wild?
Uber’s children is an interesting concept but it's usually spoken about in quite selfish terms e.g. a customer who wants everything for themselves instantly, for free and without fuss. What's interesting is that what we are doing is instead helping people be more considerate toward others.
Instead of searching for and buying a greeting card, then writing a message, and then going to the post office, we’re allowing Uber’s Children to choose a gift and check out in seconds. They don’t need to think about it, yet they’re looking incredibly thoughtful once the recipient receives their flowers.
How do you ensure you are able to constantly respond to the demands of Uber's Children?
We can be very clever about how we use data to understand who’s coming to the site, why they’re coming to the site, what they’ve purchased before, and what they might want to purchase next.
Our ambition is to reduce the seconds in their life that they have to think about gifting, and we serve them the right choice at the right time. If we know that the customer has a friend whose birthday is coming up, then when they log in to the app, that will be the first bouquet of flowers they see.
In terms of the culture, everyone who works here, at any time during the day, will jump on to customer service and find out what’s going on in our customers’ lives. It's the type of activity that allows our company to be ten steps ahead of competitors, not only in the flower industry but also in the gifting space.
It gives us so much insight into what people are looking for next from us. It also allows everyone from across the business - not just the designers or marketing team, to come up with innovative ideas, and turn those into action.
How else do you meet their needs? Is it always technology based? Faster page-load times etc?
We write a lot of editorial content around how people can be more thoughtful in a digital age. For instance how to write the perfect thank you note or how to choose the right flowers for the right occasion.
How do you gain loyalty, beyond being functionally better than the competition?
We ensure people don’t just love the service, but love the brand. We've found customer service to be a game changer because most brands don’t dedicate enough people, time, or training to customer service.
Inevitably, sometimes, things go wrong, and most brands decide that they don’t want to fix them, but we always do. We win customers back when things go wrong because of our customer service. We have a holistic approach which spans all our social channels.
One of our values is around delight. We looked at Pret A Manger, and saw how employees are given, I believe, £5 each day to surprise customers with a free coffee. We thought what a great idea. We have a team here delighting selected customers each week with a free surprise bouquet or care package.
The letterbox packaging is an iconic part of the brand whilst also being free owned media. How do you approach using it as media most effectively?
People could find it strange that our flowers are flat packed, and not in water. So we find we have to educate customers a little and tell them why we send the flowers the way we do. We actually use less packaging than many of our competitors so are reducing the waste that comes with sending flowers.
Also, if you look on Instagram each day you'll see people conveying different parts of their own persona. Today people want to be stylists, they want to be make-up artists, they want to be florists. So we try to educate the customer with flower care tips and ideas to enable them to be great florists at home.