In this exclusive Q&A, Grove Collaborative CEO Stuart Landesberg talks about the product development, marketing and culture that has propelled the home care retailer focused on consumers’ health and wellness priorities.
Retail TouchPoints (RTP): Can you fill us in on the background of Grove Collaborative?
Stuart Landesberg: I’ll start with me and my background…I always cared a lot about sustainability. As a kid I thought Seventh Generation was the biggest company in the world and it was my dream job to work there. As I started my career and got to know the CPG space better, I came to see that what was available to consumers at brick-and-mortar was not necessarily consistent with consumer values. In fact, about 70% of shoppers in the U.S. today prefer conscientious products. So, we started Grove…we think of our place in the market as converting folks who have been buying conventional products but want to make a better choice for their families and the environment. We started with excellent third-party partners, then launched our own brands as well.
RTP: Where is most of your customer base located?
Landesberg: About 50% of our customers have not tried natural products before. We actually do better in the middle of the country, including Texas, Kansas and Utah, vs. the coasts. What’s unifying for us is our core emotional territory around home and family. When my daughter drops an apple on the floor it should be ok if she picks it up and eats it, based on what I used to clean the floor. Our customer base crosses political, economic and geographical barriers. Everyone wants to create the best life possible for their families.
An example of our primary demographic is a 29-year-old mother of two working as a substitute teacher in Lawrence, Kansas.
RTP: What are the primary marketing strategies for the company?
Landesberg: We focus on the fact that Grove is an easy, low-risk way to bring great products into your home. You don’t have to care about sustainability to be a Grove customer; it just has to resonate as a connection to the home you’re creating. If we went to market with a heavy sustainability message it might feel too exclusive.
When we originally introduced the brand, it was by word-of-mouth in the…