Our Place Uses SMS as a Key Ingredient in Their Retention Strategy

an image displaying a collection of Our Place's cookware products
Published on
Oct 6, 2023
Written by
Kayla Ellman
Kayla is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Attentive. You can find her binge-reading, baking from her (rapidly growing) cookbook collection, or exploring local hiking trails.
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Learn how the beloved cookware brand is making customer retention their bread and butter.

Our Place took the internet (and kitchens) by storm when they launched their Always Pan® in 2019. The brand set out to streamline cookware, and in the process, the act of cooking, with the all-in-one toxin-free, ceramic, non-stick pan designed to do everything.

The pan is lauded for being aesthetically pleasing enough to leave on your stovetop, but for Our Place, it’s not just about looks. It's about making cooking less complicated, so people can enjoy the experience, and, hopefully, be inspired to share their dishes with family and friends.

In the years since their viral debut, Our Place has created a whole line of colorful, high-quality kitchen staples that bring joy to home cooking and eating.

We chatted with Belinda Chung, Senior Manager, Lifecycle Marketing at Our Place, about the brand’s approach to creating products that align with their mission, increasing the lifetime value of their customers, and more.

The Always Pan®  is internet-famous. What do you think contributed to its overnight and ongoing success?

First, the Always Pan®  is a beautiful piece of cookware. We're so much more than a pretty pan, but I think that’s what instantly caught everyone's attention.

Cookware has traditionally been something that you use and then store away, not something that you proudly display or throw a dinner party around. When we launched the Always Pan® , there ‌wasn't anything else in the market that combined functionality with aesthetics. 

The timing was right, too. People were baking bread, trying new recipes, and cooking more in general. Food, and the process of making it, was something that helped them find comfort and connection but also express their creativity.

I think a lot of that early success can also be attributed to trust in our marketing team and testing new things. That really helped grow our brand and, now, we're continuing to innovate and make cooking at home easier one category at a time.

What sets Our Place apart from other brands in the space, and how does that play into your marketing strategy?

We believe that home cooking brings people together, so we want to create products that make cooking and sharing a meal easier, but also exciting and fun. A big part of that is making ‌sure that every product we design, whether it’s cookware or tableware, serves more than one purpose. It needs to be beautiful as well as multifunctional.

But we’re not just a kitchenware brand. We want to encourage people to gather around a table more often and host their friends and family—that's our mission. We’re rooted in culture and inclusion, and we try to weave that message into everything we do on the marketing side, so we're not only focusing on our products. We're encouraging people to connect by sharing recipes and highlighting people who love food, both on social media and through our retention channels. 

SMS campaign examples from Our Place

Our ethos is also what inspires our ​​Traditionware™ Collections, which we design to celebrate holidays and traditions that not everyone may be familiar with. We created our first set of Traditionware™ in honor of Lunar New Year back in 2020, and it was a huge success. We've continued to launch these limited-edition collections to help people learn about, appreciate, and gather around different cultures and recipes. 

As a brand that focuses on making products that can do it all, what's your strategy for keeping customers coming back?

We care deeply about building a brand that makes our community feel seen. That means celebrating all our traditions loudly and proudly, creating fun and helpful cooking content, and creating spaces and events where our community can gather and connect. We're also always innovating on products, whether it's our iconic cookware, our hand-made stackable dinnerware, or our sold-out-in-8-days Wonder Oven™. When we focus on doing these important things, we know our community has plenty of reasons to keep coming back. 

Our products are the perfect gift for important milestones or special occasions. Weddings, housewarmings, graduating or going off to college. We love seeing our community buy from Our Place for themselves, and then also give it to their loved ones. It's something to celebrate exciting life moments with the people you care about and pass down for generations.

SMS campaign examples from Our Place

Our product assortment has also grown over the years, which has influenced what we’re seeing on the repeat-purchase side. We’re putting a bigger emphasis on educating our customers about what else we have to offer, like our tableware, kitchen tools, and cast-iron cookware. For example, we’ll send previous purchasers messages that explain what cast iron is, and why you might choose it over ceramic non-stick or add it to your collection. 

Have you noticed anything surprising about which products your customers gravitate towards, either as a first or repeat purchase? 

A big win for us has been the Wonder Oven™. It’s our first appliance, and it has a very nostalgic quality to it that reminds you of an easy bake oven. I think that, plus the multifunctionality of it, has really captured people's interest and contributed to its success. It can air fry, toast, reheat, and so much more, which aligns with our ethos of creating products that help you do more with less. 

SMS campaign examples from Our Place

It sold out super fast, and we're working hard to get it restocked, but, so far, the Wonder Oven™ has already generated a lot of traction on the both repeat and acquisition side. 

Let’s talk about your marketing tech stack. Where does SMS fit into it? ​​What strategies have been most impactful for you? 

Our SMS program has seen huge growth in the past year since we switched to Attentive. It's a powerful retention channel for us to keep our customers coming back, but it also helps us bring in new customers and drive first-time purchases. 

Within our broader strategy, we treat SMS as a complement to email. If someone doesn't respond to an email, we can reach out to them via text, or vice versa. I know there used to be this conversation around whether one channel takes away from the other, but that's not the case. They play off each other’s strengths. We work closely with our Attentive team to coordinate messages across channels, so someone is more likely to convert. 

The automation side of our SMS program consistently drives results for us month after month. We can easily target hyper-engaged customers without a lot of manual work, whether it's through an abandonment journey or welcome messages to new subscribers.

SMS marketing examples from Our Place

We can gain a lot of insight about our SMS audience from running conversational campaigns, too. They're a great outlet for our subscribers to respond to our messages and get more information before they convert. But they also help us uncover any potential concerns or hiccups that may prevent someone from making a purchase.

What advice would you give ‌someone who's new to SMS or still figuring things out, especially as we approach another busy holiday season?

Continuously test. Even if you've already tested something, test it again, because as the market fluctuates and your subscriber list grows, different things might resonate with your audience at different times. For example, we've done a lot of experimenting with send time, but I want to retest it again this year to see if anything has changed. 

Getting those learnings in before big moments for your company is also important. We're doing as much testing and optimization as we can now to make sure we're ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the December gifting period. I've been working closely with our CSM on auditing our triggered journeys as well to see where we can make improvements in advance.

Our CSM is such an awesome partner, always helping us push things forward and keeping us in the loop about what's new on Attentive, so we can try it out. I also love that I can rely on Attentive's White Glove team when I have a quick question or run into an unexpected issue. They've never let me down when I need those fast answers or solutions.

-  Belinda Chung, Senior Manager, Lifecycle Marketing at Our Place

What’s next for Our Place?

We're constantly growing and launching some exciting products. I'm especially excited for one coming out in early 2024, though I can't say much more right now (hint: signing up for texts is the best way to stay in the loop). 

We're also looking for ways to expand the retail side of the business and get our brand out there on a global scale. We've been working closely with our international team to understand what resonates with our audiences in different countries, not just from a marketing perspective but also in terms of the site experience. We'll be finding ways to A/B test as much as possible to learn and adapt to the nuances in each country.

Want more insights from leading marketers at other brands? Check out these inspiring customer stories. 

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