Season 2 Episode 2
March 18, 2022

Problem Solving masochists - AKA Amazon Experts

Today Ingrid sits down with Gabi Viljoen to talk about what it takes to launch a brand new item on Amazon, except they end up covering WAY MORE. From product innovation, to marketing and team dynamics, and (of course) “The Algorithm”. Tune in now!

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This Episode Sponsored by:

Infinite Shelf- Synder
Infinite Shelf- Gorgias
Infinite Shelf- Shopware

Workshopping the launch of a “Brand New Item” LIVE, ON AIR:

  • Gabi is an Amazon guru, and the VP of Amazon Strategy for Garden of Life, a wellness company on a mission to empower extraordinary health
  • “The great thing about Amazon is it is the window into the mass market.” -Gabi
  • There are some perks to selling products on Amazon. Many individuals are typing and searching for products, they’re spoiled for choice. While on the other hand, it can be incredibly hard to not just be buried in the search results
  • “Amazon is moving more into this social commerce of building the brands on Amazon, rather than allowing these brands to build their websites on Amazon.” 
  • By allowing the brands to build their brand on Amazon, it disrupts the sequence of a consumer leaving Amazon to go learn more from the brands website
  • You don’t necessarily need your brand to go viral, you just need to have strong presence on social media 
  • “Never get into a level of complacency that you [feel you always] know what's going to happen next.”- Gabi
  • The algorithm is constantly changing, so be willing to change with it 
  • “Have the willingness to be open to have your mind changed or have your perspectives changed, and have this collective thinking in conversations.” -Gabi

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Ingrid: [00:00:06] Hello and welcome to Infinite Shelf, the human-centric retail podcast. I'm your host, Ingrid Milman Cordy. And today's episode you are going to meet Gabi Viljoen, the Vice President of Amazon [00:00:20] Strategy at Garden of Life. She is someone who, upon meeting her, it took me a whole four minutes of listening to her explain something before I decided that we are going to be really good friends. Her sharpness is only eclipsed by her wit, common sense, and get shit done spirit. It's really easy to see why an incredible [00:00:40] brand like Garden of Life would entrust her to oversee their Amazon empire. As the on-air problem-solving theme of this season suggests, we sat down and we wanted to workshop the steps for what it takes to create a brand new item on Amazon and have [00:01:00] it stand a chance of being successful. Really simple, right? Well, yes, except for we ended up covering a whole lot more ground than that. Despite prepping a little extra hard, knowing that we might easily get carried away on this particular topic. That said thinking back on it, I'm really not actually sure [00:01:20] that you could have actually had the conversation that we set out to have without touching on all the other topics that ended up leading into the discussion. But I'll let you decide. I'm really delighted to have had Gabi on the show and would love your questions and feedback. And of course, please leave us a review and share it if you like it. Hello, [00:02:20] Gabi Viljoen [00:02:40]. Did I say that correctly? I know we call you Gabi V. But "Filion?"

Gabi: [00:02:45] "Filien" Yes, close enough.

Ingrid: [00:02:48] So you do comfortably go by Gabi V. Not to be confused with Gary V. You guys are very different human beings, very different brands of professionals. [00:03:00] But I'm so happy you're here. Everyone, Gabi is the Vice President of Amazon Strategy over at the Garden of Life supplement brand. How are you?

Gabi: [00:03:12] Yes, I am good and tickled to be having a conversation with you and just getting to chat about [00:03:20] some of the things that we could probably spend far too many hours on. So I'll try to keep it succinct and helpful to the point. But love getting to have these chats with you.

Ingrid: [00:03:30] Totally, totally. I always treasure every moment that we get to connect and such a treat to be able to share that with our audience. So, [00:03:40] all right, Gabi, you are just like an Amazon guru. You're like one of the people that I go immediately to when something is going in a weird direction, good or bad, you've kind of seen it all been through it all, and you've done incredible work in growing and evolving the Garden [00:04:00] of Life business on Amazon and many other businesses. I don't know if you want to spend a little bit of time on your history and sort of how you got to now.

Gabi: [00:04:09] Yeah, absolutely. So I think from pretty early on before eCommerce and Amazon was as widespread [00:04:20] as it is now and the plethora of gurus that are running around town...

Ingrid: [00:04:26] With their Lamborghinis.

Gabi: [00:04:28] With their Lamborghinis. With their YouTube channels. I'm missing out. {laughter} But I just always knew that this was the future. I mean, it was [00:04:40] really the current, but I knew that this was the avenue that I needed to go down, and I had the opportunity very early on to work in some direct to consumer small startup brands from a variety of different industries; skincare, healthcare, supplements [00:05:00]. And actually originally started with my passion sport, water skiing, and a wetsuit brand. So that's how I got to start dabbling in eCommerce, but very quickly Amazon and Amazon search and didn't really look back [00:05:20] since. I always knew that I couldn't be a cog in the wheel and do the same thing every day. And when you're working with Amazon, it is never the same thing. Every day it is for better or for worse. There is always something different and it's fast-paced, but I absolutely [00:05:40] love it.

Ingrid: [00:05:41] I love that. Yeah, it takes a certain brand of problem-solving masochist to do what we do every day.

Gabi: [00:05:51] Problem-solving masochist. I might need to write that one down. You're not wrong.

Ingrid: [00:05:58] {laughter} Well, we'll have a therapy session [00:06:00] together about that one. At some point down the line. Well, Gabi, it's just really great. And again, you're one of these sources of infinite wisdom for me and you always sort of help me screw my head on the right way when things are happening in the Amazon world in particular. And so in the spirit of [00:06:20] Season 2 of Infinite Shelf, the episodes are all geared toward helping workshop something. Solving a problem with the precious 30 to 45 minutes that we have together within the complicated Amazon ecosystem sounds like a very lofty goal. So I think that [00:06:40] what I'd love to do is sort of create this mind exploration around what it would look like if I or someone like me wanted to bring a product to market and I wanted to use Amazon as the distribution [00:07:00] channel. And so let's sort of start in like taking for granted, although we shouldn't, let's take for granted that I've done my due diligence and I've thought about an actual problem and I talk about this all the time, and Gabi, I know you're passionate about this too. I solved an actual problem in people's lives that [00:07:20] is unique and has a particular use case. And now I've decided that I'm going to bring this amazing, let's say, body butter or something like that. Let's pretend that there aren't six hundred thousand body butters out on the market, and this is the best body butter that has ever been created. What [00:07:40] in the world do I do now on Amazon?

Gabi: [00:07:44] Well, even though you are launching the six hundred thousandth body butter, there may still be room for success with that. So. Sure. Solving a consumer's problem. Making sure that there's actually a need [00:08:00] with that longevity. But one thing that I feel is often taken for granted is to look at your competitor reviews and questions. Because even before you get onto the completed product development side of things, Amazon is a really great research [00:08:20] place, and you could improve your product by just filling in the gaps that consumers have identified because they're really smart, really savvy, and they'll let you know about it when your products on Amazon. So that would be step zero if you will, or the [00:08:40] negative one before you even start building this brand. But fast forward to we've now got the product that we believe and know has longevity, has a solved need. The great thing about Amazon is [00:09:00] it is a window into the mass market, so what is happening on Amazon is you've got so many individuals that are typing and searching and so many products, so they're spoiled for choice. And that can mean a good thing. [00:09:20] It could mean you've got this opportunity, this avenue to place your product in front of their eyes. But at the same time, it is incredibly hard not to just be buried in the search results, because if you have not built a brand and something that is recognized, how are you going [00:09:40] to differentiate? How are you going to convince that consumer to go ahead and click and convert on your one product? So that's why I firmly believe and sort of consider it a requirement of selling on Amazon and succeeding on Amazon in the long term [00:10:00] of having some recognizable brand. And then we go into how do we build that?

Ingrid: [00:10:08] There's already so much there. And so when you talk about building a brand. Tell me a little bit more about the sort of necessary components to [00:10:20] what differentiates just having a great, again, great product that solves all your skincare problems with one swoop. But when I'm trying to wrap a brand around that use, on Amazon specifically there's a different world. DTC there are so many things that immediately [00:10:40] conjure into my mind of there's a logo and there's color story, and there's the journey of explaining why this product needs to exist in your life and how it's different than all the other products that are within the same category trying to solve the same problem. So there are a [00:11:00] lot more levers. And then obviously, there are things on Amazon, like A-plus content, things like that. But I'm just curious when you're thinking about building a brand, what is there a checklist or something that you think of?

Gabi: [00:11:15] Yeah. So you've already gone to build this data, see direct to [00:11:20] consumer website and figure out your color story, your logo. To ensure that all of that creative content is a carbon copy on Amazon. Every channel, whether you're getting a PR hit or you're talking about it on your social or [00:11:40] your website or Amazon and your brand store, making sure that it's instantly recognizable and it's the same across whatever platform the consumer is going to consume this information and because they are, ideally they're exposed to your brand in several places. [00:12:00] And if you are not consistent across the board, then you're losing that recognition and hurting yourself in the end. But the other on Amazon tools, if you will, or the checklist is your brand store. And [00:12:20] there's a lot of controversy is perhaps not the right word, but back and forth about how much value is the brand store really generating meaning as we get to see the sales that come from the brand store, and it's not a whole lot, but I firmly believe that Amazon's moving more into [00:12:40] this social commerce, building the brands on Amazon, allowing these brands to build their websites on Amazon, rather than having to leave the website, leave Amazon.com, go to the brand's website to learn more about this product, and with [00:13:00] the feature rollouts they're making a concerted effort to drive more engagement and connectivity with the brand. So building your brand store in a thoughtful way, again, always considering the consumer's journey at every step of the [00:13:20] way. So if they're landing on your brand store and not making it complicated of how do I find the answer I'm looking for? there are options to follow brands now. And this is a more recent feature. So it's certainly in the early days, but I never like to pass up something that's a beta [00:13:40] or an early feature on Amazon, because it's a window into the direction they're going in. So if you're building your brand store and you're getting your consumers to follow you there, you can now email them directly. And these emails again, it's early days, but we're starting [00:14:00] to see the typical click-through rate and the actual sales that are coming from said emails. And already in the last couple of months since they've been out, the templates and customization that you can do have expanded significantly other options, like [00:14:20] videos. there are tons of placements and Amazon posts. All of these are free and you don't need a ton of money to be able to get into that consumer's journey or get in front of them. You don't need to pay a ton of money. And when a five to [00:14:40] twenty-five dollars CPC bid to be at the top of your primary keyword, if you can go about it in these other ways.

Ingrid: [00:14:49] There is so much that you just unpacked there that I just want to like dive a little bit deeper into. But just the way that I want to approach this in [00:15:00] terms of operationalizing it, we have to start thinking about structure and so correct me if I'm wrong, but what you just described is a lot of what it sounds like Amazon is moving toward similar to what those are that are familiar with Chinese like Tmall, where [00:15:20] Tmall is a little bit similar to the marketplace atmosphere of Amazon in China, but they really do, like every brand has their own ultimately DTC expression within Tmall, and it really is just this full elaborate what [00:15:40] you might expect from the direct to consumer website within now the Amazon ecosystem and environment, which makes so much sense. And for those of us who have been working with Amazon and watched them as they start to change their strategy or create a focus on something they [00:16:00] really don't half-ass it. They do a lot of testing and they do a lot of try something and then abandon it. But when you see them continuously adding features and rewarding brands for taking part in some of these things the brand stores like A-plus content, all of that [00:16:20] you want to take that seriously. And so I just want to make sure that that interpretation of what you just said feels accurate.

Gabi: [00:16:30] Absolutely. Yes, there's a ton of testing that Amazon does on a day to day basis, and there's not a day that goes by that [00:16:40] I look at one product page and there's they've changed the placement of something and immediately we go into thinking, All right, consider the consumer's journey. For example, just this morning, I was looking at a detail page on my mobile app. One product had the ATF images [00:17:00] right before the bullet points before the A-plus content and just featured as if you're scrolling through them not having to click in and swipe. And then that sent me into a frenzy of, Oh, we need to place an even bigger emphasis on what we're communicating to the customer because they're seeing that first. So yes, to your point, there's [00:17:20] a ton of testing that happens and don't necessarily go into a frenzy like I do, but not pulling the trigger on actioning all of them. However, when you see it consistently rolling out or it hasn't gone away, that's a really strong insight into [00:17:40] where Amazon's going. And they're going to put more emphasis and more reward on the brands that are adopting that.

Ingrid: [00:18:23] Structurally, if [00:18:20] I'm thinking about building out my new body butter brand, and I'm thinking about... I couldn't think of a clever name. I tried to take a moment to think of one and I can't. Sorry, guys, I'll get back to you on that. The thing that I think about is structure, right? [00:18:40] And so there's quite a bit more and more, way more than there was even like two years ago of overlap between creative and user experience design that you might only staff your DTC team with the intention of using [00:19:00] and utilizing on on a day to day basis. If you're doing anything remotely in the right way, even in today's ecosystem, there's some form of connectivity between what's happening over in the DTC world and what's happening on Amazon. And I think that this world that you're [00:19:20] describing, Gabi, is actually even more integration where at some point the delineation between the thought process and the workstream that happens for DTC design, development, and user experience is actually merged with Amazon because they're just so duplicative. What [00:19:40] do you think about that?

Gabi: [00:19:41] One hundred percent. It should be a carbon copy or come from this centralized place because again, if we're obsessing over the consumer's journey and everything they're seeing and going through when they eventually come across your product, it's [00:20:00] gotta be the same. It's gotta be consistent. And if you're putting all that effort into your DTC site but you haven't built this, perhaps you've built the brand, perhaps you haven't yet gotten the impressions and the traffic, and your opportunity to do that is Amazon and then eventually bring them back [00:20:20] to your website if that's what you so choose. But it should be the same on both, and it should be the same on every channel and platform that you're communicating to this customer.

Ingrid: [00:20:31] Yeah, that actually brings into question the idea of what a CMO does and what the qualifications [00:20:40] of a present-day CMO are. I think before we had always drawn this really thick line between, well, there's brand and there's brand marketing, and then there is eCommerce and DTC. And sometimes that sits within marketing, rightfully so. [00:21:00] And sometimes that sits within sales, also rightfully so. And we're starting to see more and more organizations that pull eCommerce out from either sales, pure-play because those are so consumed by, you know, the targets and Walmarts and big, big retailers of the world and is also just a different breed. [00:21:20] But it's also quite different from marketing. But at the same time, when you're looking at DTC, and you're looking at Amazon as these really deep, meaningful expressions of the brand, I do still think that there's a huge opportunity for CMOs to have this skill [00:21:40] set and wealth of knowledge. And it seems like the CMOs at least that I've experienced or worked around, understand the power of it, but they're certainly not subject matter experts. How do you look at that sort of like blending of departmental organizational thinking?

Gabi: [00:22:00] Absolutely. [00:22:00] I think that that is a big problem facing many companies and established brands that aren't bootstrapping from the ground up, that aren't thinking that from the get-go. So they've already got these siloed [00:22:20] channels, if you will, at the worst and at the best, to your point. It's the yes, there's an understanding that this is important, but I don't really know what that means. And I just think you don't put a strong enough emphasis on it as a brand or as a CMO if [00:22:40] you don't fully understand that. Again, it's you're communicating to that end consumer, whether you're in sales and you've got a retail buyer or if you are a direct to consumer channel or marketing, you're not moving the product. If [00:23:00] you don't speak to the end consumer at the end of the day, the most direct way to do that is through these DTC channels and Amazon.

Ingrid: [00:23:10] That's so beautifully put. It makes me think about career trajectory, even for people like you and me within organizations. We [00:23:20] kind of grew up in eCommerce. We're just eCommerce geeks through and through. We've been doing it for a decade. However long eCommerce has been around. It's kind of been our jam. And then we out of necessity sort of added the marketing and the brand component to what we were doing because we realized [00:23:40] that in order to succeed, that was such an important thing. And I think that there are some marketers and some CMOs who really understand the intricate powers that mean those two things together. But even with career paths and things like that, I'm curious about the next generation of [00:24:00] leaders of marketing parts of organizations. If it's actually going to end up being someone that is a DTC person or an Amazon person, just because we have this access, to your point, you said it so well earlier. It's just the window into the mass market.

Gabi: [00:24:18] Yep. Absolutely, [00:24:20] I think it'll work for a while, but it'll start to become more of this non-negotiable, just being fairly well educated about these channels and just [00:24:40] within everything. When you're a leader, you don't necessarily need to be the expert in the function of understanding the Amazon algorithm necessarily or your keyword placement. But you've got to have a pretty strong understanding of all of these things and tie them together. [00:25:00] And that was something I tried to recognize pretty, pretty early on. But now it's becoming a little bit more mainstream and there's a fair few resources out there. A great book on "Amazon for CMOs" [00:25:20] by Kiri Masters, for example.

Ingrid: [00:25:22] Oh yeah, I'm in that book.

Gabi: [00:25:25] There you go. So it's becoming more mainstream, but still a little early on that it hasn't been widely adopted.

Ingrid: [00:25:35] Totally. Shout out Kiri. Love you. Kiri's a friend. [00:25:40] Yeah, she's great. I actually... Sorry. I made a mistake. I read in "Amazon for CMOs" from Kiri and Mark, who's the other co-writer. The one that I'm in is "Instacart for CMOs."

Gabi: [00:25:57] Oh, there you go.

Ingrid: [00:25:59] So quick correction on that one. But yeah,  [00:26:00]Kiri is a good friend and she's frickin brilliant. Like just one of the smartest, most well-thought-out people. I love following her and seeing what she's doing over at Bobsled Marketing. Ok. So the branding piece... Fascinating. I think [00:26:20] we can have so much more rich dialog around that, and I hope we can continue to do that. I actually just want now, so I have my body butter. I have this brand. I'm wearing my multiple sorts of eCommerce, DTC, CMO hat, and I've set up this beautiful experience that matches my  [00:26:40]DTC site and is not distracting and doesn't change depending on the channel. How do I bring people in to hang out with me in this very, very overcrowded, expensive search engine bidding [00:27:00] war?

Gabi: [00:27:01] That is it. If you are relying on Amazon alone, the cost of doing business with Amazon only and relying upon that my product's going to get discovered only via being at the top of Page one for some of the most competitive [00:27:20] keywords.

Ingrid: [00:27:22] You got an extra hundred dollars per click to spend?

Gabi: [00:27:26] Don't even joke, we've tested the CBCs during some peak shopping times and it is horrifying. So do not rely on doing business with Amazon alone and one really important [00:27:40], probably the most important, you've got your product listing is perfect. It's up there. Your brand's consistent, your keywords are there. Now you've got to drive traffic. Don't rely on driving traffic or let me say on Amazon itself. Rely on driving external traffic to Amazon. [00:28:00] Amazon is truly valuing and rewarding the brands and the products. Think about it. It's a fantastic business for them. You have just driven a customer that could have clicked, converted, and shopped on their other social sites, on [00:28:20] Google, on Target, on any other channel. But you drove that customer to Amazon.com and they're now going to make a purchase and Amazon's going to get a piece of the pie.

Ingrid: [00:28:30] So smart.

Gabi: [00:28:32] They value... Absolutely. They're valuing this other traffic that you're driving, and we see really great conversion by [00:28:40] getting hits and these listicles: "21 Products You Must Have This Prime Day" on BuzzFeed or something like that. There's really great conversion. Of course, going viral... You don't even necessarily need to go viral. But if you were to have a [00:29:00] strong social media presence and drive that traffic back to Amazon, what it ends up doing is rewarding you up the search page ranks. And Amazon used to have a really great affiliate influencer [00:29:20] type of a program where those who were sharing what they loved from Amazon would get a kickback. They'd get this little commission, right? Well, Amazon aggressively cut that on, I want to say, a year or two ago. And so these influencers and affiliates were no [00:29:40] longer getting as much money from sharing these, so they stopped sharing them. And if you look at the source of other traffic, so external traffic sources, that were being driven to Amazon overall and many of the best selling Amazon listings, it significantly drops when they [00:30:00] made this change and whether they shot themselves in the foot little bit by doing that, I'm not so sure because brands have still recognized that, hey, I have to drive this other traffic to Amazon, and now Amazon doesn't have to pay for it anymore. Other brands are paying for it.

Ingrid: [00:30:20] Oh [00:30:20] my God, they're so brilliant at that. It's maniacally brilliant.

Gabi: [00:30:24] Right. So I think there was a lot of hoo-ha about it being the wrong thing to do by Amazon, and I think they've worked out pretty well.

Ingrid: [00:30:35] {laughter} Yeah.

Gabi: [00:30:37] {laugher} But that's what you need to do as the brand is drive [00:30:40] your traffic from other sources, a variety of other sources, because not only are you getting more traffic to your listing, yay hopefully you convert them, but Amazon's now rewarding that by increasing your ranking for certain keywords or bestseller tags, all that type of thing. So it's sort of a double whammy [00:31:00] with that conversion.

Ingrid: [00:31:05] That's [00:32:40] fascinating. And I definitely understand their motivation for it. It seems like that is kind of like a no-brainer, [00:33:00] right? I mean, I guess the brainer part is you have the option to take your social media or whatever performance marketing budget you have and drive to DTC where you get that first-party data. And you get probably better margins than you're getting on Amazon, depending on how you're set up. [00:33:20] But also you want to keep growing your Amazon business. And I think one of the things that I think about as a marketer and as a DTC type person, I think about what is the easiest way to get a new customer to convert. And [00:33:40] typically, Amazon makes things a lot easier to trial. And so the customer acquisition costs when you're driving people to Amazon might actually help balance out the things that you're missing out on, maybe whether it's margin or whether it's how much value you put on first-party data. So I [00:34:00] think there's a balance to play there, and I think more and more brands and retailers are seeing their customer acquisition cost or their CAC, which I hate that acronym, see it going up. And I actually use Amazon as a good in-between for customer acquisition strategies because most people [00:34:20] are Prime members, most people have optimized the living crap out of the checkout scenario. And so especially when you have products that are maybe not hitting the free shipping thresholds for DTC, we sell seven-dollar tubes, eight-dollar tubes. And [00:34:40] so people are much more likely to convert on Amazon or even though they're buying a four-pack or whatever, it's just an easier first trigger to convert. And then I think once people become more and more loyal to your brand, they might see the benefit to shopping on DTC through integration [00:35:00] with rewards programs and ambassador programs and other reasons to be a little bit more connected to the brand.

Gabi: [00:35:08] Absolutely, and I think that you hit the nail on the head there with saying it is a bit of a balance for sure, but ultimately the mass consumer, your [00:35:20] everyday purchaser, it is so easy to add to cart and check out on Amazon. And it is pretty risk-free. You know you're going to get it in a short period of time, unfortunately, or fortunately. If you don't love it, it's relatively risk-free to return it. And [00:35:40] there's just far, far less of this barrier to convert and hook the customer there and over time bring them over to where you've got this higher margin, where you can get more information about them and [00:36:00] put the right products in front of them on your website, but collect them at Amazon ultimately. And that's why I think we're let's bring back to this amazing body butter that is solving all of my problems, and I put it on in the morning and my day is infinitely [00:36:20] better. You're a new brand. It's a new product. So let's do it on Amazon first and then bring them across to your site.

Ingrid: [00:36:32] Yeah, yeah, I love that. I think that makes so much sense. And so look out for Ingrid's body butter coming to [00:36:40] Amazon. No, I'm just kidding. {laughter} But I do love a good skincare product. I can't lie. Gabi, what else do you want to tap through? Before you answer that, I am obsessed with... Everyone who's been listening to my podcast [00:37:00] probably knows this and are probably tired of hearing this. I finally finished the new Adam Grant book "Think Again," and it's opened up my eyes into thinking about things through a new perspective and changing my mind and feeling comfortable changing my mind and sort of not showing [00:37:20] that as like, "Oh, she just doesn't know or she's flippy floppy," or whatever that we used to say about people who would change their mind. And I actually look at it as a really strong indicator of personal growth and intellectual growth, and so I'm just curious if there's anything within the past six [00:37:40] to 12 months that you have fundamentally changed your mind about.

Gabi: [00:37:46] Oh, wow. I feel like this is a very loaded question. {laughter} But I might answer that by saying this realization, this philosophy [00:38:00] that I think I've adopted and it's helped me in my work and the every day, but it's also helped me and in my personal every day of adopting that I'll never have all the answers. And I was chuckling to myself with your intro because here I am saying there [00:38:20] is never a day I'm not learning. It sounds so cliche, but never get into this sort of level of complacency that you know what's going to happen next. And Amazon has probably been the biggest humble check for me with that because the [00:38:40] algorithm or something will change a couple of times a year and everything you think you knew can be turned on its head. So that willingness to be open to change, not change your mind, to have your mind change your [00:39:00] perspectives changed or have this collective thinking in these conversations that you and I have. That just frames it in another way, so I don't know that this necessarily helps your body butter sell more, but I think it helps those looking to build [00:39:20] this brand or take this next step and certainly sell on Amazon... You don't know it all. None of us do. We're just constantly learning and being humbled by Amazon and realizing the infinite opportunity that there is. But it's going to change. [00:39:40]

Ingrid: [00:39:40] Oh, I love that. That is so accurate and when you're so used to the ground being moved out from under you on a regular basis, you sort of just develop this muscle around getting comfortable with change. And I think that I see that as a [00:40:00] really common thread between everyone that I get to work with and learn from and collaborate with in the eCommerce space just because we're all sort of we've been bred that way. Things change so quickly in our space, and we've sort of that's become a muscle that we all [00:40:20] flex to a certain extent. And maybe that's why I became so obsessed with Adam Grant's approach to it in the book. And there's also a lot about bringing people around you along for that journey because I think a lot of what we do as eCommerce experts or eCommerce slaves, whatever [00:40:40] you want to look at it as, is having to bring everyone else that isn't in this being like water and having to move through everything as it comes world and explaining that to people and being the person within your [00:41:00] organization that is bringing people along in the evolution of the thinking of where the consumer is, of where people are spending their time. And so that manifests through where people are spending time on social media, that manifests through where people are spending or going this huge DTC focus to [00:41:20] now Amazon is turning into a DTC destination to a certain extent, and probably more and more as the years go on and just being able to like, all right, here's what the new world looks like. Let's set up shop and figure out how we can make that work for us. And I think that there's so much to that that  [00:41:40]should be broadly adopted by the rest of the organization.

Gabi: [00:41:50] Absolutely, and as we're talking about this, it triggered something in my mind. No wonder there's a slight hesitation [00:42:00] to adopt and learn more about this DTC, this Amazon way of selling by these CMOs that we were talking about when we've just gone and said that it will never be the same from one day to the next. And that's how traditional sales [00:42:20] have been. Your people relationship, how you pitch the ABCs or the traditional marketing. Nothing has changed so fast pace as this way of selling. So I can understand the hesitation to it, but I think the way around [00:42:40] it is that you'll just grow so much more of being comfortable with change. And recognizing that the rulebook is not going to be consistent. You can't use a cheat sheet every single day.  [00:43:00]Just go along for the ride. Learn a little bit.

Ingrid: [00:43:07] Yeah, and that's actually, that's a skill set that I think we can teach into people, whether they're new coming into organizations, we can hire around that growth [00:43:20] mindset skill set. But I think you're right. I think we still have a really big tension between the old guard and the new guard. But I do think it's just a matter of time before the people who understand that the world is constantly evolving will be the people who win out. And [00:43:40] I always think that there's opportunity for people to evolve too. So if you're someone who is really in the traditional mindset of sales or the traditional mindset of marketing, there's hope for you.

Gabi: [00:43:53] Absolutely.

Ingrid: [00:43:54] Read different books and talk to people who have different points of view and approach [00:44:00] the world like a scientist and it becomes at least a little bit more interesting.

Gabi: [00:44:05] Yeah, that's a great point. And I think about that when I'm hiring as well. I almost exclusively hire for a type of a person rather than a skill set because I can train the skills and they're going to change [00:44:20] as well. So having this personality type or characteristic just makes it so much easier to be moldable and teach things.

Ingrid: [00:44:36] Totally.

Gabi: [00:44:36] But yeah, there's our detour from [00:44:40] how to build a brand on Amazon to hiring techniques in 40 minutes.

Ingrid: [00:44:48] {laughter} You knew it was coming, but it's all part of it. It's just like creating this warm bath of where innovation can come from an adjustment. And I do really think that it's still super-connected, even though [00:45:00] we can't like put it in its beautiful swim lane of a box of brand and marketing and product innovation. What we just talked about organizationally and also just personally is key to any of that to create fertile ground for it.

Gabi: [00:45:19] Absolutely, [00:45:20] yeah.

Ingrid: [00:45:21] Well, Gabi, speaking of being open-minded and just being thoughtful, I'm so glad that you were able to come to hang out on Infinite Shelf and help me launch my body butter. Ingrid's Body Butter. Still don't have a name for it.

Gabi: [00:45:39] We gotta really work [00:45:40] on this brand name. {laughter} That will be for version two of the podcast.

Ingrid: [00:45:47] Totally. {laughter} Awesome. Well, thanks for coming on, and I'll talk to you soon.

Gabi: [00:45:52] Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

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