In this episode, we meet Nadya Okamoto, the Founder of August.
August is a brand revolutionizing period care with their sustainable, transparent, bold and inclusive approach on period products.
In this episode, we discussed category disruption, Tiktok marketing, and evolving from DTC to omnichannel.
Gen z consumer
Nadya started in the period space at age 16 focusing on ending period poverty and stigma, then found August with the goal of making products that are and work better.
August launched DTC two years ago. It was during COVID, so DTC made sense at the time.
Retail is not often a starting point for new brands because it’s capital-intensive. You need inventory to support retail distribution, which is costly.
August always intended to be in retail because that’s where most period care products are purchased. In 2023 launched in Target with 400 stores. Target was chosen because of its reputation of working with DTC brands and it also happened to be the most demanded retailer from customers.
It recently launched on Amazon and is also rapidly entering B2B distribution and is the exclusive tampon provided at WeWork, Soul Cycle, and Equinox.
August a viral presence with 5.5M followers on TIktok and uses the community to drive retail velocity. It has a hashtag #AugustTarget with 50M views.
TikTok was the prime channel choice for two reasons: August’s Gen Z customer profile and that they were seeking an organic channel where they didn’t have to rely heavily on paid acquisition.
There’s no secret sauce on TikTok - it’s all trial and error. Nadya personally spends 2-3 hours on TikTok content after normal working hours.
TikTok is great for top-of-funnel awareness and brand discovery, but it’s not a direct sales channel yet. TikTok regulations don’t all out period care to use TikTok shops yet.
Nadya believes “community” is overused and too often tied to social channels. She believes that community can be anywhere a conversation is happening. Social more a place where a brand can have a megaphone to share their ideas with people.
August uses Geneva, a tool like Slack and Discord, to have discussions with the August community. Only two channels are about August, and most of it is space for people to talk about and share stories around periods.
Sustainabilites, being bold, inclusivity, and impact are “through lines” that keep August consistent as a brand.
On the impact front, proceeds from DTC transactions are donated to charities that support period poverty and in retail, August reimburses customers in 21 states that still have a Tampon Tax.
Tampons have HSA and FSA coverage, so there is a marketing play at the end of the year to get people use those dollars before they expire, something alot of drug store product brands can do.
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