February 17, 2023
Episode 0

Welcome to the Omichannel Marketer!

In this episode, we meet Kait Stephens, the Queen of QR codes, CEO of BRIJ, and host of the Omnichannel Marketer. She'll share her background and talk about why she started this podcast.

Tell us a little bit about your personal story and career to date.

I grew up in New Jersey, outside of Philadelphia. I went to Georgetown undergrad and then started my career in investment banking. I quickly moved over to private equity. On the investing side, I focused on omnichannel in the future of retail. 

That ignited my passion and interest in this space. And I uncovered many problems with Omnichannel (that led to the idea for BRIJ).

I found myself jealous of the founders that I was investing in, I had this itch to be an entrepreneur. My dad was an entrepreneur. I was inspired by that. I also started a nonprofit as my first side hustle. 

I had the itch and I wanted to build something. So, I went to business school to take the time to explore this entrepreneurial bug. I went to Harvard Business School, where I met Zach Morson, my co-founder at BRIJ. He and I started iterating on a couple of different ideas and around the time we graduated we started BRIJ.

Why did you want to launch this podcast?

Part of what I love about our job is that I get to talk to brands that I love and use every day. The baby brands that I'm using with my child. The food and beverage brands that I'm consuming. The makeup products. Those are our prospects and customers. It's so much fun.

The podcast is an opportunity to learn more about what they are doing. What's working, what's not, best practices, and sharing that with our community. That is the number one goal of the podcast.

Why the focus on Omnichannel?

When I was an investor, I was talking to all these brands. I consistently was hearing from them that when you sell through retail, wholesale, and marketplaces (like Amazon), it's a black box. They knew nothing about their customers through these channels. It was eye-opening to me. 

Fast forward to when Zack and I were starting BRIJ. It was 2020 and we were in the COVID pandemic. E-commerce was accelerating. And traditional retail-only brands now wanted a direct presence. 

Meanwhile, your DTC brands were moving into channels like retail. The DTC playbook was starting to break as Facebook and Instagram became too expensive.

What we saw was the emergence of the Omnichannel brand. Today, you're hard-pressed to find a brand today that isn't looking for a retail strategy and marketplace strategy to scale. 

What I'm looking to do with the Omnichannel marketer is share how brands are thinking about these different channels. How they are creating an end-to-end brand experience across channels. 

I hear from brands every day about how difficult it is to have a consistent omnichannel relationship with their customers. In this podcast, we’ll explore how brands are attempting to bridge these different channels and have a harmonious relationship with their customers.

What are you most excited about?

The founder stories and all of the different inspirations that bring founders to do what they do. It’s going to be so much fun for our listeners. Also, the different tips that a brand will share and about what's working. What I'm most excited to bring to our community strategies and tactical solutions. For instance, how to get into retail and how to drive sell-through. Launching on Amazon. Driving subscription and reorder. All the good stuff. 

Lightning Round Questions and Answers. 

Favorite Omni channel brand?

S'well bottle. it was the first water bottle innovate and make a water bottle beautiful and functional.

If you had a magic wand and you could change anything about omnichannel what would it be?

The black box of retail and market places. It is win-win for brands and customers to have more connectivity and data in these channels. That is the goal and mission of BRIJ. To break those black boxes.

The consumer doesn't think about the channel that they're buying through. They experience brands across social media, retail, marketplaces, and direct website. They don't care about where the brand is. They want convenience and consistency. Bringing that to the customers across all channels. That's what I'm now looking to change.

Favorite person to follow on social media. 

I’m all in on Linkedin. I love learning from other you know founders there.

Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, has an incredible story. She has an amazing presence on Linked in and other social channels. I love following other female founders.

What is your favorite book?

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. So much great advice here. Like remembering someone's name when they introduce themselves and other life skills that are important for just being a good person, a good founder, and good in sales. 

What is your favorite event that you're looking forward to this year?

Expo West. All the brands come out. They're in different outfits. They have amazing booths, and you get to taste all their samples. It's the most fun event. It’s in March. I'm super excited it.

Where is the best place to connect with you online?

Linkedin and Twitter