Modern Retail talks Julian Campbell – Director of the healthy, natural and deliciously different Funky Nut Company, where you’ll find the answer to a different sort of butter…
MR: How do you aim to stand out as a brand?
Julian: Well as the brand is Funky Nut Company we have to be Funky. How do we do this? Well, we don’t just make the standard smooth & Crunchy peanut butters, Nor do we play it safe as our competitors with 1 or two flavours… We push the boat out and take a chance creating flavours such as Cashew Butter & Cream Egg as well as our latest creation M&M peanut butter. Offering flavours such as a Chinese Spice peanut butter which is vegan and is ideal to mix with coconut milk to make a Satay. We are always developing new flavours and have lots to come.
MR: How would you sum up your target customer?
Julian: Our customers range from the people who grew up with peanut butter as kids but now in their 40’s and 50’s love to slather it on toast. But also now we have a big customer following among the health and fitness community. Peanut butter is no longer viewed as just a spread but now as a health food. We cater for both groups
MR: Why should people shop with you?
Julian: Some people are looking for more than the big brands offer. I think people like to engage with the people making their fave products, they like to feel a part of whats going on and to know the people behind the brand will go the extra mile… and then some. We do this with the use of our social media channels. We ask what people are doing at the weekend, we ask what flavours people may like to see.. we make 1 off pots for customers and this week we made a Marmite peanut butter for a customers dad who was turning 65.. This made him smile.
Added to this, I will call or text customers and ask if they have been happy with our service.. This surprises some customers.. But if they arn’t happy we are not doing our job well.
MR: What do you want to do differently to your competitors?
Julian: We manufacture all of our products which many brands do not. I took the decision to manufacture as this allows for the ever changing flavour range as well as the ability to be in complete control of the process.
Being one of the few companies that manufacture our own peanut butter has opened up opportunities for the business and we also manufacture nut butters for several companies under white label agreements.
MR: How do you use technology/media/ecommerce to improve your offering?
Julian: We use social media (who doesn’t) but companies using social media to pump sales messages and offers isn’t the right way… that’s not being social. Social media platforms are a great way of offering the best in customer service and connecting with the people who like what you are doing.
Our website is self built but developing. Within it we are adding videos to help visitors through every step of the buying process. These will increase. I want people to feel 100% happy with the Funky experience.
MR: What advice would you give to a new retail start-up based on your experience?
Julian: Just go for it… Don’t spend too much time creating a perfect offering. This will just slow you down.. Take advice but don’t be afraid to ignore it and try what you feel is right.. But most important have fun…. And don’t make peanut butter 😉