Part of our Customer Spotlight series, featuring brands on the Crisp platform and their growth stories.
A new kind of clean
As Rebel Green founders Ali Florsheim and Melina Marcus say, a little revolution every now and then is a good thing. This green cleaning revolution began when the two moms, one a former lawyer and the other a journalist, decided to create their own non-toxic, food-grade fruit and veggie wash. The product evolved into a mission-driven company focused on sustainable and ethical manufacturing and a stylish, vintage-glam brand that makes sustainable choices easy and fun for consumers. And choose they have: Rebel Green is now carried in over 4,500 stores and successfully competes alongside the much larger conventional brands in its category. Since launching in 2008, Rebel Green’s product line has grown to include a variety of certified organic, eco-friendly soaps, cleaning products, household items, and bamboo paper goods.
The pandemic sales spike and crash
When the pandemic hit, Rebel Green’s steady growth trajectory turned into a wild ride. Demand for cleaning products skyrocketed, but there was nothing quite like the clamor for their bamboo toilet paper. Sales grew at an exponential pace from all directions. As National Sales Manager Chip Albers recalls, “I went from being a typical sales person calling on buyers to having my phone ringing off the hook with buyers asking me if I had any product for them.” The team went into overdrive to meet the moment and keep shelves stocked.
When the major scramble subsided, Chip’s team was faced with what they called a “COVID hangover.” Buyers and shoppers had now fully stocked up, and Rebel Green found themselves in a plateau. Now, Chip had to put his traditional sales hat back on and figure out a way to drive more sustainable growth for the company. The only way to do that was with data, so he turned to his retail and syndicated data sources to get some signals.
But that was easier said than done. As Chip reflects, “You can have all the data in the world…but it’s what you do with it that’s most important.” To get truly meaningful insights in the noise, Chip was poring through vendor reports across distributors and retailers, consolidating them, cutting them by SKU, and then trying to analyze them month over month, or even year over year. It was incredibly time consuming and skill-intensive. Chip thought there had to be a better way to get the data he needed brought together in one place.…and that’s when he found Crisp.
“You can have all the data in the world…but it’s what you do with it that’s most important.”Chip Albers, National Sales Manager, Rebel Green
Healthy sales start with spotless data
Chip says that finding Crisp at just the right moment was “kismet.” Now, he has all retail data laid out just the way he needs it. He starts by viewing sales trends for top accounts by retailer and product, which helps him understand the broader picture and chart a path forward. To follow up on past growth, he can answer questions like “what are the accounts that purchased toilet paper this year?” Chip can then go through recent sales or on-hand inventory to see when each account last ordered and make sure they’re restocked. This turns buyers who may have purchased from Rebel Green out of necessity into a long-term sales opportunity. “That would have taken forever without Crisp,” Chip reflects. To save even more time, Chip saves pre-filtered reports so he can come back to the same retailer or product-specific metrics whenever he needs them.
Chip’s team also uses Crisp to find new opportunities for expansion. At one retailer, for instance, he can see that out of 10 stores, one of Rebel Green’s core products is only in four, but it’s performing well. Using Crisp, he can share this data with buyers to make the case to expand into the other six locations. Or using the Sales by State heat map, Chip can drill down to find that a particular SKU is selling very well in a certain area. He can then point to another area with a similar demographic, and reach out to his broker to pursue that opportunity. Chip can also easily share charts and reports with colleagues and executives to drive internal collaboration and create plans for the year ahead – setting the stage to expand into new products across wellness, household, and even hospitality.