Fresh, honest produce is the way to go, but acquiring great quality groceries from independent sellers, especially local farmers, isn’t always easy. Most farmers only have a presence at farmers’ markets, with little to no experience selling online, so purchasing a block of authentic boerenkaas (local Dutch cheese), for example, isn’t a matter of simply wandering down the dairy aisle at your closest supermarket.
This was the key problem for Dutch cheese startup de firma kaas. While no one could deny the superiority of this dairy product - which has been made locally in the same way for generations - sales were limited, and it was all down to access. People are just too busy, it seemed, to have the time to go and buy local produce from the source. Figuring out the next step was simple: developing a way to get de firma kaas' cheese into people’s hands more easily, while making it a profitable venture.
Innoleaps took de firma kaas and deconstructed it, taking an offline world to the online space. We solved the problems potential customers might have with time, availability, weekly shopping, and honest produce by developing a mail-order model. Now, de firma kaas buys fresh cheese directly from the farmer. They slice it, vacuum it, and ship it to customers in the post. If bought on a Monday, it's on your doorstep by Thursday. Of course, there were challenges in making this possible. Because the farmer cheeses are produced in round wheels - figuring out how best to cut these large, circular-shapes into 2.8cm-high pieces that could fit through a letterbox was quite a hurdle. And so we helped design a specific knife that would cut the cheese perfectly with the correct dimensions for a letterbox. Soon after, de firma kaas got the green light for nationwide shipping.
The next step was to get the de firma kaas brand out there. Using our experience and growth-hacking capabilities, we were able to expand the startup’s reach online in a fast and efficient way with a lower cost per acquisition, high percentage rates, and low churn percentages. To achieve this, a complete restyle of the startup’s entire IT background was required, taking it fully online. Online ‘tasting boxes’ were created before we went full-funnel with an online strategy, think social domains, influencers, affiliate marketing, affiliate campaigns, and a cross-media mix which included digital ad signage in the major cities in Holland. Radio and national newspapers were also utilized to get as many eyes on the brand as possible.
As a result of restructuring the brand with a new identity, and boosting its reach with well over a million visits online, Innoleaps was able to triple the size of de firma kaas’ customer base. And in creating this fully-working machine, Innoleaps was able to demonstrate to de firma kaas’ main investor, FrieslandCampina, how to successfully build a startup with a venture board and a strategy line in an online sphere that they were already familiar with. De firma kaas webshop has received more than 1 million visits since launching.