This inspiring story is of a rising eCommerce startup called Gooten, started by Austen Bernstein, Micah Smith, Nick Anderson. The startup is based out of the United States and its current CEO is Brian Rainey. Gooten operates a smart supply chain for brands and retailers looking to reshape their eCommerce business. Gooten’s proprietary technology creates an unparalleled experience for enterprises interested in leveraging on-demand manufacturing as part of their business model. As of Feb’21, the startup has managed to secure seed funding. Here is the story of Gooten in Brian’s own words.

Introduce us to the idea of Gooten

Manufacturing is extremely complex today. Brands have to deal with bulk inventory financial commitments, sourcing global manufacturers, understanding shipping and delivery logistics controlling distributed warehouses integrating disparate technologies, and maintaining production quality levels. Gooten out-sources all of this complexity for your brand and enables you to leverage the platform with a single connection.

What’s your strategy story? What led you to start Gooten?

Gooten was started on the notion of how do consumers know and trust the products they buy online? Gooten wanted to create a new model to establish manufacturing and quality consistency while replacing legacy bulk inventory models. Gooten is unique in that it combines eCommerce with deep technology and manufacturing and fulfillment. 

So even with all of the world’s technology – we still must have a product physically manufactured, placed in a box, and shipped to the consumer.  This presents some unique challenges and forces you to change how you think about solving problems. We use data and technology to optimize manufacturing and fulfillment while delivering cost controls ultimately.

What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at Gooten?

Content and SEO have always worked best. At Gooten, we want to make sure that we are seen as subject matter experts, and the best way to do this is via content. This can be accomplished through bylines for various publications. The key to content is to engage with customers in a friendly manner where you impart knowledge and invite them to deepen their relationship and engagement with you. Oftentimes especially here at Gooten – we have to sell our industry to potential customers before selling ourselves.

What is your competitive advantage at Gooten

At Gooten we focus on what we call the Gooten Seven (7) – these are the 7 key components to more effectively and reliably outsource your supply chain for on-demand manufacturing to Gooten. The elements include:

  1. consultation with our business success team members,
  2. Sourcing the products you need at the price point and quality level desired,
  3. technology integrations into the major eCommerce platforms or native use of our API,
  4. internal coordination with your business to assist in a successful launch,
  5. efficient operations of the on-demand manufacturing and shipping, ensuring consistent quality,
  6. financial support through single vendor invoicing and co-marketing funding, and lastly
  7. on-going merchant support to assist you with your business in any way needed.

How are you customer-obsessed?

At Gooten, we service two kinds of customers – the brand and then all of their customers or consumers. We take this to heart and live this every day. We have to help ensure that the customers of our customers are happy. We like to be behind the scenes and give 100% of our team and resources to ensure that both the business and the consumer are happy. This is embedded in every single transaction and order that we produce.

Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?

Two mistakes that I’ve made are:

  1. Trying to do too much- I’ve learned that if something isn’t a part of your core business, then outsource it.
  2. Not connecting with the customer- Connecting with your customer is essential to standing out from your competitors. Make sure to connect with your customer and truly understand what they need. There are factors other than prices that customers care about, such as time, quality, and reliability. Recognizing what your customer cares about is how you can differentiate yourself.

Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?

The advice that I would share is to make sure that you are building a career as you are building a company. This means that you need to take a long-term view. Take the lessons that you will learn along the way and understand and appreciate them. Make sure not to cut corners. This especially falls into the bucket of not having ethical lapses.  Always be happy with who you are and do not try to become a different person.

Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.

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