At some point, it feels like every business will have to compete with Amazon. In a growing number of industries the game seems to be Amazon vs The World.
The stereotypical struggle of the 20th century was Mom and Pop vs Walmart. And we’ve all seen how that changed the commercial landscape in downtowns across America, and right here in Acadiana. Economies of scale are a powerful thing.
The new family business isn’t likely a brick and mortar anymore. E-business has created new opportunities through products on demand and on delivery. It’s the upside of entering a digital marketplace. If you’ve got a product to sell, you can find a low-cost way to market it.
It’s crowded out there and companies of all sizes need a way to differentiate what they do. And what better way to get ahead than get reviewed.
Sarah Branton, has found a niche as a supplier, so-to-speak, of reviewers. Her company Real Product Talk brokers free samples of new products to a network of around 1,000 reviewers. Reviewers are unpaid, but they get loads of free stuff to try and then tell the world what they think on Amazon, Target, Etsy and Google. Real Product Talk has given away around $1 million in free products since Sarah and her partner launched it in 2014.
Originally from Cecilia, Sarah is a serial entrepreneur and podcast host. She’s also leveraged her connections into a successful affiliate marketing business on Facebook.
Laure Hess got her start in digital marketing and found her big break in the gig economy. Laurel created Hampr, an app-based laundry delivery service, that connects laundry-laden households with washers willing to take that burden off their hands. Hampr’s target market is Laurel herself — the busy-mom-on-the-go. But during the pandemic, the service became useful for frontline workers working long hours.
Working in the healthcare industry gave Laurel an opportunity for a pandemic pivot. She used Hampr’s existing delivery network to spin off Presto Health, a startup that delivers prescriptions in partnership with Ochsner Lafayette General. In 2020, Hampr was selected for Techstar, a highly competitive startup accelerator in Austin that comes with a $120,000 investment award.
Photos by Jill Lafleur. Hear Laurel talking about her early roll out of Hampr here.