Headline article image BlendJet sells a blender every three seconds. Here’s how

BlendJet sells a blender every three seconds. Here’s how

The secret to business success is knowing what you’re really selling, says BlendJet founder Ryan Pamplin.

The secrets to BlendJet’s success, at a glance:

  • Identify what you’re really selling.

    In BlendJet’s case, this was convenience and wellness. 

  • Look for opportunities to grow.

    Discover the potential of your brand.

  • Invest in advertising.

    And then work to retain customers.

  • Make your product accessible.

    For example, with Afterpay.

Creating the first portable blender wasn't exactly a career goal for Ryan Pamplin, but when a devastating brain injury in 2016 left him unable to read, use a computer, or even look at a screen for almost a year, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur found himself with a whole new passion and path to pursue.

"You do your best work when you do something you're passionate about," explains Pamplin, who formerly owned a creative agency that crafted video for Fortune 500 brands, as well as co-founding the first software for measuring video ads online. 

"I faced a health problem, so I built a solution to that problem," he says, reflecting on a recovery period spent tirelessly whipping up protein shakes and smoothies.

By the time he teamed up with his old tech colleague, John Zheng (a social media marketer who has worked with everyone from Disney to Uber) and his (now) wife, Kathryn O'Malley (who would lead the customer experience team), Pamplin's goal was clear. 

"I was like, 'we're going to solve the problem that convenience food is not healthy and healthy food is not convenient, to help people live longer and healthier lives'."

Pamplin, who launched the ‘original portable blender’ BlendJet in June 2018 with 7,000 units (funded by him and his team and designed in California) didn't just solve the problem, he created the number-one selling brand of blender online. By the end of 2021, one BlendJet was being sold every three seconds through its website and international retailers (20,000 of which are in the US alone.) Around one in seven of those sales are made with Afterpay.

Identify what you’re really selling

The "irritating experience" of making daily smoothies ("I was making too much; it was too loud; I hated having to go to the kitchen; and I hated cleaning it") may have alerted Pamplin to a gap in the market, but understanding exactly what he was selling, allowed him to think bigger.

"I don't really sell blenders, I sell convenience."

- Ryan Pamplin, Blendjet founder

"I don't really sell blenders, I sell convenience," explains Pamplin. "Our customers [of which there are now five million around the world] are, on average, using the BlendJet one or more times a day, versus a traditional blender which is less than three times a month. So, my competition is not other blender companies, it’s fast food."

See the potential for the product

A massive 42 percent of people who purchased a BlendJet in 2020 came back to purchase something else from the brand in 2021. This is unusual for a hardware company. So how did they do it? 

"We added accessories [such as ready-to-blend smoothies], special editions, premium versions [BlendJet 2 launched in October 2020] and things that improve the vanity and extend the usefulness of the product,” explains Pamplin, pointing to the XL Jar which turns the BlendJet into a full-size blender. "Through that, we've been able to continually increase our year-by-year average order value."

The company is also strategic with sales and rarely discounts. "During the holidays, the more you buy, the more you save, which encourages bulk purchases," he says. "Lots of people buy additional colours and patterns then come back and buy them as gifts."

It helps that BlendJet doesn't sell on Amazon. "The way a lot of customers come back is through email: that’s 20 percent of our overall revenue so it would be insane to give that up," he explains. "A big part of our strategy is to own that customer relationship and of course our retail partners (which include Target, BestBuy and Walmart) love that we don't sell on Amazon." 

Invest in advertising

BlendJet's advertising and social media strategy has been so effective that retail partners approach them with requests to stock the brand rather than the other way around. The company spends seven figures a month on video and imagery ads on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok ("the most important platform to be investing in in 2022") and a similar amount on advertising on TV. 

"Our relationship with customers does not stop on our Thank You page [either]; that's actually the beginning," explains Pamplin. "If you buy a BlendJet, you get free content to inspire you to make nutritious things. That is a huge part of why we have such an engaged community who share recipes on Facebook."

Hire the best people – and approach hiring creatively

Pamplin values passionate staff. After interviewing a candidate, he'll send them a BlendJet to try. "If they don't absolutely love it and don't get it, they can't work with us," he says. "People can become experienced but generally they don't ‘become’ passionate."

"People can become experienced but generally they don't ‘become’ passionate."

- Ryan Pamplin, Blendjet founder

Autonomy is equally as important. "I look for someone who I can give a goal to and they can figure out the action required, versus someone who needs to be spoon fed," he says. 

Make your product accessible

 What really sets BlendJet apart from so many other businesses is that it appeals to anyone. "Really, anyone with a mouth," nods Pamplin. "So, making it accessible to as many people as possible is critical."

Which is where Afterpay comes in. "If we can offer you a financing option that gives you the ability to eat better and maybe skip a couple of Starbucks runs, that's an exciting thing."

In fact, as many as 15 percent of BlendJet customers use Afterpay, "which indicates they wouldn't have made a purchase if we didn't offer the option," says Pamplin, who found, via a study, that more customers preferred Afterpay compared to all other providers combined. "How could you not offer the solution your customers straight up tell you is the one they want?"

Partner with Afterpay now

All references to any registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Afterpay does not endorse or recommend any one particular supplier and the information provided is for educational purposes only.


Written by
Martha Hayes
Martha Hayes is a British writer, journalist and talent booker based in Los Angeles.
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