Episode 46 - Learning from Brands That Stay off Amazon with Craig Elbert from Care/of




Today we’re discussing with another professional with a very impressive career background. In this episode, Kiri talks to Craig Elbert, the co-founder of Care/of, a direct-to-consumer brand specializing in vitamins and supplements. Craig was previously the VP of marketing at the direct-to-consumer men's wear company, Bonobos. Both Care/of and Bonobos are direct-to-consumer companies that don't sell on Amazon and in today's episode, Craig explains what it takes for brands to be in a position where they don’t have to sell on Amazon and he talks about what's special and different about Bonobos and Care/of, that allows them the luxury of not being active on Amazon.

Craig and Care/of are doing a lot of things right. The brand has raised $44 000 000 in funding from Goldman Sachs, Goodwater Capital, Juxtapose, ROE Ventures, and Task Ventures. Tune in today to find out what makes a direct-to-consumer brand really strong.

We saw the opportunity to build a direct-to-consumer business that could help solve the confusion with a quiz, and providing guidance to people, and solve the broken trust with transparency on ingredients, transparency on research, and credible doctors involved.
— Craig Elbert


  • Craig tells the story of the origin of Care/of and he explains what inspired him to launch a brand in the supplement space.

  • Their initial goal of Care/of is not just about vitamins and supplements. It's about helping people to live healthier.

  • There is a personalization element to the brand that really sets Care/of apart.

  • Using a self-reported quiz as a starting point for personalizing the customer experience.

  • Craig talks about his primary customer acquisition channel.

  • Creating a product that would lend itself to word-of-mouth.

  • Why Care/of is not on Amazon.

  • The Care/of product is part physical and part digital.

  • The reason that some brands might choose not to be on Amazon.

  • Using a strong story to create a demand for a brand that has not existed previously.

  • It's difficult to build credibility if you're not on Amazon.

  • You have to prove, over time, that you're good at storytelling, that you can build an audience, and that you can connect, to not have to sell on Amazon.

  • The logic behind Walmart purchasing Bonobos.

  • Where brick and mortar fits into Craig's picture for the future of his business.

  • Looking at the roles of the different channels in creating a brand.