The NATPAT Founders: Creating a Sticky Ecosystem for Your Brand | #419

Play episode

Enter the world of NATPAT for tips on marketing mix, packaging and standing out against the competition.

Michael, Gary, and Andrei are three mates who founded NATPAT with a shared passion for bringing new things to life, despite often feeling like they’re figuring things out as they go. Their unique perspectives, drive, and hands-on approach have led them to create a remedy-infused sticker business, an entirely new category of consumer goods. They’ve enjoyed a wild ride, selling hundreds of millions of stickers in just four years to all corners of the globe!

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Michael Jankie, Gary Tramer and Andrei Safonau, co-founders at NATPAT

NATPAT is a brand creating wearable stickers for kids infused with essential oils that offer a range of solutions to everyday problems.  There’s a patch to repel mozzies, one to aid sleep and even a sensory patch to alleviate stress and anxiety.  NATPAT started as a D2C brand and is now stocked in retailers throughout Australia as well as the US and UK.  In this chat, we delve into NATPAT’s channel marketing mix and how it works, the team shares how they position themselves as the original and best in market to combat the copycats and we hear how Kim K endorsed their product and just how much it cost them.

“I thought is this her? And I click on the profile and it’s like 330 million followers!”

Michael Jankie

Kim K is a fan

(Michael) “I was sitting looking at my phone and a notification pops up because I’m logged into the company Instagram account, saying Kim Kardashian posted about you. And I remember, distinctly it was 8pm where I was, which was in Paris. And it was about 4am  local time in Queensland where Gary and Andrei were. I remember screenshotting this going, this will be funny. This will be like someone who’s pretending to be Kim Kardashian probably asking for free products or something. 

And I opened the notification and it says Kim Kardashian’s posted a story. I’m looking at this story. And it was just really simple. There’s a picture of our product saying, found these, bought these, love these, that sort of thing. And I was just like, is this her? And I click on the profile and it’s like 330 million followers. This is legit!”

DIY approach to in store packaging

(Gary) “I was freaking out for six months before we moved into Target, because I thought the pack doesn’t communicate.  The amount of people that we’d spoken to about how to package claims and terminology and the design. And does this feel like it’s something that you would spend $10 to $15 on shelf? I spent many sleepless nights obsessing about, my God, how are we going to make this work? Many freelancers, many discussions, so many conflicting opinions. 

We went to the US, Michael, Andrei and I. We went and we walked every aisle of every major retailer. And in the US there’s many more than Coles and Woolies. So, from morning to night, multiple days we went through and we took photos and we looked at it and we looked at the competitors, not direct competitors, but what other companies would do with their packaging, took inspiration.  I’ve actually got photos where Andre and Michael and I are in a hotel room, making designs, cutting them out, creating mockups, going into retailers, putting them on the shelf, trying to imagine what they would look like, font size, everything, which was actually an amazing exercise, nothing like the visceral approach of doing it yourself. 

We came back from the US as self -taught packaging experts. And it made me feel nauseous about the amount of time that I’d spent with other experts realizing that now we really know what we’re talking about. And now we know we’ve nailed it.  We feel really confident about what we’ve done and we’ve done that ourselves internally mostly, which is just amazing.”

Original and best…in shape

(Michael) “So our biggest concern is that if a consumer tries one of these other products, they are inevitably inferior. And the risk is that they’re turned off the concept of stick on remedies. It’s not that they have bought from that company and just won’t buy from that company again. It’s the risk that they put us into the same bucket as that company and just say stickers don’t work. That’s our biggest concern. 

And so what we spent quite a bit of time, effort and money on in the last really 18 months is making sure it’s really clear. So like we certainly have a first mover advantage. So we, one, there is a lot of effort that goes into maintaining what that means to be a first mover advantage.

When we first came out, we were just round stickers, right? Round stickers with fun emojis. We did some trademarking around it, but people copied us.  But we went, all right, let’s look at this a little bit more carefully. We want to be a bit rough on consumers. And if they buy the cheap version or the inferior version, people should know that they’re wearing the cheap and inferior version. So our way of doing that was like, great, let’s have a really distinct shape, a registrable shape. So even as a consumer, if you see someone wearing a round sticker, you know it’s the cheap one.”

Links from the episode:

This episode was brought to you by…

Subscribe to Add To Cart

We’ll let you know about new episodes PLUS exclusive
competitions and discounts from our guests!


More from this show

Weekly Ecommerce Newsletter


Let’s get social

We are a team of dedicated professionals delivering high quality WordPress themes and plugins.