April 6, 2023

Episode 228: Kelly Nyland, CEO of Whym

Kelly Nyland is the CEO of Whym. As a long-standing technology executive, Kelly has launched 120 “next-gen” experiences in over 40 global markets. She’s partnered with the world's top online & offline retailers across 40,000 points of sale for more than 15 years. She’s a practiced technologist in “pulling the future forward” by leveraging technology in a way that adds value to the customer journey.

As the Head of GTM @ Snapchat, Kelly was recognized, globally, for her innovative GTM & Sales strategy around Snap’s camera glasses. She and her (now) co-founder, got an inside look at why social commerce experiences have been disappointing to influencers and brands that hoped to leverage their content on these platforms to drive acquisition and lifetime value.

She’s now built a software suite for brands that leverages the ubiquity, access and convenience of social selling.

Julian: Hey everyone. Thankyou so much for joining the Behind Company Lines podcast. Today we have KellyNyland, CEO of Whym. Whym Helps brands find their future customers. Kelly, I'mso excited to chat with you, not only from your background and your experienceand really impressive, really background and go to market strategies andgetting people to really, be attracted or hold some kind of attachment tobrands and, and products and things like that.

So obviously it's gonna be a funconversation diving into not. What you've been able to do, but what you'reworking on at Whym and, and how you're kind of really transforming, I think amovement that a lot of people have been feeling, which is connecting withbrands and finding, new ways to, whether it's it's it's purchase something orkind of gonna be connected to a different company.

I feel like a lot of people are veryconscious about the way they're spending and spending habits and brands. Moreso trying to connect with their customers. As, the whole, brand association Ithink is becoming extremely popularized. And, and people are really thinkingabout and being conscious about the things that they purchased.

But before we go into Whym and whatyou've been doing there, what, what, what were you doing before you started thecompany?  

Kelly: Thank you Julian.Thank you for having me. So excited to share some of our insights a little biton the company and as far as my background is concerned. So I spent the last 15years working on the brand side owning to market strategy for digital channels.

So all direct to consumer channel.E-commerce and working with a lot of.com retailers. At the same time, I alsoowned the full omnichannel mix, which means that I worked with retail buyersfor 20,000 points of sale and did that not only in north American market, but Iran around the world for a long time setting up businesses in the top 40markets in the world.

And so the way that I. To say this isthat I sit, I, I sat in my now decision maker's seat. So Whym has created apiece of software that it helps to equip brands with their consumer or shoppingintent data. And in my previous roles, my shopper insights, my customer data,those are the lifeblood of helping.

Understand where my opportunities forgrowth. Yeah. And healthy gross margins within my business actually were. Somy, that's a little bit of my background and It. At the end of that sort of 15years, I found myself in a really interesting go-to-market role at Snapchat andwe can talk a little bit about more about that.

Cause that's sort of where theinspiration for Whym came in. But I was, I started my journey at Snapchat underthe guise of helping to build out. The future of shopping for Yeah. WhatSnapchat and Evan believed would eventually kind of be the future. Yeah. And sothat's where I got some really interesting experience and some insight into howplatforms like Facebook and TikTok Yeah.

And Snapchat approached the, kind ofcommerce journey for NextGen consumer.  

Julian: Yeah, it's sofascinating thinking about, you mentioned understanding your customer data tobe able to kind of make decisions and I'm, I'm wondering based on, you launchedquite a few in, in quite a few different markets and over those kind ofmarkets, did you see a lot of differences in consumer habits and buying habitsor anything that was similar between those markets?

I'm curious in terms of how thechallenge of understanding that particular space, those behaviors, and thenactually launching something that's gonna. Use and value and of course it'shypercritical to, to understand your market when you're launching because ofthat, that adoption period that you want to have as quickly as possible.

What were some of the challenges you sawand, and how different was launching in, in these, auxiliary markets?  

Kelly: Yeah, so that's agreat question. What we see is that shopper behaviors are actually quiteconsistent regardless of the category. So I can talk a little bit about that.Typically it's a little less of category, it's a little less about thecategories.

So let's say like consumer packagedgoods or fashion or beauty products. Consumers act pretty consistently acrosscategories. What might change in their behaviors is the time it actually takesto consider the product. Mm-hmm. And sometimes that has to. Price points, ofcourse. The higher the price point, the longer the consideration cycle can be.

So those are pretty consistent. But onthe brand side, in terms of how they collect and leverage data that canactually be very different from industry to industry. And so I can talk aboutlike the differences in the similarities. So on the shopper Wim has a reallyunique product because we focus on what we call overlooked behaviors mm-hmm.

In the shopper and consumer market. So,a quick example of this Yeah. Is as shoppers are shopping today, they havetheir own ways of remembering products and saving products for later thatthey're not ready to make. An impulse buy or an immediate purchase on, which isusually something around like a, a commodity, right?

Mm-hmm. So if it's not a commodity,there's this whole other massive bucket of products and brands that we discoverevery day. So, Jolene, I have a question for you. Yes. I know you were thehost. So maybe not a lot of people ask you questions, but you know, when youfind. Discovering new product, either through swipe up, scrolling, searching,hearing about a product from a friend.

How do you find yourself rememberingproducts that you're interested in but not quite ready to buy  

Julian: yet? Oof. It reallydepends. I go from adding to adding to a specific card. If I know that cardwill be saved, I'll go to wishlists and. Click my likes or if I'm, I'mselecting something with my partner, then it's like a text thread of justdifferent links of, of us trying to figure out, or on her, on her desktop.

It's a bunch of tabs that drives mecrazy because I cannot switch tasks that quickly. Unlike her, she's amazing at,at switching tasks quickly, but it really depends on, on. The functionality ofthe platform or product in, in, in my opinion. Mm-hmm.  

Kelly: Yeah. So, very good.You are in the majority. So here's what's fascinating and, and we could talkabout what happens on desktop versus mobile cuz there's some things that changeas we shop there.

So what we see is that the number onebehavior in consumer shopping is screenshotting. Mm-hmm. So if you're on yourphone and you swipe up and you're kind of in this flow of like, wanting to getthrough your content. Yeah. You're being entertained, of course. And so a lotof consumers will just take a screenshot or they'll exit themselves into anative browser.

Mm-hmm. And they'll keep a bunch of tabsopen. Mm-hmm. So, of course on desktop, multi tab shopping is the, one of themost common users. Same thing on mobile. So I just kind of keep, 80 mobile tabsopen like a digital junk drawer. And I just kind of know I can go back. To itat any time. And then we hear a lot of stories like, hopefully my phone doesn'tcrash.

Right? Yeah. And I have to pull it allover again. And then the third thing is some combination of text, emailing orDMing a friend, a partner or yourself to keep a list of links somewhere. Weactually hear a lot of people have like an Apple note full of product links orone email with like a quirky subject line, and they keep all of their stuff inthere.

And then the fourth thing is, and wekeep track of the top 10 behaviors here, but the fourth one is like, I don't doanything. I just wait. I tell Siri or I wait for. Someone to retarget me. Andso here's what's really interesting about that is the majority of thosebehaviors, Julian, are not actually traceable or trackable by brands today.

And brands actually know this andthey're quite frustrated about it because these are. Signals really importantsignals and high interest and high intent. And what brands are facing today isthis complete erosion of traditional advertising. We saw this initially with,very sort of older forms of advertising, like TV or.

Magazines or print, that that kind offell out. But now since Apple actually made this big privacy update less thantwo years ago, this has created this massive erosion of the efficiency and theeffectiveness of platforms like Facebook and Google. Yeah. And so there's likethis low level panic in the growth marketers and e-commerce directors.

World today where they have to actuallymake those product detail pages, those pages that write for each product. Sure.They have to make those products. Those pages work harder because they aregetting all of this discovery traffic, and once consumers land on that page,they have to collect more data early and often there because it's reallyexpensive to actually get a shopper.

Product page and it's becoming more andmore and more expensive. And that's forcing a lot of experimentation by brands.Sure. And you kind of asked about the differences, right? Like what are thedifferences in how these different industries are trying to tackle thisproblem? Of my ads, my advertising just doesn't work anymore.

I used to be able to stick $1 in theFacebook machine and $2 would come out and that. Not the case anymore. Yeah, sofor example, some of our CPG brands has said we've exclusively stoppedadvertising on Facebook and we've just gone to Instacart to do nativeadvertising so that we can have our. Products show up in the cart, right?

It's like, don't forget to buy this.Don't forget to buy this. Right? And you can promote their products to be seenby consumers. So it's much a, it's a much more natural in what we call nativeway of advertising to the consumer. But so CPG will have to do that. Beauty andfashion brands may have other tactics where they're working with influencers.

To do like styling campaigns beautyroutines, so you're, you're start sort of seeing that these other ways ofgetting new consumers to discover you and swipe up Yeah. Are those things arechanging and they're, depending on the industry, that's how they're changing.But everyone is facing the same problem, right?

Advertising, erosion, necessity toexperiment. And this necessity around these product pages. Yeah. Becoming thiscenter point of, value creation for the consumer. Like making sure that theycan get all of their questions answered and validated. Yeah. On that page.Almost like the product page is the best salesperson, right?

Yeah. In the company. So yeah, so thoseare some of the changes, the dynamics that we're seeing in the industry. Thingsthat are similar. Things that are different.

Julian: Yeah. Well then it'ssuper interesting thinking about the product page and that you mentioned asecond ago, and when you say that it has to work harder or is it, more in depthdescriptions, is it, better tracking on that landing page to be able to, reportback to a certain system?

What, what kind of work is being done onthose product pages that we don't see and how quickly, I'm assuming. Within amicrosecond that you have to collect that information. What type of informationare they collecting in terms of understanding consumer behavior? Is it just howmany people are landing on this page or where this person coming from?

All this other information? So yeah,what, what kind of work is being done that we don't sleep, but also. Howquickly do they have to intake that information and what is it telling those,those brands?  

Kelly: Great question. Thisis like my favorite subject to talk about. So, you just jump in with your nextquestion when you're ready.

So, What's happening behind the scenesis that for, for the majority, of the time, direct to consumer channels, likeyour e-commerce channel has been very successful at converting customers. Andif you don't know much about margin structure, like when you convert a customerto a sale in your e-commerce channel, brands make.

Not talking about what it costs 'em tomake the product, but let's just say they make 95% of the sale. Mm-hmm. Whenthey go over and work with an Amazon, they actually start to only make 75% ofthe sale. When they go over and work with a company like a Target or aNordstrom, they make 50% of the sale.

So these e-commerce channels are reallyimportant for shoppers to buy directly from because it allows the company, thebrand to be more profitable. Ourselves. But now that now that consumers have amillion different places that they can buy the product Yeah. The product detailpage has to work even harder.

And what that means is that there arenot starting to be this wave of e-commerce enablement companies and pieces ofsoftware like Whym that are starting to tap into these different ways ofhelping consumers get that validation and. Cases create some fomo or createvalue. And so I'll give you a couple of examples.

So number one Whym is actually a toolwhere when you visit the brands that we work with, we allow you to textyourself directly from the product page. So it's a little button that livesright underneath the ad to cart button. And as you've mentioned before, this isalready a super nat, like a very natural behavior, right, that consumers.

Consumers do. So, all you have to do isclick a button, put your phone number in, and now you know what's, now you havea a product link back to that cust back to that brand. And what the brand lovesabout this is they're like, oh my gosh, now we actually know who Julian is andwhat he wants to buy. Yeah.

And the good thing about this is thatmaybe you wanted to engage with this brand anyway, but if you would've just putyour phone number in for a coupon, guess what's gonna happen to you? And justget sale messages four times a week for everything on the website. Becausewhat's happened is the brand doesn't actually know what you want.

They have no way of knowing, oh, Julianfell in love with this product when he saw, this swipe of ad or heard about itfrom a friend. And what we're, what we're working with our brands now is like,stop talking to them. Stop talking to your shoppers about everything on yourwebsite, just. Them about the thing they fell in love with, right?

Yeah. And help them, incentivize themto, to buy that product. Quell their concerns around the ease of returns, theshipping costs. Make sure you're bringing customer reviews or let's say, reallife examples of people wearing or using the product into your product pages.And so these are all sources of validation that consumer.

You don't really need. And so, sothere's absolutely Whym. We do more than that. But that's just one example. Andthen the second thing is like we, we started to see applications that letpeople know about low stock alerts, right? Or there's 25 of the red sort ofleft. And so there's all these different applications that can be added intothe product page to help consumers get the information that they actually need.

One last. Just mentioned, which is kindof cool. Yeah. Is with the rise of like chat G P T and copy AI and dynamictext, we're starting to see that if brands can get an idea of who you are andwhat you're interested in, the site can actually completely change depending onwhere you come in from and what you see.

And so these are the very first stepsthat we're. To make with personalizing shopping experiences for the endconsumer, because you may see a completely different site than your partner,depending on what data can be collected and exchange and then, kind of curated.Yeah. So it kind of leads us in this direction of, have you ever seen MinorityReport?

Yes, I have. Where Tom Cruise is likewalking down the mall. Yep. And he's, he's actually seeing only things thatapply Yeah. To him as a consumer. And we really need this, even though it mightbe a little scary because there's just way too much to discover now. Everythinghas moved online and data is the best way that we can actually start to curate.

Experiences. Yeah. So that's, that'swhere we're headed.  

Julian: Yeah. It's sofascinating. Thinking about, you mentioned, the, the cost breakdown dependingon the partner you work with, if it was like a Target or an Amazon, or evenjust direct to consumer, I'm always curious about, brands versus designersbecause I, I've seen in a lot of say, targets recently they have new designersand do do these incredible launches and it's very, very, It's a really goodquality and really unique stuff.

And then you see less or so of, the fastfashion brands actually becoming even less and less unique. Quality is kind ofdecreasing, but they're still kind of pumping out, fast things, cheap thingsthat you can purchase. How does that change the dynamic if now? Designers and, andeven brands more so can see what's being attractive to their consumers.

What's being more popularized, what'sgetting, maybe not, maybe not bought, but, but saved a lot of times. How doesthat change the dynamic and of not only what brands produce, but also thedesigners? On, on, on, on who are, who are creating these products, what doesthat change in the dynamic?

Or, or has that changed at all in termsof how it influences what they make, how they make, and how they understandwhat's being popularly accepted? By, by customers.  

Kelly: Yeah. So I think, someof this data is, can be used in a couple different ways. Number one is the typeof data that WIM works with is what we call intent data.

Mm-hmm. So it's, it's helping toidentify the shoppers that have discovered your products Yeah. Haven'tpurchased yet, and are willing to share with you what they actually areinterested in buying. Yeah. And that actually helps brands. Forecast the numberof units that they need to produce and this can help with, short run street,street wear, FOMO brands consumer package.

Cuz it can help a lot of different typesof, of industries in terms of forecasting. And also give signals on maybedifferent price points that potentially are not just like, like impulse buys.Yeah. Yeah, so some of our brands actually use this data in their forecasting,especially with new product releases.

Like, yeah, okay, it may take ourshoppers some time to learn about this product or to warm up to this. Mm-hmm.If it's a new product, how can we get a signal of at least high interest? Asfar as like fast fashion and then very like high quality designers. A lot ofthat has to do with price points. A lot of this has to do with, I think.

I think a lot of consumers considerfashion as like an art form, right? Yeah. And their body of the canvas. So,they wanna kind of paint themselves differently all the time. And one thingabout the product detail page that I think is really important is communicatingthe values. Mm-hmm. Of, whether it's clean beauty right?

Or it's there's a lot of different, likesustainability badge. Certifications. And so, if your product is at a higherprice point the product detail page again, is a great place to validate withthe right consumer. Okay. Our price point might be $10 higher. Mm-hmm. Or evenbeing transparent in your pricing model.

Like we've seen some examples of that aswell, where brands will just be completely transparent. I actually think thatEverlane might have. Piloted this a few years ago, right? Yeah, yeah. Wherethey were transparent, right In their model, kind of along those lines of whatI was just describing. Like, here's how much it costs us to create thisproduct.

We could create it this way, for a lotless, in a lot less sustainable way. Or we could sell it over here at thisretailer, but we would have to give up X percentage. And that's actually like,money that we could be giving you off for like free. Or that 10% off couponthat you're looking for to make the sale.

And so, yeah, so margin structure andusing, these values to help consumers understand why they're paying more forone product versus another is a great way to do that. And again, embedding thisdirectly into product pages and making it obvious for consumers is a great wayto differentiate yourself if you're fast fashion or if you're sustainable or.

Have these different ways ofcommunicating. Of course what we're seeing is shop or shop by their values.Yeah. And and that's often a really confusing landscape too, because sometimesbadges just end up being more marketing. Right, right. And so, consumers haveto do a lot of research to kind of figure out what does this really mean anddoes Right.

Do these certifications or badges orwhat this brand's telling me. True and can I really trust, like is, using thesethings to do what we call either for social proof or trust builders versustrust busters. Yeah. So, yeah. So that's how, you can think about fast fashionversus designers versus, how, how are the costs of these different thingsassociated with the processes that manufacturers decide to go through?

Julian: Yeah, I mean, you hitso many points and so many trigger points. Honestly, I'm a. Consumer. I, I, andI, especially with fashion, I love not only going through brands, but going tostores and, and identifying just, I love the discovery process as much as I lovethe, the purchasing and, and having presenting myself and, and, and I'm suremost kind of can agree with that.

But it's interesting that a lot of thedifferentiators for purchasing, at least in my experience, and I'm sure. Theseare the things you mentioned, the, not only the, the quality of thedescription, but how many pictures are involved in with, with somebody actuallywearing the product? How do I know about the model and their sizing so I canmake sure that I, when I purchase something, it doesn't go to waste and we'renot just.

Throwing it away, or I'm not just givingit to Goodwill or all these secondary hand clothing where it kind of justfloods the market with things that people, I, I feel like a lot of times, atleast historically people would buy something, it would last years and you'dhand it down and, and because the quality of the material and the uniqueness inthat time period and seeing that in an e-commerce platform is, is challengingbecause you don't really get that experience unless you know you're floodedwith the right information.

And so fascinating to hear you. I mean,you're hearing like I'm like triggered in so many different ways. I'm thinkingabout the different websites that I'm like, ah, I don't like that thing, and changingfrom different product to product. But yeah. Going back to Whym and thinkingabout the traction you've seen so far what have, not only what's been successand how many customers and brands have you been able to connect consumers with,but what's particularly exciting about the next stage of growth that you'reseeing in the years to come?

Kelly: Yeah, so today, Whymhas traditionally worked with direct to consumer brands in CPG lifestyle andbeauty. And we've initially like our. Very first cohort has been, about 500 ofthese different brands. Now what we're doing is, a lot of this consumershopping has shifted, the power has shifted more to marketplaces mm-hmm.

And to retailers. I think that there arereasons, I think there are reasons for this where, consumers may not get theshipping costs or the ease of returns. Looking for from brand, brand to brandto brand. Mm-hmm. So there's, there's kind of a, there's a scalabilityopportunity that that these types of partners for Whym have.

So we are starting to work with much,much larger brands that have both direct to consumer business or e-commerce,right, like a.com, but then also have stores. So what we see is, Omnichannelyou know what we call omnichannel, which just means physical and digital that'scoming back and Right.

Consumers are wanting to go into thestore, understand the quality of the product, try it on, for all the reasonsthat you just mentioned. Like, okay, what is this model like, sizing and, andthen a lot of brands have had to also show and in have done a good job showing,I should say, that like, On a variety of different models and body types,right.

For inclusivity. So I think one of thereasons that we're seeing that experience in store become really important isbecause of these different, areas of validation that consumers are looking for.Yeah. And so there's this, the store experience and the idea of showrooming canreally help with that.

So Whym is starting to work with these,these type of partners. That's where our growth opportunity is. We're also. Towork with different technology partners in data. Yeah. And messaging and withine-commerce enablement all kind of focused on those things I mentioned before,like how can we create more personalized shopping experiences on those productdetail pages?

Yeah. How can we get data, faster intothe place where it insights can be extracted and then that can be turned. Forthe end users. Yeah. So, so yeah, our biggest opportunities are in those largerbrands, retails, marketplaces where consumers are going in store to shop andwanting to remember products that they find there.

And then the different type ofpartnerships as well.  

Julian: Yeah, yeah. It's soexciting. And thinking about, one thing that just popped in my head about thepro your product and you, you mentioned it kind of. Within a browser, ifyou're, if I'm say, looking at a certain particular website, it kind of sitsthere so they can reference and I can use it to reference that, that product inthe future.

What does that mean in terms ofexpansion opportunity? Does it plug in with other brands that say you are,quote unquote, not necessarily partners with, but then you'll see a lot ofinterest and you can kind of use that data as like an entry point to connectingwith that brand is, have you been able to do that?

That seems like a really cool. Kind of,really kind of, funnel for, for new business opportunities. Is that part ofthe, part of the business model?  

Kelly: Yeah, it is. Yeah.Very, very smart, Julie. So yeah, so today we, Whyms key customer is a brand,so our customer is a brand. And we help brands identify their customers, right?

Right. Their shoppers. And the way thatwe do that is through a suite of different tools that really align with thoseshopper behaviors We talked about earlier when I asked you the question oflike, how do you remember, right? Yeah. We build technology to detect all ofthose signals Yeah. In a way that brands can't get otherwise today.

But here's what's interesting. When.Meet us through a brand, we offer them the opportunity to extend thatexperience. So let's say you've texted yourself from a product page or we, wealso have a, an experience where we'll give you an entire visual browsinghistory of everything you've seen on that brand site for the last year.

And that way you can kind of go back andshop. You can multi-tap shop, you can compare, you can favorite. So it's kindalike a supercharged wishlist. Yeah. Right. Which you mentioned before. So,Offer shoppers the opportunity to extend that experience. So let's say you meetWhym on one of your favorite fashion brands today, but you say, oh, that was,that was really interesting.

I wanna have that experience again. I'mkind of, when you use Whym, like a shopping inbox. Yeah. You can go downloadour Chrome extension and you can download our app from the Apple App Store. Andthis allows you to kind of bring into one experience the things you love themost. From like Instacart Amazon's safer later button.

And what we call this is a shoppinginbox. So it allows you to bring everything you wanna remember from yourInstagram feed to, your search, yeah. Everything in one place. And then fromthere you can kind of create collections. So if you've ever shared an Amazonwishlist with somebody, you know that what bombs you.

Is, it's like everything from Amazon.And so we allow you to actually create collections out of anything on theinternet. It's the same idea. But you can pull in the URL and the products fromanywhere and give someone like a visual wishlist your favorite, brands alignwith your values.

And then you can actually bag up lots ofdifferent brands and also buy in one place. Yeah. So, future vision of theshopper experience is essentially to create almost like this. Art for shopping?Yeah. Meaning for other categories, right?

Julian: Yeah. And what, whatdoes that do in terms of like the future of brand collaboration?

Say like, Hey, I, I have this customer,they have similar shopping habits as your customer as well. We maybe arecompeting or non-competing, but we have a huge opportunity in terms of thepopulation. Let's make something together. I mean my, one of my favoritecollaborations is like the coach in Disney collaborations.

Every time that they put somethingtogether, whether it's a cool wallet or purse or, or article of clothing, it'sso impressive the way that they're able to work together. And then you havesomething so unique. But then we see like, I don't know if I'm gonna ha get anyhate from this, but like, fk and then I want to throw up what, what does thatdo in terms of the collaboration effort between brands and how much more willwe be seeing in the future?

Kelly: So I think what'sreally important with this side of our data is that we can actually now see ifshopper discover is, let's say a white on white sneaker from one of, one of ourpartnered brands. Yeah. But then they kind of go out and they start shoppingfor that. So we'll keep. For our shoppers of all the tabs that they have openedso that they never lose their browsing history ever again.

And then they can delete it or favor it,whatever they want to do. Yeah. And so what we can see is like, okay, Julianwent over here and he actually shopped on these four additional sites to lookfor the best, the best style, and the best price of that product. Yeah. And sothat data can help us power better experiences, but also collaborate.

Their brands because you're reaching outto those brands and saying, Hey, your shoppers are already using this inbox tosave products they love and compare. We kind of say, our shopper experiencesdoes four things. Collect, compare, buy, and share, which is what consumerswant to do. Yeah. And so yes, it's open up, opening up much more brand awesomebrand opportunities.

And then for the shoppers, we wannacreate a transparency layer. What, what, not only we are learning, but brandsare learning about your data. One of the, yeah. One of the things that bothersme the most and continues to kind of drive my passion for building thisbusiness is that when I go into my ad targeting interest for like Facebookinside of Instagram, so in Instagram you can actually go look at all of thecategories of the products that Instagram believes you're interested in basedon.

You've engaged with. Right. And I dothis at least once a quarter is kind of filter through that. Unfortunately, 65%of those interests are wrong consistently. Really. So for example, like I havea friend who who mods like custom motorcycles and there are, I am now in thisad interest targeting thing for like tons of custom mo.

I have no hate against motorcycles.Here's what is terrible because I've also run advertising those motorcyclecompanies or parts or whoever's in that, from small brands to big brands.They're paying Facebook for incorrect ad interest data to target me. So that'swhy this like inefficiency crazy, so helpful.

And the way that I believe that wecorrect this is by being really transparent. Building trust with consumers toshow them not bury this in, five different setting trees. Yeah. Is like bringthis data up front and say, Hey Jillian, does this actually match with how youshop today? Right. Mm-hmm.

And we can't rely on old data like wechange so often as consumers, our looks change from season to season. Yeah.This has to be like a real time. Dynamic, transparent collection, training, andsharing of data. And when you talk about data, it's like super nerdy, right?Like, okay, data, like what does my data look like?

All I can think about is like lines ofcode or tables or spreadsheets or charts, sequel. But I think there's a way, Ithink there's a way to show data in a very visual way. It's actually excitingto see, to learn about yourself and your own behaviors and then to.Adjustments, right? Yeah. This does fit me almost like a dating profile.

So I've left, that does not work for me,that I do not like motorcycle parks. So I, that is, for me, that is, is how I'mfeeling right now. That's, that is kind of a style that, that I like. And so,our future vision is to really help bring that transparency in because brandshave an incredible amount of data on you.

But it's very difficult for you as aconsumer. Yeah. And brands are not getting the value out of that data becauseit could be wrong, it could be olds. And it could be like, it was really sortof, you were shopping for your son or you're shopping for your partner or yourdad. Right, right. And they don't differentiate those different sort shoppingpersonas that you have.

Yeah. And so like, let's make thisbetter. And I think consumers have to really participate. In that to havebetter experiences themselves. Yeah. And for brands to actually be able to do amuch better job. Yeah. With showing you the collabs that you get really excitedabout and not the ones that make you angry.

Julian: That's just, that wasjust the personal pet peeve. But it's, but obviously, yeah. I think a lot ofpeople have that experience. With, with like, what they see and, and whatthey're, almost, it's like we're, we're no longer in that experience of you'retelling me what I should be interested in, but more so I'm, I know what I'minterested in and I'm going to discover.

Seems like that paradigm is completelyshifts. Yeah.  

Kelly: Yeah. And I think alot of times the way that these older advertising platforms believed is thatthey actually believe that they know you. They knew you better than you knewyourself. No. Yeah. And that was the premise that they were operating under.And that is not where we are in the world.

Yeah. And so, we have, we have exceededthat the ability for data to learn about us and now. Actually have to havethese systems, come up to speed with really serving us as consumers. And that'swhat technology is all about. Like technology is just a tool for that. And it'sabout assembling the digital Legos in that way.

Cause all of this is possible. It justtakes someone to have, the view of this and to build the product or technologylike around this. There are a lot of companies thinking this way, like aboutdata and really trying to move these experiences forward.  

Julian: Yeah. What are some ofthe biggest challenges or risks that, that Whym faces today?

Kelly: Yeah, so like anystartup we face, very traditional risks, right? Will we get the traction thatwe need for our next fundraising round? Will we fundraise in, how successfulwill be? Raising in the current market environment, right, where everyone'sjust scared holding onto their money.

And I would say scared, but I would saycan afford to be, can, can afford to wait, that's just can afford to wait.Whereas founders cannot, they cannot afford to wait on bringing capital intothe company and for growth, right? So those are just traditional risks that anystartup think faces.

Specific, specific challenges that Whymfaces is as a software company. Yeah. Right now, brands, it's very difficultfor them to assess the number of pieces of software that they could use Yeah.For their business. And, and that's a real problem because there is, there areprobably a thousand, Great software companies, great products, and for thebrand to figure out how to parse through all of that noise to find the rightcompanies for them and the right abstract for them it just takes a lot of work.

Yeah. And so for any software companytoday, what we call like the top of the funnel, right? The demand, the sort ofdiscovery and the demand that's a challenge that that, that I think a lot of.Companies are facing, especially younger or newer ones, like of course everyoneknows who Salesforce or HubSpot, these like massive companies are.

But if you're not one of thosecompanies, how do you really help to communicate the value of what you have tooffer to the right mixture of not only brands but decision makers at thosebrands. So that's a good, a big challenge. I would say. The other challenge that.Our types of software companies face is working with big, bigger, or, I, Iwould say this is a small and a big problem, but with companies that have a lotof data, it's how can we move the data faster through its collection insightsand then activation stages.

What that really means is that,companies are sitting on a mountain of data. Mm-hmm. But it doesn't reallymatter. Until a data scientist gets together with a business owner, some typeof someone who understands the business or the customer, and they have to workreally hard together to actually extract from this mountain of data somethingthat's actually interesting.

And that's actionable. Yeah, yeah. Thenonce they have those insights, they have to figure out how to get thatinformation back out maybe on their pages. Right. Consumer so that the consumercan get that value or some ways that we say it, like for our product pages,once we collect the phone number and the product that you're interested in,that information's gotta get back into marketing and messaging systems so thatJulian doesn't get blasted with four sales instead of just reminded about theproduct he fell in love with and how it's sustainable and how it's gonna fithim.

Great. And oh, Don. It's easy to returnor there's no shipping cost. Like it's that personalized journey that isincredibly difficult to Yeah. To automate today. Yeah. And so that's a hugechallenge and we're working really hard to try to put those pieces together ina way that are automated for brands.

Right. And help them do that, faster andand so yeah, that's, those are the things that we're facing. Challenges.  

Julian: Yeah, you woulddefinitely get me. I'm, I'm one, I have a philosophy. If I don't want to buy itright away, I'll, if I keep thinking about it, then the next day I'll come backand purchase it.

So, I mean, you have, you have me, youhave me in the perfect position. You're, you're patient. Oh, I just, I'm a, I'ma big consumer, so I've gotta create rules around it. Yeah. What was I gonna say?Yeah, thinking about just if everything goes well, what's the long term visionfor Whym?  

Kelly: Yes. So I talked alittle bit about that.

Whym is in this unique position that alot of companies aren't in today, and we are not, we've not only built for thebrand side of the business, but we've also built for the consumer side of thebusiness. And so most companies only build for one side or the other, right?Yeah. Yeah. So, So I think that's, or or they, let's say they'll build up anaudience and then they'll just monetize it through advertising.

So the most common business models arewhat we call business to consumer. Mm-hmm. And that would be, that would be acompany like a Snapchat, right? Just a consumer focused company. Mm-hmm. Andthen the way they make money is by selling that audience through advertising tobrands. So, and then on the other side, you have just strictly.

To be software. And those are, bigcompanies like I mentioned before, like Salesforce or HubSpot, and they justfocus on selling from their business to other businesses. Whym actually hasboth. So we sell to consumers and we sell, or we, we serve consumers today. Wedon't sell anything to them yet as a service.

And then we serve our brands. So thereason that this is a part of our future vision is because we wanna. This trustlike conduit between brands and consumers for the same reasons that I mentionedto you before. Today, all of your data is really wrapped up in brandssomewhere, right? Yeah. They're every brand you've ever interacted with has atable of data and it has Julian Torres, and it has your order history, and ithas your shipping and your payment, and you know the other piece of informationthat you've given them during your journey.

And some of those are incomplete, andsome of them are complete depending on whether you've purchased or not. Mm-hmm.And then they may have other attributes that they've assigned to. And what's,what's kind of where I think we're headed is you need to, you need to have amechanism by which you can kind of, have the ability to ingest that informationinto one place.

Mm-hmm. Look at it all right. In a veryfriendly way. And and then help, Of back signals to say this is actually true.Right? Right. I'm not interested in motorcycle parts or that other brandcollaboration. I'm really just interested in Disney and, this, and so that'sour future vision.

Our future vision is to create value onboth sides of this exchange by being this trust conduit and this trust layer.Yeah. And we think we can do it better than anybody because we have a realempathy for the brands that we're working. And the struggles that they'refacing with ad erosion. Yeah. And just this, these shifting market dynamicshaving to be really scrappy with the dollars that they're spending.

And on the consumer side, look, let's behonest, like our screenshot folder in our camera roll, it's too much. Notreally the best place for our second memory bank. Right. I mean, it's fine fortoday. Like we're not gonna die, but you know, there's. These differentbehaviors that we've developed because we're not really sure we trust brandswith all that information because what we kind of have been told is that likeit was brand by information, all they're gonna do is just like hit me over thehead with emails and SMS until I unsubscribe.

I mean like, let's be honest. And it'sgonna take sophistication and a lot of work to actually get us to a placewhere, Have better data on the brand side and more personalized experiences onthe shopper side. So it's a 10 year vision for sure. Yeah. We'll get there.And, women's gonna be, I think one of, key cohort of companies that are gonnabe able to do that and do that really, really well.

Julian: Yeah, I would like to,Next question, just because I love how founders extract the knowledge that theyingest and whether it was early in your career or now, what books or peoplehave been, highly influential in your life.

Kelly: What say, did you saybooks? Books are people, yeah. Books or people. Okay.

I thought that's what you said. I just,I wanted to make sure. So books are people. So I from the founder side withfundraising, I always recommend anything by Brad Feld. Mm-hmm. Brad Feld is oneof the partners in kind of, I would say the most well known leader from aventure capitalist group called the Foundry.

And that group was also the they startedTechstars, which a lot of a lot of founders know about. And not only do Iadvocate for Brad's writing, which was extremely easy to digest and very easyto understand, I would say complex concepts. When you start as a founder, youdon't really know anything about cat table dynamics or fundraising or, yeah.

Really what you're doing, you. Foundersall about figuring out how to do some 10 things a day that you didn't know howto do before. Right? Yeah. Learning how to learn every day. And so Brad makesit super easy to understand. He's also just an amazing human. I sat in aboardroom with him for four years and watched him mentor the CEOs that I wasworking for at the startup at the time as a part of their executive team.

So I highly advocate for readinganything by him. Books inspired and empowered. I think that's right. By MartyKagan. And if you're building products, I would highly recommend these two,these two books. I think they do a really fantastic job of setting yourexpectations that when you put the product in the market, it's not gonna beperfect at the beginning.

Yeah. You have to actually work reallyhard to make it amazing. And, and you have to know when. Isn't working and tomove on. Right? Yeah. Then the second book in that series essentially says, youhave to figure out how to empower your teams, right? Like, it's not just abouta founder having a vision of a product that has to get imparted and theneventually like owned yeah.

By your teams. And so I really, thoseare my two sort of, yeah. Brad's like a, an oldie verti. I, I would recommendthat all the time. And then the Marty King and stuff is something more recentlythat I really enjoy.  

Julian: Amazing. And I knowwe're over time here, so I definitely wanna be conscious of that.

But I, I'm been having such a greatconversation about not only consumer behaviors, but how you're building and Iwanna make sure we didn't leave anything on the table. So last question beforeyou share where we can find you and support you and, and Whym is there anythingI didn't ask you that I should have or that you would have like to answer?

Kelly: I, I wanted to shareone other sort of goodness piece, which is I've done a fundraising series on,it's very tactical to help, to help other founders figure out how to set uptheir fundraising process. I talk to a lot of founders. I try to do as manywarm intros to investors as I possibly can.

And so I would just like to offer thatas an additional resource to this community. If you're, if you're starting yourfundraising journey, or even if you have a robust fundraising journey and arejust looking for, some updated best practices and tactics, I think that I thinkthe series will really add some value regardless of sort of which bucket youare in your experience around fundraising.

So that's, I would say the only otherthing that I've worked on recently that I think could really add valuehere.  

Julian: So, yeah. Amazing.Thank you so much for that. Yeah, please do. And we'll share it in the notesand get everybody involved in that. And last little bit is where we can find youand, and, and when, where, what are your websites?

Your LinkedIns, your Twitters. Give usall your plugs so we can support and you, you as a founder, but also yourcompany.  

Kelly: Absolutely. So it'spretty easy to find me. You can pretty much Google Kelly Nyland and then theplatform that you're trying to find me on. So rather than sort of try to rattleoff all the URLs just do that.

I'm easy to find. And LinkedIn is agreat place to find me. Our website for Whym is Whym, whymwallet.com. You can golearn all about the brand side, the consumer side Wanna, try the Chromeextension of the app if you're end user. Even if, even if you're on the brandside and you just wanna experience like what your shoppers are going toexperience, you can visit a bunch of our partnered and featured sellers.

Yeah. On our website, read our casestudies and our brand stories. And yeah. And then if you have any questionshappy to chat with you can reach out to us at hello@whym.tech.  

Julian: Amazing. Kelly, it'sbeen such a pleasure. Like I said, not only learning about your experience, butalso what win's doing.

And I, I, obviously, I think my biggesttakeaway is, is how you're able to not only use data to help brands understandtheir consumers, but what that really means to the overall consumer experienceand how, more, more catered and unique that we're all gonna kind of face inthat experience. So, I hope you enjoyed yourself today on Behind Company Lines,and thank you so much for joining the show.

Kelly: Thank you for havingme, Julian.  

Julian: Of course.

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