An Open Letter from Pia | Curate Well Co.

An Open Letter from Pia

October 22, 2021

This year rocked my world. 

In some ways good, but in many ways….not so good. 

It was a hard year. 

I’ve spent more hours working than anything else. I feel frustrated. In some ways, I feel like I failed. 

I also feel inspired. 

As many obstacles as I faced this year, each rerouted me closer to exactly where I need to be — as a human, as a leader, and as the owner of Curate Well Co. 

I learned lessons I needed to learn in order to press forward on the journey I’m on.

I got very clear on the things I’m absolutely, definitely not tolerating next year. 

I faced truths and traumas it was time to face. 

I gained a deeper understanding of my why, got clear on the special impact Curate Well Co. makes, and deepened our brand conviction.

I continued to take action towards our long-term vision, and got a lot closer to the company we want to be.

 

2021 Lessons Learned

In all honesty, I’m ready to be done with this year. I’m ready to pave a new path forward — and to do that, I want to first reflect on my hardest lessons learned this year.

Fail Fast 

If something isn’t working, acknowledge that quickly, and take action to change it. Don’t wait around for things to shift, or try too hard to make it work. The faster you can identify bottlenecks, hurdles, or no-gos, the more easefully you can navigate around or through them.

For example, at CWco., we learned that effort spent on Pinterest marketing wasn’t actually converting beyond top-of-funnel vanity metrics, so we reallocated that time and energy to needle-moving activities. 

You Attract What You Allow

You’ll find yourself in situations that you are at least partially responsible for based on what you’re allowing — into your experience, to happen in certain circumstances, or to affect you. Setting boundaries and exploring deeper self-worth healing were big learnings for me in 2021. 

For example, at CWco., we learned that holding our team accountable to a certain level of performance is just as important as making sure they’re happy in their role and we’re offering competitive benefits. 

Communication is Queen 

How you communicate with others is a make or break factor. Whether it be in the context of sales, customer service requests, relationship-building, and beyond — your words, tone, inflection, presence, and leadership matters. 

For example, at CWco., we learned that almost any situation can be handled with grace, calm, and kindness in emails with the right phrasing and solutions-oriented approach — and that how you handle the situation is often more important than the tangible outcome for overall satisfaction. 

Knowing Your Purpose Allows you to Prevail 

I know many business owners who closed their doors in 2021. When I reflected on this, I was reminded of why knowing our bigger mission is so important. When we feel burnt out, when we’re questioning if something is worth it, it’s our ‘why’ that keeps us going. 

For example, at CWco., we learned that our why is to see more female leaders at the helm of high-growth, community-based businesses. 

Don’t Give Up the Things That Make you Different 

Your strongest qualities are the ones to lean into — even if others push back. If you’ve gotten feedback that a certain quality makes a difference, don’t let it go even if others push you to change it. 

For example, at CWco., we learned that our neurotic attention to detail — even if it drives some people crazy — is the thing that lets us make a difference in the way only we can. 

 

What was a lesson learned for you this year? I encourage you to name one thing that you know now, that there’s not turning back from.

 

2022 Business Trend Report

Micro

I’ve come to know this year that large scale impact comes from the accumulation of small details — and I think the market feels the same. Micro messaging, micro experiences, and micro focuses on consumer-centered interactions are already starting to emerge as powerful plays. 

FOMO is Fading

Gone are the days of falsely inflating scarcity or urgency. Our perspective has shifted around what we do and don’t want to miss out on. Consumers are empowered with choice, and creating FOMO is no longer shiny or sexy. Genuine representation and supporting people towards choice-based consumerism is in. 

No More Picking at Pain Points 

Selling language will continue to shift away from problem-focused to goal-focused. While brands will effectively make consumers problem-aware, the way they’ll create connection is not through eliciting fear, but rather through empowering their customers towards what’s possible. 

Interactivity

Websites will not only be animated and incorporate movement, but will invite interaction from the consumer to engage all senses, and create equal participation from both parties. Customer experience is the thing that will have brands stand out.

Serif Fonts Will Fall

In 2020 and 2021 we saw a rise in “luxury” branding featuring serif fonts. I anticipate that more modern, understated, clean sans serif fonts will rise in the next year — in line with the micro trend, and a shift away from “luxury” towards approachability, consumer-centric content, and brands bolstered by meaning.

Short Sales pages 

As a show of respect for the consumer, scrolling (and scrolling and scrolling…and scrolling) will be eliminated and shorter pages with more succinct (and essential) messaging will promote a better conversion. 

Pull Marketing and Minimal Messaging

Less copy and fewer, more powerful words will separate the successful brands from those that struggle. 

Longer Contracts

Taking a whole-human approach to supporting clients will continue to gain popularity, and with it, longer programming. Accounting for the human factor (and leaving space and buffer for human experiences) will be most supportive for service-based businesses — and their customers — in 2022. 

Personal Experiences (Segment of 1)

The segment of one, which is highly individualized and unique to that person, is seen through our coffee orders, customized vitamins, hair care, among other things that are built for us. Business leaders will want something built customized to them and their quirks vs adopting a system. Our human desire is to be around other people with values and beliefs like our own. I’m seeing a push to go back to in-person, leaving zoom behind. However, this doesn’t mean that it needs to be a room full of 100 people.

Brand Expansion

Successful service brands will replicate what they’re great at in various formats, a wider range of revenue streams, and across several industries and channels. 

Consolidation

On the other hand, brands will continue to consolidate their expenses by bringing functions and processes in house as much as possible, creating vertically integrated go-to-market models. Outsourced functions will sit with few, trusted partners and brands will prioritize longer term relationships. 

Fewer and Better is the New Bottom Line

Small business owners will prioritize quality of life, and leave behind surface-level success metrics for meaningful work. Service-based business will pursue fewer, larger contracts and clients, and in line with the Micro trend, hone in on doing a smaller number of things to a greater degree of impact. 

A New Definition of Optimization

Startup and entrepreneurial businesses will question what effective optimization looks like, with a focus on simplicity over more traditional definitions like speed of growth.

 

I’ll leave you with this. 

Lean in. 

Lean in to change because it’s the only constant in business — whether it be software, team, or goals. Staying stagnant is not and will never be a core human desire — instead we’ll consider what changes to make in order to be the person we want to be, experience security or fulfillment, stand out from the crowd, or feel a sense of belonging. 

As our business landscape continues to evolve the way to stand out in industries that are calling for something different is to lean in.

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