1st December 2020

“How influencers helped grow our brand” In conversation with Avinash Rajan, Founder and CEO, Offspring

If like us, you’ve been wondering just what it is that makes a brand loved, Laura chatted to Avinash Rajan to see what he thinks. He’s the Founder and CEO of Offspring, a social savings tool designed for families and their children.

Tell me about your brand and why people love it.

“Offspring lets people come together to save for a shared goal. You can collect money for a child’s present, save towards a holiday with friends, or contribute towards a wedding or deposit for a house. Whatever you want to save for, Offspring makes it simple.”

What 3 words best describe your brand?

“Together, family, simplicity.”

What has helped your brand grow?

“I think it would be fair to say that we’re very clear about the job we are trying to do for people, and about the target market we’re focused on (parents who’ve got children between zero and 35). The second thing we’ve done is backed our product with service levels that are very personal. And thirdly, we’ve worked with micro-influencers. We’ve focused on people who have a small but dedicated following and work in and around families. They have a very personal interaction with all the people who are following them – and that worked particularly well for us in terms of getting our brand out and getting people using it. There’s an element of needing to be careful about who you’re working with because influencers have an impact on the brand. So it’s very important to understand what makes a good fit and choose influencers who truly believe in the product and will use it themselves.”

“If your solution can help somebody do their job quicker, cheaper, faster or simpler, and they are willing to pay the price to use your solution, then you’re in a much, much better place in terms of making your brand strong and popular.”

How will you grow your brand in the future?

“We have a mission of helping younger people start with a little less debt than they currently do. We believe that, in order to achieve this in the long term, we have to help families pass down wealth from one generation to another in the most efficient way. We’d like to work with established financial services brands to help them build relationships with customers across multiple generations. We ran a pilot with Nationwide Building Society earlier this year. And we are working with a range of other financial services providers. We use open banking capability and that allows us to work with any of the big players who are part of that initiative.”

What would you tell yourself if you were starting the business today?

“I would say go and talk to your customers. Understand what jobs they’re trying to do and consider whether the solution that you are building is something that will make it easier for them to do their jobs. And then finally, you need to know if they’ll pay a price to be able to do that. And I don’t mean price in terms of monetary value, but more regarding whether they will stop what they’re doing and use your brand, because there’s a certain price to that as well.”

How can we make financial service brands more well-loved?

“In a broad sense, financial services play a role as a utility in allowing people to be able to do something that they want to do. In order to be loved, what you have to do is three things. You have to say what you do, clearly. You have to provide a great service on the back of that. And thirdly, you have to fulfil the promise that you’ve made upfront. So when you say you’re delivering something, you have to be able to back that up by fulfilling the promise.”

What’s your favourite app or tech right now?

“The tool that I am most involved with currently is my Fitbit because it measures my walking steps –I’m trying to keep to 15,000 steps every day. That’s my goal. So I’m interested in anything that helps me achieve that.”

What’s your best business book/podcast recommendation?

“The book that I’ve read most recently and loved, because it sort of represents my start-up life, is Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin, who set up a company called Moss. It’s a book that you can read very quickly but learn from the things that people have experienced in the past. So I would highly recommend that. A podcast I listen to quite a lot right now is Freakonomics and an offshoot of that called No Stupid Questions. I particularly like both of these because they spend a lot of time discussing things related to behavioural economics, which has a big role to play in what we are trying to do with Offspring.”

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