John Tabis is passionate about disruptive businesses, cool brands, and showing love to the important people in his life. The Bouqs Company is a combination of those things, and he is thrilled to bring it to you and yours.
The Bouqs Company (thebouqs.com) is fixing a broken industry by fundamentally disrupting the supply chain, and by building a flower brand and shopping experience that consumers can enjoy and trust. From Flat Pricing with no Hidden Fees and Free Shipping to a client-centric UX to a Killer Brand and Amazing Customer Service, The Bouqs Company is nothing like traditional online flower companies. Want farm-fresh, responsibly-sourced flowers sent straight from a volcano in South America to your loved one’s home for $40 flat? We offer 20% off the first order. So that’s just $32 for roses delivered for V-day (compared to $100 elsewhere) and that includes free shipping. Must order by 2/7. After that it’s $40 from California.
BusinessInterviews.com: How did you come up with the concept behind The Bouqs Company?
John: The idea to launch a farm-direct-from-South-America flower business was really my Co-Founder’s. JP Montufar is the farming and flower brains behind The Bouqs Co and he had been toying with an idea for a while. He reached out to me (we’ve been friends since college at Notre Dame) as I’ve had experience in brand, marketing, and ecommerce and we started batting some ideas around. It started out more as an advisory role for me, but over time as I learned more and more about the business, I got more excited and wanted to dive in more significantly. For me, the inspiration was my own experience – I just didn’t like purchasing from any of the existing solutions out there. The bait and switch pricing, the old feeling brands, the millions of options and the high price tags. None of the brands spoke to me, and the products themselves weren’t what I wanted. So we combined his expertise in sourcing and supply chain with my skills in brand, marketing and ecommerce, and off we went to tackle both sides of the business. The result? TheBouqs.com! So far, so good!
BusinessInterviews.com: Why are you so passionate about disruptive businesses?
John: Simply because they’re exciting. I’ve worked for startups and small companies and for very large, established companies, and what always intrigued me in either type of organization was change. What’s the new thing we’re going to tackle, how can we innovate, what’s the next big challenge and how do we prepare for it? I was drawn to this type of work because it flexed both the right and left brain, and it had impact. I could literally see the results of what I was doing. Startups are by nature creating change, and so starting, running or being part of a disruptive business gets me that excitement every single day. “Managing” something, over time, has come to have little appeal for me. Perhaps that will change in the future, but at this stage in my career I want to break something (in this case the multibillion dollar floral industry) and build it again. Just better. The opportunity to truly create something new, from nothing, is an unbelievable thing. But it’s mostly a brain function thing for me – I really need to flex both sides of the brain to remain engaged in anything, and a startup is perfect for that piece of my personality. I’ve never had such passion and interest in a job or company before, and I’ve worked at some absolutely amazing places (Disney, Bain). To create every day? That’s the perfect job. (for me!)
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the last year when it comes to developing a brand?
John: That it takes a long time. We’ve had some tremendous success in our first year with marketing, public relations and media helping us tell our story. We’ve been featured on The Today Show, and in publications like Oprah Magazine, Daily Candy, Thrillist, Maxim, Better Homes & Gardens, US Weekly and many more, and yet most folks have still never heard of us. We’ve been consistently on message about what we stand for (honesty/transparency, responsibility, quality and value with a little personality thrown in for good measure) but even our regular users are still learning our brand. Ultimately, building a brand simply takes time. Time to tell the story, and time for clients and influencers, media and other stakeholders to understand it.
BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to implement a Concierge service and what advantages does it provide your customer base?
John: My point of view on the future of commerce is that successful commerce companies (whether Brick n Mortar, online or a combination of the two) will add value beyond the purchase. Technology is changing shopping behaviors and the relationships between customers and brands so quickly – in some cases making them stronger and in some cases disintermediating them in major ways – and the opportunity as I see it is for commerce companies to do more for the consumer. I firmly believe that this will be the piece that absolutely separates winners from losers in the next phase of commerce. This added value can be through brand (“I feel like you fit me”), entertainment (“It’s an enjoyable shopping experience”), or convenience (“this makes my life easier”), or other ways. The Concierge Service is a way that we add value beyond just a purchase of flowers. The service allows a consumer to pre-plan their flower needs for the year in a few simple steps, and to save a bunch of $ in the process. We offer 3 types: Never Forget is a service that remembers Birthdays, Anniversaries and other important dates. JustBecause triggers random, surprise deliveries for your loved one. And Regular Blooms helps you schedule recurring deliveries weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. By enabling these options with just a quick, one-time, up-front setup, we help make our customers’ lives better. We save them time, and more and more (up to 25% off) money on every delivery. So it’s win – win. Clients get great quality at an unbelievable price, a free value-added service that makes their life just a bit easier, and we get stronger engagement, loyalty and ultimately revenue.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the significance of being featured in Oprah Magazine’s “50 Things that Will Make you Say Wow” List and the impact this recognition had on the company?
John: From a brand perspective, especially among Women, there’s no greater endorsement than Oprah. And while we never got to be on her Favorite Things show, we were really so honored to be chosen as part of her “Wow List”. The direction impact was significant for a young brand. To be sought out by her team was humbling and exciting, and to see the reaction and exposure it generated was amazing. But I think the more lasting impact is that ongoing implied endorsement from the placement. As a relatively new brand with much catching up to do in terms of brand awareness and marketing, that kind of ‘stamp of approval’ can go a long way with new clients just trying you out.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you tell our readers a bit about your apps for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone will all launch prior to Valentine’s Day this year?
John: We’re so excited for our apps! We’re launching our app in the Apple Store, in Google Play for Android and for Windows Phone, and it’s (may I say so) simply beautiful! There’s no better way to order flowers for your loved ones than The Bouqs Company’s app! The app features all of our standard offerings, including flat, all-in pricing of $40 with Free Delivery from the Volcano ($50 from California for Overnight Shipping), the Concierge Service, and a great referral program (refer 2 friends and get a free bouq!). But it also features our new Quick Order interface, which allows for ordering with just 2 clicks. 2 clicks! In an industry where 15+ clicks is standard due to all the options and upsells. Quick Order works by remembering your loved one’s flower preferences and shipping information. So the next time you come through and choose Quick Order, we’ll have everything pre-populated. So long as you trust us or like the choice that was made on your behalf, all you have to do is click “Send” and your Bouq is on the way. So simple, easy and honest. And beautiful!
BusinessInterviews.com: What milestone are you most looking forward to achieving?
John: Every day feels like a new milestone, because everyday we’re doing something new. We’re launching new features, bringing on new farms, trying new ad platforms, iterating on supply chain…but I think the big ones coming up will be raising our A Round, launching our Canada business, building a DIY wedding business (launching this Spring) and expanding our global reach. We see huge potential for TheBouqs.com globally, and we’re so excited about the potential to radically transform the shopping experience for customers and farms worldwide!
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