Flow's Approach to Creating a Unique Brand in a Crowded Market

Aug 18, 2020 4:23:21 AM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

In this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Daniel Scrivner, the CEO of Flow, the modern project management tool for teams.

Flow is a company at 2 million in ARR with 15 employees and has 300,000 teams who use the product across 140 countries. Daniel joined as CEO almost 18 months ago.

We talk to Daniel about what he focused on when becoming CEO to re-accelerate Flow's growth. We discuss the challenges of differentiating your product in a crowded market, why it's better to focus on doing a couple of things better than the competition, and why Daniel thinks of freemium as a defensive play vs. offensive.

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Happy Growing!

Time Stamped Notes:

[2:40] - Flow has been a company for 10 years, they're at 2 million in ARR, with a team of 15 people, and have 300,000 teams who use them across 140 countries.

[3:20] - Daniel joined the company as CEO 18 months ago with a focus on helping Flow to re-accelerate growth.

[4:50] - To win in a competitive market, you need to know what is the number one thing you're going to focus on to differentiate yourselves from the pack.

[6:30] - From the outset, Daniel didn't want Flow to have the most feature-rich product. Instead, he focused on two things - having a product that saved his customers time by automating tasks and better plan projects, so they didn't miss deadlines. Daniel wanted Flow to win in their market via the product experience.

[9:25] - Differentiation is one of the hardest things to do. One of the brands Daniel thinks has done it well is Oatly - they were bold and polarizing, some people love it, some people hate it. 

[13:20] - One of the hard things about being a CEO is prioritization; you're ultimately the decision-maker on what the company focuses on. To be a great product-focused company, you have to be unreasonable and say no to many things.

[16:30] - Daniel gives examples about taking customer feedback and turning it into the features they're asking for.

[20:40] - When a company is looking for growth in the early stages, they must know what part of the marketing is their most significant opportunity to attack. As you scale, your focus switches to building features to ensure you're good enough in all the areas that matter.

[23:35] - The key to excellent product execution is picking one or two things to solve for customers, that won't change over time, and to get consistently better at those things. Once you've mastered product execution, marketing, and advertising, that product becomes a lot easier.

[29:50] - Daniel has either made/or is thinking about making the following changes to Flow's go-to-market:

1. Changed from a 14-day free trial to a 30-day free trial because teams needed more time to extract value from the product.

2. Updated pricing and packaging to make the annual plan a lot more appealing, using discounts.

3. He is launching a freemium plan as a defensive play vs. offensive play. Daniel feels it's a great way to keep customers who churn engaged with the brand.

[35:45] - Daniel doesn't feel freemium is the right offensive play for his company because it wouldn't result in a lot more paying customers. He feels freemium would make his unit economics a lot worse.

– Daniel on Twitter / LinkedIn / Website
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium
– Scott on Twitter / Linked / Medium

Topics: Podcast, Founder, Brand

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