by Tom Shackleton
Since launching their low carb, low calorie, gluten-free bread alternative brand last year, our Shopify client and Northern eCommerce Award winner Lo-Dough has seen some amazing growth.
Since starting out, Lo-Dough’s rise has been so impressive they’ve had to limit orders to flash sales, having to work hard to keep up with demand.
We sat down with co-founder and Creative Director, Ben Holden to talk about the story behind their amazing success.
So How Did Lo-Dough Come About?
“I always had an interest in food and experimenting in the kitchen, I come from a web design background so it’s not something I really had any experience in.
I decided to take time out and go travelling and had put on weight when I came back, living with my parents. I tried loads of different diets and found that a low carb diet was working really well for me. However, there were just too many foods I was missing out on.
I realised there was a huge gap in the market for a truly different low carb bread alternative that could be used as a carrier for full flavour delicious flavourings. Something you could fill with amazing ingredients and not have to worry about the calories.
After a lot of time in my mum’s kitchen, I eventually struck on the original formulation for Lo-Dough. As soon as I made the breakthrough, I immediately phoned my now business partner, Rob Wales, and told him I think I’ve got the foundation for an incredible business.
_We then started working closely together, turning Rob’s garage into a test bakery/laboratory to refine the formulation and production process to a level that was viable to bring to market”
A trait of many successful startups, the inspiration behind Lo-Dough came from Ben’s own experiences and passion. Because of that, the Lo-Dough team created a product that solved a real problem; one that Ben and plenty of potential customers were desperate for a solution to.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
“Neither myself or Rob are from a commercial food production background, so getting our heads around the whole manufacturing process, and finding a way of actually making this commercially viable has been the biggest challenge.
The digital side of things has been relatively straightforward thanks to Statement and Shopify, but getting the manufacturing right was a challenge in the beginning and still is as we continue to increase production”
After jumping into a market they didn’t really have any prior experience of, Ben and Rob’s confidence in Lo-Dough is seen in their determination to bring it to market.
Rob was able to focus on taking care of key challenges like manufacturing, while Ben used his design background to develop the brand and eCommerce model behind the business.
What are your ambitions and plans for the future?
“We’re definitely looking at international expansion into the US, Canada, Europe and beyond. The demand for Lo-Dough is strong in virtually all developed countries.
Lo-Dough has a long shelf life which would make it easy for us to make everything over here and ship it out across the world without any problems. It feels great to be running an innovative manufacturing business here in sunny Rochdale.”
International expansion is the next stage of Lo-Dough’s growth, and their Shopify store should be able to easily scale with them as they look at moving into new markets.
How are you using marketing to grow?
“A lot of our marketing has been focused around influencers. We’ve made real progress thanks to Slimming World members falling in love with the product and other weight loss communities have been instrumental too. People really seem to have taken to Lo-Dough and they’re more than happy to shout about it.
Influencer adoption is so great for building a brand reputation and it’s been a hugely successful strategy for Lo-Dough.
_We also used digital advertising in the beginning, particularly Facebook Ads, to target specific audiences and get the ball rolling.”
Influencers have been at the core of Lo-Dough’s early growth. With a product customers care about, you can build a community of engaged customers, willing to spread your brand for you.
Any top tips for future start-ups?
“It’s all about the product.
We’re lucky to have something that’s unlike anything else on the market. It means we’ve got a great opportunity to utilise an online-only model, completely bypassing traditional bricks and mortar retail models.
_I’d also say an organised marketing team with a great strategy is of paramount importance. Content production has been a big part of our success so far, and without a passionate team of content producers and strategic digital marketeers, it can be difficult to make a big enough impact with consumers.”
Finally - how did you hear about Statement?
“Statement was recommended to us by another food brand and Statement client.
_Right from the first conversation with Dan, we knew Shopify and Statement would be right for our brand, and it’s been a great experience so far.”
Lo-Dough’s growth has been incredible to watch. With over 3,000 customers in the first two months, the team has gone from nothing to a flourishing community of influencers, an army of passionate customers and a Northern eCommerce Award.
At peak times, Lo-Dough have managed to hit a conversion rate of over 14%. It’s clear there’s a real desire for their groundbreaking product, and we can’t wait to see what they do next.
Lo-Dough’s story shows that with the right product, the right marketing strategy and plenty of passion, eCommerce startups can grow and go from concept to business very quickly.
If you want to find out more about Lo-Dough and how we’ve worked with them to get their ambitious start-up up and running, take a look at our case study here.
Interested in finding out how Statement can help your ambitious eCommerce start-up with a Shopify or Shopify Plus store and launch marketing? Feel free to get in touch with our team and we’d be happy to help.