Subscribe to Our Newsletter.

The Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy captured the hearts & wallets of Moms around the world…including Jennifer Lopez..

What is Goli? 

In 2019, the first-ever Apple Cider Vinegar gummy entered the market. Now you might be thinking, a product this clever must have been conjured up by a group of MBA graduates in some boardroom at Unilever or P&G. But, that wasn’t the case here. Interestingly, the first Apple Cider Vinegar gummy product ever invented was engineered by a small company named Goli out of Montreal, Canada.

Since their launch, many copycat brands have emerged onto the market to capitalize on this newfound demand, but none have been able to grow at the speed and scale of Goli. It sometimes feels like you can’t browse the internet or walk the aisles of Walmart without noticing that majestic red bottle monopolizing your attention.

The combination of being first to market and distributed through an innovative new vehicle (a gummy) was too tempting for customers to dismiss. In 2021 they were the second-largest seller on Amazon prime day. Who was number one? Apple Airpods. What Goli has accomplished over the last few years is incredible. As a brand yourself, It may seem like a one-off. However, we’re here to show you that you can adopt the same process to find your own success over and over again.

This case study aims to dissect the strategies and tactics Goli’s team used to become one of the fastest-growing Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands of the last century. Hint: Affiliate Marketing had a lot to do with it.

Not long after Goli entered the market, they partnered with Squaredance to drive product awareness and customer acquisition growth with affiliate partners.

 

The Goal

Leverage Squaredance’s tracking and attribution platform and marketplace to recruit a diversified mix of affiliate partners to increase product awareness and scale customer acquisition in North America.

Essentially, they espoused growth.

To preserve the integrity of the brand, affiliate guidelines were heavily enforced. Goli understands they had built a community based on trust, and their expectation was that affiliate partners only promote their brand in a way that wouldn’t undermine the fabric of the consumer base that had originally brought them success.

Fun Fact: Goli was one of the first to use Squaredance’s Ad Approval feature. It formalizes the process for Affiliates to request content usage on any campaign, giving the Advertiser peace of mind. Goli’s team could approve, reject or suggest edits to the affiliate with a few simple clicks! It helped to ensure Goli felt confident in the content their partners were producing.

 

How did Goli grow so fast?

Goli used a few strategies that resulted in their meteoric rise. They:

  • Built a unique product that solved a customer pain point.
  • Created an engine for customer acquisition.
  • Leaned into celebrity & influencer promotions.
  • Leveraged their infrastructure to amplify customer acquisition with affiliate partners.

Starting from the top, let’s take a closer look at each strategy in more detail.

1. They built a unique product and solved a pain point for consumers.

Health practitioners often claim positive benefits for the daily use of apple cider vinegar (ACV) but struggle to have individuals form a habit because of its awful taste. Goli identified this consumer need and developed a product they knew could become a ritual! Their straightforward tagline captures the value proposition perfectly: ‘taste the apple, not the vinegar’.

Not only was Goli successful in masking the unpleasant taste of ACV in their gummy, but they actually made it taste delicious too. Their ability to develop a product that solved a consumer pain point utilizing an innovative new form factor (supplements were traditionally in pill form) enabled even the most novice affiliate marketers to successfully capture the eyeballs and conversions of new customers for their products.

2. They built an engine for customer acquisition.

Goli is the definition of Direct-to-Consumer. Their marketing and customer acquisition efforts were engineered internally – which included a mixture of designers, business intelligence, media buying teams & affiliate managers. They even built out their own proprietary tech to manage and scale their ambassador program. The Goli brand was built for scale, and every function on the team was created and incentivized to take their product mass-market.

Goli’s partners (us included) were routinely coached around internal learnings and quota-focused directives – and it worked! Their partners felt like they were part of the team, and it helped rally some of the most talented affiliate partners in the jumbleberry marketplace to use their channels and creative chops to sell the brand of Goli to hundreds of thousands of households across North America. Additionally, aligning Goli’s internal media buying teams with their affiliate program created a magical conduit for knowledge sharing and experimentation.

3. They leaned into celebrity & influencer promotions.

Most brands aren’t fortunate to have the budget to invest in high-profile celebrities or influencers. Since Goli was growing so quickly (we often referred to it as the “Goli effect”), they poured earnings back into high-profile ambassador partnerships with Ellen, A-rod, Jennifer Lopez, P.K. Subban and many others. In turn, they parlayed these endorsements into direct response marketing creatives to bolster the notoriety of their products.

Although these partnerships were expensive (they were), the assets successfully paid for themselves by improving the performance of their ads and marketing funnels. The performance was so strong that it catapulted Goli’s sales to an entirely new level and helped them reach what product companies often call escape velocity.

Fortunately, affiliates were able to catch the windfall benefits of these performance hikes, which helped new and existing affiliate partners scale their volume and double down on their commitment to the program.

4. They leveraged their infrastructure to amplify customer acquisition with affiliate partners.

Goli’s infrastructure was intentionally designed to amplify sales volume with affiliate partners. This was achieved in the following ways:

They built a content development flywheel.

Goli understands the importance of building fresh new ad content. As we all know, content is king, and ad fatigue is common, especially at scale. The more content they produced and shared with partners, the more content their partners built.

Every week, new image/video creative assets were developed and shared in the form of:

  • Unique product shots/placements
  • Celebrity or influencer endorsements
  • Seasonal promotions and contest giveaways
  • Customer testimonial/reviews

The ‘flywheel’ effect kicked in because the more content Goli supplied, the more content affiliates would build too. Imagine adding hundreds of new bodies to your marketing team. Affiliates aren’t just useful in generating sales for your business, they can be an amazing source for creative inspiration. Each affiliate can add their one unique spin on your brand and tap into new audiences and channels that Goli wasn’t even aware of.

They included affiliates in seasonal promotions, contests and product launches.

Goli understood the value of including affiliates in every important marketing initiative they deployed internally. Furthermore, they leaned into the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ principle in that they could boost the reach of any important marketing initiative using affiliate partners.

Historically, Goli was successful in acquiring customers on Facebook, Instagram, and search channels. But Goli’s affiliate program attracted affiliate partners In a wide spectrum of channels like Tik Tok, Google Display, Snapchat, Youtube, Native, Rewarded Video, publisher sites and much more. Channels they historically hadn’t had the internal bandwidth or the domain expertise to tap into – but through their affiliate program, they could leverage partnerships to do it for them.

Unique Payouts and Incentives.

To maximize the results of the affiliate program, every month Goli would dive into Jumbleberry’s reporting dashboard to ensure their payout to affiliates was competitive with the cost per acquisition (CPA) they were seeing in channels like Facebook and Instagram. They also learned that offering higher unique payouts to affiliate sources that yielded higher average order value (AOV) or stronger retention, would incentivize them to scale their budgets and commitment to the program.

Goli even went so far as to offer bonuses and incentives to motivate affiliate partners to stretch themselves to generate more sales. These came in the form of sale quotas that would unlock fixed bonuses based on tiered thresholds that were achieved. For affiliates that were already bought in and were generating a lot of volume for the brand, it was a great strategy to secure extra commitment and get them to push harder knowing they make more money if they put more effort into the program.

 

The Results

  • 12 new channels unlocked
  • 2x increase in conversion rates
  • $6M+ sales revenue
  • 18-22% increase in channel lift
  • 80-85% lift in traffic from outside of FB & IG
  • 350,000+ email leads generated
  • 250-450 average daily sales 
READ THE CASE STUDY