EthicalDeal was Canada’s largest green daily deals site, but three years into the project, its community was asking for something more. So founder Annalea Krebs pivoted the GrowLab alumnus to become the social product sampling community SocialNature, now an HIGHLINE portfolio investment.
“It’s a big decision for a company to go in a new direction,” Krebs told me at the HIGHLINE Startup Zone at Dx2 2015. “For us, there were a lot of changes. It was a new business model, our client changed from local service-based business to brands. The one thing that didn’t change was the community.”
SocialNature’s community not only became a catalyst for change, but a key differentiator in its new business model, which targets brands producing natural products. By leveraging social, the company is able to offer a level of targeting most competitors can’t. “Through social we can target the right customers for brands, and we can amplify the effect of that product experience,” Krebs said.
“I think it’s important to hold onto at least one pillar from your previous business model or venture to help seed the launch of the next thing,” Krebs continued. “We didn’t have to start from scratch.”
In addition to promoting SocialNature, Krebs was also at Dx3 to participate in a panel on the role startups are playing in accelerating corporate innovation. In providing a business that connects brands to conscious or ethically-minded consumers, Krebs has a unique perspective. “People want better choices, and brands are responding to that. In the U.S. alone, it’s a $91 billion industry in the natural product segment.”
You can listen to the full interview from Dx3 2015 below.
Disclosure: BetaKit’s East and West Coast offices are housed in HIGHLINE’s Vancouver and Toronto co-working spaces.