Austin-based ROI Swift Helps Consumer Brands Scale

In 2015, Carolyn Lowe founded Austin-based ROI Swift, which helps market emerging consumer brands.

So far, ROI Swift has helped nearly 200 companies including Tiff’s Treats, Tecovas, Austin Eastciders, and Esker Beauty. Her team grew an apparel and footwear company from $0 to $12 million in sales in 18 months. Her goal is to help 1,000 companies by 2030.

To help with that effort, this year Lowe wrotea book “Business Growth Dos and Absolute Don’ts Applied Wisdom from My Work with Dell, Costco, Amazon, and Multiple startups.” She recently sat down with Silicon Hills News’ Ideas to Invoices podcast to discuss some of the lessons learned that can help businesses scale their brands.

Lowe moved to Austin in 1999 to work for Dell. Through that experience, she discovered her passion was working with early-stage growth companies.

ROI Swift works with companies that have at least a $75 average order value. It likes to work with great founders and great products, she said. Lowe also works with SKU’s consumer packaged goods companies.

Increasingly consumer packaged goods companies have found a lot of success in Austin and have contributed to the city’s vibrant startup culture. Overall, Austin, as a brand, has been one of the hottest cities for startups, established tech companies, and others in the last decade and Lowe thinks it is going to continue to grow. But there is going to be a lot that needs to be done to make sure that Austin doesn’t have the same problems as San Francisco, she said. City leaders must continue to address infrastructure problems like affordable housing, transportation, and provide living wages for musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers, photographers, and others who make up Austin’s rich culture.

To be successful in eCommerce, brands also need to understand their customers, Lowe said. They also need to create a good website that loads fast, she said. They don’t need to spend a lot of money on advertising before they have the basics of a great website and other fundamentals first, she said.

“Emerging brands need to figure out who they are,” Lowe said.

Companies also make mistakes by rebranding or going in a different direction, Lowe said.  Companies must be true to the brand, she said. They also must have a repeatable customer acquisition model. Companies that are bringing in a $100,000 a month in revenue can afford to spend $25,000 on advertising and marketing, she said.

Companies need a multi-faceted approach to marketing their companies through several different channels.

“You sort of need to be everywhere,” she said.

For more, listen to the entire podcast, pasted below, or wherever you get your podcasts – available on Google play store, Apple iTunes, Spotify, PlayerFM, Libsyn, and more.