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Make the Product a Priority: Subscription Box Expert Tip Series, Post 2

Bulu Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Stephanie Jarrett was invited to share some of her Top Tips as a Subscription Box Expert at SUBTA Women in Subscription in September. In this ongoing series, you’ll find 6 tips you need to navigate your own box program - pulled from Stephanie’s experience launching more than 16 subscription box programs that have resulted in over 10 million shipments from Bulu’s warehouse, earned $100 million in revenue, and an average customer rating of 4.5/5 stars per box.

The number one way to attract and retain customers is to provide an outstanding product. Subscription is so relentless that it’s not difficult to lose sight of how important it is to make sure that you’re thoughtfully curating items into a box to create a great experience.

If your box solves a problem, or if it provides joy to its recipients, not only will these individuals stay subscribed, but they'll tell others about the box as well. How do you know that you are creating a great product?

One of the first things we do at Bulu for any partner box program is to create a Project or Box Charter.

The charter outlines the vision of the box program, the target audience, the objectives, the goals and the key metrics and milestones. This is the guideline for every subsequent product decision: products, marketing, website, all of it.

Once you create your box charter, use it to evaluate every phase of product development.

Each week, our team meets to evaluate the current boxes that are in development for our clients. Together the team rates each element of the box on a scale of one to five as it relates to the charter. For example, “are millennial women living in urban environments, going to want this box?” We rate the upcoming box matrix on a scale of one to five. “Does it deliver a superior customer experience?” One to five. “Does it exceed expectations?” One to five. “What's the perceived value?” Yup, one to five.

After everyone has provided their responses, we note the average rating overall for the box. You can use a spreadsheet or project management software to keep track of ratings (Bulu recommends Asana.) We won’t present a box to our partners or produce it for our customers until we get to five stars.

Note: as time goes on, you’ll be able to more accurately predict the customer perception of your product, especially if you are gathering feedback surveys or other data. Don’t be shy about a little guesswork in the beginning!

By setting high expectations for the products we develop, Bulu has achieved an average box rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars for our partner programs. Put aside clever and gimmicky marketing tacts because the number way to achieve high retention and loyal customers is to create a really, really good product that solves a problem or creates joy.


If you have questions or would like to talk to Bulu about Product Development or our other services, send a message at the top right of this page using the Contact Us button, or send an email to


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