Today’s ‘Day in the Life’ features Rob Bridgman, the CEO and founder of ‘sofa-in-a-box’ company Snug. We caught up with Rob to find out how the pandemic has impacted his day-to-day role, as well as some of his predictions for the future.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am the CEO and founder of Snug, the original UK sofa-in-a-box company. I currently wear two hats, one as CEO and one as CCO. Depending on the day or what is happening in the business, I sway towards one or the other.
Talk us through a typical day
Being a CEO, my typical day varies quite a bit but lately has centred around building a strong team and work environment, sharing visions and objectives with the Senior Leadership Team, whilst also looking after our strategic partners and various other external teams. My CCO role is a mix of product, branding, performance marketing, e commerce and tech – no two days are the same! At the executive level, my focus is always around creating and delivering on customer promise and really pushing boundaries both in the furniture and D2C space.
As the Snug Founder, I was the first employee for the first few months into the journey, which meant is has been hands on from the start. Now that the team is growing consistently – we are recruiting two people each week – the role is morphing into more of a cheerleader and a navigator of the new challenges we face as we continue to scale.
How do you maintain an effective work/life balance?
I always like to give real life perspective on the nature of being a founder of a business. Balance is what we all aim for but in reality it’s hard to achieve. Scaling a D2C challenger brand during a pandemic takes a lot of time and focus. For me, the importance of a digital sabbatical, where I switch my phone off for 12 solid hours from 9pm-9am, is something I try to instil in my daily routine, alongside finding time to reconnect with friends and family as best as we can right now. My health is also incredibly important to me, never more than the present, and so I pay close attention to my diet, daily exercise, and of course my mental health.
How has strategy changed at your company?
Snug went from being 80% to 100% ecommerce overnight but we still see a place for brick-and-mortar stores and we have some exciting announcements coming up in the Spring where we are looking to bring the Snug experience to the high street. We’ve got teams in 3 different continents and multiple time zones, in dozens of locations, so part of our strategy and culture is built on the premise of always being agile and trying to build the business in a way that allows us to remain flexible. If 2020 taught us anything it’s to be prepared for the truly unexpected.
How has customer behaviour changed during the pandemic?
People are becoming more house proud; they are investing in their homes due to the nature of spending more time there. They want to create living spaces that support their reality, whether that’s a young family setup or for those that are now working from home. A lot of customers also don’t want to wait eight weeks for a sofa delivery, but they don’t want something cheap that they’ll replace in a few years. We’re seeing more people than ever turn to Snug to meet this demand.
What do you predict for the future?
A lot of the change that has come about in the last year is here to stay, such as the shift to online shopping, and a more significant investment in creating living spaces that suit your lifestyle. I think there will be a renaissance on people socialising and catching up with friends and family whenever that will be possible and green shoots in some of the industries that have been heavily hit.
What advice would you give a marketer right now?
It’s easier to get forgiveness than it is permission. Most things are reversible so just do it and learn from results. Take your learnings and apply these to the next test. Keep testing.
For more on this topic, head to Econsultancy’s D2C hub page.