Coupond, New York, NY
This summer I worked at Coupond, an ambitious startup which aims to combine promotional planning technology with data to allow brands and retailers to collectively plan, execute, track and reconcile promo activity. In a nutshell, brands struggle to reach the consumer in the way they want to, and the retailer has to deal with the problems that come from that.
One of the founders of category management for the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry, Gordon Wade, was the youngest product manager in company history at Procter & Gamble and is a large part of the success we are starting to see at Coupond. The discipline of category management for the CPG industry is now used by every major manufacturer and CPG retailer globally. Thirty years ago, Walmart was one of the only stores that refused to accept brand-issued coupons. This didn’t last long as even the largest retailer couldn’t compete without accepting coupons. Gordon was part of a team that helped P&G and Walmart remove their adversarial relationship. Coupond’s goal is to help every specialty retailer and brand overcome collaborative obstacles. This goal fits well with my personality of being someone who likes to bring people together and help others resolve their conflicts.
The space that I worked in this summer is giant. Here are some of my favorite stats: There is a 2000% sales increase at Costco from instore events (The Atlantic); 68% of people believe digital coupons generate loyalty (Invespcro); and 77% of people spend $10-$50 more than intended when redeeming coupons (Invespcro). Thinking back to my days as a little kid wandering down the aisles of Costco trying every bite of hot dog, pizza bites, and scoops of ice cream, I would have never have imagined that sales for those sampled items would have an increase of 2000%! Back in the day, I thought I was practically stealing from them. Maybe I need to shop more, but I never thought of digital coupons increasing loyalty. I also think it’s fascinating how coupons are seen as a way to save money and yet people end up spending more when using them.
On average, I participated in about three meetings a day discussing strategy, collaborating on projects, and giving each other updates. Outside of these calls, I spent the majority of my time researching the industry (check out my stats) and collaborating on pitch decks to present to investors. One perk to interning at a startup is that I got to be much more involved than if I was at a large company. It was really rewarding to work and see my PowerPoints impress investors and I knew my contributions were meaningful and important.
I am grateful to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and the Case Family for creating a truly life-changing opportunity for me. ASIP gave me the freedom to choose to pursue my passions and provide more meaningful work. This freedom allowed me to confirm the direction I want to take my life.