Hitting The Mark

Hitting The Mark

Conversations with founders about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success.


EP108 – Joan Nguyen: Co-Founder & CEO

Strategic Clarity + Verbal Clarity + Visual Clarity

Joan Nguyen is the Co-Founder and CEO of bumo, a brand that provides outstanding on-demand childcare for families and employers.


Bumo considers itself in the business of ‘parent care’ and today you can learn all about the TLC she and her Co-Founder put into crafting the bumo brand very hands-on, strategic, and filled with raw authenticity.


Trust is bumo’s brand DNA, but with an audience of new parents, you show trustworthiness very differently than you would with a financial organization for example.
Listen in as we talk all things branding, but we also dive into the psychology that drives purchasing decisions, data that could point you the wrong way, and how bumo ended up with ‘obsessive users’ despite the many pivots in the brand’s journey.


It was a fascinating conversation and I am excited to share it with all you brand-builders, may you be a founder or a marketer or a designer: This one is not be missed, despite the subpar audio on my end given a slew of technical difficulties. Yes, this can even happen to those who have recorded 100+ episodes. Joan labeled it ‘resilience’ and that is exactly how I see it.


Joan Nguyen: Hi, thanks for having me.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Oh, it’s so good to have you. Thanks for struggling through a little technical difficulties here. It was a, it was quite the morning, but it, but it got us to where we needed to be.
So thanks for being here.

Joan Nguyen: All good. Resilience is everything, right?

Fabian Geyrhalter: That that is a good that is a good theme. I think for for today’s episodes. Um, You are the co founder and ceo of bumo where you provide outstanding on demand child care for families and employers boomer considers itself in the business of Parent care, which I love but before we jump into all things boomer You know Is it true that at the very young age of 20, you started a fortune 500 company in the education space?

Is that correct?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, so it was actually not a fortune 500 company was Inc 5000 company, um, which is still fantastic, which is pretty different. But still, I guess I guess at a young age still pretty good. Yeah, I started with 3, 000. It is a or was a test prep company and college admissions. I worked with kids all over the world, helping them navigate, um, the labyrinth of, of college admissions and, you know, getting better grades and serenades test scores and working with parents there too.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Amazing. So entrepreneurship, uh, was, was always part of your, part of your DNA.

Joan Nguyen: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Well, and then, and then tell us about how you were ready to open a physical BUMO child daycare center meets co work space. And then the pandemic hit, and it was time for a pivot, and then it was time for another pivot. Let’s do some pivot talk so we can paint a picture of How Bumo is actually not the same brand today that you and your co founder envisioned back, back when, back when you started it, right?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah. Yeah. It was a pretty windy journey to say the least. So, I mean, the whole idea came from my co founder, Chris.
I remember that day, clearly she was pregnant with her second daughter. I remember bringing my son who was three months old in a carrier. My, my toddler daughter was at home with the nanny. And then we started talking about this idea that she had, uh, for a coworking space with onsite childcare. This was in 2018.So quite some time ago. Yeah. And, um, I was pretty much, I felt like a free consultant at best and an unpaid intern at worst, right. Um, because I was so. Fascinated with this idea. I couldn’t pry myself away from it. And then eventually in 2019, she was just like, okay, you should be part of the company. And then months later it was okay. You should just be the CEO and the co founder, because obviously you care about seeing the through you care about this idea. Um, and so that’s when it all kind of started really quickly. We raised around, um, you know, it’s about 2 million, uh, for our seed round. Uh, we got our landlord to give us a pretty large chunk of capital to open up the location as well. And we had contractors, we had Josh Heitler, who was the architect, uh, for dry bar. So really renowned architect for New York. Um, yeah, yeah. He was great. He’s like, you want me to do what? I was like, yeah, uh, Build a preschool and a daycare. He’s like, I do restaurants and I do being, you know, salons and premium spaces. Um, no, but he was great. He was wonderful. And, uh, yeah, that ended up going, uh, of course it was supposed to open March of 2020. The pandemic hits and we had to do a large pivot, um, into April, 2020, we decided, okay, this [00:07:00] pandemic is not this one month thing, um, that is delaying our open, but it is the thing that we need to face right now in order for us to survive.
And so, uh, we switched to an online learning platform. Um, long story short, short story long is we taught kids in over 30 countries under six years old. Uh, we had a hundred thousand classes booked and then, yeah, it was a crazy, crazy time. Yeah, super crazy. And then, um, 2021, we finally opened the physical space because our landlord was like, nope. You’re not getting away with this. You’re definitely opening. And so we opened the space, of course, built our brand, um, to have a more global audience with the online learning had a crazy wait list of 2000 families, uh, for our physical space and then opened. And then, of course, end of 2021. I had a thought that, wow, it was so exciting to serve parents at scale, right? With the online learning. And I miss that. I miss being able to help parents everywhere. Um, have something that was scaled, scalable, have something that was tech enabled. And so. We went back to the drawing board, uh, and I can dive into this deeper, but then we decided to pivot to an on demand marketplace where we weren’t restricted by this sort of, um, brick and mortar linear growth pattern.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you still, you still operate the one physical boom or branded location, right? In Central City, correct?

Joan Nguyen: Yes, correct. It still exists today. Okay.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Okay. But now you have a way to scale very quickly

Joan Nguyen: Exactly. On demand marketplace partnering with existing locations and providers in order to give parents childcare.

Fabian Geyrhalter: That is, that is fantastic. Will you open up more physical locations, or was that pretty much enough? [00:09:00] Work.

Joan Nguyen: It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work. It definitely, um, you know, when we talk about brand, it definitely helped us with our brand, right. And so many different ways. So, you know, it had its value and still has its value for a boomer.
However, um, our Anthem for 2024 and into 2025 is really extreme focus. Um, and so that means really doubling down on expanding our marketplace and building that.

Fabian Geyrhalter: And how do you how do you make money on the service facilitation? Is it Because there are no membership fees for for the parents, right? Is it a is it a percentage per booking that you take from the parents or how does it work?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah. Yeah to simplify things. It’s basically we have a take rate. So we have you know providers get paid a certain rate Um boomo has created this, um, you know tech enabled marketplace. We’ve had this brand we have this brand presence Transcribed Um, and we have the traffic and so we’re able to drive parents who need child care to our [00:10:00] website, they book with the provider, they can book a half day, a full day, a week, right, whatever they want to their heart’s content of whatever child care they want to plan for themselves.
And then Bumo takes pretty much a percentage or fraction of that booking and that’s how we monetize.

Fabian Geyrhalter: And, and, and the big advantage to the parents is that these are, these are very well vetted, um, you know, uh, service providers through you and there’s the, there’s the trust there and defined a space so much faster than calling or emailing 20,000 people.
different places, right?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, yeah, it’s twofold. So part of it is, you know, because we built, you know, Century City, our physical space or boom on Century City. Parents have seen us as like, wow, we understand. premium child care. We know what good child care looks like. Um, and so we go out to vets, um, and have this network of child care providers, camps and schools. Uh, we have that layer of trust. So I always like to tell parents that Bumo is like that friend that you have that had their kids first, right? They save you a lot of legwork. They tell you the stroller that they bought, the bottles that they got, you know, the schools that they go to, you’re still going to do your own research, but they’ve really accelerated that process. And that’s what Boomo is, right? We are that friend. You had their kids first that you trust. Um, and on the other side of it is with the tech, we make it so easy. I mean, there is, we are the first ever Instantly bookable marketplace other other websites, um portray themselves as Uh instantly mark a bookable marketplace. However for boom. Oh You you actually like this morning if my nanny were out sick. I realized oh crap school’s closed or I thought I could take care of my kids today, but now I have, you know, a podcast episode to record or a meeting. That’s right. You could go online, you could book it instantly. And it literally is one minute to get childcare on Bumo.

Fabian Geyrhalter: That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Yeah. And, you know, talking about, uh, talking about that, that friend that already had a baby and knows everything. When you. When you call yourself, your brand, your company, um, you know, parent care, which I, which I like so much, right? It is all about the parent’s experience. How did you, and this is a loaded question and we can go into, but how did you craft the brand?
How did you craft the language to hit that perfect spot? Because I mean, obviously it must have been so much easier because you are the target demo, and then most likely everyone around you was the perfect target audience as well. But how did you come up with that in the beginning? And did you, was it, was it very bootstrapped in the beginning and you kind of like just, just winged it yourself and through Fiverr and things like that?
Or did you hire an agency? Tell us a little bit about that journey to the actual brand.

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, yeah. So, you know, uh, parent care, um, that kind of term and phrase that we use very, very often now because it really does capture what we do. That was, you know, Really created through the years of navigating Bumo, right? Um, everything that we did, we really tried to think about what is a common thread, right? What is our mission as a company? And when we decided to start the co working space was onset child care. It was to address the pain points that my co founder and I realized when we had Children and we wanted to grow thriving companies that we had this desire to be co located with our Children, right? So that was a need for parents. The pandemic happened and that was motivated. Of course, to give Children great education, but it was really to take care of parents. We saw so many parents complain about, you know, virtual schooling, being so worried about their Children, right? What is my child going to learn? How am I going to work and be a teacher at the same time? I’m not a teacher. I’m a lawyer. I’m not a teacher. I’m an engineer. Um, so developing that and then developing the child care platform, um, and the physical space. All of the services and the products that that Bumo built were built to take care of parents, right? We’re built to address a problem for parents, even if the problem were ephemeral, like the pandemic and online learning on DSO. That’s how We, we got to that notion of, okay, we are a parent care company, um, through time and effort, not really a workshop on what is our tagline, right? Um, that tagline was built through a lot of pain and effort standing up all of these products and services. Um, and my background, you know, it’s funny. I’m not, I’m actually not a designer. I’m not a brand person. I was, I wrote as a T and ACT textbooks. I helped kids get into college, but, um, I always had a fascination with brands. And, um, so I actually, uh, built a lot of an architect did a lot of the, the groundwork for our brand. Um, you know, I, they did a lot of the graphic design for Bumo. Um, yeah, yeah, a lot of, we had some help too. Um, of course from, you know, different. Graphic designers that we would hire ad hoc to support us. But the brand today, even the, our logo, um, I actually designed our logo that we have the color ways. We’re very much motivated by different colors that experimented with. Um, and I, I, I’m not ashamed to say it. I am a serial Canva user. So we use Canva for everything.

Fabian Geyrhalter: it’s amazing, right? How it empowers, how it empowers entrepreneurs. Um, you know, it can’t be. I mean, I, I studied, uh, graphic design, um, in, in, in Pasadena at art center college of design. Right. And how that changed of like how important the graphic designer was back then, um, you know, late nineties, early two thousands and in the role of a graphic designer today, right. It’s so different today. It’s like come in and fix it, make it more professional, right. But not like, you know, it’s, it’s really amazing. So you. So, since you came up with all of that, um, tell us a little bit about, about the logo, about the icon, um, how did it, how did it come about? I mean, it’s whimsical, it’s playful, but, but yet it’s, you know, something that you would, you would easily remember. It’s very memorable.

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, yeah. So, it comes from the name. I mean, we went through so many different names, honestly, for Bumo. We were Flo. It was not a good name. And then we were parked with a T, which was also not a good name. And then my co founder, Chriselle, she’s Korean. Um, and I’m not Korean, so I’m going to butcher this for any Korean listeners. So I apologize if I’m practicing, but, um, she said, Joan, we should name it Pumo, which means it’s Bumo, which means parent in Korean. And I just instantly fell in love with the name. I love that. Um, we wanted to add a sort of fun texture to it. So that’s where we thought of the um, lots, um, and then quickly learn for SEO. That’s actually terrible. You write it down, but in terms of a logo, it served its purpose, right? Um, And then slowly, when we just started to just play around with it, we just loved the, the whimsical nets of the lot. Um, and it was just fun and playful. Uh, and so that kind of, that kind of stuck, uh, and we just wanted something that was still playful and fun and feminine. So that’s where the. The pink comes in. We also have this like dark Navy blue, which makes it more serious. We have this enterprise angle to Bumo too. Um, yeah, yeah. And then we have like a lot of our, uh, different, uh, sort of symbols and just makes it easy to play around with. So, and it’s still evolving, you know, we still are evolving our brand and how the look and the feel of it. Um, solely, but surely, but you know, it’s, it’s, it’s the, the brand look color way. It’s the, it’s the, the shapes and figures that we use and how we pair together the type face. But beyond that, of course, like for the brand, it’s, it’s really the tone, right? Of Bumo that I think parents fall in love with.

Fabian Geyrhalter: And that tone was created Literally based on you being the audience, right? Um, there was no big exercise It’s just kind of like you you started writing from day one was probably both of you or you as a team, right?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah. Yeah, so the brand, uh, then we Exactly. I mean, we are the target audience, right? We are the user, our friends are the users. And for me, building a brand that was based on, you know, really the pinnacle of Bumo is, is trust, right? As a childcare company, parents trusted us also during the pandemic to give their kids education with no history in education, you know, nobody. We didn’t have any business, honestly, doing early childhood education. My background was in college admissions and test prep, you know, Chris Ellis in fashion and beauty. And we had to build that trust among parents. And so. Part of trust to it’s, of course, having intentional framework for what trust means right internally as a company and externally to, but beyond that it’s, it’s, it’s cultivating authenticity, right? Um, and I feel as though for our, our boomer brands, our social, everything we do, it has like a, this almost raw. Slightly unfiltered, um, authentic voice. Uh, and, and I think that is what mesmerizes, um, parents too. It’s not just totally perfection, right? Perfectionistic parenting. It’s not, uh, you know, it’s not just so tech and stale and voiceless, but it’s, it’s, it really feels like.You know, a parent is talking to that fun mom who’s not perfect, but wants the best for her child. That’s, that’s who Bumo is, right? And, and again, it goes back to that whole analog with, you know, Bumo’s like that friend, right, that you trust, but that you love, and you could probably have a glass of wine with too, who’s gonna, you know, tell you about great child care.

Fabian Geyrhalter: You know, it’s, it’s so, it’s so remarkable, um, how, How this is not, I mean, half of it is intrinsic and the other half is extremely strategic of how, how you both built this brand. But when you, when you go to the actual website and you experience it and you think, okay, there’s, there’s, there’s the dark color, which is trust. And then there’s the fun, more pinkish color, which is, you know, which is more the feminine side. Then there’s the Oh, which makes absolutely no sense. In a way, right, there is no umlaut in the name, it’s just literally, but that’s what kids do. It’s the playfulness of the kids, right? And so all of these things come together where, and then there’s the little video on the bottom right, and I would, I would encourage the audience to actually go to bumo.com and check it out. And then there’s this little video on the bottom right. Which is you popping up with your kid in the background being frantic like it’s our, and you being completely unfazed by it because that’s life as a parent. And you just give you a little pitch, which is totally not a pitch. It’s just you talking naturally like you would over a glass of wine with a friend of what you’re doing here. And all of this is. Extremely strategically done, and I think it’s so wonderful that you explain it this way, where, you know, it’s like this mixture of trust and DIY and, you know, like rawness. But yes, you know, it’s like finding this balance is so hard. Uh, and, and, and I applaud you for it. It’s, it’s, it’s really cool. Um, you know, if things don’t work out and then the education and childcare space, you know, you know, if you need a brand shop, you know who to call, I’m here.

Joan Nguyen: I love it.

Fabian Geyrhalter: And that was part of you, the, the, the two of you, where you, where you always have the opinion that it’s okay that we gonna be a little bit more, um, personable on the, on the, on that side. And we’re going to be the, Face of the brand and it’s okay that we show our kids and it’s because that’s what other parents want to see. Was there a decision or where you made it in the very beginning or was it just something organic where you felt like it does need strategically, it doesn’t need that touch of a real person.

Joan Nguyen: I mean, I think it’s, uh, you know, definitely we, we, Criselle and I are very raw people. I mean, Criselle throughout building Bumo, actually, she went through a big divorce, um, and her brand was, was as a parent was centered upon this like family, new unit, her, her husband and her two children. And in 2021, she into 2022. And so all the life cycles of Bumo, Chris Selma, co founder is also going through her own life cycles. And that was not intentional, right? It wasn’t like, Oh yeah, let’s have a divorce. So we can have this like raw and dirty to showcase her Bumo. But she was very, she was very authentic about it and very raw about it. And, and for me, I feel. Very much. Also a very raw, like a very, like it’s very hard for me to feel boxed into something that I’m not. Um, and I feel, uh, I always like to, I always say I’m a chronic overshare. I love to overshare perhaps a fault and, and I, you know, on my Instagram, not nearly the same audience my co founder has.
She has what? Like 1. 5 million followers on Instagram. I have a droplet of that. Um, but for me, a lot of the, our users actually follow me and I’m very. Just myself, you know, I’m very myself. I have hard days. I talk about hard days. I talk about the day where my daughter wanted me to take her out of school. Cause she missed me cause I was working so much and I took her out of school and we just ran around the mall and. Did stupid things and it was so fun and, you know, parents will see that. I mean, a Mother’s Day, um, it was a picture of me in the passenger seat. My husband took it. I was passed out from having a great, uh, champagne brunch with my best friend. And, you know, and it’s, it’s a rawness. Right. It’s all, a lot of parents have champagne, um, but it’s, I don’t need to be this like perfect person. Right. Um, but they also see me, my, my favorite thing that I always post is myself working late at night with a glass of wine. So it’s like 1am, 2am, you know, my computer, it’s a photo of my computer, a glass of wine and a timestamp. And so I feel like. That is not architected. That’s just who I am. Um, and it’s your personal

Fabian Geyrhalter: instagram, right? And it’s your personal instagram, which you allow your clients to join, but you don’t advertise it. They just find you through, you know, through following a boomer on instagram. And that’s probably how it works. And I think that’s fantastic because you also don’t want to create a corporate brand. I mean, whose goal is it to create a corporate brand? Right? Do you want to create a brand that is loved and that you can love, right? And if that’s, Your style. It’s like more power to you. I mean, a lot of founders would love to be socially inclined.
Um, and by that, I mean, both online, offline, where they just overshare because everyone’s like, where does all the content come from? We need content. Well, you don’t have a problem.

Joan Nguyen: No, no, I’m a chronic overshare. So not, not that problem at all. But again, that creates an authenticity, right? And that, that trust appearance. Parents really gravitate towards and it feels very real. But, and parents also see that I care so much about what I do. I took all the early childhood education classes I needed to take last year just so I could learn about early childhood education. And so, um, so I think that that, to answer your question, it’s, It’s no, not really. Like, we’re not really trying to architect. It wasn’t preplanned or pre manifested. It’s just naturally how Christelle, my co founder and I are. We’re very authentic, very raw, imperfect. Um, and we’re okay with that. And we want our audience to see that.

Fabian Geyrhalter: And into a totally different direction here, but it’s something that I was aching to ask you. Um, it’s always, it’s always this thing with, with, uh, marketplaces, online marketplaces that start more on a local regional level and then they go more national. You always disappoint people, right? Like some people are like looking in wherever and they can’t find you. But I, I, I saw on your site, You’re doing a couple of pretty cool things to make people feel like, Oh, there’s something coming. And I’m, I’m, I’m still being served, even though they might not find the right spot in the area yet. How did you, how did you navigate that idea of let’s go, let’s go national, but we will only be in certain areas. And there will be that, that like, how do you keep people, you know, and enthused about, The option that there will be something for them in the future. Does that make

Joan Nguyen: sense? That’s something that we think about a lot, right. And because we, we did create a brand that was a little bit more recognizable, even though small, um, on, uh, on a beyond regional level, right. For sure. Um, and so for us, it was just. A few things, right? We wanted to capture data, right? And understand what people were searching for.So we’re very intentional about reviewing our search logs, understanding, you know, what types of locations, um, the, the parents are, are engaging with. Right. Uh, so we do have, and I’m very impressed that you look through our entire website. So we do have, um, A sort of call out where parents can add their emails and get notified when a location is live. Um, and for us, it’s just really understanding, you know, where we should launch next and where we should go next and be strategic about that, as opposed to, of course, like fingers in the air and seeing where the wind blows. Um, and so. You know, for for a lot of the parents, it’s it’s just being able to find something and search something and know that there’s an option, even though they can’t engage with it right away and knowing that they can add themselves to, um, a sort of wait list of sorts without a promise of a deadline of when it’s going to be launched. Um, I think that’s something that that helps fill the bucket for. For them, when they can’t find something, you know, obviously what’s hard about a marketplace as you hit on is you have to go narrow and narrow, very narrow at first, right? Going wide, um, does not do, do anybody any favors? Um, and so for us, it was, it was this very narrow approach, which is hard, you know, cause people are following us from all over the world. Um, And wanting to engage in boom when wanting to, um, you know, to to, you know, really use our services, but they can’t right now and every single city because we’re really just focused on L. A. And launching to San Francisco, New York very soon. Um, so that’s that’s a trick. That is a very tricky part. I mean, that has actually impacted the way we do our Take Branding and marketing to a lot because, um, as you touched upon, we don’t want parents to be disappointed when they come to your website. So it’s really, really back a lot of our. Um, our marketing where it was, you know, before we could have, you know, Chris L talk about on her social media to 1. 5 million people about online classes because anybody could engage in it. But now it’s almost a waste of airtime, right? Because people will come and be disappointed.
Yeah. So yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Yeah. Not to interrupt, but I think that that’s kind of, that’s the interesting, that’s that interesting conundrum from being hyper local You’re like in Century City in a building to being completely worldwide and now kind of like, you know, pulling back a [00:30:00] little bit, but knowing that something big is going to come in the future. It’s a fine dance that you’re dancing. Um, and I, and I think you’re dancing it really well because I went to your website earlier this morning and I looked for childcare, which I don’t need because I’m not a parent, but I look for child care and I look for child care in New York, even though I’m in LA, um, just to see how do you solve that? And it’s really cool. You know, like how you have results, but the results are not usable yet, but, but you’re like, Hey, this is coming soon. And this is, and, and, and the way that you provide that. These stamps of approval to certain places where I feel like, Oh, I better wait, you know, I better come back because they’re doing something really interesting. So it’s really, it’s really solved in a very, in a very smart way. Um, you said before, uh, the magic word data, um, that obviously this is, this is a big data game to figure out where are these parents who’s hungry for the service. Um, did you ever go against. Any customer data that you, that you got served or that you saw and you made a complete gutsy move and you said, you know what, this is great.
The data tells us go left, but we’re going to go the other direction.

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, I mean, I think starting the on demand child care marketplace in and of itself is going. Against everything that people thought to be true. You know, I feel as though for parents, especially in the parent space, right. There’s something that I always say it’s, you know, there’s common unsubstantiated social truisms, right? And so there are a lot of things as parents, we believe that we would do or would not do, or believe to be true. Um, I’ll give a simple example and then relate it definitely back to, to Bumo as an on demand marketplace and how it went against the grain was. As parents, we have these notions of, oh, I remember I said it once to a parent and feel awful about it now, if I could go back in time, I would tell myself to shut up because I told the parents like, oh, gosh, my daughter, I would never give her french fries.
Right? It’s so unhealthy. And, um, [00:32:00] And sure enough, I give my daughter French fries all the time now, right? Because it’s like she’s having a meltdown. Like, please eat a French fry. And so, um, you know, cause you always think of what you would do, but when you’re faced in that situation, you want to do it. Same thing with screen time for kids, right? A lot of parents. Yeah. When they have their kids like, Oh, I’m never going to give my. Kid, a restaurant, a screen at the restaurant, right? And sure enough, you want to enjoy your dinner. I haven’t enjoyed your class of why you’re going to give your child a screen. So very similarly, right for on demand childcare, you know, running like surveys with parents, the consensus was I would never do that. I would never drop my child off at a daycare. Oh, wow. You know, I won’t do that. That’s weird to me. I, I’ve never been to that daycare before. I’ve never toured that daycare before. I wouldn’t do that. But, you know, that is a very common thing that parents do, is you have this preconceived idea of what you would do because you’re thinking about it.
And the most, mm-hmm. , optimistic, ideal, idealistic situation. [00:33:00] But oftentimes when these situations happen where you need on demand childcare, you are in a less than ideal situation. Um, your nanny called out sick. You have a meeting a parent last week. I, one thing that I’d love to do is I’d love to pick up customer calls. My team is trying to fire me for doing this. I love they should never,

Fabian Geyrhalter: you should at least once a month for like an hour. I think this is the healthiest thing to do as a CEO. Yeah.

Joan Nguyen: Oh, I love it. I picked up a call. A parent was frantic and she said, my nanny called out sick. I have. A surgery that that that I have today and I can’t reschedule within six months. And I said, okay Um, you just go go on to boomer. com you could search and book your child care And she said okay, and then what I do I was like, that’s all you do And then when I show up, what do I do? Do I give them something? I was like, no you literally just go on You just book it. That’s easy. So those situations happen. I remember I was actually um Very short story, but at a pitch for an accelerator. And I remember I was pitching the idea of on demand childcare for this accelerator, and I had a panel of 10 people. I remember one person, he kind of like put up his hands kind of confused and not as interested in the idea. And he said, you know what, I would never do this. I would never drop my child off at just a random location, even for vetted. And I looked at him and I said. You know what? I was like, if my nanny called out sick today, I would book on demand childcare. I would not miss my pitch today. I would book that on demand child care.
Nice, nice thumb back. And then he like, yeah, and then he, and then he smiled and he gave me a thumbs up. Said Okay. And you

Fabian Geyrhalter: know, I have, this has nothing to do with, with, with this topic, but I have this, I, yeah, I have this thought about panels. I’ve been on panels so often and I’ve, I’ve watched panel discussions. Everyone is there just to have an opinion. You know what I mean? Like it’s not like it’s other like you have to be the Contrarian like three people already on the penalty one thing you have to be, you know Entertaining. So yeah with a grain of salt, right? But but yeah, I mean basically your entire time you went against what? Absolutely what people said they would do and now they’re actually they’re actually flocking to the service, which is absolutely amazing when nice When was there a moment, um, for boomer where you felt like, well, through all the pivots, when was, when was there a moment where you felt, you know what, um, we found our stick, we have our tribe and we actually think that this is going to turn into, into a big brand.

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, I would say definitely. Um, very recently in the last quarter where we saw this, um, obsessive, uh, sort of user behavior, right? Um, we can’t say exact numbers, but we saw our average user spending three X more than they were typically spending in a one month period. Right? So the average spend per user in that month. And we started see in tandem with that, I would get, um, screenshot messages, right? Um, sent to me from my friends, uh, parents talking about Bumo in Facebook groups, referring to their friends. And yeah, and I think a really interesting moment also to wrap this up, um, In this last quarter was when I went to an investor meeting and I said to them, you know, people talk about us in the Facebook groups. I mean, they’re naturally just referring Bumo as like this resource and booking onto Benchel. Cause typically parents go online and you know, my nanny is sick. My nanny quit, um, school’s out next week. Where are you sending your kids? And I said, we’re not in the Bay area yet. We’re really focused in LA. And then one of the investors said to me, she was like, actually Joan, I just saw somebody talk about Bumo in the Facebook group last week in the Bay Area, um, and a parent Facebook group. And so seeing that, you know, talking to my pediatrician and then my kids mentioning Bumo and my pediatrician saying, Oh, I use Bumo too. So my brother uses Bumo too. And it’s like seeing that anecdotally paired with the, the sort of, um, The data that we’re seeing with the user, the obsessive user behavior, because it’s like so much easier. Like why put yourself in the pain of going through your Rolodex of babysitters, calling on favors from grandparents. If they’re even around the grandparents are away or might, unfortunately not be around anymore. Why do that? Why not just wake up? But. Childcare for as low as 14 an hour, which is cheaper than a regular nanny. Um, and so, you know, seeing that has been really exciting in this last quarter, um, and so, you know, definitely very excited for what’s next.

Fabian Geyrhalter: It’s so great. It’s so great to hear that rather than, Oh, it was when we got this certain round of funding or when we got this big article on CNN, right. Like, or whatever, right. Like this big airtime, but it’s, but it’s literally when you felt that within Communities, [00:38:00] your community and other communities, boomer turned into a thing, right? And I think that must be extremely rewarding. Um, now that we talked a lot about the boomer brand and how you, um, high checked created it yourself, uh, from a design perspective.
Yeah, of course. Of course. You, you reached out to, to, to some, uh, deciders at the time, but what does, You know what, what, what does branding mean to you? I think the word branding is so, you know, it’s so miscon mis misconstrued over the, over the years. It’s like, it’s the logo, it’s the colors. It’s like, no, branding is so deep. There’s so much to it. But what does, what does it mean to you now that you, you, you built this brand?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah. Uh, so you’re right. It’s, it’s beyond just colors and colorways and typeface. Um, and what you get in a 50 page deck from a branding agency, right? Branding for Bumo has been, you know, a result of, of, of All of the things that boom was, it’s our actions, right?
It’s our mission. It’s our vision embedded into everything that we do. And that translates to how customers feel about us, right? Um, I think that is true. Branding is, you know, how do your customers see you? Do they trust you? Do they have this emotional connection with you? Um, how do they perceive you? Right. Um, that is true branding and, and the, so branding then has, you know, then very other tentacles too. Obviously the other stuff is really important. I mean, the design, the, the logo, the slogan, whatever it is, that’s important. That’s, that’s very surface level, right? Branding, like you said, is so much deeper than that. So branding for us is, you know, uh, rooted in community, right? How does that have the layers of community and trust among our, our audience and our customers, right? Um, and that’s true. Branding is when you can cultivate that, um, And have champions of your brand, evangelists of your brand. That is when you’ve achieved true branding.
We’re still, you know, building our brand. So we’re not there yet. Um, but definitely feel in the last few years that we have, you know, started that pathway to building. A generational brand and company that we hope to build,

Fabian Geyrhalter: you know, and it’s interesting. I mean, everything you said, you know, spot on and I, and, and, and I appreciate your, your perspective on it. And I, I really feel that branding actually, it never ends. Right. You know, it’s like, you, you think like, Oh, you get a brand agency or get, you know, you, you get your brand established. That’s not how you establish your brand. Right. Those are. Those are the beginning platform pieces that, that, that you can start building upon, but really it’s, it’s, it’s an organic, ever evolving, growing thing of what, what, what does your brand mean to people, right? Because you’re pivoting, you’re changing, you’re going national, you’re suddenly putting a deeper focus on something else and your brand, the way that you and I see it, it, it, it changes. Right. Like it’s constantly morphing into something that’s, that’s bigger and maybe even slightly different. I think, I think it’s fascinating, but that makes sense because it’s my business.
So I better find it fascinating. Um, if you take, if you take everything that is, Bumo and you, you put it through a filter and outcomes, one word or two words that would describe, and I have a feeling I might know what it is, but let’s, um, that, that, that describes the brand like liquid death is mischief and Evelyn is radical transparency. Like, do you, do you have a, what is it? A word or two?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, it’s, uh, it’s trust, you know, trust is very important to Bumo. Um, everything that we’ve done is built on trust. Uh, we feel. That parents again sending their kids to us online and having us be the, um, owners of their education right in the early, early life.
That’s trust dropping off your child to facility. That’s trust, you know, using our network. That’s all trust. So Bumo is in the business of parent care, but also in cultivating trust. So that definitely describes our brand.

Fabian Geyrhalter: I love that. I love that you brought up parent care because that was the obvious because I’m like, I think I know it without, without trust. There, there is no parent care, right? Um, it’s, it’s kind of the fundamental basis for everything you do. Any, any piece of, uh, of brand brand advice that, that you might have for, for, for, for founders or for, for anyone, anyone listening as a, as a takeaway.

Joan Nguyen: I mean, nothing that probably is. Not already. I know that not that hasn’t already been stated, but it’s really, um, you know, authenticity, right? I really believe in building authentic brand. I feel like the consumers now are so much more clever, right? Um, they can feel that that the authenticity, right? And I think that really leads and fosters loyalty, um, for to a brand. And then, of course, ultimate success. So being authentic, um, Not trying to replicate. I think consumers can feel when something is being replicated and kind of put through the machine and, you know, spat out in a sense. Um, but having something authentic and real is really important.

Fabian Geyrhalter: So important. So important. What’s next for the boomer brands as we’re coming slowly to a close here? What are you excited about in the next six months? I mean, obviously, you know, world domination.

Joan Nguyen: World domination, but two regions at a time. So, uh, we are to San Francisco and to New York, which is very exciting with us. Um, we are starting to also partner with, um, enterprises, uh, so enterprise partners, companies, um, to give backup on demand childcare. We’re working with other, um, partners in the field, too. So a lot of, um, the leading, uh, enterprise companies, we are partnering with them as well to kind of round out their offerings with on demand childcare. So we’re very excited about both landing in different cities. So not only support consumers and families who need it, but also the companies who need to support their working parents as well.

Fabian Geyrhalter: That is, that is so exciting. I’m getting ready to follow you along that journey, um, on Instagram, how, where, where can people follow you, uh, personally and, and, and, and the company, or how can they get in touch best?

Joan Nguyen: Yeah, yeah. Um, I would say, uh, for fun content you can follow my Instagram.So Joan.bumo, um, for more business content, obviously LinkedIn. Um, so it’s just Joan Bumo. Uh, and yeah, please. Follow our Instagram page too. We have a really great memes. We’re also announcing our city launches. We’re launching in a new city every single week now, which is exciting. Uh, so we’ll hope to hear from people and I hope people found this helpful and exciting. I love sharing it with you and you know, you’ve been so wonderful and, you know, really digging deep into Bumo and understanding what we’ve really have worked so hard in the last few years to build as a brand.

Fabian Geyrhalter: Well, it shows and that that is, that is, uh, that is what you created, right? It’s pretty easy to, to, to feel what you, what you tried to, what you tried to put in there. So, um, congrats on everything. Congrats on the success.

Joan Nguyen: Thank you


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