Case Study
0 min read

Cookies as a Service: How Grove Cookie Co. Uses Zest to Scale Corporate Gifting

October 16, 2023
Cookies as a Service: How Grove Cookie Co. Uses Zest to Scale Corporate Gifting

If you’re wheeling, dealing, and making your living on the internet, odds are good that you’re using one (or the average company’s 130) software-as-a-service tools. Typically known by their more casual moniker “SaaS” tools, these handy platforms empower business-owners and entrepreneurs to leverage things like email, ecommerce storefronts, content, and sales communications. In a nutshell, SaaS helps your business operate smoothly and scale big without having to be an engineer or making tools from scratch. 

SaaS can be an incredibly powerful partner for your business growth. But have you heard about CaaS? “Cookies as a Service” is the latest tool you should consider stuffing in your toolbox. In a nutshell, CaaS is capitalizing on the power of cookies in all your business relationships. Cold outreach? Following up from a demo? Showing gratitude for coming to a webinar? In-person event giveaway? Retention strategy? Random moment of surprise and delight? All of it can be done when you send a client, customer, or prospect a soft, buttery cookie.

A dictionary-like description of CaaS, or Cookies as a Service, that reads "a method of cookie delivery in which cookies are delivered via online gift links to surprise and delight recipients."

This might sound like a sweet, sweet fantasy, but trust us — CaaS works. 

And the masterminds behind the CaaS movement are Marie and Grayson Hogard, the founders of Grove Cookie Company. The duo started baking cookies in their townhouse in early 2021, and in just a few years, they’ve grown their inkling that cookies are the perfect client gift into a full-blown sales tool.

Read on to see how Grove Cookie Company is changing client gifting, revolutionizing sales strategies, and using Zest to power their goals for themselves and their hungry customers.

Problem: Making Cookies Easy to Gift in Client Relationships

It all started when a friend of the founders was talking about wanting to connect with prospects in the middle of the sales cycle through simple gestures. As a seasoned salesperson, this pal is  painfully aware of how hard it is to keep leads engaged and momentum going in a deal. And even though their company already had a corporate gifting tool in their SaaS rotation, it wasn’t a good fit for this use case. 

Gifting tools aren’t a novel invention. The oldest ones have been around for a decade or longer — and it shows. They often require large order minimums and long lead times, particularly when any part of the corporate gift is customized, and those two hurdles just don’t jive with on-the-fly one-off sales gifting. There wasn’t an off-the-shelf tool available for the salesperson who wants to go the extra mile with a small gift at a moment's notice. 

Hearing this, Marie and Grayson saw their shot to get in on a good idea, so they refined their recipes, cranked up their oven, and got to baking. Grove Cookie Company was born as a way to offer sales and success teams a gift that:

  • comes in flexible quantities for any budget.
  • can be customized by way of gift note and branding.
  • is delicious, memorable, and different. 
  • can be gifted quickly and easily. 

Staking its claim as the second-most popular dessert in America, 95% of people in the country eat a cookie every month. Cookies are a proven crowd-pleaser, can be crafted in endless varieties, and only made sense to star as the now-iconic gift that cuts through noise and keeps attention throughout the sales process.  

With a network of eager gifters waiting to deploy cookies to prospects, a fool-proof product, and an endless supply of enthusiasm and optimism, Grove Cookie Co. was born. Only one problem remained: how could Grove Cookie Company make their perfect sales gift ridiculously easy to send?

Solution: Bringing a New Sales Strategy to Life with Zest

Irresistible cookies. Branded touches. Thoughtful, personalized gift messages. Universally loved gifts. Grove Cookie Company cooked up the perfect mid-cycle touchpoint that the founders’ friend dreamt of, but the only thing left was to team with the right tools to get these perfect sales-boosting morsels into the hands of more sales teams looking to stand out and engage with people. 

The founders started to spread the delicious word the old fashioned way — sending hundreds of free samples to their target users. Boxes of cookies were being shipped to sales teams at SaaS companies everywhere. As the outreach grew, though, so did the manual labor. The back-and-forth to find shipping addresses not only took a lot of time, but it also sapped the element of surprise from receiving cookies.

After connecting with Alex Ingram, co-founder of Zest, the Grove Cookie Co. squad knew they had found the perfect partner for growing their own network as well as empowering their customers to do the same. Zest was able to give Grayson and Marie what they needed grow:

  • Gift-sending experiences that eliminate the need to collect every recipient address.
  • Digital gift links that make it possible to send gifts instantly through a variety of channels, like LinkedIn messages, emails, texts, and more. 
  • Recipient experiences that are branded and memorable (and keep the sales momentum going).
  • An intuitive platform that streamlines Grove Cookie Co.’s growth and is easy for their clients to adopt in their own sales gifting strategies.
  • The ability to create custom gifting storefronts for individual sales clients so they can send their own branded gifts to prospects in just seconds. 
  • Usage-based pricing that makes Zest the perfectly accessible tool for Grove Cookie Co.’s clients, so salespeople can send as many cookies as they want and only pay for the ones that are accepted. 
A GIF showing the experience of going to Grove Cookie Company's e-gifting marketplace and buying cookies to gift.
Send cookies to prospects in 60 seconds or less.

Grove Cookie Co.’s partnership with Zest means sales teams can tap into a platform that lets them send cookies to any prospect, through any channel, in just seconds — all without having to buy truckloads of cookies up front, plan far ahead for custom gift notes, or gather shipping addresses for every recipient. 

“We want to give other SaaS brands the tools to succeed and grow their own ecosystem. Zest instantly aligned with that goal,” said Grayson. While he leans into Zest to surprise his own prospects and clients with cookies, and continues to scale Grove Cookie Co., he knows it’s a gifting platform that’s nimble enough for every modern sales team. 

The ability for whole teams or individual contributors to differentiate, engage leads, and keep deals moving at the right time, every time, with delicious cookies is a game-changer.

A quote by Grove Cookie Company's co-founder, rayson Hogard, that reads "We want to give others the tools to success and grow their own ecosystem."

Result: Grove Is the G.O.A.T., Grayson Is The Cookie Guy™, and Cookies as a Service Is Hot in Sales

Since Grove Cookie Company started teaming with Zest, the benefits have been a one-two punch of immense time savings plus massive growth. The very first feature that caught Grayson’s eye — recipient address collection — saves the company hours of time every single week when it comes to their own prospecting and outreach.

“Being able to send a gift link and surprise people without having to ask for an address first gives me goosebumps,” said Grayson. “And now I can send hundreds of gift links a week in no time.” This means Grove Cookie Company is getting in more mouths of more people, and the stock is flying off the shelves. 

Grove Cookie's audience grew the moment they started sending cookies with Zest.

This huge boost in order volume means more revenue for the cookie company that started using Zest in early 2023, but it also means that more salespeople are growing their own networks thanks to the same ease and accessibility of the platform.

Sales teams everywhere can use Zest to send Grove Cookie Company cookies far and wide as well. All without having to collect an address, order in bulk, pay extra for customization, or jump through dozens of hoops just to get set up and send cookies. They can grow their own brands exactly how Grayson grows Grove Cookie Company — one quick and delightful cookie-gifting experience at a time. 

With new technology on their side to spread cookies far and wide, Grayson has become known as The Cookie Guy™. And Cookies as a Service? There’s probably not a salesperson on LinkedIn who hasn’t heard of the new strategy making waves. Like Grayson says, traditional sales tactics like sending $5 gift cards have grown tired and forgettable. But receiving a surprise batch of buttery chocolate chip cookies? That’s a touchpoint few prospects will forget.

Grow Your (and Your Clients’) Sales Ecosystem One Cookie at a Time

Grayson and Marie teamed with Zest to swiftly surprise people and improve their own prospecting, and they knew it was the tool their own clients needed to improve their prospecting, too. This flywheel of growth and refreshing sales strategies started from just a simple conversation with a friend and a cookie.

Expand your own ecosystem by sending perfectly timed cookies to leads, prospects, or existing clients you haven’t said “Hey!” to in a while. It’s a delicious, and smart, move for teams looking to stand out and keep relationships moving.

A pink CTA button that says "Send the gift of cookies in 60 cookies"
Liz Lorge
Liz Lorge
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