New subscription startups are popping up left and right, promising to make our lives easier and more enjoyable by delivering exactly what we need and when we need it. In fact, Fortune recently pointed out that we live in a subscription economy. Me? I'm entirely okay with that. Subscription boxes have taken me through many a New York winter's day with out having to venture out into the snow...
...first world problems, I know.
But one new subscription is helping much more worthy cause: empowering babies with a healthier brain.
Sania Jamil, creator of Bumble Brain Box, and her partner Dr. Kristi Spath, a child psychologist, understand the importance early childhood education has to a person's long-term growth and success. Their monthly subscription box teaches parents how to play with their children (ages 0-3 years old) to help target specific areas of brain development.
Getting noticed as a subscription service is becoming increasingly more difficult. But Bumble Brain Box sold out in its first month, showing how large the market for this could be. And it makes sense. Most parents want the best for their kids but don't have a background in early childhood development or know where to start.
Jamil, who owns and operates three preschools in Texas, knew there was a market for a service that took the guesswork out of that process and made it simple and new every month. But for Dr. Spath, this project hits even closer to home. Her son Tyler was born with a genetic defect and has overcome pulmonary and digestive issues. "He was given a poor prognosis to even walk or talk, much less develop cognitively. His development was delayed to the point of nonexistence until he was able to sustain his corrective open heart surgery at approximately 1 year,"said Dr. Spath.
"I had to do whatever it took,"said Dr. Spath. "So I started doing a lot of child psychology based activities with him, similar to what is in the Bumble Brain Box, to help him."
Dr. Spath's son Tyler has defied odds to be a normal, healthy, high-functioning boy. "As of Monday he passed his kindergarten registration evaluation with flying colors!! I always wait until about halfway through the year and then tell Tyler's teacher about his medical history. They're always so shocked when I finally tell them,"said Dr. Spath.
It's that passion that is driving parents to try Bumble Brain Box. The company also plans to donate a part of the proceeds toward early childhood education programs in developing countries.
The service is thriving but Sania Jamil still wants to do more. The service doesn't require a lot of education, but the reason for it does. "The most exciting thing about Bumble Brain Box is educating people on the importance of early childhood education. So many parents don't realize the importance of their child's earliest years in terms of development,"said Jamil. "90 percent of brain development happens between 0 to 5 years old, and the most significant development in every person's life takes place between 0 to 3 years old. And even if they do realize the importance, many don't have the time, expertise, or resources to intentionally target & exercise their child's social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and auditory skills."
Creating a service that checks all of those boxes for parents is tough but Jamil has packaged it an a way that anyone could understand. She also has to make sure that it makes sense for parents.
"Bumble Brain Box is a five minute commitment per day."said Jamil. "It only costs $5 a week to receive a monthly box with 5 activity cards, 10-15 activity variations, 5-10 learning supplies (such as finger paint, blindfolds, coffee filters, eye filters, etc), a brain-play booklet, and unlimited email Q&A access to Dr. Kristi Spath"
Access to a doctor that specializes in early childhood development has turned out to be the game-changer for the service. Every child is unique, parents will have questions and the best way to get great results is to have that kind of support.
Bumble Brain Box has achieved immediate success. But not every subscription service is as lucky. For all of the new subscription services looking to enter a market remember that there is, to some extent, a formula.
Identify a market or potential market that is underserved, establish trust and credibility, keep it simple, keep the price low and make sure the package looks cool. Seriously. You want people to be excited to open it every month.
The average subscription consumer is looking for something that saves them time, money and fills a need. But they need more than that to buy in to something new. They need a story, a reason, a company that gives back.
What Bumble Brain Box has shown is that a young company looking to do good connects more than a company looking to do well.