Beyond helping the early stages of startups, accelerators also play an important role by mentoring, educating, supporting them financially. It's because of these accelerators that companies such as Airbnb, Twitch, Stripe, and Dropbox were able to breakout growth.
In order to help startups to thrive while working with a limited timeframe, adopting a growth mindset became crucial for accelerators and incubators like Techstars, Mucker Capital, and La Briqueterie to succeed.
In this growth study, we talked to Pierre Levi (Head of Growth), and Clotilde Reynier (CPO) to dig into La Briqueterie’s approach, learning how they have balanced and organized their own growth team and, more importantly, how they have standardized their expertise in a way that, regardless of the startup, of their objective or their needs, they can track and execute growth at scale.
La Briqueterie, "brick factory” in French, is an accelerator dedicated to digital technologies in Marseille, South of France. Specialized in digital products, they work on its entire life cycle, from its conception and PMF, up to the scale and traction phase.
In February 2018, Rémi Arnaud and Thomas Favre created MellonMellon agency, an IT development agency working on complex products, including information systems, and business tools.
In September 2019, from the desire to break down the barriers of knowledge surrounding digital products, La Briqueterie was born to be the place where entrepreneurs and makers could meet in order to move their projects forward together.
Recently, they’ve launched the No-code Agency to help new entrepreneurs creating their digital product in 4 weeks, at a very competitive cost.
It became, therefore, obvious to create a hybrid service offer around the digital product, including:
An IT development agency to design and build products;
Project mentoring based on the growth hacking methodology;
Execution to help businesses grow in a consistent way.
Building the foundations for digital products
Thinking about those real enthusiasts, dreamers, and experts who work or wish to evolve in the world of digital products, La Briqueterie has as its main goal to transform them into "Makers" or "Doers", or to use their own words, enable them to catch the bricks they desire.
So, La Briqueterie is in a certain way a building, the aggregation of all the bricks.
But what bricks? And why?
Pierre said that they chose this name because they see the digital product as a set of several building blocks with the Vision to make it happen and bring it to life, the Design to think and optimize it, the Tech to build and construct it, and Growth to share it and expand the vision.
Designed by Ana Paola, Artistic Director at La Briqueterie
At la Briqueterie, they have 3 offers: product building, mentoring, and growth consultancy.
In less than 6 months, they built a training catalog around the digital product with 3 main categories (Web marketing; Product & No-Code, and; Outbound Marketing & Growth) that now represents 60% of their revenue.
Regarding production, dozens of projects came to life thanks to their IT Agency including a mix of startups and big French companies like SNCF, France's national state-owned railway company, and Alstom, a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer operating worldwide in rail transport markets.
In order to execute their mission of helping businesses gain traction, scale, and find innovative ways to achieve sustainable long-term growth, La Briqueterie has partnered with GrowthHackers by using Experiments to manage their growth operation for multiple digital products
If each startup that joins the program started to report their progress (inputs and outputs) in a different way, it would become nearly impossible for the accelerator to track and help it. So, as soon as a new co joins their program, they create a workspace for that startup:
Experiments allows teams to create multiple workspaces
This allows La Briqueterie to respect the multiple and different strategies that each startup might need at the moment (product development, new channel validation, message and positioning, fundraising, and more), while still having access to their initiatives and being able to collaborate in a singular way.
Once the workspace is created, it's time to get down to the Growth Strategy. Which basically consists in helping each startup define their North Star Metric, choosing the main Objectives to be achieved throughout the next X months, and starting generating an idea backlog.
On the B2C side, We App, a dating app, hit the mark of 15K active users since their launch in March of this year, and Kelvin, an app that tracks ecological habits, whose one of its objectives is to organize fundraising of 400K, has already tripled the number of employees since their creation.
Here is an example:
From Experiments, Pierre's team can keep track of every part of their growth strategy
On the B2B side, Bonami is a product that was built from scratch and has gone from 0 to 1,5K MRR in one year by making life easier for private nurses. Ottho.Tools is another big hit in France, the number #1 no-code training platform that raised in 2 digits their number of active users after being mentored by La Briqueterie. And ready to be launched in September with a mature growth mindset, Zideeup is a B2B Solution for continuous Improvement & lean management for corporates and big groups.
By having a clear and holistic vision of how each startup is doing, not only in terms of revenue but also in value delivered, growth, customer feedback, and overall progress, La Briqueterie is able to intervene whenever they know they can add value. With its cross-functional approach to growth and a passionate vision for business creation, they have seen a lot of success.
At La Briqueterie, their growth team is a mix of professionals performing multiple roles. In the beginning, they were mostly a team of developers and programmers - so the product background was well covered. Adding a layer of market-knowledge and growth methodology to it has allowed them to make sense out of the well-known ideation > prioritization > testing > analysis framework.
An Accelerator North Star Metric
La Briqueterie has identified as their NSM the “Number of Vision Unit Concretised” matching their vision to realize the entrepreneur's vision with digital technology as Clotilde explains:
We’re trying to take off the 'financial aspect”'of the NSM in our organization and all the startups that we mentor because we’re truly convinced that money should never be the end goal of the business. Our main focus in the NSM is more about the vision of the organization, how can we track and truly measure the impact they have on their market / ecosystem.
Using Experiments, teams can define their NSM and keep track on a daily/weekly basis
To put some numbers on that, based on their 3 main offers, they ponderate it with the number of successful mentoring, training and certifications, and the number of “User Stories” developed in code or No-code products by the team.
To achieve this NSM, their objectives are defined based on a mix of short term ambition: MRR and the desire of the team on how they want to drive the business.
The success of these objectives is dictated by:
After defining your NSM, it's time to set up new Objectives on Experiments
Perks of structuring your growth strategy with Experiments
To help them to structure, execute, and track not only their metrics but also those of their clients, Experiments integrated their stack of tools together with Basecamp. Hubspot, Linkedin Sales Navigator, and others. Besides helping to align their growth strategy without doing everything everywhere, but focusing on what really matters: the North Star Metric.
Replacing Airtable, Experiments became the tool that La Briqueterie is using to share not only their ideas and put them into experimentation, but also those of the other 7 companies that they mentor.
When working with a new startup, Clotilde said the onboarding process takes 1 month with four sessions.
The objective is to better understand the essence of the entrepreneur's project in order to maximize the relevance of the mentoring. This session is important to fulfill their mission to push project leaders to make their vision come true through the digital product.
As a receptacle of the project owner's vision, the digital product must be aligned with it. But it's also important that the product meets the needs of the end-users.To best carry the vision of the entrepreneur, the product must be technically perfect and optimized.
There are as many metrics as there are situations or actions. They are part of a logic of measurement with the purpose to keep track of the project's evolution over time. It's the 1st. step to building the right strategy.
Ideas and experiments are at the heart of the Experiments software and Growth methodology. They allow the entrepreneur to test in every growth lever and raise unknowns in their market. This first brainstorming session serves to scan all the hypotheses of the first objectives set by going to test them little by little.
With more than 50% of their ideas being focused on the Acquisition lever, Experiments is not only helping La Briqueterie to structure their ideas and keep track of their metrics and organization, but also helped them to realize that they can take advantage of the other growth levers to achieve better results.
From this discovery, Pierre said:
So now we’re building retention, optimization on the revenue, better cost calculation, and process creation. So with just one data, we were able to make important decisions.
With this strategy, they also manage to duplicate upsells / cross-sells as they did before. And the next steps include a lot of ideas to try on a referral lever.
With a 60% success and 40% failure or inconclusive portions of experiments, their team shared some of their experiments that were successful, and also some that didn't work.
Pierre said that thanks to Experiments, what in the past was an idea, is now real. Before start using the platform, although they were already running some tests, they didn't have metrics, data to report on the team or capitalized on it to produce content.
Now, with just a few clicks on the platform, they can see what’s the status of each experiment, and prioritize their ideas. They can also plan on what lever to focus on, and use learning from previous tests to know what channel works or doesn't.
For the companies they mentor, Pierre adds that now that they have Experiments, they have metrics and a clear process to report results from, helping them to raise unknowns and variables on the business that will help them to achieve their goals.
In six months their MRR increased 5 times, and alongside the companies that they support, more than 150 ideas were tested. Pierre added that Experiments is enabling them to go beyond their boundaries, clarifying their hypotheses and doubts.
The Growth Mindset has made us evolve: clear processes, structured growth levers, and decisions based on data. We now have better reporting, it's easier to show a problem or an opportunity. It's been great for sharing ideas, results, and processes between companies. All aspects of our service quality have improved.
Strategy and Plan for 2021
To accomplish company-wide-engagement and work on their processes to structure themselves to be as efficient as possible, La Briqueterie will continue to put a lot of work into their growth processes, automating what is working well, and creating a lot of content.
From their desire to be recognized as a leading school for digital products, their plan includes building a tech ecosystem, just like they did with a Saas Product. So besides helping companies to achieve a growth mindset and organize their teams, strategy, and ideas, we can expect from La Briqueterie lots of events dedicated to Tech, Design, and Growth Teams.
Do you also ensure the germination and initial growth of seed companies? Try Experiments by GrowthHackers for free