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How Füm revitalized its business with customer base insights from Fairing

Füm’s business was in dire straits as the new marketing channels they tested produced promising results, but proved nearly impossible to attribute to the source influencer, creator, or channel.


Füm is an innovative, award-winning flavored air device that makes replacing your bad habit easy, and even enjoyable.

Flavored Air Device
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Füm needed help timing and positioning a major pivot and re-allocation of marketing spend.


Fairing data drove a 25x increase in podcast spend after showing substantial audience growth from organic mentions on that channel

Fairing continues to fuel Füm’s TikTok seeding strategy and potential expansion into brick-and-mortar retail

A non-electronic inhaler with oil infusion sachets

As a popular alternative for negative hand-to-mouth fixations, Füm provides naturally flavored air from diffused plant extracts and a delightful fidgeting experience to help people break bad habits—all without the use of nicotine, electronics, or vapors.

The upstart DTC brand has an extremely passionate and devoted customer base, but Füm’s outlook hasn’t always been this rosy.

The challenge

In early 2020, the business was quite literally running on fumes.

“We were in an extremely rough spot,” said Adam McNeil, former VP of Marketing at Füm. “We basically had three months of runway left, traditional digital ads weren’t working for us anymore, and we needed a new channel.”

Füm needed to fundamentally change the way it marketed itself, and there were a few key factors driving this evolution:

While the company originally started primarily as a breath help tool for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and weight lifters, there was evidence that Füm (through no effort or spend of their own) was beginning to find growing traction with customers and influencers who were using the product to curb bad habits —which incidentally provided a much bigger TAM opportunity for the company.

“It wasn’t sustainable for us to be ‘just an essential oils company’ anymore,” said McNeil, now the VP of Marketing at ADOPTER Media, where he continues to work with Füm managing their podcast advertising campaigns.

“We realized the product could serve a more important, more meaningful purpose in people’s lives. But we didn’t want to just flip the switch overnight and potentially alienate our old audience without having confidence this was the right direction to go.”

As they began to test marketing to this new audience over the next few years, Füm stumbled into success with podcasting as an advertising medium, as well as other organic channels like YouTube and TikTok that helped revive its business—but murky attribution made it difficult to pin down exactly which creators, channels, and shows were driving the most revenue.

“We still needed to confirm what we were hearing anecdotally before doubling down on this new marketing direction and on these new marketing channels,” said McNeil.

With the need for a pivot apparent, Füm began looking into post-purchase surveys as a method to validate major strategic marketing changes, time a formal revamp of marketing and web assets to match its new company direction, and conduct research on the opportunity for a future expansion into physical retail.

The solution

With the help of direct-from-consumer insights through Fairing’s proprietary Question Stream™, Füm was able to turn to zero-party data to pinpoint exactly how its audience was beginning to change—and how Füm needed to change with them.

“In 2020, our data would have shown 80 percent of business coming from people using Füm for health and fitness, maybe less than 20 percent as a tool to help quit negative habits,” said McNeil. 

Adam McNeil, Former VP of Marketing, Füm
As we did more podcast advertising, we saw revenue grow, but also a flip in ratios in our Fairing responses—we went from 20% to 80% of respondents using Füm to quit bad habits.
Adam McNeil, Former VP of Marketing, Füm

With Fairing’s help, Füm is now not merely surviving but scaling, by capturing valuable customer insights from areas that were previously an attribution black box. 

“Now that we’ve found product-market fit and have expanded from podcasts into more YouTube and TikTok affiliate content and advertising, Fairing is critical in helping us identify directionally what we should be doing, and fine-tuning our marketing mix so we can continue to scale,” said Jay Liu, Head of Marketing Operations at Füm.

The results

As Füm continues to grow, here’s how they use three key questions from their Fairing Question Stream™ to capture valuable customer insights at scale and manage their marketing spend with confidence:

Gathering “How did you first hear about us?” responses to drive intelligent attribution

This bread-and-butter question continues to power Füm’s investment in podcast advertising, where it grew from spending $5k to $120k on the back of Fairing insights into channel performance.

And by asking critical follow-ups in their Fairing Question Stream™ such as, “Which show did you hear about us on?” Füm has been able to unlock actionable data on podcast performance as soon as someone buys. This includes being able to attribute unexpected sales spikes to viral, organic mentions by guests on popular podcasts—which for Füm was a surprise mention on The Joe Rogan Experience. These insights allow Füm to tactically invest in creators through paid partnerships and strong ad relationships that might not have materialized otherwise.

“There’s often a gap between what our podcast coupon code usage tells us and the actual revenue coming in, and Fairing helps us fill in that gap in our data by letting us see where our customers are coming from,” said McNeil.

Füm also attributed a growth in TikTok traffic observed on Fairing to their decision to increase product seeding to upwards of 100-200 packages a month.

We started investing in product seeding — sending upwards of 200 packages a month. There were a couple of TikTokers that went really viral, and Fairing was the only attribution we had for those organic TikTok mentions

Adam McNeil, former VP of Marketing, Füm

Using “Why are you using Füm?” data to validate a strategic marketing pivot

As a bootstrapped company where every dollar mattered, Füm needed to remain profitable while undergoing its marketing overhaul.

To time their transition of marketing materials from “health and fitness” messaging to “build good habit” message—and their “all in” approach to advertising on podcasts—Füm used voice-of-customer data from Farming to chart and validate the change in their customer base with real-time fidelity so they could make their pivot with minimal financial downside.

“As this switch happened, we were seeing it happen in Fairing, and in real-time,” said McNeil.

Daniel Ogden, CMO, Füm
Since making the pivot, we've seen 2-300% YoY growth. Fairing has been instrumental in guiding us through this period of transition.
Daniel Ogden, CMO, Füm

Asking “How do you prefer to buy Füm?” to research future expansion and product development

Questions about buying preferences Füm’s Question Stream™ are now fueling Füm’s research into potential retail expansion as they identify whether customers would prefer to purchase offline.

“Knowing things like what flavors people want to buy, how they want to bundle their purchases, whether they’d prefer hands-on experience with the product before buying—these are all small insights and levers individually that when taken as a whole really give us a lot of directional insights into what to invest in going forward,” said Liu.

Füm is also using exploratory, research-focused questions to identify optimal bundle designs and potential flavor options that the brand’s customers are eager and willing to share.

Fairing was really pivotal in one of the hardest years of our business. It’s allowed us to really look under the hood of our company and give direction to our marketing efforts.

Adam McNeil, former VP of Marketing, Füm

 Struggling to identify which of your marketing efforts are producing the most impact? Fairing can help.

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