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    Lions Prep

    Recipe for Growth.

    Lions Prep; the UK's highest-rated meal plan service.


    Paid Media


    Meal Plan Service


    +66% growth in new customer orders YoY (so far)


    Lions Prep

    The Situation

    Founded by George Taylor in December 2016, Lions Prep is a multi-eight figure DTC brand, and the UK’s leading chef-cooked meal plan service. They prepare, cook and deliver fresh and healthy meals to your door with meals ready in 3 minutes.

    Lions Prep are on a mission to transform healthy eating for all, creating and being at the forefront of one of the newest and fastest-growing industries.

    Their vision is to become the go-to company for delivered, healthy cooked food, and they aim to provide premium cooked meals for all to enjoy by focusing on the taste and quality of fresh ingredients.

    The Brief

    Lions Prep reached out to BARK seeking an integrated customer acquisition partner with deep expertise in fast growth for mid-large sized DTC brands. The brand was in a similar position to many other DTC brands with fragmented paid media, creative and data agencies/teams all working in silos. This caused strategic conflict, operational challenges and hampered growth. Lions Prep recognised they needed a specialist to consolidate and unify their key growth functions to take them from the mid eight-figure annual revenue range right up to the nine-figure range target.

    The Approach

    Right off the bat there were a number of key strategic challenges we needed to overcome.

    1. Meal delivery is a very competitive market with some big (deep pocket) players. We needed to be smarter with our data in order to be smarter with our acquisition.
    2. Privacy had driven a big change in digital ad measurement. We needed to better understand where our customers were coming from, and invest our budgets for incremental growth.
    3. Creative had become more important than ever in driving true business outcomes. We needed to improve both the strategy and the visuals to align brand and performance teams on the bigger goal.
    Being smarter with customer acquisition

    When it comes to customer acquisition, the maths is simple: the more we can afford to pay for a new customer whilst remaining profitable, the more we can grow. If we could better manage, visualise and interpret Lions Prep’s data, we could find a way to win here.

    Our first step was to export, clean and load Lions Prep’s data into our custom data platform, Bark.Insights, specifically designed to help high-growth DTC brands answer their tough growth questions. Thorough data cleaning is an intensive process but this immediately gave us a true and unified view of the business across customer acquisition and retention, and a much clearer read on both the efficiency and impact of the existing channel investments.

    Once the data was cleanly managed and visualised, we could begin some proper data science work to investigate which needles needed to be pulled at the business level – outside of the ad account – in order to facilitate further growth.

    Amongst other techniques, this included advanced LTV insights factoring in the effect that various acquisition offers had on new customers acquired and retained by the brand. By conducting this analysis we were exploring if the data, once cleaned and interpreted correctly, presented a better up-front acquisition strategy that could further support the business’ growth goals long-term.

    What we discovered was pretty stark, painting a clear picture for a specific acquisition offer that enabled us to increase what we can afford to pay for a new customer whilst remaining profitable: the grail for further growth.

    Example basic LTV graphic with dummy data from Bark.Insights to preserve Lions Prep’s privacy.

    Understanding where our customers were coming from

    Without new customers you cannot grow. So, understanding where your customers first heard about you is fundamental in understanding where you should invest a good portion of your advertising spend to continue growth.

    Sadly, and exacerbated by ad platform privacy changes in the past couple of years, this isn’t as simple as just seeing that most of your new customers first heard about you on Instagram and therefore shifting all your budget into Instagram, optimising for new impressions. But the thought process isn’t too far wrong.

    Essentially, you want to both discover where your customers first heard about you and from what specific combination of strategy and tactical implementation. From that point on, you have a clear lens on what drives your specific new customer growth regardless of the results the ad platforms report in a post-privacy world.

    In order to do this properly – understand where our new customers were really coming from – we conducted thorough next gen media mix modelling to understand Lions Prep’s channel efficiency, and therefore decipher what the brand’s optimal cross-channel budget split would be for maximum new customer acquisition.

    We were essentially seeking out how to be maximally efficient with our channel investments in order to cut wasted advertising spend and drive the most amount of incremental value for the brand.

    Off the back of our models, we shifted ad budgets across the live acquisition channels and restructured the Google, Meta and TikTok accounts to drive incremental new customer growth, seeing an immediate up-tick in customers acquired across the business.

    Example cross-channel media spend optimisation tool with dummy data from Bark.Insights to preserve Lions Prep’s privacy. 

    Improving the creative

    Lions Prep have an incredible product, and customers who rave about the quality of the food, but their creative – the marketing – didn’t quite portray just how fantastic their product is, nor clearly speak to why a customer should choose them over other brands.

    As a result, there was an opportunity to step things up both strategically to drive immediately improved performance outcomes, and aesthetically to aid with improving brand perception and differentiation.

    We’ve deliberately constructed our creative team at BARK to serve this exact scenario, with a team of strategists, producers, content creators and post-production experts who create content that both your performance and brand teams will love.

    By tweaking Lions Prep’s creative, from strategy through to post production, we were able to consolidate what were previously competing brand and performance silos, unifying them for the benefit of the business.

    The changes to creative combined with further data science work to forecast diminishing return on each channel has enabled us to proactively and aggressively scale up advertising spend whilst remaining profitable.

    In turn, this has immediately led to record breaking days in new customer revenue and a rapid acceleration of the brands’ growth, significantly shortening the time required to reach the nine-figure annual revenue goal.

    We’ve been working with BARK for almost 5 months now and have been really impressed. The entire team are really knowledgeable across Meta, Search and TikTok. The team are really well organised, agile and quick to respond too which makes working with them so easy. Would highly recommend if you’re looking for a strong digital growth agency!

    Siobhan North


    Head of Growth at Lions Prep

    The Results (6 months in)

    growth in new customer orders YoY (so far)