Episode 7 | Why JiMMYBAR! Wants to Be the Ben and Jerry’s of Clean Bars

with JiMMYBAR! founder and CEO Jim Simon

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Serial entrepreneur Jim Simon knows a thing or two about launching successful brands. He’s a veteran of Web 1.0 and has started or run six companies, mostly in tech. But ironically, he didn’t recognize one of his biggest opportunities the first time out.

That opportunity? His namesake clean bar brand, JiMMYBAR!

A bout of pneumonia and several allergies inspired Jim to create a healthier  bar that wasn’t full of the usual garbage. The bars were a hit locally, but it took a fellow entrepreneur to say, “Hey, you should really pursue this bar thing,” for Jim to see the potential.

Jim and team haven’t looked back since. JiMMYBAR! has built a loyal following by focusing on alternative channels like hospitals, sports stadiums, museums, military bases, and college campuses – especially colleges. According to their site, they’re available at nearly 400 colleges across the U.S. and counting.

Today, the Chicago-based bar brand has an ever-expanding footprint, and are putting their products in the hands of health- and taste-conscious consumers across the U.S. (and beyond). The company strives to be the “Ben and Jerry’s of bars” – a purpose-driven, personality-infused brand that’s fun and stands for something.

How are they doing it? We got the inside scoop from Jim himself.

In this episode, you will learn the following takeaways:

  • Your Founder IS Your Brand. People want to buy from a person, not a corporation. DON’T be another boring brand.
  • Diversify your distribution. Jim explains why their multi-channel approach has proven a key to their success.
  • Pound the Pavement. According to Jim, investing in salespeople over brokers will always result in higher ROI. He tells us why.

Jump to

  • JiMMYBARs are born. 3:14
  • Some candid feedback from a woman in Whole Foods proves to be highly influential on the JiMMYBAR! strategy. 7:33
  • Why “educating the consumer” can be a misguided approach. 10:47
  • Jim breaks down the sales approach that has been so effective for JiMMYBAR!, and why alternative channels are their bread and butter. 12:39
  • Why your founder is your brand, and why you CAN’T be just another boring brand. 14:53
  • Jim on the challenges of scaling, and why access to alternative sources of cash is a must. 17:48
  • How to know when it’s time to bring on some CPG veterans. 20:30

Links

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Brand Builder is presented by SnackNation.