Resilience is something that every entrepreneur needs - and that this week's guest has in spades. We're talking to Andrew Cates, the co-founder of the Wine RayZyn Co. Andrew takes superfood wine grapes, dries them, and covers them in dark chocolate - to make Cabernazyn, Merlayzyn, and Chardonayzyn Wine RayZyns. The result is a healthy yet indulgent snack loaded with antioxidants. We ran through a ton of topics with Andrew, including his founding story and the on-the-ground way he stays close his customers. But perhaps the biggest lesson was on the topic of resilience.
We just wrapped four epic days at the Natural Products EXPO West, the center of the CPG universe. We came, we saw, we sampled. EXPO is a big deal. According to New Hope Network, who puts on the show every year, there were more than 3,500 exhibitors and 85,000 attendees at last year’s EXPO. And I heard estimates that there were more than 90,0000 this year. Rather than get bogged down by everything going on, we narrowed our focus to one topic: data.
Customer Obsession is a hot topic right now. Inspired by the success of Amazon and other customer-centric organizations, brands of all shapes and sizes are realizing that putting the customer's needs first is a recipe of success. At a surface level, being obsessed with your customer creates exceptional experiences and generates goodwill for your brand. But when it's really working as it should, being customer-obsessed actually drives innovation, and expands your organization's capabilities. But how does this dynamic work in practice? And what does it take to practice Customer Obsession at your company? At SnackNation, our theme for 2019 is Customer Obsession, so we sat down with SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly to find out exactly what this idea is all about.
Episode 91 | How Celebrity Nutritionist Kelly LeVeque Turned Her Side Hustle Into a Thriving Business
How do you go from side-hustle to CEO? This week's Brand Builder guest Kelly LeVeque can tell you - because she's done exactly that. Kelly is a health coach and holistic nutritionist to the stars, advising celebrity clients like Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner, and the owner & CEO of Be Well by Kelly, a full-service nutrition, wellness and lifestyle company.
CULVER CITY, CA -- February 21st, 2019 -- On the heels of the February 11th SnackNation Insights Awards announcement, SnackNation has identified a total of 15 winners across eight distinct categories. SnackNation named one emerging and one established winner within each category, with a single winner named for “Overall Best Packaging”. All snacks that appear in SnackNation boxes must meet industry-leading quality standards, pass the SnackNation internal tasting panel, and comply with the company’s banned ingredient list. While other industry snack awards focus exclusively on nutritional claims and content, SnackNation’s proprietary analysis is based upon consumer insights fueled by the company’s national platform SnackNation Insights. The formula used to identify winners quantified both overall product rating and purchase intent data.
Greg McKeown is a renowned speaker and author. His New York Times best selling book, Essentialism, is all about helping readers discover the disciplined pursuit of less - that is, helping them find their unique abilities and highest leverage activities, and realigning their lives to focus on making the highest contribution possible.
CULVER CITY, CA - February 11th, 2019 -- SnackNation, the better-for-you snack marketplace known for introducing emerging brands to hundreds of thousands of customers each month, is launching the first-ever data-driven snack awards. The SnackNation Insights Awards aggregate millions of proprietary data points and customer insights from 2018 to decide the country’s most popular snacks.
Episode 89 | How Watermelon Road’s Visually Stunning Brand Drives Its Growth, with Founder & CEO Jamie Melzer
The first thing you notice about Watermelon Road is that it's a beautiful product. From the pastel packaging to the vibrant strips of fruit jerky itself, Watermelon Road almost looks tailor-made for Instagram. Turns out it's no accident - and a big reason why the product has resonated with consumers. This week on Brand Builder we have Jamie Melzer, the brand's founder and CEO.
Wellness can sometimes be a confusing space, with dubious or contradictory claims, and even pseudo science. Which is a shame - because focusing on health and wellbeing is one of the best things anyone can do. This week on Brand Builder we have two people who are helping consumers and entrepreneurs navigate the sometimes confusing landscape of wellness. We’re talking to Erica Huss and Zoë Sakoutis, the hosts of Highway to Well, a podcast that we are very big fans of.
Episode 87 | How to Give Radical Feedback (Without Being an Asshole), with SnackNation’s Chelsie Lee and Sean Kelly
You know we’re all about company culture on Brand Builder - because brand is culture and culture is brand. In that vein we have a very special episode this week. It’s a conversation between two extraordinary leaders about a very specific cultural topic - one that will help you become a better leader, and build the team your business needs to level-up in 2019. We’re talking about Radical Candor.
This week on Brand Builder. Protes, the pea-protein infused chip that’s pushing the envelope when it comes to functional food. Co-founder and CEO Krik Angacian is a self described “no-B.S. guy” - and that trait actually shows up in the brand. Protes is all about transparency. They don’t claim to be anything other than what they are - a great tasting, better-for-you functional product, packed with high quality protein.
Episode 85 | How These Two Millennial Founders Pioneered Greek Frozen Yogurt, with Yasso co-founders Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington
This week on Brand Builder we're featuring Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington, the Millennial founders behind Yasso. These two lifelong friends and former athletes came up with an idea that’s so smart and so simple, it’s kind of a shock that no one else was really doing it yet - Greek Frozen Yogurt. Amanda and Drew seized their moment in 2011, founding the brand and becoming the first mover in the category. Today Yasso has about 30 employees and closed out 2018 with north of $80M in revenue. We got very tactical in this interview, learning their approach to R+D, how Yasso drove growth through experiential marketing, and why they favor IRL events over digital influencers. But mostly we learned how to create something that doesn't exist yet.
Welcome to the fourth and final installment of our founder’s bootcamp mini series. So far we’ve learned all about business law from lawyer Nick Giannuzzi, fundraising strategies from investor Andy Whitman, and organizational culture from engagement strategist Lisa Kane. To round out our program we have Blake Cadwell, Vice President at Day One Agency. Day One is a Creative Communications Agency with offices in New York and LA. They’ve done outstanding work for big name clients like Nike, YouTube, American Express, and Chipotle, and they were named the 2018 small agency of the year by the Holmes Report. What Day One does best - and why we had to have them on this series - is find creative ways to make headlines.
Episode 83 | How this Harvard Grad Designed a Bar with Your Brain in Mind, with IQ Bar Founder & CEO Will Nitze
Prepare to get really smart, because this week's Brand Builder is all about fueling your brain for peak performance. Our guest is Will Nitze, the founder and CEO of IQ Bar. Based in Boston, IQ has the distinction of being the first and only "brain food bar" that leverages nutrition and neuroscience to boost everyday brain function. Will has had cognition on the brain for a while. He first became obsessed with brain performance as an undergrad at Harvard, where he studied psychology and neuroscience, but the idea for IQ Bar didn't strike until 2017 while he was working in the software industry. After noticing his own focus and cognition flag during the workday, he started experimenting with ways to boost performance using nutrition. IQ Bar was born in his kitchen soon after.
Here’s a fact: when it comes to setting goals for the coming New Year, the odds are… you’re doing it wrong. The numbers don’t lie. 92% of people who set goals, never achieve them. In fact, only 45% of people even set them to begin with. So what separates the people who crush their goals from the rest? Turns out, it’s just a few simple adjustments to your strategy and mindset that make all the difference.
What separates the people who crush their goals from the rest? Turns out, it’s just a few simple adjustments to your strategy and mindset that make all the difference. Here to break down exactly what it takes to hit your 2019 goals is SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly. Sean isn’t just passionate about goal setting, he has been refining his goal setting strategy for more than a decade and a half.
Welcome to the third installment of our 4-part founder’s bootcamp miniseries. If you haven’t yet, go check part 1 with lawyer Nick Giannuzzi and part 2 with investor Andy Whitman. Again, the idea with this series is to feature a different subject matter expert each episode to supplement your business knowledge and help you get your brand to that next level, faster. This week we have a conversation with Lisa Kane from Siegel+Gale. Siegel+Gale is a global brand strategy, design and experience firm. They’re all about unlocking the power of simplicity to help organizations realize their full potential. Lisa is the firm’s Group Director of Strategy, and her specialty is Employee Engagement - which is why we had to have her on this series.
Ghee is officially having a moment. For those not yet in the know, Ghee is a filtered butter reduction, and a staple ingredient in traditional Indian cooking. It has a higher smoke point - which makes it great for cooking - is full of healthy fats like CLA, and boasts a nutty, delicious flavor that people just love. When it comes to bringing Ghee to the mainstream, you’d be hard pressed to find a more influential brand and founder than Fourth & Heart’s Raquel Tavares. Raquel founded 4th & Heart in 2014 with $80,000 of her own savings. Today they are the category leader and are innovating with new SKUs like flavored Ghee oil and chocolate spreads.
Episode 79 | How this Second Generation Chocolatier is Bringing Science to the Art of Candy Making, with Marich Confetionery CEO Brad van Dam
This week on Brand Builder, we seek the answer to one question - what makes great chocolate? After all, the ingredients are essentially the same for everyone. But all chocolate are certainly not created equal. So what separates phenomenal product from the rest? To find out, we spoke to Brad van Dam, the president and CEO of Marich Confectionery Co.
This is the second installment of our 4-part founder’s bootcamp miniseries. If you haven’t yet, go check the first episode featuring CPG super lawyer Nick Giannuzzi. Our goal with this series is to feature a different subject matter expert in each episode to supplement your knowledge and help you get to that next level, faster. This week we have investor Andy Whitman, a Managing Partner at 2X Partners. In many ways, Andy and the 2X team paved the way for so much of what we see today in CPG. Virtually no one was investing in emerging natural food brands when 2X launched about 15 years ago. Today, that’s obviously a much different story.