We’ve talked a lot on this show about how your internal culture informs your external product and brand, and that is definitely still true. But this week we look at this dynamic from the other direction - how a customer-centric mindset should influence the way you think about your company’s culture. This idea has a name - “Employee Experience” - and it’s top-of-mind for CEOs and people-focused leaders at high performing companies. And sure, it’s a bit of a buzzword, but in a tight candidate market, understanding Employee Experience can have a huge impact on your business.
Episode 61 | How Lenny and Larry’s Bootstrapped a Cookie Empire, with founder Barry Turner and EVP Aaron Croutch
This week on Brand Builder we have Barry Turner, the founder of Lenny and Larry’s. Barry is a bit of a Renaissance man - he's a former competitive bodybuilder and American Gladiator turned protein cookie pioneer. He helped create the baked nutrition category back in 1993 when he and his then partner asked, “Why can’t we put the protein in this chicken breast… into that muffin?” Today, the Lenny and Larry’s effect is felt across the natural foods space. Protein-infused snacks are everywhere as consumers are beginning to understand the importance of high-quality protein to their overall health and nutrition.
How to Make Your Coworker's Next Work Anniversary Unforgettable With [...]
Episode 60 | How Daily Harvest is Leading a Frozen Revolution, with Daily Harvest founder and CEO Rachel Drori
What comes to mind when someone says the words "frozen food"? Probably dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, ice cream, or the long forgotten TV dinner hanging out in the back of your freezer. And that's the problem. What most people don't know is that freezing food - particularly produce - has a ton of health and nutrition advantages. For example, did you know that blueberries have 200% more vitamin C when frozen versus fresh after 3 days. Or that spinach has 25% more vitamin E after 3 days when its frozen? Bonkers.
There's no doubt that today, Marcus Buckingham is a master communicator. The entrepreneur and best selling author of First, Break All the Rules and Discover Your Strengths is one of the foremost experts on employee engagement and performance, and is a sought after speaker on these topics. You’d probably never guess that he grew up with a debilitating stammer. It's true: for the first eleven years of his life, this master wordsmith and public speaker couldn’t speak.
Episode 58 | How Kuli Kuli Landed in 350+ National Publications without a Single Press Release, with Kuli Kuli founder & CEO Lisa Curtis
This week on Brand Builder we talk to Lisa Curtis, the founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli, the company that is taking moringa mainstream. What’s moringa? Only the next great superfood, with a leaf more nutrient-dense than kale. Kuli Kuli has been featured in more than 350 national publications and around 10 national broadcasts - including MSNBC and Good Morning America - all without hiring a PR firm or writing a single press release.
Learn how to motivate employees with this complete guide. It has everything from the top articles you need to read to the influencers you should follow.
The next time an ROI-obsessed executive or board member questions why you're so heavily invested in something “fuzzy” like brand, throw this quote back at them: "We were able to get to $40M, no marketing spend." That's Rosie O'Neill, the co-founder and co-CEO of Sugarfina, and our guest on this week’s Brand Builder. You may have seen Sugarfina at an upscale mall or a Nordstrom near you - they’re a luxury candy boutique for grown-ups that brings a fresh and fashionable approach to confections, and a true disruptor in the $200B confections industry.
Episode 56 | How Hippeas is Applying a Big CPG Approach to Brand Building, with Green Park Brands founder & CEO Livio Bisterzo
"Millennials are the modern hippies. They go to Coachella and want the world to be a better place - that was the insight.” That's Livio Bisterzo, the CEO of Green Park Brands, the brand studio behind the insanely popular puffed snack Hippeas. This week, we talk to Livio about taking a consumer-oriented, Big CPG approach to building startup brands. Plus, he fills us in on the unintended consequences of launching in Starbucks, why he's bullish on billboards, and of course, why he believes Millennials are the hippies of today.
Learning how to retain employees is a top concern for today’s CEOs and HR pros … and for good reason. According to a 2014 attrition survery by consulting firm Mercer, voluntary turnover is up 5% since 2011. Job-hopping, it seems, is increasingly becoming the norm, thanks in part to a workforce comprised of more and more Millennial workers, who are likely to have twice as many jobs over their lifetimes as baby boomers.
CULVER CITY - August 15th, 2018 – SnackNation, the leading nationwide tech-enabled, better-for-you snack marketplace ranked 24th on the annual Inc. 5,000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. In addition to the top overall ranking, SnackNation placed 2nd overall in the Food + Beverage category which includes three brand partners featured in SnackNation boxes: Chomps, Chef’s Cut Real Jerky, and moringa superfood Kuli Kuli.
A few years ago, “incubation” wasn’t a term you really heard in CPG at all. That's definitely changed. Whether it’s Big CPG or a venture capital firm, the big strategics are trying to get closer to that early stage innovation, and incubation is one way to do that. The list of brands finding success within the incubator model seems to be growing exponentially. But many - if not most - of the food incubators we see today are modeled after something like TechStars: the incubator provides mentorship, funding, a community, all in exchange for an equity stake in the company. Sometimes that’s a great arrangement for founders. But not always. In fact, many of these models are anything but "founder friendly." Chobani has come around and turned this model on its head.
Episode 54 | How This Superfood Hunter Discovered the World’s Healthiest Nut, with Barukas cofounder Darin Olien
This week on Brand Builder we speak to someone who claims to have discovered the world’s healthiest nut. And by the looks of it, he’s on to something. Darin Olien is widely recognized as an authority and valuable resource on plant–based nutrition, supplement formulation and elite performance programs. He’s also a global superfood hunter, and he and the team at Barukas are on a mission to bring the obscure baru nut to the masses.
Episode 53 | Culture Builder: How to Lead with Love and Forget Fear, with bestselling author Robyn O’Brien
When people in the food industry meet Robyn O’Brien for the first time, they often remark, “Funny, you don’t look like one of them.” “One of them,” presumably being the stereotypical food or environmental activist. And in a way, they're right. Robyn is a self-described “conservative Texas mom” raised in a military family, and admittedly, the last person you’d expect to be leading a crusade to reform the food industry. Yet she is at the forefront of a movement to fundamentally rethink what goes into our nation’s food supply.
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Episode 52 | How Morning Recovery Became a $33 Million Brand in Just One Year, with founder Sisun Lee
This week on the podcast we have Sisun Lee, the CEO and founder of Morning Recovery. Using functional ingredients that have been widely used by South Korean revelers for years, Morning Recovery takes the sting out of a night of heavy drinking so that you can do more the next day. The product launched on Indiegogo and immediately resonated with consumers, hitting 1000% of its crowdfunding goal and selling more than a million dollars in the first three months.
Episode 51 | How this Young Entrepreneur Discovered the World’s Most Sustainable Superfood, with Pulp Pantry CEO Kaitlin Mogentale
“Waste isn’t waste until you waste it.” Our guest this week claims to have discovered the most sustainable superfood on earth - and it’s something that most manufacturers were simply throwing away. This week we have an in-depth conversation with Kaitlin Mogentale (MOJ-en-tail), founder and CEO of Pulp Pantry. Pulp Pantry make innovative, totally delicious snacks out of pulp - a byproduct from commercial juiceries that usually just gets thrown in landfills. They’re creating a healthy, delicious, sustainable product that’s helping solve some of our most pressing healthy and environmental challenges.
For our 50th episode, we have a classic conversation with Jason Nazar, an incredibly accomplished entrepreneur and Culture Builder extraordinaire. Jason is the founder and former CEO of DocStoc (which was acquired by Intuit), and he’s also a board member and advisor for some impressive companies. We're talking Wondery, The Bouqs, and StackCommerce to name but a few. Today Jason is the co-founder and CEO at Comparably, a company culture data platform.
Functional ingredients seem to be all the rage. But what’s behind the functional ingredients craze in CPG these days? To find out, we spoke to two companies and three entrepreneurs who are leading the functional ingredient revolution - MCT Co.’s Matthew Trimner and NeuroGum’s Ryan Chen and Kent Yoshimura. It turns out, functional products are all about aspiration - consumers are increasingly looking for products that aren’t just clean, convenient, and taste amazing, but that actually make their lives better. They want products that move them a little bit closer to that ideal version of themselves.
Episode 48 | How Dirty Lemon is Disrupting Retail Distribution with Technology, with Dirty Lemon CEO & Co-founder Zak Normandin
This week we’ve got Zak Normandin, the co-Founder & CEO of Dirty Lemon Beverages Dirty Lemon make signature beverages around functional ingredients like charcoal, matcha, ginseng, and collagen, just to name a few. Their drinks are designed to help you get better sleep, elevate your metabolism, or just look your best. Zak and the team have created a red-hot brand that’s been a hit with consumers. But as we learn in this interview, there’s so much more to it than that. Dirty Lemon is the first consumer brand in the world to offer products exclusively via text message - they’re building distribution infrastructure to power the next generation of consumer brands.