“What we’re going after is almost once in a generation.” Dosist CEO Gunner Winston has big plans for the brand. Founded with the goal of creating the first cannabis products based on the science behind the plant, dosist first made a name for itself through product innovation. Their dose pens, which deliver a consistent dose of THC, even landed them on TIME magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2016 list. But what really drives dosist is a strong brand identity, one that elevates benefits over features, taps into customer aspirations, and has more in common with Nike, Apple, and Starbucks than your typical cannabis company.
We’ve interviewed a lot of great jerky brands on Brand Builder: Country Archer, Field Trip, Chomps, all progressive brands who have helped people see the category in a whole new light. But every single one of these brands give props to one brand that did it first and paved the way for the rest - KRAVE. So of course, we’ve been dying to get Jon Sebastiani, the founder of KRAVE jerky on the podcast for a while now. The wait is over, as Jon joined us in the Brand Builder studio for this incredible interview.
Episode 100 | The Brand Builder Playbook: Advanced Tips to Skyrocket Sales, Grow Your Brand, and Become a Household Name
To celebrate our 100th episode, we're launching The Brand Builder Playbook, featuring featuring advanced tips to help you skyrocket sales, grow your brand, and become a household name.
This week on Brand Builder we have a conversation about how to get close to the customer, and why that’s so important. It all stems from the idea of infinite supply - that in the era of nearly infinite consumer choice, the way consumer brands innovate has to change if they want to survive.
Episode 98 | 5 Deadly Marketing Mistakes Most CPG Brands Make…And How To Avoid Them, with Hawke Media CEO Erik Huberman
There are things you’re doing right now that are hurting your business. It’s ok. You’re not the only one. It can be hard to keep up in the constantly shifting landscape of social media platforms, direct to consumer retail channels, marketing best practices, and latest and greatest growth hacks. Luckily, we've got a marketing expert to help you identify and avoid these mistakes. Joining us is Erik Huberman, the founder and CEO of Hawke Media.
Episode 97 | How Ka-Pop! Applies the Lessons of Big CPG to Raise Money, Scale Quickly, and Become a Hit with Consumers
What if you could take 15 years of CPG experience, distill it down in a 30 minute podcast interview - would you be interested? If you said yes, you're in luck, because that's precisely what's on deck on this week's Brand Builder. We interview Dustin Finkel, the CEO at the Ancient inGRAINed Snack Co., makers of Ka-Pop! snacks. Dustin is a 15+ year veteran of the CPG business. He’s got an MBA from Northwestern, and he’s an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. But With Ka-Pop - it’s the first time he’s started his own brand, and he was surprised by how much he still had to learn. He told us that if he's struggling with these things, he know there are other entrepreneurs who need help with this stuff too. He’s all about paying it forward and giving back.
This week's episode is all about hard choices. We're talking to Bob McClure, one of the founders of McClure’s pickles, an artisan pickle brand based out of the twin capitals of cool, Brooklyn and Detroit. It's a true family business - Bob launched the brand in 2006 with his brother Joe using their great grandmother Lala’s recipe. For many, their first introduction to the McClure’s brand was their great tasting pickle-flavored potato chips. And I was super surprised when they discontinued them.
When you look at the numbers, the meal replacement category represents a gigantic opportunity. We're talking about a $4 billion market in the U.S., and $12 billion globally. What's more, the category lacks product leadership. It's as if the market is just waiting for an upstart brand to seize the mantle - and the marketshare. This week's Brand Builder guest is on a mission to be that brand. We're talking to Nathan Gordon, the CEO and C0-Founder of SANS Mealbar, and his goal is to make SANS the undisputed product leader of this huge category.
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.
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.
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.