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Brand Builder

Brand Builder brings you the people, stories, and lessons learned from the most innovative brands in the world. Presented by SnackNation. Hosted by Sean Kelly, Jordan Cohen, and Jeff Murphy. Similar to How I Built This, The Dave Ramsey Show, and Seeking Wisdom by Drift.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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How to Unlock Your Full Leadership Potential, with bestselling author Ryan Holiday

Building a brand isn’t just about the tactical and strategic. It’s also about the abstract and esoteric. Things like leadership, culture, personal development, even psychology - they all play a part, and they can all be difference-makers. That’s why we’re bringing you this live conversation with Ryan Holiday, a bestselling author, media strategist, and the former marketing director of American Apparel. Ryan has been in the trenches for years, building brands to unbelievable heights, and today is one of the most highly regarded marketing minds of his generation. His work has been translated into over 30 languages and has appeared everywhere from the New York Times to Fast Company. His books include Trust Me, I’m Lying, Conspiracy, The Obstacle Is the Way, and Ego Is the Enemy. In this interview, Ryan focuses on the lessons from the latter, laying out a framework for how Ego can undermine our goals and intentions, and providing strategies for overcoming it. Takeaways The difference between Confidence (a good thing) and Ego (a potentially harmful thing). Ryan explains how Ego can sabotage our goals, plus how to overcome it. Life as a continuous training. This simple mindset shift can help you become both happier and more productive. Focus on the work. Ryan breaks down why you must separate the work you do from external validation. Links RyanHoliday.net @RyanHoliday on Twitter Ryan on Facebook Buy Ryan's books Recommended Reading Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American by B.H. Liddell Hart Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

54mins

24 Jun 2019

Rank #1

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CPG Trends You Need to Know to Get Ahead in 2018

Why is Nestle reportedly selling off their candy business? Why does “big” seem synonymous with “bad,” while artisanal is king these days? And why does every big food corporation seem to have a Silicon Valley-style venture capital arm? The short answer: Because this is CPG, where the C stands for consumer, and consumer trends dictate everything. Staying ahead of consumer trends might be the difference between your brand truly taking off, and your brand being left behind by the next big thing in CPG. But distinguishing between a true trend and a passing fad isn’t always easy. In this episode, you’ll learn all about how to do exactly that thanks to the trendiest person we know - Alysse Burroni, SnackNation’s Sr. Manager of Brand Experience. Alysse takes us through the forces that are shaping consumer behaviors, and tells us exactly how to stay one step ahead of the market. Jump to Alysse takes us through the evolution of the consumer values that adrive consumer behavior. 4:00 Alysse breaks down the current trends in CPG for 2018 and beyond. 7:22 Alysse provides a super useful tactic for keeping up with the latest trends in your space. 22:00. Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

26mins

26 Dec 2017

Rank #2

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A Creative's Guide to Building an Irresistible Brand Identity

How important is my logo? Should I hire a full time designer?  Do I need to rebrand? Can I rebrand? What's a brand book anyway? This week we learn the answer to all these questions and more from veteran Creative Director Eric Wilkinson, who teaches us the secrets of creating an irresistible brand identity. Brand Checklist (make sure your brand does this if you want a brand that sells) Design a scalable logo - your logo isn't your brand, but it does need to do a job, and scalability is the most important factor. Design a logo that is legible at a variety of sizes, including on a mobile screen. Invest in high quality lifestyle and product imagery - a picture tells a thousand words. Invest in imagery that tells the right story. It's arguably the most important brand touchpoint. Maintain a consistent voice across all channels - in our social media age, so much of your brand is communicated through copy. Nailing that voice is critical. Create consistent URLs and social handles/tags - again, because social media is often the primary means of communicating your brand, avoid confusion with consistency across all platforms. Create your Brand Book - this exercise ensures internal alignment and brand consistency across all channels. Hit the streets! Your brand can - and should - change with your customer. Get that feedback early and often Links Classic Brand Book examples Beginner's guide to color theory SnackNation Insights Connect with Eric on LinkedIn EZER Snacks Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

48mins

29 Jul 2019

Rank #3

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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. But before she was running the show at BWBK, she spent years in the oncology field, working on cancer treatments. She had a stable career, but deep down she knew she could make a greater impact by focusing on prevention rather than treatment. She tells us what inspired her to change careers, plus the specific tactics she used to build her brand and set herself up for success. As inspiring as her story is, what listeners might find even more valuable is her perspective as an influencer. Kelly has built an impressive personal brand and a massive reach, and she breaks down exactly how she built that influence and how she evaluates the brand opportunities that come her way. In other words, if you want to work with celebrity influencers, she’s going to tell you how. Kelly is super smart, with an amazing story and great energy… and that makes for a fantastic episode. Links Be Well By Kelly Body Love by Kelly LeVeque Connect with Kelly on LinkedIn Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

37mins

25 Feb 2019

Rank #4

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How Morning Recovery Became a $33 Million Brand in Just One Year , w/ founder and CEO 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. And that’s not all. While the company is barely a year old, Sisun and the team have accomplished the following: 1.5 million bottles shipped worldwide, and built a $33 million dollar brand Announced $250K research fund with USC School of Pharmacy Grew from a team of 1 to 18 The path to Morning Recovery was anything but straight for Sisun, who began his career as a software engineer at places like Tesla, Uber, and Facebook. Sisun tells us how he ended up the savior of countless partiers across the world, while interviewer (and SnackNation CEO) Sean Kelly teases out the lessons learned along the way. Links Morning Recovery Connect with Sisun on LinkedIn How Morning Recovery built a $33 Million brand in less than a year.  Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

40mins

6 Aug 2018

Rank #5

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How Dirty Lemon is Disrupting Retail Distribution with Technology, w/ 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 functional beverages 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.

33mins

16 Jul 2018

Rank #6

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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. Erik knows his stuff. Hawke is a full service marketing consultancy who has done work for literally thousands of brands, including household names like Red Bull, inCase, Proactiv, Verizon, and tons more. Plus Erik has been named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, Inc. Magazine’s top 25 Marketing Influencers, and he’s a frequent keynote speaker and contributing writer. Erik starts with the fundamentals, then gets really granular and nuanced when it comes to tactics. Pay special attention to the “three pillars of marketing” that Erik describes. If you come away with anything from this episode, that should be it. But of course there's a lot more to it than that: Takeaways What to do when your customer isn’t who you think it is. When brands discover this… most make this one big mistake. Erik tells us what that is. Do things that aren’t measurable. Yes, of course do the things with clear ROI, but not all value is immediately measurable. Why direct response marketing is less important than it used to be, and what to focus on instead. Links Hawke Media Connect with Erik on LinkedIn. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

47mins

15 Apr 2019

Rank #7

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How to Become a Master Connector & Attract Top Talent, w/ ForceBrands founder Josh Wand

“Ideas are ideas, and without great people they never come to life.” Translation: if you want your brand to take off, you better surround yourself with the right people. And we can’t think of anyone more qualified to tell us how to attract those people than Josh Wand, a 20 year veteran of CPG and the founder and CEO of ForceBrands.  ForceBrands builds the teams that build the best brands in CPG (and just so happen to co-present this show with SnackNation). Josh and his amazing team came to the Brand Builder studios, and we got him to discuss the origins of ForceBrands, his philosophy on business and leadership, and of course his particular area of expertise - building teams that build amazing brands. In this episode, you’ll learn the following three takeaways: Find your magic. Josh believes helping teams “find their magic” is really what his job is all about. He tells us what that means and how he does it.   Flip the script. Josh describes a simple mindset shift leaders can use to make sure their teams feel valued - which is super important. Don’t recruit, build a community. A lot of people see hiring as a transaction, but not Josh. He explain why the secret to building winning teams is to create a community. Jump to: The ForceBrands origin story. 4:05 The importance of the relationship between founders, plus a story about how Josh's business partner saved the company on Josh's wedding day. 8:17 What it was like launching a recruiting business during the Great Recession. 9:30 Why your employee experience determines your customer experience. 13:05 Why Josh launched Piñata, a technology platform that matches amazing freelancers with brands. 20:12 Josh’s final piece of advice for entrepreneurs and brands. 24:02 Links ForceBrands Josh on LinkedIn Piñata Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

28mins

11 Dec 2017

Rank #8

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How Sugarfina Hit $40M in Revenue with Zero Marketing Spend

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. In this conversation with SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly, Rosie credits their emotionally resonant brand for helping make them a word-of-mouth sensation. Plus, Rosie explains why Sugarfina is bullish on retail when most companies balk at brick and mortar. Links Sugarfina @Sugarfina on Instagram Connect with Rosie on LinkedIn Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

33mins

27 Aug 2018

Rank #9

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How Top Performers Train their Minds to Win, w/ Dr. Glenn Fox of USC’s Performance Science Institute

When we think about training for high performance, we usually think about training our bodies. We might even think about working our craft. But how often do we consider training our emotions? Not very often, right? Well, if we care about performance, that’s actually a huge mistake. That’s a big part of we explore in this episode with Dr. Glenn Fox. Dr. Fox leads program design at USC’s Performance Science Institute, where he works with top athletes to devise strategies that optimize their abilities. He’s an expert on the ways that emotions - particularly gratitude and optimism - drive performance. According to his research, the ability to regulate emotions is the number one predictor of success in life. This is just as true in business as anywhere else. Since gratitude and optimism affect performance, companies who proactively foster these positive emotions via a culture of recognition have an automatic leg-up on those who don’t. In this presentation, Dr. Fox - gives us a functional definition of optimism and gratitude that you can use at your workplace (it’s not just rosy thinking and pretending everything is great) provides the 3 core components of a Competitor’s Mindset and walks us through a visualization strategy that top athletes often use, and that we can use in our own lives too. Links Dr. Glenn Fox - bio and publications  The Empiricist Blog USC Performance Science Institute Recommended Reading Peak: Secrets of New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Poole Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

56mins

9 Dec 2019

Rank #10

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How to Launch the Ultimate Influencer Strategy, with KNOW Foods Co-CEO Yemeni Mesa

If you have an innovative or functional product, you know that one of the biggest challenges is spreading the word about its features and benefits. One problem - people don’t connect with information. Consumers connect more on an emotional level, with aspirational messages or lifestyle images. A dissertation on the metabolic integrity of non-GMO allulose… that  just isn’t going to land. The KNOW Foods team have found a solution - unleash the power of influencers. This week, KNOW Foods Co-CEO Yemeni Mesa joins us to talk about the influencer strategy that's changing the game for the rapidly growing, keto-friendly baked goods brand.   Additionally, Yemeni and Jordan geek out on keto topics, and Yemeni shares the top three lessons learned from scaling Quest, one of the true unicorns in CPG. Links KNOW Foods (use the code BrandBuilder20 for 20% everything on the site) Follow Yemeni on Instagram @keto_head Connect with Yemeni on LinkedIn Peter Attia Dominic D’Agostino More on the Stanford “Marshmallow Experiment”  Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

28mins

11 Jun 2018

Rank #11

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How to Maximize Your Brand’s Impact Through Masterful Storytelling

This week, a conversation with Omaze co-founder and CEO Ryan Cummins. Omaze is an online fundraising platform that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and exclusive merchandise in support of charitable causes. They've worked with a who's-who of A-list celebrities, including the cast of Game of Thrones, George Clooney, the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia... and that’s barely scratching the surface . But what Omaze really does is tell stories. Their philanthropic model relies on getting consumers excited, and they do that through their incredibly creative campaigns. They've raised more than $150M for over 400 different charities. Now that’s impact. If you’re a mission-driven brand, you need to  leverage the power of storytelling in order to move your mission forward. That’s what this episode is about. Takeaways How storytelling and philanthropy inspired Ryan to found Omaze with partner Matt Pohlson. Why Omaze practices radical candor when it comes to providing feedback, and an easy tactic to ensure feedback is communicated effectively. How to become an effective  leader, and how to continually improve your leadership skills.  How to transform fear and self-doubt into a powerful tool of self transformation. Links Omaze Harrison Ford Star Wars campaign The Omaze blog Omaze.com @ryan_cummins on Twitter @Omaze on Twitter Recommended Reading A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

37mins

12 Aug 2019

Rank #12

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How the Best Brands are Using Consumer Insights to Win, with Love With Food founder Aihui Ong

I think it’s fair to say that many entrepreneurs (or their investors) have an exit in mind as they're building their brand. It’s a familiar trope - work like crazy for a few years, build some buzz and some momentum, and eventually a bigger fish is bound to snatch you up. Of course, the reality of the experience is usually much different. We wanted to know - why do companies consider mergers and acquisitions? How do you court a buyer? How do you reach a deal, and maybe more importantly, what happens next? Is it a matter of handing off the reigns to your new strategic partners, or is it something else? How do you merge your team? To answer these questions, we’ve got Aihui Ong, the founder of EdgiLife and now the SVP of data and insights at SnackNation. This week on Brand Builder we bring you under the hood, going in depth on SnackNation’s recent acquisition of EdgiLife and their marquee brand Love With Food. She tells us why she founded Love With Food, why she decided to merge with SnackNation, and what it’s like to integrate her team into a brand new (albeit aligned) company culture. We also speak to Aihui about data and insights, and how the best brands leverage data throughout their life cycle to get a step ahead of the competition. Links SnackNation Acquires Love With Food (official press release) More on the Love With Food / EdgiLife acquisition Connect with Aihui on LinkedIn Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

36mins

26 Jun 2018

Rank #13

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The Hottest Trends in CPG (Expo East Recap), with Clara Kim, Sr. Brand Partnerships Manager at SnackNation

Fresh from Expo East, SnackNation's Clara Kim joins Brand Builder this week to talk about the best products, flavors, and trends from this year's show. Plus, learn how to get the most out of your next trade show. Links Connect with Clara on LinkedIn Expo East 2020 Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

30mins

7 Oct 2019

Rank #14

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7 Essential Tips for Winning in the Era of Infinite Consumer Choice

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. We have to give credit to the team at Drift and their book This Won’t Scale, where the idea for this conversation first came. Here’s the passage that inspired this episode: “You can only achieve hypergrowth by being close to the customer… We realized that in a world of infinite supply, the customer has all the power.” (p. 7) The infinite supply dynamic has long been at play in digital products like software, but it increasingly applies  to physical products like CPG and snack brands. Consumer choice is approaching infinity, which means competition is too, and brands have to realign their approach. Here's what we cover. Takeaways Tip #1 - Need Brand Innovation & Connection Tip #2 - Brands are Relationships Tip #3 - Practice Essentialism Tip #4 - Serve as a Guide to Positive Transformation Tip #5 - Go To Your Customer Tip #6 - Create Two-Way Conversations Tip #7 - Own Your Relationships Links This Won't Scale by the Drift Marketing Team Connect with Sean on LinkedIn. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

26mins

22 Apr 2019

Rank #15

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How dosist is Becoming the Starbucks of Cannabis, with dosist CEO Gunner Winston

“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. Why is this the approach? That’s what we cover in this week’s Brand Builder. Takeaways The greatest brands transcend their categories. That’s the sort of brand innovation that dosist aspires to, and Gunner lays out the strategy to make dosist one of those transcendent brands. From Hmbldt to dosist. Pay special attention to what Gunner says about why the company rebranded from hmbldt to dosist, as well as their new brand positioning and the messages they lead with. Earn it before you start expanding. Gunner explains why brands have to lay out a vision, and then deliver on the promise before they can start expanding their offering. Links dosist Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

36mins

13 May 2019

Rank #16

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How Health-Ade Kombucha Became the Fastest Selling Refrigerated Beverage in America, with Health-Ade CEO and co-founder Daina Trout

This week we’ve got Daina Trout, the CEO and co-founder of Health-Ade Kombucha. If you’re not familiar, kombucha is a high acid, low sugar, bubbly beverage, and Health-Ade makes the best testing and highest quality kombucha you can buy. One of the most fascinating things about the Health-Ade story is that they’ve successfully scaled the small batch, artisanal production that makes for great kombucha. It’s pretty crazy - they are the fastest growing company in all of refrigerated beverage, yet they still brew in 2.5 gallon glass jars. (They just have 250,000 of them.) Dainia gets real and vulnerable in this interview. She talks about the highs and lows of building a business, dealing with the self doubt you feel as an entrepreneur, and even near death experiences that changed her perspective on life and business. And of course, we dive into the tactical. Daina breaks down the leadership style that helped lead Health-Ade into the massive success it is today.   Links Health-Ade Kombucha Connect with Daina on LinkedIn Stacy’s Rise Project Are you female founder? Apply to the Stacy’s® Rise Project for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow your business through funding, mentorship and community. https://stacysrise.helloalice.com/ Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

35mins

20 May 2019

Rank #17

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Top Trends from the 2018 Winter Fancy Food

Missed Fancy Food Show this year? Well we've got you covered. This week we talk to our resident brand partnership experts Allison Schmidt and Taylor Clute, who are fresh from the floor of the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. In this episode, Allison and Taylor tell us their favorite products and brands from this year's show, explain how brands can cut through the noise on a crowded trade show floor, and share why attendees should treat trade shows like Coachella if they want to survive. Here are some of the top brands we saw at this year's Fancy Food Show in San Francisco: Edoughble Zee Zee’s nutrition bars Miracle noodles Hakuna Banana  Gluten Free Bar Moon Bark Dang Foods  Belgian Boys Don Bugito Field Trip Top trends: Edible cookie dough Savory chocolate Keto-friendly everything Sugar alcohol as a sweetener Grain free granola Ancient grains Carb-less noodles (seriously!) Want to get in touch with Taylor or Allison? Contact them directly - allisons@snacknation.com or taylorc@snacknation.com. Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com.

19mins

5 Feb 2018

Rank #18

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How to Become the Category King in an Old Industry (with Boozy Tea), w/ Owl’s Brew co-founders Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield

Spend a few minutes with the dynamic duo behind Owl's Brew, and a few things become apparent. First, the depth of the passion for what they do. Founders Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield are a testament to the idea that big things happen when vision meets drive. Another - the importance of discovering white space in the market. Add to that, the imperative to capitalize on that discovery, before someone else does. The Owl's Brew story is a case study in brand building, with all of its challenges and triumphs, its strategy and its serendipity. But I'd argue that you can actually sum up the Owl's Brew story with two words - No compromise. The temptation to compromise is something that most challenger brands face, but one that people don’t really talk about. It’s an especially thorny area for emerging better-for-you brands, whose values are core to their appeal. In fact, it is precisely this unwillingness to compromise that actually creates the magic for these brands, and that paves a pathway for success. This week we talk to “tea drinking boozers” (their words not ours) Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield, the CEO and COO of Owl’s Brew. They make organic spiked tea and tea and botanical mixers that have been a huge hit with a new class of alcohol consumers. Owl's Brew has won by saying "no" - no to flavor houses, no to artificial ingredients, no to compromise of any kind - and that has made a world of difference. This ethos is why Jennie and Maria are well on their way to making Owl’s Brew the category king in the spirits industry. Links Owl's Brew Connect with Jenni and Maria on LinkedIn Join our Exclusive Facebook Group! What's your biggest takeaway from the episode? Join our invite-only, private Facebook group just for Brand Builder Community members, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs and founders, crowdsource ideas, share best practices (or lessons learned), and get your most important questions answered. Join now! Facebook.com/groups/brandbuilderpod Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

35mins

4 Nov 2019

Rank #19

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How CircleUp is Using Machine Learning to Make CPG as Efficient as Tech, w/ CircleUp Founder Ryan Caldbeck

The Consumer Packaged Goods space is 3.5 times the size of Tech, but you'd never know it based on how much attention Tech companies receive compared to CPG brands. Part of the reason has to do with efficiency, and the relative ease with which tech startups can access capital - and make splashy headlines as they take on funding or make big exits. Compared to Tech, CPG just isn't efficient. Right now, the best way to learn about new opportunities - both for investors and brands - is to attend a few gigantic, hectic trade shows each year. Ryan Caldbeck is here to change all of that. Ryan is the founder and CEO of CircleUp, an investment platform that provides capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands. They've developed game-changing machine learning technology called Helio that continuously analyzes 1.2M CPG companies to help connect investors with brands and brands with resources.  In this episode, Ryan tells us why he founded CircleUp, why he's so bullish on data, and why right now is the best time to be an entrepreneur. He also shares a DIY data hack that any brand - regardless of resources - can deploy to help make smarter decisions and iterate their products at the speed of the market. Takeaways: We know data is king - but what if you’re a young brand that can’t afford the money, or time, to invest in it? Ryan presents an ingenious DIY data hack. What’s the #1 metric that investors and retailers care about? Ryan lives and breathes data, and tells us the right KPI to focus on. How do you optimize sampling for maximum insights? Not all sampling is equally effective - Ryan tells you what you need to know. Jump to Ryan describes the journey to find his purpose and the origins of CircleUp. 4:40 A great breakdown of CircleUp's mission and the Helio technology platform that powers much of what they do. 9:19 The DIY data hack that all emerging brands should use to make decisions and iterate their product. 15:10 Why you should think twice about sampling at that big music festival. 22:00 The most important KPI for emerging brands. 23:20 Why right now is the best time to be an entrepreneur. 24:33 Links CircleUp The Up Round (CircleUp's blog) Ryan's blog on Helio Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com. Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

28mins

22 Jan 2018

Rank #20