Blog Archives


EP081 – LOOP Mission: Julie Poitras-Saulnier & David Côté, Co-Founders

David Coté and Julie Poitras-Saulnier run LOOP Mission which collaborates with major food industry actors to save perfectly good, but rejected products discarded before reaching grocery stores and transform them into products such as juices, smoothies, sodas, beer, gin, soaps, and dog treats.

 

I have to be frank and I can cut this intro very short: I have a complete brand crush and to me, LOOP is inspirational on so many fronts that it would be silly to mention them and instead I will assume you will trust my opinion and dive right into this episode where Julie and David share the way they continue to build their ever-expanding brand upon purpose – with a twist of wit.

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EP080 – Thrive Market: Nick Green, Co-Founder & CEO

Nick Green is the Co-Founder & CEO of Thrive Market, a membership-based online platform that makes healthy living easy and accessible to all. Since launching in 2014, Thrive Market has grown to more than 1 million paying members and become a touchstone example of a mission-driven company at scale. In addition to offering great natural and organic products at affordable prices to its members, the company donates a free year of membership to a family in need for every paid membership. The business has also been recognized as a leader in regenerative agriculture, carbon-neutral shipping, and Zero Waste operations, and in 2020 became the nation’s largest grocer to receive B Corp Certification, as well as a Certified Great Place to Work.

 

Nick and his 3 Co-Founders set out to launch a ‘Costco meets Whole Foods’ concept, which is insanely ambitious and a remarkable story given where Thrive is today. Needless to say, this conversation delivered many insights into today’s Zeitgeist, technology, and consumer expectations, and it was an immense pleasure being able to talk with Nick about the way in which his brand continues to grow with a strong guiding star and our planet’s health top of mind.

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Less product, more story

Our job as brand strategists is to divert brands away from talking about their products and services.

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EP079 – Shit That I Knit: Christina (Fagan) Pardy, Founder & CEO

Christina (Fagan) Pardy founded Shit That I Knit, a brand of sustainable high-quality knit-wear that one would say besides its name – although the contrary is true – has become known around the world. Christina was recently on the TODAY show and Shit That I Kit was the official Team USA brand partner for beanies and mittens this past Winter Olympics, which is rather spectacular.

 

Here is an entrepreneur who started off with brand-thinking and learned the business side along the way. So obviously we talk about the name, how it was derived, how to say it on TV when you can’t use the sh*t word, and how not to overdo the shit pun in her brand language. Christina discusses how authenticity and transparency played a big role in her brand’s success. We chat about how to get your brand in front of influencers and celebrities, how she moved her production to Lima, Peru where she is now empowering over 200 women as part of her team and she shares her Give A Shit program with us.

 

Another favorite episode of mine is now ready for your discerning ears!

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EP078 – Good Good: Gardar Stefansson, CEO & Co-Founder

Gardar Stefansson co-founded Good Good, a company from Iceland that makes waves around the globe with its no-sugar-added breakfast and brunch products.

 

To me, startups like Good Good are extremely exciting since they have to embody all the components of great brand strategy: From starting with a niche product for a niche audience – while allowing the brand name and design to survive any pivots – to shared values, a great name, impactful design, all the way to creating a tribe that the big competitors can’t steal away from you. And doing so from a nordic island.

 

Gardar and I talk about all of that and it is a wonderful story of accidental – as well as planned – brand success with many insights marketers and founders alike can learn from.

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EP077 – Bookshop.org: Andy Hunter, Founder & CEO

Andy Hunter founded Bookshop.org with a mission to disrupt Amazon’s book sales and put them back into the hands of bookstores.

 

He sees his brand to be the MC and hands the mike over to the people who sell and love books. A mesmerizing uphill battle that you can witness him slowly winning by means of passion, dedication, and shared values between bookshop.org, physical bookstores, and last but not least book buyers that care about more than the lure of next-day shipping.

 

As an author, it was wonderful to have Andy on the show, but also as a brand-builder since there is a lot to be learned from how he and his team have created a disruptive and beloved brand in just two years.

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Brand strategy is about listening

Our job as brand strategists is first and foremost listening.

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EP076 – Satisfy Running: Brice Partouche, Founder, CEO & Creative Director

Brice Partouche founded Satisfy, a performance fashion brand for runners to unlock the high.

 

He wouldn’t say it, but I can: Satisfy is quickly developing into a cult brand and we spent ample time talking about Zeitgeist, culture, and community.

 

Brice and I discuss how NFTs can be used to create access to a brand, the link between running and creativity, and how every product line starts with a story at Satisfy.

 

A fascinating conversation.

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Every mentor should turn into a mentee

The people I mentored over the years turned into the ones providing my new startup with the most value as they in turn began mentoring me.

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EP075 – Thrillist: Adam Rich, Co-Founder

Adam Rich co-founded Thrillist by sending out an e-mail newsletter to 600 people about things to do in NYC. Well, as they say, the rest is history.

 

I talk with Adam about how a newsletter turned into a trusted brand and a global multi-platform media monster hitting the eyeballs of more than 300 million people a month, how understanding and sticking to your brand’s DNA is key to brand growth, how emotion and data demand to co-exist, and why thinking about your brand’s legacy must inform your brand’s every action.

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