This is episode 100 of Hitting The Mark and we worked for months to ensure we have the founder of an iconic brand for you. One most probably all of you know and many of you own a piece of the brand. To say we succeeded would be an understatement.
Travis Rosbach founded the world’s most used water bottle brand that took the nation, and the globe, by storm: Hydro Flask. From its iconic icon – pun intended – to its many colors and varied audience, let me take you on a ride from Travis’ background as a pilot, Scuba diver, and marine captain to being presented a 99 designs logo by a pricey marketing agency to his 1-liter bottle launch that in fact held 40 ounces. It is a wild ride, it is an educational ride, it is the ride of HTM 100.
Tate Huffard launched Best Day Brewing last year, an alcohol-free range of craft beers for the fun-loving, hard-charging, adventure-seeking thirsty souls for whom good is just not good enough.
Packed with relentless optimism, a distinctive brand design, and a powerful ethos, Best Day sees its beer as a comma and not a period in your journey through the day.
Tate and I talk about the significance of the ‘best day yet’ philosophy turned tagline, the process of making great alcohol-free beer, the power of simplicity in design, and how coming from the outside into an industry poses a huge opportunity to do things differently from the get-go.
Nichole Montoya, together with a designer, co-founded Cheddar Up ten years ago. The platform helps over 100,000 groups and organizations collect payments and information to support and grow their communities.
Nichole and I talk about how important design was to the success of the brand, how, as a product company, being highly aware of feature creep is a must to ensure the brand does not steer too far away from its positioning and how getting outside brand help can re-invigorate the product experience.
Matteo Grassi went from breakdancing in Italy to traveling with a circus across Australia, then overseeing 7 e-commerce brands and lately launching Popup, a no-code online store-building platform that provides flexibility in customers’ journeys. All of this said, Matteo also holds a Masters in Psychology and worked as a brand strategist.
What you get when you combine these life experiences and education is someone who has a no-bs approach to brand thinking and community building and on today’s episode, this is exactly what we dive into head-first, while also learning about the strategy in which IKEA places mirrors in their stores and how cross-border online sales should really look like. And, skip the first 10 minutes if you are not interested in us talking about the future of music since Matteo, amongst all these other things, is also a producer.
Suze Dowling is the Co-Founder of Gin Lane, where she helped launch over 50 D2C challenger brands like Harry’s, Hims, and Sweetgreen. She closed shop and the same founding team started Pattern Brands which now acquires and nourishes brands in the home goods space. Pattern’s current portfolio of 7 brands includes Poketo, Onsen, and Letterfolk.
So today we talk not only omni-channel, but omni-brand. We obviously touch on brand architecture, how not to lose authenticity when acquiring and marketing a multitude of brands and we discuss the biggest challenges and best tips when it comes to brand building.
This is an important episode for any founder (especially if you are running a Shopify-enabled D2C business) as well as for any brand builder and marketer to indulge in since you are able to get the perspective of a founder, a brand-builder, and an investor all in one and the same person and in a very succinct way.
Charlie Weisman created a company that started by selling plungers, yes, the toilet ones, that are actually desirable. The brand is called Staff and it is quickly growing into a beloved suite of household essentials with bold colors, unique materials, and characters that are eager to help.
At Hitting The Mark I pride myself on bringing you as much the well-known, as the unusual upcoming, brands that find a way to make their brands stand out and the founders – not marketers – who have those stories to tell. Staff nicely personifies the latter.
Charlie and I talk about the 99% perfect brand name, how brand-thinking is at the core of his company, and how he was able to capture the imagination of his audience – and that of Drew Barrymore – all in an organic manner and why brand storytelling will be even more important in the future of this young company.
Steph Hon is the Founder and CEO of Cadence, the product innovation brand that brought you the modular collection of magnetic, sustainable, TSA-compliant, and leakproof Capsules that lets you store your must-have items from your medicine cabinet, jewelry box, and cosmetics bag so you can move through the world with ease and confidence.
I am certain you have seen the distinct and beautiful products pop up in your social feeds or in the media. How the brand was created, and the brand DNA that holds it all together (well that, and magnets) is what Steph shares with us in a wonderful conversation that is parts empowering and motivating for founders and parts educational for anyone in the business of building brands.
If you run or assist a hardware brand, you owe it to yourself to listen in. If you want to build a brand that desires to lead with empathy and a user-first mentality, then this episode is also made for you.
Larry Birnbaum is the Co-Founder and CEO of ShopWorn, the e-commerce platform for customers who want to be the first to own authentic, unused luxury products while doing good for the environment.
This a fascinating proposition, one that challenges luxury brands as well as consumers to do something they used to be reluctant to do: Put trust in a discount reseller. It is also a two-sided marketplace which is always fascinating from a brand perspective as there are suddenly two stakeholders that the brand voice and image need to attract and engage. Needless to say, an episode well worth your time!