Cole Orobetz founded Alpha Foods five years ago and is currently the CEO and CFO of the healthy frozen meal brand that can be found in over 9,000 stores across North America and Asia, where their plant-based Alpha Chicken Nuggets are available at KFC (which is quite an endorsement!).
Cole and I talk about how a blizzard and a vegan bagel dog got him into the business, why he had to re-name his brand for the Chinese market, how ‘familiarity’ is key to convincing meat-eaters to try plant-based varieties of their favorite foods, and how it took them hundreds of logos and four agencies to arrive at their very first logo – all because the brand strategy phase was missing upfront.
Steve Schulze built Nekter Juice Bar into a franchise of over 160 locations nationwide with sales north of $100M a year. As regular listeners of this show will know, I am always thrilled to feature franchise success stories, because when it comes to franchises, branding is the holy grail while adding a layer of complexity to the creation and duplication of the brand.
Steve and I dive into the power of listening to your customer, how he pulled off being a store inside of Whole Foods, how to create brand loyalty, and how to work with creative agencies and consultants like myself along the way to create brand focus and clarity. Much to squeeze out of this episode!
I sat down with Cairo-based Mohamed Tohami to give systematic tips on branding your business.
One of the immense pleasures I get out of hosting this show is to be in the company of amazing entrepreneurs, one smarter than the other. Phil Libin is definitely on the top of that list. Phil, of course, is the Co-founder and former CEO of Evernote who just launched another one of his many companies and brands he helped shape over the past decades. And this one is very, very intriguing. Also, because it is called mmhmm.
This episode is so entertaining, so whip-smart and so important especially if you are involved in naming or branding, or in a startup, or in creating successful teams. And even if you are not, you will greatly enjoy this, because Phil is an amazing storyteller. Maybe you’d just like to know how Evernote got its iconic green elephant for a logo? Or hear why someone who hated marketing became a big believer in the power of great branding?
Dan Kurzrock was brewing beer as a hobby in college when he realized that only 10% of the ingredients used to make beer actually end up in any pint of beer. All-in-all, we waste 40% of all edible food.
Today Dan runs ReGrained, a mission-driven ingredient platform that leverages technology and culinary science to transform beer waste into food. Dan is a thought-leader in food waste business models, “edible upcycling” and the circular economy for food, and he made it onto the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2018.
The consumer brand is selling supergrain puffs like hotcakes despite a pandemic-related pivot into eCommerce.
All the facets of Dan’s brand is what made this a longer and deeper conversation than you are used to from Hitting The Mark, but it is for all the right reasons. ‘Eat up’ is the motto, listen up is where to start!
Trevor Milton is the founder of Nikola Motor Company, the hybrid truck company that has 6 vehicles in the making, most of which have not seen the light of day yet.
I talked with Trevor only days after he took his company public, ringing the stock exchange bells via video during the pandemic. Trevor is only 38 years old and has a reported net worth of 7.2 billion dollars.
Here he is on Hitting The Mark to talk with us about the Nikola brand, which, despite not having an actual truck on the roads, is now more valuable than Ford.
Tim Dodd is a venture capitalist turned Co-Founder and CEO of Sweet Flower, Southern California’s largest and leading independent cannabis retailer. A dispensary that is by and for LA., Sweet Flower leads with a clear brand positioning and a high sense for design in a sea of sameness.
My chat with Tim came at a nerve-wracking time when L.A. was knee-deep in the coronavirus pandemic, but Sweet Flower seems to have been well prepared to weather the storm. There is much to learn from Tim as we not only talk about branding but also the operational challenges of running a dispensary.
Diving into some lessons from my book, talking about private label brands, China, and everything in between.
Entrepreneur and unapologetic power dresser Sali Christeson is the founder and CEO of Argent, the venture-backed brand helping women suit up to level the office playing field. Sali launched the specialized D2C fashion brand in 2006 and she is already redefining the workwear category while dressing powerful women from Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris to Amy Poehler and Awkwafina.
Sali is incredibly charismatic and you will be in for a treat as we talk about brands reacting to the COVID-19 crisis, her journey from 10-years at CISCO to becoming a fashion entrepreneur, how she created this extremely aspirational positioning for her brand, why she launched at a conference and plenty of great branding advice sprinkled throughout.