Hitting The Mark

Hitting The Mark

Conversations with founders and investors about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success with your host, brand strategist and author Fabian Geyrhalter.

Fabian

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

Strategic Clarity + Verbal Clarity

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.

Notes

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Welcome to the show, Gardar.

Gardar Stefansson:

Thank you, Fabian. Nice to be here.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Great to have you. I know I was butchering your name, but it’s impossible not to butcher your name. It’s just it comes with the Icelandic territory. So I have a huge affinity for Iceland. I love seeing brands from a small country make it here in the US. I had Bjorn of Saltverk on episode 60, which was a fantastic chat. And I would advise anyone listening to catch up on that episode, but you were also working for a salt brand. I saw on your LinkedIn in Iceland at some point, right? But now you’re doing good. You’re actually doing double good. Tell us a bit about that story. How did Good Good come about and how do you differentiate as a brand in a very crowded space?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. I mean, that’s a great question. So my entire professional life, I’ve been a food entrepreneur. So I said on my LinkedIn, I started Salt company. And when I exited that a couple years ago, I was approached by my two other co-founders Johann and Agnar who just had acquired Stevia Drop production here in Iceland. And they asked me to join in the company, and help them grow it, and do some great things with it when the focus was just creating sweeteners. But what fascinated me at the time, being in the food business, and knowing everything I knew about it at the time it was just this amazing new ingredients called natural sweeteners like Stevia, and Erythritol, and many more that are just perfect substitutes for sugar and have really just zero effects on the anatomy of the body. Doesn’t raise blood sugar level.

I was just amazed with the opportunities that what these sweeteners could do in terms of innovating new products, just to take out sugar, which is sort of the biggest problem with diet to date is the sugar. And we started focusing on creating and establishing sweetener lines, but at a certain time, we were not doing so well. The sales were not as high as we had hoped. We had a lot of inventory in stock. And at the time, it was like we had a couple of tons of sweeteners that are just about to get expired. And as you know, Fabian, from the startup world at that time, it was not only a big food waste that was ahead, but a big financial loss for us at that state.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

So, often when you are faced with the problem, you often see solutions and every autumn here in Iceland, I go to the mountainside and I pick blueberries and I create jam. And just in one jam it’s 50% berries and then 50% sugar.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Right.

Gardar Stefansson:

It’s just ridiculous, the amount.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

So I just had this quick idea, “Okay. We should try to make some jams with the sweeteners. It’s so much sugar in it, so let’s just replace it with our sweeteners and see where we get.” So me, and Johann, and Agnar, we just got some IKEA pots and pans, and we mixed it all together at my home, and tried to use the blueberries, and then the sweeteners. And then we created this really disgusting first version of our jam. It was really bad.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Of course.

Gardar Stefansson:

But then, we did it 20 times more and kept getting better and better. And suddenly, we had a product and we started to produce it first in Iceland, but then we outsourced it to the Netherlands.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And just to pause you there for a second. So really, the strategy behind the jam was not a strategy, it was just basically a solution to the problem of you having too much product, and you didn’t want it to expire, and have that huge food waste, then of course, you tried to see, “Is there any way that we can also monetize it?” And that’s how that jam line came about, which now is one of your biggest sellers, right?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah, absolutely. So it’s the 17th, 1-7 biggest jam brand in the US, according to the-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s amazing.

Gardar Stefansson:

… it was Phoenix Data from January, and it’s just growing, we’re getting a lot of distribution and our customer seems to love it. If you look us up on Amazon, we have more than 5,000 reviews of people who are loving our jams, four and a half star. I really appreciated all of those great feedback. And it came from a problem that we solved, and that’s also what we try to incorporate here at Good Good is this experimental thinking, a problem or a blocked way often leads to different kinds of solutions and even great ideas that can become best sellers and the backbone of the company.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That is so fascinating. And I think there’s this misconceived perception, very much in the US, but I’m sure in most Western countries or across the world of what it means to be an innovator, what it means to be a startup, right? And here you are, you have fundraising, you’re an upstart, you are trying to solve problems, and you are in the business of creating spreads and jams. And that to me is absolutely fascinating, because I think a lot of people are not aware of, that really a company in any space today has to have those same startup traits in order to make it.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, it’s about also finding your rhythm and finding what makes you good or Good Good, as I got an advice earlier.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yes.

Gardar Stefansson:

And that’s what we always try to do. So, I mean, we classify ourself as a breakfast and brunch brand, and that’s what we want to disrupt, just if you look over the breakfast and brunch you had, I mean, how many sugary items are on the table? I mean, there’s so much sugar there to start the day. And we just want to be the brand that replaces those sugary products. And you always know that its natural ingredients sustainably made, and of course, always no added sugars.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I think it is so interesting what you just said, because when I was getting intrigued by your brand and I was looking into it more, and I was wondering what that thread would be, and that thread of brunch and breakfast, and really finding a niche, which is a huge niche, but a niche where you can really start to be extremely competitive is wonderful. I love to hear that just makes so much sense for your brand.

Gardar Stefansson:

Absolutely. And it’s all about differentiation, and being different, and doing new things, and building on that, and bringing some great attributes to the table that brings the consumer some benefits, and building a relationship there, so it’s key.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Well, and I heard you say, and I think you just reaffirmed that you want to turn Good Good into a household name, right? A household name brand. What are the strategies to get the brand there? I mean, how do you think in the breakfast space, in the US, for instance, which we all know they’re the big three, the big five, right? How can a brand like yours compete and turn into a household name?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. And that’s a really great question. I mean, we’re just like every startup and growth companies, we have limited budget in marketing.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

We don’t have such big size of market budget like the giants in the market. So you have to be clever. You have to be innovative. And one key for us is the product has to be really Good Good. It’s key that it tastes good, and it has low sugars, and it has the benefits. That’s number one. But also number one is the packaging and the branding, you have, I mean, where are the Protosols in the supermarket? So you have maybe one second, if you even have that to get the attention of buyers and shoppers, and you really need to invest in that. So we have always from the start put a lot of emphasis in the packaging, and branding, and how we look in the shelves, and creating that emotional bond from day one, because that’s where you sell the product. So that’s key for us. And that’s really helped us is we shine in the shelves.

And second, you just need to be really clever with the marketing budget you have, I mean, we’re not going to buy TV commercials or pick billboards. We just have to target and share the message to our key consumers who are at the moment are people in the keto diet and diabetics, and focus on getting them to take Good Good to their homes, and tell our story, and building on that community. And that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of preparations and also a lot of strategy to just to hold onto it and building our lasting relationship with the consumers.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. So you start within a niche in a niche, right? You start with diabetics, you start with people who are very aware of the problem that you’re solving, because for them, it is a problem that occurs every day, right? They live with it. And then you focus on the breakfast space, knowing that in the future, because you get that first wave of people, they’re going to talk, and then you get the second wave, and that’s how the snowball turns into an avalanche, right?

Gardar Stefansson:

Right.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And that’s the idea. And I didn’t mean to interrupt you before, but I was just about to, as you noticed, right? But when you talked about how important branding is on the shelf the visual aspect, huge, right? Absolutely. And then on the flip side is also the emotional part. And you talked about forming an emotional bond. I know when you first launched, you launched mainly on Amazon, which is as far from an emotional brand bond, as one can help, because you’re just-

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

… one of a million products that people just somehow find and buy, and it’s an Amazon experience rather than a Good Good experience. How did you move that into your Good Good experience? And how do you foster these relationships? What are the values that you share with your audience?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. And, I mean, we launched in Amazon in 2016, there was not a lot of food products there. And mainly it was to get a touch on the market without investing in 3PL or a warehouse, and building a huge stock in the countries you were selling to just to get testing the market and getting feedback. And that actually came from one of the biggest part of our getting the products into grocery stores is our Amazon sales.

Because when we launched on Amazon in 2016, and then we were on Trade Show in 2018, at Expo West, we got interests from Europe, from American grocery chain, and we decided to go there and present the products. And at that show, we could point out on our Amazon, we were best sellers in jams and jellies, and we had about 500 reviews. And there we have the social proving.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

People are buying it, they’re buying it a much higher price than the supermarket chain can sell it. And that was actually a really good part of proving the case without spending too much money or investment in trying to get into a grocery chain and build the brand from there.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Absolutely. No. And for those listeners who haven’t been to Expo West or who don’t know about it, it is a massive, a massive Trade Show where there are thousands of vendors that are some of the big ones, but mainly the small ones who showcase their new products. And it’s a huge audience. I’ve been there once. And it was just mesmerizing to go through all of these stents and see all of the startups hustling and experiencing all the new products. And I love how you use Amazon for basically for R&D and customer feedback and what sticks, what doesn’t stick. And it’s a fairly… Because it is somewhat detached from the brand, that it seems a pretty safe space to do that. I think that’s really smart.

Going back to the shared values. How do you feel… What do you think? So we never talked about the name because you explained it already by talking about Good Good. And how there needs to be two sides of good, right? But what are those values that you share with your audience, where you feel like, they believe in your brand more than just because of your one product or your other product, but there starts to be a connection on the brand level, not just on the product level.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah, exactly. And that takes time to build it. And it’s key for us that, I mean, Good Good means as you say it, it has to taste good. That’s an absolutely key component, but it also has to be good for you. Hence, the double good, but our values are, I mean, always transparency and sustainability, natural ingredients always no added sugars, product you can trust, and ingredients that are simple and valid, and that you can share with the entire family. So even though we’re targeting or not marketing our product basically to keto and diabetic, you can share that cross any person in your life that is not even on that diet and just enjoy the sweet things in life without the added sugars. So that’s our main thing is to create this world where you can really enjoy a sweet product without the sugar. And that’s what we are trying to create. Also a part of this is my aunt who has diabetes. And I mean, she introduced me to a lot of product that she was consuming that just didn’t taste good. And we really just want to change that and make our products suitable for all, just people who want to eat less sugar.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yup.

Gardar Stefansson:

So our values mainly is to create that sugar-free world of happiness.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. No, absolutely. And when I work with my clients through their own brand strategy, one of the things I do at the very end of my gruesome workshops, which are eight hours in a row, I have them define their entire brand in one word. So I call it your brand DNA. And so for a company like Everlane, it is all about transparency, which is very close to what you do, right? For Base Culture, which is a baked goods company, catering to the paleo diet who were my guests, I don’t know, episode 26, 27, something like that. It was freedom, right? It’s the freedom to choose, the freedom to live a certain way. Now that we already talked about this and we go into this, what is one word that can describe your brand? Because we talked about transparency and freedom in a way as well. But what is it?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. I mean, we are in the food business and we are talking about sustaining diet and sustaining natural ingredients and people enjoyed food without any bitter effects and thinking about their health, focusing on that and still enjoying the sweet things. So I would say longevity is our word, it’s just-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Longevity. Yeah. Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

… building on that and just generating healthy products that taste good and are good for you.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

I like that. That’s very different. And that longevity also works together with your audience. They can also feel that.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yes, exactly. And what that embodies is not only reaching height, it’s just enjoying your life at every moment, thinking about your health until you are older. We want to support that with our breakfast and brunch items and going a long way in that journey for people to enjoy, because I mean, health is key and being healthy primarily in your part of your life, it’s just so important. And I think humankind just woke up to that during COVID that we need to invest in our health now.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And just focus on living this life to the fullest and start thinking about our diets, so we can prepare for whatever is ahead, so we can enjoy long lives.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Absolutely. Absolutely. When you look back at the company, which I guess now is what seven years old, right? I mean, it’s pretty young.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s seven years old this year, this autumn. Yeah. That’s right. We’re getting old.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. You’re getting old. You got to make sure you eat healthy.

Gardar Stefansson:

Exactly. Exactly.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

When you look back on those, I guess, at this point six and a half years, what was that one big breakthrough moment where you felt like, as entrepreneurs we all have that one moment where suddenly we get this one email or suddenly something happens and we look at it in disbelief and we are like, “You know what, I think we just turned our startup into a brand,” like, “This is the moment.” Do you remember what that was? I mean, was it when the jams started to sell or was it when Amazon started to takeoff or was there an investment round or what was it for Good Good?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. I love this question. I mean, the jams, when we started to develop and they started to sell in a small scale, definitely. I would say those were milestones to a moment when I really felt that we were doing something, finally, we are taking a turn as a company. And it leads to that same Expo West show that happened in Anaheim, California, really big one. We participated there. We were in the roof, we had a really small booth, like a small desk.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And we had our products there all cramped and presenting them and really up to it, the founders, me, Agnar, and Johann were there selling, we didn’t get any luck until the last day. It was about four hours after the show. Of course, we got a lot of interest, but really, if you want to make it in the States, you need to get into distribution and you need a key account.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And suddenly, there is a woman at our booth, she’s looking at our products, and she’s like, “Yeah, I really like this product. I would like to get them in.” And we’re like, “Yeah. Which company are you from?” And she says, “Meyer,” and we like, “Meyer?” It’s that a store? Is that a small store? “No, it’s a 300-store chain in the Midwest. One of the biggest retailers there.” And we were like, “Okay. That sounds great.” And then she said, “Yup. Send me an email. I want to get this set up with my distributor.” And, yeah. We take it from there. And then we went online, saw the scope, sold it there, and we were like, “Oh, my God, we got into major retail in the US.” They’re top 10 biggest retailers, I think, in the US.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And there we got footstep into what natural distribution, it’s really hard to get into the distribution channel in the US unless you have a key account like Meyer.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And then we were like, “Okay. Now, it’s getting started. And now we are going to the US in a full-scale.” And that is the time.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s what it takes.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Exactly. Yeah. That is a massively rewarding feeling. And I know you like that question because there’s nothing better for a founder to talk about their successes, but on the flip side, what was-

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

What was a brand feel that you went through? And I hate being negative, but I think people can learn so much from other people’s missteps and we all have them as entrepreneurs, we all do, right? And especially when it comes to branding, right? There’s so much that can go wrong with a name, or a color, or a URL or a post, or, I mean, it’s just branding and marketing, it’s just full of failures, right? As well as massive successes. But was there any brand failure you went through that you can share where you felt like, “Oh, that was definitely something that we learned from.”

Gardar Stefansson:

Oh, there are so many mistakes. But I have a big one here. And I encourage my team to experiment, and do it, action is always better than doing nothing. And mistakes is a part of the journey. Just do them in a small scale, and tell us about it if it happens. But we have, we have a big mistake, in the beginning when we were defining what Good Good was. There was always no other circles, natural ingredients. But we had not fixed on what exactly category we’re going to be launching at. Now, we are a breakfast and brunch brand. We are only innovating things in that category. But in 2018, we wanted to really ramp up our turnover. And we had not decided upon what Good Good products would be. So we did quite a big mistake, and we went full on and launched a natural, organic, a natural energy drink called Coco.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. And yeah, we were just really… Energy drinks were just starting to you know, and new brands were sort of popping up all over and seems that Red Bull was losing its stake. And we really just wanted to introduce our energy drinks that were, of course, without the artificial sweeteners and only had natural ingredients, but we did a big fail there. We sold some of them, but the problem was that it was not in our category. We were targeting-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

It was not aligned with the brand.

Gardar Stefansson:

Exactly. It did not.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And we were talking to an audience that we were usually not talking to and talking about benefits that they just didn’t care about.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

And we invested quite a lot in that. And of course, we saw some sales, but it came at a quite high cost because the marketing cost just to keep the brand alive in that category was just so high. So yeah, we made a couple of thousands or even more, 60 or something, 100,000 drinks, and we sold 80% of it. But then we just made the decision to abandon that because it just wasn’t the line. And the pros from that is we had a failing product, but we killed the darling once we saw what was happening, and also, just shortened our focus on what we wanted to achieve with Good Good. So we went back to the drawing board and started to focus on the items that we were good in creating and launching on the market, and talking to our audience like we do today.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Well, and it takes guts to actually stop it too, right? Because you already, I mean, at this point you have packaging, you did the advertising, you’ve got the actual product, you’re so fully invested. And for a team of founders, a small startup, right? Where there’s no CMO and COO that can cut the cord, right. But for all of you to just come together and say, “You know what, let’s cut this now,” that takes a lot of gut and moxie to do that, because a lot of other people would be like, “It tastes well, it’s a good solution, people need to like this. Let’s keep pushing,” right?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah, exactly. And sometimes it works, but in our case, we just saw it wasn’t a hit for the future. It was taking too much time from our main line of products. And I’m still drinking the drinks today as a warning to everyone on the team.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Because you have 2,000 of them left?

Gardar Stefansson:

Exactly. I have plenty of them left. I love those drinks, but I’m probably the only one, but yeah, it’s key to learn from mistakes. Definitely.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Well, and I think another big lesson in that is that with any brand, you have to know your audience and you have to stick to them, right? And I think that’s the big thing, when you’re suddenly going into a sports’ audience athletes, right? It’s a totally definitely story. And a lot of brands make that mistake. And I think that is something that goes back to really brand strategy and having a brand platform where you understand, “This is who we are. This is our tribe. This is what we are good at. And this is what they want. Let’s meet right in the middle,” right?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah, exactly.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That’s really spot where we need to meet. Very good. So how has Good Good, I guess not only survived, but as far as I can tell, based on what you shared with us, thrived during these times of supply chain issues, right? I mean, you and I talked offline a little bit prior to that based on my own startup and we’re going through all the same problems that any other company’s going through right now, but I mean, your company, out of Iceland, you’re coming into the US, you used to manufacture in Iceland, and you manufactured in the Netherlands, and now it’s split between places. How did you survive these supply chain issues?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. And I mean, we are often asked about that. It has been a struggle, we have sometimes gone out of stock, but not for a long time. And that’s actually propelled the brand really much through this pandemic is that we have had products available, while the others have not. And I think it comes to planning. I mean, we also hired, I mean, great team members that are smarter than us in supply chain and operations. That’s key to have the right people on board, but also because we have suppliers in Asia that we source sweeteners from, natural sweeteners. And when we saw the pandemic starting in December 2019, and January 2020, we thought it’s just going to be a problem in Asia. It had been with the other-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

… pandemics of sorts. It did not be really go to Europe and USA and the rest of the world like COVID-19 did. So we just started to bulk up on the necessary raw materials during that time. And so we had products, raw materials in our warehouse when it really hit in March and everything closed. And then, we worked with our producers in the Netherlands and our logistic partners. And it was… I mean, what helped us was just constant communications. So we were in contact with all of our suppliers, every day talking about solutions, how to get product made, making decisions on cutting a certain in line to save another one, our best seller ones. So it was prioritizing and getting the best sellers to the markets. And we somehow managed to float during that season, filling our warehouses and getting products to the supermarket by prioritizing, by constantly communicating, paying higher price like everyone-

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Of course.

Gardar Stefansson:

… for everything. But we also have quite a good backbone in the company, a great board and investors that truly believe in our mission. So that has helped us, but there are still problems ahead and we just need to be transparent about it. And don’t underestimate it, front it immediately, discuss about opportunities, about the problems that are had. And that’s how we have been dealing with the situation that somehow seems to be prolonging a little bit, but we have to work through it.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And now you’re ready for other problems, right? I mean, now what’s happening in the Ukraine, right? Who knows how that’s going to affect everything, inflation. And I mean, it seems the last couple of years, the problems just keep occurring on the world stage. And often people forget what that means for a business owner to navigate through that and to push forward and to zig when everyone zags, and to do all of that. So, very interesting to hear how you guys have been doing that and great foresight to just buy as much as you can when you start seeing the problems occur.

Gardar Stefansson:

Exactly. And that really helped us. I mean, sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s just being strategic and trying to make the moves before a certain situation happens. And that’s what we try every day, just to best our decisions with data and information and what’s happening.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

And I think luck is always important, but it wasn’t luck that you created the jams, it was because you needed to use them, right? And so it’s you needed to do stuff. Is it’s always one thing feeds another, and you have to have that preservation, that determination to actually push forward and do something with it, rather than just let it rotten and say whatever, right? Moving on. I think that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship. Back to branding for a second. Now that you’re a founder of a couple of companies in your life, right? Now you’re knee-deep in one that’s really taking off big time. You’ve seen everything when it comes to branding. Branding is super important to you as a consumer brand on the shelves, and now in the US, with all of your background now, what does branding mean to you? Because very often it’s misunderstood, but what does it mean to you as a founder?

Gardar Stefansson:

I mean, branding is everything. I mean, by the rest of the day it’s that the bond you combine the product you’re selling and the relationship with the customers and the tone of voice. And I mean, branding is a persona, it’s the embodiment of everything we’re doing, and trying to achieve, and the branding needs to say that in a very simple way that the consumer, stakeholders, employees, and everyone just gets it immediately. So it embodies basically the entire process of the offering or experience we are trying to get across. And I mean, it needs to be simple or creative and leave something with the receiver. So you can get someone on board and create that emotional bond. Sorry, perhaps saying that a lot, but I think that’s really important is that overall experience of what you’re trying to do. So it bodies basically everything. What the company’s doing, the vision and mission, product attributes, the look, and feel, and the taste and just what you’re leaving behind and that entire experience.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Yeah. No. And that exactly sums up why I love doing what I do, because it is, I mean, it is so wonderful to put it all together in this magical package that immediately creates these emotions with people. I think it’s wonderful. And I mean, you’re active are in the startup space. You run your own startups, I don’t know if you can call your startup a startup now after six and a half years, but you’re definitely in that scene.

What do you see other founders do wrong when it comes to branding or do you have any brand advice for other founders where you think like, “That is a really crucial thing to do” or something that you didn’t do in the beginning or something that you see them do, maybe just missing a chance on?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. And I mean, of course, in the food space, so I spent my entire professional career there. And I often think that founders and entrepreneurs in that category are product-focused, production-focused. And they think the branding is just a look on the packaging. It needs to look cool and trendy, so you get the consumer. But my advice is just you need to create and establish your vision mission and find out why, what and how, and just like, “What are you doing? What’s your plan? What’s the bigger picture?” And somehow that work and reflection, and it takes a workshop, it takes a couple workshops. Or eight hours, not a long time. And it’s so much worth investing in the beginning to have that discussion, to have that deflection, to write things on a board and get creative about where you’re heading, because it also creates a lot of excitement and tools. And just to do the packaging, to do the products, to know where you’re going and know your audience, and it helps you, it’s a compass, it’s not even a compass. It’s a boat with a compass and sails. So it takes you where you would not believe if you do it right. And then everything aligns to this brand and the bigger picture you created. So yeah, my advice is to stop reflect, focus on the branding, read as much as you can about successful branding, what it means, there’s a lot of great companies that have amazing branding doing great things. And basically, that’s the lasting relationship you create as the brand. Anyone can copy a product, but it’s really, really hard to copy and I would just say impossible to copy an amazing brand.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Exactly. 100,000% correct. I mean, that’s really it, right? I always call branding when done correctly an insurance layer for a company, right? Because like you said they can steal everything and they will, if it’s in any way good it might even be Good Good, right? They will steal it. That’s what’s going to happen. So creating that brand is the one insurance layer that you actually have. What’s next for the Good Good brand? What are you excited about in the next six months?

Gardar Stefansson:

We got some, I mean, amazing new products going on, that we’re going to launch. We’re doing peanut butter, new syrups, building on the baking mixes, just disrupting the breakfast and brunch category. And I mean, I’m always excited when I launch a new product. I just really love to get the reception, and read reviews, and just sometimes they’re horrible reviews, and I don’t cry anymore when I read horrible reviews, but I really like to read them because I want to get the feedback, but most often, they’re just really good reviews and just encouragement to do better.

So we have new products coming up, the team is growing. It’s really exciting. We incorporate here, innovating, we’re experimental culture, flat structure, we’re a global team, we have three employees in the States, one in the UK, one in Ukraine, and also, here in Iceland, 10 people. So it’s a multicultural company and it’s tricky to create a culture, but it’s going quite well with transparency and honest communication. So I’m excited with the growth of the team and just to continuing and bettering people’s lives with great, amazing brand, in my opinion, and just amazing products as well. So that also makes me wake up at night with good ideas out of that.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s what’s exciting. And it’s good to hear your international fabric of your company and working on creating that flat hierarchy, and that transparency, and forcing, not forcing hopefully, but forming a culture around that, which as we all know, company culture in my eyes eats brand for breakfast because I think it’s really, I mean, without a great company culture, it’s really hard to create a great brand. So I love hearing you say that. Now, that we’re coming to a wrap here, how can people follow you either personally or how can they get to know Good Good? Where can they pick up Good Good around the world?

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. We are on Amazon, both across the pond in US, Canada, and the UK. And we are in 6,000 stores across the United States, in Canada as well. We have a store locator on our website. Goodgood.net. And, yeah. Then we’re selling our products in multiple European countries, working on Austria. That’s on my to-do list. Yeah.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Chop-chop. Yeah.

Gardar Stefansson:

Yeah. Definitely. Definitely, I’m calling some favors there, but yeah, doing quite well, honestly, you can get them in South Korea, our jams, Nigeria.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Oh, wow. Amazing.

Gardar Stefansson:

There are many, many countries where you can achieve them, but store locator on our website. It’s Goodgood.net, there’s where you can find them.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Perfect. Fantastic. Well, listen, Gardar, this was really, really insightful and it was fun. And I’m sure that a lot of people get a lot out of it. Thank you so much for your valuable time. And I’m looking forward to following the Good Good journey into great, great.

Gardar Stefansson:

That’s the book title.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

That is your book title. That’s right. Better start now. And I’ll have you on again in two years.

Gardar Stefansson:

Thank you so much, Fabian. A pleasure to be on this interview.

Fabian Geyrhalter:

Absolutely.


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