Conversations with founders about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success with your host, brand strategist, and author Fabian Geyrhalter.
Houseplant: Evan Goldberg & Michael Mohr, Co-Founders
47:30Together with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Michael Mohr founded Houseplant, a lifestyle brand rooted in cannabis that creates and curates thoughtful, design-led original products.By unifying the words “house” and “plant,” the brand has created an entirely new cannabis experience through curated, one-of-a-kind expert insights from Rogen and Goldberg that marry perfectly with well-designed, premium Housegoods.In this episode with Evan and Michael, we dive into the similarities of crafting a movie versus a brand, why pricing is key to positioning, how to create a welcoming brand in a misunderstood and jaded business segment, and how you can perfectly plan something yet it can still misfire. And that is in a way the challenge, but also the beauty of entrepreneurship and brand building, and I can guarantee you that you will not only gain a lot of insights into brand strategy but you will also greatly enjoy the company of these fine gentlemen on today’s show.
Doug Zell, Founder, Intelligentsia
52:30Doug Zell is the Founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, a beloved brand that established itself as a leader in what came to be known as third-wave coffee.Intelligentsia embodies a quest for superior quality and sophisticated design, but it is furthermore about the overall impeccable brand experience that those of us who have visited one of the 15 US locations have come to expect.Doug is a masterful brand builder and his insights from not only successfully building, but carefully expanding the Intelligentsia brand over the past 26 years is, just like the brand itself, rather illuminating.
Angela Jia Kim, Founder, Savor Beauty
43:59Angela Jia Kim founded Savor Beauty with a strong brand ethos inspired by a career as a concert pianist. What caught my eye about Angela's brand was how she checks off all the boxes a brand in her space should, and she does it seemingly with ease: farm-fresh small-batch organic products, cutting-edge technology, 100% non-toxic clean formulas, made locally, supporting various deserving communities, cruelty-free testing, minority-owned, et cetera, et cetera.And Angela understands that her brand ethos is the guiding light that makes all the difference in the why, the what, and the how of her brand. A wonderful episode, also because she shares with us how the person who sued her over her brand name gave her transformational business advice.
David Neeleman, Founder & CEO, Breeze Airways (JetBlue, and others)
27:22David Neeleman is the Founder of 5 airlines and changed the way people experienced surprise and delight by flying JetBlue. During the pandemic, he launched his latest airline brand, Breeze, and I sat down with David to talk about what branding means to him, what makes great company culture, how a book inspired the JetBlue brand, and his preferred airline naming process (in the case of JetBlue the name was derived the Friday before a Monday launch).Needless to say, an episode that is packed with insights from a truly amazing brand builder I believe all of us are thrilled to hear from on the subject of branding.
Chris Boyd, Co-Founder & CEO, Drink Monday
50:23Chris Boyd is the Co-Founder of Monday, a Southern California distillery that crafts non-alcoholic spirits such as gin and whiskey. The brand is only a year old and its impeccable design caught my eye from day one. Chris and I talk about how community and authenticity are key to building his brand. And he is walking that talk as he has 1,366 shareholders to who he is reporting.And of course, we talk about the power of design and how the big question ‘why’ should be fundamental to any entrepreneur’s journey of building their brand. A spirited conversation all around.
Chris Meade, Co-Founder, Crossnet
39:48Chris Meade, 28 years young, a Forbes 30 under 30 nominee, invented a new sport with his co-founders that mixes Four square with Volleyball. Today you can catch Crossnet on ESPN and the product sells in over 3,000 locations in the US and around the world. Chris and I talk about naming not only a brand, but a sport, how to create not only momentum but a movement, the latest in digital marketing, and why communication, internally and externally is key to brand success and, as usual, we touch on a lot more. If you are an entrepreneur in the D2C space, listen in. If you are any kind of marketing professional, listen in. Much wisdom is to be gained from this conversation on how to get e-commerce traction in today's environment.
Vicki von Holzhausen, Founder, von Holzhausen
41:48Vicki von Holzhausen utilizes her background as a designer for Audi and Mercedes to innovate on materials that are truly sustainable through her eponymous vegan leather bags and accessory brand. Vicki and I discuss the weight of her brand promise, The Conscious Code, how she bootstrapped a luxury brand, how she showcases accountability by using her last name as the brand name and so much more.
Kara Goldin, Founder & CEO, Hint
52:35Kara Goldin is the Founder and CEO of Hint, Inc, the brand synonymous with the leading unsweetened flavored water in the US, loved by millions. Within minutes of listening to Kara, you will understand why she became as successful as she has and why she is such an influential voice in business. Kara shared an outpour of crucial lessons for both entrepreneurs and marketers alike, and her first book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters, was released last October and is now a Wallstreet Journal Bestseller. Needless to say, an episode not to be missed.
Natasha Case, CEO & Co-Founder, Coolhaus
49:04Natasha Case founded Coolhaus with her then-girlfriend – now-wife – in 2009. Inspired by her architectural background and a drive to create the best ice cream sandwich available, the couple bought "a piece of shit postal van masquerading as an ice cream truck’ on Craigslist for $2,500 dollars and towed it to the Coachella Music Festival using AAA." The rest is history. Today Coolhaus is the top women-led ice cream company in the U.S. and can be found in over 6,000 grocery stores. Despite its growth, Coolhaus remains true to the authentic origins of the brand: represent positive change, push the envelope for the future, and create high-quality ice cream and plant-based novelties for all to enjoy. Coolhaus, with its quirky visual and verbal brand language, inspires the next generation of diverse founders, entrepreneurs, and creators to live out their dreams; and on today’s show, you will see just how they do it.
Jeremy Parker, Co-Founder & CEO, Swag.com
45:34Jeremy Parker bought the url swag.com to disrupt the boring and outdated promotional products industry. Swag should stand for something new, and be bought differently, and it should be stuff people actually want to keep. That vision turned into reality as swag.com had 2000% growth over the last three years, made it onto Number 218 on Inc’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies list, and counts TikTok, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Mercedes, Starbucks, Google, and Spotify as its customers. Even during this tough past year, where events were canceled and offices shut down, the brand kept growing while most promotional product companies laid low or faltered. In the end, Jeremy's brand succeeded because he kept a razor-sharp focus on the ever-evolving customer experience. There are many brand and marketing lessons in this episode, from smart brand positioning within a commodity vertical to leading with empathy, this is an episode not to be missed.