The Story of a Brand Podcast is a show focused on e-commerce brands and the entrepreneurs, products, and customers that make up the brand. We believe that people want to buy from authentic Brands they love, admire, and to whom they feel community. Whether it’s how the brand obsesses over the customer experience or how they design or manufacturer their product or their stance on social issues. Our show attempts to illustrate the “Why” people connect to the Brands they love and perhaps just as important, how the Brand connects the customer to the world around them.
In this brief special episode, we interview Rosemarie Baumler, Director of Social Media for apparel brand, Army Pink. In this interview, you'll learn about Army Pink'smission, how they are building support for their cause, why empowering women and young girls is critical for them, and why the future looks bright for this youthful brand. Army Pink donates 100% of the proceeds from the Peacekeeper t-shirt to Peace Over Violence, providing safe transportation for a survivor to escape a violent relationship
Ramon Vela and Emmanuel discuss 1) Why trust & transparency are so important, 2) Why it's important for Yuni to make clean beauty products that are affordable and accessible for people who really need it, 3) How to make clean beauty products that are affordable and can be used for daily use, 4) Why they use only "stock packaging", 5) What are the 3 Key Factors for choosing a new channel or avenue for your clean beauty products, 6) And what are the Yuni beauty products that stand out.
In part 1 of this episode, Emmanuel discusses: 1) Why it was important to make wellness attainable for all, 2) How they took a chance by investing in the formula vs. marketing, 3) Why it was important to create products for people like him and his wife; people who practice Yoga, wellness, meditation, mindfulness, health, and love the outdoors, 4) Why it was important to find influencers who were authentic, 5) Why it's important for people to be aligned with a brand's values and principles.
In part 2 of this episode, Alex discusses: 1) Why customers will help tell you who you are and why you exist beyond just the product, 2) Why it's important to keep a personal touch with your customers and why customers are hungry for connection, 3) Why and how the Amazon Bubble is going to burst, 4) Why taking a long term view of your customer is important, 5) Critical tips for people just starting a brand and for people who have a $500,000 a year brand and who want to scale the business.
In part 1 of this episode, Alex Brown discuss: 1) How he started The Beard Club, 2) Why Drop Ship businesses are not feasible long-term and why the next correction will clean them out, 3) How to start a DTC brand, 4) How you can build a brand that serves people and not just sells products, 5) How to create a story that resonates with people, 6) Why companies with a social aspect outperform those that don't (long run), 7) What are the stumbling blocks of building your brand.
Ben Jabbawy discusses: Why doing things different saved his company; Why you shouldn't listen to investors; The Success Equation: Easy to Try, Easy to Buy; Why as an entrepreneur you should give more than receive; Breaking down the "Build Relationships and Drive More Sales Concept; Why & How Privy is going to be the entry point for all your customer data; The vision for Privy's future; Advice for Entrepreneurs such as "Build an audience from day one"; and Advice for College students and so much more.
In Part 1 of this feature, Ben Jabbawy shares what happened at that pivotal moment when it looked like all was lost, He shares how he got started, Why transparency is important to him, What he did differently that really propelled his company, What is the secret formula to getting into the Inc. 5000, What advice he would give to others, and so much more.
RonJini Joshua discusses: Being on honest with yourself about who is your target market, Why you can have slightly different stories for each audience, How to create a media plan, Working with Journalist and bloggers, Making sure to have target goals, Provide customers with experience, Start planning for next year NOW, What is your share of voice and how to grow it, Building your own personal brand, Wy Taking a stand vs. middle of the road can lead to success and much much more.
Ramon & Ronjini Joshua discuss: How should brands communicate to their audiences, Creating your overall brand voice, Can you control the customers perception of the brand, Is there a wrong time to us Public Relations, PR mistakes that brands make, Why you need a Crisis plan, Consider your community's feedback and sensibilities, why building community is the Holy Grail for brands, Mistakes that brands make when crowdfunding, Why you should build community before you crowdfund, and much much more.
In Part 2, Ramon Vela and Chris discuss the moments in an entrepreneur's life that can change the direction of the future, how to maintain sanity while building your business, a recipe you can use to build a successful brand, how to brands lose direction in their values, how brands build love with how they communicate, challenger brands that are doing it right such as Third Love, and how to make your "Why" the core of brand message and company direction.
Chris shares What is the Super Power of Brands and how should they use that power, How customer loyalty can transcend reason, Why community is the secret sauce, Why a brand is either be a Pimp or a Patron (and why being a pimp is no good), Venmo vs. Neo-Nazis case study, Why Brands are the New Elected Officials where customers vote every day at the cash register and lastly, he shares a classic "Entrepreneur-near-disaster" story that any entrepreneur will relate to and understand.
Ramon Vela and Gigi discuss: why consumers deserve trust, why Kopari wants to be where the customer is, her 360 degree approach to her brand marketing, Her vision, Kopari Popups - when & where, Why you should always stick to your brand pillars, why there is room for both premium brands and Amazon, what questions you should always ask the consumer, why selling products through retailers is a good idea, Kopari partnerships, what are her best selling products & why, and what keeps her up at night.
When Gigi Goldman, Co-Founder of Kopari Beauty, started the business with her co-founders, they planted a flag. They decided that the core of the business was going to be about two things: planting their flag on using coconuts as their essential ingredient and two, making products that were clean or "clean beauty". However, what really made them successful was that Kopari is not just about products, it's so much more.
Gary discusses: the high expectations of consumers and how Amazon ruined it for us, Layaway payment concept, like Klarna, and why they may be a game-changer in e-commerce, the Nixon goal of creating a great customer experience, trends in e-commerce including mobile, biometrics AR, VR, the 3 barriers for online vs. retail store, Consumer research, the Future of e-commerce, the Adobe/Magento strategy and will it work?, Gary on AI and creating the 360 view of the customer and what is necessary to make it work.
In today's episode, Gary Penn, Global Vice President of Digital & e-Commerce for Nixon, join's us for a lively conversation about all things e-commerce & digital as well as giving us some insight on Nixon's products, partnerships, Collabs, and digital direction.
In Part 2 of this feature, Rose shares with us the questions and philosophy around building trust with a customer and why it has made Algenist who it is today. She also shares why "being zen and staying connected and present" helps with your leadership (and stress), how to find positive influence everywhere around you, why her two children and four boxers are the best leadership training, and what new product categories are in store for Algenist.
In Part 1 of this feature, Rose shares with us why Algenist is different from other Skin Care companies and the origins of its now-famous "10-day claim". She also shares her experiences growing up in Whittier, California to a single mother and a working-class family and her advice to others in the beauty industry.
In Part 2 of this feature, Divya of Wander Beauty, shares how she creatively landed her investment banking job out of college, how to overcome the barriers that women face when raising capital in a male-dominated VC environment, how mindset is 90% of the battle to success, how you have to create your future and own the goals and dreams that you want and how real everyday women inspired her to co-found Wander and how they continually inspire her to bring new products and new concepts to market.
In Part 1 of this feature, Divya shares her background including the companies that she has built, the origin story of the brand including why brands weren't speaking to women of color like herself, advice for entrepreneurs such as "not all business models scale" and the need to be self-aware, and finally her experience raising capital and dealing with the male-dominated industry of venture capitalism and how uniquely difficult this process can be for women entrepreneurs.
In Part 2 of our interview with Roberto Milk, CEO of NOVICA he shares everything from the extremely weird and strange way NOVICA got started, what steps you need to take if you are a college student or entrepreneur and you want to build a social impact brand or you just want to make an impact & help others, how revolutionary ideas come from traveling, why Indigenous arts are dying, how his kids helped find some unique artist, and how you can be fulfilled, passionate, happy, and grateful (like Roberto).
In this episode, you'll hear Roberto Milk of NOVICA, share with us the challenges they faced building NOVICA in different countries; the difficulties in finding the artist in remote locations; why so much of branding is fake and that branding should be more about Authenticity; why traveling and social impact is in his blood; and why from the beginning NOVICA wanted to think and do something big, like start a revolution in hand made goods and send nearly $100 Million to Artist/Artisans around the world.
In today's special episode, we bring you our interview with Jon Provisor, Owner & CTO of Guidance, live at the Fashion Digital LA 2019. Listen as Ramon Vela interviews Jon as he shares his advice for retail brands as they navigate the digital & e-commerce landscape. In this brief special episode, Jon shares the story of building an e-commerce brand. Including everything from how they worked with K-Swiss and Tom's to help them with their digital strategy, how product drops put pressure on an e-commerce platform and what to do, how born on the web brands are going omnichannel, how Shopify Plus is tackling enterprise prime time, how to outsource your web and creative, and what the latest trend in e-commerce is doing to change how we cross-sell and upsell products. Check out other episodes at https://www.commercefocused.com/ For more on Guidance, visit: https://www.guidance.com/
In this brief special episode, Josh shares the story of building an e-commerce brand. Including everything from how to increase average order value, how UpSellit helps you build out your strategy, why you should determine your baseline results and then determine how you can improve upon that baseline and why UpSellit's performance model is so beneficial to retail brands.
In this brief special episode, Bayou and Daniel share the story of building content for a brand. Including everything from Branding, the art of differentiation, How do you create perception, what questions you need to ask yourself, why consumers want to connect, advice such as "do a behind the scenes mini-documentary while doing your photo shoot" and finally why it's important to "unite around stories that matter".
In this brief special episode, Jennifer Yen shares with us the story of building a brand. Including everything from what inspired her to start the business, what problems her products and brands solve, 3 pieces of advice she would give to Entrepreneurs starting a brand, and how she overcame emotional and financial struggles as an entrepreneur.
In today's special episode, we bring you our interview with Saena Park, CMO of The Hair Shop Inc. live at the Fashion Digital LA 2019 event. Listen as Ramon Vela interviews Saena as she shares with us the story of building a brand. Including everything from introducing us to the company's Origin Story, the Market for Hair Extensions, How they use influencers to grow their business, How they differentiate their business with hi-touch consultations, their ambassadors the "Hair Shop Collective", their Extension Master Class Certification, Why the Hair Shop is all about giving you extra Confidence, How they are extending the product line, Partnerships, Creating Messages for each of their Segments, and why their primary customer will always be the Hair Stylist Professional. Check out other episodes at https://www.commercefocused.com/ For more on The Hair Shop, Inc., visit: https://www.thehairshop.com/ Please support our sponsors & advertisers: https://www.retentionscience.com/ (Email Marketing) http://axidigitalmarketing.com/ (Digital Marketing)
In Part 2 of this two-part episode listen to Ramon Vela interview Melissa Palmer, CEO & Co-Founder of OSEA Malibu, as she shares with us the story of building a brand. Including everything from working with influencers, targeting micro-communities on social media, partnerships, Advice of "Clean Beauty" brands, Advice for entrepreneurs, morning routine, being "Product first vs. Brand first", growing up in an entrepreneurial family, customizing the consumer experience with a quiz and live chat and more.
It seems like Melissa Palmer, CEO & Co-Founder of Osea Malibu, was born to be in the Wellness and Skincare market. It all started with her Great grandmother, who strongly believed that the ocean was the source of life. This family legend took hold of Melissa's mother who went on to start experimenting with skincare ingredients. She wondered "If she created a company that used ingredients that were safe and effective and natural. Would people notice the difference?" OSEA Malibu was born.
In Part 2 of this two-part episode listen to Ramon Vela interview Grace Eleyae, CEO & Founder of Grace Elayae, as she shares with us the story of building a brand. Including The wonders of Satin, What a partnership looks like, Product marketing strategies, Grace's Kids line, The Challenges and growing pains of manufacturing, How Grace deals with stress, Advice for people considering Entrepreneurship, and lastly, What Grace would do differently.
Before Grace, there were products out in the market that had been used for years to help women with tight curl patterns, which according to many statistics accounts for anywhere from 30-50% of women globally, but fortunately, there was nothing like the "Slap". As she describes, for women with tight curl patters, there was nothing that combined the style & fashion of a nice cap & the function of modern hair protection. She goes on to say, "if the beanie and the bonnet had a baby it would be the Slap.
In Part 2 of this two-part episode, we continue the story of Hamish Khayat, CEO & Co-Founder and Brittany Stewart, COO & Co-founder of Burst Oral Care as they share with us their obsession with Oral Care, their community, creating the greatest product for the ages, and living your Burst life!
If you're a growing brand, there's nothing like having a loyal, fanatical, and growing community. Having a community can help you build brand awareness, help you with product innovation, and help you find out what consumers really want. But building a community isn't easy. Listen to Hamish and Brittany as they give us the inside story of building a brand. They share how the brand started, their reasons for success, how they employ an old school business philosophy to building their community
In this episode, Ashley Merrill, CEO & Founder of Lunya, gives us an intimate look inside her brand as well as a take on employees, entrepreneurship, life, children & family, and treating the customer like real people and not a target market. Here's what you'll hear: *Making women's lives better through product, experience, & an example (14:45) * Advice for Young Entrepreneurs (26:28) * Success is building the life that you dream of (30:08) * And more...
For Ashley Merrill, CEO & Founder of Lunya, the intention was never to start another fashion company. But there was a business idea that kept gnawing at her. She didn't know anything about how to make clothes or production but she had a big vision. She wanted to create sleepwear that both looked great but was functional. She wanted to reach consumers who really cared about Wellness because as she saw it, Wellness is like the food pyramid with sleep as the foundation.
In Part 2 of our interview with Omar Sayyed, CEO of Ties.com, we discuss Why team building is so important, why doing business face-to-face really matters, why scaling is one of the biggest challenges he's faced, why it helps to have a network outside the business to share with, Why he's chosen to build his own back-end software vs. going with Shopify, and Why it helps to have customers who evangelize your brand and so much more.
In today's episode, Omar Sayyed, gives us a mini MBA education on entrepreneurship covering areas such as lesson's on doing an exit, why most entrepreneurs make terrible CEO's, why entrepreneurship is a narcissistic endeavor, why most entrepreneurs don't do it for the money, the cost of taking on debt and taking orders from your new overlord, and why everyone wants to be the next Gary Vaynerchuk.
In this episode, June Pai, General Manager of Asia PAC for Manduka, one of the most well known, and some would say, the brand that started it all for Yoga and apparel products, breaks down Manduka's international e-commerce strategy and the Asia Pacific markets.
It all started with the belief that products could improve your yoga practice and that yoga, in turn, will help you become the best version of yourself. For June Pai, General Manager of Asia PAC for Manduka, yoga and that mission is what led her to work at Manduka some 10 years ago. According to June, yoga is not about being the most Zen person in the class, it's really an opportunity to make time for yourself: body, mind, and heart.
For Stacey Goldstein, CEO & Founder of Lola Getts, the opportunity in the Plus Size market is more than just having a brand with a product, it's a MOVEMENT. The team at Lola Getts truly believe that this consumer (they refer to this consumer as "Her") deserves products that work for her body. The goal is to get people to recognize, respect, and not stereotype who she is. And to that end, Lola Getts is creating a brand that this consumer can call their own.
According to stats, near 67% of women in American are a size 14 or higher. However, even with this percentage of the population, this consumer is more or less "forgotten". The truth is that for many retailers "plus-size" isn't a sexy category to carry so they either don't carry or promote it. For Stacey Goldstein, CEO & Founder of Lola Getts, this is both an opportunity and a grave disservice to correct.
How do you evolve your brand? How do you expand into other markets? Steve Nanino, CEO of Kid Dangerous, shares how they evolved the business into women and kids apparel as well as evolving as business executives. He shares the good and bad of tradeshows and why they might not be worth it. He also shares invaluable experience on the Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) vs. Retail debate and why some "pure" D2C brands may be missing out on support, customer feedback, and additional revenues by doing retail.
In Part 1 of our interview, see how Steve and his team, grew a premium graphic Tees business. How it started, how it evolved with the market, how they landed retailers, and how they have expanded into women and kids apparel and what comes next. You'll also hear advice for young apparel entrepreneurs and dealing with the ups and downs of running your own business.
As a survivor of rape, Paige sought help and was finally able to "find and embrace" her voice which led her to what we know today as Paige. As she mentions on the show, the brand is an amalgamation of her experiences; it was really about a woman who finally empowered herself. Because of this, the brand is meant to be about being "fit" because she knew all too well based on her struggles with anorexia, that she wanted people to feel good about themselves.
Paige runs a highly successful fashion brand. A brand that helps people feel comfortable in their skin. Unafraid to be who they are. However, the story about how she came from a small town in Alaska to where she is now isn't a story about going to fashion school or business school and even about becoming successful. It's a story about how she kept hidden a dark memory that nearly destroyed her, how she felt lost, struggled with life and how she sought help.
When John Tabis, CEO of The Bouqs Company, shared with his mentor that he wanted to start his own company, his mentor said he was crazy. The truth is entrepreneurship is hard. That's why it's important to have a mission. For John, flowers represent all the special moments in life that elicit emotions such as a birth, promotion, anniversary, graduation, etc. In other words, "moments of pure emotion" and in the end, that's what The Bouqs represents and that's what drives John to build his brand.
In today's world, we have grown accustomed to asking where our food comes from and is it sustainably sourced but why not with flowers? This is something that John Tabis, CEO of The Bouqs Company is trying to change. He's building a company that sustainably sources their flowers and pays their farmers more than the competition. His belief: customers care where the flowers come from and how they are produced. Along the way, he also shares entrepreneurial advice for how to grow a brand from scratch.
Walter received a letter which relayed the story of a woman struggling with life. She had low energy, two kids, and a very demanding job. However, after finding HUM, she was able to turn things around. She started to gain more energy, which led to improved performance at work, which eventually attracted a promotion. However, the most important part of the letter was yet to come. She thanked Walter on behalf of her kids. You see, her kids had their mother back.
Walter has created the first vitamin brand to focus on "beauty from within". However, he quickly noticed that much of the experience of buying and using vitamins was negative. So he created a company that takes the experience and the products into the 21st century. Walter set out to reinvent the vitamin industry and made sure that every touch point with the customer was re-imagined, from the availability of the HUM nutritionist to the labels to the focus on Non-GMO, sustainability, and ingredients.
People said he couldn't build a hardware brand without $10 million dollars. He raised $2 million. In the beginning, he made some critical mistakes that should have been lethal. They overcame the challenges. Time and time again, Anthony and his team have encountered challenges and found a way to succeed. Listen to this episode and hear Anthony Mendelson, CEO of Mighty Audio share the inside story of building a hardware brand.
Anthony Mendelson realized that there was a whole segment of people who wanted to disconnect from their phones and other digital distractions. That's when the idea of Mighty Audio came about. Mighty Audio's mission was to give people the time to focus on the things they love, not the things that distract from that. So he raised money, built a team, started a partnership with Spotify. However, the story is not over, you can hear the rest here on this podcast.
Rosie had doubts. At certain times she didn’t think she could do it. But she continued to move forward, along with her Co-CEO & Founder Josh Resnick, and eventually, things started happening. “I realized that I was more powerful than I thought I was” she would later say. The challenges in entrepreneurship actually reveal who you are. It reveals your weakness and strengths. But it is in those moments that you can discover your power and reclaim it.
I think the story of Sugarfina is really a love story. Not just between Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick, Co-CEOs and Co-Founders, but between Sugarfina and it’s customers. It started with two people who either by fate or coincidence went on a date and watched the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And the rest, as they say, is history. However, that would be premature, the story continues. Listen to Part 1 of 2 here and visit our site for show notes: www.commercefocused.com/episode-009-sugar
In this episode, Jenny shares how her startup is disrupting the Maternity Apparel market; how being raised by immigrants parents has been a motivator; how gratefulness plays a part in her life philosophy, her advice to fellow entrepreneurs; and how starting a company out of grad school has been an opportunity to practice fearlessness.
For Brian Speckart, Director of Global E-commerce & Marketing for Ergobaby, keeping the Ergobaby message close to its core is a challenge. However, for Brian, the challenge is more fun than work. In this episode, Brian shares a look inside the Ergobaby brand and discusses everything from the Ergobaby's origin story to how it maintains its brand message to it's digital marketing strategy to influencers and finally the "Dangers of Crotch Danglers", which is something every expectant parent must know.
Since they were kids, both Steve O'Dell and Robbie Page, knew they were put on this earth for a reason. Today, they are on a mission to teach the world about the effects of positive energy in business and in your personal life, one cup at a time. In this episode, Steve and Robbie, share an intimate look at their idea of success, entrepreneurship, the science of Macha Tea, the philosophy of Kaizen, and the purpose-driven brand they are building: Tenzo Tea.
Eyal Brikman was originally going to start a social startup, but one fateful conversation and 9 years later, he is helping to lead Kobelli, a company on a mission to bring honesty, transparency, and Blockchain technology to an industry slow to adapt to new technology.
The Co-founders of Diff Eyewear knew early on that they wanted charity to play a big part in their business, what they didn't realize is that they would end up impacting & empowering communities halfway across the world.
Bert Song, Head of E-commerce for Pair of Thieves describes it as creating "little moments of connection". From their logo design to their customer support to their promotional emails to their products, personalizing and, more importantly, humanizing every interaction with the customer is part of the DNA at Pair of Thieves.
Serial entrepreneur Alex Gobel and his team saw a gap in the Luggage Industry for affordable luggage. But instead of focusing strictly on the product, they wanted to empower people to go travel by making it fun & exciting. So he did something different, he made the customer the Hero of the story, not the luggage.
Shed Defender went from 1 order a week to hundreds of orders a day. But the story didn't start there. For years, Tyson Walters had been trying to perfect an idea he had to help dog owners with shedding so they could sweep less and cuddle more with the dogs they love. In this episode, Tyson and his sister-in-law Casey Walters share invaluable lessons for entrepreneurs, new companies, startups, and e-commerce brands. I'm so excited to share it with you.