EPISODE 14: Mark Samuel

Mark shares invaluable insights for CPG brands on and off Amazon. Lifetime value, repeat purchases, first hire, packaging, to name just a few of the topics I peppered him with. He is the founder of IWON Organics, a fast-growing snack company that focuses on plant-based proteins, and has been playing the entrepreneur card for over 16-years.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How did you prioritise hiring when starting
  • What should CPG brands be looking at from a packaging perspective
  • How important is customer lifetime value and what can you do to foster it
  • How can influencers play a role in the successful launch of a grocery brand
  • Amazon or website first

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Click here for the RAW unedited transcript
[0:00:01] George Reid: welcome to us Always Day One. My name is George Reid, a former Amazonian turned Amazon consultant. Each week in the podcast, you’re gonna hear industry expert Brando it on Amazon employees share their answers to the basic yet fundamental questions. You should be asking yourself a bag your Amazon business. Now let’s jump in. I mark, how we doing today? I wanted to thank you so much for coming on the show. I’ve seen a big fan watching yourself in your new YouTube channel, as we’ve just discussed. But for those who don’t know you for whose who want to get that 32nd background, would you mind telling us a little bit about you, What you do and what you’re currently doing kind of day today. These days

[0:00:41] Mark Samuel: I appreciate having me man Mark Samuel live in Northern California. Marin County woop I I. One Organics is a snack company that I found. It stands for winning on nutrition. We may plant based smacks made from green peas, brown rice and navy beans, which make up a nutritional profile that’s balanced in proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which is the core based on how I how I eaten snack um, we’ve got a couple products in the market are us and our sticks, which are our two main snacks. And we’re currently in about 5000 retail locations across the country and, of course, on Amazon and on our website. Good man. I’m like I

[0:01:35] George Reid: can resonate quite a lot with with what you guys are doing cause a big protein mind myself, kind of finding them sources up. But where Buchanan’s always looking kind of different opportunities like we have boots in the UK, which is traditional place for you to go get use back, um, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, whatever the case. For us, that was always a massive fan, and it was always and so many of my friends do the same. It comes to that which snapped component you getting you always kind of reading labels gloriously is. Sometimes you wanted something different to that bath was nice to see that people are continuous in looking for different ways of how you can get that nice little source source in. So I’ve got I’ve got a number of spicy questions trying to throw you today are typical format. Four for the Listers is we rattle through really Amazon focus questions. Today I’m going to be a little bit more quick. Fire, Andi hopeful. We can kind of get some short, sharp chances and get some action points. Revel listening. So my struck Johnson to get operations, then branding the appetizing so to kick off with operations. Big question like a lot is. Should you go shop five first, then Amazon or launching at the same time? What’s your thought on that?

[0:02:51] Mark Samuel: That’s a good question. It depends on the experience of the founder of the team that’s coming into play wherever their strong suit is today. With the shop of five platform, you could drop images and have your site up and running and collecting. You know, payments. Day one, Amazon. There’s a little bit more heavy lifting, but in our particular case, Amazon is 90% of our director consumer currently. And as everybody knows, that’s where people are shopping right now. So it’s definitely, you know, you’re probably gonna land. There’s what it would be my would be my suggestion. You know, it’s something that needs to be focused on weighing

[0:03:31] George Reid: up those two things to you. Get the immediate start and go right. Let’s get our product online. We’ve got it here. We want to be online as quickly as possible. Get that kind of cash flow going in the same spoken do you go? Let’s focus our resource, underling. Amazin because it’s a much bigger up high. Like you said, 90% of what you’re doing is on Amazon right now on what? Were you conscious of that before you launch? Were you like, okay? We need to nail Amazon. Amazon is a massive part of all the video.

[0:04:02] Mark Samuel: Yeah, well, we backing up, even you need your website because that’s where you’re going to tell their story. There’s no other place on the, you know, on the Internet, right? That’s gonna better tell your story or that you have the ability to tell your story than your website. So you need what I call a home base. So start there and again because today is so easy to do that, especially if you do have access. Let’s say to know somebody with some some graphic knowledge, right? You could you could really tell your story, articulated well and just have a great presence then, as far as Amazon It’s just a need. And there’s so many agencies now small, medium and large, that can help you get on there. And you could be selling stuff on there within weeks to So it’s nice to have both platforms. And I personally believe you need

[0:04:49] George Reid: both. Yeah, yeah, I completely agree with with regards to that that piece there. Have you guys opted to go with the agency? Are you were you thinking if we’re gonna build something sustained, but we want to bring in house

[0:05:03] Mark Samuel: you both options are great, but again, you need to have somebody with savvy on the team. And often times you’re 99% of founders. We we don’t really even know what we’re doing, right. So let alone Hey, what we’re gonna do here on Amazon, so I Oh, I like the idea of getting somebody who knows what they’re doing. I think you’re better than Navigator getting there quicker. Overall, you’re probably spend less, But again, you’ve got to find that right person who’s gonna be within your budget. And so we were very lucky obligated to find that person.

[0:05:33] George Reid: Okay, So you bought in house. Yeah,

[0:05:35] Mark Samuel: I know. We used an agency, but they feel like their in house. I’ll tell you that much. Because first of anybody who’s not in, you know, sort of in our office, as they say, we have a very small team of five. The few people that we would consider to be outside, right? The consultant sort of that that they they feel like to, you know, they’re there on the team, their family. And so this particular group, it’s a brother and sister. They’ve been with me from the beginning, so they feel like they’re there are, you know, inside. But they’re considered an agency.

[0:06:06] George Reid: Yeah. You haven’t team drinks. They’re getting invited. Essentially.

[0:06:09] Mark Samuel: You know, with that, if this Corona thing wasn’t going on, man, we’ll be doing a lot more than more than just talking about it. So at this stage, dude, you can’t do anything today. So where you out, By the way? You’re

[0:06:23] George Reid: so look city. I’m actually with capitalizing on lock down. We’ve moved out the wine countries Australia for a month just because Why? I know you know so not Sydney, but still were a little bit more relaxes. Sydney were allowed to go to the bar so I haven’t got team. It’s basically May. But if I did, I’d certainly be having in slamming those team drinks a little bit more fare on the on the hiring process. And when you started, what was the priority for you? What would you like? I need toe nail dis component. This is priority number one on my first highly to tackle it. What you’re looking for Skill set Waas.

[0:07:04] Mark Samuel: You have to get another good question. I think when you’re starting a company, if you can cover the bases right, I kind of often differed a sort of sport analogy. You know, who are you going to get out on the field and who are really require right to make up the team? I think you need to have a founder who’s gonna have the big Why the wh y I mean, there’s there’s nothing bigger than that. And that’s what’s gonna drive you through all the headwinds that you’re gonna, you know, be running into you needed. I believe you needed in house art Director. You can absolutely outsource. You know all your content. But I’m a big firm believer that that art should be in house. You need an operations person that you’re talking about. CPG like us. You’re moving product in and out. You need somebody is handling that. Although the founder could do that too. It depends on band with And then you do need a sales person again. Also one of those things that oftentimes could be in the founders hands. But again, it’s all about being with and how quickly you want to move out the gate.

[0:08:03] George Reid: Yeah, and a light brown your mindset. I’ve never heard him because art director before, but I left the term definitely gonna be rolling without on myself on it is so true. Like if your content isn’t on point from the get go, that is your story And you wanted to be told well, from day one, if it’s being done badly, I think that could have a negative impact going forward. You’ve only got one charts for the first impression. Perhaps no Amazon because you can have multiple opportunities. But that are needs to be on point on with the operations of Choksi came in second and for you. What do you think Brand should be looking at from a packaging side of things, right? now when they start out, What mistakes did you perhaps make? Are you hearing Ah, lot of people making on the packaging

[0:08:52] Mark Samuel: That is always the, you know, the big one, right? The big topic about branding and rebranding in the 29th time they re branded in all that minutia about why Why aren’t our velocities up glossies me how many times your product is turning at the store each week and there’s a lot of finger pointing when it comes to that. And my firm belief is so long that your package is in the format and displays the way that you believe it should write that you’re happy with it. That’s good enough again you could. There’s companies that have done this before, and they hire huge agency spend, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars just on that, And sure, that would be great. But again, the majority of us you’re doing whatever you can and you’re giving your of yourself your best foot forward. And that’s what you do. Because at the end of the day, whether your product turns on shelf and whether it’s going to actually increase the velocity, you will get the customer to come back really has to do with the actual product. You’re selling a great product or you’re not. Your packaging is never, ever going to fix any of that. So that’s just that’s my take on it.

[0:10:10] George Reid: Way here, that a lot like ultimately it comes down to the product. You could have the best X rise said in the world, but if you have a shitty products, particularly the CPG category, it’s well, where was all about, like some Valium repeat purchases. It doesn’t really matter because sure, you can have really nice box that it came in. But it tasted bad. So I’m not gonna bite again on the box, is quickly forgotten and leaning them into the topic off custom a lot on value a little bit. What have you been doing from the get go to encourage that looks a bill that and how important is it being for yourself in terms of a priority?

[0:10:49] Mark Samuel: Well, you you’re hoping that the customer you know is enjoying your product. That’s number one, right? So again it goes, it falls back to whether not you even believe in it. I mean, do you do you have a good product out there yesterday. Right? And don’t go ask your mom about it, right? Go ask. Go ask 200 people that don’t know, You know, go down to a farmer’s market. How somebody tell you that? You know that that it tastes good. And most importantly, I always fall out with, not just tells you that gives you three bucks right past the big differentiator. Um, and as far as um, I’m sorry, give me that. You sort of the core track I So that when it gets it’s always a funny one for me is talking about the product

[0:11:30] George Reid: stuff. So for with regards to customer, lifetime value, those P purchases one How important is it to What are you doing right now with I want to encourage it? Yeah. Who stepped up its up?

[0:11:45] Mark Samuel: You know what? That’s it, guys, You’re going back to like an Amazon is. You can see things like subscribe and saves. You know, nobody really is going to be on a subscribe and save unless they purchased your product and knew that they wanted it to come again. Right? So you could definitely get metrics like that. So again, we’ve been lucky. We always knew that, you know would potentially looks like that again because we have a good product. It tastes amazing. And so our numbers continue to to to move upwards. And we’re not the based t. That is We’re not paying for that per se a lot of the times, depending on how fast you want to put the foot down, you could pay for a lot more of that to happen right on. And just assume that if you’re subscribing, states are moving up, then that just means more and more customers are coming back. So we do our for us. We do take a look at that. That’s a key driver for us. And then, of course, at the retail level, you want to make sure there’s two pieces that you’re looking at is my product. You know, in terms of velocity, is it coming off the shelf at an even pace to is when you put it on promotion, does that increase and then the third being the key piece is after it comes off, promotion doesn’t just dip all the way back down again. Or did you pick up a couple of new customers from that those air some key key drivers As far as knowing whether or not you know you’ve got recurring business.

[0:13:12] George Reid: Yeah, I guess it’s resetting that benchmark off what you were doing. X We’re now doing X plus one. Since we’ve done the promo, we’ve kind of uplifted up our basic, and you said there in terms of you could pay a little bit more to push those subscriber rates up. What’s that? The strategies A. Your wear off that people are doing attempted to pay for a subscriber is exactly You may have lost a little bit.

[0:13:37] Mark Samuel: Well, they’re What they’re doing is they’re just putting money into the funnel, as I say, right there, there, offering coupons or things their major major discounts to to acquire the customer. And that’s fair game. I mean, that’s what everybody is doing right. But, you know, you got to take that with a grain of salt When you hear of particular brands or founder clean that you know all we’re doing s number online. You don’t know how much they spent Teoh get that because because the latter is the most important piece. If I spent a million to get a million in sales. Who cares? Anybody could be not. The question is in the ones who are really savvy and more power to them are the ones that can find out out of those customers. How many are going to come back, and I don’t have to acquire them again. That’s really the name of the game when it comes to stuff like that. But But again, Okay, don’t don’t don’t listen, don’t listen to read all the fluff out there. There’s a lot of fluff out there, and you better you know, you got to kind of know what’s really going on, you know? So

[0:14:44] George Reid: I think, yeah, that there’s you touch upon to great points or so many forums and Facebook groups of how you can get to 10-K in your first month. Little that jazz. But ultimately it’s how you could do it. Profitably is a big key piece there. The second interesting point, though, is I’m intrigued by your mindset around the the acquisition of what you’re willing to put into acquiring customers like chatting with Nordic naturals and their marketing guardian. The day he said, like evenly a cough side of things and what you’re spending on Amazon. Appetizing. He’s that we’re happy to be super aggressive and pump up to 80% a course because it’s an acquisition. We’ve got the numbers saying they’re gonna buy three more times this year. We don’t mind spending the money on different and because we know what happened is great. Do you know, follow that similar mentality?

[0:15:32] Mark Samuel: We don’t follow that right now. RK cost isn’t anywhere near that. We have a profitable business, actually with Amazon. We like that. But I definitely understand. The other side are take is at least currently in our business. We are We are willing to put our cash into that and take that loss right now again, everybody’s situation is different. We’re sensitive to cash and we’re trying to grow in particular ways that that again don’t suit us for that right now. Not to say it doesn’t change over time or, you know, we get a you know, you get a big round of financing and all the good stuff that comes along with with sort of what you’re supposed to do with some of that money. But for right now we have a little bit of a plate, a different playbook that’s

[0:16:17] George Reid: still good, their will playing a different game and encourage you to be more nimble and more creative. And perhaps you’re leading on the art director a little bit going. Shall we need to play with these creative a little bit more what we’d be doing differently to increase the conversion rates, whereas if you have got the budget and if you are happy to let that equals run, for instance, you’re not looking at them fine details, which can give you incremental gains, right?

[0:16:41] Mark Samuel: Well, I’ve gotta commented that that because that’s a great topic in itself. It’s always going to be about a couple different things. One of them is What? What are you saying to the customer, Right? What is your What is your What is your had look like? What is it saying? What are the key words? And then, most importantly, are you aiming at the wrong consumer? You know there’s this big you know, there’s keywords like that we often use about market fit that people really don’t get. Sometimes a lot of businesses fail because they don’t understand the market fit. I just interviewed somebody again she was. She was amazing. She But I knew it. She understood it. She wasn’t over complicating this right? It’s She understood what the market it was. She tosses some adds to that particular consumer, and she sees if it works, and then if it works, it’s like Are a pour gas on this thing for us? For instance, we are doing stuff right now which I am investing in, which has to do with that and have to do with this particular ads. Where they going, Who’s it going to? And then, most importantly, what is being served to them afterwards drips and things like that. You know, what’s that follow up message? Because a lot of our stuff was, you know, wasn’t sharp. I mean, I can say it. I don’t I don’t care because I discovered I looked and said, Yeah, that wasn’t sharp, but we’re fixing. There’s a lot of players out there who I believe need to do that, too. They need to be really, like, reflected to look at and go all right, where do any of sharpen this thing up?

[0:18:18] George Reid: A lot of that comes down to having a strong grip on the data that you’re getting through, right? If you’re not looking at that or if you haven’t got someone looking at that and crunching those numbers and it’s gonna be very difficult to have validation that you aren’t sharp, you can have a gut feeling. But then the numbers could be like, Oh, you’re not sharp. Like your conversion rate support you Pretty expensive in terms of acquisition from Facebook at the moment on does continue to looking at those numbers. That being said there, if we continue on the repeat purchasing and it’s high it back into the packaging, what are you doing with your packaging right now? Are there any calls to actions on their asses? Anything that you’ve seen is working really, really well, since you implemented it to get them customers to come and engage of humans, interact with your brand and become part of your community.

[0:19:08] Mark Samuel: Well, originally had a big my face on the front of the bag. We just say we’re just my face. No way would have stolen one bag that it happened. I know, you know. No, we, uh we’re lucky we haven’t way from the time we started to where, right now there’s a little bit different. Even we consider is doing a rebrand in 2018 we’ve started in 16 in 18. We kind of did it a true rebrand. It wasn’t too far off, but it definitely was a new love feel. But where we’re at now is where we’re gonna be. I mean, that’s where we’re gonna be next year and again sometime down the line. I never say never. You know, if somebody came along or we were growing at a fast pace in somebody you know, someday we really want, you know, to inject this amount of money, but part of it, we want to do this with it. I don’t know. I got to see it. Yeah, exactly. Are you know we’re north. We have organic certified in your radiance, right? Non GMO verified, like our protein cause are higher or fibers higher. And, you know, winning on nutrition like that’s what it is. And there’s a little story on the back, right? You know, I’m all about balanced nutrition, so I talk about it. This about balanced nutrition. It’s about understanding what your snacking on in our particular case you’re sacking on riel foods. You know, these air good for you. And the best part is they taste amazing. Like we were a snack company first, which is cool. And it just so happens that we have all the bells and whistles on top of that that just make us better for you. But you could go and snack on our sticks and go try a Cheeto. And I bet you’re gonna have a lot of people being like Dang, man, these guys got it and not think about. That’s what the platform is. That’s what the platform is really there for.

[0:20:52] George Reid: Yeah, I completely agree with that. Just reinforcing why they purchase your product is always is always good. Like here with the unique selling points that made you buy it is now in front of you and here they are again reinforcing it. But with regards to are there any Q Archos, other, any links? Are there any recipes? Is Justin people mixed with It goes well with homos, for instance. I know you have guys. I thacker homos on you today. Their brand ings phenomenal. By the way, you doing anything like that to pull them in a little bit into a funnel of sort. Once they’ve made that purchase, you can go foster that reviews. You can go obtain a touch point and re market them anything that that is going on. Or is it more just reinforcing the message of why the board?

[0:21:38] Mark Samuel: We don’t have that much room in our snacks, right? Especially we have a single serve. That’s a big piece of the business. So you’re you’re talking about six inches, right? So there’s not much room to doom or on, and then our five ounce bags where we could have intentionally put some more stuff on there. We always had some ideas that were really unique and cool, called actions and like And I will say we had one product that didn’t do what we want into so weak self defer now, but we’re gonna potentially bring it back in a different format, and that one did have more of a social peace to it. There was, like a snap, a photo like got type of thing to hash tag this and all that. We need more. We need more real estate to do that. And so there we have plans. In a different scenario, different part of the grocery store where we believe we can get that. But as of right now, no, we don’t really have that. But it is. You know, there’s a good point to that for sure.

[0:22:37] George Reid: Yeah, there’s always time. You’re never gonna get everything perfect on the 1st 2nd 3rd time, you continuously iterating. And that’s the same with with the product itself, right? You’re collecting feedback from those customers and you’re going right. What’s the next flavor? You continue to playing with that, and then he brands you’ve seen right now coming coming up. You know, your for those who don’t know. Obviously, Mark Mark, a YouTube channel is well with the I won organics label. If I’m correct, Mark.

[0:23:04] Mark Samuel: Yes, let’s eat with Mark Samuel. But I want somehow moves into it.

[0:23:11] George Reid: So obviously, Mark Mark is a great job getting lots of people like himself in speaking to you about CPG stuff on there. Any brands you witness coming in and just do everything right from day. Well,

[0:23:25] Mark Samuel: I like a few brands. I’d say that I like even some that maybe haven’t been on this show. There’s they’ve been around a little bit longer I just touched on them. But everybody’s gonna know who it is, but it should be noted, is a brand like our X bar. I just stopped dying when they you know, first off, it’s a cool story. People don’t know this, but I remember that when they’re in their original packaging like they were putting their sticker on it were, you know, just original type of bag. It was at a regional CrossFit here in the States, right when they were first, like selling him toe where it became, and they went into that new just, you know, what you see now is arrest. I just thought that was a really unique original, uh, play in always right. Besides, are again it’s balanced foods, Israel Foods like I’m into that right. I just think that their ah great brand toe look at If you are trying to do something, there’s a couple others. The guys from chomps chomps is a meat stick brand. I think they’ve got their stuff together. It’s simple. You know why? I love simple, Um and, you know, there’s a couple other players, the magic spoons. I don’t Magic spoon is cereal. You know, I interviewed him, and I was very forthright about it. It’s not just that that looks great, feels good and you get it. Branding is on point, but they got some. You know, they’ve got some operators in there who know what they’re doing. And so you know, there’s a few breaks. Yeah,

[0:24:59] George Reid: that’s great. I think you’re so right with my continues to look at these things. I’m sure you do. In the CPG spaces, it’s so competitive, always kind of haven’t ear to the ground and been like what? And you can appreciate it right? You can appreciate what are expired doing and be like, OK, even if they are in some way. Oh, competitive because they’re selling a protein related product not necessarily direct competitive because you’re fitting into a different leash. But still, you know, I appreciate what they’re doing. I can take some learnings from it, and I think that’s why it’s important for anyone. Listing is to continuously look what I always do. Look at the US rather the UK Europe etcetera because I think brands, because it’s so much more competitive, are having to work a lot harder to stand out from the shelf where that’s in store or on Amazon from and their branding and everything they’re doing needs to be better and more unique and stand out more. So there’s some three great examples. I think

[0:25:58] Mark Samuel: you know one point it says good topic, right about like competitors and the like. Like I always say this and sometimes I can see, like Do you really? Is that we’re really? Because I kind of get worried about I don’t care about anybody. I don’t care about the guy or gal next to us on the shelf or is in the same buyer meeting or isn’t a different center. No, I don’t care. I really don’t. I would hand them over the playbook, toe high one organics, because the reality is nobody. And I’m saying this for any founder you don’t deep in your core to your gut, to your soul, to your heart, to your mind, everything. If you do not believe this, you cannot stand on the mountain and stream this at the top of your lungs and say, no one believes and has a bigger Y than I do. Nobody. I’m telling you that straight up. No buddy has a bigger y than I do, and nothing can beat that. You can only be yourself. And then, of course, of course, if you run out of cash and all that but the real player list. But again, like that’s why I love competitive, not competitive raising ranchers. Whatever man like this is about having a really passion for what you’re doing and why you’re doing. If you have that and you could put the right team around you, you’ve got a great opportunity. You make two points

[0:27:33] George Reid: for what that would be if you look at what ingest mindset wars with Amazon, like they don’t care about their competitors because they just got the blinkers on. Looking at the customer. Same mindset. With backwards from any product, you can replicate their minds. Our Amazon ago. We’re just gonna focus on people who enjoy Jim snacks or protein based nets or healthy snaps. We’re focusing on that. We don’t care what competitors are doing because we’re just focusing on meeting demands off that potential target customer. I think that’s such a viewpoint. The other point would be for those who are just getting started, and that probably still in product research is understanding what your Why is because if you’re not passionate like you clearly are by one and what you’re doing there when times get shit and they are going to get shit, no matter what stage in the business you are is going to get shitty. If you don’t believe in your product, you don’t even like your product. You’re not passionate about your product in your brand. It’s gonna be 10 15 20 times harder during them low times to keep turning up each day. And then my business go to ship full stop. And it’s much harder to continue moving forwards. That’s a big mindset play from from my perspective.

[0:28:50] Mark Samuel: Yeah, you’re not. You go step further. You’re not making it your enough. You said you said there’s gonna be times. It’s all the time. This is This is You know, I say you gotta be kind of a psychopath to do this. You get punched in the face every day, maybe a day or two. You there’s a but, you know, But within all that. And I often talk about this, too, because of all about positivity, right? I’m all about the good fives and everything else but I’m also very transparent, you know, I keep it very riel. Is that you gotta within all that you’re finding all those small winds. I talk about small wins all the time. Each day you find these little nuggets that you achieved or your team achiever you achieved with your team and collectively. And you find him and you drop him in the bucket because you need those small winds that is 100% sure Because as we started with this and where was predicated from was you need the big wide and push through the tail. You know, they’re these winds that are gonna come out. You. They come at you every day, every single day. So you know. Yes, Big baby, you need to be. Why? Because it’s it’s ah, it’s gonna help you get through all the minutia.

[0:30:06] George Reid: Yeah, leave David Goggins cause it’s cookie jar when these 100 miles into one of his disgraceful races is a good person to look up. If you’re listening with Goggins because it is cookie jar reaches in, pull something out. And that means that you mentioned about being punched in the face and I’m gonna pull on that string a little bit more. What do you think? The biggest point she receives so far with the businesses be

[0:30:31] Mark Samuel: I think it has to always do with cash. I mean, just again, this is an expensive business and you need money. I mean, you you need money and you need more than you think. I’ve written posts about it. You need five times more than you think you needed, and then you probably need five times more than that. And that’s just reality. Now again, on the flip side, I often always say to If you had, you know, a new idea maybe your cookie or your grandma’s recipe. You can smart start. You can start small. You could go to our farmer’s market. You go to your local stores, your five local grocery stores and ask, Can I put these in here and just start small? You don’t need much there, but if you want to scale, if you want to grow and you want it to be, you know, bigger than that you are going to need money. And so some of the biggest Oscars are having access to cash. And that’s, you know, goes for a majority of us out there. So I would say that you know, the physical punching there’s those air more directly about, you know, you think you prepped retailer. You didn’t get you think. You you had a sale locked down. You didn’t get it. You know, your ad, your ad that you just throw up for Facebook you thought was gonna be a killer one and you’re gonna be didn’t work. Those are the things that you’re gonna come across.

[0:31:54] George Reid: Yeah, that I think that’s so true that the mind self you can start small at my very first podcast was with a guy I worked with Amazon. He started with ВЈ900 and he’s never party of his own money into it since then. And it’s just a bumbled and grown and grown and grown and grown, and that’s great. But you’re right. If you want that scale, you need to, and that’s why it’s tricky. Like people. I’m gonna quit my job and do it. We are all the jobs. Kind of a good thing because it’s going to give you that cash and you may want a drip feed quite a lot that into the business, So it’s an interesting point, pivoting completely. Then I’m looking at influences, which I think they’re a big component off. How you can get a lot of organic and free traffic or very cheap traffic. What impact do you think influences can have on CPG startups on? And also how early do you think you should start to look toe work with him? If it all goes,

[0:32:51] Mark Samuel: I think they’re. I think they’re required in part of your business strategy. Overall business strategy. I’m lucky I had come from Ah, couple of the brands. I had found it in the health and fitness space. But you know more on the more what I call the meal manager. Inside, I created travel bags and the like, and so the majority of our consumers there were health related were fitness related, so that’s big for social rights. So we were. We were heavy into the into the influence or business when you when I came into this Our consumer as much as it’s a health product, right, it’s better for you is we can see where the Dem you know demographics may may lie where, yes, of course, there gonna be health and fitness related consumers. But there’s also moms and dads. You know, I’m a parent, um, you know, moving, you know, all the way down to actual kids, right? I give them to my kids in the lunch on and then going back up the scale. You know, those that are a little bit older who need a little more protein in their diets, but they wanted to taste good. So when you talk influences like, well, who who are we supposed to get? And how do we do that across the board? And that’s where touching on your early How did we get going? Or should be an early stage. You gotta look out low hanging, figure out as quickly as possible. Who’s your Who is your consumer? The lowest hanging consumer? And then go grab those influences that are going to draft Lee Affect that, and you can start small 5 10 15 of those people and make sure you’re keeping it under wraps. You don’t need to pay or you know, somebody $1000 or whatever. Maybe you’ve got to get all your relationships in line and make it just that a relationship rather than one where constantly about payments and and sort of other sorts.

[0:34:44] George Reid: Yeah, I know. Being a warm way kind of thing. You want them to be invested in the brand. I think that’s why we did a good billion episode with Andrew Shields to the Danny talked about micro influences and getting a large number of them on. There’s another I think it was. I saw it linked to New the day. Should message like 2000 micro influences on DSO, much of that traffic came free and hundreds came back on. That just catapulted her business. And then she built those relationships. What relationships? How have you structured those relationships differently? If it’s nice, straight up, we’ll give you 100 bucks for a post because you’ve got ACSI. How you doing it? Slightly differently.

[0:35:24] Mark Samuel: We don’t pay for any posts, and I’m a advocate of that. I get the other side, depending on your financial position on, you know, going all the way up the ladder, right? But we arm or in line with the micro influencers. You know, we’ve probably got 500 what I call partners with the brand and they get snacks. That’s when they get. But we start with the stuff that you’re actually touching on, which is it’s not just the relationship. They’ve got to be totally sold into what we’re doing and the product that we’re offering. If they don’t enjoy the product the same way that are buying consumers do right then they shouldn’t be on our team. And so that’s one key piece to it. The second is it’s a relationship treated like that. They are. They’ll get emails from me. Random ones. You know, I just one where I’m asking them. How you doing? I don’t need this to be always so formal. Like I need you to do this. And you’re gonna do that, right? Got What are we talking about, man? Talking about snacks like, let’s get real here. We want to hook you up. If you think they’re amazing, you don’t tell people about him. If not, I don’t care, right? Like I think if your mind steps like that, you know it again. I’m kind of cut differently. So you don’t need a like you say the way I’m saying, I like you get what I mean, if it’s if it’s that sort of mantra I think you’re gonna be able to create a lot of really cool, genuine relationships.

[0:37:01] George Reid: Yeah, I think that said so true. And like you said, if it’s someone directly messaging you 56234 months, whatever happens to bay into your relationship. Hey, how’s it going till you post recently about the holiday went on. But how is that just touch base? Nothing about. Hey, you. Can you put a post up at the moment? Hey, we sent you that three weeks ago and you publish it. Please. It’s very informal on, but I think what’s probably gonna happen over time is your your credit card. Deeper bonds with those people. So let’s say you do get a couple of winners off those 500 who end up rocketing. They’re more likely to remember you as being the nice guy rather than they are sold who was just passed from them on a regular basis. So I think I think that’s such a big point. And particularly those who are limited by cash a little bit a swell Um yes, my preference is a big play s Oh, my. My final question on IR sister. Everyone, we haven’t really dealt too much. And Amazon? We’ve been quite generic today, but I want to bring it back to one question I enjoy. Which is what do you think? The biggest threat to an Amazon businesses on Amazon brand is like yourself right now.

[0:38:17] Mark Samuel: Say it again.

[0:38:19] George Reid: What do you think? The biggest threat to an Amazon brand is right now

[0:38:24] Mark Samuel: to an Amazon brand of

[0:38:26] George Reid: brand selling on Amazon. I should probably restructure that.

[0:38:29] Mark Samuel: What do I think is the biggest threat to a brand selling on Amazon right now? Uh, probably ale is on itself, you know? I mean, that’s the only you know, we talk about this guy who’s created this behemoth with that, which at this point, is just too big, right? It’s just too big. I mean, but I don’t know where this is gonna be said or her to listen to it. All the other stuff. So I’m gonna I’m not gonna, you know, rock out. Oh, but that is reality, right? Amazon, and makes a lot of their own fox, right? And they have the ability to push it anywhere, and they’re the ones who own all the information. Right? So that’s the biggest threat. But if you’re going into anything worried like that, anything, forget that we’re now time about, then you’re already losing, right? Uh, we’re all in on it, you know, Amazon And we believe in it because of what they’ve been able to do and what they’re showing we can do with our brand. But just like anything with or without Amazon, somebody can come along and knock you all who’s bigger, better and all the other good things. Right? But if you’re worried about that, you’re not in the right space. You’re you know, you’re just you know you’re not. You’re not cut to do something like this. That’s that’s how I look at it.

[0:39:54] George Reid: Yeah, I think that mindsets very valid. There’s lots of people sweating that, but I only think you should be really sweating about it. If you’re a monstrous player on Amazon, decide to come into your market. Let’s say you do. Coffee capture was an Amazon have come out with their lights supreme at whatever is then you’re probably going to start sweating because you like we’re millions a year on Amazon, and they’re now brought their own. But for 99% of people. I wouldn’t be too stressed about what if What if? What if? Because you could You could play what if still kind of lungs it right out of there like it z fruitless thought process. And you’re never gonna be able to move forwards because you just stop yourself. Every turtle

[0:40:39] Mark Samuel: is why you are need to be focused on building an actual brand, right? It’s it’s the most. It’s the key ingredient to whether or not you’re gonna make it to whether or not a consumer actually cares about your brand and what and how it makes them feel when they see it. When they touch it when they eat it, that is the most important thing. It won’t matter if they come out with an Amazon puff right. It wouldn’t matter because they know the story is different. They know it’s just an Amazon product. They don’t know. What is that mean? Is there feeling behind that? Or is I’m buying I one or Garance because that guy Mark is so passionate about this thing, right? That’s what they remind, you know, And that’s and that’s important, man. People got to stay focused on that build a brand. You’re building a brand.

[0:41:41] George Reid: I think it’s this building, the motors, the way I describe it. And then it’s invoking an emotion, every touch point matter what way you’re connected with that customer through first taste through the packaging. Three online presence through your marketing your instagram Are you invoking an emotion? If you know, you really start gonna start looking in which Mark, thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate rattling out. We’ve chomped through quite a few questions that I hope you enjoyed it as well.

[0:42:09] Mark Samuel: I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

[0:42:11] George Reid: All right, by Hey, guys, just a quick one. If you are enjoying a podcast on either have some actual next steps or new ideas, I’d really appreciate if you could one subscribe to the show and leave us review. These are really, really important to us. As you probably know, being in the Amazon world on two. If you’re looking for additional support with your brand, head over to the website, it’s always day one dot co dot UK. We’ve got links to other resource is as often our guys speak soon

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