Brand Slam Episode 2 – The Life Cycle of Better-For-You Brands

Learn the category audit techniques these leading brands have leveraged to average triple-digit growth.

In this episode of Brand Slam we will cover how better-for-you brands can move from First and Only to Beloved and Dominant.

As covered in David’s book, Beloved and Dominant Brands, the brand ecosystem allows you to develop a realistic, unbiased assessment of your current state and your market opportunities based upon competition, your company culture, and your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. This analysis combined with a deep understanding of the changing nature of consumer preferences provides the platform on which brand strategy is built.

Watch as we host a Q&A with David Lemley, focused on solving a brand’s pain points across the brand ecosystem. Pain points that we have been hearing from the market this year. The tools and tips we will offer will give you insights on the areas of your brand that you can impact immediately, and how to plan for the future.

Brand Slam was created by Retail Voodoo to help CPG entrepreneurs in food, beverage and wellness reduce their struggle with brand growth in the face of Covid-19. Using the auditing process models created by Retail Voodoo to develop Brand Ecosystems, (which we’ve used for some of the world’s most beloved brand and feature in the book Beloved and Dominant Brands,) we uncover key areas that we have seen brand’s struggle at each touchpoint and how to overcome.

Watch more? Check out our inaugural episode with Dan Smith of Recipe 33 or sign up for our next episode with Red Plate Foods on October 22, 2020.

Want to talk with our team about your brand? Drop us a line, let’s talk!


Kat Simpson: Welcome to Brand Slam whether this is your first time attending or your second time attending. We are so excited to have everyone here today for this foundational episode of Brand Slam. And what that means is that we don’t have a guest today, we will not be auditing any specific brand, but instead we are going to be giving some more generic solutions for better-for-you brands on pain points that we’ve seen from a lot of brands in this space over the last 30 plus years.

Kat Simpson: So let’s dive on in. We’re going to have a brief overview of the process that we’re going to walk you through and then talk about the life cycle of better-for-you brands and then we’re going to go into a Q&A where I will be asking David questions that we’ve heard from various CMO, CEOs, marketing managers, founder/owner/entrepreneurs and he’ll answer them from the perspective of the brand ecosystem. And then at the end, we will have a q&a with everyone. Feel free to put your questions in that Q&A a part of zoom throughout the webinar and we’ll get to them at the end.

Kat Simpson: Take it away, David.

David Lemley: Great, thank you. Kat, it’s gonna be a fun day. We have found like the top 10 pain points I want to talk about them. Again, the reason that we’re doing Brand Slam is it has come out of the COVID-19 problem there’s often opportunity and what we decided as an agency is that we wanted to help the entrepreneurial brands who might be struggling to adapt their marketing systems and brand strategies during covet to help them by taking something that we do with every client, bringing the first piece and giving them sort of at home surgery kid, if you will. You can do this yourself. If you walk through this process, you’ll have all the tools you need in order to be able to do an audit of your brand.

David Lemley: What’s on the screen right now is just a little bit about who we are and a little bit of our expertise. We play in the better-for-you world. That’s all we do is food and beverage, health and wellness in the better-for-you space, and we’ve been doing that for a long, long, long time, and it has helped many brands who started in garages go out to become household names.

David Lemley: So let’s jump.

David Lemley: Here, a little bit more about what we do, let’s get right to the life cycle of a better-for-you brand. This is a really the mission.

David Lemley: This is a part that helps you understand how we came to what we do. So we’re going to start by explaining the life cycle of a better-for-you brand first. Typically what happens is you come up with an idea. You’re the first and only. You typically come up with it a founder invents something because they are inspired by a lifestyle or maybe they have a dietary need or maybe they have a health issue and as a vision. This person hacks the recipe and mixing. Maybe it takes advantage of a manufacturing capability, they have. Maybe it takes advantage of a really hot functional ingredient like CBD or something like keto or millet. Then what happens as you develop a fan base, a small tribe, your brand catches on, your fueled by social media, you get some early adopters. You might even get some traction regionally or through DTC and the next thing that happens is you end up in a pool of many one of many. And it’s because any good idea that you possibly have, any good idea that I can possibly come up with can be copied. So 85% of business owners today recognize that the only defensible position from being forced to compete on price is brand.

David Lemley: So you’ve heard me say this before. Many of you that ingredients don’t matter, even though they mean everything. But what really happens in this space is once you prove you have an idea, everyone, including those who helped you like Amazon or a retailer are going to knock you off. So if you don’t have a story you will be on the bottom shelf, whether that’s page 2040 Amazon war on the bottom shelf of crush reality.

David Lemley: So there’s a way back. And we call it getting to beloved and dominant by intention and it is really all about the competitive audit and in our world it is really all about getting a realistic unbiased assessment of your brand’s current state. And the way we do it at Retail Voodoo (Kat, I know we’ve heard this many, many times) that it’s kind of a misnomer to call it a competitive audit is because we’re not really looking outward so much is in at the soul of your brand. So it’s about your brand Kat, how do we define a brand?

Kat Simpson: A brand is what you do is your purpose and is what you give to the world. So it’s also how you make people feel it’s not the logo.

David Lemley: Right, so the way we’ve written about it in the book says a brand is a promise and the way in which you decide to keep that promise and then me as a user that feeling. I have this feeling down in my body. When I think or see or hear your name. That is what brand is all about. Jeff Bezos is credited for saying best which is a brand is what they say about you when you’re not in the room.

David Lemley: So here’s what we have done over the course of time is developed a brand ecosystem. It looks a lot like a pyramid. If you see on slide 12 we’ll just kind of look there for just a minute and talk through that the baseline of customer education leading up to public relations advertising in store your website you’re directing your social and these are the channels that everybody plays with the seven musts of marketing. It’s been common knowledge since the 80s that some version of this is what you need to be playing with. So different things become really important. For example, you see we have social as the crowning jewel on top of this. But we have over the course of doing this, several hundred times with different brands determine that the widest base is the most important. And so this goes in the opposite direction of what many people learn in school or what conventional marketing teaches. So we start with customer education and ladder up this way. So we’re going to show you how to do that today and talk through pain points at each specific one. Cool?

David Lemley: So if we start with the customer education as the foundation of it, it really comes down to Here’s the purpose behind customer education when we talk about it. We’re not saying my net carbs 10G protein thing is better than their net card 10G thing. It’s really about belief. And giving me something that I can not only use your product with efficacy but belong to it belongs to what you’re standing for and it needs to be distinguished. So does it work within your system, or does it work with other bits? How does it fit into my life so I can use it as a badge and then when you do customer education really well? You move me from user student to power user to advocate to teacher about your brand. And that is really kind of a whole thing in a nutshell. So if you can only remember one thing today, I think that would be it.

Kat Simpson: All right, David. So I’ve got a question. I’m putting on a different hat right now. And imagine that I’m a chief marketing officer, you’ve met many of them. Kat Simpson: And the pain point that I am struggling with is that my sales team is leading with features and benefits, but being someone in marketing, I know there’s more to the story than that, that I want to tell how we, kind of, have those two sides of our brand and talk about it.

David Lemley: Well, I think that’s a good question. I think it comes down to get all Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why”. You see that thing on the screen. Why you make it as is more important than what you make or how you make it. We had a really great conversation about this. So we’ve talked to many, many founders about what they make. So let’s say it’s date based allergen free yada yada yada. And you can add 57 different clean ingredients to that. And that’s what you make. And let’s say you control the factory. So you because you want to have ingredient integrity. You want to be able to make sure that you’re stuffing everyone in your tree nuts or whatever it is. Those two can ladder up into why you make it. But the real why you make it has to be an emotional story to connect to my life and needs states so that I can feel good. Using your brand as a building block in my life so that has everything to do with making your features and benefits part of a meaningful story. That make sense?

Kat Simpson: Yeah, that’s great. All right, now I want to put on another hat. This time, I’m a tenured CEO. I’ve been at this for a while and my brand for a long time has had this amazing product attribute, but now everyone in my space has co-opted it and it’s become super competitive. So what can I do?

David Lemley: Well usually how you end up in a problem space here is that you have fallen to features and benefits. So if you’re leading with features and benefits, the way to get beyond that is to focus on your values and push them forward. And when we say values, it should be not only should we not kill people with our product that that’s a baseline, we’re talking about values that when they’re really meaningful and you have a competitive advantage it overcomes price resistance. You become the one and only in a category. It’s because your values should inspire and scare the living crap out of anybody that would dare try to compete with you.

David Lemley: So the way to do that is if you have science, you have some sort of dietary need or restriction in your product DNA need to weave it into your story in a way that makes sense to a fifth grader so if we use fifth graders because they’re way smarter than most people because, they’re beyond digital native, they’re savvy researchers, and they speak in plain English, and they have the highest BS meter that I have ever seen. So we use them as test groups all the time. And then lastly, making sure that you fit in my life, not that your brand exists and I’m an attribute in your world, but that your brand is an attribute in my life.

Kat Simpson: That’s pretty great.

David Lemley: Okay, so we’re up the pyramid. Now we’re climbing to public relations and so that I can in the book, we talk about public relations really should be renamed authenticity relations because it’s a different thing. It’s not your grandfather’s straighten your tie, give me an article in Martha Stewart. It’s whole other world going on and it really needs to be driven by story. And as we have in case we can remember the one thing which was why overworked. Here it is. It’s showing up in in tier two. And that humanity needs to sound like real people, real lives that reflect those of your audience.

Kat Simpson: Fair enough. But I still have a question. So I’m a CEO, and I want to know how my PR is working. I’m putting all this money into VR. I’m getting into all the right publications. How do I know that it’s equaling sales?

David Lemley: It’s a very common question and it’s so hard, because it’s the age old question, but today PR can be closed loop, you can actually quantify by using things like wire cutter bloggers and Instagram influencers to determine whether your PR is doing anything other than allowing you and your team to huff your on fumes. It should actually be getting you traction in the form of you are not selling on price, people are wanting to tell your story, instead of you having to push it so hard.

Kat Simpson: Is there any other part to this kind of closed loop like what else could I put out there that might give people what they’re looking for?

David Lemley: Well, so what you have on screen is really interesting. We call this the new value equation and the whole value equation is here’s my money. Is it worth the price? But in the modern world, what I get has to be greater than when I give, which today includes money. But it’s really about time, attention and

I’m going to give you a slot in the building blocks I use to make up my personal identity and you better be worth it as a brand, not as a feature, not as a benefit.

David Lemley: You know, you never hear anybody say oh my gosh, I just love the way that chia catches my teeth, you know, but they will say, I’m going to pull a brand out of the sky but Warrior makes me feel like

I’m strong and powerful and can do it. Oh, by the way, it has chia in it. So I get to be a warrior by default for a buck 99

Kat Simpson: That’s very cheap. I’m in

Kat Simpson: All right, moving right on up the pyramid to advertising.

David Lemley: So advertising is tricky. And it’s changing. So that’s one of the things that we have talked a lot about and actually written a lot about. Our insights section of our website is filled with conversations and articles about this subject because we believe that, especially in an emergent space, you should not be doing advertising. That is our standard boilerplate. But today in COVID you must because your ability to shop on Amazon, or the ability to get people to come to your DTC website or to get credibility with a retailer, you need to have some sort of digital social advertising in play, because all of the major players have come into the space and done it and now people who used to be really awesome who let’s say you have an unusual ingredient like buckwheat comes to mind. Yeah, Pre-COVID you could get on page one of Amazon just by having that funky ingredient. Today I know for a fact that without paid placement, they are 24th. And that’s what’s happened in six or seven months. So that is happening across everything. So when we talk a little bit about what’s on the screen where it says advertising is a velvet rope. So this is something that we still believe is true that a velvet rope should be something where you invite me into your club invite me into your experience beyond features and benefits. And the important thing where we have extended hand is that in quarantine in the pandemic brands that are helping people up are doing better than brands that are exclusionary. We still have X communicates the heathen on this slide, because it’s an important fundamental belief about how we build a brand, it’s just in today’s society with the world the way it is stuff going on yesterday on TV at about 9pm Eastern, this one feels really unpopular, but I still stand by it because if you don’t have the other you are one of many.

Kat Simpson:  So that leads me to my question. And, you know, I’m a founder. That’s the hat I’m wearing right now and hearing you talk about being one of many I’m pretty scare of that my brand is, especially in our advertising. If I flipped through a trade publication for my brand I see a lot of things in the same space. So what can I do to get out of that?

David Lemley: Well, I think there are many things you can do. It says on the screen. You decide. Are you following category conventions or are you defining them? We would always advocate for leaning towards defining but this is an art. Meaning that you have to weigh it out. It’s not hard data. There’s so much at play. What is your traction level? How long have you been in business? What is the competitive set look like? But there’s a balance between these two. If you come out and completely blow away the category great conventions for something like bread. It’s going to be very challenging for you to be shopped intuitively, just as an example, as important. You need to know who your tribe is. Your tribe is really the way I want to describe it. Today your tribe is not necessarily who’s buying your product. Now your tribe is who has a like-minded based on your values, who would belong to you. And again, wears your T shirt. That’s important. And then thinking about your advertising. Are you inviting people in. Are you keeping people out. And both of those are, are, as we just talked about a moment ago are important strategies. So if you could play through these things. My guess is that fierce answers to these questions will unlock new opportunities for your advertising to be breakthrough.

Kat Simpson: And now I’m wondering, you know, how do I then take that advertising and speak to my existing tribe identified it but then make it in such a way that I can get more people in the boat.

David Lemley: Well, I think that that’s a good question. I think that, you know, when you’re going to have a badge or password brand, you need to understand deeply who your existing loyalists are and how you plug into their life by telegraphing that through visuals through keywords, you’re able to attract new people to it because the people who are identifying you as a badge and a passport will help you spread the word, so to speak.

David Lemley: So the other thing that I think is really important here is you have to make sure that if you are doing the extended hand that you are doing it authentically, it can’t be like automobile advertising in COVID. I mean, yes, I mean you can argue they are great, I get zero interest for 17 years on a vehicle that will probably not be here in three but I mean, how it has to meet the people in your tribe or your intended audience where they are living in their life, but doing in a way that is credible and talks about values rather than the value of the transaction.

Kat Simpson: Got it. Okay, that makes sense.

Kat Simpson: Right now moving up into in store.

David Lemley: So to be clear, when we say in store and this includes your DTC store. This includes your Shopify. This includes your email list, this includes retailers and includes 711 etc etc. Yeah, I’m sorry, Google when I used to be a thing, so when we talk about this, we have developed this process we call it that 30, 10, 3 rule of retail packaging and I know Kat’s written about this quite a bit. So, this idea that we have is that when your packaging system or your identity, your brand identity is working well. It should help me identify the category to make sure whether I’m Googling this product, or let’s say I’m looking for, you know, free-from when I do that when your package or your stuff shows up, whether on site or on a website or in Google your look and feel should help into category and say, “I’m in the right place”. And then we say at 10 feet and on Amazon, this is even worse because it has to be even bolder that I should be able to see your brand from 10 feet. At three feet, the story and the features coming to play and it should be so compelling that I give you permission by moving closer to my body or leaning into the screen or whatever it is that I’m doing. That’s kind of the fundamentals of that.

Kat Simpson: Okay, so I am a CMO. And I’m wondering, you know, I want to adhere to the category convention, because that’s really important. You don’t want to look like something wrong. If I’m selling chips, I don’t want to look like candy, because you know that’s what my category, but how do I stand out and stay relevant if you know that category trend is shifting? How do you think I could handle that? Do you have an example?

David Lemley: Yeah, I think the best example who has done a great job of well before we get to the pretzel thing I just want to give a shout out to Bob’s Red Mill. They did not throw the baby out with the bathwater. And I actually believe you also wrote about them being earnest wellness brand for old people and I know, talk to them afterwards they did it on their own, but they were able to keep those conventions that kept them earnest and bring in a contemporary lexicon and a visual identity around themselves without changing. It was a real good Jedi move because they feel contemporary they did not throw the baby out with the bathwater

David Lemley: The next slide is the example is really these pretzels are making me thirsty. Right? Which is that the one on the left “Fit Joy”, which we all love, but this is an example of there’s an article on Bloomberg recently posted all about ‘blanding’ and why it works. Blanding is not branding. Blanding is the conscious decision to try to blend the in. And so when everybody does that it creates room for something like Dot’s home style pretzels kick major butt and basically on a category because everyone else is trying to look like Fit Joy. Or actually Fit Joy is trying to look like 100 other brands as well. If there’s  a look for pretzels, if you will. And it looks like this. So, by making the conscious decision to not be pretentious and fussy and $8 a bag, Dots is able to take control of a category.

Kat Simpson: Yeah, with the full flood of pretzels like that. What better way to define the category, you know,

David Lemley: Yeah, it’s unapologetically Snyder’s Lance

Kat Simpson: Yeah, exactly. Oh, old style, if you will.

Kat Simpson: Alright, so I’ve got another question. I’m putting my founder hat on this time and thinking about the age we’re currently living in where everyone is buying everything on Amazon. If you’re not killing it on Amazon, you know you’re not killing it. Period. So how can I communicate well on this Amazon shelf, which is so different than the retail shelf?

David Lemley: Well, so there’s two things. There’s, thinking about it from this quadrant that we put out, which is on Amazon, you need to avoid similar in blanding strategies which sometimes works in the blanding world blanding is on its way out. I think COVID will kill it. Because if I can’t tell the difference between this brand better than the other brand or even what the product is. Like if my granola looks like my crackers looks like my pretzels looks like my sleep aid. So I think that that is happening, but as importantly, the question of, how can I communicate on an Amazon shelf? If we go back to the notion of 30,10,3. What we have discovered by working in real time with brands on this problem is that everything needs to be simpler and you need to use that sidebar and that landing page because on Amazon. The goal is to catch my attention. And as we referenced advertising earlier, the only way to do that unless you’re the pioneer is to buy your way into showing up on page one. Okay cuz everything the on page one. You don’t matter. Sorry.

Kat Simpson: No pressure

David Lemley: I don’t mean to be hurtful. Trying to help here.

Kat Simpson: Yeah, no, it’s great.

Kat Simpson: All right, moving right along to website. Okay.

David Lemley: So this one is always gnarly and complicated to talk about, but your website. When flying in the face of don’t get in the way of the shopping experience. Don’t get in the way of helping them buy and what I mean by that is, while we’re huge fans of the Shopify experience if you want to buy pretzels in one click, I want to make sure you can buy pretzels in one click. But without a story that ladders into all of the things that we’ve used to get to this point and without your website, being the center of your universe that’s important for your story, I’m never going to get here. You’re going to remain a commodity out there in space for me. So sad. Did I explain it well enough?

Kat Simpson: I think so, but where I struggle with, especially you know if I’m thinking from a marketing manager perspective is in this digital shopping universe thinking about Amazon yet again. While that’s not my website Amazon is where most people are buying it. And there’s not a lot of room for brand story. So, you know, what can I do to get people to my website and kind of make it this place where they could potentially spend more money on my brand specifically.

David Lemley: Well, I would always say, Hey, hold on there. And again, this is a marketing manager pain points. So it’s all about traction Traction traction. Because there’s a lot of pressure there and a lot of times a marketing manager is not afforded the ability to have the long-term game and play. But I think that the pain point of wanting to tell your story is and not some braggadocious or do it quickly in a universe where it doesn’t belong. I think that focusing on your website, having that story is important. And again, a really great example is our friends at REI. They have mastered the art of storytelling and doing it with brand values and inviting humans in. So by now when they talk about “Fall is Coming” camping in the back yard, I say, great, I’ll pay $800 for that jacket in and that blanket cuz they are my enabler to being part of outdoor lifestyle, which balances my modern metropolitan life well for me. So since I don’t do that to the level that I used to this is a great way and then again talking about how they’ve mastered it.

David Lemley: In the book we interviewed Ben Steel, who’s the chief creative officer over there and he talked about making sure you have your story in big pieces and little pieces. So, depending upon how someone comes into your brand story, whether they come directly to your website, they’re able to say, well, if you came in and you were trying to shop for x, we don’t want to get in the way of that. However, if you came in, looking for this. We’re going to let you be part of our club around outdoor stewardship and about the power to heal the human spirit outdoors has and then if you want to buy shoes, we will make those available. So they they’ve mastered it. And I think that all brands, whether you have three products or 1000 products. would do well to study what they have done. Yeah, it’s basically letting the customer journey revolve around them not around. You don’t push stuff at them. Let them have a customer journey, rather than a transaction.

Kat Simpson: That makes good sense.

Kat Simpson: All right, now moving right on up to direct. Almost done. Two more pieces of this puzzle.

David Lemley: So when we talk about direct we’re talking about every aspect of it here and even in COVID this has actually been amplified. This idea that its function should be a reassurance tool. It should when I see it, feel it here, and even before I experience or eat the product, taste the product, drink the product, brag about the product, it should reassure me that I belong to the tribe and that I’ve made the right decision and that my value equation remains intact. It should show that what I am getting is greater than one I gave

David Lemley: So how do you do that you create an opportunity for your brand to be cuddled by the end user, the consumer, the tribal group? You have a communication style to make some money to just sit down and hang out with it. And then when you’ve done that, well, what you have permission to do is start curating bits and pieces of their lifestyle.

Kat Simpson: All right.

David Lemley: That makes sense?

Kat Simpson: I think so. And I think what I’m questioning is, I’m putting on my newbie founder hat on.  I’m kind of new in the game here, founder of a small darling brand and I think I’ve done everything that you just suggested. I made this awesome DTC kit. It’s got stickers. It’s got samples. It’s got the whole kit and caboodle but it’s not converting. So what can I do?

David Lemley: Well, again, I come from a place of love. My sense is that you’re probably, probably, if you’re doing a such a kick butt thing with all of your design systems, maybe your product is not as strong or as distinct as you think. That is usually nearly to the 95th percentile of the problem.

David Lemley: So, but when we talk about it from, how do you solve that we have to get the product rate because product has this magic peace within the formula of becoming a badge double brand. And so you have to have product that first off is amazing, and it fits into a lifestyle that the tribe aspires to be a part of. So think of it like this. Let’s say you make amazing nuts. Let’s just say. And they are premium delicious and everything is. So the lifestyle. If you’re clear on what the lifestyle is and it can be an amazing premium product. So just so you guys know where I’m going, because I’m going to pick a little bit on Sahale and talk about how it was before we worked with them. So they had built a brand that was equal parts climb the mountain, eat a snack at the top of the mountain to celebrate your victory and equal parts. Oh – Muffy, what do you think of this delicious thing I’d have a crystal dish at a cocktail party? And you can see just by my definition and explaining that. And of course, they start eating out perfect. They’re awesome. It’s amazing. It’s a billion-dollar brand so now we can talk about it. But those are two pieces of lifestyle that do not share the same aspiration. So the tribes are distinct and different and people who are really hardcore about having a delicious snack on a mountain, go to a cocktail party for different reasons than Muffy and crystal dish.

Kat Simpson: Right. So then how do we tackle this top part of pyramid? Our good friend, social media.

David Lemley: A good friend, social media. So what we know is when you get social media when you have all the other pieces in place. Social media is a magical elixir when you don’t. It’s a crapshoot.

David Lemley: So this is just, I’m sure there are many, many memes that look a lot like this, but here’s how we think about the different platforms and social media.

David Lemley: LinkedIn is all about the business side that’s your thing. So you shouldn’t be pushing product features out there. Facebook is really the heart. Instagram is where it’s at for marketers because it’s all about soul and image and sex appeal and then Twitter is where you say mean things. If you’re into that thing.

Kat Simpson: Okay, so I am a chief marketing officer and this amazing digital age or everything’s done right on social media, but I’m confused because I got 150,000 likes and no conversions. What the heck is going on?

David Lemley: That is a really excruciating pain point. My standard belief is that likes don’t equal buys, they don’t equal anything. Likes and $2 means you cannot get vanilla in your latte at Starbucks. You’re still short There’s no action there. The tagline we have on screen as a tag won’t buy my bag. And a like wont buy my bike. A like means about nothing unless they are sharing you. So I think that thinking about how you’re thinking about your social media. If you’re doing all the other things you become something that people are wanting to brag about. I’ve heard many, many times I won’t even put that soap in my vanity in my guest bathroom unless I’ve seen it on my friends, Instagram, because it’s all about that. Again, it’s a building block and a social piece of my identity. So that is really important. You have to have a lifestyle. It’s beyond product, even if that lifestyle is based on a dietary restriction or something like that. It’s got aspire to be more than that as a tribe, I want to belong to us or aspire to a lifestyle join the ideal set of who they get to be when they’re with you.

David Lemley: And so I think that the best way to get there is to really think back to the base of the pyramid decide what kind of an educator, you’re going to be because if you don’t pick an education platform that is powerful and meaningful in order to give you permission to get beyond features and benefits and move to value systems. Social media is going to be painful and guesswork. And I go back to Blanding. Like right now if you go on Instagram, there’s a flat background and like a pale pink thing and maybe some blue cool shadow or overhead shot on some reclaimed wood.

Kat Simpson: You know I’m buying it.

David Lemley: I know Kat is buying it, but by 2021 you won’t be.

Kat Simpson: Yep, exactly.

David Lemley: Right, so that’s just like if you’re trying to play into the trend, but there’s no there there, you are going to end up competing on price. Yeah.

Kat Simpson: And I could say from firsthand experience, I feel as though if brands. Give me a piece of my life that I thought was missing. I might get the product and say, Wait, why did I buy this again. What am I going to use this for but they really made me feel like a part of an inclusive tribe that really spoke to me in a way where their story connected and it wasn’t about what the product was. It was about the brand and who I was when I saw that sitting on my shelf or my counter.

David Lemley: Right, I know you. And I’ve even spoken that sometimes it’s almost like a we wish we didn’t have to eat the product because the product can’t live up to the amazing storytelling and value system, which is that a hint to brand teams out there to optimize and really work to be so much better than everyone else in the category as a goal so that when you do get me to fall in love that I’m willing to go to therapy with you have your product to give you a chance to make it better.

Kat Simpson: Yeah, that’s important.

Kat Simpson: Alright so that is what we have today from a foundational learning perspective, and we would love to take this time to field any questions that you guys have if you want to put them in the Q&A portal of the zoom. We are happy to answer any questions about what you just learned.

Kat Simpson: Got about five minutes here to answer anything that comes in.

Kat Simpson: We’ve only got a couple more minutes. But, you know, some questions that we’ve seen before were people wanting specific examples and anything like that. If you do have any lingering questions once again, David’s book, Beloved, and Dominant Brands really gives a lot of great detailed examples of each part of this pyramid and who’s doing it right. And sometimes, who’s doing it not right.

David Lemley: Well said. Alright, well let’s thank everyone for their time and we will see you on the next episode and it’s in that one month, and we will be back to our regularly scheduled program. We have seven entrepreneurs lined up this season. And there’s an open call for Season Two, which will be starting in February, so check that on the website.

Kat Simpson: Thank you, everyone. And look out for an email with the recording of this if you want to go back and bookmark anything we talked about and we look forward to seeing you next month. Bye.

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Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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