Meeting your customer's needs is critical to every brand's success. LOHAS consumers are the most valuable customers – they don’t settle, they have high standards, they choose authentic quality over price, they support the environment, farmers, communities.

Welcome! If you've been reading or listening to any of my content including this podcast, you hear me talk about LOHAS, the importance and relevance of this consumer. They are the one at the center driving all of the sustainable sales across every category. They're like the ripple in the pond and by paying attention to that ripple before it becomes a tsunami and ends up on a big box retailer shelf, that's where the opportunity is for you to grow sales. This is your unique opportunity to differentiate yourself and stand out on the crowded shelf. This is your chance to help educate the retailer on why your customers matter to them and why they help you drive sales within their store. Let’s face it, retail is pay to play.  Most small brands just don’t have the velocity or deep pockets to really justify being able to compete head-to-head and toe-to-toe with the big guys when you focus solely on using traditional methodologies.  Here’s your opportunity because your customers are far more valuable to the retailer than any of the other big brands that are on their shelves. This is your unique opportunity to help your retailer differentiate themselves within their market. This is where it's important to bake that story strategy into your selling story. This is why I released the Turnkey Sales Story Strategy course. This is at the heart of it. This is how you craft a compelling story to help the retailer compete more effectively by catering to that unique consumer that you attract. Remember that this show is about you and it’s for you. My mission and the mission of this show is to help make our healthier way of life more accessible by getting your products onto more retailers shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. What better way to do this than to be able to share insider secrets with you, from the expert about LOHAS. The person who not only walks the walk but actually helps educate others about the importance of the LOHAS consumer. Here’s today’s special guest, Ted Ning formally of LOHAS and now with Bodhi Tree and NatchCom.

Here's Ted Ning formally of LOHAS and now with Bodhi Tree and NatchCom.

Download the show notes below

Click here to learn more about Bodhi Tree

Click here to learn more about NatchCom

BRAND SECRETS AND STRATEGIES

PODCAST #101

Hello and thank you for joining us today. This is the Brand Secrets and Strategies Podcast #101

Welcome to the Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast where the focus is on empowering brands and raising the bar.

I’m your host Dan Lohman. This weekly show is dedicated to getting your brand on the shelf and keeping it there.

Get ready to learn actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand and save you valuable time and money.

LETS ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES AND GET STARTED!

Dan: Welcome! If you've been reading or listening to any of my content including this podcast, you hear me talk about LOHAS, the importance and relevance of this consumer. They are the one at the center driving all of the sustainable sales across every category. They're like the ripple in the pond and by paying attention to that ripple before it becomes a tsunami and ends up on a big box retailer shelf, that's where the opportunity is for you to grow sales. This is your unique opportunity to differentiate yourself and stand out on the crowded shelf. This is your chance to help educate the retailer on why your customers matter to them and why they help you drive sales within their store. Let’s face it, retail is pay to play. Most small brands just don’t have the velocity or deep pockets to really justify being able to compete head-to-head and toe-to-toe with the big guys when you focus solely on using traditional methodologies. Here’s your opportunity because your customers are far more valuable to the retailer than any of the other big brands that are on their shelves. This is your unique opportunity to help your retailer differentiate themselves within their market. This is where it's important to bake that story strategy into your selling story. This is why I released the Turnkey Sales Story Strategy course. This is at the heart of it. This is how you craft a compelling story to help the retailer compete more effectively by catering to that unique consumer that you attract. Remember that this show is about you and it’s for you. My mission and the mission of this show is to help make our healthier way of life more accessible by getting your products onto more retailers shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. What better way to do this than to be able to share insider secrets with you, from the expert about LOHAS. The person who not only walks the walk but actually helps educate others about the importance of the LOHAS consumer. Here’s today’s special guest, Ted Ning formally of LOHAS and now with Bodhi Tree and NatchCom.

Ted, thank you for coming on today. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your journey to LOHAS and to Bodhi Tree.

Ted: Sure, Dan. But first I want to thank you for having me on the podcast. It's an honor and I'm excited about this. With LOHAS, it was really kind of a ... It was not a design. It was more maybe divine design. I was living overseas and came back and was looking for work. Tried all kinds of things. Joined a dot com, that turned into a dot bomb. I was selling insurance even and was really at a low point in my life and looked for an ad. It was when newspapers were still around and found an ad in the paper for a position to produce an event. That started my journey into LOHAS. I started as an ad man and then wound up running it and owning and operating all the whole system of LOHAS, a bunch of magazines, events, different kinds of workshops and such. It was quite interesting.

And then from that somebody had participated in LOHAS that is the new owner of Bodhi Tree, which is the oldest spiritual bookstore in Los Angeles, which was established in 1970. The old owners had it sold to the new owner who was interested in personal development and spiritual space and contacted me and said "Hey, what are you doing?". I thought it was creative exciting opportunity, so here I am at Bodhi Tree.

Dan: Fantastic. I appreciate you sharing that. I see a connection between LOHAS and between Bodhi Tree in terms of the type of consumer. And so I'd like to talk about that a lot more, and here's why, Ted. And I know that you heard me speak at NatchCom about this. The mainstream world tends to commoditize a natural shopper and natural products. What I think is unique and what's really different about what makes natural, natural is understanding that ideal natural shopper that is essentially a LOHAS consumer. And that LOHAS consumer is tied to things that are more spiritual, the earth and things beyond the end of their nose. Can you talk about what LOHAS is? What it means? And how would you define it, and then more importantly, why does this matter?

Ted: Sure. Absolutely. The LOHAS consumer, or the LOHAS acronym of Lifestyles and Health and Sustainability was ... It identifies, not necessarily a demographic, but more a psychographic. It's the way people think. There is certain type of individual out there that really kind of questions everything and may feel initially kind of like the odd person as they grow up. They tend to be more sensitive. They tend to ... Where are things coming from? How are they integrating with my experience whether it's food, whether it's books, whether it's different types of furniture, different types of well being initiatives, and then where is it going? Once I'm done with it, where does it go. Is there an away, when everyone says throw it away? There really isn't. And they're aware of that. And when they question this, they investigate so they turn the boxes. They want to know what the ingredients are. They want to know about the seals that are on the label. They're familiar with those seals.

They are people who feel like they're more global citizens versus state citizens. There's much more empathy. There's much more of an awareness within these individuals. And in looking at the spectrum of consumers out there, these types of people because they pursue their curiosities and challenge things, they tend to be very educated. They tend to also because of their education and their social positions, they tend to be relatively affluent. They also trend to be female. And these are the decision makers of their family. They're the ones who make the choices for their kids, what they're going to have for dinner, where they're going on vacation.

These are the types of things, lifestyle choices, are things that are very very important. They pass this information on to their friends once they find something that they really like. They're the ones who are the biggest grand ambassadors and champions for the things that they discover and they want to share that. The challenge is that they're also ... If they discover things that are a little wonky, they're going to tell everybody about that as well. So you really need to be clear and transparent and honest with these types of individuals. It's about 16 to 19 percent of the U.S. population is considered to be LOHAS on average every year.

Dan: That is so helpful. Thank you so much. And here's why this matters and why I focus so much on this. We've talked a lot of times ... And by the way, thank you for allowing me to participate and write a couple of articles for you when you're doing LOHAS. It was an honor. And it's such an honor to get to know you and be involved in some of these different movements. The reason that this is so important at least to me is because consumers, these consumers look down the four corners of their package. These consumers will not settle.

So when you hear all the experts in the industry say price is the only driver shelf, I keep saying "No. That's not true," because of specifically this consumer base. And in addition to the fact that we've got luxury and decadent items that are growing in sales dramatically, but when you focus on this unique demographic, or psychographic, thank you for saying that. When you focus on this unique psychographic, you've got a consumer that won't settle. A consumer that demands super high standards. They understand that if you are what you eat matters, meaning transparency, being able to trace that ingredient all the way back to its origin. And what I find, and I kind of joked about this when I was speaking at NatchCom, is that the mainstream view of a LOHAS consumer is someone who eats a couple of salads and goes for a walk. But yet, in our world it's dramatically different. There are folks on their carbon footprint. Could you share some information, some antidotes, some stories about some of the challenges that you've had regarding how do you educate the broader community that doesn't fit within that definition?

Ted: I think that it's important to step back a little bit and break out the larger community in terms of different types of categories first. So you're kind of understanding who actually is this mainstream and such. So the first group that if you look at this kind of in a ... If it was a tip of a spear, that's the LOHAS consumer. They're the early adopters. They're the ones who are going to test and sample, because they're always pushing for what's new. So not only are they doing this in foods, but they tend to also do this in technology, in styles and such. There's a lot of people who are the creative class is also been identified as this as well. So that's the 13 to 19 percent.

The next group of people are called naturalites. Naturalites are people who have much more of a connection to the health as it relates to food and usually are coming at this, because they may be a new parent. They may be ... Maybe they have an allergy or illness, and they're wanting alternatives as to what's conventional in relationship to their diet or well being. Which then kind of morphs them into a deeper discovery. They potentially become evolved into a LOHAS individual. By the way, this is all kind of breakdowns from the National Marketing Institutes that does consumer studies and market segmentation.

The next group after them is called conventionals. They're about 20, 25 percent of the population. And they are people who look at things specifically on price. They may want to buy, for example, a dish washer or a refrigerator, an appliance and they look at price and energy efficiency. They may want to buy a Prius or an EV to save on gas costs versus the value of an environmental impact. And so it's a very logical decision on those components.

And then the last group, which is about 15 to 12 percent, they're people who are just ... They just don't care. They're just totally off the grid. They just kind of do what they think is best or what ... They just don't care about any of this stuff. So that's basically the breakdown.

As you go down the spear and handle, you kind of goes, down that segment path. So when it comes to people talking about price versus price value versus deeper value, you have different opinions on that. And there's more and more people are looking for value and quality versus price that are particularly in LOHAS.

Now LOHAS wants things, they want things and they demand things that are on par with conventional, but they want to understand. They want to know that the company has gone through the checkpoints, has checked all the boxes, as it relates to where it's come from, transparent supply chain, what's the packaging, what's the ingredients, looking at all the various elements in terms of organic options. Then the recycling components, what is the follow through with that. Branding, all those things, all the stories ... They're connected to the stories behind the brands versus the price.

Now if that story resonates with them, LOHAS consumer base is willing to spend up to 20% more for that product that's in line with their values. So that's something that is reducing more and more because of the demand with the volume that's starting to come down less and less. So that people now are seeing organic products in conventional stores. There's a larger demand of the organic marketeers bigger than ever. There's a lot of progress there. I think from the price perspective, those are things that as long as companies can provide that quality and the story line and be on par with conventional, they have a really good shot at being successful.

Dan: That's really helpful. Thank you for sharing that. I don't know if I shared this with you, but my mission is to make our healthy way of life more accessible by getting your products on more retailer shelves and in the hands of more shoppers. And simple supply and demand. If we can increase the demand, then the price will go down automatically.

So leveraging that mindset ... Again, going back to these brands that are really disrupting the industry, these brands that are responsible for all sustainable growth across every category. What I meant by this is that I had a privilege of doing a feature article for the 2016 Category Management Handbook, which, of course, I'll put a link to at the bottom of this article and on this web page. And what I was able to do is isolate organic by every category and sub category and all organic sales. And what I found is while all organic sales are up a little bit, if you remove that small sliver of organic or plant based or glutton free or whatever, that stuff that we're focused on, then sales were down or flat across every category.

So in other words, the growth in every category is attributed to that small selection of items that were organic The specific example that I love to reference, is if you look at the dairy industry, the dairy category across all outlet, it was up 1.5%. Organic was up 12 point some percent. If you remove organic which is only 9.8% of a multi-billion dollar pie, then total dairy sales are only up .5%. And you can use that same methodology. I see those same trends across every category. So where I'm going with that is that these emerging brands, these disruptive brands that are able to align with their core consumer by giving their core consumer what they want. By innovating around the way that consumer wants, what they're looking for in terms of products. That's where I'm really focused on helping these brands compete more effectively, grow sales and get on more retail shelves and in the hands of more shoppers.

How has LOHAS been effective? And being able to help those brands connect with the larger community. And then more importantly, how has LOHAS been effective in helping those brands compete more effectively against their mainstream counterparts?

Ted: Well, I think that information is at everybody's finger tip, just a couple key strokes away. And so I think that the larger brands are historically have been focusing on mass production. While now more information is out there that various antibiotics, different types of ingredients that were used for preservatives or synthetic kinds of elements that were considered safe, are not. So it's really caused a lot of people to not trust a lot of these larger brands. And there's a little bit of a ... There's also a lot of larger corporations that are focusing on bottom line versus really what is healthy in a holistic way and looking at businesses in a different business model than just all about profits and bottom line. I think that with that ... And just looking at society, everybody is looking for alternatives and options, but it's different than what it's been existing.

So with that, there's a huge opportunity to demonstrate that a company's values are just not writing on the wall. It's something that they can really incorporate in their products and really communicate the brands to their customers. And when they do that, there's a lot better chance to really resonate with a certain group that can really become the brand ambassadors for you that you don't pay for. And if you're providing a high quality product in a world where Instagram and Facebook and Twitter is there in prominence and really communicating, not just promoting, but really building relationships with customers, really having a dialogue. It's really important to do that and having opportunities for them to sample your product, be able to understand some of the questions and challenges and also using that to gain intel and data on what your shoppers preferences are is really important. I think that that's a way that the little guys can move forward and be nimble and fast and learn and be agile much more than the bigger fish.

Dan: Absolutely. In fact, let's go one step further. Retails are paid to play sport. It's expensive. It can be bloody at times. It's extremely complicated because the old way of doing things, essentially says that your checkbook is the single most valuable tool in any brand's toolbox. I'm trying to change that. And what I'm getting at, Ted, is that by leveraging that unique ability for your brand, your connected consumer, your evangelist, your brand ambassadors to come in and shop your store, shop a specific store. That's something that the big brands can't do. And so I'm trying to change the conversation from being essentially an ATM machine if you're a brand, to being able to leverage the community that buys their product that's behind their product and supporting their product at retail. So as a leverage point in negotiation, educating these brands on how to be able to help the retailer understand that what you're bringing to the store is far more valuable than anything you have in the package. And that's true with any product.

Let me back up a little bit. Retailers don't generically make anything. They sell other people's products. So what they sell is they sell real estate in the form of the shelf space that your brand takes up on their shelf. And what they want is a little bit of profit, a reasonable profit and they want more traffic in their store. That's how they compete more effectively. That's how they grow. That's how they achieve their objectives. And by the way, when a consumer buys a healthy natural organic product, they're buying other products so their market basket is a lot higher. So this is the most valuable consumer that any retailer can try to attract.

So if a brand can help a retailer understand what's unique about the consumer that buys your product, and then leverage that relationship that you have with your consumer and then be able to use that and trade for sliding fees and some of the other expensive things that their brands, I'm sorry, retailers charge, that to me is really the future of CBG. And this is what's going to help brick and mortar retailers compete more effectively against online. Do you have any thoughts around that?

Ted: I do. Again, business of sales is all about relationships. If a brand is able to establish a unique relationship with a store or a division of stores and have the ability to create some unique opportunities in marketing and showing that value, absolutely. That's an essential piece of sales and marketing and continuing.

I also think that it's not just the store, but it's also online. And that's a much clearer direct approach to the customers who are purchasing a product. If that's something ... A company can bring in their various marketing campaign, whether it be something outside a store or a sampling in the store that's unique. That is going to drive sales, not only the product, but also if there's a partnership with another brand, it could help with that cost. It could also leverage the relationship in terms of ... I know there's a couple different brands that were together that create a little bit of an alliance that then they can kind of go in it together and collectively work as price, discounts and also initiatives, also do the packaging.

There's a group in San Francisco called OSC2 that's really working on sustainability. It's a supply chain and packaging. There's just a variety of different opportunities and unique ways that smaller brands can collaborate and create innovation.

Dan: I'm glad you said that. Because actually that's something I do talk about a lot is the ability for a brand to partner with a brand that compliments them, to drive down promotional costs, to get more bang out of their buck, to be able to leverage the strengths of both of those brands and the communities behind those brands to really drive sales in the retail stores. So thank you for sharing that.

This is a great segway for the next question I wanted to talk to you about or next thing I wanted to talk to you about and that's NatchCom. And so the point here is that traditional retail suggests that you go into a brick and mortar store and that you grow sales there. As I said, it's very expensive. But what's unique about small brands that develop these really great brand ambassadors, these great communities around them, is that they can also develop a sales profile or a sales presence outside of traditional stores online and digital. And the reason I wanted to go down this path is because you're the co-founder and senior advisor of NatchCom. So can you tell us a little bit about NatchCom? What was the idea behind it? And then where do you see NatchCom fitting in to the larger CBG universe and how can brands really take advantage of those strategies?

Ted: Yeah. NatchCom was something that a few of us conceived of in looking ... We saw an opportunity, because of the way that digital is exploding and also challenging the existing model of grocery sales. The conventional model for sales for a lot of CBG companies is you get your company up and running. You get a distributor. You have to pay distributor fees and that goes into stores, the shelving fees. You have to discount because you need to get some velocity. You need to have some sampling, so you can kind of build on that volume and velocity as well. And of all of the expense, the up front cost of all of that then goes to the brand. Really, your fingers are crossed whether or not that's going to result in anything.

And at the same ... It's a very long process and a lot of different things in between. That's the existing model. And then you use your website, if you've got an e-commerce sites hopefully that does some promotions primarily that gives the backstory of the brand and a small store for first person sales there. So usually the website was for marketing purposes. You got your social media to kind of promoting that as well. Then the bulk of your sales is coming from brick and mortar store.

What if we were to flip that and have the volume of your sales come from being online and you engaging with the customers so that you own them versus the store owning them and you have direct dialogue with those people? You sell online and you have all those costs associated with distributors and store promotions and digital and all that be applied to online. That then increases your margin on your product. And then you use the store, not necessarily as your major cash cow, but actually use it for marketing instead. That's great. You can have volume there and the exposure. But you're focusing your efforts primarily online. That puts more money in a company's pocket, and you're much more strategic and nimble, without having all these middlemen between.

NatchCom was really derived out of that quest, to really take ownership back to the small guy and really arm them with tools, resources, different kinds of information and strategies and tactics on online sales and marketing. And really empower them to become successful in a very competitive world, in particular, the natural food space, the natural product space. So we've had two different events just this last year that have been well attended. We've had over 200 people at each of these. And at the same time, we're bringing in Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Google, all of these different types of specialists. You actually have a face with someone at Instagram to be able to talk to. You have someone from Amazon to actually talk to. We have service providers who then have been able to provide consultations, talking specifically on your challenges and be able to provide you tips and best practices for you.

This is something that is very unique that we don't see in the natural product space at all. And it's very exciting to get this off the ground. We certainly hope that anyone listening to this can go to NatchCom.com and attend one of our future events.

Dan: I can't say enough good things about it. It was a lot of fun to be a part of it. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of that community. Well, this is exactly what I've been preaching and pushing since I hung my shingle many years ago. And the cool thing about it is, you can get more runway by developing a presence outside of a traditional store that can help you grow sales inside a store. And that's a whole other conversation, but I've got a strategy that I'd love to be able to prove.

I've got a theory. Let's put it this way, but I've been able to prove little bits and pieces of it. If you are able to develop a targeted digital promotion, you can leverage that online strategy with a traditional brick and mortar strategy and amplify your sales there. So that's something down the road, but what's great about this, like you said, is it gives a brand an opportunity to not be an ATM machine. It gives a brand an opportunity to go out and do more, be more and connect with a community and owning your customer. Thank you for saying that.

I can not stress that enough. Brands need to own their customer. If I go in and buy your product at a store, you have no idea who I am or how I use the product or would I take it home, etc. But if you have a way to capture my interest and engage me as a consumer on your website through our platform, then you can know who I am. And the cool thing about it is, if you've got a new product and, you've mentioned this a couple of times, Ted, where you're talking about new packaging, packaging is a very complex area. By the way, I'm working on that as well. Got some really great things out. Some people on the show that I've had on and will continue to have on developing many courses around it ... Around how brands can develop on demand packaging, which is going to save them a lot of time being able to get their product on the shelf that quicker etc. etc.

When you come up with a product and you want to get it on a retailer's shelf and you want to test it. That's horribly expensive. But if you can test that idea, that innovation offline within your community, people understand your product. That's far more impactful than hiring a focus group that's going to tell you essentially what you want to hear. And more importantly, once you innovate around what your consumers actually want, you know you've got a hit before you take it to retail. So thank you for sharing that.

When you're talking about the digital community and leveraging NatchCom, where's NatchCom going beyond their events? I'm actually, just as a side note, talking to Jen and Jim about developing a mini course to put on my website that's going to focus on these strategies, that's going to leverage the power of NatchCom to help brands drive sales across all channels and including online and traditional brick and mortar. So what's the future of NatchCom?

Ted: I think in looking at the success we've had this past year, we'll going to continue the event and have them potentially in other locations around the country. And also building out an online e-learning platform. So that those that either have attended events or have not will have access to experts and information that they can immediately implement. And that's really exciting because what's happen to people like yourself, Daniel, who really understand the space as well as then various digital marketers or various grants or case studies of people who have been successful just learning best practices. What are the pitfalls and challenges to be aware of? How can you learn from other people's mistakes? Also, keeping up on the latest trends, because technology changes so fast for us. Just having your finger on the pulse of all those things that you can apply directly to your brand that will increase your sales and your communications with your customers. We're really, really excited about all the possibilities. It's not a shortage of what to do. It's just a challenge to trying to figure out which one you want to do.

Dan: Well said. And on that note, the strategies that you develop for an online digital presence are strategies that are going to help you with traditional brick and mortar. I developed a course, my free Turnkey Sales Story Strategies course, which teaches brands how to tell their story. How to first develop the story and understand the story. Who's their customer? And what I mean by that, Ted, is traditional thinking says your customer is female, head of household, 2.3 kids, very generic. But yet, I'm suggesting that you need to go well beyond that, as you've been saying.

So when you're telling your brand story, you're being able to share your mission what's about your product. You need to also know is your consumer a LOHAS consumer? Do they like yoga? Are they very active? What are they active in doing? How do they ... Do they spend a lot of time online? What is their social media platforms or preferences, etc.? Knowing where your consumer lives and then being able to leverage that to build your brand story around it, is going to help you build sales dramatically both online and in traditional retail. So thank you for sharing all that.

So this gets us back to where we started this conversation and your connection to what is healthy and holistic. And so, as you transition from LOHAS to Bodhi Tree, I see a lot of connections there. Because these consumers are the same consumers, these LOHAS consumers are the same consumers, like you said, that are curious. They question things. They want to know the reasons behind things. And they're not willing to just take things for granted. They want to be a part or want to be connected to the bigger picture. So can you tell us a little bit about Bodhi Tree. What's unique about it and how that fits in to this entire conversation and the traditional LOHAS consumer?

Ted: Yes. Sure. I think it's really abiding by Maslow's Hierarchy of Self and the desire to ... We've got basic needs. We've got kind of our intermediate needs and then our aspirational self on that top. And people are always wanting to get to that aspirational self and the LOHAS consumers are always pursuing that and the LOHAS consumer tends to have a lot of empathy. They have a lot of ... They feel like they're connected to a larger community, global citizen or higher calling or design. So in doing that, that also is integrated into well being.

So food is one aspect of that connection to being that healthy person that is able to live a life that is full. When people talk about a full life, that tends to also implement or consider spirituality or personal development. So it's not too far off. I mean it's the same person. I mean it's the person who goes to a spiritual bookstore for curiosity is also going to go to farmer's market on the way back from the store. So we're talking about the same person.

And with Bodhi Tree being kind of an epicenter and really an institution in Los Angeles for such a long time, serving all kinds of customers and having different well known readers, such as Deepak Chopra to Marianne Williamson to Dr. Weil. All had their books being sold as well as having lectures from these individuals and also having celebrities be patrons of the store whether it be Elvis Presley or John Lennon or Jim Morrison or Jim Carrey, they're all people who were really fond of the store.

So what we're doing now is we don't have a physical store any more, but we're taking it online. So that not only can we have impact in the Southern California community area, but also nationally and internationally. And really provide people tools and accessories to create their own ritual and ceremony. And create their own sacred space. That's really important for a lot of people, especially in today's age of tumultuous challenges and disagreements and environmental issues ... It's a crazy world where people just need solace and moments to themselves to collect and be again their aspirational self and bring that out into the world.

So our goal is to be able to provide people with those tools, so that they can bring forth their best self and serve. In serving others then that's going to uplift everybody. That's really what we feel is important, so we're really excited to have a new website be online here ... We got a site right now, BodhiTree.com. It has a lot of different things there and having a new site that's going to be launched in 2019 and a variety of different products there for people to check out. So please take a look.

Dan: I'm looking forward to it. I mentioned to you that my wife is actually a spiritual counselor, so obviously, this is near and dear to my heart. The other thing is that I believe that in serving others we serve ourselves. We get more out of what we're trying to do. And again that goes back to this community. One of the things that ... I've had the privilege of doing almost 100 episodes. And one of the things I'm really fortunate of then being able to it, have the privilege of connecting with thought leaders like you in the industry.

And the underlying theme to what motivates and keeps them centered, etc. is their ability to be grounded. Then they use meditation and they use ... They have spiritual practices, not necessarily religious, but beyond that where they're able to focus on and pay attention to the wind, the sun, the flowers, the whatever it is that helps them remain grounded. Which gives them the inner strength to help support and fuel their missions beyond that. So I'm just thrilled that you're going down this path. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the things, some of the experiences that you've had as you begin, as you've been learning more about Bodhi Tree and this community that you're working with? How influential is this community? Where do you see this community going?

Ted: Well, I think it's no different than the LOHAS consumer. They're all pretty much that they have the same train of thought. It's something that the community is really wanting to connect with each other. They love finding new people to ... They have the same values and want to connect. And we want to be that conduit. We want to be able to be that place that Bodhi Tree has always been, but do it in a different format. We want to do it online. We want to ... We're developing a new platform as well. Our question was how do we become a bookstore that's online without becoming just another bookstore online? Because there's another guy out there that's kind of got that down. So I think that our thought is to be able to provide educational, micro-lessons in video format that people can load up on our platform and then promote. And we will also produce our own content and be able to then collectively share with the community and build up different views and then the top quality content will rise to the top. And it will be built for the community by the community.

And as we build this house, we want to encourage people from all over the world to join and share their what they have to offer to the world. That's what we want to do, because everybody is a teacher. Everybody's a student and everybody's a teacher. We've got something to share. We want them to be able to share that and make it easy for people. And do it in a way that is digestible whether people use their phones, whether the people use their computers today. Adapt to that, so that's the information and the knowledge that everybody has can be shared. And everybody can just becomes wiser and makes better choices and serve for the greater good of the world. That's really what we're excited about.

Dan: I'm thrilled. I'm so excited. I can't hardly wait until you get this up and running. And, of course, I'll put a link to it in the podcast show, on the web page and on the show notes. This is so important, and I love the fact that you said everyone's a student and everyone's a teacher. I used to ... I was working in mainstream CBG, and the idea that you should always be the smartest person in the room. To me, that's a huge misnomer. That's such a mistake. Because if you're able to learn from the people around you. Able to learn from your community and you're paying attention, you're grounded. And you're really focused on everything around you and your relationship to the bigger community, the bigger parts, I think that's what really defines or makes ... What makes natural natural. So thank you for sharing that. What are other things have we not talked about, Ted, that you want to share? Or things that you want to discuss?

Ted: I think there's a lot of opportunity for people in the natural space to connect with customers. I think it's ... One thing that I ... You brought up the point in terms of really understanding your customer. There's one case that you may know that I recall, Silk, and they thought that they really knew their customer. Oh, our customer is a LOHAS customer who goes to Whole Foods and she buys our stuff. Our Silk Milk there. And we're going to market. We're going to really capture her. And others on the team said "Let's do a study and just check it out and see what it says." And they came back on the study, and they were very wrong on who their core customer was. It wasn't the LOHAS woman who buys at Whole Foods for her family. It was actually their top customers are lactose intolerant, African-American women who shop at Costco.

It's really important to know who your customer is, so that you can take advantage of that and really communicate with them. And that was something that was totally off their radar. Yet, it was a huge area of innovation for them. So then they created whole complete different campaigns for that and different ways to communicate a message. Make sure that customer didn't feel alienated. So that's just an example of really, if you think you're going one way, you might actually be going another way. If that's the case, don't sweat it. Just pivot and take advantage of that. It's really important.

Dan: Well said. Thank you for sharing that. And that's an underlying theme in a lot of the different podcast episodes and why I do what I do and the strategies I preach and the whole idea behind this is to your point. I get to hear the stories about brands that are misaligned that think they know everything and they really don't. My strength is being able to really understand, look at the world from the point and perspective of the consumer. I'm not trying to make this about me.

What I'm saying is that when a brand can step back and look at the consumer that buys their product and understand the consumer, and be able to walk a mile in their shoes and from their perspective and look at the category from their perspective, etc. That changes the way that brand goes to market. And that's where the successes that I've had, that the brands I work with and are using these strategies come with. Where I'm going with this is that every brand, not just the little brands, especially the big brands, fail in this regard, fail in this area.

They think they know who their consumer is going back to the 2.3 kids, etc. No, there's a lot more to your consumer. I hear story after story of brands that think that they're aligned with a specific consumer that they're going after right consumer. And then they find that their marketing messages that they're trade marketing, that what they're doing is just not hitting the mark. And usually that's why. So thank you for sharing that. That's one of the things I really want to highlight in this industry. Again, this is why speaking with you is so very important.

I would hope that everyone listening to this would really begin to understand and to take heart. And what a LOHAS consumer is, the importance of being able to develop a solid brand strategies, brand story, around your consumer, that's going to resonate with your consumer. And then how your consumer is connected to the bigger picture. Again the intersection from my perspective between LOHAS and Bodhi Tree. So thank you so much for sharing all that. Any last parting thoughts?

Ted: No. I'm good. You've had some great questions, Daniel. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Dan: Well, thank you, sir. I appreciate it. And I look forward to the next time we get a chance to connect when you're in Boulder. And thank you again for making time for me today and participating in this podcast.

Ted: My pleasure, Daniel. I appreciate it.

Dan: I want to thank Ted for coming on the podcast and sharing his insights. I talk a lot about the LOHAS consumer and how important it is and how brands needs to leverage this unique consumer in their selling story. And how this unique consumer is what's going to help them drive sales at retail. More importantly, this is a story that brands need to use, need to leverage when they work with a retailer to help the retailer understand why they're more than just another package on the shelf. I'm thrilled that Ted found a home in Bodhi Tree. I'll be certain to put a link to Bodhi Tree in the podcast show notes and on the podcast web page. As well as a link to NatchCom.

Today's free downloadable guide is my strategic solutions to grow your brand. This is going to help you develop that foundation, that initial foundation to grow your brand. Thanks again for joining us today. Make sure to stop over at brandsecretsandstrategies.com for show notes, along with more great brand building articles and resources. Check out my free new course, Turnkey Sales Story Strategies, Your Roadmap to Success. You can find that on my website or at TurnkeeySalesStrategies.com/growsales.

Please subscribe to the podcast, leave a review and recommend it to your friends and colleagues. Sign up today on my website, so you don't miss out on actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand and save you valuable time and money. I appreciate all the positive feedback. Keep your suggestions coming. Until next time, this is Dan Lohman with Brand Secrets and Strategies for a focus on empowering brands and raising the bar.

Bodhi Tree https://bodhitree.com

NatchCom https://www.natchcom.com

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Thanks again for joining us today. Make sure to stop over at brandsecretsandstrategies.com for the show notes along with more great brand building articles and resources. Check out my free course Turnkey Sales Story Strategies, your roadmap to success. You can find that on my website or at TurnkeySalesStoryStrategies.com/growsales. Please subscribe to the podcast, leave a review, and recommend it to your friends and colleagues.

Sign up today on my website so you don’t miss out on actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand and save you valuable time and money.

I appreciate all the positive feedback. Keep your suggestions coming.

Until next time, this is Dan Lohman with Brand Secrets and Strategies where the focus is on empowering brands and raising the bar.

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