It’s impossible to hit a target you don’t aim for and yet that’s what most brands do. A well defined brand position can explode sales. Hear how Suzie NAILED her target and disrupted a category. Learn how you can do the same with the right resources.

Welcome. If you’ve been listening for a while, you routinely hear me talk about how I’ve had the privilege of mentoring and working with literally hundreds of brands. One of the biggest struggles that every brand faces is not having a solid go-to-market strategy, and that begins with your brand positioning. Let’s face it, just because your Mom likes it doesn’t mean that everyone else will, and I know that’s kind of flippant, but let me explain why this is so critically important. Here’s an analogy that’s going to help you understand this even better. Think about when you go to a salad bar, a dessert bar, or taco bar, any place where you have the opportunity to pick and choose what you want your meal to look like. Think about how you create your masterpiece, and how your masterpiece is different than everyone else’s.

What are the similarities? What are the things that stand out to you? What trends do you see in the way that people build their sundaes? Their desserts? Now, think about how this relates to your brand. If you had an opportunity to ask each and every one of your potential future customers what they wanted on your product, what would they want to see? What would they tell you? This is brand positioning, understanding what your customers want and then being able to communicate the value of what you have to those customers in their terms and their language. This is the healthy foundation that you build your brand on, and if you get this wrong, it can be a disaster and even bankruptcy. 

You’ve probably heard me say that over 80% of brands fail within the first year. This is one of the main reasons. In this podcast episode, you’re going to hear Suzie say that 80 to 90% of innovation fails within the first year. Innovation is your product, anything new that you’re going to put on the market. Sometimes it’s your entire brand. Your brand positioning identifies the target that you’re shooting for and, obviously, there’s no way to hit a target that you don’t aim for. That’s why this is so critically important. You cannot skip this step and you cannot skip over it or even just pay lip service to it. You’ve got to take the time to do the research and understand what your core customers want, and what your future shoppers will buy.

What you’re going to love about this particular episode is that you’re going to hear how when you get this right, your sales literally explode. You’re going to hear about a brand that identified a niche that appeals to so many different customers and how they’re struggling to keep up with the volume. Now, the good news is because they had their brand positioning lined up and because they had the solid foundation to build their brand on, now they can focus on new product innovation. They can focus on where they want to go next and what’s important to them. What new kind of products they want to come out with, et cetera. This is the advantage of having a solid brand position and this is why this matters, and if you want to grow your brand successfully, no matter what the product is, this is what you need to do. 

This is exactly why I created my free Turnkey Sales Story Strategies Course – to help you position your brand for explosive growth. It’s the foundation you need to grow a healthy brand on.

Download the show notes below

Click here to learn more about Love Good Fats

BRAND SECRETS AND STRATEGIES

PODCAST #139

Hello and thank you for joining us today. This is the Brand Secrets and Strategies Podcast #139

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 listening for a while, you routinely hear me talk about how I've had the privilege of mentoring and working with literally hundreds of brands. One of the biggest struggles that every brand faces is not having a solid go-to-market strategy, and that begins with your brand positioning. Let's face it, just because your Mom likes it doesn't mean that everyone else will, and I know that's kind of flippant, but let me explain why this is so critically important. Here's an analogy that's going to help you understand this even better. Think about when you go to a salad bar, a dessert bar, or taco bar, any place where you have the opportunity to pick and choose what you want your meal to look like. Think about how you create your masterpiece, and how your masterpiece is different than everyone else's.

What are the similarities? What are the things that stand out to you? What trends do you see in the way that people build their sundaes? Their desserts? Now, think about how this relates to your brand. If you had an opportunity to ask each and every one of your potential future customers what they wanted on your product, what would they want to see? What would they tell you? This is brand positioning, understanding what your customers want and then being able to communicate the value of what you have to those customers in their terms and their language. This is the healthy foundation that you build your brand on, and if you get this wrong, it can be a disaster and even bankruptcy.

You've probably heard me say that over 80% of brands fail within the first year. This is one of the main reasons. In this podcast episode, you're going to hear Suzie say that 80 to 90% of innovation fails within the first year. Innovation is your product, anything new that you're going to put on the market. Sometimes it's your entire brand. Your brand positioning identifies the target that you're shooting for and, obviously, there's no way to hit a target that you don't aim for. That's why this is so critically important. You cannot skip this step and you cannot skip over it or even just pay lip service to it. You've got to take the time to do the research and understand what your core customers want. and what your future shoppers will buy.

What you're going to love about this particular episode is that you're going to hear how when you get this right, your sales literally explode. You're going to hear about a brand that identified a niche that appeals to so many different customers and how they're struggling to keep up with the volume. Now, the good news is because they had their brand positioning lined up and because they had the solid foundation to build their brand on, now they can focus on new product innovation. They can focus on where they want to go next and what's important to them. What new kind of products they want to come out with, et cetera. This is the advantage of having a solid brand position and this is why this matters, and if you want to grow your brand successfully, no matter what the product is, this is what you need to do.

This is exactly why I created my free Turnkey Sales Story Strategies Course - to help you position your brand for explosive growth. It’s the foundation you need to grow a healthy brand on.

Before I go any further, I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to remind you that this podcast is about you and it's for you and at the end of every episode, there's a free downloadable guide for you. One easy to download, quick-to-digest strategy that you can instantly adopt and make your own. One that you can use to grow sustainable sales and compete more effectively with. Remember, the goal here is to get your product on more store shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. Here's Suzie Yorke with Love Good Fats.

Suzie, thank you so much for coming on today. Could you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your journey to where you are today?

Suzie: Thanks, Dan. My pleasure and thanks for having me on your show. I'm feeling very privileged and excited to spend some time with you. My background is I'm a French Canadian born in Quebec and an engineer by training, and my first job in my entire career had been in marketing, so I started with traditional consumer packaged goods companies like P&G, and then I moved over to Pepsico with Frito Lay, and then Heinz, and then Weight Watchers. I've pretty much spent the last 10 years as a Head of Marketing at either Weight Watchers or a weight loss supplement company that the business was mostly in the U.S.

I kind of was getting to close to late 40s and I'd spent 10 years understanding weight loss and American and Canadian consumers and all of the challenges and at the same time had been eating a low-fat diet for 20 years and a Mom. I started running when I was in my early 20s and tried to lose a few pounds in my first job after university and then got hooked with triathlons and marathons and was continuing to do a low-fat diet and kind of pretty immersed in that world while I was doing my day job of either chips or ketchup. I just kind of was following the nutrition guidelines back then in terms of trying to be healthy, and I hit my early 40s with being in decent shape with running and doing Ironmans, but then high blood pressure and IBS, which is just your tummy is constantly kind of not feeling great and bloated and miserable. I was like, "Oh my God, what's going on?"

With the stresses of traveling, I had a job in Vancouver at one point, which is across the country, single Mom juggling the sports and activities and what life brings you. It got pretty bad and I read... by then I was doing a little bit of consulting because I kind of knew I wanted to transition from just the big VP jobs to being in the natural space as I'd spent quite a bit time on some brands there and I read Nina Teicholz's book, Big Fat Surprise, and that changed my life. I happened to read it on the plane to Natural Product Expo West in 2016 in March. I got off the plane, I literally stopped eating sugar and really aimed to cut down my carbs and started eating lots and lots of fats. Kind of that book and that flight gave me permission to eat fat and I was a little bit incensed like many, many people who read Nina's book.

You get upset about the 40 years of misinformation. The first thing was kind of changing for me and pretty much instantaneously within three, four weeks my tummy got better and I started feeling better. As a brand marketer who is in the natural space kind of looking to start up something at one point, but I had the typical three reasons entrepreneurs don't go for it. One is, "Oh, I don't have the idea. Oh, I don't have the money. Oh, my kids are too young and it's demanding and I have to do it in a time when I can." Or, my generations of folks, anyway, have kind of heard these reasons for like 20, 30 years.

Then, I kind of said, "I walked the Expo show and there were fats everywhere in the forms of butters and stuff." I kind of realized, "Wow, somebody is going to read the book and kind of come up with the same idea. We need a brand. We need a big, billion-dollar brand that says, screams loud, 'Eat good fats', and a brand that is loaded with good fats, no sugar, and really kind of is the beacon brand to convey that we should be doing something different than what the nutritional guidelines have told us for 40 years."

I kind of had this grandiose vision of a billion-dollar brand. "Is this like what Atkins did?" A little bit of how the gluten industry took off, and now the Beyond Meats, more grandiose of once you get to a larger-sized brand you can impact change. I've seen that throughout my career having worked on larger-sized brands and launching brands, but I started really small. Two bars in Canada in natural in the retail segment. That was it. I had to scrap a lot of my savings, all of my savings, my kids' kind of university and I still had a mortgage and kind of put that all aside and then I did about a year and a half of work on the recipe because snack bars are really hard to make as you probably know now having kind of connected on that a little bit.

We had our fair shares of... or back then I was on my own, so I had my fair shares of fail, but I put together a really good board, a few angel investors. I had kind of a small group of people that initially said 10 and 15,000 and scrapped enough for the first 400,000, and these are all Canadian dollars. I turned on the machines. I had enough and enough supporters. I did consumer research and enough of that to tell me that we had something. Turned the machines on. That didn't work, so kind of lost 80,000 and said

Dan: Ouch.

Suzie: "Oh my God." Nearly kind of had... I had 30, 40 co-packers tell me, "No, go away." I just kind of got lucky. Found a co-packer actually much closer to home and this time we were able to kind of go quick, quick, quick because at that point I was listed at Whole Foods and a few other natural health food stores and distributors in Canada and saved the day. I had a little bit of kind of good luck where the one that I had been partnering with wasn't able to make it and then found another one and they were not only able to make them but made them really, really good and really fast. Off we went.

Launched on September 1st, 2017, and within six weeks the Whole Foods manager at the largest store downtown saw me come in and said, "Hey, your bars are doing really good and they're outselling our previous number one and two bars by 50%." Then, I was like, "What?" Actually, I started having tears flowing down. I just sat down. I was like, "Really?" I was kind of... a bit of disbelief because that store is a classic Whole Foods with 40 different brands and hundreds of SKUs and you kind of walk in and there's 40 linear feet of bars as you go to the caches. I was like, "How can my two little tiny SKUs"... my packaging wasn't where it needs to be. You could barely see the brand name. I was like, "How could we be number one and two within six weeks and outselling by 50%?"

That was enough... obviously success was to meet the minimums you need to stay on the shelf, which is around in like bars and naturals around 12 bars turns per week per store. That's kind of what we had set as success. It kind of made sense in terms of the size of the bar brands in Canada and stuff. We're blowing by that by multipliers of hundreds, so we knew we had something really, really big on our hands, and then I quickly, quickly... it was still just me at that point and quickly got two more flavors out the door. We started with two, peanut butter and chocolate coconut, and then got mint and almond, and then Acosta and Assessment Canada came calling and said, "Hey, we need to carry your bars", because I was just with a small, small broker. It just went nuts.

2018 just got within a few months of launching in natural, and in September it just kind of went nuts. I got listed at every single major conventional banner, so by the summer, we're starting to roll out at all of the big banners, which was a big risk in Canada to go that fast in bars. A lot of new bar launches in Canada will wait for one, two, three, five, eight, 10 years before they go to the big conventional banners, but it was a calculated risk given the turns were so incredible in natural. It just took off and then we're in these big banners like Walmart and Loblaws, and Sobeys.

The bars are flying, so then Costco comes calling and then I launched to a client base in between and then I wind up hiring in 2018 and started the year at one and by May I was still... April I was still one and got two VPs, a finance and a marketing guy who did pretty much all of the ops at first and it was literally... a small little company of three last May and just like went nuts. At the same time as we were rolling out in Canada to the conventional, so last spring, Whole Foods U.S. called and then I had a chance to fly down and present to the buyer there and she knew Keto and she loved the bars.

Another major gift. She listed this little unknown Canadian startup bar brand nationally in all of her stores across the U.S., which was, again, another mega milestone. "Wait a minute, I got to sit down here. Am I really hearing this right?" That was I think June 9th or so I got the confirmed listings, and then it was like, "Oh my God. This is another league of scaling the brand at this hyper-speed rocket ship type of kind of go-go." Then, it's just kind of go from there. I'll take a breath and we can continue the story a little bit if you want.

Dan: No, that's great. I love your enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing that. That's a lot to unpack there. My first question, it's kind of really not in order, is why did you go to Expo West in 2016? You didn't have your company then, so what was the purpose of going there then?

Suzie: Oh, well, after my kind of 10 years in weight loss, I moved to my last role with dietary supplements and I was doing more and more consulting because it was just part-time with them and then I was looking for other brands to consult in. I'd been 10 years in weight loss and then started working on four or five different part-time VP of marketing on four or five natural products. About two-thirds of them were supplements and a third was food, and because they were kind of these more younger brands and smaller brands, I had been going to Expo for five, six years at both Expos. It was kind of either the job in Vancouver was the same thing, so it was just part of the role where I was consultant looking for either new brands to help and kind of do some consulting for as marketing, or on the brands that I was with.

I kind of did that with Healthy Me consulting business, and that's why I've been... probably it's going to be the seventh year now this year. That's just what's kind of taking me there and as a marketer, it's a gift to walk the show and to connect with all of the brands and the emerging trends there. My approach in my career has been very much I'm a little walking, talking case study. I love to absorb how brands go from here to there and that's helped me a lot in being decent at my job to figure out the best strategies to either launch or relaunch or the new innovation to properly grow businesses. It's a treat every year to go to Expo because you're surrounded by 4,000 little case studies of brands. That's what got me there.

Dan: That's a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoy going every time, and actually, I met you about a year and a half ago at Expo East. Actually, no, a year at Expo East. We just talked briefly, but anyhow, it was just thrilled about the bar. By the way, I've got to tell you, this is my wife's favorite bar and she... our pantry looks like probably the back room at Whole Foods.

It's kind of funny, but anyhow, let's back up quite a bit and let's talk about your background and your history in terms of marketing. Where I'm going with this, Suzie, is I think it's important that brands understand the benefit of learning from the big brands, the P&G, the Fritos, et cetera. What did you do for P&G and then Frito and then Kraft and ConAgra? How did that help you? How did that impact or how did that change your awareness about food and about what you're doing today? What skills did you use to help you get to where you're at?

Suzie: Great. Thanks, Dan, for sure. I'm certainly... my background, my nearly 25 years has helped me I think have a very fast start and be able to scale a brand that gets to kind of very sizable scale and doing really well. Because of the background, I've worked on a lot of brands in my consulting which were great ideas, but they didn't scale to the multi-million dollars that we have now as fast. I think it's really because of the disciplined approach that I took, and I think I had a bit of lady luck on my side, too, because of the trends that came sweeping underneath and kind of gave an additional oomph to the launch.

Essentially, my first job right out of engineering school was at Procter & Gamble in an Assistant Brand Manager role back then. I worked on adult diapers, so my Dad was just like, "Oh my God." He wanted me to take one of these big jobs that I was offered, given my degree, and back then I was President of a student coalition so I had a nice resume. I had all these great on paper jobs and I like, "No, I want to go work in consumer packaged goods and on adult diapers." I worked on adult diapers and Pampers and facial tissue and Downey and then followed my boss over to Frito-Lay. The foundation that you learn there where it really starts positioning product-price value equation, the disciplined op. What is your brand composition? Is this brand proposition resonating with the consumer? How big is the sandbox? How big is the pie? How big is the category? What kind of share can you have in that category given your positioning?

A niche positioning will just hit a certain scale, and that can be okay. In a larger company, you can have these amazing niche brands and the big mother brand and that can work for them, but when you're looking to pay bills, the niche will only get to a certain size and that can be okay. You learn all of those basics that the likes of a company that has sophisticated category management and brand management, and then how critical it is for your product to deliver on your promise. Too many share wars were lost because the marketing team let the product erode and lose the product superiority, which has been key in the '70s, '80s, and '90s for the big CPG wars were won, the share wars, wars and gains, and share leadership changed hands because of the product no longer being superior or no longer keeping your baby's bum dry or your teeth whiter than white and losing the claims of superiority.

Pace has been a little bit different. I was at Frito-Lay, but again, I was on big brands like Doritos and I launched Tostitos into Canada, and positioning and product, and Tostitos was the high ground of the better-tasting white tortilla chip. That didn't exist in Canada. When I launched Tostitos, it was not great tasting, yellow chips that were probably not made with the best oil out there. I learned this foundational positioning in products and then, of course, the brand equity is all around price-value equation, so you have to strike that right balance, and then the P&L has to work in terms of bringing it all together.

When you have that right golden triangle of the right brand equity with your positioning, pricing, and product, kind of that magic going, then all you need is the right awareness in trial, which you get through your five sales fundamentals and your brilliant marketing awareness and trial programs. That's it. It's really that simple. It's that little kind of puzzle of putting that together, but it's easier said than done because there's multiple of brands and we all see them at Expo year after year and, "Oh, we reposition", and they change their name and they change the claims and they change the packaging and they change the flavors. Often until you reposition, they're not poised for growth so they're trying to get repositioned to get poised for growth. If you don't have the right fundamental positioning, then you're sewing line extensions onto that and then it's like, "Oh my God". You kind of hobble along.

With my first 12 years and then I was at Weight Watchers, which was also kind of a brand that had declined for 10 years. A wonderful brand that had a great product and was doing a lot of good things, but had 10 different campaigns and 10 different positionings in the 10 years before I joined. The same thing, trying to kind of find how to position the brand to resonate so that P&L can work because it just gets... everything unravels when you don't have the right positioning and you don't breakthrough with the consumer, you don't have enough marketing spend to talk to the consumer. Even when you do talk to her, you don't get the list you're looking to get, and then that's why you have VPs of marketing and CMOs turning doors, rotating doors in the U.S. because it's not an easy puzzle to solve. It's really hard and that was my background.

That's a pretty cool toolkit to kind of say, "Well, okay. Now, I'm going to risk a pretty big jump at the age of 50 to kind of put a whole bunch of my hard-earned cash on the table." It didn't quite have the safety net of a dual-income or money stashed away in case it went sideways, but I had a pretty good toolkit and I think I had a decent idea and some good insights and was able to make a bunch of really good decisions to kind of get the brand up and running.

Dan: I love your story, and we talked a little bit before I hit the record button. I, too, am classically trained from big CPG, and one of the things that P&G does well, P&G, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, et cetera, is that they teach you those skills and they are so phenomenal. The trainings and the things that you can get from that type of education, you can't buy that anywhere, and so thank you for sharing that because this is exactly one of the things that I really wanted to talk about. Where I'm going with that, Suzie is that a lot of brands struggle, and the bar category, for anyone who is not familiar with it, is probably one of the most oversaturated, one of the most competitive categories. Everyone and their brother has a bar. This is where a lot of brands start.

To your point, the repositioning and the brands not knowing what they want to be when they grow up and all of those other things complicate brands, and a lot of brands struggle and fail really quickly. The fact that you're able to do what you're able to do, to grow as fast as you are, not just being a miracle but the fact that you've got the skill set to put all of this together, hats off to you because that is an incredible lift for anyone who's not familiar with this, like I said.

Let's talk a little bit about that. The golden triangle, can you talk more about that? I think that a lot of brands need to better understand why having a good solid strategy from day one is going to help them propel them into the future. Where I'm going with that is that having that unique skill set you had, that cool toolkit as you said, I agree with you. That's what helped you capitalize on your success and build the scale as quickly as you have. It's produced the future of the runaway, et cetera, that's in front of you now. Can you talk a little bit about your golden triangle?

Suzie: Yeah, and first of all, thank you. I certainly echo what you said in terms of the aggressiveness and challenges at the bar category. I probably pitched my brand to 2, 300 different groups of people over the last three years, and the one thing that I must have heard 200 times if not more, number one in the bar category is really, really hard. Number two, It's expensive. To win is expensive, so I kind of was walking around with my little PowerPoint, kind of hearing that again and again.

Conversely, the bar category allows for the most fundamental driver a brand needs to have to be successful, and that's trial, that first trial. You kind of have the toughest category to be in, but you have the highest reward because you can get bars in belly pretty easily and rapidly, and therefore you can get what many other categories cannot get if they're selling a $10 pouch or a $20 pill. It's much harder to get that first trial, and every analysis from MRI to Nielsen to Mintel, who does these big global analyses of, why do 80 to 96% of innovations fail within the first five years?

It's nothing more special than not getting quick enough awareness and, therefore, first trial household penetration. Many, many of the brands out there, if they had better rapid trials, they would get the repeat. You only need 20 to 30% repeat rates on average for brand launches to get over that hump, but the issue is the trial, so I think what the combination of magic of you go into the lion's den in a very competitive category and you'll get the trial if you've done your golden triangle of you have the right positioning, a product that delivers on that promise, and you have it at the right price.

In bars, it's... we're a premium price bar, so that's another hurdle that's kind of a bit scary in bars. For a lot of years, to win in bars, if you couldn't compete with the 99 cents kind and CLIFs and when CLIF went below 99 cents that was a game-changer. The low price is a challenge in the bar category for a premium brand, so if you are a premium brand and you don't want to just be a low kind of turning couple million-dollar bar brand but you want to scale and you are at a premium price, there is no kind of big model out there for that I think right now. There are a few brands that are doing really well at a premium price. I think Bulletproof is one that's kind of shown that they can go in at a premium, then there are the middle-priced brands right now and RX has shown... I guess Quest would be on the premium side also, and then RX has show they can kind of go in that middle tier, but it's tough.

Whether you're middle or... we're premium tier. Whether you're middle or premium, you're competing against brands that are half your price and consumers just want to kind of get calories in the belly. You better, better, better make sure that your positioning is a premium positioning that is either different or better than your competitors and that your product delivers on that because the number one category dissatisfier with bars is they all taste awful. If you can kind of have a high ground on taste and you can have a positioning that brings that to life, you're at least set up for having a chance to get some brand share.

Dan: We used to talk about the fact that the packaging always tastes better than the bar inside of it, so I know exactly what you're talking about. That's not the case today. Going back to what you said a minute ago, alignment with a customer, understanding your brand positioning, this is so critically important. I have a belief, Suzie, that brands like yours should not apologize for quality ingredients, shouldn't apologize for being a product that delivers at such a high value.

That's what I love about your story because being able to take something that's a premium super-premium product that has the quality, the know, like, trust, the value promise, that is so critically important where, to your point earlier, a lot of brands tend to not have a good strategy to go forward. They don't have a good brand positioning. They don't know where they want to be. It's sort of a trial and error trying to figure this out, but you, on the other hand, had a strong, solid strategy before you even started, before you even launched, so that makes sense

Suzie: Absolutely.

Dan: Yeah,

Suzie: I did four rounds of concept testing and validation, and it really... your brand positioning is, who's your target? What's your compelling consumer insight? What is the brand enemy? Therefore, what is your benefit, reasons to believe, and brand character? It's those five things kind of all written down on paper is what you call your brand positioning. Very clearly, we are positioned as boldly as to say, "We're ridiculously delish."

Dan: For sure

Suzie: There's no brand in the history of brands that have dared to state that we will own "ridiculously delicious", and that was kind of the taking... going in a place that no one said before and you had "supreme this" and "delish that" and "clean this and that". We kind of went to positioning to say, "You know what? We are unbelievably delicious." If you look at our creative, we are big, bold, and in your face. Our creative and our positioning, and hopefully our new website will be up and running also when this airs, but you see the bar is oversized, in your face, and you can see the little beads of fat on the bar. You can literally see how good the bar tastes by looking at our creative, looking at our TV ads, looking at our print ads, looking at our website, looking at all our marketing materials that are in the stores.

"Fat is back, sugar is out" is our tag line. It's our compelling insight that opens the door for the consumer to stop and listen to what we're then about to tell her, which is our benefits about this ridiculously delicious bar that's also good for you, and then, boom, we hit hard with, "One to two grams of sugar, keto-friendly, nine to 10 grams of protein, hundred percent clean ingredients, Non-GMO Project Verified, no soy, no sugar or alcohol, responsibly sourced, women's own." We have these 10 logos and then we have the plant-based dairy-free vegan ones. We just hit hard and a lot of brands have these 10 logos. You turn the bar, but we really took a high ground with no soy, no sugar or alcohol. There is a lot of products kind of rolling out there. There's a lot of bars that choose to have certain products. On top of, of course, being gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified.

That's a high, high ground of cleanness and really kind of taking the bar to the next level, and on top of that, we're really a clean bar and a delicious bar and, oh, by the way, we're low carb and keto-friendly. If you're trying to stop eating the evil sugar that we know is the root cause of all the issues that we attributed to fat, then you have all of this together in our product, which is it's quite a kind of an amazing positioning and product brand positioning to have.

Dan: I love it. In fact, actually, now I'm looking at your box and I'm thinking, "Where are you going to put all of that extra stuff?" You need a bigger box, just in... no, you really do, I'm serious. You've got a lot of great claims, but back to what you were talking about in terms of innovation, one of the things that I love about natural is that we innovate based upon what our customers want. Now, I know that sounds like, "Well, duh, everyone else does that", but the reality is the big brands tend to innovate based upon, how do you fill capacity on the line? Or they sprinkle a new ingredient or something like that where you're coming up with something that actually meets the needs of the consumer.

Understanding a little bit about keto and falling that, let's talk about that. You've said several times you're talking about the importance of fats and you've talked about evil sugar. When you're thinking about back to what you were sharing as far as your gut issues, et cetera, and inflammation, can you talk a little bit about why this matters? How sugar and the carbs and stuff like that create more inflammation in the body which creates more pain, et cetera?

Suzie: Yeah, for sure. On our team, we now have Nina Teicholz, who is our Scientific Advisor. She wrote Big Fat Surprise, so we showed to her and she responded, and then we connected and then since then she is a big fan of our bars and she definitely helps me on an ongoing basis on the science and she's the leading expert in the U.S. from a dietary... influencing the dietary guidelines and on the science side. We're very privileged to have been able to connect and have her on the team. She's much more of an expert than I am, but the basics are that the ketogenic diet, fundamentally it's been around for years and years and fundamentally it was clinically proved to be able to treat epilepsy in kids, and then it kind of went dormant a little bit.

There's a wealth of research in field that's coming out, that has come out that shows that the big four, which is diabetes, inflammation, obesity, and cancer all have a flurry of research, either fielded or starting to come back, and in terms of either reversing or cursing or having some early indicators of being able to kind of reduce or reverse, diabetes for sure has been shown to be reversed with the ketogenic diet. There's a two-year study called The Virta Health Study, it's been presented to Congress, and it's pretty much game-changer in the sense of you put patients on the ketogenic diet and they're able to get off their insulin, they're able to essentially reverse their diabetes, 50 to 70% results.

What's happened since I've launched the bars, there's a physicians group in Canada, it's about 4,000 physicians, so it's a very, very large group and there's also a group of physicians that are also part of a clinical physicians group, and there's not only the Virta Health Study and the research, but there's a very large group of physicians that are committed to helping their patients understand the benefits of low-carb diet. There are clinics, there's the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition, that are a big movement. They pretty much... they're familiar with the bar, they're familiar with the science, and they've put... played a part of this community, whether it's the low-carb shows in the U.S., the physicians show in Canada, the low-carb shows in Canada and the clinics. There's a massive building, building body of medical doctors that are recommending and seeing daily results for their patients.

There is a ton of research being fielded on the impact of low carb and ketogenic diets on health, so I guess to pretty much at least six low-carb events across the U.S. every year and it's three days of presentations from everything from the research that can field for cancer. I think there is 31 or 40 right now. There is a Canadian doctor that has research on breast cancer and he just wrote a book on that, so he's on a book tour. Inflammation, of course, and then we all know that your brain likes fat and there's a lot of research around Alzheimer's. Reintroducing good fats in our diet is unlocking a lot of really good health benefits.

Sugar, I think every Mom out there and every person my age knows that sugar is bad. I didn't realize how bad it was until I read Nina's book and then the last three years of being immersed in it. I'm a Mom. I have tried to get my kids to entirely eliminate sugar as I have, although that's not an option that's that easy, but cutting sugar out of your diet, dramatically reducing carbs... Dr. Hyman has been talking about this for many years, and then just replacing it with good, healthy fats is transformative. I'm off my blood pressure meds. I literally... I'm not keto every day. I'm certainly not in ketosis. I am low carb and I literally do not eat sugar, and as Diet Doctor kind of said... had a great article around when you start a ketogenic diet you have to be really careful if you have high blood pressure because your blood pressure will tank.

Being someone that was running marathons and eating no fat and had no success in getting off my medication for high blood pressure and being pretty frustrated that I was like, "What is going on? I can't get any center. I can't work out anymore. I can't eat any "better". My family doctor kind of stomping, saying, "What else can I do?" I'm not eating a grain of salt, I'm not eating a particle of fat. What else can I do? All I had to do was to entirely shift my diet and eat as much butter and bacon and eggs and cheese and cream and coconut oil and cream in my coffee, and as much as I could. I literally just about passed out, so exactly like I had read, which I didn't believe. I literally... within three weeks, I went from more and more days where it was like, "Okay, what's going on?", like if I got up too quickly, and then I was in a yoga class and I just about passed out and I was like, "Oh".

I got home and then the next day the same thing, and then I took my blood pressure and it was 70/50 or some craziness. I called my doctor, he was like, "Oh, wait a minute. Stop your meds. Come and see me and stop your meds." I've not needed to get on my meds since, and the same thing, I was on a prescription for IBS, and then boom, gone. I haven't taken any of that stuff for a year and a half, so if

Dan: No, please, go ahead.

Suzie: It's just when that happened, at first, because I didn't go keto, keto didn't even exist when I launched my bars, right?

Dan: Right.

Suzie: The word "keto" other than in the books and some doctors knew about it, it didn't exist. I was just kind of low carb because it's hard to go all the way to restrict yourself to ketogenic diets and really eat... you have to really be really careful and control what you eat. I traveled so, so much in the last year and a half. It's not hard to be low carb, it's hard to be keto, but I didn't even need to get all the way down to being in ketosis to have the two health benefits that I claimed. That's just pretty mind-blowing because as a marketer who's done claims all my career, you're asked what you do in your brands, you come up with these claims and you make these brand promises. For me, who had been struggling for 10 years with two health issues it seems there was no solution to all I had to do was eating fat and cut sugar, it's kind of like, "Really?" Like, "Okay. Wow, it actually does really work."

Dan: That's exciting. Well, and so again, let's point out that these are healthy fats. These are not just any fats. I know people that went on specific diets at different points in their life where they were just eating any kind of fat that they could get their hands on and they got kidney stones and stuff like that. I'm certainly not a doctor, not proposing saying this is what's going to happen if you do or don't, but the reality is that healthy fats are the game-changer, and when you stop eating sugar, things become sweet, which is so cool. You can eat a strawberry and it tastes so much sweeter than it did in the past.

Now, of course, we're eating natural, organic, healthy, that kind of a product, but the point is you're so much more aware in your smell and your taste buds. It really changes the way you think about food. I remember those sensations from when I was a kid and through better living through chemistry, the processed foods and stuff like that, getting away from that has made such a big difference in my personal life, and that's what you're talking about now. Eliminating the processed, eliminating the excess sugar, and then replacing the fats that you're eating with good fats. Thank you for sharing that.

Is there anything else you want to share about that that's so critically important to help people understand why this matters and why your bar matters?

Suzie: Well, for sure, your taste bud, just to build on what you said, your taste bud and your palette changes when you reduce sugar. You just reduce the cravings, and it happens over six weeks and 12 weeks. It just becomes you don't crave as much. I would do a six-hour bike ride and I would do an Ironman so that night I could have as much caramel and sugar treats that I wanted. Now, I have zero, zero cravings for the most decadent desserts that you can imagine. It's just my palette is not looking for that anymore.

The bar I hope is... we've launched now shakes and we're just rolling out new innovation, but the brand is hopefully a beacon to get the message out there with the name that we have, Love Good Fats, to get the message out there that it's okay and not only okay but necessary to eat good fats, and just cut the sugar out. Have your kids have a snack on the go and feel good about it. Have a filling snack on the go at 3 and in between and not have what happens to you when you eat a chocolate bar, a sweet block, or a doughnut.

Dan: That can actually pull you down. What's interesting, and that's what a lot of people don't think about, I think a lot of people just eat for the sake of eating. You made the comment earlier, it's calories versus the quality of what you're putting in your mouth, and you were talking about some brands being very price-driven, et cetera. Again, I don't think that quality products like yours deserve or should in any way, shape, or form apologize for having a high price point because you're providing better nutrition. I can eat your bar, for example, and I can be satiated longer than if I save a few pennies and eat another bar and then I'm hungry almost right after that and I'm not satiated at the same time, so that's critically important.

As you're developing your products and you're getting on more store shelves, one of the reasons that we kind of been putting this conversation off for a while is because you're getting ready to launch a new product, actually, just launched it. Can you talk about your new launch, your shakes? Why did you decide to do that?

Suzie: Yeah, for sure. Absolutely crushing your cravings and feeling fuller longer, by the way, are the tag lines and the benefits that we also communicate in our marketing

Dan: Great.

Suzie: Messaging because they're the benefits of eating the bar. I kind of alluded to I started with two SKUs and went to two more, and then two more with the plan base. We have pretty much those six flavors rolling out in the U.S. in many stores. In Canada, we're a year ahead, so we continue to fuel with innovation and the six products that are rolling out now are already being listed in the majority of the retailers who support us in Canada. That's our two new white chocolatey truffle bars, so lemon mousse with white chocolate coating and a cookies & cream with the white chocolate coating. Those are kind of our two newest bars, and that takes our six to eight. We call them the truffle because they're the softcore that melts in your mouth bar.

In addition to that, we're extending into a different format of product, and it's called chewy-nutty, so we have our eight truffles with the two white chocolate. Now, we have two new chewy-nutty that start selling really tomorrow, so early August in Canada, and in the U.S. online. That one is more of a... call it a nutty bar, but it's chewy and it's, of course, keto and plant-based and soy-free, no sugar alcohols, and Non-GMO Project Verified and all of those good things. It's finally there is a nutbar out there that's not hard and really good for you because it's only one or two grams of sugar. Again, raising the bar that you can now have a nut bar that's not just a loaded with sugar nut bar, and there are some that have lower sugar, but we have even lower than lower sugar and we're a nice, chewy texture. You're meeting both unmet needs of very low sugar and chewy.

Then, the third set of innovation we're launching right now is our shakes, which are high fat, very low sugar, very low net carbs, 3 grams of net carb, keto low-carb shake. Same, non-GMO, soy-free, no sugar alcohols. That's another high ground for shakes. For anyone who is familiar with the shakes category, taste is not always the high ground, similar to bars, and if you're eating a low carb or you're on a ketogenic diet, what you do is you take a protein shake and then you add MCT oils and you add coconut oils and you're kind of trying to complement and get fat into your shake. Well, we made it super easy by saying, "Okay, well, here's your fat shake from Love Good Fats." It's really kind of the shake version of our bars, high fat, moderate protein, very, very low sugar, very low net carbs-

Dan: Are they shelf stable?

Suzie: And really tasty. Yeah, well, we launched in the powder, so the powder is shelf-stable. We haven't launched in ready-to-drink yet. What's special about the shakes is you can make them with water, and we're doing product cutting and so far we're outperforming from a taste perspective any other powder that we're cutting against, but oh my God. If you try them with cream, you literally think you're drinking a milkshake, but really with just two grams of sugar. One of the things that are happening is you can put them in the freezer and you get a smoothie that's really kind of a frosty, and you make them in the blender with cream. If you go a little bit higher in cream on the percentage of cream and you just blend them for a minute, you need a spoon.

You'll see our commercials are going to start very soon and literally you just press the blender for a minute, turn the glass upside down, and the shake... it's a really thick milkshake that doesn't even fall out of your glass. We like to think that it's the high ground of what the next generation of shakes is.

Dan: I can hardly wait to try them. They look really good. I'm actually looking at your website while we're talking, so I'm excited to see them come out. What's next for you beyond this? Anything else? I know

Suzie: Yeah, there's

Dan: That there's a lot, but...

Suzie: Yeah, there's a lot. I won't kind of get into the future innovation, but obviously, we're building a brand that's a brand that can expand across multiple categories and extensions to better meet consumer needs who are looking for the Love Good Fats brand promise and looking to eat low carb and healthy and tasty. You can imagine that pretty much any category that checks the box off with our brand better meet consumer needs in this category we are pursuing. The only challenge we have right now is there's easily on paper 20 categories that can check all of the boxes, so it's really about strategic productization of, what does it make sense to invest our limited startup resources to invest in next?

I'm sure by the time we're at our next podcast, I'll be able to kind of walk you through where we chose to spend some resources and what other delicious products we're rolling out.

Dan: Oh, and I'd love to have a followup, and that's one of the reasons why I've been looking forward to talking to you because food is medicine, first of all, and secondly, when you're thinking about what you're going to put in your body, if you eat the right stuff, if you are what you eat, then what you eat matters. This kind of goes back to what we were talking about before. Even if you pay a premium or super-premium for a product but it satiates you longer, it's actually cheaper in the long run.

I think it's one of the biggest challenges... one of the biggest failings of the natural channel is that we don't do enough to celebrate the fact that, yeah, you pay more for it upfront, but you pay less for it in the long run and you have the health benefits and you don't need to go see a doctor to correct a problem that you created because you took a shortcut before. Anyhow, trying to change the conversation around that.

Before I hit the record button, Suzie, I mentioned that if you'd like, I'd love to help solve one of your most-pressing bottlenecks. Do you have one you want to share with me that I can help you with?

Suzie: Really, we're moving so fast and the biggest opportunity we have in the party we have is to get the word out. It's really getting on shelves. There are still many retailers we're looking to talk to and to kind of get their support to list our bars, and then once they list the first four to six to eight, is to list the shakes and to list the other bars that we're just rolling out with. We're really in just kind of a sprint. Let's get these great products out on shelves so that they can do what they need to do, which is, to add to your point, to make consumers healthier. Whether it's through your podcast or through other channels that you have to help us get the word out to put us in touch with other options in terms of ways to help get the word out, that's the biggest gift we can get right now.

Dan: Great. Well, I'll certainly do my part. Just so thrilled with what you're doing and thanks for launching this product. I know that you're solving a lot of the challenges that a lot of people have, and I don't think a lot of people, again, think about when they're at the shelf, what is what they're going to eat... how is it going to impact you? How is it going to affect you long term? Going back to what you said ... Go ahead.

Suzie: Well, for sure. On that note, I'm immersed and surrounded by physicians and hearing daily the health benefits of what the ketogenic diet is bringing, and the biggest soundbite is if you get off your insulin, within days and weeks, not only is that game-changer because you have reversed your diabetes, but you are not needing to spend the money every month on the insurance-

Dan: Exactly.

Suzie: And between diabetes and inflammation, Alzheimer's, you get the chance to get your life back and that research is just starting. There's some good stuff that just came out of Canada, but it's... I've been in weight loss for 10 years and when you have 50- and 60-year-old people that are severely obese, morbidly obese, or just overweight and you can through the benefits of the ketogenic diet not only return to a normal weight, reverse your diabetes because diabetes just an outcome of that, it's game-changer for people.

Dan: It is. It makes such a big difference in their lives and it really helps them out. I was just clicking on your site and I clicked on the YouTube channel, sorry about that, and you started talking. It was like, "Whoops! I don't want that." Anyhow, I was just checking out some of the stuff you've got in the bio, but building this awareness

Suzie: It's all connected.

Dan: It is.

Suzie: It's all connected and they're saying that Alzheimer's now is T3 diabetes. It's kind of the evolution of what happens because it's all about connected about the triangle of inflammation and diabetes and it all kind of starts with the carb overload that then operates and creates all of these issues. If you solve the root cause of the problem, which just reduces the carbs, removes the sugar, which is the worst of all carbs, then you start enabling all of the benefits of reducing the inflammation, whether the inflammation is in your brain or in your body and addressing kind of the precursor of diabetes.

Dan: Which is so critically important, so thank you for sharing that. Is there anything else that you want to share that we haven't covered today?

Suzie: No, Dan. I appreciate the time you've opened up on a weekend to chat. Always love chatting to fellow marketers and CPGers, so it's been a really nice opportunity and I'm grateful and thankful.

Dan: Thank you for your time. I appreciate you coming on.

Suzie: Great. Thanks, Dan.

Dan: I want to thank Suzie for coming on today and for sharing her insights and her story. What a great story and I bet you learned a lot from it. I know I did. I'll be certain to put a link to Love Good Fats in the podcast show notes and on the podcast web page. Today's free downloadable guide is Using The Consumer Decision Tree To Boost Consumer Loyalty. I thought this would be appropriate because understanding your customer, understanding your brand positioning, that's the goal of this podcast episode, and that's what the objective of this free download is. You can get this free download instantly at brandsecretsandstrategies.com/session139.

Thank you again for listening and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

Love Good Fats www.lovegoodfats.com

This episode's FREE downloadable guide

Real shopper loyalty is not something that can be purchased through promotions or embossed on a plastic card. It is earned by consistently delivering exceptional value, trust, and loyalty. Learn how to gain a substantial competitive advantage by focusing on your loyal shoppers.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE STRATEGIC GUIDE: Using The Consumer Decision Tree To Boost Shopper Loyalty

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.

Listen where you get your podcast

Like what you’ve heard? Please leave a review on iTunes

FREE Trade Promotion ROI Calculator:

Click Here To Maximize Sales And Profits

Using The Consumer Decision Tree To Boost Shopper Loyalty

Real shopper loyalty is not something that can be purchased through promotions or embossed on a plastic card. It is earned by consistently delivering exceptional value, trust, and loyalty. Learn how to gain a substantial competitive advantage by focusing on your loyal shoppers. 

Empowering Brands | Raising The Bar

Ever wish you just had a roadmap?  Well now you do!

Don’t miss out on all of these FREE RESOURCES (strategic downloadable guides, podcast episodes, list of questions you need to be asking and know the answers to, weekly newsletter, articles and tips of the week.  You will also receive access to quick and easy online courses that teach you how to get your brand on the shelf, expand distribution, understand what retailers REALLY want and address your most pressing challenges and questions.

All tools that you can use, AT NO CHARGE TO YOU, to save you valuable time and money and grow your sales today!

Image is the property of CMS4CPG LLC, distribution or reproduction is expressively prohibited.