Building a Brand for Success: Prioritizing Consumers Over Investors

About the Episode

This interview with Koia founder Chris Hunter covers important lessons on building a company for eventual sale while prioritizing the brand and consumers. He emphasizes listening to customers over investors, navigating profitability pressures, strategic acquisitions, and the entrepreneurial journey.

“The most important lesson I have learned is that there are always more opportunities than we could ever take advantage of.”

Chris Hunter

What You’ll Learn

  • Customer Perspective: A discussion of why entrepreneurs should prioritize consumers over investors when building a brand.
  • Passion and Growth: The challenges of scaling a brand, strategies for innovation and category expansion, and where passion fits into this process.
  • Brand Integrity: Considerations an owner needs to keep in mind around positioning a company for eventual sale while maintaining brand integrity.
  • Building a Brand: Keys to successful brand building like gradual, disciplined expansion, and consistency.

“Knowing that you have a passion for what you are doing is so important because it’s a long game.”

Chris Hunter

Topics Covered

How can an owner position their company for sale and focus on maintaining their brand in the process? [1:30]
Why is it difficult for an entrepreneur to listen to consumers over investors? [5:26]
What is the importance of resource management in building a company? [10:04]
How can a clear storytelling approach help investors understand a company’s innovation strategy? [19:33]
Which decisions can limit a company’s growth? [24:31]
How does consistency in branding influence innovations in products? [29:41]
How does an entrepreneur’s passion fit into the process of building a brand in the food and beverage industry? [37:46]
What are the challenges and benefits of integrating co-packing into the manufacturing process? [44:27]

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Meet Our Guest

Chris Hunter

Chris Hunter

Co-Founder of Koia | Miami, Florida

Chris Hunter is a distinguished figure in the beverage industry, renowned for his innovative contributions and entrepreneurial spirit.

As the founder of several successful beverage brands, including the iconic Four Loko, the health-focused Koia, and the unique Not Your Father’s Root Beer, Chris has cemented his status as a visionary in the field.

Chris has led Koia to an astounding $100M in sales yearly, with their plant-based protein shakes appearing in Whole Foods, Sprouts, 7-Eleven, and Starbucks.

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