The Unstoppable Marketer®

Cause, Comfort, Connection, How To Build An Iconic Brand w/ Tommy Higham CEO Lola Blankets

February 06, 2024 Trevor Crump & Mark Goldhardt Season 4 Episode 20
Cause, Comfort, Connection, How To Build An Iconic Brand w/ Tommy Higham CEO Lola Blankets
The Unstoppable Marketer®
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The Unstoppable Marketer®
Cause, Comfort, Connection, How To Build An Iconic Brand w/ Tommy Higham CEO Lola Blankets
Feb 06, 2024 Season 4 Episode 20
Trevor Crump & Mark Goldhardt

Behind every good marketer is a better brand and product.

Tommy has built Lola Blankets around that exact statement. If you're looking or a masterclass in how to build and maintain an elevated successful brand, this is the podcast episode you CANNOT miss.

"Lola Blankets is a tribute to Amy Higham, our Tommy's mother. She lived a thoughtful life, devoted to the service of others. Through years of living with breast cancer and enduring its treatments, Amy found comfort in her soft, faux-fur blanket. This blanket also became a comfort to her entire family. Prior to Amy’s passing, she gave each of her children their own blanket, just like hers, to bring comfort and love when she could no longer be there.

Listen as we talk about the power of product perfection, designing the look and feel of a brand, working with the right influencers to maintain that feel, and driving revenue. Tommy is an absolute legend and we can't wait for you to find out why. 


Join us!

Thank you for listening 
Follow Tommy on Instagram @tomkatt

Please connect with Trevor on social media. You can find him anywhere @thetrevorcrump

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Behind every good marketer is a better brand and product.

Tommy has built Lola Blankets around that exact statement. If you're looking or a masterclass in how to build and maintain an elevated successful brand, this is the podcast episode you CANNOT miss.

"Lola Blankets is a tribute to Amy Higham, our Tommy's mother. She lived a thoughtful life, devoted to the service of others. Through years of living with breast cancer and enduring its treatments, Amy found comfort in her soft, faux-fur blanket. This blanket also became a comfort to her entire family. Prior to Amy’s passing, she gave each of her children their own blanket, just like hers, to bring comfort and love when she could no longer be there.

Listen as we talk about the power of product perfection, designing the look and feel of a brand, working with the right influencers to maintain that feel, and driving revenue. Tommy is an absolute legend and we can't wait for you to find out why. 


Join us!

Thank you for listening 
Follow Tommy on Instagram @tomkatt

Please connect with Trevor on social media. You can find him anywhere @thetrevorcrump

Speaker 1:

Let's introduce our guest. I want to welcome our guest. His name is Tommy Hyam. He is the founder of a brand here locally in Utah called Lola Blankets, and Lola Blankets is a luxurious, most comfortable blanket on the market. And I'm saying that not because Tommy told me to say that he did say he did use I told you to say that he did use the word luxurious when explaining his brand, but I have one of the blankets and it is the most comfortable blanket.

Speaker 1:

My wife has it. Actually, I don't have it OK, but from time to time we share.

Speaker 2:

Where does the comfy blanket reside in the house On her side of the bed? Do you hide it from the kids?

Speaker 1:

Yes, we don't let our kids have this one.

Speaker 2:

Really.

Speaker 1:

Well, I shouldn't say that.

Speaker 3:

Like you know another one.

Speaker 1:

I think we need like 10 more dude, but my we will, like my wife, you know, like if it's Sunday or something like that, and we're just like vaging out on the couch watching a show. We'll go in our basement and my wife will bring that blanket down and the kids will all snuggle her. And no one will snuggle me because of the blanket, because of the blanket.

Speaker 3:

Yeah Well, at least that's what you tell yourself.

Speaker 2:

It's the blanket.

Speaker 1:

That is what I tell myself. Yes, the kids are all with mom because of the blanket?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, not because it's mom.

Speaker 3:

Dude, thanks for coming on. How are you? No, thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here. I'm good, I'm excited, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, we're super excited to have you. Tommy and I found out we live very close to each other. Yeah, we're basically neighbors. Yeah, we're like neighbors. We're going to start running every morning together. Yeah, maybe hot yoga, whatever you do in those neck of the woods?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know they're opening up a cold plunge sauna studio down there. So in. Alpine, so I don't know somewhere.

Speaker 3:

Really, mitch Matthews and oh, ok, ok, Football yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

There, I mean they're popping up everywhere, somewhere in Utah. Valley. Yeah, that's a big.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's a big area.

Speaker 3:

It's kind of all the same right.

Speaker 1:

It's got to be within like five minutes to 10 minutes for me to be like.

Speaker 3:

I'll be there, for sure I'm driving any further.

Speaker 1:

What's your, what's your like Morning? What's your yeah, what's your morning routine like? What's your like go to?

Speaker 3:

It's actually been on. My 2024 goals is to like rework the morning to make it better, but it really is pretty normal. I just have a normal morning. I've been wanting to go to the gym earlier. Ok, because I've been going to the gym at basically 2 pm. Yeah because that's when boss is like dead. Yeah because it's always just a zoo. Sure, sure, but my goal is to like do it in the morning.

Speaker 1:

Nice yeah.

Speaker 3:

Nice. So what are you? Doing I was going to CrossFit for a while, actually. Ok, in Pleasant Grove. How did you like CrossFit? It's really hard.

Speaker 2:

Did you do CrossFit? Did you meet your Prostilating assignment for CrossFit?

Speaker 3:

Oh, to get somebody.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

No, they never asked me. Maybe I didn't go enough. Is that what you do?

Speaker 2:

Because everyone talks about it. Really, I did not know, wow, first rule of CrossFit is everyone talks about CrossFit yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, crossfit is kind of. But, to be fair, if you go I went for a while they were really nice, it's great, like CrossFit really is great If you just want to go and get your butt kicked and get in shape like there's nothing better.

Speaker 3:

I've always wanted to do it. It made me sick, like it was that hard Really.

Speaker 1:

I think I'd be great at it, but I just. It's too far. There's nowhere close enough to me Like. I said I'm not driving anywhere further than 10 minutes for my workout, pleasant Grove was like 15. Yeah, and we have an in-house. We have a gym in our houses, so it's right, that's where they're opening up.

Speaker 2:

That's not a pleasant grove.

Speaker 1:

So OK Pg.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but yeah no. Crossfit's great. So if you go to CrossFit it's great, but people can burn out of it.

Speaker 3:

For sure.

Speaker 2:

It's really hard. It's really hard.

Speaker 3:

I went all like pretty regularly and then I just kind of stopped.

Speaker 1:

Well, I feel like you have to kind of make it your personality, if you for sure. But I will say that all the people that go every day.

Speaker 3:

you can tell that you go they do that Sure. Yeah, they're shredded, so it must work. You know who's?

Speaker 2:

a huge brother goes every day and he's a CrossFit trainer, so and can you tell, is a CrossFit trainer? Oh yeah, absolutely yeah.

Speaker 1:

You know who's a huge CrossFitter is a Cody Widdick.

Speaker 2:

That makes sense.

Speaker 1:

And when we were together. A lot of ex athletes will get into it. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So how's it going so far?

Speaker 1:

CrossFit your 2024 resolutions.

Speaker 3:

We're, yeah, we're getting into it, like the first week I was like out of town, as in Miami, and then just kind of getting back into Utah life yeah.

Speaker 2:

So it's OK. I set some pretty lofty goals and then I was sick for like a week and a half and then just ruined it all.

Speaker 3:

I feel like the New Year starts like two weeks after. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's like usually February where you're like am I actually going to do this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's just that's terrible, slowly weighed into these waters of goals. Maybe I'll make it.

Speaker 1:

Let's hear. Ok, should we do? We want to get into this debate quickly. We were talking about tumblers. We're talking about the rise and fall really quickly of I shouldn't even say the fall the rise of Stanley, right? So everyone knows what a Stanley mug is by now. Yeah, the rise of Stanley. And I made the comment and it was opinion based, anecdotally. There's no real data that I'm looking at. I made the opinion I just want to be clear about that that I find I opined. I made the opinion that I think Stanley is on the decline. Yep, and I think, because when you see Twins start to get things like that for Christmas, that's generally when everyone starts to say, ok, now everyone has this. I need to move on to the next thing. That's why I made that statement. So I think they're on the I don't know if they're on the downdown client down.

Speaker 1:

The decline now, but they are in 2024 going to be. I think, Possibly, possibly.

Speaker 2:

What do you think? What?

Speaker 3:

are your thoughts? I would agree. Ok, I think it'll still do fine. Yeah, still do fine.

Speaker 1:

I mean when you're at 750 million, yeah, yeah, yeah, you know, like Fine is all relative, I think they'll keep growing even, but maybe not as fast. Ok, I don't think they do so.

Speaker 3:

I don't think they'll decline.

Speaker 2:

Well, see this in the debate. What I was pointing out is that the drinkware tumbler market has grown, and I agree it's not just that there's three companies and they're competing with each other. They are competing, but a tumbler is now a commodity. When it used to be, I don't know, like a one off purchase, like nobody had a tumbler, unless I don't know. If you're like a, you were a certain type of person.

Speaker 1:

Hardcore coffee drinker that you made it at home and you wanted it hot to work, sure, but now everyone has a tumbler.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah, they've educated everyone.

Speaker 3:

They've convinced everyone that everyone needs yes, but I will say Because I came to mind first to the, to the game, right I saw a Tik Tok, actually just barely that like this guy got his wife a Yeti tumbler and she was so mad and like basically like threw it down because she wanted a Stanley. So that just goes to the point that Stanley's created a very strong brand, like it's like almost Presumably amongst the female demographic. Yeah, like she's, like I wanted a Stanley. This Yeti's not good enough, or the Knicks.

Speaker 1:

My little brother, yeah, loves a Stanley Obsessed about it. He was actually the pioneer of the Stanley's.

Speaker 3:

Why he?

Speaker 1:

was first. He got it from that one company that I was just talking to you guys about. I need to go look at that. Instagram account.

Speaker 2:

I've always had a Yeti. I got a Yeti back. Geez like 2017 is when I started using Yeti's yeah Straws. Just grossed me out Like I like the Yeti.

Speaker 3:

That's actually true. They're hard to clean.

Speaker 1:

I don't ever use a straw, even at a restaurant. I always sip from the cup.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I actually don't have a tumbler. I do not own one. You live in Alpine I know, I don't own one I have. I drink olipopsin, so I have like the. I do have a Yeti, those things that you put it in. It's almost like a koozie, but keeps it colder, keeps it cold, yeah, so I do have a Yeti, one of those.

Speaker 2:

But what we were saying is because you had said well, you think Yeti had been declining.

Speaker 1:

I said yes, the emergence of Stanley.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeti in their last report is still up. Drinkware is up 6% in your over year for the last three quarters.

Speaker 3:

Each quarter they're up Drinkware is up, is Yeti cheaper than Stanley.

Speaker 2:

No, the same. Well, I can't tell you the same.

Speaker 3:

Stanley's are what, like 40-ish Yeti's are not.

Speaker 1:

I think they're like 50 bucks, I bet they're probably roughly similar. Yeah, yeah, 42.

Speaker 2:

I'd wager they're within a five ten bucks.

Speaker 1:

So drinkware, so what? Let's just clarify what is drink.

Speaker 2:

But I do think what's happening is because of the emerging market, because tumblers used to be, like outdoors, coffee only.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And now it's kind of turned into every person just wants a cold drink and they don't want their drink to not be cold. So now it's kind of turned into like cold drinks too. And now we're turning into like this female male demographic, almost like hey, like the manly brand might be yeti, right, right, and like the more.

Speaker 3:

I wouldn't say Stanley is definitely like. Like if a guy got a Stanley they would be like oh, it's like a girly thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

For sure.

Speaker 3:

I posted a real one that got like. It got like a million views and I had a Stanley in my hand and most of the hate comments were like saying that I was a guy using a Stanley cup Interesting. Yeah, which is nuts?

Speaker 2:

Well, it is nuts, because, like there's nothing inherently girly about even the label.

Speaker 3:

Right. It's very manly yeah, it's very manly yeah.

Speaker 1:

And even yeah, exactly, but yeah. So I think what's?

Speaker 2:

happening is you're just having like now you have suburban moms or like, maybe like urban suburban feel. You have like more of the outdoor manly you have, and that's kind of what these brands are all gravitating towards. But the the markets emerging, so now you have teenage girls and now they're all using tumblers, right, yeah, they've had teenage boys with tumblers yet, but a wager they probably start using them.

Speaker 1:

I think all the walla Is that how you say it? All the walla? I don't know, all walla.

Speaker 2:

Don't know.

Speaker 1:

Abby, help me out here. All walla, All walla. What is it All walla? They're like an emerging tumbler water bottle market that's creating some really cool stuff that I think. I think they're Utah brand too. Really they're creating cool stuff. I think they're going to start to up the ante.

Speaker 2:

But I think this is good segue into Lola, because we're talking about a market that kind of already existed, yeah, but through education the market has started to expand, but it's all about an item that's existed forever.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

There's nothing unique or special about tumblers Like they have, I'd wager they haven't even gotten better since the 90s. Like I don't know, like I'm sure the tumbler technology has been there for a long time but now, all of a sudden it's like the must have commodity item that everyone wants. So with blankets, Tommy Blankets have been around since the dawn of time. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's hear about Lola and why I want to hear about this, so why did you? Take that on. That's a great segue, yeah.

Speaker 3:

So a lot of people don't know like how, because, like, when I tell people that I sell blankets, that sounds like either way. So I've always been into entrepreneurship, like I've always done, that I had like a bed frame company before Lola. I tried to start like an ice cream business as well. It didn't work. Cream works as you. No, I wish, but no so Lola. So my mom she passed away from breast cancer like three years ago and during her she had breast cancer for a while. Like she had it for like seven years and during that whole time she had this one blanket that was similar to the ones that we sell now that she would take to treatment and like our whole family because there's a lot of downtime with being sick and we'd spend time with her when she was not feeling well and we all grew to like love this one blanket and my mom's nickname is Lola like just kind of shows her sense of humor. So after she had the song, or I don't really know how it happened, honestly it was just like a funny name.

Speaker 1:

Mom was a show girl.

Speaker 2:

No, no, Lola's not.

Speaker 3:

Well, there's a song.

Speaker 2:

I know the song by the Kings called Lola, like that famous song, lola.

Speaker 1:

Lola, lola, lola right. I don't know, I don't know that one. I know her name was Lola, she was. Yeah, I know that one, yeah, but yeah, that was just her nickname.

Speaker 3:

Okay, and so after she had passed away, we didn't know this, but she had that exact blanket, replicated and made for me and like all of my siblings and my dad.

Speaker 3:

And so they, she had hid them. She was like very thoughtful and like the way that she was going to like leave this life. Like she like hand, wrote a cookbook and like she, you know, took a lot of time when she's very sick to like make sure that things were in place. And so we didn't know like this, but we found the blankets hidden in her room, and with each blanket there was a handwritten note to us from her, and so the blanket was like a representation that she said to keep this with you.

Speaker 3:

Like and like it'll be, I'll be here with you when I like, when I no longer can anymore, so it was like a beautiful story and it was like really impactful for me and the product, like the blankets amazing. And I was like you know what a great way to like honor my mom's legacy, then to like start a business selling this, this story and these blankets and putting her name on it. So that's what, that's what I did.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I love. It's a really beautiful origin story.

Speaker 3:

We don't talk about it very much because I just feel like it's a hard. It's hard Each box when you buy a little like it has like the story in it on a card. But as far as like from the brand perspective, it's hard to talk about it a lot on social media, just because I don't it's kind of heavy.

Speaker 1:

Is it hard to talk about? Just this is just me, I personally curious. Is it hard to talk about more so because it's that's still so fresh? I mean you said seven years ago she passed three, I mean, that's even closer than seven right. Or is it hard because you feel like it's you don't want to gain traction telling that story yeah.

Speaker 3:

It's not that it's hard to talk. It is hard to talk about, but it gets easier as time goes on. But I just don't want the brand to be like like that's like always been getting brought up, like it's like that's what you're selling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're not selling that.

Speaker 3:

We're actually selling a really great product. And and, by the way, it's like, this is where it came from. You know, if you want to know.

Speaker 1:

What a delicate. That's hard, because I actually think that story it's beautiful. Yeah, because, like you know, like that's such a cool thing for your mom to do, because it's like now you have this blanket and, as cheesy as it sounds, every time I wrap myself in it, you know it's like that's my mom hugging me, or how do you want to like? Take that and so I kind of get. What you're saying is like you never want to look, like you're feeling, like you're selling a sad story Based off of a tragedy For sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's so cool from what your mom did and then to double down on you saying, well, I'm going to. That meant so much to me. What if I can build a product like that that can do the same for other people? Maybe I have the same meaning and we do we also donate to Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Speaker 3:

at the same office you receive treatment like well. Every month we bring actual blankets to like to the women who are receiving treatment there, and then we donate money to an organization in South Florida called the Morgan and Friends. This is a professional golfer and we just actually were there like this last week. And we donate money and then we also like donate blankets to them as well. So you know, we have like a mission with. Our mission is breast cancer, and then stemming from the story of my mom.

Speaker 1:

How has it been? I want to get into the saturated market of blankets and how you're succeeding. But before we get into that, how has it been like having a mission tied to, yeah, you being an entrepreneur, because not a lot of people get that, yeah, like that, like there's, like this alternate, more important meaning behind it?

Speaker 3:

It's interesting because I've always, I've always only wanted to do, be an entrepreneur and do like the start businesses since day one, like I've never wanted to have like a job.

Speaker 2:

Is that a family trade or is that a you?

Speaker 3:

It's just a me thing, like I used to, like my family would pick raspberries. I remember pick raspberries at my grandparents house and, like I, was like eight and I would literally steal the raspberries from them and go sell them on the side of the street Like. I've just always been like trying to make a buck.

Speaker 1:

I always wish I had a story like that, and I never. I know you kind of do, but I was never like that.

Speaker 2:

I'd sell my mom's lunches.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, oh, like she'd make you a cold lunch at school, yeah because, I went to Olympus oh you'd sell the lunch.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I went to Olympus and if you're from Salt Lake you know Olympus is for a lot of rich kids at lunches and so most of my friends they'd get money for lunch but my mom would make us cold lunches. So it's funny like the grass is always greener, right, they want that one and they want the lunch. So I would always sell my lunches. Interesting, what would you eat? Well, I'd get them. I'd get like 10 bucks. So I'd go to McDonald's and Little Caesar. So you do this in high school.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, when you could drive Nice.

Speaker 1:

I thought you were talking like in elementary school or something like that with lunch money.

Speaker 2:

No, it started in junior high, got it?

Speaker 1:

Cool, sorry, sorry, then I have money left over Big remission. We were just talking about having that.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. So then it's like all kind of clicked. Like you know, my first couple of businesses didn't like work out the bed. One was pretty successful. I ended up selling it to somebody and it just all kind of worked out to where it's like okay. Now I really believe that, like, the success we've had has been tied to that, to that, the why behind it, because there was like when things were not exactly easy, there was like well, even with, like the details of the brand, I was like I never compromised from the very beginning because I'm like wow, like my mom's names attached to this like and she was the best, so this has to be the best.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 3:

I never compromised with like any detail in the very beginning and I think that that's been a lot of the success.

Speaker 2:

Well, I like that. I like that story a lot, because what you're from a well, first of all, like we're really sorry for your loss. You know, losing your mom's never easy.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But the other story is beautiful that you're able to honor her memory and also honor her honor, what you kind of were born to do, right, like you said, you've kind of always been wanting to do that, which is also a way of honoring her right, because you know she brought you into this world and now you're you're able to do what you feel like you've always been kind of born to do.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But it's a good example from a business perspective of how everyone says like start with your why? Or, you know, start with your customers why, or whatever it is right.

Speaker 2:

And what you're demonstrating is that sometimes the why, is this internal, intrinsical force, not something that you always have to be projecting out? And even though that's part of your story, it's not that you're hiding it, it's that, hey, this isn't something like I'm not trying to make money off of a tragedy, yeah Right, I'm trying to honor the legacy of my mom. So you share that story when it's appropriate, but you're not trying to, like, advertise it all the time.

Speaker 3:

For sure yeah.

Speaker 2:

And so you're playing that balance. But I think it's a good show, Like it shows that, hey, that intrinsical force is an entrepreneur. That's something that's within you. Don't always have to share it with everybody, but it can help you move your business forward.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right, like you said. So you went through some hard times. I'm sure you went through like, oh shoot, am I going to make it to the next? Quarter or hey is this product going to work out or whatever. But that that internal why, why you're building it helped you kind of get over those obstacles.

Speaker 3:

For sure, and like I think in my other business like this, is that I've tried to start. It's like it was so easy to give up on things because there wasn't a why that like kept it like going. But this time it, yeah, if there was the why, that like was like okay. Well, I got to figure that out.

Speaker 1:

Any advice you have because I love this any advice you have for anybody who's thinking about starting a business or has a business but doesn't have a why attached to it, on like thoughts on how to find something like that, even if they don't necessarily have like yours was, I don't want to say obvious, but it it like, it was almost like she teed that up for you and then your entrepreneurial spirit was like blankets. Yeah, and you know any advice you have for anybody on discovering that, for discovering a why.

Speaker 3:

I don't think. I think that I think that, more than anything, it just I don't think you have to have like that kind of a why to be successful in a business, like you can just find a gap in a market or a great idea or product and you can be successful. But I think that the advice on that is like just never compromising again like on the detail, always being 100% committed to the idea, because really it always just comes down to like being 100% committed to one thing and then not giving up on it, sure, and you'll always end up in the right spot. I feel like no matter really what, it is Totally Awesome.

Speaker 2:

And sometimes it's just at bats.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

You had a bunch of failures before.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And then the window opened.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I think at bats is super underrated. You know, I think everybody I've been one of those people included, like you want to like your first business you do first idea and when it doesn't work you're like I was.

Speaker 3:

what comes to mind is like have you do you know vital proteins? Yeah, so I like know, like I've become friends with, like the founder of vital proteins, and I just consumed vital proteins this morning, did you? Okay, well, it's a very successful business, like a billion dollar brand, and he told me that he this is his ninth business that he started. Yeah, and he's, like most of them, failed.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

But like one of them really worked, so it's at bats, like you said.

Speaker 2:

Look at that At bats are key. At bats. Yeah, so the blanket market. So you have this great story, this great motivator to start a business in the blanket. But everyone has a blanket.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right. So how did you start like, did you already conceptualize this right from the beginning? Of like, hey, this is a special blanket, but like everyone's got blankets. So what was your mindset at the beginning of like how do I create this and also break through?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Firstly I thought what like? When I said the words Lola blanket, when I first thought of it, when I said that out loud, that like, kind of like, was some weird confirmation that I need to do it because it sounded right and good which that sounds crazy, but sure that's the truth. And then, secondly, I always, even before my mom gave us those blankets, I saw like the like the market and I cause I've always so confused by it. I'm like, first of all, how are there all these billboards on I-15 talking about blankets, yeah, and so like there's this confusion there. Like how is this like even a market? Cause I'm like it's just blankets, right. But then I realized it's like literally everyone can use one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Like male, female, young, old, every single person is the customer. And then I thought there was a real opportunity for and who doesn't like a great blanket yeah? Exactly, and they're not just any blankets, by the way. They're like really, they're a different level. Have you it's?

Speaker 1:

I legitimately. I know that I BS like something. I shouldn't say that.

Speaker 3:

I shouldn't say I.

Speaker 1:

BS about most people who've had on the podcast. I've used their product and I'm not.

Speaker 2:

No, you have. You genuinely use a lot of products.

Speaker 1:

I do. I try to consume the products that yeah. Anyways, I am someone who there doesn't. This is legitimately. I mean, there's $300 blankets there's nothing like it. I've net there's nothing like it. You want to know what I thought was going to be nuts? I thought I thought they were going to make me super sweaty.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And because, like you, they look they're a little heavy. They're heavy, they're thick, they're like soft you don't want to say furry.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, cause I don't you know he's worked for you. Yeah, but they're very plush, plush yeah.

Speaker 1:

Plush. But, dude, like it's, it just gets you the way you want it to be warm. Yeah, Not like. Oh my gosh, I'm like dripping because I've had some weighted blankets. I'm like I can never, do this again. Oh so it's a weighted.

Speaker 3:

It's not technically weighted. We just came out with weighted, which haven't been as successful, by the way, as our original product, but they're like. Our original is like lightly weighted yeah.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, so not like a truly weighted blanket. Just enough to.

Speaker 1:

Not to make you feel like like like there's a Like being hugged.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yeah, so yeah, again we just saw, I saw a very clear opportunity with marketing with this product, and I know that that's my expertise, so that's how it started.

Speaker 2:

So what, what were the first steps then? Like okay, yeah, you got your samples. It's actually crazy, yeah. Then what did you do?

Speaker 3:

I was living in LA at the time, actually, when I had started the business and I actually started by driving around all over LA and like these textile manufacturing places where they actually they were. I found like they're they would buy the fabric and then resell it. So there's a bunch of people in LA that would do that. So that's how we originally started was I was buying, just pick different fabrics that I liked, and then we'd actually manufacture them and like, let's get them sewn in a basement in LA, cool, and that was nuts Like, it was just a lot of work, it was really expensive.

Speaker 3:

Did that for a while and then I finally made like my first order with our manufacturer overseas and they. The first order wasn't very many blankets, but it arrived to my apartment and it filled up my entire apartment from ceiling to the floor. I couldn't open my refrigerator or my stove. I had like I had a single pathway to my bed and that's it, and my whole balcony was full of Did you have pre-orders already, or were you just like oh my God, I've got a set of orders now?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

No pre-orders, but it ended up selling them all in like a month. But it's so big probably because the product is big, so it ships big too, right yeah?

Speaker 3:

The product is big. It was just it was.

Speaker 2:

it was crazy, though had to come up with the money for your first minimum order quantity.

Speaker 3:

So I basically just use all the money I had. Nice yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, you had said you had sold a business. Yeah, previously Cool. Do you mind saying how much the first order was?

Speaker 3:

No, it wasn't that much at all. I think it was like $18,000.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's a lot when you're not yeah, yeah, you know, yeah, when you're just hanging out and young. But it was like, yeah, it was like everything, so that's awesome Okay. I got all these blankets. Yeah, it was kind of scary. What made you okay?

Speaker 1:

So let's dive into this one $18,000.

Speaker 3:

All the money I have, I had spent another like 15 probably on like other things Samples, developing Branding, branding, etc.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so you're? You're 30 plus grand deep and you don't have any pre-orders. What, what indications did you have that led you to believe? Yet I'm on to something I just never I'm going to sell this and not, I don't know.

Speaker 3:

I actually never really questioned if we'd sell them because I know the product so good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And then I was like, and then I was you know, I have friends in LA Like I was using my friends as models and like that wasn't very expensive. And the first I was there was like spaces in LA that were very different than like Utah, and so I just never really questioned if we'd sell them. I just didn't know how fast we would actually Okay, so it sounds like you maybe got some anecdotal feedback from other people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Part of this belief was that you were going to make the best. Yeah, oh yeah. Product.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was never going to compromise on anything like the branding was going to be the better than any competitor we know. The product is better than any competitor we know. So it's like if you do all that, it's like you're and you get into somebody's hands, that people are going to buy it.

Speaker 2:

So you know, what's interesting about that is, I think a lot of a lot of marketers and entrepreneurs try to find a way like a shortcut, right, hey, I'm going to start this, I'm going to exploit maybe this arbitrage opportunity and some kind of industry or market and then that's how I'm going to make my money. But it's interesting hearing about Tommy's experience, because you're saying, no, I don't care, I'm just going to make the best product period. Yeah, and so I know it's gonna work because it's gonna be the best product.

Speaker 1:

Well, what's kind of cool about it? It's like you go to a department store, like a home and decor store, and you've got couch section and you've got Bed section and then you got bedding section. Right, and yeah, and what's great about this is you don't have to create the bedding aisle, it already exists. So what you're doing here is you're saying, let's like, because when I asked you this question, like you did this without knowing if you were gonna sell it, and you're like, well, I just knew I was gonna sell it because, yeah, the aisle exists already exactly.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'm just going to up the thousand products that are on this aisle yeah, or more, I'm gonna make the best one possible, exactly. And so if these are selling, yeah, mine will sell exactly.

Speaker 3:

I saw our like competitors and like they're selling a lot of product and it's like, well, if I do it better, let's see.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we'll sell. Yeah, yeah, I really like that.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so what's your first step to selling your apartment full of blankets? Yeah, so the website built like where were you? I?

Speaker 3:

worked on it for nine months before I started selling anything. The website was, yeah, built. I just did that with like a friend from home. And shop fight shop I. I did like the photography. I actually did the photography myself in the beginning.

Speaker 3:

Okay, nice and I just like paid like some friends like 50 bucks or something to model on. It looked a great, looked amazing. And Then I think we just launched without any like influencers or anything, just started selling it. Mostly family and friends buying in the very beginning, sure, and then just Some I have like some friends who do influencing and they were posting for free and it just kind of like went off like yeah, and like random people were buying and then we had like this was crazy, this random influencer bought from Ohio and she DMed, was like hey, like I want to work with you guys, and she ended up selling like so many blankets. So it was like this little miracle in the very beginning.

Speaker 3:

This was 2021 One. Can you say how many? How many she sold? Yeah, she sold like. She sold like Totals from this like, from to this day.

Speaker 1:

Oh, just from that one thing that helped you take off a little bit.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so that first Christmas she sold I think she sold like $50,000 in blankets. That's wild. Yeah, and then to this day she's probably sold like $500,000 in blankets and did you pay her? At that time? No, we didn't pay her, so she just bought it. Yeah, that's the crazy thing about the internet is like it's just so, yeah, you can reach so many people, yeah, so yeah. That was like a little miracle in the beginning, and then just like I'm also going back to get you.

Speaker 2:

Just build the best product.

Speaker 1:

People will talk about it for sure. Yeah, you get the flywheel effect.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, right, yeah, and then it translates as well. When people share, especially on social media, like if you can tell, like when someone's talking about something on Instagram, if you can tell if they actually believe what they're saying, and I think, if you've created a product where they truly do use it every day and they do love it, it just is going to translate oh yeah to the followers.

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah they see it, you know. Let's just take this girl, for example. Right Like, not only do they see that blanket when she's talking about it, but they also probably like her followers who follow her enough in stories. Like she's probably got a story of her cooking in the kitchen and her kids what using it, or yeah. You know. So you see it more than just the times that Mm-hmm. Oh hey, you got to try this. Low the blanket.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the crazy thing is like the product with with these influencers, like the products always in their stories because it's just in their house and I'm like well, it's very aesthetic pleasing always there.

Speaker 1:

There's some blankets. I'm just like taking over. You need to hire me spokesperson. There are some blankets that are meant to be under the covers, right like. It's like I like. So, for example, my blanket yeah, I use like a because I get hot. I use like a knitted blanket that has holes in it. Okay, so it's a little breathable. You're you're probably disgusted with this because I bought it from IKEA for like 25.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, that's why I need you know anyways.

Speaker 1:

I use that and that stays under my yeah. My wife uses the Lola and that stays on the top corner, yeah, like, because it's very aesthetically pleasing as well as it is, yeah, comfortable.

Speaker 3:

We tried to choose colors and designs that are very On trend and, yeah, to meant to be out and not hidden. So when did you?

Speaker 1:

launch was it 2020, 2021? Okay, that's crazy.

Speaker 3:

So was that your first?

Speaker 1:

big influencers that made a yeah like an actual difference for you guys.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, for sure, but that was, yeah, that was very quick. But then we then I think the success of moving forward was like I have a lot of friends who do influencing and I just started using my friends and then it kind of we started working with a lot of people and I just started sending product out to lots of influencers and Now we yeah, like now we work with like a lot of really big name people.

Speaker 1:

So is that? Is that what your breath, like part of your bread? And butter and why you're succeeding is influencers. Yeah, how is influencing working with influencers chase? Because, because the heyday was 2017 of influencers, I mean 2016, 2017, 2018 really interesting yeah 2020, it was still 2021. It was still good, because you're like coattails of COVID, yeah, and buying habits are just different. Yeah and now it's very different.

Speaker 3:

It is always changing out.

Speaker 2:

We and I just want to point out we're not blaming influencers for this. Yeah, kind of like what people are calling maybe a decline and quote performance. Yeah, it's that these Platforms are trying to monetize. Yeah right, and so there's pay-to-play models, and so you know there's an algorithmic change. That incentivizes them to do what is called like branded content.

Speaker 1:

So it's attached to a brand, so you boost it and yeah, because every time you pay an influencer, an ad platform doesn't get money. Yeah right, sorry, yeah, we do both.

Speaker 3:

But like what we've been doing, finding like a lot of success with his product collaborations, which we've been doing a lot of lately where we have the influencer create a product with us and then Again, it just like comes across so much more natural for them promoting because they feel this attachment to it. They designed it, their names on it, and then they share a way more with their following. Yeah, and it's just, it's fun for us too, because we get to create new stuff all the time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah so we've been doing that a lot. And then but yeah, but working with them is really it's a really hard thing, like, because everyone has different Rules. They want to be paid differently some work on affiliate basis, some want $30,000 for an Instagram story and like it. Just you just have to work out deals and I actually was doing all that For ever until we just we actually fairly hired someone who are really excited about from a very big company that you probably all know. But we're so excited she's starting I'll tell you after, but she's starting the next week, so we're excited about having her.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's amazing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how did you determine your head? You're in charge of the brand. Yeah so explain to our listeners how you Would decide if there was a good match between an influencer and your brand and collaborations like what? What kind of parameters do you set for that?

Speaker 3:

So I would always look at like, firstly, who they are and who like figure out who they're talking to, because, like, for example, like we had a lady, do you have selling sunset? Have you seen selling sunset?

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes, yeah, on Netflix.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so she has. Like, we sent a blanket early on to this lady who has two million followers that she built from being on a Reality show yeah, she posts a lot about the product. Sells almost nothing yeah. And then we have this lady in Ohio who talks about makeup to she's probably 40. Talks about makeup, she has a hundred thousand followers. Post once, sells a lot of product Yep, and it's just like there's this. You have to understand who's Following these people and like what they're interested in, if they actually like. You don't trust the lady the star from Netflix because you don't feel like you Know them. Sure, but the lady that you felt could be your friend totally has a hundred thousand followers.

Speaker 1:

You know her, you trust her well, not only that, but the people following the selling is selling something. So that girl, you know you could have people like. I would just guess and I apologize if I'm assuming I would guess that when you look into your demographic market, I'm sure the primary person buying is female.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, yep, so, but I'm sure you get a lot of men who follow that Woman for sure, just because that's a that's a hit show and yeah and, and what they do is kind of cool, right, and so you're getting people who are just interested in the show.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, may not be interested in age really matters to sure. If they're too young, they don't have any money.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't have to. Just yeah, yeah, if you're buying a $300 blanket, you're in a little bit more of a disposable.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, for sure, yeah so figuring out first for us who's following them. Then I look at like what their engagements, like, like mostly just comments, like if they're getting a lot of comments and Then if they're on brand for us, and if they are, then yeah, we'll work out a deal. And usually we've got this point. We're usually never wrong about how well they do.

Speaker 1:

Now, dude, and that's huge in 2024.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah really big.

Speaker 1:

Most cut me, we mark and I work with brands all the time and most people can't.

Speaker 3:

I will say this I need to add this I'm really good friends with the owner of Wally cases I don't know if you know what Wally cases is and we she's helped us a lot. Cool because they do a lot of influencer marketing and she's kind of been like you know we work with so-and-so.

Speaker 1:

They do amazing, so we've had some leads to what mark so mark and I, we used to work for a brand. We used to be a part of a brand here locally in Utah called fond design and influencer marketing was really big.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And one of the like. We kind of coined this term and you hit something that I really want to touch on, which was when we were discovering influencers, because we, you know, one time we found this woman and we paid her. I remember we paid her like $50. Yeah you know, and To post two stories.

Speaker 2:

There's five was 500.

Speaker 1:

We paid her 500.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but then she sold. Oh well, she sold like figures, she sold like a hundred thousand dollars.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's for us, you know yeah like it's diaper bags, something at the time, yeah, um, but anyways, we started to like, we started to like, hit these wins and then we reckon we, we recognize that we got to stop looking at just followers and we have to start looking at the people for sure, who follow. Yeah, and we called it intent based influence and why they're following. Yeah, so the what is the followers intent right. Yeah and that is For sure are so much more critical than who they are.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because you know you probably this woman with two million followers. She probably has tons of people in her that fit your graphic, but their intent to follow her so different right percentage of those people might be smaller than the percentage of a smaller hundred, thousand, hundred thousand follower. Exactly, yep, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And then when you're talking about followers that actually see post when you post it, you know your numbers go down the other thing I found, too, which is really interesting, is the amount of time the influencer spends talking at the camera with their face. Yeah, like you feel like if you saw them in the grocery store, you know who. You know them because they talk so much to you. Yeah, all the time that you feel like you know them. So we've worked at that. Some influencers are very like, very mysterious and they are never talking and they're showing just aesthetic things All the time. They have a following. They don't really sell anything, but like if they're literally talking at your face all day long, every day, and then they say, hey, I have this blanket, so you're buying the product. That's a golden nugget by the way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is like that's a super big golden nugget. If you're listening to that, you should write that down.

Speaker 2:

Well, if you see the influencers who are still performing really well, even as algorithms have changed, like they're still getting a following, they usually are a little bit more personal.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I agree, and it's, and it's leaning more and more towards that right 2016 aesthetic that we talked about, where you just take pretty pictures.

Speaker 2:

Yeah that trend is for sure, fading and has been fading for seven years now. Right, and the trend of personal Latable Yep, it's still aspirational to some extent, but not to the point.

Speaker 1:

It's like they yeah People want to feel like they're a part of your life and I'm sure that that's like a checkbox for you too, right, like where it's like. Okay, you're, you're finding the people who are more personal in front of the camera?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but also have that ex aesthetic yes, that's part of your brand. Yeah, and, like you've said, like we don't compromise, we, we work really good. You know, chris of Julia.

Speaker 1:

Uh, my, yes, I know the name there.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they're one of some of our best influencers and they're just, they're the perfect combination. They're like in the home space yeah, they are Everything as far as design and like quality, and then they're also very like relatable and nice, and you like hearing them talk, yeah, and so they're like. They're like, I would say, are like the perfect situation for our brand.

Speaker 1:

So when you're to work that's awesome when you're working with influencers, how does how does it generally Talk to? Like, talk to us about a process, like, yeah, you know, is it? Hey, I'm reaching out, can I send you product Mm-hmm, and I just want to know what you think? Or is it like, hey, we want to work with you. What is your what?

Speaker 3:

honestly, I Took the approach from the very beginning of just saying I just want you to have this, yeah, and I'm sending you this, yeah, and I don't ask anything from you. And it really worked like I didn't, because, like I was trying to do influencing myself before as well, like trying on hustling on Instagram, and I remember the feeling when a brand would send me something and they were putting all these really strict Parent, like they're like you need to post like six stories and this, and I just felt so turned off because I'm like you're not paying me anything, sure, and like, but you're sending me product, and it gave me a bad, bad feeling about the brand. Yeah, but like in with a brand would send me something and I would, and they would just like oh, we like you, we want you to have it.

Speaker 3:

I'd feel so I'd literally post first thing of it and then I'd always be posting for free Because I'm like you, just made me feel good yeah and so that's the approach I took from the beginning, as well as like I'm just like we really like you and we just want you to have these blankets and it really honestly worked. And then we then we'd, as they'd, post and say thank you with a story. Whatever would say, oh, like we'd love to like you for you to post about this big sell coming up. How can we make this work?

Speaker 1:

got it, and then we'd work out a deal, and then it sounds like every time you find somebody who Succeeds for you, you're probably double.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and we double down yeah, okay.

Speaker 1:

Well, let's put this person on a? Do you put people on retainers ever? What do you mean like meeting? Let's take this one girl who sold, who you said to sold a prior 500 grand, yeah stuff. Do you eventually reach out to her and say, hey, can we pay you $2,000 a month? Oh right, to get something like this? You know like, or is it more just, maybe she's affiliate? Yeah, we shifted to.

Speaker 3:

we've shifted to affiliate. Okay, just because they, these people who are selling a lot of product, they're good at what they do. Yeah, they're making a lot more than a base rate.

Speaker 3:

So I mean, and then we'll do, I always explain to. We actually have some people that I, I pay, just they don't sell anything, sure, but we pay them because I just want them to be associated with us, yeah, from a branding perspective, because I think that they, their value is not in sales but in association. Sure, and I think that a lot of brands don't think about that. They think just like, oh, like I Need a return, yeah, when in reality, like like I love being able to repost somebody who I just think is really cool, they're not selling anything but they're associated with our brand and I think there's a lot of value in that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, indirect sales.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like I spent a dollar here where I make it back for sure.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, how do you?

Speaker 1:

I'm trying to think of the question because I don't think. I think most people don't do that. Yeah, most people, when they're working with ads or influencers, they're not thinking about the bigger picture and the long tail of a brand branding. Yeah, so how are you justifying that spend, are you?

Speaker 2:

Well, I actually want to jump in on that question, please is?

Speaker 1:

yeah, I'm having a hard time figuring out if that's even the right question to ask.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, I mean, obviously Some brands will say, well, that's cool, but I still need to make, yeah, a profit. Yeah, so how do I make a profit? Like I'm trying to grow, I'm spending money on ads and influencers, like I have to have a return. But I think what the difference is is what Tommy bill, from the beginning, was a brand and the best product. Yeah, so you already had some organic traction. Yeah, to be able to afford some misses at some point, for sure, when you did start paying and when we did start saying, hey, we can take a bigger approach now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure you weren't taking a the biggest approach from day one. Yeah because you were focused on. I want to make sure my brand is solid and that I'm associated in the mind of people with high quality, high you know, high value product. Yeah, the best product. And then, after I get that reach, then we can afford those misses, right, but yeah, like what you're saying, potential misses yeah, well, because you're gonna miss right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah you'd have to.

Speaker 1:

We've missed, for sure. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah but Some brands are like I'm just not in its position to do that. It's like, well, if you're not, then maybe Take a step back and really analyze your brand. Yeah, because is your brand resonating, which is, you know, it's kind of like hoodoo, voodoo, vibe stuff, but there's real actionable, measurable ways to measure your brand. And so I'm curious, because you're a branding expert, you felt like you spent a lot of time making sure that this brand was dialed in before you launched what and how do you build your brand to make sure that it's resonating with your audience?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's interesting. So I think that I took maybe like an opposite approach to that and I just built the brand of what I would resonate with me and Like it just. I mean, I don't know, I have people that come into my like Like house or like where I live and they're like oh, like this is like this is like your brand, like this is like low-loved branded.

Speaker 3:

Yeah and then really everything is just how I branded it for myself, which I Don't know. It just happens to work, happens to work, but like even like we had an event Influencer event in Orm and just like people who came like, wow, this is so on brand. But I really didn't feel like I built a brand with the customer in mind. I built the brand and how I wanted the brand to be, but also In a way to feel a gap in the market, like I said from the beginning, where there wasn't an aesthetically like, pleasing, like she cool brand in the space, but mostly, again, it was just mostly how I would want it to be one.

Speaker 1:

I don't think there's anything wrong with that because I think what a lot of us forget is like, as Unique and as original all of us are, we also aren't at the same time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, meaning there Thousands and millions of people just like it would, I like most people would like.

Speaker 1:

Maybe not be like you, but aspire, yeah, yeah, to be like you.

Speaker 3:

And how you dress and how you live, and exactly, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So what I really like about this and I don't have a question, I'm just like I'm just unraveling this a little bit more, maybe a question will come from this yeah, what I like about this, what you're saying is you know, hey, we pay, we pay. Very beginning, you said I am going to make the best Blanket on earth. I'm gonna make the most comfortable, chic, luxurious. Maybe you don't want to use the word chic. No, we like it. Okay, cool blanket. And so, in order for me to do that one, I have to successfully do with the product. Yeah, right, so the product has to. When they get it, they have to say yes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah this, wow this exceeded my expectations or fit my expectations exactly. But two, part of building that brand is having people who, like you said, may not sell for you Directly, who post, but when you post about it they see that like, oh my gosh, that person, you okay. Yeah, you know that fits the type of person I want to be like.

Speaker 1:

I like him or her Mm-hmm, and so I think that's probably how you can justify that part of the brand, because it's just, it's like it's like you're paying for a model, yeah, a shoot down in La Jolla, that's very, you know, aesthetically pleasing. Or you're paying for a shoot at a beautiful Cabin in Montana, or you know what I mean? Yeah, that's kind of how you justify that, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I would for sure. We actually just did a shoot in Iceland and it was a very expensive trip and shoot. But yeah, I Mean I think it all comes back. It nailed the brand.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I did see that it was sick. Yeah, that seemed like a lovely. That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Go do some whim-hoff over there. What's that? Isn't he an Iceland, or something?

Speaker 1:

who whim-hoff. I'd never heard that before in my life. I will say if you have not been nice, let's that breathing guy.

Speaker 2:

He's the ice man. The guy who does the breathing like I? Don't know he can oh.

Speaker 1:

You guys don't know who him off. I'm maybe keep explaining it.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, look, whim-hoff is this guy. I think he lost his wife to. Don't ask us, we don't know when my impression okay.

Speaker 2:

And he wanted to fix like what's wrong with people. And so he went on this journey to discover, like breathing and breathing Exercises, and he's to the point where he can kill a virus by breathing like they, like he. There's an experiment they shoot him with a virus, inject him and he raises his temperature to the point to kill it. He can survive. He set the record for the longest time in an ice bath like he can. He was in an ice bath for like five. I'm sure we've seen him on tiktok property?

Speaker 1:

I would imagine I saw he's got a beard.

Speaker 2:

He's all that is so trendy right now. It looks like a, like a no Forrest.

Speaker 1:

He's not the guy who puts tape over his mouth, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I get those breathers yeah. I see that no, now you'd know.

Speaker 1:

I've heard Iceland's incredible, amazing. Yeah, you need to go, like one of the one of the most beautiful places ever it is get a question though.

Speaker 2:

So you're saying your, your target demographic are usually women 30 plus.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, With higher incomes what?

Speaker 2:

yeah, I mean because they're gonna have household incomes generally right yeah. Yep at that point, or higher incomes by by themselves. So have you figured out? Because women tend to just be the purchaser of a household.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure, especially for household things is especially for household things.

Speaker 2:

So it's not that the product is for her or For for a man or not, right? So it's like you have to sell the, the woman of the house. If you sell the woman of the house, then you get the whole household, yeah. Yeah so my question is have you been able to discover that kind of chain effect of hey, if I can sell this woman, I can sell Becky down the street. Yeah, who has three kids or two kids? My husband she's gonna get one for her.

Speaker 2:

No, they do and then they get five Yep for sure. Well are, would they buy many like usually it's one and then five, or how does that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah we have people get their first one. They'll get it in the mail, those use it and they'll literally make a purchase within the next a few days. So like our return, like Returning customer, is really high and then people in general are buying like Two to six which is the testament for a brand at a product.

Speaker 1:

Right, if you can. If that happens, then you can spend Crazy amounts of money on the brain stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, if we can gain a new customer for X amount of dollars. But you know I mean then there are customer for, and then again Christmas comes around, you know.

Speaker 1:

I mean, like it's just, and then they're probably talking to other people about yeah, yeah. I would love to know what you guys happen to use any sort of post purchase survey at the very end of your Um, we do a survey. Yeah, it's just through Shopify, I think okay, we'll have to talk at the end of this, but I'm curious if, like, I bet there, you know, how did you hear about us?

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, your friend, wait, no, we don't ask that, we'll talk, we'll talk about it.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure that is.

Speaker 2:

It would be wildly high if you've got a massive yeah, yeah, returning customer right well, and then, and then going back to that original, like well, how do you justify doing this? Well, that's why exactly like if you build and and just business 101, a good brand is a good product experience. Right, I think a lot of people maybe get a little too creative with what a good brand actually is and is it. And there's all these things you can do to enhance the brand experience, but first and foremost, your brand.

Speaker 3:

Experience is your product experience.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure, At least yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you can do a lot if you're returning a customer within 30 to 60 days. Yeah, because essentially now you can afford to pay almost as much as you want to acquire a customer. Yeah, I'm not saying this is what you do, but we're just talking hypotheticals here. Yeah, if you had a $300 item now you can say you know somebody's going to come back and buy three more. Yeah, well, I can acquire a customer for $300.

Speaker 1:

I can potentially lose money on this first order? Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And we've really learned a lot with our Facebook and Instagram ads. As we've scaled our ad spend. It's just been really eye-opening how scaling has worked, just because we were always pretty conservative with the spend on those types of ads Because it's just really hard to understand it all. But then as we leveled up, I guess you'd say, with how much money we're spending on Facebook and Instagram, it actually has made a lot of sense to spend way more money. Nice, so it's been cool yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, a lot of people get caught up in direct ROI or direct problems.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right, and so I think that's what you're insinuating. That's impressive. Yeah, totally.

Speaker 3:

But then when you actually really look into it, when you say, yeah, like we say, we acquired this customer for kind of a high amount of money if you look at from where we got them from. But then she literally has bought 10 blankets and then she, those 10 blankets, went into these homes and then these people are buying them yeah. And then they're buying them because they were a gift, and then it's like this like spiderweb effect MLM.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, kind of Not really. Besides the down line right, besides them getting benefited yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 3:

That's a good point.

Speaker 1:

What platforms are you? So you said you're testing in Meta. I'm sure you are in Google as well.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

You're messing around anything on TikTok.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, how's that working for you? We just started that. Actually, it's crazy because we don't really use TikTok, but we have a few influencers on TikTok who kill it for us, and so we're just. That's one of our 20, 24 things is we're really going to focus on TikTok.

Speaker 1:

Nice, any other big platforms you're advertising on?

Speaker 3:

We're Pinterest and then Reddit. I've heard really good things about Reddit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, if you do it right yeah.

Speaker 3:

We heard that we get searched a lot on Reddit, so we're going to start doing Reddit too.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, awesome. What kind of ads are working best for you?

Speaker 3:

So it's been. We just you know it's a lot of like sort of like ads that I wouldn't approve of, like visually actually do great, and so it's hard for me because I approve everything. It's hard for me to like sometimes. Let that test something that like represents us. That's not like super aesthetic, but a lot of, a lot of like UGC type of stuff does really well. We're really doing a lot with that right now. Like we're working with all these different UGC creators across the country. We'll send them product, we'll like really go through scripts with them and try to make them as like just you know, like you know a lot of the zoom in, like different eye catching type of things. So UGC for sure. And then a lot of like I think you had mentioned it, but we call it like white label ads where our influencer influencers will make a video and then we'll actually run it through their account, so it'll be like a sponsored ad for them. Yeah, that are really effective.

Speaker 1:

Influencer name sponsored by yeah Low level.

Speaker 2:

Are you seeing a comeback?

Speaker 3:

with statics? What do you mean? Like just pictures? Well, you know, static. Oh yeah, back in the day, static imagery didn't do well.

Speaker 2:

They did great, yeah, and then they didn't do good. It was like all video.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like after 2020, 2021.

Speaker 2:

Recently we've seen a huge uptick in static performance.

Speaker 3:

We have some ads that do really well, that are static, and then if we run it, if we have a sale, we've learned that like just making the sale as clear as possible and just basically, if one static image is, has been really effective to make it very clear yeah, directness and advertising is underrated. Yeah, Some people Again.

Speaker 1:

I think marketers always overthink it, Like sometimes marketers start marketing to marketers Especially and I mean this with the most respect in the world, especially people like yourself who are like branding experts, right yeah, and I love that you mentioned like hey, there's some ads that aren't. You know, I wouldn't create them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or it's hard for you to approve it's hard for you to prove, but I'm letting it happen because I'm seeing the performance.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so how did you get over that? Because a lot of brands have a hard time.

Speaker 3:

Letting go of like the vibe of it all.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I just, you know, I just wanted to see the numbers. So we tested some stuff and it works.

Speaker 1:

Good for you, man. Yeah, that's awesome. That's super important to understand Like I don't compromise here, but there are some things, no, I mean I do like.

Speaker 3:

If it's bad, like I'm not letting it go. If there are certain things where the product doesn't look good, I'm not. You know there are some things, but if it's not exactly perfect, I've learned to like let it go a little bit. Yeah, just because of like I also have learned in running business is like it's better to do than get super caught up in some of the things. Like again, there are some details you never compromise on, but you've got to always be moving Totally so.

Speaker 2:

Well, movement is momentum.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I think when you get caught up in over analyzing, you get caught up in the trap of not doing For sure. Yeah, and you're not going to move your business forward. Yeah, a failure will move your business forward right Like because if you fail, well then you can learn from that failure and you adjust your advertising.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, not do that anymore.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, but not doing anything won't do anything for your business at all.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I agree with that.

Speaker 2:

And I love what you said about approving that stuff. I know it's hard for someone who wants things to be perfect and wants everything to look a certain way aesthetically, but again, brands can have different sides of a personality. It's kind of like when you meet somebody and maybe it's an interesting person they're kind of eccentric in weird ways. And then you go to their house and you're like, oh, like those hidden millionaires, you know like, oh whoa, I wouldn't expect that yeah.

Speaker 2:

I never would have thought you lived in the woods and you're like a millionaire or something. Yeah, right, you can kind of think of that as like a pleasant surprise with brands too, right, like you don't. It's not that you're like oh, I don't think this guy's dirt poor. When you meet someone like that or they're just kind of like unassuming yeah, but they're interesting and they're maybe telling stories or whatever, and then you get to know them even more and it's even more interesting, like the more you go.

Speaker 2:

Brand experiences can be the same way, like, even though it's not perfectly aesthetic at the beginning, it's interesting, yeah, and people don't care about you unless you're interesting, yeah, you have to catch their eye, you have to catch their attention. And the most aesthetic thing right now doesn't always catch the attention right off the bat. Sure May not be a big hook, but when you get to the house, the website, and it's all aesthetic, it's all nice, right, it all matches. It's like, oh, this is comfortable, now I can walk in. This is really surprising and a pleasant experience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but they're never going to get to the house unless they're interested for some reason?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, unless you can hook up and stop them. And yeah, just a couple more questions, and then we can kind of finish up here. One question I have for you, tommy, is what brands are inspiring you right now? I always.

Speaker 2:

Stanley.

Speaker 3:

No, I'm not, and Yeti.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 3:

Yeti, I always. I don't know if this sounds so basic and so, but anything that the Kardashians put out is actually pretty good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Like they're branding experts, like they're whoever running those brands is killing it, and so I always really look like Skims, for example, or like Kendall's brand, like 818, the Tequila brand. They just kill it and it's just always. They're always a little bit they're. I feel like they're really good at forecasting the trend in what is going on with branding, so I think that they're really good.

Speaker 2:

And maybe even dictating what it is For sure, Totally yeah. They start at yeah.

Speaker 3:

In Utah, though I feel like Utah could level up with their branding. Everyone Actually I know Everyone's getting called out. I don't disagree with that. I feel like they could. I feel like they don't take it as serious Tommy's hot takes. Yeah, I feel like they don't take it as serious as they could. Yeah, because there's this sort of like group think and I feel like in Utah, where everyone loves supporting Utah brands, but like, I feel like there's a lot of opportunity in branding in Utah, branding like culture.

Speaker 1:

What are okay. So let's that will lead me into a good next question. My next question, which is what are some of the biggest mistakes brands are making when building a brand?

Speaker 3:

Okay, I think we kind of naturally touch on it.

Speaker 3:

I think that they're not. They're too focused on the return, with all aspects of branding, and that there's some. There's some value to be like. I could, for example, like our shoot in Iceland was, yeah, really expensive. I could have done the shoot in a studio. Actually, we did. Actually that's the story we did.

Speaker 3:

I did a shoot in a studio in Provo and I got the pictures back and I'm just like this is so boring, yeah, like I literally didn't use any. There's a $5,000 loss. Like didn't use any of the photos and I was like this is just boring. And so I was like I got our model photographer Fluid Iceland, very, you know, huge trip. We shot all day for like five days and it was just epic. It was just so different. But like a lot of I don't feel like a lot of brands would be like oh, like we can't pay for that. That doesn't make any sense. Let's just use these photos. We already paid for them, but we took the loss and it's just like, well, we have to say true to our brand and that is our brand is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Going above and beyond, and so I think that's definitely a mistake. It's more. They're more focused on, like we said, like the return, rather than sticking true to your like core values of a brand.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And it's more on, like the dollar, which I just always believe it comes back. Like again if you do a really good job at anything you're doing, whether it's branding or product, it's going to come back to you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love. I mean, we say this from time to time, but like you, can't really put a RYM brand.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right, you can put an ROI on your sales and your marketing ad spend, but it's, it's.

Speaker 1:

If you're losing money you can Sure, yeah, yeah, if you're not winning. But that's where the right product experience comes into play, cause you, like you saying all this stuff like a trip to Iceland works for you because your product maps out. Yeah, but it would not work for you if somebody only bought once and never bought again. I've never told their friends about it. Yeah For sure, cause you. It'd be like, yes, you can acquire people because of what you've done with the brand and you've made this so beautiful and so aesthetically pleasing and so catchy. And but if somebody's getting the product and it's shedding and it's ripping and it's not as comfortable, then yeah, and they're ripping you on Reddit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then you can't get in that way. So but, yeah, man yeah.

Speaker 2:

That's. That means really solid, it's really solid Congrats.

Speaker 1:

Your business sounds amazing and it sounds like you've done.

Speaker 2:

It's fun, you know, and I love that it's Utah based, because I do hope we go back to the Mad Men advertising creativity world though.

Speaker 3:

What is that?

Speaker 2:

You know, like the golden age of advertising. Like everyone, like you said in Utah, like what you're calling out Utah brands and how they all kind of blend together. Yeah, um, the same same thing with tech right. Like all the tech logos are the same Same colors.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's all font based, you know. I mean, everyone looks the same where. If you think about the golden age of advertising, like that's where McDonald's comes from, right, right Like the arches, okay, yeah, yeah. It's where Coca-Cola, like the most classic logo of all time, like nobody does anything that stands out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I hope and I because I agree with you from like a zoomed out perspective yeah, Start doing things that are different, Like you don't have to have the same logo, the same font, everything, right. Yeah, Like, see what happens as you experience I don't know some creativity in your brand.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, sure, yeah Zigg when everyone's zacking.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I agree. Well, think about it Like all the best logos, don't look like any of the logos that come out anymore, because everyone just kind of does the same thing over and, over and over again, like where's all the cursive fonts, lola?

Speaker 3:

There you go yeah.

Speaker 1:

Best of you kind of got a little cursive going.

Speaker 3:

Got a little cursive going the font our logo, by the way, is an actual miracle. It was the very first thing I did and I some. I hired some guy in Fiverr in Bulgaria to make it Nice, and it was his first run. I'm like, wow, I'm like perfect, that's it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's it.

Speaker 3:

We're done. Yeah, dude, I love that. It's so lucky.

Speaker 2:

Where most people would do block caps L-O-L-A. Yeah yeah, maybe rip off like Coach Fawn, laura Fawn or something. Yeah yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, dude, thank you so much.

Speaker 3:

We appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for having me. Yeah, yeah, thank you so much. Where can people find you? Where can people find Lola?

Speaker 3:

So yes, we sell LolaBlanketscom. You can follow us on Instagram LolaBlankets. And then my Instagram is Tomcat with three Ts at the end.

Speaker 2:

Tomcat, tomcat.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, tomcat, tomcat, with one T was taken, so I had to do it. Three days Makes sense.

Speaker 1:

All right, Well, thank you so much, Tommy. We appreciate it. Oh, thank you Everybody. Thank you so much for listening and we will see you guys next week. Thank you so much for listening to the Unstoppable Marketer podcast. Please go rate and subscribe to the podcast, whether it's good or bad. We want to hear from you because we always want to make this podcast better. If you want to get in touch with me or give me any direct feedback, please go follow me and get in touch with me. I am at the Trevor Crump on both Instagram and TikTok. Thank you, and we will see you next week.

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Blanket Business Origin Story
Finding Your Why in Business
Start Successful Business With Unique Product
Building a Successful Business With Influencers
Influencer Marketing and Followers' Intent
Building a Brand and Influencer Partnerships
Building a Brand With Customer Satisfaction
Enhancing Brand Experience and Advertising Platforms
Branding and Values in Business