In Business School, Michael Landa was taught never to take on an industry where 4 players control over 80% of the market. That’s exactly what he did – and now his company, Nulo, is one of the fastest-growing brands in pet food.
Nulo.com – Visit Michael’s website and get 25% off your order!
3 Value Bombs
1) Don’t compromise on providing a highly differentiated product and value to end consumers. Figure out what it is that’s going to be different and deliver on it.
2) Once entrepreneurs get traction and they’re on the radar with your brand, you’re going to be scrutinized by competitors. Just stay focused; go slow to go fast.
3) Stand for something. Don’t deviate. Stay true to your brand and your mission. That will get you really far.
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Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks – Breaking Through as a Challenger Brand in a Dominating Industry
[1:20] – Michael shares something interesting about himself that most people do not know.
- He grew up as a competitive gymnast in high school and an all-American swimmer.
[2:33] – Why did Michael start a pet food company?
- Around 2001, while taking a quick break, he found many people trying to find pet sitters, which led him to start what became the largest at-home pet sitting and dog walking and training business.
- He started to see a huge demand for pet sitters who can administer at-home insulin shots for diabetic pets, which led him to learn about why a lot of pets are getting diabetes.
- He started Nulo with the objective of creating a food platform that’s high-end meat, low-end carbs and low glycemic.
[6:34] – The pet food industry is dominated by a handful of billion-dollar brands. What challenges did you face to break through that?
- There’s tension that exists between channel exclusivity on one hand and scale on the other hand.
- The life cycle of a premium food company starts in the independent pet food space.
- Michael knew that for him to be able to communicate the nutritional benefits of their product and compete with large companies, he would have to have scale in a way that allows him to co-exist with multiple channels without having conflicts.
- It’s about getting their message to consumers and helping them to navigate and sort through all the choices they have available
[10:47] – Michael shares how he got Michael Phelps as a sponsor.
- In 2013, he had an Aha! Moment that made him think “athletes are the perfect ambassador for my brand”… because they understand how peak performance is governed by the type of food they put in the body, which translates to pets.
- If you go to Nulo.com and look at their ambassadors, they’ll inspire you to think differently about what you’re putting in the bowl.
[16:48] – How did Michael adapt to the evolution in the pet food industry?
- The days of pet parents wanting to just put kibble in the bowl and walk away are gone.
- In general, people are more interested in engaging with their pets at meal time.
- There’s been a shift for people looking to feed differently.
- As a brand, they stand for something.
- You can fool people with marketing for a while, but eventually it’s going to catch up with you.
- Make sure your company carves out something that is different and stay true to that.
[21:28] – What advise does Michael have for those of us who have great ideas and want to take on a dominant industry?
- Don’t compromise on providing a highly differentiated product and value to end consumers. Figure out what it is that’s going to be different and deliver on it.
- Once entrepreneurs get traction and they’re on the radar with your brand, you’re going to be scrutinized by competitors. Just stay focused; go slow to go fast.
[23:48] – Michael’s takeaway and call to action for Fire Nation.
- Stand for something. Don’t deviate. Stay true to your brand and your mission. That will get you really far.
- Nulo.com – Visit Michael’s website and get 25% off your order!
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