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Today my guest on the podcast is Siena Dexter. Siena is the Director of Brand Strategy and Associate Partner at Smashbrand, where she helps Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands win on shelf through quantified consumer metrics. Siena’s main interest is in Behavioural Economics and quantifiable ways to predict human behaviour – which happens to be exactly what Smashbrand does best. 

We talked about packaging,  branding, how to catch your customer’s eye, the importance of knowing your market and connecting with your audience. 

Listen in to hear Siena share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:14)
  • The process of how SmashBrand test brands and packaging (01:50)
  • The challenges of rebranding (05:26)
  • Grabbing the consumer’s attention (07:06)
  • Predicting consumer behaviour (08:57)
  • How a small independent brand can stand out in the marketplace (10:27)
  • How to connect with your audience (11:25)
  • Make people care about your story (13:57)
  • Do you need to show the face behind the brand? (15:15)
  • How to make a brand a bestseller (18:52)
  • Being realistic about the work that goes into making a brand a success (21:40)
  • Key team members to recruit as you scale your brand & business (23:05)
  • Things to consider when approaching buyers (25:43)
  • Things to consider around the messaging of your brand (31:19)
  • Tips for what to include on your packaging (35:25)
  • Her number one piece of advice for product creators (42:59)

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SmashBrand Website

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Podcast 112 Creating a food business and getting stocked in major supermarkets – with Marieke Syed – Snackzilla 

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas To Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Today, I'm talking with Siena Dexter.

Vicki Weinberg:

Siena is the director of brand strategy and associate partner at

Vicki Weinberg:

SmashBrand where she helps consumer package goods brands win on shelf

Vicki Weinberg:

through qualified co consumer metrics.

Vicki Weinberg:

Siena's main interest is in behavioural economics and quantifiable ways to

Vicki Weinberg:

predict human behaviour, which happens to be exactly what SmashBrand does best.

Vicki Weinberg:

So this was a really interesting conversation I had with Siena.

Vicki Weinberg:

We spoke about packaging branding, um, how to get the customer's eye.

Vicki Weinberg:

We also spoke a lot about research about knowing the market, knowing where

Vicki Weinberg:

you fit in, um, all of these things that, of course you've heard me mention

Vicki Weinberg:

before, but Siena really is an expert.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I hope you find this conversation really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'd love to introduce you to Siena.

Vicki Weinberg:

So hi Siena.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being.

Siena Dexter:

Hi, Vicki.

Siena Dexter:

Lovely to be here.

Siena Dexter:

I'm really pleased to, um, yeah to join this podcast and be, uh, part of the show.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, let's start with you giving introduction to yourself, your

Vicki Weinberg:

business and what you do, please.

Siena Dexter:

Sure.

Siena Dexter:

Absolutely.

Siena Dexter:

So I'm Siena, I'm director of strategy at an agency called SmashBrand.

Siena Dexter:

What we do is brand and packaging design, and what we do different

Siena Dexter:

is we test the packaging.

Siena Dexter:

So we introduce consumer testing to ensure that when packaging goes on the

Siena Dexter:

shelf, we know it's going to perform before it even hits the shelves.

Siena Dexter:

Um, so that's what we do uniquely through quantitative testing.

Siena Dexter:

Um, as well as all the packaging, strategy and everything else that you'd expect

Siena Dexter:

from a brand and packaging agency.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm just going to jump right in and say, how do you test, um,

Vicki Weinberg:

the brands and the packaging?

Vicki Weinberg:

How does that process work?

Siena Dexter:

That, that, that is the one thing I always get asked on podcasts.

Siena Dexter:

Um, it's the most interesting thing, isn't it?

Siena Dexter:

Because that's that's I suppose what we do differently.

Siena Dexter:

Um, I'm going to say that that's um, that's a question

Siena Dexter:

that has a multifaceted answer.

Siena Dexter:

So we do do quantitative.

Siena Dexter:

Um, through not so much.

Siena Dexter:

So when you get kind of AB split testing, say you're testing a website and you

Siena Dexter:

are doing AB split testing, does this tagline work better than that tagline?

Siena Dexter:

Does this design work better?

Siena Dexter:

Where are we losing clicks?

Siena Dexter:

Where are we getting people following our funnel towards, um,

Siena Dexter:

you know, the buy now, the basket.

Siena Dexter:

Um, it's not like that reason being, it is harder to um, how are consumers going

Siena Dexter:

to behave in a retail environment simply by doing a very simple AB split test?

Siena Dexter:

So, what we do is a lot more comprehensive than that.

Siena Dexter:

We start our journey of understanding consumers, right at the very beginning,

Siena Dexter:

sometimes doing primary consumer testing.

Siena Dexter:

So primary research into drivers to purchase how consumers, so let's say

Siena Dexter:

for example, um, a brand we recently worked on, well, I can't name the

Siena Dexter:

brand because it hasn't launched yet.

Siena Dexter:

But a product we recently worked on was mayonnaises um, a very old, um,

Siena Dexter:

brand of mayonnaise that's been around since the twenties, really amazing

Siena Dexter:

established audience, loyal customers.

Siena Dexter:

They wanted to elevate the brand from, um, from perhaps a more budget, um, kind

Siena Dexter:

of look or more budget, um, positioning in the market to be more quality, um, to

Siena Dexter:

be of higher quality and more of a luxury brand and more, um, kind of more elevated

Siena Dexter:

from the positioning they were in.

Siena Dexter:

So we had to really understand kind of at the start of it, how people are.

Siena Dexter:

How people are consuming mayonnaise, why people are consuming mayonnaise,

Siena Dexter:

what is at the heart of mayonnaise, um, and really kind of looking past

Siena Dexter:

the product and understanding, um, what is the story that we need to tell, um,

Siena Dexter:

looking at other brands and saying, what's the story they're telling?

Siena Dexter:

Um, what is the consumer journey?

Siena Dexter:

Um, what are their tensions?

Siena Dexter:

Um, for us, we found all mayonnaise is kind of the same.

Siena Dexter:

Um, so you just default to Hellmann's.

Siena Dexter:

Um, We, we get to that by our primary testing, but also through just

Siena Dexter:

understanding how consumers are thinking, this could be kind of asking every Uber

Siena Dexter:

driver that, you know, we meet what their favorite brand of mayonnaise is, asking

Siena Dexter:

our friends and family, ask literally anyone that we can, and then obviously

Siena Dexter:

through a more scientific approach as well of, um, testing this, um, quantitative.

Siena Dexter:

Um, through data, um, not specifically for mayonnaise, but

Siena Dexter:

for other brands we work on as well.

Siena Dexter:

Then through that, we build out the story that we want to test

Siena Dexter:

for, um, in our consumer testing.

Siena Dexter:

So once we have the concept, we understand the overall story that we're testing for.

Siena Dexter:

What are those parameters?

Siena Dexter:

Are we testing for taste?

Siena Dexter:

Is that important?

Siena Dexter:

Are we testing for standing out in the category versus fitting in.

Siena Dexter:

Are we testing for this gives me a sense of status.

Siena Dexter:

Um, what is that overall story we want to tell for consumers?

Siena Dexter:

And then through that, um, through that lens, understanding how well the

Siena Dexter:

product is going to perform quantitative.

Siena Dexter:

Um, so that was my, um, long winded answer to your question.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really, that is really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm guessing as well though, with the example of the mayonnaise a

Vicki Weinberg:

rebrand is something even is something different as well to launching a new

Vicki Weinberg:

product because presumably consumers already have a view of that brand

Vicki Weinberg:

and who they are and who they're for.

Vicki Weinberg:

And if you're trying to change that, I guess that adds another dynamic to it.

Siena Dexter:

It's a lot harder of course.

Siena Dexter:

Um, because they already have a loyal base of customers.

Siena Dexter:

They are already perceived as let's say quality, um, a quality

Siena Dexter:

product, and really in the case of this brand, it does taste great.

Siena Dexter:

Um, it does, it's winning on taste tests, um, compared to other products,

Siena Dexter:

um, but just from its perceived look, it's seen as a budget product.

Siena Dexter:

So for those that know and love it, they've seen past the packaging.

Siena Dexter:

They've got heritage, they've got, this was in grandma's table.

Siena Dexter:

What I grew up with it's synonymous with mayonnaises.

Siena Dexter:

Um, this is how they, how they enjoy the product.

Siena Dexter:

Um, whereas for new, for new customers walking past it on the shelf.

Siena Dexter:

They need to be told that story.

Siena Dexter:

Um, so it's bridging the gap between not, not losing all of that brand equity

Siena Dexter:

and also transmitting that story in a new way, visually and through words,

Siena Dexter:

understanding the benefits, the why should we buy this unpack in three seconds?

Siena Dexter:

Um, because that's the time it takes to secure the customer and.

Siena Dexter:

Draw them in to look a little bit closer, get tempt them, to pick it

Siena Dexter:

up off the shelf or have them look past you to the next brand along.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm just thinking now that you are right when you sort of go to any

Vicki Weinberg:

island, a supermarket and there's all this choice, you know, you, you are,

Vicki Weinberg:

you are either looking for something particular because it's your favorite

Vicki Weinberg:

brand or it's just where your eye lands.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but yeah, that must be, there must be so much that goes on to thinking,

Vicki Weinberg:

okay, which is going to stand out on the shelf and which will grab consumers.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think.

Vicki Weinberg:

I can't imagine everything that goes into that.

Siena Dexter:

Yeah.

Siena Dexter:

So much.

Siena Dexter:

It's and it really, it really comes down to, and it's the same way

Siena Dexter:

as kind of, um, if you're writing kind of website copy, I suppose.

Siena Dexter:

And that's, you know, just thinking back as back to my days as a copywriter,

Siena Dexter:

when I was trying out all the different things I could do from social to websites

Siena Dexter:

to, you know, obviously packaging copy above the line, retail marketing copy

Siena Dexter:

that I, um, did at previous agencies.

Siena Dexter:

You know, that you've got to make that land in a few seconds.

Siena Dexter:

You've got, even if you think in terms of above the line, you have an advert

Siena Dexter:

and you have a tagline and that's got to immediately in a couple of seconds,

Siena Dexter:

where you've got someone's attention, on the tube, if they're going up and

Siena Dexter:

seeing it, you know, on an escalator or sorry, the subway for American

Siena Dexter:

listeners, um, or on a billboard, it's going to instantly convey that feeling.

Siena Dexter:

That sense of, I want to know more just through one line and

Siena Dexter:

an image that really hits home.

Siena Dexter:

So what we do is very much like that.

Siena Dexter:

We have a few more words to play with.

Siena Dexter:

But it has to convey the benefit, the, what it is, the what it does,

Siena Dexter:

the why you should buy me and an overall brand look and feel as well.

Siena Dexter:

Um, and a sense of what you are getting inside.

Siena Dexter:

So, yeah, it's a lot of fun.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Let's talk a bit about customers um, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can consumer behaviour be predicted?

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you, now we know after years of working in this area, can you

Vicki Weinberg:

predict how consumers will react?

Siena Dexter:

Well, yes, because we test it.

Siena Dexter:

So, um, so it's a little bit easier for us.

Siena Dexter:

We can, we can predict it through understanding how trends are evolving, for

Siena Dexter:

example, um, we know that it is important.

Siena Dexter:

It is important for people that brands are transparent, sustainable, healthy.

Siena Dexter:

We also know that at the same time we are perhaps lacking that

Siena Dexter:

enjoyment of sometimes just letting ourselves go a little bit, right?

Siena Dexter:

Like just giving yourself a treat, just having that piece

Siena Dexter:

of cake, having that thing.

Siena Dexter:

That's a bit naughty or, you know, drinking that, you know,

Siena Dexter:

drinking that beer, drinking that side of forget the low alcohol.

Siena Dexter:

We know that these are trends that are alongside each other.

Siena Dexter:

But I'm understanding how they're actually going to perform on pack.

Siena Dexter:

Again, we, we rely on that data to drive, um, our understanding of it.

Siena Dexter:

And still, even then it may take a couple of different rounds of testing,

Siena Dexter:

different ways of asking different questions, different groups of

Siena Dexter:

consumers to give us the best steer towards predicting consumer behaviour.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you So our podcast is for small businesses.

Vicki Weinberg:

Many of them are just starting out.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I would love your take on what are some things that small independent brands

Vicki Weinberg:

can do to stand out in the marketplace based on all this knowledge that you have.

Siena Dexter:

I would say the first thing that your listeners want to think about,

Siena Dexter:

if they are a small business starting out, it's not always about standing out.

Siena Dexter:

I know, um, quite controversial, isn't it.

Siena Dexter:

Everyone wants to be disruptive.

Siena Dexter:

Stand out, be different.

Siena Dexter:

You need to think, do you want to stand out or do you want to fit

Siena Dexter:

in because that's also a strategy.

Siena Dexter:

Sometimes, um, if you think perhaps in a toothpaste category, you kind of just want

Siena Dexter:

to fit in, you kind of want to just slot in there quite nicely, um, with a lot of

Siena Dexter:

brands that are say, challenger brands, um, brands that are doing things that are

Siena Dexter:

trending new and different fitting into new trends, like adaptogens, like vitamin

Siena Dexter:

water, CBD, all of those, um, wonderful products that are coming to market.

Siena Dexter:

I think perhaps if I reframe that question instead of how do they stand

Siena Dexter:

out in the market, I would say a better thing to think about perhaps would

Siena Dexter:

be how do they better connect with the audiences that they want to win

Siena Dexter:

over existing brands in the market?

Siena Dexter:

And there's a simple answer to that.

Siena Dexter:

And that's understanding what makes them, what makes them stay up at night

Siena Dexter:

and get out of bed in the morning?

Siena Dexter:

What, what makes them tick?

Siena Dexter:

What bugs them?

Siena Dexter:

What's their tension.

Siena Dexter:

If we're thinking about things like, like a CBD drink, you

Siena Dexter:

know, why would you choose that?

Siena Dexter:

If we're thinking coffee?

Siena Dexter:

Why, why do you have your cup of coffee beyond you just need a pick me up.

Siena Dexter:

What does it really give you?

Siena Dexter:

If we're thinking of coffee and we've worked with an, um, a coffee alternative

Siena Dexter:

brand that was doing, um, adapted, the formula was adaptogen mushrooms.

Siena Dexter:

Um, like, um, reishi, chaga that gives you energy.

Siena Dexter:

That does the same thing.

Siena Dexter:

Coffee does tastes like mushrooms um, but gives you that feeling.

Siena Dexter:

And what we understood was that beyond just a pick me up in a focus

Siena Dexter:

moment, coffee also delivers that.

Siena Dexter:

Treat that moment of time for me, that break between tasks.

Siena Dexter:

So what we found was instead of fitting into the burning, the

Siena Dexter:

midnight oil, staying up all night, working hard at eighties culture.

Siena Dexter:

What we wanted was to say, this was your, this is your time for you to invest

Siena Dexter:

in you, to, um, take that moment that break away and refuel renourish and

Siena Dexter:

then approach your work more focused.

Siena Dexter:

So.

Siena Dexter:

Again, if they want, if your, if your listeners want to think about how they

Siena Dexter:

can really be digging beyond the product and understanding what really, what,

Siena Dexter:

what does it mean to their customers?

Siena Dexter:

What is their, what does their product add to people's lives?

Siena Dexter:

I think that's hugely valuable and that's something that you can do yourself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

A massive takeaway I'm getting from, as we're talking is knowing your customer

Vicki Weinberg:

and knowing them well is just vital.

Vicki Weinberg:

Whether you want to stand out or fit in.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I think just generally, if you want people to buy your products,

Vicki Weinberg:

knowing who it's for and what they're looking for and why they're looking

Vicki Weinberg:

for a product like yours and what their concerns are, I think, yeah, that sounds

Vicki Weinberg:

to me like the basis of all of this.

Siena Dexter:

Absolutely.

Siena Dexter:

I think, gosh, it's, it's a difficult one to say, but I would say that the advice

Siena Dexter:

that I would always give is you need to make people care about your story.

Siena Dexter:

Because imagine if it's kind of a person that you've just met.

Siena Dexter:

Imagine if your brand is a person that you've just met, you've met them out.

Siena Dexter:

You don't know them from anyone else.

Siena Dexter:

And all they do is start telling you about themselves.

Siena Dexter:

They're just talking at you.

Siena Dexter:

This is my heritage.

Siena Dexter:

This is where you know, this is, this is my grandma.

Siena Dexter:

This is, let me tell you all about me.

Siena Dexter:

You'd be like, okay, maybe, um, maybe I'll go talk to someone else for a minute, but

Siena Dexter:

if they make that conversation engaging, if they make it a dialogue, If they show

Siena Dexter:

you that they're speaking to you because they get you, you have that connection.

Siena Dexter:

So in that sense, that's what brands need to be doing.

Siena Dexter:

They need to be thinking about this as a conversation, not as, um, a monolog.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And along those lines, and I haven't actually prepared these question.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm sorry, we'll throw this at you, but as you were talking, I was thinking, so

Vicki Weinberg:

when we talk about making connections, how important is it or is it important,

Vicki Weinberg:

particularly if you have a small business and maybe it's just you or, or just,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, just a handful of people, how important is it that there's a face to

Vicki Weinberg:

the brand and a person behind the brand?

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that important?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and if so, how important?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I'm just thinking in terms of making connections.

Siena Dexter:

Not necessarily.

Siena Dexter:

It isn't necessarily important.

Siena Dexter:

And, and, and actually, this is an interesting one because I ate my words

Siena Dexter:

recently when I gave advice to a friend who I, I know through kind of a London,

Siena Dexter:

well, it's not, it's actually a, a UK, um, Facebook group called the food hub.

Siena Dexter:

Um, and I gave, I gave someone advice of not to use her last name as her brand.

Siena Dexter:

So not to kind, not to basically say, oh, it's, you know, whatever her last

Siena Dexter:

name was to use that as her brand name, um, and use her face, actually, she's

Siena Dexter:

gone on to do some amazing things.

Siena Dexter:

Um, so I think when it comes to a very, very strong personality, I,

Siena Dexter:

as this person had and a real drive and a passion and that real kind of

Siena Dexter:

captivating, almost celebrity like personality, that's so addictive, um,

Siena Dexter:

that people just want, they follow her.

Siena Dexter:

Like she leads kind of groups in our area as well.

Siena Dexter:

Um, people she's the kind of person people will just follow, um, and

Siena Dexter:

want to be around in that aura.

Siena Dexter:

Um, I think in that instance, I think that it's beneficial to use, you

Siena Dexter:

know, whatever, whatever your brand is, whatever your personal brand is.

Siena Dexter:

But this is a founder led brand.

Siena Dexter:

If we're thinking not all brands are founder led brands, some

Siena Dexter:

brands perhaps don't have that charismatic founder, perhaps.

Siena Dexter:

Them will behind the scenes, perhaps they don't want to be that it could be a

Siena Dexter:

group of, uh, a partnership of founders.

Siena Dexter:

It could be that you have, um, ambition to grow and eventually

Siena Dexter:

have a board of directors and exit.

Siena Dexter:

Um, or if you're a serial entrepreneur and you want to launch this

Siena Dexter:

brand, get it to a certain place.

Siena Dexter:

Exit launch another brand that really having it connected to you

Siena Dexter:

personally may not be the best idea.

Siena Dexter:

So it really depends on the brand, on the person and what your ambitions are.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just wonder, because you do get so much advice out there, particularly for founder

Vicki Weinberg:

love brand small businesses, you know, perhaps it's one person, you do hear a

Vicki Weinberg:

lot, you know, put your face out there.

Vicki Weinberg:

You need to, you know, you need to be out there.

Vicki Weinberg:

You need to be the face of your brands, but not everyone feels

Vicki Weinberg:

comfortable with that anyway.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so I was just really curious on your take of whether that was

Vicki Weinberg:

essential, particularly if like it's not you, do you know what I mean?

Vicki Weinberg:

For some people that's just not them to put themselves front

Vicki Weinberg:

and center of their own brand.

Siena Dexter:

A hundred percent.

Siena Dexter:

And aren't we then just going to get a bunch of brands that all just have first

Siena Dexter:

name and either kitchen pantry, um, country, um, whatever else, uh, did.

Siena Dexter:

Yeah.

Siena Dexter:

Uh, if, if you go into kind of any.

Siena Dexter:

And a lot of new brands are aiming to get into stores.

Siena Dexter:

Like whole foods come organic, the independent stores.

Siena Dexter:

Um, a lot of the new brands come out, independent brands, that's their ambition.

Siena Dexter:

And if you look at everything on the shelf at the moment, I would say a

Siena Dexter:

high percentage of it is name and then either kitchen or pantry after it.

Siena Dexter:

Um, and, and it feels like it's a little bit, it doesn't really give a

Siena Dexter:

sense of the personality of the brand.

Siena Dexter:

I don't think that.

Siena Dexter:

It benefits the brand, unless you know who, who this person is, unless they've

Siena Dexter:

made a name for themselves, um, on TV, in the media, they're very active.

Siena Dexter:

They're being featured in magazines.

Siena Dexter:

They're very comfortable in that celebrity status.

Siena Dexter:

Um, it, it perhaps isn't going to be beneficial or build the brand

Siena Dexter:

or help connect with customers because it's all just about them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's talk about a little bit about making a brand a best seller.

Vicki Weinberg:

What does that take?

Siena Dexter:

Wow, that's a big question.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think these are all quite a big questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

Apologies for that Siena.

Siena Dexter:

A big question.

Siena Dexter:

What does it take to make a brand, a bests seller?

Siena Dexter:

Um, I would start by saying.

Siena Dexter:

Um, have, have a damn sorry.

Siena Dexter:

Can I, can I swear, have a really good, have a really good product.

Siena Dexter:

It doesn't matter how good your brand is.

Siena Dexter:

Your brand could be absolutely excellent.

Siena Dexter:

Your branding spot on, your marketing spot on.

Siena Dexter:

You could be, have a million followers and social media and be engaging people.

Siena Dexter:

If I open that product and it is not good.

Siena Dexter:

I'm not coming back.

Siena Dexter:

So, um, I think first of all, having a great product and being passionate about

Siena Dexter:

what you are doing, I think connecting with what the cultural narrative is

Siena Dexter:

and understanding where the trends lie.

Siena Dexter:

I would say as well as investing in a, a brand that connects

Siena Dexter:

with people or creating a brand that connects with people.

Siena Dexter:

I would say, making sure as well that you kind of have all your ducks in

Siena Dexter:

a row for when you are launching.

Siena Dexter:

So if you've invested a lot in packaging design, you also need to make sure

Siena Dexter:

that you have a solid social strategy.

Siena Dexter:

Again, that's not something that we do as Smash Brands.

Siena Dexter:

So I can't a hundred percent speak to that, but we do see brands that

Siena Dexter:

perhaps launch and don't, um, and it, the packaging strategy or branding

Siena Dexter:

strategy hasn't translated to social or hasn't translated to their website.

Siena Dexter:

And then it doesn't give that customers that confidence in the brand, because

Siena Dexter:

it's saying one thing on one platform and another thing on another, and it's

Siena Dexter:

kind of hard to get a sense of it.

Siena Dexter:

Um, you lose a little bit of trust with that.

Siena Dexter:

Um, and as soon as you've lost a bit of trust, if you are inconsistent, even

Siena Dexter:

like, as a person, you know, people go, oh wow, they were this this way one day,

Siena Dexter:

and they're a different way another day.

Siena Dexter:

And you, you kind of start losing, losing trust in them.

Siena Dexter:

So I would say, what does it take to make a brand, a best seller,

Siena Dexter:

are blood, sweat, and tears.

Siena Dexter:

A great branding strategy, blood, sweat, and tears, a great product.

Siena Dexter:

I would also say just, just keep going.

Siena Dexter:

You just keep going with it.

Siena Dexter:

Um, listen to the experts, get as much advice as you can, but

Siena Dexter:

also know when to ignore it.

Siena Dexter:

Um, know what works for you and understand what works for you in your audience and

Siena Dexter:

be sure in that, um, is what I would say.

Siena Dexter:

I, I, I hope that that's a good enough answer, um, because there are

Siena Dexter:

so many different variables to it.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is a good answer.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And one of the things I like that you said was to keep going, because I think

Vicki Weinberg:

sometimes people can be disheartened if things aren't an overnight success,

Vicki Weinberg:

don't take off on day one, because I've spoken about this on the podcast

Vicki Weinberg:

recently that sometimes it appears that someone's come out of nowhere, that

Vicki Weinberg:

products suddenly selling really well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you know, when you dig into it, actually, they've been around

Vicki Weinberg:

for three years, five years.

Vicki Weinberg:

Whatever, and they've just suddenly taken off or suddenly reached a lever

Vicki Weinberg:

where more people don't know about them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I just think that's really important to just acknowledge

Vicki Weinberg:

that it doesn't necessarily happen day one does it?

Siena Dexter:

It is a full-time job for, for founders, for kitchen table

Siena Dexter:

brands, or one's just starting off.

Siena Dexter:

It is a full-time job and more it's it's constant.

Siena Dexter:

You think about it all day from the minute you wake up to the minute you

Siena Dexter:

go to bed it's and that passion, that passion translates, um, I, I think

Siena Dexter:

making sure that you are also getting in, getting into retailers as well,

Siena Dexter:

getting in front of customers, uh, as hard as it is to get buyers interested,

Siena Dexter:

making sure that you are doing that.

Siena Dexter:

And then when you are in a position to scale up and in a position to really take

Siena Dexter:

it to the next level, I would say it is crucial to recruit, um, a team of experts

Siena Dexter:

once you're in a position to do so to help you scale up to that level and help

Siena Dexter:

you to penetrate the market with more insight and in a more strategic approach.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And when you talk about recruiting a team, what are the kind of roles, what

Vicki Weinberg:

are the vital things that you think once someone reaches a level where

Vicki Weinberg:

they're like, okay, I want to upscale, or I want to take a step forward.

Vicki Weinberg:

What are the kind of things that you think you should be looking

Vicki Weinberg:

to get expert advice on initially?

Siena Dexter:

I think, I think initially it's absolutely crucial that you

Siena Dexter:

have a solid brand strategy in place.

Siena Dexter:

It can be something you can do yourself, but I always think that

Siena Dexter:

whilst, um, I've seen some fantastic brands that, you know, are just, you

Siena Dexter:

know, just managed and marketed by the founders and they've done a great job.

Siena Dexter:

Usually I see those founders have come from a branding background or they've

Siena Dexter:

left a branding agency to found the brand or they've got marketing background.

Siena Dexter:

And the difference is when, when you work in the industry,

Siena Dexter:

your job is to know the trends.

Siena Dexter:

Day in, day out.

Siena Dexter:

You are launching brands day after day after day.

Siena Dexter:

And you've been doing that for, you know, a decade.

Siena Dexter:

Your expertise will just be different.

Siena Dexter:

You will just be able to give better recommendations over what is a strong

Siena Dexter:

strategy, um, how that's going to land, you understand trends, you understand

Siena Dexter:

people, you also understand buyers and understand what they're looking for.

Siena Dexter:

So I would say that you would want an agency with, um, a strong strategy

Siena Dexter:

aim, um, erm, even you would want an agency that is able to justify why the

Siena Dexter:

designs work in a way that can be backed up by data, um, by social science, by

Siena Dexter:

understanding consumers or trends, and be able to explain specifically why this

Siena Dexter:

would work for your audience, an agency that will work with you collaboratively

Siena Dexter:

as well, to understand your vision and help it translate and scale up.

Siena Dexter:

So it would need to be, it would need to be a team that is very commercially aware.

Siena Dexter:

Um, this doesn't mean that you can't work with kind of smaller agencies or, you

Siena Dexter:

know, independent designers, but when that happens, I would say that you very

Siena Dexter:

much will be guiding the process yourself.

Siena Dexter:

So it depends on how comfortable you feel doing that.

Siena Dexter:

And if you feel that you can play the role of creative director,

Siena Dexter:

um, perhaps guide the strategy and pull everyone together, then that's

Siena Dexter:

something that could be an option.

Siena Dexter:

If you want to leave it up to a team that you know, already work well together

Siena Dexter:

that already have a proven track record.

Siena Dexter:

Nice.

Siena Dexter:

I would say that's what you need to look for.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's a great answer.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you mentioned then buyers and knowing what buyers want.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, obviously you've got lots of experience here.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, are there any things from your experience that you know, that buyers

Vicki Weinberg:

are looking for or things that brands should at least be considering if

Vicki Weinberg:

they're thinking of approaching buyers?

Siena Dexter:

Yes.

Siena Dexter:

I think if you can show any kind of statistics for how your

Siena Dexter:

product performs with customers.

Siena Dexter:

I think that you've got a solid, a solid chance, I think, saying to

Siena Dexter:

buyers or proving to buyers or showing to buyers, buy your pitch, that

Siena Dexter:

these are the trends we're aware of.

Siena Dexter:

We're aware of why our product stands out here is everything else on the shelf.

Siena Dexter:

This is why you should consider our brand, our product, what we

Siena Dexter:

do, why we do it differently and why you're going to see more sales.

Siena Dexter:

Here's some data to back it up.

Siena Dexter:

Here's how we've, you know, here's, here's on a, a small local store.

Siena Dexter:

Here's, here's how we performed compared to, um, the product next to us.

Siena Dexter:

It might make them sit up in lesson and say, okay, let's give it a chance.

Siena Dexter:

Um, It does help if you, it does help if you've got an in with the buyers,

Siena Dexter:

if you've met them at an industry event, if you are able to do a little

Siena Dexter:

bit of networking, um, get to know them, obviously do not harass them.

Siena Dexter:

They do see the emails.

Siena Dexter:

So, um, it, so, so don't send them multiple annoying emails, just, um, be

Siena Dexter:

polite, be persistent, and they respond to results, um, over flattery or fluff.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it sounds like knowing the market, knowing the competition, having data

Vicki Weinberg:

to back it up is super important.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I had a guest on recently who was talking about getting her product

Vicki Weinberg:

stocked into supermarkets, and she was mentioning that when she was

Vicki Weinberg:

speaking to buyers, she actually had to say, I think she should take this

Vicki Weinberg:

product off the shelf and put mine on.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because she was explaining that they can't just keep adding products,

Vicki Weinberg:

that her products be included.

Vicki Weinberg:

Something else had to leave.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that the case in all industries or is that just specific to the food industry?

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you know whether you should be kicking someone out to get your product on?

Siena Dexter:

Um, I would say that's not necessarily something that a,

Siena Dexter:

uh, is that, that a founder needs to say, if they're not confident it's,

Siena Dexter:

it's a bold move isn't it going?

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh no.,what I mean is she was mentioning.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, she was mentioning that for supermarkets, which is

Vicki Weinberg:

what she was approaching.

Vicki Weinberg:

She was mentioning at the supermarkets.

Vicki Weinberg:

You, you were, you literally had to say who you felt you could take the

Vicki Weinberg:

place of in order to get stocked on the shelves, which I hadn't heard of.

Vicki Weinberg:

So is that, it sounds like from what you're saying, that isn't the

Vicki Weinberg:

case necessarily for every industry.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because to me, I was quite surprised.

Vicki Weinberg:

I thought, wow, that sounds really cutthroat.

Vicki Weinberg:

Having to say kick these guys out and put me in.

Vicki Weinberg:

I thought, wow, that sounds quite harsh.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it sounds like that's not the case with every buyer of every industry.

Siena Dexter:

It's something that I've, that isn't something that

Siena Dexter:

I've heard from any of the clients we've worked with, um, in terms of

Siena Dexter:

how they get their product stocked.

Siena Dexter:

Usually it's a relationship with a buyer, an existing relationship,

Siena Dexter:

or if they're a new brand, it's having a connection with a buyer.

Siena Dexter:

And this is both for UK, um, UK brands and US brands we've never encountered, or I

Siena Dexter:

have never encountered or heard of, um, a situation where you have to literally say

Siena Dexter:

we are better than this specific brand.

Siena Dexter:

I think showing that you are offering something that is better than their,

Siena Dexter:

um, the supermarket owned brands, um, and also brands that are stocked in the

Siena Dexter:

market, that it's something consumers are going to be coming in and looking for,

Siena Dexter:

um, that they're going to be primed and ready through your marketing efforts.

Siena Dexter:

They know who you are.

Siena Dexter:

You perhaps got a loyal base of, um, customers already.

Siena Dexter:

If you're direct to consumer, you can show sales, you can show how many

Siena Dexter:

people are already buying and loving your product, and they'll be primed and

Siena Dexter:

ready to run into the store and buy it.

Siena Dexter:

That demonstrates that they they're going to fly off the shelves

Siena Dexter:

instead of, um, having dead stock.

Siena Dexter:

Um, but that's, I mean, that's interesting to me, it's news to me.

Siena Dexter:

I, I haven't heard of it being that cutthroat, but if, if that's

Siena Dexter:

what this person had to do, then, um, I suppose good on her.

Siena Dexter:

Did she manage it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Yes, she did.

Siena Dexter:

You can't say who got kicked?

Vicki Weinberg:

No, no, no, I don't.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't need to know but, um, yeah, I found that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that might be actually though, that might be really reassuring

Vicki Weinberg:

for people to know that you don't have to necessarily do do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

But yeah, I found that really interesting and surprising as well,

Vicki Weinberg:

but I guess that, um, yeah, maybe there are some places where that, you

Vicki Weinberg:

know, that is what you have to do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so let's talk a little bit.

Vicki Weinberg:

Pardon?

Siena Dexter:

I was just going to say, I think you've just got to be

Siena Dexter:

true to yourself and your brand.

Siena Dexter:

If, um, if an approach like that isn't in aligned with your brand values,

Siena Dexter:

then I think it would seem yeah.

Siena Dexter:

Just incongruent with, with what you are doing with what your

Siena Dexter:

mission is and what your values are.

Siena Dexter:

So I think just being true to that, um, and just approaching every

Siena Dexter:

point of communication, um, as you representing your brand values.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really useful advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I agree, like for me that isn't something I could, I would ever feel

Vicki Weinberg:

comfortable doing and I think people can probably tell when you're not being

Vicki Weinberg:

authentic and you're not being yourself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, I think that's probably quite obvious, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think that's good advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Approach things in a way that feels natural and comfortable and sort

Vicki Weinberg:

of represents you and your brand.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's talk a little bit more, we have touched on your brand messaging.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but let's talk a little bit more about that.

Vicki Weinberg:

What, what else do we need to think about when we're thinking about the messaging

Vicki Weinberg:

around our brands, whether that's all the packaging or the advertising or

Vicki Weinberg:

websites, um, what do we need to consider?

Vicki Weinberg:

And again, I know this is another really big question, Siena.

Siena Dexter:

It's actually a really simple one.

Siena Dexter:

Um, actually this is a nice, easy one.

Siena Dexter:

Um, hard to execute, easy to explain.

Siena Dexter:

I can talk about what you need to think about in terms of your brand,

Siena Dexter:

um, voice and tone um, and packaging.

Siena Dexter:

If you think about websites or advertising, that's

Siena Dexter:

not something that we do.

Siena Dexter:

We don't do activation at Smash Brand.

Siena Dexter:

Um, however, I, you know, I, I, I have worked in these industries before, but

Siena Dexter:

if I just speak to kind of the first two.

Siena Dexter:

I think, what do you need?

Siena Dexter:

What do you need to have as your brand, as your brand messaging was the question.

Siena Dexter:

Um, let me speak to, um, the, um, unpack messaging first of all.

Siena Dexter:

So we call them pack words at Smash Brand.

Siena Dexter:

Um, it's something that we can measure something, we can quantify things.

Siena Dexter:

Like if you are say hard sell sir brand, do you want to call yourself a hard sell?

Siena Dexter:

So, or do you want to call yourself a spiked soda?

Siena Dexter:

What do you want to say that you are?

Siena Dexter:

If you're mayonnaise, are you real mayonnaise, are you classic mayonnaise.

Siena Dexter:

What are you saying?

Siena Dexter:

Uh, about the descriptor about what your product is?

Siena Dexter:

So you obviously have a brand name, then you say what you are, you need to decide

Siena Dexter:

on what that is, and that can be based on, um, ideally a survey of consumers to

Siena Dexter:

understand which they respond to best.

Siena Dexter:

Then you need to decide on maybe a SKU name, for example, if it's, um,

Siena Dexter:

a lovely tonic to help you sleep better, maybe it's, I don't know,

Siena Dexter:

called goodnight or something else, or like something else is descriptive

Siena Dexter:

that brings through your brand voice.

Siena Dexter:

That's a creative line.

Siena Dexter:

I'll touch on that in a minute.

Siena Dexter:

Then it's also important to understand why you should buy it.

Siena Dexter:

So it should have those clear benefits.

Siena Dexter:

What does this do?

Siena Dexter:

Why is this special?

Siena Dexter:

Why listen to this or not the next CBD brand or adapt to

Siena Dexter:

Jim Brown that's on the shelf.

Siena Dexter:

You also want to be including in there and understanding what callouts

Siena Dexter:

your customers are responding to.

Siena Dexter:

So that could be vegan, gluten free, um, anything like that, sustainable,

Siena Dexter:

uh, recyclable packaging, all of those extra bits and how they also

Siena Dexter:

fit in within your overall design.

Siena Dexter:

Now I just want to talk about the creative lines, like, for example,

Siena Dexter:

how do you know what you should name either your brand or your SKU?

Siena Dexter:

Um, sorry.

Siena Dexter:

SKU Stock, Keeping Unit.

Siena Dexter:

Um, so product in the range for those that aren't aware.

Siena Dexter:

So how do you know what name you should give to each product?

Siena Dexter:

How do you know how creative it should be?

Siena Dexter:

How should it sound?

Siena Dexter:

What should the tone be?

Siena Dexter:

That's something that we would usually work on with a client through, uh,

Siena Dexter:

a brand tone and voice workshop.

Siena Dexter:

So we start off by doing our overall brand workshop to really identify how

Siena Dexter:

the product should communicate, who the audience are, identifying what they need,

Siena Dexter:

what they like, what you know, what their gripes are and how we overcome them.

Siena Dexter:

If the product were a person, how would they behave?

Siena Dexter:

And then we dig in deeper to understand those elements of brand voice.

Siena Dexter:

So is it positive?

Siena Dexter:

Is it happy?

Siena Dexter:

Things like trustworthy is something that all brands say, things like honest is

Siena Dexter:

something that all brands say then should be everyone should be honest, right?

Siena Dexter:

Trustworthy goes without saying, but is it playful or is it wit.

Siena Dexter:

Um, which ones are more important?

Siena Dexter:

Is it informative or is it cheeky?

Siena Dexter:

So understanding how to dial up those elements and how to communicate

Siena Dexter:

in each, on each touchpoint, say.

Siena Dexter:

If you're sending out an email to say your products, um, will be late, should

Siena Dexter:

it communicate in a different way?

Siena Dexter:

Maybe it's not going to be with your punny.

Siena Dexter:

Maybe it's going to be more caring and understanding.

Siena Dexter:

So understanding your overall brand voice will help you to know how to

Siena Dexter:

communicate on your website, on your social, on your packaging, in your

Siena Dexter:

emails, and any other place that you are connecting verbally with customers.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is a lot to consider . Um, and coming back to the packaging, and

Vicki Weinberg:

this might be a really daft question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, how much, you know, do you need to have on your packaging?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I can see that having, you know, people might be listening

Vicki Weinberg:

and suddenly be tempted to put everything on their packaging.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, this is vegan and organic and or whatever the, the words

Vicki Weinberg:

are, and this is what it does.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I don't know whether you've seen that where people want to just throw

Vicki Weinberg:

everything onto their packaging.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, What, what are your thoughts on that?

Siena Dexter:

Um, I would say that you want to keep it minimal.

Siena Dexter:

Um, the more, um, I would say that, think about the packaging as a story that you're

Siena Dexter:

telling or an infographic, perhaps, maybe that's an easier way to understand it.

Siena Dexter:

Your eyes are drawn to certain elements.

Siena Dexter:

You land on one element first, and then your eyes are drawn to another one at

Siena Dexter:

each point that, um, in, in that journey you could lose the customer very easily.

Siena Dexter:

So if you're asking them to consider all of these things in equal measure,

Siena Dexter:

it's confusing and confus confusion leads to, um, point of sale, um, loss

Siena Dexter:

and immediately losing the customer because they just can't be bothered.

Siena Dexter:

It's it's too much to think about, um, in the same way as websites, you don't

Siena Dexter:

want to, you don't want to confuse, you don't want to make people think, you

Siena Dexter:

just want to have, you know, guide them to that decision by understanding what's

Siena Dexter:

bugging them, what's on their mind, you know, really, you know, sell them in

Siena Dexter:

a nice we'll connect with their needs.

Siena Dexter:

Oh, you're not sleeping well at night.

Siena Dexter:

Well, this is going to help you.

Siena Dexter:

And it does this and this and this, and by the way, it's vegan.

Siena Dexter:

So understanding what's important to them connecting that with a visual storytelling

Siena Dexter:

and just having a cohesive message that you look at and go in three seconds.

Siena Dexter:

What is this saying?

Siena Dexter:

And actually that's a really great litmus test and something that we

Siena Dexter:

always do when we are defining brands, we always say, what is the three

Siena Dexter:

second message in three seconds?

Siena Dexter:

What is this doing?

Siena Dexter:

And this is something that your listeners can go and do in supermarkets.

Siena Dexter:

They can take a whole of products or empty out their pantry, line them up

Siena Dexter:

in front of themselves and go, what is this saying in three seconds, this

Siena Dexter:

is giving me nostalgic font cereal.

Siena Dexter:

This is giving me, um, nineties, seventies style pasta.

Siena Dexter:

This has given me authentic artisan pasta sauce.

Siena Dexter:

Um, as an example of things I've consumed recently, um, understanding that it's

Siena Dexter:

going to help your listeners to as to make sure that it's telling the right story in

Siena Dexter:

three seconds, in words, and in design.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really useful advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess what you're saying is that your packaging has to reflect what your

Vicki Weinberg:

product is, what it does, all of that.

Siena Dexter:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Just con condensed.

Siena Dexter:

Yes, absolutely.

Siena Dexter:

It needs to tell a story.

Siena Dexter:

It needs to tell a story.

Siena Dexter:

I know that sounds a bit vague, but really I should say.

Siena Dexter:

What is it?

Siena Dexter:

Look, who is it?

Siena Dexter:

What does it do?

Siena Dexter:

Why should I buy it?

Siena Dexter:

But not too many points of information, condense them down.

Siena Dexter:

If you're doing callouts, I would say just do three, no

Siena Dexter:

more than three callouts ever.

Siena Dexter:

So choose the most important ones you can sometimes put them on the back.

Siena Dexter:

Think, are they important on the front?

Siena Dexter:

Do they need to know it's vegan?

Siena Dexter:

If it's say loose tea, um, loose green tea, maybe they need to know vegan.

Siena Dexter:

Maybe they don't need to know.

Siena Dexter:

Perhaps this can go on the side or the back, but just make sure that

Siena Dexter:

front retail area is dedicated to, what's going to immediately connect

Siena Dexter:

with your customers and make it clear.

Siena Dexter:

Um, make it easy to understand, make it welcoming because no one likes

Siena Dexter:

the cluttered house so no, one's going to pick up a cluttered product.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I, I think it also makes sense coming back to what you, right at

Vicki Weinberg:

the beginning about knowing your audience and what they're looking for.

Vicki Weinberg:

Mm-hmm um, because I've actually had the opposite recently where a client I

Vicki Weinberg:

was working with on their Amazon listings and they actually didn't mention there

Vicki Weinberg:

was something about the product they actually didn't mention to me even, with

Vicki Weinberg:

the brief of can you write the listing?

Vicki Weinberg:

And when I found out I was like, you know, if I knew this, this should be like.

Vicki Weinberg:

This is to in far as I was concerned, was like quite a key, yeah, thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it was really buried.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, as I said, me, it's only my gut, that this was a key thing that was

Vicki Weinberg:

missing and perhaps, but they hadn't done, they haven't done any testing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I don't know for sure, but my gut said, actually, this is

Vicki Weinberg:

something we need to be telling people about it shouldn't be buried.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that's really important as well is to do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sort of understanding to know what people, you know, if they're

Vicki Weinberg:

looking for a product like yours, what is it they're looking for?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, you know, what are their values?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because, you know, but as you say, some of us are looking for coffee because

Vicki Weinberg:

we want a pick me up and some of us are looking for, you know, it depends

Vicki Weinberg:

who you're aiming it at doesn't it.

Siena Dexter:

Absolutely.

Siena Dexter:

I saw a really cool coffee brand when I was in Utah recently, I think it's

Siena Dexter:

just called Wide Awake or something.

Siena Dexter:

It had like a picture of some like crazy owl on the front, like a

Siena Dexter:

massive cartoon with enormous eyes.

Siena Dexter:

And actually, like I gravitated towards that.

Siena Dexter:

I was like, oh, this is different.

Siena Dexter:

This is in your ordinary like nurse cafe.

Siena Dexter:

Um, this is, this is for fun creatives that want to stay up all night and write

Siena Dexter:

crazy copy, um, and do crazy branding.

Siena Dexter:

And I was like, that's me.

Siena Dexter:

Um, because that immediately connected with.

Siena Dexter:

With what I was looking for in a coffee at that particular time, something fun.

Siena Dexter:

That's going to make me stay up and, uh, give me fun ideas.

Siena Dexter:

So it's understanding your niche, understanding of people

Siena Dexter:

and what they actually want.

Siena Dexter:

Not being afraid to, to stand out if you want to.

Siena Dexter:

Um, but also understanding if you need to fit in.

Siena Dexter:

And that's okay too.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That like, that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And like you said, I think it depends who you appeal to because sometimes you

Vicki Weinberg:

want to fit in, but actually sometimes you might be just targeting, like,

Vicki Weinberg:

like in your example, you're targeting one type of coffee, coffee drinker.

Vicki Weinberg:

So the coffee drinker, like they want to be creative and stay up.

Vicki Weinberg:

Whereas there are other types of coffee drinkers who just want

Vicki Weinberg:

to sit down for five minutes and take the weight off their feet.

Vicki Weinberg:

Whatever.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess it's knowing.

Siena Dexter:

It's not, um, it's not a cup of Joe for the average, Joe, is it?

Siena Dexter:

Um, it needs to be, that's a good line.

Siena Dexter:

I'll remember that.

Siena Dexter:

Um, it, it, it needs to be, um, you need to have understood who your, who your

Siena Dexter:

customer is, and if you're going to make a brave choice, make the brave choice,

Siena Dexter:

um, finding a niche is always a good idea.

Siena Dexter:

It's always a good idea.

Siena Dexter:

Sometimes you want to also just appeal to a wider range of consumers, perhaps

Siena Dexter:

you're not ready to make that jump.

Siena Dexter:

And in that instant, understand, understand what it is that they're looking

Siena Dexter:

for, you know, with Nescafe, for example, as a brand, it's very much about, it's not

Siena Dexter:

just about, it's not a stay awake brand.

Siena Dexter:

It's, it's that comfort of coffee.

Siena Dexter:

Everything about the brand is kind of nourishing and comforting.

Siena Dexter:

You think frothy coffees, the kind that tastes delicious and you can kind of

Siena Dexter:

settle in with them and curl up with them.

Siena Dexter:

And that's the sense that the brand gives you rather than a

Siena Dexter:

cartoon owl with enormous eyes.

Siena Dexter:

So you, you can understand the difference in the intent between that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess the word you just said then intent, I guess, I guess the

Vicki Weinberg:

main takeaway from here is just to be intentional, whether you are appealing

Vicki Weinberg:

to a wider market or whether you're actually going for specific needs.

Vicki Weinberg:

I guess niche is just being intentional about who you're targeting.

Siena Dexter:

Exactly, exactly.

Siena Dexter:

And, um, yeah.

Siena Dexter:

Being, being brave, being brave, if you want to, I suppose.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you Siena.

Vicki Weinberg:

And thank you for everything you've shared.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've got one final question for you before we finish.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and it, it is quite a big question, but hopefully you can, you can think

Vicki Weinberg:

of an answer for this one, which is what would your number one piece of

Vicki Weinberg:

advice be for small, small product business owners in particular,

Vicki Weinberg:

because that's who we are talking to.

Vicki Weinberg:

So small founder led businesses.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, what's the one thing you'd like them to say.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, obviously there's been so much they can take away from this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

What's the key message.

Siena Dexter:

The thing that I would say.

Siena Dexter:

And the thing that I see small businesses, um, founder-led kitchen table brands,

Siena Dexter:

not doing more often than not is flipping their story to be about the consumer.

Siena Dexter:

Um, flipping the story to make the, the hero of this story.

Siena Dexter:

Um, the real hero of the brand, the consumer.

Siena Dexter:

So the hero, isn't the founder.

Siena Dexter:

It's not the recipe that's been passed on for generations.

Siena Dexter:

It's not the packaging, it's not their mission.

Siena Dexter:

It's not their values.

Siena Dexter:

That's not the hero.

Siena Dexter:

The hero is the person picking up your product on the shelf.

Siena Dexter:

What did they.

Siena Dexter:

You know, what's the big challenge in their life.

Siena Dexter:

What's the big crossroads, how is your product going to be the one that steps

Siena Dexter:

in and makes their life different?

Siena Dexter:

And that elevates their experience that day.

Siena Dexter:

Um, that gives them that special moment, understanding that and underpinning that

Siena Dexter:

to everything you do is the one thing that I would say would really put you

Siena Dexter:

head and shoulders above what anyone else is, is really doing at the moment,

Siena Dexter:

especially at an early brand level.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's great.

Vicki Weinberg:

I like that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really good.

Siena Dexter:

Oh, pleased you liked, yeah, I, I, I, I think it, it it's as simple

Siena Dexter:

as just connecting with the consumers and as difficult as just connecting with

Siena Dexter:

the consumers, because especially if you are, if you're launching a brand, it's

Siena Dexter:

all about, it's all about your passion.

Siena Dexter:

You want to get out, you know, you want to get out of your commute.

Siena Dexter:

You're nine to five job.

Siena Dexter:

You're an ambitious entrepreneur.

Siena Dexter:

And you want to tell everyone about your journey and why you started the

Siena Dexter:

brand and why your product is great.

Siena Dexter:

And it's so difficult to move away from that and go, okay, it's not

Siena Dexter:

about me anymore, it's it's about what I'm doing, what product I'm

Siena Dexter:

delivering, what experience I'm delivering to the people, picking it

Siena Dexter:

up and spending their money on it.

Siena Dexter:

Um, and the same goes for buyers as well.

Siena Dexter:

Um, making it about them, what you bring to their role.

Siena Dexter:

Why choosing your product is going to give them the promotion.vUm,

Siena Dexter:

why they'll be glad they didn't miss out on this opportunity.

Vicki Weinberg:

That was brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And again, thank you for everything you shared today, Siena.

Siena Dexter:

Fantastic.

Siena Dexter:

No problem.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this

Vicki Weinberg:

episode, do remember that you can get the full back catalogues and lots of free

Vicki Weinberg:

resources on my website vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it

Vicki Weinberg:

and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.