| 9 minute read

4 Dynamite Episodes for Direct to Consumer Company Leaders

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Posted by Kimberly Holcomb on November 30, 2021
Kimberly Holcomb
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B2C Business Leaders Share Insights on the RevPartners Podcast

On the RevPartners Podcast we talk to executives who have competed and won, accelerating their companies from High Growth to High Scale. Generally, these "crew chiefs" are business leaders in the B2B space who can offer expert advice to leaders in the audience racing to scale their company successfully. 

But this past month, we had the privilege of hearing from four direct to consumer executives who coached on tactics specific branding, customer experience, and product development. Tune in, B2C Leaders, this one's for you! 

Kat Cole from Focus Brands 

How would you define a brand?

Kat: “A brand is a promise...built by what it says and what it does."

She categorizes indicators of a healthy brand into two main buckets - relevance & differentiation. Kat says that, "being high on both is a mark of a brand that lasts and is winning at any point in time."

Relevance means: The consumer thinking, "it matters in my life today." This can change quickly.  

How do you maintain relevance in the convenience economy? Think about the points of access your customer has to your product, either physical or virtual, and the speed of your product availability or service. 

Relevance Questions You Should be Asking:

  • How easy do I want to be to find?
  • How many places do I want my product or service marketed, sold, or interacted with?
  • How quick can I be? In some businesses this can come at the cost of quality

Differentiation means: The unique flavor, reputation, and perception of your brand in the mind of the consumer. (i.e. “One of these things is not like the other”)

Explaining the nuances of differentiation, Kat shares the common issue of losing differentiation in pursuit of relevance using a practical example from her experience with Moe's Southwest Grill.

Balancing relevance and differentiation: It all centers around staying close to your customer!

About the Crew Chief

Kat Cole, served as the President and COO of Focus Brands for 10 years; now helps other people build their businesses. She serves on the board of Human Co SPAC; Slice, a tech company for pizza entrepreneurs; Milk Bar, the omni-channel deserts and sweets company founded by Christina Tossi; advise early and growth stage companies in the consumer space or SMB tech space; is an angel investor in over 50 companies. In addition to all these contributions to the business and tech space, Kat also has been involved for 10 years in humanitarian work in Eastern Africa.

Engage with Kat

Website: https://katcole.substack.com/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katcole/
Twitter @KatColeATL


Mike Lage from Chick-fil-A, Inc

The only constant in business is change. In Episode 34 of Pit Stops to Podium, hear from Mike on keeping up with the pace of change in your organization.

Mike says, "change is inevitable. We are always going to be chasing what customers want because we care so much about them being cared for personally.”

The Defining Factor: Choose to innovate before you need to!

Digital Transformation

The Chick-fil-A team viewed digital transformation through the CFA One App as a force multiplier to their strongest claim to fame - hospitality and customer experience. Taking something they've always done well and bringing it to the next level.

The Guiding Principle: When you know a customer's story, you can care for them personally.

The Executive Vision: “If the external rate of change is greater than the internal rate of change, then the end is imminent.” - Jack Welch

The results of the Chick-fil-A Team's bold steps towards disruptive innovation were astounding! Within days of releasing the new app, it hit #1 in the App Store.  And, in just a matter of years, mobile sales comprises 50% of Chick-fil-A sales overall. 

The Physical Transformation that Followed

In light of the customer's evolving desires and the effects of the digital transformation, the CFA team was led to start thinking what changes were needed in the physical spaces of the business as well. 

A common failure when addresses this change: not identifying a clear outcome. 

Mike also wraps up the conversation with a look at how Covid impacted Chick-fil-A, the food industry, and the consumer's desires. 

About the Crew Chief

Mike is the Senior Director of Restaurant Development at Chick-fil-A, the well-known and well-loved quick service restaurant business based in Atlanta, but spanning the country. After working with Google and Facebook during their seasons of changing to mobile as the main revenue channel, Mike then joined Chick-fil-A to bring this digital transformation into their restaurant experiences. He was instrumental in launching and developing the Chick-fil-A Customer Digital Experience and CFA One App. Currently, Mike looks towards the future and how CFA will position their restaurant for further development and expansion.

Learn from his experience to explore how you can innovate in the context of your organization and push the bounds. If you wait, you’re losing. Listen in and then back to the races!

Engage with Mike

Connect on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-l...

And download the CFA ONE App Today!


Leroy Hite from Cutting Edge Firewood

The smallest detail can make or break a moment! ✨

This is why Leroy coaches on the importance of creating delightful customer experiences at every touchpoint within your organization.

In this episode, he shares how creating customer experiences requires:

  • Thoughtful execution on every detail. "No detail is too small."
  •  A focus on exceeding expectations, not simply meeting expectations.
  • A mistake recovery plan that is proportionate to the pain. "Make customer happy you made a mistake"

About the Crew Chief

Leroy is the Founder and CEO of Cutting Edge Firewood, the world’s first high-end firewood and cooking wood company. He leads from a genuine heart for service and a passion for remarkable experiences.

Listen to hear more on why Leroy says "customer experience is the reason for our existence!"

Engaging with Leroy

  • Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/firewoodandcookingwood/
  • Website: https://www.cuttingedgefirewood.com/


Spencer Sutlive from Rugged Roads Outdoors

Unleashing the power of the Dan Sullivan “Who Not How” mindset in your organization 🚀

What "Who Not How" Means: Finding the right person to do the job, rather than focusing on how a job will get done. 

You can not be the who for everything you are doing - you can not do it all. Recognizing this helps you as a leader to relinquish control and trust others to catch the vision of your company. 

Dream Big

Don't be afraid to set massive goals for your company that are out of the ordinary.  With the right product and the right people, you can actually achieve those goals.

Create Clarity 

This is done when you identify the big dream, who is getting you there, and what direction are you headed in.  The more you define your clarity, the more people will be attracted to what you’re doing.

Clarity on the “who” brings more “who’s.”

About the Crew Chief

Spencer has applied this principles as the Founder and CEO of Rugged Road Outdoors. Since the young age of 14, he has been working in the retail industry. He combined his entrepreneurial drive, background in retail, and desire to provide the best gear for outdoor adventures when he founded Rugged Roads Outdoors, a company reinventing and rethinking the high-performance cooler to become THE #1 cooler company!

Listen and learn more from Spencer and the Rugged Roads incredible story. 

Engaging with Spencer

Don't miss an episode!

On the RevPartners Podcast we talk to executives who have competed and won, accelerating their companies from High Growth to High Scale. Hosted by RevPartners Co-founder and CEO, Brendan Tolleson. Take some quick notes from each week's "Crew Chief" and then head back to the races!