Kara Goldin, founder of flavored water company Hint, shares invaluable insights on entrepreneurship, overcoming challenges, and building a brand in this episode of the Live Commerce Podcast.
Kara’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Kara started her career in media, working at Time, CNN, and AOL. Seeing visionary founders like Ted Turner and Steve Case in action inspired her entrepreneurial spirit. After building AOL’s shopping division into a billion-dollar business, she took a break when starting a family. Concerned about her family’s health and lack of unsweetened flavored water options, she came up with the idea for Hint water. Despite industry doubts, she convinced a Whole Foods buyer to stock it – and the initial 10 cases sold out immediately.
Key Takeaways on Brand Building
- Focus on the next step, not the end goal. “If you think too much about the end, you’ll never get past the beginning.” Stay focused on the incremental progress needed to move forward.
- You only need one “yes.” To prove a concept, you only need one person to give you a shot. Use that opportunity to gain validation and build from there.
- Share your story. Help consumers connect with the “why” behind your brand. Kara sharing her personal health journey is what initially resonated with the Whole Foods buyer and Hint’s early fans.
- People buy from people. Build trust and affinity by putting a face and values behind your brand. Founders can be the influencers for early-stage brands.
- Persist through doubters. “It only requires one yes. Hundreds of nos, right?” Keep going through criticism and rejection. The more nos you get, the thicker your skin becomes.
The Power of Telling Your Story
Kara initially saw the power of storytelling for Hint when an interview about her founder journey was published online. The story allowed people to connect with Hint’s mission on a deeper level. She’s expanded her storytelling through social media, her podcast, and writing a book. Video and other formats help consumers build a personal relationship with the people behind a brand. Livestream is also a great way to engage customers. Especially if you can create seamless shopping through liveshopping
“I think that if you have a new brand and you have a purpose and you have a why, I think that it is a massive opportunity for any founder to use that position to allow consumers in to know what you’re doing.”
The full episode provides many more invaluable insights from Kara’s experience. Well worth a listen for any entrepreneur!
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