Hey there, amazing community! This month I’ll be talking about the powerful path of being uncategorizable as a brand. Whether that’s the brand of you or your business, the same conversations will likely apply. I think we can all agree that it takes an incredible amount of courage to stay authentically true to one’s vision whether building a Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) brand, or your personal brand, when needing results you can take to the bank.
Building a purpose-driven business is no easy feat. Only a tiny handful can do it profitably, making the impact they envision. It requires relentless determination, unwavering belief, and a willingness to challenge the norms. When your product defies categorization, like all of EarthKind’s, it means you’re daring to be different, refusing to be confined by labels, and blazing your own trail.
But let’s be brutally honest, this path is a very difficult road to build. It means stepping into uncharted territory, where there is no historical data, or proven channel strategy. It means taking risks, confronting doubts, and facing the possibility of failure head-on. It takes courage to deviate from the tried-and-true formulas, trends, and market expectations, to solve the most pressing problems of today. Lastly, this pursuit of ‘different’ can drive everyone around you nuts, because there are no established frameworks for success. Leaders blaze their own trail anyway.
When I started blazing a trail towards no-poison, and no-kill, I kept the faith that others would eventually agree if I offered an easier, more effective, and affordable approach. Keep in mind this was in a category that was 97% poison and kill. I’d hoped that others would agree that this world needs more products made by entrepreneurs who love and respect our living breathing earth, and all its inhabitants. After 30 years at this, I can tell you that it takes a lot of passion to sustainably re-build the existing systems and policies to make one’s dream come true. The biggest roadblock for me has always been to figure out how to make things easy for others. I am always looking to make it as easy as possible for my customers to say yes to my mission and help carry my flag. Next to that, it’s been to give people permission to use the word AND as they make small steps forward towards controlling pests. I never want to lose a customer because they think it’s the EarthKind way or no way at all. As they are on their consumer journey, I want to support them in working through the old way AND the new way of controlling pests. One is not exclusive of the other. They can mutually co-exist.
Big abstract ideas like climate change, carbon neutral, sustainability, and more do nothing to help simplify things, or get to the heart of the matter. To me, they smokescreen the truth that we are all caretakers of nature, and we are all one human family. Nature itself is a living breathing system that needs our respect and celebration now more than ever. Eventually, our pollinators may give up. It’s uncertain when. We’re 70%-90% there according to scientists. In the face of this uncertainty, there lies incredible opportunity for eco-entrepreneurship around climate, and sustainability.
When I stared out, 3 decades ago, I knew most consumers loved using plastic spray bottles and killing bugs. However, I wasn’t willing to compromise killing even 1 more pollinator or filling the already overburdened landfills with more plastic (54 billion tons each year in America). I also didn’t want to judge or condemn these actions, but rather find a better solution to replace them in some way. When you resist being pigeonholed, categorized, it’s incredibly empowering, and taps you into a wellspring of innovation and creativity as entrepreneurs.
By embracing an uncharted path, driving from a place of purpose, you’ll unlock new avenues for growth and impact. I promise. Ordinary people with extraordinary ideas have the power to shape industries, challenge the status quo, and inspire others to think differently no matter how big ( or small) the revenues get. Remember that. Don’t play the same game as what already exists, be the kind of leader the world needs right now.
Remember, the world needs more pioneers, more disruptors, and more game-changers.
Together, we can redefine what’s possible!