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Vitamin Waters CEO “Mike Repole” – How To Create A Billion Dollar Brand

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Although he’s sometimes most proud of being a jock, 38-year-old Queens, N.Y., native Mike Repole can also brag about his entrepreneurial prowess. As the co-founder of Glacéau, the successful maker of Vitaminwater, he’s guided the private drinkmaker (which also produces Fruitwater and electrolyte-enhanced Smartwater) to sales that are expected to surpass $1 billion soon. The company is so hot, Coca-Cola scooped it up for a reported $4.1 billion.

In this article Mike Repole shares his Business advice and success tips in branding your business for the masses.

Mike Repole: I’ve used this philosophy in both the success of VitaminWater and Pirate’s Booty. As the President and Co-Founder of Glaceau, I co-created the vitaminwater brand and, as a team, we took it from one bottle to $1 billion in sales, ultimately selling the company for $4.1 billion to the Coca-Cola Company. As Chairman of the Board and the largest shareholder of Pirate Brands (makers of Pirate’s Booty all-natural snacks including Potato Flyers, Smart Puffs, and Tings), we’ve been able to accelerate sales from $50 million to $100 million in 18 months with the five-year goal of $500 million. With consumers more focused than ever on healthy snacking, a great brand and people on board, the company’s potential is limitless.

Mike Repole Pirates Booty

Great brands aren’t “me toos”

Success relies on building a brand that is a trendstarter, not a follower.

Forget about the research reports that large corporations pore over.

Everyone reads the same things, does the same things and, not surprisingly, gets the same results. The best and most innovative brands don’t react to research reports or jump on existing trends; they create trends and make others react.

To get meaningful insights you need to be curious and watch and talk with real consumers.

I’ve never held or attended a focus group, nor will I ever. I walk into convenience, grocery and mass-market stores as an everyday customer to watch and talk with consumers one-on-one. This taught me that consumers felt there were only two types of snacks on the market: high fat, high calorie that tasted good and low fat, low calorie that didn’t taste great. The market was clearly poised for Pirate’s Booty, started two decades ago by Robert Ehrlich, a true pioneer in the health and wellness movement, to make enormous gains with a third category that broke this mold and everyone in the family could agree on. Kids ask for it and Moms feel good about buying it for the family.

But, even if you have an innovative product and limitless brand potential, you can’t maximize that potential without great people.

Wanted: passionate people and sore losers

To be successful, you need to be passionate about your beliefs. The most important thing you bring to the business is yourself, and the same holds true for all employees. People at large companies constantly hear “we can’t do that” or “no,” and that kind of environment deflates people’s passion. Everyone at Pirate’s Booty has a voice, but more importantly, a voice that is heard. I’m a true believer in healthy debate. Everyone’s opinion is valuable and no one’s opinion is valued over the rest.

“I seek out sore losers, because people who hate to lose are always going to find a way to win.” ~ Mike Repole

When opinions of great people are heard and contribute to the decision-making process, it’s only then that a brand can reach its full potential. That’s why we don’t look at our people as employees, but as owners in the company. To make that a reality, everyone has stock options so that everyone truly shares in the company’s successes, from the shipping clerk to the CEO.

In addition to passion and a feeling of ownership, one final element that defines great people is the drive to win. I seek out sore losers, because people who hate to lose are always going to find a way to win. I’ve never run into anyone who hates to lose more than myself. It’s important to hire highly competitive people who are willing to do what it takes to win, especially when the odds are against them. All 50 people at Pirate’s Booty possess the energy, passion, commitment and dedication that it takes to build a great brand and be a winner.

For many people, being small means you’re the underdog.

Success isn’t about size. When you have a great brand and passionate people behind it, you’re never really the underdog. But take advantage of others’ perception of you as the underdog, because it’s one of your greatest weapons in battling the perceived giants. As I see it, the pressure is always on the big guys, because everyone always expects them to win. As underdogs, we can make unexpected, quick, and nimble moves, which give us a major advantage over large corporations. While it takes six months to a year to get a project off the ground at a big corporation, the so-called underdog has already jumped on the latest health and fitness trend and has moved on to the next big idea.

Anytime there are risks involved there are plenty of reasons to stay out of the game, but being an entrepreneur isn’t about excuses, it’s about results. So if you’re committed to your beliefs, build a brand by listening to potential customers, and find people who can share in your passion, because that’s what it takes to create the next big health and fitness trend that everyone else will be chasing after.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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