🎧 This week on the pod we chatted with Jarod Steffes, founder and CEO of Muddy Bites, and learned how he helped the snacking sensation go from a Kickstarter campaign to 1000x YOY growth.

Muddy Bites takes the best part of an ice cream cone (y’know, the chocolate-filled goodness at the end), packages them as bite-sized snacks, and ships ‘em right to you. 

This episode is choc-full of velvety insights, delicately wrapped in a tiny Belgian waffle cone. 🍦  We hope you find it as delicious as we did. 

‍The Takeaways: 👇

📦 The Kickstarter origin story:

The origin of Muddy Bites started as an “aha moment” to create something that everyone loves but no one could buy.

“The idea of the bottom part of a sundae cone… the idea just kinda sells itself.” 

So Jarod and his partner did what any broke college kids with an idea would do in the year 2019: they started a Kickstarter campaign.

Their campaign was a success, allowed them to fund their initial production run, and also confirmed that the world was definitely hungry for Muddy Bites.😋

The magic of memes:

Muddy Bites has found memes to be one of their keys to organic growth – especially when it comes to partnerships.

In fact, one campaign with the FuckJerry meme page garnered almost 1M likes, blew up their traffic and revenue, and helped them skyrocket from #5000 to the top 50 listing on Amazon within just weeks of launching their store. 🚀

“The thing we’ve learned with meme pages and influencer marketing is, the more organic-looking [the post is], the better it does for us. The more we make it a sponsor-y, ad-y type thing, the worse it does.”

🏬 Rebranding for retail:

With a goal to expand into retail over the next several years, Jarod realized Muddy Bites needed a facelift to enhance shelf appeal.

“If we want to get to where we wanna be, we needed to rebrand.”

As part of their rebrand, they sought out to create a brand that elicited the nostalgia of old-school ice cream parlors:

  1. A cleaner logo.
  2. Fun, bright colors.
  3. Ice cream parlor-esque fonts.
  4. A “brand character” named Buddy the Bite.

[Buddy the Bite] gives us this fun personality character to the brand. We introduce him in emails and memes… and you can literally buy Buddy the Bite as a stuffed animal.”

Having a brand character also gives them the opportunity to create Buddy merch for upsells, holiday campaigns, and enhances brand affinity.

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