In this interview Peter Rahal, co-founder of RXBAR tells us how the nutrition bar was conceived (in his kitchen, of course) and how it made its swift four-year ascent to becoming a brand so talked-about and appealing that Kellogg could not resist buying it for a whopping $600 million in 2017.
This brand creation story seems seductively simple: A single-minded focus on a specific product offering missing in the market. A simple package and communication – a few ingredients on the front of the label and “no BS” (that is, no “Bad Stuff”). A disciplined targeting- and distribution strategy – with focus on a receptive early adopter community and distributors, at first, followed by a logic roll-out. A personal- and company set of values centering around listening, working hard, succeeding but staying humble; Foregoing claims about honest ingredients, sourcing integrity, feeding the hungry or another higher purpose which ‘feel disingenuous’ even when the company does participate in food donations.
In fact, it might be this ‘straight-forwardness’ that delivers differentiation and the key to success in what can feel like an increasingly complex and convoluted ‘new food world’. – Organic, non-GMO, ‘sustainably’ grown and fair-traded camu-camu, anyone?
Things might get a bit more complex, nevertheless, now that RXBAR has joined the Kellogg Company house of brands neighborhood. Not the one to lounge around a pool just living off his fortune, Peter has decided to stay on as CEO of the new subsidiary, which provides important continuity¹. But can the ‘humble straight forwardness’ be kept alive and be scaled across the globe and other food categories at a fast pace, as intended. — Listen in and tell us what you think.
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For more insights into what drives the success of brands like RXBAR and many more read our book “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueberbrands” about the Ueber-Branding model and method of application and other posts on this blog-cast.
If you want us to help you elevate your own brand, then write to us at email@example.com.
¹ Here is a post based on our book in which we describe the strategy of ‘Ring-Fencing’ which can help small brands stay nimble and successful – even after they get acquired by big, scale-driven groups.