Katie and Taylor of EPIC Provisions on trusting your gut
1. Launching EPIC meant setting sail in uncharted waters. As entrepreneurs with a new vision, how did you know what voices to listen to, and more importantly what voices to ignore?
When we first pitched the concept of a meat-based protein bar, our mentors, board members, and retail partners all told us it was a “bad idea.” Initially we were discouraged but as we continued to move forward it was clear that we had to trust our own instincts and listen to our gut. The product was developed for our personal nutritional needs and we had a clear vision for how enormous this opportunity was. When people told us to stop working on the “meat bar” it only fueled our competitive nature and led to the accelerated development of the product.
2. The passion of your customer base has fueled your growth. Talk about how your biggest advocates have helped shape your brand.
We launched EPIC strategically and involved influencers right out of the gate. Through outreach, we sent “VIP” kits to people that we wanted to serve as brand champions. These partnerships provided an authentic platform for influencers to organically create content regarding our new company and generate tons of online buzz.
3. How does EPIC continue to innovate as new players enter into this space?
We think about innovation all the time and it has become a cornerstone of the brand. We constantly remind ourselves that competitors are trying to catch up through launching “me too” products. As a result, we intentionally launch innovation that has the ability to be better than previous generations of our own products. By doing so we are always one year ahead of competitors and remain disruptive as a brand.
4. What advice would you give a challenger brand that doesn’t have the marketing resources of their category leaders?
Be authentic. Consumers want to support brands with heart and soul. This takes form as a founding story, company values, and the culture you create. No matter how much money large companies dump into trying to recreate this, consumers will always be able to decipher authenticity.
5. What’s one thing you wish you had known when you started your company?
I wish I had known how fast time would pass. The early days were absolutely magical and I wish someone would have encouraged me to take more photos, videos, and really absorb the special journey of starting something from scratch.