Benton Crane of the Harmon Bros on The Marketing Minute #2

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Transcription: Karl: What’s your most insightful story for marketers?    Benton: So one of our early campaigns was squatty potty. And of course now the squatty potty pooping unicorn is famous, and everyone’s seen it.  And it’s, you know, kind of become a cultural phenomenon.  People dress up as the unicorn for Halloween now, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, it started out as a stupid idea.  And when we originally pitched that idea to squatty potty, every single person in their organization, except for one, thought it was a terrible idea and they said no.  Two of the three original founders said no.  The investors said, No.  They even had an investor from Shark Tank who said no.  Everyone thought it was a terrible idea. But, Bobby the CEO, he caught the vision of it. He saw it, he understood it, and even though no one else around him did, he gave us the green light. And he pushed forward and said, “Go for it.” At the time, we had no idea that he was going out on a limb and kind of putting his neck out there for this concept, but he gave us the green light. And we went and built this campaign. And I remember two days before it launched, I was talking to Bobby, and he was borderline sick, he was pale in the face like he was white. He was so scared for what was about to come. We’re like two days from launch. And he’s sitting here thinking to himself, what am I done? Like, I am, uh, I have this company we’ve got, you know, I think at the time they had, you know, $4 million per year in sales or something like that. So it’s already, you know, a successful company on you know, on a successful trajectory. So he’s like, I am about to put a freaking pooping unicorn on my brand, as the spokesperson of my company. Like, discuss Could be brand suicide, this could be the end of squatty potty, this could be the end of my tenure as CEO like that is the type of thing that he was facing in that moment. I remember he looked at me and he was like, Benton this has to work. Like it just has to work. I bet everything on this. I’ve even gone against my investors Council and best wishes to do this. And I remember that was the moment where I was like, geez, like, you could have told us this in the beginning. Like there. There’s nothing we can really do about it now other than just go live with it and and hope for the best. Karl: What are the insights that you were able to derive from that story? That’s a fantastic story. Benton: I think at the at the end of the day, Bobby trusted his gut. He caught the vision of it. And he knew that it was right. And he knew that it was work there that it would work. But he had to take the risk. He had to roll the dice and go for it. He had to do something bold and he had to ignore it. All of the naysayers and the detractors to move forward with it, you know, and of course now history shows like what a brilliant move it was, you know, me made millions and millions of dollars from from that campaign and it. You know, completely changed the trajectory of, of that brand. But at the time, that was a really scary, bold move for him and, and to this day, I just take my hat off to Bobby for having the courage to do something like that. Karl: Tremendous is that a bit like, trust your gut and make the leap? Benton: Yeah, I mean, when it comes to trusting our gut, we always have to, you know, look at the risks, look at the potential rewards, look at any data that’s available, and we bring all of those different inputs together to generate a decision, but at the end of the day, yeah, we we do have to take some risks in our decision making. If we’re not taking risks, then we’re not ever setting ourselves up for that. Big rewards.  Karl: Love it. Okay, now, can you say who you are and what you do? Benton: I’m Benton crane CEO of Harmon brothers. I lead a team of brilliant storytellers who are the creative geniuses behind some of the most famous campaigns on the internet, including squatty potty, popery, chatbooks, purple mattresses, and many others. We’ve driven over $400 million in sales and over 1.5 billion views. Our mission is to share better stories and make the world a better place. I’m Benton crane and this is the marketing minute

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