This Pancake and Waffle Company Dedicated Years to Getting Its Branding Right and Now Makes 8-Digit Revenues

This Pancake and Waffle Company Dedicated Years to Getting Its Branding Right and Now Makes 8-Digit Revenues

Birch Benders got the attention of Target by working on its packaging and finding its voice. "When you're starting on a shoestring, your best advantage is to take the time to build a great brand, really pour yourself into it, and understand what you're all about. We want to build a brand that's going to be around for 1,000 years." "All of that time that we put into it definitely paid off, because while our packaging breaks all of the rules of the current trend -- it's busy, it's not minimalist, there's a lot going on -- people love it," Ackerman said. Birch Benders' revenues are in the eight digits, the company said. Its Paleo mix is the top-selling pancake and waffle mix at Whole Foods, Sprouts and in the entire natural channel, according to the company. A "freak" illness that put Ackerman in the ICU for 11 days had inspired her to become a doctor, but she decided to follow LaCasse to Boulder to take a year off and ski ("Pancakes ended up pulling me in, and I was having a lot more fun doing that than studying for the MCATs," she said.). "We noticed that pancakes were a stale category, and anything convenient was full of junk," Ackerman said. Here are more insights from Ackerman: On the most unusual thing about working in this space "How quickly things change. I love to hire people who I think are a little scary, a little intimidating, and better than me at certain things.

Digital Marketing News: CMO Diversity Shortfalls, Goo.gl Retirement, Facebook’s New A/B Tests
5 Signs Your Employer Brand Is in Trouble
How Influencer Marketing Can Become a Powerful Weapon for Brands

Birch Benders got the attention of Target by working on its packaging and finding its voice.

This Pancake and Waffle Company Dedicated Years to Getting Its Branding Right and Now Makes 8-Digit Revenues

In this ongoing column, The Digest, Entrepreneur.com News Director Stephen J. Bronner speaks with food entrepreneurs and executives to see what it took to get their products into the mouths of customers.

The founders of Birch Benders, makers of better-for-you frozen pancakes and waffles and mixes, spent years getting its branding right. But without that effort, the brand would have not have gotten the attention of Target, according to co-founder Lizzi Ackerman.

“It pays off to make sure that you’ve really perfected the brand and the product,” she said. “When you’re starting on a shoestring, your best advantage is to take the time to build a great brand, really pour yourself into it, and understand what you’re all about. We want to build a brand that’s going to be around for 1,000 years.”

Related: This Entrepreneur Almost Quit Multiple Times, But After Appearing on ‘Shark Tank’ He Now Has a $100 Million Business

Ackerman co-founded Birch Benders with her boyfriend (now husband) Matt LaCasse in 2011. The two Yale alumni initially sold their just-add-water mixes in jars at Whole Foods stores in Denver (they had moved to Boulder). They would do demos twice a day every day and request feedback from potential customers.

“At the time we thought we were supporting our sales, but really we were learning what was working in our packaging and product and what wasn’t,” Ackerman said. “People would be brutally honest, and everything they said, we’d incorporate into [the next] iteration.”

Once Birch Benders — named for the practice of climbing a tree then coming to the ground by bending it — had some traction and funding, it hired a creative agency and spent another year on its branding.

“All of that time that we put into it definitely paid off, because while our packaging breaks all of the rules of the current trend — it’s busy, it’s not minimalist, there’s a lot going on — people love it,” Ackerman said. “You don’t always have to follow the rules.”

The company’s products, which include traditional varieties featuring…

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0