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How to Build an Iconic Brand with Eric Malka, Co-founder, and CEO of Ingredients

Joshua Chin 13:49

on the matter of conflict, what’s your philosophy? And in managing that, I mean, that applies to not just a spouse, but also a business partner. What’s your philosophy in working that out?

Eric Malka 14:03

I think it’s easier with a spouse to a certain extent, because if you can just break up the business relationship so easily. You’re married, right? So there’s another lab, there’s another level of commitment. You need to work this shit and, you know, you can’t just let conflict consume you. Right. But she’s usually right about everything. And always helps. See, yeah, it’s more of the rules that apply to your your marriage than to your business partner that prevails right. Your wife is always right, then try to say yes, as much as you can. Unless you’re really convicted. Yeah, but conviction otherwise, but she’s good. She’s good, she, you know that we have very clear responsibilities, and we’re very equal partnership. I think that helps in our marriage to that we built our wealth together, we met each other when we were young and broke, we kind of had a, we had a common dream, right. So if you take, we have opposite personalities, you know, we have opposite ways of looking at things. But we have very similar values, and aspirations and philosophies in life. So that’s the real Foundation, right? That that’s much more important than couples that get along, I don’t understand couple, they can get along and have fun together and love doing the same activities. To me, you know, it’s more important that we have shared values, we have a deep commitment to the relationship. And we share the same philosophies in life, and we want the same things out of life. So that’s been really the strength.

Joshua Chin 16:10

That that is incredible. let’s shift gears to the business Ingredients. talked a little bit before. Before we started this recording. Tell us a little bit more about the philosophy behind Ingredients? And how its how exactly is it gonna revolutionize the wellness space.

Eric Malka 16:34

So Ingredients really started 26, 27 years ago, when we both independently and then together embarked on this journey of natural health and wellness. And everything we’ve done in our professional life is to promote natural health. So The Art of Shaving, you know, was born out of our kitchen, because my wife was studying aroma therapy, and Eastern medicine and herbal medicine. There, she created this botanical oil and essential oil blend for me to play on my skin, my sensitive skin. And I got the greatest shave of my life. And, of course, when we started the Art of Shaving brand, our philosophy was what you hear today about clean brands, but we were very, very clean. We were probably one of the first clean brands in the marketplace and one of the first clean retailers in the US. We didn’t call it that back then. So you know, that was Ingredients 1.0 and every project after that was honing our skills to to become the to create Ingredients. And the reason why we create Ingredients because we have honed skills that have made us into these outliers in our industry. You know, the game is rigged against the consumer and against entrepreneurs in general because the personal care industry is built for 10 conglomerate company. That’s who feeds all of the manufacturers. And they’ve been doing that since the 70s 80s and 90s. So a lot of their ingredients platform, their formulation platforms are antiquated and are made with a lot of harmful chemicals. Now as we learn more, yeah, as the industry becomes more and more clean, the consumers want more clean products, you have what is called greenwashing, which is contract manufacturers and brands alike are starting to add hero ingredients that some you know aloe or Yep, you know, ingredients that they can market to the consumer, which are in trace elements in the formula. I mean, even clean brands to us are not clean enough because they use safe chemicals. Hmm. So no one can do what we really do because we have kind of come from outside of the chemical route. My wife has studied alternative medicine and we’ve experimented with natural ingredients in formulation for last 26 years. So we don’t go to a lab like most startups and say, okay, we want to create a clean brand and is basically private label with customization of 5% of your formula to be some cool ingredients you can talk about right and your marketing messaging. What we do is we create formulas in our house or in our laboratory right now it’s in our house because you know we’re we’re in a pandemic, but alive in a kitchen are not very dissimilar. So my wife creates every formula in house which we test ourselves. We sourced direct ingredients with The farms and the the manufacturers, the best producers around the world. And we go to our labs and we say, can you make this for us? Do you know how to put this together for us, here are the percentages Here are the ingredients here are the sources. So we control the factors. And our labs are some of the they work with the biggest names in the industry, but they’ve never done formulas like ours, because that’s just not how people do it. Right. And I believe in breakthrough innovation, if if that’s going to do something everybody else is doing, I’m not gonna waste my time, I just have no appetite for that I need to, I need to be the only one in the world doing what I do. And that’s where Ingredients comes in Ingredients is raising the bar on four things purity, safety, transparency, and fair pricing. And basically on purity. How we’re doing that is through our sourcing and manufacturing process, we have zero chemicals, or bio our petrochemicals in our products. I’ll repeat that they are no petrochemicals and our products. Our products are 100% active plant based ingredients, I challenge you to find any other brand that that don’t claim this. I mean, of course you have new brands now that are creating oil based products, which are very easy to make my 10 year old can make an oil base product in our kitchen, right? But if you start using water based or solid water soluble formulas without the use of chemicals, it’s almost impossible, right? And nobody does this. So that’s purity, right? And we sorted the highest quality ingredients. Not every ingredient is the same quality and adulterated as they change hands over time we go direct to the source on the efficacy, our philosophy is to avoid the number one ingredient used in personal care product, which is distilled water. So yeah, 50% of your bottle is distilled water, how is that going to deliver efficacy right, it comes out of my faucet for God’s sakes. Secondly, after all that water, you find 30 ingredients in the in the formulation, trace element 30 ingredients and 50 80% water in a one ounce bottle, you’re getting nothing. You’re getting zero value, man. So our formulas are made with eight ingredients or less to deliver those potent ingredients, the highest dose just possible. And that results in maximum efficacy. On the radical transparency, we’re basically printing our most secret IP information or formulation, right on the front of the bottle, the exact percentages in fact, we’re an industry first, that’s never happened. No other brand has done that some brands have been queued about putting their ingredient list on the front. Yep, there are very few of them, but nobody has given their magic sauce out to the public. So the funny anecdote about that is what’s driving our direct to consumer right now our industry professionals ordering our products. It’s so funny, you know, people in laboratories are ordering like this, though tomorrow, like cosmetic companies than manufacturers. So we’ll see how that impacts us in the future. But we’re giving out our formula. But it takes more than just the formula to make our products it takes know how it takes sourcing the right ingredients, it takes a process to make sure that ingredient doesn’t go bad. While you’re transporting it from those countries to your country and putting it together in the laboratory. I smell natural products every day at Whole Foods that have turned rancid. It’s very hard to work with these ingredients. So even if I give you the formula you might not be able to achieve and at the end of the day we want everyone to do what we do is our goal is to reduce toxicity in the world. And to stop using petrochemicals and personal care products. We’re we’re basically driving up to the gas station and putting that stuff on our skin. Basically I’m exaggerating, but it’s the same source. Yeah, putting plastic we’re putting plastic we’re putting petrochemicals on our skin everything that is creating havoc. On the environment, and it’s creating havoc on our health. So that’s unacceptable. And then we don’t believe people should pay a premium for water. You know, why are you charging $200 for a serum that’s made with 83%, water, and a bunch of chemicals. That’s just not cool. In my book, it’s not cool, it’s not honest. Um, so we take a fair. And listen, our product, I’m selling a serum for $48, and I have a 92% margin audit is I’m not trying to cut my margins to bring that price to the consumer, right, I’m not competing on price, I’m just trying to be fair, you know, I need high margins to be successful. But I don’t need to charge you $150 to make you believe that this product is more precious than others. I’m pricing it in a fair manner for my company and for my consumers. And I work very hard to keep my cost of goods very low, so that I can bring that value back to the consumer. And we do that by being experts that sourcing and controlling the formulation so that we know exactly what we should be charged for this.

Joshua Chin 26:19

It’s incredible. So I have a question about that. When you say that now people are now seeing the secret sauce and the secret formulation. And I agree has never seen that being done. When when you mentioned that to me the first time when we spoke back in like, last year. I was like, are you sure you’re doing that? That’s that sounds pretty crazy. And that’s that sounds unsustainable? I’m not sure if it’s that that exactly. But that sounds unsustainable. Now, do you say that with worry, right now? Or is it more of like this good. It’s exactly what we need.

Eric Malka 27:02

I don’t worry, because everything I do is driven for the interests of the consumers. So as long as I stay on target, I know I’m going the right way. I’m doing the right thing for the consumer, we trademarked the word Ingredients, in multiple categories in many countries around the world, because we believe consumers are becoming more conscious about what they put on their bodies and inside their bodies. And because they have a right to know exactly what is in the products that they consume every day. So that’s my driving force. If I get copied, the consumer wins, I win. If you know, at the end of the day, at The Art of Shaving, my mindset was to be the number one in my category, if I’m not the best at what I do, I shouldn’t be doing it. With Ingredients, I want to be the only one in the world doing what I do. It’s it’s a very different lens to look at. And I think that’s how that’s how, if you want to build an iconic brand, I think that is a lens you need to have right? You don’t become Tesla or Apple or Amazon by improving on what other people have done. You do it by having breakthrough technology driven by why your purpose is so important to you and consumers. And I think that’s what we always try to do with our brand is focusing on the well being of the consumer with breakthrough innovations and breakthrough innovations can come in many, many forms. And that’s that’s what Ingredients is about.

Joshua Chin 29:03

We so we talked a little bit about building a brand versus building a company. Now that’s something I’m personally interested in as well, at Chronos. In my company, we think a lot about operations and systems and building a sustainable business that serves our customers well. But we rarely think about branding and the way the world perceives us. That’s often the side product of the good work that we do. Most. Yeah, that’s what most companies do, right?

Eric Malka 29:37

Yeah, of course. Um, so I’ll illustrate what branding means right? Ford Motors sells 1.2 million cars and has a market cap of $35 billion. Tesla sells 20% of their volume. So 250,000 cars a year, and their market cap is $350 billion. That’s branding. That’s a difference between building a company and building a brand. When I sold The Art of Shaving, we were losing a lot of money every month. As we scale the business, profits never came into the conversation. When we were selling the business, we were selling brand equity. 90% of our purchase price was brand goodwill. So a lot of entrepreneurs and I, I speak of this as much as I can, most entrepreneurs don’t understand what branding means like you the grow the convenience store, around the corner from your house as the brand, you know, whatever their name is, David’s cafe or whatever, that’s a brand. Every company in the world is a brand. There are millions and millions and millions of brands in the world. There are only a handful of brands you know and respect and admire. Those are iconic brands in the history of the world, we track the 100 most iconic brands, Coca Cola, now you have Google, Apple and Tesla are making that list. Gillette was one of the 100 most iconic brands in history. So that’s the difference, the value that you generate from building a brand is extraordinary compared to building just a company. And the mindset, and the vehicle to do that is completely different than building you know, when you build it, when you build a company, customers might come first, profit comes second, sales comes third, etc. Right? When you’re building a brand, brand comes first. It’s a little bit I was using this analogy recently with someone I was saying what’s the most important thing in your life? And they said, my children, my family? I said no, it’s your health. Without your health, your your children and your family is irrelevant. Branding is the same thing. Yes, your customer and your profits are essential to your livelihood. But without branding there. It’s a moot point. Branding is your health. Your customer, your children.

Joshua Chin 32:46

And that’s amazing. So it’s a really good analogy.

Eric Malka 32:51

So people don’t understand that a lot of people think that they’re building a brand, but they’re not. Because the only way to know that you’re building a brand is that there is intangible value that can be monetized by just your brand name. Forget your company’s assets, forget your company’s EBITDA, forget your revenue, your growth rate, your Cox, your CRTs forget about all that. Can you just sell your brand for an extraordinary amount of money because of what it’s worth and consumers mind and for what it stands for. And it starts with purpose, right? And nowadays, in the 80s, it was all about deal making. You’re making big, well, your big deal maker, you, you you, you achieve great success and all those things. Today, it’s shifted from you know, being a great deal maker to being a purpose driven. Founder, right. That’s who we see how the greatest successes, you know, most obvious are apple and Tesla, you know, very purpose driven, iconic brand. So that’s a that’s my two cents on branding.

Joshua Chin 34:17

That’s, that’s incredible. I think I learned a lot in that just that short. Just this short conversation, in branding that I had, like ever. You talked about being a brand that will mean a company or a brand that where no one can really do what you guys do. And that’s because that’s what sets you apart. And even beyond that. It sets you on a unique space where you’re just incomparable to anyone else. It’s similar to how I guess the world looks at Tesla today. They don’t think about Tesla versus like other companies. Tesla is on its own As a brand, now, how do you get to a point? Like, like that. So we talk a little bit about about purpose and passion,

Eric Malka 35:09

yeah, but it’s very much about purpose and how you how you bring that purpose to life and products. So usually by afford because of price, you know, size specifications like that, you buy a Tesla, because you identify your, who you are, with that product, it goes well beyond the product that goes, it is, it is an affirmation of who you are, as an individual in this earth represents you, it’s a quarter barmer. And you can only achieve that with consumer, you can only achieve that level of advocacy and obsession. You know, a lot of people talk about culture nowadays, but they don’t. They forget that cult is, is the first part of that, that’s what you’re creating. You’re creating a cult following. It is people, you know, and I’m very humbled, but also used to getting emails from consumers and, and people that had The Art of Shaving, and now even more with Ingredients. Obsessed we’ve launched three months ago, and I can I can share with you a dozen emails, I received this past seven days of people saying, Thank you for doing this, this is incredible. This is what the world needs, you know, like people are. It’s called like, right? It’s not I love your product, it was so useful to me. And it did so and so for my family. And thank you, you know, I really love your product. No, it’s it goes beyond that. It goes to a cult status of saying this is this is in line with who I am. Your philosophy I it speaks to me as a as a human being. I believe in wellness, I believe in simplicity. I believe in honesty, I believe in transparency. So that’s really how you build the cult around Apple or Tesla, or iconic companies. It goes well beyond the product itself. And the product has to deliver right? The product, you can’t just, you can’t just speak to this same something. Yeah. I can’t just say all these things and not be delivering on what I’m saying. Right. So the product has to deliver, right, there’s the first moment of truth, which was the what consumers experience before buying the product and is the second moment of truth, when the consumer actually experiences and consumes the product. And most brands right now to our frustration, are almost saying what we’re saying, for the first moment of truth, but they’re not delivering on that. Every You know, I’m an investor. As you know, you didn’t mention strategic brand investments, but I invest in small companies in the clean space. And I see brands all the time, and I have to be a little forgiving. With safe chemicals in formulation. I’m okay with that to invest behind great brands, but I hear founders talk about their brands, like it’s the purest stuff on earth, and there is not one natural ingredient in their formula. And to me, you know, you can build an iconic brand like that. Right? You can speak like your Tesla and then deliver a gas guzzler. And Brend doesn’t live too It’s so it’s no different than starting a religion.

Joshua Chin 39:10

Though that’s really what comes to mind. Yeah.

Eric Malka 39:13

It really is that different is that different than starting a cult or a religion except, you know, you’re trying to do it for you’re not trying to do it for the wrong reasons. And, and yeah, it is culty

Joshua Chin 39:29

it is a little bit culty some of the most successful brands that we have in our portfolio as well at Chronos have an incredible following of obsessed raving fans of what they do at the company. And the well and obviously the brand listens. It’s a it’s a loop. It’s a cycle. It’s not just a one way street. But what I’ve come to find is that conversation happens between customer feedback saying, you know, I love this, this is amazing. This is what you should do next. The brands respond and create stuff that people love and people ask for. And I think that that loop is so important. And it’s so unique in what we do today. I think we take things for granted, like with the whole DTC world and e commerce. But the feedback loop is so quick today, because thanks to email to social, yeah, all the tools that we have, yeah, it’s,

Eric Malka 40:31

it’s an interesting topic, one that I have a conflict with. So we don’t believe consumers know what they really need. They know what they want. They know what they want, but they don’t know what they need, especially when it comes to health. We’re the experts, were doing the hard work for 26 years. So you don’t have to Apple and Tesla do the hard work for 25 years. So we don’t have to learn how to build an electric car or computer, we just trust that they know best. And they’re doing the hard work all day long to deliver that to us. So I don’t believe in focus groups. I i’ve never built products or brands, because of what consumers were asking for. We build things, we build our products and our brands, primarily because and this is something somebody told me recently, which was very eye opening, he says he was his coach of mine. He says you know what good looks like. You know what good looks like that is usually important, right? How many people create something that is just not good. So if you don’t know what good looks like you’re in trouble. But I know what my wife and I kind of know what good looks like. And we can’t find it in the marketplace, the marketplace cannot satisfied the most discerning client with the highest standards. And that’s what we tried to fill. We tried to bring to market things that we wish we could find in the marketplace, what we think are good for our health and wellness, right. And we believe that if we do that, and we’re that consumer that other consumers will appreciate that. And that’s why our philosophy of building our companies has always been done has always been driven by education of the consumer. We don’t sell products, we sell philosophies we sell. We sell our purpose. We sell our our lifestyle, and we sell all that wrapped into education. We believe that when a consumer understand what they should look out in consumer goods, to protect their help, to get the best results, to get a fair price, and to know exactly what they’re buying. If we educate him on that, they’re going to turn to us and say, well, it makes sense for me to buy your products, because that’s what you’re delivering. When you’re just selling products. You’re like everyone else, you’re just shouting in a crowd, you know, and today, the crowd has gotten so much bigger. And the blow horn has become so accessible to everyone in the world. Everybody’s shouting nobody’s hearing. So you don’t have to shout, you don’t have to yell. You just have to say something different. Something that people need to hear right now to have that conversation. And that’s why we created Ingredients because my wife and I wanted to have a platform to speak from. We didn’t want to say for for the last 10 years, we’ve been criticizing clean brands. We’re happy the clean movement is growing. But we’ve been criticizing clean brands. We’re not going to be critics if we’re going to have a voice. We need to bring something to the marketplace. That is what we’re aspiring as the standard. And then we can speak from that platform and say this is what we believe should be and how it should. It should be. And that’s why we created Ingredients for consumers to reduce toxicity in their daily lives. And to have a platform to educate and empower everyone to lead a more natural lifestyle in pursuit of optimal wellness. That’s our mission in life.

Joshua Chin 44:58

And that’s a big, big mission. And I believe that and we spoke a little bit about this as well. But um, that definitely would come with some struggles. What are your biggest struggles right now in building Ingredients as a direct, direct to consumer ecommerce brand.

Eric Malka 45:18

I don’t really have many struggles, um, I have regular challenges, which are part for the course, right? You know, when I was, the beauty of this new company versus the one I built when I was younger, and bootstrap is that I used to be focused entirely on the destination, with The Art of Shaving, selling my business as soon as possible for as much as possible. That was my obsession. With Ingredients, my obsession is the journey, I’m enjoying every minute of every day of doing this. I mean, you know, I’m present with you right now, I’m not thinking about any of the challenges for the rest of the day. And when I was developing the brand with my wife, people were asking me, what are your? What’s your strategy? What’s your distribution? What’s going to be your pricing? What’s going to be your exit strategy? And my answer would be very simple. I am not thinking about any of those things at all, I’m spending 100% of my energy on creating the most incredible brands in the world has ever seen. Because if I’m able to bring out something extraordinary, everything else will be easier or irrelevant. Right? You want to create something so incredible. I always say that. My job as a CEO is just not to screw it up. We’ve, we’re creating something extraordinary. I just have to not screw it up. The rest the restaurant, and it is happening, people are approaching me every day to do business and opportunities are opening themselves up. And the press, you know, we had 10 articles written about us last week alone. So I don’t have a lot of time, I’ve had six VCs, including, you know, some of the major players in my industries. Call me to get on board. I don’t need the money, but I’m like, I’m flattered. But dude, we you know, we haven’t even generated, you know, sales yet, basically, you know, we’re barely out of the gates. So you know, there, I’ll tell you it was it was magical. We were everything was just aligning, aligning, aligning, and I don’t know why that is happening. But I do put a lot of weight on the fact that first of all, my wife is extraordinary at creating the best formulas in the world. I she’s worked with some of the biggest names in the world and she they can’t touch her. She has impeccable taste. We have, we have a very rich history of learning and have passion about this category. We’ve been lucky to learn about branding, not just building companies, but branding and creating iconic brands. You know, I I’m the only person in the history of the world that had a license of the Gillette brand given to me. I own I own the Gillette brand on under contract for the premium marketplace. Anything outside of mass. I owned the brand for a few years before they bought the company. Wow. So for us, it’s about creating such an extraordinary product. Such an extraordinary brand experience that it makes my job as a CEO. Pretty I’m not gonna say easy. It’s always difficult to build a company and there’s there’s challenges. But I’m not dragging 1000 pound Boulder. Yeah, behind me. I’m kind of hanging on in the back of the car being dragged. That’s what I want, you know? Yeah, don’t like

Joshua Chin 49:44

that’s a really good analogy.

Eric Malka 49:47

That’s what they call me Mr. Analogy. If you spend if you spend enough time, you’ll be annoyed by analogies.

Joshua Chin 49:57

No, it’s good. I love that. A tie Learn as well, I have a you know, I, I think in kind of visuals, and I think most people do as well. So this really helps. And I love the fact that you Yeah, I can literally imagine you being in a car,

Eric Malka 50:14

you don’t want to be that guy like lift, you know, moving the boulder up the mountain, that means something’s wrong.

Joshua Chin 50:24

Identifying that first piece that first domino that you need to the biggest Domino that you need to hit to knock off even bigger dominoes. That is incredible. How do you think regular like day to day DTC brands that you see on the streets today could do a live in more of what you advocate and less of what the whole kind of direct consumer direct response world has created today.

Eric Malka 50:59

You got to start with your purpose, you got to start with the why. If you don’t lead with why you’re not going to become a great brand, you know, you’re going to become a great company that’s admired. You know, the basic elevator pitch speaks of introducing yourself quickly. And then speaking about why the consumer cares, you know about listening to you, right? It’s all about their interest. It’s all about the why you’re doing this for that, right. It’s the purpose of, of your mission. You know, if you start with the goal, I would want to be a $50 million company by your five, you know, you might be rich, you might be successful, but it’s it’s, it’s not sustained. It’s not fun. It’s not adding about, you know, you should start by saying how am I? How is my unique talent, adding value in society? How is my unique talent I’ve developed, adding value in this society. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. I, I can afford not to do this. You know, I was driven by financial freedom when I was younger, as I said in the beginning of the podcast, what’s motivating me today is passion purpose, not money. The funny part about that is that when you’re obsessed with passion and purpose, you get a shitload of money for it. So, yeah, that’s exactly. So it’s like, you know, if you want to create tremendous wealth, don’t focus on money. Focus on how to add value to your life and to society, by being driven by a purpose greater than yourself, and a passion that consumes you.

Joshua Chin 53:10

Now, here’s a here’s a tough and maybe annoying one annoying question. If you could go back in time and speak to Eric from in 1996 or 95, before you started The Art of Shaving what would you tell him?

Eric Malka 53:36

enjoy enjoy this journey. This is a this is a journey that most people will never experience in their life. It’s an a journey that most people dream of experiencing in their entrepreneurial life. And truly, truly, truly enjoy it. truly be present in that experience. Because you know, when we’re, when we’re young and foolish and desperate, sometimes we were focused on the destination instead of the journey, you know.

Joshua Chin 54:07

I think I can relate to that a lot. At this stage,

Eric Malka 54:12

it’s a luxury to write I don’t want to be hypocritical. I’m in a, I’m in a stage in my life financially, where I can afford to enjoy the journey more than destination, right. But I would tell my younger self Yeah, just, you know, I understand what you’re, you’re obsessed and you need that obsession. obsess, but also try try to once in a while stop, take it in, breathe it in, you know, it doesn’t happen to everyone and it’s it’s it’s a magical journey. You know, for me, it was having Neiman Marcus call on me in 1998. You know, it was you know, those, there were some magical moments, The New York Times article in The Sunday Times two pages about my little on 62nd Street, that was magical times, you know, I remember reading the article the night before. And my wife and I were like, I don’t like the way they wrote that. That’s why did they say that, you know, being very critical, and then chucking the newspaper to the side, not knowing that tsunami, that would happen the next day for our business. You know, we used to do a couple of $100, on a Monday morning in our store on 62nd Street, that Monday, we did 10,000. And it and we did that kind of number daily for months. We had no idea. But you know, I had 800, retailers that I did business with at the Art of Shaving, and I didn’t know many of them. I didn’t know the buyers, I didn’t know the owners of the little stores. My teams would have those relationships. Now I speak to everyone I do business with, I have a relationship with that. I understand who they are, what their business is about, then, you know, I’m building relationships, you know? So it’s a very different mindset. And with age comes wisdom a little bit, right.

Joshua Chin 56:21

That’s why we listen to you. And yeah, that’s a really, really good, good reminder and kind of look back at what would you have achieved and then done. If you had a here’s a fun one that I’m stealing from, from from Tim Ferriss’ podcasts, and big fan love. Big fan, if you had a billboard, on in the in the middle of the busiest highway? And in America, what would that billboard, say?

Eric Malka 56:55

Super easy, it’s my tagline: Less is so much more.

Joshua Chin 57:00

Less is so much more. Why does it stem from what you’re doing in the Ingredients? Or is that deeper than that?

Eric Malka 57:12

It’s what I this is where I’ve grown to become I I try to live my life right now with the mindset that less is so much more. You know, I used to be in a more is more and now I’m in a less is more mindset. And it’s definitely it is definitely the driving force behind ingredients. And that’s why we adopted it as our tagline because less ingredients means more concentration. Yep, less less information. mean means more transparency, you know, you can go on and on. Less chemicals means more safety. No less design means more. You know, you can go on forever with less is more as it relates to ingredient is the driving force behind everything this brand stands for. And this brand is just an extension of who we are as people is the manifestation. It’s the it’s the What do you call the avatar is the avatar of my wife and I, the brand is our avatar, that’s basically you know, that is an important piece of branding, you can’t create this stuff in a marketing lab. It has to be who you are as a person.

Joshua Chin 58:42

That’s incredible. Diversity. You know that? I think like like you mentioned a lot of brands kind of struggle with with with that authenticity and being true to who the who they are in both the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth. What are some brands that you look up to that you think are doing a good job with, with branding and staying true to their purpose? Besides, in besides Apple stuff the world

Eric Malka 59:16

in my space, you know, or in general?

Joshua Chin 59:19

in your space, if you have an example if not in general.

Eric Malka 59:25

I really don’t. I’m sad to say but I don’t know. I mean, I think I think there are companies that are doing great. first moment of truth more in there. The second moment of truth is extremely rare for me. Right? Extremely rare for me to find products that I truly admire, to put on my on myself to consume very gently First of all, that is Truth is, is is much broader category people are doing a great job, you know, marketers, great marketing, great branding. One brand I love is by Humankind, by Humankind. Yeah, you should look not humankind, but by Humankind. Right here. He’s a couple of extraordinary guys created a brand to with a purpose to reduce plastics on earth, and they’re creating products that something to look at, I think they have an amazing way to present their brand and their first moment of truth is very compelling.

Joshua Chin 1:00:49

That’s really cool. Heads really cool. I’ll definitely keep an eye out. And last question. Partially, we do have to come to a less final question. If you could speak for hours of you, Eric, it’s, it’s all your wonderful.

Eric Malka 1:01:07

You’re a great podcaster. Man.

Joshua Chin 1:01:09

I’m trying,

Eric Malka 1:01:11

I’m gonna run out. I’m gonna run out of good analogies. If we keep going.

Joshua Chin 1:01:16

I think you I think you won’t. It’s just good stories again, again. But the last question, Are you are you an avid reader of books or listener podcast? What? What are your current Top of Mind reads that you feel people should get their hands on? As soon as possible?

Eric Malka 1:01:38

I’ve read so many books. I mean, I didn’t operate a business for 10 years. So I had a lot of time on my hands. And consumed a lot of content consumed a lot of content. And the last two years I’ve been consumed by Ingredients, and they’ve kind of taken a backseat on a well needed rest, if you will. Yeah. You know, almost everything I read has to do with human psychology, natural health and wellness, or business. I’m on the health and wellness side. I like I read a book that to me is like kind of the summary Bible of everything I’ve learned over the years. And I’ll tell you what it is. Boundless by Ben Greenfield, I thought was a phenomenal book that explains every area of achieving optimal wellness. On the Boundless by Ben Greenfield, nice. Yeah, I mean, something relevant to what we’re talking about. Start with Why it’s a classic. Simon Sinek obviously, you know, everybody should read that. As it relates to us a book I think is phenomenal for every area of life is The One Thing. Have you ever heard of the one thing?

Joshua Chin 1:03:20

I have, but I have not read the book, I’ve actually read a summary of

Eric Malka 1:03:24

it’s a must. It’s a must read. It’s an it’s one of the easiest book I’ve read, it takes very short time, but it is it will change the way you see everything and it relates to what I was telling you about. What’s the one thing I can do to make everything else? What’s the one thing I can do with Ingredients to make everything else easier or irrelevant? And that’s, you know, just creating the best possible brand and product line ever. Right? That’s what the one thing is about. So there’s so many books out there the Principles by Ray Dalio is a hard book to read but filled with great nuggets. You were you were you use you stole a line from Tim Ferriss, but he has a cool book called The Tribe of Mentors. Oh, yeah. Which, which is a fun read. He interviews, you know, hundreds of extremely successful people and ask them, you know, half a dozen questions and they all and then you read five pages, three pages about each of those individuals and how they answer those them those questions and it’s a great book to remind you of some great mentoring lessons from great others.

Joshua Chin 1:04:51

Those are really really good books, Principles by Ray Dalio is actually the book That we built our company, philosophy and culture around interestingly modified in many different shapes and forms to my own philosophies but radical transparency. That’s where that’s where I saw this problem by the way. Yeah, exactly. It’s It’s such a it’s such a simple it’s, well, it it is a it’s written very simply, but it’s not an easy read. Read. Got an easy read. Bonus by winning. Yeah, go guys by Ben Greenfield.

Eric Malka 1:05:37

I was just gonna say Principles is a great read to create a company culture. Hmm, I think absolutely.

Joshua Chin 1:05:46

First, yeah, that’s that’s firsthand experience for me as well. I think it’s a great philosophy to start being rethinking about how we view work and how we build a culture as a company, how do we build a cult? How to build a cult? Yeah, exactly.

Eric Malka 1:06:09

I always think that the end of that word out because then it really resonates. People say when you say the word culture, you don’t get it when you said just called it sinks in right away. This is extreme. It’s a it’s extreme. You want you want your employees, your customers and your vendors to be completely caught, like obsessed with your company.

Joshua Chin 1:06:37

That is incredible. Ben Greenfield, that’s a good one. He he was actually a guest at one of the EO events, the online events that we had. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And that’s cool. Cool. My co-founder, Lewis is also a big fan. He’s a my co founders, a triathlete. So he’s an endurance athlete. He runs a lot seems alive. I’m absolutely the opposite of an endurance athlete. I like strength training stuff so definitely gonna check this book out.

Eric Malka 1:07:11

And he’s gonna make you change your mind on both of those things

Joshua Chin 1:07:15

around endurance and strength training?

Eric Malka 1:07:20

Yeah, there’s evidence that over exertion leads to reduced longevity. He goes into that a lot. It’s super interesting is the latest wellness you know crash course on everything wellness.

Joshua Chin 1:07:39


Eric Malka 1:07:41

long book, man, take a take take some time off. That is a long book.

Joshua Chin 1:07:49

What’s this 1000 pages long book man Wow, I’m looking at the Google is that a good introduction? Wow, makes Principles looked like a pamphlet. definitely gonna spend some time on that. And get started with why that’s a that’s actually appeared once in my in my previous interview with with Daniel Harmon actually, at Harmon Brothers shout out to HarmonBrothers.com. But yeah, started Why is it’s been so impactful to so many companies, and resonates with what you’ve mentioned around starting with a purpose, and letting the purpose guide what we do in in building the brand. That’s amazing. Is there anything else that I have to ask you that if you could be a value add to the listeners?

Eric Malka 1:08:45

No, I think you’ve done a great job, man. Actually, I’m going to use this too. If you share this recording with me, I’ll share with my PR firm to show them.

Joshua Chin 1:08:55

I will Yeah.

Eric Malka 1:08:57

We can be a good guest on Tim Ferriss show. Yes. Now, now that we’ve been on your show, maybe he’ll take us.

Joshua Chin 1:09:07

Right shout out to Tim Ferriss. If you’re listening, definitely put Eric on as a guest. Eric, thank you so much for your time. If people are interested to learn more about you and your brand, how can they connect with you?

Eric Malka 1:09:24

Um, Ingredientswellness.com is our website. Then you can you have a contact there where you can reach our company. Ingredients. Ingredientswellness.com.

Joshua Chin 1:09:36

Perfect. Yeah. Thank you so much for your time.

Eric Malka 1:09:38

Thank you, Joshua. Keep up the good work, man.

Outro 1:09:44

Thanks for listening to the eCommerce Profits Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get notified of future episodes.

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