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EPISODE 444 57 mins

$40M Revenue in Year 3: How Meta Ads, Strategic Branding, and Influencers Drive Hostage Tape’s Success → Alex Neist

About the guests

Alex Neist

Kunle Campbell

Alex Neist is the founder of Hostage Tape, a brand dedicated to improving sleep quality through mouth taping. With a background as an athlete and entrepreneur, Alex has built and scaled multiple businesses. His latest venture, Hostage Tape, has rapidly grown to a multimillion-dollar brand by leveraging innovative marketing strategies and strategic partnerships.

In this episode of the 2X eCommerce Podcast, Kunle Campbell interviews Alex Neist, the founder of Hostage Tape, a disruptive sleep brand. Alex shares his journey from managing a SaaS business to creating and rapidly scaling Hostage Tape into a multi-million dollar business. He discusses how personal struggles with sleep and health led him to discover mouth taping, and how he used his entrepreneurial skills to fill a market gap with a unique product.

Alex delves into the innovative strategies he employed, including running his own Facebook ads, even when the company was generating $14 million in revenue. He highlights the importance of effective branding and influencer partnerships in scaling the brand’s awareness. Alex also touches on the personal challenges he overcame, including divorce and burnout, and how these experiences shaped his business approach and product development.

The episode covers Alex’s approach to market research, emphasizing the significant total addressable market for his product. He discusses the brand’s rapid growth, significant partnerships with entities like the UFC and Joe Rogan, and the use of influencer marketing to drive awareness and sales. Listeners will gain insights into building a strong brand, effective advertising strategies, and leveraging personal experiences to create impactful products.


  • [00:00:00] – Introduction by Kunle Campbell
  • [00:01:00] – Introduction to the 2x eCommerce Podcast
  • [00:03:15] – Alex Neist’s Journey: From Athlete to Entrepreneur
  • [00:12:09] – The Birth of Hostage Tape
  • [00:19:26] – Scaling Hostage Tape to Success
  • [00:25:00] – Marketing Strategies and Brand Building
  • [00:43:57] – Team Building and Company Culture
  • [00:48:16] – Building a Positive Team Culture
  • [00:52:23] – Joe Rogan Sponsorship Journey
  • [00:59:00] – Influencer Marketing Strategies
  • [01:03:16] – The Science of Nose Breathing


  1. Resilience and Adaptability: Alex’s journey from personal and professional challenges to success emphasizes the importance of resilience and adaptability.
  2. Importance of Sleep: Quality sleep can significantly impact overall health and productivity. Alex’s discovery and advocacy for mouth taping highlight a simple yet effective solution.
  3. Strategic Branding: Creating a memorable and polarizing brand like Hostage Tape can capture consumer attention and drive engagement.
  4. Effective Use of Meta Ads: Mastering Facebook and Instagram ads can be a major driver of growth for eCommerce brands.
  5. Influencer Partnerships: Collaborations with influencers, such as Joe Rogan and UFC, can significantly boost brand visibility and credibility.

Resources Mentioned:

Key Concepts

  1. Nasal Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing – Discussed extensively in terms of health benefits and improving sleep.
  2. Bohr Effect – The physiological principle explaining how CO2 levels affect oxygen usage in the body.
  3. Nitric Oxide – Discussed in the context of its benefits for health and breathing.
  4. Mechanical Turk – Reference to the system of human intelligence used in Alex’s software company.

Mentioned Brands and Companies

  1. Hostage Tape – The primary product discussed in the episode, developed by Alex for improving sleep.
  2. Liquid Death – A brand known for its unique and bold branding of canned water.
  3. Native Deodorant – Known for its effective branding in a crowded market.
  4. 3M Micropore Tape – A type of surgical tape initially used by Alex before developing Hostage Tape.
  5. Uber – Mentioned in relation to the queuing system Alex developed for his previous software company.
  6. Spotify – Platform through which Joe Rogan’s podcast is sponsored.
  7. Breathe Right – A brand of nasal strips mentioned in the context of nasal breathing.
  8. Andy Elliott Sales Training – The training programs led by Andy Elliott for improving sales techniques.

Notable People Mentioned in this Episode

  1. Joe Montana – Legendary American football quarterback who inspired Alex as a child.
  2. Tom Brady – Mentioned as having surpassed Joe Montana as the greatest quarterback of all time.
  3. Mike Cesario – CEO of Liquid Death, whose branding strategy inspired Alex.
  4. Mois Ali – Creator of Native Deodorant, whose branding insights influenced Alex.
  5. Joe Rogan – Influential podcaster and UFC commentator who uses and endorses Hostage Tape.
  6. Tom Segura – Comedian and friend of Joe Rogan, also a user of Hostage Tape.
  7. Andy Elliott – Fastest growing sales trainer in the world, partnered with Hostage Tape for promotions.
  8. David Duchovny – Actor interviewed by Pete Holmes, who also promotes Hostage Tape.
  9. Alex Hormozi – Mentioned in the context of using nose strips for better breathing.
  10. Ben Heath – YouTuber specializing in Facebook Ads, whose tutorials helped Alex improve his ad campaigns.
  11. Pete Holmes – Comedian and podcaster who promotes Hostage Tape.
  12. Mark Bell – Weightlifter known for promoting nasal breathing and fitness.


🔔 Book Announcement:

📈 ‘E-Commerce Growth Strategy’ by Kunle Campbell


Exciting news for our listeners! Kunle Campbell, your host and e-commerce expert, has just released his new book: ‘E-Commercer Growth Strategy.’ This essential guide is packed with strategies for attracting shoppers, building community, and retaining customers in the e-comerce space. Drawing on insights from the 2X eCommerce podcast and Kunle’s extensive experience, this book is a must-read for anyone in the e-commerce industry.


$40M Revenue in Year 3: How Meta Ads, Strategic Branding, and Influencers Drive Hostage Tape’s Success → Alex Neist

[00:00:00] Kunle Campbell: So six years ago. I had everything. I had that company. We were doing millions of dollars a year. I had my wife, my kids, the house.

[00:00:07] Kunle Campbell: I had everything. And then within two years of that, I was divorced. I had to sell my house, I was living in my aunt’s basement because we sold the house. I only saw my kids half the time. So I had hit rock bottom in this moment, right? I was burnt out. I was out of shape. And a lot of it was because I was getting terrible sleep.

[00:00:29] Mhm.

[00:00:31] Kunle Campbell: we’re partnered with the UFC. We’re the official sleep aid partner of UFC. We’re partners with Joe Rogan and his podcast. And I don’t go anywhere without people saying, Oh my God, I use you. You saved my life. Or saying I see you guys everywhere.

[00:00:45] Mhm.

[00:00:47] Kunle Campbell: When I thought about it, I went, okay, is there a big enough TAM here? There absolutely is. There’s 128 million households in the U.

[00:00:55] Kunle Campbell: S. Over 71 percent of them mouth breathe

[00:00:58] [00:01:00] Mhm.


[00:01:00] Introduction to the 2x eCommerce Podcast

[00:01:00] so on this episode of the 2x eCommerce podcast, we dive into how Alex Neist built and rapidly scaled hostage tape into a multimillion dollar brand by revolutionizing sleep quality and mastering social advertising.

[00:01:11] This is the 2x e commerce podcast hosted by Kunle Campbell.

[00:01:18] Welcome to the 2x eCommerce podcast. I’m your host, Kunle Campbell, and this is the podcast dedicated to rapid growth in online retail. The episode you’re about to listen to is one of my favorite this year. I had the pleasure of speaking with Alex Neist. He’s the founder of Hostage Tape.

[00:01:35] This conversation touched me on so many key aspects. I hold dear health, fitness, marketing, growth, business resilience, Alex stories, incredibly inspiring in their second year, his business generated 14 million in revenue profitably, and he was still personally managing their Facebook ads, his dedication of taking full control and responsibility for the outcome.

[00:01:59] Is [00:02:00] something I deeply respect. What makes this business remarkable is how it started. I like to read a book about sleep, saw a gap in the market and recognize a huge opportunity. He executed brilliantly his personal story, including overcoming divorce and using business as a means to regain control of his life is truly inspiring and compelling.

[00:02:20] If. You’re looking for inspiration on building a business with a strong brand, a solid product and flawless execution. This episode is a must listen. Alex is full of wisdom and perseverance. I could have split this into two episodes, but you deserve to hear it all at one go.

[00:02:37] There’s a lot to unpack. So if you need to take notes, don’t worry. I’ve made sure the show notes as comprehensive covering all resources we discussed. This is a great entrepreneurial story that addresses strategy and tactics, which is why the interview is an hour and a half long. So enjoy the special conversation and stay inspired before we dive in.[00:03:00]

[00:03:00] Please make sure to follow 2x eCommerce podcast on your preferred platform by doing so you’ll never miss an episode and you’ll help us continue to bring more interesting and inspiring guests like Alex. So thank you.

[00:03:13] Mhm.

[00:03:15] Alex Neist’s Journey: From Athlete to Entrepreneur

[00:03:15] Kunle Campbell: Hey, Alex, welcome to the 2X eCommerce podcast. I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you for a while.

[00:03:24] Alex Neist: It’s great to be here. I appreciate it.

[00:03:26] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. You guys pushed it as in I’ve been waiting for eight weeks or thereabouts, but yeah, good things come. Yeah.

[00:03:33] Kunle Campbell: things come to those who wait, of

[00:03:34] Kunle Campbell: Who waits exactly. Thank you for finishing me, finishing that, that sentence.

[00:03:37] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Let’s let, I would like to know more about you, Alex. I know a little about you. I know you were running a a SAS business for many years, over a decade. Who are you? Do you want to just give us a your background and your journey

[00:03:53] Alex Neist: Yeah, you got it. What’s funny is if you can see in the video here is there’s some football jerseys here. American football. That’s my [00:04:00] background. I grew up a kid in the States. I’ll tell this story. This is a great story. When I was about maybe 12, 13 years old, I was at a birthday party. And they handed out these packs of Topps football cards American football cards and just trading cards.

[00:04:17] Alex Neist: And I got this pack of cards and the last card in was a Joe Montana card. And Joe Montana, at the time in the 90s, he’s widely regarded as one of the greatest American football quarterbacks in history. Obviously Tom Brady has surpassed him at this point as the GOAT. But the getting that card. Was one of those moments where everybody went, Oh my God, you got Joe Montana.

[00:04:43] Alex Neist: He’s the greatest quarterback. Whoa. And so for me, it was a very interesting moment of. Wow, maybe this is what I want to be. And so then I fell in love with American football becoming a [00:05:00] quarterback and I put my heart and soul into that. And that was my first love was playing football. And so then I went on through high school and there’s a recurring pattern of who I am and that is created.

[00:05:12] Alex Neist: Who I’ve become is every level. of football that I played. I was never the guy. So I always had a chip on my shoulder and I had something to prove. So when I got in high school, everybody thought it was going to be some other guys, the starting quarterback. And I said, no, it’s going to be me. And so I proved everybody wrong and I became the starting quarterback.

[00:05:34] Alex Neist: And then nobody thought I was going to go play college football. And then I did, I went on and I played college football and then nobody thought I was going to play professional. And I’m like, no, I know I can play. I went on and I played a level of professional football that’s called arena football.

[00:05:53] Alex Neist: Imagine if you went to a basketball game or like an ice hockey game and the court was [00:06:00] a turf field, right? And then you had eight guys versus eight guys, very intimate setting, maybe 10, people on top of you. And so I played that and these are my jerseys that I played that for about five, six years.

[00:06:17] Alex Neist: Because I was hoping to become an NFL quarterback. It didn’t happen. So then I took all of that, all of those experiences as a player my whole life. That first love and I started a business so I started a software company that was centered around this concept of as a player and as a coach, how do we use video to become a better player or as a coach to teach your players more effectively?

[00:06:45] Alex Neist: So I took that concept and I built a business around it and then I scaled it and I ran it and I bootstrapped it for about 16 years until then I ended up selling it and then. Was vest I vested out that equity and then I started my next [00:07:00] company.

[00:07:01] Kunle Campbell: Okay. So your clients were sports, were coaches or sports teams with a

[00:07:08] Kunle Campbell: Yeah both so

[00:07:09] Kunle Campbell: sounds

[00:07:10] Kunle Campbell: about more amateur level like we’re talking University college high school youth level not really pro level. Most pro levels They have their own video departments that do this kind of stuff. So so imagine this Imagine you’ve got a a university team a club team a youth team high school team Whatever level that is let’s use soccer or football and let’s say you’ve got that, you’ve got that team.

[00:07:40] Kunle Campbell: Let’s say they’re 15 year olds and you’re filming that match. The problem that coach and that team has is maybe that team’s only got one coach. So you’ve got a 90 minute match of video. How do you actually use that video to teach your players, prepare, pull something out of it, and then move on to the next game?

[00:07:59] Kunle Campbell: [00:08:00] Most of those coaches and teams don’t have the ability to do that because they just don’t have the resources, the time, and the help. So I developed a system where You could have that game filmed, you could film it, upload it, and then we would use human intelligence to watch the game, add data to it. So that way then when the coach woke up the next day, he could pull up all the set pieces, the corner kicks, the shots on goal.

[00:08:24] Kunle Campbell: All those unique moments in a match that you can then teach your players and then move on and go to the next game. And so then I scaled that for 16 years and then I ended up selling it to a company. On a Tel Aviv. And yeah. So that was just using my background of of being an athlete and a coach.

[00:08:48] Kunle Campbell: Anything I start has always been something I’m very passionate about that’s very close to my chest. And so football being my first love in sports and being an athlete, I knew I’m gonna start a business around [00:09:00] that. About what I know. And then that’s where my entrepreneurial career started,

[00:09:06] Kunle Campbell: generative AI or chat GPT for sports, to really get the most out

[00:09:10] Kunle Campbell: Here But using human intelligence.

[00:09:13] Kunle Campbell: human

[00:09:13] Kunle Campbell: So it was, even now to this day, the idea of using pure AI to analyze a game it’s only done at the professional level by really expensive, complicated systems that still take a long time to render. All the information, the data, like it’s being done in the NBA level, it’s being done at some baseball level, it’s being done at some soccer level, football level, all of that, but there still is, there’s still a level of data where it has to be audited by a human being to actually add more value to it that a coach could actually use.

[00:09:50] Kunle Campbell: And this was 10 years ago. This didn’t exist at all, and I pioneered this concept of actually using humans to watch a game, and then add data to it, and [00:10:00] have about a 6 hour turnaround, so then a coach could have that game done within 6 hours, and then they could pull out stuff. So it was AI in the sense of human. intelligence rather than artificial intelligence.

[00:10:11] Kunle Campbell: Got it. Humans lost. Take it what’s that? Amazon service Turk something.

[00:10:15] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. It was like, it was exactly the mechanic. It was the mechanical Turk, but we designed our own Turk system using our own people and our own queuing system. So we actually designed a queuing system that would scale both vertically and horizontally, very similar to how Uber works. In fact, we were really proud of how we designed this.

[00:10:35] Kunle Campbell: And for example let’s say we knew we would have 1, 000 games that would be uploaded on a night. We would have a certain amount of guys who would flip on, make themselves available, just like a guy who’s driving an Uber. And then when games got uploaded, they would automatically get assigned to whoever’s available.

[00:10:55] Kunle Campbell: And then if they were available and they got assigned a game, if they [00:11:00] didn’t start it within 30 minutes, it got pulled and then reassigned to somebody else automatically. So it incentivized them to actually get started on the game. And if they didn’t start, Then they would lose the work. Super interesting. Super interesting. What did you sell it for?

[00:11:18] Kunle Campbell: How much did you sell it for? To the Israeli company?

[00:11:21] Kunle Campbell: Undisclosed i’m not gonna I won’t discuss how much we sold it for but I sold it for a combination

[00:11:26] Kunle Campbell: Alex, are you there?

[00:11:28] Kunle Campbell: I’m here. You got me?

[00:11:31] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Yeah. Got you.

[00:11:33] Kunle Campbell: So i’m not gonna disclose how much I sold it for but I sold it for a combination of cash and equity So there was an amount of cash that we got and then there was an amount of equity that we got in The company that I actually still own part of the company. And then I had to vest out two years.

[00:11:53] Kunle Campbell: So when I sold it, got acquired, became a part of that company. I became the head of analytics. For the [00:12:00] company, and then was there for two years before I then left to launch this company.

[00:12:08] Kunle Campbell: okay.

[00:12:09] The Birth of Hostage Tape

[00:12:09] Kunle Campbell: So what’s a precursor to launch in hostage tape? Why did you, why sleep? And how did this become? Yeah, so the story really comes down to, it’s this hero’s journey that I tell. So six years ago, back when I was in the middle of that company. Not the middle of it, the end of it, really. I had everything. I had that company. We were doing millions of dollars a year. I had my wife, my kids, the house.

[00:12:36] Kunle Campbell: I had everything. And then within two years of that, I was divorced. I had to sell my house, I was living in my aunt’s basement because we sold the house. I only saw my kids half the time. So I had hit rock bottom in this moment, right? I was burnt out. I was out of shape. And a lot of it was because I was getting terrible sleep.[00:13:00]

[00:13:00] Kunle Campbell: I snored so bad that it pushed my wife into the other bedroom for years. And our intimacy eroded. I was burnt out again, out of shape, right? Neglected myself. And I was also, I was just so focused on the business that I wasn’t taking care of myself. And so all of that start to compound and get worse and worse.

[00:13:22] Kunle Campbell: Any entrepreneur listening to this knows exactly what I’m talking about, right? You can get so focused on something and then you lose yourself. And also having been an athlete and then retiring, you lose yourself too. Any athlete would tell you that when they shut that part of their life off, you’d have, you have to figure out who you are.

[00:13:42] Kunle Campbell: And even though I was an entrepreneur, it was still difficult to be. Come somebody brand new to become a father to become all these new things So I was at this moment where I’m like, all right What do I got to do to become a better man father? [00:14:00] Partner all leader all of these things and I hated the job that I sold my company to I hated it And in any entrepreneur will tell you that when you sell your company You always have these like delusions of grandeur of where you’re gonna go with it at the end of the day the company doesn’t really want you They just wants they want this thing that you built And then they want to get rid of you, right?

[00:14:24] Kunle Campbell: Because they want to be able to control the thing you built and they know that they can’t control you as an entrepreneur. So I knew I needed to get out and then start my own thing. So there was that whole struggle. So I started looking at my sleep and I discovered this book that James Nestor wrote, where he talks about this experiment where they went to Stanford medical center and they plugged their nose for 10 days.

[00:14:47] Kunle Campbell: And then over those 10 days to develop sleep apnea and they snored like crazy and had dangerously low levels of oxygen in their blood. And then after those 10 days, they unplugged their nose, they mouth taped, and everything went away [00:15:00] in one day. So for me, the light bulb went off and I went, Whoa, was it really that easy like mouth breathing

[00:15:07] Kunle Campbell: My coaches had never taught me this being that athlete my whole life in Western culture over in America, like we seem to have lost this whole concept of nose breathing and mouth breathing, why they’re important, why they’re different and why we shouldn’t be mouth breathing.

[00:15:24] Kunle Campbell: And so when I went on and I discovered mouth taping, I did it for the first time. It like blew me away. I couldn’t believe how simple it was and how life changing it was because just, I was jolting for me at how good a sleep I got when I tried it. So as an entrepreneur, I went, Whoa, this is it. This is what I can do because the reality is. You’re not going to inspire men to buy 3M micropore tape or, surgical tape on Amazon to mouth tape every night. That’s not inspiring at all. [00:16:00] So I knew that I needed to start a brand and I was inspired at the time by liquid death, love liquid death. And what I love about what Mike did. So Mike Cesario, the CEO of liquid death is he took the biggest commodity in the, on the world, in the planet And created a brand around it and they’re a nine figure, probably going to be a ten figure business.

[00:16:23] Kunle Campbell: And they’re selling the ultimate commodity, so I knew, alright, I’m selling an adhesive tape like product, which is really a commodity. Granted, it’s a very specific type of tape that’s different than a normal tape you might get at the store, but it’s tape nonetheless. So I knew if I’m going to build up a giant business around this, I have to have a brand just like what Liquid Death did.

[00:16:45] Kunle Campbell: And I knew I could do it. And I was also inspired by Moiz Ali who created Native Deodorant. And I’d always heard Moiz talk about how you can walk down the aisle as a target and you can see a wall of white, a wall of blue, or a [00:17:00] wall of green and know that there’s an opportunity there. There’s an opportunity to create something that stands out.

[00:17:07] Kunle Campbell: Because that means then, all right, there’s a big enough TAM. And there’s an opportunity and then marketing is all about creating something that gets people’s attention and starts a conversation. So when I thought about it, I went, okay, is there a big enough TAM here? There absolutely is. There’s 128 million households in the U.

[00:17:29] Kunle Campbell: S. Over 71 percent of them mouth breathe. That’s a lot of people. Just in the U. S. alone. So I knew TAN is there and if I created this brand then I could inspire men Just like this helped me to start doing this crazy thing called mouth taping And so at the time when I started mouth taping I used to warn my kid that would say hey guys If you come into the room at night and you see me, it’s gonna look like I’m being held hostage So don’t freak [00:18:00] out because when you wear tape on your mouth, it looks really funny

[00:18:03] Kunle Campbell: yeah.

[00:18:03] Kunle Campbell: It looks like you’re a hostage, but on the flip side of that, I knew that we’re tapping into this core emotion that people feel.

[00:18:11] Kunle Campbell: People feel held hostage by a poor sleeper, their partner, and they don’t know what to do.

[00:18:16] Kunle Campbell: So double play there.

[00:18:17] Kunle Campbell: Don’t let bad sleep hold you hostage. That’s

[00:18:21] Kunle Campbell: Hostage tape. And I knew that when you’re scrolling through your Instagram account, how do I stop the scroll and get you to pay attention and start a conversation?

[00:18:34] Kunle Campbell: And everybody that sees hostage tape stops and goes, What the hell is this right? It’s very polarizing and a great brand creates that it creates something that you either love it Or you hate it and it always starts a conversation and I’ve never met somebody that didn’t see the brand and go Oh my god, I’ve never forgot it.

[00:18:54] Kunle Campbell: I can’t believe you had you know, the cojones to actually call [00:19:00] something hostage tape So just knew, I knew that was the way. And now two years after we started it. So in year one, we’d 900 K and then we did. 14 million. And now we’re on a path to do 30, 40, 50 million, this year and we’ll be the first mouth tape brand in big retail next year.

[00:19:26] Scaling Hostage Tape to Success

[00:19:26] Kunle Campbell: And we’re partnered with the UFC. We’re the official sleep aid partner of UFC. We’re partners with Joe Rogan and his podcast. And I don’t go anywhere without people saying, Oh my God, I use you. You saved my life. Or saying I see you guys everywhere.

[00:19:43] Kunle Campbell: Oh wow, there’s a lot to unpack there, there’s a lot to unpack there, Alex, there’s just a lot to unpack there. By the way, the name of the James Nesta book is called Breathe, for anybody who’s listening, I’ll link to it in the show notes. Okay, so how’s family life now? And have you found purpose beyond [00:20:00] the, all that turmoil that, the precursor to, to yeah, to founding Austin Table.

[00:20:06] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. Story is the end. So now that I’ve actually became the man, the father, the partner, that I’m proud to be today, right after going through that journey and doing a lot of self work, fixing my sleep, building this company, I’m a big believer in the law of attraction in the universe and those kinds of things that some people might think are woo.

[00:20:28] Kunle Campbell: I’m a big believer in that. And so becoming that person, that man, one day I encrypt that drop off, my wife came up to the car and we had our first conversation in two years. And then she invited me into her home, saw my kids bedroom for the first time in two years. And then now we sleep in the same bed again.

[00:20:50] Kunle Campbell: Every once in a while I’ll forget to put the tape on and she’ll bump me and say, honey, put your tape on. Because now my wife, my kids and I were back together

[00:20:57] Kunle Campbell: Oh

[00:20:57] Kunle Campbell: So well, it came full circle [00:21:00] back. to reconciling after going through that journey. And I don’t regret it because if I hadn’t have gone through that, if you don’t go through failure and struggle, then it doesn’t.

[00:21:10] Kunle Campbell: You don’t learn, you don’t become something greater. And so having gone through that, I’m proud to have gone through that and become who I am now.

[00:21:20] Kunle Campbell: That’s super interesting. Super interesting. Let’s go back just a little bit to, to, to when you realized that there was an opportunity, you saw the time. So it’s all addressable markets and you’re like, okay this is good. Were they any of the sleep tape brands in the market at the time?

[00:21:37] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[00:21:38] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, there was one brand, was not very good, I won’t call them out by name. But their branding was not very good. And so it was a good, it was a great lesson in looking at an opportunity and going, there’s a great opportunity here. You just have to create a great brand. And they really hadn’t created a great brand.

[00:21:59] Kunle Campbell: So I knew [00:22:00] that was. That was where we could stand out. And also too the reality is, you could just go buy 3M tape. Surgical tape, right? There’s all sorts of tapes that doctors use on people, on their skin, right? And, But the funny thing was, is I knew that when I was experimenting myself, this is why it actually came about was, at the beginning of any business that you start, you always wonder okay is this really a business?

[00:22:32] Kunle Campbell: Can this really be that big? Are people going to see through this and just think, why would I buy that? I could just buy this instead. There’s always that doubt that you have in your mind. And I had that doubt, but the more that I experimented with just other pieces of tape, I started to realize, there’s an opportunity here because most tape doesn’t feel very comfortable.

[00:22:58] Kunle Campbell: It’s really rigid, really [00:23:00] uncomfortable, doesn’t work well with facial hair, doesn’t work well with bumps and ridges and all these other things going on with our faces. And, In James’s book, he actually describes using just a small piece of tape vertically. So I tried that, but the problem for me was like, that didn’t work.

[00:23:19] Kunle Campbell: I just popped it right off. So I knew, I’m like, okay, I have to wear it all the way across my mouth in order for it to stay shut. Otherwise, I’m just going to pop it open and I’m going to be mouth breathing again. And also, it’s got to work with facial hair. I don’t have as much facial hair as some people do, but there’s some guys who got really, big mustache and beards and I would hear them say, I can’t mouth tape at all because I can’t find a tape that actually works, keeps my mouth shut.

[00:23:48] Kunle Campbell: So I knew it had to be comfortable, had to be strong, and it had to work with facial hair and it had to be targeted to middle aged men. So I purposely [00:24:00] niched down and went after and so we were looking for men like me, who were four, 30 to 40 to 50 year olds. And when you look at the brand, it’s very masculine on purpose, right?

[00:24:15] Kunle Campbell: I purposely went that direction and it’s a mistake. A lot of people make, right. Is a lot of people, they try when they want to create a brand, they try to go too broad and they think I want to please everybody, but then it does the opposite. It doesn’t help you stand out. And so we purposely niche down, got really specific with the brand.

[00:24:33] Kunle Campbell: And as a result, really stood out and now, believe it or not, 30, 30 to 35 percent of our customers are women.

[00:24:46] Kunle Campbell: It’s gone full circle. That’s interesting. That’s it. Is it, do you think it’s due to the marketing you’re doing or just the scale, just due to the skill and the awareness you have or husbands recommending it to their wives or partners or the, there you go.

[00:24:59] Marketing Strategies and Brand Building

[00:24:59] Kunle Campbell: What why [00:25:00] do you think that’s happening?

[00:25:01] Kunle Campbell: I think this is a, this is certainly a bigger problem than it’s talked about. Like when I talked about the numbers earlier you’ve got 71 percent of households are mouth breathing. That’s a lot of people right now who are mouth breathing at night. And a lot of those people don’t know that it’s literally that simple.

[00:25:22] Kunle Campbell: It’s just because of their mouth breathing and they just need to keep their mouth shut and breathe through their nose like our body intended. And because we’ve done such a great job with the brand and it’s so visible, right? It’s so polarizing and so many people out there use it, have seen it. How can you not pay attention to it, right?

[00:25:47] Kunle Campbell: So I think a lot of women that are seeing this and going, huh, this is really interesting. I actually have this problem. And there’s certainly quite a few women who, especially as we get older, regardless if you’re male or [00:26:00] female, the muscles in your chin atrophy, and then chin falls down when you relax and you’re subconscious.

[00:26:07] Kunle Campbell: So you’re unconscious. And so even for women taping their mouth is a great option too. So I think they see it and see how well it works for men. And as a result, we actually, we did come out with a female version that is pink. So we’ve got our black version for men and then we’ve got a pink version for women.

[00:26:24] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Okay. Okay. Now I want to rewind to a point you made, which is like in, in the markets at the time there was one product, one brand that was not really doing branding well for listeners who are in other verticals. What should they be aware of from a, if we’re to take an internal brand audit as to what not to do, how do you know you’re not building a brand?

[00:26:51] Kunle Campbell: Because sometimes we’re so stuck into what we’re doing that we realize we, we’re not, we don’t even know what we’re not, what we’re [00:27:00] not doing.

[00:27:02] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. You don’t know what you don’t know. So I think I touched on a little bit of earlier where when you’re building a brand, you have to build something that stands out and gets people’s attention. Number one, right? Because in this day and age, that I built my company was I knew that we needed to own our media because the central core way we were going to market was through meta was through Instagram and Facebook ads.

[00:27:34] Kunle Campbell: That was going to be one of my largest spends. own So how is I going to differentiate? So for any company out there, how are you going to, if you’re going to be an e commerce brand and sell online, which is what most people have to do to start, it’s very rare that you could start and then get into retail.

[00:27:51] Kunle Campbell: So how are you going to stand out and get people’s attention? On Meta right on Facebook and Instagram [00:28:00] and you got to have a great brand, got to have great marketing. You can’t just rely on a great product, right? Nobody’s going to find out about a great product if you can’t market very well. So does it stand out?

[00:28:15] Kunle Campbell: Is it polarizing? And so you have to be willing to take the risk of building a brand that is polarizing. People are either going to love it or they’re going to hate it and you got to be willing to take the risk. And you got to realize who your target demographic is and you got to go after that target demographic. And part of the two is, I think there’s a, there’s an art to it too, that some people just don’t have, some people have it, some people don’t. And there’s some people who started a business and they might have a great idea, but they just don’t have a mind for actually building a brand around it and they don’t know how to sell it.

[00:28:55] Kunle Campbell: They don’t know how to market it because you just don’t have the creative brain for that. And, but I think that’s something that [00:29:00] we. We have, we’ve got both the ability to create this great brand and then also market it and sell it the way they needed to be. And also I think there’s a good amount of luck in that too.

[00:29:10] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. And also timing.

[00:29:12] Kunle Campbell: thing at the right time, did the right things. Okay. So yeah, one 900 K that was just three years ago. What did you put into the business to, to get the 900 K and how much time did you spend on actually building out the brand? I really like the almost triple fold effect of the name. So you talked about your kids coming into the bedroom and saying, Hey, daddy, you look like a hostage.

[00:29:39] Kunle Campbell: Bang, it’s literally hostage tape, because it’s hostage. And then you have the fact that when you scroll through Facebook and hostage tape, it just freaks people, certain people out. It’s polarizing, as you said. So when, how much time did you spend on there? How much did you invest?

[00:29:55] Kunle Campbell: What was the concept? What was the team like, and how’d you, what’s that first year? Just [00:30:00] break that down for us, please.

[00:30:00] Kunle Campbell: Yeah so I probably put in upwards of 700k into the business to start with. Certainly quite a lot of money to start it, to bootstrap it. I don’t have any investors. Everything I’ve done has always been bootstrapped. So put that amount of money into it. And I knew early on that I wasn’t going to hire any agencies.

[00:30:21] Kunle Campbell: I wasn’t going to hire an agency to do any sort of, of Facebook ads. I wasn’t going to hire an agency to make content or do anything because I knew that if this was going to be successful, I needed to understand the biggest needle movers. And I was going to learn it myself. And so the first year was me, my business partner, who is Ben.

[00:30:46] Kunle Campbell: He does all of our creative. He’s the genius behind the actual branding of it. So the execution of taking hostage tape and then creating this brilliant brand was him, was Ben. I came to him and I said [00:31:00] hostage tape and he was like, I love it. So then he took it and then he was the artist and painted this brilliant brand around it.

[00:31:07] Kunle Campbell: And then we had a, I hired a head of support. When you’re a software guy, you understand the value of support and having somebody who can actually help people because you’re always going to have issues with orders and wrong addresses and all that kind of stuff. For that first year, it was just three of us, and I spent, even prior to when we shipped the first order, there was six months of figuring out the tape, actually formulating the right amount of adhesive on the tape, the right, Texture, the size, the shape, all of it.

[00:31:45] Kunle Campbell: So it took a, enough time to figure out the product in itself that we knew that was what we were going to mass produce and start shipping that. And then we shipped that March of two years ago. [00:32:00] And then for the next six, eight months after that, I spent all my time dialing in Facebook. And so I ran my Facebook account.

[00:32:11] Kunle Campbell: I’d never done Facebook ads before. Okay. Okay. And I would challenge any founder, any entrepreneur out there that if you’re going to be relying on Facebook ads, learn it, go learn how to do it. There’s plenty of YouTube accounts out there now who do a great job teaching you how to get started doing Facebook, but go out and learn how to do

[00:32:29] Kunle Campbell: How did you learn it?

[00:32:32] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, I learned so Ben Heath has a great, in fact, he’s based in the UK. He has a great YouTube channel where he talks about, he teaches people how to do Facebook ads. So I got started learning from him. And his videos and then I was always in tinkering, doing ads, building, and then just iterating. And now certainly it probably helps with my background as [00:33:00] a, as an athlete and a coach. I’m very driven in the sense of I’m going to, I’m going to show up every day and I’m going to keep. And then I’m going to learn from everything that’s happening, and then I’m going to adjust and adapt and keep working.

[00:33:14] Kunle Campbell: So there’s certainly a persistence and determination that a guy like me has, that maybe some people don’t, but I think if you’re an entrepreneur, you always have that bit of grit in you. So I just kept doing it over and over again. And what’s funny is it actually took, it took us probably nine months to find the best ad type.

[00:33:36] Kunle Campbell: So for that whole first year, we didn’t use any video. It was all static ads. We had trouble finding a video format that actually worked. That resonated because it was like how do you have a video ad about Maltaid? Like back then we didn’t know. And so the best things that worked were [00:34:00] static, like using testimonials on images and things like that.

[00:34:04] Kunle Campbell: And then we started doing podcasts and then finally we did a podcast and we took clips from the podcast and that was what then took

[00:34:13] Kunle Campbell: you interview, were you the guest on the podcast? Were you on it? Yeah, I actually, so I was on the podcast. And the clip that I actually went, took off was of the, one of the hosts of the podcast. So we took that and then we mashed it up into this 30 second bit where he was talking about how he used to use 3M tape.

[00:34:35] Kunle Campbell: And then he started using hostage tape and why it’s so much better. And so then it was at that point, we realized okay, that’s it. I need to get on more podcasts. And so then I started just to get, reach out to more guys who had seen me on this podcast and I was making more trips, more recordings, taking those, we were mashing them up and then using clips, [00:35:00] either me or of the host and running those.

[00:35:03] Kunle Campbell: And then that allowed us then to start scaling. And I got the. Our ads spend up to a million dollars a month at one point. Last year all from those style of video ads. So and Anybody listening like when you’re trying to get really good at Facebook ads when I say Facebook I mean meta both Instagram and Facebook when you’re trying to get really good at meta ads simply It could just be creative If you’ve got a great piece of creative, that is almost half the battle, if not most of the battle.

[00:35:39] Kunle Campbell: Because if people aren’t clicking through, then you’re not going to move the needle at all. But if you can get people to actually click through, then you get them onto your landing page, alright now you’ve got something to work with. And then you can put a great offer on there, tell a great story on that landing page, and then you can start to [00:36:00] convert people.

[00:36:00] Kunle Campbell: You mentioned earlier about attention, differentiation and polarization. What first principles do you need to just have in mind, like intrinsic as a foundation to, towards really amping up your creatives and Facebook. This is to, to every listener, in, get a wind of this right now.

[00:36:21] Kunle Campbell: I think you have to look at, you have to evaluate. All the inventory that’s available, meaning you have to look and go, okay, there’s a video piece of inventory. There’s a static piece of inventory. There’s a carousel piece of inventory. There’s all sorts of different ad types that Meta has. And so you have to come up with variations of each, and then you have to be willing to iterate and test.

[00:36:50] Kunle Campbell: On those and keep creating variations. Just because one failed doesn’t mean the business isn’t going to work. It just means maybe you haven’t found the [00:37:00] right formula for that particular ad yet. And you got to keep trying, you got to keep iterating. And sometimes you just got to throw crap at the wall and see what sticks.

[00:37:09] Kunle Campbell: My point being, there’s a bunch of different inventory, and different people buy from different types of creative. Meaning this, not everybody buys from a video ad, not everybody buys from a static ad, not everybody buys from a carousel ad. But there’s pockets of people that buy, will buy only from one.

[00:37:34] Kunle Campbell: And so when you can create variations of, You’re creative and be willing to test and iterate

[00:37:43] Kunle Campbell: How many impressions or how much reach would does an ad need to get to in order for you to say, okay I’ve tested and this is statistically, significant.

[00:37:54] Kunle Campbell: I like to look at a thousand

[00:37:56] Kunle Campbell: Okay. [00:38:00] True.

[00:38:00] Kunle Campbell: that we’ve traditionally used. So the testing framework that, that we did very early on was, We would actually take a blank ad like I’d use a black square and I would put a headline on there And I would use chat GPT to come up with 10 different headlines Okay variations of headlines with certain keywords that I thought were important and then I would run a Black square with the headline and then maybe an arrow pointing down to and then our logo With the intent of I just want to see is this driving any action and it doesn’t need to be conversion at the fallacy that a lot of people get into is they think, Oh if I’m testing, it’s always got to be a conversion at it doesn’t if you’re testing just pieces, right?

[00:38:58] Kunle Campbell: If you’re testing an entire [00:39:00] thing then, yes, you need to test for that particular action. You’re trying to drive, but if you’re deconstructing pieces of it, like your headline, your hook. Descriptions, different things like that. Now you’re just testing human psychology. You could just do an awareness ad. Doesn’t cost very much money. And, as long as you’re getting up to a thousand impressions. of a very simple hook on a black square with your logo on it. And alright, how many, what’s my click through rate? And that’s a super simple way to test just hooks, headlines, right? And then you’ll know, oh wow, okay These headlines, these hooks, they’re getting a 5 percent click through rate.

[00:39:50] Kunle Campbell: These are getting a sub 1 percent click through rate. Then it’s obvious, then you know, and you can start to move in a different direction. [00:40:00] That’s actually a really super cheap, easy way for anybody To get started and to truly start figuring out what hooks, headlines to drive the needle, and then you can marry those together.

[00:40:14] Kunle Campbell: And then you can take winners of hooks and headlines and different things, and then start putting them together. And then you get these amazing ads that do all the things you want to do. And then really get people to click through and a qualified too, right? Because you’re crafting copy, you’re crafting pieces that are, Related to what you’re trying to sell.

[00:40:35] Kunle Campbell: Not just click baby.

[00:40:37] Kunle Campbell: where should where should listeners pay the most attention to in, in the format of a Facebook ad? Is it the ad description, the image? And I know you’re going to say it’s all spread. It all comes together, but when you talk about the headline, not many people I brought in this show have spoken to testing the headline in the detail.

[00:40:57] Kunle Campbell: You’ve essentially blurred everything in the [00:41:00] background and the focus really is on that headline. So where should people focus on really?

[00:41:04] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. The creative, the visual, if you had to throw everything out and pick one thing, what visual piece of creative are you showing? Whether it’s an image or it’s a video that needs to be the most interesting thing. On the ad because that’s essentially like most people are looking at stuff with the sound off.

[00:41:32] Kunle Campbell: They’re laying in bed they’re not hearing anything They’re not necessarily reading a ton, but something visually catches their attention and emotionally pulls them in So I would say that then Once you get the click through like i’ve got a i’ve got a video right now I’ve never seen one like that I’ve been running ads now for two years and I’ve never seen a piece of creative for me that’s [00:42:00] gotten this big of a click through.

[00:42:02] Kunle Campbell: We’re getting almost 15 to 20 percent click through rate with this video of my social media guy. He’s in bed and it’s a POV video where he puts the tape on and then he goes to bed and then he wakes up on the beach and he’s what just happened? And that video is getting like 15 to 20 percent click through rate. I’ve never seen that before. I’ve never had it. Most of our stuff is, one, two, three, five percent. That’s pretty normal. And, but that, there’s nothing to it other than there’s something visually appealing that’s connecting

[00:42:39] Kunle Campbell: it high production? Is it iPhone camera? I think.

[00:42:43] Kunle Campbell: Doesn’t have to be high production, and that’s the other thing. You don’t need to hire a production company and pay 50 grand for a shoot to have something that works. Especially now, we’re used to looking at reels, shorts, TikTok videos, [00:43:00] things that are authentic. Things that resonate in our brain and don’t feel sales y.

[00:43:05] Kunle Campbell: Like I’m looking at some highly, there’s a place for a highly produced studio shoot, but doesn’t need to be on your ad. And this one his fiance literally had his iPhone and filmed him and there’s no production value to it at all. Just. Just an iPhone.

[00:43:26] Kunle Campbell: Interesting. Interesting. Interesting. Do you still run your ads?

[00:43:32] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, I do. So I’ve got my head of growth Connor. He’s like my co pilot So he’s the one flipping all the knobs Doing putting everything in and then I am telling him. Alright, this is what I want. Let’s do this. Let’s do that Let’s adjust this here. Let’s consolidate this. Let’s dump this So I’m still running that ship.

[00:43:57] Team Building and Company Culture

[00:43:57] Kunle Campbell: so for people who want to hire a corner, [00:44:00] how would you, how did you hire a corner

[00:44:09] Kunle Campbell: I think I

[00:44:10] Kunle Campbell: that for people who want to hire a corner, like your sidekick how would you suggest they, how did you hire a corner? How did you find out what did you put out there to

[00:44:18] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, what’s funny So I’ve got a team of about 25 guys right now Most of mine they all came from my original email guy that I hired and he just cold DM’d me because he was a fan of the first podcast I was on And this was very early in the journey, so it caught my attention. And all the guys I hired were from this copywriting group.

[00:44:45] Kunle Campbell: That he was, it was like this copywriting mastermind group that he was a part of. So everybody that I ended up hiring were all different forms of like copywriters. So what I would say is [00:45:00] find groups of people, whether it’s a mastermind that you want to be part of. There’s tons of masterminds out there, but find other groups of people similar to you.

[00:45:11] Kunle Campbell: And then those are the places where you can start to find people who might be great fits for what you’re trying to do. Or they know somebody. That would be a great fit. That’s what I would

[00:45:24] Kunle Campbell: culture? Are you building it remotely, remote working, or does everybody need to come to the office?

[00:45:31] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, we’re completely remote. I’ve got, so I’m in Minnesota. I’ve got my partner, my business partner is in Portland, Oregon. My head of growth is in North Carolina. My social is in Florida. All over the place. And what I try to do is, I try to give people autonomy. I like to not micromanage people too much, but at the end of the day, I also know that they’re going to follow my lead.

[00:45:59] Kunle Campbell: [00:46:00] So I need me, I need to be the one setting the expectations of the tone of everything. I need to be the example. And I’m also somebody who I’ve done every role in the company. And so there’s a level of trust and respect in my company because everybody knows that I’m there. I’m there. I’ve literally done every job and I know how to do every job.

[00:46:24] Kunle Campbell: So if I’m stepping in and I’m giving direction on something, it’s not just because I’m the boss and I’m the one that writes all the checks. It’s Alex actually knows how to do support because he’s done it and he used to do it. Or Alex ran all the ads or so a level of respect and just I’ve done all of it that I think has, it helps set the tone of the culture.

[00:46:56] Kunle Campbell: And when I hire people too, I’m hiring a [00:47:00] certain kind of person. I’m not just hiring anybody. I’m hiring people that I think fit the culture that I want.

[00:47:09] Building a Positive Team Culture

[00:47:09] Kunle Campbell: And I’m a very optimistic person, and so I try to bring in very optimistic hustlers. Guys that I know, they’re gonna hustle, they’re gonna work, they’re also coachable.

[00:47:22] Kunle Campbell: So if I tell them, and I give them feedback, and I’m coaching them, they’re very receptive to it. And they have an optimistic way of seeing things rather than being very pessimistic or complaining or negative about things. Cause once you bring in, once you’ve got that one person, that one, one toxic person, it, it brings everybody down.

[00:47:47] Kunle Campbell: It’s a cancer

[00:47:48] Kunle Campbell: And so I think for the first handful of hires that anybody is bringing on into the company, you’ve got to be very selective about who those people are. Cause that sets the tone for the whole company for years.[00:48:00]

[00:48:00] Kunle Campbell: super, super interesting that’s a small leadership masterclass right there where you’ve done the work on yourself, you have a persona and you’re attracting similarly minded, people to build, around question for you.

[00:48:16] The Success Behind Hostage Tape

[00:48:16] Kunle Campbell: Would you attribute the success of hostage tape to Facebook ads only?

[00:48:20] Kunle Campbell: No, I attribute. The success of hostage safe to well, number one, we’ve created an amazing brand, right? Because remember at the end of the day You can have a great product, but nobody’s going to buy it if they don’t know anything about it, or if they don’t think it’s a cool brand. And so I think we’ve done an amazing job creating this brand that everybody looks at and thinks, wow, that’s a really cool brand.

[00:48:51] Kunle Campbell: Or that’s, those guys are ballsy for doing that. Even the, I was DMing with the Liquid Death founder and even he gave us a compliment, [00:49:00] right? The guy that I learned this from, even he said, He goes, Hey man, I love the brand. You’ve got just the right amount of controversy there that starts a conversation with people, which is exactly what we wanted.

[00:49:14] Kunle Campbell: And so I think the brand and then paired with that, the art, the ability to then leverage and master Facebook ads. Yes. There wouldn’t have been any other way that we could have marketed this. To be able to scale as fast as we did, unless we’d gotten into retail, but even then, like getting into retail is never a guarantee success.

[00:49:43] Kunle Campbell: Cause you still have to drive to it. People awareness to even know what your product is, to walk into target and even buy it to begin with absolutely need to get a heads up from Mike Ciceraro, to who’s talking about your brand is amazing. Really good stuff.

[00:49:59] Kunle Campbell: that [00:50:00] was cool. That was neat to have a little DM back and forth with him cause I’m a HU I have huge amount of respect for what he did. And again, he I learned it by watching him.

[00:50:11] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[00:50:11] Joe Rogan Sponsorship Journey

[00:50:11] Kunle Campbell: And then I know you mentioned about like the Joe Rogan, do you sponsor the Joe Rogan podcast?

[00:50:19] Kunle Campbell: Yes. Yep. So Joe was actually a user. He was a hostage abuser for a long time. I don’t know. I’ve actually never, I had a conversation with him about it, but I imagine either he saw it on social or there’s a ton of comedians around him in his group that use us. Tom Segura was a, he’s been a user of hostage tapes at the beginning and Tom and Joe are really close.

[00:50:44] Kunle Campbell: So it wouldn’t surprise me if maybe Joe learned about it from Tom, or maybe he learned about it from just some of the other guys that are in the, in that circle, but either way, he was a user. And when I found out he was, we [00:51:00] actually reached out to. His team and initially the team so if you ever try to sponsor with Joe It has to go through his team first and then Joe is the one who approves it and you know It’s not like other sponsors where other Podcasts or shows where they might just take anybody like if you can pay the money, you’re good But with Joe doesn’t work that way.

[00:51:26] Kunle Campbell: He has to approve it and say yep I want to do this or not. So it has to be Joe approved it’s got to get through Joe’s first line of defense with which is Joe’s team. And so it initially got shot down by Joe’s team. So it didn’t get through to Joe. And I’m like, this doesn’t make any sense.

[00:51:42] Kunle Campbell: Like Joe’s a user. Why would Joe not want us to be a sponsor of the pod? And then a few weeks later, he’s on an episode. And one of the guests are talking about mouth taping. And Joe goes, Oh, do you use hostage tape? And I was like, [00:52:00] there it is. So then we reached back out. We’re like, Joe just mentions us on air.

[00:52:05] Kunle Campbell: So then they went to Joe and Joe’s Oh yeah, of course. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. They can sponsor the pod, of course. And then he did a read. And now he’s we have a read That if you’re listening to Joe, you’ll probably have heard the hotstape read.

[00:52:18] Kunle Campbell: and that’s why I was so excited to speak to me and that’s success, brilliant success.

[00:52:23] Influencer Marketing Strategies

[00:52:23] Kunle Campbell: Do you mind speaking about the unit economics there, what you pay and, is there a unique code there and what you get from it,

[00:52:32] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. So you’re, when you do the sponsorship there, you’re obviously going through Spotify right through the Spotify team. And so they have a CPM for Joe, you might pay, I don’t know, maybe it’s like a 40 CPM or whatever it is. And then really it comes down to how much, how many impressions are you going to pay for it?

[00:52:53] Kunle Campbell: And so with Joe. They’ll start you off small. What I really respect about [00:53:00] Spotify and the team is they’re very honest and upfront and saying look, let’s just start small. Let’s see if this is going to work because we realize this is a big commitment. Because look, if you’re going to go in with Joe, you’re probably spending a hundred K.

[00:53:12] Kunle Campbell: For a three month trial period, right? That’s around what you’re going to spend. Okay, minimum of 100k for a three month period. And they’ll start using, that’s low, right? A certain amount of low impressions that you’re getting. You might get, one to, a one to two frequency. And there’s a lot of work that’s being done right now, especially in the area of supervised marketing for households on that.

[00:53:33] Kunle Campbell: They were great on. All right, let’s start there and then we’ll stir stuff up and progress on how things are going. And yeah, I can’t speak enough great things about, Joe and his team and the Spotify team and it’s great affinity to have draw a user. He’s middle aged. He’s your target market. You are sponsoring the UFC now. It’s just, it’s a, it’s full circle. It’s like a tri, yeah. It’s just full circle. Really? It’s it [00:54:00] connects. It’s

[00:54:00] Kunle Campbell: It’s ice for us. Those are like two temples, right? If you want to talk about like a foundation for our marketing Having Joe Rogan and then having UFC, it doesn’t get any better than that, right? Especially when I do, so before I even went in and signed these deals, I used a post purchase survey. so I wanted to poll the audience and see, okay, how many of my customers are UFC fans? And so before I signed that deal, because that’s a big deal, a lot of money, and I did the post purchase survey, and 74 percent of our customers were UFC fans, and so I knew, okay. This is gonna be a win. This one makes sense.

[00:54:51] Kunle Campbell: And I didn’t even need to add Joe or do anything with a post purchase survey because people were already [00:55:00] naming Joe Rogan as the second biggest reason as to why they were buying hostage tape. And we weren’t even a sponsor of Joe at the time. So for some reason, people were just associating us and Joe Rogan.

[00:55:15] Kunle Campbell: And then they were buying, it was strange. And so I’m like, this is going to be like throwing gasoline on the fire then. So then once we actually added Joe, right now, Joe is the number one reason. People say they buy Haas’s tape is because Joe Rogan and then a short second one after that is actually, we’ve got a partnership with a guy named Andy Elliott, who’s the fastest sales trainer, fastest growing sales trainer in the world.

[00:55:41] Kunle Campbell: That’s interesting. How’s that panned out? Yes,

[00:55:48] Kunle Campbell: The Andy Elliott. So the, so what I love about Andy is, If you know who Andy Elliott is, he’s the guy who, [00:56:00] he’s bald, ripped, and he went viral for the if you don’t have a six pack you’re fired guy. And so there’s a lot of polarity with Andy that people either love him or they hate him. But the thing about Andy is when you actually meet him and you go through his training or You hear him talk, you actually realize, oh wow, this guy really truly knows what he’s talking about and he’s truly authentic with who he is and what he’s trying to accomplish.

[00:56:35] Kunle Campbell: While yes, you might see some polarizing videos of him that get your attention, but that’s what they’re designed to do. They’re designed to get your attention, to draw you in, and then when you actually start watching him more, you realize, Oh, wow. There’s a lot of great stuff here that I can learn and just helps motivate you and the thing that’s great about Andy is our product fits just perfectly into his day to [00:57:00] day.

[00:57:00] Kunle Campbell: And so what I would tell anybody out there, when you’re finding people to work with influencers like that, you got to find people who are great at content in this day and age where everything is on social. So Andy is so good at making content. I don’t even really need to do anything. He has the product, they use it, the whole team uses it, and they’re making content daily.

[00:57:30] Kunle Campbell: He has his editors, his filmers, and then he’s putting up, he’ll, he puts a reel a day up and collabs with us. So we have, if you go to our Instagram, you’ll see there’s a video involving Andy and his team, every other four or five reels, and they’re getting anywhere from 200, 000 views to a million views.

[00:57:52] Kunle Campbell: So the amount of awareness that he’s helping create is just phenomenal. And then he has all these in person events that he does at his [00:58:00] headquarters in Scottsdale. And my guys were just at that this last week. And the cool thing is there’ll be four or five hundred people that show up to his in person events.

[00:58:09] Kunle Campbell: Where he’ll do a workout one day and then the next day he’ll do these in person sales trainings with people. And my team will be there and every month they just, it just keeps getting better and better with everybody there knowing who we are, a warmer and warmer audience, more people using Hans’s tape, more people loving it, talking about how it’s changing their lives.

[00:58:33] Kunle Campbell: And you got a guy like Andy who’s literally authentic about who he is and the brand and how it helps them. It’s a win.

[00:58:40] Kunle Campbell: What about usage rights? So with all of this content collaborations you’re having with people like Andy, I’m not sure you have, I’m not sure if you’re, you have anything similar with Rogan, obviously you’re sponsoring through Spotify. Do you have, do you have usage rights for ads and are you plugging it into your ad system?

[00:58:56] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. So anytime you go into those [00:59:00] agreements, you’ve got to be very clear about what you want to be able to do. You got to define that upfront with people. And every relationship that I get into, I always make it very clear that one of the most important things. That I’m interested in is being able to take content and run it in paid media.

[00:59:18] Kunle Campbell: Every relationship that I have, if I can’t run paid media, then I can’t get the best ROI from it. Now, Joe is a different. Beast. Now, Joe doesn’t let you do, let you run any of his content or use any of it. So any Joe Rogan content you see that’s associated with the brand, it’s either doing it illegally or he’s a part of the brand, like on it, right?

[00:59:48] Kunle Campbell: He’s a part owner of on it and you’ll see Joe Rogan and on it content, but anything else it’s not allowed because Joe and his team don’t allow that. But it’s Joe yes, I would love to be able to do it. But just the fact that I have [01:00:00] Joe to begin with is. Like pretty great now somebody Andy we went into that relationship and we’re very clear about okay You’ve got all this content that you’re gonna make and I’m gonna want to use it in ads This is how I’m gonna use it and so forth and what’s great about it I’m my relationship with Andy is he said look whatever I make you can use man, whatever you want to do So he’s, he and I have a very open relationship of how we use content and how we promote and market, but not everybody’s like that.

[01:00:36] Kunle Campbell: That’s why you just got to be very clear upfront and set those expectations up. And so there’s no surprises and you have usage rights because there’s some creators who I’ve had some who they’ll want a, like a podcast sponsorship and then I’ll say, okay, but let’s be clear. I want to run. Some of these clips in paid media too.

[01:00:58] Kunle Campbell: And they’ll say, oh if you want that, then it’s [01:01:00] going to cost extra. And everybody’s just different, but got to have those conversations early. And get them out of the

[01:01:10] Kunle Campbell: Make sense. And what’s your beyond Andy what’s your influencer program? Like at the minute depends on who they are. But,

[01:01:23] Kunle Campbell: we’re we don’t do any sort of like affiliate play stuff with influencers. We just either, we either pay like a per episode or a CPM or a monthly amount. Everybody’s a little bit different. But most of those guys don’t want affiliate. In fact, most, I would argue Most creators don’t want affiliate, they want consistent monthly income, is what they want.

[01:01:50] Kunle Campbell: And so if you can put together something where you pay somebody a grand a month, five grand a month, whoever it is, over a [01:02:00] period of a few months or six months or a year or whatever, that’s what they’re going to want anyways. They want consistent revenue, consistent money coming in. And so that’s one way to do it, and that’s how we traditionally do a lot of our higher level.

[01:02:13] Kunle Campbell: We’ve got another one. We just brought Pete Holmes on. So Pete Holmes is the, he’s a really well known comedian. He just had a special come out on Netflix. Absolutely hilarious. And he’s really famous for doing all those Batman parody videos where he plays Batman and does funny bits, but he he discovered Hans’s tape.

[01:02:35] Kunle Campbell: Absolutely changed how he and his wife sleep together, how he sleeps, and he’s got a podcast where he interviews all these big time actors like he had David Duchovny on the other day, X Files, and he’s talking about hostage tape and we just pay him a per episode amount that we agree on but what’s cool is when you find influencers who are truly authentic, that’s what, that’s the other thing I would say is [01:03:00] try to stay away from influencers who aren’t It’s not authentic about the brand because it comes off.

[01:03:06] Kunle Campbell: People are way smarter. People have a bullshit meter way more than you realize that they’re going to listen to somebody on a podcast and go, now they just got paid to say that. But if you get a guy or a woman who truly loves the product, it’s going to come out in their read and how they talk about it.

[01:03:25] Kunle Campbell: And those are the ones that you want to double down on and get into bed with is Those people who truly love the product and use it.

[01:03:34] Kunle Campbell: So other than podcasts like this is obviously an e commerce podcast. Are you going to, to other like health and wellness podcasts to speak to the importance of sleep?

[01:03:46] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, I speak on all sorts of different podcasts. Health, family, because my business has all these different interesting angles, right? Where we have this fascinating story of growth, of how I grew it from [01:04:00] literally zero to eight figures in two years. And then how I scaled using Facebook ads, right? This e commerce, rocket ship marvel.

[01:04:09] Kunle Campbell: And then there’s the family side of it, right? Of, of the journey I went through, of how I went through divorce, and now we’re back together and all of that. And yeah, there’s this whole angle too of understanding nose breathing and mouth breathing that most people don’t understand.

[01:04:24] Kunle Campbell: And so I’ll go on health podcasts and talk about that too, because it’s becoming more and more people are becoming aware of this and maybe it’s because of us. Maybe it’s not. I’d like to believe we’re partially responsible for more awareness of why it’s important that we should be breathing through our nose and not our mouth.

[01:04:43] Kunle Campbell: And and I can

[01:04:44] Kunle Campbell: why not? Let’s. I won’t bore

[01:04:47] Kunle Campbell: talk about sleep. I’m very much into sleep. I try and get eight, eight hours of sleep. I, it could be 10 hours time in bed, eight hours in sleep. I have a whoop, as you could see here a whoop [01:05:00] band. So yeah, why sleep? And the interesting thing is I also came across a.

[01:05:05] Kunle Campbell: The podcast is a competitor of yours. He came on the podcast, was talking about sleep. It was quite educated. And that’s why I actually asked this question as to whether you’re into whether you go to other podcasts.

[01:05:16] The Science of Nose Breathing

[01:05:16] Kunle Campbell: So yeah, tell us about the importance of sleep one and a nose versus mouth breathing, because I’ve actually been in a self discovery because I go off for runs and I realized the more I breathe through my mouth the faster I tire.

[01:05:29] Kunle Campbell: I just get exhausted fairly quickly. And I tell my kids, my sons do not breathe in your mouth, unless you absolutely have to breathe through your nose to control your heart rates and all that. So I’d really love to hear, the science and your thoughts

[01:05:44] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, so okay, I’ll try to keep it

[01:05:46] Kunle Campbell: So

[01:05:49] Kunle Campbell: y. Sleep’s all about recovery. When you go to bed, your brain is, it’s flushing out all these toxins and all this stuff in your brain that then [01:06:00] you recover and then get ready for the next day.

[01:06:04] Kunle Campbell: So there’s all these things happening in your brain and then in your body. So there, here’s four, four points that I like to talk about a lot. That are easy to understand, and are some of the bigger ones. So number one is there’s this relationship of CO2 to oxygen that we have. When we breathe through our nose, believe it or not, you’re getting more oxygen in your body.

[01:06:27] Kunle Campbell: It sounds counterintuitive, because you might be thinking but I can breathe more in my mouth. I can get more air in. That doesn’t make sense, Alex. But it comes down to this concept of the Bohr effect. Okay, and the Bohr effect was published early 1900s, a long time ago. And what this says is that the more CO2 we have in our body, the more our body is able to use oxygen because there’s a one for one exchange of CO2 and oxygen.

[01:06:58] Kunle Campbell: So when oxygen comes in, [01:07:00] CO2 goes out. Oxygen comes in, CO2 goes out, right? When we breathe through our mouth, we’re exhaling more CO2. We’re almost hyperventilating, right? And so now we have a lower amount of CO2 in our body. So all that oxygen we’re pulling into our body can’t get used. Because there’s not enough CO2 to exchange and use.

[01:07:26] Kunle Campbell: And breathing through our nose slows that down, slows down the amount we’re exhaling, thereby keeping more CO2 in our body. So now we’re able to get more oxygenated. It’s very counterintuitive. And so like when you’re running, really focusing on keeping your mouth shut, what happens is you’ll have the sensation of air hunger, where you feel like you need to open your mouth, but it’s an illusion. Your brain is tricking you. But the more CO2 you have in your body, the more air hunger your body feels.[01:08:00]

[01:08:00] Kunle Campbell: You have to just fight that urge to open your mouth and just keep your mouth shut. Especially when you run. What I try to do is I try to have a pattern of with my steps

[01:08:13] Kunle Campbell: two, two in one out.

[01:08:15] Kunle Campbell: that helps keep me in rhythm. So then you don’t like just go.

[01:08:18] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[01:08:21] Kunle Campbell: So now number two is nitric oxide. So when you breathe through your nose, And it passes through your sinuses, you trigger the release of nitric oxide.

[01:08:32] Kunle Campbell: Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that helps open up the vessels and helps get the blood moving. And when that happens then your anxiety drops, calms you down, and you’re getting oxygen in more parts of your body. Thirdly is our nose is a filter just like how you wouldn’t drink a glass of dirty water, your body wouldn’t like that very much.

[01:08:57] Kunle Campbell: Our nose is filtering all the [01:09:00] crap out of the air. It’s also warming and humidifying the air before it gets to the lungs. Because our lungs like warm, humid air. That’s the most optimal state for the lungs to be able to pull oxygen in. And when we pull it through our mouth, it’s cold, it’s dry, it’s dirty.

[01:09:19] Kunle Campbell: And it’s not an optimal, in an optimal state for the lungs. And then, lastly, believe it or not, is nose breathing protects our teeth. So we have saliva in our mouth, and there’s good bacteria in the saliva that protects the enamel. So when we mouth breathe, all the enamel, all the saliva, Evaporates, right?

[01:09:44] Kunle Campbell: Dries out. Bad bacteria forms. Eats away at the enamel. And then also you have really bad breath. I was a chronic mouth breather my whole life. And as a young kid, my dentist used to, [01:10:00] he couldn’t understand why I had huge pitting in the back larger teeth. Like he thought there was, he thought I was bulimic.

[01:10:10] Kunle Campbell: Like he couldn’t understand why I had that. And it was because I was mouth breathing, my whole life and it ruined my teeth. So believe it or not, keeping your mouth shut will help reduce bad breath and protect your teeth.

[01:10:26] Kunle Campbell: super, super interesting. What about no strips? What’s the case for no strips? Alex Hormozy has quite.

[01:10:33] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. Okay. Obviously you’re seeing this thing here. So one of the biggest questions that we always get is what about my nose? I’ve got a deviated septum. I have trouble breathing out of it. And so I said, okay how do we add value to what we’re already doing, which is encouraging nasal breathing?

[01:10:51] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. And increase AOV, it’s all right let’s take a breathe right and let’s make it look cool because breathe [01:11:00] right is certainly they created the category and they got popular 20 years ago, but they just don’t look very good. So I said, all right, let’s take that and make it look sexy again and we change the shape.

[01:11:15] Kunle Campbell: Change the color and now make it really easy for people to be able to add on no strips when they buy mouth tape with us and So and the funny thing too is that yes There’s people who will wear no strips and mouth tape when they sleep some people who don’t More people are now wearing the no strip when they run and they’re wearing mouth tape when they run, too They work out.

[01:11:44] Kunle Campbell: I for me. I can’t go do a workout without wearing a no strip At all. If I do, I can’t get a good workout in because I

[01:11:52] Kunle Campbell: so what does it do? I’ve never tried to a no strip before.

[01:11:57] Kunle Campbell: Yeah so what’s in the, believe it or not, [01:12:00] this isn’t just a piece of tape. That’s what most people think. Most people that have never seen one before, they’re like, This is just a piece of tape. It doesn’t make sense. But there’s actually, there’s plastic in the strip. And so what it does is it flares open the nostrils, opens them up.

[01:12:17] Kunle Campbell: So then you can actually breathe. Because most of us that have smaller noses the nostrils, and right here, they’re collapsed. Like I’ve got a, just a small little nose. And so I don’t have the biggest nostrils and the biggest airways here. So the plastic here. It flares and opens that up. So now a good thing to do is you could just take your fingers and just open up your nostrils like this and get an idea of what that feels like.

[01:12:50] Kunle Campbell: And that’s what a hostage nose strip will do.

[01:12:54] Kunle Campbell: blood oxidase oxidation going on with that, with more air coming through in and out with more [01:13:00] CO2 out more

[01:13:00] Kunle Campbell: Yeah, absolutely.

[01:13:03] Kunle Campbell: Okay. Makes sense. So you get more of your workouts. Okay. What about breath work? This is completely off the of what are your thoughts on breath work?

[01:13:14] Kunle Campbell: I think breath works great. In fact, I think the first time I was introduced to nose breathing was doing yoga. And I thought it was crazy. I thought this is stupid. Like most of us, Westerners, most of us Americans, we think, ah, this is woo, this is dumb, right? Because we’re just not brought up right now to understand it.

[01:13:35] Kunle Campbell: And but I think it’s great because if you’re doing breathwork again, it goes back to the fundamentals we talked about of. You breathe through your nose, passing through your sinuses. It’s creating nitric oxide, vasodilating, and it’s calming you down. And then you’re keeping a good level of CO2 in your body. So what you’ll notice is when, if you just sat there [01:14:00] and you just slowly breathe through your nose and you do that for a minute or so, you’ll notice how much calmer you feel, how much better you feel versus if you just like puff through your mouth. You’ll feel lightheaded, right? You won’t feel good. You’ll feel disorientated, like foggy. Absolutely.

[01:14:22] Kunle Campbell: makes a lot of sense. Look, Alex, we can go on and on. I’m sure the questions in my head, I’ll tell you, why didn’t I ask you after this conversation but I think it was quite thorough. So you’re predominantly subscription based business. Cause I could see like you have one month try that there’s no.

[01:14:38] Kunle Campbell: There’s a one month try, which 66, 6. 6. Okay. And then there’s three months supply and then there’s a year supply. What, what do customers typically try out for a first time? And are you, would you consider hostage tip subscription business?

[01:14:55] Kunle Campbell: I don’t actually. Believe it or not, that’s not the most popular option. I [01:15:00] give people three options to pick from. Most people will come into our funnel either doing the one month try or we Facebook ads that’s buy two get one month free. Thank you. So you’re getting a 90 day supply, it’s a form of a BOGO and so most people are coming in through one of those two offers.

[01:15:25] Kunle Campbell: And then if it’s a one month try, they’re usually within seven days coming back and then buying three month supply, a six month supply, subscribing, or a year supply. And what I found out was, I think most people are subscribed out right now. And so I gave people the option to, yeah, you can subscribe if you want to, because this is a very predictable Product using one strip a night, so you know, okay, one pack is going to [01:16:00] last me a month.

[01:16:00] Kunle Campbell: Great. So you can easily do a subscription and stay on track with it versus if you’re a shampoo subscription, you don’t always know like how long is that shampoo bottle going to last, so it’s harder to be on a shampoo subscription than it is on this. But, so I give people the option to come back and you can subscribe or if you want to buy in bulk, you can just buy in bulk.

[01:16:24] Kunle Campbell: Okay.

[01:16:24] Kunle Campbell: them the options. I see your hostage tape now hostage. Do you ever see yourself evolving from hostage tape to hostage, like a sleep company, what what’s the name of that first company?

[01:16:38] Kunle Campbell: yeah, in fact that’s been the goal the whole time was that the brand is a sleep, essentially a sleep brand, right? We are creating all of these little products that help people sleep better in a noninvasive way, in an inexpensive way. And coincidentally, people have [01:17:00] started to use them for fitness, too.

[01:17:01] Kunle Campbell: Like just breathing better, getting better workouts in. But at the end of the day, yes, we’re a sleep company. But we’re also leaning and going towards this idea of don’t let life hold you hostage. Don’t let fill in the blank hold you hostage. Don’t be a hostage to life, right? Don’t let blank hold your family hostage.

[01:17:25] Kunle Campbell: Don’t let blank hold your wife hostage. Absolutely, I foresee the brand evolving away from purely hostage tape and becoming hostage, the

[01:17:37] Retail Expansion Plans

[01:17:37] Kunle Campbell: You mentioned you’re about to get into retail. Or are you already in retail or about to get into retail? Oh,

[01:17:44] Kunle Campbell: We’re about to, yeah, so we’re not in retail yet. We’re in the process of, Most likely we’re going to be in there’s a Canadian chain of grocery stores that most [01:18:00] likely like they, they really want us in. And in fact, I’ve got a, another meeting with them tomorrow where we’ll be in, there’s 400 of them all across Canada.

[01:18:09] Kunle Campbell: So they want us in all of those. And that’ll happen before the end of the year. So that’ll be our first step into retail. Granted, it’s not in the big box retail, but it’s a great first step because getting into retail it’s a complex dance. And so this is a great way to get our feet wet and start to learn it.

[01:18:26] Kunle Campbell: And then I also, I met with Walmart yesterday too. And so our goal is we’re going to get into Walmart retail for 2025. And we’re actually starting with going on the Walmart marketplace first, and then we’re going to roll that into then getting into Walmart retail. So it’s not official. We’re not officially going into.

[01:18:48] Kunle Campbell: Walmart retail just yet, but that’s my goal is to get us in for 2025 with just how I’m positioning everything

[01:18:58] Kunle Campbell: with,

[01:18:59] Kunle Campbell: And [01:19:00] then after that, Target will follow I’m located in Minneapolis where it’s the headquarters of Target. And so my goal was always to get into Target, but Target’s a little bit more conservative when it comes to brands.

[01:19:15] Kunle Campbell: Then maybe Walmart is so our brand is very polarizing and so we’ll get into Walmart And then when we get into Walmart and we crush it then Target’s gonna come knocking and that’ll give us some leverage I think to be able to get good placement and be able to position the brand the way that we want

[01:19:32] Kunle Campbell: is a different set of skills in comparison to DTC. Are you on, speaking of marketplaces, are you on any other marketplaces like Amazon? Do you, okay.

[01:19:42] Kunle Campbell: so

[01:19:44] Kunle Campbell: Interesting.

[01:19:44] Kunle Campbell: strips are on Amazon The mouth tape is not on Amazon, believe it or not, if, so we, over the last three months, we had, we’ve had 250, 000 searches for hostage state. So there’s demand. The problem [01:20:00] is Amazon actually banned the sale of mouth tape on Amazon. They did that last year, and so they’re not allowing us to sell our mouth tape.

[01:20:09] Kunle Campbell: But when you search for hostage tape, you’re going to see all of my copycats. Obviously we have we’re the biggest mouth tape brand in the world. It’s not even close. And so as a result, all the copycats come out of the walls, right? And they want to try to capture a little bit of the success that, that you’ve created.

[01:20:28] Kunle Campbell: So you can go to Amazon and you can see all these copycats who’ve created crappy versions of what we’ve done. And, most of them are just one dude in an apartment. We’re dealing with Amazon right now, because they’re not cracking down on the policy that they’ve made. Because they’re not allowing us to sell our mount tape, but they’re letting all of these little cockroaches get through the cracks

[01:20:53] Kunle Campbell: is also confusing the market

[01:20:55] Kunle Campbell: it’s frustrating.

[01:20:56] Kunle Campbell: Consumers are not going to be getting that experience. They, they [01:21:00] expect, interesting. Interesting.

[01:21:02] Kunle Campbell: You know what’s, you know what’s really frustrating is we had, so we a few weeks ago, your buybot can get hacked. On Amazon. I don’t know how, but somebody claimed that they were selling hostage tape, no strips, and offered a lower price, so then our buy box got hijacked by a counterfeiter.

[01:21:24] Kunle Campbell: So then, people started buying what they thought was hostage tape, and they started getting these counterfeit crappy versions of no strips. And then they start writing bad reviews about us. And it’s it’s not even our product. Somebody, somehow Amazon allowed this to happen. And they’re not even getting our product.

[01:21:41] Kunle Campbell: That’s also the.

[01:21:43] Kunle Campbell: sucks. Did you kick them out? Did you, yeah did Amazon, okay.

[01:21:47] Kunle Campbell: we got it resolved, but there’s countless reviews right in our Amazon account claiming now this wasn’t even, this doesn’t even look like hostage tapes cause it’s not, somebody hijacked the buy box.

[01:21:59] Kunle Campbell: [01:22:00] huge problem on marketplaces. Huge problem.

[01:22:06] Kunle Campbell: So hopefully we’re going to get Walmart, the Walmart marketplace, which is they’re trying to replicate and do exactly what, Amazon’s doing, which totally makes sense. Cause when you have all of these distribution, facilities around the country, walmart should be doing this.

[01:22:18] Kunle Campbell: And so we’re going to get started and hopefully that’s going to grow and do really well and be able to, overtake any sort of lost revenue that we were not getting on Amazon until we resolve that with them and then get it back. And then and then that should propel us into retail.

[01:22:37] Kunle Campbell: We’ll get into retail and then it’ll completely change the game. For us, by that point, like we’re going to be a billion dollar brand. And once we get into retail, that’s the step that’s going to get us to be in that brand.

[01:22:50] Kunle Campbell: I’m very cognizant of your time. You’ve been very generous with your time. We have a lightning round. I’m just going to ask you a few questions. And then if you could use a single set, single and single [01:23:00] sentence to answer the questions, that’d be great.

[01:23:01] Kunle Campbell: But before that, I want to ask you one final question, which is more down to mindset.

[01:23:07] Mindset and Visualization Techniques

[01:23:07] Kunle Campbell: You said you put in 700 K. You told your business puts in 700 K into hostage tape. Were you scared? That’s question one. Question two is, are you what are your thoughts around?

[01:23:22] Kunle Campbell: I wasn’t scared because I’m a big visualizer. So I literally wake up every morning and I visualize exactly where we’re going to be, what I’m feeling, what the company looks like. All of it, and so I trained my brain to, to believe and to feel and to just know that this is going to be successful and it’s going to work.

[01:23:53] Kunle Campbell: How’d you, where’d you learn to train your brain?

[01:23:55] Kunle Campbell: I’d done it since I was an athlete. So when I was an athlete, I [01:24:00] used to, before a game we play games on Saturdays and the few days leading up to the game, I would go through all the play scripts and all the plays that we would have for the game and I would play the game in my head before the game.

[01:24:14] Kunle Campbell: So I would visualize every play, I would see the defense, see the play, make the throw, score the touchdown, all of it. And that was something that I don’t, I didn’t learn it from somewhere, I just did it. And then come to find out years later that, oh, guess what? All the top athletes in the world do this.

[01:24:33] Kunle Campbell: Kobe Bryant did it. Michael Jordan did it. Like, all these guys have been doing this stuff for years. And for some reason, I just naturally was doing it too. And I have adopted that into my business and personal life. Now too, and people think it’s crazy, but I’ll tell you why it’s not crazy. Let me give you a real live example that anybody can do that actually makes you go, Oh, I get it.

[01:24:58] Kunle Campbell: So [01:25:00] let’s say you’re going to go buy a car and let’s say you’re going to buy A Jeep. Okay, A Jeep Wrangler. You go, you drive a Jeep Wrangler and then you go home. What do you see on the road for the next week? All are Jeep wranglers everywhere, right? It’s because your brain, the IRS of your brain is now keyed into that piece of information, and so they were there the whole time.

[01:25:32] Kunle Campbell: Your brain just wasn’t thinking about it. So visualizing. and manifesting and the law of attraction is the exact same thing. It’s not woo, it’s just a matter of training your brain to focus on the right details, the right things that matter because then you see all of those opportunities because they’ve been there the whole time.

[01:25:54] Kunle Campbell: You just have to train your brain to be open to it and to receive it.[01:26:00]

[01:26:02] Kunle Campbell: when you train your brain, is, are you in a meditative state or are you in silence? Yeah, I typically, like right now I’ll do it in the sauna in the morning. So I’ll do a visualization session when I’m just sitting in the sauna. And I just closed my eyes. But yeah, you have to, you have to get into a state where when you’re doing this kind of a visualization you’re feeling it. You have to feel it. You can’t think, I wish this will happen. You actually have to believe I’m in this moment. I’m feeling what it feels like to be in that moment, to experience what is happening when you’re there, when you’ve accomplished what you’re visualizing, right? So you have to be in a place and a state where you can actually experience

[01:26:55] Kunle Campbell: With incredible

[01:26:56] Kunle Campbell: right?

[01:26:57] Kunle Campbell: Yeah. Yeah.[01:27:00]

[01:27:00] Kunle Campbell: It’s exactly, it’s so detailed to the point where I will, in my visualization, I literally am so detailed about actually feeling. The door handle, when I open the car door and I get out, and then I grab the handle of the private jet that I’m walking up and I feel how it jiggles, and so much of that little detail that I’m feeling.

[01:27:22] Kunle Campbell: You get that detailed about how that feels in those experiences.

[01:27:26] Kunle Campbell: deep stuff, Alex this is incredible. This is this. And then the other question I had was more around. Do you think about competition? Because there’s a lot, there are lots of companies trying to just meet two companies. Yep. I agree.

[01:27:45] Kunle Campbell: I don’t. I don’t think about competition because, one, you can’t focus on too much. You have to focus on what you need to do, right? And how you need to move forward. If you it’s a technique that I learned back when I [01:28:00] was a player. If I’m focused too much on what, I’m not focused on what the other quarterback is doing, if I’m competing to be the starting quarterback on a team, if all I’m doing is focused on what that other quarterback is doing to try to win the job, then I’m lost.

[01:28:16] Kunle Campbell: I’ve lost the job because I’m not focused on what I need to do to win the job because you can only control you and what you do. You can’t control what they’re doing. So if I’m focusing too much on competitors, I’m not focused on us and what we need to do and how we need to win. And now the other part of that is purposely.

[01:28:36] Kunle Campbell: It’s gotten us to a point where we’re so far ahead of everybody. We spent so much time, so much money creating this brand that when you have partnerships with the UFC, you’re the official sleep aid partner of UFC, you’re sponsors with Joe Rogan. Those are such validating pieces. [01:29:00] Nobody can compete with that.

[01:29:02] Kunle Campbell: None of my competitors will ever have that. And we’ll ever get to that level that it’s just not worth my time to think about it. And we’re just going to keep plowing ahead. And then we’re going to be the first mouth tape brand in retail. And especially when that happens, certainly I’m paving the way I’m paving the way for other me twos, try to get a little bit of revenue.

[01:29:28] Kunle Campbell: But the reality is none of them are going to last. None of them have, we’ll have the staying power and the money and the capital to continue to invest into it and build this brand because. People are going to Google this, and they’re going to see Hotch’s tape, and they have all heard of us, and see UFC, and they see all these other indicators.

[01:29:50] Kunle Campbell: Of, social proof that we’re the best decision for them than this other company they’ve never heard of before.

[01:29:59] Rapid Fire Questions

[01:29:59] Kunle Campbell: All right, Alex, [01:30:00] let’s jump into the rapid fire question. Segments of the show ready. When you are,

[01:30:08] Kunle Campbell: You got it.

[01:30:09] Kunle Campbell: are you a morning person? What does your morning routine look like?

[01:30:13] Kunle Campbell: Yes. I wake up at 5. 30. I do sauna, stretching, red light therapy, workout, run. And I meditate and visualize

[01:30:25] Kunle Campbell: time does your day start? Your work day, that is. Okay. What book are you currently reading or listening to?

[01:30:36] Kunle Campbell: I’m reading the

[01:30:39] Kunle Campbell: Traction. Okay, got it.

[01:30:40] Kunle Campbell: Name three people you looked up to and have been instrumental to your success and journey thus far.

[01:30:51] Kunle Campbell: One person is my dad. Second person is my mom and a third person would have to [01:31:00] be probably like Joe Montana as a kid. He was my idol as a quarterback and he was a huge driver and Who I would eventually

[01:31:12] Kunle Campbell: What’s been your best mistake to date? By that a setback that’s given you the biggest feedback.

[01:31:22] Kunle Campbell: Ooh spending a million dollars on Facebook. I

[01:31:27] Kunle Campbell: In one month. Okay, alright, cool. Would you ever sell your business?

[01:31:37] Kunle Campbell: don’t want to, but my CFO likes to remind me that if a company comes to me and says, Alex, we want to buy hostage state for, a billion dollars. Then it’s my fiduciary responsibility to take it serious.

[01:31:52] Kunle Campbell: final question. Who’s been your most meaningful business contact in the last five years?[01:32:00]

[01:32:03] Kunle Campbell: boy. I would say I’m going to say two. Mark Bell. Mark Bell is a legend in the weightlifting community. He’s the host of the Power Project podcast. He’s been huge. He’s been doing e commerce for a long time. And then secondly is Dan Fleischman. Dan Fleischman has been a huge connector for us. On just all these different people that you need to meet, relationships you need to make and build.

[01:32:32] Kunle Campbell: Alex, it’s you speak my language. You’ve done terrifically well. I’m so happy to see your success. Wish you more success, particularly when you build two to a billion dollars as well as get into retail. It’s been a pleasure having you on the 2X e commerce podcast.

[01:32:52] Kunle Campbell: It has been amazing being on the show. I appreciate it. Thank you. And don’t let bad sleep hold you hostage.

About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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