Week 2

WIN 2 The Mason Jar Handle vs Sleepy Stroll

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Welcome to the second week of the first season of Go Pitch Win! Each week Greg is joined by a guest judge to hear 2 entrepreneurs pitch their business or product. After hearing the two pitches they will pick the weekly winner to move on to the final 6. At the end of the 6 weeks, Greg will select the top 3 and then we need you to help us pick the winner! Once the 3 finalists are announced we will open the voting for you #FreedomBuilders to choose our $10,000 winner!

Michael Jackness, EcomCrew.com

Mike has been in eCommerce since 2013 and runs 4 brands: IceWraps, ColorIt, WildBaby, and Tactical.com. He's on track to do 8-figures in 2018 and blogs, podcasts, and documents his journey at EcomCrew.com.

Pitch - Week 2 Winner!

Greg and Mike discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both pitches. They agree that both companies face the challenge of getting people to buy their product. Let's hear their whole deliberation.

The Mason Jar Handle
Mike’s Overview
I think they have an amazing idea. I think both products were amazing. That’s always cool when you have a product that’s so awesome. I think they’re an amazing couple. I thought it was fun watching the dynamic between them. They seem like really cool people. Military guy, which I’d like to thank him for his service. They came back and thought of this idea that I think can resonate with a lot of people. I think everyone listening to this has probably drank from a mason jar at some point, some more than others. A lot of trendy, cool places serve you cocktails in mason jars. When I lived back east, it was a thing that everyone had mason jars in the cupboard. It doesn’t seem to be as much of a SoCal thing, but I definitely know that when I lived in Texas for instance, it was definitely ubiquitous there. I think that’s really cool. I think that the customization aspect is really neat. I think that would be another angle, not just utilitarian. They will put this on your mason jar, but also use it as a wedding gift, or a housewarming gift, or baby shower. Whatever type of thing you can think of to mark an important event in your life. Lots of really cool things going for them.

Greg’s Overview
I just couldn’t stop smiling at Garrison and Shae. They were just the cutest, All-American family/couple. They had this awesome shop in the background where they’re doing the work themselves. They’re both welders and metal workers, and I think they’re both in the military which is pretty amazing. And you could just tell how passionate and energetic they are about this business that they’ve created. Just kind of like the all-american entrepreneurial couple. It was really cool to listen to them and hear about that. Overall, I think it’s a good business idea.

Sleepy Stroll
Mike’s Overview
Another great product. It’s so hard to find two amazing products, and I haven’t seen the other episodes, but, this was another awesome product. I think about as an entrepreneur, as an e-commerce seller myself, it’s so hard to get people to want to give you their money. This was one of those products, where if he can get the messaging across properly, people will throw the money at him, at all costs to fix this problem. Sleep deprivation really sucks, and when you’re having to deal with your kid crying non-stop, it’s definitely something you want to fix. As I mentioned to him, someone in our office is dealing with this exact problem. I can tell the nights when her son has gotten a good night’s sleep, based on the good morning that I get. I think she would do anything to fix that problem, and it’s an interesting idea. He mentioned, through not a completely scientific survey, but probably pretty dead on an 89% success rate, which is pretty high. His return rate would probably be low and again, if he can get the messaging across, and get the person to have that aha moment, there will be no hesitation for them to give him the cash.

Greg’s Overview
Yea. I don’t have any kids, but I can imagine if or when I do that I’ll probably pay well over $15 if it’s a device that causes the kid to go to sleep. Right? If it just works only one time that’s probably worth $15 to me.

Mike
He’s got to figure out a way to put this thing on a monthly payment plan. Every month that you keep using it, you have to send me another $10 or it self-destructs.

Greg
I think people would probably subscribe to that, for the people that it works for. You’re totally right. This is another super cool invention. I love this. I love both of these inventions actually because they’re pretty simple, yet solve a need.

The Mason Jar Handle that might be a little bit more of a novelty, kind of cool, cute, nice to have. The Sleepy Stroll probably solves a very real problem, getting your kid to fall asleep. If that just means strapping these little things on your wheels and rolling it around, and that’s what causes your kid to sleep, that’s a very cool, simple invention that still serves a nice need.

Mike
The video that he showed was awesome. This baby was wide awake, looked like she had toothpicks in her eyes and then they started rolling down the street for 30 seconds and it was like...asleep.

Greg
He couldn’t have gotten a better video. Within 10 seconds, the kid was asleep. You definitely need some influencers with large followings posting videos like that.

Let’s jump back to The Mason Jar Handle.

What are your overall thoughts or opinions of the business as a whole? The health of the business and the potential future of the business?

Mike
Scalability might be an issue for them. That was one of the things I was looking at. They are obviously passionate about making this thing and part of it is made in China, but until they can get their supply chain more simplified. Having to order one component and wait 6 weeks for it to get across the ocean and then get it into a US welders hands, and have to deal with the customization angle. That concerns me because I can see this being one of those things that goes viral and in that instance, you don’t want to run out. You don’t want to miss out on that momentum. It’s hard to get that back.

Verses the Sleepy Stroll
I think that supply chain thing is much easier. He can just send an email to the supplier. The whole thing is ready to go and could even air ship a finished product over here, if he had to. That would be one thing that would concern me with the mason jar.

Greg
I agree. It sounds like their supply chain right now is a huge headache. I think this is a classic example of entrepreneurs who are willing to put up with a lot of headaches and complications in their business and don’t quite keep track of all the time they’re spending versus just having one person just handle the whole thing. So, I think that’s a good lesson for them to learn. Also, $3 a pop seems expensive to me for that particular item. I think with the right manufacturer and maybe using a different type of stainless steel, or different metal. I think you should be able to get the cost of those down to $1/each or something.

Mike
I would say sub-$1.

Greg
Yea, I’ve never manufactured this product, but I have quite a bit of experience with just different products. It seems to me that it’s a fairly simple piece of metal that they have to cut and bend and then one weld to combine them. I would think the right factory can do that whole thing and drive down the cost, especially in bulk ordering. The customization is probably going to need to be thought about in the future, about whether it’s worth it or not. Long term, if you’re really thinking about scaling this up, it’s probably not realistic to have all these types of metals and some are laser etched and some are painted and some are painted and then screen printed and everything else. I imagine to really scale, you’d choose a few of the customization options that are easy and popular, and cost effective.

Mike
They should take the Henry Ford approach. You can have it in any color, as long as it’s black.

Greg
This is an example of entrepreneurs hustling in the early days just to customize it however you want, I don’t care, just tell me and I’ll make it happen, but to turn this into a more scalable business they’re going to have to fine tune that.

Mike
Yea, there’s actually an episode of The Profit with tiny houses, and it was that exact same thing. They’ll do anything for their customer. We learned this lesson earlier in our entrepreneurial career too. If you want to scale, you have to limit the options. Customers don’t even know what the other options even are if you only present them with the options that are best for you.

Greg
Yea, I think they’re going to see that as well.

And, I see a lot of future for this product. Looking at influencer marketing, and Pinterest and whatever else. Having all these cute little photos of these mason jars with these little handles. I can see that doing well. I can also see the more corporate route and Jungle Scout orders 100 with our logo imprinted on it. Our next team off site we’re actually talking about doing on a ranch. This would be a cool thing to give to everyone. We could sit on this Texas ranch with our Mason Jar Handles. I can see us purchasing those potentially.

Mike
I’m just hoping I qualify as part of the team now.

Greg
Oh yea, you’re in!

Let’s jump back to Alexey and the Sleepy Stroll. What are your thoughts about that overall from a strictly business perspective?

Mike
His biggest challenge is convincing people that this is the thing that they need. It’s hard to communicate if you watch something like Shark Tank, they always talk about, if this is on the end cap of the aisle, can someone get that aha thing as they’re walking by. Aha! This is going to solve this problem. I think that’s the hardest thing for him is to get people to have that, holy crap, I can start sleeping again because I can put this on my stroller’s tires. I would just be like, what does that thing do? And keep on walking, and not quite get it, because it’s hard to have a video on the end cap. From a business side, that’s probably his biggest challenge.

Greg
Yea, there’s a lot of awareness that needs to be brought to it. If you see a demo or watch the video, I see now. But you’re right, that would be difficult to communicate that just through packaging on an end cap. If you can start doing demos and videos, it’s easy. Just through photos is kind of difficult.

Mike
The upside to that is, this is the internet age. You can do that awareness marketing. You don’t have to be in a retail situation, I don’t think that’s where this product is destined for, at least not in the short term. It wouldn’t be the thing he’s looking to do in the next few years. It’s on Amazon. People can find out about it through a YouTube channel, or Instagram video or Pinterest, and they’re pre-primed and it can be very easy. Even still, he has that search volume with people searching for baby sleep aids on Amazon and so if he can get the messaging across to get them to purchase, I think that’s the struggle.

Greg
Yea, from the interview, it seems like he’s pretty passionate about inventing these things. Right? And that’s fun, if you’re brain works like that. But, it seemed like no previous marketing experience and that’s what that product is lacking. Alexey really needs a partner who is a great digital marketer. I think the two of them teaming up could probably do great things.

Greg
So comparing the two businesses, what would you guess has the best potential for future growth and future success?

Mike
The one with the biggest growth potential has to be the Mason Jar Handle, for me. There are a couple different reasons why. The biggest is, comparing the two products, the mason jar you can sell the same customer more than one. I think that in e-commerce that is really important. Not only selling them more than one at the time of sale, but as a win back campaign, that’s really important. I think the customization angle can get them these really large orders, again, buying more than one. That aspect is really important. And, it’s easier to “get it,” and have an aha moment. You can almost have a 1, 2, 3 picture in one still photo that’s broken up and get what this thing does. I don’t want to burn my hand on a hot mason jar, or get cold hands, or wet hands from a cold mason jar. We’ve all been through both of those things. I think it’s just easier to explain it as well.

Greg
I think I have to agree with you. All things considered, quality of the product, the market potential, the founders for both of these. This was actually really tough. The past few episodes it’s been a little bit easier for me to choose one clear winner, but both of these are really solid. But, I think I would give The Mason Jar Handle a slight edge. It’s a cool product, and probably more than that, the founding team Garrison and Shae, I just see them running through walls. They will not stop until this thing is successful. These people probably don’t sleep. They’re too excited. They stay up painting these handles. They’ll do whatever it takes. Probably the hardest thing for them, because they’re so energetic and have so many different ideas about how to market it, will be narrowing down what they should spend their time on, for what’s actually going to move the needle. As great as Shae is at powder coating and stuff, that’s probably not the best use of her time in the future to grow this business.

Mike
I actually see their biggest challenge is just the market awareness, but they’re at a bigger disadvantage because no one’s searching for it yet. The baby stroller product, there are already a ton of searches around baby sleep aids, which I think gives them a huge leg up. No one is searching for a mason jar handle. I think that’s their biggest challenge right now. I do think that can be overcome with some influencer marketing and social media marketing and has the potential to become viral really quickly, which is why the supply chain thing was already a concern in my mind. And because of the ability to purchase more than one, I just look at compounding interest kind of thing. The scalability could be a rocket ship. Even with the challenge, I still would give the edge to the Mason Jar Handle.

Greg
I agree. It’s one of those products, like in SkyMall magazine. It’s a product that would do great in things like that. People looking for products they don’t know they need, but you’re totally right about bringing awareness to that. I do think they have opportunity in the future to do podcasts and something similar to what they’ve done here, tell the story. It’s a cool story. The generations, the metal workers and how much they hustle and they’re really fun to listen to and watch. I think things things like that. Some people listening to this will be like, it’s a cool product and a cool business to support as well.

Mike
I’m going to go buy some.

Greg
I think I’m going to as well. For our team offsite I think we’re going to have to get those.

Any last thoughts about either the comparison, or final thoughts you would give either of them for the future?

Mike
I haven’t been part of the other ones, so it’s hard to say how strong all the other competition has been. I can wholeheartedly say, if I stumbled upon either one of these products and was able to sell these myself, I’d be very excited about either one. I think they’re both very solid. Knowing how hard it is to sell in e-commerce, having the ability to sell the same person more than one is the real edge. But still both are great products. They should both be really proud of what they’ve created. Both things have that awareness issue. I’d spend money on the video helping people have that aha moment. And, to stay in your lane. There was a comment made about how much marketing money was spent, and it might not seem like much to you, I can tell you that there was a day that I was only spending those dollars as well. I’ve been at this since 2013. I know you’ve been at this for a while. The tendency is to see people that have been doing this for a long time, and are successful, and not think about how hard the road was to get to this point. They should both take a step back, appreciate what they’ve done so far and keep things relative to where they are, and keep growing their business. I think they’re both going to be very successful.

Greg
Those are wise words of wisdom. 99% of people never get to the stage either of them are at right now. They both deserve a pat on the back for that. And although Alexey at Sleepy Stroll won’t be moving forward to the next round, he may have gotten a little shafted because he had a really strong competition. If he had gone up against a weaker competitor, he probably would’ve moved on to the final round.

Garrison and Shae with The Mason Jar Handle will be moving forward to the final round! Congrats!

If you’re interested in purchasing either of these products, you can find The Mason Jar at TheMasonJarHandle.com. You can find the Sleepy Stroll on Amazon by searching Sleepy Stroll.

Join us next week for 2 more pitches as we work towards our 6 weeks of finalists!

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