Article written by Claudia Lee, Founder and CEO of NEXUS. Speaking with Will Nitze, Founder and CEO of IQBAR.
It's a huge myth, that success and health don't go hand in hand. And, I feel, the coming generations have realised this.
Your ability to prosper, and have long-term motivation and momentum, is directly linked to how you maintain your emotional and physical energy levels. Makes perfect sense really, doesn’t it?
Not only are there some, who understand this, and adapt their lifestyle and diet, to supply them with what they need, but they also build products or systems to help provide this relief to others.
Learning about IQBAR, and Getting to Know Will
I spoke briefly earlier this week, will Will Nitze, Founder and CEO of IQBAR.
Will, studied at Harvard and minored in psychology, being fascinated by the studying of the brain and the way it works. He then entered the world of sales and marketing, and although a good job, Will didn't feel the excitement or real motivation to continue and felt the want, to go after other areas of his life.
Noticing his afternoon fatigue, and general lethargy he began reading books such as “Grain Brain”, and “Mission in a Bottle”. This narrowed down into an interest in Paleo and Keto movements at the time, and switching his high-carb, standard American diet out for something more meat and fat-dominant.
His link with studying the science of the brain, and the fuels it needs to thrive, mixed with an entrepreneurial undertone led to the early development and attempts of what is now, IQBAR. He explained he likes, “physical products”, and the concept of making something started from scratch and building on ideas, seemed like what he wanted to chase after.
He realised that although now improved and was feeling better, there wasn't a lot of food options, and there felt this daily task to find food, that didn't take him off his new dietary track.
So, his kitchen became a laboratory. He focused on creating various versions of recipes and ideas, for what he could build.
After launching a Kickstarter in December 2017, creating the early signs of a successful concept, he realised he had enough to run with, and do a first launch, with sales coming in mid of 2018.
Will explained, “you can’t fund a business, on a Kickstarter alone,” it does however fund the idea and show proof of concept.
After raising $73,664 with over 1,400 backers, Will knew he had something to go to investors with, to really boost sales, and take this to the next level it deserves.
The Kickstarter, allowed for there to be confidence in the product, and when meeting investors, things began to get even better. After being supplied with new funding, the small team accumulating at IQBAR began aggressively scaling, increasing their inventory size, and heading for the moon, one sale at a time.
Raising the Bar: The Marketing Approach
I asked Will, about his early approach and how IQBAR scaled to the next level. He mentioned Google AdWords, but elaborated more on Amazon ads, saying they were, and still are, the best option for IQBAR.
This was fascinating to me, as it was my first time speaking with someone who really utilised Amazon Ads, and saw success. He explained that the majority of sales do come through these other sources, with only ¼ of sales coming through the website.
This solidified my idea, that marketplaces really are the way forward, to scale the sales of a brand, as well as have a good HQ of a website, as a foundation.
The initial concern he mentioned, was valid, that with Amazon, there will be a limit on “customer data”. However, with Amazon's large user base, you can see the initial take-off, happen so much sooner, and with a product like IQBAR, I can see why it worked so well.
Amazon has a user base of over 200 million active accounts. The majority of Amazon users are between the goldilocks age range of 25 - 44, and the average yearly income is $50,000.
The more important thing though?
Frequent and recurring users.
60% of Amazon users, purchase on Amazon once a month, and 30%, once a week.
IQBAR has a subscription-based system, where you subscribe, and receive 15% off. This model mixed with Amazon's customer psychology of recurrence, allows people to trust and re-buy the same product.
This is why IQBAR has been successful. They’ve built an in-demand product, marketed it on a high volume, specific traffic-based platform, and allowed for trust building, for re-purchase.
The Year Ahead and Where They’re Headed
Now appearing in over 8000 locations in the US, and joining with Walmart, COSTCO, and others too, there is no sign of slowing down, of their aggressive scaling.
Will explained, he wants to be more than a bar company and integrate other products too. Mainly, around this idea of dividing into two segments, as they currently have, nutrition and hydration.
Will touched on his new venture also within the IQ universe, IQJOE, and a new coffee line enriched with Lions Mane mushrooms and vital electrolytes like magnesium.
What I understood about Will when speaking with him, is his aggressive growth goals. It’s not a case of when, as long as things are moving upward.
He explained, “our yearly target is 100% growth per year”.
This compounding mindset was very interesting to me. Most e-commerce systems really hit a roadblock 2-3 years in, yet IQBAR is still heading for the moon.
Incorporating the high traffic systems of amazon, as well as retail and wholesale avenues, they have no fear of getting lost in the crowd, just finding more of one.
Will's Outlook On Business
At the end of our conversation, Will summed up everything I needed to know about him.
He said, “we have everything we need to succeed.”
And I couldn't agree more.
It’s not just a good product or good branding, it's the subtle confidence Will has within himself, and the team standing right there with him.
I'm sure as in all areas of business and commerce, there have been wobbles, and will be many more, also.
But in the same way, Will has studied himself, in other areas of his life, to improve his experience of it, and then go on to build solutions for others, he’ll calculate a way to tackle it.
I’d like to thank Will for finding the time to speak with me and learn a little more about the behind-the-scenes of what will go on to be an even bigger company than it already is.
I wish him and the whole team at IQBAR all the best, even though they don't need it from me, and I look forward to seeing what 2023 offers them.