Reprint from original article found on Blyp.com
Achieving our fitness and health goals is something that’s a huge focus in many of our lives. However, finding the right tools and nutrition options for this can often be a challenge. Tony Leonardi and Lori Aleks took matters into their own hands when they founded Muscle Up Bars back in 2016. Today we sat down with them to discover what sets their product apart in this competitive market and how to thrive in the e-commerce world.
What Are Muscle Up Bars?
Muscle Up Bars are the original sweet potato-based protein bars. They are high in grass-fed protein but low in natural sugar, making them a great option for anyone looking to increase their protein intake. Lori is a fitness coach and Tony is a competitive athlete, but they were struggling to find any protein bars on the market that fit the macros they were looking for. Their aim was to create a high protein, low sugar bar with no sugar alcohols or other strange sweeteners. Tony had a dream one night that he was making protein bars at home with mashed sweet potatoes, and he just couldn’t get this idea out of his mind. Finally, he decided to have a go at making these at home in the kitchen, and they were a huge hit.
After researching the bar market to see if there was a similar product already out there, they realized that this segment of the market was wide open for them. Every bar they found was either very high in sugar or low in sugar but packed with chemical fillers and sweeteners. The space between these two categories was wide open, so that’s when they decided to create Muscle Up Bars.
Finding Success for the First Time
As a new business owner, there’s always one moment in your journey where you feel like you’ve finally made it. For Lori and Tony, they knew they had nailed their product when they started visiting local gyms to offer samples of their bars. Everyone loved the bars straight away, and so they continued these samplings once or twice a week to spread the word about their product. This helps to build a good foundation to sell wholesale to these gyms, offering a fantastic start for the business.
At the current time, they still don’t use a lot of metrics when it comes to tracking their success. Instead, Tony and Lori opt to focus on building their social media following. The number of followers they have offers them a good indication of their brand name growth. They also look slowly at new versus returning customers, and they strive for a 50/50 ratio. Customers that try their bars one time usually return again, which guarantees repeat business for years to come.
Understanding the Direct-To-Consumer E-Commerce World
If Tony and Lori could go back in time, they would try to take more time to understand the direct-to-consumer e-commerce world. They focused a lot of their energy on getting into retail and grocery outlets, but they’ve realized over time that Muscle Up Bars is best suited for DTC. To help focus their business, they’ve worked on sharpening their messaging and infrastructure to take advantage of this captive audience. They’ve carved out a unique niche in the middle of two dominant segments in this market, and with clear messaging, they can educate potential customers about the benefits of their product.
To find success online, Tony and Lori recommend that you make sure you have a product that fits a niche and that solves a problem. Understand your message and think carefully about how you plan to communicate that message to your potential customers. From there, you can build all your basic funnels and have a system to capture SMS and email leads. This will allow you to build up a marketing list, which can encourage repeat and new customer purchases in the future.
A huge thank you to Tony and Lori of Muscle Up Bars for sitting down with us today to share their words of wisdom for new Shopify store owners. Check out their website here for more information and to try Muscle Up Bars for yourself.