Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Brian Wilson’s Million Dollar Beard: How Phil Masiello of CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency Scaled His E-Commerce Business to Success

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Leadership in Times of Crisis
Today, we had the opportunity to interview Phil Masiello who is a Founder, CEO and Captain Crunchat CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency.

Phil Masiello, Founder, CEO, and Captain Crunch of CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency, has had a diverse and successful career in the e-commerce industry. From his early ventures in the meal category to co-founding 800razors.com, Masiello has faced numerous challenges and found innovative strategies to scale his businesses to success. In this interview, he shares his backstory, the inspiration behind his e-commerce ventures, and a pivotal moment that played a significant role in his journey.

Interviewee Name: Phil Masiello

Company: CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency

Phil Masiello’s favourite quote: In God We Trust, All Others Bring Facts

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Phil Masiello : I founded my first business with I was 27 years old. It was a complete disaster. I was a poor leader, a poor manager of process and a poor trainer. Sold the business after 4 years and spent the money on getting my MBA at U MD. While in grad school i became involved in the leadership of a small regional specialty food chain with two stores. I was integral in growing that chain to over 12 stores plus an acquisition expanding the footprint to the northeast.The key accomplishment was my INTRAPRENEURSHIP in driving the company into DTC “Food as Gifts” via brick and mortar and online; the development of a small store concept; streamlining production facilities.

After exiting, i developed the Daily Market grab and go meal stores along with an e-commerce meal site. This was sold to a major supermarket chain. I went on to found Raw Essentials Skin Care with Carol Alt on the shopping channels in the US and Canada, our website, Amazon and brick and mortar retailers Ulta Beauty, Shoppers Drug Mart, and others. After selling and exiting that business, I founded 800razors.com with John Sculley, Michael Phelps, and David Sculley. We sold to a competitor in 2016. Shortly thereafter i founded CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency.

What inspired you to start your e-commerce venture, and what were the initial challenges you faced?

Phil Masiello : My first e-commerce business was in the late 90’s in the meal category. The biggest challenge was that UPS, Fedex and USPS were not as capable of handling e-commerce sales as they are today. Yet the business was successful enough to result in a sale. Raw Essentials with Carol Alt was moving very quickly internationally. The largest challenge was growth capital and international regulations as we grew into other countries. 800razors.com we got off to a very slow start, which was a challenge, but i have a great story to relay about overcoming this.

Can you share a pivotal moment or strategy that played a significant role in scaling your e-commerce business to success?

Phil Masiello : I co-founded 800razors.com which was a razor and skin care business a few years ago. Using the traditional ad methods, the business was not launching as we wanted or expected. It was a very slow build. We needed something to jump-start us.

As a baseball fan, I read the sports news every morning. That particular day, I read that Brian Wilson, a great pitcher for the San Fransisco Giants who had been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, would pitch for the first time in a year after recovering from surgery. If you need to know Brian Wilson, search for him. He has an epic beard. I came up with a brilliant idea. We would offer him $1 million to shave his beard off with our razor.

Here is the thing. We knew Brian wouldn’t do it because the beard was part of his identity. But all we needed was for his management to say they would discuss it with him. So we sent them an offer and got the response we needed. That response went straight to our PR firm, who pushed it out to all sports and sports news sites.

The interest was incredible. We had interviews with all of the major news sites, news channels, and sports TV in the US, Europe, Japan, and several other countries. It was wild. The next thing we knew, we were getting bombarded on social media. At that time, there was only Facebook. Instagram was getting off the ground. People were sending us pictures of their body parts for a price they would shave. Then we had the haters. “How could you offer a millionaire that kind of money! Send me some, or donate to the poor!”

This continued for about ten days, and it began to quiet down. Then TMZ caught Brian coming out of a gym in LA and asked him if he would shave for the million dollars. He said he wasn’t shaving his beard for any amount of money. Well, that started the whole event all over again.

Leaders Perception would like to thank Phil Masiello and CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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