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T&C 2020: [Fireside Chat] How to Build a $100M Challenger Brand

by Christina Hooper.
Last Updated on May 8, 2022

This article is part of a series breaking down the top takeaways from the key speakers at T&C 2020.

What Was This Session All About?

Are you a business owner, or aspiring business owner, who is unsure how to connect with your customers? Do you want to know some ways businesses have done it successfully? 

Meet Josh Snow, the owner of Snow, an oral care cosmetic company. Josh’s business has flourished because of Josh and his team’s persistence in knowing their customer. Josh even contacted their first 1000 customers personally. 

Josh sat down with Ryan Deiss and told his story of success and his advice for business owners who are driven to know their customers.

Who is Josh Snow?

  • Founder and CEO of Snow, an oral cosmetic company that reimagines the hybrid between oral care and beauty and cosmetics

What We Learned

How Josh and His Company Did It

Josh and his company wanted to do something different. So together, they changed the way they package their products. First, they examined the evolution of the skincare market packaging in the past several years. Then, they saw an opportunity with oral care and found a new way to present it. 

Then, they examined how they could make the packaging and the unboxing process different. Finally, they asked their customers how they liked the products and even asked how easy it was to open the product. 

How Do You Make Sure You Don’t Copy Your Competitors?

Josh looks at other cosmetic companies for inspiration and to learn what the trends with packaging are. Even though the packaging may inspire them, they focus on customer feedback. They also get a multitude of different types of inspiration. For instance, he has said their boxes should be velvet. 

If you can modify the product with every purchase, you can create something unique. 

They have also made their system completely customizable, based on each customer’s wants and needs. 

Being Unique

Josh even called the first thousand customers to talk to them directly. But unfortunately, people in digital marketing don’t want to talk to their customers usually. 

Oral care is often an afterthought. They started with Facebook, but they realized that if all their customers come from one platform, then the competition goes up and won’t be the best tool. So, they started to look beyond just retail. 

They used a Shopify plugin called Inquire, and 60% of the customers filled out the feedback on it. 

They keep track of Google’s results and their results on searches and have discovered they’re driving oral care and Snow search results. 


Josh and his team also decided to lean into email more. The return on investment (ROI) is excellent. They try to understand that when someone buys one thing when they come back to buy another. Email is their opportunity to continue that conversation with the customer. 


They still use Facebook a lot, but it’s not their primary tool. Attribution is attributing a sale to a particular channel. Figuring out which one to attribute is always complicated, so they primarily try to make sure they’re posted on everything. They keep track of the channels and decide what to spend on the platform, what they make, and all the details they can gather to know what’s going on. 

They put together a Google Sheet (completely free) to help keep track of what they spend each day on each platform. It has allowed them to wrap up spending and help them thrive. The channels have allowed them to scale and serve their customers better. 

A-List Customers/Celebrities

They have some famous customers. They use an app called User Gems, which sorts the customers by how many followers they have on Instagram. Then, they exported the customer database and ran their addresses through Zestimate on Zillow to learn who the wealthiest customers are. 

They would reach out to those customers to follow up with them and talk about Instagram and what they do on it. 

Celebrities are pickier than ever about who they work with. So getting them to back your product is tricky. They have booking agents, though, and have ways you can contact them. So, you just do it. And you serve them well. 

Sometimes if the celebrity is too big, they may ask not to post at all but just try the product. This is because prominent celebrities have so many followers that people may disregard what they publish. 

Not all celebrities will make sense for your brand, either. But, again, it largely depends on how much the celebrity does and how they relate to your product. 

Start with the micro-influencers when looking for people to promote on social media. Then, send them an email when you find a good match. 


They will ask customers while waiting for something on the phone, their favorite TV show right now. So, they’ll Google information about the show and then search for related products they could offer as prizes. 

They’ll get feedback from customers about a product and consider modifications. Then, they’ll modify and give that customer first dibs. 

The leader of their company is user generated. Customers with five or so followers drive their company. These people get accurate results and are relatable. Customers see themselves in these customers. 

What Do You Think?

If you watched Josh’s presentation or are familiar with his work, I want to know what you think. Leave a comment or share a story below.

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