How to Harness the Customer Lifecycle With Adam Butt

Adam Butt is the Founder and CEO of UN/COMMON, a fully integrated e-commerce and marketing agency facilitating sustainable and profitable growth. In his role, he leads a team of over 50 people to scale $10-100 million international brands, including Liquid Death, Rare Beauty, and Beauty Blender. Adam launched UN/COMMON with only $500 in capital before growing it into a multimillion-dollar agency. He is also a serial investor in companies like American Battery Technology and Postscript.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How — and why — Adam Butt built and scaled UN/COMMON
  • The fundamentals of a 360 omnichannel strategy
  • What are the problems with specialized lifecycle agency models?
  • Tracking the customer lifecycle: why you shouldn’t segment your efforts
  • Crucial do’s and don’ts of the customer lifecycle: relevant case studies
  • How DTC brands can dominate market share
  • Who is Adam Butt?

In this episode…

With the lines between digital and physical blurred, DTC brands must capture the entire customer lifecycle. Yet these businesses often don’t consider the foundational factors that comprise the lifecycle, like content, the customer experience, branding, acquisition, and conversions. How can you prioritize and optimize the customer lifecycle to gain market share and create a distinctive brand?

According to multimillion-dollar agency founder Adam Butt, each component of the customer lifecycle must be cohesive. If you have strong acquisition and retention strategies but an inconsistent website experience, your lifecycle is likely to malfunction. However, Adam warns not to segment your efforts into a single channel. Instead, create a comprehensive omnichannel strategy by tracking the entire customer journey and adding incremental value at each stage. Building a personable brand requires cultivating a community of loyal customers through authenticity and organic connection.

On this episode of the Up Arrow Podcast, the Founder and CEO of UN/COMMON, Adam Butt, joins William Harris to talk about optimizing the customer lifecycle. Adam addresses the issues with specialized agency structures, how he built and scaled UN/COMMON, and case studies of a successful customer lifecycle.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is a performance-driven e-commerce marketing agency focused on finding the best opportunities for you to grow and scale your business.

Our paid search, social, and programmatic services have proven to increase traffic and ROAS, allowing you to make more money efficiently.

To learn more, visit

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris, featuring top business leaders sharing strategies and resources to get to the next level. Now, let's get started with the Show.

William Harris  0:15  

Hey everybody, William Harris here. I'm the founder and CEO of Elumynt and the host of this podcast, I'm interviewing the brightest minds in e-commerce to help you scale from 10 million to 100 million and beyond. I'm really excited about the guests that I have here today, Adam Butt he is the prime example of living the American dream, transitioning from humble beginnings in Liverpool, England, to the US and oh nine, he transformed his journey from boxing to launching in 2015, with just $500 as CEO and a serial investor, he believes in the power of recipe, reciprocation and giving back. Today, Adams 50 Plus team is scaling 10 million to 100 million GMV. giants like liquid death, rare beauty and beauty blender noticed operates as a global e-commerce agency that delivers strategy designed data tech and marketing converge. And I've worked with you on a lot of these things. So it's fun to finally be able to talk to you in the podcast format.

Adam Butt  1:12

Yeah, it's good to see you in the flesh. Well, as they say in the remote well, but really the whole for with a chat today lashed out?

William Harris  1:21

Yeah, I was trying to think about who introduced us. And if I remember correctly, we just connected on LinkedIn. I think that you even sent me a direct message on LinkedIn. And we connected to just chat through some of the things that we were seeing in the DTC space, right.

Adam Butt  1:37  

Yeah, I think it was LinkedIn, I think was like, three, four years ago, I think. So time goes, fly when you're busy,

William Harris  1:44  

right? It does. And it's just fun to see how you can go from just meeting somebody online to connecting and working with them in building things together. So it's really fun. Crazy stuff here, I want to at least announce our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by Elumynt Elumynt is an award winning advertising agency optimizing e-commerce campaigns around profit. In fact, we felt 13 of our customers get acquired with the largest one selling for nearly 800 million. And we were ranked as the 12th fastest growing agency in the world by Adweek. You can learn more on our website which is spelled e l u m That said, onto the exciting stuff. Tell me about the backstory. I've noticed you hinted at this a little bit came here $500. You start Why did you start it in the first place? Why was this what you decided this is what we need to do? It tell me about how you kind of ended up being where you're at now with over 50 employees?

Adam Butt  2:43  

Yeah, so I ended up really started for me was I was working at an ad tech company called Thomasnet. They were basically a segment of Google, they had a b2b search engine, that connected industrial b2b buyers and sellers together, that was actually doing a junior Client Success role there. I was managing, I was also selling and, you know, sold information on websites, SEO, PPC, as well. 24 just kind of trying to figure out life, I was working in a cubicle, you know, the old cubicles that don't exist today, but they kind of exists. So that was kind of very much this exposure to like, digital, I would say. And, you know, I was there for a while and just really had some good success. And one of my friends, he lived in the United Kingdom, and he was working our website design company. And you know, we were chatting on Skype at the time, you know, what Skype was like it was, you know, that was the thing. So I'm probably getting a bit old school. Yeah. For we're chatting, and, you know, he was telling me how his company was growing and what he would do and I was like, he just said to me, you know, you should do this, like you, you got a text that that, you know, you've also at the sell side, that was okay, sales, and they were selling on Elance at the time, I don't remember It was a form of work. So I ended up jumping on there and had some success. And we'll stand to started for the next two, three years of freelancing from the apartment, building informational sites, Drupal, WordPress, you know, dotnet new for anyone who knows that dealing with, you know, servers, the cloud proxy, and then around 2013, I got my first Magento clients, and she was a was basically a Western women's apparel business, but $100 million market cap to industry wise, and she saw the ponchos, cargo hats, cargo boots, and it'd be really interesting to see One fun fact was the largest customer every year suspend all $40,000 on clothes. So I stopped remember their name, but I remember how much I used to spend. So it was a unique business and you You know, she basically gave me the full trust to rebrand replatform on Magento at the time, and take on all that FB AdWords SEO. And at the time, they were doing about 450 grand 10 year business, only sell on eBay a few on the site. And in this business basically went from 450 grand to 1.8 million in 12 months. That was kind of my first real exposure to e-commerce, I kind of just got the book. And like everyone, I just started to kind of explore more of that. And right around 2015, I decided that I wanted to fully go into e-commerce. And that's kind of where my passion kind of landed with it. And just seeing the the actual results that were created. And you could see a clear metric behind it. So I know notice was born in 2015, as an e-commerce marketing agency, and it kind of all started from there, and my little apartment in Hatfield PA.

William Harris  6:00  

That's incredible. I mean, just like you said, living the American dream and being able to come from, you know, from Elance, to, you know, what you've done today, I feel like that's something that a lot of people aspire to. But to be fair, when you started doing this, it's not like you envisioned probably, that one day, this would be a 50 person company, right? Like, that wasn't your your initial goal, hey, I'm gonna go out and start this really big agency.

Adam Butt  6:30  

Yeah, I think most people when they start out, they want to grow. But then once you start to get past those first few years, you start to realize how much it's going to take to actually grow. I think that's where the real hard work begins. Because when you start out, you get into a few clients here and there, you're living off of the profits that are coming in. But then when you actually start to hire a team, that's where the real responsibility comes in. That's where you really get to essence. So for me, I think looking back at it, I think getting past that stage of understanding things I didn't know like basic p&l basics, you know, financial statements on how to forecast. That was a huge, a huge part of the learning curve, that I think most companies have to go through what I got past that first few years of understanding like, Okay, I'm comfortable personally. The part that, for me is something that I think happens to a lot of agencies, and I think it's a theme in this industry specifically is when you realize how hard it is to scale a digital business, looking at a computer all day, in most cases back then, because you kind of do and everything you kind of get into a point of Do you want to be a lifestyle business? Or do you actually want to be a business when it doesn't depend on you. And I think that's a really difficult choice, a lot of agencies go into probably third, fourth year into the business, maybe for some people, that's what it was for me. But that's where, really, you've got to know who you are, and you don't want to stay in, go into a lifestyle company over the next few decades, or you actually want to grow it and be you know, build a viable business, that's not going to depend solely on you. And that for me was, I think, a decision I made purely for my kids, because I realized, if I was going to be the only one that the business depended on, you know, I wouldn't be able to do the things I need to do my kids. And I think a lot of that comes around mindset of either playing the short game or you playing the long game, how do you want to go about it? And for me, I was I was looking to follow the long game. And that was kind of where my mindset was set on on growing a business. Yeah,

William Harris  8:37  

I like that. So transitioning into something that you and I were talking about before when it comes to other brands. So you know, one of the things we're talking about and that you and I both focus on is helping brands, e-commerce DTC brands grow from 10 million to 100 million and beyond. Were talking about just some of the macro fundamentals that these brands aren't understanding and what a 360 omni channel really looks like, take me through your plan on what this looks like.

Adam Butt  9:09  

So for me, when I, when I look back at when I kind of started the whole journey, and it's all when you start you're kind of trying to understand the lifecycle of what it truly takes to launch a digital brand, whether it's informational or transactional. But what I found is most agencies are not stepping back and like looking at the entire picture. They're looking at, okay, I know this is a problem, but I can't fix the problem. And what I mean by that is, you know, for me, I've built like an eight pillar system. That is what we're trying to work towards as a company over the next couple of years. And I noticed, but I think one of the biggest things that a lot of brands who are trying to compete with the current American mindset today is what actually is fundamentally wrong in their whole digital activation transformation process. Why did they miss them? And I think the path for me is it all starts at like the process, you know, from outside of product. Once the product they've got figured out, you've got brand, you've got your GCM, you've got your content, you've got your experience, you've got your acquisition, you've got your data layer, you've got your conversion, I think someone truly understands that. I think that's the part that brands are still not understanding is when you don't have all that in place fully. That is why a lot of the DTC brands today are winning against the traditional b2c brands. They just don't get it. And I think there's a lot of rewiring in knowledge of some of these traditional business P brands that have historically kind of just pigeon holed and tried to get everything activated in certain ways. I think it's a completely 360 closed loop system of how you need to look at it, you need to look at every single foundational elements of how you're managing DTC brands. And I think that's something I've got really, I'd say, kind of early on is what makes a brand scale. This is a brand that must be on the same level.

William Harris  11:09  

Yeah. What are some of the things that you've seen? You know, you've got eight pillars here? What are some of the pillars that if this isn't done right, you can almost guarantee that they're just dead in the water.

Adam Butt  11:26  

For me, the most common one I typically see and it's like, it completely affects every other components of how that brand is getting management, it's a site experience, whether it's acquisition, marketing, whether it's retention, it's typically on the brand and creative is, a lot of the issues I hear from ad agencies is that the client hasn't got strong brand, and they haven't got good digital assets. They can't support that on the actual acquisition side. So there's a cap issue there, there's a car issue there. And that one to one connection, some brands just don't see it, they don't want to make that whole investment into changing their messaging to their brand today, counter, whatever it is. That's typically a theme I see brand disconnection from the acquisition side and retention, or it will be a flip, it'd be the harbor strong brand, they have a terrible site experience. And I think the key part here is, when I look at this, I look at it in patterns, there's a pattern to how you tried to get that jigsaw piece. And I think what is the key part is that you've got to make sure that either you find a really good segmented specialized agency that truly do each one of those well, to really ensure that you've got a strong brand cohesively if you're a larger brand that have the budget to do that. Or you have to bring a full lifecycle agency that can do all of that really well and be able to scale you purely based on efficiency purely based on consolidation or having been in one place. Or you have to find the right agency out there. I think that's the problem is there's not a lot of those full lifecycle agencies that are truly doing all that. Well. I think it's not, I think the models broke today. I think it is broke.

William Harris  13:11  

In what way? Is it broken?

Adam Butt  13:17

These are good questions. long winded question. I think the part of it that's broken is that we've been on like when in 2013 2023 now than they did 2013 and 10 years behind where we are eight years ago, a lot of the playbook was not really defined the DTC, it was getting figured out. You had older traditional school agencies, kind of generalists generalist website design company, generalist marketing companies. Social was really at the mid stage of kind of emerging and going through the boom at that point. I think part of what happened with that is there was this huge transition into new tech agencies who had adopted new tech platforms. And what that ended up doing is taking this traditional market that was very widely focused and everything and segmenting that down into really specialized agencies that really exist today in accordance shopping ecosystem as we know. The problem is, I feel is that the segmentation approach is has worked for eight years. But I think the new change that's coming with DTC brands and how they need to compete in a market with coffee and high iOS issues, all these things that are happening, I feel that the segments that approach is actually going to hit them going into the next generation of DTC. I think that ultimately, in order for a brand to scale, they need to do it as efficiently as possible. And I think it's gonna get more competitive around time and speed to market. And I think the only way to do that is to really have one all in solution that can do all those pieces quickly. Because it's not as easy as that. was eight years ago, you just throw $1,000 ad budget at Facebook and you would get conversions. It's just not the same. So I think it's going to be more about speed and consolidation for brands. And I think that's probably the real problem with agencies today is not a lot of them that are doing it well. So yeah.

William Harris  15:16  

And to be fair, it's hard to do all of that, well, your focus can get very distracted. Let's say that you're predominantly focused on the acquisition side of things, then you tend to focus a little bit less on the LTV side of things, this is just a natural consequence, right? If you're somebody who focuses significantly on LTV, then there's oftentimes a it pulls away some of your focus on acquisition, if you are focused on growth and whatever, then maybe you're someone who's not as focused on Merchandising, and so you know, there's all of these different strings and you pull one and it pulls the other one shorter. I think that's where the allure of specialized agencies came from. And just specialties in general, is it possible for an agency to truly do all of that well? Or is it is there always going to be some type of a service within an agency? That's the, for lack of a better term, the redheaded stepchild of that agency where it doesn't get as much focus and attention? And it's the do you want fries with this kind of approach?

Adam Butt  16:33  

Yeah, yeah. I, I think to go off of that well, is for me, I think the traditional problem with agencies who tried to expand in other different verticals in digital is the typically run with the mindset of we're gonna go and acquire a majority of this agency. And the problem is, is when you acquired the majority of that agency, most of the time the owners order the halfway out the door. And, you know, I think that's the issue is the internal core of that service really dissipates from there and really doesn't deliver it at the level it did before. And I think that model is broken, large majority into acquisitions can bring into the agency and to fulfill that need to their customer base. I feel it is the wrong approach. I think the approach that has been there for a long time. And I think it's always looking back at time of what things have been figured out before our time that we're figuring out today, it's probably similarly the same, but just different worlds we live in, I think, is a good example is Apple's startup approach, Steve Jobs and focus on my country's growth. But he said that Apple is does not operate like a corporate company. Apple operates like a startup, every single departments that is doing a product in Apple, as its own visionary, and they are responsible for innovating and driving that department forward to keep it at the forefront. I think if you flip that, and you look at Dell, or Microsoft very top flat approaches to how they run their business, and I think that is the key part here is is companies who have already defined the model of what's successful, and what keeps you at the forefront, and companies. And I think that is the problem with agencies is the mindset of how they want to grow is completely wrong. And I think it's wrong, because they're thinking about growth, similarly to boxing and b2c Raising money does grow. But Dennis sacrificing some fun, which is the quality of the service, which is the people, I think that's the problem.

William Harris  18:29  

Yeah. So would it bring this back to? Let's say that, let's say I'm running a $10 million DTC e-commerce brand? And how does this impact them. And one of the things that you've talked to me before is this idea of following the customers lifecycle from online to offline. And we've even talked about how, you know, some of the interesting things that Tesla did with some of this, but when I think about this, I think about there's a lot of brands that have their, their wholesale division, they have their e-commerce division. And it feels like oftentimes there's a big disconnect between the two, there's a completely separate budgets, disconnected budget disconnected conversations, disconnected inventory. And while I can understand the need for that, and this is, again, where we're getting into this idea of segmentation, or it's like one person that's focused on this, the reality is your customer is not segmented that way. Your customer is flowing from online to offline to online to offline and back again. And so when your tactics and your teams and your goals are segmented, the maybe you're being less efficient, am I understanding that that's maybe kind of where you're getting at with this?

Adam Butt  19:44  

Yeah, it's definitely where I'm going with it. It's, I look at things in a in a really deep way when it comes to stuff I get obsessed with. I'm a bit of a bit of a crazy person when it comes to that I get really deep in it and I think when I'm Look at the lifecycle of, you know, even for an agency when they bring in a customer through the processes the lifecycle, I think truly, if a brand wants to be at the forefront of where digital and DTC is going to be going forward, I think they've got to fundamentally understand the buying lifecycle of a customer. And I think that's the problem is a lot of them don't take that step back, they typically grow out of, you know, a mistake or an idea. And then they get to a point where they start to build an internal digital team. And they don't really take a step back and say, okay, where does my customer go? And what is the lifecycle of how that process should work. And I think that is the root problem is, again, it's that pigeonholed mindset, we get into this, this focus of these goals for this for this agency in this, but it's a really entire 360 outlook of how you want to look at your business going forward. And I think, you know, for me, and I'll use an example of how I would kind of translate that into another business I was recently, I use Lego Emirates, for example. So I recently flew on Emirates. And if you go through emesis, buying lifecycle, I watch every step I'm going through, I'm looking at how they are monetizing me as a business and how the app driving value in every single step of where I'm actually gone from checking all the way to checkout. And something that hit me when I was actually going through that process is when you go to, for example, Dubai airport, I tend to have a free kids will. So a lot of bags. I got there and I was like crap, this is too many bags. And I had an Emirates cardio come over to me. And he had a massive trolley. And I was like interesting. They figured out that there's monetization from the existing customers, I went straight to the front desk. And at that point, I didn't even have to get my card out because it was already on file that is charged my cards for the person seeking or over. If I didn't go through the entire process, you know, they've got a notice step way right before you enter the security check in. They've got a kid stole a section where you can rent a stroller for a few dollars. And there's just so many ways they're looking to drive value. And remember that the customer is going to remember how that experience was from these little incremental bite sized pieces of value. And I think that is how a brand needs to think whether you're digital or whether you're offline, if you can understand where that customer is going and each step of your journey. That's how you're going to really drive that top line bottom line growth. I think that's ultimately the problem where brands are not willing to zoom in, to lock in. I think that's something I'm really obsessive about.

William Harris  22:47  

Yeah. And so you work with some of these brands, you work with some of these biggest brands that are out there. What are things that you see that they're doing? Well, right now, let's just say you could call out one specifically or just in general, that the DTC space is doing well at capturing this full lifecycle? And then what are some ways that they're doing very poorly? Where are some areas that really missing this?

Adam Butt  23:12  

So I think he's all know a liquid death. But liquid death is one of our clients. They've been working waters for about three years now. And amazing clients. And I would say how to describe them is the future thing, because that's all they are, they think differently than most brands. And the one thing that I always find funny when I speak to people who are like, talking about liquid death is like I don't get it. And I actually didn't personally get it when I tried it. I was like trying it well, and I was like, I don't get it. But then when I started to dig deeper, I actually understood that they've got a problem in the market that most people don't understand what they're fixing. So they had a cancel water. I will repeat that again at a cancel that water capitals. And they are targeting a customer who is not a water drinker, but is a soda drinker, but they want to get into drink water. And I'm sorry, I have to explain it that way. But most people don't get it. So think about your your construction workers think about it. Drivers any type of person that normally drinking high energy drinks, whatever the ICP is, they're trying to go after that customer. And the path for me which when it comes to looking at them versus a traditional brand, we actually just spoke to a really large, b2c and b2b beverage brands do no free billion a yet and they've been around for decades. And the path for me that was very evident when I went through the process and went through liquid deaths is they are completely different wavelengths. When I was speaking to this other beverage brands, what I was learning is that their mindset was still stuck in b2b. They didn't quite understand or grasp that they're losing market share online, even though they pitches I'm not on the volume side DTC. It's a brand channel. It's an awareness channel. It's a way for people to try your product. And I think that's the part that liquid death get. And it's obviously in the Superbowl ads. Will. You've seen, you know, the crazy type of videos that they've put out there, which they just recently done one way race? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, they're funny. But their objective is once they get the audience to watch the video, and then they build the social media content, which is funny in itself. This is what the question is to go to the site, buy through Amazon was it speed, and they ultimately want to get to try as fast as they can. And they know, as soon as that customer goes into Target, or Whole Foods, or wherever it is, and they see that same drink, the likely chance that they're going to pick that up again, is two to three to four to five times more likely. And that's all that objective is. And that's why these traditional brands are losing market share. They don't understand that the customer is actually here, and it's not out there. And I think he had is my phone, by the way, if you want my hand so

William Harris  26:07  

well, and I think that you, you bring up a really good point of something we talked about a lot in SAS. And so I have a background in SAS before I got into DTC. And we would always talk about getting them to the WoW as quickly as possible. So you're onboarding onto a new app. If they they onboard to the app, they set up their trial, and then they don't find that wow, factor that first time that they're logged in, within, you know, ideally, the first couple of seconds, minutes, something that makes them go, Oh, I get this. And I can see why this really is exciting and matters to me. If they log out, they're not coming back. That's just like, you know, I don't remember the numbers are listed saying 90%, it's a pretty significant amount of people that they're not going to come back and finish that trial, they're not going to actually, you know, fully onboard their data or whatever that is. And it's the same thing then for, like you said, DTC brands, who maybe are actually saying, we get a lot of our sales from the b2b side, we're getting our sales, you know, in supermarkets or wherever they're selling this ad, they're selling it in Target or whatever. But they're trying to get somebody to say, Yeah, I saw the commercial, I liked that commercial. I ordered it immediately, right there while I was on the couch with my phone so that I could get it say, Wow, I really do like this. Now when I see it, I'm sold. Otherwise somebody sees the commercial, the Superbowl commercial, and it's hilarious. And it's funny, and they did great for branding. But they didn't capture that sale, then that person might not see that for two weeks before they go back in. They happen to see that as they're strolling through a store or something like that. And they've lost a significant amount of those sales. And is that kind of what you're saying here?

Adam Butt  27:47

Yeah, and so many Yeah, it's I think it's a shift in how most brands are going to be thinking, of course, I think, I think to go off of that, well, I think the one issue is most brands try and tackle that new approach, if it's a traditional brand who's trying to compete with brand that's coming after their market share. They're trying to tackle it with a kind of a level up approach, but they're not going fully in. And I think that the I think it's more about the concern of they don't know what they don't know. So they kind of level up, but not completely committed to the actual full transformation into go to. And I think a lot of that is a complete, again, come to that a pillar system. A lot of those brands that are behind still an illusion, that micro market share. They need to completely transform their businesses, they will never be able to completely compete with those brands. And that's a lot for a brand who've been around for a long time to be there, probably from the total generational family business. That's a very personal thing. But these brands, I found that they don't really want to make the full shift to CIO. And it's gonna be interesting to see where they are, where did they acquire some of these new brands coming up to protect their market share, but with some of these competitors coming up? Now? I think a lot of them are I've got a bit of a Phil McKnight ambition, they want to be the leaders in their market. So we'll see where it goes.

William Harris  29:15  

Yeah, well, and so that's one area that DTC is coming in, in in crushing the status quo. But you and I've also talked, especially this year, where a lot of DTC brands have suffered too, there was a lot of focus on this short term vision of growth. And they've run into cashflow issues or whatever this was here as well right now and so they're struggling, what are the areas that you think DTC brands are missing, to help them also level up to truly not just carve out you know, a small percentage market share within a very, very big industry, but to start becoming the dominant player in their industry?

Adam Butt  30:02  

Yeah. So I know there's been obviously even chat about it for a while well, but there's been a lot of brands that are struggling financially, they raise money, we're unable to hit their requirements without investors. So there's a lot of that happening. You know, I think it's tough because, you know, you've always got Linda young. And every believer, if you've got someone who's going to go really hard, you got someone who's going to kind of slowly get to that goal. And I think the path, that's a huge problem deer that I am seeing the pattern is with a lot of these brands that have raised money, they purely raised because they're trying to scale, but they're really not trying to build a brand. And I think a brand, what does a brand mean? A brand means you're building an attachment from a consumer, it means you're building a community of people that actually want to follow you. And you're not just buying, you know, basically fi conversions, these are customers who just tried, the products are not going to come back again, with a loyal fan base that are connected with what the brand is. And I think a lot of brands who raise they're starting to realize that that authenticity needs to be there. And you can't just scale purely through reason, money, because at the end of the day, when you come into economies, like we have the last three years, we've gone through pretty rough three years as an economy, you're gonna get found out and that, you know, a lot of bundling have found out in that situation where, okay, when the economies are going down, have you really got a viable business model? And where did you go wrong here. And I think that's why a lot of the brands who have scaled purely, organically, purely focused on connecting with Jim at liquid death, those brands are actually fried in the cloud today, because they've got a fan base that are going to come back every single day, every single week, you will, because they built how they built a timeline, they built it. And I think that's the difference of going at speed versus kind of just embracing the journey and making sure you build that authenticity, what your consumer base, I think that's the true issue that I'm seeing in a market like today.

William Harris  32:13  

And that works really well for let's say, a beverage company to be completely honest. They're not the first beverage company to just have, you know, raving loyal fans. And so, I think that there's something that's inherent to that niche. But what about other verticals as well, let's say, you know, for awhile, we saw this with mattresses, mattresses, were the thing in DTC and everybody had a new mattress company, it felt like that was that worked for a little bit as well. But what about other things like toilet paper? Can you build a raving loyal fan base for DTC toilet paper? Is that like, or are there just limitations to you know, what can be done there? Well, this dude, why

Adam Butt  32:58  

trade can classifies as toilet paper? Right? That's fair. Living was gonna be a tough one. So I had to kind of improvise on that, but it tried to, he taught me I do think you can build a taller people brand, even if it's a different type of brand. I think it's I think what it really comes down to is when I'm when when when you look at most of these companies, and again, we don't want to get too focused on any industry. But if you look at toilet paper, you know, dude wipes, for example, I'm just gonna use that. Dude wipes basically disrupted the toilet paper industry that is for bite size way, but they're doing pretty big in what they're doing. And I think that is the unique part about business exploration is there's so many opportunities out there of finding a problem in the market. And I think that what a brand needs to focus on is, is this a problem that we want to solve? And do we have a problem to solve that problem? And I think a lot of brands, again, who don't have the authenticity of who they are, what they do and why they're doing it. That is why that brand will either scale through money or it will scale naffy organically and I think once brands understand that, it's it's more around that more than anything. I think that's where most of the actual long term value of where DPC is going. I think DTC is everyone's talked about, you know, everyone talks about community with a brand loyalty, membership based programs that come in now in all of these different aspects of of what a brand is trying to understand when it comes to Aki. LTV, you know, they're focusing on it now, some of these new brands but I think there's still a lot of gaps to kind of Fill with some of these buttons, you're still not getting it.

William Harris  35:01  

Yeah, there's so much more that I would want to unpack in here. And, you know, if you're also craving more here, you just got to go follow Adam and look at more of what he's saying on LinkedIn and stuff. I want to get into a little bit about who is Adam Butt here as well. What made you this way? What made you the type of person who looks at things looks at problems this way? Something in your childhood, like, what was your childhood like that kind of brought you here?

Adam Butt  35:01  

From the fall, so if anyone has been to Liverpool, you know what that city life and so I'm, my I'm half Irish, half Scottish. That's kind of what Austin's bizarre, we don't call yourself from Liverpool, because that's kind of where we're from. And I had a Pakistani father and a British mum. So for me, you know, we didn't have money going up, we struggled, you know, it was definitely a tough upbringing. You know, I think the biggest part that was challenging, was just really the environments, and you know, both in home and outside the home, it was not really the best of areas for someone to really come off and be able to persevere through the adulthood and really get to that point. So I, I kind of learned to embrace that. And I'd say, as a kid, I was very hyperactive, couldn't sit still, I was always onto new things. I learned piano at like eight years old. And I played so many different sports, I was really into history, and patterns, and different how different you know, cultures were, I was into a lot of different things. And I didn't really get into tech until around 1415. And, you know, for me, I think the biggest, I think part that really define me when I was younger, is I went through a really big time of being bullied in school, I got bullied a lot in school. And so that was a huge thing. And, you know, when I was 17, I finally decided, You know what, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna focus on me, it's not about anyone else. And I ended up really just reinventing who I was, at that time, I went to marks a buck that the number one boxing gym in the United Kingdom, that it's brought a lot of well known world champions today, you know, few people if you need two bucks, and a buck for quite a few of them. And I started fighting that 18. So I used to fight in the ring. And that was kind of my outlet and kind of a big part of me kind of overcoming my background, and you know, all of the issues I went through. And at the age of 21, I decided to find and make a move to the US, and you know, really come here and a lot of culture, a lot of the people, there's just as many different environments. And for me, I would say what really brought me to where I am today is, I think a defining moment for me was understanding that, like your past doesn't define your future. So where you're from where your upbringing is, I had to embrace that, you know, coming from NASA, and you know, we didn't own a home. And we struggled money, as I mentioned. So, for me, I realized that there was no one coming for me, I had this figured out. And you know, I came here with nothing. And today, you know, it's it's been a journey, where we are today and where I've come from, but I think the path for me that I took away from that experience of coming in at 21, I'm not 36 This December, so I'm getting on a day is that you can really come to a country like America, and you can really make things happen. I think some people say the American dream is not here, I think it is I think if you come to a place like America, you can really make things happen. And I just embraced it. I took it with two hands. And you know, I've had struggles with the business along the years, I was 40 grand, and I had no car. I was living on $400 a week at the time with my wife maxed out credit cards, and you know, I have to go from nothing and no one to lean on to getting the business to a point where I could actually pay myself a paycheck and eventually hire people and give them the chance to move their life forward. So I've just embraced the journey. That's all done.

William Harris  39:13  

Love it. I thank you for sharing all of that I can relate to so much of what you said there too, and so much that I can't relate to as well. But I really appreciate even just that idea of no one's coming to bail you out. No one's coming to help you necessarily in this and not to say that people aren't helpful and helping that but it's like, if you fail on this, it's not like somebody's going to you know, rush in and save the day. And I know that that's a driving motivating factor for me as well, where it's like I have to make this thing successful. I have to push through and there are times where it's like I have to work until 3am or whatever that might be because there isn't necessarily like a safety net right. And so I can definitely appreciate that and that passion and that drive

Adam Butt  40:00  

For sure, a few audits. I have learned along the way that you know, we all think differently, our brains think differently. And the one thing I would just say before we end this well is, I'm a big advocate for neurodiversity. And it's something I've noticed and who we are, we're very inclusive company. And we talk about a wide range of topics, we bring different, no speakers in to talk about things that people would never learn about. And to give some everyone a quick heads up, my son's got hyphens autism. And I actually found out through my son, which is something I'm very proud of that I have high functioning autism, or two years ago, I discovered that. And so I think if you, if you don't embrace no diversity in your organization, or you don't know anything about it, I would highly recommend to really look at that as a part of your organization. Because there's people in the organization that have different brains, they think differently. And I think the more awareness we have around that, it's just really in a drive that education and understanding that not everyone thinks the same. And that's okay. So I'm a huge advocate for that, and wanted to push that out there. So thanks for having me on. Well, I really appreciate it.

William Harris  41:08  

Yeah, well, and I appreciate that as well. Because diversity is something that is important, something that's getting talked about a lot more. You know, I am diagnosed with ADHD as well. You mentioned being somebody who couldn't sit still as a kid, and I can completely relate to that as well. And I do think that that's while there's, you know, let's say it's called a disorder, as well, you know, get the air quotes in there. I think that it's also a gift. And I think that that's true for a lot of other neuro divergent ways of thinking as well, that there there are things that may not necessarily be as much of a disorder as as well as a gift in many other ways as well.

Adam Butt  41:49

Yeah, yeah. I, I've said similar words. So you taking the words out of my mouth, I think it is a gift. We wouldn't be the way that we were off the day. And yeah, I would say to anyone out there, just embrace it. That's something I've done. yet. I share stuff on LinkedIn about how I manage it my routine stuff like that. So yeah, really appreciate it. Yeah.

William Harris  42:11  

So if people wanted to follow you connect with you work with you, what is the best way for them to get in touch or stay in touch or follow?

Adam Butt  42:20  

So I'm on LinkedIn, everyone Adam Butt last name, Butt, so you can't forget it. And I'm also on Instagram. If you're on Instagram, you'll probably see me posting videos of me kicking the crap out of a punch bag. So that's probably what you've noticed, or a picture of my daughter or a video for anyone. So feel free to check me on Instagram. I'm also on LinkedIn, I post about a lot about business growing an agency personal development, self development, etc. So yeah, follow me if you find me. Awesome.

William Harris  42:49  

Adam, thank you again for coming out sharing your time and your wisdom with us. Thanks a lot, bro. Appreciate you having me. Have a great day.

Outro  42:58  

Thanks for listening to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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