FOOLING AROUND Less than two months after we launched O2 in 2014, our company was faced with a difficult question. The deadline for a golden opportunity was coming up fast, and we had no plan for how to capitalize on it. It was the kind of question that everyone from young entrepreneurs to Google executives must grapple with: What prank are we going to pull for April Fools’ Day? As much as we wanted to flex our creative muscles, there were a lot of critical goings-on in those early days. We didn’t have the resources to do something too outlandish. So, like any smart startup, we worked with what we had. When we first set up O2’s website, we left a little “Easter egg” on the site. Maybe a few of our longtime fans remember it. One of our purchase options was the opportunity to buy a lifetime supply of our O2 for the low, low price of $100,000. What a steal! Of course, we weren’t serious; it was just something we put up for kicks at the time.
For example, the customer who had bought their lifetime supply was none other than Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. After fighting the Hulk, you’d probably need a lifetime supply of our recovery drink, too. Unfortunately, many of our social media followers didn’t pick up on these subtleties. Again, these were the opening months of our existence, and our supporters were largely friends and family who were ecstatic to hear we’d just made such a huge sale. As congratulatory comments, emails, and phone calls flooded in from our most loyal customers, I realized the prank had backfired. There’s nothing worse than having someone tell you, “I’m so proud — I knew you could do it!” and having to tell them “April Fools’ ...” We took a different tack in subsequent years. With some graphic design wizardry, we were able to mock up some fake products to announce on April 1. We always tried to take whatever was the fitness beverage craze of the time and put our own spin on it. First came “Moo2,” an oxygenated chocolate milk recovery beverage available in three delicious flavors. Then there was O2 Cold Brew, for our coffee lovers out there. We even “announced” an official O2 bucket hat: Why drink O2 after a workout when you can slurp and lift at the same time? While these were fun to dream up, these pranks also backfired in their own way. They were too believable! Every April, we had to disappoint excited customers who couldn’t wait to try our nonexistent products. Maybe we should have just found a way to oxygenate chocolate milk. The silver lining to these pranks is that they reminded us how much folks believe in us. Even when we thought we were being outlandish, the ideas we put out there were met with support and excitement. While it was hard to break the hearts of so many fans every April, being reminded that our fans are the best in the world always brings a smile to my face. –Dave Colina Founder, O2
That phony promotion offered the perfect springboard for April Fools’ Day. So, on the first of the
month, the official O2 Facebook and Instagram accounts announced that we had made our first $100,000 sale. We even included a fake proof of
purchase, complete with Easter eggs that were meant to be hints that this was a prank.
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THE 3 GROCERY ST
We know you didn’t become a CrossFit affiliate to feel like the middle manager of a Whole Foods. However, the same strategies that work wonders in the world of grocery stores are just as effective in gyms. Generations of grocers have spent time, effort, and money learning how to get the most out of every inch of their retail space. So why reinvent the wheel? These three strategies used by supermarket titans and bodegas alike will boost your retail operation and also your bottom line. BUNDLE Give your members a deal too convenient to refuse by bundling complementary products together for a reduced price. Refueling with food after a workout is an important part of recovery, so why not pair cans of O2 with a protein bar? Normally, purchasing this smart snack/beverage combo would run a customer upward of $6, depending on your pricing. Just taking a dollar off for a bundled deal can make your members feel like they are getting a steal. Best of all, you’re exposing members to more of your products!
JAMES HOBART PUTS HIS COACHING SKILLS TO WORK James Hobart is a two-time CrossFit Games Team Champion, as well as being a CrossFit HQ trainer. He recently opened his own box in Boston. CrossFit varies by degrees, not by kind, meaning it can be tailored to individual needs and abilities. As a coach, I can meet someone where they are and help them reach new personal bests.
HOW’D YOU BECOME A CROSSFIT ATHLETE? I’ve always been competitive. Growing up, I was into sports, and the CrossFit Games filled that void in my adult life. I’ve competed since 2009, although I took last year off to be a commentator at the Games instead. I have to admit doing that commentary made me miss competing. I don’t think my competitive desire will ever go away, and I’d like to get into the Games one last time as an individual. But honestly, my relationship with CrossFit has morphed over the years. I like coaching more than competing these days. It’s more rewarding. WHY DO YOU LIKE COACHING SO MUCH? I want to inspire new athletes. I’ve been coaching ever since 2007, and it feels great to have a positive impact on people’s lives. ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO COMPETE AGAIN THIS YEAR?
HOW DOES BEING A COACH COMPARE TO BEING AN AFFILIATE OWNER? You have the same fundamental desire to improve folks’ lives. But you also have a greater responsibility to keep the lights on. Still, much like coaching a newbie, the biggest challenge is always going to be patience. Things won’t always progress as fast as you want — you have to give it time. CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR FAVORITE FUN FACT ABOUT O2? On its own, the Grapefruit Ginger flavor is my favorite. But for whatever reason, after eating strawberries, Orange Mango is delicious! I’m working on an O2 smoothie based off of this. I just haven’t found the right ratio yet!
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RE STRATEGIES YOUR BOX NEEDS TEMPORARY DEALS Tightening your belt momentarily to offer deals “for a limited time” is an age-old tactic for retail success. It’s basic psychology: When folks know they have a short window of time to act on a great deal (say, two O2s for $5), they fear missing out. These sales, when properly communicated, can be the perfect way to introduce new products to members. Plus, they’ll be coming back for more. REWARD ‘POWER USERS’ Maybe you have members who are already buying products regularly. That’s awesome! Don’t these “power users” deserve a reward? Whole Foods seems to think so. That’s why they give their customers a 10 percent discount to buy items by the case. Consider making a similar offer to those members who stop in every other day to buy individual cans of O2.
3 NON-SALESY WAYS TO UP YOUR RETAIL GAME Boosting your retail sales doesn’t have to be a chore. Over the years, we’ve worked with affiliate owners to create awesome, engaging events for members to promote O2. The secret is to tap into the competitive nature of your members. Here are three fun and simple strategies you can use at your box without feeling like you’re a traveling salesperson. RACE TO RECOVERY If you opened your email at all in February, you just might have seen a link to a video of Dave going head-to-head with 2010 CrossFit Games champ Graham Holmberg in a timed workout. Graham’s victory secured an 18 percent discount on O2 for affiliates participating in the “2 for $5” O2 sale. You can hold a similar competition for your members. Give away a can of O2 to whomever posts the best score in a fun warmup! TRIVIA CHALLENGE Knowledge is power, right? Holding trivia competitions during class is a great way to ensure your members are informed about all the goings-on in the world of CrossFit. You can also throw in some nutrition-related questions. May we suggest, “How does oxygenated water aid recovery?” Winner gets a free O2. This approach kills three birds with one stone: You’re encouraging your members to stay engaged, you’re bringing some extra fun to your classes, and you’re increasing awareness of your retail operation! HOLD A RAFFLE Yes, really. Most folks participate in raffles because it’s fun to have a little skin in the game, not because they think they have a shot at winning. Yet, the sheer thought of “ what if …?” can keep your members engaged and motivated. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to showcase whatever retail product you decide to offer as a prize. Try something like this: “Hey guys, we’re putting a big focus on form this month, so we’re raffling off a case of O2 and a free T-shirt. Each class this week, coach will pick one member who stands out for great form and throw their name into a hat, and at the end of the week, the winner gets the prize pack. We’ll also give out a prize for “most improved” at the end of the month, so don’t cut corners ... and do stay hydrated!”
AFFILIATE SPOTLIGHT AARON JANETTI
Our March affiliate spotlight was our good friend and long-time supporter, Aaron Janetti of Endeavor Defense and Fitness in Hilliard, Ohio. Black belt, author, family man ... What can’t this guy do? LOOKING BACK, WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IN THE FIRST YEARS OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything. All the issues we ran into were great learning experiences.
YOU PLAYED A BIG PART IN O2’S ORIGINS. COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT? Dave asked me to try the first samples he had of O2 from the back of his car. It was the sketchiest and most amazing thing ever. They were delicious! I was one of the first boxes to start retailing O2 and I haven’t looked back since. WHAT’S THE MOST EFFECTIVE THING YOU’VE DONE RECENTLY TO BOOST SALES OF RETAIL ITEMS? We have spent a lot of time systematizing and tracking retail better to make sure we are reducing shrink and not overconsuming our own products without profit. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? Teaching. I love sharing knowledge. I love watching people improve. I love knowing that every day, with every class, we can improve someone’s quality of life — and sometimes even save their life.
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Fooling Around Page 1 What We Can All Learn From Whole Foods Featured Athlete: James
Hobart Page 2
Spotlight on Aaron Janetti 3 Ways to Make Retail Fun Page 3 Change Unwanted Behavior With ‘The Power of Habit’ Page 4
‘THE POWER OF HABIT’ Gives You the Tools to Change Unwanted Behavior The O2 book club kicked off 2018 with “The Power of Habit” and really enjoyed what it had to offer. Habits affect us in every aspect of our lives, from our offices to our houses. Whether it’s nail-biting, eating too many protein bars, or putting off meal prep until the last minute, we all have habits we wish we could break. But how do you escape a behavior you know little about? In his book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business,” New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg examines the structure of habit, its underlying causes, and the impact of habit in our careers and personal lives. Duhigg looks at organizations ranging from huge corporations like Target to the more intimate structure of NFL teams. If you’re not creating positive habits in your staff, you’re not giving your all as a leader. Finally, Duhigg details four steps to changing any habit. First, pinpoint the routine. Next, interrogate the reward you receive
from that routine. After that, isolate the situations that cue your behavior. Finally, make a plan to change the behavior. Self-belief is a huge part of this process. As Duhigg says, “You have to actually believe in your capacity to change for habits to permanently change.” With the tools and examples Charles Duhigg details in “The Power of Habit,” you’ll be able to take control of actions you thought were unbreakable. In both business and life, there’s hardly a more valuable asset.
The first part of “The Power of Habit” investigates what Duhigg calls the “habit loop.” This loop comprises the cue (the situation that leads to habitual behavior), the routine (the behavior itself), and the reward (the feeling of satisfaction provided by the behavior). Breaking down this loop, Duhigg argues, is the key to altering behavior. If you don’t understand the “why” behind an action, it becomes much harder to change. From there, Duhigg zooms out to take a look at the habits of successful organizations. As a business owner, the habits you instill in your team go a long way in determining the success of your box.
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