People, Purpose & Provenance

March 9, 2022

Gutsy Lessons from Serial Entrepreneur Craig Dubitsky

(highlights from Episode #1 of the Gutsiest Brands podcast)

If you had a lemonade stand when you were a kid, then you were like most other budding entrepreneurs. But if you had a lemonade stand that doubled as a car wash where you employed the other neighborhood kids and worried about your profit margins—then you were Craig Dubitsky.

Craig is Chief Innovation Strategist at Colgate-Palmolive, the founder of Hello Products, Co-founder and Creative Lead at EOS, and an early investor in Method products. Our CEO, Rob Wengel, sat down with Craig to discuss his serial entrepreneurship, how people are at the center of everything he does, why building trust is important, and how design is all about emotion.

Takeaway #1 – People, People, People 

Craig gives us two important points here. First, people care about everything. “I don’t think there is such a thing as a low interest, low involvement category,” Craig says. “I think there are low interest, low involvement brands.” Even something as simple as packaging can inspire the average person. (Just ask Craig how it inspired his friendship with Eric Ryan.) 

Second, brands need to care about people if that brand is to succeed. “If you can figure out something people are going to like or hopefully love before they know about it, there’s incredible power that comes with that.” How do we do that? It’s easy, according to Craig. “It’s really about appreciating the gaps in people’s lives.” 

Takeaway #2 – Build Trust 

If you ever saw a leaking bottle of Method soap at a Target, you have Craig and his team to blame. And he’d rightfully admit it. He recalls a story where the brand had to scramble to correct a packaging flaw. The only way Craig saw to approach it was with total honesty and a humble attitude. Despite facing what seemed like a big problem, Craig found that “the company had established this incredible goodwill and rapport with people and also with Target. It’s like they had earned this permission from the people using Method that it was okay to make a mistake.” 

Takeaway #3 – Design Is About Emotion 

“I’ve always had a thing for everyday things,” Craig says. “Design for me isn’t just form and fit and function and color choice. It’s not just the superficial stuff. It’s designing the whole experience.” Craig believes design should tap deeply into emotion. “It’s not about manipulating. I think just the opposite. It’s inspiring somebody. It’s sparking something in somebody.” 

Craig’s Best Advice?  

Craig finds opportunity everywhere. He says it’s “the story of my life, someone says ‘you two have to meet.’ So, take every meeting. That’s my principle in life.” 

Keep Learning 

To catch Craig’s full interview with Rob, along with fascinating conversations with other entrepreneurially minded leaders, head over to our Gutsiest Brands podcast.   

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