Martin "Marty" Okner is an experienced executive and former President and COO of dpHUE from 2017 to 2022. Under his leadership, the company grew annual net sales 10x and increased profitability through groundbreaking influencer marketing strategies, product innovation, and direct to consum...read more
Jacob Jaber is the Co-Founder & Chairman of Philz Coffee. As CEO for nearly two decades, Jacob grew Philz from the original coffee shop in San Francisco's Mission District to more than 70 locations across the country. Jacob has raised more than $100 million in funding from investors. Jacob...read more
Alec Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Endless West, a beverage startup that creates its own unique blend of wines and spirits using scientific production methods. The whiskey has won 14 awards, and the company has raised more than $100 million in funding from IndieBio, SOSV, Horizon Ventur...read more
Achelle Richards has over 18 years of CPG senior leadership experience. She was one of the founding five employees that grew the e.l.f. Cosmetics brand from an entrepreneurial startup to a $1.2B valued publicly traded company and top loved beauty brand amongst Gen Z’s. She has since launch...read more
Alexandra Zatarain is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand and Marketing at Eight Sleep, the world's first sleep fitness company. Eight Sleep solves sleep's most pressing issues through innovation and cutting-edge technology. The Pod, its best-selling product, has a cult-like followi...read more
Chris is an expert in taking startup ideas from zero to one and in turning around underperforming corporate innovation teams. He has built product portfolios and SaaS platforms generating $750M ARR across disparate industries and technologies including AI/ML in Health Care, NLP, IoT and vi...read more
Ben Katz is a serial entrepreneur in the consumer internet space based in Los Angeles. He founded a leading online bank called CARD.com, and currently runs the online leader in hair loss medicine, HappyHead.com. He earned his BS and MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylv...read more
Lauren Gallo is an award-winning, industry-leading marketing executive with expertise in global brand marketing and creative development. She has grown, defined and redefined some of the world’s most iconic brands, from Soho House to Apple to Snapchat to Nike. A proven leader, one of Laure...read more
Katharene Johnson is a VP of Human Resources at Riot Games. She has over 15 years of experience in the gaming and entertainment industry, including as VP at Activision Blizzard, working for both small and mid-sized businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations. In addition to this, she ho...read more
Bryan Wilcox is a co-founder and the former CTO of Tovala, a food-tech company that saves people time with a smart oven and paired meal service. Tovala has raised $70M in venture funding from Y Combinator, Comcast Ventures, Interplay, Origin Ventures and Left Lane Capital. Prior to Tovala,...read more
William (Billy) Bosch is a consumer products entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience launching products, scaling into retail and e-commerce, and raising money. He is most known for founding ICONIC – one of the largest natural protein supplement brands in the United States. Starting w...read more
Davis Clute is the Co-Founder & CEO of Hiccapop, a digitally native ecommerce baby products company. Davis started Hiccapop while at Stanford University in 2016 and has since grown the company (with the help of many others) to over $50m in revenue per year without raising any venture capit...read more
Lisa Curtis is the founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli, the leading brand pioneering the superfood moringa in the US market. She began working on Kuli Kuli while in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. As a volunteer in her village’s health center, she gained an understanding of nutritional cha...read more
Sasha Tan is the founder of C.riously, a company that makes nutritious health snacks. She previously founded Favful (a personalized beauty care platform), which was backed by Segnel Ventures, Gobi Partners, and 500 Global before it was acquired by iMedia in 2022. She is a serial entreprene...read more
Bill Capsalis is a recognized expert in healthy lifestyles and go-to-market strategies in the natural product industry. He was previously the CEO of Haystack Mountain Creamery - an artisanal goat cheese company and saw the company through a sale in early 2021. Today he is the Executive Dir...read more
Trey Sisson is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Baboon To The Moon, a DTC adventure brand that sells bags and accessories. Trey began his career as a Business Analyst for Goldman Sachs, before moving to the world of startups where he led teams at Amplify and StumbleUpon. He ...read more
A consumer product mentor is someone with extensive experience and comprehensive expertise in the consumer product industry who uses their mastery to guide and support startup founders. Entrepreneurs who design consumer products rely on the advice of mentors to help steer their decision-making, particularly when entering the market for the first time.
What Is a Consumer Product Startup?
A consumer product startup is an early-stage company that develops and markets products intended for use by the general public. Consumer products range from everyday items to luxury goods and fulfill a vast range of consumer needs.
Consumer startups face a unique array of obstacles, including widespread competition, limitations with supply chains and distribution channels, and the many challenges of consumer branding.
There are countless types of consumer products — which makes neat and tidy consumer product classification difficult. However, this exceptionally broad startup category can be broken down into a few subcategories based on specific product characteristics and consumer purchasing behavior.
Four of the most common consumer product categories are convenience products, shopping products, specialty products, and unsought products.
1. Convenience Products
Convenience products are items that consumers purchase frequently, with minimal effort, and at a relatively low price. Household staples like toothpaste, snacks, and cleaning supplies are some of the most typical examples of convenience products.
2. Shopping Products
Shopping products are common items that consumers actively seek out. They require more research and consideration on the part of the buyer than convenience products do, and are usually purchased only periodically. Examples include electronics, furniture, and clothing.
3. Specialty Products
Specialty products are unique items targeted at niche markets that possess distinctive (and sometimes custom-designed) features. These products are typically sold at higher price points than shopping products and require more specialized knowledge to produce. Luxury watches, gourmet foods, and designer handbags are all examples of specialty products.
4. Unsought Products
Unsought products are items that consumers do not actively seek out under normal circumstances — they may not even be aware of these products until the need for them arises. Unsought products require careful marketing efforts to generate consumer interest. Common examples of unsought products include funeral services, life insurance policies, and medical devices.
A successful consumer product launch is a balancing act involving several essential elements:
A consumer product expert from Mentorcam can offer one-on-one support as you learn to navigate consumer product dynamics. All of Mentorcam’s coaches have years of real-world experience in the consumer product industry and can base their advice on the successes and hard-learned lessons that led them to where they are today.
Product Development and Design
A mentor can help you refine your consumer product ideas and validate market demand. They can also advise you on consumer product design by providing feedback on aesthetics, functionality, usability, and other design elements.
A consumer product mentor can help you learn how to market to consumers, including how to leverage e-commerce product platforms to acquire more customers.
Using Consumer Product Reviews
Consumer product mentors can guide you through the process of gathering feedback from customers and show you how to use consumer product ratings and reviews to drive improvements.
Consumer Product Trends
A consumer product advisor can share their knowledge of emerging trends in the consumer product industry and offer insight into the evolution of consumer preferences.
Consumer Product Marketing
A consumer product mentor can help you communicate the value of your products to consumers with marketing strategies tailored specifically for products in your niche.
By leveraging the knowledge of a consumer product mentor, you can get a head start in the competitive consumer product landscape and boost your odds of lasting success.