From Red Bull to CBD: Reinventing Energy Supplements
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John Zolikoff came out of the motorcycle and action sports world. He worked for 15 years at Harley-Davidson and Austrian sports motorcycle maker KTM.
During that time, John worked closely with Red Bull back in early 2000 when energy drinks were entering the market.
After experiencing the health benefits of CBD several years ago, and on a mission to find healthy energy that he could take any time, anywhere, John started ZOHKO in 2018. He pulled together scientists and doctors to create ZOHKO Energy, which is on the cusp of creating a new energy category.
ZOHKO Energy combines CBD with eight power-packed ingredients to boost energy, mood, motivation, and focus, all while the adaptogens strengthen immunity and help fight stress.
Here’s an exciting episode about branding and developing a company with a CBD expert. Remarkable insights await from John Zolikoff on how ZOHKO developed their brand, used unique marketing strategies, how they target their market and sell their products.
Download The Episode Companion For This Episode
Some Topics We Discussed Include
4:53 – Transitioning from motorcycle and sports world to CBD
8:24 – A light bulb moment on CBD
13:31 – Pushing through the CBD industry
18:05 – Branding ZOHKO energy
21:42 – Your brand is your avatar
33:52 – Sales channels
35:32 – Keeping the CBD business rolling
38:05 – Where to find them
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with John Zolikoff
Connect with Chip Baker
Chip Baker: Hey, this Chip of The Real Dirt. In today’s dirt, I want to talk about branding and developing a company. To talk to my good buddy John Zolikoff about his company, ZOHKO. Now it’s a CBD energy supplement company but the reason I wanted to have John on so he could talk to people about how they develop their brand, their branding strategy, how they develop their customers, how they sell the product, just all the like little things that it takes to bring a product to market.
Now many people cannabis or hemp farmers, all they’re interested in is you know, growing lots of ganja which I’m totally fine with that. But many people realize they need to have some sort of added value product or they need something more than they can grow or they can produce, and so a branded or a formulated product is the perfect way to do it. You know, if you’re interested in hemp, you’re in Interested in CBD, if you’re interested in ganja, this is going to be a great great great episode. And we literally like you know you can use this format and develop your company kind of based behind it develop your brand, kind of behind it. So sit back and enjoy this next episode of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker and John Zolikoff
Hey, this is Chip from The Real Dirt, and on today’s dirt, I have my good buddy John Zolikoff come to you live from Sarasota, Florida. Say hello, John.
John Zolikoff: Hey, everyone. Hey Chip. Great to be here.
Chip Baker: Oh, man, the birds are chirping in the background. I hear you a little puppies going on. Just looks and sounds like an incredible place to be right now. What’s going on in Florida, man?
John Zolikoff: Well, it’s a it’s a good place to to be isolating for sure. So we’re close to the beach as you can see. Got great setup here so we’re hunkered down, good place for ZOHKO headquarters to be trying to support everyone and you know, Sarasota is where– So as you mentioned, we’ve got eight puppies right now.
Chip Baker: Oh, yeah, we can’t. I can’t really hear them. I hear the birds. They sound great. They’re very pleasant, John.
John Zolikoff: Yes. So we’re surrounded by nature. So that’s we’re enjoying this is how we’re gonna heal ourselves, right?
Chip Baker: Oh, man treat is just looks and sounds incredible. I’m also in a self isolating format, as you can see grooming myself so well.
John Zolikoff: I shave for you today!
Chip Baker: Oh yeah, that’s right. That’s great. What do you mean I think I shaved?
John Zolikoff: My Sunday best–
Chip Baker: My Saturday sweatshirt on, even though it’s Monday right now.
John Zolikoff: And that’s how we met. Was that baby bathwater–
Chip Baker: Yeah, baby bathwater on a Saturday or a day that felt like it anyway.
John Zolikoff: Yeah, exactly.
Chip Baker: Yeah. So John, the reason you know I have you on The Real Dirt is John, you’re one of the founders or the founder of ZOHKO, which is a CBD and energy supplement company. John, you’ve started several other businesses in the past, and you know this is a new venture for you and so many people are thinking about getting involved in a CBD or cannabis business or already have some sort of CBD or cannabis business and you took a slightly different approach to starting your business then then maybe many other people. And you spoke about it at all and how you kind of got involved with it but as the brand you want it to develop this brand. Because in previous businesses you didn’t necessarily own you know, own what you were doing. It was someone else’s brain. So, again, I’m glad we can chat with you about a day. Hey man, how did you kind of come up with this idea of to start a CBD energy supplement?
Transitioning from Motorcycle and Sports World to CBD
John Zolikoff: Well, so as you said, I, you know, going back I came out of the action sports world so I was in motorcycles I was with Harley Davidson and then KTM sport motorcycles, and KTM has a relationship back between the founders in Austria with Red Bull. So back in like the late night 1990s and early 2000s when Red Bull was just coming into the market. We were doing crazy partnerships with them, you know, with like all that extreme sports and you know skydiving and motorcycle races. So I was in kind of in that group and saw like, I mean Red Bull created the category right before that there were no energy drinks and so then all sudden. I was also kind of in that extreme world of, you know, riding motorcycles and jumping out of airplanes and you know, so we want to [inaudible] Back in the day now I’m just the old guy with all the puppies and kids and grandkids. I saw what all that energy and what energy drinks and you know that how much people would pay for that energy and then also seeing the brand.
Chip Baker: So you learn from some of the major brands and a completely kind of different arena though it’s not healthcare or it’s I mean it’s a much more consumer oriented product than a healthcare product. No I’m talking to my ass.
John Zolikoff: Oh no for sure. So I come in straight out of university actually even my, my thesis, I did it on Harley Davidson. So I had a motorcycle. I bought a Harley when I was in college. I ran a business back then a bartending agency.
Chip Baker: So you were a fan.
John Zolikoff: So I was uh, yeah, so and I talked them into sponsoring my thesis and so that was what I love to do. But then about 13-14 years ago, I met my wife, as women will do they, they change you and she’s from Brazil, but she’s also a vegetarian and very much into sustainability. And so it was and then also I started my family and so it was this shift in my life I swore when I met my wife that I would never give up eating meat. And that took about a year to become a vegetarian because she was a really good cook. But more and more, I’ve become healthier with my life and the benefits I feel great.
So with the energy drinks that we’re doing all the time in the motorcycle world it wasn’t hard to figure out that those are bad for you with all the chemicals and sugar but [inaudible] were much. Still, then you get into than I was into coffee and that’s how I kind of raise my kid was just drinking coffee all day to keep up with my– he’s 12-year-old years old now. But I was always looking for this natural energy and something I can feel good because otherwise, you feel like you’re always like stealing from the future, your future longevity for your industry today, right?
I was always looking for this natural energy and something I can feel good because otherwise, you feel like you’re always stealing from the future, your future longevity for your industry today. – John Zolikoff
Chip Baker: So you are you already looking at an energy type of supplement or you’ve been thinking about it for years and the CBD just it was the lightbulb moment?
A Light Bulb Moment on CBD
John Zolikoff: Yeah for the CBD for me was you know I’ve been into hemp and cannabis for years and but I had this chronic pain in my shoulders that came like out of nowhere. And and it hurt a lot just to raise a you know, higher than shoulder height. And we went through the traditional medical tests, MRIs and x rays and cortisone shots which you can’t do multiple times, but none of it helped. And then finally the doctors like I don’t understand it, can’t figure it out. And you just have to live with it. Maybe cut back on this or whatever. I tried to–
Chip Baker: But you didn’t cut back in the weed?
John Zolikoff: No, I didn’t [inaudible]. But just smoking the weed didn’t stop–
Chip Baker: Didn’t do it. No, it doesn’t. And that’s the thing is CBD is anti-inflammatory–
John Zolikoff: That was the medicine. And so a friend recommended it. And it was, I think it’s called ACDC. And, you know, within a day it cut the pain in half. And by the end of the week, like it was down to 10% of what it was before. So that was powerful for me personally. So then the —
Chip Baker: A major believer–
John Zolikoff: Exactly. And knowing as the market became more legal, at least enough that I wanted to look into it. And so then I sought out how could I find like the experts and the best– and then I found you, so but, you know, so that was like the next step [inaudible]
Chip Baker: Here’s how John found us as we were in the corner, smoking weed in a circle. So those large smoke cloud coming up between us and John recognize the smoke signal. And, Hey, man, what are you guys doing?
John Zolikoff: That’s exactly how it happened. And I think we played that out a few different times. But then we’re also you know, at that event, there were a number of really knowledgeable and experts in the new market in hemp, CBD and cannabis. I remember some really good advice that you gave, and some of it was, I was like, Okay, well, California is opening up. I would love to have my own.
Chip Baker: You want, you thought you wanted to grow it?
John Zolikoff: I wanted to do a farm. Yeah, exactly. And so you start calling me farmer John, I think was and somehow–
Chip Baker: Farmer John Oh, I said, Oh, John over there. He wants to be a farmer, farmer John.
John Zolikoff: And somehow I just didn’t, you know, I couldn’t see like, you know, I haven’t grown up in the field, right? I don’t have that kind of expertise. So something there– And I remember you also saying that they look at, there’s an opportunity now, but as soon as the big companies come in, it’s going to get, you know, the prices will just get gutted, like, soy and everything else, right. So, that made a lot of sense. And then you said that, the real places to focus on CBD, which is legal, and across the country and to, and to create a brand, you know, to– So, I mean I think two years later here, maybe from that discussion, but it was appreciated, is great advice. And–
Chip Baker: Hey, man, this is a perfect time for us to stop for a break here. We’ll come back and we’re going to talk about like, your next step, you had the idea, and how did you want to do it differently than you had before? All right, here’s The Real Dirt. We’ll be back in a moment.
Hey, this is Chip, I hope you’re enjoying this episode of The Real Dirt. I just wanted to have a little public service announcement out there in these trying times. I just want to encourage everyone to have a little bit more tolerance with people around them, with their family, with their friends, and the people they interact in the world. You know, it’s gotten to be an incredibly small world lately, and we all realize that we’re in it together. So the next time that you feel a little stressed or you see somebody else stress, just take, just take a second. Relax, and if you can, roll up the largest join that you can. And then enjoy another episode of The Real Dirt. Thanks again, we’ll get back into it. Right now.
All right, and we’re back with John Zolikoff. We’re talking about how John has started a CBD energy supplement company. So John, you had this idea and, you know, kind of– Take me to the steps of like, what kind of happened? What was the next thing that happened? You had the idea, and you decided you wanted to make some CBD products.
Pushing through the CBD Industry
John Zolikoff: Yeah. So for sure CBD. So we partnered early on with obviously we were starting with CBD and we searched out the best sources for that. Being able to go all the way back and trace the genetics and make sure that we’re getting full spectrum. So we got all the cannabinoids and so that was the foundation. But then also, for me, it was important I wanted to create supplements that people could really feel like from the beginning and so, the idea from the beginning was also to come up with engineered or formulated products with intentional benefits so, energy was the obvious one and the starting point.
We searched out a group that is like the best in formulating performance supplements. And so, it was a little bit, I think, a different approach than most people. So product development was key. We wanted to include energy ingredients, but also adaptogens, which even now is, even more, I think timely with adaptogens are great at boosting your immunity and fighting stress and in fatigue. So, that was important. So coming up with the right formula was key, then sourcing the full-spectrum CBD then finding even the manufacturer. Our formula is unique it’s a like a liquid, so it’s like a maybe see here it’s got oil in there, so it’s MCT oil plus the CBD, but then it’s got seven other ingredients so there’s Caffeine, Dynamine, which is a Kucha tea leaf extract and gives a nice even energy that just kind of tapers off at the end versus kind of that nervous energy with a crash that a lot you’ll get from energy drinks.
Chip Baker: Oh, hold on. Let me get some coffee.
John Zolikoff: Well, we got you got ZOHKO on the way. I know guys like it but yeah, exactly. So instead of that big, you know rush and kind of, you know jittery effect. This is a nice even the combination of the caffeine and the Dynamine and the hemp just really works nicely. Then so we’ve got lots of B vitamins and Rhodiola which like the Russian astronauts and cosmonauts and athletes have been using forever. Through Ginsengs, Spirulina, MCT Oil and it’s a vegetarian capsule. There are certain things that are really important for me I wanted this to be something that I was going to take. I mean I basically since I got my first samples a year and almost a year and a half ago, I’ve more or less given up coffee. I like the taste but this is just so much easier and I know that I’m getting all these other health ingredients on top of it but for example, vegetarian capsules were important to me being a vegetarian.
So that was a big thing. I designed it for what I was looking for. Making sure people– a lot of people talk about their CBD, that they’re that it makes them tired or drowsy and they can’t take it during the day with [inaudible] You can get your 25 milligrams of CBD in each capsule, and you can go to work and be focused and, you know, the Dynamine–
Chip Baker: I usually take two. Just saying.
John Zolikoff: And that’s why each one has 100 milligrams of caffeine and all these other ingredients, but they’re, it’s the right amount that you can stack it. So that’s the official recommendation is not to exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine of the day. So we say don’t take more than four. But the Dynamine is really a neat ingredient. It’s new on the market, and they promote it. They say, EMF, I think it’s EMMF. So energy, mood, motivation and focus, which right now, like especially we’re all working at home. So how do you keep your head straight while, you got kids and puppies running around? Or if you’re trying to focus and create your new thing, right, it’s great for that. So that’s on the products side and we’re really happy. I mean, you’ve had it people really like it–
Branding ZOHKO Energy
Chip Baker: So you wanted to formulate the product, right? You didn’t want to do a white label product, you wanted something specific for you, you want to stand out. So you got a formulator you had the idea, right? You wanted something different. And how did you approach the brand side? How did you develop because many people don’t even know what a brand is. I guess that’s all up for debate. It’s more than just a logo. How did you approach the next phase?
John Zolikoff: Yeah. So this is what we ended up with, which is so ZOHKO energy, CBD plus energy. I have launched as you mentioned, I’ve started a lot of different companies and I’ve done kind of the branding and always just on my own right. Then just kind of didn’t take a disciplined approach to it, and go through a process and so knowing that the market was going to be so competitive, knowing that looking at the market and really, not to offend anyone, but if you look at the CBD market, there’s just like it all like–
Chip Baker: Charlatans and homespun bullshit and people just want to get rich quick, I’ll say it
John Zolikoff: Yeah, there you go. But no one really looking at it from like a consumer products perspective, right? Like how to really connect with people and like it’s always it’s CBD, the CBD this CBD that, hemp the you know, it’s just like, and even our first idea was like Blue River Hemp. Right? That was that would have been [inaudible] the process that would have been the first that would have been in and then we would have just been competing with every other hemp company to try and be the most trusted or the most whatever. So, we worked with branding for the people, a great group that so we invested first before everything in the brand and that process that we went through, forced us to identify our customers. So it was we came up with three or four avatars, but all around kind of active outdoor adventure type people. And then, you know, you relate to them a little bit differently, like I’m Gen X, I’m 49 right? So I kind of grew up in all this action, extreme sports stuff. But now like I mean–
We invested first before everything in the brand, and that process that we went through forced us to identify our customers. – John Zolikoff
Chip Baker: Now you’re beat up.
John Zolikoff: I’m beat up and I need yeah, lubricate–
Chip Baker: My elbow, my arm, my shoulders–
John Zolikoff: Exactly. But this now gives me– This gives me energy, and it gives my body like the lubrication to go out and charge and do things than I used to, or not at the same level. It is so focusing on who was our target demographic. And for me, it was just kind of like looking. I’m just going to kind of do almost like the Red Bull in a healthy energy, right? And what’s great is like, so you get a bottle of this, it’s 30 servings, right? That’s like 30 energy drinks in your pocket, or 30 double shot, you know, Starbucks double shots like that.
Chip Baker: That’s a month supply.
John Zolikoff: Exactly. And so for me, like, I would always go to like these trade shows or even when I traveled, I’d go buy those little Starbucks double shot four packs. Yeah, totally. I would put those in my– every everywhere I went, I put those in my luggage because that was my best way to just get my caffeine and my energy to go and now I have this solution.
Your Brand is Your Avatar
Chip Baker: Yeah. So you mentioned avatars early, you’ve had a couple of different avatars. Let’s explain to people what that means.
John Zolikoff: So that’s where you sit down and you describe the psychographics and the personality, the activities how people [inaudible]
Chip Baker: Of your perceived customer even.
John Zolikoff: Yep. The media they consume, the places they go just how– so that you can speak specifically to them. What we’re finding is the formula. I mean, there’s so many people that want natural, convenient energy. And so our avatar was actually kind of this young like originally like 18 to 30 year old.
Chip Baker: He’s made one avatar.
John Zolikoff: The first one is that one avatar, so it was pretty, it was a younger one than what we’re finding it to be but so and we called him Travis like Travis Pastrana, if you know action sports, he’s like the original, extreme sports guy. And so you as a group we built out this whole page that describes everything about Travis.
Chip Baker: Who Travis’s what he looks like, what he drives, what he what he does?
John Zolikoff: Yep, we now have like four different avatars. So there’s Travis and you come up with names so that people can relate to a little bit better but so now there’s four. So that was the avatar part then you also wanted to come up with the Archetypes. It’s also like the personality of the company like are you like a National Geographic? Are you like the most trusted you know are you like IBM and so there’s this whole through the process. They give examples of other the personalities of other types of companies. And you pick you decide what you want your– So for me, what was really amazing for this was like, we spent a lot of money invested but it was so refreshing to be able to just like dream up who I really wanted my customer to be, right i mean like this.
Chip Baker: So the importance is this is like if you know what your customer is and what they look like your potential customer what they look like and then you start to imagine what they’re going to be attracted to the colors that they’re going to buy the colors that they’re using, the language the copy the content, the sales letters, all of that comes from this avatar. Alright, how do you speak to Travis? Right? How do you lore Travis to come over the ZOHKO–
John Zolikoff: Yeah. And then you start to build off of that. So the archetypes I mentioned. So ours is you know, kind of fun loving and there’s like adjuster, adventure adjuster, there’s two but so that’s part of the process, but then also, we had to come up with a name right? So like Blue River Hemp and then there was someone had you know, I mentioned earlier that like the CBD, as you get older, kind of lubricate. It helps with all your joints and everything just feels better. So one idea was, you know, Life Loob, which sounds a little bit too looby. But there was this whole process of trying to name storm and then come up with a–
Chip Baker: That’s for a different avatar.
John Zolikoff: Yeah, so Life Loob didn’t make it. So, ZOHKO, it’s funny I have been called ZOHKO. My last name is Zolikoff so not exactly ZOHKO. For 20 years I’ve been using ZOCO, which is kind of short for Zolikoff company for different projects and consulting. My good friend and my son’s godfather who is the director of motorsports for Red Bull, and he’s an investor in ZOHKO, when I was sending them, I think an invoice for something and had that Zoco name on it as he was involved in this name storming process or this naming process and he goes, he goes, Hey, man, and for me, it’s kind of like seemed a bit egotistical, you know, like I just haven’t. I’m not put my name on things kind of, but I love the name. I just love the sound of it.
Chip Baker: Yeah, that was a great name.
John Zolikoff: And so he encouraged that, and so then we had to figure out so ZOCO but then you have to get the domain name right so there’s this whole process and so it shifted to the ZOHKO.
Chip Baker: And that’s the other thing about making up, then the the spelling of it is you got the .com and we can see that and tons of stuff these days. It’s hard to get the .com so if you spell your own word–
John Zolikoff: I mean, ZOCCO was like out of the box– [inaudible]
Chip Baker: [inaudible] Percent. Yeah, of course.
John Zolikoff: When we got ZOHKO–
Chip Baker: I bought The Real Dirt.
John Zolikoff: Yeah, you are The Real Dirt.
Chip Baker: Yeah, totally.
John Zolikoff: That was kind of how those [inaudible]
Chip Baker: I just found out that some of my haters call me The Real Dirtbag, but I believe it’s just because you know, that dude’s a jackass and like, you can’t– probably know who you are.
John Zolikoff: He’s probably more into tea bagging. Anyway–
Chip Baker: Definitely, he’s definitely a Tea bagger, which Hey, man, if you’re in a tea bagging, and I’m not gonna, like, you know, like down you for that, that’s your own sport, whatever you want.
John Zolikoff: That’s also a different avatar.
Chip Baker: Right? It’s a different avatar. I’m not going to judge you over your tea bagging but like, you can’t be an asshole about it when you do it. Right. Totally inappropriate John, let’s get back to branding. So the thing I love about the avatar is now you get to take that avatar to every person that you do business with. So your website guy, your label guy, your packaging guy, you get to go take him Travis avatar be like, Hey, this is our customer.
John Zolikoff: Yeah, so it’s even more than that. So the avatar definition was part of building the brand platform and that’s the whole process. So that’s not only so we we created the avatar– so we were working through a whole process over the course of about six weeks. And it was laid out step by step.
The avatar definition was part of building the brand platform, and that’s the whole process. – John Zolikoff
The avatar was part of it as the name storming and then like one of the main guys, design guys, they came up with a storyboard, after you know, was another step of the process where you know, they came up with images that would help us like narrow zero in on on the logo and things like that. Out of nowhere, the dude came up with a techno zebra so there’s this really cool storyboard that’s got this the zebra with like headphones on and sunglasses and, and somehow that evolved into what we have and but it’s interesting. So Zolikoff is my last name, I always when I spell my name, it’s Z as in zebra, right? Because B and Z and all these other so like It’s just–
Chip Baker: I might spell an axe occasionally but–
John Zolikoff: Yeah, so this is you know it looks really nice on swag I made it. It stands out it doesn’t say hempright it doesn’t say CBD it’s something that people are can really relate to we have a lot that we can do. You know they were very–
Chip Baker: You’re not pigeoned into like a one product, you can do whatever you want and add CBD to it instead of just being pigeon holed into a CBD company.
John Zolikoff: Exactly. CBD is an ingredient, right.
Chip Baker: CBD is a main ingredient.
John Zolikoff: It’s not a whole product or a whole experience. And then the group took you know, as we work through the process, the first thing was to get our labeling because we needed to you know, we had product. We had about dozen different things all you know on parallel timelines–
Chip Baker: You developed your brand story, you developed your avatar, you developed your labeling, your bottling your packaging, like how long did it take in order for you to actually get sellable product. How many months did it take?
John Zolikoff: So we really launched ZOHKO on an island in Croatia, in June of 2018. We had product we had the energy capsules by the end of December.
Chip Baker: June, six months. Okay.
John Zolikoff: And I would say that’s a pretty condensed I mean, I was pushing–
Chip Baker: That’s great. It’s hard for me to get a product in the market and within three or four months like that, I’m struggling to get in through it in four months [inaudible]
John Zolikoff: And for me, it was all new, right? Like, I have I have an engineering like a general engineering degree. So I I’m used to doing projects and business development developers but you know, just the labeling right every step it was like you have to learn a new a whole new set of notes right but you do that all the time–
Chip Baker: Oh man, you know, I mean once you get through a couple products, it’s not the same but it’s definitely something you have to think about in food and supplements those are absolutely different fertilizers but yeah, it’s just you know, huge you know, just rules you have to follow when you put the packaging together. So man–
John Zolikoff: [inaudible] fine with them, you know, we set up warehousing right. So you had to you know, with CBD only so much– fulfillment Yep, exactly.
Chip Baker: So, you contracted out your manufacturing. Well you have your formula, you’ve got your package, you contract out the manufacturing, they put it in your package, and then they send it someplace else to fulfill it.
John Zolikoff: Yes, yeah, exactly. So we have a third party warehouse that we work with ship offers. They’re a great partner in Colorado. But not everyone’s– it’s becoming more easier and open more free now, but not everyone wants to deal with CBD right. So, that was part of part of the step. So fulfillment, right and then selling right so then, you know, website is the most obvious but then and I’ve set up a lot of websites and web shops, and never even really thought us extra time about the processing, processing and banking, as we know is such an issue with CBD, cannabis and hemp. But the last [inaudible] has– I’ve we’ve gone through three or four processors already and not for any good reason they just like decide to shut down. Our first one came in I think it was US Bank decided they were gonna just go into CBD market after and then after four or five months and they were great they’re super low price and funded in a day but then yeah they pulled out and I heard that like it affected like 4500 accounts are something crazy.
Chip Baker: Wow yeah
John Zolikoff: This was like an April last year and like everyone you know, trying to find it at the same time. So I come more from like traditional sales and marketing kind of brick and mortar or motorcycles, bicycles–
Chip Baker: So your sales channels mostly ecommerce or do you distribute to retail locations?
John Zolikoff: So we were doing some retail. Our retail strategy is similar to our demographic right our avatar, so we’re going on after outdoor retailers independent retailers. So fishing, you know [inaudible] all the CBD companies are not right now–
Chip Baker: Sale boarding shop, paragliding shop–
John Zolikoff: Yeah, and that’s where the energy products gonna come in we were actually a 30 count bottle is a big, big commitment to make so we’re actually coming out with three packs and special packaging for that channel and the response has been really, really good so far. So that’s going to be rolling out I don’t want to get too much into– I’m really happy with the packaging. I’ll show you the next time. You’re gonna love them. So that’s the retail is like this, you know, outdoor, you know? So we got e commerce, we’ve got outdoor retailers and then the third that we want to go with these three packs. We think that there really is a mass market for healthy convenient energy. And so that’s where–
Chip Baker: Like 711 market?
John Zolikoff: That convenience store is going head to head with five-hour energy.
Keeping the CBD Business Rolling
Chip Baker: All right, I think I think so too, man. John, long, long the way you wanted to quit I’m sure. Along the way you’re like– man, what kept you going to bring this product fulfillment?
John Zolikoff: The response from the customers is fantastic. Well, I love the product. Everyone around me loves the product. It’s something in the past, my most recent business before was children’s bikes, which was a lot of fun. And it really changed a lot of little kids lives and that was so this evolution from kind of like burning petrol gas for recreation to this more sustainable and healthy to where I really want to help people and CBD you know so we have an expanding line we’re going to have a bomb you know, topical coming out as well. We have plans for more functional blends after the energy but I think energy really is our flagship it’s where we’re hanging our hat but I think this whole that people can make more memories they can do more with their kids they can do you know, they can get their relief and their CBD and still be have energy to get through the day. So that gets me I like I’m organic, you know, vegetarian. I want to be natural and how I treat things. And I just think this is what the world needs more of. And so adaptogens and CBD–
Chip Baker: So you said you had a heart for it man. Did you ever have a down moment? Did you ever have a moment where you didn’t think you’re gonna do this?
John Zolikoff: Yeah, for sure. So the last year has been frustrating because it’s been learning ecommerce, and we’re trying to learn it and build it and fly it and prepare and all that at the same time. And, we are lean, you know, we have a lot of people helping on the project, but I don’t have you know, I’m working, you know, from a home office. So there are a lot of times that you can– yeah, so I guess, just believing and as anyone that brings a product, I mean, you have to have the belief, like it’s already exists right. You just have to know that it’s the right thing and just keep going.
You just have to know that it’s the right thing and just keep going. -John Zolikoff
Where to Find Them
Chip Baker: That’s awesome advice for any business owner. Thank you, man. Hey, John, how do people get in touch with? Get in touch with you? How do people order the product? Are you on Facebook, Instagram?
John Zolikoff: Yep, so zohko.com, and we are on Instagram and Facebook – Zohkoholics. Just search on ZOHKO, you’ll find it.
Chip Baker: Okay.
John Zolikoff: So yeah and the idea was just to help people live their lives more fully, and give them energy to be able to get out and enjoy and now it’s I think it’s a it’s what our bodies need to help you know, CBD helps your body–
Chip Baker: It’s what the body craves.
John Zolikoff: Exactly. I mean it gives it what it’s need to fight whatever is out there, it is what it occurs. Yeah.
Chip Baker: Awesome, John. Well, hey, thanks for joining me today, man. I really enjoyed hearing the birds and talking to you about branding and developing a new product line and new company.
John Zolikoff: Yeah. Well, we’re happy to support you guys. So anytime you need energy anytime the dogs over there need some and yeah, we’ll keep you updated as we get out there. Appreciate the time, always great seeing you. I missed your smiling face.
Chip Baker: Now, man. Well, here it is.
John Zolikoff: It’s beautiful.
Chip Baker: Cool, bro. Thanks again. Hey, this has been another great episode of The Real Dirt. If you enjoyed this episode, please download others at The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. You can also download them on therealdirt.com That’s right. That’s our own website. We have a blog, links to our Facebook page, The Real Dirt podcast as well as our Instagram page, The Real Dirt podcast, please participate. Please tell us how you like this episode, please tell us about the episodes that you’re interested in. And once again, thank you for lending me your time. It’s The Real Dirt!
All right, well, I hope you enjoyed that episode, man. You know, John’s internet reception broke up a little bit. He’s down in Florida, but I loved hearing the birds chirping background and then there at the end the dogs you know so much about the podcast for me, is an audio escape when I listen to it and when I make these things that it is a little bit of escape for me. In these times we all need a little bit of escape and whether it’s a rolling up a large hemp joint or a large ganja joint or a small bong hit, or listening to The Real Dirt like and right now it’s about a great time to do it. So if you haven’t already, please subscribe to The Real Dirt podcast on iTunes. That way, you can catch up to all of our latest released episodes, and you can hear the 70 episodes behind. Also, join us on Facebook and Instagram The Real Dirt podcast and man look for all the special offers and whatnot we got coming in the future. As always, I appreciated your time. I know you’ve got lots more stuff you could do today. But instead, you chose to at least spend a little bit of time with me. So thanks again. You’ve been listening to The Real Dirt with Chip Baker.
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