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227: How Supply Went from Startup to Shark Tank

Posted by Austin Brawner on November 26, 2019


While it may only take a great idea to start a business, it takes a heck of a lot of hard work to build a successful one.

Five years ago Patrick Coddou was unhappily working at his corporate job when he had an idea, spurred by personal passion and necessity.

That idea eventually got off the ground with two successful Kickstarters, and recently landed Patrick and his wife and co-founder, Jessica, on Shark Tank, where they got backing from Robert Herjavec.

This idea, which has now grown into a multi-million dollar company, is Supply, a men’s shaving and grooming company.

Today Patrick joins us to give an inside look at what makes Supply successful today, and the challenges he faces as he continues to grow his business.


Episode Highlights

  • 5:39 Introducing Patrick and how he started Supply.
  • 7:21 The pivotal role of Kickstarter in Supply’s launch and success.
  • 9:19 Where the idea for Supply came from and the challenge of creating good products.
  • 13:53 Why Patrick wants to grow as quickly as possible with as little outside funding as possible, and the metrics he looks at to track his success.
  • 18:59 What Patrick plans to focus on in 2020 as he further diversifies his marketing channels.
  • 22:26 As Supply is starting to expand internationally, here are some of the considerations and challenges Patrick is facing.
  • 25:48 Why Supply is so appealing in the international market, and how Patrick uses customer service to clarify his value proposition and support customers.
  • 29:57 The post-purchase survey questions that help with Supply’s customer retention and satisfaction.
  • 34:39 Things Patrick’s done in the last year that have had the biggest impact on his personal and professional life.
  • 38:48 The truth about entrepreneurial life that Patrick wants everyone to know.

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Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome to another episode of The Ecommerce Influence Podcast. My name's Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I'm Andrew Foxwell. Man, I am really excited about this episode today. One of my Twitter favorites that we have coming on this show today.

Austin Brawner: Yeah. Great, great Twitter, I'm going to say personality, because what is Twitter but a collection of people portraying a specific personality. But it's something that I really like, and I agree, this is our guest today is a fantastic provider of just kind of a realism in a space that can be crowded with charlatans.

Andrew Foxwell: Totally. Also, I really like the word charlatans.

Austin Brawner: I do like that as well.

Andrew Foxwell: I feel like what he said in the interview, he actually alluded to the fact that he really felt like on Twitter he in this year kind of put more time into it and started to understand that there's a lot of really interesting learnings and a lot of good things that he can learn from being there. And I think as a store owner, many times just like being an agency or a standalone consultant, you find yourself asking, "Am I insane? Am I crazy here?" And he has really done a great job of opening up to different people and showing, this is what it's like running a store, these are the challenges that I have in running a store, these are the highs and the lows, and this is what it's like. I feel like anytime you can triangulate that information and make it really, it makes it just so much more valuable for all of us, which is why I'm so excited for today's episode.

Austin Brawner: Yeah. That's why it attracted us to bringing him on because that's, again, when you and I sit down, we're always like, "How do we make this podcast a little bit more real about what's actually happening, what's going on?" So really happy to bring Patrick on the show.

Patrick is the founder of Supply, and Supply is a really interesting new kind of redesign of the men's razor. Patrick's got a great story about how he kind of came up with the idea, invented the product, launched it. We're going to go into all of that today and talk a little bit about what it's like to run a business and have it grow. And also, very recently, just think about a week before this episode went out. Not sure whenever you're listening to this. He also went on Shark Tank. So you can go check that out as well on their website.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. Dove into the Tank. So without further ado, let's go ahead and welcome Patrick to the show.

Patrick Coddou: Thank you. Thanks for having me. It's really an honor to be here.

Andrew Foxwell: Oh, man. Well, I feel like we have followed along on your journey for a little while, and I've certainly become familiar with your Twitter antics. I believe you're the originator of the #DTC humor. I mean, I feel like that's something you're uniquely positioned to do.

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. In all fairness, you originated it. I'm just your humble servant in that realm.

Andrew Foxwell: Why don't we turn this into a 30-minute back-patting on everybody here? I just want you to know, you're doing a great job. Austin, you're doing a great job. Let's kind of start there.

But for those that actually don't know you, Patrick, and don't know Supply, would you mind giving a little bit of background on who you are and what Supply Razor Company is?

Patrick Coddou: Sure. So Patrick Coddou's my name. I started Supply, which is a men's shaving and grooming company. We launched back in 2015. We launched on Kickstarter. Had some pretty humble beginnings. My company, we were kind of a side hustle for the first couple of years.

My background prior to starting this company, I spent about eight and a half years in the aerospace industry. I worked on military stealth fighter aircraft and just kind of got tired of that and was looking for a way out. And this was one of the ideas I had at the time that I was super passionate about.

We launched it, and just kind of slowly grew it. Nights and weekends for a couple years until... And when I say we, I mean my co-founder, who's my wife, Jennifer. And we just kind of grew it to a point where finally I could leave my job, and then a year later, she left her job. And here we are a little over four years later.

We got a small but mighty team. There's four of us here in Fort Worth, Texas. Growing quickly and doing our best to bootstrap our way to a large company that we're proud of.

Andrew Foxwell: Very cool.

Austin Brawner: You had some initial traction. I mean, you kind of blew the doors off, it seems twice, off Kickstarter. Can you give us kind of a breakdown on you've gone... Have you done two Kickstarters at this point? How has Kickstarter played a role in you guy's launch and success?

Patrick Coddou: Sure. Yeah, I'll give you the real kind of high level. And if you want to dive deep on any of it, we can. But, I mean, Kickstarter, we would not exist without Kickstarter. It played a very, very pivotal role in our early days.

We launched our company on Kickstarter to essentially no audience other than our friends and family. We raised $80,000. That campaign was just a lot of hustle and some luck. We got covered by some great press outlets that helped us kind of propel to $80,000.

So that first campaign was our raiser, which is our primary flagship product. It's a single blade razor. It gives a close, smooth shave but without the irritation and ingrown hairs that multi-blade razors give.

So we launched that, and then about a year and a half later, we launched version two of the razor again on Kickstarter. And that one raised I think it was about $300,000 between Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

That was a whole different beast. It was tons of hustle, but it was also backed up, quite frankly, by a lot of really effective paid advertising. So that's what we did I guess, gosh, that was probably three years ago now.

And then we launched one smaller campaign after that. I don't remember what we raised. It wasn't anything impressive. $20- or $30,000 for this Dopp kit that I'm really proud of. And unless we have any just outrageously kind of earth-shattering industry destroying products in the future, I don't know that we'll ever, quite frankly, do Kickstarter again for this company. Not because we don't like it, I just don't think it's a good fit for us. But that's kind of our quick background with Kickstarter.

Andrew Foxwell: From right out of the gates, you have a background obviously in aviation, as you said at the beginning, and design. And you've designed and manufactured and sourced all your own products. Can you talk more about this?

How you came up with the design, how you felt like there was an opportunity? I mean, here's the reason I ask the question is my brain goes to when I hear... When I first heard about the company, I was like, that seems like an interesting product to bet the farm on. It's like, I don't know. Clearly I didn't see the opportunity as you did because obviously you have a growing company. So how did you think about not only designing the product but kind of the whole journey of seeing it into fruition?

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. So I'm not going to sit here and try to fool your audience. I'm not some genius that saw this huge market opportunity. I just had a personal passion and an issue that I dealt with that I wanted to try to turn into something. As an engineer by background, I thought I could fix it.

So my personal problems, I've never been able to shave with multi-blade razors. They give me irritation, ingrown hairs. It's been about probably seven or eight years since I've touched one. And the reason last time I did shave with them, I actually started a website with my college best friend, and it was called And literally all we did was review blog and review razors through that website and sold it. And then it turned into what we have today.

So it's really been born out of personal frustration more than I'm just this huge genius that saw this huge opportunity. But more directly to your question, quite frankly, supply chain, product development has been the hardest thing I've done from day one until today.

I spent all day today with my chemists trying to nail some of our next products that we're rolling out. And we're all really smart people. But we don't get it on the first try or the second try or, quite honestly, even on the 10th try.

So people look at what we built and our product line, and they think, "You're like this huge genius that can just make these products in their sleep." And, man, it is a beating, and it is a slog to make amazing products. But it is really, really worth it because it shows. Because everybody else is making crappy products. Anybody can to go Alibaba and resell that junk. It's only the top percent of people that really care about their products to put the time in to make it work.

Austin Brawner: 100%, man. It's very interesting because the competition... In many ways, competition has increased, but I feel like at the same time because there's also more opportunity than ever, the companies that put together the best products and really have something that people want are rewarded so much more.

It's interesting to see because when people talk about how it's harder to do things than ever before, well it's just that you need to have better products and more of the pie is diverted to the people who are at the top.

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. It's easy to sit around a podcast and talk about you got to have better products, but,

Austin Brawner: It's hard.

Patrick Coddou: I mean, it's putting one foot in front of another every morning and dragging yourself to the email because you're chatting with your manufacturer overseas. I'm going to see my manufacturer in Asia next week. I'm constantly working on product development because it is a strategic imperative for us not to just have kind of average products because all those dropshipping guys, everybody just selling 'me too' products. I'm convinced they're not going to be around much longer.

Austin Brawner: And you're in a competitive spot. You're in a very competitive industry with massive players, like Gillette been around for a long time.

There's a lot of companies out there that even in your own space have taken a lot of outside funding to grow. At your rate, you've been very transparent about taking the opposite route, bootstrap to build your business.

What are some of the, I don't know, metrics or numbers that you look at on a consistent basis as you are building a business that is profitable and you know that all of the money that you've got comes out in profit you can use to create new products, is there anything that you're kind of thinking about on a day to day basis that you kind of check-in with on your numbers.

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. Tons of stuff. So quick caveat, I believe there are dozens of different ways to build a successful company. But I'm also really opinionated about what I believe is the best way to build my company successfully, and I also happen to think it's the way a lot of people should be building their businesses.

So we've taken no outside investment to date. That may change slightly in the future. We're open to small angel investments, but my goal is to build as quickly as possible and as large as possible with as little outside funding as possible.

And so my philosophy is I want to push on growth as hard as possible while maintaining roughly kind of break-even bottom-line net profit for the next few years. I'd like to get to higher profitability in the future, but right now I'm focused on kind of break-even growth.

So last year we did about $1 million in sales. This year we'll do somewhere between $2 and $3 million, hopefully on the higher end, depending on how Q4 goes. So we're growing 2-3 X a year, and kind of slightly profitable. To me, that's good. To somebody else, it may not be. But that's what I'm shooting for.

And the numbers I'm constantly checking in on, and this is not going to be magic advice to people who have been in business as long as I have. But if I had to go back and change on thing four or five years ago and hit myself upside the head with a bat, it would be to focus more on gross margins.

When I say gross margins, I mean every single dollar it takes to get my product to my customer. So that's the cost of the product, that's the cost of freight to me, that's the cost of warehousing, that's the cost of shipping, that's the cost of returns. Everything that it takes to get to my customer, I want to squeeze every single percentage point out of that number that I can.

And that's a different mindset than it was when I first started where it was like, "I'll charge three or four X what I'm making this product for, and the rest will figure itself out." Well, I didn't realize what it cost to ship stuff overseas via air freight, which is what we have to do a lot because we're constantly behind. Or how expensive it is... All of my packages average $8-$10 to ship to a customer. So I won't belabor the point, but gross margin is something I'm working on. It's like Whack A Mole. Every single day I'm trying to hit down on my gross margin costs.

So I pay attention to that, and then I pay attention to ad spend. We lean real heavily on our ad spend. If I can get $2-$3 out of $1 that I put in, I'll do that all day, every day until I can't do it anymore. So I'm constantly every day in my ad account.

I've got an awesome agency that works for me that runs my ads, and I trust them. But we're constantly evaluating how we're doing on that regard and not putting all our eggs into that one kind of paid acquisition channel, which quite frankly we're pushing maybe, probably a little too hard on that right now, to be honest. So we have plans to kind of move away from Facebook in 2020 as much as we can.

Andrew Foxwell: I want to follow up on that, of course, but I do want to talk about gross margin. And I think there's a reason that Austin changed the name of his intensives to Profit Summits because of that reason. Right? It's like Austin, I mean, you and I have talked about that a ton that it's a number that people just haven't paid attention to as much. And I think in the... I'm going to sound like a D2C geezer here, but back in the day of the 14s, 15s, 16s on Facebook it was a feast. And everybody was doing what they can to grow, and I don't think paying attention to the numbers was as much of an issue because you just is like, "Ah, this is going to work. And we'll just kind of keep cranking it up."

Austin Brawner: It was still a lot cheaper.

Andrew Foxwell: It was still a lot cheaper. Oh, absolutely.

Patrick Coddou: It was like that was the arbitrage opportunity was just being on Facebook was the arbitrage opportunity. Where it's not anymore.

Andrew Foxwell: Right. Right. And I think that that's really, really awesome to hear you say that, and I think it's good for other people to hear too.

To followup on your question of moving away from Facebook and Instagram and being conscious of that, what other things are you thinking about adding to your marketing mix as we kind of go into next year and thinking about the things you need to do? I mean, obviously you're doing a lot of Klayvio, which we can talk about, which is awesome. You're doing a lot with other marketing channels. I mean, what else are you doing there to kind of get that engine going?

Patrick Coddou: So I won't belabor the whole tax are rising and retention is the new whatever, all that stuff that's always being talked about. I agree with all of it. I won't belabor the point. But I'll say a few things.

One is the sky is not falling. Our CPMs and our CPCs, aside from September, which was horrendous for us, which I'm happy to talk about because I don't know what happened in September. But our CPMs and our CPCs are frankly the lowest they've ever been. Part of that is due to we're targeting a lot more international traffic, and I'm happy to talk about that. But bottom line is the sky is not falling, at least for a company my size. I can't speak to $50-$100 million companies.

So we're going to continue to push hard on Facebook, but the last thing I want to do is be dependent on Facebook alone. So we're spending a lot, a lot, a lot more time thinking about retention. Not to sound trite because that's kind of what everybody's talking about. But we were launching like a member's program hopefully in the next kind of two-ish months to hopefully retain our customers better than we've been doing. We got some really great incentives we're excited about in that regard.

But in terms of marketing mix beyond that, I'm really excited about some of the early tests we've done on YouTube. I think if you do YouTube right with the right product... I'll say that the tests we've done on YouTube, we've never seen such amazing numbers as we've seen on YouTube. So I don't know if that's a long-term, sustainable thing for us. But we're going to really try hard to find out. So that's one strategy.

But then like I mentioned earlier, we're really, really pushing harder on international, trying to figure out... It's a hard game to play just from the logistics perspective, shipping costs and customs and just the nightmare it is to service international customers.

But our CPCs internationally are 4X lower than domestically, and we have some of our most fanatic customers are overseas. So that's what we're going to be pushing on a lot, and then just doing everything we can to continue to build our organic audience, continue to build our community, and try to build some press into what's coming up in Q4. We got some exciting things planned for Q4.

Austin Brawner: Just to dive into the international side, are you going to build a international website? Do you drive all your traffic to your current website? Just a kind of a quick flash question there. So how are you thinking about that?

Patrick Coddou: I'm, quite frankly, not the smartest guy to talk about this. Because we're literally trying to figure this out right now because we've never done international targeting. I've always just kind of through it's not worth the hassle. It probably won't perform well. And we just started testing it in May, and it just blew up overnight. I can't remember exactly but it's probably half of our ad spend right now is international.

So we're like trying to keep up, and so I'll tell you some of the challenges we're having. Conversion rate is super low on international, and there are some reasons for that. Number one, we don't have currency for international customers. So we're launching that soon. Shopify just enabled a lot of kind of built in currency. So you don't have to use an external app. So we're launching that in a few weeks.

We're trying to launch better support tools for international customers to help them understand where we ship, how long it takes. We're trying to reduce our international shipping costs. So we're onboarding with Shopify Fulfillment Network actually in two days, and we've been able to get our shipping costs down dramatically by using them for international rates.

And then just trying to get better with our customer service for international because it really, really is a nightmare. So I'll give you perfect example. I didn't know this until a couple weeks ago. Brazil charges 200% import tax. It's outrageous. We're getting emails from customers in Brazil. They're like, "I'm not paying that." And I'm like, "I don't really blame you, brother."

So, I got to either destroy that package or pay $100 to have it shipped back to me. Okay. So we're not shipping to Brazil anymore. There's other kind of things that you just kind of pick up along the way. Maybe one day we'll be big enough to have a European distribution center and maybe an international website. But at the size we are now.

Austin Brawner: Sure.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I mean, I think another thing too is that Americans and shaving, it's something that happens. But Europeans and the clean look with young men is a... Literally, every person at this conference I went to in Germany in May, looked better than I did by a wide margin.

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. We got a skincare line coming out that can help you out with your skin and all that. But you're right. I mean, and the other thing for us is the value proposition for our product as a single blade razor, we don't have to explain it to people overseas.

Here in America, we've been hammered with the more blades is better mantra for the past 30 years thanks to Gillette. And I got a wake up call, it's not true. We're the only ones that believe that. And for some guys, yeah, it's a great product, six blades. But for a lot of guys, it's not, and we don't have to... People get it. In India, that's one of our biggest markets. They don't use multi-blade razors there. So I don't have to explain the value proposition to them. They get it immediately. In the Middle East, UAE, all those places, they get it.

Austin Brawner: That's really funny, yeah. The Gillette... Was it Saturday Night Live or something, Mach 11.

Andrew Foxwell: The Mach 13. Yeah. Or whatever.

Patrick Coddou: The first blade scares the hair, and the second blade...

Austin Brawner: Yeah. It's interesting. So you mentioned that some of your overseas customers are your most fanatical customers. What is it specifically about your product that people are so obsessed with because obviously there's been single blade razors before, and what do you... Is there anything you do on the customer service side to support the people that are the fanatics?

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. I'm trying my hardest not to make this the commercial for our company. But going back to, they get the value proposition already. So they already understand it as soon as they see it in their Instagram feed. So they go to our website, they're excited to buy it already. They don't need to be convinced. They're not skeptics.

All the trolls I get on my Facebook ads, I mean, it's a daily occurrence that I get trolled by tons of people. They're all Americans, and it's typically either, "Real men don't shave," or, "One blade, that's stupid." So those are always Americans.

So they get it upfront, but then we're really fanatical about our customer service, and it's easy to say that. But there's a few ways we make that clear, and it's mostly through communication with our customers. So we're to a point to where it's annoying, we're checking in with our customers, and we're asking for feedback.

So one of my huge, huge things is I want to get ahead of any problems. So I'm sending people emails, "How's your order?" Before I know they've really even had a chance to learn how to use the produce because, frankly, there's like a two to three, sometimes even up to five day learning curve with our product if you're coming over from multi-blade razors, and I want catch you right in the middle of that learning curve if there's any problems. Instead of the alternative approach would be I just hope I never hear from them again. If they have a problem, maybe they'll forget about me and not want to return it.

I'm the other way. I want to know if there's a problem, and if it means you got to return my product, no big deal. I want you to be happy. If that means you return, that's cool. But I'd rather catch you and help you out. So we've built in email flows into Klayvio.

We're launching... We're still working on it, but we designed this whole robot, kind of chatbot to kind of mimic our troubleshooting process into a chatbot that can help people if they're having trouble with their shaving. We'll set up phone calls. We'll set up video calls. We'll set up chats. Anything I got to do to make a customer happy. My customer service guys know I don't care what it costs if it makes a customer happy, do it. If it loses me money, I don't care. And our customers, they pick up on that.

Again, going back to being the top 5% of merchants out there. 95% of merchants out there are drop shippers or just selling crap that they just want to make a buck. They don't care your experience with the product, and it's not rocket science. If you show a customer you care and you work hard to make them love your products and love your company and love your story. They notice. It's not hard to make customers feel amazing because nobody's doing it. 

Andrew Foxwell: Somebody asked me the other day of the D2C companies that you see that are being successful, what are they doing differently? And my first answer was at a minimum, they care. It's exactly what you just said. And you who doesn't just care but you... And you're solving a need, totally. But at a minimum, you care and you care a ton, which is huge.

One thing as it relates to this customer kind of satisfaction and retention. You had a Twitter thread that talked about the survey post-purchase for customers. And you said the idea was basically to customize the email flows to better serve the customers and to learn more about these people that buy from you.

Can you talk about this experience, really tactically, where it lives? How you've set it up in Klayvio, and then what the outcome of this has been?

Patrick Coddou: Yeah. So again none of this is rocket science. It just requires some thoughtful thinking and then just some simple execution. So what we do, and I'll kind of frame, set the context.

The question I ask people often when it comes to this example is, "if you knew one thing about your customer, what would you want to know and how would it change how you talk to them?" And for us, that's a really simple answer to that question. And the answer is, and it's real specific to us, and the answer is, I need to know what they're switching to us from because then it helps me onboard them to my brand better.

So this goes back to there's a learning curve with our product, and if you're coming over from the six-blade nonsense, you have to kind of change your technique a little bit. And it's nothing crazy. You just need to pay attention to a few certain points. So I want to know if you're coming over from a six-blade so that I can send you the right flows in my email to help you understand the things that you need to know to learn how to use our product.

So that's what I do. I ask people on the post, there's a Shopify kind of post-checkout page. Everybody knows the page. It's, "Thanks for your order. We're getting it boxed up now." Blah, blah, blah. "Here's what you ordered."

On that page, I've embedded a Klayvio form. You can do this with any form. You go into the Shopify checkout settings, there's a little box for add your additional code here. It's real simple. You generate the code for whatever form you're using. For ours it's a Klayvio form and you generate the embed code. Pop that script right in there, and boom, it automatically shows up. It's the very first thing people see when they go to your Shopify checkout page. If you want an example, go buy something from me. Spend at least $150. That was not planned, but go do it.

Anyways, it's real simple. It says, "Hey, thanks for your order. We'd love to send you some emails to help you learn how to use our products. Here's a couple questions. Sign up for our emails."

And the questions are, one, how many times a week do you shave, and two, what razor have you used before ours. And that gets saved as a property profile to that customer's Klayvio profile. And so now I know that forever and ever what they used to use and how many times they shave. So I can send them reminders. "Oh, hey." Based on how many times they shave a week, "Oh, it's time to reorder blades."

And then I can put them in a specific... We have customer onboarding flows when they make our... 95% of the time, they're buying a razor or a razor plus accessories as their first product. So I've got my flow setup, and then I can talk to them in certain ways based on what I know about them through that form.

So it's super, super simple. Like I said, it's not rocket science. It just takes thinking and execution to speak to your customers in a way that is helpful to them. That's how I view email. I don't want to spam people. I want to give people stuff.

Austin Brawner: Although your Twitter bio does say, "Spam me at Patrick..."

Andrew Foxwell: Would you like to comment on that?

Patrick Coddou: I mean-

Austin Brawner: You won't spam back.

Patrick Coddou: I may or may not answer. I don't want to spam back. You can spam me. I'm happy to be spammed. Doesn't mean I'll answer. I do get a lot of spam, and sometimes I answer. But sometimes... I'm just calling it what it is. They're going to spam me anyways if I leave my email address. Might as well just call it.

Austin Brawner: I know, man. I got to get it out of my LinkedIn. I had it there for a while and just get hammered by just random. I mean, recently it's been a combination of always add this link. Can I pay you for this link to your website, and all those lovely things.

So as the business' grown, you're obviously growing quickly now. You've moved from a position where you're kind of getting started to keeping the train moving to a certain extent. When you look back at this last year, maybe even from the beginning of the year until now, what are a couple of things that you've done last year that have had the most impact for the business?

Patrick Coddou: I don't know if it's impact for the business, but-

Austin Brawner: Or for yourself. Honestly, it could be either one because, again, they're so tied. 

Patrick Coddou: So I'll do one for me and one for the business, and I'm almost embarrassed to say this. I don't know why. Maybe because I'm not really big on social media. But we've joked about Twitter. But joining Twitter and learning how great Twitter is. I used to think Twitter was nonsense. But this spring, I started to really realize the value in... There's these amazingly smart people sharing all of their secrets in a real-time stream of consciousness kind of way.

And knowledge is real easy to access through podcasts and through articles today. But you can tweet at these people, and a lot of times they'll respond to you. So I've been able to build relationships and friendships on Twitter just having fun. I feel like there's a lot of people that take themselves a little too seriously or try to kind of project this persona or build this brand. And I have opinions, and I like sharing them. But I also like to have fun. If we're not having fun, what are we doing all this for at the end of the day. So that's kind of answer one. I've had a lot of fun on Twitter this year.

But the other thing, and I had a friend share this same insight with me, and I resonated deeply with it. Again, not rocket science. But I'll tell you from my experience, we launched a brand new website last year, brand new photography, beautiful... We kind of did a whole... I won't call it a rebrand but like a refresh. We really upgraded everything, our creative, our website, our copy, everything to where it's not a day goes by where somebody goes, "Oh, wow. This is a beautiful website." "Oh wow, that product. I mean, that's an amazing product."

I mean, it seems so simple, but I can tell you from experience the inflection in the way our brand has been viewed and how seriously people take our brands. And obviously our conversion rates too. But it's more than just conversion rates. It's just brand perception. Just based on investing, really just doubling down and spending the money on investing in creative and not being happy with it. We're actually relaunching it again in less than a month, and reinvesting in even better creative.

I talked to another founder of an awesome brand called Boie USA. It's like a toothbrush brand. He said the exact same thing. He said, "When we refreshed our website, man, that's when things changed for us." And I won't say that's when things hockey sticked for us. But there's definitely a correlation between the persona that your brand displays and how successful people think you are.

People think I'm too successful. I get pitches from enterprise software, and I'm like... I'll say this sometimes. I'll be like, "You realize we're four people. You're pitching the wrong person."

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah. I'd love to sit through a webinar to talk about enterprise with you.

Patrick Coddou: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Those are the two things for me.

Andrew Foxwell: One thing that Austin and I've joked about, but I'm really curious of your take on is I think it'd be funny to sometimes have a podcast segment called Rantz with a Z where you're just ranting about things. Because in our space, in the digital advertising space... Well, for me digital advertising space and in ecommerce generally, there is because of the ease of getting it going, as you said, that 95%... There's a lot of just stuff that you roll your eyes at.

Patrick Coddou: Nonsense.

Andrew Foxwell: If there are things... You're also somebody that really follows along in a lot of the dialogue. If there is one thing that you want to say and get out there that you feel like isn't talked about enough or is talked about too much that actually doesn't do that much for you, what would that be?

Patrick Coddou: What I'm really passionate about is... So I came from a corporate background. I was miserable. I was borderline depressed. I hated my job. I hated myself, to be quite honest. This business I've built has given me freedom and joy. I mean, there's a lot of anxiety still. I ride the entrepreneurial rollercoaster. But I love the freedom and the joy that this business has given me. And I want other people to experience that as much as I have and as much as they want to.

What really grinds my gears is all the people out there that are conning people into believing something about launching companies that aren't true. And I want people to launch companies, and I want people to leave their corporate jobs and experience the things I've experienced. But if you listen to those... I'm going to try to keep this PG. Those gurus that are promising you how you can get 10X return on your ad spends and posting screenshots of that 10X return, "I'm going to make you a millionaire in less than a year."

I mean, maybe I'm doing something wrong. But that's not my story. I'll tell you what. Me and my wife quit our jobs, and we've been full-time. I've been two plus years, she's been a year and a half. Our household income is 25% of what it was when we had corporate jobs. I mean, I work twice as much. I make a lot less money, but I wouldn't trade it. Man, I love what I do.

I want people to know that it's a grind and it's a challenge. We're all going through... Hopefully you're being successful. We're growing and awesome things are happening. I'm super excited for what's coming. But it's not like a walk in the park. You're not going to turn on some ads and be a millionaire tomorrow.

So sorry if I'm getting on a soapbox, but that's kind of my rant is whenever people are just kind of spouting nonsense and clearly don't know what they're talking about or just trying to kind of sell their brand or whatever, that's when I really kind of go off the rails or get upset. That's my personal pet peeve.

Austin Brawner: When you go on a rant with a Z.

Patrick Coddou: I don't know. Does that make any sense? I don't know.

Austin Brawner: It does. It does make sense, man, because it's very common. I mean, even if it was true and people were like making insane amounts of money from just turning on Facebook ads. Anytime you have an opportunity like that, it goes away just as quick as it comes, which is so interesting about it.

But yeah, there's no question. It's interesting because I've reduced my filter bubble from that intentionally over the last, I don't know, couple years. Because I'm like, this isn't positive. It's funny when you're mentioning the things that are really big breakthrough for you over the last year, you almost never hear more social media. Most of the time it's the opposite. But if you can curate a group of people that are supportive, positive, sharing interesting things, then you can create your own filter bubble of things that compound positively. And that's really, really powerful.

Patrick Coddou: I went from probably 20 podcasts I listen to to make like three or four. You guys are on that list, and I'm honored to be here on this show. So you guys don't fit that description at all of what I was just talking about. Let that be clear. You guys are part of the light, of spreading real, in-depth knowledge and behind the scenes what it takes to build a company like what I'm trying to build. So don't mean to pat you guys on the back, but thank you for what you've done to help me along my journey. It has not been a small thing at all.

Austin Brawner: I appreciate that a lot. Appreciate that a lot.

Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, man. Definitely. Definitely. Well, Patrick, thank you so much for joining us today. If people have questions and want to get ahold of you, what's the best way to do that?

Patrick Coddou: They can spam me at Patrick@-

Andrew Foxwell: I was hoping that was where you were headed.

Patrick Coddou: They can find me on what I now know is a bad Twitter handle that you guys just educated me on as well. So my Twitter handle is @SoundsLikeCanoe. Like C-A-N-O-E, like not a kayak but a canoe. Because my last name is Coddou, and it sounds like canoe. But you guys opened my eyes to fact that Twitter handle means your name actually is canoe. It actually sounds like canoe instead of what I intended, which was like rhymes with canoe. But now it's too late. I can't change it. I'm stuck with it forever.

Austin Brawner: No. I mean, I kind of like it. I just thought that your... My mind was blown that somebody could spell canoe with two D's. I was like that's really interesting.

Patrick Coddou: It's too late now.

Austin Brawner: Yeah. Well, thanks so much for joining us, man. It was really, really awesome show. And appreciate it. And we will talk to you soon.

Patrick Coddou: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.

Austin Brawner: It's Austin again, and I have a quick message for you. If you enjoyed this podcast, I have something really exciting for you. For the last year and a half, I've been coaching eCommerce business owners and marketers inside a group called the Coalition. You might even have heard me talking about it on this podcast. We have a lot of members who come on and actually share their story.

Now what launched as an experiment has become a game-changer for our over 150 members. If you like me and my team of expert marketers and eCommerce operators to coach you on your journey to scale up your eCommerce business, this is your opportunity. You can head over to to learn more. Again, head over to to learn more.

Everything we talk about on this podcast, we go into way more depth with actionable training. You can actually get one-on-one help from me to help you grow your business. Hope to see you guys inside.

Austin Brawner: What's up everybody? Welcome to another episode of The Ecommerce Influence Podcast. My name's Austin Brawner.

Andrew Foxwell: And I'm Andrew Foxwell. Man, I am really excited about this episode today. One of my Twitter favorites that we have coming on this show today.


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