Jack Benzaquen, founder of Duradry, walks us through his journey in the CPG industry and the lessons he learned along the way that led to his success.
Jack Benzaquen is an 18 years CPG industry veteran and founder of the personal care brand, Duradry, a solution for excessive sweating. Our CEO, and podcast host, Adii Pienaar, chats with Jack about his journey bootstrapping his business while wearing multiple hats, raising funds, and building an effective team.
Jack shares some of the operational best practices that have helped him succeed, including:
- Building a strategy based on extreme branding and product
- Being a step ahead of the CPG industry’s changes
- Having a small, well-compensated team vs. a bigger team that’s fairly paid
- The importance of investing in the development of your team members
Meet Jack Benzaquen
Jack Benzaquen is a serial entrepreneur with more than 18 years of experience in the intersection of the DTC and CPG industries.
Jack is an angel investor, and after two exits in the CPG space, he founded Duradry.
Duradry’s beginnings go back to 2014, when after years of suffering from hyperhidrosis, he decided to do something about it — for himself but also to help everyone struggling with cases of excessive sweating.
As founder and CEO of Duradry, Jack is focused on building a successful and sustainable business — but it’s actually the real-life impact of the product he created what motivates him every day.
Duradry is a brand focused on anti-sweat and odor control personal care products that provide unbeatable all-day protection for men and women.
Highly recommended by dermatologists, Duradry’s hyperhidrosis deodorants cover a need that many people suffer — sweating excessively— which can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing.
With Duradry, you can say goodbye to excessive sweating, so you can stay confident and perform your best all day.
The Checkout episode 39 unpacks:
In today's episode, Adii Pienaar and Jack Benzequen hold a conversation where we uncover the best practices that have led Jack to succeed in a highly competitive space, the CPG/DTC industry. Here are the highlights:
[2:02] – The controversial tweet that got Jack many insults
- Why a newly bootstrapped business owner should be prepared to work Sundays
- Adii says, "I don't believe in work-life balance. There's only life."
[6:34] – Duradry's brand differentiator in a highly competitive space
- Why Jack has gone to the extremes while building Duradry's branding, ingredients, and messaging to ensure better brand perception
- How going to the extremes affects Duradry's pricing strategy
- "When you compare us to the competition, they say…okay, we're going to use this ingredient to fill up the formula because it's super cheap, and we don't care if it's harmful. We do the opposite [at Duradry]. We say, okay, which ingredients can we put in here to drive performance up?"
- Duradry's approach to keeping customers happy during inflation surges
[10:57] – Jack's tips and tricks to lower costs
- The importance of building good relationships with suppliers and how this can impact negotiations
- Communicating your vision to manufacturers is crucial to gain their support and trust
- Cogsy's product planning feature enables you to provide a roadmap to your suppliers and negotiate better rates
[13:38] – Jack's journey raising funds
- Jack was able to raise 275k from a friend who trusted he would succeed
- Why Jack paid himself very little as the founder of the brand
[15:14] – Being resourceful and willing to wear multiple hats as an entrepreneur
- Building new skills to be capable of handling many aspects of the business yourself
- The one business activity that Jack would not delegate is marketing
[18:32] – Jack's passion for marketing
- "From reading the data optimizing funnels to AB testing, it's really interesting. From like an eagle view, [you can] look at the whole thing and say…okay, let me tweak this thing…okay, so If I click this, the rate goes up by 10%, and then let me tweak here…and so I'm very passionate about that."
[24:55] – Why it's important to invest in your team's development
- "What happens if you invest all this money in them, and then they leave? And the flip was…what happens if you don't invest in them? And they don't leave."
- "I think that we as operators are afraid of the paralysis of replacing someone that's key to the business."
- Jack's preference is to have a small and very well-paid team rather than a large team that is fairly compensated
- "I think the teams that can be proactive, agile, flexible, and adaptable to change will be better off and will be more resilient, [The will] Probably have an opportunity to be more profitable, more sustainable, more successful in the medium term."
[32:17] – The CPG sector is experiencing fundamental changes
- People are now able to do product development permissionless
- People's new interest in sustainability and quality is changing the industry as a whole
[34:00] – Jack's perspective on what it takes to be successful in the CPG world
- "I think you have to be great at branding because there's so much out there now that your product needs to pop. It needs to look great. It needs to be sexy."