How to fuel your business through what, and who, inspires you most
Nicholas Greeninger, Founder and CEO of Tolago Hard Seltzer, a socially conscious, environmentally aware, vegan entrant into a crowded market, which is listening to consumers and pushing this very hot category in the right direction joins Enterprise Radio.
- What led you to the beverage industry and then encouraged you to create Tolago?
- What makes Tolago different from other hard seltzers?
- As a small, independent brand, how are you going to compete with the likes of Corona and Seagram’s, both of which also launched hard seltzers this year?
- What are your goals for the brand in the next five years and what are some steps you are working towards?
- What advice can you share with others who may want to start their own CPG brand?
Summary: What we can learn from Nick’s story is the invaluable lesson of building with genuine intention: in this case, Nick created a brand – and more importantly, united and is uniting a tribe – that is environmentally responsible and socially conscious. There is a fun aspect, too! Nick’s personal passion for surfing, healthy lifestyle, and broad and deep roots in California, lead him to found an environmentally conscious and socially aware brand. We can also learn about David vs. Goliath! The smaller, more nimble, and personal aspects of start-up businesses are their strengths. Money can’t buy these attributes, and they are what most commonly allow paradigm shifts. Lastly, it is a lesson in humility: Nick does not even like the title CEO; rather, he is the glue behind the brand’s highly talented collective.
With more than 14 years’ experience in branding, marketing, content creation, and storytelling under his belt, in 2020 Nick Greeninger made the move to create Tolago Hard Seltzer and its collective of like-minded artists, musicians, athletes, and creative entrepreneurs.
Greeninger received his Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications & Business from San Diego State University-California State University. An internship at Rip Curl USA starting in 2005 lead to his first job as the Rip Curl Team & Promotions Manager upon graduating in 2008.
Greeninger then spent 5 years as the Sports Marketing Manager at Rip Curl during the largest North American growth stage in the company’s 40-year history. After Rip Curl, he worked with high-profile athletes as a Business Manager for Crush Sports. During this time, he also raised funds and worked with the founders of Saint Archer Brewing Company during its 2011 launch, which lead to Greeninger being appointed its Director of Marketing. The company was purchased by MillerCoors in 2015 for an estimated $35 million. Following that, Greeninger spent 2 years shepherding start-up companies to thriving businesses, including Villager Goods, Little Villager Organic Juices, Grapes Consumer Electronics, and Towne Park Brewery, among others.
Most recently, Greeninger had been tapped to lead the marketing for FutureProof, in particular its lead product BeatBox Party Punch, specifically for his ability to develop, launch, and quickly grow authentic brands geared toward millennial consumers. Greeninger facilitated influencer endorsements across his broad network of extreme athletes and modern musicians, as well as negotiated highly successful sales deals with leading music festivals such as Rolling Loud, Imagine Music Festival, and Breakaway, among others. During Greeninger’s tenure, BeatBox’s distribution footprint grew to 22 states and more than 10,000 retailers – including but not limited to 7-11, Circle K, and Sheetz, among others.
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