How to register a brand on Amazon and how to how to build a story brand?
We’ve talked with Seth Kniep – the co-founder and CEO at Just One Dime how to design a new product on Amazon and build a brand around it.
Seth doubled a dime into millions and today his team manages over 100 million of annual revenue on Amazon. He personally made over 5 million in the last 12 months selling on Amazon, so don’t miss a chance to learn from professionals! In the episode, we also covered:
📍 How to find the right product design;
📍 How to negotiate with suppliers;
📍 The value of understanding your competition;
📍 Why it’s easier than ever to build your brand on Amazon;
📍 How to build trust with your customers.
1:00 About Seth and Just One Dime
2:35 How to differentiate yourself among competitors?
4:20 The first thing to do when you want to build a brand.
7:40 The value of understanding your competition.
10:23 How is your product different?
12:51 How to find a product designer
15:15 Is Amazon saturated?
15:45 Look at the word as a producer
16:45 What is NNN Agreement and why you need to sign it?
19:35 Negotiate the right deal with a supplier.
22:27 How to launch your product to build a brand around it?
23:22 Three stages your customer goes through.
24:18 How to build trust with your customers?
26:11 Why it is easier now to build a new brand?
1:00 About Seth and Just One Dime
“I want to mention a lot of people ask, well, why you mentioned the CEO of Just One Dime. A lot of people ask, well, why do you call it that?
And I just want to start by saying, whoever’s listening to this podcast right now. If you have just a tiny bit of money, maybe you’re broke, maybe your marriage is in trouble., maybe you’re struggling with your identity, maybe you’re tired of your nine to five and you really want to break out of that. You can start right now.
• You don’t have to have a hundred thousand dollars to start.
• You don’t have to have amazing business experience to start.
• You don’t have to have all those things.
What you need is a willingness to begin and move to action. And the reason many people told us, they said: “Seth, why don’t you change the name? It sounds like some kind of charity or nonprofit. And I said I’ll tell you why, because I never want to forget that we started with a single dime. That’s it. We were broke — just a dime. And I knew someday in my heart that I will be able to tell other people, you can start with just 10 cents as well.
[00:02:02] If you have the right mindset and you choose to act and you’re willing to mess up along the way, there’s nothing holding you back except you. And I want to give people hope.
2:35 How to differentiate yourself among competitors? Could you please share with us your experience?
[00:02:43] Yes, absolutely. So I personally made over 5 million in the last 12 months selling on Amazon, that’s revenue. And from that revenue, depending on the product it’s between 40 and 60% profit margin, that’s me personally. For stores that I run. Additionally, for stores, we build for other people or for business partners, we manage over a hundred million Amazon revenue.
So what I share with everyone listening today, let me just start by this. This is not a pipe dream. This is not some stupid promise that “Oh, it’s just three steps in. It’s easy. It’s none of that”. I will tell you exactly. How to build a new product, how to design one, and how to build a brand around that.
And I will tell you that from my personal experience, this is not something I read in a book. This is not some from course, this is something I and my team have had to do, and we, I learned by making many mistakes along the way I could go on and share more credibility, but I just want everyone who’s listening to what we share today. It works because we live it. We know what it’s like, and it is not easy, but it is very fun and very fulfilling
4:20 The first thing to do when you want to build a brand on Amazon
So the first thing you want to do in building a brand is you need to find a problem. What is a problem people are struggling with, everything people buy is for one of two reasons, either to increase pleasure or to decrease pain.
So you need to find a product that either adds pleasure or removes pain.
I mean, if you think about it, even on the philosophical religious worldview level, people still ultimately do it because they are looking for satisfaction, or they’re trying to remove regret and pain. So the first question is simple and this is the premise of every successful entrepreneur: “What problem are you solving?” Well, okay, Seth, I’m ready. How do I solve a problem? Well, you have to go find the problem so that you begin by jumping into Facebook groups. You go on to Pinterest, you go on to Etsy. You start searching on Amazon using research tools and you find a problem in the world that people do not know how to solve.
And I’ll give an example, a very practical example.
So one of the most effective products that we launched was a gun that shoots money. This is the first product that brought us to over 20,000 a month, it’s called a cash cannon or E Canon or a money gun, this particular product solves a problem.
How? Well people, when they’re at parties, they wanted to have fun, and they like money flying everywhere. So you put a bunch of dollars into the money, you pull the trigger, and boom, it’s going everywhere, all over at the party. So this is an example where people are like, they’re trying to increase the pleasure of the party. That’s an example of a product. And here’s, what’s interesting. Interesting, even though no one, no one at all had ever sold this product on Amazon before, yet, we were the first. What is interesting is, you know, people like parties, you know, people like money and, you know, they like things that are innovative.
So we pulled from the fact that people love entertainment, the party, they love money, the shooting, the gun that shoots the money and something that is. Innovative or novel. And by putting those two together, this product did extremely well. And that’s just one very simple example.
So the first thing is you find a problem to solve or a way to increase pleasure.
[00:06:25] And again, you can go online, you can talk to neighbors, you just start developing a sense of what are people looking for? It’s funny. You can have two different people go into a bathroom, sit on the toilet to use the restroom. And one of them says “Wow, this toilet paper holder is terrible” and to get upset and the other person looks at it and says “Hmm, I bet I could create a better one”
In other words, the way they look at the world is how to solve problems. So that is the first step.
7:40 The value of understanding your competition.
The second step once, you know, the problem is you need to understand the problem on an intimate level.
It’s not enough just to say “Oh, I read a bunch of critical reviews and all the people are complaining. I need a better gun that shoots the money, or I need a better yoga mat that doesn’t bend” You actually need to understand them. So how do you do that? You buy products as similar as possible to the product you’re going to develop.
Now, sometimes you might have a product already exists, or someone else has a product that exists, and all you need to do is improve on it. Other times you’re creating a whole new product, but remember people don’t change very much when it comes to what they love and hate. I mean, back all the way to the days of the caveman people were drawing pictures on walls. Then they were writing on papyrus. Then they were starting to write on paper. Then they started, they came up with photography and film, then they have Instagram, they have all these things. So, but if you think about it for thousands of years, people still love sharing pictures and drawing pictures.
Do you see what I mean? It’s just different ways to do it. So you want to buy products that are similar as possible to the products that you’re going to develop anyone to buy them from the top competitors. For example, if you were coming out with a new computer, you’d probably buy Dell, you probably buy Mac, you would go out and find what are the most popular computers out there.
Now you’re starting to understand your customer and you want to think about this? If you are developing a new computer, you wouldn’t just buy a computer, you would say, well, what kind of computer is that for someone working from their laptop from a coffee shop? Is it for someone next to a huge server room? Is it for gaming? You want to be as specific as you can start to use those products and immediately start writing down. What do I love? What do I hate? What works, what does not work? What will make mine better? In other words, you don’t want to build your entire brand on what you don’t like about the competition. You don’t want them, you don’t want the identity of your brand to be based on trying to be different than them, but you do need to understand them because here’s the value in understanding your competition. Your competition is a window to your customer’s experience. The better you understand your competition, the better, or you can develop a product. So that is step two
10:23 How your Amazon product is different?
The third step is you get a whiteboard or a piece of paper, whatever it makes you comfortable and you begin to physically write, how will my product be different. Keep in mind, there are many kinds of differences. Sometimes it could be the actual material of the product. Other times it could be the size of the product other times it could be the look of the product. Maybe it’s just the design….. So you have to decide what is different and you write it down. Some people, Vitaly, always say this “Well, I’m not an artist.”. I don’t care if you’re not an artist, it doesn’t matter.
Your, you might be doing stick figures on the wall. It’s okay. You need to write down and visualize how will mine be different? And the next step is you go buy the pieces that you would need to put together what is called a prototype. This is why we have a 3D printer here in our server at Just One Dime headquarters in Austin, Texas. When we are developing a new product, we have to first get, in most situations, not all we have to get a 3D model so we can see how does it feel, How does it look now I’m talking about just one sample. It’s obviously not the final product. But it gives me an example. Is it the right size, does it feel right if it’s a mug, does it feel right when drinking from it? And that gives you an idea. And once you understand the physical components of this product, and let me say one more thing. If you’re not using a 3D printer and you don’t have one, it doesn’t mean you have to have one. I didn’t get a 3D printer till many you’re selling an Amazon.
But the next step is where you get a product designer. Now, some people feel like they have to hire this amazing company and they do product design and that’s their specialty. I’ve worked with many product design companies, and I can tell you, the majority of them are complete crap. What do I mean by that?
[00:12:41] They have these services, and they make money off these services, but they’re not actually experts at the products they’re experts at selling the idea. There are a few out there that are good. The easiest way to find a good product designer is first, you find a manufacturer and you find them not a trading company, a manufacturer, and in our membership in Just One Dime, we teach exactly how to understand the difference between the two.
[00:13:05] When you find a manufacturer, if they’re a good one, they usually have as part of their staff, a product designer, what you do is you take all your drawings or your prototype, or the physical samples that you’ve put together with taping, glue and everything else. And ship to them and you say “here’s what I want” Their job is, is now to take your idea and turn it into a 3D model through software.
And they design that and then they send it back to you and you look at the drawings and you go back and forth and back and forth until it’s perfected. And then the next step Is they print now a prototype for you. And again, that prototype is simply made out of plastic, out of resin on a 3D printer. So it’s not the real product yet, but once you approve that prototype, then you get to the next step where they produce your first real product. Like it literally looks exactly like it’s supposed to be. Now a lot of people tell me “this sounds complicated” Let me tell you guys – this process is so fun. In fact, for those of you guys who may feel intimidated, but all these steps, your first product, it might be as simple as mine. I simply started selling cremation urns, and because no one else was selling that style, I started making a hundred dollars a day, which to me back then was a lot of money.
[00:14:19] So you might start with something very simple. It’s a product, no one is selling. And then the next product is you just changed the appearance. So you don’t need a big model to be created. You don’t need a 3D designer. You don’t need a prototype. All you need is a coffee mug, and you have a different message on it.
See what I mean? So there are different levels that you can do this what’s important is that everyone understands. You’re solving a problem and you’re taking all the steps. You’re not just a businessman or a businesswoman. You are an inventor and don’t think you have to have tiny spectacles and white hair and the cackle, and a white coat in order to qualify as an inventor, you as a human being have the ability to invent a product.
In fact, you’re probably encountering problems every day. But you’re not yet thinking and realizing, wait, there’s a product, there’s a product, there’s a product.
15:15 Is Amazon saturated?
I’ll share one more and then stop. I am amazed at how many times people come to me and they say “Seth, isn’t Amazon saturated?” No, not even beginning to. The problem is there are more customers looking for products that don’t even exist yet. And then people say this, they say “Oh, but Seth, aren’t there all the product ideas invented in the world?” My answer is “Are you joking?” There are so many product ideas and needs that I know of right now, now that I simply don’t even have time to work on. What needs to change is people’s perspective. And when you develop the eyes for new products, that’s when you can build something amazing and you will never ever be in want or in need of a new product idea. All you need to do is change your perspective of the world. Instead of looking at the world as a consumer, begin to look at the world as a producer, as an inventor, as a business person.
[00:16:45] So let me explain one thing before we move on to the next step. Sometimes a product will need what it’s called a mold. I don’t know how many of you guys are into pirates and ships and I’m every night I read about pirates and yeah, they use these anchors that drop down from the ship on a rope, and they hit the ocean bottom, and that holds the ship, so the ship does it drift away. Well, molds are like an anchor. They’re these huge hunks metal. And what happens is they have these holes called cavities liquid plastic, and it’s liquid because it’s heated. This is, I love this process. It’s so amazing. It’s injected into the mold and then after it cools the mold, it spits it out.
[00:17:26] And there’s your product. Not all products need a mold. If your product is so unique and innovative that it needs mold and 99% of the time, that means it’s going to be some kind of plastic material. And for those of you guys who are environmentally conscious, there are many plastics that are very environmentally respectful.
Once you, if a product needs a mold, you will have to pay for the mold and some suppliers. They’ll take the mold. Let’s just say it’s $2,000, and they will spread out the cost over the unit. So in other words, if you’re going to order 2000 units and let’s just say for simplicity, the mold costs $2,000, then each unit will cost $1 more, and that pays for the mold.
In other situations, you don’t need a mold, which is totally fine. It might just be a different design. But keep this in mind, the better differentiated your product is, the more difficult It will be for competitors to compete with you because the more difficult it is for them to copy you.
[00:18:31] And if you do pay a supplier to build a mold, highly recommend you sign what is called a NNN agreement. NNN, not an NDA. NDA is great for Europeans and Americans. It is not great for the Chinese. NNN agreement is extremely strict and it has all these requirements.
In fact, we even use the Chinese lawyer just to make it even easier. You don’t have to have one, but what happens is that suppliers agreeing, that they cannot use the small to create this same product for anyone else. They respect these agreements much more than NDAs in their world an NDA means nothing.
[00:19:11] All it means is you won’t share the idea. NDAs are very simple, but this agreement I’m talking about is important. Now, again, that’s it if you’re doing a mold once you have the mold, or if you don’t need the mold, it’s just a different design, the color or the picture on the product is different. That’s when you go into production.
19:35 Negotiate the right deal with a supplier.
[00:19:32] A lot of people like to negotiate on the sample. This is a rookie mistake. It looks very unprofessional. You will lose a lot of respect with the supplier and it’s silly. Why would I negotiate on a hundred dollars sample and not on a several thousand dollar order? In other words, you want to negotiate on the quantity.
Not just one sample. I wouldn’t even spend time negotiating on the sample and a really good test to find out if that supplier is a trading company or is an actual supplier is when you order the sample. If they can’t send it to you within a week, then they’re probably not a real supplier, which means it’s a middleman.
There’s also a lot of other ways we teach how to do it. Once you have the product created and approved, that’s when you negotiate the price. And again, they’re going to give you an initial quotation, always ask for less. Especially if you’re working with Chinese, always ask for less, at least two times.
If you don’t ask for less at all, they’re not going to respect you. If you are a worthy businesswoman or businessman, then you’re going to ask for a better price. They expect that a lot of Americans are very sensitive. Oh, I don’t want to offend them. No, we kind of life in the land of the free and the home of that I’m offended.
No, you need to negotiate, negotiate as a part of life. Do not be afraid! Now, if you ask more than twice if he has three or four or five times, then a lot of people consider that a lot of Chinese will feel like, okay, you’re being a little pushy. So at least ask twice. Once the two is good and, and get the best price you can.
And remember negotiate on quantity. So let’s say, for example, you’re going to order 400 units say, look, I know that 400 units are going to cost me $2 per unit. So that’s $800. I would like to order 500 units. Would you give me a 10 cents discount on each product? A lot of Amazon sellers think it’s silly.
Like I did when I started, they think, wait, that’s suppliers that only need to give me 10 cents discount or 20 cents discount. That’s not very much. Wait a minute. Let’s just say in the future, cause you will, you’re doing 50,000 products. 50,000 times 20 cents is $10,000 savings. You want to negotiate for your future self. Not for the sample right now, but your future self, make business decisions that your future self will thank you for.
The best advice I ever received when it comes to business, other than just a move to action to make a lot of mistakes and receive grace is this, when you make a decision, you’re not sure what to do and you feel “Oh, I don’t know what to do”, and we all experienced this every day even in our personal life, we experienced this. Ask yourself this question “One year from now, what would that Seth say? Five years from now what would that Seth say? Yeah, the 80-year-old, Seth, what would he say? And all of a sudden the clouds are gone and it’s like, “Oh, it makes sense now.” So use the time to give you wisdom for your actions now.
22:27 How to launch your Amazon product to build a brand around it?
So after you negotiate, they begin to go into production. Now there are several ways you can launch your product to build a brand around it. Your product does not just begin with the physical product.
That’s not the end, and it also has to do with the experience it’s the customer has when they buy. So for example, you could choose to launch it on Indiegogo or Kickstarter, crowdfunding, so people can give you immediate feedback based on that video. And now you have an idea If you’re headed in the right direction, you can do this just with the prototype.
Before you even pay for the production. Now you have all this feedback to know if it’s good or not. And whether or not it’s worth it. Plus it allows you to have funding. Now, the disadvantage, if you do, this is now the whole role can see your product idea and they might try to copy you. The more differentiated the product is, the harder it is for them to copy you. But just keep that in mind.
When you move to launch, understand that if I’m your customer and I buy your product, there are three stages I will go through:
• First, I find your listing. I need to fall in love with your listing. Your listing needs to be amazing.
• I will experience your product. Your product needs to be better than my expectations.
• I need to fall in love with your brand. So when I opened the box and I take out the product, if you put a surprise gift in here, maybe if it was a coffee mug, a coaster I did not expect, or a stirring spoon, or maybe you gave me some kind of PDF or ebook that helps me.
Now I begin to remember not the listing, cause I already forgot about it. Not the product. But the brand behind the product. And if you developed an amazing product, even if it took you months to go through this whole process, which I’ve done so many times now, I promise you these people will begin to love your product.
Then they will love your brand. And then your brand will start to take on a life of its own. And as you sell an Amazon or Shopify or jet or Walmart, or your own eCommerce website, people will start to buy it just because it’s that brand like they do with Nike. Some people, they buy a Nike shoe. They don’t even question, if the quality is good, they don’t even ask.
They don’t check the heel to toe. All they care about is that the right price is a good design, and they’ll pay way more for a Nike shoe than other brands. Why? Because Nike shoes are better? Not necessarily. Because Nike has built trust. How do you build trust? Your first 100 customers treat them like royalty and those customers will do right more for your brand, then you could do with 100 full-time staff employees.
26:11 Why it is easier now to build a new brand?
More people are going to Amazon to find brands than they ever have before. They’re actually looking, they’re trying to discover new brands they can fall in love with and depend on. People who are into mountain biking or mountain climbing they’re like, well, I always buy stuff from a mountain bike. Who can I trust? Who can always go to, and I don’t have to wonder, is it good or not? Once they find a brand, they like to stick to it. We live in a day where it is easier to build a brand faster than it ever was before. If you were to move back to the 1960s or the 1980s, it was so much harder. And you had to spend millions to get people to notice. Today, you can do this through Facebook ads, through Google ads, through, through Pinterest, through Instagram, through TikTok. There are so many ways to get exposure. It’s absolutely amazing.