Growing a Brand
In a market brimming with competition, Bucked Up has carved out a significant niche under the guidance of its CEO and founder, Ryan Gardner. His journey reflects not just the growth of a brand but the evolution of a leader who has navigated through the complexities of the supplement industry with determination and foresight.
Gardner’s Philosophy on Leadership
Ryan Gardner places immense value on leading by example. He believes in being a visible, active part of his team’s efforts. When asked about his leadership style and how he motivates his team, Gardner emphasizes, “Leading by example—you know, often times even during our warehouse sale like last weekend, I was right there in the thick of it.” This hands-on approach shows his commitment to being a part of the team, not just its leader.
Reflecting on Growth and Learning
When asked what advice he would give to his younger self, Gardner reveals the learning curves he encountered as the business expanded. “A lot of things have changed over the years,” he admits. Gardner emphasizes the need for adaptability and continuous learning, especially in areas that were initially foreign to him, such as finance and budgeting.
Facing and Overcoming Challenges
Gardner candidly discusses the setbacks faced by Bucked Up, demonstrating his commitment to excellence. He recounts the 2019 Bucked Up energy drink launch, where a customer’s disappointment led to a decisive and costly action. “We destroyed 200,000 cans,” Gardner reveals, emphasizing the importance of getting it right the first time. Similarly, the formulation misstep with Buck Bars, with too much dietary fiber and real honey, resulting in the bars to go really hard, highlights the company’s dedication to quality. “There are those hiccups in our business,” Gardner acknowledges, “but we just want to put out the best products possible.”
Vision for the Future
Gardner’s ambition for Bucked Up is unwavering. He envisions the brand becoming a household name, on par with industry giants. “My vision for the company is to become a household name like a Red Bull or a Monster,” he states. This dream is fueled by encounters like one with an Uber driver who had never heard of Bucked Up. For Gardner, these moments are reminders that there is much more to achieve.
Ryan Gardner’s journey with Bucked Up is a narrative of resilience, adaptability, and an unyielding commitment to quality. As Gardner steers the company forward, his ethos of learning, overcoming, and aspiring continues to define Bucked Up’s path.