Marketing Majors.... Time to formulate a plan for Soylent Marketing


So here’s a call to all the Marketing Majors and Execs.
I believe it would be great to give @rob a marketing plan. Sure, he’s got his own marketing plan - but this can give him a chance to hear from a wide range of people (who like the product and want it to succeed) that he can cherry pick the good ideas from and send this product to the stratosphere.

So here’s my plan …

@Rob shows up on the Tonight Show, challenges the host to try for a week, and the host updates us everynight. This is a vast audience and is not geared toward the athlete genre and not geared toward the weightloss genre – it is geared and presented as a new type of good way to eat quickly and healthy. This little plan looks to dive into the average joe who isn’t interested in all that gym jazz and weight loss craziness. This is a broad appeal that also can get the attention of celebrity guests.

I hope someone has a good idea for Rob to Cherry pick from. I hope he likes this one.


Does Soylent need marketing? Word of mouth has been pretty successful so far.


I don’t think Soylent needs marketing - it’s already very popular!


Go over to your neighbor’s, knock on the door, and ask if they know what Soylent is.That should answer your question.


My neighbor knows who J-Lo is. Why doesn’t she know what Soylent is?
Lack of Marketing to the masses.


This has been discussed quite thoroughly:

Really though, Rosa Labs is a multi-million dollar company now. They don’t need marketing advice from the peanut gallery, nor do they need people claiming “They took my idea and didn’t give me credit!”

Beyond that though, they’re in the same place Tesla Motors is in. Highly publicized by news sources and extremely constrained by supply. Advertizing at this point would just result in frustrated potential customers as they’ll be waiting over 3 months to receive anything.


Soylent is not at all well known. It’s a medium-sized fish in a very small pond right now. But I see it as having the potential to be a whale in the ocean.

I like the Tonight Show idea, though my concern would be that they would be more interested in making a mockery of it. That’s the sort of thing that could backfire horrendously. The host could do any number of things to screw it up, but not be totally forthcoming about it, because he just wants to use it as the butt of jokes. That could cause irreparable damage to the Soylent image. It’s definitely a high-stakes gamble.

I think it’s all about online marketing (which happens to be what I’ve done for many years now). You can get reach online that can’t be touched by TV, and at relatively little cost if you know what you’re doing. High quality banner placements on the right sites, portals, youtube videos, etc. could you you exposure to tens of millions of eyeballs (or pairs of eyeballs ;)) per day at a measurable cost per view.

The most critical component of that is the messaging. Do you go slick & professional? Do you go goofy/indy? Do you go for weird/viral? And within each of those are many potential approaches.

Getting the message to the masses is a piece of cake. Making sure it’s the message you meant to send, is much trickier. I’m happy to help out in any way I can, and have already made that offer to @rob and @JulioMiles directly. Maybe they take me up on it maybe they don’t, either way I’m going to personally evangelize Soylent as much as I can, just like I’ve evangelized TiVo and numerous other products over the years just because I think they’re awesome.


Drafting a Marketing Plan for Soylent was started at the onset of crowdfunding and has not had a response in over 9 months. New plan is needed.

Since then V 1.0 was completed and shipped. A new plan is needed, and is the reason I started this post. I am hoping to hear some cool/slick marketing campains that Rob can cherry pick from.
Who needs to say “that was my idea” when you want to promote a product and the people who make it. If my idea is picked, I wouldn’t be a premadonna about it being my idea.

@vanclute isn’t looking for extra privileges - neither would I - Just hoping to help the cause any way I can.


Yep, whatever I can do to help get Soylent known, I’ll do. I’ve made loads of sales of products I love that are directly attributable to me telling someone why they’ve just gotta have it. I never got anything out of it except some slight added probability that another company would thrive and continue to create products that I want in my life. Soylent would pretty much have to top that list of companies at this point.


So are we done with the Debbie Downers posters who want to argue with the premise of the post?
I hope so.

Simply looking for Marketing ideas… If you don’t have one or are not going to post your ideas/suggestions/feedback about a particular Marketing idea, then this post isn’t isn’t for you to reply on.
Thanks in advance.


It is a post to reply on if you are passionate about the product.

This isn’t a reddit forum. It’s a business. I agree the tonight show idea could backfire.

If rob asks for ideas. Then so be it.

You know what will be good marketing? Me using the product. Friends and family seeing the positive change in attitude, weight loss and much better blood results.

I also will post about it on fb. This thing has grown with social media. I say actions and results will be all it needs.


Advertising to lots of followers on Facebook - One more marketing idea in the bucket.


This entire form is part of the marketing… As people try to make there own they (us) are spreading the product look at all the people we, ourselfs have introduced to soylent…


I think it’s way too early to start general marketing. Most of the people who are on this site and who ordered (or want to order) the product have been waiting for something like it.

But I don’t think you’ll find many people in the general community who would be willing to wait for 12 weeks for delivery of a food product especially just to try it out.

Marketing has to wait until instant delivery capacity is imminent.



I think for the moment, grass-roots is still probably the way to go. Those of use with the financial means and passion to do so, can make our own videos, blogs, etc. and promote them however we see fit.

I’ve been experimenting on a small scale with sponsored videos on Youtube (Adwords for video) just to see how that goes, but obviously I’m not going to put a lot of my own cash into something like that since there’s no remuneration on the other side.

Twitter also has sponsored tweets, but you have to be “special” to have that enabled for your account, and I’m currently not special enough. There’s also FB ads but I don’t really use FB myself and don’t really want to spend money in that direction just for the hell of it.

There is no larger reach than internet advertising, but as I said earlier it’s the message that is so critical. There either needs to be an awesome, very specific message from Soylent HQ, or “we the people” need to do our own things, get our own message out, about what Soylent is doing for us and let that spread organically (and maybe with a little help from those of us who can do some advertising). That’s currently the approach I’m taking… let the results speak for themselves, but not be afraid to add a little paid advertising to act as megaphone.


Honestly, I prefere a Soylent that is promoted the way it is already… Let the people who are already going to use Soylent get started on Soylent for a while, and then we can use “us” as marketing… letting the results speak for themselves…


Marketing, like all other business activities, has to be conducted at scale. Growing to 100% awareness at this moment (which I think is what most people think of when they hear “marketing”) would create a huge gap between demand and what we can fulfill. We’re already seeing that happen a little bit with how awesome the word-of-mouth and press has been for the product. Blessing but a slight curse, I suppose - though I wouldn’t trade it for the alternative (no interest or sales)!

Our focus in the near term is creating a top-notch customer experience as people receive their pre-orders and move into (hopefully!) re-orders. I’m also thinking about how we can encourage people share with their friends/family/networks to continue to grow our customer base organically and promote discussion in the public sphere about Soylent.

That being said, I am excited to see we’ll do later down the line when we are ready try out more traditional “marketing campaigns”! So yeah, hit us with your ideas - the more the better!


The list of friends, family, and random strangers on the internet that I’m giving free bags from my initial order to is already up to 15. I ordered a second month specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately, it’s going to be little more than a taste test, and a tease for any who are truly interested due to new orders not shipping out any time soon. Also, I think people probably need a full week to really get a feel for it. My hope is that they realize that it’s not gross and filling enough to replace meals with and are at least interested enough to try their own long-term experiment with it.

I dread even saying it, but some kind of affiliate program may be useful (in the long run) for getting people to share their Soylent with others. Something like you get “X” amount of free Soylent or “X”% discount or whatever on your next order for each person you refer that orders 1 month or more. Obviously, the numbers would need to be played with to account for your margins but you get the idea. I’m thinking that the easiest way to track that would be to give backers unique coupon codes that they can share with their friends and family, so that usage of those coupon codes could be used to track how many “referrals” they’ve provided. It’s got to be as easy as possible and beneficial for the referrer and referee in order to be successful.


I’ve suggested an affiliate program to Rob as well, and he had understandable reservations. As an affiliate marketer for nearly a decade, I know first hand how problematic they can be. But if run carefully, and set up with a good structure, I think it could do big things in getting the word out.


Pitching to the “Let’s Move” Campaign or to “Play 60” would help it gain acceptance as something that is good for you instead of some weird out-there diet shake people don’t understand.
I suggest this option for after international orders have shipped - Way easier to pitch something like this when it has an international market (and an FDA label to back up the claims).

Then TMZ gets ahold of it and a paparazzi (reporter) challenges The Rock (or some other celebrity known for nutrition) to try it out. Heck, if The Apprentice is still on, Rob could lobby one of their tasks – this would truly be targeted to what is likely the core demographic – and who knows what heights this can reach. Companies always gets boosts when they are on the Apprentice, and having the international segment going really helps The Donald to have respect for the product.

I know some of these suggestions are for several months away and some even further. Scaling marketing for growth does take planning and foresight. But lack of fresh ideas is normally dooms a product. So it is a very good idea to have marketing ideas out that can stretch for several years which may not even be implemented for a while.

Free publicity through good channels is always cheaper than paying a creative team.

But I would still love to see Rob on the Tonight Show showing Jimmy Fallon how to eat (sip Soylent) while slow-jamming Gordon Ramsey’s dishes.

EDIT: slow jamming the ingredient list of one of Gordon Ramsey’s dishes while he fills up on food (Soylent).