Is FaZe Rug the Willy Wonka of Gen Z? | Entrepreneur

Is FaZe Rug the Willy Wonka of Gen Z? | Entrepreneur

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When YouTuber Brian Awadis recommended dropping out of school to concentrate on his gaming profession, his dad and mom weren’t precisely over the moon. Ten years and 23 million subscribers later, he is managed to cheer them up.

Recognized to his followers as “FaZe Rug,” he is the closest factor to a family identify the esports trade has, with over seven billion views on his YouTube channel, a signature G-Gas vitality drink (“Bitter Blue Chug Rug”), and an look on the duvet of Sports activities Illustrated beside the opposite founders of his breakout esports crew, FaZe Clan. Now, the 26-year-old influencer is parlaying his platform right into a model extension actually tailor-made to Gen Z’s tastes: sweet. Launched on Could seventeenth, 1UP Sweet is solely obtainable on the firm’s web site in the meanwhile.

Turning into The Sweet Man

“For over 10 years, I put my blood sweat and tears into content material creation,” Rug advised Entrepreneur. “Not too long ago I took a step again and regarded what different challenges would excite me as a lot as making movies.” To search out the reply, he did what any good entrepreneur would do: took inventory of what he loves and discovered the best way to monetize it.

Associated: Is This $100,000 Sweet Testing Job For Actual?

“At first, I considered merchandise.” (Rug’s love of designer streetwear is evident from his Instagram). “Then I considered a drink.” (His 2020 video Excessive Sourest Drink in The World Problem!!, is considered one of his favorites.) “However I stored coming again to sweet. Sweet is for everyone.” The concept started to take form when the self-declared “candyhead” posted two YouTube movies referred to as I Turned My Home right into a REAL CANDY STORE!!, and Final to Depart the Sweet Retailer, Retains It. They garnered over 10 million views every.

Sweetening the Deal

Understanding the ability of teamwork from his years in esports, Rug approached his enterprise supervisor about discovering companions to land a deal. Enter Matt Weiss, a former Ferrara Sweet Firm exec and present board member for VOID, a expertise company that helps social media and sports activities influencers launch companies. After months of strategizing and brainstorming advertising and marketing plans, Weiss arrived on the following conclusion: “What the world wants isn’t essentially a better-tasting gummy bear.”

What we do want, he believes, are shared experiences and social connection. Outcome: the #1upsourchallenge, a burgeoning on-line craze connecting Rug’s fanbase of fellow candyheads—and potential 1UP customers. Taking part in off the success of 2015’s viral WarHeads® #DareToBeSour marketing campaign, the problem encourages candyheads to:

  1. Pop just a few of the shockingly bitter gummies in your mouth and suck on them for 30 seconds, whereas sustaining your finest poker face.
  2. Drink some type of neutralizing magical soda to cleanse your palate and resuscitate your tastebuds.
  3. Put up a video of steps one and two on social media for all of your followers to see.

As a part of a collaboration with Money App, problem individuals can win money, live performance tickets, and an opportunity to be featured in a FaZe Rug video—as long as they use the hashtag #1upsourchallenge of their posts. The concept is for fan-produced movies to perform as earned media. Translation: free promoting for 1Up, free swag for followers.

Associated: New Yorkers Are Serving to Ray’s Sweet Retailer Keep in Enterprise

Sugar highs. And lows.

For Rug, the very best a part of launching the brand new enterprise has been interacting with followers. On a latest journey to a neighborhood mall, he gave customers free samples and filmed their reactions. The ensuing video exhibits him handing out prizes to the fortunate few who managed to keep up a straight face regardless of what their tastebuds had been telling them. As for the worst half, it is the identical problem each entrepreneur struggles with at one level or one other: the worry of flopping.

Associated: How This 13-12 months-Outdated Entrepreneur Constructed a Multi-Million Greenback Sweet Firm

“With success comes failure,” Rug says, matter-of-factly. “I at all times inform folks to not be discouraged when one thing would not work out. I’ve failed many instances on my journey with making movies and so forth. You simply need to one-up from that fail and preserve going.”

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