The playbook: How to build and sell two billion dollar businesses today

The Playbook: How to build and sell two billion businesses now. 


High-growth businesses that subsequently sell for significant sums – billions of dollars – all have similar business D.N.A. characteristics. 

Simon Sinek says – that the best businesses in the world all think, act and communicate the same way. 


  1. Either you identify a large Total Addressable Market (T.A.M.) or an untapped underserved market (niche). Both markets work – I wrote in yesterday’s newsletter about the fastest-ever growth and profitable D.T.C. brand; True Classics’ online success is a large T.A.M. 
  2. Create a differentiated business and the products and services you sell. If your business looks, sounds and acts like your competitors – you are doomed to a low-growth environment. 
  3. Create effective marketing campaigns. Best practices include – A) accelerating ideal buyer trust, credibility and authority with your business. B) Effective differentiation – by answering your buyer’s fundamental question – Why should your ideal buyer buy only from your business rather than your competitors? C) Tell it as a narrative – a strategic narrative and pitch – on average – recall is 22x more D) Integrate Social Selling methodologies to sell more online. E) Strategic Marketing – spend less – get a better R.O.I. 
  4. Strategic Partnerships build more attention and engagement – influencers, suppliers, and other competitors – never underestimate the power of the Halo Effect. 


The Five Accelerators of Advanced Demand Generation

Meet Mike Repole – 54, a semi-retired multi-billionaire who lives in the U.S.A. who has started and then sold not once but twice businesses for a billion dollars plus each time. 

His startups tell a story about how to build Advanced Demand Generation into any business – then sell for a billion dollars plus. 


He built two nationally (U.S.A.) recognised beverage brands – this is his Playbook on how he did it. 

Business One – Vitaminwater – After climbing the corporate ladder of water company Crystal Geyser, Repole stepped away and founded his own company in 1999– Glacéau Vitaminwater. 

He positioned Vitaminwater as a healthy alternative that filled the gap between soft drinks and water. He created a new beverage category known as “enhanced water.” 

His niche, with no direct competitors, allowed Repole’s Vitaminwater to accelerate demand with exponential growth: 

  • 2001: $1M in revenue,  
  • 2001: $3M in revenue,  
  • 2003: $9M in revenue, 
  • By 2007: $350M in revenue, 

In 2007, Coca-Cola acquired Vitaminwater for $4.1 Billion.  

Business 2: Bodyarmour – In 2011, Repole created a sports drink business – Bodyarmor. Whilst not creating a new category, it did revolutionise a category long dominated by global giants Coca-Cola’s Gatorade and Pepsi’s Powerade. 

Repoles’ research identified that the market-leading sports drink brands’ growth could have been more active. Consumers regarded the beverages as unhealthy and had too many artificial sweeteners and sodium. 

Bodyarmor introduced a – healthy alternative. Ingredients included coconut water, vitamins, and potassium, with no artificial food dyes. 

Bodyarmor was the first of hundreds of brands to copy and successfully compete against Gatorade and Powerade – Bodyarmors revenue quickly grew to $1.4 Billion

In 2018, Coca-Cola paid $300M for 15% of its beverage company, Bodyarmor, and bought the remaining 85% in 2021 for $5.6 Billion. 

That is $11 billion paid for two startups over 18 years. 


His Secret – Accelerate Your Brand Equity.

Brand equity is the level of influence a brand name has in the minds of buyers and the value of having a brand that is identifiable and well thought of. 

Businesses accelerate brand equity by 

  • Creating positive buyer experiences, 
  • Differentiated offers compared to competitors,
  • Seen more and engaged with more than competitors, 
  • That entices more buyers to purchase from them over their competitors who make similar products.

While other entrepreneurs bring innovation and category-changing products to market, Repole focused on marketing campaigns, partnerships and influencers with well-known actors, musicians, athletes and others. 

Glacéau’s Smartwater and Vitaminwater

  • Jennifer Anniston was the face of Glacéau’s SmartWater after starring in comedic advertisements for the business. 
  • Rapper 50 Cent was a key brand ambassador for Vitaminwater and promoted the brand across commercials and songs for a 10% shareholding in the business. 


  • Kobe Bryant was paid $6M in 2013 and agreed to be one of the faces of Bodyarmor for a 10% shareholding in the company. 

The Playbook in action.


  1. Identify Untapped Or Underserved Markets: Repole identified opportunities in beverage markets—the potential for enhanced vitamin-infused water with Vitaminwater and the need for a healthier sports drink with BODYARMOR. 
  2. Create Differentiated Products: Differentiate from established brands through innovative formulations and strategic branding. Vitaminwater Vitamin-infused water captured attention away from traditional sports drinks. BODYARMOR provided a healthier, more natural alternative to Gatorade and other brands. 
  3. Develop Effective Marketing Campaigns: unconventional attention capture with highly effective marketing strategy and tactics, including social media and grassroots marketing, to reach his target audiences and accelerate brand loyalty and equity. 
  4. Form High-Impact Strategic Partnerships: Vitaminwater and BODYARMOR partnered with high-profile athletes, influencers and celebrities to promote their products and reach new audiences. This strategy created a Halo effect that transferred brand equity and legitimacy from well-known actors and athletes to his brands. 

What is your business’s Halo effect and accelerating Demand Generation strategy and tactics?