Vipe DesaiBusiness Strategist & Philanthropist

Vipe is a brand strategist with a purpose. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, he applies more than 3 decades of experience in creating disruptive brands and growth strategies for nonprofits and brands. Currently, Vipe is serving as a Board Member for Ocean Champions, Ocean Institute, and, an SEC reporting company managing more than $450 million in assets.

He’s also a campaign ambassador for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, a cutting edge 400,000 square-foot campus that convenes and nurtures the best and brightest pioneers and organizations in science, business, and education for ocean conservation.

Vipe kicked off his career in the early ’90s when he created the H2O Winter Classic, a two-day surf and snowboard competition with a concert that went on to inspire the creation of the Warped Tour and X Games. In the late ’90s, he helped launch Red Bull in the U.S. Vipe has been called up by numerous brands, CEO’s and even political campaigns to advise on branding, marketing and turn-around strategies including creating a collaboration for Partnership for a Healthier America chaired by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Today, Vipe’s focus is on ensuring that future generations are met with a healthy and thriving ocean. He’s involved with several ventures focused around innovations and solutions that will reduce plastic waste and minimize business's impact on the planet.

An outspoken member of the coastal business community and a founding member of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast, Vipe was invited by Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) to testify before members of Congress on the harms of new offshore oil and gas drilling. He was recently presented with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48) on his work with BAPPC to protect our coasts from offshore oil drilling.

As a way to help others propel their careers, he launched the Army of Gamechangers podcast where he interviews executives who share their best career and leadership advice.

Recent Answers

it depends on the type of product you're selling but buyers and retailers are being hounded with sellers. So how do you stand out? Market your product so the buyers can't ignore you and let them make the approach. I did this with a retailer that had 240+ stores, they came to me because they noticed our marketing and then the buyer ordered product from our website. They then sent an email asking for more information and that was how we landed a big account. Happy to discuss further if you'd like to set up a call.

As someone who has sat on all sides of the table from entrepreneur to investor I can say that comedy can both seal the deal or kill the deal. Comedy is tough and delivery is everything. If the information resonates and creates an emotional moment with a positive response than you're good. Comedy should be relevant and informative to the pitch but be prepared to move on quickly if it is received with no response.

If you do add comedy to your pitch, I would recommend testing the delivery on a few close friends for feedback and then pick a few people from Clarity to share your pitch to get feedback on whether you should tweak the comedic element or ditch it altogether.

Pitch decks can be tough. Especially when you're focused more on the content but the design requires its own attention. In my personal business, I can come up with the content but the design was always of a road block. I have found to be very useful, albeit you'll need to really dig into the service providers, but it can be very well worth it for the short-term and for a quick turnaround. The newest thing that I have been using is It's very simple and easy to use and its free, unless you use their premium images and even then its very cost-effective.

As a start-up myself, stretching every penny is key to surviving the first few years. I'd be happy to share other cost savings lessons that I have learned in my entrepreneur journey if you need help with anything else.

I've had a similar experience with my own brand and also helping other brands with the same dilemma. Two things off the top of my head that have worked very well are:

1. Build up your social media platforms. If you do this yourself, there will be no cost - just your time but you will be on your way to building advocates for your product. When I launched my company, I had to curate my audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This was time well spent and we gained great insights and sales.

2. Identify other companies that might benefit from a marketing collaboration. For example, with my start-up we too spent the majority of our funds on the product but then approached like-minded brands to work with. The result was that by using their network of customers and marketing initiatives I was able to promote my brand and gain direct sales. Which brands did I align with? Quiksilver, Oakley and Audi of America were just the first 3. I didn't spend a dollar and they invited my brand to communicate to their customers. And yes, i still work with them to this day, my relationship has only become stronger and they now include me in some of their efforts throughout the year.

If you're interested in learning more about how to market a brand with a zero budget, I'd be happy to join you for a quick call to help identify some potential businesses you might be able to collaborate and expose your product to.

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