Almost three years ago, Jordan Fares and Troy Adashun founded a food supplement company called Alpha Lion, relying on YouTube as its initial customer base. Fast forward to the end of 2019, when two serial entrepreneurs posted their flagship product SUPERHUMAN Pre-workout V2 on Bodybuilding.com, where it quickly made it to the list of 25 best-selling products.
Darin Decker, assistant director of partnership development at Bodybuilding.com, highlights four reasons for the success of SUPERHUMAN overnight: “First, consumers love tastes. Secondly, this is a high-performance pre-workout, which guarantees the strengthening of your workouts. Thirdly, their products are fully dosed and their labels are transparent. Fourth, their partnership with Vitamin Angels [a philanthropy] makes you feel even better about what your dollars support. "
It is noteworthy that the two founders built this business, despite problems with visas that did not allow them to meet in person more than three times – once in Colombia, twice in Mexico. Today, Jordan is based in Medellin, Colombia, where the sewing part of their business is manufactured, and Troy moved from Florida to Southern California.
To find out what drives this brand to success, I had the opportunity to interview both founders by phone from their respective places.
Bodybuilding.com: Both of you are very frank on your website about past endeavors that were unsuccessful, like Alpha Lion. I feel that successful entrepreneurs and bodybuilders share the quality of perseverance. Do you agree?
Jordan: 100 percent. Each of us had our own share of disasters, but we always rose and continued to walk. This is the origin of the Alpha Lion. After these setbacks and lessons learned, we met at the right time. We are seeing some success now, but these past failures have determined our current success.
Troy: Definitely. In my opinion, there are two types of people. There is one type where, when failure happens, their dreams are immediately destroyed. Jordan and I are of the second type: when we fail, we only become hungrier, and we are trying to learn from this experience and transfer it to the next experience. Jordan and I met at a time when we both failed for about the same length of time. We were both very hungry. We both learned a lot from our failures, and we just connected in so many different things. It sounds crazy to people how we created Alpha Lion and actually got down to business without even meeting in person, but we were so hungry to succeed after all our years of failures in the fitness industry.
It’s unusual for partners to vibrate so well when they barely meet. Usually you think that building mutual understanding and trust will require closer contact.
Troy: This is definitely unusual, but to be honest, I feel that our communication is probably better than, say, two entrepreneurs who are always together personally. Even in the first year, it was basically all about business. Every time we talked, I felt that it was always connected with strategy, marketing and product development – all the things that propelled the business forward. For the first two years, almost every day, including weekends, chatted about how to promote the business in one way or another. So it worked well, and I think that you are together or separately, if you can communicate well, it can work.
Jordan: The big change for me was to constantly think: "What is the best way to make money?" to do it more about helping people. It was then that we began to see success. It's hard to have that kind of thinking when you're 20 years old. Not many people. Everyone is chasing this dollar. But we made the transition with Alpha Lion. Now we are focusing on how we can help our customers be the best.
Troy: Definitely. We want to create truly exciting products and inspire people to be more active, visit the gym more, and motivate themselves outside the gym. For example, many of our emails tell customers about motivation and success outside the gym. So, from the very first day we wanted to establish that Alpha Lion is much more than a company that sells supplements. It is about creating the lifestyle and thinking of Alpha Lion.
Yes, Alpha Lion as a brand says a lot. You do not need to read between the lines. When you created the company, did you feel that you are communicating with people like you?
Jordan: We released two products: Alpha Shredder, which is a weight loss product, and Alpha Dreams, which was a recovery at night, but also with an angle of fat loss. Initially, we were definitely aimed at guys like us, but we turned around a bit. We look more at university students. We are a brand dominated by men, but, interestingly, 20 percent of our customers are women, although we do not focus on them. These clients are typically alpha-type hardcore women.
Troy: We have a deeper, longer-term marketing strategy. We want to appeal to guys who just visit the gym and who want to change their lives with the help of fitness. I see in fitness a huge catalyst that can cause changes in all aspects of your life. Not only looks better, but perhaps wants to start a business or do something unique in his life. And after we acquire the client, we will focus on providing them with the highest possible value in terms of training, diet and free tools in our content center, Superhuman You and videos on our YouTube channel.
If the Alpha Lion is a way of life, and you mentioned it a minute ago, what does this way of life mean?
Jordan: It is the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and to do what you love. We are trying to find people who work from 9 to 5 that they hate, and help them avoid this rut and do what they love. We both were in the same rut, worked at the desktop and hated it. We took it upon ourselves to change everything. Obviously, we work many hours, but I just returned from a week in Mexico, where I was able to get my laptop and work from the beach. This is the lifestyle we create, and this is what we want for Alpha Lion customers.
Troy: For me, Alpha Leo’s way of thinking is understanding that you can do what you want if you want to do work. I feel that many people are determined to be victims. They think that life happens out of their control. Obviously, sometimes this is so, but for me the thinking of Alpha Leo is the understanding that if you work and stay focused, you will succeed. This may take a couple of years. This may take five years. It may take 10 years. But all that you learn along the way is an invaluable life experience. Thus, we can inspire people to start their own business, do their own business, think outside the box and really realize their dreams – this would be a huge victory for us.
What's in the product line?
Troy: We have a lot to work on. We stand out with our product names and our brand. But in terms of R&D, we are looking at bringing new ingredients to the market that no one is using, including an exciting ingredient for fat loss. We are currently working with several companies on this, as well as creating our own ingredients.
Jordan: We also strive to become even more transparent than we already are. As we speak, we are passing the Informed Choice certification. Consumers are getting smarter about what they buy. We want to provide third-party certificates before consumers even ask.
Troy: In addition, much attention will be paid to SUPERHUMAN. We basically go all-in for SUPERHUMAN and we are going to roll out the entire range of products around this name.