Darian Kozz got involved in competitive BBQing about 10 years ago the same way thousands of other folks across America do. Kozz started cooking in the backyard with neighbors, friends, and was quickly hooked. But since that traditional starting point Darian’s story has been anything, but typical.
Over the past decade Darian’s business Kosmo’s Q has slowly transformed from backyard griller into a competitive BBQ empire that sells their special brand of rubs, injections, and soaks at their online store KosmosQ.com and dozens of retailers selling their product throughout the United States. Although Darian now has a thriving online store, Kosmo’s Q continues to compete at BBQ competition’s across the Midwest to continually introduce the brand to a new audience and work to improve the product and explore new flavor combinations. Darian has also produced video training programs to help other enthusiasts increase their odds of winning at BBQ competitions or simply be the best cook on the block.
Although Darian has developed an extremely successful business over the years, he didn’t establish Kosmo’s Q with any grand longterm growth strategy. Initially, he started his rubs business to help pay for travel and fees associated with entry to some of the larger barbecue competition events. Over the years, Darian continued to take tiny consistent steps to grow his operations into the business you see today.
During today’s conversation we also dig deep into the marketing strategy that has helped facilitate the Kosmo’s Q growth over the years. Most important, having a unique and high-quality product line of course. But he second would is regularly competing at BBQ events and winning consistently. By building up a name for themselves regionally, the awareness of Kosmo’s Q has continued to grow through good old fashioned word of mouth advertising. This traditional and valuable form of advertising has helped push more visitors to their e-commerce store, in turn generating more sales without having to spend money on advertising.
Quotes from the Show
Obviously when you do what you love, it’s just one of them things. You just keep turning the wheel a little bit more each day and eventually you don’t gotta turn so hard and it’ll start taking off on its own. – Darian Kozz on building his business gradually overtime.
The product has to be just knock your socks off. – Darian Kozz on getting a food product like their specialty rubs into retail locations.
We don’t try to get wrapped up in competing with other trucks as much as we get wrapped up with continued perfection on our truck. – Darian Kozz on competition.
What You’ll Learn
- How Kosmo’s Q has leveraged the promotional opportunity that BBQ competitions to drive interest in their rubs and injections
- Why having passion for the business you enter is helpful for long-term success
- Why Kosmo’s Q is usually approached by retailers to sell their line of BBQ products, instead of the other way around.
- The reason Darian decided to create a video training series teaching others the secrets of competitive BBQ
- The high-level process that Kosmo’s Q uses to develop and test new rubs
- Why certain rubs can take over 6 months to develop and perfect
- The reason Darian decided to move laterally and purchase a food truck for his business and help promote his brand even further.
- Why Darian doesn’t pay to have his food truck at an event any longer.
- Why you should view your food truck as an extension to the marketing of an event and even a main attraction
- Learn the biggest challenges of operating a BBQ food truck
Mentioned in the Show
KosmosQ.com – This is the e-commerce store for Kosmo’s Q. You can order their famous rubs, injections, and training videos mentioned during the interview right here.
Kosmos BBQ Food Truck – Take a look at the food truck for Kosmo’s Q and like them on Facebook.
BlackBird Cinema – This is the group that recorded and produced the series of BBQ training videos with Darian.
H and 8th – This night market and music festival is a local event held in Oklahoma each month. Darian is a big supporter / fan of this event and the people that organize and put on the event. According to Darian, these folks do incredible work to help cultivate the local food truck scene. This is a huge event that can bring in over 30,000 people in attendance.
M&R Trailers – Check out our previous interview with Bob from M&R Trailers. Thank you for your help sponsoring this week’s show!