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Episode #177: How to Build 1:1 Customer Engagement at Scale, with Jordan Neuhauser

Grad Conn

February 2, 202237 min read

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Jordan Neuhauser, CMO at Trulli Audio, has a passion for music that is matched only by his passion for authentic customer engagement. In today’s episode Jordan and I talk about how Trulli Audio is listening to customers, and then — most importantly — reacting quickly and authentically, with personal engagement that reinforces the brand, and creates fans for life.

If you’re looking to improve your customer engagement strategies, this episode will be music to your ears.

You can follow Jordan on LinkedIn.

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Grad 
All right, here we are. Aah …  so inspiring. Every time. Never get tired of this, probably a year from now I’ll be really tired of this. But right now not tired of it. Welcome to the Unified CXM Experience and as always, I’m your host Grad Conn, CXO or Chief Experience Officer at Sprinklr, and today I’m joined by a very special guest, Jordan Neuhauser. He’s the CMO at Trulli Audio. And we’ve got a great story and some really interesting lessons, I guess, on listening to your customers and how you hear things you would never expect to hear. It’s a really fantastic story so I’m kind of excited to put this together and show this to all of you today.

Grad 
Now, if you’re watching us on video, I realized as I was looking, I was looking at the video of one of the other podcasts the other day, I have inadvertently added a co-host to the show. And I think I might have mentioned it, but I am just going to have to point out that just over my right shoulder here, just in the back corner there you’ll see a teddy bear. And that’s the teddy bear I’ve had since I was a few months old, and that teddy bear has seen at all. It’s actually wearing the collar from my first cat, Punky. And it’s got redone paws and snout that my grandmother did. And he’s wearing a pair of pajamas that my mom made for him. So there’s a lot of emotion packed into that little ball of fur and fabric. But I put him on the shelf because I recently got him back. He’d been being well cared for, but in a different location for the last few years. And now I’ve got him back. And so he’s just kind of looking out. I thought he’d like to see the action. So if you need to say hello to Teddy, I might think about ways of pulling him in to the show at some point. Maybe we’ll do a whole interview with him. But today we’re doing an interview with Jordan. So Jordan, welcome to the show.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Thank you. Thank you.

Grad 
By the way, your choice of mics is excellent. You obviously have good taste in mics. So very cool. Any Shure MV7 fans out there.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely. Absolutely. Supporting the local, but also big Shure fan, so yes, I feel like I’m looking at myself right now.

Grad 
Well, what are you doing for your cans? What are the headphones on?

Jordan Neuhauser 
They are also Shure. I actually bought it as a kit. While I do have other headphones that I DJ with. And I have inner monitors. These I use for when I’m in conference calls or Teams meetings, Zooms, things like that.

Grad 
Yeah, I got the AKGs which are kind of Studio Professional ones. I find that I wear these for like ten, fifteen hours a day sometimes so I need something that’s comfortable. But these have been good. I love these ones because they’ve got these really big pads on them. I look a little bit like Princess Leia. They’re great. Yeah, they’re awesome. And of course you DJ, by the way, before we get into all this stuff. We didn’t even talk about that before. That’s so awesome. So what kind of DJ are you? I think I got to do that. I got to be like a DJ CMO. That is a cool positioning. So talk to me about your DJ life.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Today. It’s a hobby. But when I was 14, I had started a company called Boom Entertainment. I’m an advisor now. I’ve sold that company. We revolutionized the high school dance and created a tour. And through that process, I was a DJ. It was my early years of listening, should I say, because that’s what ultimately drove a successful event, right, was connecting with your crowd, engaging with them, keeping them there till the end, and really understanding what it is that they wanted. And it was something that I did a really good job at. I loved it. It was really fun. But then ultimately scaled the organization, stepped off the stage when I was 22, and continued to run that until I was sought out by my CEO who I have today at Trulli Audio.

Grad 
That’s really cool. Do you have like a signature DJ move like a fist pump or like something like this? Or do you have like a stage move that sort of people go, “Oh, yeah, that’s Jordan”.

Jordan Neuhauser 
I do get excited when I start to dance on stage. So I definitely do get excited. I dance behind the DJ booth quite often, even if it’s just myself in my basement and I’m doing a recording which I’ve done a bunch of times due to the pandemic. Now that it’s a hobby, I have a setup in the basement and so even if it’s just myself I will find myself dancing in the basement.

Grad 
That’s cool and in what way did you revolutionize the high school dance? What was the …?

Jordan Neuhauser 
So when I was a high school student, students would attend their dance, and then they would leave immediately after taking their photo, there was nothing memorable about the experience. And walking into a dark gym with a couple of balloon arches wasn’t anything that said, “Hey, I want to stay here for three hours”, right? And so, instead of continuing to go to the events or not and go to a basement and do things that no one really wants to participate in, and I really wanted to stay away from I was like, “Let me change this, I see this is an opportunity”.

Jordan Neuhauser 
And so I approached my high school and said, “Let me DJ this dance, let me bring in the production, I’m confident I can get more students to show up and get them to stay until the end”. Because they didn’t care about how big or how powerful your sound was, or how many lights you brought. Their objective was student engagement. And so I knew as a student, at least I thought I did at the time, I was young and dumb, but I thought that I could do that better than anyone but through learning and through, you know, continual trial we ended up revolutionizing the homecoming, and just bringing, you know, 90% attendance to an event from school population, which was unheard of. And then the winter dance failed, because schools had horrible branding around the event, they didn’t have the resources to promote and market an event during the knoll of a school year. And so we created a tour called Winter fest that helps students market, put together teams, and really overcome the challenges that they face today inside high schools, and bring a solution inside of their schools that they can’t get anywhere else. And it was incredible, it ultimately sold out. And then the pandemic hit. At that point, I was just an advisor to the company, but it was still very exciting to see and to watch it grow. And I know, still as an active advisor, I know they have big plans for the future. And it’ll be exciting to see what that turns into.

Grad 
That’s a great story, I love stories like that. There’re so many people who go on to be very successful in life have got sort of an origin story like that, where they started relatively young, saw a need, built a business, turned it into something, and then they keep laddering up. So okay, so let’s, I could talk about that all day but let’s move on. Tell us a little bit about your current gig. You’re CMO at Trulli Audio. Tell us a little bit about Trulli and what you’re doing because you’ve got some pretty interesting stuff going on there. And then I think what we want to do is queue up this idea of, you’ve already kind of foreshadowed a little bit in your comments you’re making. So that was very clever, by the way, the way you wove in the theme of the show into your DJ story. I noticed that … very nice, very nice. So I want to talk a little bit about this idea of listening to customers and how you use that to influence a marketing plan. So talk to us a little bit about the current gig and then bring everyone up to speed on what’s going on there. And, and then make sure you tell everyone what the URL is and where they can go buy the products, because, you know, we’ve got a bunch of people listening, and it’s always good to sell more.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely, definitely appreciate that. But to begin, you know, as CMO at Trulli Audio, that is t..r..u..l..l..i, we can talk more about how we came up with that name later. But my CEO, Len Foxman, 77 years old, amazing individual sought me out to help take their global IP and bring that to the world. And the global IP is the speaker, the driver itself, what you see behind the grille of a speaker cabinet, what’s creating that sound. And so we have the ability to produce more sound, using less power in a smaller space than any of our competition in the world. And that, right there, is the special sauce. But we’ve learned that …

Grad 
Is it a secret sauce or is it just a special sauce? How transparent are you with the underlying theories of the technology to make people believe that it is different?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely. It’s a great question. It’s a perimeter driven technology. We flipped the traditional speaker inside out; where normally it’s driven, like if I were to hold a basketball on my finger, I can’t dribble I can’t spin a basketball on my finger, but if I could, and the challenge part is it’s from a single point, right, but I can hold a basketball using two fingers. And so if you asked me to hold the basketball in one finger and now go up and down, that’s definitely not happening. But I could do it using two fingers, and that’s essentially what you’re doing with a speaker and that cone, that diaphragm to move air and to reproduce sound. And so by moving the motor structure and that voice coil to the perimeter, we are now giving ourselves more motor strength, more power handling, we’re able to dissipate that heat better than anyone and do it in a shallower footprint and requiring less power because of the efficiency gains. And then there’s the rigidity factor, I can literally stand on our speaker. If I stand on someone else’s, I’m going to break it; so it’s pretty cool. It’s exciting.

Grad 
A good reason why, yeah, that’s a really good reason why. That’s well explained.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Thank you. Thank you.

Grad
Do you have that on the site? Like, is that explained on the site?

Jordan Neuhauser 
There are some references on the site to our perimeter-driven technology. Absolutely. Because as soon as we launched, we were getting questions from early adopters as to how to talk about that, and how to explain that. We’re doing that even further. We’re doing more of that today. We create all of our content in house so that’s exciting. But the challenge, though, of having that driver technology is that most individuals don’t consume or purchase just the driver or the speaker itself. They buy the full solution, something they can easily connect to. And so it was a real challenge for us to think about, well, how are we going to enter the market? How are we going to create a family of products and solutions that are going to solve real problems in individuals’ musical lifestyles today, and that then creates a larger TAM right? It also allows for a larger impact to individuals’ personal lives. And that’s what gets me excited, and myself and my team and everyone at Trulli motivated, because it’s not just a cool technology, even though we’re a heavily engineered, based organization, most individuals in this company are engineered. I am not an engineer, but I definitely try to speak their language to the best of my ability. And …

Grad 
Can you say you’re like a party engineer? With your DJ background?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Sure. Sure. I like that. I like that.

Grad 
I think it works. I mean, just say I’m an engineer, too. I engineer parties. People may think, momentarily, maybe that’s not engineering, but then they’ll also say, “that sounds really cool”.

Jordan Neuhauser 
I love it. I love it. I’m definitely stealing that. So the challenge was, how do we create that pipeline? And so we do have our first product in market today.

Grad 
Congratulations!

Jordan Neuhauser 
Thank you.

Grad
And I think you launched it recently, right. Just a few months ago?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Just a few months ago, while we’ve been developing, not just the technology we do … over 60% of our parts are from the US … we do most of the manufacturing and assembly just an hour north of where I’m at. I’m in Evanston, we do it in Mundelein, so just north of Chicago. And that’s also part of the ramp up for us and the infrastructure that we had to build out when thinking about going to market and so there’s a lot in motion at the moment at the company. So we’re really, really excited, and really proud of what we’ve done so far. And definitely keep an eye out and there’s a teaser on the website about what’s coming. And that one is going to be a real disrupter.

Grad 
That’s great. That’s a very cool thing. That’s a great description. By the way, I just want to tell you that I don’t think I can hold a basketball even the two fingers. I’m probably ten-finger basketball person so you’re way ahead of me there. You know, Evanston is very near and dear to my heart. My oldest daughter went to school there and went to Northwestern for communications, where she did a musical theater degree. And it was a great experience for her, set her up for a career that she’s pursuing. She’s on tour right now with Come From Away. She’s a music director. So it’s all worked out. Amazing. I will say, I mean, I was in Evanston a lot. I used to see her a fair amount and fly in. I miss Evanston. I miss all the little … Is that grilled cheese place still there? What was that called? There was a place that just serves grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s like classic sort of student … you know, and there’s the place with concrete ice cream.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Yes!

Grad
You know what I’m talking about there? And then there’s that pie place that’s a little bit further south

Jordan Neuhauser 
Pie Bar Chicago

Grad
There are some really great places. Yeah, really great places in Evanston. So it is a great town. Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about marketing. So you’ve had a chance to see some of these shows actually. I really appreciate that by the way, not all guests do that. So you know what we’re talking about generally is this whole move from broadcast, sort of one-way communications, that was the hallmark of the 20th century, to 1:1 communications, typically through platforms like Twitter, and Reddit and Facebook and other things like that that’s sort of the hallmark of the 21st century. The difference, though, is that the 1:1 communications we’re doing today are at scale. So you know, it’s been the term has been coined Mass 1:1, which I love that term, and so I tend to use that a lot. So you’re running a true Mass 1:1 system. And one, I guess, one advantage, you may push back on this, because it may not be the advantage it seems, but sometimes, when you’re building something from scratch, and I understand the issues when you’re doing that, but sometimes when you’re building something from scratch, you’ve got a pure green field opportunity to do things the way you want to do them. You’re not trying to fit into legacy systems. And so it sounds like you really took advantage of that. So I’d love you to, just for a sec, maybe describe your stack, describe the way you sort of thought about building this Mass 1:1 system that you’re running and then what I’d love to do is then get into some of the stories of how that’s working and the things that you’ve been discovering as you’ve done a better job of listening to your customers than many other companies do?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely. Absolutely. So I appreciate the question. And I love being able to discuss that with someone that gets it. So to begin, the objective, the challenge from my CEO was, how are we going to build an engine that enables us to go after direct to consumer, go after B2B, just have one-to-one relationships with people?

Grad 
Your CEO said that?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Well, he outlined the channels in which he wanted to charge after, right. And so then the challenge was, well, how do we do that at scale, right. He clearly recognized the opportunity in the market and asked me to be part of it. And I loved that and saw this as the next step. And so then it was, “Okay”. Well, today, coming from a small business that I had 20+ technologies running, but they were all SMB level tools. I knew where the ceilings of those tools were. And so right away walking in and having learned from some of those hurdles and challenges and just honest mistakes that you make when you’re young and bringing that to life. And those tools were very young and immature at its time as well. Now, it’s like, “Okay, well, this is an opportunity to think about not just marketing, not just sales, not just care, what does engagement look like? How are we going to push our content out there? What are those hurdles that we face, as an organization to be real time with our customer the way they expect it?”  That’s a real challenge as a small group. Like you said, we have to build this infrastructure, and then also do the work and so really taking on the challenge of where do we want to end up a few years post-launch? And now how do we start there because the idea of a migration, oof, that’s going to derail the momentum that we’re building and so it’s really critical for us to set a pace that we can keep right now, turn on the channels, start our data layer and our data Foundation, make sure everything is flowing to be expected because that is not easy to get running at an enterprise level with a small group of people. And so once we can get past that, which is still a work in progress, to really have it operating fully, knowing that all inbound channels are coming into Sprinklr, right today we are fully on Adobe Experience Manager, we’re organizing our audiences using Audience Manager, we have Target, we have Adobe Analytics, we have Visible, we’re running Marketo and Magento, which is now Adobe Commerce. And then we were on Zendesk, and we actually migrated to Sprinklr and we’re using a lot of the Sprinklr care modules to ensure that we can be in one browser from our care and community and engagement standpoint.

Jordan Neuhauser 
And so today, it’s really helpful because, as a small team, how do we understand and observe and then be able to react quickly. While stitching that data together to be able to understand and be able to react is a challenge so the fewer systems that we have to do that in and already have it set up on the backend through API just works to our advantage. And so while that took years to get in place, and while simultaneously building that foundation, we were listening. And I really like to call out, there’s two sides to listening, there’s social listening, and then there’s review level listening, which to me is a totally different experience. And that was helping us craft our editorial and our look and our feel, and how we’re going to be different, but also our product and our features and the requirements for our product family. So yeah, a lot of parallel worlds. But it was, but understanding and being able to lay that out, as you said, and having that open field initially, then allowed us to look at the real requirements up front and then make those challenging choices knowing that yeah, that’s going to be a longer learning curve. And it’s going to take more to build and get running. But once we do, then we can just market and sell and communicate and engage and do what we do best, versus having to operate in silos and continuing to build our teams than in silos.

Jordan Neuhauser 
And so while we’re trying to break the barrier for the customers, between the sound they deserve, and that portable ecosystem, I’m trying to also break those barriers and internally, because I’ve never been part of a big corporate organization. And so I come from a small environment where we have big and large ambitions. And so I do believe that these tools can give us those abilities once you have them, fully operating and then have the right resources to manage them. I think the sky’s the limit. So it’s exciting. It’s something I’m very passionate about.

Grad
I can tell. Yeah.

Jordan Neuhauser 
And so obviously, Sprinklr and the universe of Sprinklr is a big part of what we do, knowing that engagement is on the forefront of dealing with our customers, right?

Grad 
Yeah, yeah, I just love the way you put that.  It was really well thought through. I also really like the focus on Adobe products. And Sprinklr works really well with that Adobe stack. And we kind of co-sell and go to market with them together all the time. So I think you’re right. Fewer integrations is the right way to go. But also the right integrations is another important consideration. Okay, so you’ve got the system in place, I know you’re still building, and things are still happening. But you’re starting to learn stuff, too. You shared a couple stories with me, which blew my mind. And just for the folks that are listening, this is the thing that I think that makes marketing cool. People who’ve been in marketing for a long time generally devolve to a point of view where they become one of two people. Old timey marketers either become so insecure, in the constant turmoil of marketing, that they choose a path of pretending they know everything. We all know those people. And then there’s another group of people who become so insecure, because of the constant turmoil of marketing, that’s a constant, that never changes, that they learn how to become scientists, and Jordan is a scientist. And the key to science, I think, is to have hypotheses but to cheerfully throw them out the window when they don’t work out. And I don’t like to talk about failure. I’ve never been able to make that word work with a team. But I find hypotheses work pretty well. Because you can test a hypothesis. And if it doesn’t work out, well, then you know, we’ve learned something. That’s a good day. And we’ll have a new hypothesis. And we’ve got this learning that we can put against the wall. So talk to me a little bit about what you’ve been learning. And as you’re listening to Jordan story, just think in advance or think as you hear them, whether you could have in advance predicted the comments that these people make. I think that that is the cool thing about marketing is that people will make comments that are completely orthogonal to what you were thinking; you never in a million years expected them to say that but when you hear it, it’s not crazy. And that to me has always been the thing about marketing has been so interesting, is that I would never guess someone would say that and I totally get why they said that. And when you find that combo, it is magic but anyway, so Jordan, take us take us through your story.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Yeah, absolutely. So, we launched right before Q4, literally a few days before Q4 of 2021. And we had shot a bunch of content and based on our initial research and the fact that we’re a portable product, we focused on outdoors. And we found that many people talk about music outdoors and so yes, we shot a bunch including a photo of a speaker on a bicycle. And that was a bad idea. It was as if we hit someone with the bicycle. I’m not sure but the response was that we were polluting the airways, “How would you ever consider that?” Yeah, and I’m not going to say the horrible comments, it’s not appropriate. But how we had to hide those comments, not delete them. Of course, there was a process we had to figure out but we were just taken back by the negative feeling that individuals have about playing music out loud. in a public setting, specifically thinking about a bicycle on a bicycle path. And then we took a second. We’re like, okay, we understand. But at the same time, we were like, “Well, are we going to fight that?” Are we just going to always hide comments forever? Do we want our customers to have to filter through that noise when trying to engage with a post they actually want to engage with? We can’t ignore the outdoors. People do enjoy music outdoors and something we pride ourselves on at Trulli is listening out loud. We use headphones for podcasts right now. We were talking about your AKGs, my Shures. I love them for this situation. But the idea of communal listening, that experience is something that you will never forget. You might forget the song, but you’re not going to forget the moment and who you were with. And so while I responded personally to that post because I do have a JAM5 attached to my handlebars, and I did 1000 miles …

Grad
Hmm, you’re one of those people, okay.

Jordan Neuhauser 
I am one of those people. And I ride it at full and my now four-year-old son, we did 1000 miles last year on the bicycle.

Grad
Wow, that’s awesome.

Jordan Neuhauser 
And we ride behind because he goes to school. He goes to Chiaravelle right south of Northwestern and we would ride behind Northwestern every morning. And one morning we rode behind Northwestern and there was a lady walking, and we are rock song playing. I don’t even remember the rock song to the point I just said, but she starts fist pumping. And my son and I join in. And we were just like, yes. And it was a moment that we shared because we were listening out loud. I also think it’s safer to listen to a speaker that way while on a bicycle versus having headphones in. That’s a different story. But, and then …

Grad 
… I think it was Springsteen. I’m sorry to interrupt but fist pump? Yeah, that’s Bruce.

Jordan Neuhauser 
My mother-in-law swears she lost her hearing at a Bruce Springsteen concert. She loves Bruce.

Jordan Neuhauser 
But we ultimately then modified how we how we talked about the outdoors. We just recently made a post, I think it was yesterday or the day before, we showed a photo of the JAM5 sitting outdoors. But we didn’t talk specifically about outdoor listening. We did in the hashtag, but not specifically in the copy and the caption. No backlash. In fact, we had a couple people really relate to it and respond very positively. Right. And so it was just a spin and how we were able to alter that. But we even did it in real time back when we initially launched, and you can go back and look at our social and see how we how we took that in because there were quite a few comments. And it was interesting. We hid the bad ones, but it has really informed and taught us that some of those questions are really valid. Some of those opinions and thoughts, to your point, you take a step back and you’re like, “Absolutely. I totally understand where you’re coming from”. And so how do we approach the market in a way and approach the real people that we’re going after, the quote unquote personas, our personas are real people that we’ve worked with, one of them being my mother, we call her a Gifter Judy. She fits it perfectly. But the point is that we understand we are not going to satisfy everyone but at the same time, we don’t want to offend anyone, and we don’t want to create noise on our channel. So how do we overcome those challenges organically through listening and that was the hypotheses. And I think we did a good job with it. And it’s still a work in progress,

Grad 
Congratulations. That’s great. One of the ways that we used to talk about it at Microsoft is all these comments that we would get, and you can imagine some of the comments we used to get. It’s a shocking, shocking view of humanity. But we called it graffiti. Because it’s kind of what it felt like because they’d, you know, scrawl it all over our Facebook pages and send it to …., that kind of stuff. So there’s a lot of graffiti on the internet, because anonymity is maybe not the very best thing in terms of bringing out the best in humans. But love that you’re …. You’re doing something that I really agree with, and I really love. I think this is true for all your posts, but you actually sign your engagement posts. Anything you do on social is that the person writing is identified? Is that correct?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Yes, yes. And as a small team, we’ve received some pros and cons on that, right? Because you’re seeing a lot of the same name over and over. But at the same time, we’re taking on that challenge and continuing to do that. So you’ll see a lot of Victoria’s name, you’ll see my name a lot. But we try to make it personable. And we also find that it’s easier than to have multiple comments on one post or create a real social thread, when it doesn’t look like you’re commenting with yourself. And there’s another person, just like it would be in real life. So how do we treat social more like real life? Right? And from a communication standpoint, I think that’s been really helpful, just from a positioning and thought process for us internally. And I don’t want to say changing our voice or tone, but just how we effectively communicate on social.

Grad 
Would you, oh, this is a this may be a ridiculous question. But as “real life” has become more virtual, have you seen a change in the way that people interact in the virtual world that’s becoming more real life? Are they coming together? And is that changing the way people interact with you?

Jordan Neuhauser 
So what I’ve seen, from my perspective, now, take it with a grain of salt, I have a couple kids four and one, so I’ve been pretty indoors for a while now. But when talking with my network, and listening and just studying, I have found that when individuals are coming together, those gatherings are in greater numbers. But the idea of how to socialize and how to party with each other, how to hang out with each other at a young age, or old, everything in between, it doesn’t matter. There is a new learning curve, there is a hesitation, of course it depends where you are. But regardless, it has changed the way we socialize and the way we come together, especially with the common denominator of music underneath of it, there’s just, there’s new rules, there’s new ways of hanging out. And it changes it. And so it’ll be interesting to see how that unfolds. But I think the need for music and the need for listening out loud, in the communal is more than ever, because it’s not the same when you’re having a DJ play, and you have your team all cheer and coming together, having a drink or a cup of tea. And everyone’s hanging out together. Yes, it is a good feeling through the screen. But it is not quite the same as when you are in person for those special moments, right. So not every moment is required, but some of those special moments you kind of miss being in person for.

Grad 
Yeah, that’s very, very insightful. And it’s this blend. I think this word hybrid is being used a lot lately, and I think we’re going to see more of that. And asynchronous has become like a big word in everyone’s vocabulary. I have a niece who’s 10 and I said, “What are you doing today?” And she said, “I’m working on my async work”. I said, “your async work?”, she says, “yeah, the schoolwork is async”. It’s like, wow, okay, that’s pretty cool. I noticed you said you had a one-year-old. So this is a child born within the confines of the pandemic which is just kind of interesting. So, this actually represents another one of my many thousands of failed predictions. So when the pandemic started, I said, “Oh boy, there’s going to be a huge baby boom coming out on the other end of this because everyone’s at home all the time”. That’s proven to be not true at all. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite. I don’t know if you’ve seen these stats, but, you know, people spent less time making babies, even though they were together all the time then when they weren’t together all the time, which I always find fascinating

Jordan Neuhauser 
My hypothesis aligned with yours.

Grad 
I know well, thank you for supporting my hypothesis. So congratulations on having a child. And thanks for being like, you know, at least one person got busy out there. C’mon, everybody! What are you thinking? Anyway? So let’s talk a little bit about something you teased at the beginning, the name Trulli. Where did it come from?

Jordan Neuhauser 
That’s a great question. So originally, when I came into the company and our parent company name and legal trademark name is Eagle Acoustics Manufacturing LLC. Just like Subway and many other companies, they have a hidden parent name. And that wasn’t a great name from a search engine optimization, memorable, just feeling connected and what’s the story and so I was faced with that challenge and ultimately went to Len and said, “Len, we need to do something about our name. We can’t own Eagle. That’s already established by others.


Grad
… like the country we live in

Jordan Neuhauser 
And like the country we live in. So …

Grad 
Although fun fact, did you know, that Teddy Roosevelt … The Eagle has not been the symbol of America for very long. It’s a relatively recent, kind of last century thing, but Teddy Roosevelt was wildly opposed to the eagle being a national symbol. Can you guess why?

Jordan Neuhauser 
The fierceness? I don’t know. Maybe he enjoyed that of us. I’m not sure.

Grad 
The eagle is a carrion eater. So he saw the eagle as being like, the eagle’s not distinctly different from vultures (which many would argue should be the bird) and so the he saw the eagle as just like a dirty animal and not something that really reflected the majesty of the country. And Teddy Roosevelt was a famous naturalist and established the National Park System and all that kind of stuff so he wanted to have something that sort of represented the beauty and the majesty of America and through its parks and through the wildlife, and so can you guess … I know, we’re sort off track; we’ll go back to Trulli in a second. Can you guess? What he wanted the national animal to be?

Jordan Neuhauser 
Oh, the national animal?

Grad 
Yeah, not the eagle. He wanted it to be …

Jordan Neuhauser 
That’s challenging if he had an issue with …

Grad 
He spent a lot of time in Yellowstone …

Jordan Neuhauser 
Yeah, I was going to say a bear, like a friendly bear.

Grad 
Yes. Bingo.

Jordan Neuhauser 
No way.

Grad
That’s it. Yeah. Yeah. You hit it. Right on the money, baby. Yeah, which is interesting because that’s the national symbol of Russia. And that’s also a 20th century invention as well. So anyway, yeah, the American symbol was almost the bear.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Wow. Didn’t know that. Interesting.

Grad
Yeah. And Teddy back here, he’s soundly smiling. Damn right. Damn right. All right, so back to Trulli. So yeah, you can’t own Eagle.

Jordan Neuhauser 
That’s an interesting point. And so I love that story. But Len’s original family’s last name was Trulli; his family came from Italy and most people don’t know this. So I know you have 30 plus 1000 followers now. So we’ll see what happens. But that is our company name. That is our company name now.  

Grad
It’s a great name.

Jordan Neuhauser 
And so when he came here, or his family came here, Italians weren’t fully accepted yet. And so they had to change …

Grad 
… like every ethnic group that’s ever entered the United States. Every group gets its’ turn being, you know, credibly discriminated against. It’s unbelievable.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely. And so they ended up taking Foxman

Grad
Oh, wow, that’s different.

Jordan Neuhauser 
It was the name. It was the grandmother; or I believe the great-grandmother. That was her last name. So they went with her last name instead of his last name. And then it stuck ever since. But most people didn’t know that, and I started looking it up and I believe his great-grandfather was part of designing the original Trulli hut and when you look up Trulli, it represents the hut and the roof of the Trulli homes in Trulli, which is a city in Italy. And so I was like, “Len”, we’re literally out to lunch one day, and I said, “I need a month to figure this out”. One week into it he says, “I need your answer now”. And I was like, “Of course, one week”. I did. I said four, which is a little aggressive to come up with a company name that’s going to be forever timeless. And I said, “Please, please don’t overreact. I don’t know how you’re going to react to this”. And I said, “Trulli”. And, and everyone just looked at me. And he said, “I love it. I love it. I should have thought of that. I should have thought of that”. And so …

Grad 
A great story.

Jordan Neuhauser 
… that was it.

Grad
Wow. It’s such a wonderful name. Because it sounds like a word – truly. There’s so much you can … and a very positive word, right? Yes, truly this, truly that, it’s like truly is never used in a negative context. And you can freight it with all sorts of meaning over time. You know, it’s like, the audio is true to this. It’s, it’s a very, very good name. That’s a fascinating story. And I assume the domain was available?

Jordan Neuhauser 
So trulli.com is owned by a hotel chain in Trulli, Italy. If they’re listening, I’ve reached out to you, I’ve tried to purchase this domain from you, they have it for sale on their domain or on A domain For Sale, and they were looking for a partnership and they weren’t looking to just unload the domain, but we do have trulliaudio.com and hopefully one day we could get the domain of course,

Grad 
You know, it could be kind of fun, like fill the hotel with Trulli devices, do little …

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely. It’d be like Shinola. Right. There’s a watch company, now they have a hotel chain. Could be neat.

Grad 
Alright, well, that is a really great story. And this whole episode has been fantastic. And Jordan, I want to thank you. We’re going to draw to a close now. Is there anything else you want to add in or anything you want to put a bow on? Or any corrections you want to make?

Jordan Neuhauser 
No, no, no, I’ve loved our time together. Hopefully we can do it again. Thank you. Thank you, Grad.

Grad 
All right. Well, I’m going to close now, Jordan, and I want to thank you. I know, it’s a big commitment of time. And I really appreciate you coming on, we’d love to actually reach out and do a customer story with you that we can sort of put on our site as well, because it’s such a great story, the idea that social listening can sort of transform a company and make it operate more consumer centric ways, those are great stories, and they’re always great stories. And thanks to all of you for listening, today I’ve been with Jordan Neuhauser. He is the CMO of Trulli Audio, look up their devices they’ve just launched. It’s a revolutionary new sound system. And it sounds like some really cool stuff is coming as well. Let us know, by the way, when the new stuff gets launched, and we’ll make sure we make a note of that on the show.

Jordan Neuhauser 
Absolutely.

Grad
And for the unified CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn, CXO, Chief Experience Officer at Sprinklr and I’ll see you … next time.


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