Max Berg is a customer-obsessed entrepreneur from Los Angeles with an eye for great product. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle and majored in finance and entrepreneurship, beginning his professional career at EY in San Francisco as a financial services consultant. After realizing he preferred the entrepreneurial and ever-changing nature of working in tech, he made the jump to Gainsight, a customer success enterprise software start-up. His responsibilities and experiences at Gainsight taught him the importance of creating meaningful and lasting customer relationships, which has shaped his approach to building a successful company today. Berg moved back to Los Angeles to attend business school at UCLA Anderson, and while interning for LinkedIn, maintained a deep-seated desire to start his own company. His dream became a reality when he helped launched Eliqs out of UCLA Anderson. Berg serves as Eliqs’ Head of Product and CX, managing all externally facing company initiatives, including product, sales, and marketing. With a cup of his home-roasted coffee in hand, when not immersed in Eliqs, you can find Max skateboarding at the Venice Beach skatepark, holding onto a piece of his dream of becoming a professional skateboarder. Below is our recent interview with Max Berg, CMO at Eliqs:
Q: Max, tell us something more about Eliqs and what you do?
A: Eliqs creates personalized, custom-branded beverages for any occasion worth celebrating.
Our model enables the production of small batch orders (only 48 cans!) of custom-designed craft beverages in as little time as 2 weeks. This capability let’s our customers enhance their most important moments and make them that much more memorable with imagery, messaging, and design that is tailor-made for their specific event.
Eliqs has not only seen success through social events like weddings, birthday parties, and bachelor(ette) parties, but we’ve expanded into the B2B world, as industries such as hospitality, entertainment and technology eagerly seek to leverage this new channel to serve as a walking billboard for their brands. Eliqs customers are realizing that this innovative, cost-comparable and high-quality product amplifies their brand in a creative way, quite literally putting their brand in the hands of their target audience in a manner that simply hasn’t been possible until now.
Q: I read something about your recent launch in California. Could you tell us something more about it?
A: Eliqs was born from an idea of our three founders who met as students at UCLA Anderson School of Management, which is how California became our first market of focus. We decided to pursue Eliqs after some earlier “proof of concept” successes. For our very first order, we created a small batch of custom-branded beers for a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner by scrubbing off the labels of store-bought beers in a bathtub and slapped some mediocre-designed stickers on them… The response was INCREDIBLE and our Thanksgiving customer was raving about “their incredible custom beers” well into the New Year! At that point, we knew we had uncovered an exciting opportunity. Since then, we have only continued to confirm this belief as brands, wedding and event planners, bars, and local businesses continue to seek out our product.
Q: What’s the best thing about Eliqs that people might not know about?
A: The process for working with us to place an order is extremely easy, and more importantly, affordable. Because we have a team of internal designers, partner directly with beverage producers, and sell directly to our customers, we are able to turn orders around in a timeframe that the industry has never seen, at a price point comparable to what these same craft beverages are sold at the store.
Q: What does it take to make a design? Who makes your team?
A: Eliqs has an internal team of professional artists and designers that collaborate directly with our customers to create a unique and beautiful design from scratch for each individual order. Our customers first complete our Eliqs Design Questionnaire to provide direction on what their looking for in a custom design – this includes colors, logos, pictures, text, hashtags, URLs, etc. From here, our team transforms our customer’s direction into a cohesive and professional design. Once the design has been approved by the customer, it is finalized and sent into production.
The entire design process is outlined below!
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Q: What can we expect from Eliqs in the future?
A: We aim to become the go-to custom beverage provider for every brand, company, event, bar, restaurant, and hotel. Although we have created momentum with custom craft beer for the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets initially, we have both use case and geographic expansion plans that will extend our offering to wine, hard seltzer, sodas, and other non-alcoholic beverages throughout every major market in the United States, starting with expansion into New York, Illinois and Washington in 2020. In the next 3-5 years, we hope to be serving several more markets as the demand for personalized beverages grows.