November 8, 2023
Episode 41

Jacob Zuppke, CEO of Whisker

In this episode, we meet Jacob Zuppke, CEO of Whisper. 

Whisker is the maker of high-end pet products that replace house chores. Its flagship product is  the Litter Robot, the #1 self-cleaning litter box for cats.

In this episode, we discussed transitioning from DTC to a genuine omnichannel brand and the power of TV commercials. 

Topics covered

  • Category building for new products
  • Channel expansion
  • Storytelling
  • Retailing
  • TV commercial strategy
  • How to get customers to upgrade


  • When you are building a new category, no one is looking for you. You need to invest in building awareness.
  • New category products often start DTC because retailers don’t want to risk shelf space on an unknown product.
  • Move to Amazon when your category or brand has keyword search volume 
  • For a considered purchase, whether it's online or offline, you need to tell a compelling story
  • Great retail partnerships are where you can tell your store and merchandise well. In store, story can be communicated through packaging, in-store displays, and point of sale.
  • When you go into retail, you need to invest in ads for high-funnel awareness to drive in-store sales, allowing customers to choose where they want to buy.
  • If you are considering writing a TV commercial, read “From Poop to Gold” by the Harmon Brothers.
  • A good commercial can be used in any channel (Meta, YouTube, streaming), not just linear TV.
  • However, it may need to be designed or recut to work for different channels, i.e., what works on TikTok, won’t work on TV or Meta, etc. 
  • You get customers returning for your latest products by upgrading with value-added problem-solving features. 

Please let us know your thoughts about the episode!

Where to find Jacob:



Where to find Kait Stephens:




Video – 17:00