Welcome to our first Behind the Crate of 2019! If you’re unfamiliar, Behind the Crate interviews are our chance to chat with the folks behind the scenes that help make the magic happen here at Loot Crate!
One of the amazing things about Loot Crate is that if you’re a fan of anything, anything at all, there’s a good chance you can find that strikes your fancy on our website. Are you a pop culture or gaming fan? Check. Huge fan of WWE? Check. Are you as big of a fan of Harry Potter as I am? Check. Thanks to our wide variety of subscription products, it’s fairly easy for people to find something they’re a fan of – but there’s some serious magic that happens before those crates show up at your door, and Ben Weitz, VP and GM of Subscription Product Management, leads the team at Loot Crate that is responsible for all those subscription crates. He took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to sit down and chat with me about his experience at Loot Crate – give it a look!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Ben! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do here at Loot Crate?
You bet, Josh. I’m the VP and GM of Subscription Product Management at Loot Crate. That’s just a fancy way of saying that I lead the talented team here that is ultimately responsible for ensuring all of our crates provide the most awesome experience possible for our Looters. It also means we get to work with every team across the company in addition to our external partners, who are the ones that allow us to make their fan-loved properties into unique, exclusive products.
You’ve been pretty involved with brand marketing and brand management for a good portion of your career – what drew you to that kind of work for your career path?
I wanted a career that would provide some action for both the right and left brain, where I would have the opportunity to lead teams and be creative, analytical, social, introspective, strategic, tactical—often all within a few hours! I started my career in music marketing at Universal where brands were our artists, found my way to Hilton where experiences became the product, and then most recently before Loot Crate, served in a variety of brand, marketing, and product roles at Disney where I made the magic for over 10 years. As unique as each of those experiences were, the common thread was the importance of relationships to be successful in this field. And for me, now at Loot Crate, I get to put many of my past relationships to work while meeting even more great folks. It makes this job a blast.
What made you want to bring your talents to Loot Crate, and what sets Loot Crate apart from other company’s that you’ve worked for?
I learned early in my career that I love finding ways to connect physical product or experiences to the fans who love them–fans of superheroes, fans of music, fans of traveling, fans of video games featuring CG guinea pigs (maybe too specific), but you get the point. Loot Crate is the epicenter of serving up fan-driven products and experiences. I love fans. I love pop culture. And I loved meeting the folks that work here as I learned more, so it became a no-brainer. Also, working at a company run by fans for fans is FUN! And as far as what sets Loot Crate apart from other companies? It’s all in our secret sauce!
You’ve been with the company for just over two months now, but what has been the most exciting part of this journey so far? The most challenging?
Having the opportunity to work across so many properties and projects all at the same time is super exciting. One moment we will be working on Avengers product concepts and then we are brainstorming ideas for Fallout or Star Trek. And without sounding too corny, all the people I get to work with here make the idea of driving to work a great part of the day. I was welcomed with open arms and they’ve really made me feel a part of the Loot Crate family. As for the challenging, if you take a moment to stop to count how many products, partners, and processes it takes to keep 20+ crates arriving to doorsteps globally, it’s really incredible! The team here just rocks.
As the VP and GM overseeing all of our subscription products, you must be involved in conversations with all kinds of company’s and brands – what’s it like being able to be involved with so many iconic entertainment brands and franchises?
It’s a little overwhelming—in the best way possible. To be on the lot at FOX one week, then at Jim Henson’s headquarters another, or learning what’s new from Bethesda on a different day, there’s so much to enjoy and that we want to get in our Looters’ hands. It is a dream job situation to work with folks who are so passionate about their brands and franchises on a daily basis to create experiences very different from what fans can find at traditional retail.
Now, I know we can’t spoil anything that might be coming up, but can you talk at all about any of your favorite Loot Crate products or franchises that you’ve worked with since you started?
That’s a hard question since our products are all so different. Our current Loot Crate featuring a super cool Hulk item may be one of my favorites so far, and it’s one of three in a collection included in the core crate through April! I have a couple of other favorites coming down the pike, but I don’t want to “alienate” anyone talking about it. Did I give away too much?
It’s not always a necessity for Loot Crate employees to be geeks, nerds, or gamers, but is there anything outside of work that you’re a big fan of?
I am a fan of superhero franchises, one universe more than the other, but I wouldn’t want to start a Civil War with our partners in Burbank so I’ll leave it at that! I can’t name every single Star Wars character, but I sure love the franchise. I’ve been a casual gamer my whole life, too, so I love having the cross-over here. I’m also a fan of foreign languages and travel (shout-out to our non U.S. Looters!). Would I be a bad dad not to mention my twin boys? Also, ice cream!
And now, for my go-to final question for each of my Behind the Crate interviews: If you could create your very own product line for Loot Crate, what would it be?
I can’t spill the beans here! Since our team makes the crates happen, you could easily see one of my ideas later this year so I am not going to spoil the surprise.
Thank you so much for sitting down for his interview with me, Ben! Any last words for the folks before I let you go today?
I hope our Looters love some of the special things we have in store for them this year! Oh, and if you are reading this Haagen Dazs, call me.