Company: Behind the Burner
Year founded: 2008
What Behind the Burner does: Behind the Burner is a culinary media brand focused on food, wine, mixology, and nutrition. The brand works with more than 425 culinary experts to create content in a variety of media—videos, articles, blogs, photos, restaurant commentary, and television show segments. The content delivers tips, tricks, and techniques to sophisticated, hip, and hungry food and drink enthusiasts. Gugnani’s content provides tips and sound bites geared toward the under-40 target market in 3 to 5 minute clips, then distributed to more than 50 media outlets, including NBC New York Nonstop, MySpace, BravoTV.com, and Howcast. Behind the Burner also does frequent segments on television and Gugnani is a regular guest on MSNBC Your Business and NBC Weekend Today as well as a contributor to The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast.
How she’s changing the game: Behind the Burner integrates culinary brands into the content for a flat fee. In most online advertising, clients pay a price per guaranteed impressions or per unique viewers. By getting paid directly from the product, instead of basing her revenue model on charging for content distribution, she flips conventional video and television models upside down. In addition to creating an innovative business model, Gugnani’s content targets a previously untapped—and affluent—market. While the vast majority of food media caters to a specific audience—women in their mid-40s trying to get dinner on the table—Behind the Burner is a departure from anything the Food Network, Martha Stewart, or Rachael Ray does. This content targets foodies that are young, hip, and love to eat, but also care about nutrition and wine. Recent highlights: Gugnani is on a brand-building mission. This year, she scored a book deal for, Food Slut: My Little Black Book of Tips from Behind the Burner, a “guide to staying slim, fit and fabulous for women who live to eat,” and it will be available in July 2010 on Amazon and in stores by January 2011. Always a business woman, in addition to an advance, Gugnani secured a 50 percent profit share with HarperCollins—an uncommon arrangement for a first-time author.
What’s next: Gugnani plans to leverage all the brand-building by developing a line of Behind the Burner culinary gadgets, and launching an e-commerce platform.
Daria Meoli is the Executive Editor at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at email@example.com