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Rahul Raj

Founder & CMO5&Vine

Toronto, ON, Canada

Member Since August 2022


Innovation & Growth
Go to Marketing Strategy


I help Challenger Brands win. I started 5&Vine to help build, launch and grow meaningful brands that disrupt categories and better society. To date, our impact has helped our partners close over $1.4B in follow on financing and two have gone public. 5&Vine was born from my time as CMO at ecobee, where I helped transform the brand from relative obscurity into the #2 thermostat brand in North America with a 30% share and developed a playbook on how Challengers could take down industry incumbents. I know what a brand needs to take on Goliath. Prior to ecobee, I ran an incubator for Walmart in San Francisco. After seeing an opportunity to extract more value out of products that already existed, I built a refurbishing infrastructure that turned costly customer returns into a multi-billion dollar revenue stream. For these efforts, I was honoured with Walmart's Innovation Champion Award, a fellowship with the Aspen Institute and by GOOD magazine as 1 of 100 people pushing the world forward. My commitment to bettering the world started when I was young. At the age of 17, I founded and developed Meal Exchange to build healthy, just and environmentally sustainable food systems across Canada. Our work has been recognized by TIME magazine as "revolutionary”. Today, alongside my work at 5&Vine, I'm actively engaged in inspiring and empowering others to make their own positive impact. As well as being on the Design Team of the Aspen First Movers fellowship, I mentor entrepreneurs at First Round Capital, Tech Stars, the American Marketing Association, the University of Toronto’s Venture Mentoring Program, the Presidio Graduate School, and delivered a TEDx talk on the power of Challenger Thinking.

Published content

Unwrapping the Easter egg effect: How and why to surprise, delight, and bond with your community


When executed authentically, Easter eggs can add a touch of magic to your marketing campaigns, creating memorable and meaningful interactions with your audience.

Unconventional mavericks: How challenger brands are rewriting the rules of success in dining and beauty


What do Fenty Beauty, dementia, and improvisational comedy have in common? They serve as instruction and inspiration on how to build a strategic, successful, and compassion-driven brand.

3 questions brands need to ask themselves before speaking up about a social issue


It would be impractical—not to mention impossible—for a brand to comment on every political issue. The tricky part is deciding on which issues brands should take a stand.

In brands we trust: what a Dutch supermarket chain can teach us about building community and earning loyalty


As a brand, it's not enough to understand just the demographic segmentations of your audience. It has to be deeper than that.

Holding AI accountable: Three considerations for the tech and the minds behind it


When AI is designed intentionally, it can spark innovation without sacrificing functionality or performance.

Beating the backlash: when business competitors stomp on innovation 

expert panel

Tune out the industry naysayers and lean into solving your target market's pain points. When you're a brand disruptor who aims to provide innovative solutions in an established "business as usual" marketplace, your company and its leadership are bound to ruffle some feathers. To overcome any negativity, continue to stay above the fray and let the data speak for itself. By proactively educating the underserved market of consumers and staying truthful about your business intentions, you'll mobilize a community of ambassadors in no time, who are willing to support your organization's potential and share their personal testimonials.  As you begin to strengthen your client base, remember to put their needs first. But it's also imperative to build bridges by keeping your competitors even closer. At the end of the day, feedback, whether good or bad, fuels inspiration and innovation. This puts your company in a much better position to address concerns, defend its own progress, and defeat the status quo mentality of other colleagues in the field. Below, 16 Fast Company Executive Board members share tips to maintain your clients' confidence in your new establishment and develop loyal partnerships that will last a lifetime.

Company details


Company bio

5&Vine is a full-service marketing agency trusted to challenge incumbents, and win. We’ve collaborated with some of the world’s largest VC’s to accelerate growth for Challenger Brands in their portfolio resulting in +$1.4Bn in follow-on financing, three acquisitions and two IPOs. We empower businesses to win while also being a force for good. 5&Vine is championing an evolved form of capitalism that benefits communities and the planet, alongside shareholders. We support our clients in being profitable and bettering the world around them. Our goal is to show how socially responsible transactions can help businesses make economic strides. We help brave and ethically-minded Challenger Brands achieve the impossible and come out on top. We empower our clients to challenge the status quo, stand up for what they believe in, and confidently take on global challenges.


Marketing & advertising

Area of focus

Social Media Advertising
Brand Marketing

Company size

2 - 10