Episode 12: Don’t Leave Your Branding On Autopilot

Episode Summary

Neglecting to work on your branding could be equivalent to taking a spork to a gunfight when trying to convert. Tying your branding into the essence of your business will skyrocket your results. Branding expert Ian Evenstar shares his valuable insight on how you can connect effectively with your prospective customers.

Audio Transcript

Welcome to growth hack by Papi Digital tips and tricks to master the algorithms from industry insiders. Now here's your host, Julian Espinosa.

Welcome back to Growth Hack where we break down marketing channels like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and show them how to make them work for you. If you stuck with us throughout the season, you've heard from some amazing guests and even some solo episodes from me. We've covered things like video, LinkedIn, remarketing.

Target audience testing channels. One thing we've not covered is branding now on a growth hacking podcast. Does it even make sense to discuss branding throughout the season? We've heard from our listeners, many are just starting out and haven't invested or spent the time on their brand. At Papi digital, we've been lucky enough to work with established brands.

Branding hasn't always been a priority for our customers. It wasn't until I met a gentleman at a trade show and listened to his keynote, then I really began to understand the nuances of branding. It was through his education that I realized how lucky we were to work with brands who had really invested in their brand and messaging.

However, not all companies are that lucky or have started the process of making that investment into their brand. When you growth hack without making an investment into branding, the results can be unpredictable. Lucky for us. The gentleman whose keynote I listened to agreed to come on our podcast today in the special edition of growth hack, we bring you Ian Evenstar from unincorporated to talk about branding under the lens of how to hack your brand.

Welcome, Ian. Thank you, Julian. It's a pleasure to be here. You call me gentlemen, a couple of times that was quite polite. Hopefully I can stay within those boundaries as a personal brand myself. Well, ever since I met you, you've been nothing but a gentleman. You've bared with us through our process and, and working together with customers.

So it's been great. And honestly, I'm really, really excited to have you on the show, but before we get into how to hack your brand, can you tell the audience a little bit about yourself and your background? Yeah. Yeah. I'd love to you want the mystical version or the practical version practical. Okay.

No one ever takes me up on the mystical answer. Let me just first start by saying the fact that I'm on Papi, digital pod cast means right there. They can trust everything that I have about that we're about to talk about. And I'm about to say, all right. So, you know, we don't need to build any more trust beyond just that. So I'm here. As you mentioned. Yeah. I run a very successful agency based in LA. We are committed to higher education. And so what we do is we help universities, colleges, academies really stay relevant, especially in today's day and age. Right. Stay relevant. And solve some of the major challenges that they're facing today. Our core expertise, as you mentioned, it's branding, but within that, there's messaging, marketing and design, which supports that effort. I think that holds true about how you approach everything. Cause you approach everything from an education standpoint. You're not here selling anyone. You're not here saying you need to come buy this.

You just talk about what you've learned over the. Many decades. I don't want to age you, but over over the years, at least a couple of decades, for sure. Right. Over the, the gains of what you've done and you educate sort of that process. So here at growth hack, we don't we don't do tee balls. I'm going to hit you straight up really super hard with an incredibly tough question.

So you've got a company you're approaching with an incredibly limited budget. To start out with what are the minimal viable items you need to start a brand to begin to market that brand? Yeah. Great question. And it is a, it is a difficult one to answer because oftentimes this is the exact situation people are in. And if you're anything like me, you want to help someone who's coming to you. For that help for that said help. And they see you as an expert and someone that can really guide them to success. So I always tell people, you got to trust the process, whether you have a big budget, small budget, you have to trust the process.

What that process looks like with a minimum budget, a minimum viable product is first answering straight up. Why you want to start a brand in the first, first place. Secondly, it's going to be laying that foundation. Building a platform for the brand. This is kind of looking inward. And then the third thing is getting your marketing and your messaging.

So you can actually become visible and go to market with that brand. So those are the three things I'll ask people. You know, why do you want to, you have very little investment at this time or very little time. Why do you want to start a brand? And they might, you know, they'll say anything from, well, I want to start a business.

Maybe they already have a little side hustle. I want to grow that business. I want to increase my profitability, but if they don't have a real good answer to that first step in this process of, of why you want to do this in the first place, then I can usually tell that building a brand is, is really not going to solve what they're after.

For example, maybe instead. If, if their end goal, the reason why they want to start a brand is to just create some passive income. Maybe just spinning up like an Amazon sellers account would be a better option or finding a single product and running some Facebook ads or some Instagram ads behind that. And just, you know, flipping product, you don't necessarily need a brand to accomplish those specific goals. But if the why is a bit deeper, And they're willing to make a long-term commitment. That's really, what's going to get them through to those next two steps, laying the foundation, and then ultimately go into market. That makes a lot of sense because I'm assuming if the answer was, I just need to make money. That's probably not a good reason as to why they should be building a brand. No, no. And, and Hey, that's a perfectly acceptable answer if that is your, your end game. But if you, if you follow that up with, well, why do you want to make more money?

Usually you'll get at the heart and you know, who was it? Simon Sinek. He says, you always start with why. But what I love about this first step, regardless of how much money you have and what kind of investment you're willing to make is that it actually gets to a deeper question. And this is where I think Simon Sinek got it wrong because you have to start with who, who are you?

You know, Steve jobs. He said, I'm here because I want to make a dent on the universe. Right. That that was his wife. That was so big and so massive that of course, you know, his, his brand lived up to that expectation. But I think fundamentally it'll, it'll filter out. Are you, are you committed to this long enough to actually build a brand because it's gonna take more investment and more time.

And secondly, can you answer this question well enough to get to who you are as your brand is really just an extension of who you are and your identity. This is my podcast. And I don't usually like to promote my self in the sense where I'm talking about who I am as a person. But I think you give us this, this, you're giving me this opportunity to talk about it.

And so ever since I was little and I'm, and I can't remember how young I was let's say this was probably before 10 years old. I believed I was destined to do greater things. And I truly believe that since I was little like that's how long ago I believe I wanted to. And then, so then that manifested into, I want to make the world a better place.

And then more recently, the way that I'm going to deliver that is through when we've talked about this before is through another passion project that I'm working on, which is. Helping high school and college students to become career ready through another initiative project that I'm working on. But that, I think that's what you're talking about is the brand right.

That, that the heart behind it. Right. You know, I'm very, very passionate about that project. I'm really passionate about helping the world and becoming a better place. Poppy digital, I'm very passionate about helping. Businesses grow. I know what it means for a business to go from doing $300,000 to $700,000. That's doubling a business for an entrepreneur and what that means for him and his family. Like I get a lot of joy and joy out of that. Right. So, so you're talking at the heart as to why you exist and companies, you know in one of my first episodes it was episode two. We brought on Tony Del Mercato from hock media. And he said he said that this word, he asked me if I, if he could even cuss on this, he goes, why the fuck do you exist? And why should I care? Right. And so I think that also, I think you've just, you've, you've, you've framed it a little bit differently, but I think that's the same level is why do you exist? Yeah. So Tony, obviously he took the less gentlemanly way of saying that, but he's saying the same thing. Who are you. And why do you matter expletives removes? It's the same message. And, you know, going back to your point about taking a moment to self reflect on that vision that you have of who you are, people feel that, and that's, that's another thing that goes into this, this magic that we call branding is that you're actually transferring a feeling or a sensation.

Every time someone touches that brand. What's the next word? That brand. And I can vouch for this every time I've worked with you, every time I've interacted with poppy digital or any of the clients that we've collaborated on, we can, we can feel everyone can steal that. And I think that's definitely part of your brand and part of your brand success.

Thank you. And, and let's, let's answer this question. Why is that a growth hack? Why is being in touch with your brand and your who and your, why? Why is that a growth hack? Yeah, that's it. I think maybe even a harder question. It's a growth hack because fundamentally people don't spend enough time addressing it.

And so there's, they're sort of hamstrung to begin with and if they can't give you a solid answer on the spot and how in the hell are they going to give that answer to a perspective customer? Right. So it's a growth hack because the who and the why you exist has to be communicated out in order to invite people in to your brand in order for them to essentially become part of your tribe, either through a purchase, maybe it's joining your company as an employee, but it's a growth hack because if you don't have a correct from the beginning, you sure as hell, aren't going to be able to communicate it out effectively. And if you can't communicate something clearly and effectively, then you have very little chance of what we call conversion, right. And whatever that conversion metric is, again, depending on what, how you see success, you, you S you see fall off and conversion, because that preliminary question hasn't been asked or answered effectively. You're absolutely right. The reason it's a growth hack is because no one else, not a lot of other companies are doing it. And when you do do it, it provides dividends on the backend when you're doing conversion campaigns. Right. And you're marketing the company. Right. So that's why it is a growth hack to focus on your brand.

Like, Hey, let's stop worrying about like the next cost per click or the next CPM or the next Facebook ad. Let's take us up second. Let's step back. Let's ask ourselves why we exist, why we, why other people should care, ask who we are and answer some of these questions. And that's the first stat and the first stage and figuring out who your brand is so that other people can know who you guys are.

Right? So that you can, so that you can grow. The, the thing is, is we, we are so focused on the result. Right. I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to increase revenue 20%. I want to have 10 new retainer accounts by the end of the year. That's that outer realm of direct result DRS. Right? Don't you love those clients. They come to you and it's like, can you guarantee me all his direct results? And yet they can't answer the question. Well, who are you? And you know, why should I give a fuck as Tony to use that phrase? But you can't growth packs. Or get to that direct result, that outer goal level, by first answering that, that court. Let me, let me back up a second and answer that. Say it in different way. Oftentimes we are so focused on the direct result of what our brands can do. In other words, grow revenue, increase profitability by 20%. It's that outer realm, you know, even personally it's like lose 20 pounds this year. And then right below that a layer below that are okay, well, these are the strategies and the tactics, the habits, if you will, or the processes that are going to support or aim towards that, those goals, but what fundamentally drives all of those habits.

And those processes is at the core of the why you exist in the, who you are. So. Trying to kind of jump all the way to the outer realm without first answering that question, is it it's not going to lead to any conversion or direct result by any stretch of the imagination. Do you want to talk about the second step once you've you feel like you have a really solid why?

And you can answer who you are. I want to float here for a second because . What I've done. And maybe, maybe here's the thing. Let's, let's talk about this for a second and maybe I've done it already. And I didn't realize, so take my passion project. I'm not going to say the names cause I'm not here to promote my passion project.

That's not my goal here with these podcasts, but take my passion project. It goes as an example it started with my why and my who and who I am. But we haven't invested into our brand, but maybe I did and I did it unconsciously. Right. So let's take that for a second. But what I've realized is that the market viability about what we are offering.

So in this case, we are offering how to how to help high school students become career ready. We're doing LinkedIn workshops and we're teaching them how to find internships and the value behind internships. So that's, that's that little piece right there. That had a lot of market viability. There's a lot of organizations, really schools who are looking for that type of content.

So we didn't invest a lot into our brand, but maybe we did. And can you break that down for a second and think about this as like, because there is a product out there that is really needed. Can you almost. Not work that much on your brand because it's that needed in it's the right time. And sort of that balance of brand equity to market viability that basically allows you to not have to work on your brand as much as someone else who is more so a commodity like a financial planner.

There's, there's a lot of layers to what you just set up there. But if we start to kind of peel this back a little bit, one of the points that I heard, or at least resonated with me was. If there's a significant or a huge market demands and there isn't a very good supply, right? This is basic economics.

You don't necessarily have to spend a lot of time, like clarifying your message or figuring out who you are because there's already an incredible demand. You know, the thing, think about a plumber who, you know, maybe has three or four employees. And all he's doing really is making sure that he's physically available in those micro-moments when someone's pipes burst or someone needs to come you know, unclog a drain.

He just has to make sure that his Yelp ads are working correctly. And that you know, he's listed properly on Google. I mean, these are all real tactical things that don't even really. Need any investment on the who side? So it's quite possible. It's possible that yes, of course, if there's a strong enough demand, maybe you don't need to address the who as early on or the why.

And I think the second part of that is by doing that level of introspection, which I says mentioned is the first fundamental step. You actually have taken significant measures to actually invest in your brand. Just a different type of investment, right? It's mental, emotional investment versus the kind of financial investment.

And what's great about that too, is if your, why let's say is being a viable business and you're going out now and testing this new venture of yours and it's not viable. Then great. You you've, you've sort of answered it. Why, and now you can take that brand Outback back and lay it to rest. So, so in a way, it gives you this objective, the framework of, you know, Hey, no matter what happens and you know, w whatever, come, what may and fate, and COVID not everything.

Yeah. Right. That goes into this. If I have my why straight, it can actually be a real objective filter for other key decisions. Which I think is an almost perfect segue into laying the foundation for your brand, which is mission, vision, and values, which are also filters or frameworks that you use as a business owner, as a brand builder, in order to make real key decisions on marketing, hiring, firing, you know, your audience segmentation across the board.

Right. And so that's the, the, the next question. I'm glad you're teeing it up. There is, let's say your mission, visions and values, your who, your wire there. What is that next tactical step in the process of beginning to build a brand? Yeah, the elevator pitch is the minimum viable thing you need to market. It's the one thing. People will remember you for when you're not standing in front of them, or they're not watching, you're listening to you on a podcast. This is the most essential thing. Yeah. You know, and there's tons of great examples. Geico famous slogan. Did you hear Geico actually changed their slogan this year? What is it? Well, 15 minutes can save you 15% or more, right? Like if you, if you want to save on your insurance thing, Geico, but this year I wrote it down, they just changed it to real service real savings. Now that is a forgettable elevator pitch. If I've ever heard one, but to get to get back to your tactical question you need to have a real solid answer to Jolene.

And tell me about yourself or what do you do? What does leaving the nest do that answer has to be crystal clear. And the reason it's essential for marketing is because it's marketing and branding. At the end of the day, it's really just a process and memorization. So that one liner needs to be repeated over and over and over and over.

So in those moments, when someone needs that thing that you do, you immediately come to mind. And it's consistent every time, right. Has to be. Yeah, because consistency, unless of course your promise is that you're going to show up inconsistently unexpectedly and trust me, there've been a great celebrity brands, you know, going back even further in my career that that's where I started.

Right. It was his branding celebrities, and we see this. Celebrities reinvent themselves all the time. Cause there, there actually is like a peak when a, when a brand kind of re reaches its maximum equity point and then starts to trail off and eventually die. But if it can reinvent itself and re-pivot, and maybe reposition the who then actually has a chance to, to ramp up up again.

So yeah, so consistency is key because consistency gives it builds trust. The, the person that's coming to you for that solution or for that answer can count on you for that. But there's plenty of great entertainers out there that show up wild style every time you see them. And that's also a consistent promise, right? There's consistency and inconsistency, right? Yeah. I hate to get too the metaphysical or, or philosophy philosophical with these things, but yeah, there, there is consistency in the inconsistency. I love that the, the one for the one-liner to truly be effective, it has to be consistent. We we've already hit that point. But it also has to invite somebody in yeah. In to the story. They actually have to see them as the hero of your brand story or of your elevator pitch. And. Here's a simple example. Hopefully I'll do it justice. Now this is from Don Miller. StoryBrand grade book. Your listeners should read it and check it out. But the, the example is, let's say there's a chef and he was recently laid off because of one of the restaurants he was working at closed down. Right. Bomber of a story. Someone comes to him, maybe it's social media, maybe it's, you know, one of these social gatherings online and they say, Hey, what do you do? First, first introduction. They're teeing up his elevator, but he's out of work. He's maybe an established chef has already maybe a little bit of a following brand following around him. Or maybe he's thinking I'm going to build a business and build a brand. He says, yeah, well, I'm a chef. Recently laid off.

You know, right now I'm trying to build a chef business that where I, where I cook for people. Now, let me ask you something. Are you right now, as I'm telling you that brand story or that giving you that elevator pitch, are you thinking of like a polite question just to like make small talk with the chef? No, I'm thinking he sounds weak. Well even worse right week. Like I would never want to do business with this guy, this guy he's not going to solve my problem. So let me switch it a little bit. And obviously I'm not a chef, but here's the same question. But for someone who understands like the power of an elevator pitch or one-liner that invites people in to their brand story, Hey, what do you do?

Well, Julian, you know, Oh, how people are working crazy hours these days at home. And like, by the end of the day, making a good, healthy well-balanced meal is like the last thing they want to worry about. Right. And, you know, oftentimes they're going to door dash or they're going to probably spend more money than they really want to.

And they're actually going to have some unhealthy habits out of that. So, what I do is I actually prepare, I come into people's homes from safe, social distance, and I prepare healthy meals for them. And that way they can actually eat and not have to worry about any of that. And just really focused on living a healthy lifestyle and getting a job well done every day.

I love the frame. Now all of a sudden, are you thinking, Hmm, I wonder how much he calls. Hm. I wonder, I wonder, like, what's his schedule, like maybe he could come to mind. Right? So that's the kind of elevator pitch or one line that actually invites people in by demonstrating some empathy upfront and then getting to like the, who you are, like the nuts and bolts of, of what your brand does after you've already established that groundwork.

Nice. And, and, and that's a really interesting piece, right? Because the person who answered the question in the first place probably doesn't realize they're answering it in a manner. That's probably not the best. Right. It's this sort of lack of awareness. And I think you and I have talked a little bit about lack of awareness.

Now I want our listeners to listen to this piece of us talking about this. So let's, let's for example, for all intensive purposes. Everyone on this planet who has a business believes what they are doing is the right steps. Or at least they think that they can't do the, all those steps. So they're doing what they think they can mostly brands and you and I have uncovered this, even working together with some brands that they think they don't need certain things, or they think they're doing it right.

So. The first thing that, you know, you, you need self-reflection as a human, whether you're an entrepreneur or not, you need a little bit of self-reflection. Right. I tend to feel that I, I reflect a lot on myself and I reflect on my actions. I reflect on how I approach my brand or how I approach my consumers.

And I'm always looking to make things better and a bezerk better user experience. I mean, you kind of need to be there in that thought process before you even think about these questions, but let's, let's, let's start thinking what things can we. Ask a brand that can lead them to realizing, Hey, there's something here that I'm not paying attention to.

And I probably should. Well, and this, this kind of calls back to what we're describing as like a direct result. So they have these blinders or, you know, I like to think of it as a fog. It's like a fog of confusion or it's a fog of expertise. Oh man. Even worse. Go to a tech conference and you'll immediately see how much confusion or fog there is because you know, you're not an expert in, and they're using words that you'd have no clue, but to get back to your question, the blinders ultimately are affecting the results that they want to see.

So Julian, I'd put this question back on you for a moment. When we talk about blind spots. Do you typically want to help or do you think it's more important to help the company or the individual like the founder recognize the blind spots that they have as they look inward at their brand? Or do you think it's more effective or do you want to take on that question?

That same question of the blind spots that they have trying to connect with their audience or their prospective customer. That's a good question. So just to make sure I understand it do I want to start the process with them looking at their brand themselves or them, how they look at their customers?

That's your question? Yeah, because those blind spots exist both. When we look in the mirror and we see ourselves, or when we know start thinking about our company and our brands are baby. Those blinders are there when we look inward. And they're also there when we express our brand outward. I don't know if I have an answer that you're looking for.

I think the answer I would say is, I mean, your user experience and your customer experiences is probably pretty key, right? Making sure you're, you're treating your customers. Right. I mean, look, what we're talking about right now is, is, is businesses being able to reflect that. The business that they have is not theirs. The business is their consumers, right? It's like you are there to serve the customer there. The, the mechanism at that point, that helps you is yeah. You, you, you, you get financially and economically rewarded based on that experience, but I would look at the customer experience. I'm not sure if that's the, the, the track shoe that you're looking for, but I will look at the customer experience and just say, Hey, how, how are you?

How's it going with the customers? Like, are you making sales? Are you able to sell the product? Are you able to is this something people even want, but. Maybe if you can ask a different pointed question, I can give you a different answer. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So if we're looking at, say the blind spots, when it comes to how they see the customer journey, or maybe the blind spots of what they're not doing properly as part of their marketing strategy or ad buying, or even their creative data will back this up really well for us. Right? So you, you run a report on the last three months on any brands website. And you can quickly start to see the patterns and analysis is one thing, but really understanding what the data and synthesizing the data to get to the narrative, the story of what's going on. That's, that's the art and that's ultimately what you have to do in order to expose those blind spots.

So for example, if people are hitting the homepage and the scroll depth is at 10%, And that's like the most glaring thing. That's preventing people from them going on to learning more about the brand or maybe making a purchase and I'd say, Hey, the way you're teeing up your one-liner right. The very first thing you see above the fold, this needs to be reworked.

And that's a simple fix, but you've got a 10% scroll depth right here. I mean, it's obvious that people are saying, I don't care and moving on. Right. Or maybe it's a situation where they're clicking further down into the funnel or they're clicking on a certain piece of creative more so there's, there's ways within the data. You can expose all of those, those blind spots. But if I just up-level this for a second, I think the most critical takeaway is that you need an outsider perspective. You need a brand. Specialists or close advisor, someone who understands brand or at least understand psychology and empathy, the enough to look at how you, your messaging yourself and your company, and give you some honest answer of like, I call it the grunt test. Like if you ask your friends, pull up your website and I want you to grunt back to me in the first six seconds, what I do, why I matter and how you can get my service. And if they can't grunt that back to you, then you've got some blinders on. There you go. That's a, I think a practical and tactical way, but just, just keeping a perspective and a, and a close eye on the fact that every client, every brand that I've ever worked with, they're so close to their product or their service, that they are intimately aware of the workings of their business.

And so they've created this fog and they're trying to invite people into that brand story, that one liner, but we don't want to be confused. We, we want clarity on exactly. Like we're saying who you are, what problem you solve and how you get that solution. So if you can explain it, some of that confusion that they've created as barriers, then of course, you're off to the races and then those fixes can be done really, really fast. Well, that was a good way of selling yourself. Oh, I hadn't seen, I didn't even recognize that, but thank you. And no, I, I actually, from my perspective, I think it's more important to recognize the blinders that you have inward. Right? So if I were to call a meeting tomorrow with heads of staff of the agency, and I said, Robert, tell me why we exist as an agency.

Rebecca, why do you show up every day and go to work? Like what are we trying to accomplish? Or here's a good one Eve. What are the ideal habits, processes, or initiatives that are going to push this company forward to help with sales, growth and marketing for the next year? All I gotta do is call a meeting and ask those questions.

And all of a sudden, I know if I have blinders on or not, because I may think that they think that they already know those key answers. Right. Cause, cause I'm so I'm, I'm already in that fog myself. And if that's the case, then I feel like you have a bigger, deeper challenge to work on, which really comes back to that second step, laying the foundation, making sure everybody is centralized within your organization or your brand around a central mission.

They all know the higher purpose or the vision that you're going after. And ultimately they all have bought into the same values because that's what builds company culture. Totally. And I think you're highlighting a great, great concept here. So before we get into, well, let's do it. I, I, I've been wanting to get to this question.

So let's talk about it. You have a large budget, right. And I'll look at you smile. And I know that, I know, I know, you know, you know the question, you know, the presentation is going, you know, you know, what's going to happen. You got a large budget. And you can build the ground, a brand from the start to the finish with money, not being an object.

How would you do that? And where would you start? Man, I love this question. And so I'm assuming we're, we're thinking about someone who has a ton of expendable cash financially free, and they're thinking they want to spin up a brand or maybe they really well vested and there's no contingency on the money and they want to start.

Okay. Okay. So I love this question and I'm going to answer it two different ways. Cause I think most of your listeners are actually, well, I know I'm going to say, I'm going to go out on a limb, a hundred percent of your listeners don't have an endless, you know, amount of funding available in order to do whatever the hell they want.

So. I I'd say that's pretty safe to, so, so we'll, we'll, we'll speak. So then here in a second, that, that audience who already has maybe a brand that they've started and they want to build and money isn't as much of an issue, what should they do? What if you're just starting off, you have to believe even the process. And, you know, we keep coming back to this three-step process that we, that we've talked about at the opening part of the segment. But if you could do that process completely unplugged, meaning you just put your phone down, close your laptop, turn off your emails and just travel, reflect, take things in like, that's what I would do to build a brand.

You're going to get so many insights and so much reflection that you're going to be having so much clarity. Right? It's like a vision quest on. W why you want to start this brand now? Not, not even so much what, but again, coming back to the why I'll get, I'll give you an example of something that happened to me when I was in Mendosa.

I went to a few restaurants and I studied their brands. I studied the user experience. I noticed that every set of French fries, I always ordered French fries. They always came out as those steak fries, like the triangular ones that are frozen usually and thrown in the oven, right. Grew up on those things. And when I was in Amsterdam years, before that, Like French fries were the thing. There was a French fry stand, like at every other spot down the strip and you could get it with Manet's and catch up. And all the fixings, like French fries were a big industry, tons of brands, equity available or built, I should say, in that market.

So just by traveling and going to Argentina, I had this, this awakening that there's, this market need. To have seasoned French fries, curly, French fries. Like I could be the fried gangster. Talk about building a brand like you could literally build the biggest fry brands in in Argentina. To this day, I'm hoping someone takes me up on that.

So getting back to your question, if money was no object and you wanted to start something, I would just put life on hold and I would travel. I would reflect, I would write. And most importantly, I would bring a guide, right? You wouldn't take a bunch of payoti and go out into the desert without a guide, hoping that you're going to bring some in the back with you.

And for the same reason, I would do that. Exercise of traveling and introspection, you know, with a, with a brand guide, with someone who could prompt me and qualify, you know, what I'm really after. So that the outcome is actually like a viable business or brand. If that's something I was trying to achieve. Isn't there evidence that the biggest brand in the world did that. There probably is. I'm not familiar with that case study, which one? When you're thinking of Apple, Steve jobs? Well, that's not after all, he said he wanted to make a dent on the universe. So maybe that's where that, well, I, I th I don't know, maybe his story has been you know, exaggerated to, to some degree, but there is, there is evidence to show that he did go to India and he took acid.

Right. And we just explored out there and, you know, I don't know if he came back and then suddenly was Claire or he just cleared his mind to some degree. And then, and then he started there. The idea really is that, you know, was an really, was that was, was the brains behind it. Right. And then, and then Steve was just th the, the, the great marketer.

So I don't know if he had to go there to, to, to clarify, or it just. By chance. It just coincided with the story. People try and sell it a little bit like that. Like, Hey, you need to go on vacation. Right. And you need to go out there. So what do you think about going, you know, being unplugged when you're building your brand?

What about that? Is so valuable. Well, just clarity, focus, really just being free of distractions. That's the, ultimately you have to get to that heart of who you are and. I don't think anyone can do that when you've got a million messages coming in, hitting you every day. So it's just giving you that space to really lay that foundational work, which is where, where, and why I would start there.

Now, if you already have a brand and let's say you have money to spend. What I would do with that similar thing. Like maybe year after year kind of recalibrate. I actually, here's my plug. I've got a great workshop coming up, March 24th, called hero on a mission. And it's designed exactly for this it's for that CEO, founder, startup entrepreneur, who wants to really build a life of meaning and purpose and has to go through that process of introspection.

And then. Creating a specific tactical plan in order to build the life of one streams. So take a look for that. Hopefully some of your listeners are, you will join me. I'm going to extend a personal invite to you of course. But if you have a ton of money, like I always say you've got money, but no time advertise, right? If you have time, but no money content. Content content content, content words are free. Content is free for, for the better part of this exercise we're doing here in this fun time. We're spending with this podcast. This is kind of a free event in, in many ways for you to produce. I mean, obviously there's some operational overhead, but producing content is actually a great way long-term to build brands that doesn't. Require a cost, a lot of money. And over time, what you, what happens is you, you become content wealthy. And when your brand is content wealthy, man, your equity goes through the roof, absolutely through the roof. And there's all kinds of different channels and metrics where you see that. So time. No money, invest in content. If you've got a ton of money and little time, or just a ton of money on your hands, take wild risks and go big with your creative. Like I'm talking stunned, creative advertising across all channels, like just megaphone the hell out of it. And that would be a lot of fun to do. Wouldn't it? Oh my God. I don't want to get that excited.

So what you're saying is if you had all the money in the world, you said, go take a vacation, right. And you take a vacation and then. Figure out why you, why you need to exist and work on your brand. And to you, you said, take a guy. Would you take a branding guide or would you take a guy that can get you all the way to the top of the mountain?

Yeah. If I, if my goal from that exercise, you know, go to Indonesia unplug and the. The money isn't required to travel. All right. Let's make sure we're not missing that point. The money is required in order to basically put everything else, you know, all the other risk on hold. And may, and so maybe that travel expense is Just a small piece of that, but I think the opportunity lost, if you're, if you're an owner owner operator, that's probably the bigger investment that that you're going to see hit.

But yeah, if, if the goal of the trip is to start a business plan or create a a brands from scratch, I would take a branding guide or a business potential business partner and, you know, work through that process together. Awesome. Awesome. That's great. So we we've talked about really that. Who you are and why you exist being some of the most important pieces to a brand.

Before we end this podcast, let's, let's talk practical. Even though all this is practical, but let's talk it in terms of actual tangible assets and briefly kind of go over that once you've got your, why, who you are, why you exist and, and, and, and what your value is to, to the world. Where, where do you take this and where do you go with it? Yeah. So assuming you've also done your messaging work, which is clarifying elevator pitch that we talked about earlier, it's also backing that up. Those claims that you're making about yourself, I am the best stay at home because of X, Y, and Z. Then there, you can actually build out a content editorial schedule.

You can start to develop and think through and, and create really good creative or advertising. You need a, you need a sales funnel like this is practically speaking. The most important thing after you have your elevator pitch and you've done, you've laid the groundwork. If you have one employee, two employees, you need some place where prospective customers is going to touch the brand, see an offer or call to action. And then drop into your funnel, right? This is one piece of the mechanics you must absolutely have as a brand. I can't think of anything more tactical. And practical than having a sales funnel set up that sales funnel, whether or not it's it's has automation behind it. And it's really sophisticated in terms of nurturing that can develop over time.

But I'm, I'm saying one place, someone can interface with your brand and when they're ready to take action to convert, make a sale drop into your funnel. So I would, I would encourage everyone to look at at their sales funnels and optimize those build one, if you don't already have one and beyond there, I mean, they're obviously real specific.

Like everyone thinks of these things actually as what a brand is, but it's your logo. It's your visual identity. It's rights, your logo. It's your tagline. Business cards, maybe not so much needed now in COVID stay in age. It's the looking like your color palette. It's the visual expression of your brand of your, who that, that comes through visually that you, that you also have to create for yourself.

And we talked earlier too about making sure that that's consistent, consistently communicated. I call these things like basic brand tools. But they're essentially the visual elements of your brand that express your brand's identity. Great. No, I, it really is interesting when I hear you speak about all these different things, because you know, Logo website, you know, all those things are really just a visual representation of your brand.

Your brand is some as much, much more deeper than that. And you know, for awhile, I mean, even before I met you, I really didn't understand that. And so I think you've definitely helped me understand the validity behind that and really why that makes it a growth hack. So the last question I got you for the day is what's, what's one takeaway that you want.

This audience and anyone listening to take to take away from this fundamentally, I want your listeners to understand that a brand is an identity. It's going to evolve over time. It's going to take a lot of hard work and introspection for it to become a strong brand. Maybe even a firebrands, practically speaking. If you don't have a solid set of. Why you exist, we'll call this like your vision, what you're trying to accomplish. Long-term if you don't have a set of like the ideal daily habits or the daily processes, we're gonna call that your mission statement. And if you don't understand, or you can't clarify the values, like the governing laws and rules of that identity, mission, vision values, then.

You need to go back and work on those things. Practically speaking, tons of great resources and what that's going to ultimately lead to is, Hey, this is my brand's personality. This is the, this is the purpose. This is really, you know, w why, why exist? And it's gonna lead to ultimate success. If you can stick with it. That's awesome. That's awesome. Thank you so much, Ian, for coming on this show our relationship has evolved from the day I met you to today. So it's great. And I can't wait to keep working with you and catch you back on the show again. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for having me. And likewise, Juliana, I'm really impressed with how you've continued to build on your brand.

And I know the incredible value that you bring to your clients. Maybe this is like an aside or a part of your blooper reel. I don't, I'm not sure, but another key takeaway is it's a gift get right. We, we can't, we can't get value from somebody or something. I can't, I can't extract money from your pocket can extract money from my client's pocket without first giving some value upfront.

So I think our relationship actually has been, I like that we've been able to actually provide value to each other. And for that reason, we've been able to also extract some value and build on our brands together. Absolutely. No blooper reels it'll be included. All right, guys, thank you so much for listening. Stay tuned to next week episode where we talk about podcasting and I hope to see you guys soon. Peace.