An Underutilized and Underappreciated Brand Strategy: The Talking Head Video

Why don’t more entrepreneurs showcase their expertise? Why don’t more of them directly engage with customers and communicate? I’m not referring to an email from the founder, a podcast, or an on-air interview; I’m talking about the old-fashioned yet effective strategy—the talking head video. Why Talking Head Videos Perform So Well: Humans love looking at… Continue reading An Underutilized and Underappreciated Brand Strategy: The Talking Head Video

Brand building in a digital world requires a multiplane camera

I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a post by History Photographed. I think it’s a perfect analogy for brand building in a 2D world. AKA, most DTC brands.  For context, view the post here > As you can see, the multiplane camera zoom effect is more compelling. Now, ask yourself, how many layers… Continue reading Brand building in a digital world requires a multiplane camera

Building a brand that endures starts with a hard question: How do you want your customers to position your brand in their minds?

Said another way, who are you? What do you want to say? What is your unique point of view? Many brands struggle with these questions. I get it; they are challenging. We can barely answer these questions for ourselves. What makes us think we can get together with a team and answer them? Understanding your… Continue reading Building a brand that endures starts with a hard question: How do you want your customers to position your brand in their minds?

Brand Building is World-Building: A Blueprint for Constructing a Unique Identity

The concept of brand building transcends marketing—it’s an act of world-building. Crafting a distinctive identity involves meticulous planning and execution.  Clearly Define Your Vision It is critical to define your vision. What is it that sets your brand apart from the rest? What story do you want to tell, and how is it different from… Continue reading Brand Building is World-Building: A Blueprint for Constructing a Unique Identity

Fashion, stop trying to make sustainability happen. It’s not going to happen.

Fashion needs to hear this: sustainability is not a value proposition. I wanted Allbirds to succeed just as much as they did, but it didn’t. I wanted SHEIN to crash, but it’s thriving. Consumers continue to express what we want to ignore. When it comes to fashion choices, sustainability is near the bottom of the… Continue reading Fashion, stop trying to make sustainability happen. It’s not going to happen.

What’s the key to increasing the perceived value of your brand? Location, location, location.

“Location, location, location” is no longer a real-estate term. It’s now also a brand term. Leverage hard-to-get-to and traditionally expensive/beautiful destinations to increase the perceived value of your brand. So, how fast can you have your bags packed for Milan? An A+ location is the cost-effective supporting character of your brand and has the best… Continue reading What’s the key to increasing the perceived value of your brand? Location, location, location.

The essence of luxury is a closed-circuit world

Immediately entering a luxury expereince you notice that everything is meticulously designed for that specific world. You don’t see everyday things, you see everyday things retrofitted for this new world. The simplicity is beautiful. In theory, it’s easy to pull off, but pulling back one layer of the onion reveals you need time, money, and… Continue reading The essence of luxury is a closed-circuit world

Air (Deloris) Jordan

Air, the new film, from Matt Damen and Ben Affleck, about Nike courting Michael Jordan, truly fires on all cylinders. It’s cheesy but not too cheesy. It has the proper dose of nostalgia. The performances are solid. The soundtrack hits and hits at the correct times. It never drags. It never moves too fast. You know… Continue reading Air (Deloris) Jordan

Focus (what’s your In-N-Out Burger?)

Achieving hard things is hard. The process includes long periods of failures followed by iterations that improve. Eventually, more often than not, you will have success — if you focus. Focusing is easier said than done, especially in 2023, for reasons we all understand, but it’s not impossible. Focus takes daily practice. I think this… Continue reading Focus (what’s your In-N-Out Burger?)

Be a front-row person

After my first two years of college, I was unhappy with my academic performance. Not entirely sure how to get there, I started to observe the leaders in my classes in hopes that I would learn what set them apart. The first thing I learned? They all sat in the front. Obvious in hindsight. The… Continue reading Be a front-row person

Don’t be cute

A follow-up post to Your baby is ugly As a startup, your natural tendency will be to complicate what you are selling. Through copy on your website, emails, paid ads, everywhere. I’ve fallen into this trap many times. Your head is in the right place, you want to build a brand and establish a key differentiator… Continue reading Don’t be cute

Your baby is ugly

Your baby is ugly. I first heard this truism from Troy Henikoff, an entrepreneur and VC, during a panel discussion back in 2012. I had no idea what it meant. Fast forward 10+ years, and I know all too well what it means. It means you’re coddling your startup. You’re worrying that X or Y… Continue reading Your baby is ugly

Speed vs. Velocity: The never-ending struggle of the early-stage startup

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, the idea of speed vs. velocity. Understanding the difference is essential, especially for you early-stage startups out there. Here is a quick blurb from britannica.com on speed vs. velocity: “Speed is the time rate at which an object is moving along a path, while velocity is the rate and… Continue reading Speed vs. Velocity: The never-ending struggle of the early-stage startup