Drink Like a Lady Podcast

A Branding Expert's Top 10 Tips to Persistently Standing Out in the Market with Emily Heyward​

November 26, 2023 Joya Dass/Emily Heyward
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
A Branding Expert's Top 10 Tips to Persistently Standing Out in the Market with Emily Heyward​
Show Notes Transcript

Effective branding is one of the ways to ensure your business remains competitive. But you’ll require persistence to keep promoting your brand to achieve success in business.

PR Strategist Emily Heyward engaged us in a conversation on branding. Here are ten valuable tips to persistent leadership that she provided.

  1. Be clear about your brand from the beginning.
  2. Make your business story personally applicable.
  3. Connect your product’s functionality to an emotional feeling.
  4. Incorporate an element of surprise in your branding
  5. In a crowded market identify your unique value.
  6. Identify a narrative line that interweaves many aspects of your brand.
  7. Focus on your core market and grow from there.
  8. Find the right language to reach a wider market.
  9. As a brand, your actions should be louder than your words.
  10. Build a community around your brand.

Joya is currently enrolling members for international (Europe) and domestic (NYC) strategy days. She also leads a year-long intensive mastermind of C-Suite level women, which is accepting applications for 2024.



[00:00:00.000] - Speaker 1

Anything to market?


[00:00:01.790] - Speaker 2

Well, first, I want to reassure everybody that if you have launched first and are thinking about branding second, it's never too late to make the right choices and to embed brand into everything that you do. But I think the key reason why it's so important to think about it as early as possible is because branding is not just about your logo. I think that if it were just about the esthetic appearance of your company, sure, fine, deal with it later. But the way that we think about branding is actually about having incredible clarity as to what it is you stand for and why people should care. And letting that idea influence not just how you express your story, not just what you look like, but ultimately what you feel like and every single step in the consumer journey ensuring that it's really sending the right message and connecting with people in the right way. So if you think about brand in that more holistic way, it's really important that it becomes a lens through which you view business decisions and ultimately can set you up with clarity that leads to much greater success much sooner than having to find your way to that purpose.


[00:01:15.300] - Speaker 1

In your book, you talk about Airbnb. And if I might bring up that example, Airbnb came to market first and they went through some iterations of what they were going to stand for. But once they retained you and you started working with them- Sorry.


[00:01:29.920] - Speaker 2

No, that's okay. I don't want to take credit for something we can do, but I wrote about them.


[00:01:35.030] - Speaker 1

The experience that you wrote about is you peel back... You asked the five whys. You kept asking whys until you really explained what Airbnb stands for and what is that? Because I think that's really important.


[00:01:50.750] - Speaker 2

Yeah. So I wrote about the case of Airbnb because I think it's a great example of exactly, Joy, what you just shared. They were out there in the world and struggling to figure out what they stood for. I think that they launched as a cheaper alternative to a hotel room, a different way to visit a city, but hadn't quite crystallized what made it so special. And through talking to users, their community around the globe, what they discovered is that this is about so much more than just like, Oh, I need to go to somewhere and I don't want to pay for a hotel or I need a kitchen. It's much more than just the functional attributes. And ultimately what they bring people is this incredible sense of belonging. This feeling that when you travel, you don't want to feel like an outsider. You don't want to feel like a tourist. Everybody has that moment of pride where you stumble upon a restaurant and everybody's a local. And Airbnb is really able to offer a different experience to people that taps into a much deeper need for belonging. So the why is that you referred to, this is a technique that I use with my team when we're trying to figure out what is the problem that we're solving for people?


[00:03:03.300] - Speaker 2

If you think you have the answer, keep asking why that matters to go deeper and deeper and deeper and ensure that you really tap into a core human truth and not just like a functional benefit. Like, oh, the reason why we exist is because people don't want to pay full price for a hotel room.


[00:03:19.460] - Speaker 1

Yeah. And I shared Maslow's hierarchy of needs yesterday where if anybody has ever seen it, it's a pyramid that outlines the urgency of human needs. And it starts at the really basic level, which is air, food and water. The next level is safety, but the next level is belonging, which is that human need that Airbnb ultimately addressed. And then it goes to self actualization. And I forget what the middle one was. I think there was another one above that. But if you can at the core address one of those human needs, that's where the peeling back of the why really gets you to.


[00:03:49.820] - Speaker 2

Hundred % agree. And I think it ensures that you're building a brand that has a deeper relevance than just solving a tactical functional problem, because truthfully, Airbnb has competitors. Vrbo and HomeAway had been around for a long time. So the business idea itself was not new. But the reason why Airbnb has been able to create such a more passionate, engaged community following is because they're tapping into that deeper sense of wanting to belong.


[00:04:21.350] - Speaker 1

And I love that you talked about the fact that they actually went to market and interviewed a lot of people to arrive at that conclusion. They didn't just make that decision in a silo, and they didn't necessarily make that with a branding agency. So let's talk about Allbirds because you did work on that campaign. At the heart of it, what problem was Allbirds solving?


[00:04:41.950] - Speaker 2

So Allbirds was an interesting challenge because the reason that business launched was really rooted in a mission. The founders of Allbirds were actually, they weren't really looking to solve a consumer problem so much as they were looking to solve an industry problem, which was the footwear categories over reliance on synthetic materials that are terrible for the environment. And they saw an opportunity to create the first footwear brand that was sustainably based and create shoes from renewable materials. The first shoe that they launched was made from wool. Since then, they've launched shoes made from tretensile, and they're using sugar to make the soles and all sorts of incredible innovations. Our challenge was we did not want to launch a shoe that only had appeal to people that are incredibly environmentally focused and motivated. I think there's a small % of the population that will buy products just because of that. But truthfully, a lot of us are a little bit more selfishly motivated, and I think that could end up feeling quite niche and limit the company's ability to have impact. So our task was how do we take the environmental mission and weave it into a story that's personally applicable?


[00:05:56.500] - Speaker 2

And what we discovered is that the comfort of the shoes, which is the functional benefit and the environmental mission both connect to this overarching idea of a desire for adventure and travel and curiosity. Because if you put on a comfortable pair of shoes, nothing's holding you back, right? We've all, I'm sure, had those nights where we're wearing uncomfortable shoes and we end up cutting the night short because of it. At least maybe that's just me. But comfortable shoes, you're unstoppable, right? And you can just pack them and go. And same thing with the environmental mission. It's about getting out there in the world and seeking these new uses for the materials that surround us every day. And therefore, we were able to build one narrative that captures both sides of the business in a way that ultimately created a world you wanted to be a part of. It was less about either side of the story, and it was more about how it all connects to something that you want to join in and get to know more.


[00:06:52.190] - Speaker 1

Zana and I were talking about this yesterday. How do you find the intersection of emotional and business? And I know you did this with Warby Parker, but it's really emotional. Buying is emotional, right? Anytime anybody is spurred to buy something, there was something emotional that was driving behind it. So how do you blend that with your business?


[00:07:11.440] - Speaker 2

So just to clarify too, we didn't work on.


[00:07:13.530] - Speaker 1

Warby- Oh, I'm so sorry.


[00:07:14.730] - Speaker 2

No, it's okay. I'm sorry. I just never want to be out there saying we did something that we didn't do.


[00:07:18.990] - Speaker 1

No, you're right.


[00:07:19.450] - Speaker 2

You're right. I'm sorry. No, totally cool. I wrote about a lot of stories in the book, some of which are our clients and some of which are just brands that I admire in the world. So a lot of times entrepreneurs will ask me, How do I balance my emotional story with my functional story? And my feeling is those should not be seen as two separate things. I think they need to connect. So it used to be that in traditional advertising you'd have a product that did whatever and you'd connect an emotional story to it like cigarettes are cool. Sugary soda stands for happiness. I think consumers now have so much choice, so much information, and ultimately so much power that they're going to figure it out if the story you're telling on the surface isn't actually delivered by what your product does. And I think instead it's about thinking, what are the benefits of your product? What are you offering people? And how do you connect that to a way that it's going to make them feel and an emotional relevance and an emotional resonance? So Aubrey is a great example of that, right? We took something very functional, which is comfort, and turned it into a story about adventure and curiosity.


[00:08:33.120] - Speaker 2

But it's not like we made it up from scratch, right? There's a very clear through line that the more you get to know the brand, the more it all holds together versus thinking of brand as a surface level thing that has nothing to do with the product itself.


[00:08:49.470] - Speaker 1

And then you did a similar thing with box. Com. How do you make buying groceries in bulk an emotional thing?


[00:08:56.930] - Speaker 2

Great question. So Box when they first launched, and this was actually one that we helped evolve. So they launched with the first iteration of the brand that we helped then crystallize and make stronger. And they were very much stuck in the convenience messaging, right? It was all about... You spoke to Chia, so you know what the business does. They sell bulk goods online. And it was all about, Oh, save your Saturday. Don't spend your Saturday at Costco. You can just do it from your phone. And that's great. And that's definitely part of their narrative. But you're never going to beat Amazon on convenience, right? Like, convenience alone is not enough to build a brand. And what we did was consumer research and what we discovered and mind you, this was pre-coronavirus. We discovered that there's actually an emotional feeling that comes from having a stalked house that extends beyond just the practicality of like, Oh, I have paper towels when I need paper towels. It's a feeling of preparedness and readiness and a feeling like you're all set for whatever is going to come your way. There's a sense of calm and pride that comes from knowing that whatever scenario arises, you're ready.


[00:10:10.630] - Speaker 2

So our brand strategy for Boxed became this idea of all set for life, and it actually gave them permission to lean into bulk much harder than they had been before. I think they were worried that bulk sounded a little cheap and maybe wasn't appealing to people. And we're like, no, bulk is your advantage here. Like buying just a huge thing of toilet paper is like, it makes people feel good. And we redid their logo to make it like chubby and wrote a lot of messaging about just how fun it was to shop in bulk. And it completely transformed their brand identity and really gave them a route that felt very distinct from Amazon, who I would say is probably their primary competitor.


[00:10:54.300] - Speaker 1

Yeah. And you brought it up in your book that nowadays because there's such a low barrier to entry with technology and otherwise, that you can have three companies coming to market at the same time selling the same thing. And the only thing that's going to differentiate you is brand.


[00:11:08.690] - Speaker 2

Totally true. It used to be when we first started Red Antler, maybe over a year, we'd be like, Oh, we're starting to see a trend. A lot of people are launching clean beauty companies. Now within a month we will sometimes meet founders who are doing the identical thing. And that's where brand becomes so important because again, it's not just enough that like, oh, I'm the launching a fresh dog food company, right? There's three other fresh dog food companies. So how are you going to be the one that consumers understand really connects with them and meets their needs?


[00:11:42.280] - Speaker 1

You talk about the elements of surprise and tension when you're building a brand. And I just saw another example of that this morning with Lemonade, which is the insurance company, right? And so they were like, forget about insurance. And they have some cheeky line to follow that up. But for somebody who's thinking about, in the case of Ulpa, who's got a hotel company or Tina who's got an interior design. How do you build elements of surprise and tension into your brand?


[00:12:08.320] - Speaker 2

I think that it's one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle with the brands that we love that they're never just one thing. If you think about the people who you love, they're never just one thing, right? They've got traits that you wouldn't expect would go together. And when they do, it's so much more interesting and more unique. An example of a brand, a lemonade is a great example, right? That's something very functional, could be very dry, it's apartment insurance, but they've made it fun and surprising and surpassed your expectation for what an insurance company could be. An example that someone actually brought up to me the other day, I was like, Oh, that's such a good example of tension. And is Tesla, right? Put Elon Musk and his craziness aside, that's a business that could have felt nerdy or very environmental. And it is those things, but it's also sexy and fast. And putting those two things together creates something that's very new for the category. And you think about a Tesla versus a Prius, and you see we're building in that tension and messing with people's expectations of what an electric car should be, leads you to a place that's much fresher and more differentiated.


[00:13:19.940] - Speaker 2

It's not easy to do. I think that when we meet with founders and we're like, What do you want your brand to stand for? Typically the personality terms that come up are the ones that we would all want, right? We want to be confident or we want to be trustworthy. But what if you think about it in a different way and think, how do I create two contrasting ideas and bring them together? How do I think about this category, what people wouldn't be expecting to find and show up in that way?


[00:13:46.580] - Speaker 1

And you write in your book that it's not like we have new problems. We have the same problems. It's that people are coming to market with new innovative ways to address those problems. And Airbnb is an example of that. Apple is an example of that. Once they flourish at the rate that they did. All right, we're at 12:16. So now I'm going to start to introduce every single person on this call, and this is when they get a chance to get one on one coaching with you and have access to an expert like you. So I start with Navina Chhabria. She is a graphic design artist and an illustrator. Navina, what is your question?


[00:14:16.680] - Speaker 2

Hi, Emily. Thank you for all that. My question to you is, how do.


[00:14:21.390] - Speaker 1

You start writing your own.


[00:14:22.800] - Speaker 2

Personal story before you attempt to connect it to your brand? Do you mean like as a person or do you mean the personal story of your company? Both. Because it is connected. There is a reason why you start a company or why you feel passionately about what you do. So how would you start connecting the dots from your past to why you started to where you want your company to end up? Yeah. I mean, I think that you've actually hit the nail on the head of where to begin, which is thinking through like, why are you doing this? I think that for me, the founders who have the most compelling stories came to their business idea through a personal drive to solve a problem. So it's less about whiteboarding it and identifying an opportunity and more about something that you personally experienced that you saw in the world that was missing or where you felt you could add value. And to me, that's the place to start. How does what you're doing connect to a truth about you and your drive to do this? And this is a very overused buzzword, but I think that is where the authenticity comes from, right?


[00:15:37.630] - Speaker 2

It's about why, of all the things that you could be doing with your life, why is this the thing that you're doing? And to me, if you can really nail that down and draw that out, it creates such a better narrative for your business because this is not a business that could have been launched by anyone else in the same way that you couldn't be doing anything else.


[00:15:59.800] - Speaker 1

And you say it again and again in your book, like focus on the problem that exists in the market and then be the solution to it. Don't function in the silo where you're like, hey, I think this is a great idea without having done the market research because then you wonder why it's just fallen flat. Zarnah Garg is a comedian. She is a screenplay writer and she is really going to market trying to upend the narrative that Indian women are sad. Zarnagarg, what is your question?


[00:16:28.500] - Speaker 2

So thank you for this session. I love it, everything that I've heard. When you said the people that we love do multiple things, I think that that's real. But I find that hard to reconcile with the idea that you do one thing to its excellent.


[00:16:44.980] - Speaker 6

Zenith point.


[00:16:46.660] - Speaker 2

Which is what it seems is suggested. Like, for example, I'm a screenwriter and a comedian and a mom and everything else I am in real life. But I'm always stressed out when I'm managing my social media that am I being too broad or should I be narrowing down what I'm putting out there? So I would separate your purpose and your driving force with the different channels through which you apply that driving force. I think you definitely need clarity on what it is that you have to say. How is your voice adding value to the world? But then I think it absolutely can show up in comedy, in screenwriting, even in how you approach motherhood. And to me, to have to pick amongst those doesn't actually feel true to who you are. I think you're right. You want to have that North Star, that vision of what am I about? But then I think that actually gives you permission to show up in different ways and connect those dots for people. Nothing that you're talking about feels contradictory or confusing to piece together, right? We're not talking about, I'm trying to build a career as a mechanical engineer and a stand-up comedian, right?


[00:18:06.250] - Speaker 2

I think all of these things are very interwoven, and there's a reason why you've chosen to do all of them. And I think it's about finding that narrative through line that shows up wherever you're appearing and influencing and having your voice be heard.


[00:18:21.530] - Speaker 1

Okay. Divyani Ramani is VP of R Brands Limited. So if you go to an OffSax or if you go to TJ Max, all those clothes are white-labeled and then somebody slaps their label on them. Divyani makes the white-label clothing. What is your question? Divyani?


[00:18:35.510] - Speaker 2

Hi, Emily. Thank you so much. My camera for some reason is not working today. So my question is really to do my business model is B2B. So how would.


[00:18:45.470] - Speaker 1

You say.


[00:18:46.210] - Speaker 2

Marketing techniques or.


[00:18:47.760] - Speaker 1

Tools are differentiated between B2C.


[00:18:50.050] - Speaker 2

Versus B2B? I think they're less differentiated than people think. And if you think about B, it's still a human being who's making the choice on the end of B, right? There's no business that's making a business decision. It's still a person. And I think that actually represents a huge missed opportunity in B2B. People think they need to approach it completely differently. But if you're able to treat the person on the decision making side of a business like a consumer because they are, you're going to stand out so much from your competition. And what I mean by that is I see most B2B brands getting way too in the weeds about the million things they do and getting really technical and functional instead of simplifying that story and telling it in a way that's engaging and fun and powerful, all the things that we want in the brands that we buy in our day to day life. So if you can achieve that, it's going to put you worlds ahead of everything else they're having to see and review and weed through that day. Thank you so much.


[00:19:56.170] - Speaker 1

Victoria Kirk-O'L comes to us from London. She is a strategic storyteller for corporates. Victoria, what is your question?


[00:20:03.770] - Speaker 2

Hi, thank you so much. This has been really useful. I think my question is particularly around launching and differentiating a service offering in what seems like a crowded market. How when you describe what you do, and perhaps it's getting down to the why, but when you describe what you do, how do you succinctly figure out what that twist is that makes your service different to someone else? It's not easy from the inside out. It's so hard. And I run a service business that literally does this for a living, and I still struggle to do it for Red Antler. That's my honest convention to you. Because every time I sit down to write about Red Antler, whether it's in a Capabilities deck or on our website, I'm way too in the weeds. Actually, this might relate to our other B2B friend as well. Of all the different things that we could do for you. One time someone showed up needing this or that, and I need to cover it in case someone wants to hire us for that again, and I don't want to miss that opportunity. But I think that what you have to constantly do is ask yourself, Why should someone work with me?


[00:21:15.020] - Speaker 2

What is the actual reason? Forget all the different things that I do, but at the end of the day, what's the value I'm going to provide that nobody else can provide? And how is that going to make my clients feel? And I am very much guilty of forgetting to ground myself in that question as much as I should. But there's got to be a reason why someone should hire Victoria over anybody else who claims to offer the same thing. And I think it's about sticking to that as much as you can and not getting distracted by all the different tasks that you can complete for somebody.


[00:21:53.880] - Speaker 1

Thank you. Emily, to follow up on that. What's a brand that's done a really great job going to market on how they make the consumer feel? I'm thinking of the Grateful Dead, which has people that will follow them all around the country to go to every single one of their concerts, right? But what's a brand that has really done well with the feel part?


[00:22:12.310] - Speaker 2

Yeah. I mean, I think that an example that we helped launch would be Casper, particularly in its first year of business. This is the mattress company that was really the first mattress to sell a mattress through e-commerce. Our whole strategy was focusing on how does sleep make people feel? All the existing mattress brands that were sold through showrooms were very tied up in these pseudoscientific jargony benefits about their foam and sleep numbers and sleep positions. And nobody was talking about ultimately why you care about getting a good night's sleep, which is how you feel when you wake up. And we built the entire brand around that idea of unlocking your best life. And it totally set them on a rocket ship course to growth. Now since then, they've seen challenges. But I think the reason why they were able to come out of the gate and make such a connection with people because they were literally the first brand in their category that we're focused on that emotional benefit.


[00:23:09.530] - Speaker 1

Nathan Jane is a holistic coach. Her target audience is corporate executives. Neeta, what is your question?


[00:23:17.550] - Speaker 5

Yeah. So just to add a little more context to Hi, Emily. Hi. So my company is called Herhshakti, a wellness company. And the mission is to create a safe space for immigrant, international, expat women globally and transform them to be the healthiest and happiest to self. So I'm a health coach and my niche is immigrant women. So mostly I'm getting South Asians attracted to me. But it is also about women empowerment and using health and wellness as one of the tools. And so I also have a give back community model that I'm working on. So there are a lot of pieces, grandma's wisdom, immigrants, women empowerment, and also talking about the divine feminine wisdom. And by feminine, I don't mean lace or being feminine in the traditional way, but really reconnecting with the inner feminine goddess. And I've got a lot of heavy concepts here. And to really, and I think my typical audience gets a bit lost. Are you a typical green-juicing health coach, which that's what I went to school for? Or am I about empowerment and nonprofit? So I feel like I'm struggling as I'm relaunching my website in terms of how to really clearly express my message and hook them and then drive them towards my services page.


[00:24:34.190] - Speaker 2

Yeah. I mean, I think that it's actually similar to the answer I gave to Zarna. Sorry, am I pronounced? I want to make sure I'm pronouncing it.


[00:24:40.560] - Speaker 1



[00:24:40.740] - Speaker 2

Zarna. Focus on the transformation that you're going to be able to help them with and worry less about the different modes and channels. Ultimately, what is working with you going to give someone? And then I think everything else you're talking about is how to get there. But to me, the way to hook people is like, what am I going to get from this? As a consumer? What is this going to do for me? And then, yes, as you dig in, the way that you're going to get there is through connection to the divine spirit and learning to eat more healthily and all these different modes of operating. But to me, those are channels or tactics versus really focusing on ultimately what's the end result of all of this.


[00:25:29.150] - Speaker 1

And I love that you keep that very customer focus versus me focus. You could talk about you said, when founders first come to you, they're talking all about the product, but they're not talking about the problem that they're solving. And you really need to start there. Tharuna Sharma is a real estate broker. She's with Poole. Tharuna, what is your question?


[00:25:50.190] - Speaker 2



[00:25:50.580] - Speaker 1



[00:25:51.180] - Speaker 2

So I'm a real.


[00:25:52.240] - Speaker 1

Estate broker. I serve the Manhattan and Brooklyn Market primarily in addition to Queens. And my sweet spot right now is about like a million, a.


[00:26:01.510] - Speaker 2



[00:26:02.050] - Speaker 1

And a half clientele.


[00:26:04.490] - Speaker 2

How would you say, how would you.


[00:26:06.180] - Speaker 5

Give me advice if I.


[00:26:07.160] - Speaker 2

Want to reach out to a.


[00:26:08.870] - Speaker 1

Higher net worth individual that might be like a two to five million.


[00:26:13.060] - Speaker 2

Dollar category? Yeah. I mean, I think that it's always easier to go down in price than up. So I would, in the sense that the million people will be excited to work with you if your brand is focused on the two to five versus the other way around. So if anything, I would orient more towards the higher end of the market and not be afraid that you're going to turn off the million people. I think everybody is always looking for a more premium product than what they can afford. Frankly, everybody wants an apartment that's more expensive than they can afford. So I would really think about how to play up luxury in your communications, in the examples that you're pulling in the way that you present your brand and feel confident that you're going to bring your current audience along.


[00:27:11.090] - Speaker 1

Yancey Fugal is the founder of something called Tux Couture. Yancey, can you explain what that is?


[00:27:19.090] - Speaker 3

Hi, thank you. This has been great so far. I'm scribbling notes and I can't keep up. But what I do is I make tuxidos for women. They're separate, so you can put together the pieces as you like them. Everything is made to order. So it can be either from the style as it exists, it can be made to measure. So I can adjust sleeve lengths and hem lengths and whatnot, or it can be totally custom.


[00:27:48.550] - Speaker 2



[00:27:50.570] - Speaker 3

It's like a quick overview of what I do. I've had a long history in the fashion industry. It needs really overhaul, huge changes. And I think that's really been even more shown through this whole covid situation. And my approach to solving a lot of what's a problem with the industry is number one, making to order. There's no inventory. So it's a very sustainable concept in terms of making it to what your needs are. Secondly, it's luxury. To me, less is flux. So we want to get away from stuff in your closet with all of these clothes that you wear once and then forget about. I'm approaching it from a perspectiveI mean, there's a there's a lot of different points to it. The fabric that I use doesn't wrinkle. It's washable. It travels well. I've got a tux box concept where I can put together a small number of pieces that a woman can throw into a carryon and travel for a week on business or vacation or whatever she's doing, with the base being a tuxedo. So you take your tuxedo, you throw in a denim jacket, you throw in a top, there's pieces that you can factor in.


[00:29:20.250] - Speaker 1

Yancey, I'm sorry. I want to make sure I get around to everybody. So can we get your question?


[00:29:24.510] - Speaker 3

So anyway, the thing is that I've got so many different points, touch points that it's like I'm running out of time here explaining my mission that how do I focus it and how do I get it clarified to communicate that to my customer?


[00:29:45.530] - Speaker 2

I mean, everything that you've shared to me feel like supporting points to a larger idea. Like wrinkle-free, made to order, that's all great. I think ultimately, though, you have to drive desire for the tuxedo itself, or nobody's going to care that it's more sustainable and fits them really well, right? So to me, there's a story to be told about what does the tux even mean to a woman? That's not really an article of clothing that most women have oriented their shopping choices around. I think that's what makes it really exciting. But I think that you need to be telling a story about how this piece is going to transform your life and the role that it plays and ultimately how you feel about yourself and what you're able to achieve. And then everything else you're sharing to me becomes underneath that supporting points that build up that larger narrative.


[00:30:41.240] - Speaker 3

Great. Awesome.


[00:30:42.760] - Speaker 1

Tina Ramchandani is an interior designer. She addresses the higher end of the market, and she's based here in New York City. Tina, what is your question?


[00:30:50.210] - Speaker 2

Hi, Emily. Everything that you've said is amazing. So I also have pages of notes. I guess my question is twofold. Like Taruna, I am looking to reach a higher end of the market. I already have a pretty high end. So I found it interesting that you said that we should shoot for even higher. So any tips on how to do that would be amazing. And then the other question that I had is you talked about tension in your marketing and being a more interesting person. And I've tried to balance my interiors as well as my personality without getting too much into personal things. And I'm struggling with that. So if you have any advice on that, that would be really helpful. Yeah. So for the first question, and this definitely applies to Taruna and probably Yancey as well. I think when you're going after a luxury market, your design sensibility, not in terms of the actual interior design, but in terms of your brand, needs to be impeccable. There are categories where you can fake it till you make it. Luxury is not one of them. And I would highly recommend, if you haven't done it already, to work with a professional graphic designer to up your game on your materials, because if it's not sloppy, but if it's just not cohesive, people are going to sense that even if they can't articulate it, right?


[00:32:18.920] - Speaker 2

And so if you're aiming for luxury and you want to get into people's homes and affect their homes, your brand itself needs to be impeccable. And that's a very, very hard thing to do for yourself, and it would be worth investing in. In terms of your own personality shining through, it's tricky, right? Because you're doing interior design, and ultimately people want their personality to shine through. But I think where your personality can come through is about what it's like to work with you. So it's less about you as an esthetic, visionary, and more about you as a partner in bringing their vision to life and what that collaboration is going to be like and how you listen and how ultimately you're going to help guide them through this journey in a way that doesn't just lead to their dream apartment, but is fun along the way. Amazing. Thank you.


[00:33:10.720] - Speaker 1

Trey Ametha is a contemporary fine artist. She also wears another hat and that she has a wholesale diamond business. Trey, what is your question? Well, I wanted to ask you from the examples, from the case.


[00:33:22.580] - Speaker 2



[00:33:23.140] - Speaker 1

And from the companies you've worked with, when they're launching, say, a new product line.


[00:33:28.470] - Speaker 2

What's a.


[00:33:29.510] - Speaker 1

Great example that you can share with us and especially right after covid.


[00:33:34.620] - Speaker 2

If there is anything you.


[00:33:36.410] - Speaker 1

Can share for launching.


[00:33:38.450] - Speaker 2

New product lines. Do you mean like an existing brand that's coming out with a new line? -yes. -yeah. Can you just be more specific?


[00:33:50.530] - Speaker 1

-okay. So, for example, as an artist, I have a series, right? And now I have this new series that I want to share, but I don't want to share the finished work right away because I want to build the excitement, right?


[00:34:04.750] - Speaker 2

To get to the point. -okay. Yeah. I mean, I think that art is probably slightly different than selling product, right? We're typically not advising our clients to do too much of a teaser. I think ultimately people's attention spans are pretty short. And the idea of sustaining momentum over time and releasing little pieces of the pie before you get the full pie. Sometimes that works, but that's really hard to pull off, and especially if you're trying to reach a new audience that isn't already familiar with you. So I think if you're talking about getting your existing base fans excited, they might want to see a sliver and then have the whole thing unveiled to them. But I think ultimately, I would not overestimate people's attention spans. And I think at the end of the day, get the thing out that you want to get out and get people excited about that versus thinking that a little trickle approach is going to be what piques interest.


[00:35:11.420] - Speaker 1

Emily, I wrote down these notes from your book. You have this three pronged brand strategy, right? And I wanted to share them and have you weigh in. But the first prong is you got to think about who are the people this business is for, their attitudes, their behaviors, and who's going to be the first to love this brand. So in the case of Shreya's next series of art, you have to really think critically about who that person is that's going to be the first adapter of it.


[00:35:38.710] - Speaker 2

Yes, exactly. And I think that's something people always... Ultimately, every business wants to reach as many people as possible, right? Which fair enough, and that's great. I always encourage our clients to think about who's your muse? Who's that first set of people that are going to be obsessed with you? How do you ensure you reach them and then expand out from there. Because if you don't get that first group that are just going to be mad for you, you're never going to be able to grow. And on the flip side, I think we've seen brands that lost the loyalty of the really passionate people and then struggle because of it. I would say think of a Starbucks, right? I love Starbucks. I admire them as a company. I think they've done a phenomenal job on many things. But when they lost the love of the hardcore, the coffee aficionados, it was hard to build that credibility back in, right? And suddenly they became a brand for people who didn't really know good coffee. And you saw a bunch of new third wave coffee shops opening up and stealing business from Starbucks. So I think they were not to go off on a tangent about Starbucks, but hopefully that is applicable to some of you of really ensuring that you stay true to your core while growing and expanding.


[00:36:56.410] - Speaker 1

And the second prong of your brand strategy is to think about what's missing from your customers' lives and what's the most salient problem that you as a business can solve.


[00:37:08.190] - Speaker 2

Yes. And we talked about that earlier, right? That's about really ensuring that you're going deeper. When I meet with new entrepreneurs and I ask them, What's the problem that you're solving? 99 times out of 100, they answer with what their business does. They don't answer with the problem. So they'll say, The problem that I'm solving is data visibility or more convenient way to buy contact lenses. Those are not problems, right? Those are solutions. So it's really making sure that you're diving deeper and understanding what at its core is missing from these people's lives that then my business can come in and be an answer to in a whole new way.


[00:37:43.790] - Speaker 1

And then the third prong that you talk about is what does your brand stand for at its very core? Can you talk about that a little bit?


[00:37:50.700] - Speaker 2

Yeah. I mean, if you've done your work figuring out the problem that you're solving, the third prong is the easiest because those should really be two sides of the same coin, right? You think about what is the problem solving for people? And then how can my brand be an answer to that problem? Right? So that falls naturally out of that second question. If you've done your work on the second question.


[00:38:13.130] - Speaker 1

Anoop Hot is an art curator. She curates art from the far east and gives them exposure to a Western patron. Anoop, what is your question?


[00:38:22.590] - Speaker 2

Hi, Emily. My question is that I sell largely spiritual art.


[00:38:27.600] - Speaker 6



[00:38:28.290] - Speaker 2



[00:38:28.480] - Speaker 1

Have a very.


[00:38:29.170] - Speaker 2

Limited audience, so.


[00:38:30.900] - Speaker 1

To speak.


[00:38:32.060] - Speaker 2

And I do speak.


[00:38:32.890] - Speaker 1

About the.


[00:38:33.390] - Speaker 2

Emotional benefit of owning a.


[00:38:35.710] - Speaker 1

Piece of this art.


[00:38:37.320] - Speaker 2

Are there any insights you could share with me as to.


[00:38:40.450] - Speaker 6

How to.


[00:38:41.560] - Speaker 2

Reach maybe a larger.


[00:38:42.930] - Speaker 6



[00:38:44.310] - Speaker 1

Or just.


[00:38:45.170] - Speaker 2

Project myself differently? I mean, it might be in terms of how you're defining spirituality, because I think that we've seen a very mainstream, wide quest for deeper meaning, for more connection to the world around us, for a broader but still incredibly salient definition of what spirituality even means. So it could be about finding language that doesn't change what you're all about. It doesn't water down your message, but instead reveals to people who may not even describe themselves as spiritual. Ultimately, what art can bring to their lives that creates a deeper sense of meaning.


[00:39:27.430] - Speaker 6

Thank you.


[00:39:28.920] - Speaker 1

Tyane is the founder of a natural kids product line called Imbaba. Am I pronouncing that right, Tianne?


[00:39:36.400] - Speaker 4

Imbaba, you get there. Hi, Emily. It's interesting earlier for me when you talk about a dime and a dozen clean beauty brands, I'd love to talk a little bit more with you offline about that. And Beba is actually a clean family skincare brand focusing on solving skin irritation by utilizing generationally tested remedy in a fun, engaging way for the families, because I think the touch point, that human emotion that you discussed is we don't want to have to tackle, football tackle all kids just to slap on a cream either. And they're crying, the pain that's involved if they have eczema, like rashes and heat rashes. And that's the problem fundamental from our brand is working very hard to address with our families and samples. But that's beside the point. The question I wanted to ask you is, as a startup brand in this environment where every single brand is coming out with, we stand for this, we stand for that. And you've seen, especially with the Black Lives Matters, the hate campaign, etc, etc, you see how some brand like CrossFit has crashed and burned with being too closely associated with their founders. I would like your advice as a startup brand who will be launching at the end of this year?


[00:41:02.250] - Speaker 4

How do we get involved but not... We don't want to say silent, which we are right now because we fear of the strong reaction, negative and positive that can come our way.


[00:41:14.300] - Speaker 2

Well, first of all, the CrossFit founder made a misstep that I don't think anyone on this call would make. It's not like he was well intentioned and everybody went after him. The stuff he said was crazy and horrible. So I wouldn't let that put too much fear in you. I think that right now we're living in a moment in time where people are actually expecting brands to take a stand. And I think it's great. I think that corporations often have a power to affect change that we can't even rely on our government for. So I'm happy to see this new wave of activism on behalf of consumers and a demand for accountability with the brands that they're going to be engaged with. In terms of Black Lives Matter specifically, I think that we're living in a time where silence also makes a statement. And it's important to make clear which side of this century's long struggle that you're on. But my rule for the brands we work with is your actions need to outweigh your words. It's important to be out there with a message, but you need to actually be doing more than you're saying.


[00:42:26.490] - Speaker 2

I also think that if you have a mission or a cause that's more directly related to what you're doing, it doesn't mean you need to abandon that, because right now what everybody is talking about is the fight against racial injustice. Everybody should be fighting racial injustice every day in their lives and how they're approaching relationships and how they're hiring and how they're building their company. You can also still focus on why you started this business and what's important to you personally. And I don't see those two things as contradictory. I think they're part of being a responsible business leader and a responsible human being.


[00:43:05.150] - Speaker 1

Alpa Patel is a founder and the name of her company is Spaces. Alpa, really quickly explain what Spaces does.


[00:43:14.110] - Speaker 6

Yeah. So we are making hospitality design, particularly hotel design for economy hotels, accessible and affordable. Airbnb has taken a lot of market share from economy hotels because they have been innovated in decades. So my company makes it affordable and accessible for them to quickly renovate and become more relevant, give a good guest experience through design. So my question to you is, I'm going to start producing some videos, like one minute videos, what to do to improve your rates. So my business is not designing pretty hotels.


[00:43:51.230] - Speaker 2



[00:43:51.780] - Speaker 6

How do I improve their rates and their revenue? That's my why. I'm going to produce these short one minute videos. I'm not sure if I should charge a subscription fee for this and just share my knowledge, give it away for free or charge a subscription fee. And I've got a partner who's willing to put me on their platform and give me exposure to 10,000 economy hotels. I don't know if I should charge or should just give it away for free.


[00:44:22.690] - Speaker 2

I mean, to me, this is a marketing tool, and I think we see businesses who are literally in the content creation business who are having a hard time getting paid subscriptions right now. I mean, you're not having a hard time getting people to pay for content. So I would at least start thinking about this not as giving it away for free, but as part of your marketing budget, right? And content can be an incredible way to draw people in. Now, if you find that people are clamoring for this content and that you can offer a greater consultative service that's maybe a lighter weight version of your full offering, then maybe you think about an additional set of content that lives behind a paywall, and it becomes a more turnkey way for someone to hire you than to actually have you come in and perform the full service offering. But I would start by just getting these videos out there, see if they have traction. See if they're maybe before you invest in 200 of them, try with five. See if they're working for you and achieving things and moving the needle. But charging for them almost feels like suddenly you're running two different businesses.


[00:45:28.670] - Speaker 6

Okay. And one quick question. I was thinking of doing a master class where I just share all my knowledge. I grew up in an economy hotel, and so I know the business really well, and I know how to help them reposition their properties into giving a boutique experience. So I'm thinking about doing a master class, but I'm not sure. And that I can charge for. But maybe I could do the videos for free, give them away for free, and then build up credibility and then launch the master class. Yeah.


[00:45:59.650] - Speaker 2

I think that seems like a great approach.


[00:46:01.970] - Speaker 6

Okay. Thank you.


[00:46:03.630] - Speaker 1

Emily, I wrote down this line from your book, When Brands Create Unity around Shared Values from the very beginning community forms. We didn't address building a community around your business. Can you talk about that?


[00:46:17.320] - Speaker 2

Yeah. I think a lot of times people become obsessed with community in the wrong way. I mean, business owners become very focused on how many followers do I have on Instagram? How many likes am I getting on my post? It's this very literal definition of community. And for some brands, that makes sense, right? If you're running a fashion brand, Instagram may be an incredible channel for you and a great way to build buzz and awareness and engagement. If you're running a B2B business, Instagram may not be the channel where you're building community, but that doesn't mean that community doesn't exist. And I think of community in a much broader, less literal and less tangible way. And it's really about the feeling of connection that people have to your brand and therefore to each other. So if you think about a brand like Subaru, right? People who drive Subarus, I'm one of them, feel this sense of affinity towards other Subaru drivers. It's not like I'm on their Facebook page talking to other Subaru drivers, but that's part of my connection to that brand and exists because I feel like I'm part of what the brand stands for, not because I'm having literal conversations with other Subaru drivers.


[00:47:25.480] - Speaker 1

Anita, Jane had one more question.


[00:47:30.180] - Speaker 5

Hi. So mine is specifically related to lifestyle entrepreneurs where it comes to personal branding. So, for example, my site, it does not have my name in it. So it's not netajane. Com, which is typical of a health coach. And so for something as simple as the logo, should your image be the logo or even the hero image about the fold? So maybe I'm getting more into the website and photography details, but even how do you balance personal branding with... Because I'm trying to think I want to make it about my customer and not about me. But what I'm hearing is that you should show up as well.


[00:48:08.120] - Speaker 2

I definitely think you need to show up. But I guess my question is, what are your goals? Are you looking towards a future where you might have staff, where you might have people that you hire so you can scale? Or is this always just going to be about you doing this one on one? Because if ultimately you want to become something bigger than that, you don't want the brand to be too locked in to your identity because you're going to find you're in a situation where people are only willing to hire you and they don't want to work with your partner or your employee, right? So I think that you can still be very forward facing as the founder, as the person who is driving this philosophy and creating the vision. But ultimately you want to have some separation between you and the brand because that's what's going to enable you to scale.


[00:48:56.240] - Speaker 1

Got it. Menko Uptom Jandani is a business analytics person, and Manko, I can't see you anymore. I just saw you a minute ago. Okay, we've lost Manko. So Emily, thank you for all of this. I'm happy to end a few minutes early, but any closing thoughts that you want to share with the group?


[00:49:16.830] - Speaker 2

Hey, Zoeya.


[00:49:17.930] - Speaker 1

Don't forget me. Oh, I'm so sorry, Ritu. I'm so sorry. Ritu is also somebody who is an intelligence person. Ritu, what is your question? Hi, Emily.


[00:49:27.670] - Speaker 2

Thanks for the session. This is great.


[00:49:29.620] - Speaker 1

My question to you is, how far do you go to challenge the.


[00:49:33.570] - Speaker 2



[00:49:34.090] - Speaker 1

Quo with.


[00:49:34.660] - Speaker 2



[00:49:34.970] - Speaker 1



[00:49:35.500] - Speaker 2

The decision makers of being bold, of being different? First of all, Ritu, thank you, because you got me off the hook for closing thoughts. I think challenging the status quo is essential these days. I think that if you are not challenging the status quo, it's very hard to answer the question of why your business needs to exist in the first place. We have enough stuff. There are enough businesses out there. If you're just doing the same thing that's always been done, what's even the reason why the world needs this business to exist in the first place? But that being said, I think businesses who think that being new is enough are also missing the key point. And at the end of the day, you can come out with something that's a very new solution, but you need to be tapping into an existing need on behalf of your consumers. So it can't just feel like it's new for newness' sake. I think you need to be bold and you need to be out there, but you ultimately want to connect with something that people can relate to in themselves. Otherwise, you're going to attract the early adopters, but have a very hard time of moving beyond that to really reaching a wider audience.


[00:50:53.180] - Speaker 1

You just published a new book, Emily. It's called Obsessed. And so if anyone wants to get a hold of that book or wants to follow up with you, what are the best ways to follow up?


[00:51:04.900] - Speaker 2

Well, to follow up with me, you can email me. I'm emily@redantler. Com. And the book is for sale everywhere you buy books. And it goes into a lot more detail about a lot of the things we've been talking about today. But I loved all of your questions and I'm so impressed by this group. And I'm really honored to have been invited to join you today. So thank you.


[00:51:26.310] - Speaker 1

Thank you, Emily. Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful and engaged questions. And I will send the recording out to everybody after we are finished here. Thank you. Thank you. Have a great day.


[00:51:37.190] - Speaker 2

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


[00:51:37.640] - Speaker 1

Have a great day. Bye.


[00:51:38.280] - Speaker 2