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#1. How to create a $100 million brand: the secret to designing a brand identity so good it can take you from start-up to the ‘rich list’
Episode 11st June 2020 • Nerds of Business • Webbuzz Media
00:00:00 00:41:49

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Season 1: 'The Branding Series' / Episode # 1

Building your brand all starts with the brand identity. Branding experts and top entrepreneurs reveal what it takes to get it right, why it's so important, and the key opportunities you're probably missing in your own brand identity.

Feature Story: Andre Eikmeier of Vinomofo and Why a one letter change in the brand name was a key inflection point to achieving a $100 million valuation.

“In the context of branding it’s really important to reflect on the fact that we didn’t set out to call this Vinomofo. We didn’t set out to say ‘hey, let’s be ‘wine motherf_____s’.” - Andre Eikmeier, co-founder of Vinomofo

Guest Bios:

Fred Schebesta (https://www.linkedin.com/in/fredschebesta/)is co-founder of $250 million comparison site Finder (Finder.com.au) He is listed #22 on AFR's young rich list.

Andre Eikmeier (https://twitter.com/andre_eikmeier) is cofounder of $100 million online wine retailer, Vinomofo (https://vinomofo.com.au) Also founder of The Good Empire and Year of the Planet.

Victoria Coster (https://www.linkedin.com/in/creditfixsolutionscreditrepair/) is a Telstra Business Person of the Year finalist 2019, & founder of Credit Fix Solutions (https://creditfixsolutions.com.au)

Ben Carew (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bencarew/) is director of SEO & Analytics at Webbuzz- The Growth Marketing Agency (https://webbuzz.com.au)

Rachel Bevans (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelbevans/) is branding expert & director of The Healthy Brand Company (https://www.thehealthybrandcompany.com/)

Jon Michail (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonmichail-imageconsultant-personalbrandingcoach/)– brand expert and and image consultant, director at the Image Group (https://www.imagegroup.com.au/)       

What to listen out for:

3.01: ‘Sneak peek’ of feature story

4.04: the historical origin of branding

5.02: branding expert reveals what ‘brand’ really means today 

6.39: branding expert on why branding is so important

7.39: how branding complements ‘direct response’ marketing

9.47: Entrepreneur Fred Schebesta's journey from 'branding sceptic' to 'branding convert' at Finder.com.au

10.41: Fred Schebesta on branding as a ‘defensive moat’  

12.26: Branding expert reveals the four key theoretical elements to brand identity

14.21: Ben Carew on why logo design is so important for online marketing conversion of web traffic to lead or sale

19.28: Branding expert reveals the technical process for creating a brand identity

20.58: Branding expert explains what ‘category codes’ are 

23.45: Feature story - Andre Eikmeier of Vinomofo and how a one letter change in the brand name was a key inflection point to achieving a $100 million valuation

30.50: Fred Schebesta on being in a ‘constant state of beta’

31.10: Fred Schebesta on creating a 'phoenix company', not a 'unicorn'

31.59: Branding expert reveals the single most important aspect for a good brand identity – ‘fix and flex’

34.18: Entrepreneur Victoria Coster reveals her experience developing a brand identity, as a small business owner

36.06: ‘THE NERDOMETER’ - recurring segment

37.53: Host Darren on the three key takeouts from the episode

39.53: ‘NERD UNDER PRESSURE’ – recurring segment 

Resources & links:

The historical origin of branding https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand

Key statistic: Global advertising industry annual turnover $560 billion https://www.statista.com/statistics/236943/global-advertising-spending/

Coca Cola brand equity value: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2018/05/23/the-worlds-most-valuable-brands-2018/#96b24cc610c1

Key statistic: 500,000 global brands in existence https://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/brands-and-brand-names.html

The book Story Wars, by Jonah Sachs http://www.jonahsachs.com/books-1

The book Zero To One, by Peter Thiel https://github.com/huynhthaihoa/Book/blob/master/Zero-to-One-Notes-on-Startups-Peter-Thiel.pdf

User testing platform Pollfish https://www.pollfish.com/

Small business education program Business Blueprint https://businessblueprint.com.au/

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Transcripts

Darren Moffatt:

Hi there and welcome to the nerds of business podcast. My name's Darren Moffatt. I'm a director at Webbuzz, the growth marketing agency, and I'm your host. It's great to have you with us. We're about to dive into the very first episode, but before we do, I'd like to briefly explain how this podcast works and what we hope to achieve Nerds of Business a bit different from other podcasts. It has a unique structure. We do the show in seasons of about 10 episodes each, but seasons are themed on a broad topic and each episode attempts to solve one key challenge within that topic that all entrepreneurs must overcome. So you can see we're trying to problem solve the entrepreneurial journey, which is pretty ambitious when you think about it and that's where the nerds come in. In each episode I talk to a rotating cast of experts and top entrepreneurs in a quest for answers. You'll hear both the technical perspectives and the real life true stories you need to apply any learnings. My vision for the show is to make you feel more confident and optimistic about your own journey as a leader or business owner. It's all about you. That's why we exist. That's why we're here and I want to thank you in advance for the privilege of your time. With that, let's get into the first episode of the first season on branding.

Jingle:

I love data. You need to have systems, you need to have structure. You're going to get chopped to pieces. Enthusiasm is unstoppable. We kind of hit a point where we were like, we need another lever . Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and richer than you.

Darren Moffatt:

This is nerds of business. So the title of today's episode and the problem we're trying to solve is: "how to create a brand identity that's so good it can take you from a startup to potentially a $100 million valuation". If you're launching a business or you're a new entrepreneur, this episode will hold particular interest, but if you're a business owner with an existing brand identity, you'll also get a lot of value from what you're about to hear - and that even applies if you're satisfied with your brand identity. I think you'll pick up ideas from our guests that will create opportunities for leveraging your brand in new and exciting ways. Brands are fluid, they change over time, they regularly need to be updated and refreshed and sometimes just a small tweak can make the world of difference, which is exactly what you're here in our feature story. Later in the episode I speak with Andre Eikmeier, the founder of online wine retailer Vinomofo, Andre shares the incredible tale of how just a one letter change in the brand name was a key inflection point for taking them from struggling startup to a $100 million valuation. He's a sneak peek,

Andre Eikmeier:

So it was, it was going to be called Vinomojo and it was a whole thing around cause it was going to be like a wine deal site. It's actually going to be a group buying site. We got a letter from the trademark attorney and it was an objection to the trademark by a publicly listed company who had a wine called Mojo. Right. Mind you, this was like the Friday before the Monday we were going to launch. You know, and I don't know if any of you listening and like, you know, been three days out from the launch of a website for something that's happening, there's a lot of moving parts. Pretty stressful. You probably know when you're ready you, you're not sleeping much. We were in that state and got this letter, opened it, and so we were like, um, what do we do?

Darren Moffatt:

Okay. Hopefully that's whet your appetite. We're about to get into it, but before we do, let's take a trip back in time.

:

inaudible

Darren Moffatt:

the year is 2,700 BC in ancient Egypt, cattle farmers use the banks of the now river to graze their livestock, but poachers and thieves are rife . To combat the loss of cattle and their income the farmers set upon a simple solution. They burn a distinctive symbol into the flesh of their animals to signify ownership. The Mark stops thieves from being able to profit from stolen goods. How did they do it with a hot branding iron? The cows don't like it. This is how the concept of branding as we know it begins and where the word derives. Its modern meaning jump forward 4,700 years and branding has come a long way. Today it's a vast industrial complex across agencies, an array of channels and platforms that companies use to defend and grow their brands. In fact, the global advertising industry is worth $560 billion. That's a massive number. So we think we know what a brand is. It's the logo, right? Well, not quite. That's not the full story. The meaning for a brand has shifted subtly over time. What in fact does a brand mean today?

Rachel Bevans:

Brand really is what you stand for, so it's not just a logo and what you really want to do. It's all of those. If you think of an existing brand, it's all of the perceptions and experiences that everybody has associated with that brand. So is it safe? Is it reliable? Is it friendly? Is it orange? Is it purple? Is it black? You know, all of those different associations. Is it for, is it fresh? Is it for, is it for lunchtime? Is it for, um, flying? Is it for? So what are, what are all of those various associations that people have with a brand?

Darren Moffatt:

That's Rachel Bevans from the healthy brand company. She's worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including MasterCard, Glenfiddich scotch and NewsCorp. And she's the perfect person for a series on branding. In fact, she's one of our two major brand experts and you'll be hearing a lot from her through the course of this series. So that might surprise you. A brand is not just a logo, it's what you stand for and it's everything that your customers experience around that brand. Let's here why it's so important, I spoke to Jon Michael from the image group. Jon is a leading image consultant, personal branding guru from Melbourne. He's been in this game for three decades. He's a complete legend. And listen to what Jon has to say.

Jon Michail:

Well, it matters more than ever. It matters more than ever because it actually compliments everything about direct response, everything. Um, and this is especially so for small business and entrepreneurs, again, big corporations do things differently. So sales and growth are essential. Yeah, we know that, especially in today's current market, but so is reputation. And that's what branding is. It builds a reputation because it builds trust and credibility. And also if you want to sell the business, you've got something to sell people, you know, people are buying, if you're going to sell a business they're not buying the business, they're buying the brand. Coca Cola, 66% of its value is based on the name, not the bricks and mortar. Can you believe that? That's an amazing stat. I haven't heard that one before. It's unbelievable. Right? So you know, so the brand power is everything. And look at Google. Do I have to say anymore?

Darren Moffatt:

I love what John said there about direct response that any investment you make in branding compliments, direct response, that it in fact can amplify the return you get off direct response marketing. And so I think it's important for me to just pause for a minute here and give listeners a little bit of an explanation around how the marketing industry works. Because if you are not familiar with the structure of the marketing advertising world, um, you might get a little bit lost here. So they're essentially, there are two camps. So there are the branding people and there are the direct response people. The branding people are those marketers that focus more on building iconic brands through your television, radio, print, broadcast media. Essentially the direct response people are, those are focused more on immediate sales and traditionally they have worked in tele sales and direct mail. These days

Darren Moffatt:

it's more digital marketing, lead gen, lead generation, paid search and so on. In the past or traditionally there's been a lot of tension between those two groups. But what Jon is saying and what you're also about to hear from another guest is that it doesn't have to be that way. And in fact it's better when there is a hybrid approach. You can achieve a better result with your marketing. And that's what you're about to hear from Fred Schebesta. Fred is the co founder of Finder.com.au. A very large business here in Australia, $250 million market capitalization and the leader in comparison. Let's hear what Fred's got to say. And that kind of leads me to a bit of time travel. I want to do, I went into the way back machine and I, uh, I looked at your website, various websites, uh, over the years and I can see that the branding was pretty minimal until about 2013. Um, now feel free to reject the premise of this question, but my observation is that I'd say that with your background in SEO and digital marketing, you put until that point a priority on data and direct response. When did you become a brand and convert? And what has that journey taught you?

Fred Schebesta:

That's a great question and, and extremely observant of you. And, you know, I'm thinking about some of the influences I had. One was the book story Wars. I read that and, that affected me. I was like, what is our story? Why are people going to buy into this? Well, who cares? And I don't think that we really had an answer for that. You know, we, we bumbled around with it. Um, but I think today there is this beauty in the rawness and transparency and just sheer, um, authenticity of finder that people go, Hey, you know, they're not perfect, but here they are. You know, and I think people go, Hey, that's cool. I like that. So I think that's an aspect. I think the second thing of the change was I read a book, uh, called zero to one, um, you know, a very provocative book, um, a Peter Thiel book.

Fred Schebesta:

And in it he talked about defensive moats. Okay. And I realized, I said, you know, being really great at search engine marketing or you know, being great at digital advertising and all sorts of tenets and forms is not defensive. What is defensive is a brand. And so we really rallied the idea of internally inside finder, committing the investment to build a brand. And that's a major decision, right? It's a huge expense and a cost and time and energy. And you're exactly right. You really captured that essence. And in the past I'd say branding was like, Oh, that's a, that's a, that's a nasty word. Inside finder. It's direct marketing. You know, where's our CPA and our cost to acquire and you know, those kind of things, right? Conversion rates. And we love that stuff and we still do. Yep, there's a beauty to it. But then we thought, Hey, can you be branded and deliver a direct response? And there's a hybridness. There's a real art to that.

Darren Moffatt:

So that's Fred from finder.com au you'll be hearing a lot more from Fred over the course of this series. He's given us some nuggets of wisdom and insight.

Darren Moffatt:

According to Inc.Com there are thought to be 500,000 significant brands globally, not to mention the millions of small and local businesses. So it's pretty clear a really effective brand identity is essential if you want to stand out and grab some market share in your local industry or market for the technical perspective. I turned to Rachel Bevans again from the healthy brand company to find out what components actually make up a brand identity.

Rachel Bevans:

Your identity has four key elements. One is the visual identity that we've touched on and that includes your logo, your photography, or your imagery style in your illustration style, your fonts, your key visual elements. So that's kind of your visual identity. It has includes your verbal identity or your voice, your tone of voice, and what sort of words do you use and what language you use. It includes your, um, all the other sensory components. So sound is a big one that people are talking about at the moment, but it's been used for absolutely years. Whether it's the shush shut of the cut the car door or how the Apple little um, thinks that Siri effect exactly. So, um, brands have been doing that using sensory for years. And then, um, the third, the fourth element is behavioral elements. So how does the brand behave as a brand, but also how do your people behave? So what are the behaviors because they're all the things that people will then identify with your brand to create your identity.

Darren Moffatt:

So it turns out there are four key elements toward brand identity. This is particularly important for online marketing. Again, you might be a little bit surprised that logos and brand identities are so crucial for effective online marketing, but they are. And for this, I turned to my business partner and perhaps the person I trust the most around online marketing, Ben Carew from Webbuzz the growth marketing agency. I gave Ben a call and find out why brand identity is so important for paid search and online marketing and listen to what he's got to say.

Ben Carew:

Hello.

Darren Moffatt:

Hey. Hey mate, how are you?

Ben Carew:

Hi. Hey. How's it going?

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah, good, good. Hey, I'm, I'm doing that episode on branding, brand identity for Nerds of Business. And I just said I had a question. What was that statistic you always quote about online conversion?

Ben Carew:

Oh, you mean the one about um, uh, it only takes 2.8 seconds to convert the user or they bounce off the page?

Darren Moffatt:

That's the one. That's the one, yeah. Right. So you've got like a really small window. When you get someone to your website or your web page, you got a really small window of time to convert them, otherwise they're gone. Right?

Ben Carew:

Yeah. And that won't come back either. Especially if you're using landing pages for paid traffic, you know, there's no way to find your way back there anyway. Go and click on the ad again. But generally speaking, yes, you've lost them.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Right. So what role does a brand identity or a logo play in that?

Ben Carew:

Well, it, it communicates trust. Um, obviously if you're a known brand, trust is baked in, so that's the best you could hope for. Um, but generally speaking, um, I mean, we've run campaigns to mortgage lead generation, I mean hundreds of campaigns over the last few years as you would know. And, um, those pages, whenever they're all for different businesses, so they're all landing pages for different businesses, paid traffic from Facebook and Google leading to them. So the vast, vast, vast majority of users from those ads that hit that page will not know the business on the page. And we've seen a real correlation between the poorly designed identities and brand identities because the pages are branded with that, with that mortgage brokers business, those bad logos and identities just simply convert less. Um,

Darren Moffatt:

and how much, how much less like is it, does it have a material impact?

Ben Carew:

Oh, absolutely. Um, the campaigns can see if the logo is terrible, you know, the campaigns can cease to function really. Um, and certainly as far as a lead generator goes, it makes the campaign unviable for us. But, but even, even with a brand where the user doesn't know that business at all, and as I said, it's the vast majority of them. Um, as if the logo has some gravitas, it's well designed. If it's got a nice color scheme or you know, it doesn't look frankly cheap and nasty then that people tend to kind of be okay with that even though they don't know the business.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. So if a small business has, if they've just one crappy logo they've been running for years, they might not necessarily know or they'll struggle to be aware that that's the cause of a low conversion rate. So, but if they have a suspicion that might be the case. The only real way to test it is to do a different type of logo and run an AB test on, on, on the other logo and see if the result are better.

Ben Carew:

That's, that's correct. Uh, the, as far as small business goes though, one of the problems they'll run into is, is, is low conversion rate to begin with. So if it's a small business website, you've got the issue of not reaching statistical significance in any of those tests. So you really do have to have a bit of a rule of thumb or you have to go with a bit of gut, which isn't obviously, you know, it's slightly frowned upon in digital marketing because the idea and the promise of digital marketing is that you have data and you make data driven. But for small business websites, it's a constant problem because they never get the amount of conversions required by the way, that's at least 100 conversions to be able to make a proper statistically based judgment on, on which is the winning test. Yep. So I think, I think for any listeners out there that the takeaway here is just if you have a small business website and you suspect that your logo is not great, um, you know, do a bit of a Vox pop or go on a site like Pollfish, um, and, and do a user test on various various versions of your logos. Find one that resonates and and use that and see if you get a better result on the site .

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah, I know. I guess the trick there is not just to trust family and friends because that's is it? That's pretty notorious for being inaccurate, isn't it? Like they'll only kind of tell you what you want to hear usually.

Ben Carew:

Oh yeah, yeah. Not family, family and friends are to be avoided.

Darren Moffatt:

Right? So it's really clear you need a great brand identity, whether you're doing online marketing or not, but it's especially important for converting traffic into leads, which is so much of what we do in business these days for for marketing. So now we're going to go into the technical aspects of how to create a brand identity. There is a formal process that you can follow as a small business owner to get the best result for your own brand identity. Let's again listen to what Rachel Bevans from the Healthy Brand Company has to say on this process.

Rachel Bevans:

Yeah, so it really is strategy first. So you look at, you do the research and strategy component first, and then you can go into the identity, the ideation piece into the concept creation, the concept development, and then into sort of your design, finalize design, development and design finalization when you go to final artwork. And so the strategy phase is, um, really looking at the customers. Who is the audience? What is the, what does the category look like, who are the competitors and what does the, what does the brand stand for? What are the, what is, what is sorry? What are the special things about the brand or the products, you know, what makes it unique and what makes it different? So depending if it's a product, it'll be about this provenance or craftsmen ship or where the supply comes from or what have you.

Rachel Bevans:

Um, so you're looking for those or how it's for how it was started in the first place. So you're looking for all of those brand truths, um, and what makes, what makes the product or the service really special? Um, so you, I guess you're going through and you're setting, you're setting your objectives. So what do you want to achieve with the brand? Uh, then it's who you're talking to, who are your competitors out there in the marketplace? Then what s your product and brand all about. And so from those you'll be able to then look at, you know, where the gap is in the market so that you can identify what your brand stands for. Okay,

Darren Moffatt:

great. And so once you've got the strategy done, uh, for, for the brand identity, what happens next? Where does it go to after that?

Rachel Bevans:

Okay. So the other part of the strategy bit is obviously related to the design as well. So you, while you're doing that, you will also have a look at the category codes. So you'll see, you know, in health, if you're in a health food looking at health food, you'll go and have a look at the category, the category codes there, which is pretty much, you know, green, white creams.

Darren Moffatt:

So this is the visual language of each category. There's an established visual language.

Rachel Bevans:

And then you need to decide, go through that with, through the design process, you need to actually go back at those, look at those category codes and say which ones do we want to stick with so that consumers know that we're in that category.

Darren Moffatt:

And that's kind of becomes almost like a trigger. Exactly. Yeah. Got it. Exactly. So someone can trigger immediately, you're going to hear in the healthy shorthand for what the brand represents. So it gets you into the, into the the zone or the territory. Yeah, exactly. Get into the ballpark, so to speak. And then from there, the finer points of the design then differentiate from the competitors. Yeah, exactly.

Darren Moffatt:

So that's the textbook approach. How it ideally should be done, how an expert would do it for a business. And indeed how Rachel does it for many of her clients every day. But it doesn't always, or even often go by the textbook. Anyone who's run a business knows that things are often chaotic. Things don't go according to plan. And it's the same for creating a brand identity as well, which brings us to our feature story. And now I'd like to share with you an interview that I had with Andre. Andre Eikmeier, the founder of Vinomofo. Vinomofo is a huge Australian success story, it's a very significant wine retailer online retailer. And the story that you're about to hear is really quite incredible. Andre will share with us how just a one letter change made a massive difference in the trajectory of the business.

Andre Eikmeier:

So that's what was behind it. And we actually ended up building a business for nearly five years before Vinomofo. It was about a community of people like minded. I mean it was mostly a review site. It was, and you know it wasn't particularly successful in uh, you know, financial metrics. But it did gather a bunch of people that felt like we did about wine and that was, that became the beginning of the community. But the name of Vinomofo didn't come from that. The name came from, it was going to be, uh, cause I haven't told this story for a while, but so it was, it was going to be called Vinomojo. There was a whole thing around, cause it was gonna be like a wine deal site. It's actually going to be a group buying site if you remember 2011 and Scoopon and Group on and Living Social and all, all of that.

Andre Eikmeier:

So Vinomojo was like get your mojo on, and we had all this language around it. We registered it and then it we got a letter from the trademark attorney and it was an objection to the trademark by a publicly listed company who had a wine called Mojo. Right? Mind you, this was like the Friday before the Monday we were going to launch. So it's like, you know, I don't know if any of you listening have like, you know, being three days out from the launch of a website for something. There's a lot happening. There's a lot of moving parts. Pretty stressful. You probably know when you're ready. You, you're not sleeping much. We were in that state and got this letter, opened it. And so we were like, um, what do we do? So I rang the CEO of this company. I felt my tactic would be just, we would be so innocuous and just present ourselves as so harmless that he'd feel sorry for us and go OK fine. So I just pleaded, presented out our case.

Andre Eikmeier:

And they were like oh that's good to hear that you have no money cause we've got lots of money. In fact our founder is quite litigious and we're very protective of the brand. So we'll tie this up in court for a couple of years and um, and good luck, uh, working your way through that. Yeah. And anyway, it was, it was, uh, I ended up getting off the phone going, ah, yes, I think we're gonna have to change the name. So we were trying to change it and we didn't have any money for, to, to redesign. And we registered the Twitter account and the Facebook account back then and the website and we had a logo designed and so we were a bit stressed and we just had this idea that if we just change the name like by one letter and people wouldn't even notice. We wouldn't even have to mention it, but you know, as long as the domain name domain was available, you'd be, you'd be fine.

Andre Eikmeier:

Exactly what we were thinking. So then it was like a naming session. I don't know if you've ever had a band or tried to come up with the a name, it's pretty torturous process. And so we're there going, right Okay: Vinomojo. Vinomogo, Vinomoto, VinoMogo, VinoGoto just like, you know, I think frustrated. It was actually Justin the cofounder who, um, who was like, ah, let's just call it Vinomofo for the motherfuckers who are trying to stop us from launch. And we, it was just a joke and we just ran and then went on. We tried to name it again, couldn't come up with anything and then, cause it was late and I think we'd probably been drinking, uh, it started to creep in. It's conversation around, it would be funny though, and I was older than everyone else and had kids and more responsible and I was like, we can't name ourselves wine ************.

Andre Eikmeier:

It's not funny. It's low brow and it's juvenile and no one will join. We need a name. And anyway, but then even I started again, but it be funny. And so this is, anyway, we ended up just going, alright, what if we just, cause we can't think of anything. Let's just call it that for now. And it'd be funny. Ha ha, maybe we get some PR out of it. It you won't work. Um, but we'll just do it now. And then in a couple of months chnage the name. I think in the context of like branding, it's really understand, it's really important then to reflect on the fact that we didn't set out to call this Vinomofo, so we didn't set out to go, Hey, let's be wine motherfuckers . Let's, let's, um, let's create a challenger brand and be a bit like young and attitudey - it was none of that. It all happened by accident essentially. A lot of it, well it's, this is what's interesting, what's in a name? We fought for years against certain, um, perceptions in that name. But of course what it ended up doing was opening up the doors for us. And that lots of people thought that was great and thought it represented what they really wanted. And in a way it did represent in quite an extreme form for those that got it. Yep. Um, that we did want to change. We did want to break the establishment.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Well I actually remember the first time I heard the name. Um, cause I've got a really close friend of mine who, uh, who works in the wine industry and has for many years. And when he told me about you guys going back about sort of maybe six years ago or something like that, six, seven years ago. And I just remember thinking then what a fantastic name. Like it really got my attention straight away and it sounded cool and edgy and you know, even if it was by accident, obviously the story ends pretty well from what I can see.

Andre Eikmeier:

Yeah, no, the name really worked. And I think what it did is that you might be for sure would have turned a few people off. Plenty of people just didn't get it. And it just sounded like, but then the people that really did, and they became a real core community in the beginning, they were like going, they weren't just going, Oh, I'll give this a try and suddenly they're assessing the product and the fit for them and the blah, blah, blah. I sort of went, yeah, that's for me. You know what I mean? It's so if you're a shop, they walked through the door going, this sounds like, just like it's for me. And nothing out there was for me before this. So they really arrived with some passion, with some expectation. But if you deliver on that, then, um, then you've got a strong, loyal, uh, member of your tribe. And that's what really served us.

Darren Moffatt:

So you can see from Andre's incredible story that the process of developing a brand identity is sometimes there's a lot of chance involved. Sometimes there's all the best planning goes out the window. Sometimes circumstance demands a response, which takes you in a different direction. And this is backed up by Fred Schebesta at Finder.com.au as well.

Fred Schebesta:

You know, um, I would actually say that I've been completely, uh, serendipitous in, in this discovering this, uh, journey and this path. And in the beginning I just wanted to rank number one in Google for credit card, um, as a key word, right? And that's something that I got very passionate about search engine marketing and Google. But I think that's, that's, that's the sort of the beginning and the Genesis because really what that means, what that's all about is imagine how do you come up with a goal like that. Yeah. Or you wake up in the morning, go, Hey, I want to rank number one in Google for credit card. Like that's a, that's that's a goal. A goal like that I think comes from an idea about mastery. It's a mindset. It's a, Hey, we're not ranking number one now. I'm not the best I can be in my life.

Fred Schebesta:

What I am today is not what I am going to be in the future and what I want in the future. So how are we going to go about doing that? And I think that's, that was the journey, right? And when you go and achieve a goal like that, so we did unfortunately got penalized by Google in doing them. That's why I'm sure you've seen the Ninja saw that. Um, but when you, when you set a goal like that and you go on achieve it in the process and in that journey you tend to discover other ideas about yourself and about the market and about the business. And I think that we just keep resetting that goal and going on these new journeys. And Finder, you know, is, is really, as I said, it's in a constant state of beta. You know, I see our goal, um, you know, one day in the future Fonda will die.

Fred Schebesta:

And I think our goal is to prevent that for as long as possible. And how are we going to do that? Well, we need to keep reinventing ourselves, keep becoming relevant. You know, I think I talked about this quite a bit, but it's, I believe in building a Phoenix company, not a unicorn company. Something that keeps recreating itself, right? And so the idea is a mindset. It's a mindset that you adapt and you would you would you, um, uh, constantly improving yourself to be a better version. So is that in the future, the things that you want and that you desire, you can easily attain and you can have.

Darren Moffatt:

So we've heard a couple of stories around journeys of brand identity and, and so on. Really incredible insights there from some top entrepreneurs. Now let's for a minute turn back to one of our branding experts, Rachel at the healthy brand company. And let's just find out what she thinks is the most important factor for a good brand identity.

Rachel Bevans:

I think the key thing for brand identity is 'fix and flex'. Is that a nerdy thing?

Darren Moffatt:

That is nerdy, that is very nerdy. We're into the brand nerd territory here. Okay. Fix and flex.

Rachel Bevans:

So it's really important in today's really messy world. You know, we've got so many products out there, so many different communications. I mean, you can't walk past anything without it sort of shouting something at you. Yep. And so your brand has a V you have to stand out within that crowd. So you've got to be able to be recognized instantly within that. So it's really important that you actually are. So every time people see your brand, they can recognize that it's you, so that you actually then do get your impact over time. But it's the other side to that is flexibility. So a brand does need to be able to exist in all of those environments and, um, work well, work to the best of those environments. And that might mean it needs to be animated. It might mean that needs to be, uh, you know, it needs to have, like in a supermarket shelf, in order for people to be able to choose which variant, then you're going to need the brand identity to be able to stretch across a number of variants. So not only can they see the brand, but then they can actually identify which of those variants they want. So that's where the sort of the fix and flex comes in. And that's what I would say is most important.

Darren Moffatt:

So if you're a new entrepreneur or you're a small business owner, you might be thinking, okay, well how does all this relate to me and my business? Well, we've got the perfect answer. I'm now going to introduce another guest. Um, Victoria Coster from credit fix solutions. So they're a leader in credit repair in Australia. She's built this business from nothing to a national company in five years. She's an absolute powerhouse. She was a finalist for the 2019 Telstra business awards. I think she, she came in the top six incredible as she's a good friend of ours. She's a client at our agency, Webbuzz. And uh, it was really great to talk to her for this particular episode because she can share some key insights into what it's really like down in the trenches, down in the small business, smaller medium sized businesses for putting a brand together and creating a brand identity from scratch. So let's, let's hear what Victoria says on that.

Victoria Coster:

Yeah, sure. Well, I needed help with it, right? Um, I'll be honest and put that out there. So I went along to a one day business course. It was free. And I suggest that any small business owner out there does that because you're only going to be as successful as how much knowledge you have. And so I put myself, and it was a course I would just went to Paramatta one day and the guy running it was, was fantastic. Um, Business Blueprint is, is the name of the training company. Um, Dale Beaumont runs it and he was just brilliant. And I thought, well, do I invest in myself and do I grow this? So that's what the small business owner needs to ask him or herself, do I want to grow this or am I happy being here? If you want to grow, you need to invest in yourself and you're only as good as what you know. So business course for me, for 12 months, I invested it. Yes, it was expensive for me at the time, but I invested and within the next look at me now, like national company, right? Couldn't have done it without it. And also just surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And richer than you, which is why I made you be my friend. So

Darren Moffatt:

now the truth comes out. And Victoria is our very first guest to go through one of our recurring segments called The Nerdometer. Listen to this... You've described yourself to me over the years, a couple of times as a big nerd. Okay. So we, um, we now get to test just exactly how much of a nerd you are. Uh,

Victoria Coster:

no way.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. So it's very much, um, well I wanted it to be a surprise. So that brings us to a special segment that we call:

:

The Nerdometer.

Victoria Coster:

That's classic.

Darren Moffatt:

So Victoria Coster um, uh, on a scale of one to 10, when it comes to, you know, uh, all things technical marketing and particularly around your business, um, the credit repair, um, aspect, how much of a nerd do you think you are out of 10?

Victoria Coster:

Yeah, I pretty much say, well, actually I'd have to say eight out of 10 because I can't do the, uh, CRM. I actually had to employ a bloody build company to do our new CRM system. So I'd have to pull it down to eight because of that.

Darren Moffatt:

Okay. That's pretty solid though. Eight out of 10 for nerdiness. Yep.

Victoria Coster:

Oh, lucky number eight, right?

Darren Moffatt:

Lucky number 8. Right, so the problem we set out to solve in this episode was how to create a brand identity that's so good. It can take you from startup to potentially a $100 million valuation. We've heard from our brand experts, Rachel at the Healthy Brand Company and Jon Michael from the Imagegroup on the technical process for creating a winning brand identity and why that's so important. And we've also heard some fascinating, true stories from our entrepreneur guests, Fred from Finder, Andre from Vinomofo and Victoria from Credit Fix Solutions. I hope you've already taken a lot of value out of the insights they've shared. For me. However, there are three powerful conclusions we can all draw from this episode. Firstly, brand is way more than just the logo. You'll recall there are actually four components to brand identity. Aside from the visuals, you should also be thinking about your verbal identity.

Darren Moffatt:

That is ,your brand's tone of voice, the auditory component or how it sounds, a sensory perception and even how your brand and its people behave. If you've only really focused on your logo to date, then these other components might just represent the biggest opportunities for leveraging your brand marketing in the short term. The second conclusion is that branding and brand identity compliment direct response marketing. So if you plan to do a lot of digital marketing and lead generation or maybe you're in E commerce, go back and audit your brand identity. This will help you get the best ROI from your online advertising spend. The third and final conclusion I think we can draw is from Andre's story and that's that the brand name really matters. The story of Vino mofo showed us that pushing the brand name to the edge caused it to more powerfully resonate with their target audience, even though it was kind of an accident. They showed that by going narrow, not broad, the brand had a deeper connection to its customers. This was a key turning point in their scale phase to a $100 million valuation. So in your own branding, don't be afraid to take some risks. When you're all things to all people, you're also nothing to no one in particular. It's clear from the interviews with all our guests that there is no single definitive path to the right brand identity for any business. But that equally the time and money you put into this is a worthwhile investment.

Darren Moffatt:

We're coming to the end, but before we go, I've got a real treat for you. Each Nerds Of Business episode features a segment called 'Nerd Under Pressure' where a guest has to share one killer hack or tip they recommend for you, our listeners. Let's find out who our 'nerd under pressure' is today. So Rachel, we now come to a segment called 'Nerd under pressure'. It's where we, uh, we do, we put you under pressure. You are the branding nerd and uh, we're asking here for one killer hack that you can provide, provide to entrepreneurs and business people for designing a great brand identity. So I'm going to give you about four or five seconds of thinking time now. Okay. Over to you.

Darren Moffatt:

I would say test it in situ. So once you have the concepts is have a look if you're in the supermarket, test it on a supermarket shelf, a shelf layout. Yeah. If you're in the environment that it's going to be communicated, uh, whatever, wherever it is. Um, I would always go aand whether it's web or outdoor or what have you, is just go and test it within the busy environment in which it exists and check that it stands out against competitors.

Darren Moffatt:

That's a great tip. Yeah. Yeah, of course. I mean that's really logical, but a lot of people don't do that. Yeah. Okay. So thanks for listening to the first episode of nerds of business. If you've enjoyed it, please spread the word on social media with your friends and colleagues. We really want to try and help as many entrepreneurs and businesses as possible. If you've got a question or some feedback, we'd love to hear from you, you can engage with us at webuzz.com.au/nerds that's webbuzz.com.au/nerds. That's where we live. That's where you can find us. So feel free to reach out and say hello. I want to thank all our guests and the team at web buzz for helping me put this show together. We'll be back in two weeks with our episode, which is on brand positioning and how to annoy the hell out of your competitors. Until then, I'm your host Darren Moffatt, and I look forward to nerding out with you next time. Bye for now.

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