A Top 25 Business & Marketing Podcast
Radical Podcast - Branding In 2019

February 16, 2019

Radical Podcast - Branding In 2019
Play Episode

In this episode Ryan goes solo. Covering the ins and outs of agency life at Radical. This episode contains a ton of value, and a first hand account of what it’s like to witness social media case studies grow from their infancy.
.
More specifically speaking:
.
Dr. Rich Constantine
@dr.c_smiles & @constantinedental_dental
.
Nikki Huebner
@endurelash & @endurebeauty
.
Ryan also offers several nuggets of information about our current social media marketing climate. Topics include: Influencer marketing, PR strategy, and a hidden $1000 giveaway.
.
Go check this episode out and let us know what you think. Please share, review, and subscribe so we can continue to bring the value!
.
Have a great weekend Rad Fam!
#NowThatsRadical🤙
#YeahThatGreenville 🌿


 

In this episode Ryan goes solo. Covering the ins and outs of agency life at Radical. This episode contains a ton of value, and a first hand account of what it’s like to witness social media case studies grow from their infancy.

.

More specifically speaking:

.

Dr. Rich Constantine

@dr.c_smiles & @constantinedental_dental

.

Nikki Huebner

@endurelash & @endurebeauty

.

Ryan also offers several nuggets of information about our current social media marketing climate. Topics include: Influencer marketing, PR strategy, and a hidden $1000 giveaway.

.

Go check this episode out and let us know what you think. Please share, review, and subscribe so we can continue to bring the value!

.

Have a great weekend Rad Fam!

#NowThatsRadical🤙

#YeahThatGreenville 🌿

Transcript

Ryan Alford [00:00:03] Hey guys, this is Ryan Alford. Welcome to the Radical Company podcast, it's a podcast Friday. We're back on Fridays. My days are so jumbled up, I'm like, what's today? We've had some of the team in New York this week for Fashion Week. So it's been a little bit like knowing where who's wearing who's what's going on. 

But it's been a good week. Lots going on. We're going to get back to guests on the podcast. As always, going to be the foundation of the podcast, but wanted to spend today talking a little bit about marketing in 2019. Some of the trends that are going on. We work with a lot of small to medium businesses here at Radical. And I'm starting to see and feel some of the same themes with working with a lot of different brands. And I wanted to share a little perspective. 

If you're listening to this for how you need to think about branding and what I call experiential marketing in 2019, I'll start with a story because I think that is the best context. When I'm hearing things and people are trying to explain something they've gone through is to put it into perspective for how I've experienced these things. Radicals, about a year old. We're a full-service agency. 

I stop short of saying digital or social media. We do a little bit of everything from websites to social content. I consider us as storytellers first, which is actually really related to what I'm going to talk about today. But what's been interesting about Radical and how it relates to today and if you're starting a business, this applies to small, medium, large. The game, it's funny with the way media has changed with television and radio and all the big expensive ways with which to reach people, that used to be the only big brands that could play love. 

The playing field has changed so much with social media, all the different channels from YouTube to Instagram to Facebook. So really all of these things apply to any size brand. And we're working with small, medium and large brands. But I think it's really applicable because Radical being a year old, I have actually to date done. I really, really mean this. I think some people like, well, I think you did call me back or something. 

I've done zero business development for Radical, which is almost unheard of when you think about agencies and how you develop business. It's all been done through what I call a brand. I had a vision for Radical and what I wanted to do and the types of people and the types of clients that I wanted to work with. And we were fortunate enough to work with a couple of companies that got us started. That opportunity lay there. And that's given us the foundation for where we went. 

But by doing the work and telling the story of what we do, it is radical, it has been the business development engine for everything that we do. I've done it through my personal branding. If you follow along on my content, which are messages that mean a lot to me, talking about family, talking about positivity, talking about mindset. And so a lot of that is at the core of what we do with Radical and how we want to do business with people and how we want to be as human beings. 

So that's like the core tenet of Radical's foundation. But then with what we've done with our content and the stories that we've been telling from Dr. Steve went into her beauty to Raintree, what we're doing with these brands and what we're doing with companies, the content that we're doing, the stories that we're doing and the success that we are having, some at different paces than others has been the business development engine. They've seen the art, my personal branding. 

You see the Brayne that we do with Radical and what we do, you see what we've done with Gvul Hustle, which is our way of giving back to the community. And you see the tenants and you feel the story and the brand that's radical. And that's led to phone calls. I get a phone call about, well, we really need this or we need that. I've really done zero outbound business development for Radical because it's all done through the lens of the storytelling that we've done with Radical. And I think the more clients that I work with and that we work with as a team, this is so relevant today because a lot of clients call me and they haven't thought about what the brand means. 

Now they think about it because. They're under pressure to make sales immediately, which I totally understand and I totally get it. We all have budgets. We all have things that we need to do to make ends meet. But if you can't look at branding and marketing as an investment and not a cost, you're already under the wrong mindset. And I don't say this because, look, we have bills to pay. We have things to do. And it's not sitting from a position of comfort that we make these statements is because the strategy works. You have to think and commit to the brand no matter the size of your business. 

You have to elicit a feeling and experience with your company and to give those tenets of what you are. It's just not a sales environment anymore. And, I'm going to go down a few different paths with this. But when you think about what's happening now with people being tracked everywhere with ads no one wants to be advertised to anymore, as much as it pains me to say that owning an ad agency, it's obviously very a struggle to say that, but. What they want is they want to know and understand what your brand is and what the people behind the brand stand for. That's your personal brand. That's the brand of your business. That's the ethos and the ethics of your company. That's the foundation that you give back. And you have to tell those stories in a way that resonates. And I guarantee you because I tell you this from firsthand experience of what's happening with Radical, it will lead the means with which you do with these things will lead to the. And ultimately, 

I think it's another funny example. So I've been working with Dr. Rich Constantine for a couple of years. And lo and behold another perfect example Rich has a really great personality. He is a gentle soul. He is a great businessman. He's a hell of a dentist. And we were working together and we were doing some content. 

We did a beautiful branded video last April, May, and proud of it. And, we were getting some traction with that. And we had discussions and the dance video comes along and that opportunity to show his personality. And lo and behold, here we are. Six months later, his practice has tripled, essentially in numbers of people. Some of that's he was bringing on another partner or another dentist that's going to work with him that was bringing his customers and clients. And some of that was happening. But by telling these stories and yeah, you think, OK, he went viral, we don't guarantee viral, but it's exactly the exact example of showing your personality real, being relatable and telling stories in different ways that make people feel a certain way. 

Now we quickly transition with Rich because he's a married man. And, a lot of that was he's a good looking guy. And so we're not dumb to that. But what do we do? We talked with Rich about what's important, what matters to you. His wife, Trish and him had both lost a parent to cancer. We started my own cancer. We started talking about that. 

We started letting people know that all these things and all these benefits that have come through that. It's not a look the dance challenge became what it was, but that there's a benefit, there's an endgame from that that wasn't just a dollar in his pocket. And so we've talked about that story before, but I think it's just really relevant back to branding in twenty nineteen because a lot of times when people and companies are approaching us. 

It quickly turns into tactical discussions about sales, and although the budget and the tactics matter, what really matters more is the principles and the foundation of the experience and the brand that we need to tell another example. So we've been working with indoor beauty, Nikki Huebner, who has an amazing story to tell. 

We're just now scratching at the surface with her brand. But we've improved her content. We've been telling her story more. Lots more to tell, by the way. It's just a matter of time with so many things are happening for her, but. It's not all about the absolute promotional sale, it's about the story, the experience, it's about navigating the difference between brand and sales, brand and marketing and telling a story and making that resonate with people. And a lot of things that have resonated for Nike have not been immediate, direct to consumer sales, but it's been more partnerships to be opportunities. Macy's agreements, because we've been telling her story. 

We've been telling about the tragedy that she suffered, that started to endure the beauty we've made, we're making people have that connection to her in the fashion industry. And, yeah, she's got great products that will move in products at the end of the day or what sells. But it's about that story. It's about that experience. It's about that feeling. And it's about knowing as a small, medium and large business that you have to invest in making people feel that way. Back to personal examples I've been doing. 

I've been on Instagram since 2008. I have a pretty good following, but it's taken 10 years to build that following and being consistent with my content. And it didn't happen overnight. It happens because people are starting to relate to the culture that we do, to the content that I share and. I'm building a personal brand and an experience that people can expect when they come and experience our content, and I think we really get it. I think when I had these discussions with business people at the start, it's a tough decision. 

Everyone gets a little uncomfortable. It is first thinking about telling their own story, uncomfortable, maybe thinking about revealing behind the curtain of different things, and not because they don't want to be transparent, but because I think for good or bad or different social media has made us. Fearful of thinking that we want to pat ourselves on the back or we're trying to self promote ourselves, and sometimes I think people are worried about what other people think, we're natural human beings. 

So these discussions start with companies and we always want to jump to the website promotion or this tactic or that tactic. But I really challenge you as you think about building your brand, whether it's your personal brand, your company brand, that you think about the stories that you want to tell you. Think about that personal experience that you can add and that you can share and the importance of giving that time. And when you think about it, if you're starting a business, you need to think about marketing as an investment. 

You need to think about it as an I don't you don't know if that investment is going to take three months, six months, 12 months. And most certainly you have to have your list of tactics that you're doing that are going to drive sales that help pay for that. But when you start your business, you need to think about what you are investing in and be willing to put up to know that some of these stories take time to tell and that. But it is the way to do marketing in 2019. There is just unless there's like one or two ways at this. Yeah. 

If you're Uber or you have a product or a convenience that completely redefines the market, then yes, you have a differentiator and you could go after that and that becomes your marketing platform. But when you're in hyper-competitive categories, real estate, insurance, beauty products, all of these hyper-competitive categories, lawyers, everyone, there are a million people that you can buy insurance from. 

There are a million people that you can get legal services from. There are a million people that you can get ad agency services for. I know this, but the ones that are being successful are the ones that are focusing on their brand and telling a story and making people elicit and want to do business with them. And it's not because you're trying to self promote. I mean, there's a fine line if. It has to be authentic, it has to be authentic, it has to tell a story, but I think there's just a lot of confusion in the market and with meeting with small businesses and talking to them. And everyone thinks that they're the only ones with the life plus benefit and insurance are the only ones that can get somebody out of jail or the only one that thinks they have a skincare line. 

How you know how many skincare lines there are? It's twelve dollars a click on Amazon right now. I'll just tell you that right now, 12 bucks, you better have some margin or you better be telling a story that makes people want to do business with you and you better when you start the business. You need to think about the investment that is needed to tell that story and it doesn't happen overnight. And so I just really think it's important for small business, medium business and large business to really rethink how they go about branding their company and the things they've got to think about in twenty nineteen. They're a little bit different. I'll go down another line here. 

I talked about this on our tip for Tuesday and it still plays into this exact same category. But I think the buzz word the last couple of years has been influencer marketing. And I think it's both a good name and a bad name because one, yes, there's a lot of fake influencers out there. And it's not easy if you don't have the software or the tools to evaluate some of these things. But what's really impactful in 2019 is going after more of those micro influencers and they can actually help Elevate and populate and really advertise for your company. And so I think the average small business to go, how am I going to use an influencer? What does that mean? How am I going to do that? It's essentially creating your army of sales people for you. If you sell a product or service and you can get it, it becomes your biggest network referral program, essentially. 

Well, how do you go about doing this? Well, you need to connect through social media. You need to really start identifying the people that have a say or a voice in your marketer community and reach out to them and start to have dialog and then leveraging them and their networks to then expand yours. And I think some people, myself, I was probably guilty of this, of thinking of influencer marketing as a tactic that only large brands considered. 

Well, I'm not going to pay someone ten thousand dollars a post to talk about my brand. It's really more about thinking about these networks is truly ways with which to network and communicate your brand and to really create a modern salesforce for your business. So I'll use an example of something that we're doing with the store beauty, and it's just getting started. And you see this with a lot of companies, but you've got to make use of some of these tactics. So we've started an ambassador program for indoor beauty and it's just getting off the ground. 

It's two weeks old. And what's funny or ironic? Like, I think sometimes you think of companies and you hear a name and we're working with them and you think they're like five, ten year old companies. But it’s not even barely two years old. And so Nike has done a fabulous job with focusing on her products, telling her story and really making sure her products live up to everything that we're trying to market. And but what we're doing is we're creating an ambassador program where we're actually giving away margin. She has a decent margin on her products, but we can give away margin and we can create benefits for the ambassadors and benefits for their networks, then create almost like an army of salespeople. And so this is a tactic that is actually viable in a lot of industries and something that is not just a large brand initiative anymore. 

If you think about and look at some of the fastest growing brands in that category, it's been through social media, through ambassador programs, and it is a way to really pour gasoline on the fire and the opportunity by really leveraging all of the people that are already engaging with a lot of these products and services and creating but again. Why do they want to join your program? Why would they want to get involved with you? It starts with that branding and telling that story and creating that connection. And so in that and I'm telling you right now, that is valid, whether you're an ad agency or an insurance salesman or a plumber, believe it or not, because no one thought a dentist could be interesting either, by the way and I've got news for you. It's very interesting. 

We've been on Steve Harvey. We're now an ambassador for several brands. I can actually officially announce a partnership with one of the fastest growing cosmetic companies in America. And all of this came by opening and revealing the curtain and showing a side to him that was never expected. And ironically, all these things like tie together now riches and ambassadors for a lot of brands because of the influence that he has. And so you can think about this in a lot of different ways. I think the connection I think I'm going to go down another line here. No one likes competition in 2019. 

There's so much to go around, the economy is going well. I like to call it cooperation. And really what you need to be thinking about as a company is the way that you can cooperate and work with people that you might normally have thought were a competitor. And I think that there's so much blending. We do this with our own clients. We bring in our clients. We intermingle them. We don't have a lot of competing clients. But I think you've got to get out of this mindset of me versus the world, but rather how the world can all work together to actually help you. And, I could probably talk and I might earmark the coopetition for another podcast because that's a whole nother like bunny hole. 

But I think it's important because consumers do not want ads. Consumers do not want competition. Competing brands like punching each other in the face, no matter what Coke and Pepsi can do to each other. They want to see stories. They want to be entertained. They want to understand what you're about. They don't want or need that competitive spirit. And that's not because we're not competitive or we don't want to do the best work. You don't want to do those things. But I think it's important to divide the line between working together and in unison. An example of that is actually some of the things that we're doing with metabolic. 

There are local gyms here and we don't take credit for all of this. Nick and Sara are extremely bright running the business, but we've helped them see the opportunities of intermingling in the Greenville market with other workout facilities. And I can tell you their sales have never been better. Their classes are filling up and they've embraced storytelling. They've embraced putting their personal brands out there. They've embraced cooperation with brands in the market. And business has never been better. These things aren't accidental. And I think there's so many things that are contrary to how most people have been programmed to think about marketing and sales and what the tried and true things are that you've got to really like, rethink and reposition your mind around these things. 

And, the last thing I really want to cover is this personal branding side. I have mentors and people that I've followed. And, I fought this personally for the longest time. I still don't think I do it as well or as much as I would like to. And it's not that I do not enjoy being in front of the camera. I don't mind it like some people, but it's not like something I seek out? And but I will tell you, there has been nothing better for me personally or for business than removing that fear and removing that barrier that I felt like. I was worried about what people thought. I was worried that people thought that I was self promoting or that, what I had on that day or if I didn't say the right thing or do those things. But there's been no better experience and better outcomes for me than personal branding, putting myself out there, sharing messages that were important to me and every client and every person that we have told and recommended this strategy to. And it doesn't, it's not it's not that it always makes sense. 

We have some companies that we work with. It doesn't make sense for there to be a figurehead doing personal branding. So I'm not saying that, General, but about 90 percent of the time it is and has become one of the most important tactics that is driving their brand, their business and the outcomes that they want to see. And that's because people do not do business with companies. People do business with people. I joked with a colleague, I don't think I can trademark this, but I did say this and I didn't know it existed at the time. This was a few years ago. But I told someone we were thinking about strategies. We were actually selling cars at the time and I said, we need to stop thinking about it as B2C or B2B. This is really about B to H business, to humans. We are human beings. 

We experience and live life just like everyone else. And when you start thinking about your business and thinking about what you're trying to sell and you put yourself in the shoes of being a marketing person to person, no matter how big or small your company is, I will personally guarantee and you can come do it right here. I'll cut you the check if you'll do it for 12 months. You don't croi. I'll give you a thousand bucks. How about that? I'll put my money where my mouth is and we're going to track it. We're going to see it. If you put 12 months into personal branding or telling your story is a business and you do it consistently, whether it's a loan with a smartphone, whether it's with an agency or whatever, if you'll tell your story and you elicit that feeling, I guarantee you you'll CROI and you'll go he was right. A thousand dollars guaranteed.

Come back and we'll look at your feeds and we'll see how consistent you really were. But I'll put my money where my mouth is because I know it works. It's working for us. It's working for the businesses that we're working with. And, it's a game changer. I think that's it for today's podcast. A few tips for small, medium, large businesses for branding, for how to think about marketing in 2019. So thankful, so blessed for everything that's happened. It radical in one year or just under a year and I really hope that this is a helpful process for you guys. Be back to guests soon, probably next week. I think we got three or four really exciting guests that will be coming on the podcast. But just so blessed to do this. And I hope everyone has a great day no matter when you listen to this many.