All right, welcome to another episode of remote voices we have yet again as per usual an amazing guest. Brianne, tell us about yourself what you do for a living, why you're awesome and why we should all be listening to you today.
Brianne Fleming 0:57
Well, thank you. Happy to be here. Yes, I'm Brianne Fleming. I wear a couple different hats. I teach marketing and social media at the University of Florida. I do that all remotely so I'm teaching online but I guess everyone is at this point, but I always have been teaching online. But I also have my own consultancy where I work primarily with fitness brands and help them with their marketing. I have a background working on fitness brands. Most notably, I worked the corporate office for orange theory for almost four years helping get that brand developed and off off the ground. But my real baby is talking about pop culture and marketing and sharing lessons that we can learn about marketing from happenings in pop culture. I'm a big believer in that you don't need to only study apple and Nike and Starbucks to learn about marketing that you can turn to your favorite TV shows musicians movie And that lessons are all around us. So I blog about that different pop culture happenings with marketing takeaways. And I also host a podcast about it called Making the brand.
Wow, that is awesome. That's quite a lot of achievements there. I'd love to like really quickly just like dive into your experience teaching online, like what tools do you use? How do you communicate with your class? Like, give me kind of the rundown there?
Brianne Fleming 2:26
Yeah, so we use Canvas just to house all of our assignments and projects and discussion boards. That's really the home base for everything. But the lectures are all done via zoom. So I was on. I was teaching on zoom before, the whole world was teaching on zoom scenes. And aside from that, I also actually have a Facebook group for all of my classes where I will drop links in there and just have an ongoing discussion and it's most of my courses or social media courses, so I figured there had to be some social media extension, where we gather and share question makes sense to each other. So
do you do you require your students to be on camera, when you when you teach them remotely on zoom?
Brianne Fleming 3:13
You know, I don't most of them do anyway. And at least one of my classes, they have to present a final project where they'll have to. So that's the only time I require it. But also, I mean, I teach in the master's program. So I have some students that work full time, it all takes place in the evening. So I can relate. I'm not always decent in the evenings. You know, you get home from work and you kind of just want to unwind, so if they want to sit there and listen, if they've got kids screaming in the background, or if they're multitasking making dinner, you know, I can't knock them for that. I try to be very understanding.
Makes sense. Makes sense. All right. Well, let's dive into the content for today. Where I actually share you guys as well. Cool. You want to read this one, Jordan?
Yeah, sure. So this is from our good friend Kp from capa so he says if I have one tip for makers wanting to be founders but don't have an audience yet be a giver build an audience by giving value just proportionately the best values you can give is being yourself giving without any expectations and oh I guess it cuts off but um yeah i mean i totally agree with this I think he's absolutely right like just give without expectations like just be a good person for the sake of being good persons what I get out of this
I mean, we did this I think for years leading up to you know, yaks launch we didn't have much of an established brand and you know, brand obviously, we're going to pull you in here in a second to talk about brand but you know, we I think have done a good job of just like giving stuff away for free for a long time under the so friendly brand, you know, building products that we thought were cool, you know, I got super involved in kind of like maker communities, giving feedback, helping people out, you know, diving into comments, you know, kind of like engaging and you know, Jordan, you and I talked about Just like engagement in general and how insanely important like just being there just showing up is half the battle kind of, you know, conversation. And I think part of that has to do with just kind of this attitude of I'm going to give my time I'm going to give my involvement. And when it's time for me to launch something, and I need your support, those people are actually kind of cheerleaders because they're happy for you. They have seen you go from zero to something and they want to be around to kind of, you know, give you that upvote or share that or retweet that brand. What are your kind of thoughts on this?
Brianne Fleming 5:35
Yeah, I like to compare it to just interpersonal relationships, like no one likes a friend that only talks about themselves. It's not a good way to build friendships with people and it's not a good way to build an audience. You can't, you know, communicate selfishly, you have to give and get people to, you know, warm up to you by the things that you share and the things that you're willing to do for people and again to Do it without any expectations just to be a good person. So it's always a win win.
Yeah, I mean, that's a amazing parallel to draw, because you're right. Like, your personal relationships are the same way like people will notice if you're the guy that's always asking and never giving. And I think that comes across in brand and product as well.
Mm hmm. Brand all humblebrag about you here was like what you do with pop chat over on Twitter and stuff? Yeah, I mean, I think that's like a great example of this. Like, there's just so much value in that. And I see it happening on Twitter. I'm like, Oh, my God, this is like, literally captures this tweet perfectly. So
Brianne Fleming 6:34
right there. Thank you. I mean, really, it's the people who participate that are giving the value. I'm just asking the question. So I guess you could say that's a little selfish for me, because I'm learning from all these amazing people who show up and respond. But yeah, we're all kind of sharing with each other and learning from each other. And that's just how you create great relationships. So thank you for that.
Yeah, absolutely. For everybody with a pop chat on Twitter. Follow Bran guy, check it out. Super cool. You
Brianne Fleming 7:02
Yeah, we just wrapped up a session today at one o'clock. So every Friday at one,
Awesome, well, I'm going to rewind this tweet a little bit and go one level higher, which is, I've always, you know, kind of gone by the modicum that you need to build an audience before you ship your product, because you need an captive audience that you can sell into Brianne, how did you build that audience for that account? Or any of your personal brands? Like what was that process like?
Brianne Fleming 7:28
Wow, so I really just wanted to create something different when it came to Twitter chats, because I had participated in some and there are a lot of great ones out there. But I just, again, selfishly, I guess you could say maybe this is a bad example, but I wanted to create a chat that I would want to participate in. I saw a lot of chats that talked about social media, but it really just focused on the features or the new innovations and the tech behind it. And I wanted to put a fun spin on it and asked how How, you know musicians are using Twitter how they're, you know how Taylor Swift dropped her her album at midnight on Spotify and streaming and how she did all of her social media for surprise launch. I wanted to apply social media and takeaways to pop culture and just make something different. So everything I was reading about starting a Twitter chat, they said, Don't even think about it until you have at least 5000 followers. Wow, I don't even have 5000 followers. Now. I think I had 400 when I started. And again, if you just keep plugging away, it's it's one thing that I had to be consistent with because I put it out there every Friday at one o'clock. So I've just kept building and keeping up with it. And over time, more and more people are coming and it's just a blast.
And do you do paid advertising for that there's all organic,
Brianne Fleming 8:54
all organic right now. Yeah, I just create the questions myself and just put it out there. This week we hosted our first zoom happy hour meet up with the pop chat crew. So they all all joined. I haven't monetized it or done anything or paid had any paid advertising, but it's really just organically getting people to show up and tag and tell their friends and it's slowly growing, but it's been fun.
That's awesome. Thanks. Alright, so, Jordan, did you read into this one? I didn't read that. Okay, then maybe you can drive this. But essentially, for the listeners, slack has filed an official EU complaint, which I think is interesting that they did it in the EU. But filed an official complaint against Microsoft for competition, I guess I don't know to help me flesh this out a little bit more Jordan. Yeah. So Stuart made a whole thread on this basically giving more detail around it. But the general gist of it is that like, over the years, Microsoft Teams has just gotten to a point where they exist solely to try it. people away from like, enterprise enterprise slack customers. And like Justin, I know, we've talked about this before, but like the way that teams counts, like, I think daily active, yeah. And like that, it's like if you just use the Microsoft suite of tools, like you're inherently considered a user, so it just like totally blown out of proportion. It's like super misleading. And so seems like slack has had enough. And here we are, they are wanting to do something about it. I find this very interesting. I mean, this tweet in general says life comes at you fast and on the left we see slacks official letter kind of welcoming Microsoft Teams or Microsoft to the industry, which is standard we saw Apple do this years ago. You know, it's like a standard thing to take out like a full page ad in the New York Times and say, like, welcome to you know, whatever, you know, industry you're competing in, but, you know, I've always taken the approach that like competition breeds good markets, right. So like Eli talks about this a lot at the verge like if we don't have competition, then companies have no incentive to do better, they have no incentive to price better. There's no incentive to price more aggressively. You know, we see this with cell phone carriers, we see this with cable television providers, like I have no option in my area as to what cable television I get in my house, my internet provider, there's only one person in the area that I can get. So they have zero incentive to price lower than somebody else, because I have no other option. So competition is good, because it creates, you know, situations where companies have to actually provide value to their customers instead of the boxing the men. What I did see that was interesting is capetian. Matt sent out a newsletter from capetian. A, and the title was, what if your product is just a feature? And you know, we've talked about this a lot at Yac because a lot of people early on were like voice messaging that could just be a feature of slack or you know, any of these other tools and, you know, we've obviously had our answer This over the years but what I find interesting is as I dove into that newsletter, I realized they were talking about this. And what they were saying was that teams is a feature of office 365, which I had never really thought of, I understand that there's a larger product there. I always think of Microsoft Teams as an individual feature, but I guess they are right it is sort of it's not it's it's not its own product. It is technically a feature of a much larger product offering which is inside of Office 365 you know, brand What is your initial reaction to this? Do you think that it is fair practice what Microsoft is doing to slack Do you think that this is just, you know, cry, you know, crying a little bit or, you know, what are your thoughts?
Brianne Fleming 12:43
Um, my first reaction or my first impression, this reminds me of what all birds did when they notice Amazon. Yeah, yeah. They they noticed that Amazon was copying them, but they weren't being sustainable. So they said, Hey, Actually, here's our our formula, we just want to make the world a better place. And instead of, you know, taking shots at them, they saw this as an opportunity to create this learning moment, if you will. So I feel like this is kind of similar in that they're not. They're offering to give them some friendly robot advice, quote, unquote, instead of, you know, taking shots.
Yeah, but now they've officially filed a complaint, which I think is kind of the difference is that at first it was that it was like, welcome to the space. We're glad to have some competition in here. It's just gonna keep us on our toes. And now it's, I mean, I assume it's a numbers game, something must have happened internally where they started to look at, you know, even though they've said, I think Stuart even said this in his thread, like, we haven't lost or we haven't seen a significant loss of like enterprise customers due to this. But there is definitely some kind of catalyst event that, you know, you wouldn't go through all the trouble of filing an official complaint if it wasn't hurting your business. Right. Hmm.
Yeah, I think he even said like they've retained their Top 100 Yeah, that's what it was. Yeah, I think it's more like in the weeds stuff that's getting under their skin. I mean, I don't think we'll ever know the details. But
yeah, I mean, it's interesting brand that you bring up that Amazon allbirds thing, because just yesterday, some news dropped about the Alexa fund that they had been in acquisition talks, investing in and having investment talks with companies, and then going off and building competitor products based off of the knowledge that they gained from, you know, either that intimate investment memos or just being on calls with these startups and getting, you know, traction and, you know, tech, you know, information. And so it is interesting that these behemoth companies, you know, I think slack slack is IPO they're, they're a larger company. Now, I don't think they're anywhere near the size of like a Microsoft or an Amazon but they're still pretty large, that these behemoth companies are now suddenly Getting some flack for being as big as they are because they have this power to just wipe out the small guys whenever they want to because of sheer money, team size capability, whatever it may be. But, you know, Bran What do you think about you know, like that Amazon situation? Is that open game? Is it you know, is it? Is it okay to clone all birds?
Brianne Fleming 15:26
Um, gosh, as if Amazon needs anything else in their portfolio like they need to do anything I agree with with all birds. I think if you're at least going to copy them, they should at least be sustainable as well. I think that's what all companies should be striving toward is to be more sustainable or more eco friendly and Amazon could be leading the way and the fact that they didn't there. I think that's a missed opportunity. Well, I
mean, diving into kind of your core skill set here, isn't it ultimately at the end of the day, all about brand like it All birds was so confident in their brand and their ability to execute, shouldn't it not be scary to them? Same thing for Slack, I suppose?
Brianne Fleming 16:09
Well, in my opinion, I don't think all birds felt really threatened by it, I think they were more so disappointed to see that they weren't sustainable, because that completely goes against what they're trying to do and how they're trying to change the world. So I think more so they wanted to have a heart to heart with Amazon instead of, you know, coming out swinging, saying Why are you copying us and feeling threatened? They just seem to genuinely want to have an open conversation and maybe even partner together just find ways that they can both be about brand and purpose and make the world a little bit of a better place.
Yeah, I think I saw recently I think it was Adams tweeted out that either Adidas or Nike I'm feeling either Yac copied their box design, and a bunch of people in the comments were like, well, that's what you get when you don't patent it. And then The other half of the, you know, comments were like, well, it's a box design, you can't really, you know, keep somebody from like making a box. But I find it interesting because at the end of the day, like, I am not going to buy a pair of Adidas because of their box, but I definitely would buy a pair of atoms because of their box because the atoms experience is definitely about the experience overall, it's the love that they put into that product. I just buy Adidas because it's frickin Adidas. And I think that's testament to how important brand is and how it drips into every single aspect of it from the unboxing experience to how you treat your competitors. Because I think what you're saying is all birds did it right. All birds said, Hey, you know what, this is ultimately our mission. And as long as you're aligned with that, I don't really care if you do this, but then we see slack here saying, you know, you're stealing our customers, which is what competition is supposed to do. Right?
Brianne Fleming 17:59
Yeah. Well, all birds really took the classy route. And instead of you know, they could have very much also filed a complaint. But now, I think they built even more goodwill by taking such a classy approach and just having this conversation and open letter. Yeah.
So it'd be interesting to see how this shakes out for slackers. You're right, there is kind of the classy approach and then there's the legal approaches. So this this next week says from a friend at PayPal, we've had black friday level daily transaction volumes since COVID-19. Started as if you don't need more reasons to be bullish on digital payments. Now I'm going to I'm going to remove this digital payments side of it because I don't know that it's relevant to this conversation. But you know, I was in our local UPS Store and they said for the first month of COVID, every single day they were shipping out the same quantity at they would during Black Friday receiving and shipping for an entire month for this first month of COVID. I think it's insane. Interesting we were talking about like DTC brands. We talked about online shopping Amazon versus you know, your best buys. But I'm curious Bran what you've seen in the market since COVID. How that's affected your business. Have you seen more inbounds? Have you seen less? What's it looked like for you?
Brianne Fleming 19:19
Mm hmm. I've seen more clients just being genuinely interested in content and finally respecting content a little bit more. Because I always say that in other recessions or other downturns and other crises, the marketing team used to be the first to go. And I think this time, the marketing teams are what's keeping brands afloat with live content. Yeah, all the live content that we saw, at least early on when COVID started and just understanding that content is what's going to keep them relevant. So I've seen clients and other Brandes just as far as people, contacting me just asking what do we do from a content standpoint versus being so concerned about about other things that they would have been 10 or 20 years ago? So that was refreshing.
Yeah, I actually think that's super true. Because I mean, at least from what I've seen, people like couldn't go out and like physically see the products that they're interested in getting or whatever. So it all was just like, oh, I've seen this brand on Twitter before I've seen this brand on Tick Tock or Instagram or whatever, and that they buy whatever they can relate to immediately. So totally, totally agree with that. I think what you said is super interesting that the marketing team was typically the first to go. And we're in a huge economic downturn, you know, regardless of what the stock market may say, there's tons and tons of people out of work. And you're you're right. There's this interesting moment where because of the way that this happened, the marketing team ends up being actually the most important people to make, you know, to retain because they're the frontline That's the people that are going to keep your, your branded front. So, you know, from the this, you know, if we're starting off with this tweet and you know, they're specifically talking about digital payments, I think you could back you know, bookend this with almost anything, you know, bullish on online marketing bullish on content creation, you know, bullish on, you know, direct to consumer brands, like all these different things that, you know, may have been questionably, you know, at the forefront of a company and all of a sudden, because it's the only option you have now are all of a sudden the front line of that company, and I think it's gonna be interesting to see how it shakes out over the long term. You know, Bran Do you think that we're gonna see a spike and then a level off? Do you think it's just gonna rock it from here and continue to be up uptrend? What do you think?
Brianne Fleming 21:50
A spike in digital payments or transactions?
No, just I guess in this new world of online, everything online payments online. You know, content new everything you're doing, you know, do you think you're gonna see more? You know, clients continue to come in? Or do you think it'll fall off eventually, as you know, things maybe go back to normal.
Unknown Speaker 22:12
I think people are getting more comfortable doing things remotely and digitally, and they're looking for more opportunities to kind of scale down and optimize, I think we'll also see a spike in people turning to freelancers versus big agencies, because, hey, if we're going to work remotely, why should I work remotely with a huge agency necessarily, when I can also work remotely with an individual or a small, a small group who can give me more individualized attention? So I think there's been this mindset shift in how people are approaching work, and that it's all just going to keep going up as far as digital is concerned.
Yeah, I mean, we talked about this all the time. The fact that this was a big catalyst event for the global economy, the fact that before you may thought to you know twice about hiring someone from a different country, different timezone a different location. And now it's like, well doesn't make any difference. The guy lived, you know, next to my office was the only option I had. And he's it's the same exact experience working with him versus working with somebody in a completely different country. Why not, you know, expand our horizons and hire outside of our immediate 30 mile radius?
Brianne Fleming 23:24
So this next week copywriting as a craft is harder than writing books. similarily advertising is harder than filmmaking. Brianne, this is probably your bread and butter, you want to dive into this?
Brianne Fleming 23:38
Well, I wish I could speak from experience because I haven't written a book. So although it's on my bucket list, there you go. Um, gosh, I mean, I guess that's a relief because I love copywriting and that seems to come. You know, it's definitely a craft when it comes kind of easily to me. It's something I enjoy doing. So if that's harder than writing a book that my better than you'd be
good to go. I mean, for me, I think this is an attention span thing, right? With a book. I mean, I don't know what the average page length of a book is. But let's say you've got 100 pages to capture somebody's attention before they put that book down to the side if it's, you know, not right for them or not, on a website, you've got like, two seconds to capture somebody's attention and, you know, get them to scroll further on that website. How do you think about this as you're working with your clients as you're working with brands? You know, you said you're a copywriter yourself, you know, how do you think about you know, that that kind of time to attention capture.
Brianne Fleming 24:38
I it's funny, I was tweeting today about Taylor Swift's album like I have been doing the past 24 hours, it seems. And I retweeted what this radio station tweeted they were saying that, or they asked their audience which one of her songs hit you the hardest? And I just love that because it didn't say which song is your favorite? It said, which hit the hardest. And I said, I retweeted it. And I said great writing is felt. And the same goes with copywriting. If you can get people to feel something, or to feel like they've been seen and that you understand them in that short moment that you have to connect with them, that's when you've done your job, right.
Yeah, that's true. And I think, you know, the second part of this tweet is about advertising being harder than filmmaking. And I think that's something that we struggled with, you know, with our hype videos that we make for like, launches is like, how do you get 30 seconds of information out in a video and someone come away from that with, you know, us, we, you know, there's either a call to action, but also there's kind of like an emotion response and an intelligent response. We want them to know things. We want them to feel things, and it's amazing how much you have to cram into 3045 seconds.
Yeah, so two things here. So one, Jake, in the comments said, books don't have a direction attributed, attributed ball CTA and I think I agree with that. I think the other difference here is that books are totally subjective to the author. Likewise, with films like it's totally subjective to the director's own thoughts. Whereas like copywriting or creating, like an advertisement you are inherently relying on, I guess people going out to like, see that like, that is the pitch the book is like, if you like the book, or you don't, or you like to film or you don't, versus like the piece of copier the piece of, you know, advertisement that you put out has to, like directly relate to whatever it is that you're trying to convey.
Brianne Fleming 26:38
Yeah, and filmmaking. I mean, it's such a broad term, but I I kind of wish that advertisers would take more of a filmmakers approach because a large part of filmmaking is if you strip it down, it's entertainment and entertaining your audience and advertising. I think we get so tripped up on making sure we get people to buy that. We forget to entertain. But if you entertain people, and they feel engaged in what you're putting out there, they'll be more likely to buy.
Yeah. And what's interesting for me on what you just said is what we found, especially in our own brand is that the story is what has been so impactful. You know, we continue to tell our story over and over again. You know, the underdog story three guys from Florida, launch a product by accident, get a bunch of traction, you know, magically raise VC off of Twitter and like this kind of rags to riches story seems to resonate with people. And I think that that's really true in advertising as well. Like, I don't know if this rings a bell with you, but I love Subarus commercials. They have these like very like solemn like very like story driven commercials where a teenage kid is standing outside of a crumpled car, and they're holding their the shifter knob and it says, you know, like, I'll never forget my first Subaru because it saved their life. Life, right? It's kind of like the story there because they're so well constructed. And they're just like emotionally gripping. And like, I remember those commercials, I can't name a single other car commercial. But for some reason that commercial like stuck with me, because they told a story that aligned with their brand. And I understood that their brand mission was like, we we take care of your family, not we're the fastest car, or we're the sexiest car or, you know, this is the car that's gonna make all of your friends jealous. It was we take care of your family. And my first thought was like, wow, I get it. Like I resonate with that, like, that's the car I would buy my kid because I know that that's your brand mission.
Brianne Fleming 28:38
Right? It made you feel something. And while we're on the subject of storytelling, I see Jake is saying storytelling converts. People want the arc, the drama, The resolution. Absolutely. And if I could, I'd like to recommend my favorite storytelling book. It's called stories that stick by kyndra Hall. And she really introduces a framework to story Storytelling we hear the term storytelling all the time, but I feel like her book is one of the few that really gives you the how. And as far as the arc, the drama The resolution, she offers up this framework called normal explosion new normal. And it's funny she actually compares it to why that peloton commercial such a horror was because they didn't paint a picture of what the normal was like, Hey, you have to kind of set the stage and show people what life was like before this pivotal moment before that explosion and then get into the new normal and how your life is better since buying the car since getting on the bike or signing up for peloton so she just has a lot of really great storytelling insights.
It's such a great example of a ad that was beautifully produced, wonderfully made and just fell so flat because The story was so abrasive and it didn't communicate what it wanted to communicate to its audience, like its audience was their, you know, captive audience looking for this ad. And when they kind of like heard the story, it was insulting almost. And you could tell that like there was a misfire somewhere in the writing department of what story are we telling? So yeah, it's amazing that you brought that up as an example because I think that's one of the best examples of how you can be amazing at the 90% of what goes into filmmaking, casting, lighting, shooting, you know, cinematography, everything, but then just the storyline is the part that fails. And now it's not having rubber mode impact,
Brianne Fleming 30:42
right? Yeah, she they didn't set up the normal if we had known that, this mother that or this wife of his that he bought the bike for if we knew that she was working, you know, 80 hours a week or had just, I don't know, gone through something really emotional. She lost a friend or whatever her normal look like. Before she got this bike, we would have been more receptive to her getting it as a gift. We would have understood it better.
Yeah, I absolutely agree. Jordan would read this last one.
Yeah, sure. So it says venture capital basically runs on gossip and FOMO. You try to get gossip on which companies are killing it, you try to get in, and then you try to create FOMO. For everyone else, rinse, repeat. I think we can definitely speak to the FOMO piece, that's for sure.
I mean, I think this is super true. I think the FOMO thing it's like, once somebody gets a hint of what someone's up to, it just gets blown out of the water. I think we're seeing this right now with a lot of companies. I mean, I have literally read this tweet out loud on the last like five phone calls that I've been on. Just talking to other startup founders. You know, I talked to a guy yesterday, who is going into his first VC meeting. He's never, you know, done a VC pitch before. He just wanted some tips, you know, how should I run it? What What should I know? What questions should I ask? And the number one tip that I gave him was this, I was like, Look, man, you know, having an air of mystery about you is actually incredibly helpful. If you can make that VC think that there's something they might be missing out on. They will go tell all their other VC friends, I think there's something we're missing out on. And then that just drives more and more, you know, conversations internally and you know, to be honest, you know, kind of bring this into brands world I think that this is directly relatable to brands. I heard once that like one of Kanye his biggest things that he did with easy's when he first launched was just put out of stock on the website before they'd sold a single pair so that as soon as they launched everyone went to the website and it just showed out of stock so that everyone Oh my god, these things are selling like hotcakes. I have to you know have to get in. And so, you know, building that like sense of like feeling fear of missing out is inherent to like a good brand is inherent to the Supreme. Like Jake said in the comments. Supreme is a great example. Like, I don't know why people are paying $110 for can have altoids with the supreme logo, but they're very difficult to get ahold of and so they will you know, brand we know what's your reaction?
Brianne Fleming 33:20
Well, I think you could even change venture capital to marketing here anytime. I mean, you bring up the the Yeezys and how they put out of stock on them before they even sold any there reminds me of one of the first lessons I learned in PR and marketing is that perception is reality. And if people think that they're sold out that they're, they're selling like hotcakes, and everyone is flocking to them, that's gonna inspire them to want to do the same.
Yeah, I mean, marketing swapped that word out with sales, right? At the end of the day, it is your job in a sales situation to tell the person that has a limited time deal. If they don't pull the trigger right now they're going to miss out and That applies to basically anything I think we've seen in our industry, this whole invite only, you know, fiasco. This, I think there was a tweet the other day that was like, it's the year 2025. Everything is invite only, you know, good luck getting into your gym unless you know somebody. And that's the same thing, right? It's driving that idea of, you know, scarcity. And that's, you know, what drives that, you know, Jake saying, hey, email is a great example. Yeah, we saw those hate emails selling for like 400 bucks on eBay.
And they were literally trying to buy them off. So it was nuts.
And then like a day
Brianne Fleming 34:35
I'm not familiar with that,
Brianne Fleming 34:37
Okay, so the guys from base camp, launched, Hey, calm, which is a new email service. It was invite only at the beginning. And so you had you if you got an invite, you got two other invites that you could share with people. And so Twitter was just this constant source of like, hey, do you have a night Can you can you send it to me? And then you'd be like, Oh no, I gave mine to this person. Do you have an invite, and it just kind of created this like cascading effect of constantly, you know, people getting hit up for invites, but then they were being sold on eBay for 400 bucks. What I find hilarious about that is that they opened it up to everybody, like a day after that. So all these people just paid 400 bucks or something they could have just waited 24 hours for because they didn't know. And there was that fear. You know, they they were willing to pay that amount of money.
Brianne Fleming 35:27
Well, yeah, I'll have to look. How recently was that?
Like a month-ish, maybe? Yeah, maybe.
Brianne Fleming 35:34
I mean, it just speaks to human nature. It's not even marketing. I mean, to just feel like you're missing out on something. It's just who we are. As people. We want to be involved. We crave connections. So that definitely translates into marketing and sales and apparently venture capital.
Now in your Facebook group that you do for your community is that invite only
Brianne Fleming 35:56
I only do the Facebook group for my students. So yeah, okay. Keep that private, but my pop chat that's open to everyone. But I did, like I said I hosted, or did I mention it? Yeah, I hosted a virtual happy hour this week. And I did have some people feeling sorry that they missed it after it was over. So hopefully that inspires them to join the next one. That's awesome.
Yeah, I mean, you know, Yac started out as invite only, you know, I think for us, it gave us an opportunity to be very close to our initial set of users and get really close to them on that iteration cycle. Hey, what are you using it for? What features can I add that would make this magical for you? You know, and there was an opportunity, I think, to drive a little bit of a hype cycle there. But for us, it was more about the intimacy with our, you know, our core user group and being able to get really close to them and at scale, that's fairly difficult. And, you know, so there's a lot of advantages to doing kind of the invite only thing but, you know, I think to go back to the original tweet, marketing, sales, whatever words you throw in there I think one thing that I've realized as we've raised a couple rounds now for Yac is venture capital. Its marketing, its sales.
It's all brand, all marketing. Absolutely.
Yeah, I was just talking to devroom as the founder of super peer, and he said, Not until he did super peer to he realized the insane importance of brand, like the fact that you can launch something that's near identical to something else in the marketplace. But as long as you just slay it on the brand side, you know, people will fall in love with that brand. They will remember that brand. They like that logo, you know, Jordan, you've seen just like the amount of people that have requested a Yac swag box from us.
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it's absolutely super true. Last night, Josh, Constantine and Reggie from attorno. Were talking about this on club hosts speaking of FOMO and like, basically the conversation was around like, yeah, if you have good brand, and you can just make some hype. Basically, you can build a business which is crazy to think about. money that's like, really all you need to around is just like, some good design some FOMO make people like feel like it's super exclusive. I guess these days a testflight build for your product. And you're good to go. Now, man. I don't know that I'm a fan of that. But I certainly understand the fact that that is the new normal. Obviously, obviously, it's the watered down version of a three hour conversation. But
yeah, the dentist is that like, it's all built on brand and marketing these days. Bran what are some branding tips around that kind of notion that you would give your your clients and customers?
Brianne Fleming 38:34
Yeah, I'm glad you asked. Because you're always going to be whether it's your brand or personal branding your or your corporate company or your personal brand. You're always going to be competing with other people. There's going to be companies that sell something similar, or there's going to be other professionals who do what you do, who you're competing with. And like you guys were saying the brand is the opportunity to set yourself apart. So even if I'm not paper, you guys look identical, you have to find something that you can lean into that makes you different. So, you know, an easy example is Wendy's. They're competing with McDonald's and Burger King and all of these brands, but simply by having this kind of savage sassy Twitter account Yeah, everyone's talking about and we have been for years talking about their their Twitter account. So their, their burgers and their fries and everything isn't necessarily better than McDonald's or Burger King, but they just found their own way to cut through the competition and stand out just by being different. So that's something I preach to my clients to my students all the time, and it's something that I try to do every day. I mean, I as I'm staring at the screen and looking at my headshot now, anytime I see my headshot and a lineup, I'm like the only one that has pink as my background. It's like usually, you know, simple black and gray gradient background, just fine, simple little elements that you can do to differentiate yourself. So people remember you.
Yeah. What do you think, kind of about the balance between corporate and personal branding, especially for kind of startup audiences where we have like a founder, and then you have the brand that the founder has built? What's the balance to strike there?
Brianne Fleming 40:24
I think founders should be very active and be the face of their brand as often as they can be. Because again, we don't we want to resonate with people. Yes, there are great brands out there that have really noble purposes and things that we can get behind. But the more that you can put a face and a story to a corporation. I mean, I'll use orange theory as an example. Our founder, she is in her 60s she was in her late 50s at the time, and she started orange theory because she was let go from her job and she was a single Parents, and she had no choice but to start a business. So she was doing polities out of her home. And she eventually signed a lease and started running polities out of one small studio. And it turns out that one of her clients that was coming there said, you need to franchise this, you need to talk to my husband. He's really involved in franchising, I think you can do that. And she didn't believe in herself. And she was just this, this individual who became an entrepreneur in her 50s, who, again, was a single mother. And I feel like once you hear that story, it makes you want to latch on to the orange theory brand a bit more. And I think a lot of other companies can learn from that by being the face and sharing their own personal story, even if you are a corporation.
Wow, I did not know that. That was kind of the history there. That's so interesting.
Yeah, I mean, I think I agree. I mean, Jordan, would you say that Virgil is, you know, the brand that we all you know, love? It's not always
I mean, I think that's true for a lot of these big companies like Virgil and offwhite, Kanye and Yeezy if you want to make it more relatable to like the Brandon marketing startup scene like Gary Vee and VaynerMedia I think all these people are like, are this like, what capture or like what makes their respective brands and companies and that's why people love them.
It's almost easy to forget that Gary Vee even has companies, right? Because he raised
grant. And I'm sure there's like super talented people that work at Vayner. I mean, well, I guess we know some right. But like, I think, like if it wasn't for him, I don't think Vayner would have the same on that it has in the industry without hitting. Yeah,
Brianne Fleming 42:39
yeah, I mean, I always tell my students don't hide behind your brand. Especially you see it on Instagram, you know, you'll go on someone's feed, and you won't see any pictures of them. And I personally I want to know who's behind this account, who's sharing these great photos, these great ideas. I want to get to know the person that's behind the content. So the more that you can show your face and represent who you are, I think that's always a win.
Awesome.So as we kind of wrap up here, Brianne, is there any, like, what's one tip that you would want to like, give every listener here? You know, just in regards to branding or marketing or starting a company like what's a, what's a tip?
Brianne Fleming 43:23
I would say, My tip is to be a little weirder, to be honest. All right? Um, if you've ever read purple cow by Seth Godin, he talks all about taking creative risks. And there are so many brands that they just play it safe in their marketing, but, again, to use fast food as an example, everyone was talking about the moldy Walker moldy Whopper a couple months ago that they did. I don't know if you saw that. So Burger King did a time lapse showing that they're their burgers or their whoppers. You leave them out of a mold. They're Yeah, they're gonna mold. That's awesome. Yeah. And it was this message just standing by their ingredients and how they don't use preservatives and things. And I can only imagine that you know, walking into a CEOs office and say, Hey, I have this great idea let's show our product getting moldy, you know, it's a, it's an idea that would get dismissed it probably immediately and that you really have to pay off. But the ideas that are weird and outlandish and kind of outrageous, those are the ones that get talked about. So don't be afraid to take creative risks to be yourself. I try to do it every day. I'm, you know, talking about marketing, but I'm also talking about like, the Backstreet Boys and the Jonas Brothers, but it's just my fun way of connecting with people. So be yourself and be weird. It's what's gonna make you memorable.
That's awesome. I think that's great advice. I you know, I wrapped that up in the startup, you know, terminology and say, you know, find your uncle Fair advantage, like what's the what's the thing that sets you apart from everybody else? You know whether that's a feature, it's your background, it's your engineering skill, it's your knowledge in a certain area. And I think when it comes to brand, I think Emilio has done a pretty good job with the Yac brand of just being loud and obnoxious on Twitter. And, you know, I think we've kind of like owned that. That style of marketing. So yeah, I agree. I think that's a that's a great simple tip. So as we wrap up, where can people find you? Where can people join your chats online? Drop some social handles and some links.
Brianne Fleming 45:34
Oh, cool. So you can listen to my podcast, it's called Making the brand on Spotify, apple, all those places. And my Twitter chat is every Friday at one Eastern, you can follow me at Brianne2K I'll drop a drop my handle in here, but following the #popchat, and my website is Briannefleming.com.
Awesome. Well, we're super pumped to have you on. Thank you so much for dropping all your knowledge, and I'm gonna play us out with some music then.
Brianne Fleming 46:07
Sounds good. Thank you guys for having me, appreciate it!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai