david hieatt

How to build a great brand with very little money. Sept 12th. London

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'How To Build A Great Brand With Very Little Money'.

Sept 15th. London. £300.

There has never been a better time to start a brand. There has never been a cheaper time, either. But when everyone has the same free tools as you, how do you stand out? The answer is simple enough:  By learning how to use those tools with greater skill than anyone else. This workshop will give you some key insights into this.

How do you beat Goliath?  It won’t be by out-spending them. But it will be by out-thinking them. It will also come from understanding what you are going to change. Understanding your purpose and how to make that mean as much to your customer as it does to you. This workshop will give you some key insights into this, too.

I am not a theorist. I have built brands from nothing with next to nothing just by understanding a few key basic rules. I shares these insights with you on my course: 'How To Build A Brand With Very Little Money. 

What Will You Learn?

How to tell your story. 
How to give your brand a voice. 
How to get people to love your brand. 
The importance of 1000 true fans. 
The real advantages of being small. 
Is your idea going to change anything. 
How to put a moat around your idea. 
How to identify a niche before others. 
The importance of being first. 
How to fund it without losing control. 
How to build a great team without employing anyone.

More Info:

 

"Create the space so the magic can happen" - Why Do USA is so special.

Polo_ac93efb5f1

If The Polo mint didn’t have a hole, it wouldn’t be the same.

Of course, you would have around 25% more mint.

But the magic would have gone.

The Polo would no longer be The Polo.

It’s often the case of what you don’t do, don’t have, don’t say, ends up defining you.

Take The Do USA as another example. It’s special because of the bit in the middle.

Of course, the talks are inspiring.

And yes, the attendees are the most progressive and driven people you could ever wish to meet.

But those things alone don’t explain the magic.

The bit in the middle is the morning run when you see a coyote. It’s the food that was in the ground when you woke up, it’s the music from an un-signed band, it’s being so far from everywhere, it’s the smell of campfire smoke on your clothes, it's the iconic location, it's, well, all of it.

You see, most talks, most conferences do a great job of inspiring you, and then you have a cup of tea or a beer and off you go on your way home.

But ideas need conversation, they need debate, they need challenging, they need people with different viewpoints, they need airplay. But what ideas need most is time and the space for them to germinate.

In short, staying for the 3 days, and the 3 nights is the magic.

It's the hole in the Polo.

For more info on Do USA

 

 

Find your voice.

Cerdo fotografo

 

Your voice can be many things. It is much more than how you speak in your ads.

A quick story to make the point:

I sat down for a coffee with Richard, one of the founders of innocent, and he told me his taxi story. He was taking a ride back to work I think. Anyway, as all taxi drivers do, he wanted to make conversation. His went along normal lines. What do you do, mate? Richard replied, I help run a smoothie company. Oh yeah, which one? Innocent. Nice company. But it’s not the same any more. Richard was a bit taken aback. How do you mean? Well, you changed the label. It’s glossy now and the other one was matt. So it doesn’t feel as real any more, you know as authentic. Richard thanked him once he was dropped off. And he went inside work and the first thing he did was change the label back from glossy to matt.

The taxi driver had just taught him the importance of the bigness of small. How those little things that we don’t think are that important have a huge impact. If you want to build something big, do all the small things right. 

Excerpt from my new book: Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more.  

 

 10 Tips to Finding your Voice

1, Be Clear

Define the purpose of your company. Do this alone. Do not consult anyone but yourself. One sentence should do it. Write it on a paper napkin and pin it to the wall. Once decided upon, you cannot change it. Make sure that you are excited by it. Make sure you are willing to spend the rest of your life working towards it. Make sure it is your real purpose and not just what other people want to hear. Make sure it lives in your head and, as importantly, in your heart.

2, Be Focused

Define your product and it’s purpose. And stick to it. Stop making product that is not consistent with your definition of where you sit in this world. Even if it makes money, stop making it. Do not dilute the company focus. There is more money to be made from being focused than from trying to be everything to everybody. Narrow the focus. Google achieved more by offering less than its competitor. Rather than closing down opportunities, going narrower opens them up. Those who spend their days trying to be all things to all people rarely have time to change the world.

3, Be yourself

Don’t try to be like others. Don’t follow or mimic. Don’t pretend. You can tell when someone doesn’t mean something just by how they say it.  A voice doesn’t come from a meeting or a committee. Or from the latest trend or for that matter the latest piece of research. It comes from one man. It comes from the books he has read. The conversations he has had, the experiences he has endured, and the family he has been raised by. There is no manual to read. The voice is fragile in the wrong hands. Be careful whom you give the task to. The strength of Nike was that Dan Wieden got inside the head of Phil Knight. He understood that he was a super competitive sports nut who wanted to crush the competition. And he kept relaying that to his customers. Year after year. Come rain. Come shine.

4, Be emotional

You have to make your customers feel something. Understand what is in their hearts. Logic is a blunt tool in this regard, my friend. It makes perfect sense, it ticks all the boxes, but it changes very little. And guess what, intelligence is no better; it is overrated in its ability to either change things or behaviour. You need a different set of tools. Those tools will comprise of music, pictures, words that when shaken up by your author and put back in the right order will leave your customers inspired, stirred, awoken. Oh, by the way, this is not easy to do. Give them meaning by all means, but don’t give them ads. Bare your soul. Tell your struggle. Tell your pain. Tell your lows. A corporation finds it hard to show its soul as it rarely has one. Be vulnerable. Be honest. But most of all, be you.

5, Be instinctive.

Research nothing. Listen to what you feel. If you are in doubt, ask your wife. If you are still in doubt, ask your kids. Go no further than the circle that you trust. Ever.

6, Be Useful.

Make products for a purpose. Be useful. Make products that chase a function and not a fashion. Invent for a need. Focus on your customers needs. Small needs can become big business. If you suddenly become fashionable, it is because you have chased being useful. Don’t build your business around being fashionable; it will go away as quickly as it came. Customers can decode real from fake in a blink of an eye. If you try to be of a moment, you will die in the moment, once it has had its time. Instead, carry on making products that have a use. Be authentic. If you can say that, you are on solid ground. Don’t get sidetracked by chasing fashion.

7, Be the change.

To support your purpose, you need more than just words. You have to change your industry; you have to show another way. And you have to communicate that change in the most inspiring way that a human can imagine. Look at how well Apple communicates change. Every revolution needs an enemy. Challenge design, challenge pollution, challenge landfill, challenge peoples ‘buy and throw culture’. Now that you can make anything, what does your company want to make? And, even more than that, what does it want to change?

8, Be consistent

A worthwhile business has to be built over time. A company’s product, its purpose and how it speaks to the world needs to be consistent if it wants to be all things that it hopes to be. Do not blow with the wind. Do not chase a bandwagon. Stay true. Patience is required in a world that doesn’t always understand the value of it. It is easy to make small little changes in a busy day and think they do not matter. But there is a big-ness to small decisions. The financial world fully understands the concept of compound interest and how a small change can make a big difference. Similarly, a small tweak here, a small compromise there, can accumulate over time to change the very soul of a business. The rule of consistent product and service is easy to get. But the same rule needs to be applied to a company’s voice. Nike has talked with the same voice for a couple of decades now. A signature seems to run through it. And because it is so consistent, each communication seems to build on top of the last one. They have gained compound interest of voice thanks to their consistency of voice.

9, Be relevant

Understand your customer. And make product that is relevant to their lives. Remember, the worse thing you can do for the environment is to make something that no one wants to buy. Speak to them in a way that connects with them and makes them feel something. The trick to this is give something of yourself. If you feel something, the chances are so will they. This is not rocket science. It’s just gut instinct. Its knowing what they are into because you are into it too.

10, Be Positive

If you want change to happen, you will have to inspire people. A fire needs wood to burn. It also needs a flame to start it. You need to be the flame. A business needs to do the numbers but it also needs a purpose to supply it the passion. If we listened to just our intellect, no one would fall in love. If we did not listen to our soul, no poetry would ever be written. To stir someone, you have find emotional ways to touch them. But first you have open up and let go of the worry about talking in more emotional terms. Only then will you start to connect with people. You have to stir yourself to stir others. Then you have to find the flame that inspires them. And be positive. Be the hope. Hope is more powerful. The cynic changes little or nothing. The optimist can and will. Spread wonder. Spread optimism. It’s good stuff.

More info on My Do Build a Great Brand for very little money Workshop in London in Sept: 

 

 

A thank you letter to Naim Audio.

Gutarra bajo

Dear the good people of Naim,

Each day a battle takes place. The battle is between ‘Excellence’ and ‘Average’.  Average has a huge army. Excellence has only a few.

By rights, 'Average' should always win. Mediocrity should prevail. But ‘Excellence’ is fighting for a bigger fight than just for itself. It is fighting on behalf of beauty, on behalf of perfection, on behalf of 'How things could be'.

So against all the odds, 'Excellence' wins more battles than it loses. Don’t get me wrong; it doesn’t win all the time. 'Average' has a huge following. In fact, the vast majority of people settle for it, each and every day.

The few who fight in the name of ‘Excellence’ are fighting to inform the majority. Naim are not just fighting for the right to stay in business. They are fighting on behalf of music, and what it could and should sound like. From where I sit, it’s important work.

So I want to thank you Naim for fighting that good fight on a daily basis. I also want to say thank you for lending us your precision equipment. People left The Do Farm knowing what 'Excellence' sounds like.

The great thing is once you have been introduced to "Excellence', going back to 'Average' is one of the most miserable fucking journey’s you can ever make.

May that always be the case.

 

 

 

 

 

Reputations take decades to make. And minutes to lose.

Dark Wader

The first clothing company I started had made a reputation for making excellent merino base layers. The margin wasn’t the best, but we never had to go to sale. We couldn’t get enough of it. But a buyer had seen the margin – and wanted to improve it.

The first clothing company I started had made a reputation for making excellent merino base layers. The margin wasn’t the best, but we never had to go to sale. We couldn’t get enough of it. But a buyer had seen the margin – and wanted to improve it.

Their way of improving it was to buy an inferior quality grade of merino. It was, of course, a better margin. We all tried it. And it was simply not good enough. The merino became saggy after just one wash. As soon as I saw this, I stopped it. But the buyer couldn’t understand it. The buyer even tried to bypass me in order to purchase behind my back. I stopped that too.

For me, there is no point achieving a great margin once, only to lose that customer after one wash. Your brand reputation should never be compromised for a short-term gain.

Excerpt from my new book: Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more.  

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently. Warren Buffett.

 

 



The Only Thing That Matters is Everything. A story about detail.

Fuego 3

This is a story I was told about Ralph Lauren. It may, or may not, be true.

Anyway, the story goes like this. He spent millions building his ranch. Every detail considered. The builders and the architects had a tough old time of it. It was redone a couple

of times. After it was finally finished, they were super happy. But, for Ralph, something was missing. Something wasn’t quite right. The builders had to come back because the door was too perfect. It didn’t squeak. And everyone knows old ranches always have a squeaky door. So they had to put one in.

Imagine how much detail is considered for his clothes.

A brand is about consistency. Each detail paid attention to. Because consistency builds trust. And trust builds a business. And, as the founder, it is your job to be the guardian of these details. What matters? Only everything. 

Excerpt from my new book: Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more.   

How to get people to love your brand?

Rana reina

I get asked this a lot. And there is a surprisingly simple answer: You have to love it the most first. That’s it? Yeah, that’s it.

This is a ‘Labour of Love’. And you’re the ‘Labour’ they are referring to. You have to sweat each detail. Over and over again. Relentlessly paying obsessive attention to the littlest tiny weeny bit. And guess what, your customers will notice. They will see that you have poured your heart into it, and they will love that you care that much about them.

At every stage you will have put the customer first. Always. Don’t let bean counters cut quality in order to improve margins. Long-term relationships with your customers should never be sacrificed for short-term profits. It is much easier to find a new bean counter than find a new customer.

The customer can tell when a company loves its customers. And that love is felt and appreciated. Love scales. 

Excerpt from my new book: Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more.   

 

A BRAND ISN’TJUST A NICE LOGO. 

Elefante

Some people think once they have a name and a logo for their company, they have a brand. What they have at that point is just a name and a logo. No more. The job of the brand is to make that name and that logo stand for something. To live its founding principles each day. To stay true. How do you do that? Well, by making a great product, giving a great service, and by using your company as the tool to change the things that you said you would. It’s not difficult. Just hard. Of course, a good name and a good logo help. But do you think Apple would have made it if they were called Peach? Of course, they would have. I think of a brand as consistent promise. ‘I promise to make the best running shoes on the planet’, ‘I promise to provide faster more relevant search’, ‘I promise to make the highest quality outdoor clothing with the least amount of harm to the planet’. What’s your promise? Your promise is your brand.

Excerpt from my new book: Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more.   

 

 

23 Questions to ask of your idea.

 Caddy

 

1,Is it a good idea?
2, Is it a new idea?
3, Is it scalable?
4, Will people want it?
5, What change will it bring about?

6, Is it investable? 

7, Does it matter to you?

8,  Does it matter to your customer?

9, How do you know?
10, How big is the change it can make?
11, Is it good for the planet?
12, Is it good for the human?
13, What is your niche?
14, How big is that niche?
15, How will you test it?
16, Is it a common problem?
17, Ask yourself, does this problem need solving? 

18, What disruption will it bring?

19, Where will it be in five years’ time?

20, Do you love it?
21, Would you spend ten years doing it?
22, What will its legacy be?
23, If you are uncertain about your idea now, keep going.

Failure to commit is as bad as failure to start.

Rana reina

Ideas need someone to make them happen. Ideas need doers not talkers. Ideas require your total belief in them. So before you cross that line, just make sure you are 100% into it. Businesses can fail for many reasons.

Perhaps the founders don’t quite believe in the idea, or one of the partners loses his or her nerve when the first test comes at them.

A lack of belief can be much more damaging than a lack of funding.

In Football terms, this is the equivalent of not fully committing in the tackle. And when you are half-hearted in the tackle, you are much more likely to get injured.

Players who are saving themselves for the next big game or an important tournament often end up injured because they held back. Holding back often ends in tears.

Likewise, ideas need you to commit. They need all your money. They need all your time. They need all your energy. They need all your love. They need all your belief. If you are half-hearted about the idea, don’t even start.  

Change happens when.....

Dracula

There may not be a formula for ideas, but there is a formula for change. It was created by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher. The formula provides a model to assess the relative strengths affecting the likely success of a project.

Three factors must be present for meaningful organisational change to take place.
These factors are:

DxVxF R

D= Dissatisfaction with how things are now. V= Vision of what is possible.
F= First, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision.

If the product of these three factors is greater than R = Resistance then change is possible.

Because D, V, and F are multiplied, if any one is absent or low, then the product will be low and therefore not capable of overcoming the resistance. 

Excerpt from my new book: Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more.  

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