Fireside Chat with Daymond and Ted
All right, what's going on? Everyone, you just finish module one and now we're going to jump into a fireside chat with Damon and me and what we're gonna do is we're going to break down some of the lessons learned in the module and talk about how to apply some of those insights uh in your own social media plan. So let's get right into it. So Damon first thanks for doing this. I know we we talk all the time. Uh and so it's good to kind of take a step back and talk through some of these fundamentals of social media and everything. It's great to thank you for doing this because a lot of times you do this, I'm not in the room and as you learn and grow, you know, it's good for the whole team to know that. And I think a lot of people here should listen to our dialogue and our conversation and not only use it just for themselves and make sure they repeat this and have the same dialogue with their team. So there they're both growing, you know, collectively. Absolutely, collectively. Excuse me. ...
Absolutely. And I think some of the, you know, cool insight that you provide is not being a social media native and not growing up with a cell phone in your hand 24 7. So it's great to hear how you are actually doing a lot of these things in different forms back before social media even existed and and how people can, you know, kind of uh demystify social media and not put it on so much of a pedestal that they're actually doing a lot of these things already, They just don't even really realize it, you know? Um let's just, let's just jump into it. So let's talk about your target audience for food. Do Um obviously you, you knew it was towards the hip hop community and everything, but how did you hone in on your target audience over time? Yeah. So it's different stages, right? Um you know, and you know, even when you're dealing with a segment of the market, you can be dealing with a sub segment of that market. Um, I'll give you example, you know, it's kind of like when people, you know, brands want to go after um, african americans or females, like not all females have the same taste. Not all african americans are primarily african americans. You have caribbean americans, you have african americans, you have various hype, even hip hop, you know, hip hop has various different levels of hip hop, you have your backpack rappers as they call it, which would be an Eminem, right? Um, or even a Kanye, you have your gangster rappers. Um, and then you have your socially caused rappers, your public enemies of the world and you have your glossy rappers like yellow, cool J And then you have your fun loving, I'm gonna, I'm gonna have comedy with my rap, like will smith. And so where did I need to go? Well I wasn't necessarily going after the backpack rappers because I wanted to make clothing that had um a more higher level of luxury in it. So the backpack rappers are more about keeping it real very simplistic army fatigues and various other things. And it wasn't necessarily for the gangster rappers who were talking about fight the police, right? It was more for the L. L. Cool J Fly, I wear jewelry and you know, I want to invest in my clothing, so now I need to go after those type of rappers. So first of all I went up to those, did I trickle over to various are the ones who found different meanings to my brand? Absolutely. But my core was this type of music artists as well as um I didn't go after females initially that I have females modeling some of the clothes, but they were modeling male clothes. Why? Because I knew how to design for males. So I primarily went after New York-based mail inspired rap, uh fans between the ages of anywhere from to 30. Um and that's where I initially started with my dialogue and who I started to target. That's awesome. And how did when food, you start to blow up or even not blow up to the level of 350 million a year kind of level, but getting some real attraction, how did you deal with other people wanting to embrace your brand? That were, you know, not that key target that you were just talking about. And you know, how did you allow the brain to expand while still giving them ownership and attachment to it, But still had that kind of Northstar encompass of who you were really going after. Yes. You know, when you're going after something that you really feel strongly about, it's kind of like, you know, you, you're walking into a party and you're doing a certain dance that could be the newest. It could be the oldest dance in history. And you're wondering if anybody is going to relate to the dance at the end of the day, You don't care. You're there to dance. But all of a sudden you see everybody getting on the dance floor saying, well, we used to do that my days or hey, I've been doing that and we do it like this and everybody's dancing right? And you don't say, well, wait a minute, you can't dance with me, right? You're happy that people feel like you've brought something. So, um, you know, when food was started, there was various different areas where I would find people with high level of interest where, whether it would be, like I said, of course I was making this section, but whether it was the public enemy type of, he was saying, you know what four was biased as a statement in his own right or when I first finally put my, I took out an ad in the right on magazine and it was, you know, a bunch of people wearing my full hats and I started getting calls from um, uh, skateboarders in Seattle Washington and I started getting calls from people in Japan and the skateboard in Seattle Washington work, they're white. Now food was never a company that was about um, only selling to a certain color because I would at that time, uh, dress beastie boys who wore a lot of gold chains or whoever the cases, I didn't care what they were white, but I wasn't thinking about the grunge type of nirvana, skateboarding kids who are listening to, you know, was that team spirit or whatever the case is. But if you really look at, let's say terminator, I think it was terminated two or three or one of those cases like the kid, you know, john commons wearing a public enemy shirt. Yeah, it was all about, it was all about their, their version of revolving within the system and they loved black culture, they loved all culture, that was saying a big screw you as far as they were concerned to the organized people out there. So I love them. I love, I love the fact that it came in and they embraced me and then the kids in Japan were literally wearing blackface, but not for the reason that we have known blackface here, they literally were wearing a tan in color wearing new york's next jerseys wearing gold teeth and breakdancing because they believe that they will bring in new york to Japan. So um now did I go out and market to those kids afterwards? No, did I accept them? And did I recognize him? Yes. Was it ever a distraction to kind of get that new audience? Um and kind of mess with your mind as to who should my target audience be? Or was it in your mind? They were kind of like cherry on top customers, that let me keep doing my thing. And if these guys want to be part of the movement, that's cool, but how do you not get lost down the rabbit hole of trying to cater to everybody, I guess would be the thing Yeah, you know, and I've said it many times, you know, try to put yourself in your brand in 2 to 5 words and as you know, you and I have looked over also come up with your company culture, you know, what is your, what do you stand for and what they always a cherry on top Yeah, but the charity starts to become bigger than you think, because, you know, they are a lot of times the first people to embrace their brand or the influence of influencers of their world and it starts to spread, but we did not bear offer that course because I think that if we would have veered off that course they would have no longer liked us because they liked us for certain reasons and if they think we're pandering um now when did we start to really hit other cultures such as them and uh in a wider range, Well when we would dress kids like in sync, because we just liked their music and that was a personal taste, it wasn't that we were trying we didn't know when sink was going to be that big either. Um so when we, when we embrace them because we just like the music, we felt there was good music and maybe we were getting a little older in our age and we weren't the rebellious young hip hop people, but um it was becoming more commercialized and um but we didn't just highlight, you know, the instincts of the world, We still went back to our, our biggie smalls, I DMX is our L L Cool J's our Lennox, Lewis is our pit bulls of the world because that's what, that's just the culture we like. That's awesome, That's great. And changing gears a little bit to talk about instead, talk about the food brand to talk about your brand, how is your personal brand changed over the years from Food Damon to I guess shark tank Daymond and beyond shark tank Daymond. Yeah, you know it is the same thing. I really ask myself, what was my why and who did I add the most value to that? I love to speak to a talk to, so whether it was feasible and we internally said, let's hit these young males at this area, but then all of a sudden, you know, as we started to grow, we realized that those young males had girlfriends and mothers or sisters or Children and we could really, you know, make stuff that we felt that we were making for our mothers, our sisters, our Children, we can expand their and then um us saying, why does hip hop need to be only something that is in new york or in America because they're the same love of this music base that was energized from the streets in Australia and Germany and in Japan, we would spread there now the Daymond john brand himself. Um, as I started to discover myself, I, I said to myself, well, who am I and what do I want to do? Well, um, I had to look at my assets and my liabilities and say you know, what's the liability of my, my liability is that If I decided to only concentrate on football and I know that a hot fashion brand last 5-7 years, well there is a potential that you know, I will only be impossible, but what are my assets, my assets, I love the culture, I love designing, so if I can go and acquire other brands that are somewhere in that area and I can add the same magic too. But then I can give people around the world experiencing all these brands, but what are my assets? Well, I have distribution, meaning, I know the masons of the world, I have manufacturing ability, I have the uh, you know, all the artists in the world, on, on, on speed dial, so I can really place these goods in a good way um, and deliver it now. I got a little off that I'm not perfect, you know, here and there by trying to acquire brands such as a brand that was really heavy and soccer, I was not heavy and soccer at that time, I was not heavy in sports at that time. I failed at that brand. I got another brand. I acquired a license ted baker that I brought over here that I wanted to open retail stores. I wasn't, I wasn't a retail operator, I knew how to market and brand for selling it to a mason's let them market to who comes into their stores. I failed at that. I felt in another brand, but then I finally came back and I found coochie as a brand and what that did was that reinforced with me that I should stick with some of the fundamentals that I know, even though this was a changing day and time after Kuki, I really wanted to empower other people to teach them that they can do what I've accomplished. Um, and so I started writing books and, and my brand start to become a brand of a teacher and of a leader. And then of course, you know, I would then invest in other companies at the same time, which would win and eventually end up on a show called shark tank, because not only was I going on shark tank to diversify my portfolio to use my asset, like I said, my distribution, my understanding of and and contacts the buyers at the big stores as well as contacts to to celebrities where I could take some of these products that I get on the show that I really resonate with and put it through that pipeline, but also at the same time, I started to learn that I really do like giving, I really do like to educate people. Um because I felt I felt often intimidated as a kid. Um you know, with some people who have the big brains who go to college, you can read these big books, who can analyze things, who knew data. I felt intimidated, I felt that I wanted to be somebody who could share that with people, um kind of like you're just talking on the doorstep, like you and I are talking right now and people can walk away with the same amount of knowledge, that's awesome, and it's a great place to wrap up to and I think one of the big takeaways here is being aware of what your brand wants to be and how you can get it out there because I think the thing is, you were always a business guy, it was just that you weren't broadcasting to the world that I'm open for business, and other things be besides fashion, and I know a lot of the students in this course and everything, they have a sense of what their brand is to them, but they're just not doing the best job of communicating it and getting it out there. So people know that they're a product that supports this charity, or that charity, things like that. So, it's a great takeaway for for all the students to take home with, and we're going to wrap up this fireside chat, but get started in module two, and I'll see you there.