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Building Your Brand

Lesson 9 of 12

Partnership Marketing (with Guest TJ Sassani)

 

Building Your Brand

Lesson 9 of 12

Partnership Marketing (with Guest TJ Sassani)

 

Lesson Info

Partnership Marketing (with Guest TJ Sassani)

The first entrepreneur that I have with me is T. J C Assani and TJ is here with me now, so welcome, TJ to Creativelive. I'm so glad that you're here. T j is gonna be here talking about partnership marketing, but because you have so much experience being an entrepreneur, I actually wanted to talk about that a little bit first. Great. So, um, welcome. I know funny enough. T. J and I first met on Twitter. Do you remember that? I do remember that. They sent me a message you were talking about triathlete training. And next thing I know, we were chatting back and forth and had coffee. And here we are now on a Web show together. That's right. Crazy things have happened. Um, TJ runs an amazing company called Zo ze. But from what I know from our past conversations, you've actually been an entrepreneur all your life. Yeah. And now, yeah. So, actually, um, funding. I started my first business when I was 12 years old. And it was, um, it was a sporting card memorabilia business in baseball cards in...

different types of merchandise. And it was supremely ironic because I was terrible. at any sport that involved the ball. But I thought, if I can't play them all, collect them. So I started off collecting, and then my dad and I ended up starting this business. And, um, you know it. It grew from just going to a couple of local flea markets with their own personal inventory to eventually. After a few years, we ended up buying out a local card shop. And to this day, I still have I think, several U Haul trucks full of memorabilia that is sitting somewhere in an attic. But that was my first funny. And so you were you were selling buying and selling cars and all sorts of things. Is there one moment where you thought that, you know, this was what you wanted to do? And you were just were so inspired. Like, do you remember a sale that you made when you were 12 or 13? Um, well, it's funny. I, uh I don't, but my mom does, and she jokes about this, which was around that time we walked into this really big sporting goods chain in my, uh, my local sort of area. And she said, Oh, boy, if you keep this up one day, you know you're gonna work here. And I said one day I'm going to own this place on She still tells that story. But it was always something I was just interested in, Um and yeah, but that was great. So now you've stayed kind of in the sporting an adventure space. So tell me a little bit about Zo ze or company that you're running now. Yeah, absolutely. So Suzy is on experiential marketplace. And, um, you know, the way we think about it, or there are three buckets. So there's inspiration, commerce and technology. And starting with commerce, we have three different product lines. Um, and the 1st 1 is local experiences. So those are things like, um, kayaking and oyster tasting or learning the sale or, you know, sipping cycling in Napa or Sonoma. So they're small, very accessible, sort of bite sized entry points into our brand proposition in our lifestyle, which is to get out there. So that's product. One part of two is getaways. So we'll sell overnight stays in Napa or anything up to 15 day trek through the Himalayas. So and everything in between, um and then the third product, which just launched on Black Friday of last year's argue and retail product. So imagine all the gear and apparel on things. You need to get out there and actually do the experiences that we sell. That's commerce. What was interesting is, um, we'll talk a lot about it today with the routine, but we wanted to really find a way to engage people into our brand into the products. So, um, that's the inspiration. Peace. And we realize the way to do that was through formulas, uh, Zygo routine. The celebrity team. Um and you know, the goal there is to really elevate the brand and engage our customer more. So they really you believe in our product? I wanna wanna engage more. Um, and then the third piece is technology. So, beyond just our consumer technology, where you go to the website and book, you know, things that we sell. There's a whole back end reservation platform for our merchants as well, which you don't see, but it powers a lot of the business and how we scale. Great, Great. So it's interesting to me because you've got a bunch of different kind of businesses that are going on. You've got the gear. You've got the adventure. But you started this. Was it about five years ago? Going on six. Okay, six years ago. So you've accomplished a lot in six years. But what I recall and what I'd love is if you can fill in the blanks that you went on, you were at a job and you were dissatisfied. And then you went on kind of a soul searching journey and came up with the idea. How did it happen? Yeah. So my prior gig I was with, um, really cool company was a nanotechnology research firm and really intellectually interesting stuff. Right? But I wasn't waking up every day saying that I was really passionate about doing this. And I was about two years in this part of the early team there, and we had grown from three people to about 30 people. Um, and I saw on the flight to Boston I saw this gentleman who was probably close to retirement age and, you know, sort of had the same suitcase and was wearing this sort of same set of clothes. And I thought that's a very respectable on Fine path. But it's not the path that I'm most passionate about. And if I don't make some dramatic changes in my life today, that will be me and I'll look back and say I missed an opportunity. Um, and of course, that was probably somewhere in my subconscious for a long time. But at that moment it became conscious. I call it my Jerry Maguire moment on, and it was in the plane landed. I walked in, I resigned and I had no idea what was next. I went back to San Francisco. I gave all my things away to charity. I went totally the other direction, sold my car, took my bike and went on a trip, and I spent about a year on the road. I did Ah, lot of different type of activities and travel, so I started off cycling across Europe from Portugal, Italy, Um, and then I travel throughout Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Old Millie found myself booking dive travel for Australia and realized it was just a really sort of fragmented space, really difficult to find these merchants to know which ones for which. So the business had its genesis around that sort of Ah ha moment. And I still have the sketch that I drew on the dive boat. It's, you know, the original sort of cliche napkin sketch. Um and, uh yeah, and that was the beginning. And we basically, um Well, I went to Australia for four months and started it and, um, finally, at the end of that year came back to the U. S. The company is called Eco Venture and what we had built and launched over the next year waas a whole real time platform for these merchants. We had about 500 travel merchants around the world on this platform. About 8000 trips and trips to about 150 different countries. And they were really considered purchases, though, so they were 1 to $5000. And what we found was our brand wasn't yet established enough that people were trusted to make those commitments. So we tried every possible monetization strategy. None really worked. Probably would have been OK, lifestyle business, But we had already raised money, so we had to find a more scalable approach on Ben. Around the end of 2000 and nine, we started realizing that we need to change the model a bit. Great. Great. Well, what I love T j is that you really cleared everything away and you focused on finding your passion. And we talked a lot about that in day one of this class about finding your passion, and also have a having a simple, clear idea. And you obviously have that Ah ha moment where you realize this is what you wanted to do. And you wanted to commit to so amazing. And congratulations for what you've built in the last six years. It's really been an incredible journey. So you went from from that moment in Australia, and now you have 40 employees. 42 folks. Okay, 42 employees. Since we're gonna be talking about partnership strategy, if you could also just tell me how many partners do you have? That's a great question. So I could potential internet by saying more than a 1,000, because I consider our customers partners to. But on the, um, sort of btb side of our business, we have multiple buckets of partners. First to be our merchant partners, people who sell our local experiences and the travel getaways. We've got more than 2000 folks in that category who we work with, Um and then the next type of partner would be Are the year brands? People like Patagonia? Um, Timbuktu Marmot. We have 30 relationships with vendors like that today, probably close to 100 but into the year, Um and then so did the product we sell. But then we also have relationships with larger distribution outlets that people like Amazon, eBay and they are resellers of our product. So they'll take it and sell it to their customer bases. Well, great, great. That's amazing. Well, let's dive in and we'll start talking about partnerships so exciting. And, you know, another thing that we talked about briefly yesterday was not doing it alone and surrounding yourself with people and finding people to support your ideas, having the right partners. And so your business really has been built. And we had a co founder to, um and you've really looked for people to help support the journey. So that's what we're gonna talk about with T. J. Um, just quickly Day three, here's our agenda. Everyone. We're gonna be talking with TJ until about 10. 30 and then we're gonna take a break. We'll talk about experiential design. Will have another entrepreneur coming in from Lamill coffee. Another break. Then we'll be talking about social media talking about public relations. And then we'll be wrapping up our fabulous three day course. And Danny looked like you just have almost cried there for his second van. Okay, so partnerships, Um, I am a huge believer in partnership strategy, and some of this started because when I was at Virgin American, I've talked a lot about this, and I know for the Internet audience, you know, budgets that you haven't Virgin America are much bigger than the ones that you have when you're starting up a company. But partnership strategy? I turned to that often at Virgin just because our budgets were really small. And so I became a big believer and figuring out How can you collaborate with people and really figure out what are your assets? What can you offer? And TJ's business obviously is built all on partnerships. And so, um, you know, from a top line, I think that partnerships are an amazing way to extend your reach. You can build credibility. You can also generate revenue. I know a lot of your revenue stream is obviously built on partnerships. Without your partners, you wouldn't have a lot of product to sell in these experiences. But it's really important to figure out strategically what you're trying to accomplish, what your assets are, and then look at the the relationships that you want to nurture. You've got a lot of different types of partnerships. We're gonna be talking about those. But this is This is an area that's really exciting. So as we're going through this, I want all of you sitting in the class to start thinking about what are the types of partnership opportunities that might help you grow. Your business is, I think, a lot of times we get very focused on kind of what we're doing as individuals. But I want you to start thinking about collaboration and who are the partners, So T. J welcome. We are going to hear more about you. So obviously with your objectives with your business with Zo ze, you've been doing a lot of different things with partnerships. We're gonna talk specifically about the guru program and a couple of slides. But the gurus bringing in celebrities has brought in a lot of credibility to your business. We're gonna talk about that. You've been increasing your distribution in your sales based on all of the partners. And what you've been offering to them is really a customer base. And also back in technology to make their businesses easier, right? Brand awareness and exposure. Obviously, we've been talking a lot about branding. Ah, lot of the things that you've been doing have not only brought new customers into the brand, but you've been able to use PR out of these partnerships, get a lot of exposure, you've entered new markets, and then you've also enhanced your product experience. When you just mentioned oyster tasting while on a kayak, Was that what you said? One follows the other. Yeah, I'm on the tie up and then I'm going oyster taste it. I mean that what a product experienced Pretty cool. Yeah, And when I started thinking about social media Wow, people must love talking about the experiences they have on soc. Yeah, what's your favorite? So Z experience, by the way? Uh, my favorite, uh, says the experience is probably, um, abalone diving. Abalone died. Do you do that off the coast here off of California. Yeah, it's up. It's up off of ah town called Jenner. You probably know. Yeah, and it's very short season, but you can go out. And, you know, we have instructors to take you out and you dive down, and you actually learning how to free dive, find them scraping off the rocks, come up. And then we have a feast that we've a chef that prepares them on the beach for you after you catch them. So pretty cool. Actually, it's a fairly dangerous activity, but it is, actually surprisingly, a really popular seller, even though it's freezing water and dangerous and there sharks everywhere, you know? But people love it because it's so authentic and so unique. Right? Right. Wow. Well, I think we have some ideas for our trip to get together with this mastermind group. Yes. Yeah. Emily, did you have a question? I did. So with experiences like that, obviously they have to sign a waiver release form. I'm sure. Um so where did you get those materials? Oh, that's a great question. So, in our instance, um, there are sort of several levels of that. So the first level falls to the merchant, so the merchant needs to be licensed. You need to be ensure. They need to make sure that, you know, they're running a reputable business. So the first step for us is to really put them all through the 21 point check process to get a merchant on board. And over the years, we've gotten a lot better this in the beginning. Sometimes merchants we get through that maybe weren't up to our standards. Now we have a really good sense. But once they come on board, when a customer buys a product for us, we also have a terms of service, terms of use. And there are liability components to that. We got all those templates from our just from our legal counsel, um and, ah, sounds like module to having good legal counsel to build your brand. Right? Very important. Yeah, Good. Um and then so with with the with that kind of process, like, did you go to the companies themselves, or did they come to you and say I want to apply to be a part of your company like eso? In the beginning, it was very much the former, which was. Nobody knew us and we had a sales team and they're out saying, Hey, you should come in the Stones Ozy. Who's ozy? Um, and you know it takes a while. It takes probably a year or two until people start to realize that you're around to stay that you know, it's worth their time to invest with you, too. Create the product description. Cheryl. The multimedia assets we need to sell, Um, and then once we get the merchant relationship, we it's easy to go back and to resell. And now we have a full price marketplace and we keep all of the products listed on the side all the time. But now we actually get a fair amount of inbound from Russians as well, because we have so much PR that's happening. We have an amazing PR person in Tian Li, and she is just do an amazing job of getting the word out. Merchants come to ask customers come to us, but we still have a sales team who goes out and really trust to find, um, the most unique and authentic things that we can offer on the site. It reminds me yesterday when we were talking with Mike Del Ponte A of some water when he was talking about having to get the snowball going at the beginning, and then the momentum starts to take off. It probably was very challenging at first, getting those first people to really like, believe in what you were doing. And once he started attracting war and more partners. Yeah, at least gotten a little bit easier as you've scaled and you have more customers and more opportunity. That's true. That part of the business definitely has gotten easier. But one thing that's striking me as I'm listening is it seems, though, as entrepreneur, it never really gets easier, because when you finally figure something out, you keep raising our two more things that you have this all off and then all of your various constituents or there's your team or your investors are raising the bar to. So yeah, that's that's, Ah, challenging part, I think is always trying to keep expectations realistic, you know, but always setting those new goals to try to drive. But that court has gotten a lot of year Great. One question just just one quick question, you know, scalability as you scale. How do you vet? Because you know more things coming in. How do you make sure that things air Zo Ze Worthy? Yeah, that's a great question. And, um, tell a story which I think is actually interesting because it's a really pivotal part of our evolution. So when we first switched from Ego Venture to Josie in April 2010 we were really riding sort of the local commerce way because we knew local with hot, we can raise money, we could get a lot of customers. We can attract a lot of merchants, but it happens so quickly that our brand proposition got really deluded. And one day I woke up and it sort of hit me in the in a day, even know it's happening incrementally. I looked at the site and said, We're not actually true to the thing that we want to do, which is helping people get out there in experience, these new, authentic experiences. We were selling things that were off brand, so I got the entire team together. We ordered a bunch of pizza and got a bunch of beer, and we sat around this brand matrix one evening and on the X axis was revenue contribution on the Y Axis Waas brand fit, and we took that point with 860 experiences that we had sold. And we took a post it note we wrote the revenue contribution and the name of it on Post It notes 100 60 of them. We gave it to the 35 people on the team of the time. We sat around and drank beer and everybody like, put the Post. It's where they thought it fell on the in the quadrants and what was amazing? Waas When we got to the end of the exercise, the things that were most on brand were actually also the best sellers in 95% of the cases. So, um, but all these other things that we're putting up weren't really selling, So that was a really pivotal moment to get my team to really sort of, um, you know, rally around this brand proposition and then, you know, that was a big step, because in my head I always sort of knew what it was. But communicating that was hard. And once that was in place, the process of vetting and finding new merchants became a lot easier because the sales team had a much better understanding of what we wanted to sell and what our customers would like. Um, and you know, frankly, they're compensated on commission, So it makes sense to get the most on brand things from the best merchants because that's what's going to earn them the most money. Um, that was pretty interesting what I imagine, like all of our businesses using crowdsourcing in terms of even for you, like reviews. And when have you allows that to vet itself naturally in terms of rank ordering based on customer experience that we talked about that as relate for Dan's business, taking advantage of things like that? So yeah, great. One thing I wanted to just asked to clarify on that because I love what I hear you're saying is that there was this brand fit and that the ones that had the brand fit were actually more revenue producing. What criteria did you use to define the Zo ze brand? What were used using as a filter? Yeah, that's a great and very tough question. Um, and to some extent, we still on certain new product lines. We we we wonder. But on the experience side of the of the equation, we looked at things that were typically either active outdoor or in some way what we call quote experiential. And so there a lot of things that might have been indoor and not active, like maybe wine and cheese tasting. But if it was an authentic experience with maybe somebody who had a lot of expertise around that particular regions product, we thought that was educational and therefore experiential and therefore fit the brand. So those were the three sort of general buckets that we look at. Great. Great. So you really had a nice little filter, which is kind of back to our funnel test, which is something we did with the team. Okay, So moving on with partnerships, one thing that I think is really important would before you start defining what partners you want to go after is figuring out what your tradable assets are. And so I put together some things, obviously advertising opportunities. Now with you, you've got opportunities on your website database. We talked a lot about this yesterday with email that it's important to make sure that your offers actually fit underneath your brand proposition and that you've done appropriate opt ins because you don't want to be spamming your database with with offers that aren't brand appropriate event integration. Obviously, in TJ's business, they're doing lots of events. I can think about some events that are happening in some of your businesses to where that's a great opportunity, where you can say, I'll incorporate you into this event for exposure for you. You actually have product opportunities where you could be developing products around the group gurus or through all sorts of things, content. Integration videos are a great way to integrate partners, um, endorsements, different things where you might be endorsing someone back. It can actually add credibility back and forth for both of the partners in your situation. I know because we've talked about this and I've auction actually brought a guru to the table with T. J. So I know that you guys, because you didn't have a lot of cash to pay a lot of these celebrities, that you actually did some equity deals with them, which is similar to what we talked about with adviser boards. When we're talking about giving advisers stock options, so we'll talk more about that. But I know that's how you secured a lot of your guru's, right? Okay. And then, of course, caches. Something. But what I like to think about partnerships. Actually, I think that they work better if they're a non cash partnership and they're actually based on shared relationships. I would love to tell just a quick anecdote to write on the tradable asset peace and how important this is. So we had a really big failure in a potential partnership a few years ago. Um, and, you know, they shower me nameless, But it was a very large, relevant media company. And we, um, went through processes that a year and we had done an actual, really good job of defining what the assets were. What were the benefits for parties? Probably too good of a job. It took a long time. The company's move slowly. But we had this thing built down all the way to the ferment financial model level of you know, where is you know, where is the economic value going to come from this partnership? Legal contracts completely ready to go ready this time. And at the last minute the, you know, as a sort of common with these larger partners, they started to, you know, noble back some of the term starts the end to negotiate a bit. But it was such a dramatic departure from our original proposal that having all this to find out front enabled us to look at it really objectively and say, wow, you know, we felt we were going to get X number of subscribers and why amount of revenue per month out of this thing. And, you know, our cost is to develop all this custom technology and develop all these custom brand products. And when the new proposal was put in front of us, it was so different and the economic value didn't meet the cost and we were able to confidently say, Hey, we're not going to do this deal. We have the support of our investors and, you know, up to this point, we put a lot of stake in it, but because we had to find it, people believe that was the right call. We thought maybe there was a chance they would come back and, you know, do the original deal. But they didn't But in the end, it was great because in retrospect, had we actually put all the effort into that partnership last year would have been primarily focused on developing at all these custom components instead of doing that and developing out this other companies product. We focused on our own and in a lot of ways was a riskier proposition. But it worked out and we had a great year, launched a lot of new products, and now everybody looks back and says, Wow, what a great move. But this was the process that enabled us to make that call really, really in a quantifiable way, right, right. And I love that. So what I'm hearing is that you weren't blindly going in. You actually figured out this is the value of the partnerships on Side A and the value on partnerships on B and making sure that they really were fair terms, which you know in a relationship, you need to make sure that it is fair and equitable. So I love that story. That's a perfect example, and by the way we went in blindly a lot in the early days because you're just happy to get a partner, right. But you learn your lessons quickly on that with you, and I think that some of that, too, is getting to the point where you actually are valuing what you're bringing to the table and you know you don't want to be taken advantage of. But you also want to be fair and recognize that, Hey, I can bring value to this other group because I've got X, Y and Z. I think that in partnership strategy, there's also places where it's important to see if there are third parties that can help you potentially, you know, we'll talk a little bit about agents. I know that you've worked with C A A to get contact with some celebrities. There's business managers, sales teams we've talked about in some of your businesses that you might want to look for sales team to sell media. But looking at, you know, are there people that you know or people in your network who could help you find these partnerships and part of being entrepreneurial is actually asking for help but nurturing these relationships and helping the other people in your network so that they're gonna want to help you, but I think that in your case, because it came back to passion that people could see or passion for what you were doing, you probably had more people saying I want to get involved in that And that makes sense. I want to be active. I want to live life. And I see what T J is trying to accomplish, right? Correct. Okay, so moving on what we did and just giving you an example for Virgin America, we did have a wish list, and I put some criteria together, so every company is gonna have different criteria. But for us, we wanted partners that were tech savvy because we were going for a tech savvy audience. So again, knowing what your target audiences and what you're trying to dio, we also wanted a digital reach because that was just important for the airline. We felt that anything that was more digitally driven was gonna have a share a bowl quality. So we did that. We also were looking for things that were buzz worthy. Now when the airline launched, there were also a lot of social media companies that were launching a lot of tech companies and we found that if we just did something with, you know, a tech company like Instagram when they were small or looped or four square anybody like that that the tech press would write about it, which then reached exactly the audience that we wanted. So we had a strategy of looking for start ups to partner with. We also did things with, you know, Google and Twitter and on all sorts of folks. And we were lucky we have that great brand name on our tail fin. But for us, we were also trying to find things that were good for our guest. Just like you've done. You've tried to figure out what are the partnerships that are best for your customer and for your guest, not brand damaging. And I do have a funny story about this, but I was also in charge of selling all the kind of the advertising and the sampling that would happen on the plane. And at one point somebody came to us and they were going. This one had a check attached to it. Which falls off of my criteria that a partnership that has catch cash on it really is more of a deal, not a partnership. It's a you know, something else. It's advertising. But so this company came to us and they said We'd like to sample, you know, dried fruit on the plane. And I was like dried fruit on the plane like That's kind of weird, right? But they wanted to give us this huge check. And so, you know, I'm looking at the numbers and looking at the bottom line, and I'm like, Well, we could put it. I guess we could put it me little pouches and they could hand it off the carts like dried fruit. And so finally, Jesse, who was here the other day he said he was supporting What kind of dried fruit is this? And I was like, Well, it's dried plums And he's like he's like, poor. That's prunes were not sampling prunes on the plane. Total not brand fit, not cool, not hip like not appropriate. But like, you know, the cash. I was like, Wait, just could take the last right. But you really don't want to do things that are brand damaging, right? So, you know, prune sampling on an airplane is not a good idea. Doesn't matter how much you say you right? That was a bad brand fit. But the point is is that you have to, like, have integrity and not let the dollars sway you. And it's hard when you're when you're a startup, right? You're like you're looking at the money and you know your your example, too, of almost doing that media partnership because you probably wanted the reach and the exposure, But you got to know when to say no. Right? Um, we did have a scorecard. We were lucky at Virgin. We had so many people coming to us that we actually would have to score things. And a lot of that was because there were other people that we were reporting back to. So our CEO would say to us, Why are you partnering with X company versus why Company. You probably have that with your board of directors and your advisers. Why are we doing X over y? So we had a scorecard. We actually have put that in the course materials so you can see it. It's a little over analytical based on what we would be needing for our businesses right now. But that's, you know, something that you might want to get to when you are growing and you're bigger and you've got a larger team. Yeah, I love to reinforce that to you, because this is one that we recently started doing, and I'll start where we weren't doing it. Which was when we first started signing our celebrity team. And, ah, funny story. You know, I went into the ward and I said, Hey, I want to send a bunch of celebrities and they said, Yeah, right. Good luck. You know, we'll see in the year, and I've heard that story before and he said, Well, we're gonna go out and try to do it so, you know, I said Okay. In months, I commit that having three celebrities on board and, you know, we're gonna launch this product, and here's what it's gonna do. And we ended up coming into the board meeting with seven. And today we have 13. A year later, we're about to announce really major international sort of household name. Who's gonna be our lead celebrity? Don't tell us it down. I can't. But the person has a first name in the last name is my clue Yeah, so but the scorecard tie and is we didn't do that early on, So we ended up just saying, Let's sign a bunch of people. We got really great people, but we didn't have ah, quantifiable basis behind why we're signing certain people. So now, because there's a real cost to this right, especially signing celebrities, is probably the hardest thing we've ever done because you have to deal with a lot of people, takes a lot of time and the value sometimes a little squishy. But, um, way sort of felt like I don't know if you guys have ever watched the Roadrunner cartoon is a kid, Remember? There was one episode where, while we Cody actually catches the road runner and he holds up a sign and says, Now, what do I do on? That's kind of how we felt. So we went back to the drawing board and said, Okay, you know, we have this whole strategy for 2013 on how to leverage this team really effectively. That's gonna roll out over the next couple of quarters. But as we signed new people, let's get really thoughtful about just a cost benefit, you know, what's their social reach? What's their category focuses at strategic to our brand. That's true to a merchant base. Um, what's their reach? Otherwise, with the media like this, is this person personable? Will they engage? Well, will they be trying to work with right? And, you know, And then, on the flip side, can we provide value to them? Can we in some way, compensate them in the way? That's interesting? And with the category specific people, can we drive enough exposure to more broader market for them now? The scorecard we use and it's it's really helpful for that. Great. Um, gonna go faster, this one, because I want to get more into your program. But with Virgin, we did do deep partnerships, and we would try to nurture relationships with legs. So we did tons of stuff with Google. But it's just a example of when you find that good partnership just like a relationship, you're gonna want to invest in it emotionally and put time against it. So yes, exciting. Let's now hear about some of these celebrities. Look, a This whole array of amazing people that you have tell us a little bit about the people that you've brought on board is your partner's. Wow. Um So it actually all started with the far left Jonny Moseley, who and you did invite me to go skiing with him and I couldn't go that day. I was so sad. So, Emily, I'm sure you know Johnny, Johnny's Olympic gold medal skier, And he was the first member of the team, and our goal was to go out and find, Well, there's several, you know, sort of goals to this, right to go out and find folks who can elevate the brand who can bring new users new exposure on. And we're very personable. So we started off with Johnny, and then we just sort of looking at some of these various categories. You see, uh, Chris Piano there, Who's a top iron man? Triathlete Maria Mayor, who? I host a show on a National Geographic called Nat Geo Wild Um and ah, my gabby era. Who's a top female? Big wave surfer? Michael Mina, who Porter mentioned she made the introduction, is a top gourmet chef with big presence on the West Coast Dean car. NASA's atop ultramarathon runner Travis Rice. Who is if you guys have ever seen art of flight. You know, the number one selling winter sports film of all time, And he's regarded one of the best snowboarders out there. So we've got some really great people around the brand. Great. Well, um congratulations. So I do know. I think on this next slide, um, you were gonna tell us a little bit how you close that. You said that it took you a year to close some of these, like, give us a little bit of an idea of how you closed some of these deals. Because again, that's very hard to get a celebrity to endorse your company or your brand and partner with you. Yeah, I sort of have this mantra. And startups, which is you have to be unbelievably persistent and stick around long enough to get lucky, because that's ultimately every success story out there. There's there was one point where they just got a little lucky, and I feel like with the celebrity team for us, um, we had a lot of luck and really good timing. So we were in a hot space, the experiential space. And, you know, the company was doing well, had a lot of PR, so people wanted to be affiliated with it. But because of the way we structure compensation, you know there's variable upside for folks, depending on how well we do, how well their program does. And we were just in that perfect spot where we were far enough along that we were significantly de risked. But there was still a ton of upside left in our business. So I think sort of a combination of those factors made it possible to close thes folks and to get them excited to join the team. And then once you get, you know, a handful of 3 to 5 people around the team, it gets much easier. But getting to that core unit is, uh, it's really hard, but challenging. So you tapped your network. I know that. You also at one point you told me that you were working with C A. And I think you're still working. Are you working with C A on any deal? So we have an unofficial relationship with them. But, you know, we've, um, brought in all of the folks we have through our personal network and into referral. Now we're beginning to work with them a little bit more deeply. Okay, great. So lots of good luck, Timing, persistence. And I would imagine lots of back and forth to on the negotiations and the contract said it's probably not a one discussion kind of thing. You're probably talking. Yeah, and making sure that things really fit both sides. Now I know why Ari Gold is the way he is. Ah, so average deal 6 to 12 months to close. And I think that's again just a statement that things don't happen overnight and that you have to, like, keep at it and that you had such a focus and a commitment to your business and you realize that you really wanted to do this. So you just kept at it, Um, lawyers probably really important in this and then also having the support of your board, I would imagine Yeah, and it's sort of the set of actors is very different with the celebrities than with anything else we found, which was, ah, learning her for us. Because when you're dealing with, um, investors or partners, there's typically one common goal. And with the celebrities you have the talent. The agent manager of the finances of the lawyers, and they all essentially have a common goal. But each of them have their own area that they're really digging on and some of them are looking for, you know, was the economic value. What's the career value for this person? And ultimately get to the lawyers who nothing ever good happens. When you get to the lawyers, it's always is never Oh, by the way, here's this extra thing we're giving you. It's always a whole bunch of new challenges that maybe weren't thought through surface. So that's part of reason why I take so long. Okay, Yeah, I have a question. I was wonder how you'd defined. You spoke a little bit. The the thread that binds. And what's the the brand story You want the celebrities amplified because you it seems like your what your vision is to live experientially. And that's everything from food to exercise, too, etcetera, etcetera and yeah, most years, celebrities were sports oriented, with the exception of Michael Minute, which I think is great. Yeah, are you planning to sort of broaden that? Because that would help amplify that live experientially aspect of what you're doing Yeah, we are brought me and I will. But, um, and we're in talks with several folks that are sort of out of the sport. I'm focused category, but 80% of what we sell tends to be active or outdoor related. So I think you'll see the team maintained a similar compositions that over time, really quick. Um, we've heard a few times about the mention of a board of directors. And so how much information do you have to run by them? If you grabbed a new celebrity, do they have to? Okay, it? Is it only with money, manners, money matters or how fine tune. How much do you have to filter through them? That's it worked. Great question. And I think the answer is it depends on you and your sort of track record in your relationship with the board and who's on the board. So in our case, we spent a lot of time strategizing about the program. Early on, we don't run by, you know, our target list or one about the sign folks. They trust us to make those decisions. Ondas. Long as the conversation is in line with the pool that we put aside to put toward this program. That's all, you know, up to us. But the new lead celebrity, for example, we brought on board was it was a very different move for us in a very different structure. So with that one, the board is a little bit more engaged. Yeah. And how is your board developed? Um, very carefully over five years. So, um, the board is a really interesting question for entrepreneurs, right? Because I have this rule and it's, unfortunately, not often times practical, but I require the work with somebody for a year before they joined the board. Sometimes, though, if you bring on a big new investor and you're sort of moving fast, that's not very possible. But in our case, I think we have a slide to talk a bit more about it. But, you know, really trying to pick people who are constructive, who, most importantly, believe in you and who are relevant, helpful and really, you know, fill your gaps in experience, right? Because what was really dangerous is a whole room full of people who all of the same skill set and yeah, that's that doesn't really drive the business forward. Great. So some of the benefits of the program I love the slide. I did pre read a lot of these slides. The thing that I was most interested in was that you can close deals much faster because of the halo of the gurus. And so if you could just tell us a little bit how the gurus obviously are giving you press and exposure opportunities. But how that's helped you turn the Revenue Channel up for your business? Yeah, that's a great question. And there are lots of benefits here, too. And, um, the three sort of big buckets I think of our, um, Brandon credibility is number one. Number two is increased access, and number three is the direct economic benefit. So, to your question, how has that halo effect helped us close Mawr partners And that falls into that Brandon credibility bucket. So you know, there's customer, some bullets. That and then the merchant said bullet. What we find is, you know, most folks might not know some of our celebrities because they're really well known in their category, but they're very category specific, but within that category, there will know. So what's interesting when we go to a merchant, and we can say to them, Hey, we have, you know, Te'o Berman on our team, who have the world's number one, you know, Whitewater kayaker for 10 years. Hold a bunch of world records that gets them very excited. And they want to be associated with him and with the brand. And the local merchants don't really have a way to access those folks. And even if they could access them, it probably would make economic sense for either party to engage. But because we have the preexisting relationship, we can offer that to the merchant in ways that were rolling out over the next couple of quarters. Great. Great. Um, it's also exciting for your culture for the or 42 employees to have this type of relationship. And I'm sure that you're doing some events where you're using This is culture building to for the team? Definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great. Okay. Um, so the value of the partnership just a little bit more. You talked about this? A compensation, the branding, something different and making yourself different. Are there other competitive companies that are similar to that? This has helped you differentiate your brand? I think so, Yeah. So when we first moved into the local part of our business, there were there was a lot of noise in the market. There are a lot of companies, you know, in the third flash sales business. We since moved away from flash sales is our core component. But at that time, ah, lot of noise. And it was actually very tempting for us, too. Start to broad now and sell a lot of different types of products because we knew we could do more short term revenue. But our belief was we need to differentiate the brand and stay true to the products that we sell. And it might be a little painful in the short term, but we believe that all of the other noise would die down and go away. And what would be left to be some really big players? Um, and then some folks who did a really good job of differentiating within a vertical. And now, you know, we're looking to be fully vertically integrated, right? So everything from the technology the merchants use up through how we engage them with the celebrity team to drive value for their business to bring in new customers to their business and right into we actually create some custom experiences to We don't do a lot of it, but, you know, we do the team that is capable of putting together our own events. Right? Well, you did do one. I saw the jetpack wedding, a couple that met did the meat on a dozy adventure. And then they got married like a jetpack wedding. I have got to give tnr internal PR manager a huge shot out for this. This is one of those amazing events we had Assoc customer purchase one of our getaways to Mexico and on the get away, he proposed to his girlfriend in his O Z T shirt on the beach. He sent us this photo and tea and got a hold of it and said, I want to do something amazing with this And I said, You go, Here's a budget. Look, whatever you want to Dio And she came back with the idea of basically saying if she could get them married on while in the air on these water jet packs, which was one of the things we sold and it was an unbelievable media sensation. We were the number two story on Yahoo news for days on end. We got some several 100 million media impressions over a month on this thing. And, uh, yeah, that was just, I think, one of the ways that were Yeah, but you know what I love about that? It was like you. It was motivated by supporting these passionate customers, like doing something exciting for them that was very authentic. And then it turned into this huge press play that actually helped the business. It was really, really interesting. I love that story. It was I think you had, like, thousands of articles. It was crazy. It was. And there is a lot of inside story, a lot of push back from the parents of the bride and groom early on. Are you crazy? Why are you going to do this? And but it end up working out so well, we pay for their honeymoon. So it was pretty cool of that. Amazing Emily. Really quick. What is a water jet pack? So you have it on your back, and you could just, like, really fast without swimming. Yeah, it's well, just imagine a jetpack. But instead of shooting flames out of the bank and shoots water, so it's propulsion, uh, driven, and it's basically a tube hooked up to a modified ski do, and then you just get to go across the water. You can go up as high as 35 feet, and you can go as fast as I think, about 30 miles an hour on this thing. Pretty amazing, and you can dive down about the riches below the surface. Crazy to try James Bond like it's pretty. It's pretty cool. Wow, so kind of just in summary, just so that we really understand how partnership drives your business. You've got over 2000 merchant relationships. You're also now partnering with eBay and Amazon, and then you have gear that you've started tow launch. But what I keep hearing over and over again is that you really defined your brand and you kept staying true to the brand. And because you did that, then you were able to add things like the gear in the products. And if you didn't record great brand proposition that it probably would have been very difficult to extend and do things like that That's right. Yeah, that's very true. On we spend a big part of 2012. Andi, you've been through this process many of times, and it was very painful to redo the brand and coming up with all of the different pillars of the brand. And you were very helpful in this process. But once once it's established, I think it really opened up a lot more doors. And people just view the business very differently. Right? Okay. I'm so quickly. There was some questions about his board of directors, and so t j was gonna be transparent. Just tell us a little bit. You've got a couple of great board members that you wanted to talk about. How they've added to your business. Yeah. So, um, to people and, you know, the original. Uh, Brian Barth is the first person who joined the board. And originally I met Brian back when I was just me, and it was really no business plan. It all, and the little one I had was really terrible. Um, and I got introduced to Brian. He had invented meta search for travel, founded a company called Sidestep. Later. That's pond kayak. Teoh Copy that business and launch and then eventually acquire him for nearly 200 million. So Brian's an incredibly credible, relevant, very smart person and travel. And to this day, I still question why he decided to, you know, engage with me at that stage and, you know, we joke about it. But he stuck around and basically was, um, I think my key take away here is you need to find this person who is really relevant and holds a lot of credibility. But he's also going to be a big critic for you, right? And Brian, to this day is my biggest critic, and, you know, he pushes me really hard, but I know that he's done it before and that what he tells me in some cases, maybe it doesn't even make sense in my head. But I just know that there's there's a 99% likely that is the right answer. So I should just, you know, follow this advice. So that's it. That's a key component. I work with Brian for about two years before he actually joined the board of directors. So he's an adviser and then to the board, and then we started to raise large amounts of capital from, ah, larger investors. And, uh, you on bombs was was our lead investor, and he joined the board. Anyone has made hundreds of investments over his career in start up to larger companies that are scaling. Andi is incredibly good identifying opportunities and helping companies to grow. Um, and, uh, you know, he's also very patient, which is a very important aspect to having a board member somebody who believes in you who believes in the long term vision of the business. Um, And who is there? You know, times aren't always great, right? You have difficult times, and you want people who are going to support you in those times as well. Both of both of these gentlemen do that very well. Great. And in the next slide, I get to tell you that I actually am lucky enough that I'm one of their advisors. So lucky me. I get to chat with T. J and his team about their brand, so you don't need to talk about me, but maybe the other advisers. Yeah, and I'm sorry for the other obscure reference. We're getting window into my childhood, But have you guys seen Votron as a kid. So I sort of think of our advisory board as Votron, right? Which is we have all these different people with very different skill sets. And, um, you know, bringing them together to fill gaps in our internal experience was really important for us. So we have eight advisers, but, you know, here are three of them. Obviously. Porter, when I knew that we wanted to really focus on developing out our brand, you were the first person that came to mind and, you know, thankfully for some reason, a lot of fun. You responded. So, um, very Bach was actually on board very early. And Larry is an interesting guy. He has founded 17 businesses. 16 of them are now public companies with about a $32 billion collective market cap there, almost all in biotech and life sciences. So not really relevant to our brander business, but extremely relevant in the process of fundraising and governance structuring businesses. So he was very helpful early on and recently with really wanting to enhance our social strategy or mobile strategy. We started talking to Dave Morin, who was a very early team member of Facebook co invented Facebook Connect, um founder, CEO and path and just think he's one of the best out there when it comes to social and mobile. So he recently joined advisory board as well. Great, Great. So we've talked about all the positive sides, but I just also wanted us to talk a little bit about the dark side of partnerships and t. J. You did reference the one story about learning how to say no, but I think that this is actually really important to make sure that you don't get into relationships that are going to use all of your your team and your band with any resource Is so any any things that you want to tell us about saying no and being selective? Yeah, um, I think especially in a start up. And it was funny you mentioned it earlier before which waas, um you run the numbers and look at these things and you have to be very judicious about it. And, um, every partnership has a different value. And a startup, we have extremely limited resources. So early on, we took the strategy of hey, every announcement is gonna be good for us from a PR perspective, but we started to realize was on boarding as many partners as we were. Um, we couldn't implement them well, and and we were spending all of our time on the's partnership channels and not enough time on our core business. I think that was one of the key challenges, and we also ended up. I think. Another interesting thing is we found all of these inbound affiliates who weren't really deeper partnerships, but they just wanted access to our content to sell in their site. So we opened up our content to sell pretty much everywhere that people wanted to sell it. And what we realized after about three or six months was we had hundreds of affiliates selling our product, and it was pretty bad for our brand because most of them were selling on sites that did not have the same brand proposition, didn't have the same customer focus. So, um, you know, if somebody bought something on a partner site or through a partner site, they would, uh, you know, still associate the dozy brand with that product, and if they didn't service it properly, that would come back and be a negative impact. So we actually cutting 99.9% of all of those affiliates. It was a relatively small revenue contribution, the sort of long tail of the affiliates. But it was still a bit of an impact, something we felt we needed to do just to take more control of the experience. Right? Right. Yeah, getting to the end of this and then we'll be moving to questions. But, um so strong partnerships, You know, I think that we've talked about defining expectations. Clear communication is really important, Teoh that making sure that things are mutually beneficial really important admitting faults if things go wrong. I think a lot of times, you know, honesty is just the best policy and things are going to go wrong staffing and resource ing appropriately. I mean, you just mentioned that that it was hard you had so many things going on that was hard to implement. I think you have to really recognize that good partnerships actually take time to implement. And don't underestimate the implementation costs. All the content, the things that you're bringing to the table are gonna have costs and resources. You're shaking your head. Yes, Yes, you had that happen and also really defining how the brands are integrated especially, you know, logo's and messaging and all that stuff like you want to do up front. So those are some of the keys, some negotiating tips that I just want to talk about. Teoh. You know, people are gonna have different types of negotiating styles. But when I'm negotiating things, I always like the partner to give me the offer first so that I can review what they're looking at. And then I can counter propose. It's just the style that I like. It was always better to see where they were coming from. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Do your homework if you can really like research the company's research. Other partnerships that they've done, like be as smart as possible acknowledge the barriers A lot of times, if you just listen and really hear what people with the barriers are, then you can start figuring out how toe get through those barriers. Don't be in a hurry. We're just talking about that. Some of you are going to take a year Good. Partnerships are gonna take a long time to close usually focus on the pressures on the other side. And what I mean by that is really looking at like what the other person is thinking about and what their issues are first. And if you really are trying to value what their needs are and putting that a little bit in front of your own, it just might help with the negotiations. I've talked about this to about Don't take knows personally. We talked about that mainly with creative, but knows happen all the time. It could be with board members. It could be advisers. It could be partners, and you have to just not take it personally and recognize that there's learning and everything. Um, don't over promise is just the last thing that I would say is that it's really, really important not to over promise. We get excited about things as entrepreneurs and you just don't want over promise I miss anything in that list. No, but I want to reinforce the don't take the know personally because you will hear No, you You will hear no in a day more than you've heard in the prior year. Once you start a business and along with that comes a lot of failures. And I think, um, learning to just take that is an area of the same. Why did they say no? And what can I do differently? How can we improve instead of saying, Oh, that was a loss for a failure? Because if you do the latter, you probably won't make it through, right? Yeah. Um, one kind of last topic on this is that I do think that there is a great opportunity to turn your advocates into your partners. And we've talked about this a little bit. And this was all about when we talked about yesterday about the people that believe in you are as important as you and how to create a movement. Yes, to carrots. They obviously do calls with their users. We talked about that when we were talking with Mike Del Ponte A of soma water. He said that he was doing calls with his Kickstarter team. So I do think that your partners that you should also look for the people that are supporting you and figure out how to activate that That vocal that's just the couple that got married. I mean, they're obviously probably your biggest advocates, right? Yes, there are also, and this is a little bit more system oriented, but there's a lot of software systems We talked about this about finding software systems that are already existing to help you with this advocacy. And there are systems that you can, you know, push out content to people and have actually a dashboard where you're asking people to support you with advocacy. So those are just some other tips on partnerships. Don't sacrifice your brand for partnerships. You've talked about that a lot, but that's kind of the last thing I'd say is stay true to your brand and kind of the premise and what you're trying to accomplish. Um, and, you know, go for it. So with that, I think will take questions. And then I did want to talk about Michelle's business for a couple minutes to, so let's make sure we have enough time for that. Beautiful Um, we have plenty of questions, is going great and I love it. Um, let's go ahead and start just with something that we were recently talking about. Our sprys wondering what's the difference between your board of directors and your board of advisers. What are the roles they play and then has the board composition changed from your startup stage to where you are today? And if so how? Yeah, so the difference simply is. One works for me and I work for the other Board of Advisors is a team that's more informal, you know, they're there on the team. They're compensated. But I don't necessarily have or responsibility to them. Uh, but we've pulled people around to have very specific skill sets to help grow the business. The border directors is who I am accountable towards, and board directors is accountable to shareholders. So it keeps me in check to make sure I'm making the best decisions for the business and for all of our shareholders. And then the other brother question was, Has the board composition changed from your startup stage to where you are now? Um, it has, but it's been a slow evolution. So we started off for the first few years, actually didn't have a board of directors, which is unusual, but we were still small enough and hadn't taken enough capital from any one investor. That that was okay. But then Brian came on the board as we started to actually grow the business a little bit. And then, as we start to take on larger amounts of capital from more established professional funds, Azad Point is the expectation that you have representation from your investor community on the board as well. Yeah. So you've touched a lot about with your company finding partners that match your brand, um, and amplify that Dr Bubble asked when approaching partnerships and other aspects of community development, how can you effectively find partners with shared values and encourage the adoption of guiding of your guiding principles like environmental sustainability, social equity, transparency and reporting and lifecycle learning? That's a great question, you know? And that that could be a tough one. Right? Because there there may be, you know, a very small overlap within the partners that actually can provide value to you who want to work with you. And you also have those same principles. So I think the best advice I can give is just, you know, to go out there and sort of look at the entire landscape and try to just create that charter that Venn diagram of what that universes And then from that you'll come out with who are the likely candidates. And then you can go ahead and apply scorecard to those and try to figure out who of your top priorities. That's great. Greg D. Is wondering any ideas on how you can do this on a budget? How can you approach people to partner when you don't have a lot of cash offer? We get some examples of the tradable assets that aren't necessarily cash. Yeah, is that from a reporter? Probably for either of us. I mean, I think that, um, tradable assets could be exposure opportunities where it might be, you know, blawg content where you're covering them on a blawg to give somebody credibility. We have talked about bartering services before where you know I can give you photography services if you give, you know, X. So you just have to look at what you have to offer and what the other person is is looking for. But I think that there's usually more value and what you have that we minimize and undervalue what we have to offer, and that you really have to look at look at what you have so you talked about TJ? Some with partnerships that they don't always work. Um, and there are some that you have to say no to. The question from Asterix is from Greece says, Do the terms of the partnership expire after some time? He's asking because since your brand grows even Mawr and you feel that you are putting more into the partnership, say, increased exposure, marketing advertising of the brands represented in Saudi, would you re negotiate the terms? That's a great question. And, um, you know, yes. Eventually, they'll be some finite point where the deal expires, and sometimes you have a deal in place. That's Evergreen, where it will just continue to renew. But more often than not, people want to re negotiate the terms. So it's very important, I think, especially a small business to think about. What's the likely ramp of that partnership? And where does it make sense to put that first contract expiration? Because in the partnership deal that I mentioned before that we didn't do what probably would have happened was a two year term is if it was really successful and we have put in so much stock in, you know, metaphorically speaking into the into this relationship. Um, and it was really successful in a big part of our business. They would have absolutely been a really big negotiation where they would have increased the terms pretty substantially. So, um, it's good to look ahead and think through how those things might work. Licensing deals oftentimes have that component. So, um, yeah, I knew what I wanted to do now is just take a couple minutes and brainstorm on Michelle's business and some potential partnership opportunities, because I think that would give the online community also some ideas, too. So, Michelle, if you could just I know. But just for TJ's benefit, you're interested in the yoga community in Seattle. Tell us a little bit about what you're trying to accomplish. And then what? I wanted to brainstorm on some opportunities and ideas for great. Yes, if initially my idea was sort of an online magazine or a blawg format, and what it would do, it would be Teoh ah, be a resource for people who were interested in yoga in Seattle, so practitioners and it would also be a media outlet for instructors. Um, higher end so more seasoned instructors in Seattle and really elevating their expertise. Also, we have a lot of well known visiting yoga teachers who come and give workshops in Seattle, so there would be a place for that. But the primary purpose would really be to strengthen our own community in Seattle. So obvious partnerships are, you know, would be with teachers and with studios, neighborhoods in Seattle, um, and having a forum for them to share. Ah, that would attract the people who are thinking about doing yoga or who are already really advanced practitioners. But just the partnerships I might not be thinking of. I wonder what those could be. Yeah, interesting. Um, do you know it actually struck me when I was listening to you? Somebody? It's a large company, but who I think is a really good local focus will be whole foods, right? I mean, they have their huge organization, but their marketing strategy is very local lives, and each individual local team is focused on their own strategy. And I think it's relevant here because the thing that struck me Waas you know, where do your customers really go? What are the other businesses they affiliate with? It is it, the local health food stores. Is it you know, other lifestyle businesses? Can you start to form relationships with those groups locally in the community to drive more awareness? And they're also a lot of digital companies to who might be like email newsletter, type based businesses who might have 10 or 20 or 50,000 subscribers. And if you consent, how from a relationship with them on a local level and figure out what is that value proposition for them on? We can think through that one a little bit. But getting exposure to that user base, we've always found is a really great way to establish a base within a community. And from there then it's about leveraging, really smart social strategies and ways to take that existing base you've developed and have that grow organically well. And also, I have a question about timing. Right now. I'm in the really early stages. I don't even have a logo yet, but I'm just kind of, you know, discussing with with people. And so what is a good what is a good What's good timing for going to companies like that? Well, what I would want to do first with you. Michelle is clearly defined the business offering. And then I'd like to see work on some partnerships that enhance your credibility in the space. So some of your blog's content offering it up to other sites that are gonna put you, as you know, a credible expert in this area. Um, I also was thinking, There's Blogger. We mentioned it yesterday, but it's a great site for women that are are blogging. And so that's another place where you can get your content out there. And there's actually an ad revenue model for that, too, where people can get dollars coming back for content. So let's elevate you. Define your business proposition. Work on your social strategy so that you can start building up followers because people are going to say, How many followers do you have? You know how What's your Facebook community etcetera? So do that. Then you would work on just a simple one sheet, like we were talking about the one page marketing plan. But here's what you're offering. This is what the community is defined by. And then what I would love to see is, um, maybe it's not an advisory board But maybe it's a community, Uh, like 10 people in the community. Or start with 55 people in the yoga community who are the early joiners, and they're going to be your your kind of core yoga team so that you have, like a group of people that are like your host committee, almost where they're your yoga host committee. So find those people to join you. So you're not doing it alone and then kind of go out and offering that, you know, you've got it define. Here's what I'm doing. Here's why I'm credible. Here's my group of people that are supporting me and then start kind of pitching for partners. Yeah, that's exactly right. You know what One of the following to that, which we found was unbelievably helpful is when we got to that sort of one pager stage. Um, just taking that extra step of then having a really professional designer work on it. And we were trying to without the professional design, and it was me and Power Point, and it just wasn't going so well and just that little bit of change where now it looks very pro and polished. I got such a different reaction, right? Well, T J is giving his brand book to you as a class. And so you think you guys did see that earlier? And you do all your materials always look really good. So, Michelle, how does that sound like those that kind of approach? Does it sound overwhelming or does it sound palatable? No, it sounds very smart. Yeah, it sounds like a good road map. And I like what you said about the designer because I think that's one of the places where I I think, you know, image is really important. So having a designer and a photographer who I work with would be probably a good idea. And if the dollars on the design you could explore like 99 Design, where we talked about that yesterday crowd sourcing and finding a lower cost option. So there are ways to get things designed nicely that aren't going to break the bank. Great, great. Jeff is gonna you know, once you get all that content, the other approach might be looking at corporate partnerships whose corporate whose culture and their charter is health and wellness, whether it's Microsoft or Starbucks and and use that really to build up your constituent base? Yeah, I love that. In San Francisco, there's a you probably know sports basement to local sporting good chain. They do a really good job of local community marketing as well. Um, and there are probably comparable chains like that in Seattle or other cities where they allow people to come in and just host events and use their space for free, that air useful to their members. And every time I go in and have an event going on, it's amazing. They have, you know, 100 people sort of crowding around, I think, for local market. And it's a great tool. Yeah, I think Ari Iess is Seattle based, right? Yeah, I think Syria be interesting. Evo in Seattle as well. Yeah, yeah, Any more questions from the Internet? We do have a couple more. We've just got a couple of minutes, so it's perfect timing car, Yuki says. When working with celebrities or other brand advocates, do you lose a part of your creative control? How is that partnership? Um, how do you work that partnership and make sure that they're getting what they want without giving up too much control. Yeah, that's Ah, it's an awesome question, actually. And I was that you lose creative control. I'll just say there are more approvals to get to the final asset. Um, and hopefully you've done a good enough job on the front end of bringing on people who have the same vision for the brand. So generally the only time we run into issues is if we're trying to do, um, it's a promotion with the celebrity that involves our partner ecosystem. And maybe one of the partners that we have lined up is competitive to a sponsor of the celebrity. That's the only time we really run into issues. Yeah, So I have a question up from Martha Martha, Spain, who is a photographer and wants to partner with an aesthetic center. Can you talk about some of the language that people might use just when they're just starting to try to partner with whether it's somebody in their local community, other small businesses? What are some of the language that you might use? Um, well, I think that if you, you know, first defined your objectives, what you're trying to accomplish, and then you're tradable assets and also knew what your business proposition was. Then it's gonna be easier for you to talk about it. So then when you start the meeting, I would like to have this meeting because I'm trying to accomplish X Some of the things that I have to offer, you know, ABC So really define it before you start the dialogue and know what you're asking for. Likely said, Do your research to on the aesthetic company. What do we think they actually are looking for? Do we know if they have, you know, a campaign coming up where they need photography or you know what? What is it that we I think they might value and need? So do your homework on them first to thank you. Sounds great. I think we're probably about good. So do you have any final thoughts to wrap up this section? My final thoughts. I just want to congratulate you on your success. And it's of course, been an honor for me to be involved with your company over the last couple of years, and I get to look at logo's and all sorts of fun things and see the company growth. But your expertise and your ideas has been very inspiring, I think for everybody. And we appreciate you taking the flight to be with us today. My pleasure. So thank you. Online audience. I hope you enjoyed our talk about partnerships and T. J. Thank you so much. It's just been an honor. Thank you.

Class Description

Every successful business needs to have a clear brand message. Porter Gale is a consultant and former VP of marketing for Virgin America. In this class she’ll teach you everything you need to know to a business idea all the way to the front pages of major publications.

This class condenses 20 years of knowledge in creative development, social media, email marketing and PR and delivers it all in concise, easy to follow steps. 

During this class, Porter will discuss:

  • Naming your company
  • Creating a corporate culture
  • Multi-channel marketing and more!

She’ll share the stage with entrepreneurs from some of the world’s most innovative brands, like Virgin America, Dollar Shave Club, and Hint Water. You’ll learn how the pros build a brand through interviews, case histories, resource lists, and how-to tips.

A successful business brand understands its ideal customers and employs a team that consistently finds a way to stand out in the crowd. Learn how to build that brand from Porter Gale.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Thank You so much Porter Gale I have learned so much you made me view everything in a more professional way seeing how the big boys do it made me realize the steps that need to be taken for success. You are a very smart thank you again for sharing your knowledge I have the title of your book stuck in my head I think is powerful.

a Creativelive Student
 

This is an excellent course which delivers so much key information to developing your brand. Highly recommended!