This past Wednesday, Daily Printing hosted a Connect Daily seminar all about Branding. Speakers Mark Potter and Ryan Libby joined 70 attendees to talk about how they built the brand of their companies and themselves. To check out the Storify that Intern Shannon made in case you weren’t on Twitter during the Connect Daily seminar, simply click here.
Mark Potter, CEO of Conduit, Inc., Publisher of CANVAS Magazine and an assistant in the creation of Connect Daily magazine, was up first. He pulled up a powerpoint, clarified that he much preferred a large notepad and markers. With said notepad out front, Mark began to illustrate his ideas of branding as a personal growth. Integrity, relevance and working to break into the inner circle of clients: these are the things important in building your own brand.
“To scale, you have to do the stuff that doesn’t scale. You have to get your hands dirty and do the hard work.”
He made it very clear that in order to relate to your customers, you need to realize that it’s all learning about THEM. Using the analogy of a first date, Mark said, “You wouldn’t walk up to someone and say, ‘Wow, I saw you from across the room and wanted to come tell you all about myself!’. No, you would ask about them, learn about them and cater to what they need.”
“You can design the Picasso, but if it’s not relevant to the audience, it doesn’t matter.”
He finished his talk with driving the point home that you need to work on yourself, your approach and your skills in order to serve your customers. Hone your own expertise to then realize that what your clients need is not what you have, but what you can give them.
“Don’t look over. Do the right stuff. Know that it works.”
After a quick coffee break and some chatting to Mark about his book Egrets, Hockey Sticks & Roller Skates, we were ready to start back up with Ryan Libby. Ryan is the Co-Founder of local Minneapolis brewer 612Brew as well as the Group Program Manager for Target.com. However, he focused exclusively on 612Brew and how their startup company chose and built its brand.
Spending quite a bit of time on how they designed the logo, Ryan was surprised to see some of his logo branders were in attendance! After discussing how to create a branded image (through wonderful online presence, videos, design, attractive building, etc.), Ryan began talking about how 612Brew uses transparency to drive peoples’ interest.
“Explaining our product and how it’s made creates an interest, which then drives people to give it a try.”
As a microbrewer, he discussed the challenge of staying true to that local feel without missing opportunities to change and grow. Essentially, he decided, it comes down to an experience. A visitor of the brew house can come once and never again. But if you give them a great experience, they’ll come again, they’ll recommend you to a friend, they’ll talk you up at the water cooler. That’s what building a brand is all about!
“Staying true to your roots and growing your business should not be opposing ideas. The product speaks for itself, but the experience is what keeps customers coming back for more.”
After Ryan finished his talk, there was one more surprise for everyone that attended the Connect Daily seminar: a tour of TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers (and currently Minnesota Vikings) and where the Connect Daily event was hosted. The business side of many people dropped a notch once they were able to walk out onto a college football field.
On a beautiful morning, it was the perfect end to an incredibly successful seminar by Daily Printing and Connect Daily!