Brand Book Bites from The Birth of a Brand
Here’s my newest “brand book bite” — check out the full collection of write-ups and author interviews here.
the book: The Birth of a Brand: Launching Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Soul (Beyond Words Publishing), a business memoir about the world-renowned UGG brand of sheepskin boots from Australia
the brain: Brian Smith, the founder of UGG, who writes about the blood, sweat, and tears — and joyful payout — of raising up the UGG brand
the best bits: Brian uses the metaphor of raising a child to explain the stages of building the UGG business — from the conception of an idea and birth into reality, followed by how the baby business grows through its infancy, toddler years, early youth, and tumultuous teens, to eventually arrive at maturity. Along the way, Brian shares a few gems:
“I believe that for a true entrepreneur, some degree of ignorance is a key ingredient for success. If you knew at the time all the obstacles you’re up against, you’d never even start.”
“I see all aspects of business development (financing, product development, staffing, new competition, etc.) as a series of plateaus; you either advance up to the next level or stand still. Disasters do not make you go backward unless you fail to overcome them or give up trying.”
“Don’t obsess over competitors. Get out in front early and then run faster!”
“Sex may sell, but sophistication will inspire brand loyalty.”
the brand story: The Birth of a Brand tells the story not only of the UGG brand but of Brian’s journey to understanding some essential truths about business.
At one critical point in the UGG story, Brian relates an a-ha moment about UGG’s advertising. When he asked some young surfers what they thought of the brand, they trashed the advertising saying it was so fake because it used models that seemed unreal — the ads lacked credibility for this critical audience. He writes about his revelation:
“The essence of good marketing through advertising is to transport the reader into the scene, to make him or her want to belong in the picture. The more emotional the desire, the more powerful the ad, and the more disposed the viewer is to buy.”
In terms of business insights, Brian’s describes his discovery of sales as an honorable profession. He learned the difference between a good salesman and a mere order taker. He concludes:
“Talking is only a fraction of the sales role, and education, product training, and the art of closing make this a fascinating and rewarding career.”
the bottom line: The Birth of a Brand is a quick and easy read that pulls the curtain back on how UGG became such a popular brand.
Take a listen to my conversation with Brian to learn:
- the advice he has for turning your brand into cultural phenomena
- the stages of building a business
- the advertising and marketing tactics that did the most to build the UGG brand
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
other brand book bites:
- A Beautiful Constraint, by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden
- How to Ruin a Business Without Really Trying, by M.J. Gottleib
- Sticky Branding, by Jeremy Miller