Psychology Secrets For Building Strong Brands – The Importance Of Personal Branding In Sales -DTSM#9
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Psychology Secrets For Building Strong Brands – The Importance Of Personal Branding In Sales -DTSM#9

– Welcome to the Do
This, Sell More Show. I’m your host Dave
Lorenzo and today, we have branding powerhouse
Deb Gabor with us. And Deb is a leading
expert on brand disasters. She’s the author
of two best-selling
books about branding. The titles of these books
are, “Irrational Loyalty” and “Branding is Sex:
Get Your Customers Laid and Sell the Hell
Out of Anything”. She’s been featured in USA Today and other major publications. Now, she’s a
displaced Midwesterner and she currently lives in
the very hip city of Austin. She travels all over the place. In fact, she just
got in last night at midnight from
New York to Austin. So, I am honored and
thrilled that Deb could be with us today. Good morning Deb and
welcome to the show. – Hey, thanks for having me. This is gonna be
super fun, I can tell. – Oh it’s gonna be absolutely
great for our audience because I spend
so much of my time talking about how branding
is for an entrepreneur a byproduct of just
absolute value delivery and providing
overwhelming service. I wanna hear from
you and we’re gonna just dive right into and
I wanna hear from you about the velvet rope philosophy that you run your
company by and that is kind of the best sales
advice, you told me, you’ve ever received. Talk about putting
up a velvet rope and making sure that you
deliver a great service but still being exclusive
and still providing that aura, that mystique,
the brand of exclusivity. Tell us all about
that to get us started and then we can get into
sex and how we can all get laid more and
all that great stuff. – Right great, nothing
better than talking about sex first thing on
a Friday morning, right? (laughs) So let’s talk about
the velvet rope. The velvet rope doesn’t
really have anything to do with sex. I have this philosophy
that if you aim at nothing, you will hit
it with amazing accuracy a hundred percent
of the time, right? (Dave laughs) So your brand is something
that gives you the target that you’re shooting
at and the way that the philosophy
that I used to develop a brand, it’s basically this. It’s identifying who is
the singular customer who is most highly
predictive of your success. Who is your brand
ultimately for? Who is that aspirational
person that the brand is for? That the benefits
of your company, your service, your product,
whatever are built for. And then you aim
everything at that person. Your brand is about that person. It’s not exclusively about you. And the way to figure
out what that brand is, is by asking these three
magical questions which are, what does it say about
that ideal customer that they use this brand? So those are the self-expressed
benefits of the brand. The things that we
know about a person by the fact that
they drive a Tesla or they drive a Mazda, right. What is the singular thing
they get from your brand? Which is truly like
the one meaningful differentiator for the brand. Not all of the differentiators but the one most
meaningful differentiator. Here’s a hint to everybody,
it’s never a feature. And the third question,
which is the sex question. Which is, how do
you make that person the hero in their own story? And so if you know, who
is that ideal customer and ultimately how you
raise their profile, how you help them on the
path to self-actualization, how you’ve helped them
tell a great story to other people, how
you help them be a hero and help them be great,
then you can point your brand directly
at that person. And when I say put a
velvet rope around it, basically what you’re saying is, we’re the brand that
is for this person, who is already, let’s say,
excellence and success is the minimally acceptable
standard for this person. We’ve worked with the, I
tell people all the time for our business, we
only work with the best brands in the world
or the companies that have a lot at
stake and are willing to do the hard work to become
the best brands in the world. And then they come to me
and they say, I want that. Like that’s what
I’m looking for, that’s what I’m striving for. And generally, in that
process, I kind of qualify them on the
basis of you have what it takes to be one of
the best brands in the world, because if you don’t
have what it takes to be one of the best
brands in the world, then we can’t work with you. Your mission, your
vision, your goals, how hard you’re willing to work needs to align with
ours as a company. And when our values
and beliefs are aligned as a company, then
we can work together. But if I’ve broadcast
my values and beliefs out there and say,
we are for brands who are willing to
do, not just the best they can, but whatever it takes to not just inch forward
in front of the competition but leap frog their competition, can you be one of those brands? Are you willing to
put in the hard work? And what I get from that
is potential clients saying , yes yes
yes I want that. So it’s kind of
like I’m saying no, unless you are one
of these things. And so that’s what I mean by
that velvet rope philosophy. I kind of make it only available to those who are
our best customers. And what that does
is it creates desire in the minds of those prospects and those leads to us to wanna become our best customers. Does that make sense? – Yeah, it makes a lot
of sense to me now. Here’s one of the things
that I hear all the time and I’m wondering if you hear it and we can talk about it. People try to be
everything to everyone. Isn’t it better, I don’t
mean to ask a leading question but isn’t it
better to be super focused on who your ideal client
is, really to zero in on what attracts them,
how you connect with them emotionally, how you can
support those emotions with rational benefits
down the road. Isn’t it better to zero
in on the perfect client rather than try and be
broad and cast a wide net? – Oh I agree wholeheartedly
and that’s really the key strategic
underpinning to the philosophy that we use to build brands. And the idea of
focusing everything on your best customer
and building the brand for the best customer
means that you’re targeting everything at the
customer who is most highly predictive
of your success. They’re your champion. They’re going to buy from you
again and again and again. They’re going to recommend you. They’re gonna align with you, like heart, mind, soul and
most importantly wallet. And so if you build the
brand for the best customer then you start to see
that in the wild, right. So we do an exercise
called the ideal customer archetype
exercise which basically you can do it one or two ways. One is you can
actually get together with your team and you
can draw this customer. And for instance,
if that customer’s a really good listener,
draw them with giant ears. If they have pots
and pots of money at their beck and call,
have them standing on a big pile of money. For instance, the ideal customer for my core company,
is somebody who if she doesn’t have
budget under her control, she can dig for more budget. So we drew the picture of
her holding a golden shovel. And if you have a
picture of this person and you name them
and you can see them and it is a human being. Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur and you’re building a business that’s selling to
other businesses. Think about who
is the human being inside of the company who
is your ideal customer and figure out, as
your ideal customer, the person who
specifies the need, the person who researches
and selects vendors, the person who
accrues the purchase, the person who is
the ideal customer. What’s their job title? What’s their day like? Is it a man or woman? How old is that person? What kind of shoes do they wear? Like are they wearing gym
shoes to work or work boots? Are they wearing wing tips? Having that picture of who
that individual person is and building the
brand and the story around that, helps you separate the weak from the chat, right? I always tell our clients
that if you’re doing business with your
ideal customer, you are profitable, you are
working smart, not too hard. In the case of my
business, which is a services business,
when we’re working with a client who is
not an ideal client, the people who work for me
are crying and losing hair. (Dave laughs) Being all things to all people, like again it’s
back to that idea of if you don’t have
a target to shoot at you’re gonna miss
with amazing accuracy. So ideal customer
is the first place where it may feel constrictive but it actually is
really liberating for organizations to
know this ultimately who we are for, because
if you see customers who look like they’re
about 65 to 75 to 80% that profile, that’s
a really good prospect for you because ideally
they are aspiring to be what your ideal
customer is, right. And you can show them
a path to get there. It’s easy for you
to surface a lot of pain for those people. You understand what
their hopes, fears, dreams, desires are. You understand how to
bond with them emotionally and most important,
you know how to elevate their self concept
to make them a hero. Being a hero means becoming
your ideal customer and that’s one of the
best ways to leverage the power of strategic branding, to aid in the selling process. – And if you’re in
direct sales and you’re listening to this today
or you’re watching us on YouTube, I’ll
tell you that this is incredibly important
for you because if you’re selling
on a one-on-one belly to bell
basis, understanding who your ideal customer,
your ideal client is and getting in their
path is your job. That’s your mission so
if you’re a solopreneur or you’re in a business
that does five million dollars in revenue and
you think to yourself, well this is great
but these folks work with only big
companies, this advice is incredibly valuable for you because getting inside
the mind of your client is essential for
developing a sales message not just for developing a brand. Knowing where they
go and what they do helps you jump into their path and it makes sales
that much easier. All right, so Deb, let’s
talk specifically about how you get inside the
head of that ideal client. Where do you go, what do you do in order to make sure
that you’re thinking the way they think and
even more importantly you’re thinking about
where they’re gonna go next or where they aspire to go, how do you get
inside their head? – I like to talk
about this condition called irrational
loyalty and the idea of irrational loyalty
is you are so bonded to a brand, emotionally,
that you feel like you were cheating on it, if you were to use
something else. I am irrationally loyal
to Apple I-thingies as are many many people
in this world, right. When you know that there are
other products out there– Yeah, both of us, right. You know that there
are other products out there that perform
better, they’re easier to get, they’re
certainly more available they cost less,
they’re more durable, they don’t have a
closed down ecosystem et cetera, et cetera. You can go on and on and on with the functional
benefits of other products, other services, other companies are far superior,
yet we would feel like we were cheating on Apple were we to use something else. I tell the story all
the time about Samsung came out with a really
great Android thing and it looked great. It was Samsung Galaxy whatever. I went to the
store and I held it in my hand and I
was looking at it. It was superior to my
iPhone and it certainly cost less than the iPhone 10 and yet I felt really
really dirty about it and so engendering that feeling of irrational
loyalty is available to any company and if
you think about making that emotional
connection because that’s all emotional, right. That’s the reason why things, I’m wearing
Valentino shoes today which are anything
but comfortable but they look really
freaking awesome. If I were all about
functional benefits I would be wearing
my Nike running shoes to work every single day. Getting inside of people’s heads and understanding
how to engender that category of
irrational loyalty to you as a salesperson
as well as to your brand requires you to become part of your customer’s self concept. That means you
need to understand everything about them. What is the hero
story that they’re trying to put together
for them, for their lives? So I honed my craft
working with be to be technology companies. There is not a less sexy
category in the world than blade servers
and work stations (Dave laughs) and shit like that, right? In order to really
create something that wasn’t based
exclusively on beads and speeds and bits and bytes and how many hops to
a tier one network and all that kind of stuff, we had to create a
world in which we got very very intimate with
that ideal customer who was an IT buyer. That IT buyer is not a nameless faceless individual
sitting behind a computer making purchases. That person is a human being and he’s a 42 year old
guy and he’s got a family. And his hero story is
that he’s not getting calls in the middle of the night because his IT
equipment is going down or because his CEO
can’t get on his email. Getting inside his head,
taking a walk in his shoes understanding what
his hero story is and aiming the message directly at how your brand helps that guy ascend his Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs to self actualization
is really the key. That’s the magic. Not selling him on
features and benefits on what your product can do and not even on how your product can make him feel,
but how it makes him a better him is truly the key. And that’s the key to
irrational loyalty. That’s why we are
so strongly bonded to some products
that we will buy them again and again and again even when they disappoint us, right?
– Right. – Because we have an
emotional allegiance and connection to these brands. We have an alignment of
our values and beliefs and we truly believe
that these brands can help us become the people that we wanna become. – I love it. So you brought up Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs and I think I’m, probably as big a psychology geek as you are. Before we focus on
helping our client be the best they can
be and I understand that we have to be aspirational. Do we need to make
them feel like they’re a part of something, make them feel like they belong? Obviously people who
come to the people that you work with have
some disposable income so their need for
security and their need for physical wellbeing,
those are all taken care of. But isn’t there ’cause
I feel personally like the reason that
I went to an iPhone from a Blackberry 10 years ago was because I felt
like I was missing out. I felt like I wasn’t
part of the cool crowd. And now because of the, by the way I still hate
typing on my iPhone. I still miss my
Blackberry keyboard but I love all the other
features it comes with and I love the fact that
it’s constantly evolving and every couple of
years I get to be a part of the new technology and I feel like I’m part of
something bigger than myself. How important is that
when you’re creating a message or you’re
building a brand? – So the interesting thing is, that everybody is ascending
this Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and trying
to get to this point of self actualization. You have to pass
through this sort of esteem and
belongingness needs to get to self actualization
and you can belong to a group by standing
out, for instance. The very interesting
thing is like I guess I wanna caution people that you don’t have
to create community around your brand. It may not be appropriate
for your brand. Your brand may be all
about making people the trailblazer or
the front runner or someone who stands out. So the Maslow’s hierarchy
kind of thing is it’s sort of a dangerous trap because we assume
that we have to make people feel like
they’re part of a group. Really what it comes
down to is understanding how specifically do you make
them feel like they belong? Do they belong to a
group of pioneers? Do they belong a
group of the masses? And that all comes down to
what is the specific role that your brand plays
in a customer’s life. If the customer’s a hero,
the hero gets a sidekick. Are you a caregiver? Are you the outlaw? Are you the jester? Are you helping them
connect with others? Are you helping them bring
structure to your world? If you like psychology,
this is where you start to look Jungian
motivations for people. What’s their primary
underlying human motivation and then what are
they lacking in and how can you
provide for them? So, don’t fall in the
trap that you have to make everyone feel
like they’re part of a massive group. Understand what do
they wanna belong to because that
belongingness can also come from intimacy
with another person. The trap of thinking
you have to make everybody belong to a group, that’s when you
dilute your brand and you become like
an every person brand. With Folgers coffee, year
after year after year they’re gonna sell like billions of pounds of coffee
at a very low margin. Starbucks coffee, you’re
all about elevating people’s self concept
by giving them an indulgence and an experience. We overpay for
Starbucks coffee like to the tune of, I don’t
know, five or 10 X right. And the margins are
much much higher. As you appeal to people’s hearts and then when you
appeal to their genitals as Scott Galloway says in
his book called, “The Four” as you move down the body and give people more of a
reason to want to connect to other people, the
margins get bigger. So, don’t fall in the
trap of, oh I have to create a community
around my brand. Really the key is with
Maslow’s hierarchy, figure out how are
you gonna elevate their self concept. Don’t get stuck in the
middle of the pyramid. Go to the top of the pyramid. Does that make sense?
– I love it! – Yeah, it makes perfect sense. So we’re talking with Deb Gabor and you can find
out more about Deb, get her books and opt in to her, Are you doing a
weekly newsletter a monthly newsletter,
what do you do Deb? – I send out stuff
roughly about once a week. The first week that you join, there’s a couple
things that happen. You get a welcome email. You get two gifts that week. One of those is this
ideal customer exercise that I was talking about
earlier on the show. And another one of those
is the brand archetypes cheat sheet, where
you can look at that and try to figure
out, am I the hero am I the outlaw,
am I the caregiver because that opens up
new conceptual territory for folks. There’s a couple different
ways to opt in to that. But then roughly once a week you get some really
valuable content and the opportunity if
you wanna just connect with me for like a 15
minute consultation and tell me a story,
ask for feedback show me something, whatever. I’m totally open to
that for your audience. – Fantastic, thank you. So you can find all
this at We’re gonna put a link to this in the show notes. It’s also gonna be in the
description on YouTube and it’ll be on my
website as well. So is where
you can find all this stuff. I have one more question
then I wanna talk about the new book
that you’ve got. The last question is something that I am absolutely
fascinated by. And I think it’s probably
more of a personal branding issue than
a big brand issue. And that is the
notion, and it’s kind of piggy backing on what
we were just talking about, the notion of being a contrarian or in some cases just
being a complete asshole. There are people
who are magnetic because they are such
complete and total jerks. What is the psychology of that and why does that
work for some people as a personal brand? – That, again, is somebody
who really understands their ideal customer. They understand
their ideal customer, they understand what
appeals to their customer. Being contrarian
and maybe being, we talk about
disruption, disruptors, outlaws, being irreverent
and things like that, if that works for their audience and that draws to
them, people who feel disenfranchised or
feel like other people just get them, for
instance, they’re drawn to people like that. I’m working with
somebody right now who has a very very
contrarian personal brand. Like working on his
personal brand with him and he’s a media
personality, like that is part of his
shtick if you will. He knows his
audience really well. And what he know is
that his audience needs a big kick
in the ass and that what he’s trying to do
is sort of stand out in a sea of sameness,
in a category where everybody else
is a little bit soft and touchy feely. And what he’s trying
to do is go straight in and penetrate and grab
the heart of people who really really
need what he has and their values align. One of the things that I wrote about this extensively
in this new book. This is not a political
statement at all but Donald Trump,
with the 2016 election and all the time
leading up to it and for the past
two and a half years has given us a master class
in strategic branding, in terms of helping us
understand how to connect with people in their hearts. Because those heart connections
are so much stronger than the mind connections. This idea of irrational loyalty we think about these
people that we’re attracted to who seem to be a lot
of complete assholes. There’s a bunch of
people that I follow on social media that I’m like how does this guy
get away with this, he is just a
complete dick, right. But they have millions
and millions and millions of followers and subscribers because obviously
they’ve said something and they make people
feel in a particular way like they’re the
hero and they elevate their self concept. Sort of like, hey,
I’m deserving of this, I’m entitled to this,
whatever success you’re bringing me,
I’m gonna get it to you in a way that all of these
other things didn’t work. It’s like a de-positioning
and it works for some brands. I’m gonna say it doesn’t
work for all brands because when brands
behave in a way that is not in accordance
with what their ideal customers expect of them,
they screw up, right? – Right, right. – And that’s what causes
the brand disasters. But in some cases
it can totally work. People who hire me
and hire my company. Look, I tell people
this all the time. I work in Austin, Texas
in area where there are a lot of companies located. You can’t swing a
cat over your head and not hit like
15 other companies and people who say they
do exactly what I do. People come to me, not
because of what I do, they come to me because
they want a kick in the ass and they
actually wanna do it right, they wanna do it quickly. They wanna do it
in a strategic way that is attached to
their business goals and their objectives. That means that sometimes
it’s gonna hurt. It’s sort of the tough
love style of branding versus the I’m gonna
just take an order. Does that answer the
question pretty well? – Yeah, it does. It really does and it also, you tell me, but I think it also has to be part of
who you are, right? So if you’re not a
person who’s capable of kicking somebody in the
ass, you can’t have the brand. You can’t fake
that all the time. It’s just not possible so your brand has
to be specifically who you are and
resonate with the people who are your ideal clients. You have to be in
their heads but being who you are has to
be congruent with what you’re trying to
do, is that correct? – That is correct. That’s 100% correct. It’s all about authenticity. You’ve met me,
we’ve been talking for 15 20 minutes here. You don’t know me that well but I am showing up
as myself right now. This is how I am everyday. If I were sickeningly
saccharine sweet to you and I used
passive language, that would be out
of character for me for what you know of me. And you have to be
true to yourself, the same is true of your brand. The same is true in
the selling process. I am at my core a sales person. That is my job. All day long is what I’m doing. I’m selling myself,
I’m selling my company. All that kind of stuff. In situations where I
have had to mold myself or mold my company,
mold my business my offerings into
something that I thought the customer expected
100% of the time, I can say this with a very high degree of confidence,
100% of the time when I’ve had to
shave off the edges to make the puzzle piece fit, it has been a nonprofitable,
non-fun relationship for everyone involved. (Dave laughs) – Absolutely. – So authenticity. Yeah, authenticity is the key. If you’re a really really nice sweet, down to earth person,
don’t use the f word. If you are tough as nails
and you are very direct and you wanna speak
directly to someone’s heart and you wanna like, the
kinds of consultations I have with clients,
I wanna reach out and grab ’em by the
shoulders and shake ’em, there’s a verbal sort
of shaking up that I do. I like to surface a lot of pain and make you really
uncomfortable. That’s ’cause that’s who I am. Make sure that when
you build this brand, that you are aligned
with that ideal customer, that you know how
you make them a hero in their own story, that
you show up authentically that you make and you
keep a promise to them and that you are
consistently doing that. Consistency and
authenticity are like the number one and
number two keys to makings sure your
brand’s a success. – Wonderful, this has
been a branding clinic for your self brand
with Deb Gabor. Deb, what do you got? Can you show us the new book? You got it there? The cover, what do you got? “Irrational Loyalty,” I love it. So, those of you who
are listening on iTunes, it is a beautiful orange cover, “Irrational Loyalty:
Building a Brand That, I can’t see,
there’s a reflection, “Building a Brand That Thrives– – “In Turbulent Times.” – Awesome, great subtitle. It is an orange
cover with looks like a black lab on the cover right? – It gives you all
the feels, right. Like there’s nothing
more irrationally loyal than your dog. – Absolutely, where
can they get it? It’s available on Amazon,
wherever books are sold, I’m assuming. – Yep, it’s available on Amazon wherever books are sold. I also have this book,
“Branding is Sex: Get Your Customer
Laid and Sell the Hell Out of Anything” which
this is a how-to book. “Irrational Loyalty,”
this is a book that wrote itself over
the past couple of years. This is really about brands
that have stepped in it. Crisis of culture,
crisis of leadership crisis of marketing,
crisis of not knowing what the actual F is
going on in the world. And then why do some
brands survive turbulence and why do some brands not. It really is about
this brand foundation that we were talking about. I would love it if
people would pick up a copy of my book. – Wonderful, so
everybody get a copy of, get both of Deb’s books ’cause who doesn’t like sex, who
doesn’t wanna get laid, come on! Go get both of Deb’s books but even more
important than that, go to,
you’ll find a link in the show notes,
you’ll also find the link on the YouTube channel
right below the video. She’s got free stuff for you. Everybody listening to
this likes free stuff. I mean that’s why you’re
here, ’cause it’s free. So go click the link,
get the free stuff. If you have a
company and you want to reposition your
company, take Deb up on her offer to
connect with her. You saw all value she just
gave us in like 20 minutes. Can you imagine if
you got a 15 minute personalized phone
call with her? I want you to go there
right now, sign up for the free
stuff, buy the books, have more sex,
have fun, get laid, do whatever you gotta do
but Deb will help you do it in a way that is
true to who you are. Deb, it has been such
a pleasure meeting you and having you on today. I really appreciate
you being with us, especially after getting
in so late last night. Thanks for joining
us and I look forward to continuing the conversation
again down the road. – Thank you, I
really enjoyed this. And goodbye everybody
and seriously get in touch with me, I love it. – All right, we’ll see you
back here next Thursday folks on the Do
This, Sell More Show. I’m Dave Lorenzo
and until next time, here’s hoping you do
this and sell more. (electronic music)

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