FROM CLUBS TO CLEATS
Ryan Ellis is a friend I got to know in college when I decided to complete my senior year on the campus of Oklahoma City University. Shortly after we graduated, Ryan got more involved in marathons and triathlons and started excelling in endurance sports.
As a former All-American Collegiate golfer, Ryan combined his competitive spirit with his newfound love in nutrition and coaching, and Conquer Training was born.
FAST FORWARD 10 YEARS
We have both come a long way since; from my approach to brand design to Ryan's philosophy in running a business. When I was interviewing him for my upcoming book "The One Game Changer to Boost your Business", we walked down memory lane about corporate logo since we had worked on the ones for Conquer Training.
"No," Ryan answered matter-of-factly when I asked him if every company needs a logo. "The only person that really cares about a logo is the business owner."
This is not to discredit the work of professional logo designers ('cause I am one of them) but more of a reminder to business owners that we shouldn't get too hung up on needing a swoosh or some golden arches.
"It (logo) is cool but it doesn't generate revenue," Ryan Ellis
"Understanding the difference between branding and marketing was challenging at first," Ryan admitted but is now able to make the distinction.
While Conquer Training and Ellis Endurance Lab are promoted (ie. marketing) differently because of the variations in products, services, and customers, Ryan's brand as an expert in the endurance community carries across his two businesses.
IS IT AN EXPENSIVE HOBBY?
Ryan is always about living a healthy and active lifestyle, which allows him to resonate with his customers; whether they come to him wanting to break a personal record at the next Ironman (eg. a desired condition) or with a road bike that is not providing the most comfortable ride (eg. a pain point). Ryan's interest and knowledge in endurance sports are thus, part of his personal and business brands.
That's an important place to start when considering starting a business. Are you passionate about the industry you are going to be in? Are you interested in it enough to continue learning and growing in your knowledge about it?
Consider the 'N's in the B.R.A.N.D. System and ask yourself these two questions:
Defining your personal B.R.A.N.D.: What are you NATURALLY good at?
Developing your business B.R.A.N.D.: What is your NICHE in the market?
Understanding your brand will make the difference between a profitable business and an expensive hobby.
Stay tuned for Part 2 as we dive deeper into the other aspects of Ryan's B.R.A.N.D..
MY AFFAIR WITH A GROCER
What can we learn about branding from a grocery chain? Apparently quite a lot if it's Trader Joe's; a grocer I fell in love with since 2017.
This video is extracted from a class I taught as part of an entrepreneurship program at a university.
In this video, I highlighted three of five components of the B.R.A.N.D. System and explained how it can empower any business owner and leader to make brand-driven decisions affecting day-to-day operation.
TheY'rE B.A.D. ...
Below is an image highlighting three components of the B.R.A.N.D. System showing how the 'B' (ie. what are you in the business of selling) and the 'D' (ie. what drives you to excel in your industry) guided the 'A' (ie. how should you act day-to-day).
Click to read another B.R.A.N.D. Freeze post and learn why this grocer invests in people who are talented in creating hand-drawn and hand-written signages.