All Things Growth Guest Appearance

All Things Growth Guest Appearance

Check out Bobby’s guest appearance on the All Thing’s Growth Podcast, where they discussed the need to make the values of your business actionable – starting with your hiring practices and focusing on attracting the right people to the company for marketing success.

Give it a listen, and let us know what you think.
Listen here


Are you looking to grow your business with a stronger brand?


Christina Delvillar: Welcome back to all things growth podcast; I’m your host, Christina Delvillar. And this week, I am joined by Bobby G of Propr Design. Bobby G is a brand growth consultant, and author of the book Build Your Brand Like You Give A Shit; although I guess you have the last part, they’re kind of marked out, but let’s just call it what it is. And you’re the founder and principal of Propr Design, which is a Baltimore-based b2b brand growth agency. And so we’ll talk a lot about branding, messaging b2b kind of what’s going on right now, how companies are thinking about it or should be thinking about branding. And I know that you guys and the rest of your team advise on not just this b2b brand, but how to implement these strategies, how to use it for scaling, better positioning, and also really kind of focus on that design, web, and marketing component to so so really important. And then I also think that it’s important you guys really focus on then how to measure that success of that branding exercise, right? Like, you know, is it actually working? Are you empowering your clients to be successful and carry on with this brand, though? So we’ll talk a lot about that today. And I’m super excited to have you here. So welcome. Good to see you.

Bobby G: Thank you. Thank you for having me. Great topics to discuss. And we got to make sure we keep an eye on the clock because I can go on all day.

Christina Delvillar: Oh, yeah, I could as well. So. But I’d love for you to kind of start with your background, how you got into this. You know why you chose branding and messaging and why you guys focus on b2b because I think that’s important as well.

Bobby G: So let’s not go too far because we have limited time. But my career spanned it. web designed to be bubble burst; I was there for the bubble burst, my first year in the business, I’ve worked in house and agency, and I have lots of college degrees. And before I started proper, in 2014, I was a creative director of an agency that did Enterprise E-commerce and inbound through the whole digital marketing thing. And when I started a proper, really the catalyst for that was just kind of retired of the standard operating procedure of agencies. It was just all transactional. How much can we get from our clients? How much can we get from our people, and the clients get burned out? They leave good, no problem. When people get burned out, good. They leave no problem. And I just felt there was there needed to be a better way. And what I learned before I started Propr was, you know, a lot of the pain and suffering that craves experience is because we’re stuck trying to make the client happy. And one of my early philosophies really is something that’s sort of non-negotiable, is that it’s not about the client. It’s about the brand.

Christina Delvillar: Right.

Bobby G: And their customer, not necessarily their current customer but their future customer. So a question that I really kind of lead as our sort of Northstar here is really empowering our customers with the courage to ask what is best for our brand and our future customer, then deliver the clarity to answer that. And that’s a top-down, bottom-up question that needs to be asked and answered internally. And we do all that before we push any pixels, we write any copy, we do anything to establish what the brand reputation really is. Because the way we define and brand is that if your reputation so it’s all the aspects of it, how you act, how you talk, how your brand engages with people, and how it makes them feel, but internally and externally.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: So all those things are really critical foundational elements that need to be really established authentically before you’re really going to reach your potential as a business.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, and it’s interesting because I think a lot of people just assume when you talk brand, I think of branded messaging as one. And it’s the branding of your company, right? And so one of the things you guys focus on is not just that visual component and aspect of the brand, but the verbal, right? Or the tone, or, like, what’s the tone of the company as a whole? What’s the tone of the CEO and other executives? I think that that’s really critical. And again, people just, and they don’t mean to minimize what it is that you guys do at all because I think it’s really critical.

But oftentimes, this kind of branding or messaging is an afterthought, or like, you know, I think you and I talked about this earlier, it’s like, it’s a nice to have, not a must-haves, it’s really critical to have this right because you have the consistency, you have continuity, and to your point. So this is your brand in your book, you talk about, you know, about authenticity, and how leveraging that authenticity really allows you to create the right message and the right brand, right voice to the right people. And in doing so, it actually helps eliminate some of your competitors because, literally, nobody else can be you. So we’d love for you to kind of talk about what’s going on right now. And why you think this is so critical? I obviously think it’s critical.

Bobby G: Well, we’ve always felt it was the right way, but the data today shows that your customers also believe it’s the right way, and so to your employees, and what’s the right way? Well, it’s basically embracing your purpose to unleash your potential. And what is your purpose? Well, your purpose is like how you’re impacting people’s lives through what you do, both product and service. So like a business exists to not just make money but to make a difference. And to make an impact. So you define what you’re sort of, you know, what makes your business viable and necessary? Who do you serve, and why. And when you really don’t focus so much on like, features, or ingredients, or services or stuff like that. If you focus on those things, you’re just competing with everybody on the commodity aspect of your Eighth Street. Race, a lot of times, it’s a price game, right? And it’s a race to the bottom. People just want cheaper, and there’s always someone who’s going to offer cheaper and better. So why compete on the commodity aspects? What makes you different?

Well, it’s who we are and what our purpose and mission is. That’s the beginning. And when you have, it doesn’t just impact your marketing and your business development. It impacts your hiring; you’re building a team around your leadership that is really the ideal fit for what you’re trying to do. It’s not your hiring based on their resume. But it’s based on their values and purpose and what excites in a doozy. What makes them enthusiastic about what you’re doing that can get the right person in any seat? And it really impacts all aspects of your operation. So we really embrace what we call the simplicity mindset. How do we make this simpler, not boring, but less complex,

Christina Delvillar: Right.

Bobby G: And with that as a goal, than, using gimmicks and hacks and things like that are really gonna make your marketing less effective. They may make you delight it by witty taglines and slogans, but really, is that engaging with your potential customers in an authentic way? Is that making you memorable for the right reasons? So what you’re really establishing with those sorts of shortcuts or hacks is you’re just trying to make somebody happy. And that person is most likely a decision-maker within your company. And it’s not your customer. So foot by focusing more on what the customer gives a shit about.

Christina Delvillar: Yup.

Bobby G: And being aligned with that because you give a shit about the same stuff. You don’t need any of the nonsense; you could just say what you do for whom and say, This is what’s important to us. And then, you know, make sure you get in front of your customers in the right place and say the right thing and the right tone of voice.

Christina Delvillar: Right.

Bobby G: But They’re going to self-select, and it’s going to give your folks who are responsible for growth better leads and better conversations because people are more likely just ready to buy or want to know how to buy and when it is time. So you just makes it a lot simpler. And you’re giving everybody sort of in your ecosystem of growth. You’re putting in them into a position to be successful because you’re giving them the tools and confidence and assets and the self-sufficiency to go do what they’re supposed to do. And eliminating all the excess?

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, I think one of the issues that marketers have in general is really helping executives, whether it’s board of directors or your CEO or just the C suite in general, understand the value and impact that marketing brings. What those folks are so familiar with is like, you know, number of leads, number of eyeballs on your website, and all that other stuff. That is not that is not the person that you’re trying. I mean, that’s not what you want, right? It’s like you want, you know, you don’t care about quality; I mean, quality, you do care about quality, you don’t care about quantity, right? And so, like you’re saying, you might not end up with more traffic or more leads are, whatever it is, but you will end up with the right leads, and usually those close faster, and they’re actually a higher value as well, because you guys are all aligned, which, which makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s, it’s interesting, because, during COVID, I noticed that, and it was funny because I was talking to companies and they’re like to like, Yeah, our customers are really engaging, but they, you know, they’re, they’re asking for specific things from us now. And, so we’re gonna focus on our customers, I’m like, now you’re gonna focus. Now you’re gonna do this.

Bobby G: Great.

Christina Delvillar: Shouldn’t you do this in the first place? So I mean, I guess it’s good that they’re going back to thinking about their customer. But that is really key. And I think it is hard for and it depends on the size of the organization, but it’s hard to like turn business away. But if it’s not the right business, you shouldn’t be; you shouldn’t be doing it anyway. Because it’s not going to be successful. It’s not sending anyone up for success, whether it’s an implementation or whatever it is. So

Bobby G: Yeah, and that can lead to what we call called poor positioning quagmire. We’re visual pic of that scene from The Neverending Story, where I think Artax is the horse’s name, and it stuck in the mud, and the boy is trying to pull them out, and the horse just sinks, and he looks, you know, we all cried with his kids because the horse drowned in the mud. That’s a quagmire, right? You’re stuck in the mud; you can’t get out. And the poor positioning quagmire is essentially your marketing, using gimmicks, and you don’t truly understand your customer; you don’t have really strong positioning to directly say what you do for whom. And then, your marketing, it’s really hard to put a marketing plan around weak positioning, and you don’t really understand your customers and what their pains and gains are. I’m not talking about personas, personas; I just got persona from client, another agency put together, and how embarrassing; there’s so bad like this is how do you use the no one use? It’s just checking the box.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: But really, use empathy to understand your customer and what’s important to them. And also align that with what’s important to you. So without it, really strong positioning and real strong messaging, and a really strong brand. Your marketing is going to suffer or not work. So you get into that quagmire where you’re in this loop, right? And it’s a downward spiral; eventually, you’re gonna start bringing on bad fit clients; how it happens that benefit clients, you’re not successful. So therefore, you don’t have case studies or testimonials or any social proof to say, hey, we just did this client, or the client ends in a disaster, we don’t get paid or whatever. And it just goes down and down, down. And then, eventually, you’re wondering why you went out of business. Yeah. And it all started from just not taking the time to truly define what it is we’re here trying to accomplish. And for who, and how do we do it?

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, and one of the things you mentioned, it’s like, you know, really, like be yourself and be great at what it is you’re trying to do. And I think it’s interesting because I think what started to happen was people they were trying to be who they thought the audience wanted them to be, not who they actually were right.

Bobby G: Yeah.

Christina Delvillar: And whether that’s a leader, the culture, the company, the brand, whatever it is. And I think that’s kind of part of what we got away from, and we need to get back to that. So and you know, one thing that I think is really interesting too is because I’ve talked to a bunch of leaders, and there’s one CEO in particular, he was like, This is what our authentic self needs to be. And I’m like, but that’s not that actually is not you; that’s not your culture. It’s not like it’s not what your product does. And it just was not successful because, to be honest, his authentic self is not like the best person in the world or, you know, whatever, whatever that is, but you still need to be like this is this is what our brand is supposed to be communicating. This is where we’re trying to be; this is how we’re trying to help. Being authentic means being authentic, not again, being what you think your audience wants you to be, which I say a lot, to be honest.

Bobby G: That’s the example that we’re given to follow is, you know, fake it till you make it which is terrible advice because you’re starting any relationship out with this option, you can say that like, Hey, I don’t, we don’t have a ton of experience there. But we’re very interested in doing it and learning about it. And that gives people, like, just manage their expectations. And that gives you the opportunity to figure it out and learn while you’re doing without the client thinking you’re an expert in it, and then they’re going to be disappointed in, and that makes you know, you’re in that downward spiral. It’s really a combination of what we see, you know, the glorification of the mega-corporations with their CEOs, equating porting of wealth with wisdom; I think is really problematic, looking at companies that have had really fast success and saying that we should all try to achieve that. But there’s a price to pay for making those decisions. And there’s a cost to it. And, you know, I don’t look at companies like Uber, or even Tesla, as role models for entrepreneurs. It’s the opposite. Like if you want to exploit everybody, and everything possible, to obtain massive amounts of wealth, there’s no balance to that. There’s no symbiotic nature to one taking way more than they’ll ever need, while others go with, you know, just kind of taken advantage of, and I’m not talking about like, what’s fair or unfair, other than like that CEO, or that company didn’t become successful overnight.

It’s the culmination of a lot of resources, a lot of time, a lot of ideas that many, many other humans have shared over the hundreds of 1000s of years that have put us in a position to do things like put a man on the moon, or make an electric car or have all this awesome technology at our fingertips. So we can point to that single person, or even, you know, a leadership team and say, those the genius and titans of our time, they’re just the face of all the time and effort and resources and people that contribute to that success. So you got to make sure that you’re taking care of them. And that’s part of the reason why I wrote my book is that it’s our responsibility as humans and society on this planet to give back because we’ve been given so much the previous generation. And that’s the reason why we’re able to do things today. Not because some was some sort of brilliant guru. That’s just bullshit. And we need to be calling it out for what it is. And instead, we need to be looking at companies that are good citizens, using them as the example, putting Bloomberg on the cover of a magazine and saying greatest and he should run for president and or he should be the mayor of New York because he’s rich. You know, we looked at there was a show called hoarders on TV years ago.

Christina Delvillar: Oh yeah, I remember that.

Bobby G: And I don’t know if it’s still around; it’s terrible.

Christina Delvillar: I don’t think it is.

Bobby G: But it’s, like, really just put people with, like, a sickness on display as a carnival sideshow. And, like, how terrible is that? But meanwhile, people that are hoarding money and wealth and power, we’re putting them on the cover of magazines and call them great. I think that’s equally sick.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve worked with Travis and Elon, both and, and kind of to your point. And actually, to my point, like, you know, fear, they are their authentic selves, right? But is that your brand? Is that your product? Right? Is that is, you know, is it just the technology? So like, what, from your standpoint, then? Obviously, electric vehicles are probably good thing for our society. But how do you think about that from a branding and messaging standpoint, if you want to potentially remove some of the negativity and kind of help that brand if you will appeal to more people or people who are more conscious of the value to society if you will?

Bobby G: Well, I think we need to come back to that important question. And ask is this what’s best for the brand and our future customers and if having somebody who is a bit problematic as the face of the company.

Christina Delvillar: Spokesperson, yeah, you might need to consider that.

Bobby G: That’s alienating. Right. And that’s, and you know, having a clear brand purpose doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be like Patagonia, you know, saving the whales for the rainforest. Right? Because it’s really challenging and like that they have a different ethos on things, but, you know, but That’s also a marketing tactic. So you know, let’s hold that out for what it is. There’s still a billionaire, right? There’s a billionaire, that’s 1000. Less millionaires. Yeah. So what, what we should really focus on, is doing what’s best for our company, our people, and our customers. And for us, it’s as simple as a lot of agencies don’t set their clients up to be self-sufficient and empowered and successful without them. We want our clients to be self-sufficient and empowered, and courageous to grow with or without. And that comes back to just our mission to improve, improve us improve our clients, anybody that touches the brand; we want them to come away just a little bit better. And we have to live that every day. And you know, when your brand is your reputation, you have to take that seriously. And you have to commit to earning it every day. And doing everything the right way. Time moves quickly. But we remember last year, my fellow West Philly native, you know, Will Smith ruined his brand.

Christina Delvillar: Oh yeah.

Bobby G: Just by making a really bad decision and doing something that he shouldn’t have done. Yeah. And how do you come back from that? Your customers and people aren’t going to necessarily remember the last interaction they had with your brand, right? The last movie that Will Smith made that they loved, right, but they’re gonna remember how they don’t feel. So when we slap somebody in the face, right, that rubs people the wrong way. And I’m like, he embarrassed his wife, his kids, and his family and hurt his legacy, all that stuff did he did that turns me off. And that’s the feeling that we all have, or a lot of us might have, you know, just to use him as an example, that action as an example, we got to think about the actions that we’re taking as leaders of our company, and the positions we’re putting our people in, how we’re treating them. And so, like, this is the stuff that’s important because people are going to talk about your brand.

And I was talking with a client that’s come back to do some more work earlier today. And I was saying the same thing, it’s like, people are gonna refer you, and they’re gonna say, So and so was awesome, or this business was great. But you have to give them a little bit more with using direct language in key places to say; this is the stuff we do for whom, so when I say, oh, proper was awesome. They took care of us; they made us feel great. While they made us a lot more money through our marketing, right? Like that’s, that’s the referral you want, right? You know you get like, Oh, don’t go with them; they suck. Right? That’s all you need, and throw in it, right? And they have to, and that person who got that message that like, don’t go to them, they suck, they’re going to tell someone else don’t go to them, they suck. And they don’t even know why.

Christina Delvillar: Right? Yeah.

Bobby G: So that’s just as infectious as the goodwill. So when you do what’s right by your team and your customer, you follow through on your promise you deliver great value, then the viral sort of word of mouth that people are talking about is positive. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when you do the right thing. Yeah, constantly and consistently, is that are the reason why I started my company and like, we’ll get referrals, and we will get recommendations, and we’ll get reviews, and we’ll get positive goodwill because we’re doing it the way we would want it done for us. Right. And that propagates and grows. And when people say, oh, you know, frustrate our agency. Oh, well, you should talk to Bobby. Proper, right? And think about how that applies to all of our companies. Like we want people just thinking the good stuff, and we can’t be perfect, and we shouldn’t try to be perfect. We shouldn’t try to be for everybody.

Christina Delvillar: Right? Yes.

Bobby G: And when you are, like you said, your authentic self, you have no competition because no one can compete with you being you. Yeah, you know, and it’s just like, they’re not for us, because they would their purpose and mission is really doesn’t jive with me. But the people that it does jive with, they’re gonna be seeking you out.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah. As your as your tribe. Yeah. Yeah. Just I often like, you know, I have a little bit of a foul mouth, and there was one woman on LinkedIn, and she’s like, look, I love your stuff. I love your philosophy. And she’s like, but, but I think as a professional, you should stop swearing, and I was just like, I totally appreciate that. I’m like; You are not my audience. And that’s okay, right? I mean, I’m not like my audience isn’t like people who swear, but that’s not like what I’m going after. But the point is, this is my personality. This is who I am. Um, and I mean, again, I’m not gonna like sit there and, you know, swear during a meeting or something like that. But if it doesn’t resonate with you, then I’m probably not the person you should be hiring, right?

Bobby G: I mean doesn’t; it makes sense to get that out upfront.

Christina Delvillar: Before we’re in a meeting the first time,

Bobby G: Versus you’re like, you know, you’re deep into an engagement, or you’re deep into, like, however, you engage with your customers. Yeah. And then you’re like, oh, Bobby curses a lot.

Christina Delvillar: Yup.

Bobby G: It’s like, so, but I got a hang-up about that, like, well, you probably should have listened to some of my podcast interviews and read some of my writing.

Christina Delvillar: So, and again, that’s not to say that like that, but it does help people sort of self-select into who they want. And that’s fine if they don’t want to work with me. But one thing that I’ve heard recently, which is interesting, is a lot of talk about defensive marketing. And this is specifically coming from CEOs, especially for b2b. Right? And so they’re trying to figure out, like, how can we make sure that people are loyal to us and our brand and all this other stuff? And I’m like; it’s just obvious to me that it’s all about authentic branding and messaging. So I don’t know if you have heard this or have any thoughts about it, and how branding and messaging can absolutely help this, and it’s not even defensive marketing; it’s just smart strategy.

Bobby G: It’s authentic. And it’s, it’s, it’s proactive, in fact,

Christina Delvillar: Yup.

Bobby G:  You know, and part of the purpose of digging deep and with the client initially to establish who the hell they are and what they do for whom and why they care, and why it matters. Like that was to give us the ammunition to say, hey, client, this isn’t about your husband, things are what your cousin’s nephew thinks, like, this is about your brand, and your customer, the brand should be successful without you, at some point, CEO person.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, that’s a great point.

Bobby G: They should carry on, or whatever your goals are the organization or art to be acquired, or to acquire or to just grow and be successful, or whatever it is, you need to be clear with that. Because your marketing people and your you know, your people advising around brand, like they need to know that that’s your mission here like that. That’s what you’re trying to accomplish in terms of the vision of the organization, just have the question answered before it’s asked, and what I used to call, like, you know, heading them off at the past, we don’t want our clients to say, but why did you do that? Or why this color or that clock? We’re quantifying all those choices up front because we know what’s best for the brand. We know what’s best for the future, customer so do they, because of our help. So that’s making sure that we’re consistent everywhere. Defensive marketing is actually something I’m not too familiar with. But it sounds kind of comical to me.

Christina Delvillar: Like CEOs are like, Oh, well, we need to be more defensive and make sure that we can keep our customers, I’m like, Well, no shit. Like, that’s your job. Get the right customers and keep them.

Bobby G: How about provide value? That exceeds the price?

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, Yeah. And it’s like, you don’t hear marketing people asking about defensive marketing. It’s CEOs who are like, okay, like, what? What should we do? What should we focus on? What should I tell my marketing person to spend money on?

Bobby G: Yeah, don’t screw up. instead of allocating your reactionary budget to PR, actually allocate that to branding and making sure that everybody knows what we’re doing. Has the right stuff in front of them. So you don’t need to kind of change the brain or distract people with major PR because you have, you know, one screw-up in one disaster after another.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, that’s a good point you bring up like; I think it’s really important for companies, once they’ve established their brand and the messaging that goes around that, to disseminate that to everyone in the organization. I was at a company one time, and they were like, we don’t understand what’s going on. Like, you know, nobody in the world knows. And so I surveyed everybody in the company, like under 50 people, and ask them like, what is it that we do? And I got 150 different answers; it’s a problem. So do you are there things that you do to try to help clients understand, like how significant it is that this is like now needs to be taught to the rest of the organization?

Bobby G: That’s why I say top down and bottom up, like, you know, just think about, think about how, you know, 130 people at a company that’s a decent size operation. So, not every decision is going to be made by leadership. Important decisions are going to need to be made by everybody every day, even if later Tripp is not making those decisions. Somebody’s making them. So how do you know that decision? Is the choices that are being made? are helping or hurting your company? You don’t know. I don’t like that. You need to know that everybody shares the mission. So we laugh about this all the time. And we were laughing about this yesterday, you know, I find it as a red flag when companies say we’re a family. Like, I don’t know about their family, but families are nuts.

Christina Delvillar: We’re dysfunctional.

Bobby G: We annoy each other.

Christina Delvillar: We’re only together because we have to be like,

Bobby G: Yeah, you know, and like, we share blood. So yeah, I mean, I love my family, but, like, you don’t always like your family. So like saying your company is like family, it’s like, that’s kind of cringy you should be a team.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: You should be a team that shared a mission, and everybody knows their role and how their contribution contributes to the success of the company. And it gives them the ability to be accountable to themselves and to one another. And that’s how a high-performing team operates. And by giving people that clarity to say, this is what we’re trying to accomplish, that gives everybody the ability to agree towards moving towards that, you know, that on the rosin line from their own place. So we want people to understand what we’re trying to accomplish but it’d be able to articulate it in their own way. But within that, the parameters of what’s appropriate with the brand. And we don’t give a memorizing core values or taglines.

Christina Delvillar: They’re my talking points.

Bobby G: Like, that stuff is not real. Yeah. But when you make the core values, something that is actionable, and you’re hiring around the values of the organization and making decisions around the values of the organization and wants to find core values, real quick, core values are the nonnegotiable aspects of your business. What is okay? What is a must-do? What is not okay? And you think about it in terms of, like, what, what fires you up? Like? What would you get you out on the street, fist-fighting over something? And those are the things that usually like what you won’t stand for. So then you create core values in your own voice, like, if you don’t, you dare say integrity is a core value, listeners.

Christina Delvillar: Right.

Bobby G: No. Like, we give a shit about this, this, and this, right? If that’s your tone of voice like ours. So it has to be real and authentic, but it has to be how do we do this? How do we declare what’s important to us? So like, how you treat one another? How you treat the community, the environment and the world, and your customers? Like, all that stuff should be involved with that. And when everybody’s on the same page. And there’s no exceptions because someone’s a high performer.

Christina Delvillar: Right.

Bobby G: Right. Like, there are no exceptions because they’re a high ticket customer.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: That’s where the integrity comes into play. And that’s where your leadership has to really step up. Because once you compromise your values, then your reputation’s shot.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, I was talking to somebody about that yesterday, like you, like, if this is who you are, this is your audience. These are your people. This is your culture. And sometimes, you know, especially when you’re starting off, you might accept clients that don’t necessarily fit that. But if you continue to do that, it’s going to be a problem. Because, again, you’re not; that’s not what you should be focusing on. So So I would love for you, you know, we’ve talked a lot about, you know, all these different things. Do you have some examples of who’s actually getting it right?

Bobby G: Who’s getting it right? Well, you know, it comes back, well, we had a client last year or actually, no, we’re in the new year, in 2021. And they’re in Silicon Valley; they do robotics; what we help them with is really did develop a brand strategy and architecture because they had a lot of complexity. Even though these guys are mad smart. They’re looking at companies like Apple, which we all do because of their success, and say, Oh, well, you know, that’s, that’s name and brand, all of our products and services and a lot of technology and b2b companies, SAS talking all you guys out there. Hear me right now; do not add complexity to your brand architecture. your products and services should be called brand, service, a service B, or whatever is simple. When you’re creating whimsical names, your customers are going to be confused as to what your brand is which name is, right?

Christina Delvillar: How it fits in?

Bobby G: Yeah. So Yeah, where’s the equity flow? Once the brand awareness flow while it’s diluted, right? We want to whatever way your or your brand and organization is structured; we want that to flow to the right place. So their name is Ohmni labs, named drop. And their purpose was to improve lives by using robotics. And they’re doing 3d printing and all this awesome stuff in Cali. And they had a great opportunity. They were approached by the military-industrial complex with fat checks to buy into their company. And they’re still startups.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: And they said no.

Christina Delvillar: Tempting. Yeah.

Bobby G: They said, No; they stood up for what mattered to them. They want to improve lives. Not take.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: You know, so standing up for what they care about in terms of me as a consumer. I am a bit of a Sonos fanboy; I think they are creating really interesting technology. I love music, I have Sonos in my house in the office, and their support is great. So it’s really just a really solid customer experience because you’re dealing with high tech, and not everybody savvy. They got the resources and the people to help you figure it out. And we just need more music in our lives. So they’re going great by that.

Christina Delvillar: My sound bar is, is theirs. So it’s good. I haven’t had to use their customer support. But it’s good to know because oftentimes, especially with consumer products, it’s like you buy it, and then it’s like, you know, peace out? Well, you know, good luck with that.

Bobby G:  Right? Transactional

Christina Delvillar: Yeah. Yeah. So I’m glad to hear that.

Bobby G: They keep me coming back. And it’s rather embarrassing how much I still own stuff I own. But keep doing at Sonos, keep doing the right things, and you will keep me happy forever.

Christina Delvillar: Little shout out to them. I think that’s good. Yeah. And it’s interesting. I’m I just started teaching marketing principles of marketing course. And one of the examples they talked about was Nike, and like, what their message? And again, yes, it was absolutely marketing. And yes, it absolutely benefited them was the whole, you know, bringing on Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson, in their point, what he was doing was like, sometimes you just, you just got to take a stand, right?

Bobby G: Right.

Christina Delvillar: And they were writing the same thing by having him win again, I get that it was a lot of marketing, and they spent, you know, $100 million in campaign. So I’m not like, I’m not getting anybody, but, but the whole point is like, and that is their brand. And they were willing to take a hit for that if it did happen, for sure. But again, I think you have to kind of think again about what’s your what’s your brand.

Bobby G: You gotta be bold.

Christina Delvillar: Yeah.

Bobby G: You might stand up for something in the perception of their customer’s eyes in the US, but what about the people who are making the shoes, you know, question, you know, abusing and exploiting humans, you know, to maximize profit per SKU to make stock market happy. And, you know.

Christina Delvillar: Right. Good point.

Bobby G: So, like, again, like these mega-corporations, we don’t work with them. It’s too complex I haven’t had the opportunity to really think about how they can manage both and do it the right way. But I think about, and I referenced, like, in my book, it’s like, Nestle, and Coke and Pepsi. You know, they’re all everyone’s all excited about their CEOs and how much money they make for their investment in the stock market and stockholders. But they’re saying things like 90% of the number 70% of our products are made to be recycled, but plastic doesn’t get recycled; it gets thrown in the ocean or the rivers. So you see all this pollution everywhere you go from selling, you know, sugar water for a huge markup,

Christina Delvillar: Right.

Bobby G: Just to make infinite just to support infinite growth, right? And infinite growth is an impossible day to maintain without, you know, a lot of collateral damage.

Christina Delvillar: And, you know, it’s a good point; I think that oftentimes what I see are aspects of Silicon Valley for 30 years, and people like we want to grow to be like Google or Facebook or Twitter, you likely will not right.

Bobby G: Right.

Christina Delvillar: And so put yourself up against them as the example, or you know, we’re kind of growth you’re looking for, or things you want to do is it doesn’t even make sense. It’s not realistic, right? So wouldn’t be good to find some organizations that are successful and, you know, have a decent purpose and are doing good that you can emulate because I think that’s missing again, especially in Silicon Valley. Everybody just focuses on the unicorn and the big, you know, Google, Twitter or Facebook, and that’s not necessarily, you know, the best thing so I worked at and Rene Lessard, he’s the CEO, and he’s phenomenal is an amazing leader really has tried to do everything he can do to keep that culture that he initially built. And again, it’s for him; it’s all about helping the small businesses be successful. And so I really appreciate like he, to me, he’s a really good example of a leader in a company that is trying really hard to do it. Right. It can be hard sometimes, but I appreciate that.

Bobby G: It’s hard. It ain’t easy, right? But if it was easy, everyone would do it. Right. So like, you know, the challenge is what draws us to be entrepreneurs?

Christina Delvillar: Yep, absolutely. So anything else you’d like to add any, like things, last tidbits, or things you want people to come away from?

Bobby G: Yeah. So you know, for our marketing listeners, I really wanted to promote, I guess, for lack of a better word, The operationalizing of your brand. We’re just seeing; it’s something we’ve always done. But you know, right now, especially in tech, you know, budgets are cut, marketing is not happening, or you don’t have the people, you don’t have the resources, but you’re still, you know, marketers, for some reason have become responsible for not just leads, but they’ve been responsible for managing the brand. And as well as revenue, back to even know that we’re not doing the actual sales, or we may, you know, whether it’s e-commerce or whatever, it becomes a little bit more complicated. But operationalizing the brand is basically taking those foundational aspects and ensuring that they work within the operations of what you’re doing as a marketing leader. So campaign templates and digital documents and message mapping and all that important stuff that you’re like, okay, we got to run campaigns, with limited staff, limited resources, limited budget, how can we do more with less? And you’re like, Okay, well, what agency are we working with? Or what are our creative resources in terms of strategy and creation of designs and messaging?

Are they helping us bridge the gap from this looks beautiful to this is performing and, you know, push, push those people to make sure that they’re asking the questions of like, Okay, how are you going to use this? How is this supposed to perform for you so that you’re not just getting a bunch of really cool design and its system and elements, but they’re really tied back into your marketing ops and your vision and growth opportunities? Even with, you know, Slashed budgets and slashed teams, there’s a big impact opportunity when you’re thinking about performance. And again, it’s what’s best for the brand and our future customers. While that’s we need to perform to get in front of them, then the most beautiful website, you know, elaborate brand doesn’t really matter if it’s not resonating connecting with customers, and it’s not working within your sales and business tab and marketing kind of teams.

Christina Delvillar: Yep. Now that makes a lot of sense. And I would extend that not just to the marketers in the organization but to the executives so that they understand when marketers, we need to spend money on this, and we need to do it, right? They’re not like, oh, that just seems.

Bobby G: True that.

Christina Delvillar: So I’d appreciate it if leaders out there were like, oh, I get it. Yeah, let’s do it.

Bobby G: One last thing, like it, also attracts the right people to your company.

Christina Delvillar: Right? Yup.

Bobby G: Right. So like, if they’re seeing your stuff, and they’re impressed. And you know, you want to bring in the top talent. If it’s all authentic and real. There’s no real reason not to do it. Other than you just like to say yes to whatever comes in your door, and he just really good at sales, without necessarily bringing value to your customers. Anyway, I digress.

Christina Delvillar: I get it. But again, I really appreciate it good conversation.

Bobby G: This is great!

Christina Delvillar: I think it’s super helpful for people to understand, like, again, not to just do branding, but like, have a strategy around it, why it’s significant, how you can do it better, and what it means really for you know like you’re saying not just the company, but the employees, what it means for your bottom line and your you know, revenue and things like that. So I appreciate your time today.

Bobby G: Thank you for having me!

Christina Delvillar: Yeah, of course, this has been great. Thank you.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode of All Things growth. You can find us on social media at all things GTM. You can also find the links and resources mentioned in the show at www. All things grow. have a topic you’d like us to cover. Be sure to send us a DM on Instagram. If you enjoy our show. Please give us a following rate and review on Apple podcasts or whatever you’re listening to us on, and be sure to come back for our next exciting episode.


Bobby Gillespie


With 24 years of creative experience in leadership, planning, and executing performance-based branding and web design strategies, Propr and I help small and medium-sized companies and organizations grow revenue, attract new customers, manage and scale their brands, and improve marketing performance.

I’m also the author of Build Your Brand Like You Give a Shit.
Connect and follow me on LinkedIn.

Schedule a call to learn how we can help you transform your brand for consistent and better performance.

About Propr

Propr Branding and Web Design Best of Maryland Awards
Propr is a boutique brand strategy and creative agency. We help companies and organizations grow through high-performing brand strategy, graphic & identity design, messaging & custom WordPress website design & development. Performance and results drive our passion for service. Let’s do great things for your brand together.

Ready to transform your brand for consistent and better performance? Contact us today!

The Business Power Hour Guest Appearance

By: Bobby G    02/2023

The Business Power Hour Guest Appearance

By: Bobby G


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