Identify what your marketing messaging will be. Taglines should not only represent the lifestyle brand but also resonate with the consumer. It should be applicable in a multitude of ways. Most importantly, the tagline should be able to stand the test of time.
As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim Demirjian, co founder of Dezo.
Founded by three, young entrepreneurs — Tim Demirjian, Marc Kess, and Thomas Crowe, Dezo has taken off in its first year, entering major supermarkets, bars, and events throughout the country. With established investors throughout differing industries, Dezo is just getting started and already has their foot through the door! We sat down with Tim Demirjian and got to know him and Dezo.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
I’m originally from Boston, MA. I grew up in a small suburb outside the city. Sports and wellness have always been a huge part of my life. I began working as a caddy every summer at the age of 11. My dad was the one who instilled the constant work ethic in me from an early age. I always knew that I wanted to start ventures with my close friends; I knew that sitting behind a desk at a 9–5 job was not something I could ever see myself pursuing. I also knew that I wanted to move out to Los Angeles as soon as I graduated from college to pursue my career in a new city with endless opportunities.
Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?
I started Dezo with two of my best friends. Marc and I have known each other since we were about 10 years old, and I met Tomas, a Los Angeles native, in college at Tulane University. Marc was tinkering with new ingredients at his family’s bar back in Boston and simultaneously, Tomas and I were finishing up senior year in New Orleans. We were discussing ways to make a vitalizing alternative to traditional alcohol consumption. Transparency, health benefits, amazing taste and mitigating the next day hangover were the pillars. After college, I moved into an apartment with Marc in LA. He immediately told me about this coconut water based cocktail with gluten-free vodka, which provides electrolytes, antioxidants and vitamins. Immediately a light bulb went off in my head, so I called Tomas immediately to connect the three of us. We played mixologist in the kitchen until we had a cocktail that tasted incredible and the rest is history.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake and misconception we made when we were first starting was assuming that starting a liquor venture was going to take a couple of months to launch. It took us nearly two years. The lesson learned is that people don’t see the true time and work that happens behind the scenes. Anything worthy will take time; success rarely happens overnight. You have to commit and dedicate 110% of yourself to your goals.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
A particular film that had an impact on me from a business perspective was the Founder. It taught me that opportunity sometimes knocks very quietly, and you have to be observant. It taught me that great business ideas can come from taking an existing business or product and making it better. It also demonstrated that business is not for the weak; it can become a very cut throat environment, and to be able to succeed, you need to have thick skin. Lastly, persistence and consistency is key to achieving your dreams.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You’re right where you’re supposed to be” I think this is something that every single person should be able to relate to. Everybody has their own life journey and path and everything that has happened and is currently happening in my life is meant to be. It’s meant to teach me something (what I like, don’t like, what I need, what I appreciate, etc). Experiences are the best way to learn more about yourself and who you truly are.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. For the benefit of our readers, let’s define our terms. How do you define a Lifestyle Brand? How is a Lifestyle Brand different from a normal, typical brand?
Personally, I define a lifestyle brand as a brand that stands for and embodies a mission and value that people and groups can culturally relate to. It defines a lifestyle that people aspire to live and incorporate into their own lives.
What are the benefits of creating a lifestyle brand?
The biggest benefit to creating a lifestyle brand is longevity and versatility. It allows the brand to exist for a substantial period of time. It also allows the brand to adapt as humans continue to innovate and culture continues to evolve.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved Lifestyle Brand? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
I think Nike has done a great job building a believable and beloved lifestyle brand. Just Do It is a phrase that can be applied to nearly anything in one’s life. The brand is versatile and inspirational. It drives people to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. This lifestyle is validated by the support of the top athletes in the world. One can replicate that by building customer loyalty to the brand through influential marketing. Everybody wants to feel a sense of connection to the world’s best athletes and their impressive work ethics. Nike allows for consumers to feel that sense of belonging, which in turn makes them loyal to the brand.
Can you share your ideas about how to create a lifestyle brand that people really love and are ‘crazy about’?
I somewhat answered this in the previous question, but I think that the vision and mission statement of the brand has to be something that people can relate to in their own lives. Respectfully Wild, Dezo’s tagline, is a lifestyle mantra that consumers can relate to. Life is all about the journey; we want our consumers to do well for themselves, work hard, respect themselves and their peers and take care of their bodies, but we also want our consumers to enjoy the journey. It’s important to have fun every once and while and Dezo allows consumers to not feel the need to sacrifice their productivity for their social lives.
What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a lifestyle brand? What can be done to avoid those errors?
The biggest mistake is when brands put themselves at the forefront of the narrative. In other words, if we think about the relationship between a company/brand and the consumer, the consumer should always be the main character and the forefront of the narrative. The question and issue that brands should be looking to solve is how is my company’s product or service going to improve or simplify the life of the consumer?
Let’s imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a lifestyle brand that they would like to develop. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?
Establish the issue or problem that you are looking to solve or simplify. Identify who your target audience is and something that is aspirational and inspirational to that demographic. Establish a mission statement and a vision for your company/brand to ultimately strive towards.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Identify your target audience/consumer.
Red Bull markets to the adrenaline junkies
Nike chases the athletes (of all levels)
Lulu Lemon markets towards the trendy consumer
2. Identify what your marketing messaging will be. Taglines should not only represent the lifestyle brand but also resonate with the consumer. It should be applicable in a multitude of ways. Most importantly, the tagline should be able to stand the test of time.
Nike: “Just Do It”
Apple: “Think Different”
Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs of Dunkin’”
Dezo: “Respectfully Wild”
3. Identify what problem your product or service is looking to solve
Apple: Easy to use, smart hardware and software that unlocks people’s creativity
McDonalds: Fast, easy, convenient food
Coca Cola: Happy, uplifting moments that stem from sharing delicious, refreshing products friends/family
4. Identify your brand voice. Who your speaking to can dictate how you should speak to them. Brands need to establish their own personalities in order to stand out. The brand voice is one of the most important ways to do this especially when it comes to marketing.
Ford: Edgy and tough
L’oreal: playful and upbeat
Old Spice: Manly and funny
5. Build a community of loyal customers by having a brand that people want to associate with
Applicable to every lifestyle brand
Super. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be for everybody to experience true, genuine happiness in life. Happiness that doesn’t rely on any other people, anything materialistic nor any other entity. Mental health is a huge issue in our world today and some people don’t know how to genuinely be happy without feeling like they need to rely on something else.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
If I could have a private breakfast or lunch with one person in the US it would be Mark Wahlberg. First of all, I’m a Boston native myself so having that connection is awesome. However, he’s more of an entrepreneur than he is a movie star. He has grown his own personal brand into so many different ventures and businesses; it’s inspiring. It’s not always common for big Hollywood movie stars to not only break into the business world but also to become really successful in it.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.