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5 Things You Need To Do Build A Trusted And Beloved Brand, with Brandon Fishman and Chaya Weiner

Branding is making someone aware of you and making them feel good about consuming your product. It is showing them what you stand for and why. Advertising is more “direct response.” You need to convince the customer that something is missing in their life and your product will fill that void. You need to show […]


Branding is making someone aware of you and making them feel good about consuming your product. It is showing them what you stand for and why. Advertising is more “direct response.” You need to convince the customer that something is missing in their life and your product will fill that void. You need to show them how your product will improve their life.

As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Brandon Fishman. Brandon is the CEO of VitaCup, maker of the first-to-market line of vitamin-infused coffees and teas. Brandon is a serial entrepreneur with an impressive track record of success. He has been at the helm of two previous successful startups, one of which is Internet Marketing Inc., which grew to a 100-person Digital Marketing agency representing many Fortune 500 brands. He is originally from Philadelphia, PA, studied at Emory University for undergrad and the University of San Diego for his Masters, and now resides in San Diego, CA, where VitaCup is headquartered.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I started and ran a digital marketing agency for 12 years. I worked with hundreds of brands across almost every industry. I loved the diversity in the work but I hated devoting small pieces of my time to different brands. I knew that if I devoted all my time to one brand that I could make that brand insanely successful and that is why I started VitaCup. No one forgets their coffee but everyone forgets their vitamins and I wanted a better for you product that would help people in their daily lives.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I once spelled the name of a client wrong and it was the first slide in a major presentation. My sales guy also had 3 mis-spellings in the first paragraph of the proposal. I recommend checking your work. That pitch didn’t go well☺

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We stand out because we were able to gain so much traction so quickly. I walked into a major retail pitch and they almost wrote us off because we were a brand new brand. I showed them that we acquired 300,000 customers in our first year and more people were talking about us online than major coffee brands that have been around for 50 years. That will get someone’s attention.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes I am and the specific project is a secret but it will transform the way you start your day.

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Branding is making someone aware of you and making them feel good about consuming your product. It is showing them what you stand for and why. Advertising is more “direct response.” You need to convince the customer that something is missing in their life and your product will fill that void. You need to show them how your product will improve their life.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

Advertising will get people to buy your product once but without a brand they will never buy it again!

Can you share 5 strategies that a small company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.

– Make your customers feel special- We send surprise and delight gifts like mugs to our top customers with thank you notes. It works!

– Engage with customers on social media- We do Instagram lives each month and we bring customers into our live feeds. They love it and we give away product on the lives. People go crazy for it

– Have good customer service- When we started we had a poor CS team. Once we upgraded it we saw our customer increase increase through the roof

– Media placements on large and reputable websites- Constantly seeing your product on sites they go to everyday will make them feel better about your brand. This is why we do specific placements on certain sites that match our demographics

– Say Thank you!- We thank all of our customers and are in the process of rolling our customized thank you emails. It is small but it goes a long way.

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

A large role. It is how we engage with our customers. We also bring them into our live feeds. It is how we build trust.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Workout, stay healthy. A healthy body and mind is needed. Take breaks at lunch to workout. It helps me.

You are a person of great influence. 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. 🙂

I would encourage everyone to do 30 minutes of cardio 3 days a week. A healthy heart brings a healthy mind.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“ Let everyone that says no just fuel you even more.” I got turned down by 80 investors for this company. Every time someone said no I was more motivated.

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Steve Jobs if he was still alive. He is the best innovator of all time and I would love to pick his brain on what people want.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@brandonfishman on twitter

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

About the author:

Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click here to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.

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