Updated: Jan 22
Five years ago, my business partner Matt Thorne and I were kicking back drinking coffee, discussing life, ideas, businesses, and our values. During one such conversation, we happened to stumble upon a word that perfectly defines the type of people we strive to be.
This word was Brantrepreneur®.
In the years we’ve worked together we always identified ourselves as entrepreneurs, attempting to build multiple brands, some working and some have fizzled out or just plain not worked. We soon realised that the ones that took off had a common theme, even when the times were difficult or we faced what Seth Godin calls “The Dip” we were able to persist and push through was for one common factor, the ideas that stuck were purpose based, they were adding value by either informing, entertaining or inspiring others. They had a mission.
The differential in these ideas was that they would be a brand. They would have significance or impact on an audience. And this motivated us. It was more rewarding and kept us passionate.
It became increasingly obvious to us that we didn’t just want to build any brand. We wanted to build brands that changed the world. Our passion is to work with others that share the same ambition — to influence culture and positively impact the universe. If this sound like you? Well, then you’re a Brandtrepreneur.
That’s the core difference between an entrepreneur and a Brantrepreneur. An entrepreneur builds a business. A Brantrepreneur builds a brand. A brand has a purpose, a defined mission, strives for change, brings people together and enhances lives.
Today’s generation seek out brands with values, it is no longer enough to just sell a product or service, entrepreneurs and businesses of the future need to think like a brand. They need to tell a meaningful story, inspire and entertain. Switched on brands understand this. They don’t put their energy into responding to the future, but instead create it. Brandtrepreneurial thinking is a mindset shift. It’s disruptive, empowering and forces you to rethink your brand’s role and realise it’s potential.
For example take Nikes brand role, it doesn’t just sell you trainers it sells you inspiration, a mantra, a call action to “just do it”. It also backs up its values by taking action and standing for something, for example their powerful 2018 30th anniversary campaign featuring NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 made a personal stance for his political views during a game and was made a free agent by his team and sued the NFL for his treatment in 2017.
Nike decided to put the American football player front and center of their biggest ad campaign with the words “Believe in something, even if it means losing everything” sending a message to the world.
Nike took a huge risk and there was large backlash, but in a world where consumers disappear and brand loyalty is down you are better to have fewer passionate brand fans then people who ignore you.
In today’s world, a brand must take a stand – even if it means alienating some of its customers – in order to not only to remain relevant but to capture consumers’ attention.
During our time building our social marketing agency, Disrupt, we have been lucky enough to work with some incredible people. We found time and time again that the work we loved and excelled in was collaborating with the brands that had purpose and a story. These brands believed, like us, in adding value to their customers, standing for something and in more than just a sale— this fast became the foundation to our belief system and key to the values we live and work by.
Since the acquisition of our agency last year, we felt there was no greater time than now to create content around what we believe in and use our experience to empower other. Providing those that want to create better brands — personal, product or service — with the insights, tools and learnings they need to action their potential, follow their passions and pursue building brands that impact the world.
As part of Brandtrepreneur, Matt and I are going to continue our coffee fuelled conversations but this time with the people who are changing the world, with incredible brand stories of how they built their business. We are also documenting our new startup, from idea to making it real, revealing what it takes to try it and make a brand and giving away all the lessons and tip and tricks as we go.
You can check out the first few episodes on the links below and also hear about our latest challenge to try and launch our startup and acquire our first customer in the next 66 days!
Follow the madness and find out more at www.brandtrepreneur.co !