Fabian Geyrhalter builds a brand platform in one very long day


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By Rob Meyerson and How Brands Are Built. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Fabian Geyrhalter is the principal and founder of FINIEN, a Los Angeles-based branding agency. Fabian's also a prolific writer; you can find articles he's authored in Forbes, Inc., The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, and Mashable. He's also written two books: How to Launch a Brand, and his latest, Bigger Than This: How to Turn Any Venture Into an Admired Brand.

Fabian and I talked about his books, his agency, and the approach he uses with some clients to build out an entire brand platform from scratch in one very long day. We started off talking about his background as a designer and how it contributes to his work. He feels it helps him imagine the strategy coming to life in the real world-visually and verbally-which puts him "a couple of steps ahead."

After talking a little about the types of clients FINIEN helps, we got to a unique aspect of Fabian's process: the one-day strategy intensive. Throughout the day, he takes his clients through a series of exercises. As they work, they complete an interactive PDF on screen. At the end of the day, the PDF contains all the key elements of the brand platform: positioning, core values, philosophy, personality, mission, vision, target, and competitors.

"I figured, if I worked with startups, they are founders, they are entrepreneurs, they think very much like me; they want to get to the heart of their brands very quickly, and they don't have the time. Usually, literally, they don't have the time. They need to launch in a couple of weeks from now. Doing a couple-of-week exercise to talk about brand purpose, brand philosophy, and positioning is not going to happen with them." - Fabian Geyrhalter

Later in his process, he creates the brand's identity along with a variety of touchpoints needed to launch, which he refers to as the "brand atmosphere."

Next, we talked about Fabian's new book, Bigger Than This. He was inspired by brands like TOMS, which "are absolutely commodity-type products," yet consumers fall in love with them. He explored this phenomenon further, looking at many similar cases, and distilled eight "commodity brand traits." The book outlines each trait along with an example and some practical recommendations.

As usual, we wrapped up the conversation with some book recommendations and advice for junior people in the industry.

To learn more about Fabian, his branding agency, and his books, visit the FINIEN website. (Also, here's a hint: You can buy his books on Amazon, but if you want a signed copy of Bigger Than This, buy it through his website.)

28 episodes