How Entrepreneurs Merge Storytelling & Branding (S12E5)

What you’ll see in this episode

This episode is packed with action! A full day’s lesson, the ensuing challenge, some enlightening consults, and the third Blox-Off showdown. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.

It’s not just about the product…

We start Day 3 with the Bloxers preparing for the day ahead, whether through breakfast, meditation, or conversation, as they get their heads in the game. Today’s lesson focuses on storytelling and branding, crucial skills for every entrepreneur to overcome the challenges of the “Presenter’s Problem.” It's not just about the product but the compelling story behind it. The Bloxers share their key takeaways from the lesson before diving into the day’s challenge: a three-minute pitch on their branding strategy. 

Post-challenge, we go deeper into each contestant's brand during their consult sessions, offering valuable insights for both viewers and participants. 

Then comes the highly anticipated third Blox-Off! The excitement is out of control as contestants face rapid-fire questions about their brands. After a fierce battle and some close calculations, the winner is announced, with an unexpected twist—four jersey winners are named instead of three.

Branding & Storytelling For Startups

Pitching is commonly associated with fundraising and popular TV shows like Shark Tank. However, pitching is not limited to these scenarios. It occurs when dealing with banks, recruiting team members, negotiating lease rates, and collaborating with supply chain partners - essentially, you’re pitching yourself all the time. Despite the unpredictable nature of pitching, effective preparation involves understanding how people perceive new ideas and tailoring our stories to align with their perspectives. As founders, we possess deep knowledge and expertise in our business or solution, but this advantage can become a weakness if we fail to communicate effectively to non-experts. That’s where the Idea Introduction Pattern comes in, to help founders with effective branding and storytelling. 

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  1. The filtering system of the crocodile brain has a very shortsighted view of the world. Anything that is not a crisis it tries to mark as “spam.”
  2. Context matters. You DO NOT get to choose the context. The context chooses you. And if you’re not prepared, or capable, of handling the context - force-feeding your agenda will make you look stupid and hard to work with. 
  3. Perception and reputation are where decisions are actually being made. Do I like or trust this business? Do I feel like they could actually solve my problem? Do they match my values and ethos? Is buying from them too risky? A good reputation assuages most questions like this.
  4. Branding is at the root of how we change our reputations. Branding + classical conditioning + patience = reputation management.
  5. We must have a consistent brand voice, personality, look, and overall vibe or else we’ll be diluting our brand and not influencing our reputation.

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Meet The Judges

Casie Goldstein
Casie Goldstein
Owner, All Paws Retreat - Columbus, Ohio

Casie Goldstein is the innovative founder and owner of All Paws Retreat, a premier facility offering dog daycare, boarding, grooming, training, and nutrition coaching for pups of all sizes, shapes, and breeds. With a strong commitment to the safety and overall health of every dog, Casie ensures that both pets and their owners receive top-notch care through 24/7 online access, live webcams, detailed report cards, and more. As a seasoned business professional, Casie has a proven track record of identifying consumer needs, enhancing customer experiences, and leading process improvements to drive long-lasting solutions. She excels in cultivating lasting relationships, developing comprehensive strategies, and executing measurable campaigns to meet and exceed goals. A self-starter with a passion for continuous learning and innovative thinking, Casie consistently pushes the boundaries to develop new skill sets and elevate the pet care industry.

Dr. Universe Konadu
Dr. Universe Konadu
CEO, Universe Konadu - Jersey City, NJ

Dr. Universe Konadu, raised in the inner city of Dallas, TX, as the youngest daughter of a hardworking single mother, experienced the challenges of being a latch-key child. The idle time and lack of supervision led to academic and personal struggles, but her introduction to the arts, particularly spoken-word poetry, became a transformative force in her life. In 2008, driven by intuition and determination, she moved to New York City with just $22 and a dream. Overcoming numerous challenges, Dr. Konadu expanded her work from Texas to the tri-state area, marking the 10th year of her business. Passionate about making a difference, she uses creative arts to empower girls and women, helping them heal their past and turn their pain into personal power. Her vision is to inspire change and empower others to re-imagine their life's trajectory.

Emily June Wilcox
Emily June Wilcox
CEO at Emily Wilcox Coaching - Los Angeles, CA

Emily June Wilcox is a multi 7-figure CEO and Business Coach, Money & Business Mentor, and Podcaster, as well as the creator of Money Wound Medicine™. She is dedicated to helping women walk the joyous path to millions while being a mother of two. Emily has built two 7-figure businesses and a multi 6-figure business, all while raising two children and working just 20 hours a week—a feat accomplished through team building and healing her money wounds. Using her proven Money Wound Medicine™ healing program and personalized, hands-on business coaching, she enables clients to scale their businesses quickly while working less and enjoying life more. Emily has extensive experience with various business models and growth strategies and is an expert in energetics, using her intuition to guide clients into alignment. She has coached over 100 entrepreneurs to heal their money wounds, balance masculine and feminine energy, and align with the joyous path of conscious wealth. Her mission is to help women entrepreneurs build massive wealth while truly enjoying the present moment.

Henry Melton
Henry Melton
Owner/Operator at HM Safety Certifications - Las Vegas, NV

Henry “Hank” Melton is an American Red Cross LGIT and WSIT, and the Owner and Operator of HM Safety. As an American Red Cross Instructor and Instructor Trainer, he brings a rich background in education, communication, and recreation, serving Southern Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California. Henry is also a seasoned professional in hospitality operations management, with extensive experience in luxury resorts, restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels. His diverse expertise ensures top-tier safety training and operational excellence across various high-end service industries.

Luke Wade
Luke Wade
Owner, KC Crew and MediaAlly - Kansas City, MO

Luke, an energetic and adventurous individual who’s always on the lookout for exciting new experiences in his city, started his business when he was frustrated by the lack of engaging activities and quality events. What began as a small initiative has blossomed into an incredible success story, with over 51,000 participants engaged in diverse activities like Sand Volleyball, Basketball, Pickleball, Cornhole, kickball, softball, and more, spanning the entire city. He also orchestrated one-of-a-kind events such as a Grilled Cheese Festival, an Underachiever’s Run, and a Zombie Crawl, attracting a staggering 16,000 attendees. These endeavors not only allowed Luke to leave his conventional job five years ago but also enabled him to foster a thriving, interconnected community. His once-small initiative now boasts four full-time employees, 40 part-time officials, and an office that has transformed into a bustling arena. Driven by his desire to make a positive impact, Luke is committed to helping others cultivate vibrant in-person and virtual communities. His dedication has earned him numerous accolades, including the 2018 25 under 25 Award from Thinking Bigger Business Media, the 2017 Innovation Partnership Program award, the 2017 Social Sports Industry Association Product Innovation Award, the 2016 Social Media Club Trailblazer of the Year Award, the 2014 Mayor Sly James’ Challenge Cabinet recognition, the 2014 Rising Star Award from NonProfit Connect, and the 2013 Urban Hero Award from the Downtown Council.

Michael Tate
Michael Tate
Founder & COO, Infinite Composites Technologies - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Michael Tate is the founder of Infinite Composites Technologies and a dedicated entrepreneur passionate about manufacturing and technology development. With a strong focus on sales, marketing, business strategy, and operational efficiency, Michael has extensive experience in securing funding through federal, state, and private grant institutions, as well as through commercial and government sales and private investments. His specialties include business development, operational structuring, quality assurance, communication strategy, fundraising, and product development. Michael excels in developing leads, nurturing relationships, and closing deals, while also organizing and developing processes to meet quality management standards. He successfully developed an AS9100D/ISO 9001:2015 quality management system from scratch and is adept at verbal and written communication across various marketing platforms. Additionally, he has a proven track record in capturing private and state grant funds, securing SBIR/STTR awards, and assisting with private capital raises involving venture capitalists and angel investors. Michael's expertise extends to start-up consulting, business model development, and overall business strategy, making him a versatile leader in the field.

Paul O’Brien
Paul O’Brien
CEO, MediaTech Ventures - Austin, TX

Paul O'Brien, known in the industry as SEO'Brien, is an esteemed online technology and startup veteran with a rich background in the search industry. Currently, he plays a pivotal role in Venture Capital Economic Development, supporting investment in entrepreneurs. Paul's passion for media innovation and investment led him to establish MediaTech Ventures, a venture development group focused on the media industry. As a former Venture Partner at Meaningful Ventures, he also founded and directs Funded House and serves as the Director of Founder Institute for Texas. With a seasoned marketing career that began at Yahoo! and HP, Paul has been instrumental in the early growth of notable startups such as (acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (acquired by eBay's StubHub), and MicroVentures (Venture Capital). Despite his current focus, he possesses a strong technical background, having built websites in the '90s and continuing to produce content at Recognized as an influential voice in the industry, Paul was featured in the book "Online Marketing Heroes" and frequently speaks at startup and media conferences, sharing his insights and expertise.

Peter Busch
Peter Busch
Chief Strategic Officer, Flawless - Austin, TX

Peter Busch brings over 20 years of industry experience in film production, technology growth stage and go-to-market. He started his career in traditional 2D and 3D animation with Warner Bros. and Paramount respectively. He previously worked with computer vision company Image Metrics in 2007, where he was instrumental in the initial adoption of its facial animation technology, used in the Academy Award winner The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Nominated in 2015, for a Scientific and Technical Academy award, Busch’s other notable accolades include Kong vs Godzilla, Horizon, Call of Duty, Madden, FIFA, Halo, and Destiny. Peter helped co-found facial animation B2B Faceware Technologies in 2012, helping expand its reach to nearly 4,000 studios in 90 countries around the world. The company’s technology was used on numerous projects in Film, TV, AAA Games, VR, AR, and MR before its acquisition by Facebank, Inc. in 2021. Known for his adeptness in crafting brand strategies, shaping corporate vision, orchestrating product releases, and implementing effective growth plans, Peter has also mastered press and marketing strategies. With a history of managing teams ranging from 5 to 45, he has achieved remarkable results, boasting over 170% revenue growth since 2019. Armed with a unique blend of artistic appreciation and technical prowess, he successfully marketed tech products, tools, and services to the realms of AAA Gaming, CG Animation, VFX, and Academia, fostering relationships with over 250 key industry accounts. Renowned as a speaker, Peter has delivered keynote presentations at international conferences and earned two SciTech Academy Award nominations, along with securing adoption by major entertainment franchises. Peter’s influence has extended globally, orchestrating B2B growth across 3,500 studios and academic institutions in 85 countries, culminating in an 8-figure exit collaboration with Facebank, Inc. in April 2021.

Tiffany Forsberg
Tiffany Forsberg
VP of Marketing and Co-Owner, Beyond Gourmet - Dallas, TX

Tiffany Forsberg is the VP of Marketing and Co-Owner of Beyond Gourmet, bringing over 25 years of luxury sales and marketing experience in the fashion and food industries. She leads the promotion of gourmet specialty items to top chefs, catering companies, and major food distributors nationwide. Committed to excellence in customer service, product quality, pricing, and education, Tiffany ensures that Beyond Gourmet offers food education sessions and menu consultations to chefs, as well as training for major food companies' sales teams. Leveraging her expertise in social media marketing, creative direction, and social networking, she enhances the brand's awareness and reach. Additionally, Tiffany pursues her passion for fashion and film as the founder of Tiffany Forsberg, a company specializing in jewelry design, celebrity styling, and film-TV production.

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