Discover Bryton Udy’s Brand Clarity Framework, which establishes 3 core pillars for creating a successful, memorable brand. This episode explores ways to simplify your messaging to facilitate sales, common branding mistakes small business make, and stories of businesses that are at the top of the branding game. Whether the brand is old, or new, these tips will help you look at it in a whole new way.
Bryton Udy is an entrepreneur, marketing and branding coach, and thought leader based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
In the winter of 2012, Bryton made a decision that would forever change the trajectory of his life. Having spent nearly his entire life chasing a dream he thought he wanted, becoming an NHL goalie, he decided it was time to move on. In 2019, he made a similar decision to move on from his second dream of becoming a country music star. After having multiple Top 40 singles at Country Radio, being nominated for multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, and playing in front of thousands at the largest country music festivals in the country, Bryton decided it was time to focus on his most important dream of all, being the best husband and father he could be. Although success was achieved in both hockey and music, there was something that was missing. His ability to live a life true to his authentic self.
Bryton has since dedicated his life to his third passion, business, and is focused on helping small businesses create cohesive brands and clear marketing strategies by leading his brand coaching company, At Heart Branding Co. When Bryton isn't working with his clients, he is spending time with his beautiful wife, Kimberly.
Connect with Bryton:
Morgan Berna is the host of Olympia Benefits’ podcast, The Small Business Mastermind. Her background is in marketing, journalism, and broadcasting. Passionate about small business, she aims to create content that inspires and educates listeners.
Morgan Berna: Quickly before we get into this episode, I wanted to announce that this marks one year of us producing The Small Business Mastermind. I want to give a huge shout-out to everybody that has been listening, engaging, sending comments to us and leaving reviews on your favorite podcast apps. It really does help a lot and I cannot wait to see where this next year takes us. Now, onto the episode.
Bryton Udy: - and it just makes that purchase process that much easier, so we kind of remove a lot of decision fatigue out of the equation to make sure that we can get the customer from the landing page to the shopping cart as quickly and efficiently as possible without creating too much confusion.
Morgan: You are listening to The Small Business Mastermind, a podcast created to help small businesses juggle business, finance, health, and wellness. I am your host Morgan Berna. The Small Business Mastermind is brought to you by Olympia Benefits. To learn how you can save on your health and dental costs, visit olympiabenefits.com.
Before we dive into today's topic. I want to give a shout-out to a listener who sent in some great feedback. I want to thank Sarah from Hendrickson Black, which is an accounting firm in Alberta. Their website is hendricksonblack.ca. Thank you, Sarah.
Hello and thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Small Business Mastermind. Today, we are talking to Bryton Udy all about branding and specifically how a small business can leverage branding to help them stand out in a crowded saturated marketplace. We also go over how a more complicated product or service can alter their branding to make it as simple and easy for a consumer to understand as possible. Overall, just strategies to help you take the customer along the journey to conversion.
This episode also includes some common mistakes businesses make in their branding and what Bryton would suggest to improve those and correct them. So, this is a great episode to just re-evaluate how you are branding your business, whether you are the business owner or an employee that works in this, it is going to be a good episode for you to just take an overall look. I hope you really enjoy this one. I will be checking in with you again at the end of the episode.
Morgan: Welcome, Bryton. Thank you so much for joining us on the Small Business Mastermind.
Bryton: Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it. It is going to be fun.
Morgan: Bryton Udy is an entrepreneur, marketing, and branding coach, and thought leader based in Calgary, Alberta. In the winter of 2012, Bryton made the decision that would forever change the trajectory of his life. Having spent nearly his entire life chasing a dream he thought he wanted, becoming an NHL goalie, he decided it was time to move on. In 2019, he made a similar decision to move on from his second dream of becoming a country music star. After having multiple top forty singles at country radio, being nominated for multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, and playing in front of thousands at the largest country music festivals in the country, Bryton decided it was time to focus on his most important dream of all, being the best husband and father he could be.
Although success was achieved in both hockey and music, there was something that was missing - his ability to live a life true to his authentic self. Bryton has since dedicated his life to his third passion, which is business, and is focused on helping small businesses create cohesive brands and clear marketing strategies by leading his brand coaching company, At Heart Branding Co. When Bryton is not working with his clients, he is spending time with his beautiful wife, Kimberly.
Morgan: So we are going to be talking all about branding today. But before we get into that you have a pretty interesting career history. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into branding?
Bryton: Yeah, absolutely. Like you said, my background and my story is a little unique in the sense that it was not always strictly down the marketing path for me growing up. I always wanted to be an NHL goalie. When I was a kid, that is what I thought I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was playing some junior hockey, I decided that that really was not the path anymore. The two things that I really wanted to try, and I was also passionate about, was music and business. The first two things I did when I decided I was going to hang up the skates was go to business school. So, I went to Mount Royal University.
The second thing I did was buy a ticket to the Canadian Country Music Awards, which were in Edmonton that year and I am in Calgary, so it is easy to to take the drive up to Edmonton and get my feet wet in the music industry. That is honestly where I focused most of my time for the last five or so years and was fortunate enough to get together with a really good friend and build a music duo called Leaving Thomas. We had some successive radio, had some top twenty hits, had a top forty at country radio, we were nominated for a couple Canadian Country Music Awards and stuff like that, toured around the country. All that time I was able to actually implement everything I was learning in University, in the marketing world, into my music and the project with Leaving Thomas. I was able to control all the branding, all the marketing, all the social media, all the content creation, and really apply what I was learning in the classroom into real life.
About a year ago or so, I had the same feeling with music that I did with hockey and decided it was time to move on from that. I wanted to be home a little bit more with my wife and as we look at having kids here soon. It was just kind of one of those things that wanted to prioritize that. But, honestly, now it is translating into helping other artists implement their branding. Also, now we have been working with some small businesses around the country and it is been a lot of fun to be able to use those skills and that experience and that knowledge in a new way - helping small businesses really optimize their marketing, and create consistent and effective brand strategies.
Morgan: Absolutely. I am not sure if I had mentioned this on our call, but we have a sort of common background in music where I used to run a music blog and do interviews-
Bryton: Right, yeah.
Morgan: -with all Canadian musicians and stuff. So it is kind of neat and from a lot of my experience with that, that is what made me more interested in marketing and more interested in the podcasting and all that.
Bryton: That is awesome. It is amazing, the synergies between the music world and the business world, especially from the industry side, especially with marketing. Half of the music industry is marketing. You have to make the music, it has to be good, but then you need to get it out and in front of people.
Morgan: If you cannot market, you can be the best singer, and it is impossible.
Bryton: Exactly. It is the same thing with this is you can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then it is just a trinket on the shelf.
Morgan: Absolutely. Before we dive into your more specific branding tips, could you give a couple examples of companies who either changed or edited their branding where you were able to see some significant results? Just give a little context for how this works.
Bryton: For sure. I will give two examples. The first one is, for me kind of firsthand, a small business out of Saskatoon. They sell AEDs. Those are the little defibrillators that are on the wall of the grocery stores, gyms, hockey arenas, all that kind of stuff. When somebody is giving somebody CPR because they are in cardiac arrest, having an AED actually helps. It skyrockets the chances of that person surviving if they are in cardiac arrest. Working with a company like that, it was amazing to be able to see that they are actually saving lives but that industry was so convoluted and confusing because the entire industry is communicating in a way that they are expecting their end consumer, the safety officer, that has been assigned that job in an office to know everything about AEDs. That is what their expectation was. We went in and did a complete rebrand from top to bottom.
We worked on their aesthetics to make sure that it was contemporary and forward-looking. I mean that industry is very far behind in that standpoint. We updated their logo, but then we updated their messaging and their story and simplify the way they communicated the products that they sold. Completely revamped the way they were positioning themselves and their products and then translated that into the website and their print collateral and everything else. It has been amazing, the difference, to see from where they were before. Almost being like a necessity somewhat of safety manager had to go find an AED and do all the research themselves to allowing us to do a lot of that work for them and making it an easier experience for them to go through that and that was the main objective for that client. It has been really cool to see AED Advantage. AED is kind of around the west and now we are really focusing on trying to push them nationwide and making that experiences as easy as possible. That is the kind of a first-hand experience.
On a grander scale, I think, one of best examples is McDonald's. It is surprisingly enough in the sense that when Super Size Me, the documentary, came out, they were public enemy number one. Everybody was trashing McDonald's and going, "They are the cause for obesity in the United States" and "How can we have so many obese people around? Because they are supersizing their food" and all this kind of stuff. For them to step back and do the brand that they did, where now they are more of a cafe to an extent like their branding themselves as McCafe. That is what a lot of their commercials and messaging is. Their drinks and their pastries and the more comfortable seating areas have really kind of started to change that dialogue. It is taken a while to turn that ship because it is such a big ship that they have to turn. Although they did not get rid of the golden arches and the aesthetic is relatively the same, the experience and the messaging and even some of the product offerings that they have shifted within the rebrand has definitely been a successful change from for my perspective from a branding side of things.
Morgan: And a lot of health messaging too, I see.
Bryton: Yeah, and to see that they have salads and stuff. I mean, obviously we have all heard the stories about how wonderfully calorie packed those salad dressings are. But, still it is how they are structuring, how they are positioning their food, I think, is definitely been a good shift for that company for sure.
Morgan: Yeah. That just made me think, this so off topic, but on SkipTheDishes and stuff. You see all the calories for places like McDonald's but not a lot of restaurants do it. I do not know if they have to do it, but I always thought that was interesting and I did not know how bad fries were. [laughs]
Bryton: [laughs] Yeah, we do not even want to talk about the McGriddle. That is one item that stayed on the menu and it is definitely not good for the arteries.
Morgan: So as a company, how do we establish who we are? I imagined this applies for a new company, but also a company that is been around for a while because you can operate your business for a long time without ever really diving into this super deep.
Morgan: How do we establish that and what does that consist of?
Bryton: Yeah, it is a really, really good question. It is one that I had thought about for a long time. I had always been so passionate about how a company or business can make you feel a certain way and really that is branding at its essence. When we are talking about how a small business can really establish who they are and be in control of that, I always like to use the example of envisioning your business like a person. If you think of what your business would say or how they would act or what their values are or how they would dress what they would look like, it is a lot easier to comprehend and understand how to really brand your business successfully.
To your question of how do you really establish who your business is, we have a framework called the Brain Clarity Framework that we use that establishes three core pillars of your brand from a person standpoint. The first part of that is the brand spirit and that is really the "why". The perfect customer, the superpower, the things that really make your business unique, and kind of the intangibles, and almost the desired reputation that you really want your business to have.
The second part of that framework is really translating that into a personality that a perfect customer can engage with. That is establishing a consistent voice, character traits. There is a intangible difference between a McDonald's, like we were just talking about, and a Wendy's. They feel different, they communicate differently on their social media channels. That is kind of the personality of the brand. Finally, that last pillar is really the story. That is your communication framework, your messaging framework, and really starting to invite your perfect customer into the story of the brand. For us, that is really the formula that we use to make sure that we can establish a consistent outcome of who a business really is and starts to personify the business as its own entity versus just an organization that punches out widgets or fulfill services and stuff like that.
Morgan: That just made me wonder, who establishes this persona? Would it typically come from the business owner? Would it come from a marketing team, an outside branding team?
Bryton: Yeah. I think it depends on the organization and especially it depends on its size. Me, personally, I love working with owner-operator businesses because they are their business. A lot of the time the business is an extension of themselves. Why I love working with them is, a lot of the times, even for me, I think everybody's the same way. If we are too close to something that we really love it is hard to see it from an objective perspective. Right? It is hard to see it in the way that everybody else sees it so that is where I come in and I am able to help coach them into establishing what those key messages are, establishing their "why" and really helped clarify those components that make up their brand. But, if you are talking about McDonald's, they have got a massive team internally that is going to steer that ship and they may even bring some external agency or what-have-you kind of into the mix to help steer that ship for sure.
Morgan: This also goes into things like, you said your "why", so what you want to be known for, what makes you different, those types of things as well?
Bryton: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. That is honestly the crux of it. If we get the "why" down for our business, a lot of the other pieces start to fall into place naturally. One of my favorite books of all time is called Man's Search for Meaning by a gentleman who was a holocaust survivor and a world renowned psychiatrist. The essence of his book is really that, if we have a "why" to live then we can bear with almost any "how". I think that plays into the business world perfectly in the sense of we are going to have times like COVID-19. We are going to have tough times that really push us to the limits. If we have a strong enough "why" for our business beyond monetary gain or anything like that and there is a deeper meaning to what we are doing each and every day, then it just makes it that much easier to push through those times and also makes it more worthwhile in the good times. Right? That is where we start and then once we have that clear "why" figured out, then we are able to start to put all the other pieces into place and really grow the brand beyond just a company that sells a product or provides a service.
Morgan: Yes, and on the episode that is going to have come out right before this one we talked to a social media expert, so it is really the expression of the brand at that point...
Bryton: Yeah, absolutely.
Morgan: The point she was making was that companies that have that really strong brand, when the hard times have happened, they are able to pivot and change their messaging online. Change maybe what they are offering without changing what the business is completely, they still seemed familiar to the clients, they still seemed recognizable. They just were like, "Okay, well we cannot do this anymore. We are going to shift." and it felt natural.
Bryton: Absolutely. That is the thing, I always say that the number one rule in branding is consistency. Even when there is changes and uncertainty in the marketplace or the world, if you can be familiar and consistent with how you are interacting with customers and how you are interacting with your audience, that just continues to build that desired reputation. That is really what branding is at the end of the day - were wanting to be known for something, were wanting to be known for how we treat customers, and the quality of our products and all of those things, but if we can do some small consistent actions on a daily basis from a communication standpoint, customer experience standpoint, we are definitely going to be a few steps ahead, if not more, from our competitors for sure.
Morgan: Absolutely. Let us talk then about how you find and express what makes your brand different from others in your space.
Bryton: This is really the superpower portion of the Brain Clarity Framework. That is within the spirit of the brand. I am sure many listeners have heard of Jim Collins' best-selling book, Good to Great, where he talks about this concept, the Hedgehog Concept. He explains it in the way that, if the lion is the king of the jungle, then the hedgehog is the king of the forest. No matter how cunning a snake or cutting a fox, the hedgehog is going to defend himself in the exact same way, which is rolling up into a spiky little ball. That is what the hedgehog does better than any other creature in the forest and we want to find what that is for the company.
We use a Venn Diagram to kind of answer a couple questions within that kind of vein. To really help kind of figure out what the client's perfect superpower is, but once you know what you do better than anybody else within your industry and you start to figure out why your brand is the right company to pursue the "why" that you have established earlier, then you are able to really start to differentiate yourself and lean into that one thing.
This kind of goes back to everything. In branding and marketing in particular, I think a lot of small businesses focus way too much time on the mechanics of the marketing. That is what time to post on social media, what type of content to post, how many posts you do a day, how many billboards that you have up. All the mechanical things that are tangible and you can actually check the box off is a lot of the focus, but we need to pull back a little bit and focus on the spirit, the meaning of what we are doing, why we are doing what we are doing, what type of value we are providing within the context of the social media post, what type of value are we providing within this type of promotion or sale - that needs to be first, then implement kind of through the mechanics. Understanding what the superpower of that organization, of that brand is, really helps amplify the mechanics and make sure that they are actually implemented properly if that makes sense.
Morgan: The companies I follow that I have developed this attachment with because they have such a strong personality. I do not really care how often they post and when they post in those types of things. It is more this connection that is been made right. I found that tricky just working in different companies over the years doing marketing. You can post and you can create all this content, but if it is not clear, what your business' mission is and who you are trying to help and all that, it kind of just feels like you are shouting into a void at a certain point.
Bryton: For sure. If you are just posting for the sake of posting, people can see through that. That is where I feel like we have so many messages, as business owners, thrown at us every single day. That you need to do this, you need to do that, you need to do this, you need to do that. It starts to become overwhelming and you start to go, "Well, I have to post on social media" You do not. There are so many businesses out there that do not have a social media account, they are doing really, really well, but they are doing some other things really, really great. If they had a social account, they could probably grow their audience even more. Needless to say, it is just a matter of figuring out what is right for the organization and making sure that the implementation of that brand is in line with the overall brand spirit and personality and making sure that that is all consistent.
Morgan: Yeah. On that note then, say we are at a company where we have a larger team working or even just a few different people, we maybe have the owner posting, and then they also have someone helping with social media or something, how do we keep this voice consistent across channels? What do you suggest there?
Bryton: It is a really good question.
Morgan: It is tricky.
Bryton: It is. Again, if we go back to the brand as a person example, every individual has its own voice. You have your own voice, I have my own voice, every listener has their own voice. We talk a certain way, our cadence is unique, the verbiage that we use is often unique. We want to make sure that the brand is speaking with one voice through every single channel. Which is hard, especially like you said, if we have somebody on social media, we have somebody else writing email campaigns, we have somebody else writing press releases. All of those mediums need to be the same voice.
What we use is called a voice filter. This is kind of where we start to translate from the spirit of the brand into the personality. Within that personality and within that voice filter, we just have a couple words in four boxes and those are character and persona, the tone of voice, the language used, and then the purpose of each communication. Every time something is created, we want to make sure that the character and the persona of the voice, of that communication is the same. Same with the tone of voice and the language should be consistently used. It is just a reference point to bounce back and go. If you have three people writing three different types of communications each week, they should be referring back to that voice filter each and every time they write something just as a final proof before they actually publish that to make sure that it is as consistent as possible. Obviously, it is not going to be perfect every time. But kind of having a guiding light for what that communication should sound like is again another great way to help build some consistency within the outbound marketing that a business is implementing.
Morgan: Yeah, that made me think of how a lot of the times we will just look at if it is good copy or if it is an interesting tweet or if the design for the Instagram graphic looks good, but that is a good point. Instead of just looking at, "Is this good?" It is instead, "Is this us? Is this our voice? Would this company say this?"
Bryton: Yeah, for sure. I think an exception to this would also be if you are writing an email campaign. If you have a lead generator campaign setup, I often recommend making sure that that is coming from an individual person. I mean we get bombarded by so many emails every single day that if it does not come across as personal and just does not come across as if it is coming from one person then we kind of tuned out and just mark as read and move on. But if it is to the recipient writing from first person and then signed by whoever's writing that communication whether it be the CEO or the marketing lead whatever that is, then that is the exception of okay, then that can be from that individual's voice. If it is just coming from the company and it is just coming from the brand, then that should be consistent across the board.
Morgan: Again, lots of the top players in a lot of industries, that is what they are doing. You can very clearly tell that it is them just by the way they write stuff. I mean like Wendy's tweets are so famous at this point.
Bryton: Exactly and that is why I brought them up in comparison to McDonald's. We are talking about fast food a lot and I am getting hungry.
Morgan: [laughs] It is around lunchtime.
Bryton: It is, it is. McDonald's versus and Wendy's. Wendy's is so satirical. They are so on edge and they are always poking fun at people. The Vegas Golden Knights and Carolina Hurricanes from the PNHL and the sports world. They are also really great at poking fun. If something is happening in the moment, their tweets are so engaging and hilarious and noteworthy. It is something that people start sharing and engaging with. It is definitely because of their unique voice that that they get some more recognition than other brands.
Morgan: There is companies I have bought from, say it is something new I am buying online, especially over this last year. I have been exploring online shopping a lot more. I was never that into it.
Bryton: We had no choice.
Morgan: It felt like a slippery slope and it is. [laughs]
Bryton: Yeah, it is. [laughs]
Morgan: That is all right. When I would try to buy from a new company, their branding was a big part of it for me because I would wonder, "If something goes wrong or if I do not receive my package or something is this going to be a company that is going to be friendly to deal with or are they gonna not really care?" That comes across a lot if they are heavy social media users or anything like that. I found that helps me make-
Bryton: That is a really good point. It is all those kind of weird subconscious boxes that we try and check off in our brains before we actually place an order, right? It is all the objections of, "Ehh, they do not look like a credible company, so I am not going to place an order and bounce off the page" or, "They do not look like they are going to have really great customer service if I have an issue." So you bounce off the page and go somewhere else. That is a lot of marketing. It is the unconscious stuff. That is where you need to definitely take a really close look at what that customer experience is like and make tweaks from a brand level to make sure that you kind of overcome all of those subconscious objections before somebody actually places an order for sure.
Morgan: Yeah. Are there some common mistakes you see done with branding?
Bryton: Yeah, there are. It is funny, I think, from a simple level in the aesthetic world. I think a lot a lot of times when people think about branding, they think about like their logos, their colors, their typography, or their fonts that they use. That is a part of it for sure. I see actually many businesses using different logos at the same time. You see one logo on one poster and then you actually get to an event and they use a different one and it just does not line up. They do not actually use consistent colors, so they are not using like the hex codes that are associated with that color everywhere. It is just they are going with yellow, but it is a different type of yellow everywhere. They are using different typefaces, right? So they are using like Helvetica on one poster, then you are using like Times New Roman on their website. That is an easy way to build some aesthetic consistency. So creating a consistent aesthetic is definitely one simple mistake that I think a lot of small businesses can overcome.
The other is kind of the third step in the framework, which is the story. I would highly recommend every small business owner read Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. It is an incredible book that really talks about how our brains are programmed to consume information. He talks about how our brains are really trying to help us survive and then thrive. They are trying to conserve calories. With over three thousand marketing messages that we are bombarded with every day, we need to make sure that we cut through the noise with our own marketing messages. The way that we do that is by inviting the customer into our story. Instead of you telling a story about how your grandpa started the company and you have taken it over, unfortunately, nobody cares, and really what we need to be talking about and building into our story is identifying and letting our perfect customers know that we know the problem that they are facing. That we have the solution to help them overcome that problem and that once they work with us that their life is going to be that much better.
That is really kind of the average arc of any story, any movie, any book. It is a perfect customer which is going to be the hero of the story, they are going to have a problem or an obstacle that they need to overcome, they made a guide that helps them overcome that obstacle and then obviously they kind of have their happy ending more often times than not. That is really the other mistake is that I see a lot of small businesses focusing too much on the, "We are so great." "Our company is wonderful." "This is why you should work with us", instead of going, "Hey, I understand where you are at" Exemplifying more empathy and then building out a communication based on inviting that perfect customer into that story.
Morgan: I think if most business owners or employees working in this field listed their favorite companies, a lot of them they would not know the origin story of any way. They would be like, "Oh, I like this company because it makes it easy to file my taxes or something."
Bryton: Exactly and we are selfish creatures. That is just how we are built is we need to look after number one, which is us. Obviously, we care about the people around us and our loved ones and wanting to make sure that our families are also surviving and thriving. But we do not have the capacity to care about how the company was started. If there is some great story kind of hidden underneath that and that is something that is delivered on a tertiary basis not even a secondary basis. It is like, "You are going to solve my problem in this way? Great." "It is going to make me feel this way? Great." "Oh, and that is the story of where you came from? Cool." But, the customer needs to be front and center, not your brand.
Morgan: Even when I go to new websites to check out new products. If I click the about page or the about us page, I usually expect to read something along the lines of, "This is the problem we saw and that is why we did it." If I just read a story about the company, I am usually like, "Ah. I am just looking to figure out what you are going to do for me."
Bryton: Yeah. It is very true. Websites are really great point to- That is nine times out of ten the first step in implementation that I work with clients. It is your home on the internet. What is interesting is that honestly that is actually probably another brand or small business mistake that I see from a marketing perspective is there is way too much riding on websites like way too much. We scan websites like we do not have the attention span to read a novel, every section of your website. Again, making sure that you identify very clearly what problem you solve, how you help your perfect customer. Clearly state that as your first header when somebody lands on your page. That is going to make a massive difference in the engagement rate on your website because they will actually know what you do in milliseconds of loading your website.
Morgan: Yeah, and that is actually a perfect segue to the next topic which is services or businesses where it is a little complicated what they do.
Morgan: Do you have suggestions or just some branding tips for them?
Morgan: I have seen this just over the years where it takes us paragraphs to explain what we do. [laughs]
Morgan: What would you do?
Bryton: What would I do? Honestly, it is a matter of just trying to dumb it down as much as possible. I think a lot of businesses think that customers need to know every single detail, but they do not. It is making sure that they know what problem you solve for them. They do not need to know the thirty-seven step process in which you get from a to z. They just need to know that you can do it. Especially with products and services, I think it is really a matter of just simplifying the communication. I think all of us business owners, experts have level of the curse of knowledge in the sense that if on a scale of one to ten, ten being the absolute expert and one being an alien that is never heard of anything before, we typically communicate at an eight or a seven with people that we are meeting or trying to sell products to or services to. We are conversing on a seven or an eight level, which is way too high. We honestly need to be at a two or three. We need to simplify all of that down. Using acronyms or industry jargon, all of those things make it way too confusing for that end user. Obviously, your product and your service is super great for so many reasons, but you need to narrow that down to make it really simple. AED Advantage is a perfect example where-
Morgan: Yeah, I was thinking that.
Bryton: -where we had a product. Reading these manuals, it is absolutely hilarious. It tells you how many joules of shock it is going to deliver to the heart and nobody in an emergency situation needs to know how many joules are going to be pumped into this person. All they need to know is that it is going to be done safely. That is all they need to know. That is where we actually have, over the last month, gone through the owner's manuals of these devices and created a quick start guide that that is the only thing that they are going to look at when they open it. It is bunch of pictures, a little bit of text to explain what the different features and buttons and indicators actually mean on the device. All the nitty-gritty fine print, we left out.
We even went down to creating kits based on industry, so that instead of an individual landing on a website feeling like they do not know what AED to pick or what package or carrying case to pick we have pre-picked it for them. If you are a farmer, this is the one you get. If you are a small business, this is the one you get. If you are a gym, this is the one you get. It just makes that purchase process that much easier. We kind of remove a lot of decision fatigue out of the equation to make sure that we can get the customer from the landing page to the shopping cart as quickly and efficiently as possible without creating too much confusion.
Morgan: Yeah, absolutely. That is something we have done actually with Olympia here because it can go into a lot of different topic when you start talking about health and taxes and money and all that. What we did was create different guides basically based on how much depth you need. You can download a beginner's guide that is everything you need as the individual gets you started. You can get an accountant's guide which you would send to your accountant so that they can get a full image of it. I have done that with other companies in the past to things like creating more complicated landing page or not depending on how much information that person needs-
Bryton: Exactly. If you have multiple segments, we always talk about the perfect customer within the At Heart kind of Brain Clarity Framework context. Obviously, we have multiple customers. At Heart has multiple customers in different segments, but being able to focus on one, you are going to, by default, get to the rest of the market. Like you said, if you have specific pages for specific customer segments, it is going to make it so much easier for those individuals to find the information that they are looking for. It makes a massive difference. That is awesome to hear that Olympia has been figuring that out. That is great.
Morgan: That was a fun thing coming to work here was seeing how much they have thought about simplifying everything from before I was here, so that is great. Because I think like that. I would be that kid who takes a class and I leave and I have two sentence summary for our lecture. [laughs] I am like, "All right. This is all I needed to know."
Bryton: Exactly. That is how our brains work, right? We only store information that is going to help survive and thrive. If we spend too many calories trying to figure out everything else then we are not going to retain that information and it is just not going to stick.
Morgan: Absolutely. How often would you recommend a company updates their branding? Is there a time frame you have in mind? Is there a metric you would look at something that is distinctive to indicate its time?
Bryton: It is a really, really good question because there really is no hard and fast answer. It is very dependent on the business, the industry, and also the amount of time that is gone by. In McDonald's case, the one that we have been coming back to, it was something that they needed to do right away. It was almost an emergency situation to an extent where they had so much bad PR going on that they needed to make a change. They obviously did not change their logo or anything like that, but they did change the strategy and approach that they took and the customer service approach that they took. That is one example. If there is a crisis situation and you really need to make a big change, then that is one.
Morgan: That is a reminder, too, more than just aesthetic. It is like look at all the components you have talked about today.
Bryton: Exactly. If your aesthetic is starting to feel a little bit outdated, like thinking about the brand like a person, fashion trends come in and out, and it is the exact same with design. If you think about your house, the white subway tile as a backsplash is so trendy right now, but will it be in ten years? Things change, aesthetic change, design changes. Pepsi went through a rebrand as well where their little squiggles, their red white and blue squiggles, went from straight horizontal to tilted and turned and made it look a little bit more contemporary. That is another time where you start to go, "Ah, we are a little bit outdated."
But honestly, I think the most important one is if you start getting feedback that your customer experience or your communications or your aesthetic is not really resonating with your perfect customers or you can start to feel that dissonance between what you think is working for your brand versus what is actually working for your brand or unfortunately what is not working, then it is probably time to step back and take a closer look at what steps you kind of need to take. Whether it is an aesthetic rebrand, whether it is the spirit personality, meaning systems, the story, the messaging. There is no timeline. Obviously, it is definitely just stepping back and making sure that you see the forest from above the trees and get a better idea of what the experience is like for the perfect customer. Because that is the most important person at the end of the day is your customer.
Morgan: It is a good reminder to look at more than the aesthetics and to look at the customer. Because for certain companies, they have old websites from like early 2000s that are still really working and it works for their audience and their customers and all that. It can be very easy to just see that, "Oh everyone is changing to this font now, so let us all jump on."
Bryton: Exactly. Honestly, the best example of a website that aesthetically is not really that pleasing, but is incredibly functional, is Amazon.
Bryton: It is not fancy. It is not super good looking, but it is built for conversion. It is built to make the experience of the customers' purchase incredibly simple. That is definitely something to think about. You could have the fanciest website on the street or on the web, but it was not functional and help your customer does not matter.
Morgan: I realized I do not even think I really know what Amazon looks like because I am just there to get something and-
Morgan: -and get it done. I do not even really pay attention, but now I am going to take a look.
Bryton: That is your expectation going on that site, right? That you are going to find what you are looking for. It is going to be a good price and it is going to be simple to check out and you are going to get it on the day. That is honestly- You know, Jeff Bezos says that he obsesses about the customer and not the competitors where I think it is very different for small businesses. They often are trying to reach the premier brand in their industry or in their market instead of really obsessing about the customer and making sure that their experience is credible.
Morgan: Those are great points. The last one I have for you is about this idea of authenticity in brands which has been a big buzzword over the last few years. I feel like through this last year that is come up a lot more at least over the social media space with people really wanting to support brands that are "authentic" and showing their values and all that. If you are a small business, there is just you and maybe a couple people working there. How do you portray this? And what does that really mean?
Bryton: Yeah. I honestly named my company At Heart because of I think a lot of authentic marketing. I wanted to make sure that our brand was helping other small businesses really build authentic brands and authentic marketing. Like you said, it has definitely been a buzzword recently. But for me, I think one of the biggest things, especially for small businesses, is just being comfortable with where you are right now and communicating that. I think a lot of small businesses feel like they have to pretend to be more than they are right now or they have to pretend that they are bigger than they are right now. To me, that is a really big mistake because you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to be relatable to your perfect audience and share the journey of where you are at.
I do not think there is anything wrong with being a one-person shop, that two-person shop and showing that and sharing that and going behind the scenes and going like, "This is what we are working on. This is the progress that we have made." As you begin to grow, your audience will begin to grow and they will see you from the beginning to, not the end, but you know, from the beginning to your growth stage. I think that is definitely the best way to kind of approach that is just to think about- It is just being confident with where you are and know that it is the journey. You are not going to go from start up to billion dollar valuation in overnight. It is just making sure that you just stay true to who you are, stay true to your brand spirit, stay true to your brand personality, and your story and make sure that you kind of have those things structured because it can be that much easier to be authentic and relatable.
Morgan: Yeah, being honest with where you are at is a great point. It makes me think of some tech products I have purchased in the past, where their website makes it looks like look like they are quite a big business and then when you start needing customer service or something, you realize it is like one person running it. That is totally fine, but it does give a different image and it just is a different experience.
Bryton: Yeah, and you almost feel lied to, right?
Bryton: That is not what you want. [laughs] That is not the outcome that you are looking for. You really want to make sure that you are just truthful, you are honest, you are positioning yourself as you are, and people will be a lot more understanding if you say that you are in the beginning stages, they are one of your first clients or your first customers, you better be able to help them and guide them through that. But also let them know that that is where you are. They are going to be that much more understanding and supportive of somebody who is trying to start something than trying to deal with like a big company that actually is not a big company.
Morgan: It sounds like a lot of this is coming down to simplicity and just being as simple as you can to make it as easy as possible for people who are just bombarded all day by marketing.
Bryton: Absolutely. Absolutely. I kind of developed a little acronym for trying to make sure that you are implementing an authentic brand and authentic marketing which is HEART. It is an acronym for HEART. Really the first part is being Honest, right? Just making sure that you are not lying in any communications. The E is for Empathy, so making sure that you are being empathetic with your customers. The A is Authentic, so what you are saying is really true to who you are and your spirit. R is Repeatable, so you want to create marketing messages that can be shared and other people can repeat the first time that they have heard it. T is for Transformational, so you are wanting to make sure that the marketing messages that you are sharing are explaining the transformation that your perfect customer is going to go through. Referring back to that definitely helps with the implementation. When you are on social media or creating a content campaign or whatever that is, just reflecting on that and going, "Are we hitting all of those pieces within the HEART Model that really kind of create a authentic piece of marketing for our brand?" It makes a big difference.
Morgan: I really like that. This has been really helpful. I hope that this gives our listeners a chance to maybe take a look at what they have been doing with their branding and give them some more levels to look at.
Morgan: Is there anything we have not hit on here that you would want to mention or do you feel like we got it?
Bryton: No, I think that is great. If anybody is interested in learning more about At Heart and the services that we provide, I am actually currently offering a free consultation call with anybody that is interested in digging a little bit deeper into their branding.
Morgan: That is great.
Bryton: They can find that on our website which is atheart.co. You can find us on social media and all that kind of stuff but everything is on our website at atheart.co.
Morgan: We will have all that linked in the podcast description.
Morgan: I want to thank you so much for all this, Bryton. That is really helpful. If anyone has any more questions for Bryton, look for those links and it sounds like you have got lots of experience to share with people.
Bryton: Absolutely, would love to chat. Thanks so much for having me, Morgan.
Morgan: Thank you very much.
Morgan: Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the Small Business Mastermind. I hope this one was helpful for you and gave you some ideas on ways you can maybe shake up the branding at your company or business. If you are looking to get in touch with Bryton, all of his contact information will be in the podcast description. As a reminder, if you would like to subscribe to the podcast which guarantees you are notified every time a new episode goes live, you can do so by visiting olympiabenefits.com/podcast. For anyone out there that is listening on Apple podcasts or Spotify, I would really appreciate if you took a moment to rate and review this podcast. That helps us get the podcast out there and be able to bring on great guests like Bryton. That is everything for this episode. Thank you again for tuning in and I will be talking with you again very soon.