Each episode of The Brand Shepherd Podcast focuses on a topic connected to or part of creating positive, memorable brand experiences.
Brand Shepherd is a brand experience agency meaning, while Brand Development is our broad expertise, our work is about crafting how your brand will be experienced.
We use our Vibe, Tribe, and Why™ approach to give your brand's Tribe positive, memorable experiences.
This podcast is hosted by Brand Shepherd's managing partner, Daniel Crask.
The Unlikely Brand That Is Growing A Thriving Tribe
There’s a brand of products I am particularly impressed with because of how obsessed they are with their customer experience.
Their official Facebook Group is the unlikely means by which they serve their customers, and they do it so masterfully, I have to tell you about it because I believe this brand is showing every other product brand out there that an energized, active, loyal Tribe of customers is still possible today.
This brand uses their Facebook group to…
Have an ongoing, open dialogue with customers every hour of the day and night.
Topics range from how their products are used in everyday life, to how their products fit into their niche interests, birthdays, birth announcements, vacations, shipping challenges, order questions, sales questions.
Handle customer service initiation questions about products, orders, and shipping out in the open, for all to see.
Get new product ideas from customers – at least once per day!
Announce upcoming new products, promos, and flash sales.
So, what’s the product that people are so engaged in?
You read that right.
112,000+ people – 90% of which are men – are engaged in a Facebook group for a flashlight brand.
As in 250+ posts per day…10,000 posts per month…313 new group members last week…engaged.
The brand is Olight.
Olight is a global brand estimated to be $80mil/year that designs, manufactures, and expertly sells flashlights to extremely devoted customers around the world.
Listen to this episode for an assessment of how Olight uses Facebook Groups to grow their thriving Tribe.
You can also read the complimentary blog post here: https://brandshepherd.com/the-unlikely-brand-that-is-growing-a-thriving-tribe/
Refocused: How We Are Correcting Our Pandemic Pivot • The Brand Shepherd Podcast
by Daniel Crask, Managing Partner & Co-Owner, Brand Shepherd
In March 2019, after a long journey and a fantastic book, we announced that we were going to embrace who we authentically are: A product-focused branding agency.
For the rest of 2019 and all of 2020, that pivot reverbed into the most profitable, enjoyable stretch of work we have ever had.
But then COVID happened.
And then the government-mandated lockdowns happened.
A Pandemic Pivot
Out of fear, a decision was made by me – Daniel Crask, managing partner and co-owner of Brand Shepherd – to retreat from the product pivot, and go back to being focused on no brand type in particular. A return to "all are welcome."
What I was witnessing at the time was…
Our longtime retainer accounts were drastically cutting budgets because they were the first to feel the supply chain chaos.
We were losing clients due to lockdowns.
I believed that broadening our appeal was the best thing to do.
This has proved to be the most disastrous decision in our business' history, and I'm here to talk candidly about it in this episode of the podcast.
2021 has been a year of frustration. In a very general sense, "frustration" is the overarching theme of everything in business.
Yet what I have been frustrated with most is how to talk about Brand Shepherd.
Over and over, with the Brand Shepherd team, I tried to figure it out. Lots of experimentation with our Pandemic Pivot, yet nothing resonated within or with prospective clients.
I even thought we had to embrace the hyper-local economy.
We tried going all-in with being a neighborhood agency. Once again, a flop.
Something was missing, not aligned with our Why, our true brand.
But while my family and I were at a Church service recently, it hit me like a wave washing over me: The problem is that I abandoned what we love…Product Brands.
This explains everything.
When we dropped our focus on products, people no longer had something to grab onto in terms of what we do for their brand.
Worse, we were attracting a tribe of brands that were a mismatch.
Yet during this stretch of time, we still attracted product brands and those relationships remain intact and are thriving.
In fact, despite a messy Pandemic Pivot, we still helped bring 41 products to market and 17 more are in development as I write this.
So I am being open about all of this, and embracing the lessons learned as we return to our roots: Brand Shepherd is a product-obsessed creative agency.
Listen to this episode and hear all about it.
Then, if you are part of a brand that makes a product, now would be a great time to work with us because we're in a very generous state of mind as we turn away service-only brands, and embrace the work with products we love so much.
Brands That Make A Stand • Interview with Michael Graber • The Brand Shepherd Podcast
"Good" brands can be polarizing, but the market winners know the immense value created take making a stand for their ethics. Consumers are demanding action and smart companies know they prosper better than their brand is aligned to a purpose and purpose is aligned to their actions at every level.
Yet, one might ask, "How would my brand even begin to start this change?"
That is precisely what we delve into in this jam-packed conversation.
Here are some of the points we cover in today's episode:
Old model of business and branding.
Shifts into the emerging era.
Examples of purposeful brands and companies that have made a purposeful transformation.
How you can initiate this conversation at your organization—benefits include employee retention and engagement, more brand loyalty, increased revenue, and market share.
Interview with "Warrior Entrepreneur" author, Zachary Green • The Brand Shepherd Podcast
Zachary Green's new book, Warrior Entrepreneur, is a book written for the times we live and work in due to the continued challenges and fallout from COVID-19.
Every business is experiencing some kind of challenge due to the pandemic and the responses to it. Warrior Entrepreneur is a book that speaks to the entrepreneurs who are making their way through these challenging times and reminds them (us!) that they (we!) are not alone – that there are myriad lessons to be learned from fellow warriors.
This was a conversation that wasted no time getting into some heavy topics like the seasons of trials - what the book calls Crucibles - entrepreneurs face, what it means to "never give up," and how to wield fear in the favor of the true Warrior Entrepreneur.
Zachary is not an aloof author writing from the sidelines. He's a fellow entrepreneur in the trenches with us and offers us insights and hope from the perspective of the Warrior Entrepreneur.
Innovation & Authenticity: Friends or Foes?
Innovation! is the rallying cry of brands, businesses, orgs, and causes today.
One cannot flick through their LinkedIn feed more than a few posts without seeing some kind of content about Innovation.
At the same time, our culture - especially consumer culture - wants authenticity.
Yet that which is authentic tends to come from longevity: doing the same thing or making the same thing the same way, reliably, for a long time.
So there should be tension between innovation and authenticity, right? The classic tension between the old and the new.
To sort this out, Jon Hirst is our guest on the Brand Shepherd Podcast.
Jon is the Chief Innovation Officer for SIL International, an org that "works with local communities to develop language solutions that expand possibilities for a better life."
Did you know that Jon and his team work with 7,000+ languages worldwide and that roughly every 40 days a language dies with the deaths of great-grandparents? So innovation is the tip of the spear for SIL and Jon has the kind of perspective to help us navigate how Innovation and Authenticity work together in a very pragmatic way.
This episode is packed with practical tasks you can do to implement an innovation strategy for your brand, business, org, or cause so be ready to take plenty of notes.
Want to be a guest on the Brand Shepherd Podcast? Let's chat.
2020 Year In Review
Below are the notes used for the 2020 Year In Review podcast episode. The best way to understand these points is via the audio podcast which you can listen to through the player above or on your favorite podcast app.
2020 Year In Review
ECommerce wins big.
Brands saw lockdowns first as an opportunity.
Post-POTUS election, they braced for tax hikes.
Startups, startups, startups!
Normalization of the Brand Shepherd model.
Three trends to watch for in 2021:
Buying convenience gets top priority, even for B2B. Ecomm, low/no-touch, tech — it’s all on the table.
The decentralized brand has footing, now it thrives both products/services and teams.
Less is more for website copy, packaging copy, and UX microcopy. The SEO mix now requires an expert. No longer a DIY addendum.
How 2020 changed Brand Shepherd
Honed focus on products paid off big time. They benefitted from working with us from idea development to production to marketing. Fast and efficient.
Yet we welcomed back former clients who don’t have products because the pandemic made us valuable.
Onward is our mantra moving forward into 2021 and beyond. Focus on brand and if that means services need our help, we’re here.
Onward. It’s where we go from here.