Updated: Feb 26, 2022
What is the Fangled Group?
Fangled group is a strategy first, global marketing and sales consulting firm.
What kind of problem would I have if I need you?
We help companies who are stuck and need to rethink who they are, or they are a larger company who wants to create a global footprint but doesn't know which stones to step on to cross the creek without getting their feet wet. We become part of their organisation to get them either to the next level, out of a ditch, or growing into a global player.
The core problem at the heart of most stuck businesses are the leaders who mistake themselves for the brand as opposed to recognising who their customers really are and understanding how the world sees them as a brand. Think of it this way, if you're going to open a music store, are you going to only sell what you like, or are you going to put stuff on the shelf that you don't like because you know the market will buy it? You need to know what your market wants and deliver it to them, not create a brand for your own interests.
What is Branding?
I’ve gone into meetings before and when they find out we help with their branding they say, “Oh, you guys are branding experts. Can your team make us a logo?” The logo represents your brand, but it’s not your brand. It is the last step of really understanding who you are and what you offer the marketplace.
Not only do you need to define your core brand and what it means to the market, the brand is about who your company is at its core. At Fangled we convert every touch point to reflect our brand so that it’s not just the folks who work with us but it’s also those who do business with us who champion our brand to the marketplace.
A contractor comes to the premises to do some work, the guy cutting the grass around the parking lot, the cleaning crew, the people who serve you in the cafeteria, the guy who stocks the vending machines, all of these people who your brand touches should be advocates for your brand. When I worked in the steel drum industry, the guy who came to service our beverage machine would then go to a chemical company to service their beverage machine. While there, he would say, “Oh you guys use steel drums, do you know these guys?” Next thing you know we are getting a call from the chemical company. Do you think we treated the beverage guy like the greatest customer in the world? You better believe it. He became an advocate for our brand.
The best example of brand advocates are in the luxury industry. How many people out there are brand advocates for Ferrari but will never own one in their life time? Many women talk about an expensive Birkin bag, when 99% of the world can’t afford one, but because they are followers and advocates the bag becomes more valuable.
Then there are the brands that trigger memories and those feelings of watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. My wife and I started streaming some old TV shows from the 70s, like the Waltons. It really is well made television and the theme music of the show, the first time I heard that melody, it put me right back into that place as a kid watching it for the first time. It’s such a strong anchor to their brand and what that show was about because I heard it so many times as a kid. I recognise it as the Waltons and the “Good night John Boy.” We ‘d sit there watching it and when the show was over, it was out bedtime. It was a part of our routine.
Facebook, Influencers, and Consultants
Remember the early years of Facebook, you could wave and poke somebody. That all disappeared and now its morphed into what it is. They created Meta trying to distract us from all the bad things and start over with good intentions.
Question: We met on social media, on LinkedIn, and before we started recording this episode we were talking about people pretending that everything is great when it isn’t or they are trying to be influencers and its failing. Do you think brands are catching on to how one viral post really doesn’t do too much for the long term success of their brand?
I don’t think the consumer space has caught on to what BS a lot of the influencer stuff is out there. In the commercial space, like LinkedIn, people are starting to recognise that the Emperor has no clothes. It’s been my experience that the people who are the loudest in terms of, “Listen to me because I lead out of abundance” have nothing. They are struggling to pay their bills. When I meet with them in one to one meetings, they admit that they need help. They are broke, trying to find a job, and can’t get any clients. Then the next day, you look at their posts and they are talking about these massive deals that they are working on and how successful they are, but people can see right through it.
Most business consultants read a Tony Robbins book, quote seven things out of it and suddenly they are consulting. At the beginning of Covid, I would go to bid on potential business and there are six guys I’ve never heard of competing for the job. I look them all up on LinkedIn, they’ve lost their jobs and now they’re consultants. Being a consultant is a different mindset and process than being an employee. They don’t know how to price their services, they don’t know how to create value, they don’t know how to present, but they do know how to get the deal by being the lowest bid.
About six months into Covid, we started picking up clients who had been burned by someone who didn’t know what they were doing. You check out their LinkedIn and they are boasting about how they’ve never had an unsuccessful consultation. One project, we were brought in to help this guy who was floundering. The client asked if we could get involved and finish up the study. He had no idea what he was doing, and he admitted it to us. We then worked together to built the process. He had been an employee in a marketing division of a company. He was good at his job. A smart guy who understands the branding process, he just didn’t have the skillset to go into something outside of his scope of knowledge and ask the right questions to get what he needed and then bring the team together to get the job done.
The most powerful thing to say to a client as a consultant is, “I really don't know about your company.” We’re there to ask the questions to see the company with a fresh set of eyes and then help them solve their problems. At times we are solving problems that they are aware of and other times a problem presents itself and we can see it because we have a diverse background with a vast network of information.
I’ve done lots of free consultations for folks and they call me to pick my brain and flesh out an idea. It’s a guilty pleasure for me because it's like a problem solving exercise. For them it’s an opportunity to bounce an idea off of someone and many times people don’t sign on with Fangled, however, some will send me an email a month or so later with a connection who does need my help. The person became an advocate for the Fangled brand because they felt I was open, helpful, and had a skill set their connection needs to get unstuck.
Andrew Deutsch is a strategy first executive helping to convert every touch into a brand advocate. A Multilingual Marketing Leader with broad based expertise galvanising teams to develop innovative and effective strategies.
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