“Dressing up for Halloween is a great analogy for how many educated consumers see branding: a fake persona is crafted to evoke emotions from a specific audience in order to achieve a predetermined goal,” says the brand strategist Fabian Geyrhalter in his bestselling branding book, Bigger Than This – How to turn any venture into an admired brand.
Clearly, Fabian understands the problems many businesses face when branding themselves. But he also understands how they can be truly authentic. Here is one of many stories of authentic brand building that’s featured in Bigger Than This:
“Matthew Griffin, the founder of Combat Flip Flops, understands this well. While on duty in Afghanistan, Griffin, then a U.S. Army Ranger, stumbled upon an Afghan combat boot factory that also created flip flops for soldiers for when they were taking off their boots to pray. Feeling empathy for the people he met (“such honorable hosts; an amazing experience,” he told Inc. magazine), he immediately knew he wanted to bring those flip flop designs home with the goal of creating jobs and funding education in wartorn countries such as Afghanistan. Griffin took the saying “Borders frequented by merchants seldom need soldiers” and inspired his tribe to help that cause. The website now features lines such as “bad for combat, perfect for peacemaking” to describe the flip flops offered.”
Would anyone view Combat Flip Flops as dressing itself up? Of course not. It’s authentic.
As Fabian explained, “I am writing about a subject that has barely been explored: companies that launch seemingly boring commodity products into this world without edgy technology but manage to transform themselves into staple household brands for urbanites and beyond.”
So who is Fabian Geyrhalter? Fabian Geyrhalter is a renowned brand strategist and the founder and Principal of FINIEN, a Los Angeles-based consultancy specialized in creating strategic, verbal and visual brand clarity.
His client list ranges from high-growth startups such as Jukin Media, Survios, and Vimmia to established brands like Warner Brothers, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goodwill, W Hotels and Honeywell. His branding work has won numerous accolades, including 30 “American Graphic Design Awards.”
Along with Bigger Than This, Fabian has also written the #1 Amazon Bestseller, How To Launch A Brand. He’s also been published in The Washington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.
And that was just a summary. You can read his full bio here.
I sat down with Fabian for my podcast, T-Shirts & Ties where I chat with Creatives & Strategists. We discussed the spark for his book, the personality of the brand, and more. You can listen to the full podcast here. Here are some highlights…