Video transcript+ Daymond John
Daymond John — "So let’s talk about marketing for a second. I could go on forever about marketing. I think that there are a million angles. A lot of people don’t understand that advertising and marketing are two different things. Marketing is about getting the product out and the information out. Advertising generally is about buying some space on the radio and/or magazine ad. I would say that the first steps in marketing are always the trial and error steps. That is; to find the cheapest and most effective way to get out in your local area. Let me just talk about fashion. Local fashion shows that you can provide product to, and get a feel for whether people will like the product. Are there local celebrities, people who are city councilmen, or talent-shows of that nature where you can provide product to?
Now let’s talk about the YouTubes of the world. There are everyday stars being created with a million, two million, ten million views. There are videos you can film with your iPhone or Android or whatever the case is, that kind of make that home-grown commercial with your product. You know what? You can fail ten times because at this point nobody knows you, but as you create it and you start to see ten views here, a hundred views here - BOOM - a million views here. That’s not expensive marketing. These are the ways you get to start to create the DNA of your brand and see what works and what-not. You’re going to have a lot of trial-and-errors when it comes to marketing, I still do today. Today, I don’t know? Should I go on TV? Should I go on radio? Should I have a plane fly by with text? So forth and so on. Should I buy this? Should I create a bigger site?
Now here is the good thing about Shopify. The good thing about Shopify is the fact that you have to understand one thing: when people do see or hear your brand, what do they do? They do this (makes typing motion). Now I learned the hard way - one of my brands, we were so busy trying to get product out in the e-commerce world that before there was a Shopify we basically shot the pitches of the product then just did e-commerce. We thought that we were supplying to people who wanted to buy the product and all they wanted to see was this flat pictures and this site, but we didn’t know that was actually counter-productive because some people who are not looking to buy the product are just Googling the name. When they Google the name and come on and basically see just a bare bones site that doesn’t fit to the standards of all the beautiful sites they see, all the great marketing that we did to express that this is a certain luxury brand - the wind was just taken out of it because I had poor representation. I learned that the hard way.
Look at Shopify, it’s fairly easy. It takes the job and the hard work of you having to be some kind of e-commerce web developer out. And those are simple ways to market. Before you do any public marketing it’s always going to be a Shopify. For packaging. The things that are really about the product first. So those are my tips for marketing, and then as you’ll see once you become successful in these areas, you can grow. You can start hiring great actors for those YouTube commercials. You can start going to bigger fashion shows. And then maybe you go to a massive trade show and as you’re growing, you’re learning; and as you’re learning, you’re growing. It’s a constant struggle and battle, but it’s exciting.
So the first magic show I went to, my partners and I - we didn’t have any money to get out to the show. My mother worked at American Airlines so we got a bunch of Buddy Passes, and the show was being held at the Convention Centre (as it always is). We didn’t have enough money to be at the Convention Centre so we stayed about five miles away at the Mirage Hotel. Prior to going to the show I had already built a little bit of a vacuum in the world of Fubu because we had taken these ten shirts and put them on videos for two or three years, and people thought Fubu was a fairly large brand. I remember taking a picture of LL (who was a friend of mine) and I sent that picture to every single store that I could find in Right On magazine, Word Up magazine, newspapers and every store that was selling (Nike, sportswear, anything of that nature). I sent the picture and said ‘We will be at the Magic Show and we will be at this hotel’. When I got to the Magic Show I walked around the show also and handed out a copy of that picture, that flyer.
Believe it or not, I had done so much of that grassroots marketing that people came over to that Mirage Hotel, they came over to that little room that we had - and I wrote three hundred thousand dollars in orders. Back around ’95-96 I had never seen that much money in my life. The bottom line was that I already had a market for the product because I tested it on the local side, I tested it on the national side, I already had perfected my business. I had fifty designs I went through ‘til I got to those ten of those designs and then I realized that people didn’t like forty of those designs. When I got to that show there was already a vacuum built, it was the best product that I could ever have, and I was ready to do business."