If you’ve never heard the story, Ray Kroc “founder” of McDonalds, he once asked a group of business students a question that seemed quite simple to answer, what business am I in? After a few moments of reluctance and snickering, one person sheepishly answered, “the hamburger business?” To which he replied emphatically “NO”! I’m in in the REAL ESTATE business. This is significant because he was forced to come up with that business model only AFTER the McDonalds brothers were driving him into poverty with no control over the business and with less than a 2% share of the revenue from the company (even though he was selling franchises all over the Midwest). I don’t think many people realize that if the McDonalds brothers would have restructured Kroc’s deal, McDonalds may not be the number one food franchise it is today. I like to call Kroc the first Zuckerberg. The first guy to take someone else’s idea and turn it into a billion dollar empire. Although, I give Mark a little more props because the Winklevoss’ idea wasn’t really built out and was just an idea when he took it. I like drawing a comparison between the two because while Kroc built his company around PHYSICAL real estate, Mark created his around DIGITAL real estate. And, it clearly illustrates the evolution of business thinking.
Fast forward to today, if you owned a business and I asked you, what business are you in? What would you say? Take a minute. Write it down even so we can compare answers.
Guess what? if you didn’t put MEDIA and DATA business, you’re WRONG. In football, they say the offense puts fans in the stands and the defense wins championships. In this scenario, media is the offense and data is the defense. You are a MEDIA and DATA company that just so happens to sell product “X”!
I’m going to be as real as Gary Vee (Gary Vee voice) when I say this… When you strip away all the business BULLSHIT, the terminology and the theoretical mumbo jumbo, you are left with two essential things you need to understand for any business to be successful, numbers and emotions. The numbers get you to the truth of what your customers really want and the emotions get you the love and trust of your customers by making them feel significant, acknowledged, listened to, even loved. That’s probably why Gary Vee, the most influential man on the internet, started a MEDIA COMPANY.
Most businesses get it wrong. They think, if they make a product a little bit better, if they market it a little more creatively, if they drop the price a little… they will beat their competition and make money. WRONG! Money is a reward for doing all the little things right. Solving your customers problems and making them feel significant. Being convenient, accessible, consistent, responsive is what it takes.
Think about how long Southwest Airlines has been the number one airline in the country, affordable tickets, no bags fees, no assigned seats, peanuts or pretzels? They took their business model from Pacific Southwest, an airline that has been out of business for many years now. It’s obvious that they were able to execute their business plan better than they were. (Read the full story in Great by Choice by Jim Collins.)
When it was time to go public, they could have easily chosen SWA as their ticker symbol, BUT they didn’t. They chose LUV. Every time I scroll through my phone I see their app with a little heart icon. It should be no mystery why I’m A list companion pass status with 300k+ airline miles.
Key point, if your customers love you, they will buy your product, they will wait outside or in a line for your product, they will over look your product’s short comings until you get it right, they will remain loyal through the ups and downs. And, the loyalty just goes on and on and on.
Let’s analyze this further. 50% of the African American billionaires in our lifetimes got there with MEDIA companies, Bob Johnson BET and Oprah Winfrey, OWN. Since there are only four, I think we can all agree it’s something that’s not easy for us to do. Shout out to Robert Smith and Michael Jordan too! I read an article where Oprah said she was one of the first people to figure out how to get paid just by being herself.
(Don’t miss this point! Despite the odds, Bob Johnson and Oprah became billionaires with their companies at a time when there weren’t many black faces in main stream media or behind the scenes.)
You look at TV today, it’s like 50% reality shows, where people are just getting paid to be themselves. And, TV is now falling to social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube (Google), Snapchat, & Instagram. In fact, last year digital ad revenue beat money spent on TV advertising and we all knew that day was coming.
A lot of controversy lately around Kylie Jenner being proclaimed as possibly the youngest self made billionaire by Forbes. Her mom started the Kardashian MEDIA empire years ago. So, her fans and customers have been watching her on TV for 10+ years. Not a big suppose that her lip kits can’t stay on shelves. But, what is a surprise to everyone, is how she leveraged her massive social MEDIA following to build a $900 million dollar business in just 3 years.
Video is actually the greatest marketing tool ever invented. I think every company should have a video department. Not just some millennials posting stuff on social media. Video allows you to focus someone’s attention exactly where you want AND subliminally program them at the same time. Couple that with the mere exposure effect and PRESTO we have Donald Trump.
The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them.
So all the years of us watching Donald Trump pre-suading us in a “boss-like” setting on the Apprentice, firing common folks and even celebrities, sealed his bid (in his voters mind along with the dumbfounded people who are now wondering why they voted for him) for leader of the free nation long before his run for President DESPITE what came out his mouth.
Same thing with Cardi B. Her funny “keep it real” YouTube videos laid the ground work for her debut on Love and Hip Hop long before she was the first female rapper ever to have 2 songs top Billboards Hot 100 list. Don’t look now, she’s nominated for 10 MTV VMAs more than even music’s favorite power couple, Jay and Bey. Now stop and think about all the artist who have been in the music industry for years without ANY nominations for ANY awards…
Building a brand with media is so simple, even kids are doing it! Do you know Ryan? I do because I have a 4 year old. He has successfully toy reviewed his way to an $11 million dollar net worth with a few years worth of YouTube videos.
Still need convincing? Oh…there’s been a change on the leaderboard…Mark Zuckerberg just passed Warren Buffet as the 3rd richest person in the world all thanks to the social MEDIA company he started in his dorm room.
I admit. I haven’t really talked much about data but I can really sum that up with one word…Amazon. Or, another…Google.
But listen, the people who have created a product that we then integrate into our daily lives and fundamentally changes the way we live or interact as human beings are Billionaires. Stop and look around you right now. Everything that you see not created by nature (God), was created by a company. The person or people that own that company are probably rich. Are they millionaires….billionaires…? It really doesn’t matter.
The point I’m trying to make is…GET OFF THE SIDELINE and get in the game, we need more people to start businesses that will change the world and make it a better place. Need help? I can have you up and running in a week. The question is…are you ready to start or reinvent your business and think of it in terms of a MEDIA and a DATA company. Every one in your family is an influencer, your family is a brand, and it should all be owned by your personal MEDIA company. The best part about all his is that it doesn’t have to conflict with your day job! For your sake, I hope you just had an “Oh shit…he’s right moment”. Because, if you didn’t realize that these are the times we are in… to quote the immortal words of the Notorious B.I.G….if you don’t know NOW you know…
Make Your Ideas Matter, Bernadette Jiwa
Free Marketing: 101 Low and No Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Jim Cockrum
Great by Choice, Jim Collins
Trade-Off, Kevin Maney
Pre-suasion, Robert Cialdini
Crushing It!, Gary Vee
Side Hustle, Chris Guillibeau
The Million Dollar, One Person Business, Elaine Pofeldt