Branding Strategies that Produce Powerful Results

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series our guest speaker was, Paul Kiesche. Paul is the President and Creative Director at Aviate Creative. Moreover, he is also the Founder of the Manufacturing Marketing Mastermind.  Paul has been helping companies implement branding strategies for many years.

For today’s episode, our guest talked about various branding strategies for manufacturers. These strategies will help out new brands as well as already existing ones.

In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series our guest speaker was, Paul Kiesche. Paul is the President and Creative Director at Aviate Creative. Moreover, he is also the Founder of the Manufacturing Marketing Mastermind.  Paul has been helping companies implement branding strategies for many years.

The conversation started with Curt introducing the guest. He shared how Paul is in the 16th year of his business. After this, Curt asked Paul how he got into entrepreneurship. Responding to this, Paul said that he started his company because he wanted to do something without limits.

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After this, Curt asked Paul why he chooses to work on branding strategies for manufacturers and not any other field. Answering this, Paul said that they wanted to niche down their company’s work which is why they choose manufacturing and technology.

Moving on, Paul shared how branding strategies for manufacturers differ from brand to brand. He said that that branding is not just designing a logo and that’s all. With, branding you can even improve your recruitment and management if you act smart.

Further, into the conversation, Paul talked about the perception of a company. He said that he rebranded his company to Aviate Creative to change the perception of his company. Moving on, Paul shared some more branding strategies for manufacturers.

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He said that if a person is in the beginning stage, the first thing is open communication. This includes understanding what your client expects from you. After this, they make a perception together with the client. And then comes the part of making sketches.

According to Paul, with these steps, you can make accurate branding strategies for manufacturers. After this, Paul answered a question about how one can grow a community out of their brand. Continuing the conversation, Paul talked a bit about branding strategies for manufacturers in terms of the new generation.

He said that the newer generation has a false perception against manufacturing and that is that it’s just greasy and old. However, when you enter a manufacturing facility nowadays it is completely revolutionized. So according to Paul, we should change the perception of the younger generation.

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By the end of the conversation, Curt asked Paul how he faces the manufacturers who are not used to the cultural change. Responding to this, he said that he asks them to share what is the personality of their brand. This is how h learns more about his client and their brand.

The conversation ended with Curt thanking the guest for his presence.

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Paul Kiesche, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson


Damon Pistulka  00:00

Let’s get live. Going to get this taken care of. And Alright everyone, Welcome once again to our manufacturing ecommerce Success Series. I’m one of your co host Damon Pistulka with me, my friend, my bromance, Kurt Anderson down there on the bottom, and I forgot my bro man’s t shirt.


Curt Anderson  00:30



Damon Pistulka  00:31

I honestly did. I will put it next week. I’m gonna wear it in an hour. So great. But I’m excited for today. I came talk about it. I’m so excited.


Curt Anderson  00:43

Dude, I haven’t slept all week. Man.


Damon Pistulka  00:45

I’m telling you. I’m telling you. Maybe I’m crazy from lack of sleep for this. But Kurt, go ahead and take it away. And if you’re Lincoln, if you’re listening to us on LinkedIn, make sure to tell us where you’re listening from. I’m going to be looking like this in the chat. I’ll be chatting back at you. Let’s get things rolling on on Remo or LinkedIn.


Curt Anderson  01:07

Happy Friday. Thank you. So first off, most importantly, yes, Greg, miss you. This is myself and Damon. So please drop your favorite Muppet. Paul, we’re gonna get into your favorite Muppet today. So guys, I want to introduce my good friend, my buddy. He’s down in Jersey. Mr. Paul Kish, a PA from AV He’s the founder and president of AV creative. Paul, welcome. Thank you to our Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us today.


Paul Kiesche  01:34

I’m so excited to be here, Kurt. I’ve been watching you guys jumping in on the chats. And now I’m live. I’m so excited. Because everybody with us today too. could see everybody.


Curt Anderson  01:46

That So Dan bigger said he’s late. He’s on at 133. So guys, let me share a little bit about Paul Paul has built an amazing, incredible career, a great business, a hugely successful entrepreneur. And Paul, I believe is this week, a big week for you do I have Did I hear that from my friend Danziger?


Paul Kiesche  02:04

Yeah, celebrating 16 years in business, and exciting here, you know,


Curt Anderson  02:11

you know, and the thing is, you know, we get around a lot in the show, but let me be serious for one minute, you know, like, five, four out of five businesses fail in their first five years, you know, after that, it just keeps plunging. Right, Damon, you know that as well as anybody write those to survive for 16 years, you’ve done it, you know, with integrity, you’ve built an incredible business helping companies. So first off, congratulations, our hat’s off to you. What a massive accomplishment. Well done, my friend.


Paul Kiesche  02:39

I appreciate that. Thank you.


Curt Anderson  02:41

So secondly, let’s go let’s go back a little bit in time, Paul. So you had you started off a nice career, and you decide to go into entrepreneurship? Why did you how and why? what triggered you to start AV creative?


Paul Kiesche  02:54

Yeah, and it’s interesting, it’s gonna come up in our discussion, I think at some point, but it didn’t start as a via creative, right, I, my, my business initially started as Paul cushy design. And I ran that, you know, for probably the first 11 years or so, and then rebranded as ABA creative. So it’s now that we’re talking about branding, today, we’ll talk about why I changed that name and how that’s impactful.

But yeah, I initially got into business probably like a lot of entrepreneurs where I was, I felt like I was too stuck in where I was at. I wanted to, you know, not have limitations on what I could do. I wanted to be in control my own destiny, my own time, you know, all that kind of stuff. So and I just naturally always took the leadership role. So it made sense for me. So yeah, 16 years later, a lot has a lot has changed. A lot has developed and and it’s been it’s been a roller coaster.


Curt Anderson  03:59

That’s awesome. And man, we’ve got a great crowd today. We have our Alaska tribe here. We’ve got Dr. Alyssa, my friend Kandi and Daisy. Hey guys. Thank you for joining us. Of course my friend Val and our new friend Linda bigger, Greg misu. Edward thank you guys for taking time. Maria, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Join us now. in den bigger really made this connection possible for me. So you know, I want to give a shout out and thank you to Dan for connecting me with Paul. So Paul, you start this great creative company graphic design, why manufacturers?



You know,


Paul Kiesche  04:36

we needed to niche down. We spent our first bunch of years very generalist mindset. So we worked with every kind of company, and we needed to narrow down and niche down and we’ll talk about that more today as well. And we decided on to two major avenues which is manufacturing and technology. And we chose those because when we looked at Have a portfolio we looked at our experience, those two were continuous through our entire time of having our company where more and more we realized we worked really well with manufacturers, we understood them, we understood how to talk their language.

And we had a lot of examples of the work we did. So we really just like triple down on it got really involved in the community really involved in understanding it. So we started interviewing manufacturers and just wanted to know everything about their challenges and their interests and stuff. And then just dove all in almost almost all completely manufacturing now. So


Curt Anderson  05:40

it’s been great. You know, and when you’re when you get to this side of things, it’s, you know, maybe it sounds a little easier. But when you’re in that moment, and you’re you’re getting your business off the ground, trying to get some traction, it’s hard to like collectively pick that that lane, you know, where you’re afraid, like, hey, what if my lanes over here? What if my lanes over here?

So kudos again to you for like, you know, having the courage and say, You know what, I can’t be everything to everybody. And so folks that were you know, that we’ve been having conversations together, you know, we’re always talking about like that persona, digging deep into like, you know, our soulmates staying in our lane. So that’s great that you know, you’re not talking to talk, you walk the walk and made that conversion. So we have so much to cover today. Let’s let’s just plow right into it. Man sleeves rolled up. I was doing I stretched out before this, to jump back.

So I mean, I’m ready to rock. Let’s talk about your process. Okay. So like, I don’t know, if you see like a common, you walk into manufacturing, maybe see some of the same common problems over and over. But like in guys, I put, please put your LinkedIn profile in the chat box, I put Paul’s LinkedIn profile and his website, in the chat box, strongly encourage you connect with Paul, and check out his website. He has a wealth of information on branding. So Paul, talk about your process, that first engagement, how can you help manufacturers with branding on those first steps and stages?


Paul Kiesche  07:00

Yeah, absolutely. Oh, one thing was, is that when we started talking to manufacturers, we learned that it wasn’t necessarily the same challenges and problems that other companies were having. For example, most people think of branding as one, they might think of it as just like something pretty and something cool. So like, I want a cool logo. And honestly, that’s not really what it comes down to.

And then a lot of people just related to sales and sales only, which is important, sales is huge. But some of the things that we realized when we interviewed manufacturers was they might have an issue with looking like a commodity and having to price lower commodity. And we realized Brandon can help with that. So other things would were like employee recruitment and retention.

A lot of people a lot of manufacturers are having huge challenges with that. And we realized that branding was a key role in improving that. Yuen mentioned I think, last week, to me or so about future proofing your business. And that’s a huge thing about branding. And then one thing that that is, is interesting in manufacturing, as well as a lot of manufacturers are aging out and they want to merge, they want to sell, they want to be acquired, they want to exit their company and branding even has to do with that.

So those are some of the things I figured would be great to share with your group today. Because let’s Yes, it’s a logo is tremendously successful in helping to better sell your your products and your services. But But I think there’s a lot of hidden benefits that are not talked about which I wanted to talk about today. Absolutely.


Curt Anderson  08:48

I’m sure David so go ahead. Go ahead,


Damon Pistulka  08:50

David. Well, and you make a great point, Paul, because when when I’m selling businesses are helping prepare businesses to fail.

One of the things that buyers always talk about is a look at the brand now they’re looking at the social media they’re looking at they’re they’re they’re looking at everything from glass door to sometimes even Yelp which I think is too old school even for me but they look at it all they really do and they’re what the things that you are covering are so relevant, because you can run a business forever The way you do it now since you started 25 years ago, word of mouth all that kind of thing but but someone else being in that situation, they they don’t have those relationships and can do it the same way.


Paul Kiesche  09:33

Absolutely. You know what Buddhists in a lot on on the exiting strategy is we do a lot of work with investment companies that purchase and acquire manufacturers and technology companies. And the first thing they think about his we need to rebrand this because we want to be able to sell it and so like why not do that yourself and like be able to


Damon Pistulka  09:57

cut 100% the middleman for each brother.


Paul Kiesche  10:00

that’s given that control to the investment company, like at least you can control it. You know, a big part of that is taking your ego out of it though, because and I’ll jump right into the end here, which was talking about why I rebranded when my company was created. I named a pocket shoe design. And we ran into a big problem 11 years and we realized that people still thought I was an individual, they still thought that they had a hard time imagining it as an agency.

And then I realized I could never sell this company, I could never exit out of it if I wanted to. Yeah, but we rebranded to ABA creative to change the perception of our company. So we’re going to talk a lot about perception today. And how, you know, you really want to just kind of make sure that it gives off the right perception and vibe, to where you want to be not where you are now. But where do you want to grow to, you know, you


Curt Anderson  10:54

want to be future proof, skate to the puck, right? I mean, that’s just such a that’s such. So guys, you know, if you’re new to Paul, and you’re, you know, Paul is also an adjunct professor, so you can tell like, you know, we’re in class right now.



Hope No,


Curt Anderson  11:09

my pencil sharpen, we’re taking notes. Yeah, calling on a personal note is, you know, fellow Father, I know you have two beautiful twin daughters, and that’s your most important thing in life. So, you know, I have immense respect for you as a dad and a friend. But let’s take so let’s go through that process. And I know we need to save time because like, Damon’s journaling about that exit the branding strategy for the exit. So let’s, let’s go through your process.

And let’s talk Okay, so you walk into the manufacturer, and you know, they’ve been cutting metal, they bend steel, they do, you know, circuit boards, we talked about this every week, and brandy just not their thing, or widget experts, their operational excellence, but they’re, you know, this branding concept is new to them. How like, do you what’s like a branding 101 that you have for a mate? You know, so like, we have some new manufacturers or like our friend, Dan bigger, so say, Brandon’s new to that manufacturer, what’s that? You know, what are some of the first steps that you’re going to take them through?


Paul Kiesche  12:09

Yeah, sure. So, I mean, we’re going to have conversations, it’s it’s a lot about communication, making sure that we understand what their expectations expectations are, what our processes and in that process, we talk about the value of that brand, and how that brands can, like I said before, change your perception, it can help with your positioning a lot. So we talked about niching down before and, and understanding how a brand can kind of speak directly to their audience to that consumer to what it is.

And we talked about the values that we talked about before to have appealing to employees appealing to new prospect employees, to, you know, all the advantages that can kind of come out of it, once we’re on board with what the value of the logo, as we talked about our process, and we go down the road of explaining that, you know, it is about understanding their brand. And so we’ve we fully understand their positioning their their strategy, their differentiation, and understand, you know, how they want to be perceived their customers there, you look at their competition, you want to really understand like the full picture before you get into it.

And then we get into brainstorming, sketches and designing. And when we do sketches, we don’t just do like one sketch and say, here’s your logo, we do probably like 30 5080 logos, and then kind of narrow it down and, and refine it and make sure that it’s solving a problem again, it’s not just a pretty picture, it’s actually effective at the strategies that we’re trying to do help sell help make your company look better, in many ways, you know, got that


Damon Pistulka  14:02

just so yeah, that’s that’s so incredible, man. On through that process, you just don’t people don’t realize until you’ve done it a few times how powerful it is when you get everything synced and correct.


Paul Kiesche  14:14

Yeah, it’s amazing. Some companies will settle for, you know, $50 $5 logo when they’ll buy a stock image and stuff and I’m like, okay, it kind of looks nice, but it’s not solving 95% of your problems, you know, and like you’re missing a huge opportunity. That logo is the first impression of your company. And most people don’t go beyond the first impression. You know, they look for two to three seconds and if you’re not fitting the bill, they move on. So that logo is your big chance to say who you are, what you do, how good you are your quality. You know, it gives off huge perception of what to expect with your company.

And if you have some No offense to college kids, but if you have some college kid or high schools, you know student when whip up your logo for some small price, your whole company will now look like it’s whipped up by some high school student instead of being professional and high quality, you know. So it’s huge and important. And it’s amazing how few manufacturers take that seriously. And it shows, you know, they, and they struggle with perception. And they don’t even realize it half the time, you know.


Curt Anderson  15:28

And that’s a great point. And so our dear friend Dr. Lissa, so speaking of parenthood, Dr. Alyssa and her partner, her wife, they’re having a baby on, I believe Sunday. So Lissa, get a good night’s sleep tonight, because this guy, big congratulations to to Dr. Lissa up at the she’s with the Alaska MEP. Dear friend of ours. Matter of fact, she has a great webinar coming up this week, I’ll drop a link in the chat box. But Paul, she has a question for you. How do you use your brand to help grow your community? And so so my friends up in Alaska, Daisy candy, this is a great conversation. Right here. So how so again? How do you help your brand to grow your community?


Paul Kiesche  16:13

Yeah, it’s a great question. So I’m a big fan of growing communities, I’m involved in quite a few. And I like not just using my own brand, but I like to make almost like secondary brands or embrace the brand of the community. So like, for example, I’m sure Kurt will talk about it more is that I’m involved in USA manufacturing our and so I actually helped rebrand or not rebrand, but help brands the the event virtual mixer series. And my intention on that is to not actually appear ABA creative at all.

And to just fully embrace that organization. I think if you try to brand the communities too much, it feels too much like sales, and people kind of back away. So I always try to be very genuine to the organization.

I also ran for, I don’t know, 10 years, I ran the marketing dinner club. I was the founder of that, and completely created a separate brand for the marketing dinner club and ended up becoming, you know, 800 members, by Coastal, and just kind of blew up for a while. But I never once said my brand was part of it kind of thing. But it certainly translates into being part of that community part of sales. Because once once you’re part of those, I hope I’m answering this question.

Yeah, but once you become part of that community, you become trusted, respected, they come to rely on you and so forth. And therefore, they come searching for you and say, what do you do and or they find out what you do because they searched? And then they’re like, they hire you much quicker? Because the trust is there, the reliability is there, the relationships there, and you don’t even have to sell anymore because you already have that relationship that’s that successful. Saving helps answer that. But you know, if I can define that any further, let me know.


Curt Anderson  18:28

Yeah, no, that let’s let’s expand on that for a minute. And I You crushed it. That was spot on. And I feel this really hits home for a lot of the folks that were that we’re talking with right now. So like Dr. list is our folks up in Alaska candy Daisy, let me give a shout out to our friend Greg misu. You know, Greg does, he’s an amazing content creator, inbound marketer. For manufacturers. He’s very active in Wisconsin, with the AMA the American Marketing Association does an incredible job building community.

Paul mentioned the Twitter group So Dan bigger my brother. So you guys, Twitter. I just met Gina Dan bigger. I just met I just had a phone call with Gina for the first time today. Originally from dar tech no longer reads our tech but God’s love. Love Gina. They every Thursday they have a Twitter group. It’s called USA Mfg. hour. And every Tuesday two o’clock eastern time Levin o’clock Pacific manufacturers from all over the country.

Come on this little Twitter group. I’ve never seen anything like a total anomaly. And they’re building a community of marketers and manufacturers of just have each other’s backs, helping elevate, elevate each other. daymond does an amazing job. He is the king of networking every Thursday. He has a networking group. We have our group here on Friday. He does faces a business.

So again, we could go on and on and on a bunch of examples, but talk we’ll hit it for a minute. Can we have so much to cover your Twitter group on Thursday. Today’s man talk a little bit about the Twitter chat group. You do a once, you’re starting to do more virtual networking and talk about that Twitter group for a second. So


Paul Kiesche  20:08

I’m just a participant, let’s be clear about that. So pure Andrews on here now was one of one of several founders and runs the organization. And they do an incredible, called an organization. But it’s really just a bunch of volunteers that are getting together on Twitter and doing this chat. It’s super educational. The community is incredible. Everybody’s extremely supportive.

Once you get into this community, you’re just gonna get so much love on Twitter, and LinkedIn and all that stuff. Everybody is super supportive. Every time I post something or say something, they just jump all over it. And they’re just super supportive. So I can’t say enough about the community. And it just delivers really educational information. And honestly, when you’re niching, down into an industry, if you can get educated on what that industry cares about and wants to be educated on. It’s It’s so super valuable.


Curt Anderson  21:07

Yeah, exactly. And so we’ll talk about Gina for a second. So, you know, I had this great phone call with Gina. I’m like, hey, Gina, do you know a gentleman named Andrew Deutsch and Cleveland, she’s in Cleveland. And she’s like, Oh, yeah, Dan Biggers already connected me with him. We had this conversation. I’m like, hey, do you know Allison’s afford? You have to talk to Allison to Ford.

She’s like, Oh, yeah, I have a call with her today at 330. She’s like, I have all these network, these folks that I’m connected with, because of Dan bigger, because a PA gal, our friend Gail, and she’s on with us today. She’s usually here, you know, so there’s all these folks that are coming on, and she somehow she’s helping people solve problems. Gail needs some help with analytics. You know, Gina is looking for a new opportunity, Greg misu, comes out and post her resume.

So like, we’ve all come together as a pack. And we’re helping each other. It’s a rising steps, you know, concept. So I love what you’re talking about, about building that community? I think, you know, I listen, those you know, we’re all about community. LinkedIn is a great community. Let’s talk about your retention and employees. And I love that you brought that up. Because I’m, you know, I’m like Mr. e commerce guy, like, like, we need sales, we need sales. years ago, I had a client, they’re like, you know, what, we’re really not looking for sales.

And I was kind of thinking back, I’m like, who’s not looking for sales. But as we talked more, and what came up workforce workforce was a problem on my Bingo. I’m like, Where are your millennials? Where are young people? Where are they looking forward? You know, they’re not these folks on on LinkedIn. They’re on social media, they’re checking out your company before they even walk in the door. Yeah, talk about how do you help your companies, your manufacturers from a workforce standpoint with brandy?


Paul Kiesche  22:49

Yeah, absolutely. Well, what’s interesting about employee recruiting, and even employee retirement is the brand is more relevant than people realize. And it’s, it’s, I don’t think necessarily a conscious thing. It’s like a subconscious thing in some ways. But, um, people want to work for, you know, an up and coming successful company that’s going to be with you for the future, right?

If they see your company, and it’s outdated, and it’s, you know, looking like it’s just barely surviving, or really outdated. With the website and everything else. They’re just gonna say, you know, I’d rather work for this other company that looks cool, upcoming and fresh. Yeah. So that’s huge. And then messaging as well, like, so many manufacturers are missing an opportunity to talk about on their website, their culture, their, their benefits, and stuff like that.

So the, you know, certainly making sure that the messaging is there, and that you’re branding towards their career path. And that they want to know that when they come in that it’s not just going to be this, this hourly roll, only, like there’s a path for you, and that there’s a line of success for you, you know. So those are the main things. But the other thing too, that manufacturing as a whole has a challenge with is manufacturing perception of a lot of people still a lot of people outside of manufacturing still see manufacturing as dirty, greasy, old, you know, just not the right place for me type of thing.

And when you walk into a manufacturing facility, so often, it’s like walking into the future. It’s like, fresh and sterile and robotics everywhere. And you’re like, Oh, my God, this is the future. And yet the perception is like that it stuck 100 years ago. So like, I think, in general, there needs to be a change of perception and education of that because when I tell I have students, and when I tell my students I’m like, you could work in a space that that has incredible benefits, incredible pay. You don’t even need a decree right for some of these jobs.

You know, it’s It’s super exciting. It’s the future. And there’s, there’s great job retention, right? Like people, if you want, like you can have a job for the rest of your life in some of these places, you know, where the security is like doesn’t even exist in most industries anymore. So yeah, some of that needs to be in the messaging. And some of it’s in the branding, if your company looks just bad, low quality, outdated, whatever. It’s, it’s gonna send that message Nottage to your customers, your prospects, but also to your employees, and future prospects and so forth. So I think overall, it just it, it has much more impact than people realize, you know,


Damon Pistulka  25:38

yeah, I’ve got, I’ve got two kids that are in their 20s. And I asked them about this stuff. And my daughter’s in her late 20s. They look at this, when they look at a job when they’re looking at a job, they’re looking at the website, they’re looking at glass door, they’re seeing what they do in the community, they’re seeing how the people get, do they have events that they actually do that they show people about where, you know, I sold, dude, we don’t even, you know, we grew up in the time where you might have had a company crip Kip picnic in the summer, you know, but that’s about it.

And now it’s it’s this thing’s expectations of working with the community and working together and outside of work and having things outside of work are so much higher.


Paul Kiesche  26:23

I always say like, look at what technology does. Technology and manufacturing are like, side by side. And a lot of ways very similar. And yet, technology does not have a problem with recruiting, and people are dying to work for technology brands. And it’s all perception, it’s like crazy, just perception, because they’re basically the same thing. And yet technology. But technology does not take it for granted. Technology has great career pages, they have culture, they have events they have.

I’ve done work for technology companies, where they have major recruiting events that are mixed with their regular employee events. And it’s all super exciting. You know, they have incredible offices, they have, you know, they just scream like fun and exciting. And then you go into a manufacturer, and there’s no information and it’s an outdated, you know, pays that page that looks low quality, right? So it’s like the Compare that perception is is almost everything. But if you work for a manufacturer, they often have a lot of those benefits, in fact, more benefits because of the fact that they’re so interested in keeping employees, you know, so it’s a it’s a flip, they’re


Curt Anderson  27:32

walking into the future, dude, that’s like my new band that was dropped my job my pen on that one. Wow. So a couple of things. And Paul, you’ve worked with companies like you’ve worked with Disney, you work with the street calm. You’ve worked with Kraft?

I mean, you’ve worked with some major, major brands. So like when you bring these conversations to the table, I mean, you know, he’s my friend, but he’s bringing major credibility with this with this concept. One more time, I’m going to, I might do it a couple more times, guys, please drop your LinkedIn profile in the chat box Connect, I put Paul’s I put his LinkedIn profile. If you’re just coming in, please check in on Paul’s website. He has all sorts of information for you, helping you on branding.

Paul, we have another question. My dear friend, Diane up the road in Alaska, I found through the years manager of management that employees want to feel valued, valued as a person and how they add value as an organization. Great discussion, Paul. And that’s in, you know, with the with the branding discussion, those are those opportunities and your team, you guys have such a dynamic team, you do graphic design, social, a bunch of different tasks, how much of it is on? You know, what do you do when you when you face that manufacturer? It’s giving you a little bit of resistance on that culture change or shift? How do you handle those conversations?


Paul Kiesche  28:52

Well, it’s usually not a culture shift. Usually the culture is there, they just don’t even realize it. You don’t communicate it, right. Yeah. And so like, and I’ll talk about personality. So like, one of my questions when I’m working on a logo is I’ll say, what’s your brand personality? Like? What is your company personality? And they honestly don’t even know how to answer it.

And they say, Okay, let’s, let’s imagine you had a drink, and your company’s all at a at a bar, and you’re all relaxed. Like, what’s the atmosphere? Like? Are you joking? Are you serious? Are you you know, friendly? Or you know, what is the personality? Or, you know, is it just always professional like, and then you start getting some interesting ideas and stuff. And sometimes you get some, some, some fun answers to that question as well.

But in general, you start finding a personality to that, you know, what was interesting to that last question was I recently just made a made a hire. And when we put out our job post, we had a section on our job post that talked about how we care about our employees, what we do what how we listen and that we we care about Their families we care about. We just talked about, like our culture and our core values, and what we really believe in and, and being good people, respecting people, that kind of stuff. And almost all the job posts if they wrote anything, and most of them are generic, probably right.

But if they wrote responses, they didn’t write about, like how great a work we do with our website, it was almost always like, I loved how you talked about taking care of family, and I loved how you talked about respecting employees. So like, but that’s like, it’s amazing, because you talk to these companies, and they all believe that a lot of them believe there’s not all but a lot of belief and core values and stuff they just don’t know to talk about, they don’t know that that’s down that employees are are seeking and excited about, you know, so it’s a lot about making sure the right messaging is on there.

And that’s all tied into brand perception, you know, and even how you design a logo or how you design a website, all ties into the personality of that company, the core values of that company, it all kind of comes together. It seems like a far stretch, but it’s not. You know, you can easily make a company look really cold and sterile, or you can make them look warm and friendly and, and plot pleasant place to live a pleasant place to be to friendly people, that kind of stuff. So it all ties together. Man, that’s awesome. Let’s


Curt Anderson  31:19

just share with our friend Greg michiru says, Where is a prospective hire going to go to check out a company their website, if the website looks antiquated, so does the company in the industry. And again, that was new for me were like when I walked into a couple manufacturers, like, you know, hey, we’re at full capacity, we’re not looking for new business, we really don’t need you. You know, and then all sudden, when you start talking about that workforce, and you’re like, oh, man, I never thought about that. 20 something that, you know, now all sudden, they had like a deer in a headlight look like, oh, man, maybe we should.

Maybe there’s more to social media than like, oh, here’s just a Facebook post. But sustainability. Did you know your team go out on Earth Day? You know, we’re, you know, everything that we’re talking about demons, you know, the example damages shared about his daughter. Let’s jump in. Okay, so we’ve covered a lot from beginning middle culture hiring. Damon is the exit strategy expert succession planning King. So, you know, people like well, wait, I’m not thinking about that.

What’s the tagline? You should be thinking about selling your business? The minute you start your business, right? Not that you’re looking to sell today. But let’s build it. And Paul just gave a great example, got away from the name of it, you know, using his own name of his company made a shift, that was a big change for you a big decision for you. Okay. So for I’m putting it out to both you guys, let’s have a little exit strategy. What can people be doing today even just patent a new products that are just starting out new? What are some branding tips or strategies that you guys have to build their company to make it sellable? No,


Paul Kiesche  32:57

I would say brand for the future, not for the present. Right. So like, think about where you want to be, right? So like, make a plan, say, Okay, I want to have, you know, whatever, 200, police 500,000 employees, whatever, and I want to have a concentration on this, or I want to be opened up to this, think about your future plan, and then brand towards that. And then I’m saying say say it’s a let you know, say is a company where you think you’re gonna pass it down to your children, those children don’t want your first name as their business, right?

Like grant, even if you’re doing that, or if you’re planning on selling it to a stranger, branded for, you know, the market branded for your customer, don’t brand it for your ego, you know, like, I know that like, it’s, it’s probably gonna sting a little bit, right? Like, if you put your last name into it, whatever, like, yes, you’re very proud. But like, that’s not actually achieving anything towards what you want to do.

It’s not helping sell, it’s not helping your employees, it’s not helping you ever. So brand towards the goals that you’re trying to do rather than rather than just your ego kind of thing. And then not just your brand, but also your website, just make sure things are, are fresh and updated. And an aim, don’t don’t try to come up to your competition. You need to look beyond your industry and look at other industries and say what is like, new and fresh. That’s my competitions I’ve been doing when we brand new websites, we always try to surpass the competition and like set a new bar and say, Okay, everybody else chase us now.

Because, you know, like law firms are a great example we, we worked with law firms and for a while and you do not want to look at their competition because it is just horrendous. Right? So we started looking and saying, Okay, if this law firm was a car company, what car company would it be if it was on fashion company, what fashion company would it be? And it changed everything. Like all of a sudden, we made this new look for this law firm, that was just so much more interesting. And just stood out tremendously amongst a sea of just, you know, scales of justice, that kind of thing. So, yeah, so those are some of my thoughts on Damon, if


Damon Pistulka  35:18

you have thoughts on that, no, I just think it you you nail on one of the major things and you change it with your company by going out of your name, and, and that into a different name. I see that all the time. In fact, someone I’m talking to you later today that they’ve got their last name in the contract, and the company name, and I’m just like, you know, we really going to have to figure out how that’s going to, that’s going to come into play. And it’s so much better when you brand it, like you said, something independent, something in that people can recognize really shows what the company is about what you do and incorporate the things that you’ve talked about.

And then another thing that you said, that’s so important, and Jeffrey Graham drives us home or time taught me this well is you’re building that website for where you’re going to be you’re building that that brand where you’re going to be because if you’re sitting here with 20 employees in a manufacturing business, and you build your website looking like 20, employee manufacturing business, and a little teeny building, that’s what you’re going to attract his his clients have a 2020 person manufacturing business and a little building.

If you if you can make it accurately, make it look like we Yes, but we can do these big projects, too. And we’ve done those big projects show that the expansiveness of what you can really do, not where you’re at today. Absolutely. Absolutely. So


Curt Anderson  36:41

a couple, a couple friends, I want to give a shout out. You’re probably following New Jersey. And we have john on the program today. Big hello to john. And then a special warm welcome to Sammy. Joe. I see Sammy Joe. She’s also up in Alaska. A lot of Alaska folks today, Sammy is she’s due and she works at the Alaska MEP, and she’s doing two weeks. So we have we have two new additions coming to the Alaska MEP.

We’re just so proud. Like, I’d like the proud uncle out there. And they have a great webinar series that they’re doing on Thursday, I dropped that link. Paul, do you have? Um, do you want to we’re coming into the end I want to get I want everybody to get a chance to talk to you back at the tables after you want to do you have a couple of slides that you want to pull up?


Paul Kiesche  37:22

Have you want to see a couple of examples. I have some before and after. So let’s make sure it’s clear that the first thing I’m going to show you is the before right, so let’s before


Curt Anderson  37:32

we’re doing before, this is not pause, work or doing the company after right? So don’t anybody leave right now.


Paul Kiesche  37:45

Alright, so there we go into presentation if that works here,


Curt Anderson  37:49

there we go. Yeah, looks good. Let’s say so


Paul Kiesche  37:51

this is a company we we worked with a few years ago. And we’re still working with them. norwall design, Inc. That’s their old logo. And that’s their old website. And, you know, you can make your own judgment calls. And I don’t want to tear it down too much because they are still a client. But we’ll take a look at the the new brand. But you can see it’s very dark, you don’t really have a clear understanding of what they do. It’s hard to understand how to read the website, and then I’ll switch to their new brands.

So this is their new logo, I’m really just focusing in on the norwall part. The Add the icon is an N has two kind of arrows coming together in a cycle to kind of represent that automation. And then we came up with a tagline because normal didn’t really mean anything to anybody. So we needed a tagline to help kind of explain the story. Explain what they are. So the next evolution in automate automation, and then just a quick glance at how the it translated into a website. Which is mobile friendly and so forth.


Curt Anderson  39:01

Well done.


Paul Kiesche  39:03

And then you know, different things like PowerPoint slides and stuff like that. So I’ll go to another sample. So we don’t want to take too much time on that. This is a this is Hayden. Hayden is interesting. So they make struck metal, which is tremendously boring as a product race as metal beams. But we ended up rebranding. So this is the old right, this is the previous so logo and this is some kind of sell sheet that they had here. And then that turned into this. So they wanted to make sure that they will have that struck metal a


Damon Pistulka  39:37



Paul Kiesche  39:39

Yeah. So this this tagline. I’ll just quickly tell you a story. So we’re in the meeting with them. And we’re talking about their brand and I and the woman I said, so what do you know, what do you really do? And she says, we just get shit done, right? We just get shipped off. And I said there’s your tagline. And she’s like, What are you talking about? I was like, just get stuff done. And then it was it was risky, but they went for it and it paid off. And then on the bottom here, you can see the sell sheet. So yeah, just a different vibe catalog.


Curt Anderson  40:11

Look at that. Look at that. That’s just, you know, I’m getting chills right now. No, it’s bringing, you know, it’s taken an old school manufacturer, and you’re just really sexy, and it’s making it look more appealing and everything we talked about more appealing to the culture, the brand, you know, partners, customers, employees, you know, the whole man, great job plant where to go,


Paul Kiesche  40:37

this is a sim quest. So sim quest, if you might know him, you might not Excel, 3d printers, 3d printing software, manufacturing software. And so they came to me they’re a 30 year old company, and they sell 3d printers. Right? And I and to them, 3d printing is old, and I was like, What are you talking about? Like, it’s still the future, right? So when they came to me, this is their old socio logo.

When I came to the knee, I said, we gotta like, rebrand you and make you into the future. So we wanted to really kind of like push it and just try and go, almost like PlayStation, like really futuristic, modern. So here’s the logo, some stationary brochure kind of thing. So just really trying to pop with it and make it more more futuristic. more modern, a little more sexy. That kind of stuff.


Curt Anderson  41:27

Yeah. Nice. Wow, that that is awesome. That’s a bike helmet.


Paul Kiesche  41:31

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Cool. Is


Curt Anderson  41:33



Paul Kiesche  41:34

that? This is, so I’ll show you the before here. This is filer mutual. Filing mutual was a telephone company from like, 100 plus years ago. And then they found themselves in technology, they were like, you know, they do everything technology now like it was just full technology company. So we rebranded them to truly technologies. So this is a rebrand rename, you know, really come up with a whole new new look. And we wanted something that was memorable. So we have this, you know, truly flying squirrel leaping off the side there to just bring it give it more friendliness, you know, make it more exciting.


Damon Pistulka  42:14

Yeah. Very cool. And


Paul Kiesche  42:17

maybe I’ll show you one more is a la Mancha is is a manufacturer of matcha tea at matcha powder. And they have this look of very sterile chemical looking like, you know, laboratory type of thing. And I’m like, What are you doing? Like, you’re delicious? Like, let’s show inspiring, culinary looking stuff. So


Curt Anderson  42:43

let’s pop. Now if you don’t mind, wait, go back one second. And I know we’re going way over time, but this is so good. Go back on that. Okay. Guys, we’ve been caught like a lot of folks on the program, we’ve been talking about persona and digging deep into the persona, what typography like you make a tea that’s delicious. And zero does disrespect anybody made this.

But there’s such a disconnect right here. And this is just so common, you know, and God bless them. You know, the person that made it, you know, they had great intentions. This is what they felt right. Go ahead. And I’m sorry, go ahead and show where you didn’t


Paul Kiesche  43:18

know. But we wanted to inspire chefs, we wanted to make cooking, delicious culinary. You know, look at that.



I mean, night and day


Paul Kiesche  43:27

was their tradeshow booth. So we’re comparing a website to a tradeshow booth. But we’re actually in the process of their website now. And this is a sell sheet, you know, so just really kind of saying like, what can you do with macho, like, how great of a and so we still have it as an ingredient, but just trying to make it exciting, delicious, authentic, that kind of thing. You know,


Curt Anderson  43:46

Greg meets you. Greg, you were you were your lab coat when you’re putting your Tupperware right on if you guys can post that video though, that Dude, that was hysterical. So yeah, great comment. Don says fishing or manufacturing. I think about a year away from that. And Lissa says Same here, Greg.

So Dan, bigger says Nice job. Wow, that and I’m Thank you for taking the time to give us the before and afters because look at what a powerful impact that you’re having on us manufacturing. You’re helping companies, you know, get into 2021 and get out of the past and like, Hey, this is how we’ve always done it. And boy, what great work you’re doing, man. Kudos. Let’s give a little round of applause to



Paul man.



Oh, cool. So,


Curt Anderson  44:33

Greg, Greg Mitchell says that’s an amazing portfolio. I hate that phrase. What free? What did I say?


Paul Kiesche  44:41

You gotta be careful to read all the chats.


Curt Anderson  44:45

Man, Did I say something wrong? Yeah, I don’t want we all right, exactly. And, and Damon knows this one man. About fifth. What was it 2009 those words came out of my mouth. This is how we’ve always done it. I sold my business six months later. So that’s it. I knew that was my day to get out. So, guys, Paul, thank you so much for joining us today. Guys. I want to wish everybody incredible Happy Friday. We’re going to get back to the tables Paul any parting thoughts anything that you want to share with our folks?


Paul Kiesche  45:17

I’m just big thank you to curtain Damon for having me on. And this was so much fun and and I love sharing this stuff with you guys. We only just scratched the surface. So love to dive deeper someday.


Curt Anderson  45:29

We’re gonna we’re gonna have we’re gonna have you back for sure. So guys, so a lot going on over the weekend. Number one, Alyssa, your prayers are with you. We have a wonderful healthy baby coming on Sunday. We have I know Dan, we got to sing, too. We got to make the anniversary to Paul. So Dan, we were practicing all week, man we were doing we were practicing our duet. Why don’t we then. So we’ve got Dr. Lissa is going to be new mom over the weekend. We have Sammy Joe that’s expecting. Damon, what do you got anything on your end? Dude?


Damon Pistulka  45:59

I actually do. What do you got a birthday party this weekend in June.



So we get to go brew beer.


Curt Anderson  46:07

Nice. Awesome. Awesome. Well, guys, God bless each and every single one of you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. Please stick around. Come back to the tables. You get a chance to talk with Paul pick some more brilliance while he’s here. So Paul, thank you, dude, I can’t we just can’t express our gratitude for taking your time. Thank


Paul Kiesche  46:25

you. And I can see some people at the table. It’s


Curt Anderson  46:28

great to meet everybody. Absolutely. Have a great weekend.


Damon Pistulka  46:32

Yeah. Okay. You listen on LinkedIn live. We’re shutting it down. Now going back to remote. We’re going to be out the tables did a little bit of networking, talking to Paul, thanks for joining us there. We’ll be back again next Friday for another event.


Curt Anderson  46:47

Thank you. very inspirational. Thanks, Val.


Damon Pistulka  46:50

There we go. We’re going back to the tables everyone.

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