Attract Clients

VMP 256: Chris Do On How To Create A Value Brand Veterinary Practice

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Brandon Breshears
August 30, 2023
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In one of our recent episodes, I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Do, an Emmy award-winning designer, CEO, and chief strategist of Blind. Chris is also the founder of The Futur, an online educational platform that aims to teach one billion people how to make a living doing what they love. Today, I want to share with you some of the key insights from our conversation.

Chris is a legendary figure in the world of branding and graphic design, with over 15 years of teaching experience at prestigious art and design colleges. During our chat, he emphasized the importance of building an emotional connection with customers. According to Chris, successful branding lies in understanding and catering to the unique values and interests of different clients. This approach can help businesses move away from the commoditization trap and towards value-based pricing.

Speaking of value-based pricing, Chris advocates for a shift from pricing based on labor hours to pricing based on the value delivered to the client. He believes that different clients have different values and interests, and pricing should reflect that. For example, someone may value a logo differently based on their financial situation. We also discussed the role of branding in local businesses, the importance of efficient systems and exceptional customer service, and the significance of investing in research and development and marketing services.

Chris's insights into branding and marketing strategies, particularly for creative professionals, were truly eye-opening. His expertise and experience make him a highly respected figure in the industry, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him. I hope you find these insights as valuable as I did.

Episode Transcript

Brandon (00:00:00) - Welcome to the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, where it's all about how to attract, engage and retain clients to run your hospital using digital marketing. My name is Brandon Breshears and I am so excited for today's episode. In today's episode, which is 256, we have Chris Do and this is a legendary guest. I'm excited. I've probably learned. So I was talking to Chris before we did this interview. It's him to Chris Do, Seth Godin and Alex Ramsey. Those are like my top three marketing heroes, marketing teachers. I've learned the most from those three individuals. Chris Do is one of those people, and surprisingly, Chris Do does not do marketing per se. Like he is a graphic designer. He teaches graphic designers, creative professionals how to run their businesses, and he just is incredible expert on building brand, on marketing and just all things brand, which is really what I wanted to talk to Chris about in this episode. So for those of you who don't know, Chris is an Emmy Award winning designer. He's a director, CEO and chief strategist of Blind.

Brandon (00:01:06) - He's also the founder of The Futur, which is, which is fut you are. It's an online educational platform with the mission of teaching 1 billion people to make a living doing the work that they love, which is really cool. He has also taught for over 15 years at Artcenter College of Design, as well as Otis College of Art and Design and has lectured all over the world. So he is one of, I think, the most experts when it comes to graphic design, branding, building a brand personal brand. His social channels, his YouTube, for example, has 2.6 million subscribers, which is massive, which is the future. If you look up Chris Do in the future, his Instagram has almost a million followers. I think he's at 979,000 at the time of this recording, and he truly is an expert at content creation and branding, which is what I wanted to talk to you about in this episode. And we really dive deep into both branding content creation, offer creation, value creation, value based marketing and just a ton of really, really great topics.

Brandon (00:02:12) - And so I'm very excited for you to listen to today's episode and get details about Chris. And I'm just so thankful that he was gracious enough to come on to the podcast because he's really busy guy and I appreciate his time. So I'm a big fan. Before we get into this episode, we have two sponsors for this episode. This episode is being sponsored by two websites by Brad Haven. We have used vet equipment and new vet equipment for over nine years now. Used vet equipment has been helping vets to buy and sell used equipment. You can save money when you buy used everything from cages, kennels, pumps, X-ray equipment, lasers, ultrasounds, dental equipment, surgery equipment, lab equipment from a backseats and tables, tubs and sinks, vet trucks and vet boxes. What do you have to sell at used vet equipment? They bring the buyer and seller together. Also, if you're looking for a new vet equipment with amazing warranties, check out new vet equipment where they show you the price up front.

Brandon (00:03:12) - They have digital x ray equipment, dental X-ray equipment, ultrasound equipment, led surgery, lighting, surgery, tables, autoclaves. When you go to new vet equipment, you'll clearly see the price on every single item for sale. And you'll also know what the warranty is so that you can buy without regret. This episode is being sponsored by the International Veterinary Dentistry Institute and Veterinary Dentistry Dot net. If you're a veterinarian or you have veterans that you work with who struggle with dentistry, or who'd like to be more confident when it comes to dental procedures, then you definitely should go to IBD. Org forward slash tmp that is iv To sign up for a free upcoming live training that's going to go far beyond your average dentistry seminar. This is the gateway to the Veterinary Dental Practitioner Program, an intensive master class program that is a comprehensive initiative designed to enrich veterinary associate skills while empowering practice managers, practice owners to take their practice to new heights. This live training is going to be conducted by board certified veterinary dentist Dr. Brett Beckman.

Brandon (00:04:23) - He's been on the podcast twice and is incredibly talented teacher and educator. He's going to dive deep into actual cases. He's going to dissect all the vital components of effective dentistry case management, and this is going to give you some really direct insight and a clear blueprint to improve your prowess in veterinary dentistry. So if you're ready to elevate your practice and your professional skills, simply go to This is going to be the golden opportunity that helps you to make a significant impact in your practice. It's going to help to give your patients and your clients better care, and it's also going to improve the personal professional development that you have in your career. Go to Ivy League forward slash VMP. All right. Without further ado, here is Chris Doe and my interview with him. Well, can we start by I think it would be interesting to get your take on what is brand like? What is a brand?

Chris (00:05:27) - Sure. There's a couple of ways of looking at brand and I'll start here. You have a brand.

Chris (00:05:34) - If someone has an irrational emotional connection to what it is that you do. If you don't, you have a commodity. And so Marty Neumeier has written about this in his books, and I love his definition, which is a brand is a person's gut feeling about a product service or organization. So it's not what you say it is. It's what they say it is. So branding the act of managing the brand is impression management, and we're trying to influence how we come across to others in the personal brand or in corporations and how we come across to our customers.

Brandon (00:06:06) - That's super concise and I love Marty Niemeyer's writings. I was introduced to him through you. Super, super cool. And I wanted to actually talk about commoditization because you come from an industry that is tremendously commoditized. I think especially now with all of the tools that are coming out and from like nonprofessional, like graphic design type people, it feels like I'll just get a logo, right? And I think that was actually how I found you.

Brandon (00:06:36) - Was that video where you're talking about value based pricing? Can you talk a little bit about your thoughts on value based pricing in terms of getting away from commoditization and things and why that's so important?

Chris (00:06:51) - Sure thing. There are a couple of different ways for someone to price their professional service practice, right? So if you're if you're a lawyer, if you're a designer or you you make find artisanal products, whatever that might be. There's a couple of different ways for you to price. And the one that we're most familiar with is pricing based on the hour. And it's because culturally and historically, this is how we equate. We equate time with value. So the longer it takes you to do something, we think it should cost more. And in fact, in his book, Ron Baker writes about this An acre is a unit of measurement of like how much an oxen plow in a day, how much land. So it's based on labor and effort. And there's lots of conflicting theories about all this stuff.

Chris (00:07:42) - But what you what it doesn't take into account or a couple of different things, things that are very valuable that require no labor, things that you find in the natural world like, well, okay, I guess there's exceptions, right? Like certain woods secrete a very beautiful scent and aroma and that no one labored on that. The extraction of it actually doesn't take that long. But it's worth a lot. It's worth more than than gold in terms of its weight and gold required no one to labor over the extraction from the ground isn't all that much relative to its value. So now we have some conflicts and things are getting a little bit more complicated. And the real problem comes in. If you get really good at something and you can do it faster than the person right next to you, are you supposed to charge less? And so now the whole labor attached to value starts to become very problematic. Now, the counterargument that everybody always likes to point out quickly as the genius we figured it out, just charge more per hour, but you're still selling units of labor.

Chris (00:08:43) - And so there's a there's a tier up from this. And I'm not saying like one is better than the other, just different models. And each and every single person is going to have to pick something that works for them is we get into charging based on the outcome or deliverables. And so if you ask me to fix your toilet, you don't really want me to take longer. You actually want me to do it faster. And it's worth more to me when it's faster. How do I know? Because when you're plumbing explodes on a Sunday, the rates are very, very expensive for them to come out and fix your problem. And in fact, when you have a disaster and anything of real importance, it's more valuable to achieve a result quicker. And this is why they say mindfulness is a multi-million dollar industry, whereas Xanax is $1 billion industry because you take the pill, you get the results right away and you lower your stress levels so we can see there. So speed. In terms of reaching your outcome is important so you can charge for your labor, your time, you can charge for the outcome, the result that you are promising to someone.

Chris (00:09:47) - And then there are two tiers above this. Even so, we're looking at the stack and only above it in terms of difficult levels of difficulty to pull up. The one above selling outcomes is selling based on value. So here's where it gets really interesting is because you and I have totally different sets of value interests and goals we're trying to achieve in our life. If I were to tell you that I can teach you how to paint miniature figures for your Warhammer set piece, and of course that's worth nothing to me because I'm not interested in Warhammer. I've never played it and I don't want to paint miniatures where someone who's really into it could say like, Wow, I'll pay $200 an hour or I'll pay you. So the skill set, the product is service is different based on the buyer. Now here's where I'm going to try to make an appeal to creative people. We like to think of ourselves as very egalitarian, very fair minded and ethical and how we do what we do. And when we go to price things.

Chris (00:10:44) - This is counterintuitive, but we price things in a very egal self centric kind of way. How much time will it take me to make this thing versus being the ultimate test of fairness is how much are you willing to pay for this? How much do you value this? And this is where it gets really confusing for people. For example, wouldn't the fairest pricing model be when you go to receive a product or service like, say, somebody cooks you a meal and they're like, leave whatever you want. There's no suggestion. You just leave whatever you want. So someone who is wealthy will say, Well, that was a delicious meal. Reminds me of home. I'm going to leave $50 for this meal and someone who is down and out, it's like I only have $0.25 or nothing. I'll eat this and I'll have to repay you at some point because it was valuable to me. I just couldn't pay for it. That would be the fairest way to charge based on what you can afford to pay.

Chris (00:11:33) - But the concept also works in professional practices, because if I create a logo for you and a logo is intrinsically valuable to your business, meaning that it will increase revenue, it would increase awareness and things that can be measured, then you will want to pay more. Versus someone is like, Nah, I don't really need a logo. Nobody's coming to this restaurant because the logo that's on the window front, No. One and I'll sell merch. I'm not interested in awareness of conversion. I'm interested in making great food. So the same service has different value because it's contextual and is relevant to the buyer. And so now we get into value. The fourth one I just want to quickly mention is something where you have a stake in the outcome. So it's to make it simple to understand it's commission based or performance based. So I'm not going to charge you on how much time it takes me. I'm not going to charge you on the deliverables, the outcomes in which I promise or based on value, the perceived value.

Chris (00:12:27) - I'm going to just collect money as you collect money. It's all performance based and that's probably the hardest one to pull off. And it's also the most risky. No risk is the charge by the hour. High risk is to have a performance based pricing model. So something in between all of these or a hybrid of multiple ones, depending on what you're doing, can work. I'm a proponent for value based pricing. I really am. But there are moments in times which I will sell fixed fee or even do hourly because it makes sense for that portion of the work for me to charge that way. So it's good for us to know the different models and apply whatever one we're most comfortable with for the situation at hand.

Brandon (00:13:04) - Absolutely. For local service based like a veterinary hospital. I think it's 100% commoditized and I think brand can help to like eliminate people that are not good fits for the practice. But when it comes to pricing models for local businesses, do you think that value is more aligning with like the things that are important to somebody as far as like, you can't guarantee outcomes because you're not God, right? You can do the best you can do, but you can't like make sure your dog lives to 100.

Brandon (00:13:37) - So do you think value based pricing is more along trying to find people that care more about personal connection with their pets, pets, doctor? Or what do you think from a practical standpoint there?

Chris (00:13:49) - Yeah, it may be a difficult thing to pull off, as in this very specific vertical that you're talking about. I'm not 100% convinced that veterinary care is a commodity because people have irrational emotional relationships with their pets and they will do anything and everything to make sure that they have a gentle kind of they're kind of in their winter years. And if they have a bad hip or knee, they will spend inordinate amounts of money to keep their pet somewhat happy and to live some sense of livelihood. Right. But I would say a couple of different things here. Most likely what what doctors and their doctors essentially. Right. They're charging for procedures to fix a bone and there's no guarantee in outcomes. They're just selling you the service. And it's a flat fee. Usually. It's not based on the hours. Right.

Chris (00:14:40) - Typically, like if I go in and I have some work done, I want to know what I'm paying before I go in. And it's really scary to go in to not know what that is because people have been financially ruined because of stuff like that. Now, I'm not sure it's a good business practice. They well, I see that you're you've got a dying golden retriever and let's talk about what that value is to you. It just seems wrong to have that kind of conversation.

Brandon (00:15:08) - That's wrong.

Chris (00:15:09) - Yeah. You know, like, I don't know how to do that. Whereas I can see like if you create a reputation for yourself that you provide the very best service and you have good bedside manner, so to speak, and, and you're meticulous with the work that you do and the aftercare, you should be able to charge a premium. Like, I don't live in the Pacific Palisades anymore, but I know some some people own or veterinarians who own their own practice in the clinic and they do really well in neighborhoods like that because people really cherish and their pets and have an emotional bond.

Chris (00:15:44) - So in this way, we can see that maybe there is some form of value based pricing because in affluent neighborhoods, the value of the pet as a family member is much higher because they can afford more, whereas in impoverished communities it's a dog and it's going to die. And that's the way nature was meant to be. There's nothing we can do. And so they can't spend a lot of money. So the value for the exact same service, prolonging the life of an animal is going to be different depending on the markets in which you're in, just probably based on the socioeconomic makeup of that community.

Brandon (00:16:15) - Yeah. Yeah, that definitely makes sense. I want to pivot a little bit, right? When we're talking about brand, that's creating an irrational relationship with this product, right? Like you want it because you like it better. So a lot of the brands out there like, you know, Nike, Starbucks, the most iconic brands that there are, I think if local businesses adopted marketing or more specifically advertising practices of those big businesses, they would go out of business because it just doesn't make sense.

Brandon (00:16:46) - But so many practices want to kind of emulate these brands. What do you think is some things that brands that are local can emulate of bigger brands that do actually make sense?

Chris (00:17:00) - Okay. I think there's something very practical that you can do. It's something I've learned from having conversations with John Boland. He wrote the book Think Wrong. He runs innovation workshops. He does something called a brand takeover. And so when we're trying to innovate in our business sometimes can be very daunting. And we kind of run down the same tricks and ideas and we get stuck in our kind of level of creativity. So in the brand takeover exercise, what he does is he picks a random brand that we understand really well and we say, What if they all of a sudden took over our company? How would they how would they run this business differently? So if you can say like, let's take a random business, let's say Netflix, for example, right, where like Netflix took over your veterinary clinic hospital. What would they do for marketing? What would they do as a new product or service offering? What would they do for customer care? And they're like, Well, that's kind of tough and it requires you to put your thinking cap on.

Chris (00:17:56) - So we know that originally Netflix was a subscription by mail service and they have great records and they're running an algorithm on the kinds of movies and films that you like, and they're able to route things, rotate things in and out. They got rid of late fees, so they got rid of a big evil. Basically. They looked at the biggest purveyor of video rentals and that was Blockbuster. And the bane of everyone's existence was those exorbitant late fees. And Blockbuster took great pride in how they're able to make money by charging these late fees. And this is working as a business model for them. But what it was doing was it was eroding the client relationship. Blockbuster won because it was fairly like a sizable monopoly, and they could buy more movies and make sure that it's in stock. Blockbuster also celebrated the fact that they thought the experience was in browsing like, Oh, I just want to walk through the aisle way and spend like that. Was for them, a pleasant customer experience. Slash news flash, it's not like waiting in line and picking a box of candy or gum.

Chris (00:18:58) - That was not what it is that I was found pleasurable. What I wanted pleasurable was what I find to be pleasurable is I want to watch a movie. I want to watch it right now. And so ultimately Netflix evolved their business model. So you have to think, okay, so for Netflix and we're running a veterinary hospital, what can we do? Is there anything that we can do by subscription? Can we provide medicines and send them to people knowing that their dogs or cats or whatever animal they're taking care of are well looked after? And this is kind of interesting because I go to see my dermatologist and they're on the west side and they've done something I've never seen done before. Number one is they were using a lot of text messaging. Now it seems like everybody's doing their very sophisticated. Like, here's a quick reminder. Your appointment is here, here's the address, and let us know if you can't make it and text this right. So that's pretty cool. I get in and the time in which I step in, in times in which the doctor went to see me was very like quick.

Chris (00:19:56) - Like I didn't make me wait around. So they have a very efficient system here, so they're running like a 21st century business, not like like a 400 year old industry or whatever it is. And then here's the cool part. When I was leaving, they're like, okay, so the doctor wrote you a prescription for X, Y, and Z. Do you want us to send it to you? Like what? You mean I don't have to go to the pharmacy and pick another like, No, we got you. We got it all worked out. It won't cost anything. We'll take care of all the paperwork. And so, of course, I get it. And whatever time it had expired and then they're like, send me another message. Should we send you a refill? I'm like, Oh my God, This is levels of service that I've never experienced before. So much so that I would go and tell a stranger basically about a dermatological dermatology visit. Like what? What are we doing here? So you can take these ideas.

Chris (00:20:46) - Like if you said to yourself, What if Disney ran our hospital? Would that be like.

Brandon (00:20:55) - There's actually a book in the veterinary industry called What if Disney Ran Your Practice? And somebody wrote that? It's pretty, pretty popular. Yeah.

Chris (00:21:04) - That's what you look for. Like, what if Apple were here? What would it look like? And so we see, especially here in Southern California, a bunch of marijuana dispensaries. And they are trying their best, like what if Apple ran this? It looks like you're walking into Apple store. The weights lit, how it's designed, aesthetics of it and how everything is presented as this super premium thing versus like a dodgy back room with bad lighting.

Brandon (00:21:29) - It's I think that's super important. So when it comes to online branding, it obviously needs to match the experience very well. But how much time and effort do you think, like if somebody there's a lot of practices that are just start up practices and so how much energy and effort and effort would you suggest that they put into like their brand before they open? And let's say it's a business that's doing 1 million to $2 million a year in revenue, Like how much would you say would be a good investment? I know that's super broad and you don't have industry knowledge, but from working with.

Brandon (00:22:10) - You know, businesses that have that kind of revenue. How much do you think businesses should be putting into their their brand and brand strategy and positioning and everything like that?

Chris (00:22:20) - I think there's a good rule of thumb that historically speaking, when they study the S&P 500, the companies that are listed, the companies that spend. A high percentage of the revenue on research and development outperformed the companies that don't. It makes a lot of sense. You're always figuring out the new products. You're going to jump the curve before it happens, right? And so you would say at a minimum, you should spend 10% of your revenue on research and development R&D. You should probably also spend another 10% on marketing services to be able to build your business. And those are minimums. Those are not maximums. Some companies that are really built around brand and story, where they're in a highly commoditized market, they spend 30 to 70% on marketing like credit card companies. Like why would you buy one credit card or or sign up for one credit card versus another? And it's mostly just marketing.

Chris (00:23:17) - It's not in the creation of the product itself because they're all relatively the same. The same thing with soda water. It's like it's all kind of the same except for the marketing, the design and the branding can make it different. So I love to cite the reference, the case study, and many of your listeners will be familiar with this, but a company came out of nowhere. It's called Liquid Death. And liquid death isn't what it sounds like. It's just water in a can. And it's a pure marketing design brand play because how can you differentiate yourself from all these other sparkling water or flat water companies? Well, first, put in a can that looks different and then have this crazy name that it's kind of contrarian to what you would normally pick. Like you don't want to name your products death. And then they have this kind of melting skull illustration for it and they're trying to market it to this kind of alternative culture. And so it feels like you're drinking beer or alcohol and you're just drinking water.

Chris (00:24:16) - So it has a cool street punk like heavy metal vibe to it. And you're like, Oh, this is real interesting. So it's going to pop off the shelf. It zigs or zags when everyone else is going the other direction. I think that's a beautiful thing. And so we can take a product that's highly commoditized water. Ubiquitous, essential and totally built a strong brand around this. And they're one of the fastest growing water companies right now. It's kind of fascinating to see that happen. And so we can say, okay, in the most boring sector in segment, there's room for innovation. So if you're not innovating, then it just means you have a lack of imagination.

Brandon (00:24:54) - Absolutely. There's nothing more boring than water. They did all kinds of wild campaigns. They had one that was sell yourselves soul for a t shirt to their company. It's pretty wild. But that, I think, is is really good. Obviously, you wouldn't want to go to that extreme with the veterinary hospital. It would not be a good name.

Chris (00:25:16) - Well, they understand their audience, right?

Brandon (00:25:17) - Yeah, absolutely. They don't know.

Chris (00:25:21) - Taking it seriously. So it's okay.

Brandon (00:25:23) - Yeah, it gets attention, Right. Which is the the most important thing kind of. But then they also execute with that well when.

Chris (00:25:31) - There's literally no differentiation between your product or someone else's, you have to spend all your time, energy and resources in marketing and creating the brand. So that that's I was making that example as the far extreme. So veterinarians have differences in where they were trained, what what animals they may or may not treat. Right. And they have different service that they're going to provide. So there's already differentiation there. So they're not going to spend 80, 90% of their energy on marketing. They can actually focus on providing excellent care, upgrading systems and making it easy to get in and out. And just they can they can innovate in many different ways, not just in design and marketing.

Brandon (00:26:12) - Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. But I think that there's probably the most potential there because with all of their formal training and education, it's kind of put them into a system where they are very much following kind of what everybody else is doing either when it comes to pricing, they just kind of usually will pick somewhere in the middle when it comes to content.

Brandon (00:26:32) - They kind of see what everybody else is doing and post more of that. And so I think there's a lot of good value there for them, for sure. Yeah.

Chris (00:26:40) - There's another idea I'd like to introduce, which is building integrated businesses. Are you familiar with this concept.

Brandon (00:26:48) - Like boarding and grooming and things like that? Is that what you mean?

Chris (00:26:53) - You mean Yes, but in a little bit more expanded way. Like, I don't know if you know this, but McDonald's is one of the you know, they're rich because they own a lot of land there, like in the real estate business. And what they do is how they do these franchises is once you pick a site they want to buy, they own the land underneath it. And you as a franchisee, get to support yourself by having a ready to go system. They're also one of the biggest toy manufacturers in the world where they're Happy Meals and they are also potato farmers because they build this because they like a specific content in terms of starch or whatever it is in their in their French fries.

Chris (00:27:32) - And so they don't need to make business even in their primary business, because their other businesses make more money. So when you look at something like this vertical of veterinary care and to tie it back to your question about how much money should they invest in design and branding, if you look at it like this, what if the the the practice itself was done at cost? Okay. And what if they made their money elsewhere? For example, they can make really interesting videos about how they're helping pets. And those videos get millions of views because we like seeing pets rehabilitated and then they are able to generate brand deals and sponsorships and ad revenue from just their social media channels on TikTok, on YouTube and Instagram. It's a different business. Right. And it just there's many ways to. To collect rain. And the buckets in which you lay out can determine what kind of business did you have. So maybe they invest a lot of money in coming up with a great name and they design it so that it looks awesome.

Chris (00:28:34) - And so everybody who goes there, it's like, oh my gosh, I want to buy a collar for my dog. Based on the aesthetics, the Nike of your industry, like, I want a t shirt. I'm a proud customer here. And all of a sudden the apparel starts to get seen by other people. They're like, Wow, okay, we want to buy that now. It's not even about veterinary care anymore. It's about understanding and appreciating your love for pets and expressing that to other people or for animals, I should say. And they can create a whole merch line and then they can run an e-commerce store. So when we think about like innovation, the natural thing is to say a boarding of grooming and those kinds of things are in the same vertical. But what if we pushed a little bit to the side and say, well, we expand our imagination, include other kinds of things, what else could be done? So this is where you do the integrated business thing, where you can give away the service that you think you make money from.

Chris (00:29:28) - But it's a loss leader to build a different kind of relationship. And so those are different, maybe slightly more innovative business models.

Brandon (00:29:38) - That's a really, really interesting. Have a friend named Dr. Cody Krugman and he's got a practice up in Canada. He's done an amazing job with the branding of it. It's just incredible. Incredible. He thinks about his business a lot differently. It's super cool to see how he runs it, but he has a YouTube channel that's pretty big. It's only 40,000 subscribers on it, but he was thinking of doing just that, where he'd have it free and then people would come in and he'd have the interesting content on. And so I thought that was always an interesting idea. But he had these abscess videos. It was like the Dr. Pimple Popper version, but better medicine. And they did like 20 million views or something like that. Wild So that's, that's super interesting. Do you think that more local businesses should consider their brand as like a way to attract an audience then and then all of these kind of kind of businesses that are relatively related are just a way to monetize the audience through things that they're going to love and engage with and things.

Chris (00:30:40) - Yeah, obviously this is not for everybody. What we're talking about is the realm of ideas, what's possible, and you have to kind of look at what kind of life you want to live. And somebody somebody's like, I just want to take care of animals and help them live their best life. And you don't want to be distracted by these other things, and that's your prerogative. So it depends on the individual, right? You don't you can be very successful veterinarian just taking care of the pets that or the animals that live within your neighborhood and you'll do just fine. But if you're looking to innovate and to build something that maybe has a bigger impact in the in your in your community, in your city or in in the country or in the world, then you have.

Brandon (00:31:20) - Absolutely. With your content that you make for the future, which is amazing. Uh, was there anything that you did that really helped it? To take off. Where was there a moment where you, like, learned and you said, okay, this was something that really, really helped or was just consistency of doing it for a long time.

Chris (00:31:40) - The big breakthrough for us on YouTube in terms of growing our audience and connecting with the community is to be much more intentional about the kind of content that we're creating. Initially, it was like, Hey, what is this YouTube thing? Let me just make a few videos. And so you you wind up not preparing. You're not sure about the lesson plan and you're still learning about how to teach via this medium. And it takes a while to figure that out. But I would say that the key insight in those early years is initially we we use social media as a as a platform to to create soft call to action ads. Basically, they're adverts for things we wanted people to buy. And I think what it did was it put a. The space between us and the audience, and they knew. So when they watch the video, it's like, I'm going to be sold something. They're going to ask me for something. This is clearly a marketing play. And so when you're when you're advertising to people, no matter how good the content is, at some point it does wear them down.

Chris (00:32:38) - It's not like it's very rare that ads go viral unless they were designed to go viral, Right? So when we when we took off our marketing cap and we just said, you know what, we want to be educators first, let's approach this from giving additional product attached. I'm just going to give I'm going to pour into people and hopefully at some point we'll figure out our business model. Once we did that, we could see that the views started to spike and go up and we had a couple very fortunate breaks that we at the right place, right time, the right person delivery. Some of our videos have gone viral with millions of views and some of them tens of millions of views. And so we've been very fortunate that way.

Brandon (00:33:18) - It's mean. Your content is so great and I'm not a graphic designer at all, but it just has so many applications, so it's very universal. So I think that people would do really well to listen to your videos. Also, your Instagram, of course, on Carousels is fantastic and just all this stuff, you love it.

Brandon (00:33:37) - So I really appreciate it. Appreciate it. I'm a I'm a buyer, so I do. Yeah. I see. And other brands related to the veterinary industry too. So yeah.

Chris (00:33:51) - I remember that now, I think in the dialogue. Yeah. Yeah.

Brandon (00:33:55) - So run run ads on Google, Facebook, TikTok and other placements, too, but mostly Google. So, yeah. Well, is there anything that you think would be really beneficial as far as last best branding tip for local business business that you see that you wish that every local business did? Or is that not something that's universally applicable?

Chris (00:34:23) - There I think there's some broad concepts and I'll share them maybe some of the universal concepts, which is we have to understand the time in which we live in, which is we live in a time of abundance and there's, if anything, we're being over communicated to and it's a good thing and it's a bad thing. So what we have is a lot of choice now. We can choose lots of different restaurants to eat at a lot of different hotel booking services.

Chris (00:34:46) - And so when there's so much choice, the only way to defeat that, the way to gain an an unfair, competitive but legal advantage is to work on your branding, to be able to create a story around your products and services that people connect with. Because after all, we're all emotional, irrational beings. We we often make a decision in the moment based on a gut instinct, and then we post rationalize it like, this is why we need it. This is why it's a good investment of our time and our money. But it's we're emotional creatures and story. Narrative and wrapped around a product or services. What what triggers those emotions? Because we want to buy from from companies and people that we feel like are part of our community because we're we're like looking for meaningful connection. We're looking for identity, why we choose to wear one pair of shoes or headphones or the other, because we think it says something about who we are in this world. And so when you tap into that, you develop your brand or your personal brand, you start to separate yourself from the pack, so to speak, and then you create preference.

Chris (00:35:56) - And when you have a strong brand, you command a premium. And if you don't, you don't have a story or narrative attached to your product or service, then you become a commodity, one that's easily replaced, one which compete on price alone. So there's your two choices, right? You have to say I'm moving towards the commodity commoditization market or we're moving towards the brand, the story in the narrative market. And if I am, then good. It's good news. If you're heading another way, you're going to have to do high, high volume. You can win there, but it's a brutal world.

Brandon (00:36:30) - Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Makes a lot of sense. No point in second place. Right, right, right. That's all. Well, thank you so much for your time today, Chris. I want to be respectful of it, but I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Chris (00:36:45) - Oh, my pleasure, Brandon. Good question. I enjoyed the conversation.

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Brandon Breshears
Digital Marketer & Podcaster
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