Born to Fly Podcast

003-this happens when your brand makes sense, with Jason Tsui

Episode Summary

Jason got called to start his own brand fitness apparel line. He doesn't only master branding, he helps others achieve the same!

Episode Notes

Jason is a creative person to his core. Things you will enjoy from this podcast?

RawDuo Studio

KOACH Apparel 

KOACH Insta

Episode Transcription

TRANSCRIPT
JANE:
Hi, Jason, thanks for being on the show. We have met through my born to fly community. So that's a community for believers that believes that all entrepreneurs can fly to great heights. But we need other like minded people to get there. So clearly, I know who you are, but can you also introduce yourself to our listeners?

JASON:
Hey, everyone. So my name is Jason and I'm a creative entrepreneur. I have branding and digital agency called RawDuo Studio, and also started like, you know, a clothing line KOACH apparel. Yeah, I do that too.

JANE:
Cool! I know that you're a person who loves to dive into different things. So you have your own agency, and you have your own clothing line. So I think that you're like really a doer. And I think that shows that you are creative. So I want to talk about creativity a little bit more. What do you think about creativity? And has that been a big part of your life?

JASON:
So yeah, creativity, it's really important in my life. That's kind of like how I became who I am right now as well. Since I was young, you know, like, I always love you know, being creative in different way. I mean, whether it's good or bad, I always love being creative. I don't want to be the same as everyone. And just like how God created all of us. God is creative. God created everyone different. There's so many people on this planet and none of us are the same. And so like, we are like God, you know, very creative in different ways. And for me, I just love like, you know, like graphic design is something that I always love, and I always loved fashion. I always love so these are the things I love the most and creatives in a creative world. So yeah, this is like, it's been a huge part and I studied graphic design and be became a graphic designer, and keep on learning different aspects of designs, including, I could talk about that afterwards, getting into the fashion industry. That's like something new as well. So, so yeah, I love what I do. It's a it's a huge part. Creativity is a huge part of my life.

JANE:
Yeah. And I totally agree when you said that, you know, God in the first place is a creator, like he created this earth. He created all of us and yeah, you made this comment about that. Every one of us is unique and that's indeed very, I don't know, special in a way. Right? 

JASON:
Yeah. There's not the same person out there. There's not another Jason or another Jane. 

JANE:
Yeah, yeah.

JASON:
I mean, I think I'm so amazed like how, like, everyone could be so different. But similar, you know, but yeah, it's amazing.

JANE:
When we think about it, like, I can say that I'm creative, you're creative, for sure. Do you think everybody's creative? I know a lot of people who say, I'm not creative, but what do you think about that?

JASON:
Um, I don't totally agree with that. Everyone is artistic in, in their own ways. Creative is not only about the design part, you know, you can be creative in any, you know, different aspect in life. If you want to write your own book, that's creative writing. You're not you're not following someone's footsteps. You actually creating your own, you're trying to create your own brand, you're trying to create your own business. I mean, that is creative itself already. You know, you go like, I mean, there's so many different ways. I mean, people can be creative in like the fitness world and the health world, even finance, you know, like, there's so many different ways like that. That's how, for example, that's how FinTech started, even finance could be creative as well, people don't think finance would be creative, but like, but people would finance with technology. And then, you know, like, there's so many different ways, right? So I believe everyone is creative in their own way.

JANE:
Yeah, I agree. When I look at my husband who works, you know, in finance, a lot of people think it's boring. There is no creativity. But I think creativity is not necessarily only about making something it's also looking at things from a different perspective. So if you have a problem and you want to address a problem, it's basically looking at it thinking, okay, what do we have? What are the options that are out there? And how can we combine those options or possibilities to make sure we get a new solution? Right. I don't know if you agree.

JASON:
Yeah, yeah, totally agree. Yeah.

JANE:
Okay, cool. So we both agree that everybody is creative. Everybody has a creative mind. 

JASON:
Yes.

JANE:
Cool. So I just want to talk a little bit more about your background in branding and brand building. And just to get to know or to figure out what branding is or what we are going to talk about, can you quickly explain to us what you consider branding to be?

JASON:
So branding, there's different ways to see it but branding in my perspective, it's about defining, you know, how you want to be perceived. You know, basically you organize your business based on your comments and communicating your promise and be consistent. But a good branding it's you know, wrapping your brand message into a story that could transform people. Like some fuzzy information and provokes an emotional response to the audience. Use narrative to share your, you know, your brand history, challenges, success and values, which no other brand could copy you. That's what makes your brand unique. 

JANE:
Mm hmm. Yeah. So it's definitely more than just the logo or

JASON:
Much more than just a logo. Logo is just like, that's like a, you know, misconception that people have like, oh, brand is a new logo. A logo is it's kind of like your face, but your face does not represent who you are. You know, and so what's your character, your personality? And so same with like a business. So like yeah, logo's important, that's what people see. But that is not all of it. Yeah branding is what it's about, you know, it's much more than that just logo.

JANE:
And you know, we talk a lot about branding nowadays and that it is important to have a brand but you know, in the early days before branding even existed branding was only a way of like, marking your cattle and making sure that your cows were yours, and not those of your neighbor. So why do you think branding now is such a, you know, a hot topic? Why do you think having a brand nowadays is important?

JASON:
Because branding is... Okay, so let's put it this way. I would say it's not enough to just have like a quality product or service. You need to know how to like talk about it in different ways. To from, you know, like, differentiate yourself from your crowd. And that's why branding is so important, like branding is something that could increase you know, your brand visibility and your audience size. And also like, it's much more memorable than just facts. Because you connect with people's emotions. You know? People remember stories. So because branding is like a story, branding is about storytelling. And people remember your story. Brand vision is more than just facts, which is your product and services. And that allows people to know what to expect from your company as well. 

JANE:
Mm hmm. And would you say they there could be similar brands? Are there identical brands out there? Or are you saying no, that's not possible.

JASON:
Of course, there are similar brands, like, for example, fitness brands, there's so many. But every brand is different, you know. There's loads of them, there's Nike, you know, and whatnot, right? But they have their own branding, you know, like, they're different in their own ways. People like certain brands, and not the other, even though they're similar. Because they, they are more connected with, like, certain brands, their vision, more than other ones. So the brand could be similar, or even the name could be even the same. I mean, there's copyright issues, so not completely the same. It doesn't mean it's the same brand, because like, same name, have different, you know, like message behind it. That's what makes your brand different. 

JANE:
Is that also the emotional value that you were talking about? 

JASON:
Yes. People connect to different brands because of our emotional value.

JANE:
Well, um, I know that you know a lot about branding and how to build a brand. Because you're built one yourself, a very amazing one. I think. By now you know that people love the brand that you've built. And I'm talking about your brand coach or KOACH. And you have an amazing story about that, how that came to be. And I think there's a lot of things that we can learn. So I wanted to ask you, if you can tell us a little bit more about the existence of your brand, KOACH, coach, and what it stands for you. So just tell me about your brand. And I think people will get a clear idea what a good brand could be about. 

JASON:
Yeah. Um, you know, first thing, the name: KOACH. There's kind of two ways to pronounce it. Coach is more like the English way, you know, as basically coach with a K. But KOACH has the meaning behind it. It is actually, it's strength in Hebrew. That's the meaning behind this brand. It's like it's a faith based active for brand. So I could talk about like how how I kind of like got inspired to do this. I would say last year, one day I was actually wearing this T shirt to gym and it was a shirt that says "do everything with love." And it was like a tagline from my church, you know, for an outreach program. And so to give away a free t shirt like that, and then like I was wearing that at the gym. When I was working out this lady came up to me and said Oh, I love your shirt. What's the shirt about and what you get this from? And that conversation just got into like a deep conversation about God. Because of this shirt, it's about you know, my church is about, it's about God is about faith. So and this lady was so inspired by the story. So I was like, oh, if a simple t shirt like that could, you know, could bring a conversation with God then why don't I start my own brand that could, you know, inspire people and inspire others with God's word. That could be, you know, like, that could be fashionable and practical as well. Right. So, I mean, so that's why and that's kind of how I started it. I was like, I mean, that's how I got inspired to do that. But I actually did not even hesitate to started my own brand because at that time I had such a strong feeling. It's God's calling for me. Even though I have no experience in the fashion world, but I just do it anyways, because I know, there's my calling. It's, I don't know, it's kind of weird to say that but like it's such a strong feeling. It's like God is like, Hey, this is your calling. Go do it. And I will guide you through it. And so I started it.

JANE:
And I love that. Sorry to interrupt you. But yeah, I love that. You just felt that you needed to do it, and you just did it. I think you researched one week and you kind of knew what to do. Right?

JASON:
Yeah, yeah, it was, uh, it was, I can say, a no brainer. I hesitated a little bit but like, you know, I didn't really hesitate too much. I mean, like, I just did my research and do it and even like, honestly, I felt like God just gave me the name. In my mind I was thinking, Oh, I want to use the word strength because strength is often used in the Bible. The brand "strength" is not the right name. So I said to God "Okay, you just come up something else." So then I thought what is strength in Hebrew and I searched it up and KOACH it was. Any people that knows Hebrew, I might pronounce it incorrectly, but it's close enough. So that name came out. KOACH, and I was like, oh wow that makes so much sense. In English is called coach and the reason why I love it so much because in Hebrew it means strength. In English if you pronounce the pronunciation of it, it's coach and it makes so much sense for a fitness brand you know and God is like a coach. He gets you through you know, like, gives you the strength to do your workout right? So I mean I love this you know, like this meaning behind it and so I didn't hesitate. I registered his brand, uses brand to train you know, like a faith based active wear. And the main message behind is I want people to feel inspired. And to remind people that, you know, we could do all things through God's strength, whether it's in life or at the gym. So that's the that's the whole meaning behind it.

JANE:
That's your belief behind it. And I think a lot of people will be with you on that.

JASON: 
Yeah, I mean, I hope so. Yeah. I mean, I really, you know, I really love this brand. And it's, it's something that I have. It is my passion.

JANE:
Yeah. And then I mean, this is the story behind the brand and this is like the philosophy or the belief behind the brand, but then when we look at how you put this into practice, it also shows something what branding is about because you're not just, you know, don't just have your website on which you promote your active wear, but you also have like an Instagram and a Facebook account for the brand and then there are like challenges that you can do. Like Tell me about how you created that or how you thought of that.

JASON:
At the beginning I wasn't even thinking about that, you know. I started this brand but didn't want it to be like another activewear brand, even though it's like specifically like a faith based band but I want to make a more like a lifestyle because you know, like, you know like my body is like you know a church and you want to take care of your body. So, I want to use this brand to kind of inspire people to take care of the body, which is working out. So, so like in my Instagram, I do post different motivational quotes, Bible verses, that inspire people and motivate people to work out and do different challenges to challenge people to work out and, you know, and whatnot. So I want to create a lifestyle for this brand instead of just a clothing brand itself. So that's like the emotional piece of it. I want people to feel that emotional attachment to this brand. 

JANE:
Yeah, I think that works out pretty well already. If I think about where the idea came from that you met this lady in your gym, you got a conversation because of your T shirt and you talk you started talking about faith. And then it grows from that into this lifestyle brand that basically is about "Yes, we want to share the gospel. We're proud of that." But as Christians, it also means that I have to take care of my body that I've been given. And yeah, that's what the whole brand embraces, I guess.

JASON:
Yes. So yeah, that's, you know what I believe. And that's quite honouring God too. You want it, to take care of your body, which is very important. 

JANE:
Yeah. And I think definitely, physically, but also mentally. 

JASON:
Oh, yes, for sure.

JANE:
Yeah, I think there's a couple of things that we can take away from that story, which is, you know, there's always something behind the brand. For you, especially the name already has a message in it. Do you think a name is important? I get the question often from people that ask like, you know, what do you think of this new business name? Do you think I need to put a lot of thought in a business name or can I just pick a name and move forward?

JASON:
I would say yes and no. It is important. But it depends what meaning you put behind it, you know, it's like a name, it could be as simple as, like, for example, apple. But they changed the way they define Apple. Apple, people think of it as a fruit. But they totally changed the meaning behind it. Apple was a lame name, but that doesn't matter. It could have been orange or mango or something, right? But it's more like how, how do your customers know your brand, your business, right? And it's all about what kind of meaning you put behind this name. So let's say for example, my name is Jason, your name is Jane. Jane. Yeah, it's a name. It is just the name of the brand. But it's the meaning behind it that matters. Yeah. So what I'm saying is it's a yes and no. Yes, it is. But I think is more important to think about, like the meaning behind that name than the name itself. Yeah. If that makes sense.

JANE:
Yeah. So your advice would be to those people; just eventually pick a name and think about what the meaning behind it is? Because that's way more important than the name itself.

JASON:
Yes.

JANE:
That makes sense. And I think another thing that we can take away from your story is that you saw a need for something. You you had this experience and you thought, okay, there's a need for making it more accessible or easy, easier for people to talk about faith. For instance, if you wear a brand like KOACH people have the opportunity to walk up to you and say for example, oh, I see this message on your shirt, like are you believer? I think it's a conversation starter if I'm correct.

JASON:
Yes, it is like a talking piece. You know, you want people to talk about it you want people to share. And that's how like, you know, like, not everyone you know, like if you just go up to someone Hey, you know for like non believers, you know, might be difficult if you just go up to them. Hey, you know, I want to share to you want about the Gospel and about God and people might be like, Ah, no, maybe not. Right. But if it's like from a shirt, it's much easier to talk about your shirt than just straight to the source. It's a conversation starter. As I said, that's what I want to create. It's like, basically, creating a platform, a reason for people to talk about God. So I'm just creating that reason.

JANE:
Yeah, that's a good one. And I think an easy way to start talking about it. So we have the name, we have the story behind it. We have you know, your need that you saw in the solution that you offered. What are things that people need to consider when they're building their brand? What do you think is definitely essential?

JASON:
Um, I would say, you should ask yourself, what do you want to be remembered as? You or your brand. And the second thing is like, What is the message you want to transmit to your audience? And the third question you should ask yourself will be, what do you never want them to forget? Find one thing you don't want to forget, what is that thing? And really, an extra point is, consider the emotion. You want to evoke your audience every time they interact with your brand. You know, the audience may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you make them feel. So, these are the key points that you know, I think you should remember that.

JANE:
I kind of feel the last one is a quote or something from a book.

JASON:
Yes, it is actually. 

JANE:
So it's what Simon Sinek says: people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it.

JASON:
Yes. Yeah, totally correct.

JANE:
Okay, that's a good one to look into as well; the Golden Circle. That's the next step after you build your brand, you want to communicate it. How are you going to do that?

JASON:
Yes. And remember, be consistent. Be consistent is very important. You don't want to keep changing your message. What are you started out with? Keep it out. So be consistent is more important than just trying to make it suitable for everyone.

JANE:
And do you have some tips on that. Like how do you make sure that you're consistent?

JASON:
From the brand message to your brand promise to your DNA. The theme color, even imagery, should be consistent. The reason why it's so important to be consistent is because when your brand is consistent, people will remember your brand. Other than your logo, people will actually recognize your brand just by color or just by the message. I always use this example of Nike; you know, "just do it." And if you think of just do it, you think of Nike. That's basically a tagline for Nike. You know, they don't even have to show the logo or any color, just the tagline itself. You already know what brand is it. These are the stuff that'll differentiate yourself with other brands, and make your brand stand out because of the consistency and people will know what to expect.

JANE:
Would you recommend people to just have a document somewhere on their computer or maybe have something put on the wall that basically shows Okay this is your brand color, this is your brand message... just to have it visible for yourself and to make sure that you are consistent? Like a brand book or like a play book?

JASON:
You know, I call it a brand Bible. But brand guideline, you know, whatever you call it. Yeah, I mean, for people that don't really know how to build a brand it might be difficult. But while you can sense this, something that you could build over time, you know, like, remember, like, for example, like colors or imagery, find a style that you know, you think it's like suited for your brand, color that is suitable for your brand and keep that and don't be you know, like, Don't don't change your color too often, you know, or maybe at least, pick a primary color an a secondary color. I know some might think "oh color, I don't really care about that", but it actually matters. You know, if you want your brand message to be more positive but you choose a dark color, that's contradicting with your brand. So you want to have like some kind of like a brighter color or a certain color. So it's because like, certain color kind of, you know how it matters, you know, when it comes to people's emotion, you know, when people see like a darker color, you know, it would give like a negative vibe to it sometimes. But of course if you have like a darker color with like a highlight of a bright color and you know, that could be different too. Your brand message, your brand promise, these are just stuff that you should write down and try to be as consistent as possible throughout, anywhere you're building your brand. 

JANE:
Mm hmm. That was great. Jason. I'm sure people will have some takeaways on how to build their brand. I think consistency is a very big one to remember. And can you share with us where we can find your like social media and website?

JASON:
Do you have any question about branding or anything like that, websites you know, you contact me at rawduo.com. Or if you're interested in knowing about KOACH apparel, then it's koachapparel.com. So these are the two websites that you could find me on and then feel free to send me a message. If you have any questions, contact us, and I will respond to that.