Written by Rinnie Orr, Associate Director
I‘ve known Brandon Christian for over a year now. We met through our entrepreneurial network – our Commonwealth group. Brandon is a founding member of WEBB Squared, the CEO and Founder of Pore People Organics, a skin care company. Brandon’s company recently went through a rebranding process. I sat down with Brandon and we talked about that process, the lessons learned, and more.
Rinnie: Good morning, Brandon. It’s been a while since we’ve talked. You’ve gone through a whole rebranding process with your business. Thanks for being willing to talk with me about that process.
First of all, when did you go into business?
Brandon: I started Pore People October 1, 2013.
Rinnie: Okay. Was this your first rebranding or had you rebranded before?
Brandon: It was the second one.
Rinnie: What goes into your decision to rebrand?
Brandon: When I first started my brand, I made it super simple for people to understand what was in the products. Even if you’re a sixth grader, you’d understand.
But if I’m making the products for prestigious spas teams and different markets like dermatologists’ offices, then we need to show that we are clinical at first sight.
Rinnie: So rebranding has to deal with what audience you desire to reach. What has that process been like for you.
Brandon: First, I had to look into the market, see what’s already out there. My consumers are smart. They’re sophisticated. They know the ingredients. I had to see what other skin care producers are putting on their labels and mimic that.
I want to be as unique as possible, so I renamed all 15 of my products. That was a creative exercise for me – looking into the market, researching across different retailers and hundreds of brands to see what different names of products already out there. And then thinking about how to differentiate mine.
I had to search the trademark registry to see if these names that I was coming up with were already taken. That’s one thing you need to, if you want to be unique.
Rinnie: How long was that process?
Brandon: It took me about two months to do everything.
Rinnie: You had to do that for each of your products – all 15 of them?
Brandon: Yes, essentially the ones that I wanted to trademark.
Rinnie: So, you are rebranding to go into different markets, like spas – once you are done rebranding, what is your process to reach the markets you want to sell your products in?
Brandon: I definitely reach out through connections. I can send samples to a dermatologist connected through a cosmetic chemist I know. I can get feedback, and then validation from someone in that industry of chemistry.
With my background in spa management – I know how to approach that audience. I know what they’re looking for – and that’s why I knew I had to rebrand before I branched into that market.
Rinnie: How are you feeling about the rebranding? How is it working for you?
Brandon: Well, some things that I changed are working – like we have this green, metallic stripe on the label to make the label more appealing. Even after I finished the rebrand I’ve thought about things that I want to tweak. So now I’m actually in another rebranding process.
The last rebranding, I managed it myself. This time, I hired an agency to do the work. It’s going to be a more professional, cohesive rebrand to help take us to the next level as we start marketing the business.
Rinnie: Are you making the connections that you feel are necessary to get to the next level?
Brandon: Yeah, my rebranding agent’s business partner is a business partner of Kevin Hart’s.
Rinnie: The comedian?
Brandon: Yeah, the comedian. They’re based in LA and I’m trying to get a box of products to his wife. It may be an opportunity to get a shout out and endorsement. We’ll see how this turns out.
Rinnie: What kind of advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to start a business or rebrand?
Brandon: People who want to start a business need to understand that logistics are everything. I’ve been doing the CEO job and the chief Operations Officer job. I don’t have that person – I have to be those people. You are the person that stays up at night. You are doing the bootstrapping. You need to be flexible, wear multiple hats. It’s not an 9 to 5 job where you working for someone else. You are the creative director, you’re the boss, you’re the financial person, the shipping manager, and everyone else.
Your vision and enthusiasm and energy is gonna make it or break it.
Rinnie: So much to think about when starting a business. Thanks for sharing your insight. Entrepreneurship is not something to take lightly.
What would you say is your next aspiration for your business, or even just your life besides business?
Brandon: My biggest aspiration is to buy my first property – for both the business and myself. Create office and meeting space. I want to build my house from the ground up. I’m just wanting to get successful enough where I can build the house.
Rinnie: Cool. I appreciate your taking all these questions. Do you have time to answer some rapid fire questions for people to get to know you? You don’t have to think about the answers – just answer what comes to the top of your head?
Brandon: All right…
Rinnie: Good. What’s your favorite day of the week?
Rinnie: Where’s your next vacation going to be?
Rinnie: Do you listen to podcasts?
Rinnie: When you do, do you have a favorite?
Brandon: There’s one called the Formula Botanica podcast. And my best friend has a podcast.
It’s been months since I listened to one though, I’m so busy. I need to listen to the WEBB Squared podcast for sure.
Rinnie: Yes, you do. I’ll send you the link.
Okay. The artist Andy Warhol once said everybody’s gonna have 15 minutes of fame in their life. So when you get your 15 minutes, what will you do with that time?
Brandon: Use it to talk about my fundraiser to help fund adoption grants.
Rinnie: Cool. If you were to open a fortune cookie today, what would it say?
Brandon: You’re going to live a long, healthy life.
Rinnie: Last one – What’s your catchphrase?
“I know. That’s right.”
When I see people doing something positive I say “I know. That’s right!”
Rinnie: Cool. I love it. That’s pretty much a wrap – thanks so much for catching up with me today.
Brandon: We’ll talk soon! Thanks so much.