Renowned Brand Strategist Fabian Geyrhalter wants to empower any venture to turn into an admired brand


From the Author of the #1 Bestseller “How to Launch a Brand” comes “Bigger Than This”
Renowned Brand Strategist Fabian Geyrhalter wants to empower any venture to turn into an admired brand, regardless of their product or service offering

LOS ANGELES, CA –– What do brands like Planet Fitness, Everlane, and Bombas all have in common? They’re capturing peoples’ emotions and winning customers’ hearts. And they are based on commodity products or services.

Following the success of his #1 bestselling book, “How to Launch a Brand,” acclaimed brand strategist Fabian Geyrhalter is back with an enlightening new book that digs deep into today’s new world of brand creation. “Bigger Than This” challenges companies – from startups to Fortune 100s – to (re)discover their spark and connect with today’s consumers on a deeper level.

In “Bigger Than This,” Geyrhalter analyzes brands that are based on commodity products – watches, socks, shoes, fish – yet they quickly turn into beloved brands. He emphasizes the importance of storytelling, encouraging brands to embrace 8 simple traits these brands showcase and offers specific, actionable commandments that any brand can implement – story, belief, cause, heritage, delight, transparency, solidarity and individuality. Instead of playing “dress-up,” he wants businesses to uncover the roots of their ventures and share honest, empathetic stories that resonate with consumers, creating a loyal following that leads to strong, successful brands.

Delightfully concise and refreshing, Geyrhalter draws on his personal experience of having helped shape over 60 brands, and intentionally (and noticeably) steps away from marketing fluff and business lingo that often clouds the integrity of marketing books.

Fabian Geyrhalter is a renowned brand strategist and the founder and Principal of FINIEN, a Los Angeles-based consultancy specializing in turning ventures into brands. Geyrhalter is also a columnist for Inc and Forbes, and he has been published by the likes of The Washington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. He is an advisory board member of Santa Monica College and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and Art Center College of Design. A frequent speaker and mentor to entrepreneurs worldwide, he is a “Global 100” mentor at the Founder Institute, and his book “How to Launch a Brand” is a #1 Amazon Bestseller. His newest book is “Bigger Than This.” He lives and works in Long Beach, California and is a graduate of Art Center College of Design.





About the book


“Bigger Than This”
How to turn any venture into an admired brand
Fabian Geyrhalter • January 23, 2018 • Brandtro
$14.95 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-9896461-7-8
Business & Economics • Business Management • Marketing • Entrepreneurship
“Bigger Than This” is a quick read about the deceptively difficult task of turning your venture into an admired brand.
Inspired by a new wave of commodity brands that is winning hearts, using the eight traits and their commandments in this book will guide you to your specific path to turning your venture, may that be a commodity product or a hot startup, into a better, more beloved brand.


“Fabian Geyrhalter quickly moves beyond the clichés, identifying key building blocks of an authentic brand and specific ways to leverage them. Brands need not be radically new to inspire passion, he argues, but thoughtful and honest in finding, telling and embracing their story. Perhaps most refreshingly, Geyrhalter’s impatience for marketing fluff and business-speak keeps him focused on sharing insights for action. Bigger Than This is no collection of philosophical musings, but rather a guidebook for finding the potential in even the most mundane product or service.”
– David Glaze, Creative Director, Amazon



An Interview with Fabian Geyrhalter


Does a brand have to offer a radically new and unique product to spark interest among consumers?
Given today’s world filled with hot startups that are fueled by tech innovation and are disrupting one segment after the next, the surprising answer is: No.

How is it possible for a company that manufactures mundane commodity products, like staplers or socks, to feel “special” to the general public?
These commodity companies that quickly turn into beloved brands all realized that they need to find a story that is bigger than their offering. In “Bigger Than This” I analyzed that all of these ventures lead with branding rather than product. By using empathy with their audience, they found ways to tell bigger stories that immediately resonated with their new audiences. These stories are based on shared values, beliefs, heritage, individuality, just to name a few.

What does it take to launch a brand in 2018? How do you turn any venture into a brand in 2018?
Either disruptive innovation or brilliant brand thinking. If you lack innovation, which many companies do, you have to carefully align your offering with a specific audience and a shared belief. What these common beliefs are, and how to uncover them for your own venture, is what I discuss in the book.

How do you go about creating a brand? How is a name and an identity crafted?
It really is half science, half art. And emotional intelligence combined with experience, that obviously helps too. Before I start to even think about a name or a visual design language, I lead an intense one-day workshop with the company’s founders to dive deep into the, what I call, AND?DNA. The AND?DNA is the search for something that is not necessarily inherent in the DNA of their offering but in the DNA of a carefully crafted and authentic brand story, which I derive together with the founders that day. When they introduce their, sometimes very basic, products to consumers, the natural question anyone would ask is, “And?” – as in, “And why should I buy these very basic shoes?” Great brands can answer the “And?” question with an intriguing, convincing and honest answer that adds a new layer to the brand’s DNA: the story. Once we have that story, the name and identity follows suit and is based on it.

What brands consistently impress you through a brand marketing lens?
Planet Fitness for excluding the many to gain the few with their “Judgement Free Zone” fitness centers. The “few” being over 6 million members. Fishpeople Seafood for putting “people back in seafood” making the journey of where your food comes from transparent and engaging. Everlane for their radical transparency going as far as shaving off $25 of their bestselling product overnight, citing lower production costs. These are all remarkable, and consistent, brand moves. I could keep going on and on…

Your consultancy’s work has mainly been with Silicon Valley startups and Fortune 500s. How did you get fascinated with startup commodity brands?
Now that is a great question as it really sounds downside up. Well, it is “easy” to craft a brand around an exciting new product or a service that piggy-backs on a Fortune 500’s brand legacy, but one day I realized that some really hot new startup companies, famously TOMs with their 1-for-1-movement, are actually based on complete commodity products, so I set out on an Inc/Fast Company/Forbes/Entrepreneur/Harvard Business Review diet – as I like to call it – for a few months straight, trying to find more brands that have mundane products but through great brand strategy launched to near-immediate fame. It’s fascinating to me, on many levels. If these brands can make it, just imagine how my innovative startup or Fortune 500 clients, and now my readers, can benefit using their successful brand traits. I wanted to uncover and share that.

What is more important, a great product or a great story?
A great product. You can not rise to fame with a sub-par product in 2018, but you can with a normal, mundane product coupled with a great brand story.

How has branding changed over the past few decades? What does the future hold?
Branding changed from being advertising-based to being human-based. I clearly remember how I started writing this book on the Saturday before Halloween and it came to me that dressing up for Halloween is a great analogy for how many educated consumers see branding: a fake persona is crafted to evoke emotions from a specific audience in order to achieve a predetermined goal. It sounds as calculated as it in fact can be, but this approach is on its way out. Brands are being forced to leave the costumes to humans during Halloween. Instead they opt for complete transparency and engaging, open conversations because of the rise of social media and the birth of a generation ready to participate, as long as the brand’s approach is inclusive and amicable. We will see this trend of empathetic branding continue on, and we’ll see Fortune 500s struggle to adapt to that new era.

If an entrepreneur picks up your book and follows its advice, are they guaranteed to turn their business into a brand?
If they have a well manufactured product, or a good service – again, it doesn’t need to be anything innovative – and they are open to transforming into a story-based brand, this book will definitely provide them with all the inspiration necessary to turn into a true brand.
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