EP 30 - Tess Davis - Building Brand Awareness and Avoiding Common Launching Problems

Awesomers Authority - We'll talk to subject matter experts that talk about various topics that would be of interest to other Awesomers who are listening including, but not limited to, starting a business, running a business, best marketing ideas, sourcing in China, organizational development, tools to help your your business more profitably and much more.
Tess brings 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer relations to RGT Marketing.  While her husband says she should run for mayor, she prefers to indulge her passion for helping entrepreneurs build their brands.  She and her partner, Renea, have countless examples demonstrating success on Amazon and are expanding their influence to other platforms such as Walmart.com, eBay and Jet.com.  Tess and her husband enjoy living in the Tampa Bay area of sunny Florida, where they’re waiting for their adult children to move out and give them grandkids.

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Branding increases the value of a company and makes acquiring new customers a whole lot easier.

On today’s episode, Steve introduces us to Tess Davis, Co-Owner of RGT Marketing. Tess is an industry expert on building brands and helping E-commerce entrepreneurs expand their brand and reach. Here are more key points on today’s episode:

  • How RGT Marketing helps E-Commerce with their marketing and branding needs.

  • Why brand awareness is crucial to your business, whether you are selling on Amazon or across multiple channels.

  • How rebate management works.

  • And the common problems most sellers encounter when launching a product.

So listen to today’s episode and find out how you too can build a better brand for your business.

Welcome to the Awesomers.com podcast. If you love to learn and if you're motivated to expand your mind and heck if you desire to break through those traditional paradigms and find your own version of success, you are in the right place. Awesomers around the world are on a journey to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. We believe in paying it forward and we fundamentally try to live up to the great Zig Ziglar quote where he said, "You can have everything in your life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." It doesn't matter where you came from. It only matters where you're going. My name is Steve Simonson and I hope that you will join me on this Awesomer journey.


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1:34 (Steve introduces Tess Davis, President and Co-Owner of RGT Marketing.)

Steve: You are listening to episode number 30 of the Awesomers podcast, that's episode number 30. And you can find the show notes and details at Awesomers.com/30, that's Awesomers.com/30 as always. By the way, that's a secret code. Now today my special guest is Tess Davis, and Tess brings 20 years of experience in sales marketing and customer relations to RGT Marketing while her husband says she should run for mayor. She prefers to indulge her passion for helping entrepreneurs build their brands. She and her partner Renee have countless examples demonstrating success on Amazon and are expanding their influence to other platforms including Walmart.com, eBay and Jet.com. Tess and her husband enjoy living in the Tampa Bay area of Sunny Florida while they are waiting for their adult children to move out and give them grandkids. Sounds like there's quite an agenda there. Now one of the things that I love about Tess and Renee's company RGT, is that they are all about helping entrepreneurs build a brand. And building a brand is something that as I'd like to say feels long-term equity. So what sales channel you sell on if you are interested in learning how to build a brand and how to generate awareness and kind of get good positive experiences in the marketplace with your new products. This is an episode you should be paying close attention to. Okay Awesomers, we're back again Steve Simonson here bring you another podcast. And today I'm joined by special guest Tess Davis. How are you Tess?

Tess: Hi Steve. Nice to be here.

Steve: Good. I'm glad to have you. Thanks for taking the time and help  sharing your wisdom as an Awesomer authority in the field of branding and that's a field that I really encourage people to think about branding it from the the big picture often. And I'm glad that you guys have kind of carved out this niche niche if you will to focus and help brands develop a true branding strategy versus just the tactical PETA sale today strategy. So I want to talk a little bit about your background and where you came from first. If you don't mind. So tell us again your business background. When did you get started in this most recent endeavor?

3:39 (Tess talks about her business background.)

Tess: So probably over a year ago we started RGT marketing but the background we had our own brand successfully on Amazon sold it successfully, branded it successfully. So we understand what it's like for sellers out there. We feel their pain to get the word out about their brand. We got pretty good at what we do so we are extending kind of to other sellers to help them get their brand out.

Steve: Yes,  it's a really… it's a pretty…. I don't know maybe it's a up-and-coming type of story. Where you find something that is really working for you and you're able to help liberate some of that knowledge and some of those strengths onto other sellers. Which is a pretty inviting proposition for sure. So as you started this this concept, well let's talk about your first business just a little bit. When you guys started selling on Amazon. What was your original vision? Was it just a earn a little extra money? Was a decree new businesses? What was the idea behind that?

Tess: So it was to create an income that would eventually support two couples.

Steve: That’s a lot of people, that's for adults of everybody.

Tess: Yes. Anna mess of kids that go along with that too actually.

Steve: Oh yes. If you had a pack of kids too for adults. That's real money.

Tess: Yes, so that was our vision and we knew that wasn't gonna happen overnight. So we wanted to build wisely, build smart and build it well. So I guess that was…. we started with one product, we added a couple more.

Steve: Yes,  I think that's… again I like to reflect on these types of origins because for Awesomers the reasoning and the backgrounds are quite varied right? It could be everything from a story like you just share Tess, all the way through to somebody who just needs an extra couple hundred bucks a month to put the kid in school or whatever the case might be. But the genesis of the idea, it got started and then you've developed the skill of branding and being able to develop brand awareness. And now for any Ecommerce company out there, we all know whether you’re Amazon centric or cross multiple channels that without brand awareness you're going nowhere. So when did you guys kind of stumble on to that idea that you have to get branding out there and get awareness going before sales are gonna follow it.

6:20 (Tess talks about brand awareness.)

Tess: Pretty close to the beginning, Renee and I are very social. She's my business partner and our husbands are more kind of on the IT background. Although Renee's husband is very social as well and who we're all pretty social but my husband stays far away from social media. But Renee and I thought well let's get a few friends to buy our product. And so we got friends and family, we've got a ton of them. We've traveled all over, we both come from big families, so let's get our friends and family to fire products, tell us what they think. And that really it helped us a lot. The side benefit of…. we gave them the keyword to search and they found our product and then we found ourselves moving up in the ranks of Amazon which was sweet. And then our sales went really, well we got really lucky with our first product.

Steve: It's a really smart strategy to be able to say hey first of all let's get some people to try out the product. Let's get them to buy the product on Amazon. And here's an idea, what if we associate a keyword with that and again this is not so much a breakthrough strategy. It's just a well executed strategy. A lot of people understand this is a premise but very few execute on it well, so you guys were able to find traction early on from this very insightful lesson. It's rare for somebody so early to know how to put those pieces together. So kudos to the team there. And then once that started going I presume as the sales increase you realize that the power of kind of having that loyal following to move from product to product was compounding in its effect. Is that true?

Tess: Yes, absolutely true. And we do have a really loyal group. They started what else you got and we did everything that Amazon sellers are supposed to. We had email follow-ups and we had a card in with our products that gave them access to our website and discounts on future products and all that kind of thing. And so yes, it went well.

Steve: Again all of those things are none of its breakthrough right? The idea of having a nice insert to establish the brand credibility and hey if you have a problem don't hesitate to reach out to us, we're here. All of this is kind of sticking to your knitting as I like to say but the reality is most people don't either deploy it to begin with or they don't execute with excellence. So kudos to you guys for getting that done. When we come back, we're going to talk about kind of the common problem that sellers have when they launch a product or trying to re rank a product and we're gonna get your thoughts about that. But we'll be right back after this.


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Steve: Okay, here we are back again. Steve Simonson here with Tess Davis RGT Marketing and as always don't worry in the show notes, we'll have really good links and easy ways to follow up and get access and recap all the things we're talking about including contact information etc. But Tess before we went to the break I talked about kind of framing the common problem that entrepreneurs have. And let's start, there's two common problems that I want to address. One is when somebody first launches a product. Can you describe some of the challenges that sellers go through with this type of new launch situation?

Tess: Well a new launch, you've got no reviews, you've got no sales obviously and so really visibility how are people gonna find you.

Steve: That’s brilliant and descriptive. I can say without a doubt that there's a miss a perception in some ways that people think, oh I heard that people stuff on Amazon, so if I put something on Amazon then the gravy train has arrived to the station and all as well but I describe it often as like the galaxy of billions of stars and your product is one little tiny dot in the sky. Nobody can really see it and let alone find their way to to reach that star. So when you have no reviews and you have no sales and and kind of no visibility, what do you have to do to kind of address that concept?

Tess: Like I said we've launched successfully, we understand the pain and the struggle and I know there are services out there that will just help you rank. But we kind of use a three prong approach, we will evaluate your listing because you can have a great product. But if you're listing isn't written well, if you don't have the right the relevant keywords, if you're not relevant for your product and in the marketplace. That's going to cause a problem. It's going to slow you down. So we'll evaluate your listing, add any critique just from our experience. And then we have our product testing focus group which grew out of our original friends and family list. And this is for Amazon but we will help the brand awareness on several platforms on Walmart, on Jets, on eBay. But we have this product testing focus group that will provide a search find by experience, full price purchase. That's a rebate program that we manage for Amazon sellers. And then the third thing is we have our buyers will give feedback after a few days after they've received the product. We send out a three-question questionnaire and three questions survey that they complete. If your listing is hard to read or just just the whole experience. The buying experience from the buyers and we can provide that feedback as well.

Steve:  Yes I think that's an important point right? It starts with relevancy and you know two years ago relevancy was not nearly as important it was today. You could really rank on a broad set of keywords just because the keywords were stuffed in your listing or into your title or your bullet points. and by the way this is largely Amazon centric data we're talking about but it really does apply to the Walmarts and the Jets and the other platforms. Really all general search engines are now moving towards relevancy and away from… You stuffed a bunch of keywords in here and we're going to reward you for it. So it doesn't matter how many backing keywords you have. In fact the keywords can compete against one another for relevancy. And so when people get a little too broad in there they're kind of reach in my experience anyway that can reduce relevance for other perhaps more important terms. So it sounds like your optimization part of the puzzle is helpful to establish that. Is the listing worthwhile? Is it relevant? And that that's a really good place to begin. Have you found... I would assume that seller sometimes are kind of they can't see the force because of all the trees. So have you found that you've been able to give advice that was fruitful in that relevancy standpoint?

Tess: We have and actually I've been pleasantly surprised at the at the humility. The people are willing to get the input and we've been able to give input to modify the listings. Just tweak them a bit and with good result.

Steve: That's good. So again one of the the basis of branding is to be able to identify this problem of, is my listing optimized? It is a common word that's used? What that means is the title properly written? Is it again relevant to whatever your your primary search terms might be? And let's not forget that search is still the primary Way people find products on Amazon. Very few use the Browse tree, very few go into… I'm going to go into electronics and then I'm gonna get into whatever telephones and I'm gonna find my phone. No.  they just type in what's the best phone or best gift for dad, whatever the case is. And without those search terms to be relevant to your listing, you will be invisible. You simply won't be found. So as we move from kind of that relevancy you indicate it kind of one of the next steps is to have this opportunity to reach out to a rebate panel or some other panel of a group where people will say, hey I'll take that product and and I'll buy that product and I'll check it out. And that helps build awareness for the brand you find that you have enough clients that are interested in participating in these types of program. In other words not the sellers but the the ultimate testers or rebate people.

Tess: We do. Like you said, our network group out of our friends and family and it has expanded to their friends and family. But each person that's added to our group is personally vetted by usually by Renee. She manages that group really well. And so we're not advertising on Google, hey join our group. These are all people that have been personally vetted and trained by us. This is how we do things in our group.

Steve: Now I think that's really an important point. So for anybody who's built kind of what I like to call world class brands, big brands you should know that this user panel and putting together these testing panels and awareness panels. This is a common tactic used by big brands. In the past we would have to go and we would tell a marketing company, hey go put 12 people in a room. We'll bring our product in. We'll get the feedback or we'll do a mystery shopper thing today. It's so much better because it's all online and it's in able to kind of make these strong vetted connections but still smooth out the the rough edges of communication using the online method. So I think that's really really smart. And to build a brand, you have to first get awareness. In my mind you have to get product feedback. And I like the idea that you guys will will send out this two or three question just to prompt people to say, hey what did you like, what didn't you like. Because for brands that kind of feedback is critical especially if you're launching a brand new product. Have you found that any key takeaways have come as a result of this process?

Tess: So this is a fairly new part to our process, this survey. Because we don't ask our shoppers to bot, to submit a review. We thought this would be a valuable feedback for the sellers to be able to do this and they're very willing. And it's simple questions. If you are shopping for a similar product in the future would you buy this brand. And why are and why not.

Steve: Yes and I think that's really smart. One of the key brand questions, any brand should put in front of a customer is, would you recommend this to a friend right? That's always the key litmus test to decide if somebody would recommend this to the friend or family. And because amazon has their reviews in such a state of chaos, I will call it theirs. I think that RGT has made a positive and proactive step to say, we're not getting in that business. We've never been in that business. And I think that's an important point. A lot of people, as sellers we get short-sighted and perhaps greedy. It's like hey make them leave a review to but it's like know that it's against Amazon's policies. Amazon doesn't want any kind of chicanery. So by leaving that entirely off the table, if somebody happens leave a review, it's because they wanted to leave a review not because they were incentivized or otherwise encouraged to do so. So I think that's very very smart. Did you guys.... was that something that you calculated in the beginning or is just it was like as extra work, We don't want any part of that. How did you decide on that policy?

Tess: Well exactly. We don't want to come under scrutiny. We know Amazon's cracking, they don't want people to buy reviews essentially. So we've told people look if you're completely wowed by the awesomeness of a product great leave a review and many of them do. But we'll never ask for a review.

Tess: Yes, I think that's a really important point. Some people have recently talked about in middle of 2018, the great review purge. Where more than two million reviews were just bounced out of the equation and this is my issue with it is many of these are false positives. I know plenty of sellers who don't operate even any feedback requests. They don't email the people asking for reviews. It's just all come naturally. But they're getting the algorithm of the Amazon is using is getting some false positive. So some legitimate reviews are being taken away. Let alone the reviews even now by friends and family. Those are going to go bye-bye. Know that Amazon does have a data sharing agreement with Facebook. They haven't explicitly said, if your Facebook friend leaves a review, we're gonna ignore that or otherwise not trust that review. But we do know that Amazon has a Facebook data sharing arrangement, that's a public record Facebook disclose recently. So we should just assume that all of that stuff is off the table review clubs have been whacked. There really is no future in trying to game that system and I would never encourage anybody to kind of go down that road because it's always like trying to stay ahead of the sheriff right. You're always looking at the rearview mirror or the lights on, am I getting pulled over and the Johnny Law is coming. So just stay away from that and I salute you guys for taking that premise from the very beginning. So let's talk about this idea of another what I think is a common problem is maybe a product was launched and over time maybe they ran our stock or there are other issues and the ranking has now gone down in Amazon's A9 organic search results. And not just Amazon this also happens on Walmart and other sites. What does somebody do when they have this kind of situation? What's your recommendation?

Tess: So it's a little bit different than a new line in that you you're not looking for a giant volume. Not necessarily a giant move up in rankings but we've seen people come back and they just want to do a rebate program of maybe five a day for six to eight days. Where they rebate the product. So just to get a little bit more consistent sales, regular sales. And sometimes that's enough just to boost.

Steve: Yes I suppose it would depend upon the visibility goes up as a result of kind of consistent sales Amazon's eighty nine algorithm and others Walmart, Jet even Sears and Newegg. All of these guys will reward listings that have some sort of sales and particularly when they're associated with keywords. Which is what drives the organic ranking results. Now when somebody has this relaunch problem issue, I suppose it's an opportunity as much as the problem maybe five a day works for some guys with lower volumes. But in more competitive Aires it might need to be a little bit higher than that. What's your thoughts?

Tess: Yes, so we have I mean we probably use the same tools that everybody else does to do some keyword research and figure out what the competitive the competition is. That's the issue with visibility is. Your competitors are overtaking you. So yes, so we can do up to 100 a day. Firk the one product or fern cumulative products and so whatever's needed.

Steve: Yes that's a very impressive range. So before we talk about what will summarize, what the solution is and maybe add a call to action and perhaps even a prediction of the future. We’ll take another quick break and we'll be right back.


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Steve: Okay we're back again, Steve Simonson here with Tess Davis, RGT marketing. Talking about the concept of branding and we're gonna summarize some of the things we've talked about here and try to put a fine point on some of these items. So E-commerce players of all kinds have various channels they sell in. I think that premise of when you launch a product or when you lose ranking on a product. You need to consider how to get visibility to those products and that's what we're talking about today. A brand needs to have visibility and also known as awareness for the those keeping score at home. So to increase that, Tess has talked about a couple ideas and tests. So that the primary idea is first we got to take a look at the listing, let's talk about that again and in brief detail.

Tess: Okay. So yes we want to make sure that your listing is optimized, so that it's relevant for the keywords people are going to use to search for you and find your product, just that. And then when people find you that it's gonna be something that is going to convert to a sale. So yes we want to optimize it.

Steve: Yes right well said. And so that understanding that the product is going to lead to the results you intend, is the beginning right? The idea of forcing awareness on a product listing that is improperly written or not relevant is a waste of time for everybody. And it will not yield long-term results. I think that we can agree on that right there. It’s no long-term sustainable effort on a poorly written listing right? No amount of branding effort will help. So then once we do that, then one idea to increase awareness. And one of best ideas I think is running some sort of rebate offer out there where a brand can say hey for for these this particular audience it takes advantage of the software. We're gonna offer a rebate and tell us in practice.  How does that work? Are you able to take the work off of the seller and as the agency dealing with all the details, is that the the key advantage for sellers?

Tess: Well I think so. We, using on our network of shoppers. We schedule a number of days. If you've got an eight day rebate campaign, you want to run. We schedule a certain number of shoppers each day. They get explicit instructions of how to, what to search for the kind of purchase to make. We manage the rebate so we disperse the rebate payments and as I said before follow up with some feedback surveys. So at the end of that time I am able to send a full report to the seller and show them this is how many sales. And as a side benefit okay, this is where you were ranking for this keyword beforehand and this is where you are now after all these rebated sales.

Steve: Yes it's a nice fringe benefit. I did a test with a product that we need to relaunch. I bought a company, just a small company and they felt that they were gonna be in stock basically ever on the item that they had. And it was just too much, they were concerned about long-term storage and what I call this it was not no disrespect to them but I call it a throwaway deal. It's just a small deal and we bought this company but we sold out within 30 days. And then it was Chinese New Year and we just kind of had a long set of annoying problems that went along with running out of stock right. And to be honest if they would have just held it and they did the same things we did, they would have been in the money. But fair enough everybody had their reasons and so we needed to relaunch the product and as I recall it was ranked for its kind of primary targeted keyword somewhere in the 260 to 270 range. Do you remember Tess by any chance? I think it was around 265 roughly and after eight days and 125 rebates, we were able to increase the organic ranking to like position three for that particular keyword. And that's a very compelling result in a very short period of time. And that's tangible, this is not conjecture, this is not theory, this is actual tangible result and that's not the only one. I'm sure Tess that you've had other success stories along that line. Yes?

Tess: We have, it's really rare that we can't get you on the first page. And again the keywords that you're looking for, are they relevant, are they within the right price range for your product and your competition. But yes I can count on one hand the number of products that I think haven't reached.

Steve: It's again when you think about branding you have to think about how do you generate that awareness and remade programs have been around for decades. I used to walk into CompUSA, Millennials can go look that up. I want that pass but it's kind of like a Best Buy and they would just have this wall, a giant wall hundreds of feet long with. And they would all have these tiny little rebates cards and they were annoying for the customers. They were annoying for the agency who was managing the rebates because they would get all kinds of mail. And they had to match the mail to these receipts. I mean it's justa complete nightmare and and today with all the technology and the leverage. It's much easier to kind of facilitate this awareness of rebate campaign without oppressing the customer or burdening the the seller. I think that's where your agency plays a pivotal role.

Tess: Yes I agree and I managed a rebate program for a security company, sold security systems. And I can tell you yes, what a pain. One of the major parts of my day was handling phone calls from people who had mailed in their repay rebate. Because it was a snail mail form and work and then it says allow 12 to 6 weeks. And so how swollen and it just ends up leaving everybody with a bad experience about taste in their mouth. So even if they really enjoy the product the whole rebate experience might sour them on it. Using the modern technology and online, it's piece of cake.

Steve: Boy that's such a very good point that the bitterness that goes along with a negative experience of rebate management is far and wide reaching. And that's the irony. As you're trying to build a brand and then you offer rebate program of any of the older brands, the legacy brands will call them. Part of their objective was to get rebate breakage. Breakage is what happens when people they don't mail in the coupon or they don't take advantage of it but our mission is not to oppress the customer or somehow beat them out of the rebate. Our mission is to build awareness and get practical feedback without violating any rules. And that's how you can develop a brand. I'll give you one quick story. One of the products we launched, we had 200 samples made. We sent him out all to kind of the top Amazon reviewers at the time. This is a couple years ago and the intent was to get their feedback. We've been really… If they left this a review, we just needed experts who were early adopters and who were kind of well-known product testers to give us the feedback. And we got no doubt at least five or 10 key parts of that product that would have been a massive fail for us. Well if their feedback things as small as this happened to be a keyboard type of product. That the feet on the bottom of the keyboard the ones we were using, they were too slippery or they would fall off. And it was literally pennies to fix that but we didn't pick it up when we did all the inspections and all the other due diligence that we did. So this idea that once you have a product ready to go to market that you're done, it's definitely not a complete idea. Branding is about iteration, it's about kind of continuous improvement. And I think isn't that part of the point of what you guys are doing Tess. You and your partner Renee.

Tess: Sure. The feedback form on if that can be valuable to the sellers and it's not only the product but the experience. If there are issues where the product was the customer service responsive because that's a big part of a brand to is how you treat your customers. So yes we want to give the sellers feedback on the whole experience from finding the product, navigating Amazon, to find the product, reading the listing, shipping and any customer service that comes after.

Steve:  Yes once again a world-class brand is built on that entire customer journey. That entire experience. It's not just a single point of contact. I think that's very good point. The other thing that I would just like to share with Awesomers is that my own opinion. I have one of my axioms that I'll share in another time but it basically says something like a world-class brand does not live in a single channel. And that doesn't not so I'm implying. That if you just list on eBay or you just list on Etsy or you just list on Amazon. I am more or less saying you will not have a world-class brand mm if you stick to that single channel. Now on the other hand I'm not saying you don't have a valuable brand. I'm not saying you don't have a brand that you can build equity in and it can generate actual wealth. But I'm just saying that if you truly want a world-class brand you have to think about having more than one channel over time. And a real brand makes efforts over whatever time and whatever resources make sense to build that brand across multiple channels. And I think that's a big important key that Tess and the gang over there at RGT have contemplated is they said, we're not channel centric on one place. We'll go where the the brands need us to go and I think that's a pretty strategic choice. As you guys kind of expand I want to talk a little bit about the future. Well what do you see happening with Amazon or with your business or with both over the next couple of years. What's your thoughts?

T6ess: Well so the competition isn't getting any smaller right? As you said everybody's going well/ Amazon that's the gravy train let's jump on. So I see a lot of competition. I see really all the online platforms. I mean I've talked to girlfriends who are like oh if I don't have to go to the store . I won't if I can get it online that's how I do it. Christmas shopping any of that. If people can do it online, that's definitely that's where they're gonna be doing it. And I see so the competitiveness will increase and I think each of those platforms is going to really narrow down or weed out anybody who's not a serious contender in the marketplace. Whether it's by BIP in your reviews or what have you.

Steve: Yes. I think that's probably a very wise prediction there for the future which is first of all we know the competition is not a static situation. It's a dynamic environment and the more opportunity something shows. Whether it's Amazon or any other platform the more people are going to chase that. And now the good news is and you alluded to this the tide is rising as you and your girlfriends talk about shopping online. This people often forget some of the stats that I think are important to recall. First of all they'll tell you hey Amazon is 50% of the E-commerce market. So why bother anything else fair enough that's fine. I'll just set that point aside for a minute and it's actually quite true. Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla taking up at least half of the market and probably growing. They're probably gonna eat some more market share there so before I come back to that I put a little asterisk and go by the way BlackBerry had 80% of the market at one point where are they now. Let's put a pin in that. So what that means is for Amazon right now. All product searches, not all but the majority of product searches originate on Amazon not on Google. Now Google's doing what they can to combat that. Facebook is doing what they can to combat that and again they don't have a dinette or they don't have a static situation, they're their competition and competitive landscape is also quite dynamic. So what does this mean? That means more big players are trying to capture pieces of this pie and that's good for all of us, the sellers out there. It's also good for all the consumers because more options the more access that are easier and convenient. That's good for them but I'll go back to that point if everybody says well gosh if Amazon's 50% of the market why bother with going anywhere else. They total online market is still less than I'm gonna round it off and they call it about 10 percent of the total retail sales market that means 90 percent is done offline. And I have stats that I could share with with folks but and a couple of these are a year or two old. But the entire growth rate of retail was maybe 2% or 3% a couple years back. And everybody's like huh who cares, online grew at 25%. The reason why we should care and at least pay attention is because that 2% growth in retail was more than all of online combined. There are trillions done at retail and online is still a very nascent small part market. The best news however is that because online still so small in the next five maybe six years, it will double. So the tide is going to rise significantly online because of the attitude that you have talked about with your girlfriend's. Why bother especially Christmas shopping are you kidding me? You want to go in there and fight somebody over the Walmart $2 CD player or whatever the case is. Forget about home in my pajamas with a cup of coffee and do it from my laptop. See Tess is polite, she wears pajamas. Not all of us are wearing stop online but thanks that's good. Thank You Tess. So the reality is Toys R Us went bye-bye because they refused to adapt, they were a world-class brand. They refused to adapt and they got into turf wars about stores versus online. Walmart is struggling with that exact battle now and despite the fact that there's still a small part of the market they have a huge potential. So for everybody paying attention know that the opportunity is increasing. That means a bigger pie but the competition is also increasing and I think that RGT and other branding solutions are a critical part of a company who really wants to last, to be sustainable, to take action, to really consider how to establish your brand, what feedback if any. Do you have about my little rant there?

Tess: Yes I mean I think you're on the money. I think we can definitely help. The tide is rising or like how you say that it's gonna be exciting to see where things are going.

Steve: Yes it is from my perspective not only is a tide rising but to re-emphasize Tesla's earlier point. The competition is increasing and it's the people who are paying attention are the big brands. The Procter & Gamble's realize they're actually under a lot of stress because some little guy can put a product that competes with Procter and Gamble online with ease. We don't need the multi-million dollar launch budget just  for the first day of TV ads or what have you. So Procter and Gamble as big as they are, as old as they are. they have to innovate, they have to adapt and without it they will suffer the same fate as Toys-R-us and some of the other retail giants out there. Tess when you think about branding, is there anything that kind of sticks out in your mind that sellers are making mistakes about? Maybe you could just share a common mistake before I close it up today.

Tess: Oh gosh. Yes but no pressure on that point. I'll give you one that I think they're doing is. I think they're often taking the short-term tactical approach right. Instead of them saying I want to do this long term, they hear about some little shortcut on Facebook or through the grapevine. It's like, hey I can hire this guy in the back alleyway, he will go do something and make my reviews go up and make my votes go up and make just some guy in the back alley way. And I think that short-term thinking is hampering a lot of sellers from building a long-term sustainable equity based business. Do you think I'm anywhere close to reality there?

Tess: I think so. We've talked to several people who want it to happen now. They... a couple just had a baby, they're trying to get mom to be able to stay home. So let's sell something on Amazon. So I think planning to draw an income early and quickly is a mistake you need to be able to reinvest. So kind of slow and steady wins the race and people don't want to hear that. But I think you're right, they don't want you hire somebody to make you go boom. If you don't have everything else in place to sustain any kind of growth, whether it's cash flow or social proof or what-have-you. It's not gonna be sustainable.

Steve:  Yes very very wise words there. I definitely encourage offers out there  think about your long-term. Don't think about today even tomorrow. You can't ignore those facts but put an appropriate amount of time on really what you're trying to do the why behind the whole operation. And and what your big picture goals are. I've enjoyed our time today tests I really appreciate you coming on and sharing some of your vision and and how brands can get better any final words of wisdom you care to share with the Awesomers out there.

44:48 (Tess shares her final words of wisdom to Awesomers.)

Tess: Slow and steady builds the race and we're happy to help.

Steve: Yes I definitely agree with that and I've had first-hand good success with this. And again you can go to the show notes page for this and we'll share some of the links and maybe even some of the examples that we've seen. And it's something that we believe in and that's why we're sharing it. So for all the others out there, we will be right back.


Empowery, the name says it all. Connecting E-commerce entrepreneurs with great people, ideas, systems and the services needed to sustain business dynamic into growth. Empowery is a network; a cooperative venture of tools and resources to make you better at what you do. Because we love what you do. We are you. Visit Empowery.com to learn more. You're listening to the Awesomers podcast.

Steve: How about that. Tess is so insightful and knowledgeable about building brands and about helping Ecommerce, entrepreneurs in particular expand their brands and their reach within different marketplaces. I really enjoy the fact that they are taking on the specialty of helping out various entrepreneurs build up and generate awareness. And they're developing this across a number of different platforms and I think that this is something that anybody who is launching a new product or perhaps even needing to relaunch to generate some additional awareness. They should take a look at this concept of this methodology that RGT puts forward because it gives you a real chance a real opportunity to experience another way of doing things that we've seen all kinds of methods out in the marketplace. Now over time there's been all kinds of different ways of trying to coordinate your marketing efforts and your brand building efforts. The general awareness of your brand or product and some of those work better at different times than they do today. This is definitely technique that I've used personally at first hand and I certainly think a lot of it and I think a lot of. Tess and the team they're Argentine glued Rene and even the husband's who kind of help out for time to time. I suppose they're really really committed to entrepreneurs and I love that about them because as you know, I also love entrepreneurs. So again if you'd like to find the show notes page. This is episode number 30 and you go to Awesomers.com/30, as always that's where you'll find the show notes and relevant details, any links including the opportunity for you. To find out more about how to utilize this very unique service offering.

Well we've done it again everybody. We have another episode of the Awesomers podcast ready for the world. Thank you for joining us and we hope that you've enjoyed our program today. Now is a good time to take a moment to subscribe, like and share this podcast. Heck you can even leave a review if you wanted. Awesomers around you will appreciate your help. It's only with your participation and sharing that we'll be able to achieve our goals. Our success is literally in your hands. Thank you again for joining us. We are at your service. Find out more about me, Steve Simonson, our guest, team and all the other Awesomers involved at Awesomers.com. Thank you again.