0-Ways-to-Ruin-your-Brand

10 Ways to Ruin your Brand

In episode 105, Matt DeCoursey and Matt Wattson went full circle on the importance of company branding and the 10 ways that companies can easily ruin their brands.

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What is a Brand?

The Matts started with first describing what a brand is.

  • Apple is an example of a company brand.
  • There’s also a personal brand – e.g. Matt DeCoursey brand, a Matt Watson brand.
  • Basically, a brand encompasses your name, identity, other people’s perception of you.

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10 Things that will Ruin your Brand

  • Treat your customers poorly – examples: leaving frustrated customers hanging when they call for support and treating them in an arrogant, patronizing manner.
  • Talking about politics, race or religion – sometimes you can throw in sex, too (think of those who got involved in the “Me, too” movement).
  • Not engaged on social media – if you want to engage with your customers, then make sure to assign someone to monitor your social media presence.  
  • Breaking promises and lying to your paying customers – purely being deceitful to your customers
  • Attempting to profit from worldly disasters – a strong example is when companies advertise portions of the proceeds to help disaster victims but could actually have been misused.
  • Acting before thinking – basically anything from responding to your customers to feeding trolls or negative PR.
  • Sending negative or subliminal messages – your reputation is shaped by so many factors, including the communication you deliver and the people you surround yourself with each day. Sometimes, the company or brand didn’t do anything wrong, but the people they’re associating with will drag them down.
  • Negative attention from an employee – it’s when employees get a lot of negative attention, it’s not necessarily something that the employer did.
  • Offering a poor website experience – imagine how many customers would get frustrated if it takes them too long to access a website. Also, inadequately describing what you do, listing a whole bunch of features and not the benefits of what your company does, or uploading outdated stuff such as outdated videos.
  • Taking too long to explain what you do –  if you can’t explain what you do in a sentence or two, how does “word-of-mouth” work for you? When talking to someone about your business, trim it down so your audience doesn’t get annoyed at you.

Other Notes:

  • If you need someone to show the ropes to success in building the startup, we recommend you talk to startup experts such as Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson, CEOs at Full Scale. Contact us to have your free consultation today.
  • For questions or assistance on how to diagnose, improve and accelerate your website’s performance, Stackify provides affordable APM (Application Performance Management) solutions designed for developers.
  • Scroll down to get the complete this episode’s transcript.

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Here is the transcript from Episode 52 of the Startup Hustle Podcast:

Matt DeCoursey: And we’re back with another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt Decoursey here with Matt Watson. Hi Matt.  
Matt Watson: What’s going on man?  
Matt DeCoursey: Just try my hardest to ruin our brand.  
Matt Watson: We have a good brand?  
Matt DeCoursey: No, I think so. Maybe. But I want to talk about 10 ways that … 10 simple steps to ruin your brand. What do you think?  
Matt Watson: There’s gotta be way more than 10 so 10 of ten of them is gonna be easy.  
Matt DeCoursey: There are probably an infinite number of ways to ruin your brand, but I think we could probably start with 10 unless you want to record show after show, after show, after show.  
Matt Watson: That’s what we do.  
Matt DeCoursey: That would probably-  
Matt Watson: We do record show, after show, after show.  
Matt DeCoursey: We really don’t. We really don’t. I might. Maybe we do, but no. I mean, there’s like a whole lot of ways you can ruin your brand. There’s 10 that I think really stand out. And you know, like, I mean, what’s the importance of your brand? I mean, that’s kind of like your reputation, right?  
Matt Watson: Maybe we should talk first about what a brand is.  
Matt DeCoursey: All right. Lay it on me. What’s the brand?  
Matt Watson: I think probably the best example of this is a company like Apple. Like really the whole company is a brand.  
Matt DeCoursey: Right. I agree.  
Matt Watson: I mean, a lot of it.  
Matt DeCoursey: You have a person … you can also have a personal brand. Like I’d think that there’s a Matt DeCoursey brand, a Matt Watson brand, like anyone else’s brand and like that’s also important. Those are things that can be taken into consideration. I think when it comes to like a product or a company brand, I mean, that encapsulates your reputation.  
Matt Watson: Your name, your identity, what people think of you, their perception of you.  
Matt DeCoursey: You know, one thing I think about recently is whatever … What was the Samsung phone that was like exploding in people’s hands?  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: And like literally I was at the airport and they were like, “If you have the Samsung Galaxy seven, it might explode and kill you and everybody on this plane.” Not good for your brand.  
Matt Watson: I’m going to give you a word and I want you to tell me what you think.  
Matt DeCoursey: Do it.  
Matt Watson: Blackberry.  
Matt DeCoursey: Does it exist?  
Matt Watson: It’s kind of a dead brand, isn’t it?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah, dead … palm.  
Matt Watson: Palm. Right? So, I mean these are brands over time that used to be big.  
Matt DeCoursey: Atari.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. That are now just sort of gone.  
Matt DeCoursey: And, you know, there might be reasons that they go bye bye, and there might be reasons that they don’t. But there are definitely a lot of ways that companies and people destroy their brand.  
Matt Watson: And sometimes it’s, they don’t necessarily destroy it. It’s everybody else does. Right? Like think of Waffle House.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: What is their brand identity? It’s like who … Or Walmart, it’s like we have the perception of like who shops there and who won’t shop there, or who eats there or doesn’t eat there, and when they do and when they don’t. And like the company themselves doesn’t necessarily control it anymore. Right?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. And, you know, I think some of that’s gonna come up as we go down this list too. Let’s get into it.  
Matt Watson: Let’s do it.  
Matt DeCoursey: Step one, treat your customers poorly. I mean, that’ll torch your brand like lickety split.  
Matt Watson: Absolutely. I mean, there’s nothing like reviews these days on Amazon and Google.  
Matt DeCoursey: Or just leaving people hanging, leaving people hanging in general. Like they always say, it’s a cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one.  
Matt Watson: Absolutely.  
Matt DeCoursey: One good way to get rid of a customer is to ignore them.  
Matt Watson: How often you call at and t or Comcast or someplace like that and you get run around on the phone.  
Matt DeCoursey: That’s so bad.  
Matt Watson: The, you know, your perception of that brand is-  
Matt DeCoursey: You’re expected hold time is 27 minutes.  
Matt Watson: I went to cancel the other day. It was like Sirius XM satellite.  
Matt DeCoursey: No dude. That’s bad. I wouldn’t have done that.  
Matt Watson: I went to cancel it.  
Matt DeCoursey: It’s like impossible.  
Matt Watson: So, I pull up the live chat. I’m like, “I need to cancel.” And they’re like, “Oh, you need to call.”  
  And I’m like, “I don’t have time to call. I have you. What the hell do you do here Mister live chat?”  
Matt DeCoursey: Why isn’t there a button? Why isn’t there a button that I can click to end this subscription?  
Matt Watson: I agree.  
Matt DeCoursey: I had the same problem with Sirius.  
Matt Watson: He’s like, “Well, let me get my manager.” And I’m like, “So you’re telling me I could cancel on the live chat, but yet you told me I had to call, which seems way less efficient and why isn’t there a button?”  
Matt DeCoursey: And why isn’t that illegal? Like you should … it shouldn’t be this hard. And you know they’re doing that because they actually probably keep people for longer because they give up.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. Well, I think that one’s a pretty straight forward one. Let’s go on to the next one, number two.  
Matt DeCoursey: Well, there’s some other things with treating.  
Matt Watson: All right. All right.  
Matt DeCoursey: You’re talking about replying to customers in a way that’s arrogant, patronizing, or dismissive. You know? Like, “Oh wait, you have a problem with that?” What do you-  
Matt Watson: RTFM.  
Matt DeCoursey: What does that mean?  
Matt Watson: Read the fucking manual.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah, let’s add that to the acronyms 2.0.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: Have you been making notes on that?  
Matt Watson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).  
Matt DeCoursey: It’s long, right?  
Matt Watson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).  
Matt DeCoursey: Blatantly placing more emphasis on gaining new customers rather than keeping your existing base. Also a bad move.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. That’s not good.  
Matt DeCoursey: Oh, this next one is, I think, very applicable to people that are founders or leaders of brands, and a good way to mess up your own personal brand, talking about politics, race or religion. I think sex is in there too now.  
Matt Watson: So do you have any good examples of where somebody has done this and it’s totally killed their business or their career? I always think of the Dixie Chicks.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: Remember the Dixie Chicks were talking about President Bush?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. And now, on some levels, sometimes things-  
Matt Watson: And that just killed their career.  
Matt DeCoursey: It did because of their exact demographic.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: But in some cases, that kind of move could actually endear you to another side. You know, I think about, like Jimmy John’s guy with the pictures of him hunting elephants.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: Like not good.  
Matt Watson: Not good.  
Matt DeCoursey: Not good. And then also, like I said, I added sex onto here. Like, how about all these like me too people?  
Matt Watson: Right.  
Matt DeCoursey: You know? And just like the different things.  
Matt Watson: And some of them that got cut up on the other side, like TJ Miller was one of the guys, like he got kind of hit with the me too thing. You know, he was supposedly involved in whatever. And TJ … You remember who TJ Miller is?  
Matt DeCoursey: No.  
Matt Watson: Yeah, he was on Deadpool. And he’s the guy on-  
Matt DeCoursey: Oh, oh, the actor.  
Matt Watson: He has kind of like red curly hair.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.  
Matt Watson: Yeah, yeah. That guy. Like those different actors and actresses and all those people that got caught up in that movement, right? And all of a sudden … Now, that’s different, they potentially did something wrong.  
Matt DeCoursey: Well, look at Kevin Spacey. You think he’s getting a movie anytime soon?. He was like big on that. And that’s done. And then its just cause … you know what, in the end, people really … There’s a platform for you to discuss some of these things. But anytime you talk about politics, religion, race, or sex, you have a much higher probability of leaving that conversation having offended someone than you do having endeared them.  
Matt Watson: Somehow or another, Kanye West survives this-  
Matt DeCoursey: Dude, how?  
Matt Watson: … with trying to be best friends with Donald Trump.  
Matt DeCoursey: They got pictures of him or something-  
Matt Watson: I don’t understand how he survives that one.  
Matt DeCoursey: I know, like for real. Like I mean for real. That is a really good one.  
Matt Watson: He’s got his make America great hat on.  
Matt DeCoursey: They got something on him man. They have to. They have to.  
Matt Watson: But he still survives it.  
Matt DeCoursey: Tat is actually an interesting version of that. So, you know, now this next one, talking about a good way to ruin your brand is to not engage on social media. While a lot of people engage on social media, and then they talk about the prior step. And that’s where it becomes big problems.  
Matt Watson: I think it’s engaging with their customers, however they’re trying to engage with you. So for example, at Stackify, we have like an idea portal where people can go and they put in ideas. Well, people notice when we don’t reply to their ideas. And we never do any of them.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: And they get mad. And they’re like, “You guys stopped innovating. You’re not communicating. Why am I wasting my time going through these ideas? Yadda Yadda.” It’s like if you open yourself up to those things … like you’re better off not having social media, not having those things. And if you’re gonna have them, somebody has got to monitor them.  
Matt DeCoursey: Have you ever seen Wendy’s social media?  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: That’s Wendy sweater.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: They are actually pulling off the whole like fuck you social media thing. And that’s because-  
Matt Watson: In a hilarious way.  
Matt DeCoursey: It’s kind of entertaining. But yeah, that’s rare. That’s rare. And then, you know … I mean, the Internet is … well, it’s technically digital, but it’s basically written in ink and not in pencil. You know, these things come out and you see a lot of people like … And going back to what we were just talking about politics, race, religion, like that stuff can come back and haunt you later badly, badly.  
Matt Watson: I think about … We didn’t talk about it a lot, but think about Uber and some of the scandals that they got tied up in with like sexual related stuff, right? Like sexual discrimination and sexual harassment and all that stuff.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: That’s taken a toll on the brand.  
Matt DeCoursey: Also not good. Their IPO was shit. It went for like the low end stuff and then took a little bit of a nosedive. How about step four? Breaking promises and lying about what you’re offering. I mean, over promise, under deliver, being disloyal to your paying customers, and kind of force them out the door, or maybe just purely being deceitful. Isn’t Therenos on that list?  
Matt Watson: Oh yeah. The company that did the lab work?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. Yeah. The girl out in …  
Matt Watson: I can’t remember her name, but …  
Matt DeCoursey: Oh. I can’t remember it either, but you know-  
Matt Watson: Therenos?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. But that wasn’t her name.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah, but they were full of it on a lot of stuff.  
Matt Watson: They raised like billions of dollars, but never had a product.  
Matt DeCoursey: Literally billions, billions. And then, they put their machines in places and they knew that there was a big variance to the accuracy of what they were sending out. And you know, basically the thing is, is in certain shapes and forms, whatever you’re making or doing can have a big influence. And that was talking about people’s health. So, they might take that test. And they’re like, “Oh. My cholesterol is really low.” And it’s just way of. And they’re really like in a terrible position or something like that. So, I mean …  
  But, you know, they were committing fraud, that was outright deceit. And a lot of it had to do not only with the patient data but also … you know, there’s so much stuff that keeps coming out like the girl that was the founder, she talked and she had this like low raspy voice. Apparently, that wasn’t really … She was faking that too.  
Matt Watson: Oh Geez.  
Matt DeCoursey: Cause she … yeah, she was trying to fit in. She wore the same thing every day, like did weird shit just to like … I don’t know if she’s … anyway. Wow. This next one. How about attempting to profit from worldly disasters? Oh, like a hurricane or a tornado. I mean, you know, like, I don’t know if I have an exact example on this. Do you?  
Matt Watson: I don’t either. There’s … yeah. I don’t know. I guarantee there’s businesses out there that prey on those people somehow. Like think about trying to repair their houses, all that stuff too. Right? But then, I think-  
Matt DeCoursey: I was just thinking the same thing.  
Matt Watson: I think part of in our notes is also advertising about portions of the proceeds go to help, which is a good thing. Right? But I’m sure somehow or another that gets misused.  
Matt DeCoursey: It does a lot.  
Matt Watson: Or they send like .00001%.  
Matt DeCoursey: That’s more common than not. A lot of the charities that you donate to, so much of it goes into them continuing to buy ads and shit like that, and just a whole bunch of other stuff. And next thing you know, 10 cents on the dollar is actually making it to Africa or wherever, you know.  
  You know, talk about a … Now, this isn’t necessarily a branding case, but you talk about disasters. There’s like basically like a traveling circus of home repair people that just kind of gravitate from one tornado event or hurricane or whatever, you know, the roofers, people that are fixing foundations, doing different kinds of things. Now, I don’t know if I can necessarily fault them for that because, you know, think about it, any given market’s got x amount of service providers that can fix that kind of stuff. I mean, they actually might be doing a good service. And I think this is more related to like … I don’t know. Do you watch 30 rock?  
Matt Watson: No.  
Matt DeCoursey: On 30 rock … God, it’s one of the greatest shows ever. But they were creating a … They wanted to be the first to market, next time there was a disaster or something, on one of the episodes, they were recording like generic telethon stuff, so they were ready. They were like singing songs and leaving a blank in there and just different shit like that. So, okay.  
  Number … step six, act before thinking. That’s just basically anything from responding to your customers to feeding trolls or negative PR.  
Matt Watson: I think this goes a little bit back to the episode we just did about feedback. Right? And even when you’re dealing with your employees or anybody else, you know, stopping and thinking about what somebody is telling you before jumping down their throat or sending back some snarky responses.  
Matt DeCoursey: I was just thinking about do you ever go to look up a business and you see they have some bad reviews on Google, and you see like a really shitty response? They’re kind of like, “Oh, I see your experience with our business was bad, but it’s probably your fault.”  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: And suck it.  
Matt Watson: Well .. And sometimes, it’s true. It’s like you hated our hotel but you bastards were up til 4:00 AM having a giant party and trashed the place.  
Matt DeCoursey: Is that expressly forbidden in my hotel booking?  
Matt Watson: No. It’s allowed. You have a per diem for that.  
Matt DeCoursey: I have a hotel destruction per diem?  
Matt Watson: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).  
Matt DeCoursey: Yes! By the way, why am I just finding out about this now?  
Matt Watson: Well …  
Matt DeCoursey: I have a problem with that. I have a problem with that. I feel like your lack of being open-  
Matt Watson: I wanted to test if you would act before thinking and you failed.  
Matt DeCoursey: Isn’t that usually what happens when you’re destroying a hotel room?  
Matt Watson: So, if you’d think about it first, you wouldn’t destroy a hotel room.  
Matt DeCoursey: I mean we talked about that in the feedback episode too, like actually taking a second to like digest what someone had just said to you.  
Matt Watson: I know.  
Matt DeCoursey: I mean, that’s kind of important, right?  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: Just general thinking about it? I mean, isn’t that kind of like … I don’t know. I feel like that’s common sense. A lot of this is common sense so far, but it’s amazing how many people do it. Okay. Ooh Man. This next one, this is like sending negative or subliminal signals. So according to our notes, that your reputation is shaped by so many factors, including the communication you deliver and the people you surround your self with each day included.  
  Okay. This might be … I can see this as like, you know, your business is represented by the people that work there obviously, and the things that they do as well. You ever worked somewhere where the salespeople were full of shit, or close to it?  
Matt Watson: Yes. I mean, all sales people are usually. But …  
Matt DeCoursey: Well, I disagree. I disagree. I mean, I really do, ’cause I don’t think that great salespeople need to be full of shit. You know, great salespeople are good listeners and they’re trying to solve a problem for their client. I mean, I feel like … and I feel like that goes a long way. It depends on what you’re trying to sell. You know, the things that … you know, you look … okay. I mean, who are salespeople that have traditionally bad …  
  Car salespeople don’t have a great reputation. I mean literally the term used car salesperson is like the moniker for a line full of shit, car salesperson. Now I know a few that aren’t. But the reason for that is you don’t buy a used car all the time. It’s not a relationship sale. It’s not … You know, you make that sale and you move on and that’s it.  
Matt Watson: Well, so I like we’re talking about part of this is the people you surround yourself with and think about … If we think about a company in town that we might know. And we start to think about, “Oh, they hired all of these people.”  
  And when we say all of these people, are all those people that we think highly of or think very lowly of? And sometimes people hire a whole bunch of people. You’re like, “I can’t believe that hired all these people.” And even though the company hasn’t done anything right or wrong, it’s just the people that they’ve hired and the people they’ve surrounded themselves with, it sometimes has like a very negative kind of perception.  
Matt DeCoursey: Well … and that can be … And it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily like full of it, but sometimes they’re just not bright.  
Matt Watson: A great example of this would be The Chiefs going out and signing up. Oh yeah, we want Tyree Hill and we want Karim Hunt and we want this guy and this guy. And they all have all this baggage and negative sentiment. And all of a sudden, everybody thinks worse of the Chiefs, right?  
Matt DeCoursey: I feel like the Cleveland Browns are leading that charge right now. They’ve signed all these guys.  
Matt Watson: So sometimes, it’s like the company or the brand hasn’t done anything directly wrong, but the people they’re associating themselves with or the companies are associating theirselves with drags them down.  
Matt DeCoursey: And you know, sometimes negative or subliminal signals could be also like social media indicators, like something you like.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: Like liking it or …  
Matt Watson: I got a good example of this.  
Matt DeCoursey: Well I’ve even … We’ve even talked about this just amongst ourselves as we started full scale, cause we knew that some people were going to get shitty about the fact that all of our employees weren’t here in the United States. So fucking what? You know? Like it’s a global economy man. I mean, it really is. But we talked about that and like what to do. And I think we just basically came to the conclusion of, you know, some people are haters. What are you gonna do about it? And are those ..  
  Those people aren’t likely to be our customers, our friends or clients, or our supporters anyway, so yell next and move on.  
Matt Watson: I got a good example of this.  
Matt DeCoursey: Lay it on me.  
Matt Watson: So a friend of mine owns a car dealership.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yep. That doesn’t narrow it down. You have-  
Matt Watson: That’s good.  
Matt DeCoursey: … a hundred.  
Matt Watson: So, he donated some money to a governor’s campaign. And the governor was anti union.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: Well because the car dealership and, you know, the plant that makes the cars is pro union, that caused some problems.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: And people found out about it and that hurt his business. It hurt his brand. He didn’t do anything directly. Right? But it was the fact that he had just supported, you know, not in a public way necessarily, but just the fact that somewhere out there it discloses who invest … you know, who gave money. Somebody found out about it and said, “Hey, he’s supporting this candidate.”  
Matt DeCoursey: So, where do you kind of-  
Matt Watson: Politics kind of pulled into it, but it was, you know …  
Matt DeCoursey: It takes restraint, man.  
Matt Watson: … a silent message..  
Matt DeCoursey: It takes restraint. Like do you ever just see people talking on social media? And like, I just … cause I really, you know, I kind of live by this list man. You rarely if ever see me making … I don’t make comments about this stuff. Do you ever see me making comments about this stuff?  
Matt Watson: And it’s so hard not to sometimes.  
Matt DeCoursey: That’s why I said it takes restraint.  
Matt Watson: It’s so hard.  
Matt DeCoursey: And you know what I do, honestly man, I unfollow people on social media all the time.  
Matt Watson: I do too.  
Matt DeCoursey: Like I unfollow-  
Matt Watson: The ones that rant about politics-  
Matt DeCoursey: Oh God. Politics, religion, and stuff like that. And like I respect other people’s views. I just don’t want to be slathered with them, you know? I’m cool with it. You believe what you believe. I don’t have a problem with religion. I’m not a religious guy though, you know? And it’s like I’m just really not. I respect the fact that certain people are, and I get it. But you know, some of it’s too … like people like posting beams and stuff. I just don’t want to see a dude like nailed to a cross bleeding. I get it. I’m from …  
  I grew up and going to church all the time. I’ve seen it. I don’t want to see it all the time though. It’s not pleasant imagery. Am I talking about religion and politics? Should I just totally destroy-  
Matt Watson: Next.  
Matt DeCoursey: Are we going to destroy our brands-  
Matt Watson: Yeah. I think we are.  
Matt DeCoursey: … during the 10 ways to destroy your brand? No. But I think that’s okay. And you know, like you said, it takes … it does. It takes restraint. And I would encourage you to have it because people are going to make a lot of dumb ass comments, and you’re kind of … you’re playing into what they’re trying to do there. And they’re very trolley.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: And some of that too is even with our own personal situation. You know another thing too that like I’ll kind of add 7.1 in here? You know? We all go through ups and downs, but do you ever see the people like, “Oh my God. This depression’s overwhelming me and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Or like, you know, people just making overwhelmingly negative comments all the time?  
Matt Watson: I’ve got family members that do that on Facebook.  
Matt DeCoursey: Not endearing.  
Matt Watson: And I have unfollowed them.  
Matt DeCoursey: I know, I know. It kills me. It kills me. Okay. You want to take number eight?  
Matt Watson: Yeah. Negative eight …  
Matt DeCoursey: Negative eight?  
Matt Watson: Negative eight, yep.  
Matt DeCoursey: We’re going backwards? We should’ve counted backwards negative. Yeah. we’ll call this negative eight.  
Matt Watson: So it’s about negative attention from an employee. And this is a lot like the chiefs and the Tyreek Hill thing.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah, totally.  
Matt Watson: You know, it’s an employee is getting a lot of attention. Not necessarily something the employer did. Right? But because the employee is getting a lot of attention about something they did, then the employer is like, “Whoa, we can’t have this guy in our office or in our locker room.”  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. And you know, that happens a lot. That happens a lot. I mean … But I mean, that’s kind of going back to what we were saying. I mean, I don’t know. They kind of all tie together here. But I mean, you know, especially when it’s people that are in a leadership position.  
Matt Watson: So a good example of this, another one, was the whole, the me too movement, Right? One of the head guys at Disney got hit with that.  
Matt DeCoursey: God. I feel like all Hollywood got hit with that.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. He was one of the lead guys at Pixar, got hit with that. And so, Disney and him kind of said, “You know what? You’re going to step away for a while.” And he may be back now. It’s been, you know, a year or how long it’s been. He had took like a sabbatical, stepped away, and they had to say like, “Until all this cools off and whatever, you’re going away.”  
Matt DeCoursey: Why do you keep them.  
Matt Watson: So …  
Matt DeCoursey: They probably keep them because-  
Matt Watson: I don’t know what happened.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. ‘Cause they’re due like a … you know the crazy thing too is in some of the situations I’ve read, you read the actual article and it’s like, “So and so officially leaves XYZ.” And then, you read the article. And they’re like, “After a $45 million severance.” I’m like, “Wow, you’re going to give me 45 …”  
  Who was the more … There was a morning host that recently, in that she made some politically charged comments or maybe they were racist. Now, okay. Tipe. Don’t ever paint blackface.  
Matt Watson: Was that Megan?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yes. Megan.  
Matt Watson: Kelly.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yes. Megan Kelly. Wasn’t she doing something like that or she said, “I don’t understand why that’s a big deal.”  
Matt Watson: Like having a black face for Halloween.  
Matt DeCoursey: Like really, really? It’s dumb enough to do it. Like, okay, when in the history of that has that ever worked out well for anyone?  
Matt Watson: Then, you see pictures of where Hillary Clinton actually did it.  
Matt DeCoursey: Did she?  
Matt Watson: Yeah, there’s pictures of her on Halloween dressed up that way I think.  
Matt DeCoursey: Man. Well, it’s like. Oh my God.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: I mean seriously people, come on.  
Matt Watson: That’s the thing like you … Sometimes you say the littlest remark like that and kind of off … yeah, you just never know.  
Matt DeCoursey: I mean I’ll tell you what man, it’s … you know, and that’s once again back into this whole world of social media. You know, we’re just obsessed with like sharing every detail of our lives and like, guess what man? Everybody is walking around with a fucking camera in their phone and a video recorder. Like you gotta be on your best man.  
Matt Watson: Things go viral. And it’s weird the things that go viral. Like after the episode of game of Thrones a week before. People weren’t talking as much about the episode, but they were talking about a … what looked to be a Starbucks cup sitting on the table. And everybody was sharing it.  
Matt DeCoursey: I’m sitting there thinking, “Man, if that like ruined the show for you. Like who cares?”  
Matt Watson: No. But it’s just funny we can share that.  
Matt DeCoursey: I want to know who the dork that found that was, like for real, like would you’ve have ever picked that up?  
Matt Watson: You know, if one in a million people see it, and there’s millions that watch it. So …  
Matt DeCoursey: That was more, that was maybe funny.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: That wasn’t really like … That didn’t really destroy the brand. No. But it’s just weird the things that get picked up though. So okay, now we’re gonna, you know, how about this? This isn’t, you know, kind of shifting away from like the negative comments and let’s talk more about a negative experience. Offering a poor website experience.  
Matt Watson: This is partly why Stackify exists, right?  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah.  
Matt Watson: Is to help people-  
Matt DeCoursey: So true.  
Matt Watson: … find when their website is slow, why and how to fix it.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yup.  
Matt Watson: And we were just interviewing somebody today and he was talking about some website that they had. It took 40 seconds to login.  
Matt DeCoursey: That’s ridiculous.  
Matt Watson: And they had to go spend a whole bunch of money to buy bigger servers and stuff to make it faster. But it dramatically-  
Matt DeCoursey: It was like you went to log down and it was just like 40-  
Matt Watson: 40 seconds, yeah, 40 seconds. So you can imagine how many customers would get frustrated.  
Matt DeCoursey: That would drive me nuts. You think it’s broken.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. But think about … They say for every, you know, a hundred milliseconds, whatever it is, a website like Amazon sells x percentage more. And it’s just … I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the mood to buy, the faster things load, the more likely it is I’m going to find what I want and I’m going to buy.  
Matt DeCoursey: I mean, there’s literally a whole science dedicated to the user experience. I mean, it’s a big thing. And you know, like I … And I’ve talked about it some. But, I mean, I’m just a huge believer that, you know, the sites and platforms that onboard people quickly and get you to where you need to be the fastest. And that’s tough too.  
  I mean, we look at like, since we’re throwing ourselves under the bus often and regularly on the show, like Gigabooks. Gigabooks just got like … It’s fully customizable, it’s got a zillion different options. It’s very difficult to onboard someone and, you know, make it like … Because one person’s drastically crucial addition is not someone else’s. So, it’s about where do you pick and choose that. And you know, that’s right. You know, another thing with like a poor website experience is like inadequately describing what you do. Like just listing a whole bunch of features and not the benefits of what it does, or outdated stuff, like outdated videos.  
  Oh Man. You ever see like you go to look at something and it’s like you click a video and it’s like from like 12 years ago?  
Matt Watson: Oh yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: You’re like, “Dude, update this or remove it.”  
Matt Watson: Well, there are so many big companies that you go to their website and you’re like, “I don’t understand at all what it is you do.”  
Matt DeCoursey: Right. Or do you ever like … are you ever interested in someone’s product or service? And you go to the site. And you’re like … And they have like it’s not even a site, it’s like a Facebook page?  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: And you’re like, “Dude.” And they’re like, “I don’t need a website.” I’m like, “Yeah, you kind of do. And it’s like almost 2020.” And I mean … do we have a website? Should we get one?  
Matt Watson: We do. We can always make it better. But we’ve got one.  
Matt DeCoursey: Always can, working on that, working on that. So last on our list here, well, this is kind of … It ties into number nine, taking too long to explain what you do.  
Matt Watson: Yep.  
Matt DeCoursey: I mean, if you can’t explain what you do in a sentence or two, too long-  
Matt Watson: You know why that hurts your brand?  
Matt DeCoursey: Because no one wants to listen.  
Matt Watson: We talk about my friend Kyle always saying, you know, he was telling me what it is that he does. And like, I didn’t understand it. And I asked him again, I still don’t understand it. It’s like, “Well, the next day, I can’t go refer business to him.”  
Matt DeCoursey: No.  
Matt Watson: ‘Cause I don’t know what it is he does.  
Matt DeCoursey: Yeah. If you can’t explain it, how’s the word of mouth going to trickle down? And you know, you get through that. And it’s like, I mean … It’s like I’ve had to do that too. Because, you know, people ask me a lot, they’re like, “Well, what do you do?”  
  I say, “Well, I own a company that  makes it easy for you to build a software team overseas.” Is that fair?  
Matt Watson: Yeah. So, the next day, if you’re moving around, you meet somebody that might need that. You’re like, “Oh yeah, okay, I know a guy.”  
Matt DeCoursey: We help people build software. Sometimes, it really just depends. I try to gauge it. And here’s the thing is trim it down, trim it down a lot. And if people have questions … And nothing annoys me more than, you know, talking to someone about their business and five minutes later, like you said, I’m still sitting there going, what do you do?  
Matt Watson: Well and it’s so important-  
Matt DeCoursey: What do you do? What do you do Matt?  
Matt Watson: It’s so important as a brand that that people can understand if you’re a right fit for them. Right? Like if I am looking for a product that is kind of geeky or something, I immediately think of going to thinkgeek.com.  
Matt DeCoursey: Okay.  
Matt Watson: Like that brand speaks to me. I understand exactly what they do, who their audience was. Now I could go to Amazon and find something.  
Matt DeCoursey: Right.  
Matt Watson: But they have a very specific message. I understand what they do. And I know that I’m their customer in these scenarios. Right? And that’s what we talk about, in regards to startups sometimes, it’s you have to pick your niche. Like you’re going to focus on this very specific thing and your messaging and everything aligns with that. So, people understand if you’re a customer or not a customer, if you would refer them or whatever, right? It’s explaining what it is you do, so everyone understands very clearly if they’re a customer or not.  
Matt DeCoursey: Right. You know, there’s a couple things that, as we kind of a close out here, that I’d like to add. And starting here at the beginning of the year for full scale, I took it upon me to try to build our brand here. And some things have gone well. And some things have been more popular than others. But like I think there’s a couple things here too. If you’re trying to build your brand rather than destroy it, do some things that are selfless. We do that like with our sweet and greets.  
Matt Watson: Right.  
Matt DeCoursey: We just want people like to  … As you are aware of, we spend a lot of money on that.  
Matt Watson: We do.  
Matt DeCoursey: And we treat that as more of like a community of that. It’s not like a sales pitch, you know? And we are just trying to get people in our community to get together and talk about what they do, have a good time. And you know what? If the result of that is they say something good about us or it’s some word of mouth, then you know what? It’s gone really well. I get a ton of referrals. We get a ton of referrals from people.  
  And also, looking back at like what we’re doing, sometimes these people show up to the event and they’re … you know, I’m sitting there talking to them. And you know, with the sweet and greets, for those of you, you can sign up to come attend one at fullscale.io, but sometimes the people show up and they don’t know what we do yet. And that tells me, I’m like, “Wow, we’ve got a lot more work to do when it comes to building the brand.”  
Matt Watson: Right.  
Matt DeCoursey: And you know, they’re like … well, you know, they’re literally there and we’ve given them tickets to come see a concert or event or something. And they’re going, “So, what do you guys do?” And that happens less and less. But when I hear that, I think, “Man, we haven’t done a great job of branding.” And then also, you know, to build your brand and to have it last, it’s just about helping. Like if you help people solve their problem, the need to build the brand is occurring with that. I mean, do you feel that way with Stackify?  
Matt Watson: Yeah, absolutely.  
Matt DeCoursey: Like you guys are helping people not have problems. Like anything … You’re trying to make someone’s life easier.  
Matt Watson: Yep. Absolutely.  
Matt DeCoursey: Or further their success or help them build their business, helping them save money, make money, have less headaches and stuff like that.  
Matt Watson: Yep. Absolutely.  
Matt DeCoursey: You got anything to say about brands or building that? And it doesn’t just necessarily have to be about ways you can destroy it. By the way, you’re never going to build a brand if you don’t get out there and start talking to people about what you do.  
Matt Watson: Absolutely. Well, which one of these is your favorite on the list here? I think mine has gotta be customer services is so important for so many ways.  
Matt DeCoursey: I think the things not to talk about like politics, race or religion, and sex and stuff like that. Like, I mean, dude, there are literally like people that like, I don’t … Because of how heated and pointed a lot of their comments are on social media, I don’t think I … I mean, I … Either I’ve tuned them out and I don’t see myself recommending someone else to them. I’m like, “Hey, this guy’s got a great company. But you know what? He’s a real asshole on the side”  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: How are you going to recommend someone? I think that’s a bad one. I think also like breaking promises and lying is like … That’s clearly like a great way to really destroy things in a hurry.  
Matt Watson: Of course, I’m a big fan of the website performance because it’s kind of what Stackify helps with. So, it’s a big one.  
Matt DeCoursey: That’s an example of, you know-  
Matt Watson: Speed is always good.  
Matt DeCoursey: I always say the more hurdles you put between your client or customer and the cash register, the less you’re going to sell.  
Matt Watson: Software and websites that are fast and easy to use are greatly better than those who arene. So, its pretty simple.  
Matt DeCoursey: You know, I had a user point this out. Something had gone wrong with the startup hustle website. I had the contact page in there and they did … They change something. And I had to go back and re insert it and then it lit up. But it embarrasses me when someone literally sends me a Facebook message. And guy, I forgot what your name was, but thank you.  
Matt Watson: Yeah. It went down one day too. I don’t know if that’s the same time, but-  
Matt DeCoursey: The podcast website?  
Matt Watson: Yeah, this like a couple of weeks ago. It went down for an hour or something.  
Matt DeCoursey: God, we should-  
Matt Watson: Whoever we hosted for-  
Matt DeCoursey: … should recommend Stackify for them.  
Matt Watson: Yeah.  
Matt DeCoursey: Well, man, I’ll tell you what. I’ve been working all day on building our brand. I’ve been actually working on trying to find us the next round of informative and entertaining guests, and also getting people to come do a couple events that we are hosting tonight and this week. So, I’m going to get back to building the brand.  
Matt Watson: All right, take care.  
Matt DeCoursey: See you man.  

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