Defining Differentiated Positioning For Growth

Building Brands Ep 23 - Bryce Stuckenschneider - Defining Differentiated Positioning For Growth

Bryce Stuckenschneider, President & CEO of Loftwall, talks about the impact that crafting a differentiated position in the market had on Loftwall’s recent growth surge along with how changing their approach to WHY they do WHAT they do allowed them to deliver complex and rapid solutions for their customers during a pandemic that pushed their team to meet new challenges quickly.

Episode Links
Find Bryce on LinkedIn
Visit Loftwall Online

Episode Transcript
Tim
Welcome Building Brands listeners. For our 23rd episode, I’m joined by Bryce Stuckenschneider, President and CEO of Loftwall. Loftwall is obsessed with privacy and not just another furniture company. They believe in finding a unique purpose planting your flag and being the best at what you do. Loftwall gives users highly adaptive solutions to configure, reconfigure, and easily move spaces to embrace the unique ways each organization works differently. In this episode, Bryce talks about the impact of crafting a differentiated position in the market had on loft was recent growth search, along with how changing their approach to why they do what they do allowed them to deliver complex and rapid solutions for their customers during a pandemic, that push their team to meet new challenges quickly. Enjoy the episode.

Tim
If you’re an owner or marketer in the building materials, manufacturing, distribution, or contracting spaces, looking to set up your brand for success now and in the future, this is the podcast for you. on this show, we talk about brand and market strategies used in the real world that grow companies and truly connect with consumer audiences. So sit back, listen in and let’s get to it.

Tim
Okay, welcome Bryce Stuckenschneider, President and CEO at Loftwall. Thanks for coming on.

Bryce
Yeah, excited to be here.

Tim
This is the easy question that I always start people with. So let’s just dive right in. Tell us a little bit about yourself sort of what your professional background is, and how you ended up in the world of building materials building products at loft wall in your presidency overall?

Bryce
Sure, yeah. I don’t know that many people grew up thinking at age eight, nine or 10, I can’t wait to get into the building products materials, category in life. But like many people before me, I stumbled my way into it, and found out the stuff that I loved marketing guy by background, I was a school in Ohio at the University of Dayton, and had the the fun opportunity to work for a family owned building products manufacturer, they’re called GMP companies. And maybe the brand that people know the most is gent it’s kind of the go to name and whiteboards for K 12 schools across the country. And that exposed me to the world of furniture, building materials and everything in between. and a couple stops later moved my family from Ohio down to Texas, where I am at waffle now. And it’s been interesting to see that the category and the channel grow in the last decade or so and especially what’s happened in the last year with COVID. And how people space planners and facility planners are are responding to it.

Tim
What is loft? Well tell everyone a little bit about the company, maybe its background and how it got into developing the products that that you guys produce? And then maybe what drew you to Loftwall.

Bryce
Sure Yeah, the easiest way to describe it is privacy furniture, right? So there are a lot of companies out there that make tables, desks and chairs. There’s several companies that make a lot of acoustic products. But we decided that we want to be the one company that’s obsessed with privacy. And for us that looks like a lot of different ways to solve a complicated problem. Privacy can be visual, acoustic, territorial, there’s more than one way to solve a privacy problem. So just slapping some acoustic panels on a wall. And calling it a day isn’t really what we’re all about. So I’ve been at the company almost two years now. And what drew me to it was this kind of untapped potential. It was a small company. It was run by the founder, Steve kendor, great guy, industrial designer by background, he went to Rhode Island School of Design. But he’s also a serial entrepreneur, right? This guy owns six, seven businesses, and just loved tinkering on his businesses like they were inventions. And what was really fun was when he and I and our third partner got together and kind of had an aha moment of what if we put a lot of horsepower and bandwidth behind this brand lock wall? What if we allowed it to become what it could have become all along. So that was that was exciting to me, you know, at my age, to get to have a chance to steer a ship was pretty cool. And then just the trust for my partners to say, hey, let’s go build something. Let’s listen to our gut, let’s make bets on ourselves. And just you we really looked at it, we felt like we were just scratching the surface of what this place could do and what the category was because I really don’t know that people are focused on privacy quite the way that we are. And so that just felt like a pretty special opportunity.

Tim
Yeah, who do you normally work with delivering these types of solutions in the market?

Bryce
So kind of all across the board. I think our bread and butter has always been the furniture dealers of the world who are brought in to say, Hey, I have to specify tables, desks and chairs. And oh, by the way, I’ve got a privacy problem. So we’ve got a great relationship with our dealer channel. But increasingly, people are asking more and different people in their organization to solve for privacy. So no longer is it just the interior designers job. But it’s now also the facility managers job, the office managers job, the CEO Secretary’s job, if we’ve got a problem, we need a solution quickly. privacy’s a problem that people want to solve fast. And so we’ve had to figure out okay, how Do we respond to such if we’ve sold through a certain channel forever? How do we respect that channel, but also listen to all the crazy ways that people find their way to us. And that’s been kind of a big aha for me in the last couple years.

Tim
So let’s talk about what you did when you came in. What was the biggest need that you identified when you were talking with your leadership group when you guys decided, like, let’s put some more firepower behind this, this brand? How did you decide to make it stronger and make your mark in the market?

Bryce
Yeah, so the first thing we probably did was start investing in products, great products can take sometimes yours to bring to life. And so like I said, I’ve been on board about two years. And we’re just now launching products that we started when I came on, right. And so that pipeline is, is months and sometimes years in advance. We did that really early, but probably the most seismic thing we did was just how we talk about the company and what we do the first sales call that I went on with one of our salespeople, they got to the end of their presentation. And this is a multi line sales rep who can sell, you know, any number of brands and said, oh, by the way, like I’ve got this, this office partition does, you might need like a partition in their space. You know, it goes together really quickly. Anybody? Nobody raised their hand. Okay, one, let me know. And that was like the marketing guy needed offended me to my core. I was like, we’re not we’re not solving problems here. We’re just schlepping products. And and so that big thing I think we did early on was say, Who are we like, be really, really detailed about who we are. And that’s, that’s when we decided there’s nobody out there who’s obsessed with privacy. And it’s not just there’s nobody out there who has privacy products, like we needed to be obsessed with it that was really important to us. And so from that moment, I mean, it changed everything. We did change the products, we designed the people we hired the way we talked about ourselves where the website looks, everything in between we answer the phone, like everything is different from that moment. And I I go back to I think that decision kind of affected everything else. And that’s probably the easiest answer. We did 100 little things. But that was the big thing.

Tim
So when you actually make that decision, like we have to change the way that we’re talking about ourselves, where did you start to actually figure out that you needed to be more solution based? I mean that that story about the sales rep is totally on point. But where do you go first to find the insights that you need to actually build that idea that we aren’t just selling partitions? We’re selling privacy for people that have open spaces that needs some partition in it, but the solution is that they get privacy because of the pocket? Like Where did you turn to to get insights on how to craft that message? Yeah,

Bryce
so mostly listening to customers, and and a partition is a piece of what we sell now. But you’re right, when you look at it, that’s what it delivers. We looked at who we were up against competitive wise, and how they talked about themselves. And we wanted to be the opposite, right? Like, you want to be very different than who you’re up against. That’s how you’re going to stand out. And so it was a lot of listening to that. And our customers, you know, called the 10 biggest doors we had in the previous year, got the decision maker on the phone said why, like, how did you choose us, and it kept coming back to time and again, is it a lot of times it wasn’t from a new build scenario, it wasn’t you know, from the ground up, we decided we really want to intentionally put this material in the core, the fabric of who we are, they say, we made up, we made a mistake, like we finished this office. And we looked around and said we made a mistake. And we needed someone to come in on a in a day two, which is you know, an industry term for day one, you got tables, desk, chairs, the lights, got to work all that stuff. But on day two, you realize I need coat hooks and trash cans and things like that. And it might not literally be day two, but pretty quickly after you move in, you realize you have a privacy problem. And that’s what I kept hearing again, and again, from these large customers we’d had the year before I came on, they weren’t saying, Oh, we realized we needed partitions. Right? That wasn’t what they needed. They realized that they didn’t give their people privacy. And and we started to connect that this is the fun part is it’s not just that the people need to privacy but where’s privacy do for those companies. And it allows their people to do more focused work. And if you think about the amount of money we spend on our employees, but the very few tools we give them to focus. It’s it’s pretty wild, we did a study and we actually have this in a CPU that we teach designers and architects, that the average 200 person company, if you factor in the average number of distractions in a day, and the average amount of time it takes them to refocus again, the average 200 person company in the United States weights about $2 million a year on last time due to focus. And that was like this light bulb moment for us. It’s not just this touchy feely, oh, I want privacy. There’s real dollars behind it. And when we trained our salespeople to understand and connect, this is the dollar value that I’m providing to you as my customer, then I mean, things completely changed.

Tim
You mentioned looking at the competitors, right, you don’t want to step into what they’re doing as well. You You want to differentiate yourself, you actually have to be different from them in order to win pricing battles and preference choice battles become the exciting and preferred option. What does it mean to have that new solution based privacy approach to differentiation in the market versus who you believe your competitors are around you?

Bryce
Yeah. Well, just like I joked, in the beginning, nobody grows up thinking they’re gonna sell building products or materials. I don’t think people also grew up thinking I can’t wait to be a Me too. I can’t wait to launch it. Yeah, that 2020 other companies have. And so part of that, for me is in for our team, it’s a core belief that, that’s how you’re going to win. And in the long run is be different. And part of it’s just really freaking competitive. And it’s easier to be competitive when you’re different when everyone’s running the spread offense, but you run the triple option, Georgia Tech wins a lot of games with that, right? It’s, it’s just, it can, it can be done, if done well. And that’s one of the things from the beginning is, I love to study my competition, not so that we can knock that off, but so that we can do the exact opposite. And most of the time that has worked very, very well for us.

Tim
When you mentioned what was funny about the sort of day one day two scenario that you played out for the people that you were trying to reach with your solution based approach. They don’t know that up front, usually, it’s something they observe, once they get into the flow. I’d say marketing is a lot like that, too. A lot of times companies are and you talked about waterfall coming up this way to your r&d and product, First, make sure it’s viable in the market, that there’s a path for success just from a business model standpoint. And then you get it out there and you go day two, you’re like, Alright, if we don’t change something we’re going to be lumped in with everyone else. So day two is how do we differentiate ourselves. And that’s sort of where brand strategy gets to get elevated into that market approach. And that gets you to what you’re talking about right now with the obsession with privacy angle that you guys take that last wall. But you also said that you guys are very competitive, which is an it’s an internal intangible thing, how does that affect you being able to even pull off doing a positioning like this and being that differentiator in the market?

Bryce
So I got lucky because I jumped onto a team that was already making product here in the US. And I think that if we had a huge reliance on an overseas supply chain or outsourced manufacturing, we would, we would not be the company we are today. And so the way we’ve been able to parlay that competitiveness into growth, is saying yes to things that other people just can’t, right, we make it here, I’m about 18 steps from our manufacturing floor right now, hopefully in a quiet enough room for ya cast it anyway. what’s what’s great is, there’s just things that our team looks at this competitive juice doesn’t just go from the sales and marketing team, but it kind of trickles all the way through the organization. So when a giant hospital system, I’ll go back to the spring, when a giant hospital system in the northeast says hey, we need 1000 hospital rooms that we need to make out of your modular wall systems. We don’t know exactly what it’s gonna look like, we don’t know exactly how many we need. We just know we need them fast, and they need to be cleanable and durable. Can you get them to us in seven days? And most of our competition would say you met seven weeks, right? And we were able to do that. And so it goes back to Okay, how do you harness that competitiveness, it’s you build it into the organization. And even with everything we’ve been able to do here in our backyard, we’re still investing every day. I mean, right now, today, they’re installing new machinery that’s gonna allow us to do things we’ve never been able to do for our customers before. And that’s the deal. Luckily, I’ve got partners who want to invest in the business in that way. So that we can continue to say yes, and be insanely competitive.

Tim
Yeah, there’s a first step you have to take before you can actually get to that differentiation, you have to understand if you can actually back up the thing that you want to say about yourself. And that starts with understanding who you are, as a company, both from a physical, this is what we do, and we do it really, really good. But also from this is who we are. And this is what we believe in. If you don’t have those two aspects, you can’t go out in the world and say we care about this one thing makes us better than everyone else. Because you can’t back it up. If you can’t back it up, you have nothing to start from.

Bryce
Totally. And we say to you don’t have to be awesome at 20 things but pick three or four and be the best. And this what you’re talking about is we don’t have to have the funniest videos, or the most engaging social media pictures or anything like that. But if we can make it crazy easy to do business with us, we say yes to things other people can’t say. And if we’re obsessed about the things we say we’re obsessed about, it’ll all work out.

Tim
Yeah, and sales is on the same page as ownership, which is on the same page as operations. And when you have all those things in unison, it’s very easy to pull the differentiator out of that because everyone’s on the same page. They’re all speaking the same language and when you have a good vision, you’re all moving towards the right target together. Absolutely, we’re sort of in a unique time right now, how helpful has lost while becoming obsessed with privacy? And in some cases, safety affected how you’re able to shift through the pandemic right now as well, right? I mean, yeah, part of what you do is separating people. And we are in a time where people are being asked to, and want to be separated, even when they’re in close quarters. So what’s that been like?

Bryce
Insane is one word that comes to mind. Just the amount of it’s, it’s, you know, a major world event that increases the demand for your products, you know, five to 10 times overnight is not something not something that any business plans for. Right, right. And so that that hit us pretty hard and pretty fast. And in March and April, but it’s been interesting. It’s not just oh, here’s one product, we launched it in March, the response to the pandemic, and it’s selling great. That’s true. But I mean, if you can look at the timeline of it in March and April, I mentioned a moment ago, we were asked to build help build pop up hospitals and testing centers across the country, most of the time was 24 to 48 hours. Notice, that was March and April, April, and may was a lot of, hey, we’re getting prepared for retail locations open back up. So we launched like, seven or eight versions of what we call counter to what the world calls a sneeze guard, right is, how do you do it in a reliable, consistent, durable way instead of just the sheets of Plexiglas hanging from the ceiling. And so we did that a ton. And may in June, and then June, it became clear that the idea of going back to the office was going to be a real movement and shift. And so we launched, I think nine products in June, there were all geared around, how do you help your people feel more safe when they come back to work? Because safety and privacy, you mentioned are are very closely connected? You don’t feel like you have privacy if you don’t feel safe, and vice versa. And so that that evolution, you know, I plan to launch three products this year, we launched 13.

Tim
And you said those are normally the products that you’re developing over a six to 18 month period, too.

Bryce
Yeah, yeah. So three, three long term products that we had in the pipeline, we ended up only doing one of them, and then launching 12 entirely new, what I call response approaches, listen to the customers, we are getting calls every single day, the end of the day, sales customer service, we’d get in a room and say what are we getting asked for that? We have to say no to right now. And we would literally draw, I have a notebook with some of the early sketches of like, what if what if it had this shape? And what if it did this? And then the next day, okay, yeah, we’re, you know, meet with the operations team, how do we build this? How do we build it? How do we scale it? You know, yeah, I can build one of anything. But can I build 1000 of these? can I build them in two weeks, because that’s how fast some of this took off. And so that was, I think, the way we made it through the year was a lot of listening. And being willing to throw all of our plans out the window. We’re planning right now for 2021. And we look jokingly look back at what our plans for 2020, where it’s like, we did none of that we did nothing that we plan to do. And the company, you know, grew immensely. But it wasn’t because of anything we had planned in advance. It was because we had a culture I think of of listening and responding really, really fast.

Tim
Well, there’s something to learn in there, too. You are allowed to break the rules once in a while, if you’re set up for success for and there’s extreme circumstances and you know, you can actually be successful at it. You can sometimes ditch your original plans, flex to what the needs are in the moment. And if you’ve got a strong enough team, a strong enough process, and clients that understand that you’re different than everyone else, it’s time to step up and kind of meet the moment at that point.

Bryce
Yeah, that’s a good point. People would tell you that know me that maybe I break the rules a little too much. But it’s you’re totally right. And this year was was an example of that. Just, again, everything everything we thought was going to happen. Didn’t happen. I think we surprised ourselves every month, you look back and say I can’t believe we made it through that. And and that’s been the crazy part looking forward is I have no idea. I don’t think anybody has any idea what’s going to happen with going back to the office and a return to normalcy or anything like that. But we we put enough things in place to know that we’re going to be as responsive as our customers need us to be.

Tim
Yeah, and that sometimes leads to very, very hyper growth too, which kind of puts you in the wringer a little bit but if you have again the processes and the team and the culture you can usually flex once in a while. This isn’t like a crack the whip 20 473 65 thing but you can flex and meet the meet the moment for that stuff.

Bryce
Yeah, you mentioned to like being honest and transparent with your customers like there were so many times I’ve been on the phone with a customer this year. Who you know will get in hundreds of orders a week that at the top of the purchase order in all caps, it’ll say COVID urgent need immediately. And the products that we sold before the pandemic, I would always say, like privacy is something that people need, but they don’t need it tomorrow, like they’re willing to wait a couple weeks to get it right. And so overnight, we shifted from a fairly patient, customer base to the world is on fire. And we also grew by multiple factors this year, and did a facility move and all kinds of things. And so there’s so many times that I pick up the phone, and I’m getting, you know, an email from a customer saying, you know, where’s this order, I need it, I need, and I get a phone and tell him, Hey, here’s exactly what’s happened to our business. Here’s where your orders in the pipeline at why, here’s why it’s important to me, I’m personally gonna QC this, whatever it may be. But I’ve got 100 orders like yours that have to get out in the next 12 hours. And let’s talk about how we’re doing. Like, I was just kind of like this chief therapist for a little while, making sure people felt heard and known. But there were people needed this stuff so fast. And for great reason. I mean, hospitals, clinics, doctors, offices, retail locations, we had multiple court systems who like couldn’t hear cases like family court, like people who are trying to get reunited with their kids. And like, we take that stuff personally, like, I’m taking that order out to the floor, and I’m saying, this has to be perfect, guys, you’d like the stakes are so high right now. And you’re right, you can, you can dial it up to 11 for a little bit. But the pandemics been going on for the better part of a year now. And, and so what we’re trying to do is okay, you know, overlay new people, new processes, obviously, a new facility and all that has made it easier. But all the kudos in the world to my team who’ve taken kind of every curveball in stride and found a way to, to make it work.

Tim
Now, have you seen other companies trying to do this as well?

Bryce
Yes. Yeah, well, you know, specifically in the furniture world, not a lot of people are buying tables, desks and chairs right now. And that didn’t make sense. And people got to put food on the table, and I got to eat. And so they’re, they’re trying to pivot into these categories. But it’s not a space that they were in before. So, you know, we may launch 12 products this year that each represent 50, different customization. So there’s 600 configurations of what we’ve launched this year, and they may launch two that have no configurations, right. And so they’re in the game. But it’s a very, very narrow offering. And we see new ones every week coming up against them. And usually, we’re able to win, just based on the breadth of what we do. And there are times if it’s a race to the bottom, you know, we’re not, we don’t do this to create the cheapest solution out there, we build our stuff that we’re proud of that’s going to last and so if somebody’s saying, Hey, this is the bottom dollar, this is the price you need to hit. It’s this is the price I’m getting from some import option. We’ll say, you know, this, this deal wasn’t for us. But yeah, new new competitors every week, popping up from places you’d never expect. But I think that just proves that the demand is is very real.

Tim
And if someone is really price shopping that intensely sometimes, no matter how good of a brand culture or position you have in the market, you just won’t win that. But it will quickly reveal that it’s okay that the deal might not fit both sides. You can’t convince someone without money to spend more money. You You’re also building things in the country to in your own facilities. And like you said, a lot of those are Import Options, too. So there’s a lot of different angles for people jumping in quickly to try and make some money. And then they’re probably going to get out after some point. And then they’re either in the future.

Bryce
Yeah, I don’t know how you can put much of a warranty on a product that you have never made before. Right. So this is your first foray into some of these privacy products? And to say, Oh, yeah, five year 10 year warranty on it like these, that product hasn’t been alive for more than five weeks. So I don’t know how some folks say that. But, you know, we’re, we’re just going to continue to be content with who we are. And like, you’re right. If we’re obsessed with who we are, I want to win the deals that took a lot of relationship and hand holding and customization. I want to win the deals when somebody said I have a real privacy problem, and I don’t know how to solve it. That’s when we shot right that’s where we come in. And if somebody says hey, I need a piece of acrylic that’s the size by this size, and we need to slap it on here hang it by a cable from the ceiling. What’s your lowest price per square inch? You know, that’s that’s not going to be for us which is fine. It’s It’s great. It’s more more food for everybody else and I don’t fault anybody for trying to get into the category. It’s been an insane crazy and scary year like you got to you got teams you got to pay your people people got to eat like zero hard feelings about it. I’ve just some more conviction for us to double down on what makes us great. And and live that be that

Tim
Yeah, and for those that are working with you, you will be there in the future for them as they either shift their needs back to something else privacy related or they just need support on the products that you’re already providing them and you’ll be here and a lot of other people flip back to the segments that they were in before because the opportunities are back. So that’s a bonus for for the people working with you. So I guess from a high level Would you say the benefits direct, like the six benefits are that you took from your differentiated positioning work that you did when you came on?

Bryce
I mean, I don’t think that we would have been in the place to capture as much this year as we did if we didn’t do the work last year, right? If we weren’t serious about who we were, if we didn’t double down on what made us special, hired a ton of people. Like when I started, the company had, you know, a couple dozen employees. And now we’re in the north of 100 range, right? So it’s like, five x headcount growth in a year. And bringing those people on and teaching them who we are what makes us special. So when this insane world event happens, we were there like we were, we were sounds weird, we were ready for it. And it all goes back to that first conversation of what are we want to be? What do we want to be great at?

Tim
Yeah. And on the back end, you already mentioned that you had revenue growth, too. And I mean, I’m sure the impact you’ve made on some people that were already existing customers of yours, and the new people that you’ve helped out through this year is going to pay off in the future as well, with with their more normalized needs, once we get back to some level of normalcy at some point, you know, hopefully, yeah, that will strengthen those relationships, too, which is also a long term benefit, I’m sure.

Bryce
Yeah, yeah, the marketer in me, you know, we’re tracking all these numbers. But one of the things I think that’s most interesting is growth aside, and it’s been great is, there’s, there’s 10 times the amount of eyeballs on our website in our brand, as before, and that means we get a chance to tell those people a story. And and hopefully that story matches up with what they’re looking for and what they need. And so it’s been a platform that we don’t we don’t take lightly like it, it would be, I think, pretty callous to say, Man, COVID been great for us, right? It’s been hard for so many people, right? I’m grateful that my team was able to, to respond. And I’m certainly grateful that we’ve been able to serve as many people as we have. But we, we don’t know what’s coming next. And so we have to continue to challenge ourselves and check ourselves and say, Okay, if this goes away tomorrow, what’s what’s our business? You know, do we go back to the product development and launch planet before? Is it some sort of hybrid model? You know, we didn’t hire all these people, assuming that COVID was going to be around forever? No, but we want to build the business that we always want to build. And this just gave us a chance to do that.

Tim
Well, let’s talk about the building products industry in general. Given that right now, it’s a very specific situation, where do you see marketing and positioning playing a factor over the next decade?

Bryce
I think the biggest thing that we’re going to need to figure out is how to satisfy all these channels. There’s so many different ways that people want to procure products. And building products are really interesting in the way that they’re bought today. And that’s this is one of the things that I’m trying to figure out every day is how do we get our product to the most people possible while respecting the people that got us where we are? And it’s, I think it’s a little cliche to say, every single thing in the universe is going to be bought on your cell phone in the next 10 years. But it’s going to keep marching that way, and we got to figure out how does building products? How do they respond to that? How do we respond to it as this interesting niche inside of that category? Because not all building products are created equal? Right? And so we had to figure out even in that complicated world, where do we exist? How do we add value and one of our core kind of sales beliefs is you got to make like, stupid, easy to do business with you. Like, don’t you don’t even make it easy, because all your competition is trying to make it easy, you got to make it stupid, the easiest of anybody out there. And if one customer tells me you had a really hard time doing this with like that, like sets me on fire, like okay, how do we fix that? That’s not stupid, easy. And so I think we got to continue to figure that stuff out. And the way that people procure our products, the way we communicate it to them all the tools they can use to design and specify with it. It’s there’s limitless opportunity.

Tim
And when it comes to the actual brand strategy itself, what do you think the most important thing that everyone should consider if they decide to go into looking at themselves either from a ground up or just in an overhaul reassessment of their their brand positioning?

Bryce
I think it may sound easy, but the best advice I could give is find one thing to be awesome at Hmm. I I’ve dabbled in a few startups before. And the ones that have failed are the ones where I’m not clear about what we’re going to be great at. And the ones that have gone incredible are the ones that have just this incredibly clear focus. So yeah, that’s my advice from a brand perspective is, know who you are. And don’t be too broad about it. Like it’s okay to be narrow and awesome. And you’ll build from there. You’ll get loyal fans that will stick with you as you try new and different things.

Tim
And the one caveat to that is if you’re going to choose Be Awesome and make sure you’re actually awesome.

Bryce
You need that you need to have an open mind and listen to when people tell you, you suck at it. And yeah, it’s happened to me a couple times as well.

Tim
I mean, if you’re just putting out a positioning statement that says you’re the greatest at something, and you can’t actually fulfill it, you’re leading down a very dangerous path where people will expose you. And in an age of self reviewing, and social media, and all this other all these other channels where people are talking about brands and sort of, you know, we like to talk on the show about how brand strategy is something you can cultivate from within, you can create the plan from within and set the road and the path for it. But a lot of it will be affirmed and grown through the audiences and consumer bases that are telling your story around you. So you have to make sure that you can back it up, whatever you say.

Bryce
Yeah, I totally agree you. Again, another cliche, you get one chance to make a first impression. But there’s relationships are a big deal in this in this industry, and coming out with a splash and saying we’re going to do blank and then not delivering can set you back a decade in some of your relationships. And so we try to be pretty cognizant of that as well.

Tim
Yeah, a lot of these specifiers aren’t just doing one project.

Bryce
No, no, not all. And they and they talk to each other. And it’s it’s this interconnected world that even I only understand a fraction of and so you just have to respect it, or you get respect, but you don’t know too.

Tim
Is there anything that you haven’t touched on from a positioning or strategy standpoint that you think might be useful that we haven’t talked about?

Bryce
I think maybe it connects to that last point of be awesome at something. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing it, it’ll show like, it’ll come up at some point. I’ve had to sell products in the past before that I didn’t totally believe in and it’s, it becomes clear, maybe not immediately, but over time. I think the people that win are the people who are obsessed with what they do, and they’re obsessed, because they believe in it. And that’s why in the beginning that it offended me so much that I was working for a partition company now, right, like, privacy can do so many things for so many people and it’s so misunderstood. Once I connected to that and like high the vehicle that I could help people with that. Then it was off to the races and the the team it’s it’s an alignment thing to there’s there’s no doubt what we do amongst our team. We know what we do. We won’t do it better every single day.

Tim
Awesome. Well, before we wrap up, where can people find more about you and and find more about the Luftwaffe?

Bryce
Sure, yes. So me specifically, I’m the only Bryce stokin Schneider in the world. So it’s not hard to me. Excellent connect on LinkedIn or anything like that. But lawful, is you know, lawful, calm, hello, FTW, a Ll calm. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, all that stuff. I think Instagram and LinkedIn are the two platforms that we we keep up to date the most. But we’re working, you know, going to continue to push the envelope a little bit and try and be great at what we do and would love anybody listening to connect and share their experiences. Ask questions. Vice versa. Like I said, you said it’s a complicated and interconnected industry. And I’m grateful for every time I get to meet somebody new.

Tim
Cool. Well, this was awesome. Thanks for the time.

Bryce
Thank you very much for having me.

Tim
You bet.

Tim
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