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Building a Billion-Dollar Brand – 5 Tips from Spanx Billionaire Sara Blakely

In 2012, Sara Blakely was crowned the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes. Today I dissected the Brand Anatomy in her Forbes interview 5 Tips to Build a Billion-Dollar Brand. Learn how to find market gaps, stand apart and cut the line to your next level of business success.

Tip 1: “Differentiate Yourself: Why are you different, what’s important about you, why does the customer need you. Have that really rehearsed.” – Sarah Blakely

In brand anatomy the positioning strategy is vital to differentiate you in your industry.

Your strengths and unique experience and perspective you lend to the approach and execution. Listen to the episode to find out more about differentiation >>>

Tip 2: “You’ve got to visualize where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years.” – Sarah Blakely

Most businesses underdeveloped brands miss this piece or have completed part of it in their business strategy.

Internal strategy includes purpose, vision, mission and values. Not usually viewable to the public this keeps everything on track and is the guiding hand to all decisions, business brand and marketing thereafter.

Tip 3: “It’s very important to be authentic and truly who you are through the whole process, the consumer will react to that.” – Sarah Blakely

According to a survey in Stackla a whopping 90% of consumers surveyed said that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. Up from 86% in 2017.

in that same study 83% of marketers said authenticity is very important to their brand and 61% believed authenticity is the most important component of impactful content. I am extra adamant about this one and why you're now visiting Onthentic Branding at

Listen to the episode to find out more >>>

Tip 4: “Treating people kindly and being fair throughout the process. I believe in Karma in business and it’s really worked out for us here at Spanx.” – Sarah Blakely

This isn't a kindergarten class but I think it is a great reminder to us in the professional fields. It’s not hard to sometimes get so goal focused and bottom line focused while we are stressed and working hard.

Tip 5: “I also think you should embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you’ll absolutely be doing things different from everyone else.” – Sarah Blakely

An entire brand can be build around doing it different than everyone else. Think Warby Parker or Apple. Especially Apple's commercials back in the 80’s. I can't remember which decade but apple was struggling and instead of making a new product they created colored monitors – no more ugly puke office grey. This set them apart and allowed their customers to stand out, express their personality and gave them reason to buy a new monitor even if they didn’t need one.

Sarah’s success lay in her not know what was supposed to be done and doing it her way.

- Calling up Neman Marcus directly, flying to their office and asking the woman to join her in the restroom. An even going to every store her product was in with photos of her butt before and after and selling her product and putting them on the counters.

There hints and clues left behind those who have mastered branding and built million and billion dollar brands. We only need to look a little more closely at the depth that there is not just the shiny cover and we can dissect their brand anatomy.

Listen to the episode to hear all the details>>>


Is your brand still underdeveloped? Or does your brand no longer feel authentic?

Don’t feel like you have to be something you’re not to market your business or create a strong brand, fast.

Create a brand that your proud of, distinguishes you from your peers and competitors.

See my consulting, strategy and design services at or find all the links and resources you need at

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