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Branding | Entrepreneurship | Celebrity | Design | Marketing
A young entrepreneur, an industry pioneer, a highly regarded marketing expert, and a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. Over the last 20 years, he has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to one of the most sought after branding experts, business, and motivational speakers in the country.
Mr. John's creative vision and strong knowledge of the marketplace helped him create one of the most iconic fashion brands in recent years. FUBU, standing for "For Us By Us", represented a lifestyle that was neglected by other clothing companies. Realizing this need in the marketplace, Mr. John created the untapped urban apparel space and laid the groundwork for other companies to compete in this newly established market.
Daymond John grew up in the community of Hollis, Queens, which quickly became known as the birthplace of the new genre of music called Hip-Hop, with acts like RUN DMC and Salt-N-Peppa rapidly making names for themselves. Being surrounded in this influential neighborhood helped spur the inspiration for his clothing line that would ultimately change the fashion world.
Mr. John's first foray into the apparel market came when he wanted a tie-top hat he had seen in a popular music video but could not find one for a good price. With the sewing skills he had learned from his mother, he started making the hats for himself and his friends. Realizing he was on to something, he made a sizeable order of the tie-top hats, sold them on the streets of Queens one day, and made $800 in just a few hours. There was a buzz about his products that simply could not be ignored.
Based on his early success, Daymond John recruited some of his neighborhood friends and FUBU was born. They created a distinctive logo and began sewing the FUBU logo on all sorts of apparel, including hockey jerseys, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. The brand hit a tipping point when Mr. John convinced Hollis native and Hip-Hop superstar, LL Cool J, to wear FUBU for a promotional campaign. This was the catalyst behind the entire Hip-Hop community supporting the new brand and instantly giving it credibility. In need of start-up capital to keep up with demand, he and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for $100,000. Soon, the home was turned into a makeshift factory and office space.
Due to the increasing amount of requests from major companies, Shark Branding was formed to provide companies with the marketing insights that have made Daymond John's companies successful over the years. The firm consults companies on innovative strategies to connect with their consumers more effectively by associating with the world's most influential celebrities, musicians, and personalities. Whether it is activating a celebrity endorsement or integrating product in a music video, companies rely on Shark Branding to utilize Mr. John's contacts and relationships to produce real results and sales.
Mr. John entered the literary world with his first book Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding and Lifestyle, which tells the story of his awe inspiring journey and provides a roadmap for those who aspire to succeed in business and in life. He followed up his with his second book, The Brand Within: How We Brand Ourselves, From Birth To The Boardroom, which examines the loyal relationships companies seek to establish with the public by attaching celebrities to their brands and the instantaneous impulses consumers exhibit when purchasing a product. Drawing on his cutting edge experiences in the fashion business, as well as his hard-won insights developed as a sought-after marketing consultant to trendsetters and tastemakers, the author argues that branding relationships have now seeped into every aspect of our lives.
In recognition of his contributions to fashion and the face of American business, Daymond John has been celebrated with some of the most prestigious awards including: Brandweek Marketer of the Year, the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Crain's Business of New York Forty Under Forty Award, and Ernst & Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
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