One of the best parts of the Personal Branding Exposed Podcast is how I come in contact with the most unique people, brands and ideas in the world, the second being how I get to share it with everybody. My conversation with Kristopher Levy in episode 22 combined both of these amazing aspects of what I do in a single awesome package. We got to talk about his unique business and gain some insights on successful personal branding. Here is how that went.
A Little Bit About Kristopher
Kristopher served in the army for ten years and throughout that period a question that always followed him was what he was going to once he returned to civilian life.
“I wanted to find something that was outside of my military service and try to find something that I could have as an additional aspect of my life, and about three years ago I started doing entrepreneurship, got hooked, and started building my own business. As we moved in the past six months to a year I started figuring out what my niche was going to be and that was going to be wine. ”
While going through all the necessary steps to get his business off the ground, Kris got into contact with wineries big and small from all over the globe, settling partnerships and doing market research. And then, Covid happened, forcing him to adapt his plans to a more stationary audience. This was the beginning of the wine club as it is today.
How To Form Your Personal Brand
Kris’s story is a wonderful example of how you can find or even create a new niche within an industry by combining two elements unique to your story (in this case a liking for wine and a military background) into a new groundbreaking identity.
The motivation behind the niche, according to Christopher himself, was to represent an under-explored core within the wine industry “I wanted to represent military veteran communities in the wine industry and give a veteran’s perspective on wine, and use it also as a way to do good, so, fortunately, all the wine club subscription profits go back to military veteran charities.”
This is a masterful application of personal branding, as it is always about how your unique and individual story connects to your business and shapes its identity. Kris does this by combining both demographics of wine lovers and veterans into one and speaking with the authority of someone closely tied to both things.
This is very similar to what another guest of ours, Emma Burdett did with her marketing agency. In order to stand out in a market, your business needs to be unique, and what can be more unique than you?
Now, with the combination of different niches comes the combination of different communities, something Kris achieved as well by acting as an intermediary between winemakers and veterans, and the subject matter could not be best for the job:
“When COVID-19 happened I saw an opportunity to build that community and I started having virtual happy hours and wine tastes where I would bring on a local wine brand to talk about their wines, let people have a chance to taste them, connect with these brands and learn more about wine. This is the part that I enjoyed, being able to connect with people and see how much something like wine brings them together. ”
The main attraction force that put this community together was, in fact, the desire to learn more about wine, as Kris can tell us: “Every week people would DM me or shoot me a text message, asking wine I was drinking that week and when that happened I realized people were coming to me to help them navigate the world of wine, so I realized I could act as a broker between wine brands and my audience.”
Now, not only of wine and talks is a successful wine club made, but Kris also reveals that he personally calls every new wine club member to welcome them into the community, which is a great extra mile to traverse and make sure that the community you created is as tightly-knit as possible.
Of course, this would not be an episode about wine if you didn’t leave with a few tips on where to find some good bottles and general facts about this fascinating world.
Among other amazing wine, facts told us about his love affair with Italian wines, specifically those of the Tuscan region, and a special peculiarity about them: “There’s this thing called the Tuscan bite, so when you swirl a Tuscan red wine in your mouth, and you get it on the upper lip, it has this little burning sensation, and there is no other wine in the world that has that.”
On the side of more generic tips, we also had a conversation about pricing and how you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to have a great wine experience.
“Wines are all about intention, and it comes down to the intention of the winery, sometimes the intention is “hey this is a ten dollar bottle of wine, and it’s table wine, it’s meant to be enjoyed casually”, so it’s more about the kind of experience you want to have.”
In other words, stop worrying about whether you have a refined taste in wine and start enjoying it your way.
It’s always fascinating to see how people are capable of transforming their identities and passions into new ideas and how their personal brands shine through it.
In other words, when it comes to personal branding and entrepreneurship if you hear yourself or someone else says “Nobody does that”, keep in mind that it represents the potential to explore uncharted waters.
If you’d like to get more insights on personal branding and how to better use it for your business’ advantage, feel free to check other episodes of the personal branding exposed podcast, or if you’re in a hurry, you can also read other articles like this in our website.
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