Connect with us

Snapshots

Living Your Brand: Daniel Marcus

A small start-up pulls off a big event and establishes itself as a player in the marketing conference arena.

Juliet Pitman

Published

on

Daniel Marcus of Living your Brand

Growth might be top of mind for most start-ups but entrepreneurs who think big know that it is possible to play in the big league even if your company isn’t the same size as your competitors. Just ask Daniel Marcus, founder of luxury online marketing and conferencing company, Living Your Brand.

“One of the biggest challenges in conferencing is getting your name out there, and proving that you can pull off an event that attracts both sponsors and delegates – and adds real value to both,” he says. It’s something Living Your Brand successfully achieved with their first Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Conference held in Cape Town in late 2010.

The conference was so successful that a second is planned for May in Johannesburg, and Marcus is busy planning a third in London later in the year. The reputation established by the first conference has attracted solid sponsorship and caught the eye of the marketing community.

Marcus knows a thing or two about how to turn big ideas into successful businesses. He launched the luxury lifestyle publication, Live Out Loud Magazine in Cape Town in 2007, and together with Mark Bernberg created the Poker Room, coordinating poker logistics and online marketing strategies for the website. Experience gained through these ventures allowed him to identify the market niche for Living Your Brand and has paved the way for working with brands such as Bentley, Nandos and the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

Doing it differently

“I strongly believe that as a small company it is possible to pull off a really spectacular event,” says Marcus, “I’ve attended so many bland and uninspiring conferences – even the ones with great keynote speakers follow the same format. There’s a speaker, followed by an audience Q&A and the sponsors get their logo on a banner. For me, that’s not enough – I believed there was a market for something different, something that added more value to everyone.”

In addition to headline keynote speakers and interactive audience Q&A sessions, the IMC Conference included workshop rooms where sponsors got the opportunity to present to smaller audiences, providing them with more mileage.

However, as Marcus points out, these sessions were not simply a product pitch. “Sponsors needed to provide the audience with real value and knowledge, using case studies and their experience of current trends. The focus was firmly on education, with the topics closely aligned to the needs and interests of the delegates. We got delegates to tell us upfront what areas they were interested in,” he explains.

Delivering maximum value

The format was a definite drawcard for sponsors – NATIVE, Rocketseed, Bloom Marketing, Realmdigital and HKLM among the top brands that signed up to host workshop sessions – and has contributed in no small part to the

impressive list of sponsors Living Your Brand has managed to sign for the second IMC Conference.

But it delivered on its mandate to add value to delegates as well. “I think this is one of the slickest conferences I have been to in a while,” said one MD in providing feedback. “A super slick experience – nothing to fault,” quipped another.

Diversifying income streams

With the first successful conference under its belt and planning for the second bedded down, Living Your Brand has established a nice income stream  from conferencing. “I believe that the market for really good conferences is huge and it’s something we plan to leverage,” says Marcus.

However, the business also plans to use its expertise in marketing to generate growth in its other divisions – Events, Marketing & Promotions, and Online. “We started out as a company servicing luxury brands, and while we’ve grown into other areas, we’re still able to offer specialist services to brands that target the luxury market,” he explains, adding, “At the end of the day, the key to being successful in all these areas is having great ideas and there’s no shortage of those in this company.”

Living your brand

Player: Daniel Marcus; Darren Kramer (silent investment partner)

Est 2010

Contact

Tel: +27 (0)21 671 6362

www.livingyourbrand.co.za

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Snapshots

Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton

Published

on

Prev1 of 51

50-top-sa-small-businesses-to-watch

Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
Prev1 of 51

Continue Reading

Snapshots

How 28-Year Old Entrepreneur Adam Fine Is Leveraging The Global Phenomenon Of Five-A-Side Football

Adam Fine of Fives Futbol discusses how he leverage a global phenomenon and the value of strategic partnerships in business.

Monique Verduyn

Published

on

adam-fine

Vital Stats

Nothing about Adam Fine is by-the-book. The 28-year-old entrepreneur describes himself as a slightly big child. He’s the CEO of one of the most exciting start-ups in South Africa, having leveraged the global phenomenon of five-a-side football to start a business that has grown almost as fast as the game itself. Not bad for a venture that was launched with the princely sum of R85 000 — Fine’s life savings at the time.

He started it in 2011, with a strong focus on corporate social investment and making a positive social impact. It was by forming strategic partnerships that Adam really managed to grow Fives Futbol. He’s opened pitches in prime locations that serve both the school and corporate markets, while still being accessible for social impact interventions in local communities.

Related: 3 Local Entrepreneurs Share Their Business Challenges And How They Overcame Them

Pivoting at the right time is key to growth

The challenge:

In the last 18 months, Fives Futbol has trebled in size, and achieved some amazing milestones — it now employs 50 full-time staff, and 80 part-timers. It’s one of the factors that drives Adam, as many of his employees support up to eight family members. It’s now also represented in four provinces and 15 locations around the country. By September, there will be 18.

Quick growth means you have to be able to pivot quickly when things do not go according to plan, and mostly they don’t, Adam says. “If things are not working you should be able to ‘pivot’, to shift your focus. And do it fast. It’s not a sign that things have gone wrong by any means, on the contrary, it means you have the insight to recognise that there is a problem with the assumptions on which you have built your business model. The decision to pivot is a big one, and not something to be taken lightly. It requires you to take a hard look at your reallocation of resources, and to do it with an open mind.”

The solution:

In Adam’s case, construction delays, councils taking their time to approve, or having to put money into rolling out sites as opposed to marketing, means the promotion of a new site will slow down, for example, because the business does not yet have a large marketing budget.

“When we run behind on the construction of a new site, R40 000 can suddenly become R100 000 — but here’s the thing: If a deal comes along that will probably harm your business in the short-term but enable significant long-term growth, sometimes you have to juggle what you have so you can make it work.”

The Lesson: Choose your investors carefully

Fine says he’s lucky to have a solid group of investors that he has cultivated over six years. “Their input is invaluable. They’ll say, ‘slow down’ or ‘have you thought of this?’, ‘have you factored in that?’ The ability to develop a good relationship with our investors has had a significant impact on the success of the company. Over and above money, they provide wisdom, guidance and connections.”

His relationship with his investors is key. While many entrepreneurs make it just about the money, Adam understood something else — he has a pretty cool brand with a great cause behind it. So, while investors are asked for money all the time, he was able to offer something more than just a business idea — alignment. He generated enthusiasm for the ‘why,’ behind the business. Like most of us, it makes investors happy to know that they are helping to make a positive difference.

And while it’s easy to bandy about the word ‘partnership’, Adam has worked hard to make that a reality. He set out to find like-minded people who are passionate about the business and the cause, which is why they are able to serve as great resources for advice and insight.

Related: Richard Branson’s ABCs Of Business

“The best way to ensure that you and your investors have a valuable and lengthy partnership is to make sure that everyone is aligned on the vision.”

This includes Adam’s team. The internal culture of an organisation is vital to its strength and growth. “Without our team we don’t have a business for investors to support — our people are critical to our success. They’re the executors of the vision at the end of the day.”


The Lesson:  The value of strategic partnerships

Much of the growth of Fives Futbol has been fuelled by finding the right sponsorship partners in key industries. To overcome the challenge of a limited marketing budget, Adam has secured sponsorships with big brands like Adidas, Total Sports, Debonairs, and Klipdrift, allowing Fives Futbol to use their access to communities as a marketing platform to derive income as well as scale. And it works both ways.

“Because we have a national footprint and a team of people, we run activations for our partners, which also provides us with an ancillary revenue stream,” he says. “Knowing how to join forces with other businesses has been a key factor in making the business successful. Our strategic partners have enabled the business to leverage their brand to give us more exposure. When it works well, a strategic partnership can be just what you need to speed up the growth of your business.”

Continue Reading

Snapshots

Watch List: 15 SA eCommerce Entrepreneurs Who Have Built Successful Online Businesses

The advent and advancement of the online marketplace has led these entrepreneurs to successfully build and grow their ecommerce empires.

Diana Albertyn

Published

on

Prev1 of 16

sa-ecommerce-entrepreneurs-who-have-built-successful-online-businesses

South Africa’s ecommerce market is worth R10 billion per year. By 2021, the number of online shoppers is expected to have reached 24.79 million.

“Our recent research on SA shows people are browsing three hours or more on their mobile phones and 25% shop online. They trust local brands,” says Geraldine Mitchley, Visa senior director for digital solutions in sub-Sahara Africa.

These entrepreneurs have cashed in on ecommerce and launched successful online stores that have either established their dominance in the market, or are taking the e-tailing world by storm.

Here’s how these 15 ecommerce capitalists are making money using the Internet:

  1. Aisha Pandor
  2. Andrew Higgins
  3. Kerryn Tremearne
  4. David Davies
  5. Andrew Smith, Paul Galatsis and Shane Dryden
  6. Trevor Gosling
  7. Nicholas Haralambous
  8. Justin Drennan
  9. Neo Lekgabo
  10. Ryan Bacher
  11. Tracy Kruger
  12. Luke Jedeikin
  13. Tarryn Abrahams
  14. Sascha Breuss
  15. Antonio Bruni
Prev1 of 16

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending