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, Daymond 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.
Daymond’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, Daymond created the untapped urban apparel space and laid the groundwork for other companies to compete in this newly established market.
Daymond grew up in the community of Hollis, Queens, quickly becoming known as the birthplace of the new genre of music called Hip-Hop, with acts like RUN DMC and Salt-N-Pepa 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.
His 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, Daymond started making the hats for himself and his friends. Realizing he was on to something, Daymond 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 Daymond’s products that simply could not be ignored.
Based on that early success, Daymond 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 Daymond 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, Daymond and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for $100,000. Soon, the home was turned into a makeshift factory and office space.
FUBU gained even more nationwide exposure when Daymond and his partners traveled to the industry trade show Magic in Las Vegas. Despite not being able to afford a booth at the event, the FUBU team showed buyers the distinctively cut, vibrantly colored sportswear in their hotel room. The company came back to Queens with over $300,000 worth of orders. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy’s, and it began expanding its line to include jeans and outerwear. A distribution deal with Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung allowed their designs to be manufactured and delivered on a massive scale. With the brand transcending into the mainstream markets, FUBU recorded annual sales of $350 million, placing it in the same stratosphere as designer sportswear labels such as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.
In 2009, John joined the cast of the ABC entrepreneurial business show, Shark Tank, produced by acclaimed TV producer Mark Burnett. As one of the “Sharks”, Daymond and four other prominent executives listen to business pitches from everyday people hoping to launch their company or product to new heights. Investing his own money in every project, Daymond becomes partners with the entrepreneurs helping turn their dreams into a reality. Millions of viewers tune into the show as Daymond demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights.
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’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’s activating a celebrity endorsement or integrating product in a music video, companies rely on Shark Branding to utilize Daymond’s contacts and relationships to produce real results and sales.
Daymond 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. Daymond 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 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.
From humble beginnings to a self-made multimillionaire with over $4 billion to date in global product sales and a starring role on ABC’s newest business reality TV show, Shark Tank, Daymond John is the personification of the American Dream. He continues to set standards of excellence while expanding his interests in fashion, branding, marketing, consulting, entertainment, and beyond. This industry leader, best-selling author, and ground breaking entrepreneurial expert has evolved into a highly sought after business and motivational speaker.
As a dynamic business speaker with over twenty years of hands-on proven business experience, John shares the strategies that continue to bring him financial success. As Founder and CEO, John steered FUBU from a mere concept to a global fashion powerhouse with annual retail sales exceeding $350 million at its peak. Utilizing many of the same tactics commonly used today, John pioneered the art of integrating fashion, culture, and music nearly twenty years ago. From his then unprecedented guerrilla marketing and branding techniques to the continuously innovative ways in which he uses social media, brand integration, and his expertise on pop culture, John remains a cutting edge business strategist.
John teaches audience members how to apply his successful methods to a wide range of businesses today. He shares winning tips for negotiating and negotiating for women, boosting sales, improving employee morale, increasing productivity, and optimizing staff talents. John's pragmatic advice resonates with everyone from students and entry-level employees to small business owners and corporate CEOs. Each will walk away with invaluable tools to incorporate into their professional endeavors.
As a motivational speaker, John's quintessential rags-to-riches success story of sacrifice, hard work, and perseverance as well as the unique and charismatic way he communicates it, will inspire any audience. Much more than a business advisor, John shares his unique goal setting and achieving strategies, which will empower audience members to make positive changes in every aspect of their lives for immediate and long-term success. “The Shark” John, will reveal how you too can live the American Dream.
Goals & Motivation Presented in his charismatic style, John takes audiences on an inspirational and emotional rollercoaster ride. They’ll hear how a man with no formal business training went from driving cabs and waiting tables to creating a global fashion empire and starring on ABC’s hit reality business show “Shark Tank.” In this talk, John entertains audiences with true-life tales of his incredible successes and numerous failures. Equally important, he motivates, inspires, and teaches how to set and go after goals with focus and determination. John shares the exact goal-setting strategies he attributes to his success and teaches audience members how to incorporate them into their endeavors. This keynote challenges attendees to exercise their brains in a way that cultivates a positive, goal-setting mindset.
Sample Keynote Speech Outlines...
Branding & Marketing
This informative keynote is like nothing else on the market! Attendees learn—step-by-step—how to brand themselves and transfer that power into their job, company or product. According to this Shark, everyone was branded the day they are born and continuously every second since. In this keynote, John gives audiences in-depth insight into how personal brand affects all aspects of life. Not only will attendees learn the importance of branding, but they will also learn some of the tricks that helped John expand his brand into dozens of countries around the globe, and which can be applied to personal branding, as well as product and concept branding.
Now more than ever, corporate leaders recognize that entrepreneurial thinking isn’t just for entrepreneurs. Creativity, resourcefulness, and the ability to think outside the proverbial box are skills that are just as valuable in large corporations as they are in startups. In this keynote, John uses personal examples from his phenomenally successful rags-to-riches journey to explain how he honed his entrepreneurial mindset. More importantly, John teaches audiences how to apply this mindset, which includes what he calls the “Power of Broke” thinking, to achieve goals and objectives.
Diversity: A Good Business Practice
In this speech, John suggests that business owners should create teams with members from a variety of backgrounds in order to gain competitive advantage. John says FUBU has been sold in more than 60 countries, and the company has always been filled with diverse employees. He discusses diversity from a social standpoint, as well as from a business perspective, in addition to sharing secrets on the importance of diversity in hiring employees and choosing vendors, manufacturers, partners and teammates.
Negotiating Strategies for Women
When California First Lady Maria Shriver called on John to speak about the art of negotiation at her annual women’s conference, he immersed himself in research to find out if there were differences between the way men and women negotiate. In this keynote, John shares what he discovered. According to The Shark, women have several distinct advantages over men when negotiating, but come disadvantages, as well. As John shares specific techniques on how to respond to today's negotiation challenges, attendees will leave feeling empowered and ready to tackle the world. (And John adds, they will have lots of fun in the process.)
“Daymond John was a phenomenal speaker to have at the 2010 Women's Conference hosted by California Governor Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver. Daymond's keynote address on how to negotiate effectively at work and at home received overwhelming praise from conference attendees. Daymond John is a fantastic speaker that will be an asset to any event. Daymond is an especially good fit for a business or corporate team, enhancing important communication skills. I give my enthusiastic recommendation for Daymond's participation in events like these.”
- Tamara Torlakson, Program and Speaker Manager, The Women’s Conference
“As the founder and CEO of the Early Stage East Venture Capital Conference, one of the largest on the East Coast, I have had the opportunity to host several keynote speakers since its inception in 1998. Daymond John is clearly one of the best! Daymond has an innate ability and powerful presence that invites every attendee to turn off their cell phones...because they don't want to miss a word. Each attendee feels Daymond is speaking to them one on one. He infuses lessons, humor, insight and experience into his keynotes unlike anyone else we have hosted. "- David Freschman, Founder & CEO of Early Stage East Venture Capital
- Joe Rubin, Director at FundingPost.com, Second Venture Corporation
“It has been quite a week since the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Student Pitch Competition portion of the NY Entrepreneurial Experience 2011 (NYEE) event on Monday… Now that the event is behind us, I am proud to report that I have received numerous notes of appreciation from sponsors, participants,…University of Michigan (U-M) alumni and guests all letting me know how much they enjoyed and appreciated what we accomplished together. I wanted to thank you on behalf of the entire planning committee, the University of Michigan – Center for Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurs Organization of New York (EO-NY) for being there…to moderate the student pitch competition and subsequent panel discussion. It was inspirational to the students to have you with us…all my fellow EO-NY members who participated on the committee have told me how contagious they found the entrepreneurial spirit in the room and you clearly fostered that among the students. You were the perfect choice for our Master of Ceremonies and we appreciate your infectious enthusiasm for your work and your support of entrepreneurs.”
Joshua E. Aaron, President Business Technology Partners, Inc., Planning Committee Member, Entrepreneurs Organization of New York
“The Babson College community is still buzzing about Daymond John! As the #1 school in entrepreneurship education, we expect guest speakers to give us practical and actionable advice on how to be a successful entrepreneur! Daymond John reset the bar! Not only was he smart, funny, warm and engaging, he also challenged the audience to take notes on the keys to his success: S H A R K. and Babson students, faculty and staff all took notes! He even gave the audience a call to action! And many have accepted the call! In short, Daymond John is an exceptional speaker who instantly captures an audience and leaves the audience wanting more. And perhaps most compelling is what happened after the standing ovation! Daymond John played Shark to 3 students with business ideas. These students competed among their peers to earn an opportunity to pitch to Daymond John! Daymond John was masterful in how he responded to each student’s idea and gave each very practical advice on how to move forward. The winning team will never be the same! I highly recommend Daymond John to be a guest speaker or guest lecturer in any academic institution. He is selfless, caring, intelligent and down-to-earth–a true role model for all students today!”
- Elizabeth R. Thornton, Chief Diversity Officer, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship of Babson College
“Because Move The Crowd is an entrepreneurial training company dedicated to helping the next generation Stay True, Get Paid AND Do Good, Daymond was the perfect choice for our launch event. His authentic insights and hard earned wisdom were the perfect match for our audience. Our entrepreneurs left the training thoroughly motivated by his example to achieve their own flavor of success.”
Rha Goddess, Founder & CEO
“It is rare in American commerce when you encounter a self-made and self-invented individual such as Daymond John. Aside from his apparent and inspiring success story as well as his keen eye for spotting trends and talent, Daymond brings to bear a personalized style and hard-earned insights that imbue value into his relationships, involvements and initiatives. Beyond those attributes: Daymond is quite frankly just a damned charming guy. I am glad that I have occasion to call him my friend!”
Rob Snyder, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer of Stream Energy
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