I met Justin Foster at the Utah Publicity Summit in August where he gave a high impact presentation, to put it mildly. Justin is a brand strategist and the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Klowd.com. After working in corporate sales, he co-founded two marketing agencies and a tech start-up. Justin is also part of Price Associates, an elite team of leadership performance consultants. He is the author of Oatmeal v Bacon: How to Differentiate in a Generic World. His second book, Human Bacon: A Man’s Guide to Creating an Awesome Personal Brand, will be available late 2013. Justin and his family live outside of Boise, Idaho.
1. What made you decide to write Oatmeal v. Bacon?
Three things: I saw boring brands pretending to be interesting (often egged on by their ad agencies). I saw the emerging trend of social media and realized it would fundamentally change the traditional rules of branding. I saw my generation (Gen X) getting stale, fearful, and boring.
2. Why do you think branding is so important to companies and professionals?
Two reasons: When you have a brand, you have competition. Competition for dollars, mind space, attention, etc. is at an all-time high. Therefore, brands desperately need differentiation. A brand is the outward manifestation of an inward culture. And culture creates innovation, products, stories, etc. that can’t be copied. Ergo, a great culture is the ultimate brand differentiation. A full circle!
3. If you could go back 15 or 20 years in your career, what would you do differently?
Reach out and find mentors sooner. Plus, learn more skills through formal education.
4. If you could teach a class to new business students, what would you tell them?
I would tell them if you bring unconditional love (or passion) with unconditional standards (commitment) to any endeavor, you can’t help but be excellent. So if you can’t find something or someone to love and can’t commit to an idea or venture, then you aren’t ready to be in business. Secondly, I would tell them that until you own your education, then someone will own you. So have a strategic plan for learning for the rest of your life, not just formal education.
5. What advice do you have for someone who wants to write a book?
Have absolute clarity about why you want to write a book and what results you expect.
6. Are you writing a new book? If so, tell us about it.
Yes! I’m releasing Human Bacon: A Man’s Guide to Creating an Awesome Personal Brand in December. It’s primarily directed towards men over 30 (and the people who love them). The intention of the book is to help men over 30 stay relevant and have tools to compete with Gen Y and Millennials.
7. Tell us about product SlideKlowd.
I’m proud to be a co-founder of SlideKlowd! SlideKlowd is an audience engagement tool that allows presenters to share slides, push polls, and surveys, and respond to comments and questions via the audience’s smart devices in live events. It’s the first true audience engagement platform on the market. The science behind SlideKlowd: measure the attention of the audience, elevate their attention and emotion, convert emotion to data and behavior.
8. What is the key to success in life and business?
Love and commitment backed by a healthy level of self-worth and friends and mentors that feed your strengths and starve your weaknesses. And good coffee 🙂
As you can tell, Justin has something to say. I can personally recommend his book—I have a well marked up copy myself. His message is unique and hopeful—especially for men who are mid- to late-career—and that comes across when you meet him in person. He has helped a lot of people become more aware of their personal brand, and how to make it sizzle.