Shark Tank Judge Daymond John’s Success Through Branding


Daymond John – Founder of FUBU Apparel and Judge on ABC’s Shark Tank

Daymond John, a judge on ABC’s Shark Tank, is the founder of apparel brand FUBU. FUBU is worth $350 million. In April he shared his success story at the Advertising Specialties Institute Show in New York. He shared key points on his success through branding in which we can all learn from and use in our personal and business brands. He is a true inspiration.

Daymond John was born and raised in New York City. John loved hip-hop music and wanted to make his mark on the industry. However, he knew that he didn’t have any musical talent. So he found a way to standout and started an urban apparel company. He was able to bring his company from just an idea to a popular and memorable brand. His apparel company and brand is highly sought after. John’s success through branding did not come overnight.

Lessons from John’s Success with FUBU

Be Decisive: John said, “You can’t be successful without being decisive.” To be successful you need to clear and concise decisions. Be confident in them and believe that you have made the right choice. Have trust in yourself and visualize the outcome of your decisions.

Set Goals: “You have to set goals,” said John. “You can’t know what success looks like if you don’t know what you want.” Once you know what you are set out for you can set goals to get to where you want to be. Everything you do should be with your goals in mind. He explained that if you don’t set goals then you begin to convince yourself of the negative.

Do Your Homework: Research your customers so that you know their wants and needs. John stressed how import this was to his business. He was able to learn what his customers wanted and then he learned new and unique ways to deliver it to them. FUBU stands for “For Us By Us”. John knew that he could reach branding success by marketing his apparel as a brand created by the people who wear it. Also, what I observed is that within his apparel the FUBU logo significantly displayed on all of his products and his audience became proud to wear that logo. Display your logo on promotional products and giveaways so that your customers remember your brand.

Never Say Die Attitude: “Keep swimming”. Daymond John wanted to expand his brand. So he used his persistent never say die attitude to come up with a new idea. He reached out to hip-hop star L.L. Cool J and after some consistent persuasion was able to get him to wear FUBU clothing. John’s belief is that “When you have a good thing going, never stop publicizing it and promoting it.”


What Makes FUBU a Sought Out Brand?

John became a part of his brand. He says, “…you are your company’s brand”. He incorporated his brand into everything he did. He took control over how people viewed his brand by researching his audience and presenting in a way that would attract them. His advice, “Go home today and write down the few words that define you and your brand.”

What are the five words you would use to describe your brand? How do your customers view your company or personal brand?

Resource: “Shark Tales” Counselor Magazine June 2014

54 thoughts on “Shark Tank Judge Daymond John’s Success Through Branding

  1. “Wording Well” says a lot already, don’t you think? Besides being a freelance writer and an editor, I’m also a soon-to-be-published author. I obviously “word well” and so promote myself and my skills in any way possible.

    My top 5 words are:

    I also help and teach others whenever I can. As a certified English teacher, I succeed, too!

    I’ve received testimonials and recommendations from people I’ve worked with, and so must say that they are pleased with my work.

    It’s nice that you are giving people a chance to talk about themselves and their brand, too, Arleen. That is very kind of you. 🙂
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…Dialogue + 4 Things #Authors Should Consider Regarding What Your Characters Know?My Profile

  2. That name SharkTank is true to what I saw on just one episode I ever watched. Some of those potential investors are both inspiring and ruthless at the same time.

    Five words to describe my brand. Yikes. In thinking about what my coaching clients say – energetic, positive, incisive, intuitive – gosh, only 4 come top of mind what I hear. Does that mean back to shark school for me?
    Patricia Weber recently posted…5 Tips To Understand and Get Out of LinkedIn Group Posting JailMy Profile

  3. Hi Arleen; thanks for sharing his story. You are right we can all follow his example. I agree most with never say die. I have often joked that building my business is like sysphis pushing the rock up the hill. Actually i’m reminded of back in the days when I was still part of the family carnival. we didn’t have the best of vehicles. sometimes i had to help push start one of the trucks. so i think of the site as one of those trucks that I’m pushing just waiting for it to pick up enough speed and have the engine catch and jump in for the ride. thanks again and take care, Max
    maxwell ivey recently posted…Think I’m ready to be an inspirationMy Profile

  4. One of my favorite shows! Love Shark Tank! And, branding and staying on message is so important. FUBU and Daymond John are experts at it. My brand, being I offer a service and not a tangible product is: nurturing, knowledgeable, accessible, patient and humorous. I had to do this exercise several times in a boot camp and those are the five words we all agreed on. I own them and live them when I am coaching or speaking.
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…A Small Act Of KindnessMy Profile

  5. Hi Arleen, I believe that the more words a brand has the weaker it becomes so when I was in the business of selling myself or anything else I stressed Integrity and Innovation because those are the only 2 qualities that others cant fake.
    Paul Graham recently posted…Lost for Words ?My Profile

  6. Music

    As a publisher of music related materials, my company Ejeff Media strives to help it’s reading audience to understand music is more than monetary gain. Learning as much as we can about the artists and businesses should be the first step in investing in purchasing or creating our own music.
    Edward Reid recently posted…Forever DivineMy Profile

  7. What a great post Arleen! Gives one pause…LOL. I have never watched the show, though most of my friends are shocked that I don’t as I have such a keen interest in the business side of just about anything. However, like Paul, I think I was often described in my career by 2 words…integrity and tenacity. But I had to ask! LOL But branding myself as an author is a harder task…still working on that one…but it is every bit as important in the publishing environment we have today.
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Flirt… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  8. I believe Shark Tank is similar to Dragon’s Den shown in UK. Love the show and all the dragons are big enterpreneurs. It’s great to read about how focussed Daymond John is. The 5 words to describe my brand? Oh that’s hard!!

  9. I don’t really have a brand at this point but I do agree with the points Daymond Johns makes. We have all heard these points reiterated in one form or another by all financially successful people. The trouble is I think there is another factor at play and that is the one thing that cannot be wrapped up in words.
    Tim recently posted…Bollywood SoundtrackMy Profile

  10. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been recently trying to focus on a direction in order to make goals. I was thinking I need to “visualize the outcome of my decisions” and believe they can happen. So it was good to see wise words from a “shark”.

  11. What an enlightening post Arleen. So sorry I keep mixing you up with Meredith. I truly enjoyed these wise words of wisdom from DJ. Branding is not easy as you are trying to get people to fall in love with your creation. It is an ever continuous process.

  12. Arleen, what an inspiring and thought provoking post. I am not naturally a goal setter, but I want to try it. I don’t even know what five words would describe my brand. I obviously need to give it some thought. The question is, are the five words I would pick the same five words my audience would pick?
    Meredith Wouters recently posted…Featured Artist Carlye DaugirdMy Profile

  13. It’s interesting to read these stories you’ve posted about some famous people behind the brand. I’d say that my brand is still TBD but I’m working at it. I’m just trying to write about experiences with the hopes of possibly turning it into a book in the future. While traveling, I try not to focus too much on myself because that’s unimportant against the backdrop of amazing people and places found on this earth. Add some personal thoughts of my own and I guess you could call that my brand.

    Looking forward to your next post. As I said, I really enjoy these looks at the person behind the brand!
    Carl recently posted…A Day at the Korean DMVMy Profile

  14. Hi Arleen,

    Love this topic about Branding. Branding is really a great topic and it all evolves around YOU. It is the total customer experience with your brand.

    I love point number 2 above where John said to do your homework and research your customers so that you know their wants and needs. This is critical to branding. You have to study your audience and find their problems and what they need and make your brand the SOLUTION for their pain. It is also critical to study your competitors and provide the solution in a different and unique way associated only to YOU and this will brand you.

    Thanks for a great share Arleen! Have yourself a great rest of the week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted…7 Reasons Why You Need A Blog for Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Neamat- Yes we all need to brand ourselves to stand out. nique proposition for business USP. Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully. It is important to yourself in your customer’s shoes, know what motives your customers to purchase. Show why your customers should buy your product instead of a competitor’s. Show a need.
      Arleen recently posted…Shark Tank Judge Daymond John’s Success Through BrandingMy Profile

  15. Wow what would my five words be? HHMMM Let me think….

    1. Story-Teller
    2. Teacher
    3. Artistic
    4. Passionate
    5. Go Getter

    I think these words represent what I am and my blog. I really enjoy the Shark Tank and have seen some ingenious inventions and the judges really do tell it like it is. 🙂 Great post.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Seven Words: #StoryMy Profile

  16. Hi Arleen,

    I’m a huge fan of Damion and Shark Tank. You can learn a lot from everyone on that show.

    His points are right on point. In the past I made the mistake of working without setting short term goals. Looking at the over all picture is OK but we have a lot of little hurdles we have to overcome to get there.

    It helps show us that we are o the right track and moving towards where we want to be.

    Wonderful post Arleen. Have a good rest of the week 🙂
    Steven Wilson recently posted…Infographic: How To Respond To Negative Comments On Social Media and Blog PostMy Profile

  17. What a brilliant guy! Great example of a strategic thinker, elbowing his way onto the hip hop scene from a different angle. Even in this visual age, words are still powerful and carry great meaning. So I’d say my five words would include “irreverent” “alternative” “resourceful” “direct” and maybe “determined.” It’s a much nicer word than “stubborn.” : ))
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…Frolicking with the 2015 VW Golf/GTIMy Profile

  18. What great advice. Being decisive can mean the difference between success and failure. It seems obvious, but I’ve met so many indecisive business people over the years that I no longer take it for granted that a leader will actually be able to make decisions.

    If I had to choose five words to describe my brand they would be Frank, Warm, Catalyst, Doer and Finisher.

    What about you, what your five words?
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Running to the futureMy Profile

  19. I watch the Shark Tank from time to time and I’m impressed by the entrepreneurs who know exactly who they are and have defined their brands. I help individuals and companies with their brands, yet I’ve struggled with my own, as I think many people do. I actually rebranded myself several years ago when I decided to jump feet first into social media. This is my brand statement on my website: “Social media writer, blogger and project manager helping organizations to build brand awareness, increase revenues, and engage employees as brand advocates on social media.” Would appreciate your feedback.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…You Don’t Build an Audience With Great Content, Says Jon MorrowMy Profile

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