On episode #180 of The Author Factor Podcast I am having a conversation with branding expert and author, Kim Derrick Rozdeba.
Kim has guided some of the Fortune 500's oldest and most iconic brands over the course of three decades.
He recently published his first book, Branding Queens, which features 20 incredible women who built global brand dynasties.
In this book, Kim explores the hurdles these women faced as entrepreneurs and the advantages and disadvantages in building their brands. Through the book, he celebrates the incredible achievements of these women and provides valuable insight into the resources they used to build successful global brands.
Learn more about Kim Derrick Rozdeba by visiting Rozdeba.com.
For more details about our short, helpful book publishing program, visit BiteSizedBooks.com.
Mike Capuzzi [00:00:00]:
Welcome to another profitable episode of the Author Factor podcast. I'm Mike Capuzzi and I want to thank you for joining us. My guest today is Kim Derek Rozdeba. Kim is an author, blogger, and branding expert and has guided some of the Fortune 500's oldest and most iconic brands over the course of 3 decades. He recently published his first book, Branding Queens, which is about 20 incredible women who built global brand dynasties. Kim, welcome to the Author factor podcast.
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:00:31]:
Mike, thank you very much for having me on your show. I look forward to this conversation.
Mike Capuzzi [00:00:36]:
Again, as I was saying before we hit record, like congratulations. I know the book's just about a year old. And I was also you were kind enough to send me a digital copy that I had gone, you know, page through it was reading some of it. And, you know, some of the names just sort of jogged even me growing up. And it's just, it was neat to see what you do with this book. So we'll talk about that in a second here, Kim. But before we do, I'd love to hear more about your business, who you serve and how you serve them?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:01:03]:
I've always been in the corporate world. I worked in agencies, advertising agencies, as well as right now I work for a Fortune 500 company, but I've always been fascinated by brands and branding in particular, and how do you make a brand? So I have a blog And I've been writing it now for a little over 10 years. And this is my way of helping others, entrepreneurs, other people that are interested in branding. And so that's kind of what I do. Very good.
Mike Capuzzi [00:01:40]:
Now, about a year ago, you published Branding Queens. Can you tell me more, Kim, about why you decided, I mean, you've kind of already alluded to it, but it's a very interesting book, because it's just on women entrepreneurs and brand builders. But why did you write that? And what will your readers get by reading it?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:01:54]:
So the first brand that I discovered was Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, which is Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin. I didn't know that Veuve Clicquot de Champagne was actually built by a woman. I also didn't know what Veuve meant in English. And when you translate it, it says widow. And I go, why would you put widow on a bottle of champagne? So that was my quest. I started there and to find out the answer, you'll have to read the book, but we don't have time to get into that. But I started asking the question, are there other women out there that have built brands, iconic brands that I'm not aware of? So I started looking And I got to sort of, you know, 10 and then I got a little over 10 and I thought, well, I need to keep looking. And I came up with 20 women from going back to 1810 to more recent. They had to be at least more than 1 generation of an audience or a target audience to be in the book. There's a criteria that I'd also include. But why did I write this? Is, I kind of went in there with a hypothesis say, you know, is being a woman, is that an advantage or disadvantage to build a brand? Now, building an entrepreneur, being an entrepreneur is a disadvantage. Everything is geared for men. I'm a man, I know this. Women they didn't get a credit card, weren't able to get a credit card until 48 years ago. So the challenge for any woman to build a business has been huge beyond just anybody building a business. So, so 1 was to celebrate how these achievements, and again, you know, building an iconic brand, a global brand is incredible. Do it, you know, with the odds that they have against them is like 1 in a million, or even maybe probably higher than that. So, my goal was to see how did they do it And what resources did they use to try and build those brands from ground 0 in a lot of cases?
Mike Capuzzi [00:04:39]:
And again, as I was paging through it, these are iconic brands, these women that you featured in your book. So Kim, I'd like you to do a little bit more of a tease, a short tease and share, if you don't mind, 3 women that you featured in your book that would just inspire someone to want to read that. 3 interesting facts. I mean, the fact, I thought the first thing that was cool is that your first female entrepreneur was from the early 1800s. So can you just share 3 examples from your book that might inspire someone to want to read that?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:05:12]:
So I'll go back to Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin because she is incredible. I mean, go back 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte was warring with everybody. He was out there, you know, in wars with Russia. There were blockades all over the place. And this woman who was allowed to actually operate a business because her husband and her were actually building the wine, the champagne company. He was a textile by trade. So his background was in textile, But the 2 of them were passionate about champagne, and particularly the Pinot Noir grape. And they started their own winery. The family had some vineyards that they started with. And then he suddenly died of yellow fever. And what, back then, she didn't need to work. She was quite well off. The family was quite well off. But she convinced her father-in-law because she was a widow, she had rights to the business. As long as her father-in-law would be able to guide her. And he said to her, okay, I'll let you run the business, but I will get a partner. And guess what? The partner was a male, a man, and he taught her all the ins and outs of running a business and running a vineyard and champagne. And the business was dismal. 2 years later, he quits, says, I'm out of here. And again, it was dismal because of weather conditions, war, all the things that, you know, that they had to contend with. And she convinced her father-in-law once more to let her try alone. And he did. And again, she didn't have to. She had a child; She had a young daughter. I mean, she could have kept herself busy doing other things, but she wanted to do this. And she had a vision. And her first vintage was 1810. And I'm not going to ruin the rest of the story, but she actually invented riddling. Riddling is a system to clean champagne. So champagne is unique. You have to put in yeast again, fermentation to get the bubbles. And what was happening back then, you'd have all of the sediment in the bottom and the wine would look cloudy, particularly when you open up because all the settlement would come. And she developed the system, which is when you put the bottle upside down, all the sediment goes into the neck, you can pop it out, it shoots out, and then you re-cork. You fill it up and re-cork. Now when they did it before that, you had to pour the bottle from 1 to another. That's a long, slow process. This was simple. It's still used today. So incredible woman. So that's 1. I'm going to go to the youngest 1. So that was the oldest, Sarah Blakely. Sarah Blakely is Spanx. Her father was a lawyer. She tried 2 times to get her to pass the, to the entrance to become a lawyer and she failed. She became a Xerox machine salesperson. And probably a lot of your customers, or your listeners probably don't know what a Xerox machine is, but I mean, it had a short life in the marketplace. And she became 1 of the best salespeople. She got so good that she actually was training. But she discovered 1 day that she had these white slacks, and she could see panty lines. And so she thought, okay, you know, this doesn't look really good. So she put on pantyhose. She cut the legs off the pantyhose, the feet, because she had open-toed shoes, and discovered that you can't see panty lines. She started thinking, is there a market for undergarments like this? So she did her research and discovered that nobody, there was girdles, there were other things out there, but nothing like this. So then she had to do her prototype. So she discovered that all of the companies that make pantyhose and undergarments like this were all in North Carolina. So she went, she took a week off of work and she went to everyone, she called them all, nobody wanted to talk to her. So she went into all of them, and nobody wanted to deal with her. What she was looking for was for someone to help her make a prototype. So she ended up defeated, absolutely defeated. She went home and go, I'm the best salesperson ever, and I couldn't succeed. And then she gets a week later, she gets a call from 1 fellow. And he says, I've changed my mind. I'm willing to help you. And she goes, why did you change your mind? He said, well, I was talking to my daughters, and they said, dad, this is a great idea. So that's why he called. She also had a little help from Oprah Winfrey, who also mentioned her product on her show. And the Oprah effect kicked in as well. But she recently just stepped down from that organization. It's a multi-billion-dollar business as well. The other 1 I'm going to mention, and if I still have time, is Ruth Handler. And you probably don't, a lot of people wouldn't know who Ruth Handler is, but if I told you Mattel Toys, you'd recognize the name. Well, she started it with her husband and another fellow. She was the salesperson. Her husband was the inventor. However, she had a vision for this organization. They just didn't make toys. They made toys that kids could learn from and interact with. So no surprise, these products that they made are still in existence today. I was a kid and Hot Wheels was mine. I remember getting my first Hot Wheels And it's still out there today. Barbie is still 1 of the most sold dolls in the world. And she was actually the 1 that actually came up with that concept. She found a doll over in Europe when they were traveling in Europe with her 2 kids and her 2 kids, Barbie and Ken, that's where the names came from. But that's not the really interesting part of this story. The real interesting part of the story is she got into trouble with finance. There was a president, she was the CEO, and they hadn't reported, they had incorrectly reported their revenue streams from a number of different sources. And so she was let go and the president was let go. They were never indicted or charged, but she left the company, her husband left the company, and most people that would have been it, right? They would have just retired. She was at the age that she probably could have retired, but she also had breast cancer. And the prosthesis that was in the marketplace, She said it was like having 2 left shoes. They weren't highly developed. So she took her business background, and she built a business in building prosthesis for women with breast cancer. And that business was actually sold after her death. She did die of cancer, unfortunately. But it just shows you the type of people these are. They had vision and they marched to their own tune.
Mike Capuzzi [00:14:05]:
Yeah, yeah. It's fascinating just hearing you share these stories very briefly. You know, you see A, the power of the story, the power of, you know, analyzing someone else's life and what you can take from it and learn from it. So Kim, I have to ask, so now did you self-publish or do you work with a publisher?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:14:23]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:14:25]:
Congratulations on that. Was it pure research, Kim, with the 20 women that you I mean, obviously, some are no longer with us. But were you able to interview any of them or was it purely research on your part when you were going through this?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:14:38]:
It was pure research and part of it was I wanted to keep it on a level playing field in the sense of I did not want to disadvantage the ones that are much older in the sense of what's available in the archives. What was really interesting is there's not a lot written about women entrepreneurs, Probably more so today. If you look at some of them, Coco Chanel, you know, Coco's had, you know, a play, she's had movies, she's had books, but it's less about her business acumen and more about her personal life. So what I tried to do was, again, from a research perspective, I'm not a journalist by trade. I was looking at; how did they build a brand? That was my goal. Their stories are just as important because that's, I think, you know, a really important element to the brand that they build. But I had to find evidence of what they actually physically did in support of the brand.
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:46]:
So how long did the book take you to write, from idea to publishing it?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:15:55]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:57]:
Wow. Yeah. A lot of work. I mean, all your citations in the back of the book are proof of how detailed you got with this. So very good. So is this the first and are you 1 and done? Do you have ideas, has these inspired other ideas for your growing library? So
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:16:17]:
I'm halfway through my second book and it's the real branding book in discipline. And it's called, it's going to be called the 5 C's of branding, which is, which I built for the branding queens as a summation of what they were actually doing. And I needed to put it in some sort of principles so that it was easy for people to follow. And I've found that the 5 C's are really easy for anybody to follow if you're building a brand. So it became to me a real cornerstone of this development that I did with Branding Queens, but it needs its own book. And I had a whole bunch of it in my original draft and my beta reader said, oh, take all this stuff out. We like the stories better. So I did, I took it out. And in actual fact, my blog is a lot of the stuff that will be in my second book because I do touch on sort of the 5 C's unconsciously, when I talk about building a brand.
Mike Capuzzi [00:17:34]:
And what's the target date for the publication of that book? Oh, I don't know. Is it this year or is it next year or beyond?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:17:45]:
I'm hoping, but I have a full-time day job. So, you know what, things get in the way. I do have to find extra time, you know, holidays and those sorts of things.
Mike Capuzzi [00:17:58]:
to make. This is really more of a hobby for you at this point then.
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:18:02]:
Yeah, yeah it is.
Mike Capuzzi [00:18:03]:
Wow, so let's talk about that for a moment because most folks that I'm interviewing are business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and they're using their books as a way to differentiate themselves, to attract ideal clients, customers, et cetera. Obviously, your second book could do that for you as a consultant if that's something you ever wanted to do, but I'd love to hear, Kim, what publishing branding queens has done for you. Now, again, I'll use air quotes as a hobbyist, but still, you're a branding expert. You've been in this for a long time in business, in marketing and advertising and all that good stuff. What has it meant for you to go out and create this book?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:18:47]:
So I always heard, you know, books today are the new business card. And I stopped printing business cards a long time ago. And it's not, it's much bigger. So, you know, that was my, I walked in and, oh, you know, this is going to be like, you know, just another piece of who I am. It actually is much bigger. And it's allowed me to do this and present my thinking. The celebration of these women and my learning of what they did, And being able to put it into terms of what branding is, I think should help other people. And so it's now more of a love of sharing what I'm doing, But writing a book, I didn't realize how people change their perception once they hear that you're an author. I'm amazed, I'm amazed it has opened doors. I have talked to people I've never talked to before. I've been invited to speak at things that I never thought I would be invited to. And, you know, these are all different types of things. Last week I was at a school, a high school in Toronto, and 1 of the people I worked with, daughters had read my book over the Christmas, and she reached out to me and said, I'd love you to come. I've started a business club, would you come out? And over there was a little over 150, it was a girl's school, And I was there and I spoke and the questions I got were incredible,
Mike Capuzzi [00:20:51]:
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:20:54]:
I had a blast.
Mike Capuzzi [00:20:56]:
Yeah, I would think this type of book, Kim, would have the most, and a lot of well-written books have this, but like this could really change. This could put people on a new trajectory. Like you can inspire, you don't know who you're inspiring with this book. There could be a young woman from that event you just were at who might go on to some amazing things and the catalyst was reading a story in your book. And that's the power of this kind of book. So again, congratulations on that. And listen, when the new one's out, whether it's this year or next year, let's reconnect, because I'd love to have, I'd love to see it and talk about that book. So, hey, Kim, this has been great, and I appreciate it. And I know we just barely touched on it, but I think for anyone that's interested in, you know, the power of building a brand and what that looks like, make sure you check out Branding Queens. Where's the best place, Kim, that people can learn more about you, get your book, all that good stuff?
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:21:50]:
So you just Google me. There's not a lot of Ros Divas out there. You know, Kim, Derek, Ros Diva, you'll find me. Branding Queens, same thing. I have a website, my blog. It's rozdiva.com. There's lots of information there in the book as well. So I can also be found on LinkedIn. If you want to connect, follow me on LinkedIn. That would be awesome.
Mike Capuzzi [00:22:17]:
Very good. Well, Kim, thank you very much. I appreciate your time today.
Kim Derrick Rozdeba [00:22:21]:
Thank you. I really enjoyed this, Mike.