Welcome to our new website!
Sept. 26, 2020

Episode 047 - Brian J. Esposito, How to Connect a Fragmented Industry

Episode 047 - Brian J. Esposito, How to Connect a Fragmented Industry

Brian J. Esposito is a serial entrepreneur and has built his legacy on being a value-added connector of people and companies.

His holding company, Esposito Intellectual Enterprises, has helped grow and launch 150 companies and counting and he has created winning relationships with competitors because of his unique perspective on posititve sum games.

For Out of Home advertising, an incredibly fragmented industry that often sees competition for the same business, rather than business development to conquest new advertisers with the help of others who have a common interest, understanding how to identify good partners and how to truly bring value to the client could be the key to explosive growth.

Furthermore, having a united front will help more advertisers feel welcome to having a conversation about how the medium can help them grow their business, brand or cause.

To check out some of the great companies Brian is involved with, like Roame, Boxabl, and Nodle, visit...

And to connect with Brian on LinkedIn visit...

Special thanks to our sponsor, LED Truck Media, for making today's show possible.

Be sure to check them at...

#advertising #oohadvertising #oohinsider

As always, you can grab your very own I ❤️  OOH swag at...

Be sure to use promo code INSIDER for 10% off your first order!

Support the show

Welcome to out of home. Insider today's episode is brought to you by led truck media led truck media specializes in hyper-local street-level campaigns. They get your message in front of the right people. Whether your campaign is one day or one month with nationwide coverage, your campaign can be live in any major market within 24 hours.

If you want to reach your perfect audience in a truly engaging way, visit led truck media.com. Led truck media out of home advertising 2.0, thanks again for making today's show possible. All right. Without further ado, let's meet today's guest. Today's guest is Mr. Brian J Esposito. Brian is a serial entrepreneur and the Bruce Lee of connecting people and adding value to some of the most exciting global developments in fashion technology and music.

He has been featured in corporate investment times is a highly sought after keynote speaker around the world with over 20 years of practice and developing relationships that create positive, some value. True win-wins Brian has found a way to scale the business of connecting people living by the mantra of time is our most precious commodity.

So let's make the most of. Brian, welcome to the show. Hey, T Rowe. What's up pal. Pleasure. Be here. What's happening? I think this is our first. New Jersey to New Jersey based episode. If you're still in Jersey, um, you know what, I, I should have came up. We could have done this in person, wrapped ourselves and mask all kinds of hazmat suits and just felt right at home, looking like E T exactly.

So Bryan much like you and I connected, um, you've really been in the business of connecting people for two decades, but you were. Bit of a crafty entrepreneur and e-commerce engineering type mindset in the late nineties. Tell me a little bit about that. Yeah, of course. So the first company I started was a beauty supply company and what it was was bringing brands under one roof.

We were servicing salons and spas and duty stores throughout New Jersey. And in north. And, uh, you know, driving around this state in New York is impossible. So it wasn't a feasible model for me and the sales reps. We had to hit enough salons during the day and write enough orders. Uh, so I had to bring people to me.

So we, we, uh, we opened up stores, uh, but more importantly, what made us, um, important was we built really the first e-commerce platform that brought professionals and retail consumers under one roof on the way. Uh, what I loved about that was, um, you know, we didn't have the budget or, or dollars to hire at the time development companies to spend millions of dollars to code and build these sites.

So I taught myself how to code, started throwing up the brands that we had in our, in our stores and warehouse online. And it was within seconds. We started getting orders from people all over the world. Um, oh, it was fun. I remember when the first order came in. Uh, I, I printed it. I ranted a warehouse. I packed it up.

I drove it to the post office, came back. There was 10 more. I said, this is, this might be a problem. We're gonna have to figure this out. And then it just kept growing. Uh, you know, what was, uh, what was the shame was it was, it was I, um, amazing time, but we were also the first people doing what we were doing.

So the manufacturers didn't understand it. Um, the distributors were getting upset. We were disrupting retail most like every other industry that, that one online and, um, Yeah, we just evolved and grew in from that company. I started to understand the value of building relationships. Uh, we got brands that we shouldn't have gotten because people liked me and I, and I always went into every conversation with full transparency.

Like, Hey, this is what we're doing. We got a little, we got a little, uh, operation in New Jersey, but we're selling customers all over the world. Do you want to work with us? And most of the brands. Enjoyed it. Um, but then the Amazons of the world came online and I quickly was one of Amazon's first, um, Lux, beauty retailers, uh, at that moment were spending a fortune on Google ad words, Yahoo MSN in the hopes of a sale.

And I said, well, I hate that model. I woke up every morning to monstrous amounts of charges and a lot of traffic, but the sales didn't justify. And what Amazon provided was there. We're building obviously a one-stop shop, but more importantly, let me use their marketing machine and pay them 15% on the guarantee of a sale.

So I love that model. And then that evolved into us being jet.com. First retailer, I was the first company that launched Google wallet, which was unfortunately not a success, but we're always ahead of the curve on technologies, new product lines. I got to work and develop and, and distributed brands with some of the most famous celebrities, musicians, actors, and actresses.

So what I was doing was building a lot of value for other people at that time or other companies that basically an ant farm is the best way I can describe it. Products would come in, we'd promote it. Products would go out and it hit a point where it stopped being enjoyable. Um, and I realized there's something wrong with my model because we have a big re.

Our revenues are strong, but we're making other people more wealthier than we're making ourselves. We're making other companies more wealthier than we're making ourselves. So that's when I started to perfect. Well, what if we own the van that we created a product line for them, we distributed to our audience and make the pie bigger for every.

And that's what led us to get involved into the music industry. Then the TV and film industry and building and creating products that we know our customers want, uh, having the access to manufacture those products, et cetera, really good price point because we're dealing directly with the manufacturers.

And more importantly, we knew what sold, because we knew what was trending. We knew what was hot. So if we can quickly create a. Katie back it with our own machine, which would be whether it's an apparel brand that we now created for the band that we launched, or if it's a perfume or cologne, everything we were doing anyway, but now for our own ecosystem and started to slowly build and create value for ourselves and then understand, okay, this model.

Paired with somebody else's model is a bigger win for everybody. And I can't tell you it was successful for a very long time. I've made every mistake you can think of. Um, I mean, I woke up to lawsuits. There was no reason for me to be sued about it. Just when you put yourself out there, like I have, and I continue to do you, um, you face all kinds of stuff.

Uh, things you're never prepared to do. Uh, things that you didn't expect to come, you didn't, uh, more disheartened people that you thought were your friends or your colleagues are actually out there trying to hurt you or do deals behind your back. So that whole world is what every entrepreneur, entrepreneur, or, um, or founder deals with, but you can't let it make you bitter.

You have to use those experiences to become smarter. You have to understand that human nature is human nature. You can not take it personally. If someone is doing you wrong, or somebody is doing something behind your back, that's on them. You know, if you believe in God and afterlife, there'll be punished for that.

But in the interim, thank them for the learning experience that they gave you. Thank them for educating you on something you didn't know how or why people operate. And most likely they're going through their own shit. They have their own problems. They're just trying to survive like the rest of. Chalk it up as a learning experience and keep moving on and, and evolving.

Uh, so you know, long story long to answer your question. Start in the beauty industry, the good thing about starting in that industry, it touches every other industry. Um, it's basically recession proof. It is definitely pandemic proof. Uh, the beauty industry is a great core foundation that really touches so many other of our, of our involvements and products and brands and companies.

And, uh, and I'm glad that. Are there because it allowed me to meet so many wonderful people learn so many wonderful experiences and evolve to, uh, you know, where I am. And not to focus on the bad, but because we've all had setbacks and we've all been burned by somebody that we thought we could trust. What would you say are the trip wires you set for yourself when meeting new people or potentially introducing people into a deal?

What sort of things, or how did your process change with, with just being more cautious? Sure. And if you want to take the time focusing on the bed by all means, I have, I have no problem. Uh, no problem doing that because, um, I don't want us to take this time to solve promote if we can, I can take time speaking with you and help somebody navigate through those waters.

I think that's time. You and I cannot well-spent. Um, uh, but you know, I, I don't, I haven't perfected. The idea of somebody not breaking into your inner circle and disrupting things. Every day, you meet new people. Look, we met and we connected and we spoke and, and now, and now we're here. So what, you know, with that being said, I, I can't tell somebody, Hey, do this, this and this.

And you'll be completely protected because that's, that's just, that's just not a reality. But if you start to learn and pick up traits of people and start to see, okay, I've seen this before with this guy or this girl, when we were doing that, it's very similar mindset. At somebody that I don't want to get involved with.

Um, and I hate to say, but even introductions from your closest friends or confidences that, that, uh, confidant that's, that's not a trusted source because not at a 10 times when somebody introduces me to somebody that from somebody that I know instinctually, your guard is down. So you feel it's an okay investment.

And, um, and it's, and it's not it's uh, it's it's you just have to have consistent processes where, okay. This is what I do. Um, uh, this person contacts, you, you want to work with them and you go through your own checklists. Uh, obviously you go with your gut, always don't don't force a friendship or force a business relationship.

You know, uh, a partner of yours introduced them to you or your counseling or your lawyer or a friend, if it doesn't feel right, you gotta go with that because there's something telling you instinctually that it's not right. Don't force it, submit it. Don't force it to work. Now at this point, um, I'm an adult, you're an adult.

We are who we are. I think we can evolve and have a little more patience. I think we can have a little more understanding. But the traits are set in place, you know, maybe from mid twenties on there's no more excuses. There's no more not understanding life. There's plenty of magazines, books, TV to tell you right from wrong.

We know right from wrong at a very young age. So if somebody is operating in a, in a way or a fashion that doesn't sit well with your morals, your ethics, or the way that you do business, just tell them. Got to go fire them from your life and move on is just not enough time. I mean, unless you're your priest or something, isn't enough time that helps somebody become a better person, help yourself become a better person and surround yourself by good people that want to make you raise high.

It's a higher levels. Uh, if you have a mission to go out and help people. By all means, go out and do it. But in the business side of your life, if you bring toxic people in, if you bring negative people and if you bring people that that will do harm to you, that I'm sorry, negativity wins. It brings down everything on the business side.

You've got to be surrounded by positivity. You've got to be surrounded by. Good vibes, good energy. And, and when times are tough, it's those people that, that believe in you, when you believe in them, you get in the trenches together and you figure it out. But when times are tough, when someone's there just to use you take advantage of you or explore you, they're nowhere to be found when times are tough, because they don't have any of their survival skills to, to, to get through that they don't any day.

Uh, I mean, I have heard stories, would the Vietnam guys shooting their, their, their generals because they had no, no rights being there. They're going to get them all killed. So you cannot bring somebody into, into your role. That's going to do your harm. You've got to only bring people in. That's going to help you and elevate you.

And therefore, if you're wired, right. People that are helping you progress and become stronger and, and, and, and, and adding more value, you're going to trickle it down to everybody. Yeah, you're going to create these win-win situations where it's, it's a great model and everybody wins. Talk to me about that.

Right? So a positive sum game is seemingly a foreign concept to somebody. But really both parties can win. Define for me what a win-win looks like for you and your world, and really what the best way is to go about creating that for both parties. Uh, yeah, a win-win for me is let's say, for example, what you and I are doing right now, a win-win for me is Ahmed and value to your listeners.

I will take what we're talking about. Uh, we'll share it with the people that are interested in what I'm doing with my network, our reach, which helps tell where I'm at right now. It helps give people an idea of my, um, mentality and what I'm trying to do right now. And then return. It gives you a larger audience which helps this, this great show become more visible, get more awareness.

You get to do more brand announcements and advertisements, and it helps you. Get a bigger audience and hopefully some great content where people would start to tune in and listen to you because you get maybe people like me that, that people may want to listen to. So this is a win-win. I get to tell a little bit of my story.

Maybe I resonates with one person that I can help to me. That's a win. And for you, you get, you get to piggyback wherever, wherever I share this with. So in this situation, that's where my mindset is. As a, as a business partnership. Uh, a win-win should be so easy with two individuals, for two companies that come together.

I really am glorified matchmaking with the companies that I own, the companies that I have access to our partnerships. And then if a company is coming to market with a new product, a new service, a new tech, we look at that. We look at what I have access to. We just put it together. It's peanut butter and jelly.

Tell a story, give it some support, give it real value. And um, everybody wins. I now have access to a product that elevates whoever I attached it to that product or service now has access to everything that we built, whether it's accounting, it's legal, it's access to capital access to customers. If it's making content, creating commercials for a district, distributing that content to potential consumers.

It's just, it's just easy. Um, it gets, it gets uneasy. If someone in that equation has a greedy mentality, uh, there's a, there's a pride or an ego issue where they don't work well with somebody else and they want to have full control over it. You can have a true partnership. You can have a true team unless everybody's working together.

Everybody understands the end game and the end game in my mind can be a day or it could be 10 years. This there's no real idea of what evolves into you have to work together at it. You have to pour time resources behind. And, um, and people that understand that and have built companies and know that there are going to be problems.

They know there are going to be some setbacks, but there's also going to be giant home runs and wins during that process. That's that's when it's fun, when you get to work with somebody that's like-minded and values you just as much as you value them. And that that's a true partnership. I'm sure that you may not have been involved with directly buying out of home.

Have you ever bought out of home personally? Hmm, Nope. It's not a problem. So the reason that I ask it and maybe some of your companies have at some point. Is that it's a very fragmented, it's a very fractured in the industry and didn't the street industry to buy. So oftentimes media companies feel like they're competing against one another.

Maybe I do billboards. And you do wrap the vehicle. Really we compliment each other. Really. We should be going to the advertiser in a way that, Hey, you should choose us instead of him and radio. Right? So we have a different enemy and that's other media, Maya. How do you recommend to traditional competitors partnering up to create positive sums for the yeah.

Uh, yeah, no, we, um, and to answer your question, yes, we've done every advertising vehicle, so yes, we've done. We've done all those channels. I didn't hear it correctly. Um, so know that market and understand you have to, if you're going to do what you gotta do it right. And you need to be in every channel. Um, And hit hit the eyeballs everywhere.

Whether it's a bus seat, a billboard, a radio ad, a TV commercial, you want to make it look like you are a Coca-Cola in a local community. Um, anyway, but on paper, some of my best friends and, uh, biggest successes are with competitors. Uh, when you worked so well with competitors, everybody never understood why.

Well, you know, We're not Johnson and Johnson. We're not Walmart, we're not Amazon. So if you don't work together with the people in your own industry, you're gonna disappear. This is that simple. So that's why it's a lot of people don't get in. I don't fault them for it. People think. Um, uh, just go back to the beauty company, for example.

All right. So why you working with that distributor? You're also distributor. Well, because everybody washes their hair and, and buy soap. And if they don't buy from our supply, they're going to buy from somebody else. So let's work together, let's combine resources and let's move a lot of product otherwise.

The consumer, if I'm out of stock on something, but my competitive distributor, 10 miles away has it, I'm going to go and get it from them because I know what they're buying it at. We're going to share the upside on the profit. I'm going to move their inventory. It's a win. And more importantly, I'm going to make sure that the consumer gets what they wanted and as quickly as possible.

Cause if, if the product's out of stock and they want to buy it from me, but I don't have. Then they're going to go pick it up at the food store when they go get eggs and they're going to try something else. And then I lost them. So it's very important that competitors in that middle market or small to middle market work together.

And now more than ever, you got to work together. People have no idea what's going on in the world, how they're going to make money. If they still have a business, if the landlord is going to be. Keep their building operational, or they have to sell it or foreclose it because the rents aren't coming in because there's no stores there now more than ever, which kind of scares me if we can't all come together.

And figure this shit out. Then we're doomed. You got a global shutdown and a global pandemic, and there's people that are going the opposite direction, forming wedges, and fighting with each other. I'm pretty sure that's definitely not the answer. The way to make this work is work together. I hate to use that word unite, but as it relates to businesses, work together, there's no competitors anymore to survival.

How do we survive? How do you make money? How do you pay your. How do you make sure your rent and your light, your lights are on. So that's where people need to have a little shift in priorities. And I, and I'm hoping that's one of the outcomes right now where people understand what's important. Family's important.

Basic needs are important. It's not about having a Maserati in the driveway. It's about. Good enjoyable moments. It's about making sure there's food on the table and you're spending your time with your friends and family and loved ones. It's as simple as that, uh, the rest of this shit is just noise and nonsense and, and I'm hoping this little blurp in history will, will, um, get people on a good path.

I'm hoping that we can look back at this conversation and reflect on things and being a little bit more like that. That would be nice. And it started here right here, right here, right here. Don't forget it. Brian working folks connect with you learn more about the companies that you're involved with.

Where are you most active, uh, Twitter and LinkedIn or, or a mile websites. eie.rocks. But as you know, our respond to every. And as quickly as I can, it may even look like it's a automated response or I don't have an assistant I'm I'm right there, hands on. And you know, I have to blame for that, those, um, my dear friends at Amazon and, and Mr.

Bezos. Cause if I didn't respond to a customer within 13 seconds, that would turn off my account and it would blacklist. And they would, that will never be able to sell a product on their platform again. So they, I went to Vietnam with what Amazon. So I'm trained to respond to people immediately because of years of hell and torment from my friends at Amazon.

So keep up the great work for helping those small business. We'll take advantage of it because Brian is super accessible, incredibly knowledgeable and very wise. And we're so grateful to have you on the show today. No, I appreciate that. It's an honor. Absolutely. Brian, if you weren't doing what you're doing, if you weren't connecting companies and building empires, what would you be doing?

I would be in the, in the music studio, working with artists, helping them, helping them make their, uh, helping them make it. That's, that's an industry that I love. Um, activists go back to 19. I wouldn't give up playing baseball and I would go be playing single or AA somewhere because that was the happiest I've ever been.

Um, but it's those two things that either would be playing, playing baseball, or I'd be helping musicians. Create a creative career. That's pretty awesome. What are you most excited about right now? Uh, within our holdings, we have, uh, like, gosh, so much, so much great things happen as a company called nodal.

Uh, it's become the world's largest global wireless IOT network. We're connecting hundreds of millions of devices around the world. And more importantly, because of having our own network and creating use cases on that network. We launched with a company called Avnet fortune 200 public company, a device known as the novel  and it's a privacy focus, contact tracing, wearable, and mobile.

And solution where we believe it's the, it's the perfect answer to get people back to work. It notifies you if you're in close proximity of someone. Um, but more importantly, uh, through our privacy protocols, it will notify HR. Once a device is hot, meaning that employee is infected with, let's say COVID or some sort of infectious disease, and then it will go back and ping every device.

That that infected device was in close proximity of notifying them, that they needed to get tested, possibly stay home or monitor themselves. Now, what you do is you quickly contain you quickly inform and educate, but more importantly, companies like Tyson's food or these automotive plants don't have to shut down their entire operation because one person is sick and they may have only been in close proximity of someone that maybe was three or four or five people and post.

Telling hundreds or thousands of people not to come to work. Uh, so that's an incredible project. We, we spun that up in lightening speed. The inbound demand is, is, is so strong. Um, in addition to that, uh, we launched, uh, uh, one of our, the Holden's a company called fit match for the retail space and it's virtual school that matches a home run and it's a home run because of timing.

Um, people are not going to go into a dressing room. Uh, maybe ever again, or feel comfortable trying on clothes and leave and clothes in that room and being in that close proximity, um, where someone was, was recently at. Um, so what fit matches? We, we, we partnered with Brookfield properties, other real estate management companies on the commercial and residential side where we're rolling out, fit, match experience.

You go and you get over a, you go, you go into this really cool, uh, experience in one of our store locations. It gives you a full body scan. You get an avatar of yourself with over 150 data points. And now when you shop online or in stores, you have a fixed ID and our brand partners will only show you clothes that fit you perfectly.

So. It eliminates the returns for brands, which is extremely important, especially now some of these brands that we speak with, they have a 40 to 50% return rate with fit match. We believe that will be below 5%. So now you don't have an issue with, um, all the, all the loss costs on return clothing or discounted clothing.

And then, um, uh, more importantly is the, uh, obviously the contactless shopping aspect of it, and then making the consumer. Feel good about buying clothes that they know is going to fit them perfectly and it matches their style preference. So you have an elevated customer experience with a very low or to no return rate.

Uh, so it's becoming a savior to all of these fashion and apparel brands and the inbound growth is, is phenomenal. The other, uh, I hate to only pick a few because there's so many great companies, but, um, a company called box label is on fire right now. We just received a house in a box. Alison a box. It's a work it's a due to the manufacturing processes.

The way that these things fold up and be able to shift on regular tractor trailers. So not an oversize load. Uh, you deliver a 20 by 24 to square foot box labels. Our first product known as the Caseta, the Boxell Caseta, there's over a hundred million in pre-order revenue. Right now. We just got a department of defense contract for 120 casinos for.

Delivery within the United States. And, uh, we're working with Porsche consulting on the design and manufacturing of, of the actual factories that will automate home building. So look what auto, uh, automotive has done on being able to create a car with. No minutes. So take that concept and apply it to affordable, scalable housing.

It's something that nobody's been able to do from modular homes. Nobody's been able to completely automate that process box has got over a, I think 14 or so patents in that space. And now working with the likes of course consulting and the automotive industry, we're going to bring all of that know-how and education and experience from creating cars to creating homes.

And, and the future of box was pretty exciting. Cause it's not just a 20 by 20 footprint of a potential dwelling. There could be multilevels, uh, it can actually build out an entire community. So once you start to automate the process, have the right equipment, creating these homes. Uh, it, it may actually be the true, scalable, affordable whole home model to get people, um, in all than not, and off the streets.

And, and, and, and they're beautiful. They're actually an come with a bedroom living room, kitchen washer, and dryer bathroom. Um, so it's fully loaded, pretty, uh, pretty amazing. That's incredible stuff. We'll make sure to link out to all of them so that folks can check out some of the fun projects get going on the, the, the, the, the coup de Gras of questions.

Maybe the one that folks get the biggest kick out of is where do you go for inspiration, motivation education, your podcast guy, read books. Where do you get. You know what I've answered this question a couple of times, and I think this is the right answer. So I, I don't, I don't read as much as I should. Um, and I don't listen to podcasts as much as I should, but I get motivated from these types of conversations.

I get motivated when I talk to people that inspire me, you inspire me the way that your energy is, the way that you, you, you you're, you're someone that's in motion. You're you're fluid. You're you're on some trajectory. And I don't care if you're a billionaire or you're just starting out and you took a loan from a bank to me.

I love good energy. I love to be around people like that. You, you are that times 10. So that's why I really connected with you on our first, our first chat. So that's what inspires me is the ability to create moments where, what we're doing, who knows we may do something great together one day. Um, to me, that, to me, that's a bonus.

The, the, the important part is the. Everything else is a bonus. Um, but, um, other than that, just doing good things with good people is inspirational to me as well. Um, but I don't, I don't go anywhere to, to give me the fuel that I need. If I can, if I can answer that. Correct. I know people. I couldn't meditate for 12 seconds.

It's just not, it's not me. My brain is always spinning. It's always thinking of things. That's not me. And everybody tries to tell me, oh no, Brian, I tried it. It's not for me. Um, I feel rewarded and inspired when I'm in motion. Like, like you are like what you're creating. Um, I need to, I need to be doing something productive a little bit.

I have to, if it's an inch a day, That's great. At the end of the month, I've moved 30 inches. I just need to always be moving forward. And that's the way I'm wired, but I don't need, I don't read self modus, motivating books. I don't, I don't, I don't read any major business people's books. It's just, it's not me.

It's just not, not for me at least. Right. As Moses will write it down as I was Moses, is that all I could have said it would have saved two minutes. It was articulated beautifully. We're going to have to do this again sometime. We're going to do it in person next time as that suits, whatever we got do, it's been, it's been an absolute privilege.