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“Living proof that you can be a marketing and business whiz and still be a true artist.” —CNBC
As instructive as it is innovative, Unlabel will empower you to channel your creativity, find the courage to defy convention, and summon the confidence to act and compete in any environment.
This blueprint will teach you how to grow both creatively and commercially by testing your personal brand against the principles of the Authenticity Formula.
Marc Eckō shares the bruising mistakes and remarkable triumphs that reveal the truth behind his success, growing from a misfit kid airbrushing T-shirts in his parents’ garage to the bold creator of two hugely successful branded platforms—Eckō Unltd. and Complex Media. As Eckō explains, it’s not enough to simply merge your inner artist with business savvy—you must understand the anatomy of a brand, starting with its authentic spine.
With Unlabel, you will learn how to discover your own voice by overcoming fear and taking action, what it means to deliver on your promises, why failure is essential, how to understand how your product or service makes people feel, and how to recognize if your nostalgia for the past is hampering your ability to envision your future.
Unlabel is a bold and honest approach to building an authentic personal brand and growing a bootstrap start-up into a sustainable business.
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Author Note from Marc Ecko
I am a brand, but I am not a label. My brand is Marc Eckō. You too are a brand. Whether you know it or not. Whether you like it or not. A brand is not skin-deep. Labels are skin-deep, but a brand—a true, authentic brand—is made of blood and bones, muscle and organs. A brand has a heartbeat.
Unlabel explores the anatomy of a brand. And it uses the Authenticity Formula (1) to explain the cross sections of that anatomy. My brand started in my parents’ garage in Lakewood, New Jersey, where I spray-painted T shirts and sold them for $10 a pop. By understanding how to harness my fear (2) and separating perception from reality (3), I grew that brand to the tune of a billion-dollar retail business. I’ve built skate brands, hip-hop brands, magazine and video game brands. I’ve built brands that people literally tattoo on their bodies, which is “branding” in the truest sense. But the most important brand that I built was me, the personal brand that’s from my guts to the skin (4).
My philosophy is simple: unlabel.
Not “un” as in the nihilist or negative sense of the prefix, but in the “refuse” sense of the meaning. Refuse to be labeled.
Fight their labels.
Ignore their labels.
Peel off their labels.
Unlabel—and create your brand.
This takes work. In the same way that you do push-ups to exercise your body, you need to challenge yourself to shake free of the herd, find your own unique voice, and create your personal authentic brand.
Find your swoosh, your Apple, your Rhino.(1) (2) (3) (4) About the Author:
Once a graffiti artist with no connections or fashion pedigree, Marc Ecko left the safety net of pharmacy school to start his own company. Armed only with hustle, sweat equity, and creativity, he flipped a $5,000 bag of cash into a global corporation now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Ecko is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur, investor, and artist. He is the founder of Marc Ecko Enterprises, a global fashion and lifestyle company. He is also the founder and chairman of Complex Media, the world’s leading provider of fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, and product trends to young male tastemakers. Complex Media Network includes 110+ websites that generate more than 700 million page views and 70 million unique visitors per month. Ecko serves as an emeritus board member to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Big Picture Learning, and Tikva Children’s Home. He lives in New Jersey, with his wife and three kids.
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