I’m David Brier, Chief Gravity Defyer of DBD International, and This is How I Power My Business

April 16, 2013 9:00 am18 comments

Firmology’s How I Power My Business series profiles the technology business owners use to run and grow their business.

David Brier

Firmology Founder’s Note: Pretty much every native New Yorker I’ve ever met online or in-person has a larger than life personality, ESPECIALLY those that were born and raised in Brooklyn or Queens. Having grown up in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on the Northwest side of Chicago, I can relate to the colorful, brash, and not-afraid-to-tell-it-like-it-is cast of characters that stem from blue collar immigrant enclaves. Enter David Brier.

The self-proclaimed Chief Gravity Defyer of DBD International has advised clients across the US and internationally on “the power of design and its ability to help products, events and services rise above the noise” for over 31 years. David’s work has earned him over 320 industry awards and can be found everywhere and anywhere you look, from his expert blog on Fast Company to his #1 ranking YouTube channel. David may head a creative design agency, but I liken David to an entertainer at the top of his game.

Name: David Brier
Title: Chief Gravity Defyer
Business: DBD International, Ltd.
Location: Midwest, United States
SmartphoneiPhone 5
Tablet: My wife’s iPad
ComputerMacbook Pro 17 inch and iMac 27 inch
Other Gadgets: Two 2TB Fantom G-Force external Hard Drives

rsz_1dbd-intl-2013-office

What’s the story behind your business?

I was born in Brooklyn, NY, at a very young age and grew up in the cultural melting pot of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

Immediately after college, I began freelancing for various clients, old and new companies including New York City Ballet, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Revlon, Estee Lauder, the Lauder family, Trump Tower, and others.

rsz_dbd_logoIn the 90s, I relocated my life and business, DBD International, to the Midwest, where my wife is from, serving clients coast to coast and internationally, providing design, brand strategy, brand identity, package design and more.

In 2012, we overhauled our site to become a resource to businesses around the world with an ongoing series of articles, blog posts and news for subscribers (which is free).

Only after delivering results to such companies as Revlon, Estee Lauder, Botanical Bakery, Legacy Chocolates, KnowBe4.com, numerous startups and even cities did I consider my information worthy to publish and share with others. Through our new site, business owners, CEOs and companies routinely get insights and strategies free (as a subscriber to the site), joining 15,000 monthly visitors who let nothing stand in the way of greatness and rising above the noise.

Our current work includes logo design, brand identity, editorial design and expanded to include package design and more expansive branding projects (such as branding cities).

I am also fortunate to be a Fast Company expert blogger writing about brands, branding strategies and failed branding. Past articles include everything from Neil Gaiman to Best Buy’s failed attempt at rebranding itself to interviews with the stars of Shark Tank, one of which resulted in shark and CEO of Fubu, Daymond John, tweeting “the best article ever written about Shark Tank.” We’ve since become friends and are working on some projects together.

I use Slideshare as a vehicle to give back to people in pursuit of practical answers for building their businesses, ramping up their brands and practical fixes to today’s branding issues and problems. The most popular press “What’s Killing Your Brand (and how to kill it before it kills you)” just exceeded 100,000 views. Currently, my Slideshare presentations are nearing 500,000 cumulative views which resulted in a Forbes.com interview on creating the perfect Slideshare presentation.

I also have created the #1 YouTube Channel for branding and defying gravity in today’s market with a whole variety of videos on package design, interviews, spoofs and other brand-related topics.

I also use Blurb as an excellent source to publish my own books and ePubs.

The result of a lot of the above is that I was honored to be awarded 1st Place Winner in the 2013 Shorty Awards for Branding which was an amazing recognition.

What apps or services are essential to the operations of your business?

Illustrator, Photoshop, Keynote, iMovie, Pages, WordPress

As a seasoned designer with over 3 decades of branding experience, I’ve been designing and branding companies before there were gadgets or electronic tools in the working environment, so I still value paper and pencil, yet I do develop a lot of my work on computer these days.

Services I use vary:

  • As a Slideshare Power Author (almost 500,000 views), Slideshare is indispensable.
  • YouTube is great for ease of use, embedding, etc.
  • As a Fast Company expert blogger, using FastCo’s editor and posting capability is terrific.
  • Triberr is great for smaller blogs to tap into a community that helps push each other up the food chain of blogs, readership, visibility and rankings.
  • Blurb is a great service for super high quality printing. In fact my book, Defying Gravity and Rising Above the Noise, is published using Blurb.
  • Behance is someplace else I use to promote my work.
  • Skype is a good tool which works a fair amount of the time.

What apps, services or gadgets do you recommend to other business owners?

Biggest time-saver(s)?

Two. The first one is my Capresso Espresso machine, saves a LOT of time versus stopping by the local coffee house. The second one is built-in and solar-powered: The “app” found resident in every person: iDiscipline (i.e., not checking emails until after a couple of hours of getting up. Saves at least 1.5 hours of the day).

Biggest money-saver(s)?

Discovering new talent on YouTube that sometimes go unnoticed. Have found that a very good source of new talent.

Favorite mobile app(s)?

Twitter’s iPhone app has been nicely upgraded (since TweetDeck has seemed to have a meltdown).

Favorite personal app(s)?

ToonPAINT is a favorite of mine and I also enjoy Percolator, Flayvr and Petting Zoo. Of course Koi Pond.

How can others reach you?

Website: http://www.risingabovethenoise.com
LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/davidbrier
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/davidbrier
Fast Company blog: http://www.fastcompany.com/user/david-brier
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/headmusik
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 715-235-9040

Firmology Readers: Do you have any questions or comments for David? Drop him a note in the comments below!


If you have a suggestion for someone we should feature, questions we should be asking, or would like to be featured on Firmology’s How I Power My Business series, email [email protected] with the subject line: How I Power My Business


 

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David Brier
David Brier is the Chief Gravity Defyer of DBD International and a 30-year veteran who provides branding strategies, brand identity development and package design or startups, retail, technology and tourism brands. His work has been featured in Ad Age, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, New York Times magazine, INC., Communication Arts and numerous other publications. Connect with David on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
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18 comments
AdriMS
AdriMS

@Firmology I like how many of the CEOs you feature have cool titles.

ronkule
ronkule

Sweet! David. Happy to see your accomplishments.

davidbrier
davidbrier

My compliments to Philip and his team. They were super fast to respond, nimble enough to make rapid-fire edits and go live on this article. And the tone and editing of his intro hit the spot, showing he "gets" his folks who he chooses to feature.

Congratulations to Philip and Firmology to a job well done.

Steven Chayer
Steven Chayer

As a garage start up with a particularly thorny marketing challenge for  a new device I am developing and with a limited budget to promote it, Mr. Brier's promotional campaign is a double edged sword. It simultaneously attracts and scares off prospects, like me at the same time or at least makes me hesitate to contact them. I am drawn to his company's bright light but hesitate to contact them assuming that it will be too expensive. How many other start ups and established small businesses  feel this way?

PhilipNowak
PhilipNowak moderator

@davidbrier David, thanks for the kind words. We try to move as fast as possible and capture the personality of everyone we feature on Firmology. It helps when the series is written in first person. :-)

davidbrier
davidbrier

@Steven ChayerSteven, Thanks VERY much for your comment. First off, I would be VERY interested to know what conveyed that we're expensive? I honestly would love to know what triggered that. Seriously. You can email me if you'd like at the email address above in the article.

Concerning working with startups, candidly, I've done a LOT of startups working with lots of budgets. Some bigger, some smaller. But the goal was and always is: Help them kick their competition's ass while growing their relevance and VALUE to their audience.

I know firms that are absolutely less expensive than us, and others that have fees that dwarf ours. 

Ultimately, it's a matter of how much money does it help you make, how much more quickly does it help your company grow, how much does it transport your value into the minds of your audience.

I've seen companies spend pennies to save dollars, only to actually lose tons of sales because would-be customers don't "get" their brand, thus forfeiting sales. You can read this case study here: http://www.risingabovethenoise.com/botanical-bakerys-secret-recipe-that-tripled-sales/

Hope that helps.

I look forward to your email. (Since I get a lot of traffic, please write FIRMOLOGY in CAPS in the subject line.


AdriMS
AdriMS

@Firmology Went to go check for my fav and looks like your site is down.

Firmology
Firmology

@AdriMS How about now? Looks like it's working. Sometimes, HostMonster does maintenance work out of nowhere.

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