286: Luis Pedroza – How to Develop a Winning Brand


Luis Pedroza Show Notes Page

Luis Pedroza was in a foreign country facing challenges in growing a product from an established brand. The company he was working with was seeing the competitive environment in an outdated way and growth was not that easy anymore. By showing them a new future or having them look at a new lens, Luis was able to reframe the company’s perspective and eventually lead them to success.

Luis Pedroza was born in Taiwan but grew up living in Southern California.  He completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Luis comes from a mixed-race family.  His mother is Chinese, and his father is of Mexican descent. He has one sister.

Being mixed-race, Luis always had a strong interest in learning about foreign countries and their cultures. This curiosity fueled an interest in international marketing.  While earning his MBA at USC, Luis expanded his understanding of global business and took his first trip to China as a student consultant.  Seeing firsthand how global companies were adapting to meet the needs of local Chinese consumers changed the way Luis viewed global brand building and solidified his desire to eventually work in international marketing.

After graduation, Luis accepted a brand marketing job at General Mills in Minneapolis where he managed a portfolio of breakfast cereals. Because of his well-known passion for international marketing, General Mills soon asked Luis if he would move to China to work for a JV between General Mills and Nestle.  Of course, he accepted and ended up launching breakfast cereals into China for General Mills and Nestle and later moved to Russia for a similar role.

As a global marketer, Luis has had the privilege of working in many exciting markets around the world in places like Beijing, Shanghai, Manchester, Moscow, and Singapore.  He has become an expert at taking global brands and platforms and adapting them to meet the needs of local consumers.  A couple of years ago, Luis decided it was time capture what he had learned over the past two decades and share his unique experience with others in his book titled Lean Brands: Catch Customers, Drive Growth & Stand Out in All Markets.

Luis now lives in Silicon Valley and does consulting work and is personally involved in a new foodservice startup that leverages state-of-the-art technology to deliver an enhanced consumer experience.

Luis is married and has two kids.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @BrandNinja get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Today is a unique time in our history, businesses and brands are going to have to adapt.” – Click to Tweet

“Even if you have an established brand, you’re going to have to relaunch it to meet the consumers now.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t take for granted something that worked in the past is automatically going to work again in the future.” – Click to Tweet

“The best way to learn about what consumers want is to get out into the field and side-by-side with real consumers.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re a new business coming to a new market you’re opportunity is to leverage emerging and disruptive technologies.” – Click to Tweet

“Consumers are expecting more and more customization. Brands must learn to understand them more.” – Click to Tweet

“A strong brand is rooted in strategy.” – Click to Tweet

“If you don’t understand the brand and the value it brings to customers, how do you expect your customers to understand and be happy?” – Click to Tweet

“Look at what the key drivers and needs are in your key markets and connect the dots between those markets.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s about finding balance between adaptation and standardization.” – Click to Tweet 

“The way to continue to grow is to find ways to sell your products and ideas to other markets around the world.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Luis Pedroza was in a foreign country facing challenges in growing a product from an established brand. The company he was working with was seeing the competitive environment in an outdated way and growth was not that easy anymore. By showing them a new future or having them look at a new lens, Luis was able to reframe the company’s perspective and eventually lead them to success.

Advice for others

Focus less on myself and build others around me.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Internal perceptions about who I am.

Best Leadership Advice

Leverage someone else’s experience and find mentors.

Secret to Success

I force myself to wear the hat of the competitor or the customer.

Best tools in business or life


Recommended Reading

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Lean Brands: Catch Customers, Drive Growth, and Stand Out in All Markets

Contacting Luis Pedroza

Luis’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrandNinja

Luis’ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandninja/

Luis’ website: https://luispedrozaauthor.com/



Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today. Who’s going to give us some global perspectives on how the customer experience can be impacted to help create a brand that stands out and drives growth. Luiz Pedroza was born in Taiwan, but grew up living in Southern California. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the university of Southern California. In Los Angeles. Lewis comes from a mixed race family. His mother is Chinese and his father is of Mexican descent. He has one sister being mixed race Lewis always had a strong interest in learning about four countries and their cultures. This curiosity fueled an interest in international marketing while earning his MBA at USC Lewis expanded his understanding of global business and took his first trip to China. As a student consultant, seeing firsthand how global companies were adapting to meet the needs of local Chinese consumers change the way Louis viewed global brand building and solidified his desire to eventually work in international marketing.

Jim Rembach (01:05):

After graduation Lewis accepted a brand marketing job at general mills in Minneapolis, where he managed a portfolio of breakfast cereals because of his well-known passion for international marketing general mills soon asked if Louis would move to China to work a JV between general mills and Nestle. Of course, he accepted and ended up launching breakfast cereals into China for general mills and Nestle, and later moved to Russia for a similar role. As a global marketer, Louis has had the privilege of working in many exciting markets around the world in places like Beijing, Shanghai, Manchester, Moscow, and Singapore. He has become an expert at taking global brands and platforms and adapting them to meet the needs of local consumers. Uh, a couple of years ago, Louis decided it was time to capture what he had learned over the past two decades and share his unique experience with others and his book titled lean brands, Katz customers drive growth and stand out in all markets. Louis now lives in Silicon Silicon Valley and does consulting work and is personally involved in a new food service startup that leverages state of the art technology to deliver an enhanced consumer experience. Louis is married and has two kids. His wife has Amy and his kids are Michael and Emily Louis Pedroza. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I’m ready. I’m glad you’re here now. I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Luis Pedroza (02:34):

You know, my, uh, I have a real passion for what you might call mashups. So taking, um, you know, whether it’s it’s music, our fashion, or right now I’m involved in food, um, taking two different cuisines and combining those perspectives and creating something new. Um, so right now I’m working on a food service concept that is inspired by design influences from Japan and Scandinavia.

Jim Rembach (03:10):

Well, that’s really interesting though, but when, when I start thinking about your book, lean brands and you’d have so many, um, experiences and examples and case studies about, you know, major global brands, I start thinking about the, the limitations that may be for, you know, really those that aren’t in those very, very large organizations to find value and all of these experiences you’re sharing, but I know that’s not true. So how can everybody benefit from what you have written in what you have experienced over the past couple of decades?

Luis Pedroza (03:44):

So, you know, what I love doing as a marketer is taking new concepts, new ideas, and adapting them to meet the needs of local consumers are our new markets. And I think today, um, is a unique time in our, in our, in our history. Typically we don’t like to change humans, don’t like to change. Um, so it takes a lot for us to change our behavior, but right now, because the pandemic we’ve all sort of been forced to change. And what we’re going to find is is that, um, businesses and brands are going to have to adapt. So it’s almost like we’re launching, even if you have an established brand, you’re going to have to relaunch it to meet the needs of, of consumers. Now you can’t take for granted that something that worked in the past is going to automatically work again in the future. So we’re all gonna have to, re-examine our assumptions about how we think our businesses run and, uh, throw those assumptions to the side and look at consumer needs all over again from a fresh perspective and kind of relaunch our products to consumers. So I find one of the best ways to do that. And most efficient ways to do that is to use a lean methodology, uh, to quickly get at, at what consumers want and quickly and efficiently develop products to meet those needs.

Jim Rembach (05:19):

Well, then for me, I can understand what you said as far as the passion is concerned, where that mashup comes into play, because I mean, to me, that’s what you were just talking about is the mashup and doing the quick release, doing some testing, seeing what works and what doesn’t work and making some adjustments,

Luis Pedroza (05:36):

Right? Um, you, I find the best way, uh, to, to learn about what consumers want is to get out into the field and side by side with real consumers and distributors and key influencers and on coming up a solution. So sure a lot of us have done ideations before, but the way a lot of companies would do ideations in the past is you might’ve recruit, um, some consumers to come into a central location and, and do an ideation session. What I would propose and what I find works really well is inviting potential customers, inviting people that are high potential customers to come to a central location, invites your, your R and D guys invite some key influencers and all get together and come up with solutions to real problems that those customers are facing. And when you do that, there’s a lot of benefits to that one. You’re, you’re, you know, you’re getting all this rich input from your potential customers and those potential customers actually now have skin in the game. They’ve helped you develop some new ideas and solutions. And when it comes time to finding, uh, customers who want to buy this product, and you can influence others to buy this product, you’ve got built in customer base now because you know, you’ve, they’ve got skin in the game and you’ve worked with them on these solutions.

Jim Rembach (07:16):

Okay. So then looking at the book to me, what I hear you saying is, is that what you define as the Ninja? Yeah, so it’s a Ninja. I found as I

Luis Pedroza (07:27):

Ended up launching brands and working on, on platforms around the world, typically I was under resourced compared to the large companies that I was going up against, even if I worked for a big company, um, when a, when a large Western company launches in a, in a foreign country, a developing country, they treat that business. Um, it typically is not as important as the domestic business. So you’re usually not as well funded. There really, isn’t a lot of research available that you can buy there. Aren’t a lot of places to like, you know, to go and, and get assistance on helping you launch. So that requires being scrappy and agile and, um, you know, being like a Ninja. I mean, that’s the way ninjas fight. Uh, they’re able to fight against, you know, the ancient ninjas were able to fight against these large Royal armies, um, by exploiting their weaknesses.

Luis Pedroza (08:31):

And you know, what I find when you’re dealing with really big companies is, uh, often our established brands is they’ve invested a lot of money into the status quo. So when a, when a company like Starbucks has 3000 stores in China, they don’t want to change. Um, there’s a lot of financial reasons, uh, to, to not want to change quickly. You just think about all the money that’s invested in a one store, as far as equipment and systems and, and legacy, uh, systems and multiply that times 3000. And that’s a huge investment. So if you’re a new, say a new coffee shop, uh, that’s coming into China, your opportunity is to, to not be anchored down by all of those existing, um, systems and infrastructure. Now you can look at emerging technology and disruptive technology, and you can leverage that and create something new because you’re small, but take advantage of those opportunities. And when you want to learn about consumers, get out, you can go and visit stores, get out on the street, talk to potential consumers and pick their brains and, um, and do intercept interviews and one on one interviews. And that’s a lot of rich information that’s available to almost anyone. If you decide that you want to do that

Jim Rembach (10:03):

Well. And one of the things that you and I talked about before we actually started in, um, started the recording is how the context center is a wealth of a lot of, you know, interaction and insight on products that have the already been created. Maybe some of those lugs, the products that could meet and meet, you know, using some uplifting changes, then all new product offerings and competitive insights. So to me, when you start talking about going out on the field, sometimes the field is in a contact center.

Luis Pedroza (10:33):

I totally agree. I I’ve seen too many times in my career where companies are set up functionally and you ended up having these silos. So, you know, I hate to say it, but even my first marketing job after getting my MBA. And when I, when I went to go work on brands at general mills, we very much operated in silos. So I don’t think I actually ever had the opportunity to go and spend much time with real sales guys are talk to real consumers about the products that I was designing and making for them. It wasn’t, it wasn’t until I got to overseas that out of necessity, I had to become more Ninja like and get out and, and, and get my hands dirty and spend time with consumers on the ground and distributors and understand what they want. But I, I have spent time in organizations where I think the call center is not fully utilized.

Luis Pedroza (11:33):

Uh, and I would say from, from two perspectives, one, um, the call center is, you know, the guys in marketing, aren’t necessarily thinking of the call center as an opportunity to, to, to get those rich insights on products. Like, like you said, um, that’s like, um, that’s like a focus group that happens every day. So you can, you can solicit information from your customers. These are real customers, not even hypothetical ones who are using your products, and they can tell you what’s working and what’s not working and what it would take for them to change their behavior. Um, so that’s the thing about humans. And I always tell the teams that I work with is that I can speak for myself. I like to have my coffee at the same time every day at the same store. So, uh, I’m a creature of habit, like so many consumers.

Luis Pedroza (12:33):

So to get me to change my behavior, to try a new drink, or to try a new coffee shop, it’s going to take a lot, you’re going to have to, to wow, me. You’re going to have to understand what I’m not satisfied about. Where’s that opening, um, that you can take advantage of. And so, yeah, you can talk to real customers and find that out. And then I think the other area that’s often missed is that is a contact point where you can reinforce your brand. So the way you answer the call, the way you explain your product benefits, uh, the features and benefits should be consistent with the brand positioning that you have created for your brand. Um, you know, it should be reinforcing that positioning in the mind of the consumer. So when a customer walks away from a call, they have a, uh, a better understanding of what the brand brings, what the value of their brand is. And then hopefully you’ve created a, an advocate for your brand because you did a really good job of explaining why the brand exists and how that brand brings value to the customer. So for me, I see

Jim Rembach (13:48):

You actually have a manual and I’m going to go through the different parts of the manual. And I see a whole lot of opportunity in here for the things that you were just talking about and having that congruence with the context center and really impacting the experience all or all the way around and using it to do, you know, some of the disruptive things that I think we’re just, we don’t realize that we already have those things in our toolbox. So you talk about the Ninja, see the battleground, know yourself, know your enemy, get lean and mean, choose your stamps, adapt to win, set up and disrupt, make it happen and get creative. Now, you say this particular manual came out of going into those, you know, foreign markets that weren’t necessarily core. However, I see that this is something that could be leveraged, especially when you start talking about, you know, in the words of today for everyone,

Luis Pedroza (14:47):

I think that’s right. And I, I think, um, you know, even domestically, we’re not a homogeneous consumers anymore. So I think consumers more and more expecting some kind of customization. They want brands to feel like they really understand them that they’re not just one of a million consumers, but the brand kind of gets me. They understand what I like, what I’m about, what I care about. And so the fact that our country is pretty big and there are regional preferences, um, it to reside in different States, see the world and in different ways. So, uh, it makes sense to, to be able to have a structure, to have tools that help you understand those differences and then be able to, to leverage those differences to your advantage.

Jim Rembach (15:48):

Well, and you talk about having a brand canvas and the brand canvas. I mean, to me, when I reviewed it, I mean, it has a really good, you know, holistic approach and way of looking at the whole product development process. But when I started looking at it at CA I came back to that context center and feeding that information in. So if you could though give people a little bit of understanding of what that brand canvas is all about

Luis Pedroza (16:14):

Grand cam, the brand canvas to me is a blueprint of your brand. So, um, I think the, the term brand, um, gets thrown around a lot and folks think they might have an understanding of what a brand is. It’s a logo, it’s a brand name. Um, but there’s a lot more to building a strong brand and just the logo or the name. In fact, it’s all rooted initially in strategy. Um, so what is the, you know, the positioning of your brand, how does your brand differ from other brands? What are those key equities that tell the story of your brand? What are those core benefits that deliver on that positioning? And one of the problems is, uh, that a lot of companies face is finding a way to communicate the definition of the brand easily to stakeholders like the folks who are working in the call center.

Luis Pedroza (17:24):

And it’s a real problem. If you don’t understand the brand and the value that it brings to, to the folks that you’re talking to that are calling in, how would do, how do you expect your customers to walk away from that understanding the brand or being happy? In fact, I really believe you can have the best product in the world with the best features and the best benefits at the best price. But if your stakeholders at the folks in the call center don’t understand the product, if they don’t understand how to talk about it, and they don’t understand the value that it brings, you’re not going to be successful. There’s no way that you’re going to be successful. So the brand canvas provides a tool for crystallizing what the brand strategy is on one single piece of paper, so that anyone in the organization can, can easily look at that and get a snapshot of what the brand stands for. And it’s not complicated. And in fact, I would argue that the process of putting that down on paper into that one pager helps a brand manager or a leader distill the, his understanding or her understanding of the brand. So going through that process solidifies, you know, helps you make sure that your brand is on strategy. And then, then you’re ready to share it with everyone in the organization.

Jim Rembach (18:53):

Well, and, and for me, when I start thinking about the whole brand canvas, um, I started thinking about that’s part of what creates the overall customer experience. So customer experience for me, and for many years, Eliza at a higher level, and how do we actually execute and create the experience that’s desired, that’s congruent, that’s lean, that’s, you know, has a greater impact that drives growth and the brand canvas is a critical component. And so then we also talk about the whole customer relationship management element of it. And you talk about a four S CRM framework, um, if C speak, sell and service, uh, if you could break those down for us.

Luis Pedroza (19:32):

Yeah. So I think, um, you know, this model came out of, um, putting together a CRM system for a brand that I worked on. And part of, um, you know, developing a CRM system is getting the buy in from other folks in the organization to invest the money that it takes in the resources to develop the system. And, you know, it’s, everyone has heard of CRM. Um, and they kind of understand Salesforce, or it’s a way of keeping track of, um, you know, when my sales guys are talking to customers, but what does that really mean? And what’s the value that, that can provide to an organization. And so the way I broke it out in the way it makes sense for me and the, the organizations that I’ve worked with that I’ve led is a CRM CRM, the forest framework. Um, if you break it down into, see one, you can identify, uh, and connect with end users.

Luis Pedroza (20:40):

So it’s a great opportunity to, to just see your customers and to, to understand what they need. It also provides a platform for speaking to them. So to deliver your targeted content and product information, then it’s also a great opportunity to sell. So once you’ve developed that relationship, you can then, uh, update customers with the newest things that you’ve developed, the newest products that you developed, and you can specifically target customers who have the need that you’re targeting. So you’re not wasting your communication or talking to customers about things that they don’t really need. And then it provides, I find this is a really a valuable piece. It’s an opportunity to, to service your customer, um, provide virtual training and demonstrations. And that, um, I think is becoming more and more important now, especially in this, in this environment where it might not be practical to get in with a customer and demonstrate something with them face to face for, for all the reasons that we’re facing now. Um, but to be able to do it virtually can be very powerful if you’ve developed that system and a way of operating

Jim Rembach (22:07):

Well, when I start thinking about all of this, um, you know, and going through the, the different parts of the manual, going through the brand canvas, talking about the contact center and it’s that the opportunity and leveraging that value and all that, I still come back to one of the things that’s being that is most important is connecting, you know, with, with the human being and, and you have a very important, uh, I would say guiding principle called glocal, tell us what glocal is.

Luis Pedroza (22:38):

Well, I, you know, I, I think a lot of companies initially when they started approaching international marketing, struggled with the idea of, do I create individual products for individual markets, or do I create a global product, a one size fits all product that I can sell everywhere in the world. And I think where most companies have and netted out now is that it’s not practical to develop, uh, individual products for each country, but it’s also not very satisfying for individual consumers to develop one product and try to sell it everywhere where I think companies are finding success. And what I recommend to the companies I work with is to look at what the, the key drivers and needs are in your key markets that you’re trying to sell to, and see if you can connect the dots between those markets and try to develop a global platform, or at least a regional platform that can speak to many of your key markets, but a platform that allows you to make adaptation to meet those specific needs.

Luis Pedroza (24:11):

And a lot of times the adaptation comes around communication. So you develop a product that can satisfy, uh, various regional needs from a product benefit perspective. And then you are able to talk about it, um, in a way that makes sense for, for local consumers. But you have to have that framework. I don’t think you can walk into international marketing anymore and think that you can sell one product to everyone. You have to be aware that local markets have, they have different ways of seeing things. Um, even if you think about something like, I know Asia gets lumped, all the countries in Asia get lumped together often, but if you take a closer look at just some of the large markets in Asia, like China and Japan and India and Indonesia, um, all those countries I just mentioned right now have different primary religions, different, um, primary languages, um, and obviously different, uh, different cultural lenses that they look through. So it’s not realistic to think that you could have really one, one product that satisfies everyone. So not just knowing that and understanding that ahead of time is very helpful because you know, that you have to make some adaptations. And so really it’s finding that balance between adaptation and standardization, and that’s where, that’s where the art comes in. And that’s where I help. You know, if you’re going through my book gives you some tools to help you to find that balance.

Jim Rembach (25:54):

Well, when I start thinking about you talking about many people are referring to the systems and the ideals and the thinking and the frameworks and all that that we have had in the, in the past, meaning we’re sitting here recording this and we’re finally starting to see some relief from this whole lockdown from COVID-19. And a lot of people talk about trashing the model, what you were doing before the systems, you know, need to be broken. Um, so when you start thinking about really what’s going to be different, and what are you doing differently than you have done working with organizations just, you know, a few months ago, where do you see that being different?

Luis Pedroza (26:36):

I think, um, that’s a great question. I think we have to be careful not to have a knee jerk reaction to what’s happening now, what’s happening is, is terrible. Um, and you know, I think it requires it’s going to require change, but I don’t think that it means we have to back off or that we would want to back off from global or international marketing. I just don’t think it’s feasible. Um, I’ll tell you why, if you think about it, um, companies, brands are our government. Our population is going to demand economic growth. We want, we want to grow, but where are we going to get the growth from? Uh, is it going to be a population growth? Um, probably not. Do I don’t think Americans are having more children, uh, and significantly more children and cheer, um, immigration we’re moving in the opposite direction.

Luis Pedroza (27:40):

I don’t see that as being huge lever for, for growth, um, efficiencies. Um, you know, I don’t see any of those levers delivering the kind of growth that America has become used to. So really the way that we’re gonna grow, the way that we’re going to continue to grow is to find ways to sell our products, our ideas to other markets around the world. Um, so that is the way that we’re going to be able to sell to more consumers, to have more people buy American products. And so we have to get our heads around that and accept that and find ways to take advantage of that reality and, uh, you know, knock it out of the park. Um, and we can do that. Um, but I, yeah, I don’t think this, I don’t see us walking away from global business or international business. I just don’t see that happening well, I mean this whole issue and everything that we’re going through and going into international markets and creating new products and all that stuff is just loaded with a lot of emotion. And one of the things that we do to help us focus is we look at quotes on the show. Is there a favorite quote or two that you’d like to share?

Luis Pedroza (29:02):

Wow. Um, I don’t know about a quote, but I, I find a lot of inspiration in, um, Steve jobs now. Um, you know, I live in Silicon Valley and I was drawn to come here because of all the disruptive innovation that happens here. And this is kind of where, you know, all the, all the excitement is as far as new product development and technology. Um, but what, I’m, what I’m sad about sometimes when I, when I look at all of the new startups and new companies that come out of this area is too often, I think they’re focused almost entirely on the technology, on, um, the technical benefits of what they’re working on. And then they come out and build a company around a particular technology. And as an afterthought, they’ll think about, well, okay, my investors or my board has told me now I need to, I need to bring marketing it and I need to develop a brand.

Luis Pedroza (30:16):

And it’s really backward because, um, you know, to me, that’s like putting your foundation in after you’ve built the house and really the best way for them to build a brand would be to try to understand what consumers want, not what consumers are telling you they want, but to do that legwork and talk to consumers and spend time with them and figure out what the gap is or what the unmet needs are and develop a technology, you know, then use your technology to help bring that solution to life. And I think jobs was just fantastic at that, whether it was, you know, attentional or intuitive, the guy was incredible at identifying or seeing those consumer needs and then building the technology to deliver on those needs. Um, yeah.

Jim Rembach (31:08):

Oh, and one of the things that when you start talking about jobs and, um, a lot of the things that he’s had to overcome, um, talking about you doing the lean marketing work and being in those, uh, particular markets where you didn’t have, you know, a lot of sourcing you had to be scrappy is a lot of times you run into situations where you have learnings, we call those getting over the hump. Um, and so is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

Luis Pedroza (31:37):

Well, I think every time you go into a new market, there is, um, there’s that element of, of getting over the hump. Um, so the last time, uh, I was in a foreign country, uh, our foreign region, uh, developing a new product was I was working for, uh, Kerry foods and we were relaunching a brand called DaVinci gourmet. And, um, really the, the company, um, they had been, um, you know, operating this brand for, you know, over a decade and saw success within the food service community. It’s a food service brand, but, and I find this as true with a lot of companies that become successful. They get to a certain point where, um, growth is not as easy anymore, but they’re unable to break through that barrier and get over the hump because they are seeing the competitive, competitive environment and, um, sort of an outdated way they become complacent.

Luis Pedroza (32:56):

They, um, are looking at, um, the competitive environment through that, that older lens. And so this particular brand that I was working on, um, made average syrups, and they saw themselves primarily as a coffee syrup brand. So they made syrups that you would put into coffee at coffee shops and like the vanilla syrup or hazelnut syrup or chocolate syrup. What they weren’t seeing was that there was tremendous drink, growth, beverage growth happening outside of coffee as well. So whether that was a mixed drinks and, um, you know, non soda beverages, um, all over the world, as people moved away from, from sodas into, into other ready to drink, um, beverages. And, uh, it was hard to, uh, for me as a marketer to get stakeholders excited about growth without having to using that old paradigm. So the way I was able to get them excited about investing in the future was by showing them a new future or having them look through a new lens that said, Hey, uh, we’re not just a, we can be more than just a coffee syrup company. We can be, uh, a beverage syrup company that adds flavor and helps drink makers create their own masterpieces. And so sometimes it’s as simple as that just reframing the reality for the folks that you’re working with so they can see what your vision is. Um, that’s one of the things I talk about in the book as well, uh, trying to reframe your perspective and helping those around you, uh, see your vision.

Jim Rembach (34:59):

Oh, and I started talking about vision and thinking about vision. Um, I started thinking about this book and the goals that you have for it. Again, initially when I looked at it, I’m like, well, this is only for a very, very large brands, but through this dialogue and discussion, um, we could learn we’ve learned otherwise, but what are some of your goals with it?

Luis Pedroza (35:17):

Well, you know, um, I started writing the book a couple of years ago and my goal was really to distill what I had managed to learn over a couple of decades and create a handbook that could be this go to handbook for anybody who’s interested in entering a new market or launching new brand. Um, I think all of us intuitively know that global marketing global brand building international business is important and we see it on TV. We read about it, but I found that, uh, when I enter a company and as I reach out to folks that I know in my network, there, aren’t a lot of people who actually have real on the ground experience, launching new brands and new markets. Um, just those opportunities don’t come around a lot. So it’s natural that a lot of people don’t have that experience. And it’s helpful.

Luis Pedroza (36:22):

It’s helpful when you’re in that position of launching a new product or entering in a new market, what should you be thinking? You know, you want to know, it’s be nice to tap someone’s shoulder and say, Hey, please tell me what I should be thinking about right now. What is really important? What are some of those pitfalls that folks fall into? Um, help me out be my, you know, virtual mentor, if you will give me some great advice, because it’s kind of scary going into a new market and launching a new product. And if you can’t find or a person, then I hope I’m taking out my book helps it. Um, I tried to distill all that knowledge into, into one book for folks to be able to, to learn from

Jim Rembach (37:11):

Fast leader, Legion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. And even better place to work is an easy solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic and employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com forward slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly Allegion. It’s time for the home. Okay. Louis, the hold on is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are gonna help us move onward and upward faster Louis Pedroza. Are you ready to hone down? Yes, no. Right. What is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Luis Pedroza (38:06):

I think I’m like everyone, we all have these internal, uh, perceptions about who we are. There’s that voice inside of you that, um, tells you what you think, what you personally think you can do and can’t do. And I think, um, it’s powerful to be able to talk back to the voice and say, Hey, I hear you. But, um, and this, in this instance, I don’t agree. I think I can do what you’re telling me. I might have problems doing. Um, but that doesn’t sound too schizophrenia, but, uh, yes, you have the power

Jim Rembach (38:47):

And what is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

Luis Pedroza (38:51):

I think it’s really important to go out there and find, um, mentors or force yourself. It’s, it’s uncomfortable. Um, we’re not used to going out and asking folks to, to help us, but when you can leverage someone else’s experience, um, it becomes very powerful and it’s especially important, you know, being a mixed race. Uh, I want to say it’s especially important for poor folks in minority communities where we don’t often have, um, that available to us. You know, um, the community that we’re in, doesn’t always have a large number of highly, you know, visible, successful folks that we can lean on to be mentors. Um, but it’s important. I mean, that’s a, a big advantage, um, and it’s a great way to change the trajectory of your development

Jim Rembach (39:52):

And what would be one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Luis Pedroza (39:58):

I forced myself to too often wear the hat of the competitor are, uh, the customer. See it’s, um, that helps you change your perspective. Um, and when you’re sitting in the customer’s, uh, you know, in their shoes, in their hat and really looking at the environment through, through their eyes, it changes, um, the way you see the world, it changes the way you look at problems, and then you can go back as a brand builder as a business leader and really, um, develop solutions for those, for those problems.

Jim Rembach (40:40):

And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre, of course, we’re going to put a link to lean brands on your show notes page as well.

Luis Pedroza (40:48):

Yeah. Um, I think, uh, it’s a classic, um, B the 22 immutable laws of branding of marketing it’s um, I think it’s the 22 beautiful laws. Yeah, it’s a great, I read the book, uh, maybe 20 years ago. I probably reread it every, uh, every few years. It’s a great book. Um, a lot of real common sense, um, advice, but really great advice when you’re going out and building a brand

Jim Rembach (41:20):

Okay. Faster leads. And you can find links to that in other bonus information mation from today’s show, if I, to fast leader.net/lewis for Georgia. Okay. Lewis, this is my last hump day hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Luis Pedroza (41:42):

Wow. You know, I think I would focus less on, on me focus less on, um, person, my personal, uh, accomplishments and more on building those around me. So understanding, um, the folks on my team, understanding what success looks like for them and being a facilitator and helping them be successful. Knowing that when I do that as a leader, I am making the organization that I’m working in and my project even stronger and even more successful. And, um, I think that knowledge came with age and experience. And, um, so yeah, if you can manage to develop that skill earlier in your career, it’ll take you far and really help you.

Jim Rembach (42:45):

Louis. I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you?

Luis Pedroza (42:50):

Sure. It’s really simple. Um, you, I have a website, LuisPedrozaauthor.com. You can also find me on LinkedIn. You can find my book on amazon.com as well.

Jim Rembach (43:03):

Luis Pedroza. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader, Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.