Business, Politics & Society

Build Awareness

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 21:39 min

Spanx became the brand it is today by creating a product women love and share by word of mouth. Sara encourages you to lead with your origin story and create buzz through creative marketing tactics.

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Sara Blakely
Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaches you bootstrapping tactics and her approach to inventing, selling, and marketing products that consumers love.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] SARA BLAKELY: So how do you build a brand? There are so many elements of it to consider. You need to have the right packaging and the right way that you bring it out into the world and showcase it. SPANX is 20 years old. And the first 16 years, we never advertised. It was completely a word-of-mouth brand. And it just started to take on its own energy. [MUSIC PLAYING] When you're first starting your business, there's two ways to get awareness and advertising. There's organic, and then there's paid. And you're going to need to be as creative as you can in getting as much of the organic press and advertising that you can. A lot of people do hire PR firms. I chose to keep it in-house, and it was one of my very first hires at SPANX. And the reason being is that I always put myself in the other person's shoes when I'm making decisions. So if I was on the receiving end, and I worked at a magazine, I think, would I rather receive a call from someone who is paid to represent someone and calls me for five other brands, or would I rather receive a call from someone who's like, I work for this company, this is amazing, we eat, sleep, and breathe it, and this is why it's great? And that's how I always answer that question. So it just made more sense to me from if I were her and I got the call, or if I was him and got the call, what would make me pause and maybe be more willing to write about it? And that always just felt more authentic. So that's the route I took. And they completely called and evangelized the brand, the new products, every day to the radio channels, to television shows, to the media, to print, to newspaper. They were constantly trying to get me opportunities to be on camera or to be able to speak about it. Because I was storytelling, and because I was being vulnerable with the world, and flashing my own SPANX, and showing my own butt in these before and after pictures, and being very honest that this is me, and this is what's going on, it kind of created a trend of women everywhere flashing SPANX. And it became this phenomena of women at parties, showers, I mean, I laugh now and say, I can't go anywhere without getting flashed. My husband says it's a huge benefit of being married to me because he's always standing next to me, and some woman's like, whoo, Sara, or opening up their shirt and saying, the bra! So but, but that all happened because I used humor, and I made it fun, a category that no one-- before SPANX, no one ever flashed their undergarment. It was like, no one talked about it. It just created this energy that took on a life of its own. We got so much emotional investment in what we were offering consumers that they wanted to evangelize our own brand. And they became our PR and marketing advertising arm of our company. It was women sharing it with other women. And this is the key-- storytell. Lead with story. So the story of SPANX and the why this girl did this and why did she c...


Find your big idea

With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I'm just going to say that I'm very happy you finally have classes from women in leadership and business. Well done. Please keep it up :)

One of the best courses in MasterClass! Captivating stories with practical content.

Loved the course from the begining! Great job.

The best class! Anyone who is taking the entrepreneurship journey, is on it or just wants to learn more about what it takes to get there has to watch this Master Class. It is brilliant!


Comments

victor O.

An excellent presentation. In particular, for companies getting started or as in my case, a company needing to take a different perspective to grassroots marketing and intimate face to face promotion. I love her energy and enthusiasm.

A fellow student

I find selling to be one of the very hardest things about being an entrepreneur. Sara, I learned some valuable tips from you in this class and appreciate your warmth and humor.

Jane

It's like "Don't take NO personal". It is hard to learn sometimes for many people. And not to lose faith in yourself.

Lauron S.

Thank you for sharing your story and secrets. Empowering and practical. A passionate commentary on determination and persistence that changed millions of lives and butts. Motivation and tools to help us all. Thank you, Lauron Sonnier, Standoutlife.com

Paul O.

I respect her achievement, but WOW I can't STAND her ego. It grates on my like no one I've ever come across. I do hope for success, but never, ever if it turned me into a person like her.

Sue S.

You know what stores need????? Better dressing rooms. Macy’s is horrible. Better lighting. Maybe if I had spanx on I would look better. Lol. Good points to remember!!! Thanks! I have really enjoyed this class!!