Branding LAB Podcast
w/ aaron pierson

Helping entrepreneurs find their VOICE
so they aren't forced to become an ECHO...

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Disrupt or be Disrupted

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Disrupt or Be Disrupted: What Every CEO Must Know

You may be familiar with the term “disruption” but it’s possible it has also completely lost meaning (as words often do) from being so overused.

“Disrupt or be disrupted” is not a new business concept. It is something that has been studied, defined, and redefined, since Clayton Christensen coined the term “disruptive innovation” in his 1997 book entitled, The Innovator’s Dilemma. Since its conception, the idea of disruption in business has taken on it’s own persona and has truly become an entity in itself.

By “disrupt or be disrupted”, I mean that if you aren’t making things happen yourself, for your company, then someone is going to put you out of business right under your nose–with a lower price point and better business plan. This is true for every company, in every industry. Right now, at this moment, your company is either disrupting the marketplace, or you’re actively being disrupted.

This isn’t meant to be fear based, but it’s the reality of the situation so I might as well come out with it. Read More


The Reason Behind The Purchase

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I am so stoked to be back here with Douglas Davis and be able to pick his brain on the reason behind the purchase. Author of Creative Strategy and the Business of Design, founder of The Davis Group, professor at New York City College, Douglas wears a lot of hats–all stylish and functional.



The Future of the Creative Industry

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The Future of the Creative Industry with Douglas Davis: Part 1

I am so stoked to be here with Douglas Davis and be able to pick his brain on the future of the creative industry. Author of Creative Strategy and the Business of Design, founder of The Davis Group, professor at New York City College, Douglas wears a lot of hats–all stylish and functional.

There’s a huge disconnect happening right now in the industry and Douglas’s book is a means to bridging that gap.

“Business is annexing design.”

Major brands like GE and IBM are evolving into content creators. There’s a study that shows that these companies are now publishing more content than the New York Times did in their hay day.

There’s a massive shift going on in the creative industry

“Right brain creativity is the spoonful of sugar that makes the business or the marketing objectives palatable to the public.”

Businesses are hiring their own creative staff, but they are still missing the element of strategy and intention. The agency we know now is actually more of a strategic agency and less of a traditional agency predicated on delivering actual design artifacts to businesses.

Injecting creativity into the beginning of a business discussion helps a company go beyond just “making it pretty”. A sound strategy and a sound creative execution is the way to come up with something meaningful on the business side as well as the creative side.

Expectations from clients have changed because of the annexation of design by business.

So what is the future of design?

This shift has massive implications for design education. We have to understand the language spoken on the other side of the brain and design education is going to have to look a lot more like business. Things like analytical thinking, scenario analysis, competitive strategy etc, are all aspects of what design education will need to become.

“Teach designers and creatives how to think, not what to think.”

The very thing business people go to school for, which also qualifies them to be in the boardroom, isn’t shared by creatives.

People have a certain perception of creative people with our tattoos, piercings, different style, and that they are just messing around all day–but by decreasing the fear in the room and increasing the trust, executives are more likely to take creative risks and allow the creative process to truly flourish with the backbone of a strong strategy.

If you want to remain relevant you have to keep up with what’s happening on both sides of the brain. Learning new software and working on your portfolio are important, but so is looking beyond that into the world of business.

If you want to make a career as a creative professional you are not going to be able to do by simply knowing how to work the programs and general design fundamentals.

Activate the other side of your brain and own your place in the boardroom.


Everything is a Remix w/Chris Do

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You are your brand and your brand is you. Perception is everything. In this episode of Branding LAB with designer, creator, visionary, brand developer, Chris Do, we talk on the value of self representation and brand clarity.

Before we start to position ourselves as the kind of person we want to be perceived as, we first have to know who we are. A personal brand audit will give you a baseline, and then you can tweak and build from there.

Understanding how we are perceived by others really helps us and gives us an advantage. There’s a big difference between how you see yourself and how others see you.

“What do people think of me?”

You many not like to hear what comes out from asking people what they truly think of you. But the best thing is that growth generally only comes from a little bit of pain. We can’t grow when people sugar coat the truth. We can’t grow if we aren’t willing to step back and take a look at ourselves from an objective perspective. We can only grow from looking truth in the face and vow to make changes.

A common mistake in business is that people think about themselves more than the needs of their customers and how they improve their lives. You may hear brand owners talk all about what they do, what they create, what they’re known more, etc. But that is a separation from their why.

Others may start with their mission , purpose, impact on the community/customer/world. This is a company you want to align with. This is a company who sees the value in placing their intention and attention on their why.

  • Who do you serve?
  • What do you do?
  • Why what you do matters to other people?

Approaching a purpose of what you do with who you do it for helps to change the mindset.

Change this sentence: I love what I do. I love the strategy. I love working with people. I love being able to make a career out of my passion.

To this sentence: I love helping company fulfill their dream, delivering on their promise to their customers. I love helping companies achieve this in a faster, more impactful way.

This tweak in the statement highlights the benefit to the customer. You’re providing value and not just fulfilling your own dreams.

Final Words by Chris Do

A simple change in mindset and intention can easily change the course of your brand. Getting clear on who you are is extremely valuable.


UX is a Spiritual Practice w/ Jose Caballer

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To say that this episode of Branding LAB is entirely different than anything you’ve heard is an understatement. Jose Caballer has made a life in User Experience (UX) design but his approach is anything but typical.

A spiritual person by nature, Jose has found a way to incorporate his heartfelt and deeply rooted practice into his profession to transcend the protocol in the industry. This has allowed him to create and produce work that is successful, meaningful and completely unique.

At first, the notion that UX is a spiritual practice might seem like a contradictory statement. How could something that is digital and designed for consumers everywhere be considered spiritual. But when Jose goes deeper into his explanation and heart, you begin to see very quickly that all UX is is connection.

A connection between the company and the customer. A connection between service or product and user. A connection between intention and creation.

Everything within UX design is connected to something and when you can clearly see and define what that “something” is to your brand, then you are cracking the code to organic and uninhibited success.

“Be involved in the business of your customers.”

Jose had to ask some hard questions of his peers within his industry and realized that a massive piece of the puzzle was missing across the board–the heart. Without this, brands found it almost impossible to meaningfully engage customers and build a loyal community.

But Jose had seen the light. He knew what was needed before anything could even begin and he built an entire brand, school and platform on a strong foundation of heart.

“You don’t do separate from being.”

He has three tattoos on his arm that represent the steps that should be taken in order to develop and design a UX that is in intentional flow.

The Heart – Values – Who you are (define the brand)
The Diagram – Strategy – Who your customers are (their needs in relation to your values)
The Triangle – Execution – Business goals (increase revenue, awareness, etc)

“The first thing you need to do is to get everyone to work from the heart not the head. The future is feminine.”

You can’t think of UX as building an app or a website. You’re building a connection between humans.

UX is a spiritual practice. It’s about bringing hearts together. It’s about connection.

Final Words by Jose Caballer
Create a 4D experience that people can really feel and that evokes a certain sentiment within them. Success comes from connection. There’s no coincidence that Steve Jobs was dropping acid to try to transcend reality and create from a more conscious state. Think outside of what you’ve been taught and work from the heart space to connect more deeply.

so you’re ready to ACTIVATE YOUR BRAND

This online course is an interactive exercise designed to shape your idea or existing business into a disruptive social brand…