Brand Building 101 with Farryn Weiner, Founder of Farrynheight

Brand transcends into all aspects of a DTC business—marketing, operations, customer experience, finance, etc. To discover how to create a brand that stands for something, we chatted with Farryn Weiner, the founder of Farrynheight, a new-age brand strategy and marketing team.
June 13, 2022
by
Blue background with Tydo logo and Farrynheight logo and white text that says "Brand building 101"

Brand Building 101 with Farryn Weiner, Founder of Farrynheight

We all have our favorite brands: Nike, Glossier, In-N-Out, Apple, etc. They all have cult-like followings, pride themselves on a distinct look and feel, and stand for something much larger than themselves. How do great brands stay great for decades? What are the tactical steps to enhancing a brand strategy? What’s the secret to brand building? 

To answer these questions, we sat down with Farryn Weiner, the founder of Farrynheight, a new-age brand strategy and marketing team, who has worked with brands such as Parsley Health, Bandier, Aurate, Planta, Coterie, and more. 

Weiner is a brand mastermind. Before founding Farrynheight, she was the VP of marketing and brand strategy at Sweetgreen and the senior director of global creative and digital communications at Michael Kors

From how to operationalize brand to why brand matters now more than ever before, Weiner shared her brand-building secrets with the Tydo team. Let’s dive in. 

Singularity: Knowing Who You Are and Sticking with It 

The most successful brands are the ones that know who they are and stick with it. From her time at Michael Kors, Weiner learned the value of singularity. 

“When you have a clearly defined brand story and vision, you have more freedom than you think,” explains Weiner. At Michael Kors, she learned how to translate a singular idea of a brand into all kinds of messaging and communication. 

“I used to say that I could throw 20 images on a table and tell you which one was Michael Kors,” adds Weiner. 

Ironically, singularity provides incredible freedom for founders and their teams. Most founders don’t want to feel limited, but it’s a clear focus that leads to increased creativity. 

“We’re attracted to brands that know who they are because we’re drawn to people who are confident in their sense of self. When you’re trying to be everything to everyone, your brand loses meaning,” states Weiner. 

Singularity starts internally. Everything, including decision making, marketing tactics, and campaigns, all ladder up to that singular vision. 

“The more singular and clear you are in who you are and what you stand for, the more fun you can have.” 

Prioritizing Brand from Day One  

Founders almost always question brand marketing efforts. That’s because they’re not clearly measurable, unlike performance marketing. There’s no way to see real-time results. “Brand is the first thing to get blamed and the last thing to get credit,” notes Weiner. 

Weiner reminds all founders: “Brand is a marathon. Marketing is a sprint.” 

Brand is often overlooked. “When someone says brand isn’t important, I say, ‘That, in and of itself, is a choice,’” notes Weiner. 

In some ways, brand-building is about hedging bets. Every brand has its initial community. To serve those initial customers, every brand needs to invest time in making sure the community believes in the brand and believes in the mission. 

“At Farrynheight, we step in and set up that community and brand for long-term success and growth. We pair that with our understanding of the DTC landscape and what it means to be an early-stage brand,” notes Weiner. 

“Brand is a living, breathing thing that flows. Sometimes, it’s mission-critical, and sometimes it’s not.” 

How to Operationalize Brand   

Weiner’s main takeaway from her time at Sweetgreen: “Brand is only as good as how you operate it.”

There’s no better school for learning how to operationalize brand than a restaurant company. 

“Brand translates into every element of your business, all the way down to the way you write emails,” says Weiner. 

Brand is also at the center of culture and values. One of the most valuable lessons she learned while at Sweetgreen was how to use a company’s values to adopt and create behaviors that represent brand. “There was not a meeting you walked into where someone didn’t reference a Sweetgreen value in their decision-making process,” adds Weiner. 

All brands should know their answers to the following questions: 
  1. Who do we want to be in the world? 
  2. How do we want to behave? 
  3. What are we trying to accomplish? 

Brand goes beyond a look and feel or brand marketing. It’s a service. It’s a story. And, it’s infused into every aspect of the business. 

“How you operate your brand is as important as brand itself.” 

Brand is a Marathon. Marketing is a sprint. 

On the marketing funnel, brand serves two purposes: 
  1. It creates awareness. 
  2. It builds loyalty. 

“Your triggered email flows, social media posts, hiring process, and company culture all matter. In some ways, they matter even more early on in your brand journey because those early adopters (customers) are the ones who build your brand and refer you to friends,” says Weiner.  

What’s the best way to measure brand? Look at it as a whole. At the end of the year, ask: 
  1. Did we create community? 
  2. Did we drive engagement? 
  3. Did we grow our audience and customer base? 

With this in mind, Weiner notes that the most successful brands are the ones extraordinary at one or two things, not everything. 

“Become good at one thing and then create a flywheel around that part of your brand. When you try to do too much, your money goes nowhere.” 

Why Brand Matters Now More Than Ever Before 

“Brand is the center of excellence within an organization,” says Weiner. 

Because of what’s happening with digital marketing (i.e. iOS updates), brand building is critical, especially within the DTC landscape. Today, brands have to leverage the opportunity that each channel provides. 

What does that mean? It means maximizing every customer touchpoint. “Each touchpoint is an opportunity to show who you are and why you’re different,” explains Weiner. 

The brands that stand out today are less concerned with following trends. They care about creating consistency. “A brand is like a person. You have to think about how they speak, how they live, what they wear, what they eat, and what kind of music they like,” notes Weiner. 

Paid performance and brand can work together. The brand part is understanding what pieces of the story can work on each unique channel. 

At the end of the day, everything can be brand-woven, which connects back to Weiner’s point about operationalizing brand. 

At Farrynheight, Weiner talks about the company’s values ad nauseam. She spends about an hour every week discussing Farrynheight’s values, why they’re all there, what the company believes in, and what they’re trying to accomplish. 

“I used to say that being Head of Brand is like being on a roadshow.” 

Exciting Brand Opportunities 

In the early days of DTC, there was a commoditized look, feel, and approach to engaging with the consumer. Now, all bets are off. 

“You can be completely raw and real,” says Weiner. 

There are now alternative ways to connect with consumers and create community. Weiner is most interested in Discord and the ways brands are harnessing the platform as a marketing and community-building channel. 

She also sees TikTok as a major opportunity for organic growth. “TikTok is a channel where you can do great storytelling and get a lot of eyeballs on your business without having to spend a ton,” notes Weiner. 

“Today’s channels reward individuality. Brands shouldn’t be afraid to show that.” 

Advice for Founders 

For early-stage brands that can’t afford an agency like Farrynheight, Weiner recommends creating a one-pager ASAP. She says, “Lock yourself in a room with your cofounder or partner and don’t leave until you have a one-pager on your brand.” 

Saying no is incredibly important. Weiner adds, “Don’t be afraid to cut things out. If nothing else, give your team a North Star and know that it will evolve and change as the world changes around you.” 

Another piece of advice from Weiner: Don’t change course. 

So many founders test one channel and use that as their barometer of success, even if it doesn’t work out. “You’re not going to hit it out of the park the first time,” explains Weiner. 

The key: stick with the original game plan and then refine and optimize it. Then, “After you’ve given it your all, see if it’s worth your time and if it moves the needle,” acknowledges Weiner. 

“You don’t have to be everything to everyone. Figure out what’s most important to you and then figure out the one channel you’re good at,” she adds. 

For some brands, that might be their influencer strategy. For other brands, that might be performance PR. Regardless, choose one path, and stick with it. 

“It’s the full picture that matters. Don’t take everything so seriously. Allow your team and audience into the process and let them help define who you are.” 

Report Cards

Free

Report Cards is a customized glimpse into your business, delivered to your inbox for free.

Report Cards consolidates all your key metrics across platforms for an at-a-glance pulse of your business.

Discover metrics for every team member so they can stay updated with the right data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

It's free because we believe everyone should have access to the basics.

Learn more
Base for feature illustration

Portfolio

Portfolio is a hub for analytics across multiple Shopify stores. The perfect tool for agencies.

See an aggregate view of all your data for all your stores in one place.

Make real time assessments on marketing initiatives across every storefront you manage.

Analyze the performance of one store versus another in seconds.

Learn more
Screen 1
Base for feature illustration

Noah Wunsch

Founder & CEO,
Ruby
BOOK PICK
Ramping Your Brand
James F. Richardson, PhD
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Paul Voge

Founder & CEO,
Aura Bora
BOOK PICK
High-Hanging Fruit: Build Something Great by Going Where No One Else Will
Mark Rampolla
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Andrew Benin

CEO & Cofounder,
Graza
BOOK PICK
Salt Sugar Fat
Michael Moss
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Becca Millstein

Cofounder & CEO,
Fish Wife
BOOK PICK
The Secret Life of Groceries Benjamin Lorr
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Allie Dempster

Cofounder,
Lupii
BOOK PICK
How to Change Your Mind Michael Pollan
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Michael Sharon

Cofounder & CEO,
Taika
BOOK PICK
The Beginning of Infinity
David Deutsch
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Michael Wieder

Cofounder, President, & CMO,
LALO
BOOK PICK
The Checklist Manifesto
Atul Gawande
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Stefany Nieto

Cofounder,
Mojo Microdose
BOOK PICK
The Immortality Key
Brian Muraresku
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Cattie Khoury

BOOK PICK
Extreme Ownership
Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Alex Onsager

Cofounder & CEO,
Character
BOOK PICK
Competing Against Luck Clayton Christensen
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Steph Hon

Founder & CEO,
Cadence
BOOK PICK
Open
Andre Agassi
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Katina Mountanos

Founder & CEO,
Kosterina
BOOK PICK
Pour Your Heart Into It
Howard Schultz
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Dee Charlemagne

Cofounder,
AVEC
BOOK PICK
Shoe Dog
Phil Knight
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Cristina Ros Blankfein

Cofounder,
Swoon
BOOK PICK
Shoe Dog
Phil Knight
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Peiman Raf

Cofounder & CEO,
Madhappy
BOOK PICK
Shoe Dog
Phil Knight
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Libie Motchan

Cofounder,
Fulton
BOOK PICK
Burn Rate
Andy Dunn
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Chris Meade

Cofounder,
Crossnet
BOOK PICK
Double Your Profits
Bob Fifer
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Maggy Nyamumbo

Founder,
Kahawa 1893
BOOK PICK
The Big Brand Lie
Eddie Yoon, Nicolas Cole, Christopher Lochhead
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

David Phan

Founder,
Huppy
BOOK PICK
The Slight Edge
Jeff Olson
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

Cole Pearsall

Cofounder & Chief Sales Officer,
Acid League
BOOK PICK
Business Stripped Bare Richard Branson
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

David Fudge

Cofounder & CEO,
Aplos
BOOK PICK
The Big Leap
Gay Hendricks
0:00
2:00
Show transcript
Hide transcript

More about the project

Here at Tydo, we try to highlight DTC founders who run their business in various ways. And, that's because there's no "right" way to run a DTC brand.

This project illustrates exactly that. Whether it's how a founder supports their team or how they talk about mental health in the workplace, every founder has a different approach. How do they discover these different approaches? One way: reading. Discover the greatest books that have changed the way 15+ founders think about or operate their business.

You can also listen to these book picks on Spotify or Anchor.fm.

Brandon Amoroso

Founder & President,
Electriq
GIFT PICK
AM to PM Set
by Brooklinen
For the friend who has everything (or when I have no idea what else to get!) this Brooklinen candle set is my go-to gift. It has a classic look, and each scent gives off a homey, exceptionally cozy vibe—perfect for the winter months.

Juliana Casale

Head of Brand and Community,
Wonderment
GIFT PICK
Desert Planter
by Jungalow
A lot of my friends either have a ton of indoor plants, or aspire to be the kind of person who has tons of indoor plants. Jungalow has a nice little selection of live plants in their online store, and they sell super cute planters like this one to house them in. Instantly add ambiance to any party you attend!

Tom Shea

Cofounder,
Adgile
GIFT PICK
Long Jambys
by Jambys
I try not to show up to a dinner party empty-handed. I love bringing “performance inactivewear”—better known as Jambys!  After a night spent entertaining, every host needs time to sit back, relax, and reset. And, what better way to do that than in a pair of super soft, Jamby joggers?!

Rhian Beutler

CEO/Founder,
Govalo
GIFT PICK
The Mini Essentials
by Brightland
Brightland's capsule sets are one of my favorite things to gift a party host. This set does it all—perfect for a charcuterie board or a drizzle on a crusty loaf of bread. It comes in a beautifully designed gift box that makes you feel like you are giving a gift that everyone can enjoy together and use even after the party is over!

Mike De Santis

Direct of Biz Ops,
Doris Dev
GIFT PICK
Humidifier
by Canopy
With winter right around the corner, you have to make sure your loved ones and friends don't dry out! When the heat comes on, the Canopy Humidifier helps to provide humidity in your home! Plus, the built-in aroma diffuser is a great alternative to candles!

Yair Slasky

Business Operations,
Fondue
GIFT PICK
Sampler Pack
by Olipop
You can never go wrong with Olipop—the soda that tastes good and is good for you! Same-day delivery makes for a perfect last-minute gift! I'll be stocking up on a few Sampler Packs this holiday season.

Robi O’Cleirigh

Marketing Manager,
Relo
GIFT PICK
The Classics Box
by Bad Brownie
Whilst I’ve never needed a party as an excuse to chow down on these bad boys, they’re the perfect gift for your host! Easy to share, and a real crowd pleaser, Bad Brownies are a great go-to, holiday sweet treat.

Arjun Jolly

COO/Cofounder,
adQuadrant
GIFT PICK
Sandwich Thins
by Outer Aisle
A healthy and allergy-conscious addition to any dinner, these delicious cauliflower sandwich thins are a top-notch alternative to bread (gluten free and sugar free). They’ll be a fan favorite at the dinner table.

Never miss an update from Tydo

Thank you! Be on the lookout for updates.
Hmm, something when wrong

Zack Elias

Director, Partnerships,
Plobal Apps
GIFT PICK
Open House Bundle
by Life in Lilac
The name says it all—Open House. This is my go-to gift for anyone hosting during the holidays (and a bottle of wine, of course)! Open House is a clean, crisp scent perfect for every day. If fresh laundry isn’t your vibe and you prefer woodsy/smoky notes, Life in Lilac has plenty of A+ scent options.

Nik Sharma

GIFT PICK
Matcha Variety Pack
by Chamberlain Coffee
No one says no to a good cup of caffeine in the morning. In fact, if there was a way to inject caffeine in my veins, I'd be open to testing that. But, the issue with most caffeine is there's always a crash! The crash sucks... you feel tired and unfocused, you just wanna take a break. This is where matcha comes in... but for those who don't want JUST the taste of green soil, Chamberlain Coffee created the perfect flavored matcha. Emma personally worked on these blends, so you know they taste amazing and just as good (if not better) than they look.

Jessica Grossman

Founder/CEO,
In Social
GIFT PICK
Best Seller Bundle
by Three Ships
Who doesn't want the gift of better and brighter skin? Our friends at Three Ships Beauty are the leaders in natural skincare that actually works! Starting with the bestseller bundle helps giftees discover which products (if not all!) work best for their skin.

Kate Cassidy

Partner Marketing Manager,
Tydo
GIFT PICK
Drizzle & Sizzle
by Graza
I love showing up to a party with a practical gift the host can and will actually use. Graza's Sizzle and Drizzle squeezable olive oil set is a welcome addition to any kitchen—plus, they fit perfectly in a wine bottle sized gift bag.

Marcus Ohanesian

Partners Manager,
Trellis
GIFT PICK
Lastra Holiday Mug
by Vietri
This hand-painted Italian stoneware mug is a great gift for any hot cocoa or coffee drinker! If you want to go the extra mile, include a bag of coffee beans or hot chocolate mix.

Phillip Jackson

Cofounder,
Future Commerce
GIFT PICK
Tile Mat
by Letterfolk
I’ve waxed poetic about Pattern Brands over the last few years—and I’ve quickly fallen for one of their newest brand acquisitions. The Letterfolk Tile Mat is a unique gift for any host. It looks on point in any home. Plus, it’s endless fun to customize!

Maier Bianchi

Founder,
Bemeir
GIFT PICK
Haitian Moringa: Hair, Skin, & Nails Vitamins
by Kreyól Essence
Haitian Moringa vitamins are a versatile gift with multiple uses and beneficial health properties. I love giving the Pineapple Rhum Punch flavor! Introducing items from diverse cultures, especially ones from black-owned businesses that deserve recognition, brings me joy.

Never miss an update from Tydo

Thank you! Be on the lookout for updates.
Hmm, something when wrong