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The Birth of a Brand: The UGG Story

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Join us for an exciting episode of the Business Elevation Show as we sit down with Brian Smith, the visionary Founder of the iconic UGG Australia brand. Brian’s entrepreneurial journey is inspiring, having transformed a modest $500 investment into a multi-million dollar international enterprise. UGG Australia, has become s ynonymous with luxury and comfort, achieving over a billion dollars in annual sales for the past six years.

Brian Smith graduated as a Chartered Accountant in 1978 in Australia, before moving to California in search of the next big opportunity. While studying at the UCLA Graduate School of Management, he identified a gap in the US market for sheepskin footwear, which sparked the inception of UGG. Over the next seventeen years, Brian’s unwavering dedication and innovative approach propelled UGG into a global phenomenon.

In this interview, we delve into Brian’s book, “The Birth of a Brand – Launching Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Soul,” where we will explore his invaluable insights and strategies for aspiring entrepreneurs. Brian emphasises the importance of leveraging one’s intrinsic assets and following one’s passions to build a fulfilling and successful career.

A sought-after keynote speaker and mentor to small business owners, Brian dedicates his time to educating and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. He also enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends in Southern California, surfing, and contributing to the betterment of humanity.

Tune in for an engaging and informative conversation with Brian Smith during. I will be wearing my favourite slippers.

Some Key Takeaways from the interview:

Embrace Adversity: Brian Smith’s four mantras for life – feast upon uncertainty, fatten upon disappointment, invigorate in the presence of difficulties, and enthuse over apparent defeat.

Marketing Strategy: Learn how implementing a successful and affordable marketing campaign can increase sales and educate your sales staff effectively. Brian highlights the importance of advertising a feeling or experience rather than solely the product.

Thriving in Competitive Markets: “We can’t patent a shoe, you can’t patent the color, you can’t patent the design. And so what we had to do was to get out front first and then run faster.”

Growth Challenges: Discover the challenges faced during the growth phase of a business, such as hiring full-time staff, adding customer service and warehouse workers, and managing a growing team effectively.

Learn from the secrets behind Ugg’s rise to fame, from innovative product development to marketing prowess. Brian Smith’s insights are a masterclass in business elevation.

You can listen to the Business Elevation interview with Brian Smith and Chris Cooper here. Alternatively on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Tunein, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio (latter US only).


More about Brian Smith :

Brian Smith, Founder of the world famous UGG Australia Brand.

Graduating in 1978 as a Chartered Accountant in Australia, Brian came to California looking for the next big opportunity to bring back to Australia.

While studying at the UCLA Graduate School of Management he observed that there was no sheepskin footwear in the US.

With only $500 in capital, he imported boot samples and over the next seventeen years built the UGG Australia brand into a multi-million dollar international enterprise. He sold in 1995 and the brand has continued to grow to exceed a billion dollars in annual sales for the past six years.

Brian is one of the most sought after International business leaders in the country today. He is committed to teaching entrepreneurs how to leverage their most precious assets from within, and to recognize and pursue their passions to create a fulfilling and successful life.

Brian has authored the book “The Birth of a Brand – Launching Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Soul”, is a sought after Keynote speaker and mentors small business owners.

He spends his time with his family and friends in Southern California and enjoys surfing and contributing to humanity.