7 Strategies for Using Your Personal Brand to Grow Your Business — A Conversation with Serial Entrepreneur Brooks Reitz

May 8, 2024

Brooks Reitz is a serial entrepreneur who has built successful businesses spanning the hospitality, retail, and creative industries. He first made a name for himself in the restaurant industry, where he honed his skills in crafting memorable dining experiences and cultivating a strong company culture. From there, he ventured into the world of premium cocktail mixers with his brand, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., which quickly gained a loyal following among cocktail enthusiasts and top bartenders alike.

Along the way, Brooks consistently leveraged his unique personal brand to drive success and growth across all of his businesses. His passion for quality, attention to detail, and commitment to authenticity shine through in every project he undertakes.

To learn more about Brooks' story and personal branding philosophy and how you can apply his strategies to your own entrepreneurial journey, be sure to check out the full episode of The Marketing Factor podcast:

Authenticity is the Foundation

When you infuse your genuine interests, experiences, and values into your brand, you create a unique and compelling identity that resonates with your target audience. Brooks exemplifies this principle by drawing on his early passions for classic films, indie music, and sneakers to shape his distinct perspective. His authenticity shines through in the design of his restaurants and the storytelling behind Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., which bears the name of his grandfather.

Consistency Builds Trust and Loyalty

Consistently delivering high-quality products, services, and experiences establishes a reliable brand identity. Brooks has maintained a steadfast focus on quality throughout his career, from his early days at Louisville restaurant 610 Magnolia to his current ventures. This unwavering consistency has earned him a devoted following, evident in the success of his restaurants and the growth of his newsletter subscriber base.

Identify Market Gaps for Opportunities

Recognizing gaps and unmet needs allows you to create innovative products or services that set you apart from competitors. While working at a restaurant in Louisville, Brooks noticed that customers were willing to pay for premium spirits but had limited options for high-quality mixers. Acting on this insight, he created Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., filling a void in the craft cocktail ingredients market and positioning himself as an industry innovator.

Balance Timeless Values with Market Trends

Grounding your business in classic, enduring concepts while incorporating modern twists allows you to maintain relevance and appeal to a broad audience. Brooks achieves this balance in his restaurants, such as Leon's Oyster Shop and Little Jack's Tavern, which are rooted in timeless dishes like oysters, fried chicken, and burgers. He adds a contemporary flair by incorporating trending ingredients and techniques, keeping his menus interesting for customers.

Cultivate a Strong Company Culture

Clearly communicating your values and expectations to your team and investing in their growth and development creates a unified and motivated workforce that embodies your brand's ethos. Brooks prioritizes kindness and cleanliness in his restaurants, values that he consistently reinforces through staff training and leadership. This approach ensures that his team members are equipped to represent his brand effectively, even as he steps back from daily operations.

Build a Strong Foundation Before Expanding

Focusing on building a strong reputation, financial stability, and operational excellence creates a sturdy platform from which to launch new initiatives. Brooks demonstrated this principle by first establishing himself as a respected figure in the Charleston restaurant scene which allowed him to confidently pursue new opportunities, such as launching Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. and expanding into new restaurant concepts.

Plan for Your Long-Term Legacy

Setting ambitious goals and continually pushing yourself to learn and grow enables you to make a lasting mark on your industry. Brooks embodies this forward-thinking mindset as he envisions his future, which includes a transition from a primary focus on restaurants to exploring more writing, art, and cultural experiences. Building a personal brand that transcends any single venture positions him to leave a lasting impression on a variety of industries and communities.

Helping the next generation of great businesses grow online.

We thread the needle of good design, purposeful content and performance focus through of digital advertising, email marketing, and website optimization.
Learn More
© 2024 Cobble Hill