EP 056: Interview with Mr. Steve Miller

Harsh Reality: Being better than your competition isn't good enough anymore.” This is a quote from this weeks interview with Mr. Steve Miller founder of Adventure LLC and Author of Uncopyable – How to create an unfair advantage over your competition. You know that Industrial Talk is passionate Industrial Success, Steve's interview does not disappoint. Steve nails the tactical solutions you need to deploy to be a success in the industrial market. Find out more about Steve at:

Website:  https://www.theadventure.com/

Book:  https://www.amazon.com/Uncopyable-Create-Unfair-Advantage-Competition/dp/1599327872

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveamiller/

Podcast Transcript:

[00:04]                   Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional, dedicated to transferring, cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hardhat, grab your work boots and let's

[00:22]                   welcome to the industrial talk podcast. My name is Scott Mackenzie. This is where we celebrate the human power of industry and I'm so glad that you are here. We got an incredible interview today with a gentleman by the name of Steve Miller. You can remember that name, but it's not the Steve Miller that you might know and the band is Steve Miller, the incredible author of Uncopyable, which is an incredible book that I highlighted last week and we're going to expand upon that. So jam packed show. So let's get this project started and thank you again.

[00:55]                   All right, thank you again for joining the industrial tech podcast. I'm really just honored to be able to be a part of this whole industry. I love industry. I am your cheerleader. Of course you know that, but nonetheless, let's get going. Tailgate talk number one. Okay, so we're creating this industrial academy, as I alluded to a number of times, the industrial academy, it's still work in progress. We're still putting meat on the bones, but this is what happens. We highlight and we elevate those industrial trail builders. There's those individuals that are making a difference in the industrial space. We create this training platform that highlights what they're doing. If you want to know about industrial leadership, boom, there's a program for you. If you want to know about operations, boom, there is a program for you as well as sales and marketing as well as finance and technology.

[01:47]                   It's gonna all be out there and it's going to highlight these trailblazers who are do we have just this passion, this passion for industry and but the best part, the best part, the purpose of this particular platform is to be able to provide this cutting-edge educational platform to young individuals all across the world. It's free, so if you're down in Central America, boom, you can find stuff about industrial leadership right there and it's a training program. It has meat on it. If you're down in Africa and you want to know more about, let's say sales and marketing, just because boom, it's available to you, free of charge, no big deal. You got an Internet connection, you can access this information. If we're here as industrial professionals and we want to change the world and we want, you know, spurned that, that, that passion and, and in the industrial world, this is what we can do.

[02:44]                   We can provide the educational platform that is free to these locations, no questions asked. So these individuals that will be highlighted in the industrial academy are just passionate about sharing their knowledge and insight into what makes them such an incredible trailblazer. So for me personally, I'm very honored. Number two, okay. Books, you know, I'm all about education. I'm all about constantly looking at books at bringing in the opportunities, right in this book right here that I've read, blue ocean shift by a w dot Chan. Kim is a right at the top. I, um, I read it. And what it really does is it just says, hey, you're in this market, you're doing the same thing, but I guarantee you it will change and you better start thinking about blue ocean opportunities, other ways of being able to expand your market right into other opportunities. This gives you a tactical steps on what that means.

[03:48]                   So that's blue ocean ship, W. Chan. Kim. Good read tactical stuff. Number three. Okay. I'm all about food ok. And so I went to this place called mugshots. Mugshots says, Hey, okay, we got this cheeseburger. Okay. And you're saying to yourself cheeseburgers. So what? Oh No, no, no, no. Yeah, you've got the button. I mean you got, you got the meat, you got the cheese and now they. Okay. They throw bacon on there. This is where it starts to get really interesting macaroni and cheese. So they'd stay. Okay. Let's throw some macaroni and cheese on top of that. Boom. Okay. You're saying wow, that's fantastic. Oh No. The buns are too grilled. Cheese sandwiches. Boom. So you got your meats, cheese, bacon, macaroni and cheese to grilled cheese sandwiches as your bun. I ate the whole thing and I didn't feel guilty. Now I didn't count the calories because I guarantee you it was over 20.

[04:39]                   But nonetheless that is mugshots and, and I, it was, it was incredible. I, I, just a fantastic. Now here's a bonus one. So my office, I'll go to. My officer is a gentleman by the name of uh, what's his name? Cody. No, no, it's not Cody. I forget his name, but he's with vigilante coffee, right? The vigilante coffee. He gives me a bag, I guess. Gishubi beans. You bruise me up. Have a coffee and you. And, and if you've ever had a premium roasted bean, it's incredible. And so this particular company, it's out of DC. Great. Been I just vigilante coffee. What can I say, man? It's been great. Number four. This is the last one here. Okay. I'm going to Barcelona on October 14th and I'm going to be broadcasting for reliability radio and at an Iot conference in Barcelona, Spain. How about how cool is that?

[05:34]                   I get to meet international industry leaders in Barcelona, so it's fantastic. So standby because we're gonna be broadcasting some videos from that location. We're going to be doing some Facebook lives just because we can and because the town of Barcelona is gorgeous. Okay, so now onto the interview here. Look at that guy. So, if you're out on YouTube, you could see the face right there. He is a great guy. He likes the color orange and his book of course, if you're on YouTube, there it is. It's orange too as well. It stands out like he stands out. And, and um, we talk about because once again, I enjoy the fact that there is so much wisdom out there available for you as an industrial professional to be able to access, to be able to leverage in your career. This guy has no difference. Let me quote this.

[06:25]                   The harsh reality, and this is, this is, this is a truth being better than your competition isn't good enough anymore. Boy, it's, it's both earth shaking and depressing all in one, but opportunities. Because here's a book that says you don't have to you. You don't have to just sort of be a part that you, you've got to think differently. Right? And so in his book he says, you know, you have better product. Everybody does better customer service, everybody does better pricing of course, and so how do you in this noise, get above all of that. So nonetheless, Steve Miller, not to be confused with the other, Steve Miller, this guy is full of wisdom, full of insight, incredible energy. Me Personally, what an honor to be able to have him a part of the industrial talk podcast. So stay tuned. Here he is. He is the guy. His name is Steve Miller. He's a fantastic man. Here you go. Hey Steve, how you doing? Welcome to the industrial talk podcast. So glad that you are able to make it and make time in your schedule to be here. Thank you Scott. Scott, it's my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me. This has been on the schedule for a little while. I'm. Yeah, I'm excited, man.

[07:41]                   I'm always excited to do a podcast and, and you know, I've listened to a few of the wins in the end. You know, you're a, you're a rock and dude on here. Yeah. Thank you very much. Everybody that's listening out there. I am a rocking dude. Please note that in fact I'm going to trademark. That was. Can I trade my pen? No, no, please do. Oh, I can do. Very good.

[08:01]                   Hey, for the listeners out there, Steve, get to give us a four, one, one on who you are and where you come from, what makes you so spectacular? Because we're going to dive into your book because I think it's important for the industrial community to understand where you come from.

[08:14]                   Yeah. Well actually, I kinda come from their background really, uh, the, uh, you know, I'm a, I call myself a Kelly's dad marketing gunslinger. Uh, essentially that means that I'm a consultant, professional speaker and author in marketing and branding and most of my business is done in the btby world, manufacturing, community, industrial community. Uh, my background goes back to, I have to kind of go back to even when I was a teenager in high school because it kind of was kicked off by the fact that my dad, Ralph Miller was the co inventor of the eight track tape player. I recognize, I recognize some of your listeners are probably go, what the heck is he talking about?

[09:02]                   But anyway, that's good one. That's a good one. I know you got me off guard on that one man. Well, but what, what, what it was all about was that, you know, dad got involved with a gentleman, gentleman named bill lear who was lear jet, a building jets who had, who he was driving around and I'll get this. All right. I want you to think about he, he was driving a Chrysler that at that time had a turntable in it. Think about that. I know people are like, what the hell is he talking about? So anyway, but, but uh, you know, you think about driving down the road, the needle's skipping along not absolutely better be smoother road, not really practical, right? But he thought, but it's a great idea to bring music, you know, bring your own music. And so he went out looking for somebody who was an audio specialists that he could finance and he found my dad and they, and together they kind of came up with the concept of the, uh, the eight track tape player, which basically changed the music industry,

[10:08]                   you know, except you couldn't fast forward, you could say change tracks. And then as a boy, I ever remember him going, okay, on track one, I'm close. If I hit it three times, I can find that one song I like.

[10:20]                   Yeah. But I don't know if you wanted, if you wanted to listen to spinning wheel by a blood, sweat and tears again, you had to keep driving around the block. But one of the, one of the negatives of the eight track. But, uh, but when they were building the eight track, and this is, this is where, you know, at the time I didn't really realize the, the education I was getting, but when they were building the eight track, they decided to build it in Japan so that they could save money on a production and labor. But back in the sixties made, made in Japan, uh, meant it was really a piece of crap. And it's true. I mean, talk about the wayback machine. You're just putting me on.

[11:01]                   I forgot all about that, but you're right. It's made and the way it was. So, so the way my whole brain in the way I started, I started thinking was kickstarted, was that they brought in a w Edwards Deming to help build quality into the product before they manufactured it. So I was sitting at the feet, you know, dad would take me out on a, on some trips with, with those guys. And, uh, and in regard, despite the fact that I hated being on the road with three old guys, uh, because I was a teenager, you know, and, uh, so yeah, I know I'm exactly who I hated it and uh, you know, so I started to learn something about total quality management and in particular the thing that he called benchmarking and, you know, and so once I started to learn from him about benchmarking layer, it was interesting how late later on in life, uh, as I got into sales and marketing and when in my last real job was for a Japanese, a toy company that made, it was the world's largest manufacturer of radio control toys.

[12:08]                   And so I was in, I was in charge of all sales and marketing for the company, but it also meant that I had to be involved in production because I was developing products with them and, and, uh, figuring out how to make these things. Unfortunately with the background of my dad and I also studied some engineering in college before I switched to physics, which are obviously very important for your marketing background. A unique perspective. I guess it does, yeah, it gives you a unique perspective and that was kind of the whole thing was that so. So throughout all of that, it's exactly what you just said. Uh, I'm in between. I tried some other stuff like I tried to play on the PGA golf tour. That was a pretty good golfer. Uh, but, uh, uh, I didn't make that so, um, so, like you say it, these different experiences gave me a different perspective on things.

[13:03]                   And so as I got involved with sales and marketing with companies, I started to notice that most company, and in particular because of my background with manufacturing, I got involved with, you know, industrial manufacturing companies. I started noticing that besides the fact that most. I hate this, I hate to use this word, hate to say this, but I'm going to say it as gently as possible when it comes to sales and marketing. Most manufacturing companies, most, they kind of suck. I think it's epidemic. I have to agree with you on that one. Couldn't continue. I didn't mean to interrupt, but I, yeah, I, uh, and I, and I don't say that as an insult, I say it because what I'm, what I'm saying is that most, most people in the industrial world really have not been taught the correct way to do, to go about marketing.

[13:55]                   There is a bit different. They're there, their attention to other items with. It's just, uh, it's, it's just different and I think you're great. I think you bring a great message to that. Well, and that's, and, and, but, but it, it, it's different compared to the outside world but on. But inside the box, and this is, this is where, you know, you know, we've all heard the term you should get out of the box, but nobody's ever said to you what the box is a and what I, what I tell people is, and in this particular case you say, all right, if you are in the industrial community, you're in the industrial box. That's where you are in that box. And it is a stout buck. No question about it. Got a lecturer, you're living, you're living together, and you're all speaking the same language, you're all going to the same conventions, trade shows, you're reading the same magazines, the same books, uh, and so, so, and, and where do you get ideas for marketing?

[14:55]                   You get ideas from studying each other, and so if it develops into this strategic orthodoxy and the idea of marketing, you know, the bottom line is, marketing's purpose is to separate you from the competition, not just to make you a better choice, but to make you a choice that they will want, they will want to make. They want to work with you for the rest of the, the rest of the time, the two companies together, right? Uh, and, uh, and, and so most companies are not looking at it that way. They're looking at, you know, oh, they, they make a, uh, you know, they've got a CNC machine that uh, uh, does five, 5,000 widgets an hour, right? All right. We'll do one that does 8,000 widgets now. Okay, well that's great. It's better until somebody does $10,000. That's exactly right. That it's a race to the bottom in a sense, but continue because it becomes a price race. It does. You commoditize it

[15:58]                   in your report. You say commoditization. I've lived there and I don't like it.

[16:03]                   No, no, no. We all have. And, and, and once I started to realize that I had this interesting back, I started to see things differently. I started to say, okay, if I'm gonna, if I'm going to be in this manufacturing world and I'm going to compete with other B to b companies, uh, well, what's the number one thing that I want to do? I, I don't want to do what they're doing. That's what I, that was the number one thing. So by having this. And so what I teach people, and this is what the basic concept of the uncle of my book on Uncopyable is about, is that, is that better is not good enough. Competition does not breed innovation. It breeds conformity. And you know that, that what we have to do is we have to force ourselves to go out, to climb outside of our box and build a new box. That's just for us. But our new box breaks the rules, you know, of, of, of marketing and branding and things like that,

[17:04]                   but you don't as well as I do in the industrial world that, that breaking of rules, that looking out that innovation, we're very good at innovating a new technology. But once again, to your point, Steve, our innovation when it comes to marketing, branding, and, and changing that model, uh, there's a lot of room for them. Improvement.

[17:30]                   Yeah, no question about it. No question about have know, but the, but the first thing we've got to recognize is, look, if you want to be successful and you want to continue and you want to be around for another 20 years or longer, you, you better start thinking like this. Especially the graveyard is filled with your competitors and Co. I mean, companies from the industry. We all know that.

[17:54]                   Uh, In my, my statement here, Steven says, if you're not in the game, if you're not looking at innovation as a way of marketing and branding and really differentiating yourself today, you're going to be irrelevant tomorrow. And I guarantee you your customers are going to be doing it and you're going to be irrelevant. And it's, and it's, and the speed at which technology is evolving is blinding fast. right? It's amazing. Let's, let's, uh, I'm going to segue into your company's adventure llc,

[18:26]                   the Adventure llc. Yeah. Tell us a little bit and then we're going to go into your book because I want to really expand about. That's one of those pivots that I took back a growing up after I came off and didn't make any money off the PGA tour. Um, I actually was a stunt man in Hollywood for a short time. What happened? She'd done. You've got the association with a track tape, which is impressive.

[18:50]                   Yeah. My friends think I'm Forrest Gump. Uh, and uh, you know, growing up they would just go, guys, the craziest stuff has happened to you, you know? And I always used to say I, and, and you know, it's easy to say, wow, look at all these experiences. Right? And I say the bottom line is, I couldn’t keep a job. Let's get dripped, baby. You're living the dream. Yeah. Yeah. Stunts was, stents were fun, uh, and uh, but there's an old saying that, uh, you know, there are, there are bold stunt people in their old stunt people, but there are no bold old stunt people, so, uh, so I got out of there, out of there pretty fast, but, but yeah, but my friends used to call me captain adventure and so when I started my business I thought I am not going to call it miller and associates. I just have no interest in doing that. It's, it's, you know, for me, if it's not, you know, I'm a marketing gunslinger. I'm gay. I'm Kelly's dad. You know, when, when the wall street journal interviewed me and they go, what's your title? I go, Kelly’s dad marketing gunslinger. They hate that.

[19:55]                   Yeah. I can imagine. And I saw you gave me your head-shot and you've got some great looking glasses. That's going to be a lot of fun. I it a lot. Okay, let's shift gears here. I don't have those here, but I've got these. So say I've got my other oranges. Those aren't just my color. Yeah, there it is man. fuck is orange, orange, you know, it's one of the things that I teach companies to is I say that, uh, in particular when you're looking at small, small companies who I think need to pay a lot more, close a lot closer attention to their branding proposition and what their branding, and I'm not saying just the icon, but I'm saying that, you know, my promise to people is I'm going to help you succeed by being a, you're going to be uniquely and valuable different than the competition and I'm going to help and I'm going to help you there. The is gonna ring. That's what the idea is.

[20:49]                   People are calling, people are calling you. So I say I'm going to teach how to be on copy of it and then I say, and then, and then I, I kill them with orange. Right. Do you have a Dutch background because that's a big color in, in the end it was in a, was it Turkey or where was it anyway that, uh, you know, when they had that uprising. But, but, uh, no, I, I, uh, I have no, there's no connection to the color orange other than I had my daughter picked the color when she was two years old and uh, uh, so, uh, you know, I, I, so, so what I tell people is, look, here's what, every time you see the color orange, you have to think to yourself, am I being uncomfortable, you know, or uh, you know, can I steal an idea from here or something like that.

[21:34]                   So, so, so I tell companies and after a while and it doesn't take very long. And I hear, I hear this all the time, people will say, I cannot look at the color orange without thinking of you. Well that's pretty smart. Yup. That, and that's why I say color is a great tool to use in your, in your branding. It's a, it's a own, a color on a color and, and, and then just murder your market with that. It has to be more than gray, right? Yes. You can't be a color that and it can't be IBM blue either in the tech world and everybody thinks that their colors have to be IBM blue. And I always say, you know, if I, when I go to a high tech trade show, if I were allergic to blue, I'd be dead in the first time, which means everybody looks alike. Everybody acts alike. I don't want to look cool. I don't want to look like them. I don't, I, I want to look different. How would it be different? And I want my clients to understand that they have to, they have to break out of that touristy, you know, in their head where, oh, but I have to wear a coat and tie to be professional in. Oh, I have to have blue. No. And oh, I have, my title has to be a chief marketing.

[22:54]                   Where's that? Where are these rules written? Okay. See, we're going to have to take a break right now and uh, we're coming up on a hard break. We got to, you got to leave some room for some sponsors, but we're going to expand upon on Uncopyable. First off, you're going to have to explain a little bit about what that word means and then we're gonna venture into your book because I think it's important. Okay. That's just how to deal. All right. Thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. We will be right back. Thank you for joining. You're listening to the industrial talk podcast network. Yeah. Alright. The industrial talk podcast has a new sponsored by the name of a s, g energy. Now this company helps private companies as well as public organizations of all sizes, reduce energy costs through use of commercial

[23:46]                   led lighting, technology and electrical services. Now you know me, I'm a big fan of led just because. Well, first off, I don't have to change the lights, but add on a commercial basis. Oh my gosh. The energy savings is phenomenal. the reduction in maintenance cost, phenomenal. Return on investment quick. It's, it's, it's incredible. And the environmental benefits, self-explanatory. So you have any questions about led commercial lighting? You need to check out my friends at fsg energy, llc.com. Find out more because they know what they're doing. So check them out. All right.

[24:29]                   Back to the industrial talk podcast. We are talking to Steve Miller. He is the author of Uncopyable and I gotta tell you man, I'm enjoying this conversation. And offline we had a couple of other conversations that were pretty spectacular. So you listeners out there. Okay, let's make sure we clear this up. I am not a. Okay. I am. Had fly lIke an eagle. Alright, bye.

[24:53]                   No, and I'm not a space cowboy, although I've been. I've been called similar. Nancy got all those eight track tape references, man of. yes. Well there you go, but it's all good man. It's all good. Okay, so let's, let's start expanding it. You've, you've wet our whistles, you, you, uh, for me personally, I love the topic. I can appreciate an, I believe, Steve, that uh, the industrial world is in need of this information, this content, this meat, because we've got to evolve as an industry to go beyond or go out fishing, go play golf, do that. The typical stuff specifically, and I'm passionate about it, Steve, how to fill that funnel. How to create, because I believe it, I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe, but I believe that that the industrial businesses, we have a great opportunity to truly and we have been truly impact the world for the better. We can change the world. Yet we are reluctant to change. We are reluctant to embrace. And some of the stuff, you know, yeah, it's not that fun, but nonetheless it has to happen. Your book on Uncopyable, how to create an unfair advantage over your competition is intriguing. Yeah. Expand upon that. Give us a sort of that premise behind that title.

[26:19]                   yeah. I've even had, you know, and uh, and of course I've had some people say, gee, that's kind of a brutal, brutal title, right? Unfair advantage and going, you know what, this is not. This is not grade school, right? We're not, we're, you know, we're not, we're not all going to get participant trophies were pale girl's and boy's way. We, we, we, you know, it's important vendors who are winners and losers in, in, in the game that we play. The winners get to go play golf at nice country clubs. And go out for nice dinners and stay in nice hotels and the losers, they get to go find another job. And uh, and, and so I say, look, I am not interested in, in being just better than the competition. I want to, I want to bury my competition. Uh, I mean not, not, not illegally, not unethically, none of that stuff.

[27:12]                   I just want to be, I just want to put, you know, put them to bed and, you know, and then I win. Uh, and the, because the thing is that, like we were talking about earlier, is that this idea of conformity and that every, every industry is, is guilty of this, whether it's retail industry, uh, or you know, the, the industrial industry we're talking about, you know, the btby world and manufacturing and things. Every one of them has its own. They have their own commonality, their own common rules because we're, we're resistant to change and risk, we don't like risk. And if somebodies already blazed the trail and it, eh, it's okay. He didn't or she didn't get her head cut off. Yeah, I guess that's a great path to go get it. And it's safer, as you said, it's safer to do that.

[28:04]                   You know, you don't want to take big risks. Okay. And uh, and yet that's not the way the world is not. We're not going to succeed by, and I hate to say this, you know, because it was, it was Deming who also talked about incremental improvement. Well, it's all well and good to have incremental improvement in, in say some course, a core operations are core parts of your business, but if you want to beat the competition, incremental improvement is going to lose. You have to look for ways to be not just better than the competition, but you have to be vastly superior in unique ways. So the way I saw a real simple way of describing it is I'll say like when the lightening bolt comes out of the sky and strikes a prospect or a customer in their head and the and the, and they go, oh my gosh, I need this.

[28:53]                   I need this solution. Right? Do they think of you? Do they think of you first? Do they think of you second? Do they think you've, you have you at all? Now? My objective is I'm the only one they think about, you know, there is no other solution because if they, if they, if they come up with a list of three, it means they think that we're pretty, we're pretty similar to each other. And so then what ends up happening is as we come up with a product that pretty much and most companies will admit this, they tell me this today all the time, is that they know their products are commodities. You know, they're, they're building machines are building, you know, you know, uh, you know, plants and stuff, but, but the, the actual products themselves are commodities and they know that. So. So then they say that they don't want to, uh, uh, uh, compete on price.

[29:46]                   So then they say that they have, oh, they have the world's best customer service. Everybody says they have the world's best customer service for the benchmark, right? Yeah, yeah. No, and yeah. What does that even mean? World's best customer service. I don't even know. I'm not really sure what that means in coffee world. The world's best, I don't know, car best, uh, best spent, you know, a spin fence. I don't know exactly right. And so then ultimately the decision does come down to price. So when I say, you know, see, for me it's like, okay, we have to have a great product. We have to have a product that does what we say it's going to do that. It has high quality. We have to have that. That's the ante to be in the game. We have to have great customer service. That's the ante to be in the game today.

[30:36]                   That's what technology has forced us to do. So in order to not compete on price, we have to recognize that there we need to have a fourth of a fourth element. And that fourth element is how do we make ourselves on Uncopyable? What could, what else can we deliver to the customer that is valuable? And I talk about, yeah, I have a whole bunch of examples in my, in my book, but I talk about three basic strategies that I say that, that, that you can do one or, or, or more than one, uh, and the more, the more you do, the better off you are. You have, you know, the first one is, I call it the branding stretch, you know, the unconquerable branding strategy and you know, a, a, a, you know, an example of an Uncopyable branding strategy would be something like a Harley Davidson and Harley Davidson.

[31:27]                   Uh, you know, you hear about them a lot in a lot of business books, but not really from this perspective. And the perspective is that Harley Davidson, the bottom line is Harley Davidson does not sell motorcycles. The motorcycle is great. It's good enough, you know, that people are happy with their bikes, but they don't buy a motorcycle. They by the community, they, by going out and hanging out with people you know, up in Sturgis and writing with their friends on weekends and the, the best, the best description of that came from, I heard an executive for Harley being interviewed and uh, somebody said to said something along the lines of, well, uh, you know, how do you separate your motorcycles from everybody else's? And he said, oh, you, you don't understand what we sell is the ability for a 43 year old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.

[32:30]                   That's what there is a level of. Cool. You're absolutely correct. I liked that a lot. You're absolutely spot on. So that's a branding proposition. So now what they say is, all right, now we're going to do branding stuff that is going to support that, right? Uh, and so they got the black, you know, you got the leather jackets, they got the, the parties, they got all the cool stuff and people have tattoos. He's got a lot of swag out there. I'll tell a bunch of sweat, but it makes it. But it's not swag that makes you look all sporty or you, you, you look tough, you know, you look, you look angry, you look like you know, somebody that people should stay away from. That's what she, that's what it is. So that's, you know, so branding is one way to do it. The second way to do it is by creating the, uh, uncomfortable experience.

[33:19]                   and you see that everywhere. By the way, that is chapter three on your book, by the way. Okay. That is fine. We are on chapter three, my friend. Okay, good. Good. Yeah, we were just going to go through the whole book. So you got the experience, the unconquerable experience and the uncomfortable experience is a. And I use, I use the American Girl store as the example now, I don't know if you have, have any daughters. Uh, we lived at the store and when she was much younger and we climbed the steps and we experienced the American Girl. Well let's start with the fact that it's just a doll store. Okay. It says what it's all about is selling a doll. But what did they do? What did they do? Because I, I'm like you, when my daughter was 10 years old, I cashed in some frequent flyer miles.

[34:11]                   We flew to Chicago and we spent seven hours in a dollar store for gosh sakes. It's, it's him. Immense to. It's, it's you leave coin. Oh, you leave coin because I around that, that doll, they've created an experience where we're number one, you, they had historical dolls that were historically accurate with books that, that educated our daughters on a, like mine was the American revolution. My daughters was so she knew more about the American revolution than I ever did. And then then they had the restaurant where the restaurant, you, you know, you had to call up three or four months in advance to get a reservation in the restaurant. It was a sit down restaurant. They would give etiquette lessons to the girls while they were in the restaurant. Then they had the uh, um, the hair, the hair salon, right where the dolls need to have their hair done.

[35:11]                   Uh, and so They could go get their hair done. And, and American Girl dolls don't break. They get sick. So you have to take, you have to take him to the hospital and so they have a hospital there in the store and when your dog comes in is they need to take it back into the back to get healed. They have a little wheelchair, you know, for the dogs and stuff. So I see that's an experience where they've now taken, they've taken a doll and they've now wrapped it in this incredible experience. And like I say, people leave coin.

[35:47]                   So what we have is we've got the branding strategy. You gave us the example of Harley Davidson, which is an exam at an exceptional. Um, and then we've got experience of course American Girl. And I think the last one of course is stealing genius. Yeah, the Uncopyable innovation

[36:05]                   were you really want to get. This is where you get ideas to be innovative, not to be better. Uh, and innovate innovation is new. It's something brand new. And, and, uh, you know, a, a really good idea of this. Is that a, is that the way you get new ideas is not from your own world, but do I,

[36:30]                   am I hearing thunder? You are so much. Oh yeah, it's right outside, man. It's slapped on the ground right next to me. I was hoping to have like, oh, I hope that it sounds great. Studios only so soundproof when it comes to lightning.

[36:50]                   We are, we are, we are pounding this thing into the, you know, feeling genius. This is where you get new ideas and the I, and here is that, that in order to come up with a new idea, brainstorming is really hard. Brainstorming is very hard to do a, you sit down with people and you get your flip chart and you say, okay, what new Ideas can we come up with to help market our company? And everybody just stares at each other, you know, for 10 or 15 minutes. and then finally somebody says something really brilliant, like, well, you know, uh, abc widgets, you know, they did this, you know, we could do something like that. But, but a little bit better, right? And it goes right back to where now you're not brainstorming, you're just, you're just doing what the other guys were doing. And so the way you come up with new ideas is you have to leave your planet and go to another planet and study that, study the aliens in that planning.

[37:50]                   And, and like in this world of mass of the industrial community, one thing I've been very, very successful with his eye, I will take them on field trips, uh, and to, to places like the American Girl store, right? And I will. And I actually took a caterpillar to the American Girl store in Chicago and they spent two hours in there taking notes and taking pictures and, and, and all this so that they could go back and look for new ways to create a better, uh, um, a connection with their customers. And, and also the end users of the cats and the machines, the machinery that they were, they were building so and so, they looked for ways to like, oh, a restaurant. How can we steal that idea? Oh, a, a, you know, a beauty salon. How can we take an idea of a beauty salon?

[38:46]                   Well, you know, the guy's like, you know, they, they would actually go out and create a, um, a um, men styling. I mean, men's, men's barber shops, right? But they would have them, but they would have him with sports. It would happen with big screens. They would do was, they would do this at a trade show for example. and so they would be stealing these ideas from a doll store, but they would take it back and, and, and adapt them into the world of heavy equipment. Uh, and uh, you know, you can see stuff like this all the time. I took Delphi automotive, uh, took them to the apple store one time. That's engineering, that's the apple store and when you go in, you see where we've all been there. Right? But we go in and we go, oh, this is cool, let me go find the geniuses and stuff like that.

[39:36]                   So, but, you know, but at Delphi they decided, oh, you know what we can, we can help our customers. And in primarily the, the customer's customer by, you know, sort of stealing the genius bar idea, uh, and also by not killing, you know, if you go into an apple store, one thing that you are not going to see is you are not going to see signage everywhere. You're not going to see a big sale signs, you're not going to see the walls are filled with, they're filled with pictures. Uh, and they let the pictures tell the story. In fact, the only words you will see on the wall at an apple store, our genius part. So what's interesting in, in your pointed out, they're never in the game of racing to the bottom on margin. They retain and maintain their margin because they, they have a premium product they marketed as a premium product and therefore they never really have to have that conversation of being the winner to the bottom.

[40:36]                   and you don't want to be that. Yep. And I will give you a recent example of a company that's a, that's doing that right now. And that Starbucks, uh, you know, you talked about the race to the bottom, you know, Starbucks comes out, they come out with a $5 cup of coffee. Water is right. Well then all these other companies started coming out and competing with them, including somebody like McDonald’s who says, gee, you can, you know, we'll give you a nice latte for a dollar. Yup. Okay. So just start by, you know, the, the typical response would be, oh, let's, let's ride that. Let's get into that race to the bottom right where somebody could share, what do we have to do? Let's get that market share back. Yeah. They, they decided, no, we're not going to do that. They went to, they went the complete opposite direction and now they're starting to build what are called Starbucks roasteries around the world.

[41:23]                   There aren't a lot of them out yet. But uh, these are unbelievable. I was in the one in shanghai. I was, I was giving a speech in shanghai a couple of months ago and they had a roastery there. It's 10,000 square feet, right? Guess what it is? It's the American Airl store for coffee, right? You go in there and it's, it's, it's so many different ways to experience coffee, to learn how to make the best coffee, your tea. I mean it's, it's, it's absolutely incredible and you know, you just go in there and I just say, oh look, I'm looking at the American. This is the American Girl store, and that might be exactly where they got the idea.

[42:04]                   Yeah. From actually. Okay. Hold onto that thought. We're going to be coming right back. I want to dive into what industrial companies can deploy today. Steve housing. Okay. Hey, thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast and listening to their thunder. That's right outside the studio. Hope that's not much of a distraction for. It's pouring raining out there too, so anyway, thank you. Hang tight. We'll be right back. Hey, once again, this is Scott Mackenzie with industrial talk. If you like what you were listening to, please feel free to sign up for the free Podcast as well as the blogs. I'll try to keep it All relevant to your business and hopefully be able to provide some insight into what we do at industrial talk and what you do as a professional. I hope to see you soon. Thank you. All right. Welcome back again to the industrial talk podcast. You know that I'm the voice of industry. I'm enjoying this position because I get to interview people like Steve Miller. He's amazing. I liked the topic that he has brought to our attention. The content that he brings to this, uh, podcast. Steve, let's, let's dIve right into it. We've only got a few more minutes to sort of enjoy. We've got three things.

[43:18]                   We've got that branding strategy, that experience at unh and these are on Uncopyable innovation experience branding strategies. I'm an industrial company. I'm small, maybe mid size. And I like what you're saying. What do I need to do? What, what, what does that step I need to do?

[43:36]                   Let me give you a. Here's how I always recommend that people start. Uh, the first thing to do is to ask yourself a simple question, what do I want to get? What, what do I want to be on Uncopyable at? Or what, what, where do I want to get ideas on being uncomfortable and just pick something in your company and it might, it might be marketing, it might be sales, it might be, it might be production, it might be hiring you. You and I've talked about the fact that we both know that finding good employees is, is really hard. It's really, really hard. No, like, let's say we take that for example, and we say, what is it, you know, who is not having trouble finding good employees? And it might be somebody like Disney, it might be somebody like apple, it might be somebody I, you know, I mean those are great examples right there.

[44:27]                                    And, and I Would say, all right, I would go and find what do those, what is it that they're doing now? It's because it's, see, it's easy for us to say, oh, they're sexy. You know, those, those, those industries are sexy. Um, you know, every industry is sexy to somebody, right? But a big part of that is that you, uh, um, it is, is that you are looking for ways to provide a, like for millennial's, for example, one of the things millennial's want to know is, uh, you know, if I need to go, uh, um, in, if I've got some friends who were visiting in town, you know, how easy is it for me to be able to get off early and blah, blah, blah. I mean, just something as simple as that. And so like, like my daughter works for Callaway golf corporation and they have a great, they have a great, great thing that, that in addition to your normal, uh, um, paid days off, right?

[45:25]                   Uh, you also have these special moments where you can go to a, you can go to a Boston, you can say, hey, I, you know, can I get a special moment or, and I don't, I don't know what exactly they call it, right? But it's something like that, you know, you know, my dad's coming to town and uh, and I, I don't have any extra time left on my thing. Can I get a special moment? And, and then they were, and they go, yeah, okay, sure, you know, here you go. Have a special moment or the or the, if you do something special, if you do something really well at the office, she said that they'll give her a certificate that will give her that special moment, right? That, okay, here you go, you get an extra day, day off the, these things are designed for millennial's, this type, this type of an approach.

[46:08]                   Most of us are saying, god, millennial's, they were looking at millennial's from a negative perspective that, that, oh gosh, they don't have the work ethic. they don't have all this sort of stuff. That's baloney. They are good workers, but they have different values, you know, then a lot of us had growing up. And, you know what I, I say, you know, good for them. You know, my daughter is just as concerned about quality of life as she is about, uh, um, you know, being, being good at her job. So, so you could, you could steal that idea from Callaway for example, and go back and now you, now you start to embrace that in your company and it's totally different from what your competition is doing. See what I'm saying is that I'm taking the idea from a golf club, a golf equipment company. So. So like I say, it's, you know, and you can do the same thing with say marketing or sales or something like that, that you say, all right, I want to, I want to do better at sales. Well, outside of outside of your industry, what companies would you say are the best at sales? And go study them. Go study what they do and ask yourself, what can I steal and bring back into my business? Or you could say, what can I borrow? No, just I like to stay up. Yeah. Yeah.

[47:30]                   I mean I was working with a company in the Christian and the Christian industry and they said, we can't say that. Borrow a little bit. We'll give it back. I say, go back. You are stealing it. So don't argue with me. No, no, no, no, no. You're absolutely right, and, and you know, we, what was that quote, something about it being a were successful on the back of geniuses because they're the ones that really sort of blazed the trail and thought outside the box. And, and those examples exist

[48:07]                   everywhere, everywhere, and, and the thing to also remember is that, is it what, what people are doing now that is common at one time it was brand new. Yeah, that's right.

[48:17]                   Huh? Look, look, we're on the podcast right now and I can't tell you that's unique, but nonetheless, I, I, I really, I liked that. Now we've got to wrap it up here. How do people get a hold of you, Steve, by the way, your name? Steve miller. Yes. There's a lot of other people who are named Steve Miller, Steven Miller, Steven Miller. So I don't want the listeners to be frustrated. They're in. How do they get a hold of you in a way that is simple, direct and straightforward?

[48:55]                   Well, let's, let's start with this. Uh, I mean, I would love for everybody to get my book right there, be Uncopyable orange. Go on amazon, get my book a read the first two chapters. If you don't like it, throw it away, you know, but, but I think the first two chapters will convince you to keep, keep reading and you're going to get some great stuff out of it. It looks good. And now tell you what I'm going to do. You know, because you already mentioned one Scott, you know the name of my company is the adventure, the adventure lsc many. So my website is obviously the adventure.com. A one word, the adventure.com buddy. I'm going to know I'm going to do something for your guys. I died to me and I haven't done this in a while, but I'm going to do this right right now.

[49:42]                   You go buy my book on amazon. Yep. Then set forward your receipt to me. Okay. At steveMiller@theadventure.com. Go. And then I, and you say, hey Steve, here's my, here's the receipt, you know, give me something free. And uh, so and I will give you one of my products and, and the, the, the one out, uh, and I'll even give you your choice. You can tell me, do you want, I have a product that's all about Uncopyable content marketing and I have one that is put your marketing on autopilot, right? Both are great, great products, uh, and they both retail for $197, which you can see on my website that that's what they sell for. And that

[50:28]                   will give it to you. Okay. We'll give it to you. Get outta here man. I, this, that's a fantastic deal. I really appreciate it. I'm going to put that out on the website and once again it's Steve Miller. That's s t e v e m I l l e r@theadventure.com. Yup. Yup. That's pretty doggone good. And in the book, there's also a reference to Uncopyable the book.com and you can, and there's some free stuff in there for you as well. Well, right. But I, but I want to just, I, yeah, I want people to read my book. I, I think this the, I think the subject is so important. Um, I am absolutely a, I'm just crazy about helping companies to separate themselves from the crap off the charts, my friend that I agree with you, I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the information, I enjoyed the content. I'm going to deploy some of the principles in my business. Of course scaling. I'm going to steal it,

[51:29]                   borrow them, know that this was fantastic, and I think listeners, you've got to get that book go out there once again, Uncopyable, how to create unfair advantage over the competition, over your competition. That's important. And uh, I'm going to have all this information out there on industrial [inaudible] dot com, so no excuses make it look good. Okay. Yeah. Great. Thanks Steve. Thank you very much. I appreciate you joining the Industrial Talk podcast. Listeners, hang tight. We're going to wrap it up after this break, so thank you very much once again for joining the industrial talk podcast. You're listening to the industrial talk podcast network.

[52:23]                   All right, let's put a bow on that particular interview that Steve Miller. You got to get his book out there, you know he's with Adventure, llc, Adventure, llc. You're out there on YouTube, on Uncopyable. How to create an unfair advantage over your competition. Thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. Remember, I want you to go to a mug shots. Get that burger. You will not be disappointed. That is industrial approved foods, and you also got to get that blue ocean shift, incredible book, open up that market, right? Open up that market, and then finally industrial academy. You want to be a part of those trailblazers getting contact with me and you can get in contact with me at industrialtalks.com. I'm out there on Facebook. I'm out there on LinkedIn. I'm out there on twitter. I'm out there everywhere. You. If you can't find me while you're not trying hard enough because I'm out there getting contact with me. Thank you again. We're going to be here next week because we've got another interview that's going to happen. Thank you very much. Be safe and always and always continue to try to build that marketing and be here to learn from the greatest leaders within the industrial space. So thank you. Have a great week. We'll talk later.

The post EP 056: Interview with Mr. Steve Miller appeared first on The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie.

Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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