Interview with Christopher Friend, the Navy Veteran and business mentor who explains how you can use love to build your brand.
Josh Jurkovich meets Christopher Friend, a Navy veteran, Harvard Alumnus and Career Entrepreneur, and the founder of Growth Through Love, his business consultancy. Growth Through Love teaches how to leverage the power of love to improve your business, build customer and staff loyalty and achieve growth. Since early childhood, Friend has been a keen businessman. Inspired by his father’s one piece of advice – buy low, sell high – he started selling 25C sodas to construction workers for $1 and never looked back. He still recommends an approach that builds immediate returns into long-term goals, rather than wasting cash on marketing and branding tools when you haven’t yet made a dollar profit. Friend explains how years of mentoring CEOs and small business founders led him to develop his easily understood “operating system” for making a business work. Although he is not himself a minister, nor a founder of an explicitly Christian business, Friend believes that Christ’s exhortation to love others can be imported into the commercial environment. When you prioritize creating a product or service that customers love, and build a team that love their work, profit follows. His model is a built on a simple “money tree” approach with six branches labelled customer, product, sales, partnerships, marketing, and branding. You consume the “low hanging fruit” first by creating a product which customers love, then selling it to them directly. Once established, you grow your team and build partnerships which are aligned with your goals (not competitors). Finally, you use clever marketing and branding to scale up and diversify. These six activities become pillars upon which you build your business. Unlike business gurus who focus on one or two key strategies, like devising a killer YouTube video campaign, Friend stresses the importance of a more holistic approach. By focusing on the customer experience, you can leverage loyalty to quickly build success. In a three-stage process, Friend’s consultancy teaches entrepreneurs how to drive love into the heart of their customers, their employees and even their sales prospects. Friend also stresses the importance of unity and sharing, rather than competition and division.