Jason Angle

Thought Leadership

Helping Founders Scale For Growth Event 2024

Helping Founders Scale For Growth Event 2024

Max Connect Digital’s president, Phil Case, was honored to once again moderate the panel discussion at the Helping Founders Scale for Growth event hosted at the Real Salt Lake stadium. Panelists included Syd McGee from Studio McGee, Elizabeth Findlay from Albion Fit, and James Julian from Fiiz. Each of these executives shared exclusive insights into how they built their brands into multi-million dollar businesses and overcame roadblocks along the way. Here are the key takeaways offered by each business owner:

Syd McGee | Studio McGee

When asked how Studio McGee continues to innovate in an increasingly difficult marketplace, Syd replied that “we don’t have time to stop and say ‘look at all we’ve done.’ Instead, we ask ourselves ‘what can we do better?’” Simply put, “You got to stay hungry,” Syd says, adding that you should “Question yourself constantly. We got to disrupt ourselves or we will be disrupted.” That mindset has helped Syd grow his team from a humble 20 employees to 200 by 2021

When it comes to workplace culture, Syd spelled out a “no a-hole rule,” meaning that flexibility, trust, and compassion are at the forefront of the company values. Syd also explained that culture does not remain fixed; a $20 million dollar company will be a different experience than a $100 million dollar company. However, the common thread is that “people are so important and it’s worth investing in them” during any stage of the company’s growth cycle. 

Elizabeth Findlay | Albion Fit 

When asked how Albion Fit remains innovative, Elizabeth responded that “If you’re repeating what you’re seeing, you’ve already missed the boat.” She explained that it’s easy to look at other brands and try to match or out-do them within a given niche, however this can often lead to a loss of creativity within a brand. Instead, Albion Fit draws inspiration for their clothing products when they spend time studying nature, history, and even wallpapers! 

Elizabeth also emphasized the importance of building and supporting a community around your brand. That’s why Albion Fit’s most recent fashion show opened applications to their consumer audience, admitting women from a variety of backgrounds. Elizabeth shared that reviewing the 600 applications was an emotional process, as each applicant shared their journey in discovering their own beauty. The feeling of inclusivity that Albion Fit has created in their community has been a central component for the brand’s success. 

James Julian | Fiiz

When asked how Fiiz is able to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, James expressed the importance of creating a unique brand experience that keeps consumers coming back for more. Making a soda purchase is a fairly brief process, which is why Fiiz is obsessed with making an impressionable thirty seconds through personalization, sticker handouts, or a free “pup cup.” James also underlined that “Companies are becoming influencers themselves,” meaning that the right partnership helps create differentiation. For example, Fiiz recently partnered with Minky Couture to show that the best way to “snuggle up” is with a Fiiz soda in hand. 

James also outlined that the best way for a company to remain afloat through economic uncertainty is to “understand what you can’t control and what you can control.” Maximizing margins during tough times relies heavily on confidently operating within one’s scope of control.

Max Connect Digital is thrilled to have hosted this event, alongside Tanner Co, Ampleo, and Real Salt Lake. If you would like to learn more about how you can give your business an edge in 2024, check out our digital marketing services here!