Unlabel | Marc Ecko

Summary of: Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out
By: Marc Ecko

Introduction

Embark on a journey with Marc Ecko as he shares his incredible story and reveals valuable lessons in building authentic brands in his book, ‘Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out.’ Explore the essential elements of Ecko’s Authenticity Formula and learn how he went from spray-painting T-shirts in his parents’ garage to establishing a multimillion-dollar business. Discover the importance of balancing creativity with commerce and the art of staying true to one’s core principles and unique voice. Be inspired by Marc Ecko’s perseverance and resilience as he overcomes challenges, learns from failures, and unlocks the secrets of success.

Unleashing Your Authentic Brand

Marc Eckō’s book “Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out” tells the story of his brand’s growth and reveals his “Authenticity Formula” for brand development. Eckō’s advice on challenging oneself to find their unique voice, multiplied by truthfulness, capacity for change, range of emotional impact, raised to the power of imagination creates an authentic brand that serves as a compass for clear direction during turbulent times.

The Power of Authenticity

Marc Milecofsky, also known as Marc Eckō, started as a chubby geek who loved computer games and comic books. He discovered graffiti and street art at the age of 12, which helped him develop his unique artistic style. Eckō’s success in business and life was made possible by his authenticity. He learned that being true to oneself required a unique voice, truthfulness, a willingness to adapt, emotional range, and imagination. His experience running for seventh-grade class president taught him how art could shape people’s perspective. Eckō’s decision to wear a spray-painted shirt he made to school paved the way for Echo Airbrushing to be established. Despite his fear of social ridicule, this decision gave him the courage to pursue his passion. While he initially chose to attend pharmacy school rather than pursue his art, his authentic self eventually led him to become one of the most successful fashion entrepreneurs in America.

The Limitless Power of Creation

Eckō’s story is a testament to the value of persistence, creativity, and mutual support. Despite facing rejection from producers, he continued to hone his artistic skills and sent his creations to influential people until he eventually found success. His partnership with a fellow dreamer and a young entrepreneur allowed him to turn his weekend hobby into a thriving business.

The book narrates how Eckō’s love for graffiti art led him to airbrush designs on clothes, and despite receiving negative feedback from both the black and white communities, he continued to pursue his passion. Eckō’s friend, Brock, also searched for success in his own creative endeavors. Eckō realized that creating art required breaking free from the codes of ethics and embracing new ideas. He consistently mailed “swag bombs” to producers and influential personalities, while Brock sent his music tapes to producers. Eckō’s sister eventually presented one of his custom-painted denim jackets with Brock’s music tape in its pocket to Michael Bivins of Bel Biv Devoe. Bivins liked the music, signed Brock to his label, and began a relationship with Eckō.

Eckō recognized that great ideas required action, and he joined forces with a young entrepreneur, Seth Gerszberg, who offered capital to build their business. Due to their persistence and creativity, Eckō’s business became successful, though he initially had no business plan. The book highlights how Eckō’s willingness to take risks, persevere, and embrace unconventional and creative ideas led to his success.

The Inspiring Story of Creating a Clothing Empire

In “Vision for the Future,” Marc Eckō and Seth Gerszberg started a T-shirt business with just $5,000. Eckō created designs and learned screen-printing, but struggled to achieve high-quality prints. They advertised in magazines and attended trade shows, where they faced challenges but ultimately achieved success. Eckō learned the importance of professionalism and self-discovery. The duo ultimately grew their business into a clothing empire with the help of hard work and a willingness to learn from others.

Milecofsky to Eckō: The Journey to Greatness

Marc Eckō, the founder of Eckō Unltd., shares his inspiring journey of building a successful and authentic brand. From opening the company’s first headquarters to throwing trade show parties featuring hip-hop artists, Eckō and his team had early success, but spending outpaced revenue. He learned that great brands are built on truthful promises. The company’s biggest challenge was finding a “Garmento” to handle production and merchandising, which they eventually found in Wu, a Taiwanese clothing manufacturer. However, Wu cheated the company, leading to a lawsuit and $6 million in debt. Despite this setback, Eckō and his partner persevered and paid off their debt in just 18 months.

Building a Brand: A Personal Religion.

Finkelman put together a management team headed by Gerszberg, Eckō, and Marci in charge of sales, design and marketing, and operations, respectively. The team was a sturdy triangle of Governance, Brute Force, and Swagger, which enabled them to repay Finkelman adequately. Eckō masterminded the “Where’s Eckō?” campaign for the Magic trade show in Las Vegas, which generated buzz and went viral. The campaign taught Eckō the power of emotional impact in making a brand. The brand licensed products to reach more people and extend its emotional impact. Eckō also created a fashion magazine named Complex that featured street culture, gaming, fashion, rap, and hip-hop. Building a brand requires a personal devotion where one is willing to fight for it, defend it, and even die for it, irrespective of the product or service being offered.

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