Adjunct Professor of Marketing,
New York University

President and Founder,
ThirdWay Brand Trainer

David Vinjamuri is Adjunct Professor of Marketing at New York University and President of ThirdWay Brand Trainers. David has more than 18 years of experience in marketing and management with companies including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Citibank and DoubleClick. David trains corporate marketers at leading companies. David speaks widely, has been quoted in Business Week and was the featured speaker on the Queen Mary 2 in January, 2006.

Interview with Adam Gilbert of My Body Tutor

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 | Posted by David

Here’s my interview with an Accidental Brand called My Body Tutor, founded by Adam Gilbert.

1. How did you come up with the idea for MyBodyTutor?
I was in Corporate America and life really was getting in the way of my health and fitness and it was just becoming too easy to lie to myself. Additionally, whether it was my family, friends or coworkers it was always the same story:
“Adam, I really want to be in better shape,” or, “I wish I had more energy,” or, “I want to lose weight,” or, “I want to pack on lean muscle mass.”
The goals were always the same and so were the outcomes, unfortunately.
“For the first few days, I really enjoyed the diet and exercise plan that you made for me but then I got too busy with school or my job or my kids or my friends or my favorite reality TV”…and on and on.
And after hearing the same excuse (from myself and other people) for the millionth time I realized something.
Everyone wants to be healthy and fit but unfortunately, it’s just too easy to make excuses and procrastinate. It’s even easier to lie to ourselves and to rationalize poor eating and lack of exercise. (Especially, after a long day!)
Something had to be done…

2. In what ways do you think My Body Tutor is an Accidental Brand?
I was experiencing the problem I set out to solve! I couldn’t stay consistent with my diet and exercise because I found it very easy to make excuses and even easier to rationalize those excuses. And I hated how I felt because of it.

I have (and intend to) control MyBodyTutor for a long time! I’m having way too much fun not to!

3. What is the biggest health problem in the U.S. from your perspective?

A lack of consistency!

I’m certain America doesn’t need another fad diet! Or another way of eating! Or another exercise machine! Or another diet book!

Did you know 9% of all bestsellers are diet books?!

Yet, study after study over the past 20 years has found essentially the same thing: More than half the people who start a health and fitness program drop out within 6 months.
I believe the problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do.
I believe the problem is that we can’t stay consistent if our lives depended on it. Actually, they do!
We don’t need more tactics!

For the most part, American’s know what to do! What we do need is more consistent action! Easier said than done, of course.

4. If you had to give three tips to the average American who doesn’t get to the gym as office as s/he intends, what would they be?

Eat less, move more and stop making excuses!

5. Can you give us a great idea for an at-the-desk workout?

This tip may come across as snarky but it’s really not. Keep your mouth closed. Much harder than it sounds!

6. How does My Body Tutor work?

I believe everyone should (and can) be in awesome shape. But not everyone is.

I know the reason is because we (the people who aren’t in the shape we want to be in) have trouble staying consistent with exercise and/or healthy eating.

If you don’t have a problem staying consistent with your diet and exercise, you should be in great shape!

I help all sorts, types and shapes of people realize their health and fitness goals by helping them stay consistent.
People ask me all the time what the secret is.
One word: Consistency.
Consistency, it turns out, is the key to your success.
Without simplicity there will be no consistency. There is no need for complex diets, or ridiculous workouts. It’s just about doing the time and tested day in and day out.
It is essential for my client to feel totally comfortable with their diet and exercise plan. It is critical that their diet and exercise plan (no matter what their goal) is realistic, sustainable, and of course, healthy.
And that’s why I create a customized diet and exercise plan for my client that is realistic, sustainable and healthy! If it’s not, they won’t stick to it – which is exactly what we don’t want.
Being healthy and fit doesn’t require you to read book after book. It just requires you to stay consistent week after week. (With a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, of course.)
But most of us can’t do that.
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard P. Feynman, Nobel Prize – winning physicist
That’s why I provide daily and personal accountability like no other company in the world.
Every night, my clients are required to submit their DailyFeedback, our revolutionary food and gym application. They’ll write down every last thing they’ve eaten each day being forced to ‘own up’ to themselves and us. This way they can’t lie to themselves anymore.
And lying to yourself (and me) is the worst feeling in the entire world.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar
Then every morning, I’ll respond to their DailyFeedback with personal critique, suggestions and a heavy dose of inspiration to make sure they’re staying on track and ready to take on the day!
The effect is extremely empowering, and ridiculously effective.
I’m with my clients every single day of their journey to help keep their eye on the prize. I give them that extra push we all need and inspire them like crazy. I’m sure of it.
And I’m so sure of my program; I put my money where my mouth is!

7. Who do you look to as a role model?

My clients. They inspire me every single day!

8. What will the effect of the recession be on the fitness business?

Granted when money is tight people are going to get rid of things they can do without.

I don’t like to think about the recession though. Yes, it’s very real. However, awesome businesses solve a problem. I solve a very real and important problem that is impacting everyone who doesn’t love the way they look and feel.

Businesses grow when they find more people with the same problem.

For the most part, the fitness business is fairly recession proof. If you want to be healthy and fit or if you want to realize any sort of health and fitness goal, you need to eat healthy and exercise.

Do people need a personal trainer? Well, if you need help with technique and form then absolutely.

Do people need a Body Tutor? Well, if you need that extra push, guidance and inspiration and find that you rationalize poor eating and lack of exercise and would benefit from daily and personal accountability because you don’t stay consistent then absolutely.

But no one needs anything besides food, clothing and shelter.

It’s all about what we want out of our lives!

And I focus my efforts on finding the people who want to feel and look their best who have trouble staying consistent. The people who want to make their health and fitness the priority it should be again. The people who need help staying consistent (like most of us do)!

9. What would your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur be right now?

Believe in what you do 1000%. If you don’t truly, deeply believe in what you’re doing you’ll never stay committed. And if you aren’t committed you’ll never succeed!

Tags: Accidental Brands | No Comments »


John Peterman (and me) on MSNBC

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 | Posted by David

Just a quick note that John Peterman (founder of J. Peterman) will be featured on “Your Business with J.J. Ramberg” this Sunday, January 25th at 7:30am eastern time.  The program will repeat next Saturday, January 31st.

There is a great video of John Peterman in Lexington, Kentucky and you can see the cabin I describe in Accidental Branding.  I’m part of a panel who discuss Peterman with the host J.J. Ramberg after the video screens.

Tags: Book | No Comments »


Ten Tips for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 | Posted by David

Junior Achievement interviewed me recently and asked me what my 10 tips for entrepreneurs would be, given my own experience as an entrepreneur and my research for Accidental Branding.  Here’s what I came up with – let me know  what you think:

  1. Focus on the people who really believe in you: they will propel your career.
  2. Make very few promises and keep all of them.
  3. Be generous with your time. Try to help people without keeping a balance sheet in your head.
  4. Understand what you do well and strive to get even better at it.
  5. Be known for something. Be memorable.
  6. Don’t fit in. Successful entrepreneurs and successful senior executives are often non-conformists.
  7. Read as much as you can. Read fiction and biography and magazines that do not relate to your career interests.
  8. Learn from as many people as you can. Seek out great training organizations early in your career.
  9. Be opportunistic. Know what you want in life, but be flexible about how to get there. Keep your eyes open for different paths to success.
  10. Find people you admire and befriend them. These are usually people that bring out the best in you.

Tags: General | 2 Comments »


9/23 – Dim Bulb by Jonathan Salem Baskin

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 | Posted by David

9/23 – Dim Bulb by Jonathan Salem Baskin

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9/8 – Biz Growth Live by Krishna De

Monday, September 8th, 2008 | Posted by David

9/8 – Biz Growth Live by Krishna De

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8/29 – Businessworld (India) – Rajeev Dubey

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | Posted by David

8/29 – Businessworld (India) – Rajeev Dubey

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8/23 – NY Daily News by Janice Fioravante

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 | Posted by David

8/23 – NY Daily News by Janice Fioravante

Tags: Book Reviews | 1 Comment »


The Human Side of Talking Heads

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 | Posted by David

TAF LogoThis morning I was on Fox Business News.  It wasn’t the first time but the tenth.  While I was there I realized that I’ve officially become a talking head.  Today was a little different though.  I was there to talk about a re-branding that the new owners of The Athlete’s Foot are undertaking.  They are changing the name to TAF and moving to a variety of store formats that will add more apparel and cater to more segments including the Abercrombie & Fitch crowd and urban kids.

I really did not like the re-branding plan because I thought it was walking away from the core expertise of The Athlete’s Foot (who used to be positioned as experts in technical footwear) and because I think acronyms are very confusing for consumers.

The other nine times I’ve been on Fox I’ve either agreed with a company spokesperson or disagreed without seeing the human face I was disagreeing with.  This time was different because I was brought on almost immediately after the new marketing director, Darius Billings, and I had to basically say that I thought he was wrong and that his plan wouldn’t work.

I suspect that most talking heads on business networks are stock analysts, consultants or academics.  I’m not.  Yes, I do teach at NYU, but I spent over 15 years on the client side at places like Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.  So when I am watching Darius, I am thinking that he seems like a very nice guy, that this probably was not his plan to begin with but something handed to him by his CEO who is an investment guy, not a marketer and that I am basically trashing his plan on national television.  And I know exactly what that might feel like.   And I realize at the same time that even a bad branding strategy executed well might work, at least for a while.  So he might be able to do exactly what his bosses are asking from him.

This makes the talking head business a bit more difficult.  I’m still happy to do it, but now I see that there may be human consequences.

Tags: General | 2 Comments »