So often we see great brands derailed. They seem to have lost track of their purpose and style, their principles and commitments. They often get watered down and diluted by corporate governance, standardization, and complacency. What happened?

They lost their spirit, that’s what happened! They degenerated from a passion to a label – simply another faucet to dump product into. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.

Let’s go back to the inception of the brand. Let’s go back to the garage. Those were the days when the brand was the only brand the company had. Those were the days when it was obvious to everyone that sales was king …and queen. And if they didn’t make a sale today, they would have the lights turned off tomorrow. Those were the days when the founders had to look at the market differently and meet the needs of that growing population that wasn’t being recognized, addressed, or served.

They focused on that neglected market and committed themselves to satisfying it. But then, as time passed, something happened. Maybe it was through an acquisition. Maybe it was through merger. Or maybe it was through their own growth.

Specialization and division of labor slowly but surely replaced the folks who were wearing many hats but who understood how and why everything worked. Protocols and procedures with strict channels of communication replaced shouting across the crowded office to their coworkers. Physical walls separated co-workers who used to know everything that was going on – because they could hear every conversation.  All this in the name of efficiency.

But at what price? Basically, the thrill is gone. People no longer identify with the brand in the way the founders did, and they may not even be there anymore. The results of their success is the loss of engagement and rapid turnover.

How can you keep the spirit of the brand alive? How can you get those specialists to focus on sales and customer service no matter what their job?

How about an audiobook performance that draws them in to those early days when the founder was risking everything on pleasing the customer? How about letting them listen to that story performed by actors, complete with sound effects, up-to-date interviews, and a musical score? And how about making it part of the regular on-boarding and orientation process?

Experiencing the original story of their company’s brand will give them more appreciation for the founder’s principles, goals, concepts, challenges, and solutions. Suddenly, it’s not just another place to work. Now it’s their company and a brand they identify with. And in doing so they are more likely to keep the brand on track and protect its legacy and its authenticity. Salespeople will have interesting stories to proudly share with prospects. Vendors will have more appreciation for the brand. And customers will be more engaged and loyal knowing the story behind the brand.

We are offering a solution to the increasingly common problem of brands becoming just labels by breathing life into the stories that define the brand and making those stories available to employees, vendors, and buyers alike.

The solution is presented in an entertaining and compelling Business Audio Theatre format that’s easy to use and is a one-time investment that pays off for decades, keeping your people and your brand on track!! We are here to help your company produce this innovative on-boarding tool. You can’t afford to let the founder’s spirit slip away just because your company is successful! Check us out.

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular business site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact