Marcus Tankard

An Interview with Marcus Tankard: A Blueprint to Launch Your Brand

An Interview with Marcus Tankard of Bravo’s "Thicker Than Water". Building a business starts with an idea, but you must do your homework. Beat the procrastination, and begin growing your business. Taking your dream into smaller chunks makes it easier to materialize your dream.
Written By: Jordan Young

"You can master yourself. Master your habits. Master your skillsets for this product you’re trying to launch. Dad says to master yourself so you can master your brand.”

A brand typically starts as a dream – a dream that you have to nurture and manifest to allow others to become believers in the vision that you see. The vision that you know will help you achieve a vast amount of success. Nothing is better than taking something you are passionate about and turning it into a business that not only you can enjoy, but others can as well.

Marcus Tankard, whose family can be seen every Sunday on Bravo’s Thicker Than Water, enters the show immediately warming our hearts with his extensive vocabulary and fashionable outfits, including his love for bowties.

With the advice from his successful father and peers, as well as his passion for fashion, Tankard became inspired and his drive kicked into high gear as he started his own line of bowties.

When Tankard was introduced to bowties two or three years ago, he did not always like the style of bowties. He felt they made men resemble a clown. It was not until he learned the proper way to rock a bowtie that he became more comfortable with sporting one.

“Technically, the tie is not supposed to exceed your cheekbones,” says Tankard. “So if it goes beyond your cheekbones, it does look like a clown tie. If it’s too small and it’s within your cheekbones, it looks like you’re wearing a little boy’s tie. So it matters that it has the right symmetry so that it doesn’t throw your whole look off or make you look like you really, really wanted to wear that tie today.”

The Idea

As the style grew on him, his curiosity grew as well, and led him to do research to learn as much about the complimentary accessory as possible.

Tankard recognized the problems men face with wearing bowties. He came up with a solution to fix it. Brikkhouse is a collection of ties that are in the shape of a small brick. The ties are perfectly symmetrical to the average guy’s shape and with perfect symmetry from the head down.

Do Your Homework

Although dapper than the average guy, Tankard was no fashion expert. With launching a new startup, he had to become an expert, and do his homework.

He subscribed to different fashion magazines, such as Esquire, Detail and GQ. He consulted a  friend that also produced a successful bowtie company.

“When you’re thrown into it to develop your own product, developing your own brand, it really shines a light on everything you don’t know, and the process puts you in a position to ask a lot of question of people that do know. I had to flip the script a bit and actually go after the info. Go and talk to people, go and talk to designers, bloggers and really get their take on the business,” says Tankard.

"For me, it took courage for me to even rise to the occasion and even look for fabric or someone to help me customize my ties. Get started wherever you are and you’ll learn as you go."

Crawl Before You Walk

A brand is like a child. You need to crawl before you walk. Owners need to nurture the business through the infancy stages. As the business matures, the business will be self-sufficient.

Tankard, who recently had his first child with his wife, launches Brikkhouse via an online platform first to ensure appropriate growth and stay organic. As the business matures, he will begin delve into department stores.

“Sometimes, like with a child, until the child is old enough to talk for themselves, speak for themselves and have a certain level of authority over their own lives, you have to speak for the child. And it’s the same thing with the brand. When the brand is strong enough to speak for itself, the person behind the brand doesn’t have to speak for it,” he explains.

Beat Procrastination

Tankard also has the guidance and advice of his father, former pro-basketball player and musician Ben Tankard, who encourages a system, called “personal mastery” to help him plan efficiently and rid any potential procrastination. The system requires you to complete a set of activities such as praying, eating breakfast, exercising and planning your day or vision all before you workday starts.

“Now I’m not a morning person, so I don’t do this every day before 9:00, it’s usually every day before noon,” he jokes. “You can master yourself. Master your habits. Master your skillsets for this product you’re trying to launch. Dad says to master yourself so you can master your brand.”

Turn Dream to Reality

When you decide to turn a hobby, a dream, a passion or even an interest into a brand or business, you have to be able to believe in your vision. You have to see it and believe it before you can convince anyone else to understand it. It is never too late to achieve success, and as Tankard reminds us, “there is never a perfect time to pioneer anything.”

However every dream, regardless of how big or small, needs some sort of a plan in order to make it expand. Create goals, and recognize what resources and activities needed to reach those goals.

“Sometimes when you don’t have enough money that means being bold enough to sit down with a sheet of paper and make a plan. That means you have to take that dream and you have to chop it up into bite sized pieces where you have your monthly goals, weekly goals or even your daily goals,” says Tankard.

Put aside the fear that those goals cannot be met. Do not get thrown off your game by comparing yourself to the competition. Your brand is your own.

 “For me, it took courage for me to even rise to the occasion and even look for fabric or someone to help me customize my ties. Get started wherever you are and you’ll learn as you go. Don’t let your ignorance intimidate you. Get out there and do it and ask the right questions of the right person. Keep at it and you will be right in the middle of what was once a dream,” says Tankard.