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Interview: Gary Vaynerchuk on Online Brands and Tech

As a part of our SXSW coverage, we managed to reserve some time and interview one of most popular YouTubers, Mr. Gary Vaynerchuk.

VRW: Hi Gary, before we start the interview, where are you from and what company/companies do you own/represent?

Gary Vaynerchuk: I am the owner of Wine Library and started Vaynermedia with my brother. I am also invested in a few companies, but do not own them or have a controlling stake.

VRW: Since you’re so heavily involved in social media and brand awareness what would you say are the most important things a new online business should consider when starting up?

GV: The big opportunity and position, native story telling. Do you understand the nuances of the platform that you?re on and are you native? It becomes a crossroads of analytics and creativity.

VRW: Considering that you were able to grow your family business, write plenty of bestselling books and start multiple businesses what would you say was the single most important factor in your success?

GV: That I bet on my strengths rather than spending too much time working on my weaknesses, I am a good people person. I didn?t work on being a financial person when I started my business.

VRW: Since we’re a pretty heavily IT focused site, I’m curious to know if you have any particular technologies that interest you or technologies that make your business thrive.

GV: I like Platforms and understanding them. I also like Google Glass, and smart everything (connected devices). Digitally native products are really what excite me.

VRW: What do you personally use for your tech? Do you require any types of tech in your company?

GV: Everything I have is social focused. I have an Apple iPhone and mostly use it for Twitter and Vine Apps.

VRW: When it comes to tech brands, who do you think is on the up and who do you think is on the down?

GV: Amazon is on the up right now and Google Glass is a game changer. Companies that are predicated on SEO and Search are on the down. Non differentiating technologies are also on the down since there are so many of them.

VRW: How important do you think it is for the up and coming Asian tech companies to harness the power of branding within their products’ marketing?

GV: The Chinese market is so big that many of the Chinese up and coming brands are focusing on marketing to China since it?s very big, and the US will be a tough one to crack due to cultural differences.

VRW: Since I consider you to be one of the foremost experts on wine and we have a lot of California readers, what California wine would you recommend?

GV: Right now I’d say Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs.

VRW: If someone is trying to start a new brand with an online focus, what do you believe is the most important to focus on? Website or Social Media?

GV: Website. Social media drives to something. You have to have a good website before you can drive the good website.

VRW: Thanks Gary it was great talking to you, this was really helpful and I appreciate it a lot. I’ve gotta run to my flight.

GV: Good talking to you too.

I want to extend a big thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk for setting aside time during his busy SXSW schedule to chat with us. I hope you guys were able to learn something from this interview and we hope to do more soon.

If you’d like to hear more from or about Gary, I recommend you check out the video below. It does have some strong language, but it’s very informative.