What would you describe as being unique or different about your business? When is the last time you thought about it or even celebrated it? Today’s guests, William Benson and Patrick Ductant are co-Founders of Billionaire’s Row and they share their stories about how they differentiate in the highly competitive adult beverage industry.
About Our Guest
Patrick Ductant and William Benson are co-founders of Billionaire’s Row, a premier black-owned champagne brand. Billionaire’s Row has been the champagne of choice by many celebrities and VIPs including Stevie Wonder, the Kardashians, and Kensington Palace.
Billionaires Row is a global luxury brand company that designs, develops, and markets luxury goods for the modern trendsetting and affluent customer. We infuse new cutting-edge concepts and iconic fundamentals into every product experience. Outside of rapper/mogul, Jay-Z’s Armand de Brignac, Billionaire’s Row is the only other black-owned champagne brand to be recognized by both the federal government in France and the United States.
Billionaires Row brand endorses a unique passion for distinction and exclusivity, fuelling its rise to one of the most recognizable brands in the world today. The company’s mission is: To inspire and empower individuals to reach for their dreams while protecting human welfare and advancement by furthering private initiatives for the good of the public by focusing on love for humanity, quality of life, and planet preservation.
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Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):
You’ve worked hard to build your business. And now it’s time to grow. Welcome to the “Multiply Your Success” podcast. I am your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team and a serial entrepreneur. And the purpose of our podcast is to give you a weekly dose of inspiration and education to help you multiply your success.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:20):
And as we get started today, we are celebrating uniqueness and differentiation. And how are you differentiating in your market space and what you’re doing. As the leader of your organization, do you know what those differentiators are? And what’s truly unique about your business, your service, your product, your customer experience. And if you haven’t reviewed that in a while, might be a good time to go back and reflect and review on that. But we’re celebrating it today because our guests, Patrick Ductant and William Benson are the co-founders of Billionaire’s Row, which is a premier Black-owned champagne brand. So what better way to celebrate than with a bottle of champagne and a top high-end high quality product at that. Billionaire’s Row, it’s been the champagne of choice by many celebrities and VIP’s including Stevie Wonder, the Kardashians and even Kensington Palace. So this is an awesome interview where Patrick and William share with us, what makes their business unique and special and really stand out. So let’s go ahead and jump into our interview with William and Patrick.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (01:36):
Patrick Ductant, co-founder of Billionaire’s Row.
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (01:39):
And it’s William Benson here, founder and CEO.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:43):
Let’s jump into and talk a little bit about your business and let’s talk about what you do and what makes you different and unique in your field.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (01:56):
I was going to go ahead and let William can attest to that, but definitely, Tom, to your point, what makes us different? We’d like to consider ourselves definitely a different brand. As you know, obviously we just had COVID-19 that have affected many different sectors, but for us, obviously it was something totally different. We were able to go ahead and go back to the drawing board and pretty much reshape the actual company of what it is today. For most companies, they can’t say and it’s sad to say, we can’t say for most companies, that COVID-19 was the best thing for us. It was the best thing. Because it actually allowed us to go ahead and re focus on the, who we are as a company. From the last, I would say the last six months, we’ve been coming into the market. We came into the market October. Our flagship is our champagne, our brut premier brut Rose. It is literally one of a kind. What sets us aside from other companies in the luxury space? We’re the first company to ever have champagne, cognac and water within the same space. So for us, as a young brand, coming into the market, we’re being destructive. We’re being destructive… Humble. We appreciate some of the consumers that are giving us positive feedback on what we’re doing into the market.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:11):
Patrick, what you said there was… Really stood out to me and I’d love to dive into this a little bit. And you said the pandemic was one of the best things that could’ve ever happened, at least for your business. Right? You know, we don’t like the illness and people dying, obviously that’s a terrible thing. But I love how you use this as an opportunity to kind of change shift, re-engineer what you were doing. So would you talk through, both of you, a little bit of maybe how that process happened when you decided to do it, how you did it, because I think there are companies out there that maybe thought about doing it, or might still be thinking about doing it. And I’d love to take a lesson from what, what you guys did.
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (03:56):
No, I just think it’s about vision. I think it’s about vision. Being able to understand, what it is that you want to do. Something that I think, collectively, pre COVID, obviously there’s a lot of things that happen around the world. Lot things happen in the spirit space, but during COVID, numbers were really unique and different. And obviously, in this space and the alcohol and the beverage space things, I like to look at it as a recession proof business, but I know Scotty, you were about to go into segue into something. So let me, let you jump into that.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (04:30):
No, definitely…Tom, to add to what Benson was saying, it was basically… It was crazy timing. I think we were launching last year of March. Guys, as you know, that’s when we started taking notice of the pandemic and then started to take a shift. But for us, it allowed us to go and refocus and understand this new world that we’re living in. And for most companies, they couldn’t go back to the drawing board because they’ve had pretty much a foundation of how they actually come into the market and who they are as a company. And for us, the world didn’t actually get to see that. So we were able to just adjust accordingly to what the market’s doing today.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:10):
Well, that’s really interesting because you’re right. And just the beverage industry and alcohol beverage… I mean, we’re talking extremely, to your point there, William, when you were saying it’s extremely competitive. I mean, it’s hard to think of another industry that is… maybe it might be as competitive. I don’t know if it’s more competitive, right? When we’re thinking about that. So I love how you’re doing that and talk about this idea of differentiation. It’s something that… I like to talk a lot about with the clients. We work with and we talk a lot about it on it with other guests that have come through, but what led you to have that kind of mindset as you started going through this?
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (05:56):
Well, I mean, idea for us was to build a global lifestyle brand, right? And we’ve been able to do that during probably one of the worst pandemics in the history of the planet earth and understanding on how to create a brand. You know, that’s been our focal point, right? Creating something outside of just champagne and cognac and water, but really creating a message to the masses, to the consumers on how to live, how to consume, how to celebrate through the lifestyle, through what we curate. So that’s what we’ve been doing currently.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:40):
Well, thank you for sharing that, by the way. I appreciate that. And you know, where do you see your company going? You know, I love your company name and your vision, but what… where are you taking the business here?
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (06:56):
I think because we’re a young brand and both William and I are under 40. So we understand the new generation. As you know, there’s going to be a huge shift that we’re going to see for the first time in our lifetime, as far as the generation shift of wealth being kind of pointed to the younger generation. As you guys know that’s, what’s pretty much kind of coming into the market. There’s a lot of companies that are adjusting to this new generation of what that represents. And for us understanding that because we are and what we represent the younger generation.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (07:26):
For us, we feel like we have the edge of utilizing and us as a brand, as far as Billionaire’s Row. I understand that this new world’s just going to go ahead and be different and how do we adjust to it? And we’ll adjust to it by understanding the young generation of what they like. What are some of the things, as far as experience, and one of the things that highlights for us as a company is that we’re able to go ahead and give a totally different experience for consumers. It’s just not…to Benson’s point, it’s just no, about our cognac, champagne and alkaline spring water, it’s a mission for us. It’s a mission to speak to the massive, and understand who we are as a company.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:01):
I love that you’re, driving toward this. And one of the things that stood out to me that, that I resonate with, because I relate to what you describe. And being an under 40 professional, although I’ve got… I’m in my final year of under 40, I guess. And, you said…but both of you, are dads and you’re looking to be an example for your kids, as I understand, and, talk a little bit about that.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (08:29):
Yeah. I think that we both can attest to it. Both of us are, pretty much… We have a different relationship because of our backgrounds and the challenges that we faced. And not only start a great company that we think is going to be one of the best companies in the world, but definitely touch on it, as far as having kids, both William and I have been raised without our father. So for us, we say this all the time, we’re both spiritual guys, but it’s never about us. It’s about inspiring others, not just our kids, but guys that look like us and understand that the way we’ve positioned the company and we speak and we touch on diversity. It’s just not about our culture.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (09:12):
It’s about definitely… The whole entire world being part of it because we’re one at the end of the day and that’s our company’s mission. So that means a lot to us. And we understand our kids is definitely… Are going to definitely continue to push it, move this forward, and because they just don’t understand it yet, because they’re super young, but Benson and I are constantly having conversations about that. But this particular journey that we’re actually facing, it’s just not about us two. It’s about making sure that we inspire others to be great as well.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:43):
Hmm. I love that. And maybe that’s one of the reasons we ended up getting connected. Our purpose statements and missions kind of align. Our… we are…we have a focus to inspire and foster greatness in others. So we… I love what you’re doing and love that messaging that you’re sharing and bringing forth through your enterprise and through your business and bringing that to others. And, well, this is a great time for us to jump into a little bit of our show formula here. And you both have had a great career… great careers, I should say, and building this business. And we ask every guest the same questions. And I’d love to hear from each of you, your response to the first question we like to ask, which is, has there been a miss along the way, a miss or two, that you’ve learned something from, and if you wouldn’t mind sharing that.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (10:43):
Yeah. I think that if you think every company has probably had that miss of opportunities. For us, it’s… For me, I would say… It because the question was for me, I think William’s going to have probably a different perspective. I think the missed opportunity was pretty much that the actual lost ones that we’ve lost during the pandemic. I think that for us, it speaks because it’s a documented world. I think most companies would say that they don’t understand it. They…they’re still adjusting to what this world represents. So for us, I think many companies are, or many entrepreneurs would probably answering it the same way. That we’re still learning what this world represents. So when, when it comes to a miss opportunity, it’s just adjusting and learning what that new world represents.
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (11:36):
And, and to touch on that… I think for me, when it came to brand building, one of the main topics that I’ve stood on is learning to fail. Learn to fail. Fail, fail, fail by being a disruptor because to failure, you’re fine. Your successes…and so have we failed through the process? Of course we failed. We focused on on packaging. We focus on what speaks to consumers, what do consumers want? What do they like? And of course, while you’re developing that process or developing that narrative, you’re going to make mistakes along the way. And also to speak to what Scotty’s said about the pandemic, I mean, we’ve all lost, or know someone who lost their lives to that this last year and a half a year in a few months of this crisis that we’re facing. Which was a challenge for our company and many other companies. A lot of companies are gone, a lot of families lost everything. And so we’re fortunate and we’re thankful and we’re humble that we’re still here and we’re able to still make noise and be disruptive in this space. It’s just a blessing.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:48):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think there are a lot of folks who have a similar feeling… Having just been able to make it through and are just grateful to be… have come through stronger than before. And well, let’s turn around on the other side, on a make or two that you’ve had in your career, in your business that you’d like to share with the audience.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (13:14):
I think for me, it’s a make or two. It’s definitely believing in William’s strength. I think for me prior to that, that William was definitely championing this brand. And I think that humble way for me, so to continue to push that dream means a lot. So that definitely for me, I can definitely touch on that as far as for Billionaire’s Row is to continue to go ahead and build something that’s going to be one day great. And we speak on it all the time in a Billionaire’s Row is a staple center name. It’ll be here when we’re dead and gone. So for us, it means a lot to continue to take that journey and to take that journey with…someone I consider a brother.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:54):
Yeah. That’s great. Thank you. And, William, how about for you?
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (13:58):
I have to champion that. I mean, there’s not much really to add to what Scotty just said. I mean, brotherhood, really, I mean, that’s really important for me. And I think what Patrick just said is exactly what I was going to say. Exactly.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:16):
Great. Great. Well, and, and let’s talk about the idea of a multiplier and, multiplier could mean a wide variety of things. So this one of my favorite question to ask our guests and have you used the multiplier to grow yourself personally, or your business or your professional development that we could share and Patrick, why don’t you get us started?
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (14:43):
Yeah, definitely. I think that we both come from different backgrounds when it comes to… When it comes to business. I think for me, it’s, it’s adding verticals within our portfolio already. Definitely. I think that for us as a company, it’s different and we talk about this all the time. The way we’ve structured the company it’s…there’s never been a company that’s designed like ourselves. I think the closest company that we could probably consider… That’s close to us would probably be an LVMH.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (15:15):
For us to have seven different sister company within our parent company, Billionaire’s Row Global, we’re able to add so many different verticals of revenue and we’re humble about it. I think that the world’s going to definitely understand Billionaire’s Row because the hard work that we’re having as a team and, and one of the things that definitely want to touch with the consumers that are actually listening to this podcast… It’s definitely not an I, it’s definitely a teamwork effort. That’s continued to build a great team. There’s great talent all over the world. And we are humble to have great talents that are constantly being onboard to Billionaire’s Row. You have guys from France that are part of our team from Arizona west coast, you name it from every part of the country that’s constantly adding to our company and that success and Vincent and I, it’s a team effort first on building any great company. That’s a team effort.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:13):
Thank you, Patrick. That’s great. And William, how about for you?
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (16:17):
I think for me, it’s the same thing, man. It’s really focusing on our team and team effort like Patrick said, from South Africa, our team there, our team in Canada, our domestic team, our logistical team, same thing, man. Just same thing.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:34):
Great. Great. Well, in the final question we like to ask every guest is what does success mean to you?
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (16:43):
It’s funny, Tom. I was actually…I’m a big…both of us are big guys that love the study, man. Many entrepreneur knows that one or two things that make you successful, it’s waking up early and constantly studying, constantly reading. Those things are things that most people don’t see. And I was…it’s funny. My study last night was about success and was…I was taking a thing… Like Jay Z is someone that I look up to. And he said something as far as success, that success should not be the goal. And it resonated for me because it’s a true statement. That the end goal should not just be success. The end goal is how do we empower others to be great? And that, that would resonate it. So when you talk of success, success is just not, and it shouldn’t be the goal for any entrepreneur, for any company. It should be, how do we inspire the world and make a world a better place?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:39):
Yeah, that’s great. William, how about you?
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (17:41):
I think, the famous quote of Jay Z… I look at this as a two-fold. And JZ said “when they speak of success on what they might mean”. And I think for me to define success, as I tell young entrepreneurs who ask me, success for me is having as many conversations with as many people in this world as you can, because the right conversation can change your life forever. And that’s what happened to me. So that’s how I define success. Speaking and being in the right rooms, having the right conversations with people, as many people as possible, because that one conversation you never know.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:31):
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And you know, it’s interesting you say that. I remember I was in school… it just made me think of an instance what you just said. You never know William. And I remember I met… I was at some… at school… Some speakers were coming in and there was a graduate, there was an alumni from the university and he was just talking.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:56):
He was an entrepreneur, had some success. And he just said… It’s like you said, he said all the right things. I was like, oh my gosh, just like inspired. I was like, holy cow, I don’t even know this guy, but I want to go down a similar track. This guy, he got it. He knew what was going on. And I remember I walked up to him afterwards and said basically said: Hey, can I chat with you for a few minutes? He said: “No problem. How about we go out for coffee?”. I said: really? And he said: sure. And I said, I was shocked that he said yes. And that, that little thing set on a totally different trajectory that who knows where life would’ve taken, but probably not down this path as far, as fast without that… Without that presentation there. So I relate to that personally very well because that… I had that experience. So I know exactly what you’re talking about. That’s wonderful.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:59):
Well, Patrick, William, before we kind of close out here, I wanted to make sure that we’re able to talk through… Make sure there’s anything that we might’ve missed or points you wanted to get across that we can make sure we get those here before we close.
Patrick Ductant, Billionaire’s Row (20:18):
Yeah, Tom, this was a great podcast. I enjoyed every single question. It was very interesting. So definitely looking forward to definitely hearing the podcast and continue to go ahead and push through multiple… Your successes is definitely something to definitely touch on and continue to push. Great, great, great podcast. Thank you.
William Benson, Billionaire’s Row (20:38):
Yeah, absolutely. Same thing, man. And we just want to keep standing on our mission. We want to continue to inspire people. We want people to be the better or the best versions of themselves and anyone listening to the podcast, you guys can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at Billionaire’s Row at Billionaire’s Row or you can follow us or go to our website, Billionairesrow.com all one word. And thank you so much for having us.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:03):
William and Patrick. Thank you so much for an absolutely fantastic interview. I’m so thankful for having you on the show and for your time to be a guest. Thank you. I know you’re both very busy and let’s go ahead and jump into our three key takeaways.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:19):
So the first key takeaway is really the theme of the episode. Which is all about differentiating and creating that uniqueness, special sauce, secret sauce, whatever it might be for your business. But how are you differentiating? How are you being unique in your business? And what’s allowing you to stand out. And this may be a good time, by the way, if you are differentiated or have been differentiated and unique in your space, should you be reevaluating that and just questioning it? I’m not saying that you should change it, but just question or challenge it. If you did something different 5, 10, 20 years ago, however long it’s been now, is it still relevantly unique? Have your competitors caught on and now they’re doing it too? So just something to think about.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:10):
Takeaway number two is to learn to fail. And that’s been a frequent theme on our multiplier success podcast. However, I love the way that they phrased it. Learn to fail, be willing to try new things. It’s okay if it doesn’t work out. You can always change that, which I think kind of dovetails back to the being different and unique.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:35):
And the third key takeaway is when they were asking the question how do we empower others to be great? And that’s a driver for them at their business. And they talked about and shared their story about growing up with no fathers and wanting to be role models for other people. I thought that was a fantastic question to be asking for them as they’re fulfilling their vision and their purpose for helping other people grow. And now it’s time for today’s win-win.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:07):
So today’s, win-win comes when they were talking about how having the right conversation can make an impact and you never know which conversation that’s going to be and which with…which person it’s going to be with. So having that one conversation can change someone else’s life. It might change your life and you just never know which one it is. And so I think the point they were making is keep having conversations, keep talking, keep trying to do something. And so that’s the episode today folks. Please make sure you like and subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. Remember if you or anyone, you know might be ready to franchise their business, please connect with us @bigskyfranchise.com. Thanks for tuning in. And we look forward to having you back next week.