103: Brand instinct and futureproofing: Valerie Nguyen of Wolf & Wilhelmine and Margaret Quan of eB

103: Brand instinct and futureproofing: Valerie Nguyen of Wolf & Wilhelmine and Margaret Quan of eB


(light percussion music) – [Speaker] For all of us it’s about predicting
where the consumer’s going and getting half of it right. – [Speaker] One of the
things we want to do is create ads that don’t suck. – [Speaker] Embracing change
creates great possibility. – [Speaker] I’m Alan Hart
and this is Marketing Today. This episode of Marketing Today was taped at Brand
Marketing Summit back in May in San Francisco where I moderated a panel on
how to futureproof your brand in a constantly evolving landscape. My panelists were Margaret Quan, director of customer
marketing strategy at eBay and Valerie Nguyen,
partner co-head of strategy at Wolf & Wilhelmine out in New York. The panel really took on the
subject of futureproofing and if you think about it in a world where big
brands are apologizing and taking stands how can you futureproof your brand? We used some experienced
case studies and examples to explore what people are doing as well as practical tips
for how to internally and externally manage
your brand for the future. I hope you enjoy this
episode of Marketing Today. I’m here to moderate a panel about a work that stands the test of time, how to futureproof your brand in a constantly evolving landscape. And we’ve got a treat today, we’ve got two amazing minds here on stage with Margaret and Valerie so I’d love for them to just
introduce themselves to you. Margaret? – [Margaret] Sure, my
name is Margaret Quan and I’m currently the director of customer
marketing strategy at eBay. So eBay’s a platform where
we have buyers and sellers so I lead customer strategy
for our selling side, getting people to sell on our platform. And my history is over 20
years of consumer marketing and I started off as an engineer and then as a consultant and then I went into
traditional CPG marketing, did a sting internationally and spent some time at
an ecommerce platform and also worked with some retailers. So I have a range of consumer
marketing background. That’s me. – [Valerie] Cool, and I’m Valerie Nguyen. I’m a founding partner
and co-head of strategy at Wolf & Wilhelmine. We’re a brand strategy
consultancy based in New York City and we help brands big and small essentially define and then operationalize their why and their how, so their purpose and also their story. – [Alan] Great, thank you. So it’s a historic time. If you look on the airways today we’ve got three big
brands doing apologies, Uber, Wells Fargo, Facebook. We’ve got other brands
that are being boycotted, some brands that are taking a stand. It’s definitely a tumultuous
time to be a brand leader. What does it mean to both of you to futureproof your brand? And maybe we can start with Valerie? – [Valerie] Yeah, so the
future is really bright until you’re caught in its headlights and you’ve heard a lot today about how the market
space is just so dynamic and if you’re going to keep up you can’t just react to the market. You actually have to have
an instinct in the market and so we at W&W, we’re focused on what we
call building brand instinct and what that really means is you have this deep in
your bones understanding across the entire organization of what is right and what
is wrong for your brand. And a lot of people
call that brand strategy and at the core of this brand instinct is again, like I said earlier, it’s this purpose and it is this internal and
external rallying focal point where that creates not only a
coherence in everything you do but it creates a connection place, a connection with consumer that creates a connection with culture and those are the things
that can’t be monetized. And to go back to the other point about it being internal as well is that you can’t just
create an amazing purpose. You also have to operationalize it. You can have a beautiful pretty deck that you present and it
has great stock photography but if you don’t have the policies and the infrastructure in place to actually operationalize that then you’re not really gonna get anywhere. And what is important in
operationalizing your purpose is so many brands have purposes that essentially amount
to a lot of vanilla. It amounts to, they’re all
that the beauty pageant saying that they believe in
world peace which is cute but it doesn’t actually mean anything. To get to a really powerful purpose you have to build with the tension and the truth and the
bravery of who you are and also who you aren’t. It’s okay if your purpose doesn’t resonate with every single person. It’s okay if actually
you’re not a brand for them. You will have the people that
are connecting to your brand in a real way and that’s so much more meaningful. – [Margaret] Yeah, and I would add to that great summary of that and so many times, Alan and
I both have young daughters and we were talking about how
it’s so easy to get distracted both as consumers but
also as brands these days. So my daughter plays on a soccer team and the ball goes here and
the whole team runs there and the ball goes here
and they all go there. There’s no focus because they’re seven but I also see, I see brands doing that and as Val said, in order for a brand to really
have good long-term value and strength you really
really need to know what your instinct or your purpose is and you need to make sure
it’s constantly in touch with what’s happening in the marketplace and be able to flex because it means that sometimes
you have to pivot a little on how you express it but the core has to stay true there and I think that’s a we were saying is that my daughter’s soccer team that
core is constantly changing, that doesn’t work but as a brand if you have
your core really solid and consistent but
different expressions of it that that’s what you need to do to flex with the change of times. – [Alan] Let’s talk about some examples. So Margaret, we were talking
about an example of failure although we’ve also seen
the resurrection here while we’ve been here. – [Margaret] Yeah yeah. – [Alan] So maybe you
can give that example and then we can. – [Margaret] Sure yeah, Alan and I were chatting as
we were preparing for this and he’s like, what’s
a brand that you think kind of didn’t pivot with the times? And the example I shared is, I didn’t realize they were on the agenda, was Kodak actually but I shared it because
I love photography. I have always been into photography and I’m one of those hard
core geeks when I was a kid that took pictures and I went to Costco to buy
the multi-packet of film because it was cheaper. I always took pictures and I remember when the
digital camera came out and it just getting so much
traction pretty quickly and all these smaller brands launching and Kodak was really adamant
about staying with film and it was pretty obvious a year in that people were moving towards digital but Kodak didn’t really shift because they were trying to stay core to what they believed
was core which was film and they didn’t realize that their core was actually memories which is what the speaker
spoke about yesterday. And again, that’s where that was an example where
I feel like their core really was memories and
memory preservation. They probably got a little
distracted through the years and thinking it was film,
the physical presence verses the actual meaning and essence or instinct of what you stand for. And so as Alan and I were
preparing for this I said, that was an example in my mind of where they didn’t shift in focus. Alan asked about eBay. So I work at eBay now and eBay’s another great example. So we’ve been around since 1995 and I’d say if I ask most
people what does eBay stand for some of the things that
pop to mind first are auction house, garage sale, used stuff, not all sexy things. And you know the reality is that is how we started. So Pierre, who was our founder, he started the company literally selling a broken pointer to
someone else on the web. And so our heritage and
roots was selling things but what we needed to realize was that as we were growing and as the marketplace space was growing we couldn’t stay just in pre-owned items. We needed to expand our assortment. So one of the things that eBay did was make sure we expanded our assortment to meet the demands of what
buyers were looking for. So we started expanding into working with different entrepreneurs, merchants, large merchants who sold new items as well and if you look across our platform today approximately 80% of things
sold are actually new items. So we still have the range
of pre-owned, unique, collectible and new but about 80% of what we sell is new which reflects how eBay had to pivot to be relevant long term. – [Alan] Interesting, so Valerie, you’ve got a couple of examples as well and one is your own company and about you’re evolving post-founder. – [Valerie] Yeah, so we
are about five years old and recently our founder left and that can be a really
traumatic, hard thing for a company to go through. Any company, whether
you’re a start up or not, when the leadership leaves things get kind of scary because it’s like oh, where are we going? But we actually practice what we preach and we built a really strong brand purpose at the core of our company and that’s do great work with great lives. A lot of what we were built around we wanted to do the amazing work of brand strategy and advertising but not under these soul
crushing, sometimes, conditions that often occur
in New York ad agencies. It can feel a little
bit like a sweat shop. But because we were able to
build such a strong purpose that didn’t just live in our founder but lived in every single
person at the company when she left it wasn’t like
the table was flipped on us. We’re continued to operate as usual because the brand was so
much more than any one person and I think you can see examples of brands when you are built on one person when that person leaves or when news comes out about that person that is less than ideal your company can very much
get dragged down with it. And then another fun example
that I love to bring up, especially Margaret you mentioned the need to stay close to your customers. We worked with a company called Bonobos. It was about, it was in 2015, and they are an online
men’s clothing brand and we came in when they, they’d gotten their feet under them, they had great pants, y’all, everyone should buy some Bonobos pants but that was kind of it. And so we came in to build brand strategy to give them the foundation to scale up and take it to the next level. And we started with men and we got really deep into men’s closets which was a little scary at times but we also dug deep into
understanding them as people, understanding their hopes and
their dreams and their fears. And back then masculinity wasn’t
the hot cool cultural topic that it is right now. And even right now I think
it’s still kind of bubbling up. It’s not really fully in the forefront of conversation the way that or that feminism is in the conversation but what was most important to make sure that they’re not just running around the soccer field chasing after errant soccer balls there was a really true
and resonant connection between the DNA of the brand
and this cultural opportunity. So we built Bonobos’ brand
purpose and their instinct around this idea of evolving masculinity. And we rolled it out to
everybody in the organization. So often it’s like, oh, the marketing
department all gets together and they get the
presentation and that’s it. We rolled it out to everyone and actually in fact somebody who worked in
their finance department who sat in one of our workshops just wrapped up a stint with us because he decided to make the transition to brand strategy off of that. But just goes to show that the brand doesn’t just belong to the marketing department. It doesn’t just belong to the CEO. The brand belongs to every
person at the organization and that’s actually a really empowering,
exciting thing for people. Everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of something bigger and that’s how that brand instinct can help drive a company forward. – [Margaret] It was funny, another example we were talking over
lunch yesterday about this and I worked at Clorox for six years and one of the brands I managed was Brita and sharing an example of
how we need to make sure that not only does the
brand stand for something but employees believe and understand it. We did a bunch of market research to understand our
hardcore Brita consumers, why they love Brita, and our insight was that these people are people who believe that drinking water is really healthy for them, they drink 8-10 glasses of water a day and they do it because
it makes them feel good. And so when we had one of
my team meetings I asked, how much water do you guys drink? And this is, I worked
there 20 years ago almost, 15, 20 years ago and soda was still quite popular and so a lot of my
colleagues were drinking soda and I was like, you know what, we’re gonna start a little competition which is hey, we need to really
live and breathe our brand. I said for the next two weeks everybody in this room has to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. So we started this little
competition in the office where everyone, there was a board, and you had to tick off when
you drank water (laughs) so we kind of monitored each other. The first thing was we had
a lot of bathroom breaks so that changed the culture a little bit but pretty quickly we realized or all the employees realized that actually drinking water
did make them feel better and it was really impactful for me to see that just from a two week experiment of forcing people to drink
8-10 glasses of water a day people understood the brand more. They understood why our core consumers were so loyal to Brita. So that’s just an example
of a small tactic we did that helped our team understand,
live and breathe the brand of what we were trying to
say in the marketplace. – [Alan] That’s interesting as
I hear both of you guys talk the work started internal
almost in every example. – [Margaret] Yes. – [Alan] And it reminds me of the chart the CMO of Farmers put up
yesterday, the iceberg, with all of that base under
the water that you don’t see and the little bit that
pokes up above the water is what we all see in the
marketplace as consumers. So Valerie, I don’t know, can you speak to a little bit maybe more about the internal? – [Valerie] Yeah. – [Alan] And how much you focus on that? – [Valerie] Yeah so to go back to that idea
of a lot of agencies being really hard places to work at. When we start we’re like oh great, we’re here, we’re all
about work/life balance. Everyone should just be doing that, right? And what we found was that we all came up through New
York advertising culture and everyone was wanting to be
on their emails all the time. Nobody wanted to take blackout vacations. Nobody wanted to (laughs) you know, shut off and go
and live the great lives and go to the museums and
do all the great stuff that actually at the end of
the day makes the work amazing. And so what we had to do was we had to actually write
into the scopes of work with our clients that we don’t do email after
7 o’clock or on the weekends and yes, if there is a marketing
emergency you can call us. There tends to not be very many marketing emergencies for real but by having that really and
visible hard kind of guideline really helps people to say, oh wait, ’cause you have
to build the ladders for people to be able to
make those behavioral changes especially when you’re
trying to create a purpose that permeates everything you do from the external, the tip of the iceberg all the way down to your
performance evaluations, who you hire, how you hire, how you incentivize. All of those things have to line up because the digital
revolution kicked the doors in and now companies are
very much responsible for matching their internal operations with those external communications and the world is waiting to call BS on you and so by using brand purpose you can start to make sure
that everything is aligned and that also at the end of the day it’s more efficient, right? If everything’s driving
towards the same purpose you’re not wasting energy running around the soccer field (laughs). – [Alan] Well, so let’s talk a little bit about the external
environment and taking stands. I was with a consumer packaged
goods brand last week, I’ll protect the innocent, but they’re known for taking stands but that’s been a few years and they’ve kind of, so they’re trying to figure
out, where do I focus that? How do I maintain my cultural
relevance in today’s world, which is even more I think contentious? How do you guys think about that in terms of brands taking a stand and any examples that come to mind? – [Valerie] Yeah, it’s a sticky subject. It’s really hard to know when you would take a stand as a brand. If it’s similar to us as people, like when do you want
to stand for something? And my advice and my guidance is you take a stand when
it’s the right thing to do and it’s aligned with your
brand and what you stand for. An example is actually at eBay, so we don’t own anything. We are a platform. We are a platform and a marketplace for individuals, businesses
to come sell on our platform and then for buyers to come buy. And with that we stand for our community. If it wasn’t for the
community we wouldn’t exist ’cause again, we don’t own
inventory, we don’t sell, we’re a marketplace. And so something that’s
real time happening now is it’s a Supreme Court case, it’s South Dakota v. Wayfair, I don’t know how many of you guys have been listening to that, but in 1992 the Supreme
Court had a precedent that states could not
tax individual sellers or small businesses who didn’t have physical
presence in their state. And that’s actually
being challenge right now in the Supreme Court. So eBay is actively standing for that or against the overall, right, which is we’ve taken an active stand and we had people go to D.C., we’ve worked with our seller community to get petitions signed, encouraged our sellers to talk
to their local governments to reiterate the importance of not changing that because if states start to tax anyone who sells on the internet that would significantly hurt our entrepreneurs and small businesses whose livelihoods depend on the ability to reach people outside
of their local areas and that’s what eBay does. So in that case it really was aligned, or this case that’s out there is really aligned with
our DNA of what we do and who we stand for and so in that case I
think we should stand up. So my advice and point is when there are political situations if it’s aligned with what you stand for just like as individuals
you should stand up. – [Valerie] Yeah, I think so
many of the social institutions that as a society we’ve relied on to give us direction and to take stands. People don’t go to
church like they used to. A lot of these power
structures have crumbled so to remain relevant as a brand you do need to take an active
role in creating the future. If you’re too busy
worrying about keeping up, you’re already behind. So if you want to futureproof you have to actually think
about future creation but with that comes such a responsibility to do that with integrity. We’ve been talking a lot
about all these examples of people messing things up and the thing that I
think you have to remember is one, to your point, keeping it aligned with who
you stand for as a brand and your heritage and your DNA and avoiding being what I like
to call a culture vulture. And that’s that trend chasing, oh, I’m just gonna hop
onto the latest thing ’cause it’s the latest thing without any real intention around it because to participate
in these cultural spaces where the future is being created you have to act with an integrity that I think comes down to three things, one of which is community. Are you playing by the
rules of the community that is already creating in that space? Are you embracing the community? Are you hiring the community? So many brands are like oh my gosh, how am I gonna know how
to connect with so and so? I’m like well have you hired (laughs) anybody from that community because that’s the number one step. Bring them into the table. The other thing is giving credit. There will always be, especially in these spaces
like gender and feminism where people are on the
streets in the trenches doing the hard work so giving them the credit and elevating them and championing them. And I think the last thing is coin. So put your money where your mouth is. Are you willing to either
contribute financially or take a hit on the back end in terms of, I think Patagonia is one. I was doing some groups
with a bunch of teenagers and college kids and they were just in awe of Patagonia because they were like, oh, they did that thing where it’s like don’t buy this jacket and that meant they were
just losing so much money and in my head I’m like, yeah, they’re probably earning a lot of that back in marketing but it goes to show
that people are looking for that commitment and that’s part of what is necessary when you want to
participate in the future. – [Alan] That’s great. We’ve got a few questions piling up here so let’s take the first one. What advice would you give
for big institutional brands in a future that seems to be about small, non-institutional brands? – [Valerie] Yeah so I
think this is actually really interesting. I think there’s a bit of a judo move you can do with this in that people are expecting the cool East and West coastal elitist
brands, the small ones, to be out there throwing the punches and pushing forward but I think we’re in the midst of a really interesting
conversation right now, especially in light of the election, where it’s like there’s a whole big chunk in the middle of the country that is very very much relevant and just as important as
these bleeding edge coasts. So when you’re a bigger company you actually have the reach
and the power and the salience so that when you do something it means so much more. People are expecting Milk Makeup, a tiny little New York brand, to go out and do the crazy things but if you’re a big brand like Walmart and you are taking a
stand in a certain way that’s actually gonna
be a lot more salient and interesting than a tiny
little startup somewhere. So there’s pros and cons to
being on both sides of that but there is power in that. I think that gets ignored. – [Margaret] Yeah, I would say having come from mostly institutional big brands, I would say you really need
to lean into your strength. So you’re absolutely right. There are little start ups and
pop ups coming up everywhere and some of them are really cool and hip and it’s a little bit like
my daughter’s soccer team. So as new things come, consumers will try and it’s great and I love competition
because we were talking about competition actually creates
greatness in the marketplace. As an institutional brand you have to realize
when you’re in the face of all these small start ups or all these cooler brands coming up you need to really focus on yourself and know what is your reason for being and why are you different and then lean into that. An example I can share is when I worked at Clorox I did a rotation in our sales group and I was our marketing lead for sales for our club channel. So Costco was one of my
clients and they were amazing. They stand for doing the
right thing for their members and they do it because I think
it’s 90% of their profits or something comes from membership so for them it’s absolutely critical, public data so I can share that (laughs), it’s critical for them
to do the right thing for their members because all their profits
come from their members. And so they literally will
fight with manufacturers to try to sell in products who are not to make sure they get the best price and they pass it all
down to their members. And they do that because they realize how important it is for them. So a lot of those members, there’s lots of other online places where people can order or buy or shop, obviously just like anyone
they have competition but how Costco has protected
and saved their space as a bigger institutional brand is they’ve really really leaned into, and they continue to, over time lean into what they stand for, what they believe in and most people will say they fully trust what
Costco’s done for them because over all these years they’ve built this reputation and truth that their employees stand for
and fight for their members. So they began just really sticking true to what you stand for and making sure you lean into that and not be my daughter’s soccer team and run after the coolest next trend. – [Alan] Nice, the next question is, do you have suggestions for a company with a long history that
needs to evolve culture to stay relevant? How can you help shift
the embraced internally? – [Margaret] You know
what’s funny, it’ GoDaddy. So I don’t know how many of you guys heard the GoDaddy presentation. I must say the woman who spoke I respected the fact that
was able to stand up for that ’cause that’s a hard one. As a woman when I saw those ads and I remembered some of them from before but not some of the early early ones. They had a pretty hard
position where they were at, especially in today’s society, and so advice on how to change. You got to be bold and make that move. If you know you’re going
down the wrong path. GoDaddy, they knew they were
going down the wrong path. They were alienating people. They were offending people. And so they made a pretty
hard decision to move. I felt like there was
probably more room there and that’s an evolution but if you’re at a bad,
in a tough situation and there’s only kind of downhill there I think you just need to
figure out as an executive team why don’t you rip the bandaid
off and make that pivot. And like I said, GoDaddy sounds
like they have started that and that’s respectable
’cause that’s not easy. – [Valerie] Yeah, and I
think change is something that is so multi-faceted. It’s very easy to get caught
up in the top down elements of cultural change, especially within companies, when we all operate kind of
in this cult of leadership. We all sit around and read HBR articles about how to be better leaders and that is important but I think that especially
as more women become leaders that is becoming more multi-faceted and so when you’re thinking
about how to create change are you thinking about bottom up change? Are you thinking about lateral change? Are you thinking about how
do you build the systems that constantly give the little nudges? Because at the end of the day culture is just an
amalgamation of routines and so those are your daily things. So if you can incorporate
daily drinking more water to better connect with your customer those are the things that
actually make an impact and so by building those small nudges and also building them out over time. People can’t take everything
in in one off-site, they just can’t (laughs). As much as I would love as somebody who designs off-sites to think, okay, they’re
gonna take it all in, that’s just not true. So by building it over time and with a lot of emotion that’s how you get things to stick. – [Margaret] And actually
that’s a good point, not only in the GoDaddy example, not only do you have to
make as an executive team the hard decision to actually pivot, you have to implement
things to facilitate that. And so your company example of no emails after 7 or on weekends. The Brita example of forcing
my team to drink water (laughs) those are all silly things but they are a hard tangible things that we force internally to help make that evolution. – [Valerie] Yeah, I think it’s, especially with company values oftentimes those don’t have the teeth of actual policies to make sure that they’re real. And again, they’re just something that’s beautifully painted
on a wall somewhere in the cafeteria (laughs). – [Margaret] Yeah. – [Alan] The next question is I think targeted to you, Val. So brand instincts sounds great in theory but how hard is it to
execute and practice? – [Valerie] So it is hard, right? I’m not gonna pretend like we just come in and we show you the deck and then you’re good to go. To commit to brand instinct
requires hard work. And even to get there, to
get to that sharp purpose requires a lot of looking in the mirror and being very real about who
you are and who you aren’t, having the bravery to just own that, but then after that are you gonna stick to the hard line? Are you going to based on that purpose make the call that maybe
won’t make you popular but is the right thing to do based on the purpose
that you are building. So we always say that
sometimes at the beginning you have to, brands do well with dictators in that there is somebody who’s like, nope, that is not how we do things anymore or yes, that is how we do things and that sharpness eventually it just becomes natural. At Google they talk about is that Googley or not? And when you first start there’s kind of a moment
where you’re like, what the hell are people
talking about (laughs) but over time you understand it but you understand it
through people being like, that’s not Googley. So there’s as much positive reinforcements as negative reinforcement but it is a journey but the
benefits are well worth it ’cause over time people are
able to own and run things and I like to say decisions
should always get easier with brand strategy, not harder. – [Margaret] Well and to your point it’s got to be consistent, too, so it is hard. Having a brand instinct, having that clear focus
is super super hard but it’s got to be made simple so that people get it. To your point, whatever this
insight is or this instinct it’s got be articulated in
a way that people get it and senior leadership has
to constantly reiterate it. Actually it made me think of an example of when I worked at Clorox our CEO was amazing. He would say, do the right thing and it was as simple as that consistently, every all hand, every time
we had a hard decision he would say, do the right thing. And it was this essence
of what we stood for but it was simplified in a way that everyone can understand it and it was literally
consistently reiterated at every all hands and as things came up we’d be like, is that doing the right thing? – [Valerie] Yeah. – [Margaret] But it trickled
down through the organization so we were able to build that in. – [Valerie] Yeah and those stories and you almost have to, you’re
building a belief system so the myths that go along with whatever values and
purpose you were standing for also important. So for us, we will say no to clients. We will walk away from business, sometimes very lucrative business, because it doesn’t align with our values and especially when
we’re onboarding people or people are new to the company those stories are like wow wait, so you said no to working with them? It is, it’s that kind
of storytelling element that drives home and is something that people
can remember and hold onto. – [Alan] I think we’ve got time probably for one more question. What tools or software do you use to create and execute strategy? I know tools and software
is kind of a hard one I think in this space but I know both of you love research and involving people in that process so maybe we can talk about that but if anything else jumps
to mind that’d be great, too. – [Margaret] I would say brand, so we use brand help trackers so that’s maybe a tool
there that you can say. So if you’re trying to lean
into a certain attribute and you’re trying to either change or keep one from moving a tool or a process we
do is we’ll research it. So we have regular brand health trackers where we go out and either
monthly or quarterly basis and go to gen pop during certain audiences and there are surveys to understand consumer gen pop opinions about brands and you look at that over time and that’s a tool you can leverage to see whether or not
you’re moving the needle on a certain attribute if that’s the needle or the attribute of the strategy you’re trying to drive. That would be something
that I’ve used in my career. – [Valerie] Yeah, so these aren’t, well actually I would argue these are the ultimate tools (laughs). They’re not software but I think empathy and vulnerability are both really important
tools and practices to building great brand strategy. On the empathy side we always say to know you have to go and it’s really easy to say yeah, we got our junior, our intern, they’re on Instagram and they’re figuring out
what’s happening with people. It’s like, no. I did a project with Hurley around surfing and I’m from Texas. Surfing is not something
that I grew up with at all and I had to go and figure out a culture and a community that has been very
historically locals only and there is no way that I could have done a couple of interviews with some surf guys and had understood it. What I had to do is I had to go and I had to sit in the sand with kids who were like oh hey just like yeah meet me where the surf is good. I’m like, you don’t understand, I don’t know where the surf is good. And I had to actually spend so much time sitting in the back of a car and they’re avoiding tolls and I’m like, I guess this
is a surfing lifestyle, but I really had to know
the community at that depth. And then I think also
the other side of that is the battle is not just
with connecting with people but it’s also connecting
with what’s happening inside your company and vulnerability to do that and to really open up. I think it is not just like business. Everyone spends so much time working. These are big chunks of our lives and so I have a secret count of how many people have cried in workshops but it’s because you have
to get really vulnerable, you have to get really real and honest and sometimes that comes
with emotion and that’s okay. Actually I think when
you’re getting to a truth that is emotional that is
when your brand is powerful. Your brand should be maybe not starting fights in bars but they should be something that people get passionate
about, people get fired up about. – [Alan] Well thank you both. I know we didn’t get to all the questions but I’m sure there’ll be around for anybody that didn’t get
their questions answered. Thank you so much. – [Valerie] Thanks.
– [Margaret] Thanks. (applause) (light instrumental music) – [Alan] Marketing Today is
brought to you buy Atomck. Atomck focuses on unleashing
the growth potential for clients we serve. Atomck is a strategic consultancy specializing in business,
marketing, brand and innovation. Our singular goal is to help
you accelerate your efforts with the right mix of expertise,
analysis and creativity. Check us out at atomck.com. A-T-O-M-C-K dot com. Hi, it’s Alan again. Marketing Today was
created and produced by me with writing and editing by Kevin Greeley, social media support by Megan Woods, art and graphic design by Sarah Dale. If you’re new to Marketing Today please feel free to write
us a review on iTunes or your favorite listening platform. Don’t forget to subscribe and tell your friends and
colleagues about the show. I love to hear from listeners and you can contact me at
marketingtodaypodcast.com. There you’ll also find complete show notes with links to anything we talk about on any episode. You can also search our archives. I’m Alan Hart and this is Marketing Today.

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