Best of Season 2 (2021) of JUST Branding Podcast

Best of Season 2 (2021) of JUST Branding Podcast

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Wow! What a year!

Over the past year my bearded co-host Matt Davies and I interviewed 22 guests for the JUST Branding Podcast.

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We heard branding insights from creative minds such as Sagi Haviv, Joseph Pine II, Denise Lee Yohn, Natalie Nixon, Bill Gardner, Emily Cohen, Armin Vit, Julian Cole and many more.

Matt and I reminisced on the past year and compiled our favourite nuggets from Season 2 into our Best of 2021 episode.

Listen Here

Apologies for Jacob’s echoey audio… unfortunately my microphone defaulted back to the Macbook microphone which we only found out after recording.

We wanted to take this time to say a HUGE thank you for listening and all your 5 star reviews!

Below are a few stats from the show.

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Podcast Stats

  • 4.9/5 Star Average Rating on Apple Podcasts (65+ Reviews)
  • 10,000+ Monthly Downloads
  • 3000+ Listens per episode
  • 22 Episodes in Season 2
  • 2 Episodes a Month


We had some nice features this year including being ranked the number 1 Branding Podcast by multiple sites.

  • Ranked #1 Branding Podcast by Welp Magazine
  • Ranked #1 Branding Podcast by Feedspot
  • Top 10 Design Podcasts by ClearDesign

Listenership Location

  • 64% USA
  • 14% UK
  • 9% Australia
  • 8.5% Canada
  • 4.5% India, China

Podcast Charts

A platform called Chartable ranks the podcasts of the world and below you can see our peak positions over the past year in the Design category.

  • #1 Design Podcast in Switzerland
  • #1 Design Podcast in Slovenia
  • #1 Design Podcast in Cyprus
  • #1 Design Podcast in Nigeria
  • #1 Design Podcast in Lebanon
  • #1 Design Podcast in Belize
  • #1 Design Podcast in Ghana
  • #1 Design Podcast in Tanzania
  • #1 Design Podcast in Bermuda
  • #1 Art Podcast in Serbia
  • #2 Design podcast in Austria
  • #2 Design podcast in Slovakia
  • #2 Design podcast in Croatia
  • #6 Design Podcast in Australia
  • #7 Design Podcast in UK
  • #6 Design Podcast in Canada
  • #22 Design Podcast in USA
  1. Simplicity in Branding with Scott Buschkuhl
  2. No-BS Strategies To Evolve Your Creative Business with Emily Cohen
  3. Creative Briefs & Strategy Fundamentals with Julian Cole

Season 2 Episode Recap

  • E1: Smart Strategy with Kevin Duncan
  • E2: Brand & Culture Fusion with Denise Lee Yohn
  • E3: Creative Bravery with Lisa Hastings
  • E4: Creativity, Innovation & Intuition with Natalie Nixon
  • E5: Cracking Complexity with Systems Thinking – David Benjamin
  • E6: Brand Building Mistakes with Jacqueline Lieberman
  • E7: Primal Human Desires with Nathan Hendricks
  • E8: Logos VS Brands with Bill Gardner
  • E9: Building A Million Dollar Strategic Agency with Mash Bonigala
  • E10: Rebranding Strategy with Armin Vit
  • E11: Brand Discovery & Innovation with Jose Caballer
  • E12: Problem Solving with Sagi Haviv
  • E13: Copyright & Trademark Law with Joey Vitale
  • E14: The Customer Experience Economy with Joseph Pine II
  • EP15: Staying Relevant as a Brand with Allen Adamson
  • EP16: Simplicity in Branding with Scott Buschkuhl
  • EP17: No-BS Strategies To Evolve Your Creative Business with Emily Cohen
  • EP18: Branding From The Inside with Kyle Millar
  • E19: Creative Briefs & Strategy Fundamentals – Julian Cole
  • EP20: Powerful Personal Branding with Rob Levinson
  • EP21: Building Brands for a Sustainable Tomorrow with Katie Klencheski
  • EP22: Best of Season 2 – 2021

Season 3 Launches in January 2022!

Yes! We are doing a third season for 2022. We are having a short break over the holiday season and plan to launch Season 3 in January 2022.

From Matt and I, thanks again for tuning in!!


Play Now

Watch on Youtube

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Transcript (Auto Generated)

Hello, and welcome to JUST Branding, the only podcast dedicated to helping designers and entrepreneurs grow brands. Here are your hosts, Jacob Cass and Matt Davies.

Well, everybody, welcome to the best of episodes of season two. It’s the best of, so you might notice those of you that are watching this on YouTube that Jacob and I have put special effort in and we are wearing our smart jackets. Jacob, welcome to the best of.

Are you ready for this?

Thank you for welcoming me to my own show.

Well, someone’s got to do it. No one’s ever welcomed me. I just sort of show up.

So I just thought I’d do the right thing.

Super excited. It’s been several months, much more than that since Matt and I have connected. So it was a good chance for us to go back and look at the past season and figure out what’s the best clips to share with you guys.

It’s been quite a season, hasn’t it? Season three being planned as well for 2022, which is exciting.

Yeah, and we’ve got some big guests coming up on season three, so definitely check that out. But season two was good. It was jam packed.

Hopefully you, our listeners, found it full of value. I know Jacob and I found it really interesting. Some of the guests we got on were perhaps not your typical kind of brand or design guests, and I think we’ve got a good mix.

And I think this episode will hopefully showcase that as we go through. So I think we’ve kind of all, we’ve kind of picked just bits and bobs that we thought were really, really awesome, didn’t we, as we’ve gone through. And I’ve got about six or seven guests that I want to share and highlight, and maybe we can talk about them as we go through.

Jacob, how many have you got?

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Yeah, I’ve selected eight clips. So we’re going to have a little bit of discussion about each of those clips. And, you know, reflecting on all these episodes, we realized we really covered a lot of ground in terms of brand.

And, you know, once we get into it, you’ll realize there’s so much to brand and brand building. Hence starting this podcast. But yeah, I’ve had some incredible guests, so let’s get into it now.

Okay, cool. So I’ll start, if that’s okay. Well, we’ll probably try and do it in order of actually the episodes.

And the first one actually is a clip from the first episode of season two, which was with a lovely chap called Kevin Duncan, who has written a number of amazing books. And we were talking particularly to him about Smart Strategy, which was one of the books that he had put together. And this is how Kevin Duncan described strategy for us.

So when it comes to my definition of strategy, I’m actually very much a debunker. I will not accept a 47 page definition of what apparently strategy is. In my opinion, strategy is just when you’ve decided what to do, that’s it.

Now, sounds almost crassly simplistic, almost facile, but really if you look at all the definitions of it, strategy is just a posh word to make people in business who are a bit underconfident think that they’re doing something more intelligent and important because strategy somehow linguistically sounds way more elevated and lofty than tactics, which sound a bit sh**ty in short term. But really, strategy is what you’ve decided to do. So that’s my definition of it.

And so throughout this thing, what I’m pointing out is there’s way too much waffle attached to the discipline. And the more of it you have, the less you and your teams have got any idea what you’re really trying to do. And you’ve all been in these multi-disciplinary joint meetings, and someone says, well, it’s clearly one of these, three of those, four of those and so on.

And there’s a lot of hot air and jargony stuff. And you walk out of it thinking, I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing with this. I don’t know what the direction is at all.

I’ll invent something, probably. So that’s the sort of backdrop to it.

So that is a classic Kevin Duncan, very dry, very brutal in his approach. To me, he speaks a lot of sense. Strategy is when you’ve decided on what to do.

What do you think about that, Jacob? That is an opening clip.

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It’s a perfect choice to start with, to find a strategy. And Kevin just says how it is. And I loved his approach.

And that was one of my favorite episodes. I think I’m going to say that for all of our episodes. And yeah, that’s a brilliant episode to go back onto.

And like I said, he’s got some amazing books to check out as well.

Yeah, I mean, one of the things I really appreciated about that episode was when he went through a load of really, really useful strategic tools that you can use in your brand strategy work. And in fact, there’s one he talked about called the market map. And here he is talking about that just to kind of give you the listener a little insight into that episode and how valuable it could be for you.

So the one you were mentioning earlier, the gap in the market. Now I call this the market map and this is the strategist’s arguably best friend ever in the world. Now I’m gonna quickly describe it verbally, but it is visual, which makes it a little harder on a podcast, but let’s give it a go.

So if people can imagine one vertical straight line and then one horizontal one going across it, so it’s a little bit like a crucifix, but both lines are of equal length and you would choose two important parameters in whatever the market is or brand that you’re dealing with. So to give a rubbish example, if you’re dealing with cars, you might have fuel economy, good, bad, you might have style, good, bad, family, saloon, whatever. You can work out those parameters easily enough.

And then as a strategist, what you’re gonna wanna do is plot your brand on the map. So it’s becoming a market map already. Now, just by putting the brand on the map, it means that you as the brand strategist have to have a reasonable working idea of what this brand does indeed stand for.

So that’s step number one. If you then do it with all the other brands in the market, suddenly you’ve got a market map. Now, in that, you can’t fill that chart in if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Or if you’re working in a team, you’re gonna have a massive discussion with your mate. So if you and Jacob, for example, were filling that thing in, and you said, right, put Volvo on the map, and you’d say, well, it clearly goes here, and he’ll say, you’re an idiot. No, it doesn’t, it goes down here.

And suddenly you’re having a strategic discussion, but you didn’t even intend to. If you repeat that with all the other brands in the market, stick Fiat on the map, stick Mazda on the map, stick everything, you have to debate that entire market fast and furious with your colleagues, and you can generate that market, Matt, usually in less than 10 minutes.

I would just say that Jacob would still probably call me an idiot, even if I had all that tied down. So, a little clip of the banter that we sometimes have. But I mean, what an amazing description of a really super powerful tool.

I’ve actually used that tool a few times in my work over the last sort of few months, and it is amazing. What do you think of that clip, Jacob, listening to it back?

I think it ended well. You’re really banter again. Yeah, I also use a very similar tool as well.

It’s a pretty classic one, competitive mapping, and it’s very powerful. If you haven’t used that before, definitely look it up because it is a good way to find the gap in the market. And it’s not always…

I think that was a good analogy. I don’t know if it’s in that episode, but it’s not always about finding the gap because sometimes there’s a gap in the market for a reason. So I don’t know who said it was one of our guests, but the hot coffee analogy, where you look at the gap in the market, there’s hot coffee and there’s cold coffee, so let’s serve warm hot coffee.

So it’s not always about finding that gap because it’s not always valid. So I think that’s a good point to mark on that.

A very good point, a very good point. But yeah, hopefully it shows though just a little snippet from that episode, episode one. Definitely tuck into that one.

Duncan shares tons more tools and ideas. So there’s our first one. I think that’s hopefully a good start.

I hope you find that quite interesting. You’re getting a whirlwind tour of the whole of the series here. So we’re gonna dive straight into the second one.

And the second one is another one of mine actually. So the second one was, and it’s with the second episode I think, was with an amazing lady called Denise Yohn. Denise is quite famous.

She’s written a number of bestselling books. And we sat down to talk with her about one of her latest books, which was called Fusion, Brand Culture Fusion. And she’s talking a lot about how you take brand, which she defines as sort of appearing externally, and you bring that and build a culture around it internally in organizations.

So really, really insightful and interesting episode. Here she is talking about her transition to basically going solo as a solo consultant. And I think this is quite an interesting clip for those of you that are on that journey.

You know, I always say that when you go out into business on your own, you end up wearing three hats. One hat is all of the like administrative and like technology stuff. So yeah, like when your printer breaks, you don’t just call IT and say, hey, that’s my printer.

You like get underneath it. The printer can like figure it out. Or you call on your husband, which is what I normally do.

The second thing you wear is business development. And to your point, that is very difficult for a lot of people, to you know, if you’ve never had a sales role before, which I really technically hadn’t, it was very difficult to get used to this idea that like you eat what you chill or whatever they say in sales. And so, you know, you’re responsible for making your business.

And then the third how you wear is the actual work that you want to do, like the content and all of the strategy and everything. But you know, if you don’t wear those first two hats, you won’t be able to do the last one. And so you really have to be okay with that.

What do you think of that, Jacob? Three hats of a solo consultant, solo freelancer. She said admin, business development and work.

What are your thoughts on that? As I know you and both of us work solo, but what are your thoughts on that?

I would say there’s more hats than that, definitely.

There’s a few more.

Yes, I’ve got a whole hat rack in my cupboard. I mean, a whole rack of hats, I should say. But yeah, I loved her approach to branding culture and she was a very unique speaker to come onto our show.

And I loved how she is talking about the next level of branding, how it integrates inside of a business. And I think so many of us focus on just the visuals and kind of miss the next level up when it comes to brand building. And I think the strongest brands do have a very strong culture that actually aligns with the brand.

So I really loved how she spoke about it and how she brings culture into brand and influences inside the company.

Let’s just hear what she had to say. Just a very tiny, small clip around exactly what you’ve just talked about.

Now, the problem is that a lot of culture building tends to be focused in one direction only. And that is everyone kind of gets this impression that you need to have a friendly, fuzzy, nice, warm, nurturing, organizational culture. But that’s just not true.

Like every organization is different. Every brand is different. And so every culture needs to be different as well.

You know, you don’t just want to produce happy employees. You want to have your employees produce the specific results you’re looking for. And so that’s why you need to align your brand identity like what you hope to stand for in the world with how you actually run your company so that you actually can get to that desired identity.

And so that’s why the fusion of brand and culture is so important.

So as Jacob’s just said, guys, get into that episode. It does bring you into the next level of brand strategy. And you can see already, hopefully, just with those first two, the breadth of our podcast in this series, you know, first of all, dealing with hardcore strategy, then dealing with culture.

We kind of segued back in episode three into perhaps more creative space with Lisa Hastings. Do you remember her, the Australian? Well, she was a British Australian.

She had a very strange… Yeah, she was awesome. She was a proper powder keg of thinking.

And she was talking to us about creative bravery. And here she is.

So in terms of bravery, I’ve got a little bit of a written down note here. So it’s the quality and state of showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear or difficulty. So I guess to me, like bravery is like…

And I’ve recently done a podcast on this kind of topic of risk with Mark actually, but more in terms of drawing up examples. So it’s not recklessness. It’s not taking opportunities, but it’s more about facing danger.

Like it’s a sensibility of courage to me.

So there she is talking about creative bravery. That was a really interesting episode as well. Lisa, top of her game, running creative teams, running brand strategy in and amongst, delivering massive rebrands for very large clients.

It’s amazing to hear her talk about bravery in this space. What did you make of that episode, Jacob?

Yeah, I think being courageous with your work, not just design work, but how you approach brand and working with clients and actually pushing them to go beyond. I think a lot of focus in that episode was about that. How do you actually help the client to go the next level, push further, go a little bit more brave?

I think she really nailed that episode. It leads into our next clip, which is from Natalie Nixon, which we focused on creativity and innovation. We’ll see how that is applied.

And I think about creativity as our ability to toggle between wonder and rigor to solve problems and also produce novel value at scale. And wonder is about awe and audacity and asking big blue sky what if questions. It’s also about pausing.

Rigor is about time on task. It’s about discipline, incessant practice. It’s often very solitary.

It’s not particularly sexy. And it is an equally essential aspect of creativity. The reason why it’s super important for us to be thinking about creativity in a business context is that most businesses that I work with are trying to build cultures of innovation.

But what I often find is that they throw around the word innovation quite a bit and are not necessarily speaking the same language. We don’t have really a good lingua franca for how we think about innovation. And by the way, I define innovation as invention converted into value.

And that might be social value, financial value, cultural value. But at the end of the day, creativity is that conversion factor. It’s creativity that converts an invention, an idea into a scalable idea.

But we have to actually start with creativity before we even get about the business of innovation because creativity is the engine for innovation. And it’s how we get to interesting and cool inventions that we can eventually scale.

We have it from Natalie Nixon. She has a whole book on creativity called Creativity Leap. It goes into much more detail about using creativity to lead to innovation.

And innovation is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, as I mentioned. But when you actually dive deeper into the company and you’re asking about how much money you put in towards innovation, it’s generally nothing at all. Or they’re just throwing it around saying, we have a team that’s working on innovation, but it’s not actually doing anything new.

So I’m curious to your thoughts on that, Matt.

Yeah, I think both of those clips that we’ve just looked at, the one with Lisa and the one with Natalie, the episodes were super inspirational because they both touched on this idea of bravery and leaping into the unknown, which is what creativity is, right? Because if you’ve got a new idea and it’s new, it’s fresh, it’s going to scare the heck out of people. And that is what really fuels that innovation.

The trick is how do you bring other people on the journey with you? How do you test that that’s useful and you’re not just inventing, as you referred to earlier, lukewarm coffee because that’s not that fun. So both of those episodes were brilliant in relation to that.

And I think you’re right, businesses really struggle with innovation. And the reason, I mean, I think we touched on this in those episodes. I think the reason for that is that there is this kind of fear around the new, fear around the unknown, fear around not doing things like they’ve always been done because you kind of feel safe in that zone.

So I always think that innovation doesn’t happen by accident. You’ve got to create that space, create that thinking, design and the way forward so that you are producing new ideas, new thinking from the micro to the macro, and you really need to, as you say, invest in that, Jacob. Definitely check out those episodes if you’re struggling with a brand problem around innovation.

If you’re becoming stagnant and you need a little bit of a boost, those are great episodes to kind of kickstart some creative thinking in your work.

Yeah. And moving into the next clip is from Jacqueline Lieberman, and we actually speak about brand building mistakes. I think it’s a good segue into that.

This particular clip is about purpose, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

Why shouldn’t we be doing this? Why shouldn’t every year, like we do with the marketing plan for the next year and our business imperatives or whatever we do, why shouldn’t we be like, oh, let’s rethink our brand purpose and vision, mission and values every year? Why not?

Well, I mean, it’s kind of like saying to yourself, I’m going to change my personality for 2021. I’m just going to randomly be a completely different person than I am now, and I’m going to expect all of my family and friends to still love me and respect me because I’m going to have completely different viewpoints and personality and behavior, and I expect no one to blink because of that. And that’s what a brand does, essentially.

That episode actually goes more into other brand building mistakes, talking about purpose and values and uncovering brand truths and brand management. So there’s a lot more value in that episode, but I think what is your take on mistakes when it comes to brand building? What are some other mistakes that companies make?

Well, I often find that one of the biggest mistakes is the leadership team don’t engage with the wider organization, and I think that they therefore sometimes struggle to get buy-in. Now, I’m not saying that therefore you should talk to everybody and get committees designing and thinking through all of the big brand strategy questions and then out into market. You don’t want committees to be making all the decisions, but when it comes to things like purpose or values, things like that, I think you need to connect that deep within the culture, and if you don’t carry people with you, then you can sometimes very much, and I see it a lot, struggle to get the engagement levels that you need.

I’m always an advocate of listening, setting up listening posts, setting up ways of cascading information and helping people come up with, at least feel that they’re listened to and should be listened to genuinely to factor into the process. But then leaders ultimately make the call. I think if that approach is taken, you don’t get this problem of such a disconnect sometimes, as you can see in some organizations.

So there’s one. How about you, Jacob? Any ones that you kind of sort of see happen from time to time?

Most people will jump ahead straight into the identity and working on the visuals, and they skip so many of the important internal factors when it comes to brand building. The substance, mission, vision, values, and the positioning, looking at your customers and your competitors, and what makes you different? Why is someone going to choose you?

So many people just skip all of this, and often march to the detriment, and it can really slow down their growth. So that’s definitely why we’re here, right, as strategists, to help with them, help businesses and brands, you know, program in a strategic way. So let’s segue into, you know, I think it’s Nathan Hendricks.

Yeah, well, Nathan’s episode was absolutely mind-blowing, at least I found it. So Nathan Hendricks is the Chief Creative Officer at the global agency LPK. He was an absolute honor to have on the show, and he talked to us in depth around one of the tools that he uses, which is a framework around the 16 basic human desires.

So this is him talking to us and introducing that idea.

The reason I discovered them is because I was struggling with the kind of information that I was getting out of focus groups and just the kind of lack of either truthfulness or literally the ability for people to kind of talk truthfully about, you know, why they were buying things, why they were in certain categories. And so desires really are part of a framework that was developed by Professor Stephen Rees. And this framework is one that I came across probably about 10 years ago by name.

But he describes and defines desires as highly ingrained, universal needs, wants or cravings. And when I saw that language, that word universal was really important to me, just because we work on a number of different brands at LPK. Many of them are global brands.

And I think anybody who works on a global brand knows what a trick that is to make that brand work well in North America as well as it does in South America or Shanghai or wherever.

So there’s him introducing the concept and this idea of universal principle. And he references that the framework was originally produced by this or discovered and defined by Stephen Reese, a psychologist. And it really is a fascinating episode.

He goes through in the episode. We’re not going to do it now because we can’t give you all, we can’t give everything away. You’ve got to go back into it and find it, guys.

I mean, come on. But yeah, he goes into each of those 16 basic desires and explains how you can use them in your work. I found them particularly helpful when building audience personas for brands, when you’re looking at, well, what is it that this brand, who is it that this brand is seeking to serve?

And what is it that that group is really after? Because it really hones your thinking, the messaging, the positioning, and the ability to build a strategic alignment around where to focus. So a fantastic tool, really, really helpful, and one I found really useful.

How did you find that episode, Jacob?

Yeah, I loved it. When I hear of frameworks that I knew, I’m always blown away. When I first heard about brand archetypes from Carl Jung, and when I heard about this framework and that studies, and there’s also another one, which Bill Gardner, we’re going to talk about in the next clip.

It’s a different framework. Like you said, it does really help with the brand’s personality and persona, and these desires, they’re often within us. We only talk about the surface level once.

We never talk about our internal desires, and this goes deeper. That’s what strategy is about, is going deeper and uncovering those fears, wants and desires. That is how you’re actually going to connect with customers in the long run to help grow your brand.

The more you know about them, the more you can connect with them, the better you’re going to be. I think that was a great framework to share from Nathan. Let’s get into Bill’s clip because he talked about a different framework.

Yeah, let’s hear from Bill.

Within brands, there are basically five different personalities. Those are five different personality dimensions. If I were to list those categories up top, the categories are sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness.

Okay, that’s kind of an odd mix. You’re kind of going, wow, is that the only five? But keep in mind, those are dimensions, so think of those as five buckets up top.

Within each bucket, there are trait words that are associated with each of those dimensions. So sincerity, for example. If I were to look in that bucket of trait words, I would find words like authentic, original, family.

These are words that have to do with somebody giving their word a warm feeling of family within sincerity. You can kind of see that filling out, and there’s probably a dozen different trait words associated with that. There’s about a dozen associated with each of those.

What we do is we literally go in to a group of stakeholders in a company, whether it is those in charge of the company, or whether it’s their clients, or whether it is potential clients or board members or employees. We have a survey that we go through that asks a lot of questions. Amongst those, it says, which of these words do you associate with your company?

By circling those trait words, we can identify brand-wise which of those five buckets you most land in. I will tell you that very few companies are just one of any one of those dimensions. Oftentimes, you’ll find that they fall into one or two, or sometimes three.

You don’t really want to press it beyond that because it starts to become a camel. It’s not well-designed and everybody’s trying to get in there.

He’s got a lot of humor. He’s a magician. He’s also a founder of an agency and runs Logo Lounge, which is a brilliant Logo database.

The personality framework he was talking about there was from Jennifer Arka, called the Five Dimensions of Branding Personality. If you want to look at that further. In this episode with Bill, we talk about logos versus brands and dive into brands with a blend of personalities.

Go check out that episode if that interests you. Moving into the next clip, we have Jose Calaver. I’m butchering out names, so please forgive me.

In this episode, we talk about innovation and discovery and big picture thinking and drive, so I’m going to jump into this one. Oh, unless Matt, I’ll tell everybody. Do you want to comment on that?

No, no, no.

Don’t worry. And hey, folks, if this is still playing, this is how I’m treated. Let’s just leave that in just so that everyone knows really how I’m treated.

Anyway, let’s go into Jose’s episode now. Where do you think that innovation spark comes from? What are you training people in to come up with that new stuff, that new experience, that new product?

And do you have anything to share with us on innovation and that in regards to brand?

Yeah, I can only speak to it from my own experience. But the first thing I’ll say is that you guys are a perfect example of that. People who are willing to move forward and do their thing, right?

Like, you know, just not having any, not caring, right? You know, the rebels, the big picture thinkers, the healers, the feelers, you know, the people who are like, you know, like, meh. But Susan Griffith Black, the co-founder of Yo!

Products, with Brad Black, who’s the co-founder and the new CEO, Tom. So, about Susan specifically, I’ve learned so much from my clients who are powerful creators. Because ultimately, she’s the creator.

And just watching her, like, interact with the world and with businesses, it was just, A, a privilege, B, a big school. People like Christo, like, you know, people like me, you know, almost like this dogged, like, world devil may care, like, just do it, right? Nike does it best, right?

Just do it. Just Branding. Oh, I just got that.

I’m so slow.

I love that episode. Jose is a unique character and I love his creative energy and goes on these, like, tangents with, and then comes back to what he was talking about. It was a really, you know, awesome episode that went into brand discovery and, you know, innovation and really being a pirate and doing things your way.

And, you know, I loved how he spoke to Chris and himself. And I think they’re perfect examples of, you know, people that are actually leading the way, right, through drive and motivation and passion. And Jose is actually bringing out a whole new system that is going to help creatives, you know, actually create more impact in the world.

So go check out Jose’s system. It’s literally called The System. And he’s really put in the whole approach to creative thinking and innovation on his head.

And, you know, it’s super exciting to see him do that. So what are your thoughts on innovation now?

Well, well, I just wanted to say that that episode was phenomenal. And, you know, he’s definitely an off the wall thinker. But I particularly appreciate the fact that he said that we, you, little you and little me, Jacob, that we…

That’s why I put this clip in.

I know. I bet you spent hours trying to find someone giving us a random compliment. But we found one and we put it in.

And he said that we were examples of innovators and rebels. And I definitely think I might be there. But I question his judgment around you, to be frank.

But we get there and then. But it was amazing on a serious note. I think he was sat in his kitchen when we were interviewing him, which was really funny.

And yeah, it was just such a good episode. Innovation, we’ve touched on it already in our recap, but he approached it very differently, I would say, to the typical way of thinking about it from a creative perspective. And his models and structures just blew my mind.

So definitely check that episode out.

Definitely, definitely. And that kind of segues into Sagi Haviv, who was an amazing identity designer, logo designer, and it was a pleasure to have him on the show, a real fanboy over here. And we’re talking about problem solving and strategy, and this little clip is about strategy.

When we talk about strategy, when we’re done with these interviews, we put together a list of criteria, success criteria. What are we looking for? This is defining the problem together.

Once we put on the success criteria, we meet with a client, we look at them, and we arrive at an agreement. So that, okay, what type of personality are we looking for? What is the functionality challenges?

Does it need to look local or global? Does it need to feel friendly or does it need to feel serious? How important is it that it can work in any color?

What is the kind of attitude that we would like to project? All these things are important because then every option that we show will check all the boxes. So it’s not about showing you options for the sake of options.

It’s about showing you options that all fulfill the criteria. And then you have a great choice between good and great. Then it’s all about which one fits like a glove.

I love that approach. I think that really comes back to what we do is actually defining the problem first and actually getting to the root cause of the problem, not just what the client specifies as a problem and then going into execute. I love their approach with philosophy when it comes to building a brand.

Sagi went into it in a more depth on the episode, but they’re building from the trademark out, but they focus on the logo or the trademark as they call it and then build around that in their philosophy. But before that, they’ve actually probably defined the root. That’s something that was a critical point to point out here.

Matt, what’s your thoughts?

Yeah, absolutely amazing. I think if you have that approach of basically you’re looking for what’s the problem. I think as a strategist, you’re looking at that in two levels.

You’re looking at it from the perspective of what’s the client’s problem. That’s one thing. Then you’re looking at what is their customer’s problem.

Those two things are a little bit different, right? Because one could be an internal challenge or personalities or a leadership issue, or they just don’t know how to get from A to B. That could be the client’s problem, but their customer’s problem could be something completely different.

Having those two angles in mind, I think are really, really important to think strategically about any particular brand challenge. You might know the customer problem, and you might even know how to solve it, but you still have to navigate the internal client problem. You might know your client’s problem and know how to get around that, but again, you might now still need to then do some work to uncover their customer’s problem.

It is all about problems. Strategy is all about solving problems, which is why I love it. It’s always not necessarily following a particular template, which is what that episode is all about, which is awesome.

Yeah, and there’s some case studies that he goes through in that episode. One comes to mind with the US Open and what that means to people, right? Is it the US Government Open or is it the US Gulf Open?

And navigating that particular problem and how he solved that problem through design thinking and interviews and so forth. So that’s a really great episode to tune into.

I think the next one was perhaps, I mean, you’ve, I’ve probably said this already, but it was one of my favorites. It was one of my favorites. I’ve got a bit.

It was with the very interesting Joe Pine, right? Joe Pine wrote The Experience Economy, the book, which basically is relatively old now, I think, Jacob. I think it’s almost 10 years old.

How do you look around for your books every time?

I know, because I kind of, I, you know, I was like, let me just look at my books. Yeah, people listening and watching can’t see me doing that because I’ve got my on-brand Zoom background on. But yeah, I have tons of books all around me.

I’m surrounded by books. But the thing that’s amazing about the experience economy, and even though it is, you know, as a concept around, has been around for a few years, what’s wonderful is it’s such a universal principle, almost like Nathan Hendricks kind of comments around the human desires. But let’s just have, I’ve got two small clips that I want to play us, because Joseph Pine really blew my mind.

So here he is explaining the experience economy.

Well, it’s important for everybody to understand what’s going on with experiences, because we have shifted to this experience economy. So probably best if I start off by describing the core framework of our book, The Experience Economy, is what we call the progression of economic value, and defines how economic value has changed over millennia, actually, because it starts with the agrarian economy, where we grow things on the ground, raise them on the ground, and pull out them on the ground, and sell them on the open marketplace. That’s the basis of the agrarian economy that lasted for millennia.

Then thanks to the industrial revolution, we shifted into an industrial economy based off physical goods. We used commodities as the raw material to make or manufacture physical, tangible things for the standardized marketplace that’s out there. Then the latter half of the 20th century, we shifted into a service economy, where services became the predominant economic offering.

Overtook goods, just as goods overtook commodities. Now we have shifted into an experienced economy. When the book first came out in 1999, we talked about the nascent experience economy, the forthcoming experience economy.

Now you can tell it’s here. People want experiences over things. They recognize we’re at peak stuff.

In fact, the corona crisis, as we call it, has probably caused people to understand even more so that they prefer experiences over things because we’re missing them so much. We’re missing the experiences that we can’t have right now. And we recognize it’s experiences, as research shows, purchasing experiences make people happier than buying things.

But it’s also what you said, Matt, it is about meaning. That’s the experience we have with our loved ones that give life meaning, and therefore we want those. And so we have shifted an economy where experiences are the predominant economic offering.

And experiences are crucial to understand, because we write this as clearly as we can in the book, but still some people, particularly in UX, CX sort of field, branding probably too, don’t get this, which is that experiences are a distinct economic offering.

Well, we get that, I think, and hopefully anyone that listens to that episode will. I just find this approach just so interesting, to build value, to play. And basically, obviously, if you’re creating value, you can create profits.

You’ve got to think about your brand from the perspective of the experience that it produces, and the feelings and the sort of the benefits that that gives to your audience. And so that episode was absolutely awesome. Just before I come to your thoughts, Jacob, there’s another short clip, which I just think adds so much value, because he talks about the benefit of thinking about brands in this space and the fact that if you think about it from an experience perspective, you can really distinguish your brand from other brands that are kind of trying to solve the same problem.

So just hear him out, and then I’d love to hear your thoughts on that episode in just a second, Jacob.

Commodization means you don’t have any differentiation. They are the same as everybody else, that people want to buy you on price. And that’s what companies have to constantly fight, because commodization is like the law of gravity.

If you do nothing over time, you’re going to be commoditized. You have to proactively counteract that to be differentiated. And that’s the key thing that you’re talking about, is how do you be differentiated and avoid that commoditization trap?

What did you make of that episode?

Oh, man, I love that. And it’s very clear that he’s said that and I’ve talked many, many times about the COVID-19 crisis. But it’s so true about the COVID-19 crisis and how it has amplified our expectations on the experiences.

And for me, being in lockdown, our experiences have changed. We’re having family Zoom chats, wine tasting on Zoom with the family. We’re trying to get that connection back in some way or another because we can’t see each other.

But more on a brand level, or service providers such as myself, how can we provide a better experience for our customers? To make this a little bit more tangible, how do we elevate our brand experience for our customers? If you think about a customer journey, it starts at the first touch point.

How can you elevate that experience? Make it high-end, for example. How can you build that trust?

How can you elevate the experience? To do that is by surprising and delighting at every single touch point of the journey, just over-delivering and presenting and giving it all. Some examples of that are little touch points, like sending a coffee card at the beginning or a gift at the end of the project or a closing guide or a bonus in some way.

These are some tangible examples of how you can elevate a customer experience. Think about it, how can you elevate your customer experience? The other comment, the last clip, differentiation.

I think there are so many different ways you can differentiate. One of them is by creating a higher-end experience for the customer. How can you do that, I guess, is my point.

Just think about it.

Jacob, that’s such an awesome knowledge bomb that you’ve just set off there. I think you’re absolutely right. I often look at…

I do a lot of workshops, as probably listeners will know. There’s so many new platforms coming onto the market. I was looking at Butter the other day, which allows you to create sound and add a completely different experience, everything in one kind of window rather than maybe having different windows for different things open.

Everything is about experience. I often sometimes think it is a little bit like putting a show on sometimes. You’ve got to be mildly entertaining, but you have to watch that because obviously you need the results at the end of it.

As long as the focus is on results, listeners will know that I always say stupid things and laugh at myself all day long. Sometimes that can be a good thing if the client connects with that and if that’s helpful to get us to the destination and everybody has a good time getting there. I’m often looking at the experience that I’m delivering in my consultancy work for all my clients, routines of how often I check in, playbacks after different sessions, stuff like that, it’s the little details and making sure that you’re communicating in a way that that particular client can digest and find useful I think is important.

So attention to detail and personalization where possible I think is crucial.

Yeah, 100%. That’s a really good point. And this often doesn’t get talked about because it’s behind the scenes, right?

It’s basically customer experience. And well, it’s customer experience. So how can you improve it?

This is everything behind the scenes. So it’s not what you get to see in other businesses. So it’s really up to you to joint out all the touch points that you have with your customers and seeing how you can add extra surprises and let them over deliver every single touch point.

Because the benefits of that means that you’re going to get more referrals and they’re going to have a better experience and much more. But let’s leave it there and let’s have another comment. Matt, we have…

Well, it was just one thought that came to mind. I remember I was working for an agency once and when they have an important client coming in for a meeting, they used to phone up the secretary of that CEO or chief marketing officer, find out the football club, because in the UK, football is like the thing, right? Find out the football club or whatever, the sports club that that particular person was really interested in, and then make sure that they bought a mug with that team, plastered it all over it.

So when they showed up, someone said, do you want a coffee? Yeah, you want a tea, coffee or whatever? They brought it in the mug of their favorite football team.

Such a stupid, well, stupid, such a simple, almost seemingly insignificant thing, but it always kicked off the meeting to such an interesting kind of discussion point. The ice was broken immediately, and they’re like, whoa, how do you know this about me? And then obviously there’s a whole conversation.

Oh, we always do it for important people and off you go. So yeah, I love what you just said about doing the customer experience mapping in your own practice, eating your own dog meat as the expression might be. If you advise your clients to build brands around experiences, what experience are you doing?

So brilliant, brilliant advice there. Sorry, next one.

Well, you touched on the mugs there, because we actually now just personalize mugs. I still see people using it in their Instagram stories, you know, it sits on their desk. It’s not that little touch, right?

If you think about going to hotels, for example, sometimes you get a special gift. Like if you’re on an anniversary, you got some little socks for our baby, or we’re on a baby moon, you got some little socks for the baby, you know, you get some personalized gifts. And it just goes so far, it’s imprinted in your mind.

So what can you do to over deliver? And yeah, that’s the experience. But enough on that.

Let’s go into Emily Cohen’s episodes. Emily Cohen is an amazing author, and I don’t think she likes the word, using the word coach, but a consultant that helps creative businesses grow. So she has a book that is on no bullshit, strategies to grow business.

And we talk about specialization and niche here, which is an area that a lot of creatives struggle with, a lot of industries struggle with, is how to specialize, how to niche down. So let’s dive into this clip.

I think really what specialization is, is really landing on an industry or a few industries. So I really try to get them.

But not social good branding.

Not social good. I mean, you can go deeper in social good. I’ve really had some luck, because I love social good.

I care about the world just like everybody else. I don’t want to curse, but I will say it’s ****. So I think it’s all really good, but that doesn’t make you an expert anymore, because everybody does that.

And everybody says they do that. And it’s also restaurants. Everybody says they do restaurant branding, but everybody does that.

And so it’s really hard to win work based on that. So I like to go deeper. Is there some kind of social good that you especially…

I have one client that might be looking at… I don’t want to give it away, but I try to have them have certain industries that they care more deeply about than others, so that they can become even a deeper expert in an area of social good that really resonates with them and that they have some experience for. And we just do the pros and cons.

What works in this industry? What doesn’t? Every industry has pros and every industry has cons.

So we just have to weigh what you care most about and what you can communicate. So I typically like to land on two or three industries, and usually two of them are ones you’ve already in or you have some proven work in, and one can be really fun and new and different or one that’s kind of cool, that just makes your staff and everybody happy, right? But it might not be the most profitable.

So I always try to include an element of joy and fun in the positioning. And then the writing of it is always, I always tell people not to have a writer write that positioning. I really think writing should be authentic to you and you and your team should write the writing.

So you write the positioning. So it really sounds like, I’m sure you’ve been to a million creative sites as a podcast and you’ve met all these people. After a while, the voice all sounds the same because they have this beautiful crafted writer, write this stuff, but it doesn’t sound real.

I kind of like the positioning that’s much more authentic and really sounds like somebody wrote it, like a human being.

Yeah, I love how Emily just says it, how it is, and it’s great to point. The whole book is like that as well, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful book. It’s printed in nine different colors, and it’s one you should get for your bookshelf for sure.

So what are your thoughts on that, Matt?

Yeah, I mean, what she just said there was absolutely spot on. I think this is the thing when you design by committee too much, all of the expressions and the wording and the phraseology can get absolutely hammered out into basically nothingness. And she talks about there about expressing it in human language, in real language that people on your shop floor or in your warehouse will actually, language that they’ll actually use and connect with and understand.

And that kind of goes back to what Kevin Duncan was saying, which is like, everything’s filled with jargon. And I think one of our jobs is, and it’s so hard, it’s so hard to do, is to kind of strip out the jargon and talk like people actually talk, be that customers, be that internally in your company culture. So I loved her approach.

We’ve had quite a few brutal guests, if I can put it that way. They just say it how it is, which is fantastic, because it cuts through and it gets to the point and it gives us some real value in their thinking. So yeah, she was a hot one, to be sure.

I understand. And Nishin is such a big subject, and I know Emily just focused on the industry there, but I do want to say there’s so many other different ways to niche down, so it doesn’t just have to be by industry. I think that’s one very solid approach, but some valid points about social good, and that’s what my comment there was about.

It’s like earlier in the episode, she said that everyone says they’re doing branding for social good and everyone says they’re doing branding. But how do you stand out when everyone’s saying they’re doing social good and doing branding? Well, everyone’s doing that.

How do you stand out? So it’s something to think about. Cool.

Well, let’s talk about cutting straight through. I think this segue is on a… This is Carl Miller’s next one.

I was going to say Julian Cole, he also demystified strategy, but that’s the next clip. So we’ll jump into…

You jump in ahead. You jump in the gun, Jacob. You jump in the gun.

Let’s get there, but first of all, let’s not jump over Carl Miller. Carl, I actually had worked with him in a corporate job a while ago. His episode was really interesting because we sat down with him to talk to him about internal corporate brand strategy work, running big corporate teams and figuring out…

Finding from somebody, a leader in the corporate world, how the big brands think about and manage their brand strategies and their brand execution. He had some really interesting things to say. I’ve got a few clips from him which I really wanted to replay and remind ourselves on.

The first was an off the wall one because we asked all of our guests, how do you define strategy? I found his response quite interesting. Listen to Carl, first of all define it, and then I’ve got a couple of other clips around org design and a couple of other things that he shared with us.

Listen to this one.

One of the things I always talk about with the brand, in terms of my teams or my agencies that I work with, is a brand is very much like a friendship. As a brand, you kind of act a certain way, and that consumer will decide that they like you or not because of what you do. When you’re trying to make a new friend, you don’t go up to a new friend or new person and say, hey, I want to be your friend, how should I act so you and I can be friends?

That’s crazy. No one would do that. You just kind of act.

And then if your values align, that’s kind of how a friendship forms. And it’s very much the same with a brand. You are authentic in yourself, you show what you stand for and the why, and then once again, people like that.

And the same goes for afterwards, when you become friends and you ask somebody, why do you like this person? You won’t say, oh, I like it because they wear the color red. No one says that, right?

But a lot of ideas of brands like, oh, the color red is really empowering. It is, it’s a great way to help show who you are, but it’s not the reason why. The reason why is because of, once again, who you are.

It comes, everything comes back to that why, that purpose, and that connection standpoint. So when you ask a friend why you like them, oh, they’re trustworthy. Or they make me laugh.

Same idea as that’s how you describe a brand. So looking at those from a friend who had a brand, those are very similar ways. And one of the easiest ways that I help to really define branding and what that means for people.

So, yeah, I just found that such a cool clip, such an unusual sort of, well, unusual in a way, but then not unusual another way, just in terms of defining the why, the purpose of the brand. And I thought it was quite funny when he said, like, you know, if I came up to you and said, you know, why do you like me and so on, I thought that was awesome. But I won’t ask you that, Jacob, because I know you don’t like me.

Yeah, I mean, the beards, that’s mainly it. That’s probably you give me that, you know, but outside of that, probably not a lot. But, you know, I thought that was really smart.

You could tell Carl is a really smart kind of cookie, if you like, if I can call him that. And he went on in the episode, you know, we really dug deep into, okay, so how does he run these large teams? I think he’s currently the Chief Branding Officer at SodaStream in Canada.

And so really interesting kind of thoughts. This is what he said around org design.

The best kind of structures that I’ve always looked at has been ones that look at strategy and execution and how they work together. I believe that as anyone who’s looking to be great in brand and great in marketing needs to understand both sides of the coin. I usually like to start people in the execution side first.

You understand the reality. You understand kind of what can happen and what doesn’t, and then move to strategy. And every marketer I talk to, whether it’s people who are fresh out of university or people who are trying to shift into this, their answer is, I want to do strategy for brand.

But you don’t necessarily know how that works yet. You don’t know kind of the ins and outs. So having somebody understand street on the street to then actually help to create that brand vision is super critical.

So those are kind of the two functions I always look at. You can divide that as much as you want. You can look at having a research team, insights team, another team that focuses just on PR.

Whatever your type of brand is and how you find the best ways to connect, there is no kind of one size fits all, but it is important to once again look at, here’s the brand that we are creating, here’s the company, however you want to spin it, and then here are the best ways that we feel as a brand, we are going to communicate, and this is how we’re going to do that. So it goes back to what are the needs that you need, and then building a team around that. But I’m a strong believer in those kind of two functions of strategy and execution are critical to any successful brand.

I think that was a super insight. There’s just one other. I’m just going to play and then let’s chat.

The biggest challenge, I’d say, within this space is when you have too many people trying to input their own views into something. Now, it’s great. I believe a good idea can come from anywhere.

But when you’re having people from all different functions trying to weigh in on something without a reason for why, that’s where it kind of gets muddled. And that’s why it’s important to have that sort of crisp alignment. I think alignment is key.

That’s one of the biggest things.

So, you know, I just found that episode so fascinating. He talks about alignment being the biggest challenge of running a big company and looking at brand. But he also talked about how he looks at, you know, in terms of kind of building brands around that strategy, the team that builds the strategy and keeps checking in on that.

And then the team that does the execution and makes sure that the brand lives. Really smart, really smart episode. And of course, obviously he was focused on in-house brand building, which obviously would be useful to some of our listeners.

But even if you’re not interested in working in-house or running a team, as it were, that does everything, I definitely think that there was some nuggets of gold there around how Carl approaches things. Because even if you outsourced your strategy work or outsourced your execution work, you still need to understand how it all fits together. And Carl had some great thoughts on that.

What did you make of that episode, Jacob?

Yeah, I loved that one. And I loved his approach as well. And it’s great to that first clip when you’re talking about brands and people.

I think it’s a great analogy. And I often use that as well, because if you think about people’s hearts, it can be the essence of the brand. And when you’re trying to talk about brand, you can talk about it as a person.

And there’s many things you can talk about to actually communicate it. So I think you did that much more eloquently than myself, but that’s probably the one comment that I could best resonate with him and how you can create your brand like a person, right? What’s the personality?

What colors does it wear? What is it fun and loving? Or is it very bubbly or is it very low key?

What is the brand personality? So if you think about it like a person, you can start to put all the pieces together to craft that. So I think that’s a great one.

The org structures, I thought was pretty fascinating and how he talked about that. It’s something I haven’t got personal experience in because I haven’t ever worked in a client side agency. So it’s really fascinating to hear how he approaches it and manages a large team as well.

So yeah, definitely if you’re curious about that, I think he’s the only one that we had on the show that was actually on the inside. So it was a really great one to listen to if you’re curious about that.

Great. So you wanted to jump into…

Yes. Was it Julian? Yes.

Let’s jump into Julian Cole now. So Julian, I’ve got a clip that he talks about strategy and demystify strategy. So Julian comes from an agency background.

So he does strategy for the big global brand. So he was an amazing person to come on the show because he really does come from a unique strategy background. And what I found most interesting about Julian was that he didn’t know who Marty Neumayr was.

So we’re both Marty Neumayr fans and anyone that’s really come across strategy knows about Marty because he was probably like the grandfather of brand strategy. However, Julian’s come from a different realm. He’s come from more of a marketing or comms kind of background.

And it was a fascinating episode to listen to to see how he approached it. So in this clip, we talk about the strategy fundamentals he uses and the output of the deliverables that he provides to agencies and how he goes about it, which is a little bit different to how Matt and I go about brand building. So tune in to this.

Strategy is such a mystery. You know, it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. No one really knows what’s happening there.

I like to talk about it in really easy outputs. Just think about clear outputs of what you actually have to deliver as an agency strategist. And to me, there’s a couple of things.

You’re usually doing a research doc, which I use as the four Cs, which is company, culture, consumer and category, where you’re going off. And I use it as my sketchbook of like finding all the research around those trends and putting that all together. And then getting to a creative brief, which is the output.

Second output, which is usually a relationship that I’m having. I’ll write usually three different creative briefs. I’ll take that to the creative director, see which one he’s resonating around, he thinks is good, get that kind of signed off and then brief in the rest of the teams.

So that’s my second output. The third output would be the strategy up front. So when we go back and present the creative, I’m doing the up fronts to really understand and sell the creative ideas if they’re on brief.

And then consolidating the creative feedback and then creating the comms framework, all those kind of documents that keep everything coherent, like coherent action, keep it all integrated. So a comms framework, which is messages and media together. And then I call it a blueprint, which is pretty much an ecosystem, how everything’s living together, how the different message is coming through different media.

But then what I do is also put production dollars. I carve the different production dollars out through those different pieces. So they’re usually the key documents.

And then afterwards is a measurement or wrap report. So working with whoever the provider is and probably the media agency as well, to show and evaluate how the actual campaign did.

So as you can hear, Julian is very well versed in the agency side of strategy. And he’s kind of like bridging the gap between creatives and the clients. So it’s kind of like a managerial role there and putting all the pieces together, including budgets and just making sure that the client’s problem is actually being solved and being translated effectively to the creative, which is a crucial point that we often overlook.

It’s like, okay, well, how do we redefine the client’s brief into a creative brief that actually creators can follow and still solve the problem that the client had? So that’s a really great episode and a very unique one. And Julian is amazing.

As you should go follow, he’s supposed to go to an academy that teaches strategy for an agency side. So definitely want to check out. So Chris, your thoughts, Matt?

I loved Julian’s approach. As you say, it’s a little bit different to how I’d attack things, but his depth of knowledge and I think his understanding of the execution of large scale brand activation campaigns was second to none. And the fact that he’s out there sharing his in-depth knowledge in that area, I just think super helpful.

I get his emails through all the time and he’s always doing really, really interesting stuff. So definitely check him out. Sign up to his newsletter.

You know, one to watch for sure.

Yeah, there’s not many people out there on the agency side kind of doing what he does. So it’s very uniquely positioned. And yeah, as I said, go check him out.

There’s one last person.

But not least. Last but not least.

We couldn’t fit every single guest in. I think we had, you know, 20-odd guests. Otherwise, this would have been very, very long.

But we have one last person. That’s Rob Levinson. And he speaks this week about personal branding.

And I think this is a great one to end on because we all have personal brands, whether we like it or not, we do. So how do we effectively craft the right persona for our brand? He has some really great tips in this episode that the clip I’m going to show is going to get to the point.

The first thing that I recommend people do in creating their personal brand narrative is first of all to do a self-audit. And by that, I mean, you know, take a hard look in the mirror and make a list of what are you good at? I mean, I’m not talking necessarily about you as a person, but what are your skills?

What are your qualities? What differentiates you? And be very, very, very honest with yourself.

And then also in the next concept, well, here are areas of weakness, here are things I have to work on, here are things I have to market against. And once you have done a very hard and serious assessment of yourself, I recommend doing a survey monkey with people in your world whose opinions you respect. And you make it anonymous, and you ask them to answer questions about yourself.

For example, here are the questions that I always recommend people use. So Matt, if it was you, the first question I would recommend you ask your constituents, when you think of Matt, what are the one or two word associations that come to mind? No, no, no, no, no.

What do you think Matt is best at? Nothing at all. If they were to make a movie about Matt’s life, who would play the lead character?

If Matt was an automobile, what make and motto would he be and why? If you could give Matt some anonymous advice, so ask all these very precious questions, and then a story emerges. So when I ask who would play you in your life story, it’s not who do you look like, but who has your aura?

Who has your essence? What box do people put you in? And then of course, you’ve asked yourself these questions, and you can compare and contrast what you hear in the marketplace.

And the truth is somewhere in the middle.

There you have it. So very to the point as well, like many of our other guests, very qualified when it comes to brand. So if you wanted to learn more about personal branding, go check out Rob Levinson’s episode, as well as one from season one.

I think it’s Tom Ross and Mike Jander we had on the show talking about personal branding. That was awesome.

I’ve just realized what a jerk I am with some of our guests who are trying to make a really serious point. And they used to pick on me. I just completely trainwrecked everything they’re about to say.

But thankfully, Rob, it wasn’t too side-tracked by my idiocy and was able to kind of land his point. But yeah, that was a super episode. I think Rob’s focus on personal branding is really, really good.

And I think even if you work for an agency or you work within a company, as you said, Jacob, everybody has a personal brand that really they need to be conscious of and begin to manage. And so having exercises and just doing some sort of personal reflection around that, really, really can be powerful, can leverage you in your career in a multitude of ways. So definitely check that episode out.

Hey, have we come to the end, Jacob? What? And I know we’ve missed loads of awesome ones out as well.

So we’re going to get a load of hate mail coming through. Where’s mine? But we couldn’t fit everybody in, as you say.

I think we should say a huge thank you to all our guests who came on the show. A massive, massive thank you to all our listeners and subscribers. Thank you so much for your support.

I honestly get messages all the time from folks. You know, thankfully not hate mail. Maybe I’ll get some of that after this episode.

But, you know, genuinely positive community spirit and thankfulness and gratitude being shared with me. And I know you get it as well, Jacob. So we are thankful for you for listening in, for giving us suggestions.

And again, I think that’s probably worth iterating. We would love your suggestions if there’s people that you think we should have on the show. If there’s themes, if there’s ideas that you want to know more about, please jump on and let us know.

We are planning season three as we speak. We’ve got some phenomenal guests lined up for you with some amazing content. So keep checking us out.

Keep hitting subscribe. Keep sharing us on social media. That really makes our day.

We’re pretty egotistical at heart. Well, me probably. So, you know, it makes my day when I see someone share, you know, one of our episodes.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart to you all. Jacob, any thoughts from you?

I repeat that. So thank you, thank you, thank you. And just one more thing.

A review is the biggest way you can say thank you for us because it helps us reach more people. So if you’ve been enjoying our show the past few years, please give us a positive review. Five stars, nonetheless.

Yeah, we don’t want to hear any other kind of reviews.

You know, frankly.

Just send that to us privately. We will listen to those two, you know, but yeah. They’re awesome.

Yeah, I think that’s a great shout, you know. And that’s the thing. We’re trying to obviously increase our listenership.

This kind of helps us in a number of ways. So please do give us that review. Right.

Well, that’s the end of season two, folks. Thank you so much. That’s it.

Over and out from me and Jacob. Take care, keep branding and keep it real.

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