[Podcast] Brand Hacks with Emmanuel Probst

[Podcast] Brand Hacks with Emmanuel Probst

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Often we think of brand-building from a commercial or business perspective.

This week’s guest thinks this needs to change and that as brand builders we need to consider our efforts from the perspective of the meaning consumers will attach to a brand.

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Tune in to list insights from Emmanuel Probst, author of Brand Hacks: How to Build Brands by Fulfilling the Consumer’s Quest for Meaning.

In this episode, we discuss the three levels of meaning, brand hacks, examples of meaningful brand building, and how to deal with “naysayers”.

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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.

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this episode of JUST Branding. Super excited today because we have got the one and only Emmanuel Probst with us. Who is Emmanuel, you ask?

Well, Emmanuel is the author of an amazing new book called Brand Hacks, How to Build Brands by Fulfilling the Consumer Quest for Meaning. And as anyone who’s been listening to the show will know, that title will ring a lot of bells, this idea of the management of meaning and branding. So, I’m super thrilled to have Emmanuel with us.

But before I introduce him, there’s two other things you should know. Emmanuel is the global lead at market research company Ipsos, an amazing global company that does market research all over the world. And so, I’m hoping we’re going to get some insights around global data and consumer research.

So, watch this space for that. And also, he’s a teacher at UCLA. And so, you know, we’ve got a real expert amongst us folks for this episode.

Emmanuel, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much, Matt and Jacob. And thank you to our listeners today. I’m really excited.

As are we. And we always, Jacob, we always say we’re super excited.

Every episode. We just love brands.

And I know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just in a constant state of super excitement, and that’s possibly a problem. There we go.

That’s a good thing.

Yeah. Well, I hope so. Let’s hope so.

Hopefully, we’ll all think so at the end, but let’s tuck into this. Most listeners will know, and we’re going to probably do this as a standard thing, that what we love to do is ask our guests, well, how do you define brand? How do you see brand?

Because it’s such a sort of a subject that sometimes needs a bit of definition, needs a bit of definition, so that we all know the lens through which we’re going to structure our conversation today. So that’s going to be my first question, Emmanuel. How do you see brand?

How do you describe what a brand is?

Yeah, you know, I’ll give you two definitions, I’ll give you a slightly academic one and a very pragmatic definition. So the slightly somewhat academic definition is the brand is the sum of touch points between your product and your audience, which is true. A very pragmatic definition is to say, and in my opinion, very important thing to keep in mind, a brand is not what you, Mr. Marketer, think it is, a brand is what they, your customers, your audience say it is.

And to that point, as marketers and as branding professionals, we too often get bubbled in our own world and need to keep in mind that the people we talk to, our audience, they have a lot less knowledge about the product, about the category, about the brand than we do. So, it’s important not just to listen to them, but to take their perception for granted.

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Absolutely. Absolutely.


I think that that rings a massive bell for me. I love that is what they say it is, because I guess that’s kind of scary for a lot of executives, because I think we’re under this false pretense that we own it, in a sense. And you kind of own the signals that come out of the brand, but if it exists in the heart and the minds of other people, you technically don’t own that.

They own that. So, what your job is, is to be able to manage the meaning, and we’re going to touch on this as we go through, manage the meaning that they have when they think about you. And that’s such a huge challenge for marketeers, for executives, for brand managers.

And I know your book is going to be super helpful in relation to helping those types of people think that through. But what are your thoughts on that? The challenge, the massive challenge that befalls us to manage that?

Yeah, I’ll take you one step behind. You own the signals. And I will say some of them, my point is brands have less ownership of a brand now than they did five, seven, ten years ago.

And here’s why, if you do a Super Bowl ad, you know exactly what goes in the ad. Conversely, on social media, for example, you don’t control as much of a brand as you used to. Brands are no longer in a top down communication type of relationship with their audience.

They have to accept the fact that people will also shape the brand, whether the brand wants it or not, and people expect to contribute to the brand in a way and expect to communicate directly with the brand. In fact, I should say to talk back when the brand does not align with their values or what they want to achieve. And I think again, reflecting on 5, 7, 10 years, not only the brand is no longer in control of everything, but keep in mind that people will buy a brand they believe in, conversely they may advocate against a brand they don’t believe in, all the way to canceling a brand that doesn’t align with their values.

So, I will say that as a brand, you do control the marketing signals to a great extent, to some extent, you certainly do not control the conversation. The best you can do is to shape the conversation, to guide the conversation. And you better to get it right, because the consequences today are way more drastic than they were a few years ago.

Yeah, no, I think you’re absolutely right. And it’s interesting to what you’re saying that you have to be prepared for the audiences to speak back to you. But also the other thing that I think is super powerful about today’s landscape is, and I don’t know what you think about this, is that audiences can speak horizontally to each other.

So as you say, if you get that wrong, and they’re going to influence it across their channels, their own personal social media channels. So we’re in a really complex environment right now, more complex than ever before, which has amazing power and benefits, but challenges as well.

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Indeed. Absolutely. Look, the good news is you can turn your customers into advocates, which again is not a new concept.

However, we would say five, seven, ten years ago that a happy customer can convince three to seven people around him. Well today, that’s 30 to 70 if you don’t have much of a social media following, but it can be 3000 to 7000, 30,000 to 70,000 or 3 million to 7 million, depending on your social media reach.

Sounds like yours, Jacob, your social media reach, that 3 million there.

It’s a great time for brands. It’s a great time for brands because with clever marketing, it’s also not the one with the most dollars spent that is going to win. In my experience, it’s not the brand spending the most that necessarily succeed.

So I think that’s great news for our audience. I want to be optimistic. I don’t want just to scare people off and say, oh, your brand might get canceled.

Well, no. There are great opportunities to grow your brands today in this environment.

No, absolutely. I think that’s so true. I want to tuck into that other stuff in a minute around how we can really get those advocates and get it going.

But what I’d really love to do before we tuck into that is if you could you tell us a little bit about yourself? I mean, I’ve done the intro at the start, but it’d be great to know your background. You’ve mentioned academia.

It’d be interesting to see what your experience is in and amongst academia. But then also what brought you to write this book Brand Hacks?

Yeah. I’ve been involved in market research for over 16 years now.

As you said, I do three things. So global lead, brand thought leadership for Ipsos, which is possibly the largest market research firm in the world. I write and also I teach consumer market research at UCLA.

Now, the common denominator here is, I’m curious, why do people do what they do and why do consumers choose the brands they choose and how do they relate to these brands in terms of attitudes and emotions and functional aspects and behavior? And so it sounds like I do a lot of things, which I do, but at the end of the day, my bottom line, my purpose, if you will, is to understand why people do what they do and hopefully inspire my community with this knowledge I’m gathering and analyzing for us. So that’s really me.

My background is in market research and in brand guidance and brand strategy. Now, why did I write Brand Hacks? It’s because over the last 15 plus years, I had the privilege of attending many conferences, of course, webinars, I read a lot of papers, publications.

So I’m really privileged to learn new things every day. The reason why, and I read books almost every week. The reason why I wrote Brand Hacks is because the thing to me that was missing is to look at the world through the perspective, not even the consumer, but the public, individuals.

So let me explain. You go to conferences, you read books, you read articles, 99% of them are written from a marketer’s perspective. That is, how am I going to sell more of my brand?

How am I going to sell more of my products to that audience? In contrast, with Brand Hacks, what we are saying is in the book, consumers are overwhelmed with media and advertising. And guess what?

Bad news. Most people don’t care about most brands. Most people don’t seek any more advertising.

And that’s because we already post 43,000 pictures on Instagram every day. We check our phones 83 times a day on average. If you’re a millennial, that’s 150 times a day.

People are so overwhelmed here. The opportunity with this book, Brand Hacks, is to take a step back and say, hold on a minute. We’re not going to try to sell anything to anyone.

First, we’re going to try to understand what are people, and I insist on this word people, not consumers. What are people trying to achieve? People are trying to make sense of their lives by engaging in activities that feel purposeful and meaningful from there.

If we understand these meanings, people are trying to fulfill. From there, we can build brands that will help them fulfill these meanings. In this process, those brands are going to become meaningful in and of themselves.

We’ll give many examples in this conversation. But that’s the point of the book is take a step back, understand people from their real brands. In contrast with, I have a brand to sell, look down at people, how am I going to force feed my brand to my audience?

I love it.

It’s flipping the script. It’s absolutely brilliant.

And Emmanuel, I was going to ask about market research because you have vast experience in this world of market research. What does that actually look like? Just so we can go a little bit deeper into that, so we know where you’re coming from, because that’s obviously informing a lot of your book and your research and papers and so forth.

So what does market research actually mean to you? What’s your experience there?

Yeah. Market research means, and I think I like the term consumer research. We could argue market research, consumer research are two slightly different things, but I really like consumer research as terminology.

So we want to understand how do people relate to a task? How do people relate to an activity? And how do people relate to brands?

We don’t even have to start with the brand. I want to understand how do you go about gathering with your friends? That might be, well, I’m going to grill in my backyard.

Okay, what does grilling mean for you? Grilling is a gathering. Of course, you’re grilling burgers, that’s fine.

But it’s a gathering around that barbecue. It’s a moment of conviviality with your guests. And from there, what are the brands that can help you achieve that?

Well, that could be Weber Grill because Weber Grill has that nice kettle grill that is shaped like a womb, if you will, that feels very comforting, very cozy. And you’re going to gather with your friends around the grill. Of course, you’ll flip some burgers, that’s fine.

But what’s important is I want this brand to make you the hero, to make you the one who is bringing his friends together in the backyard, is the master of the grill, is demonstrating expertise and delivering not just a burger, but a great experience that’s memorable for everyone. So to me, that’s market research. You feel this progression we spoke about for the last five minutes.

That is, what is meaningful to people? What are people trying to achieve? And what is the brand that’s going to help them achieve that?

And I think a good brand and a good experience, if possible, must be in a way transformational for people. Weber Grill does not just allow me to grill burgers, that’s fine. Weber Grill makes me the hero in my backyard because I can gather my friends around the grill.

Does that make sense?

Yeah, I love that. Other brands that come to mind when you mention that is that they’re coming together, that connection, that belonging. What other brands can actually do that?

Coca-Cola comes to mind for a barbecue, right? It’s like that open happiness and be together. And a lot of their advertising and marketing kind of relates to that.

Is that where you’re going with this?

I agree. And to build on this, Jacob, there are a limited number of brands that are part of your consideration set as a consumer. Let’s go back to the analogy of a barbecue.

At your barbecue, you’re going to drink one or two, maximum three brands of beers, maybe one brand of seltzer.

Jacob only has one beer that he likes, so that’s Foster’s. That’s all they sell in Australia. I just thought I’d put that out there.

Sorry, keep going. You’ve got these sets of brands that you categorize in your mind.

You do. At the end of the day, you will have a limited number of brands that you really rely on. Our job, I feel, as marketers and as branding professionals, is to make sure that your brand is number one or number two.

There is no room for number three. In most categories, there is no room for number three.

The next question, then, is, how do you get your brand up the pecking order? How do you get up there? Because you’re not the only one trying to get up there.

So it’s tough. And I agree, it’s not, going back to the conversation we said earlier, it’s not always the brands that spend the most, but having the most money does help. And I think, is it Mark Ritson’s done a lot of research around the biggest brands, they have the resource and they kind of own the marketplace, and it’s very hard for other brands to break into that.

So I don’t know if you’ve got any thoughts around that, Emmanuel, around how do you get up there?

Yeah. Look, of course money helps because you mentioned Mark Ritson and that’s also thinking from Bayer and Sharp on the brand needs to be mentally available. And the way to do this is repetition.

In short, for those of us whom may not be familiar with Bayer and Sharp, what this means is I’m going to expose you to the brand and make the brand available to you so that with repetition you’re going to, this brand is going to be, yeah, remember it’s going to become mentally available. Therefore you’re going to pick that one. Yeah, that’s important.

And also you want to associate this brand with positive emotions and meaning. And that’s where the book comes in. I think I want to say something that I feel is very important.

A lot of authors or academics show up and say, my approach is best forget about everyone else. I don’t think so. I think Brand Hacks bring a perspective and I’m prompting the audience, my readers, to look at brand strategy through the lens of meaning, but that’s not to say that other people are wrong.

I find Byron Sharp’s work around mental availability extremely valuable. On the other end of the spectrum, I feel that someone like Simon Sinek can purpose and start with what is also extremely valuable. What I want to stress is I’m humble here to say, I think my approach is valuable.

I prompt you to look at brands through the lens of meaning. I’m not saying however, that is the end all be all. I’m saying this is an approach and this is a way of thinking that you should, you must combine with other great people.

So I agree with that. And I feel that’s important.

No, I totally agree with that. And it’s interesting that you mentioned like two ends of the spectrum, right? In that debate, not that we want to tuck into this too much, but I think it’s quite an interesting just sort of topic to just sort of bottom out just for a few moments.

Where on the one hand, we’ve got people talking about purpose. And then on the other hand, perhaps more academic people saying, well, purpose is a load of rubbish. And one thing I find quite interesting just on that debate is that, if you’re trying to align a company of individuals, right?

So they’re all together and they understand where they’re going. You want to attract talent to your organization. You want to motivate people, inspire people to create customer experiences that are genuine and authentic and brilliant.

You can’t do that through data and just throwing money at it. You have to have something bigger, something more emotional, something more purposeful. And so that’s where I think the debate is interesting on that one because you can show as much data as you want.

At the end of the day, if you don’t define a purpose that’s human and exciting, you’re not going to align people internally in an organization to make some beautiful, create beautiful experiences for customers. And so that’s where I think the difference is. Like one is, yes, out there in a market, hard, cold facts on one part, but what’s missing sometimes is that internal alignment that’s needed for companies to create, to innovate, to push a brand forwards.

And so the two do come together in that sense. We have to be aware that data and money is helpful, but if you are inventing something or trying to create something and push into the top, top two or three or top two in someone’s mind, you need to innovate. And so you’re not going to do that just through by saying, if everyone just put their hands down, all the tools down, don’t worry, Coca-Cola are number one.

There’s no point ever of ever trying anything new. Then no one ever will. So I think there’s a danger in just going down that road.

I don’t know what your thoughts are, Emmanuel. Jacob, I’ll be interested in your thoughts on that as well.

After you Emmanuel, you’re the guest.

Oh, thank you. You know, Purpose Look, it can be a buzzword. At the end of the day, I think you have some brands that align well with the concept of purpose.

For other brands, it’s not as prevalent. I think another mistake that marketers make too often is to pick a buzzword and believe that it’s a one size fits all type of, it’s the same thing with sustainability.

It goes back to your point.

Right? So purpose, you have brands that are built around purpose. National Geographic is one, Patagonia is one, REI is one.

For these brands, it makes sense to push their purpose as their key selling point, their key value proposition, if you will. And then for other brands, purpose is not as important. And there was a good article in Marketing Week this week saying that Hellman’s Mayonnaise, for example, which is a Unilever brand, well, its purpose is, guess what?

Sandwiches and snacks and hot dogs, right? So this was a sarcastic comment from one investor having said this, to his point, do consumers really expect Hellman’s to save the world and address global warming and all those things? Not necessarily.

Conversely, you look at a brand like Dove, which is a Unilever brand that did extremely well, very successfully for the last few years now. Dove embraces that concept of everyone is beautiful and come as you are type of, and let’s walk away from the size zero models that haven’t had anything to eat for the last two weeks. So that’s all to say that again, whether it’s purpose, sustainability, or any of those important concepts is, how does this align with what you’re trying to achieve?

How does this align with your category, your brand? How does this align with the mission that your consumer is trying to fulfill when buying your product?

Nice, love that. Jacob, anyone want to add in this before we move on into more brand hacks?

No, I think it was a perfect leeway into the three quests of meaning in your book. So maybe we dive deeper into meaning, like how do we attach, I guess, the right purpose or the right meaning to products or services to make that connection?

Yeah, and we can define what meaning is about. So meaning is something that is going to impact your life at a much deeper level in contrast with a fad or trend. So if fad is a diet, for example, right?

Because they, paleo or South Beach or whatever diet you want, it’s unlikely that people will stick with those diets in the long-term. It’s just not sustainable. Meaning is something that has a much deeper impact on you and it’s much more meaningful in your life and for those around you.

So in the book, we look at three types of meanings, personal meaning, social meaning, cultural meaning. Personal meaning is what you do for yourself. A brand that does well here is Equinox in the US is a chain of health clubs.

Equinox doesn’t sell a treadmill, that’s functional. All health clubs have treadmills, whether it’s Equinox at $200 a month or Planet Fitness at $25 a month. What Equinox sells is this opportunity to transform yourself.

If you look at the advertisement, it’s about become a better you. It’s about Equinox made me do it. It’s about commit to something.

Those are their taglines. So that demonstrates how the brand is meaningful and fulfills a personal meaning. It’s a transformative experience into making me getting, prompting me to become someone better, right?

Next is social meaning. And social meaning is about communicating with people around you. And you do so through words and language and signals and brands.

And social meaning is about being part of the tribe. It’s about promoting your social status. And the third type of meaning is cultural meaning.

Cultural meaning is about discovery and adventure. What do you do to learn more about the world around you? And a good example here I will say is Airbnb.

So here again, functional aspect, Airbnb gets you a room. Well, that’s great, but you don’t need Airbnb for this. Myriat Hotels already operates 13,000 hotel rooms in the world, plus Hilton, plus everyone else.

What Airbnb sells is not a bed and some chocolates on the pillow, if you will. What Airbnb delivers to you is a connection to the local environment. It’s meeting your host.

It’s discovering the neighborhood. It’s cooking a meal with this host. It’s a personal, authentic attention of the host welcoming you into this property and maybe like putting some very local objects or art and crafts in the room.

That’s what you’re getting from Airbnb. It’s an immersion in local culture. It’s discovery and adventure.

Sure, it’s also a bed and a pillow, if you will.

I love that. I love that. And yeah, I was thinking as you said that, I bet he’s going to say connection with Airbnb and it totally is.

You mentioned social. I was just wondering if you had an example for the social meaning. So how did you actually, are there any brands that connect socially that come top of mind for you?

Yeah, that’s where social networks do well really, right? The likes of TikTok and Instagram. It’s about connecting people.

And that’s really what they fulfill, visibility to enhance your social status and visibility to connect with your tribe. And in that process, those brands become meaningful in and of themselves. It’s the cloud is one of those expressions we use every day.

When you think about it, there’s that joke, I saw this on someone’s t-shirt, there is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer. So my point is to say Instagram in and of itself is nothing. It’s just storage space and bandwidth on someone else’s computer and maybe to some extent on your phone.

What Instagram is about is connecting you with people around you and prompting this discovery and this connection.

But that social one is very interesting. I do a lot of work in the B2B space and it’s interesting because a lot of business to business brands are realizing the power of that, like getting people in their supply chain together, getting people, getting customers together and having more of that social connection. And then as you rightly said in your analysis, it’s about then improving their status amongst the group.

So any brand can almost lean into that social side of things, creating meaning and connection with a community. And that is such a huge area, I think, of branding nowadays, strategically. How are you going to create a community that are going to be more powerful tomorrow than they were yesterday?

So I think that’s love. I love those three, personal, social, cultural. I think they’re super smart.

You know, interesting when you talk about cultural, and about exploration and sort of expanding your views. Do you ever see that cultural meaning sort of entering into the sticky world of politics and into belief systems? Do you sort of see it at that really high level of…

Or is it just about kind of exploration of new parts of the world? How do you sort of… I’m just wondering how broad you take that one.

Politics is a very tricky one. It’s interesting because politics is all about branding, yet a lot more unstable. Here’s my point.

Politicians are personal brands and a vote is very emotional by nature. As such, politics and I’ll quote Michael Bloomberg, all politics aside, because Michael Bloomberg obviously was mayor of New York and he’s also an accomplished businessman. And I heard him say once, what is the difference between business and politics?

And his answer was, in business, it’s dog-eat-dog. And in politics, it’s exactly the opposite. So that’s to say that you can look at politics through the lens of branding because you believe in a politician, very often you know little about the policies and really you don’t care as much as you believe you do and as you say you do.

You vote for an emotional attachment to that brand. So we’ll take back Obama in 2008. I clearly remember when he was campaigning because I lived in Chicago at the time and we would ask people outside of his meetings and people would have the gear and wear the t-shirts and be super enthusiastic about Obama and we’ll ask those people, can you name three policies that Obama stands for?

And they couldn’t say anything. So it really goes back to what we said at the beginning of the podcast. A politician is a brand, a brand is what they say it is and it’s all those touch points between the product and the audience.

And it’s really the perception they have of the product and the brand. That’s what’s important. In that regard, politics is very similar to branding, yet a lot more unstable because you see swings in votes, if you will.

And in what we call the say do gap, that is what people say they will do and what people end up doing, right? And that’s why polling, guessing what people, well, projecting who people are going to vote for is so difficult. So that’s a bit of a long answer, but hopefully I helped here illustrate how politics and branding relate and how the short answer to your question is yes.

These beliefs, these attitudes, these sentiments elevate to politics.


Now, the book, let’s move on a little bit. The book’s called Brand Hacks. And as you go through the book, there are a number of sort of tips, if you like, hacks, points drawn from amazing examples, exactly as you’ve sort of been illustrating to us in the show so far.

And I just wondered, do you have like a top sort of three or four, maybe even five, that you want to share with our listeners? And give them a flavor, give them a taste of some of the value that this book can bring to their thinking about brand.

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why I meant, yeah, money is important. It makes a difference, but it’s not necessarily the ones with the most money that win.

So the first tip will be around authenticity. We spoke about Dove and they do this very well by advertising with normal people as opposed to size zero models. Another brand that comes to mind is called Aerie and it’s a brand of underwear basically.

And it’s great to see how the brand is performing very well versus Victoria’s Secret that is sharply declining. And in my opinion, one of the reasons why this is happening is because Victoria’s Secret has promoted that perfect image of women, arguably misogynistic image of women over the last several years versus Aerie. This brand is advertising with real people, people you can relate to.

So authenticity, it means being aware and expressing our true nature. And that’s very important in branding. A second tip is nostalgia.

Nostalgia, I mean, you can use neon signs. For example, Nike does this, Adidas does this, Milk Bar does this, Tiffany’s does this. There are so many brands that use neon.

It’s a very old technology. It’s gas, glass and electricity. That’s all it is.

The reason why it resonates with people is nostalgia is something that feels comforting. We are all excited about AI and machine learning and all this, but those technologies are threatening. Nostalgia is comforting.

It’s meaningful for you, to you, because it takes you back to a place that feels reassuring. So in that regard, I would really suggest implementing nostalgia. Next, I will say the third one will be purpose.

And don’t just talk about brand purpose, demonstrate your purpose. And if your brand doesn’t have a strong purpose, well, that’s fine. Maybe you don’t need one depending on your category.

But the shift we witnessed over the last two years for this pandemic, is prior to the pandemic, people would claim a purpose. Today, brands are being asked to demonstrate that purpose. You have to put really, you have to put in the effort.

So National Geographic is a good example. Walgreens is another good example of supporting local communities. All those brands are brands that demonstrate their purpose.

Tip number four, I would say, accumulate some first-party data. Now we could do an entire podcast on first-party data, but it’s going to be very important to know more about your consumers so that you can engage in a personal one-on-one relationship with them and fulfill that need for personal meaning. And the last one is you really want the experience to deliver to be seamless across all channels, online and offline.

And I get it, it’s easily said, there are a lot of implications between sales teams and stores and all that, but you really want to put the human first. Sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but trust me, for so many brands it is not. You put your consumer first and your customer needs to have that seamless experience.

Doesn’t matter where it starts. If it starts online, on a tablet, social media or in store and vice versa. After leaving the store, I want to continue my experience online, needs to be seamless and put the consumer first.

So that would be my five tips at a glance.

Brilliant, brilliant. Five brand hacks, they’re right there folks. There’s tons more in the book.

So, tuck them out, well, tuck them out? What kind of expression is that? I have no idea.

Have a look at those and then tuck them away, I think is where I’m going with that. But yeah, brilliant. I kind of wanted to finish on a little bit of a, punchy kind of note, right?

Because in your book, you also talk about the concept of naysayers. Like people that just are not on board with this way of thinking around brand. And I just really wanted to hear from you from the horse’s mouth, not that you’re a horse, but from the horse’s mouth around this idea of naysayers, because me and Jacob find them all the time.

Mainly Jacob is a naysayer to me most of the time, but I’d be interested in how you sort of, how you handle naysayers. People that are not on board with some of this, this thinking around brand.

Yeah, it goes back to humility, I think. And that’s probably not only in marketing and branding, but people get so opinionated. And sometimes you think it’s cool just to say, say, oh, buy on shop those guys, that’s rubbish, and vice versa.

You can say, oh, start with why Simon Sinek purpose, that’s rubbish. I just think that number one, the truth is more contrasted. And number two, again, it depends on your brand because what works for Hellman’s mayonnaise is going to be very different from Airbnb, Rolls Royce, Instagram, or brands in transformation like Budweiser, for example, or brands that are hot one day and struggling the next.

An example is Peloton. So that’s all to say that naysayers, just like people who may be unnecessarily devoted to one approach, I’d say, let’s be humble, take a step back, listen to everyone and pick and choose what’s most relevant to your brand, your category, your markets. And from there, build an approach that makes sense to you.



I love that. And that’s probably the biggest takeaway I’ve got from this, as you were talking earlier, it’s just like, there’s no right or wrong way. It does depend on the category and the brand.

So yeah, I love that approach. And thank you so much for sharing your insights with us all. And the quest for meaning and your brand hacks, it was really, really insightful.

And all the examples, I love examples, as Matt knows, to make it a little more tangible. You have one for pretty much everything you mentioned. So five stars for you.

Thank you so much.

Thank you so much, Jacob and Matt. We appreciate your time and really appreciate the opportunity to connect with our audience today. So thank you, everyone, for listening in.

Thank you. It’s been awesome.


Just before you leave, where can people find you and where can they grab the book?

Yeah, absolutely. The book is called Brand Hacks. It’s available on Amazon, of course, How to Build Brands by fulfilling the consumer’s quest for meaning.

People can also find plenty of white papers and point of views that I produce. And those are available completely free of charge on ipso.com, ipsos.com. And you just have to type my name.

You’ll find plenty of content on first-party data on brand purpose, on meaning, and all those topics that we discussed today. Also, you are welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn. And it’s simply Emmanuel Probst, E-M-M-A-N-U-E-L.

And my last name is Probst, P-R-O-B-S-T. And you’re welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m very active on LinkedIn as well.

Well, thanks for coming on the show. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. You take care.

And hopefully you’ll get floods of connections now on LinkedIn, but you know, hey, you asked for it. So we’ll see how that goes. But thank you so much.

Thank you, Jacob and Matt. And thank you, everyone, for listening in.

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