What Is Branding? With Marty Neumeier


We are live you guys.
I am beyond thrilled to have my guest, who is sitting across from me, which I’m going to introduce in one second. would be live we lied yet we’re
confirming we are alive I’ve got the thumbs up for market Jonah we are alive
you guys am beyond thrilled to have my guess who’s sitting across from me which
I’ll introduce in one second to be here in the studio this is a conversation
that needed to have many years ago and Marty and I have been exchanging
conversations and he lives in Santa Barbara and you know la people we just
don’t want to drive and over here we’re here right now so you guys you’re not
gonna believe this I have the author of the brand gap of zag of the brand flip
of scramble the brand dictionary a total of eight books I believe eight books he
literally wrote the book on branding he’s here
you guys want to stick around for this episode we’re gonna get into a lot of
things how he got started what he’s up to today and why are we even having this
conversation so let’s get right into it Marty new night welcome to the show oh
thanks Chris is great to be here the future yes in the future is definitely
here I can see it I can smell yeah smells like we’re gonna shoot all their
bills or fresh printing or something like that okay so why are we talking
today when I set the tone intention initially it was because you and I were
producing a workshop here at least I shouldn’t say produce and we’re hosting
the workshop that you’re having here at the end of February called the brand
masterclass and I wanted to have you on so in case somebody who’s been sleeping
under a rock somehow and they haven’t heard about you or the workshop this
would be a great opportunity than to find out about this but the class is
sold out you guys snooze you lose so the next opportunity to see Marty in the
United States do is two-day workshop which there’s a certification part which
is incredible is in Philly yeah that’s your next best time our best
opportunity to do this so you guys will include the links in the description
below if you guys want to attend that to go to Philly I’m gonna tell you this is
something you do not want to miss I agreed to host this just because I want
to learn from the master himself now before we get into all the brand gap
brand goods and definitions and misunderstanding and dialogue
conversation and debates I’ve happened prior to this I want to take us back in
time so whenever why in the tape because we were just talking
we’re both Arts Center people now you have a few years ahead of me and the
program was very different back then take me back uh-huh
tell me about our Center mid-sixties was a really cool place to be it was in an
old used to be a girl school I think in Hollywood third street and it smelled
like pipe tobacco because every you know design teacher our teacher there smoked
a pipe probably wore a wool vest yeah you know but it was a cool place and you
get a lot of teachers who are actually working professionals and I mean it was
a lifesaver for me because my world opened up when I finally got to do what
I always wanted to do which was be commercial artist at seven years old I
had put I put my stake in her hand in grammar school and that’s what I wanted
to be and I stuck to that the whole you knew that a seven I knew it at seven
years old yeah and everybody said what wow you’re heading for time for sure
well you know you get these ideas in your head and you just you know it
becomes who you are and so that’s that’s you know I’m so I’m just you know
marking my days until I get to be to go to RIT right so anyway it was a great
place to be there was no graphic design track they
didn’t use that term really it was just sort of coming out at the time they had
you could go into advertising or you could be an illustrator and so I took
both of those figuring that graphic design was somewhere in there you know
and later they added the graphic design program but a great experience I lasted
two years until I couldn’t afford it anymore because it was $50 a semester
where am I going to get my god yeah okay just for context you
guys Art Center semester now is I think somewhere on $22,000 of semester and
this is important to note because some of the things what we are talking about
later about money and what we charge just keep that in mind
all you young whippersnappers out there it used to cost $50 and marty could not
afford it yeah but my first really big job after I got out really great
campaign that I worked on I got $50 per ad so oh I made wow I mean I made the
whole thing back okay yeah so were you living in Italy at this time going arts
at that time I had moved I left school I went to Santa Barbara got married okay
okay started a freelance business there were
no designers no graphic designers you go look in the yellow pages where you’d
find people and there’s nothing so I had to actually have them put that in there
for me and I was the only one oh my god the graphic designer heading and I had
to as part of my job as being the only graphic designer I had to explain it to
would-be clients I had to tell them what it was and why they should pay any money
for it at all and they’d say oh you’re like yeah you’re a commercial artist oh
you know that’s that’s old-school no we were serious professionals now explain
why it’s gonna be good yeah and that that that exercise of having to explain
it like what’s the business value of design was really good and I think that
probably set me on this course of what I’m doing that was explaining all this
stuff and how business works and how design and business interacts connects
together mm-hmm what’s surprising for me to hear the story is I know you mostly
through your books and through your writing and just how clear you write how
you articulate very complex ideas that are very tangible and just very easy to
digest so how did you develop this ability to write did you teach yourself
how what does come from yeah I mean it comes from writing okay and one thing I
have to interject before I answer that question is that what I’ve noticed about
graphic design and probably other kinds of communication design is that language
is super important in it even if you’re not the word
person hmm so that’s what I discovered pretty early is that I can’t do really
award-winning cool work unless I have good writing to go with it because it’ll
drag it down to a lower level if it’s not great yeah and you know the words
and the pictures have to work together so what 1 in 1 gives you 3 so how am I
gonna do that and I just started you know really looking closely at how
award-winning work sounded looked like you know how the words and pictures went
together I started just teaching myself how to do it I didn’t really like doing
it I didn’t like writing was hard it was harder than graphic design mm I mean
graphic design is like eating candy it’s like you have a piece of candy and it’s
really good so you want another one right and writing is like oh god I’m
tired after that one that’s like took everything out of me so it took many
many many years before writing was pleasurable at all but I always did like
it when it came out well and when made my work look really great it was just
like yeah and then you know who would win awards and so I you know I had that
experience of doing it all and having control over both sides of communication
the words and the pictures and and that really taught me a lot and it started
leading me into thinking about how other things connect you know how does design
connect with business where’s the connection because my clients didn’t
really see it right and I wasn’t sure exactly how I was contributing to their
business mm-hmm because they wouldn’t tell me really what their business was
or how they were achieving success and so I had to figure that out so that I
could be in that conversation so many of while we’re on there sometimes so many
people in our audience in our community have a really difficult time answering
that question what value does design or writing creativity have on a company
because they’re feeling that pressure of doing work for less and they don’t even
know how to articulate that so here are in the 60 70s in Santa Barbara and
you’re already figuring this stuff out how could you advise or help some of
these young younger people that are out there right now who have a hard time
communicating what is design what’s the value of it I would love to hear from
you yeah well you know so so business has its own aims
you know I mean it’s it’s really profit driven there’s more to it than that it’s
not just money money money I shouldn’t be and design has its own
history and we all love that history and we want to be like those people that we
admire in our business and if it’s a new whole new thing we want to be the
leaders in that but it’s kind of divorced from business unless you
connect it yourself in that place that it connects is branding that’s the area
where everyone plays together right so whatever skills you have as as a
designer as a creative person they become weaponized when you understand
branding suddenly you know where to aim those skills that talent you know so
it’s it’s a force multiplier it’s like you know so once I understood that
branding is the area where we can all play together and and and we understand
each other’s business and what we’re doing together probably made me about
ten times as valuable as I was when in the early days when I was just copying
what Milton Glaser did or Paul ran before him you know so I actually knew
how this hopefully award-winning work would actually be driving business
forward and I could explain it from my little corner of what they were doing
how it was helping them and then they’d appreciate it more paid me more let me
into more parts of the company that I wasn’t in before so I realized that even
though business wasn’t something I was ever really very interested in I had to
be interested in if I wanted my work to be great so many questions here I feel
like I’m gonna splinter into a thousand parts and pieces here in that the term
branding I think unfortunately has become some like people use it
interchangeably with logo design identity design or even sometimes
typography and maybe we need to set the record straight and I I know you’re the
best person that tell us what is branding Marty yeah so let’s start with
what branding isn’t okay it’s because it’s not a lot of things people say it
is yeah is not a logo okay a logo is a very
useful tool for a business but it’s not the brand it’s a symbol for the brand a
brand is not a product so people talk about this brand buying this brand or
that brand they’re really talking about buying one product or another product
the brand is not that people say the brand is a promise the company makes to
customers and there’s some truth in that yeah I mean it it does end up acting as
a promise but that’s not what it is either advertising people like to say
well it’s the sum of all the impressions that a company makes on an audience yeah
well you know if you’re trying to sell a lot of impressions I can see where that
might be useful to you but from a business point of view why do they want
that so and how does that help people understand what they’re doing so none of
those things are really what branding is a brand is a result it’s it’s a
customer’s gut feeling about a product a service or a company it ends up in their
heads in their hearts right they take whatever raw materials you throw at them
and they make something out of it but it’s there making it there creating it
and so in a sense when you create a brand you’re not creating one brand
you’re creating millions of brands like however many customers are people in
your audience each one has a different brand of you so brand is like a
reputation all right so it’s your business reputation and everyone’s gonna
be a little bit different about what that reputation is and that’s okay as
long as you have a you’ve got it corralled mostly where you want it and
that it’s beneficial to the company so we tend to look at companies and
designers tend to look at branding as from our point of view like we’re this
is something we’re doing we’re telling a story where we’re making a claim or you
know we’re making a pitch and and that’s what we do but that’s not what a brand
is a brand is the result of that and if you don’t start there you don’t know
what you’re doing you actually don’t know what you do you think you know what
you’re doing but you don’t so from a designer’s point of view I mean I
always tended to be this way it’s like I just had a it was my gut feeling right
about whether this is gonna work or not and then I would sell it as hard as I
could get the client that’s sign off on it from the clients point of view
they’re going well it’s a checklist I got the you know I got the logo I got
the got the tagline I got the ad campaign click check check and they
think they’re done right none of that’s right you know what’s right is what
happens in people’s heads like what are we achieved like what’s the reputation
that we’ve created through the products were putting out and the design of the
products the messaging we’re putting out the look and feel of them our culture
you know how does that affect people how our how our employees behave you know
how is that affecting our reputation all that stuff counts so it’s a big world
and it actually takes in almost all of business not so much finance but finance
is involved too because finance has to green-light all these things but almost
everybody in a in a company is you know affecting the brand doing something with
the brand doing it for the brand or hurting the brand so you you got to
think of it that way now this is not well understood so
anybody who gets this and can explain it is in a very powerful position with the
company nice and designers are just naturally good at this like if we opened
our minds to it and learned a few skills learned a little bit more about business
we suddenly have a lot more control over how our work is perceived by our clients
how it works in the marketplace how much we get paid for it and at some point
when you get really good at this you don’t have to charge by the hour you
charge by the results and or or not even that use charge for being involved at
that very highest level and it can be huge amounts of money so the the range
of like starting out as an hourly performer getting up to where you’re an
expert in something is huge I mean the difference is like is millions of
dollars in your income so it’s worth doing is what I’m saying so
no matter what skills you have creatively if you find out how they
apply in the world of branding they’re suddenly more valuable same skills but
you you will be doing it differently and you’ll have the confidence that you’re
doing it really really well and you can explain why why could I do you want to
say one word because that was perfect this is unscripted Marty’s just talking
from decades of experience and writing and articulating this it’s very clear to
me I’m trying to imagine myself in the audience right now listening to this
like you mean I could have a more profound impact on the business Marty
are you saying there’s more to this branding than the logo or the product
and and then it’s like you’re talking about business and I can make more money
I can charge for the result or even my involvement this sounds very exciting so
if they’re watching this and they’re in the traditional graphic design space and
they make things visual what are some easy like let me just get started in
this well do I have to learn how to write do I have to take a business
course or get a business degree point me in the right direction maybe not the
whole plan but just help me out you know the business degree is interesting I’ve
talked to some people who have sort of learned how to do their craft and then
they’ve taken business like MBA classes and I think that’s really helped a lot
but you have to figure out how to put those together because you’re not going
to hear anything about design in an mba class nothing zero zilch they don’t want
to think about it right yeah so it’s your job to get them to think about it
so that’s why I wrote my books I would just say start there anybody else who
writes books like mine if there are that many people but where they’re trying to
connect creativity and business that they have you have to connect them and
you can figure this out yourself but I think it helps to get you know inspired
by it and get a few principles under your belt and then suddenly the world
will open up for you and you go home my god looks like I’m really powerful if I
if I understand what I’m doing right yeah Paul Rand the famous graphic
designer told me that when I this magazine here critique I did this for five years until
it almost killed me and sort of similar ideas like how can I bring designers
closer to being masterful yeah like you know how do I teach someone about
business how do i how do we talk more about the ideas behind design instead of
just the look and feel of it yeah and when I did the first issue I sent it
to Paul Rand who was old at this time he was I didn’t know it but he would only
live a few months after that Allah and he looked at the magazine he says yeah
yeah that’s good you got some good people in here if I were you I would
just like only show good work don’t show any bad work don’t show crap like those
other magazine it’s just you know do it he’s kind of like that cigar to ink yes
rough sort of person he says you got to teach designers what they’re doing
that’s what he said and I thought gosh that’s right I mean I really didn’t know
what I was doing and nobody ever gave me that advice before I did get some really
good advice when I was a young designer I went to a poster be a neol in Colorado
where they have this annual not be annual poster international poster
conference competition and the winners are there and you’re meeting these
famous people that you know have been in graphics magazine and so forth and I was
just really excited to to have won an award and be talking to those people and
I ran into you know we all have our plates of food and we’re sort of
schmoozing and everything and I run into this old guy he seemed like he was
probably 90 but you know – he’s probably only 70 I was pretty young so 25 or
something and he says oh so you’re uh what do you
do you’re like a you’re a designer yeah yeah I was a designer – I used to art
direct graphics magazine when it first started I said whoa I think I’ve seen
your name before he goes oh yeah you know let me I’m you know promised
retired I mean I’m still working and everything I love it but
let me just give you know you’re young let me give you a piece of advice and I
said okay he says okay just kind of tell me one or two things about how you work
I said all right he says well so you work at it like at a desk or a table I
said yeah yeah I have a table with a drawing board on it because well that’s
good it says okay is the table like up
against the wall like you’re facing the wall or is it out in the middle or I
said well it’s kind of like it’s one side of it’s against the wall and then
it’s sticking out into the space okay oh yeah that’s good that’s good okay so
here’s my advice when you finish your sketch or your drawing or your work
whatever you’re working on get up and go to the other side of the table I said
yeah because no that’s it it took me about a minute to do to like uh-oh all
right I get it look at it from the other point of view
and he goes exactly mmm exact ammo he says friendship so I I just thought that
was charming and wonderful and I thought you know that’s that’s a great metaphor
for really what we should be doing we have to look at our work from the
readers point of view the users point of view the clients point of view we cannot
look at it just from our own point of view it’s just not gonna is it’s not
gonna get us anywhere we have to look at it from a different point of view so I
think that stuck in my mind for a long time and eventually that’s why I started
testing my work I wanted to make sure that I actually nailed it because it’s
gonna get judged right sooner or later it’s gonna be judged in the marketplace
so what if I could get judged before it goes in the marketplace and we’re gonna
get into more of that I just want to make sure the program or the YouTube
community that’s tuning in to watch Jonah and Mark are checking out your
questions and the questions that are relevant to what we’re talking about
we will bring up to Marty now this idea of testing is going to make a lot of
sense in a little bit but before we get there we’re going to do like a Quentin
Tarantino style edit here we’re gonna take you back to Santa
Barbara and then you move to Silicon Valley at some point I think you said
you spent 15 years in Santa Barbara and basically the only listing under graphic
design in the yellow pages young people won’t know what we’re talking about but
I know what you’re talking about you decide to move to Palo Alto and you’re
gonna work there I think some something very special is happening with Steve
Jobs and Apple and all that kind of stuff take us like what what made you go
out there how did you relocate your business how do you get business I want
to know it was such a wrenching change or my wife and me and our daughter
because we lived in Santa Barbara and even though it’s very difficult from a
business standpoint it was beautiful from a living standpoint and we had to
leave that to make enough money to send our daughter to college eventually you
know and so that was that was the tough free but we just weren’t getting
anywhere so yeah so I started hearing a lot about Palo Alto Silicon Valley and it seemed like not a big thing to me at
the time you know but then I talked to a few people who are like investors and
stuff and they were saying like no no Silicon Valley is like hot hot hot it’s
like and we’re and at the time we were in a recession the rest of the world was
in the recession Silicon Valley’s hot you’re kidding me oh yeah I mean you
don’t know what’s going on there so I started just looking around it like what
companies were up there I mean there was no internet or anything so there is no
way to easily find this out me were they even computer I mean one year we thought
well the reason I wanted to move is because the Apple Macintosh well it’s
almost ready it was ready to come okay they had the lid I saw the Lisa okay
apples team brought the Lisa to Santa Barbara and in this trade show that had
like three booths and they were all just these like little desk top funny desktop
computers and then they des this beautiful one with the beautiful
graphics and I went oh my god where did this come from
Oh Palo Alto right Silicon Valley yeah so I started looking at you know what
companies were up there and I saw all these like Atari was up there and hewlett-packard and and then I started
looking finding them on the map and I think these are like all within like I
don’t know five square miles all of these companies think these are the
clients that you know they’re right there all I have to do is like move in
and say I’m here you know and say that’s what we did and it was just that easy
I mean I mean we started with a phone number only that’s just a testament you
could get a phone number that that looked like it was from that area
yeah really rang and you’re you know that’s so that was a nice tricky little
thing and so I’d get calls all right call ID cold call companies and say can
I show my portfolio because that’s what you did and they’d say yeah you know so
I called Apple I said yeah yeah so I said can I show my portfolio and I got
like the couple creative team they said yeah come on in
how about Monday morning so I get in the car you know Sunday night and they drive
up and I stay over at a friend’s house you still live in Santa Barbara this can’t know that right because they got
to think I’m local or they’re not gonna give me any work so I just drive up and
I stay overnight and I get there and they forgot about the appointment I can
miss I only had to drive that Oh didn’t mean anything to them right to me it was
like everything right so you know so I but I I made that work I landed Sun
Microsystems I got Atari I was kind as wonderful work from Atari from Santa
Barbara and then I installed one of my former employees up there in a little
one of those like you know workspace offices where you get a cubicle yeah and
she was doing more work than I was getting in Santa Barbara so I said okay
that says it we got to be there yeah we packed up the kid and the parakeets and
the cats and the dogs drove up there was this horrible
horrible thing the daughter hated its he was just starting high school oh it’s
just like she just was really wrenching yeah
but as soon as we got there it was like the just the roof fell in with work and
you know all I had to do is say look this is where I started to realize
specialization was a really powerful case I mean I just I just said this is a
big lie you know it’s to sort of fake it to your maker thing has I
I told clients like all I do is high-tech that’s all I do
other designers they’ll do a little high tech then they’ll do a museum you know
they mean they’re just not dedicated to this I’m all about high tech like I had
done leave me two jobs for technical tech companies but I could show those
two jobs yeah so I and they said hey that’s great cuz nobody really you know
takes this stuff seriously and I got a lot of work and then and so I said this
is totally working right and I income quadrupled first year yeah so all I did
is bring the same as I had to a different place literally yeah into a
situation where there was a framework for it mm-hmm
so you did a couple of really smart business things may ask like at that
time how old you are your daughter’s in going into high school so she’s like 15
years old yes back then so I must have been 30
early 30s early 30s okay so here you are in your early 30s you realize you got to
go where the client is they ain’t coming to you you also did something that most
designers would never do you had the guts to pick up the phone and just call
people and say hey I’m in town hardest thing I ever did I’m just you know they
say that if you’re if you are if you run a business you’re probably a extrovert
and I think you need to be but I think a lot of designers are not born extroverts
so they have to learn to be extrovert or fake it yeah like just force themselves
to be extroverted when needed right and that’s that’s what I did but you know
what makes that a lot easier is if you have something that the person on the
other side of the fence or the phone or or the computer really wants it’s it’s
not a cold call it’s a very warm call so you just have to have that thing mm-hmm
and be able to express it so you know so I would say look you don’t know me but
I’m an award-winning designer like I thought that meant something maybe you
did at the time yeah and I only do high-tech and I’m doing identities and
advertising and just like everything for small start-up technology companies and
I just like love to show you what I’ve done for X X and X you know Sun
Microsystems Atari Apple because I was involved in the launch of the Macintosh
Plus so I had some things to show there and it was like yeah come on over so
there was just really not this sort of distance like there is now oh and like
there was for me forever until I had something I could specialize in and say
look this thing is what I own right nobody else does this if that’s what you
want we need to meet and I would yeah okay or they would say no we don’t need
anything now that’s fine right later they might I have so many questions
about what was your what was your instinct or what drove you to say of all
the things I can sell it seems obvious now but back then I’m just gonna tell
people I do high-tech and I don’t have to things that are my belt I mean and
it’s pretty awesome that you figured that out because again just like you’re
and I’m seeing patterns here you go to Santa Barbara like I’m the only graphics
I’m just gonna take over this category and then you go to Palo Alto it’s like a
lot of computer companies I should just tell mom high tech I mean where’d that
come from and how did you know like that’s what I want to say because so
many people are afraid that by staking a claim or specializing they’re limiting
all these opportunities when it’s actually the opposite I couldn’t have
said it better I mean it’s it’s counterintuitive isn’t it so you know as
a designer you’re creative and people who are creative like they do lots of
things yes I mean they want to be Leonardo da
Vinci I mean really there won’t be Renaissance people yeah
and it’s fun to do that but the world doesn’t want that from you and so I had
to understand that and I I think I understood it like in the first ten
years of being a designer I’d watch how illustrators got famous so
in the old days I don’t think there are any illustrators of the way they were
then but you know you had all these magazines and you know there’s Playboy
magazine you always wanted to be in that one because it got a lot of readership
yeah so an illustrator if if would settle on it one style one look yeah was
unique and cool and then that illustrator like got hot and within five
years was dominating it and then and then had another five years until they
would be out of business basically because everyone had seen everything
they could do and it just the world moves on so there’s like a 10-year
career yeah that they could and if they wanted to change after that and adopt
another style they could probably have a second act
but I’m thinking well I don’t want to be the kind of person has a ten-year career
but I have to admit they really get successful fast yeah by doing one thing
and I said what if I applied that to something else about my business like
the kind of work I did or the kind of in this case Silicon Valley case the kind
of business that I specialized in so that I get a lot of word-of-mouth
so if people say oh you need to designer this guy did our whole everything he did
the whole thing is like amazing like brought us from nowhere to being highly
visible you got it here have-have my guy yeah and so that was my
original idea when I got there and then I found out that actually Silicon Valley
was moving past that really quickly and it was so big getting so big so fast
that that was no longer a specialty it was that was too general to say you know
I do identity and everything for a company like I do all their
communication because software companies didn’t talk to hardware companies who
didn’t talk to chip companies didn’t talk to you know I mean they were all
separate little universes and you had to pick one so so eventually I decided that
I would be the guy you go to if you need retail software packaging but
was just starting out it was just starting and it was like I really didn’t
want to specialize but I could see why it worked you know you know it’s like it
just makes the decision so easy for clients they go well oh we need this we
got this checklist we need the package week who’s gonna do that who does these
things Joe go find that go find the package designer and they go out and get
land or somebody and I say no I’m gonna be the guy that does it and and that
means I have to do only that yeah or at least that’s what I say that’s I have to
say right if I do other things I’m just not gonna show those things I’m just
gonna master this and I’m gonna be obviously mastering it so that I can
prove it and and then I’ll get it all for as long as that lasts mm-hmm so
that’s what I did and that worked amazingly well and it was only about two
years before we were charging more than Landor and more than anybody actually
because Lando didn’t know what they were doing and couldn’t couldn’t explain why
they were doing what they were doing I want to get into all that mark you
flagged me you’re like make a little signal and then I’ll acknowledge you
just give me one second I do want to talk about this a little bit just to
kind of re articulate what you’ve said there’s a lot of stuff to absorb here so
you started out kind of broad as I’m a graphic designer communication
advertising guy and you thought that was specialized enough no maybe he’s just
identity designer maybe it’s just for high-tech industry and then it became
software retail packaging they just you went near all this soft business because
business software retail packaging guy so if somebody needed that there was one
game in town that was your game yeah and you dominate it and you win against and
people don’t know this land or such enormous operation a multinational
corporation right it’s just high prices too high prices okay the market we have
a question either on branding or specialization or something like that go
ahead mark he’s asking how do you measure the
effective effectiveness of branding in terms of ROI okay that’s a good question
yeah so traditionally people say you can’t you can’t measure it because it’s
too soft it’s it’s it’s too amorphous but you can measure it in terms of
engagement with with customers and you can measure that from year to year and
it’s cheap and it’s almost free to do any company wants to do it my book the
brand flip has a really good formula for that and it’s called the brand ladder
mmm it measures how people move up from how they how they regard your companies
so how your reputation is doing so there it is there’s the brand ladder yeah so
Chris what’s a clown with a letter bottom of the ladder is satisfaction
right so our customers satisfied with with the company and what they put out
well that’s a pretty low bar these days right yes satisfied means yeah they did
what yeah and you know I you know maybe I’ll buy it again
it feels like that then from there you go up to what the next step up is
delight delight so delight is when you’re going wow I
didn’t know it’d be this good this is really cool and I’m gonna tell my
friends all right so you can measure that and the next one is engagement
engagement so engagement you’re like there’s a customer going I love this
company and I really feel like I belong with this brand with this I love this
product let’s say Apple I really an apple person I really just buy
everything they come out with because I know it’s gonna be good I just even if I
I’ve never even thought of that before that category you know here comes an
Apple watch I didn’t even know I wanted to watch I’m gonna get it right
so that’s engaged customers then from there you have three things under
engagement I want to point out to them because I have the book in front of me
I’m not a genius here automatic repurchase is how you can tell you used
with that question they launched a new thing I’m in I bought in the emotional
attachment you’ve talked about this in many of your books about how when Steve
Jobs passed away there was like dividuals and people were like crying
and just eulogies and all kinds of stuff there was an emotional attachment
you don’t feel that way about a lot of companies and the sense of belonging
like I am an apple tribe guy and I know my PC friends I’m a cristo tribe guy
right I like that it’s yeah and so what you’re doing though is you’re going
beyond that you’re at the top loop yes here we are at the top the top of the
brand ladder is empowerment talk to power net so that’s where as someone
who’s joined the brand which is what you do with brands you don’t buy them you
join them it’s saying I don’t know what I would do without Chris Chris doe
helping me understand all this stuff I mean I wouldn’t be making as much money
it wouldn’t be as happy I’m I’m totally about it my life wouldn’t be as good if
you took that brand away from me so that’s that’s at the very top um and the
and your customers are gonna be at all these different levels but you want to
see how many I have moved up to the top so that’s a way to measure the overall
success of the brand now as far as your part in the brand that’s a little more
difficult you have to like decide what it is you’re contributing to to make
that happen on the brand ladder and then explain that so a lot of its just being
logical about it and just saying I know we’re trying to do together here some my
parts going to help and so it’s it’s a bit of explaining mm-hmm
and and if you know enough to know more than that more than what your part is
now you’re becoming more valuable now you’re someone to listen to right it
would be fair to say like when you engage with a company that wants to
enlist your services that you probably want to establish baseline some kind of
metric like let’s measure something first and let’s make an effort towards
improving that weather like right now let’s just say they’re at the lower rung
of the ladder and like we just have satisfaction we’re just barely doing
what it is that we tell people we’re going to do we want to move a lot to
delight like and then you come up with ideas on how to add a little surprise
yeah yes so you go beyond expectations and then you can measure that maybe
customer surveys satisfaction things you rank things something like so the first
thing is to have this language mm-hmm alright so that a lot of my books are
just about create and that’s why I have a dictionary it’s creating a language so
that you can talk with business people in a way they’ll understand it and it
doesn’t mean using their language but it’s using sort of a language that
everybody understands and that you easily explaining that makes sense to
both sides so if you talk about engagement they’re gonna get that yeah
and they’re gonna understand how engagement leads to customer loyalty and
loyalty leads to higher profits mm-hmm but if you can talk about higher profits
too I mean that’s what branding is about branding is a way to get more people to
buy more stuff for more years at a higher price and every business owner
can appreciate that and then you just have to say like here’s how we’re gonna
help ya but already you’ve given them some information that they didn’t know
they didn’t know branding was supposed to do that
right so I mean that’s what my level C program is trying to do is teach all
that that language to people and little by little they absorb it so they could
talk about it with that you know in their sleep mm-hmm and makes sense to
people who actually are gonna hire them yeah a lot of stuff to process here in
case you guys are joining us who is this wise gentleman sitting across from me
and in Who am I why am i reacting to him in this way I am gonna just admit I’m a
Marty new Meyer fanboy for sure I think I have almost all of your books I had to
track down this through a used bookseller and I was like I’ll get in
any which way I can get it cuz I knew you’re coming here I’m like let me track
it down yeah this is I don’t know maybe you can get these like used on the gray
market maybe Bay maybe maybe yeah eBay yeah this is a little dictionary paper
dictionary that was commissioned by Google because they wanted to use all my
my language my system my understanding of branding for their clients their big
high-roller clients yeah and so they started it like a little
school and my dictionary is the the text that they that they use for that so I
updated it from the earlier version put it in a lot of sorghum’s since then that
that one’s pretty interesting but I have an even newer one more updated that that
you can get on Amazon it’s a so it’s yeah okay and that is linked the the
dictionary of brand from A to Z the dictionary it’s called brand A to Z
brand Adz yeah we got and you can get actually free if you just sign up on my
way just subscribe ok we’ll include that
link in a little bit and as I was talking Marnie’s authored eight books
and probably has a couple of more in in him but we’ve talked about the brand gap
and this is I referred to this a lot I also love zag and right now I’m just
like rereading this like a gazillion times this is the brand flip and we are
talking because some of you guys are probably super excited about hearing the
way Marnie articulates branding and our role as creative people and what we can
do there is a brand masterclass that you started out in Europe in in London and
you’re bringing it here back to America and if you guys weren’t able to sign up
because the tickets sold out pretty quickly for Los Angeles the next time is
in Philly daemon do you know the date we should have Andy yeah if you go to level
c CC yep all the dates are there so Philly’s the next one yep and there’s
seats there and then if you want to be a little more exotic you go to London mmm
it’s a fun place to do it yeah and in London we’re gonna do masterclass one
followed by Latin masterclass two the first time that we’ve done that one and
then after London we’re going to Dublin okay in Ireland so that one’s that’ll be
fun yeah those locations by the way yeah and we’ll get back into this a little
bit I’ll put a pin on this to talk about the the five levels of level C but I do
want to read a little bit of something from the the brand flip here because a
lot of times you read books and you feel like a little bit smarter and you learn
a few new words but what I love about your books is that I can apply what it
is I’m reading they’re all frameworks built in and there’s a lot to think
about from the brand gap I think it was the
only in a statement where there’s like this structure and I started to use it
now I have to say you’re a far superior writer and this is not like false
modesty because when I read it it makes sense everything clicks every example
you gave was like also so good and then you try to do your taking the ball 300
yards and then you can’t do it on your own the next day no I’m not even that
good I just watch you do it and then I went to swing and went right into the
lake or wherever away but there’s some great frameworks and now we’re looking
at our community in the brand that we’re building around the future and I
remember having a manage meeting I turned into the team’s like
let’s stop talking about clickfunnels and marketing and retargeting and all
that kind of stuff yes we do need to do that but I want to talk about how we
empower our community the pro group and I’ve made it like our mantra to sit
there and think about how we can achieve these five things that you talk about in
the book for our community and I want to go over it personal growth how do we
help our community grow how can we give them emotional support that was number
two how can we help them to achieve business success make more money charge
a higher rate do fewer pictures whatever it is we want to help you grow in your
business social status and that’s not something we think about like how do we
celebrate the people who are doing a great job and help them rise in esteem
among their peers and to achieve fulfilment so you guys if you get
nothing from our talk today remember those five things whether you’re a
solopreneur if you run a big firm if you managing a team of a hundred thousand
people think about your customers in that way and if you can do that that’s
the top of the rung empowerment right so go back to the definition of what a
brand is it’s a person’s gut feeling that’s not a product service or company
so that means it’s not what you say it is it’s what they say it is and once you
understand that and start thinking about what that means for you it changes
everything so that’s the big sort of flip is you in your mind you have to
realize it’s not about you it’s about them and what they achieve so if you
have customers or clients think about how is their life transformed by what
you’re doing in some some small way or how is their company transformed and you
got to be aiming at that all the time not aiming at your own success and you
because that you know you have to worry about that but that’s not what’s really
going to make you successful it’s doing something big for your clients and once
they understand that they can’t live without you all things are possible
hmm okay let’s see Marco is there another good question and thanks for
kicking us off with that question if I don’t want to prompt a unless you find
like a really good question because I have more things I want to okay I’m the
prioritize my questions over your questions we’ll just keep going here so
so Marni you before we went live we were talking a little bit about how you were
the reluctant salesperson but you did it and you achieve success like
in the first year you’re like quadrupled your business but you’re sharing with me
something that I have to we have to recreate for the audience here he talked
about at the new Meijer design team your pitch was I’ve got a presentation on 20
ways to sell more software this sounds genius tell me about it and
who could refuse this at this point yeah this is a breakthrough for me this is
kind of it’s the perfect question after what have we just said about like how
are you going to do something for you know what are you doing to change your
customers or clients alone I really wasn’t fully getting it at that
stage and but I didn’t know I had to specialize so I took took up the
specialty of software packaging and figured out every part of what a
software package with needed to do and ways of measuring it in ways of testing
it and all that so I had it and I put together a typical portfolio showing
here’s all the great work we did and here’s what we did on this one we did
this for this company and so forth and and then here’s some of the results we
got for instance for Apple they said the president of the of klaris which was
Apple’s software division I asked him how it went he goes are you kidding no
one told you I said no he said we got 40% increase in sales across 15 products
without changing one product hmm wow that sounds really good he goes yeah
that’s 40% with no extra work an extra for you you don’t know how much money
that it’s like like I’m a hero and I said can I quote you his name is Bill
Campbell just a wonderful guy um does yeah you should yes definitely quoting
so I had that slide show kind of put together and I showed it to a guy who
had nothing really nothing in common with he was completely a marketing guy
and a retail consultant helping software and hardware retailers to sell stuff
like it’s just not my world even though my my my packages are in those stars I
really don’t think about it the way he thinks about so I said we
you kind of look at my slide showing and because I think it’d be great if you
recommended us to some of your contacts because you know all these retailers he
goes yeah I’ve got it so I looked at it and he didn’t say a word through the
whole thing at the end he goes well where’s the ending I said what do you
mean I showed you all this stuff he says you didn’t tell me like how much money
this is and say how much it was they said well you know we designers don’t
talk yeah it’s kind of it’s all you know you know it’s it’s depends on the
assignment said right no no just tell me how much it costs and how much just go
do for me right I said well Bill Campbell said you know
that they got 40% increase and because you’re kidding me
just that’s your ending right there if you don’t say that you’re out of your
mind what’s that over and then then I realized another client had said look
we’ve got we do you know you did our series of products for us and we’ve got
a 500% increase after that Wow it’s really good so I started collecting
those and using them to prove the value of design yeah it’s like this is a
measurable thing you know you do a package it was the product was selling X
and now it’s 10 times X or 5 times X so that’s something you can put in there
and you should does it really tell you that much about why that happened though
it doesn’t tell you anything but but business people aren’t as as geeky as
you think about business they just like they just want something that they can
tell each other so give them something give them something true that sounds
like a business result uh-huh and and you’re all happy and and just keep
learning how to do it better my business coach used to tell me that they need a
repeatable story and you gave them plenty 40% increased 500% increase those
are some story they forget the rest of the presentation they just go back and
look we need you this guy they didn’t change a single thing and they sold 500
I think an important part of that particular pitch
aside from here the results where it was and here’s how much it cost to get those
results and so I was smart enough to realize that if those results were like
amazing I don’t know if landowner could get those kind of results I don’t think
so because I don’t think they’ve thought about it very much like how to actually
accomplish what they needed to accomplish see if I was gonna say where
were we take me back I went off on that side
road I don’t know where we were at either so let me think here
I was talking about the repeatable story yeah and about the impact you were able
to create 40% 500% they forget the rest of the story and this is kind of like
what you need yeah it’s like so the main thing I need to tell you is I forgot it
so okay yeah but that was just a huge you know experience for me to see that
you didn’t need to be the biggest company to compete to just wipe out the
biggest company you just need to be so specialized that they couldn’t afford to
do the same thing yeah and so the rule is the bigger the market the more you
need to specialize because there’s more competition and you’ll do better if you
do less okay you guys hear that the bigger the market the more you need to
specialize right the smaller the market like was when I
was in a little town and I was the only designer I had to do everything I was
not a country doctor no you know they needed me to do everything and sure I
sewed up all the business because there wasn’t much competition right but you
know it only went so far so yeah so it’s all about that so if you want to compete
in the big world and make good money you need to specialize more mm-hmm and
that’s the counterintuitive thing you think oh well then I’m gonna be ruling
out all this business that I’m getting now I can’t do that anymore because now
I’m just going to do this little sliver so I would encourage you to think about
it in a different way think about it as if there’s some enough money in that
category and you got a lot of it how and let’s
say that category is growing right that could be huge right how can grow with
the category so I just think that’s the way to go specialize now you doesn’t
mean you can’t do other kinds of work so all you people are worried about all the
clients you’re gonna have to say no to don’t worry about it just take that look
yeah just don’t talk about it just take it you got it it’s profitable talk about
the one thing you can do that nobody else can do and talk about it in a
really clear powerful way make sure they understand you’re the only one that
knows how to do this and you’d be surprised at what that does for you and
you’ll still get other work from that that you just want to talk about yeah
okay so if I had a software company and they did the software they might stick
in like Apple said can you do the klaris logo for us yeah charge a lot of money
for that because it’s Apple or I think I don’t like make sure it works all around
the world yeah that means traveling around the world and testing it and all
the kinds of things we did so it was probably I don’t know half a million
dollars to do this little logo that was just typed that you could buy for $40
mm-hmm but it was the right type and it was the right solution and they were all
really happy and felt very strong about it so it was valuable right we made a
lot of money we just never made a big deal out of that because it’s not what
we do it’s not our niche mm-hmm you were talking earlier about
segmentation and how different companies don’t talk to verticals of other things
like software doesn’t talk to hardware and hardware doesn’t talk to retail so
when you are able to pick a lane which you did business retail software
packaging if that sounded like you you were the guy to call and you could
basically outdo a firm that was probably a hundred times your size and start to
charge and I want to talk about this a little bit how much were you able to
charge for this business software retail packaging back in the day right so
allowing for inflation I mean would be a lot more now but probably triple it and
that’s how much we beat ok so guys keep that in mind take these numbers yes
triple so we started out doing packaging at the
same prices as other firms were doing it that weren’t specialists
you know like Landor and primo Anjali a lot of food packaging and really
beautiful packaging but not specialized in software and we took us a couple of
tries to get up to that level where they were and and that was at about ten
thousand per package okay it’s basically six panels of a box and
whatever goes on that right and for us it meant also testing so well actually
at the time we didn’t test we didn’t know about that Apple got us into that
they forced us to do it it was the best thing I’ve ever ever been forced to do
so ten thousand dollars and then we started getting up to fifteen and as we
got more when we could say look all we do is software packaging hooks here’s
five five examples was probably everyone we’ve ever done here’s just a
cross-section okay a cross-section of and and we so we get more we catch more
now once we got to the point where the retail stores were recommending us like
you know a software company would go into the comp USA or Fry’s Electronics
and they say look we here’s our product we’d like to get into the store and they
say well the package you know really we find packaging is very important nobody
can really test your software and so if the packets isn’t really doesn’t pop on
the shelf right and it doesn’t look like yours you really know what you’re doing
and and the reason they thought they knew what they were doing is because
we’d been in there hmm in Silicon Valley testing them and talking with the
managers and the salespeople and like we indoctrinated them over a few years and
so they now had all the answers right yeah oh no you you you got to have the
name really big on the front you’ve got to have some symbol you can’t put all
those screenshots on the front of the packets nobody wants to see they don’t
really have that on the back right you’re just not doing it right
so okay they’d say well what should we do they’d write out our phone number
fantastic and they’d say use these guys like a prescription so they come to us
and they say oh no we gotta use you guys we were told Mike I was surprised right
okay so at that point the price was sixty thousand hmm now we’re doing the
same work as when we were making a profit at ten thousand but now we’re
charging sixty so you see how that works now we are also better at it after a
while and then we really knew that we can make a lot of money
for companies and it was so measurable because it’s a package that’s a little
more difficult when you’re selling selling logos and trying to get a
hundred thousand dollars for a logo when they can get one for you know fifteen
hundred or something someplace but there are ways of doing that there there are
so many layers to peel away from this one store this one example that you have
that I would be remiss not to point out some of them before we went live you
were telling me at the end of the presentation of your your carousel
slideshow of the 22 ways to sell more software and that they would ask you
like so what’s the price and you were saying like ten thousand bucks even
though that’s more than what you have ever charged and you’re doing something
very powerful you’re you’re dropping an anchor and eventually you got a ten
thousand and you blew pass which seems kind of like almost unfathomable that
you could take on land or own one section of it and do 6x of what they
were charging and beyond and just keep going you went in you were so well known
that you actually went into these big retail spaces and you educate them on
what you need to do so much so that you became the de facto authority and they
your words guy they were using your language to tell potential manufacturers
this is not gonna work here and you guys all know this but retail stores these
big chains they have a lot of power because shelf space very valuable to
them they put a dud on there they’re not making money and so they’re gonna it
behooves them to say we’re not gonna accept this go hire a new Meijer design
corporation that’s what you need to work with amazing so now they’re doing your
selling for you when you specialize in your that as good as Marty is people
sell for you incredible yeah and you know that
language thing is really important having the words and keeping it simple
and and making your how you express your work making it memorable
super important so that’s one of the things I try to do in my books is give
people that language so they can just take it and use it I mean a lot of it I
took from somebody else mm-hmm and talking about software companies one
of them that we had we ended up doing I don’t know 50 packages for them they
just kept after a while they were testing packages with no software in
them to see if there was a market if they built that software oh this is like
early prototyping here yeah it’s like product prototyping right here’s a pro
here’s a would you like this product and people if they went oh yes they would go
they would program it they would build that product so we were doing a lot for
them and and after a while I got more and more comfortable with the people I
was working with there and I talked with the head of the whole product division
and I said so we’ve been doing a lot of work together this has been great that’s
fun we like working with you guys and it’s just I hope it goes on forever now
why did you make that decision to use us when you had you didn’t even know who we
were in the beginning what right what was it and my contact said it was the
Zack I said this AG remember what you said when everybody zigs
zag so yeah because I just remembered that story’s like right that what’s that
word stuck in his head and I want a title that’ll stick in people’s head so
it’s zag and I uh Seth Godin said his review of it if you
read it says before we even read the book you know one thing this is the best
title of any business book ever so so it’s all about how do you how you name
things how you express things in your work and if your work is specialized and
you do something that nobody else does or in it do it in a way that nobody else
does you’ve got to name those parts you have to name the things you’re doing and
and and that’ll help you sell it it’s all you don’t even know when it’s
working but you find out later usually it’s like because like you say they tell
people they tell other people yeah I have one little quick question and then
mark you have somebody lined up he’s giving me a signal there
technique back to this awkward Marty doing the sales pitch because you shared
that like when you picked up the phone and you wanted to get one of these
meetings and talk to them about the 22 ways to sell more software take me
through that pitch like how did you do this take military you guys are you guys
ready for this you know yeah yeah yeah like I push and hang up like it was so
hard but I get somebody on the phone and I like pick up the phone because they
probably didn’t know was the sales call and they’re used to not getting that sit
in any sales to call us if you’ve got their number you’ve you know it’s hard
to get the number but yeah they’ll pick it up and I’ll say okay hey um you don’t
know me I’m Marty newmeyer and I’ve got a I do software packaging and you’re in
the software business and I’m the guy who has kind of helped shape how a
software package works and store and I think we should know each other and have
this slide show called 22 way 22 ways to sell more software and you know no rush
whenever you ready whenever you think you’re interested in this ayah we’ll
bring over a slide show called 22 ways to sell more software and I’ll share it
with everybody for free and you’ll know all my secrets Tuesday yeah 15 people
good yeah I’ll be there see ya it’s like they were like you know you
don’t get any feedback like hey that would be great you just get okay Tuesday
and how many people can I bring 15 okay great and I be there to be 30 so huge
room of people and God given the slideshow and with all the questions
they would go on for like three hours just talking it was a 45 minute
slideshow that ended up three hours because they want to know everything
about it now once you get to that stage who else are they going to hire I mean
it’s like if they go to to somebody else another company
pentagram or Landor and they asked the set they said well what do you think
about what should happen on the side of a box or what do you do with the top of
the box and they don’t know you know can’t hire these guys or they say how do
you know your design is gonna work in the marketplace and they go well because
we are experienced we’ve been doing this for a long time they go nope not gonna
do it new my our design team they test so we
just basically sewed it up and and then when you get to the point where you own
that category and there’s nobody else that can compete with you that affects
profit margins that you can the price goes up you know if it’s valuable and
the amount of money they were making in software I mean it was really expandable
from hardly anything to billions of dollars so this is not a big investment
for that it’s a job is huge for me it was like I couldn’t believe yeah that
they were paying me this much money yeah so I went from being like broke all the
time like most designers to to having to be able to buy another house and to you
know to upgrade my Toyota Tercel to Honda people think like boomers they got
it made well you know yeah now sure but yeah you know it took a long time and
you have to learn how to do it and but you can do it that’s the whole thing
it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s not magic it’s just like figuring it all out trying
things trial and error putting it together find out who you are what you
love get it out there make sure that you you’ve you know everything there is
about that life gets better yeah I’m gonna say this just so they everybody’s
watching you’re probably gonna want to rewind this and loop this part where
Marty does his sales pitch and studied it study it and figure out his framework
his process because it’s the most natural true genuine way to do a sales
call that I’ve ever heard this is so you are like I wish this was one of those
competition shows where I could hit the golden buzzer and the confetti rings out
on you balloons and everything that was pitch perfect
I wanted to applaud but I didn’t want to do
to break your story there so you guys real issen to that part
see how he structured it hi piece of content high-value you know how good he
is is because when they don’t ask you any questions like Tuesday because to
open up their appointment book that’s a big freaking deal to say that can we
invite other people and all the executives take offline that are these
highly paid executives to listen to something yes it ended up being three
hours right and with rapt attention when you go from 45 minutes or three hours
you know pretty much the fish you want the fishing where the fish are jumped in
the boat and your veggies jumping in that’s time and actually that’s the way
you wanted to seem you don’t want to have to sell or push pushing is it is a
tell for clients ago yeah they really want the job they’re just say anything
to get it then but I never like no I’d say you know we’re not for everybody
that’s really expensive so part of the thing is when I showed him the price I
wanted it to be more than I even wanted to get because I wanted just to like
make sure they understood that this is super valuable right and we can always
argue about the price later if they say they say you know we loved you’re sick
you’re way out of our budget and how much way out are we well you it’s like
ten thousand over what if we compromised right well maybe but usually it was more
like we want the best chair so we have no choice right and through
specialization and your testing you were able to spot and see patterns that these
other generic firms could not see that’s why you can say we always put the
screenshots in the back this is what’s on the front these are the colors this
is what works with authority cuz we’ve tested it okay that was perfect let’s
segue to another question mark take it away to be brand specialist what you
recommend so that they could up their game we already answered that question
and you touched on about they’re wondering kind of like gala as they
progress you know like I’m saying for Marty I’m gonna say for Marty the first
thing you do is you buy every book that Marnie’s written and you read them and
you reread them and you highlight them and you take notes and you start try to
incorporate this and you get the language now this book brand a tizzy is
new to me so I need to go through this because you can see that Marty is very
specific about language and words and when you
use the right words to describe something you communicate the other
person they know what they’re talking about so yeah so yeah I think that’s
that’s what I would suggest to you start you read my books in order you can go
online and Amazon and you can see them the dates when they were published yeah
the brand gap is the first one then zag it’s actually the order that my brand
teaching program follows that same order it starts with a general idea of what
branding I sell people fit and then it drills into strategy and then it opens
up a little bit and so forth so and once you’ve gotten everything you can out of
the books taking it as far as you can and then maybe sign up for a master
class yeah we like to have people that have read the books not just come out of
the blue because they might not pass right past the test and that would be
very embarrassing but so far everybody’s read at least one of my books probably
the brand gap and so they’re primed for this and and usually they’re they’ve
been in the field for a few years so it’s not like they’re just out of school
or something yeah okay so we will include a link in the description below
with our affiliate link guys and the order in which you should read them and
I felt like this and thanks for reminding me of this it’s like I think
zags like the philosophy the primer and I’m sorry it was a brand gap was the
philosophy in the primer and zagged it got a little bit more tactical and like
I could get into a little bit more right it is about differentiation what’s what
makes just like I’ve been talking about like how did how did I become successful
in Silicon Valley I specialized so what is that like so that is actually the
bedrock of branding is that difference a difference that people can believe in
right they see it they understand it they get it that this is how you’re
valuable in the world this is that lane that you’re in so the the question at
the center of this book is our brand is the only blank that blanks there’s the
only Ennis only the only and that’s a very high bar to say you’re the only at
anything but that’s what you’re shooting for and so that’s the centerpiece of
everything I do right there so if you just want to go right for the strategy
zag is the book to get when I do recommend that
you understand branding first so maybe brand captain zag are really good when I
when I was writing this brand gap the publisher came after me they said we saw
you give a talk we want you to write a book
mm-hm hasn’t happened to me since but that was really great and and I said
okay give I have to come up with some ideas I’ve got some thoughts let me get
back to you and they flew out to California to talk about it and I said I
got two books I don’t know which one to do I got one that’s called the brand gap
that’s good and then and then I have one called Zach oh that’s good too and so I
told him a little about it they said oh this is an easy thing you do the brand
gap and then you do Zach so I I sold two tonight two titles Wow a
meeting and that was the right thing to do yeah because first you find out about
the general layout what’s the game what’s the playing field of brand yeah
where do I fit oh this is kind of cool and then you get to this part about
differentiation which is the first part of that book and you know this is really
counterintuitive I’m not sure I’m getting this I don’t understand how this
works so the zag is the next one to read and explains exactly how it works and
once you’ve got those two things you could pretty much build in pretty good
shape and that’s more so the rest is just yeah so I always recommend this
because people always ask this the same question like what course should I’m
like you know what don’t you look at all the free content or just take small
steps read the books or listen to the podcast first there’s an ax shortcut
guys read the book and then you’re primed and now you know and when you
take the course and and hopefully some of you guys will want to take Marty’s
master class that’s happening in Philly and then back to London and then Dublin
participate in that way and then you use its layers to just peel it back so that
you don’t get overwhelmed I would say to observe it all once yeah it’s it’s not a
lifetime of learning you know it is and you got a long life to do this but I
just keep making progress little by little and make sure you understand
whatever you’re learning a really hashed at it and absorb it even if it’s just
one thing a month like I really get that concept and you remember it all the time
and you add that to your you know your repertoire yeah
you’re gonna get there and if we apply some of the things that you’re talking
about today even in the way that you learn I I know I probably read brand
GAAP probably twelve times now maybe more exact I don’t know I mean at some
point the books are gonna fall apart cuz I’m going over and over rather and
spread yourself out wide you can buy these two books read them stop think
about it reread them because you’re gonna pick out new bits that maybe were
just too much for you to process the first time something else that you
talked about know you’ve had a lot of practice writing because you’ve had
years of writing and editing the magazine critique right and but I
started I was writing advertising copy and learned how to do that and it’s like
really hard but I could write a headline and then I could write maybe 20 words of
body copy and make that perfect you know just learned a little so after critique
though that’s what really gave me a lot of strength and writing because yeah you
know you have to write 3,000 words in a couple of days yeah and it has to be
good so so maybe that’s another tip is to practice articulating your ideas by
writing maybe even do public speaking but at least start writing and formulate
the things that you think you’ve learned and and maybe you can pick up maybe one
or two books on on business and marketing and I think you you have a
pretty good foundation to build your house of branding on I would think
mm-hmm okay mark are we good with that okay and I
think we’ve I can see them and talk to you for 14 hours but I think at some
point you and I if you have time I’d love to have lunch with you is well how
do we how do we wrap this up here we need to kind of finish it strong and
maybe maybe it’s another story something else you want to talk about Marty I want
to talk about my latest book because just because I love it yeah I love
writing it it’s different than the one on the whiteboard CS scramble scramble
scramble yeah so I’ve been writing these whiteboard books which are very
simplified the fewer words the better mm-hmm
just get it down to just pure gold and and illustrate it and make it
interesting and those work great but I realized that as you take branding into
a more collaborative setting where you’ve got
executives that you’re working with so this is advanced branding not just being
a designer but being involved in advising companies it’s a whole
different can of worms because you’ve got a lot of different personalities a
lot of people protecting their turf this is where things go wrong in
companies it’s people at the top being Machiavellian basically not that they
set out to do that but that’s just the way people are and so how do you how do
you show how to get through all this complexity that you have this human
complexity and I think the best way is with a story so I decided that I would
write up all this brand stuff as a thriller mm-hmm so it’s a business
thriller so a new category mm-hmm and it’s about a company that the head
of the company is young he has only been in the job for a year he started out as
an architect so he’s a creative person he’s he led this architecture firm to
get to be like two three hundred people like amazing a number of people and it’s
very successful and one of the clients a hotel client that they were building
hotels for said why don’t you come and run our business because you’ve already
been running a pretty big business and you can design amazing hotels and so why
don’t you run the company he takes the job and the first year is a disaster not
his fault but he’s facing all kinds of headwinds
as we say in business that he doesn’t know how to deal with and so the Board
of Directors gives them an ultimatum they say you have to reinvent the
company in five weeks or you’re out that’s we can’t we can’t tolerate it
anymore we’re gonna go out of business after this business has gotten to the
size 3,000 people in 40 years suddenly in one year we could lose the whole
thing so it’s up to you to reinvent it so that means changing the strategy of
the company so brand strategy becomes very important so that’s just page one
yeah so he’s he’s like in trouble from day he okay yes he gets
picked up by an uber driver who asked him a few questions that just like
totally stunned him hmm so he becomes a major character the uber
driver Ken comes his personal driver essentially even though he’s an uber
driver so it’s that story of how this young CEO has to learn a new way of
looking at things through the lens of branding to reinvent the company into
something amazing like really innovative and its awesomely innovative and what
happens when you do that what happens to you what do you have to go through to
get that to happen well you know how do you deal with the Board of Directors
who’s maybe not so open to something new how do you get design and involved in
this full you know like all the way in and make it like a design centric
solution all this kind of stuff mm-hmm so and this book now is the first book
I’ve written that’s out selling the brain gap the bran gap is just because
it was first just you know I mean it’s been read by 23 million people so but
this one is selling really well so I know it’s working for people I know
they’re getting a lot out of it and there’s two more that I would love to
write so we’ll see if it goes well I’m gonna follow it up with the next the
sequel and the next one but it’s follows this same company all the way through to
like amazing awesome success Apple sort of success so the book is scramble and
it’s a it’s a zag for you because previously these were kind of
instructional a very graphic it’s a narrative it’s it’s actually pretty
visual yes and everything are include a lot of design and designing and
visualization things so you the whole thing is to make it palpable for people
to bring in a lot of bring the five senses into the story so you’ll see a
lot of stuff there so it’s a it’s was a great experience for me not that
different than the little stories I’ve been putting in the yeah and I mention
that this is just an expanded one right and my goal is to create an atmosphere
where design is much more appreciated so it’s for you guys out there
like so when you come into a company you’re gonna get invited into the big
the big room mm-hmm the big conversation they’re not just stuck in the backroom
stuck in the basement with no windows if I don’t know anything about branding if
I read this book do I learn about branding through the narrative okay this
is perfect yeah I mean I’m trying to teach CEOs about branding because
they’re the key to all this if the CEO doesn’t really value design or puts it
down on the lower on the food chain that’s where you are you can’t get
beyond that so I want everybody to understand what their role is so it
parallels all the other books but it just puts it into a narrative so for
people who love stories or even thrillers they’re gonna really gravitate
to that one if they just want the principles in the most memorable way
maybe the whiteboard books although these can you know the stories can make
things memorable – yeah and and this is also self-published it’s the level’s
imprint there yeah so this is great and as you were saying this is now
outselling the original book and the brand gap which this looks very
promising for books 2 & 3 so I hope that that does happen you guys go and pick up
this book like I said we’re gonna include all the links in the notes below
marty Newmar I like I said honestly I’m not just saying this I could sit here
and talk to you forever but here’s the good news this is actually the prequel
to the workshop so that’s happening at the end of February and we’re looking
forward to that I think we’re all sold out now I just you need to have to know
somebody on the inside to get a ticket at this point I think we’re sold out at
60 that’s it you guys go to Philly that’s the next location otherwise you
can make a beautiful trip across the pond and go to London or Dublin and
before we go you talked about level C having five levels yeah and I said I put
a pin on that one so what are the five levels that you plan on so the first
level is what we’re doing here in the future and
this is certified brand specialist so this teaches you where you fit in the
big world of branding where you’re going to be most successful how to collaborate
with people and make the most use of your skills and start to learn the
terminology start to learn the language of branding the next one is more like
the book zag and that’s level 2 level 2 is certified brand strategist so that’s
where you get to think bigger like you really connect design with with business
success right and if you get to if you’re lucky enough to be a strategist
and make money consulting that way that’s that’s to step up the terms of
profitability for most people not always but it is third third level is brand
architect and so that’s like going from checkers to to to chess to
three-dimensional chess and that’s where you you can lead a whole company
basically you can lead any part of branding very valuable in the world the
fourth level is a brand instructor that’s where you get a chance to teach
the same stuff that you were learning and you that really cements it in your
money like once you start teaching it you know it cold right and from there
you’re ready to go to brand master which enables you to be a CBL chief brand
officer in a large organization where you’re working side by side with the CEO
in full partnership so that’s a new job classification that wasn’t there before
it’s just coming out now and by the time we get that in place there’ll be jobs
there already people in our first our first class are
already getting those titles oh wow they just heard about it and then it’s just
like tuned into it and they’re getting them for smaller companies or for
divisions of bigger companies but it’s it’s an emerging role that you can play
and that’s not for everybody obviously not everyone wants to be a leader and
lead you know hundreds of people mm-hmm but if you have if you think someday you
may want to do that we can show you how to do it
did you coin that term CBO I thought it ready in one of your books yeah yeah I
put it into the brand gap my first book I
visioned it right then we have a CBO there has to be some ones do snakes
doesn’t exist so we have to have that so now it’s starting to exist mm-hmm okay
guys on behalf of everybody I know that’s watching live first of all thank
you guys Marty it’s been a true pleasure this has
been fantastic I know this is gonna get a ton of repeated views because of how
much information you’ve shared with us the learning the sharing like I said we
probably need to do a follow-up at this on this episode sometimes oh please I
have a thousand more questions to ask you
thank you very much guys thanks for tuning in and the team Jonah
mark and Ricky thanks guys for doing your bit see you guys next time

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