Why the Relationship Between Branding and Social is More Critical Than Ever

Why the Relationship Between Branding and Social is More Critical Than Ever

Nick Westergaard, Author and Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss all things branding and why it is so much more than a marketing term.

In This Episode:

Nick Westergaard

Brand Driven Digital

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Full Episode Details

What Makes A Powerful Brand?

Branding is important. You likely won’t find anyone who will argue against that, but great branding goes so much deeper than simply creating a great logo.

Design work and aesthetic can certainly go a long way in gaining visual recognition for your business. However, to truly break through the noise and build an audience of loyal customers, your brand has to stand on multiple pillars that ultimately encompass every aspect of you, your product, how your customers interact with you, and their overall experience.

In the end, these are the elements that build a brand, and brands with true staying power have been built upon a consistent foundation that is recognized in every aspect of the customer journey.

In This Episode

  • Why good branding will help you break through the noise
  • Why your branding is more than design
  • How to balance control over your brand vs how your audience defines it
  • Why social media may be shifting from storytelling to direct selling
  • Why branding should be bigger than just marketing

Quotes From This Episode

The challenge is to not only have the right kind of content, but the right kind of brand behind that content. Click To Tweet

Brand has to be bigger than the marketing department. Click To Tweet

“What sense of making someone’s life easier does your brand appeal to and how can you communicate that with your brand?” — @NickWestergaard


See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Jay Baer:Hey everybody, it is Jay Baer founder of Convince and Convert. Welcome to another episode of Social pros joined, as always, he's back after a one week hiatus...
Adam Brown:Hiatus
Jay Baer:A special Texas friend the Executive Strategist of Sales Force Marketing Cloud, Mr. Adam Brown
Adam Brown:Jay, glad you got to do the show without me. I missed you, I missed doing the show now that we've done a couple of these over the years. I think we added it up, when we got past 300 and it's been wonderful. I'll tell you I am very excited about today's show. We have the opportunity to speak to a lot of authors, yourself included. Nick Westergaard's new book Brand Now Dynamics, really spectacular. I'm not lying I was up to about 11:30, 12:00 last night reading the galleys for the book and it's incredible.
Jay Baer:Yeah. It's modern, it's timely, it's interesting, it's true, it's useful for everybody. Nick's a really smart guy and displays that here on this episode of the show. We talk about Go-Pros on this episode, we talk about Wendy's, we talk about United airlines, we talk about politics, we talk about social data and targeting. We cover a ton of ground.
Adam Brown:Starbucks!
Jay Baer:We cover a lot of ground in this episode I think you'll find it really interesting. Thanks for being here as always ladies and gentlemen. Without further ado heres this week's episode of Social Pros featuring Nick Westergaard's.
Welcome Nick Westergaard's to this episode of Social Pros. Fantastic to have you on the show. My friend Nick is the, what would you call yourself? The chief strategist for brand driven digital fantastic professional services marketing agency in America's heartland also the author of a book that comes out just four days from this show's air date on may 8th get yourself a copy of Brand Now How to stand out in a distracted noisy world. Nick Westergaard's welcome to the show.
Nick Westergaard:Thank you Jay it is great to be here
Jay Baer:Do you think we're living in a world that's more noisy and distracted than it has been?
Nick Westergaard:I do. I think that probably to most sounds anecdotally correct. But you look at all of the tools that we have that you talk about each week and it's easier than ever to get your word out, but it's harder to have that received by someone. So, I think that that's the challenge, and it's not a small one, is to not only have the right kind of content, but the right kind of brand behind that content that does stand out at this very challenging time.
Jay Baer:So the thesis of the book, and the book is fantastic, folds it is
Adam Brown:It is
Jay Baer:It's like Nick's previous book, Get Scrappy which is also a big, big recommendation from me. Super easy to read. You have a really amazing style with your books. They take very complicated points but break them down in a way that is super digestible and that is a lot harder than I just made it sound in the previous sense. So, it's really terrific definitely get yourself a copy of it. You're going to appreciate it no matter what your actual job title is you're gonna benefit from it. But that's the thesis right Nick?
Branding. Good branding, consistent branding can help you penetrate this cloud of distractions.
Nick Westergaard:Absolutely, and I don't know that it's because of all of the new stuff. And I think admittedly, branding can be one of those things that doesn't seem that new, that exciting, maybe that relevant in some cases, but I think that is something bigger than any particular channel, any particular campaign, yet for some reason that's easy to miss by many out there, as well.
Adam Brown:Nick, one of the things I loved with the start of your book was a story you told about you and your, at the time two and a half year old son, Jude heading to Costco and when you began to realize, what we would call in the industry parlance is unprompted brand recall. Jude sees something on an end cap there at Costco and yells the word coffee! I would love for you to tell that story because I think it tells, certainly the story of how different everything is right now in marketing, and we're going to get into that in this podcast, but how also so many things remain the same.
Nick Westergaard:Well, I have, in addition to my son who was then two and a half, I have five kids total, so Costco is where all of the great things come from in bulk. They have free samples on pallets and it's all sort of ensconced in that metal shelving. It's real hard for a herd of kids to break something like other stores.
So, we're walking along there and all of a sudden, not in the coffee aisle, he shouts out "Coffee!" and he doesn't have that many words in his vocabulary and I'm looking round and as a tired parent my first question is "where?" But after that I realized that he was looking at this end cap and it's not like it was a picture of a coffee mug or something like that. It was the Keurig K-Cups in the big industrial size crate that they sell them in, but it had the Starbucks mermaid. And because he's my youngest and he comes with us all over the place and because we're driving through, seeing the mermaid sign that equals coffee. We see that, we say coffee, he hears that word and yes, it prompted the recall there which kind of reminded me of branding at its best. Maybe most simple really, being about pattern recognition. Of what you are associating your organization, your brand with.
Jay Baer:Nick do you think that's the biggest challenge then for companies and organizations who have insufficient branding, is it that the pattern isn't consistent enough therefore it's harder to recognize? Or is it that the brand doesn't necessarily ring true?
Nick Westergaard:Well, I think it can be both of those things and in different ways too, because I think sometimes when we think of ourselves as not branded, we immediately default to design touchpoints and I think that beyond specific design applications I think it's as much about who you are, what you stand for and what you're saying consistently and coherently beyond just the simple aesthetics of, does everything look the same? I think that's an easy box to check, so I think it's a box that gets checked a lot when it comes to branding but there is so much more to it than that.
Jay Baer:Do brands have to be unique to be powerful? Does it have to be ... you know that exercise that people go through when you say "All right answer this: Only we can ... " Right? You have to figure out what is your unique market position.
Your unique selling proposition and then that manifests in a series of branding elements that reinforce that unique position. Is that the holy grail or do we make too much of uniqueness?
Nick Westergaard:I think for the most part, yes, but I don't think ... many of us here listening are probably in the marketing business in some form or another. And I think that's where Brand becomes even more critical because then it's not just about what you do, it's about how you do it, it's about who you are, it's about your ethos that goes into that. So, I think perhaps it's maybe easier to do all of this if you have that true uniqueness. But I don't think it's a deal breaker if there's another company in your space, in your category. You just have to do more when it comes to branding to understand how you stand out, which ultimately gets back to seeing uniqueness, but in a different way. It may not be that we are this exact company that does this exact thing. It may be how you're doing that, how you comport yourself, how you connect with your community.
Jay Baer:I'm curious, Nick, how you see this changing in the era of social. I'm reminded of something that Robert Woodruff said. Robert Woodruff was the president of Coca Cola from the 1920-1950s and one of the reasons responsible for why the coke brand is still the number one brand on many lists today. What he said, which I think is very apropos today, is that your brand, talking to other Coca Cola executives, isn't what we say it is it's what millions and now 1.8 billion consumers say every day when they reach into a refrigerated cooler or put money in a vending machine to reach one of our products. How more true is that today, where you look at people and they look at the brand, not for what the brand is and the carbonated high fructose corn syrup, but for what the brand represents?
Nick Westergaard:I think it is just as much true today. I think that's one thing that might be easier to understand because I think initially when those words that so many of us that so many of us think of is one of the best definitions of branding. It's not what you say it's what others are saying about you. And looking at that I think that that was one of those "aha" statements but I think now in the day of social media I think we're reminded of that with every little red notification that we have up on the screen.
Jay Baer:What's fascinating to me, Nick, is that yes, the brand is what everybody thinks it is, but we've always tried to control for the brand and have the kind of consistency that you mentioned a few minutes ago. But, now we're sort of in this interesting era where we're using more user generated content and more influencers to come and support our brand, that is inherently less controllable. So, do you feel like that's a ... I think it an interesting dynamic, where it's like, "okay, we need to use people other than us to get our message out." But, yet we can't control those people in this same way so are we just rolling the dice here with our brands or do we feel like the power of "real people" is such that it supersedes the lack of control.
Nick Westergaard:Well, I think it's one of those places too where user generated content is another place where that aesthetic design understanding of branding breaks because all of a sudden they're creating stuff that's not gonna look like ours, so that's why I think that the bigger idea of who you are, what you stand for, what your story is, is so key.
A great example and a user generated example are Go Pros videos that are all different and it's great because they're different by the nature of the product and that is what makes it great. But, they have these hero stories of people doing amazing things. I tell a story of one that I show all the time of a father and a son in coveralls up on a frozen lake in Minnesota rescuing deer that got stuck out on the ice. And they document it with their GoPro and I'm saying it out loud right now and it sounds like a very simple thing, but it is a hero's story and that is what unites all of that user generated content. And some of the aesthetics may be different in it but it was all made with the camera and it all tells that hero's story as well.
Jay Baer:So, if you're a brand manager and if you're an executive at a large brand, and I know that not only do you teach, not only are you an author Nick, but you do a lot of consulting. How would you consult brands that have certainly had to deal with brand activism and brand shaming, more and more we're seeing this. You used the case study of CVS no longer selling cigarettes in your book, but I don't think anybody was really vocally clamoring for CVS to stop selling cigarettes even though people talked about the irony of it.
I think we see, most recently in the past couple of weeks, you saw a couple of airlines and rental car companies take a lot of brand shaming and brand activism when they say they're going to pull out of brand sponsorship of something with the NRA or doing something or not. Even this week, a large cooler manufacturer in Austin is kind of stepping in the same type of situation and having to respond to it. How do you consult brands where ... kind of the whole point we're talking about here ... you're no longer in charge of your brand, it's what your people say, but when your people are forcing you to do something that you may not agree with or may have absolutely, positively nothing to do with your product or service.
Nick Westergaard:Well, and there are so many different levels of people too. You talk about different sponsorship and is it another group that you're sponsoring, is it that you're sponsoring something and another organization is, there's all these different levels that people can respond to and I think are more and more.
It's funny you mention this and we've worked with a client on an issue just like this recently as well and it's one of those times where it makes you pine for the old days. And I see that with the clients where they wish they could be the ostrich with their head in the sand and we're not gonna go over there. But, it is happening and I think that it could sound overly simple, but I think leaning into the conversation ... I think that Starbucks' response has been pretty amazing and not like it was perfect either and that it was some sort of panacea, that it was, "oh that's done!" The CEO responded immediately and said, and I'm paraphrasing, but it was something very close to "this is bad we gotta fix it." And then a few days later coming back with closing down their stores.
With as quick as we are to pounce, my initial reaction was that's a really strong move and I think that we're seeing that bear out because ... you've seen many say, well why don't our schools take a day and do this? Why doesn't the government? Why don't all these different organizations? And it wasn't because they solved it and pushed some sort of a button, they became a part of the conversation instead of resisting that as well.
Adam Brown:They were ahead of it, yeah.
Jay Baer:Somebody needs to write a book on the juxtaposition between the United Airlines response and the Starbucks response.
Nick Westergaard:And I think it's interesting because United Airlines, I talk about in the book, because it's an example of the old way of doing this. Of, we're gonna do whatever the heck we want and we'll just advertise over it. And that's why for years they've been telling us to "fly the friendly skies" and they've been anything but friendly and last year they even rough a guy up so it could not be further from that.
Jay Baer:That's the challenge that any consistent branding ... Ford's slogan at one point was "Quality is job 1" in an era where quality was empirically not job 1, right? It was like, job 11, right? which makes it a little tough. The subtitle of the book is key. How to stand out in a distracted, noisy world and it seemed pretty clear here on Social pros, so I'll ask you this, do you think Social is one of the remedies for breaking through that noise or is Social creating the noise?
Nick Westergaard:I feel like I have to apologize for my answer being both because I think there's no doubt that it is. I think it's a useful tool, I don't think it's the only tool. And I think, as I've heard you say many times, Jay, I think you have to do more than just sprinkle some social media on something because I think we've seen all kinds of examples of that running foul. Even coming off the Starbucks example, that was not a social media solution that was a large leadership organizational solution.
Jay Baer:I saw an interesting article just this morning that said that lots of brands are actually starting to sell less at retail and even in traditional Ecommerce and selling more directly through social especially now that Instagram is becoming a real force with direct commerce. Do you feel then that, and obviously it's gonna depend a little bit on industry, but that social maybe shouldn't be used as much for branding and brand building as it has been for a long time? For the last two or three years we've told a lot of people on this show, as have you, "let’s use social for storytelling, don't use social for direct response. Don't try and sell things through social, go tell a bigger story with a hero's journey and use social for that." Now, to me it almost feels like the pendulum swinging back the other way and it's, "Okay, let's not use social for this kind of larger storytelling lets just say hey, I've got some socks your feet are cold we're your guys."
Nick Westergaard:Well and I think that that holds true when you look, as you mentioned Instagram but also with the changes on Facebook. I mean, that is less and less of a useful, organic platform and more of a -
Jay Baer:I don't know about you guys but I see the same shit every time I log in. I know I've got ... not for nothing, I've got thousands and thousands of connections there as you guys do and all these brands I follow and every time I log into Facebook I see the same seven pieces of content. I'm like, how is this possible?
Nick Westergaard:It's the same books, the same pair of socks -
Jay Baer:I thought there were robots here, where's the robots? Where is this algorithm I've heard so much about. It's crazy, I don't know what's going on
Nick Westergaard:And surely those seven companies aren't buying all the inventory.
Jay Baer:No, they are not. Adam, you've got access to data, figure this out.
Adam Brown:I'm on it cause I have the same issue every time I log into Facebook.
Jay Baer:Yeah ask some of them Sales Force people what the solution is.
Adam Brown:Well and there's still, probably the most aggravating thing I think about to get really down the retail sales channel of it is that there's still no tidy way for someone to know that I've bought something. So then, you've sold me I'm in and I'm still seeing the ad for that jacket
Jay Baer:Oh, I'm wearing a baseball cap right now as we're recording this show. Bought this cap a week ago and have now seen 650 ads for the thing I'm wearing right now. That's a good ad spend.
Adam Brown:Well, why isn't there an "I bought this" button.
Jay Baer:There is actually, you can click on the little "i" on the corner of the ad and then say, "I don't want to see this anymore because I already bought it." Like, there was a way to do it, it's just almost nobody ever does.
Adam Brown:I was gonna say, seems like you have to go ...
Jay Baer:And it's on me, it's on me to stop seeing the ads. Seems like maybe the wrong person to be in charge of that.
I wanted to ask you a question since we're talking about Facebook here and data and targeting. Your wife is a politician.
Nick Westergaard:Yes she is. I am a political spouse, adding to the plates I have spinning.
Jay Baer:And so how do you/she feel about data and targeting and social media for electoral purposes. I mean, you're in the middle of it. It's not like she's running for president, as far as I know, I think you would have told me that, but that would have been on the pre-show questionnaire, "Wife running for president" would have been mentioned. Not running for president, but still is in the game, right, is in the arena, as Teddy Roosevelt would say. So how do you look at that?
Nick Westergaard:Well, I think that that's an application that [laughs] Russian tampering aside and all of the bad things in the news, it is a very useful way to target and to upload lists from voter files to target geography, to target content based on interests ... I've always, on and off, enjoyed working on political campaigns because I think that there's something about it that provides an interesting lab for what we do. I don't know if it's the short nature ... It's not like we're trying to make our annual total, we need to win the election in a couple of months and it ramps up fast and it's pretty clear in terms of if you've accomplished what you said you were going to. So I think it's useful with the caveat that there's all of the scary stuff too.
Jay Baer:You're in the middle of a book launch right now book comes out in just a few days "Brand Now: How to stand out in a distracted, noisy world." Gets two thumbs up from Adam and I, you had a previous book, "Get Scrappy" how has social media changed or your use of social changed from a book launch perspective between the two books.
Nick Westergaard:Interesting because I think that, one very tactical thing that for the longest time I didn't do was to create an author/speaker page and it's kind of a pain to clone yourself and to share somethings from over there and some things from the person, it's funny
Jay Baer:You were saying, you were driving things to the company side to brand.
Nick Westergaard:To the company, but then I would do speaking engagements and they said, "we don't know how to tag you and we would like to" and that's useful for them. So, I'd say adding that presence ... speaking of the political segue because my wife has a page as a politician, as a public figure and I have a page as a public figure as well. So we both talk about sharing as Nick and Megan, the person, or Nick and Megan, the page. So, there's clones of us on social media.
Jay Baer:It's a modern problem.
Adam Brown:It's a very one degree problem. In terms of social, not from a economic standpoint, to have multiple pages and multiple verified posts and the like. I am curious, Nick, as you talk to brands and you see these companies that are doing the right things and the not so right things in social media, what's the biggest mistake that you see new brands make and maybe what's the biggest mistake that you see existing brands make? I know one of the things you talk about in the book is rebranding and the collective eye roll when you talk to a marketer who says that he or she is going through that type of exercise.
Nick Westergaard:Well I think it's related to rebranding and the biggest mistake I think ... this is something that's very prevalent, obviously because we can see all of our online content on screen, on our phones constantly. But, I think it's always a problem that marketers felt when they had big framed ads up around their office and the CEO walks by it every day and says "we've been doing that forever we need to be something else, we need to say something else" and we forget that other people aren't seeing it as much, they aren't experiencing it in the same order. I think that's one of the biggest things that's changed, kind of adding a distortion level to that distraction because it used to be that we have these carefully laid campaigns of the order that everybody was going to see everything and now it's all over the place compared to when somebody sees something on the shelf, online, a friend. So, it's all out of sequence so I think that that patience is important to remember as well.
Adam Brown:One of the brands that you mentioned a little bit earlier in the program was GoPro, and a brand I love, a product I love, and some really great branding, but I think maybe even in GoPro example here. Great branding can't sometimes save great brands. You see GoPro that's kind of going through a little bit of a transition right now as their product isn't quite as useful maybe as it was just a few months or a few years before. What would you tell the CMO or the CEO of GoPro in terms of how they should turn it around? Again, a brand with so much great content and potential that I absolutely love.
Nick Westergaard:Well, and I think GoPro, you're absolutely right as brand means something and it's going through that kind of tricky -
Adam Brown:Teenage years.
Nick Westergaard:- Yeah it's especially awkward teenage years for a hardware brand. Where tech is changing so fast that it is easy to be the flip camera, to be here today and incredibly useful and everyone's got one and it's a hard turn somewhere else. I would say to look at that core story, look at what they help people do and kind of look beyond the specific application of it and see what other ways there is for them to bring that story to life.
Adam Brown:I don't know if GoPro has a Chief Brand Officer, but I do know a lot of brands do and it's an interesting role that we've seen grow but still doesn't really know where it homerooms. In some cases it reports directly to a CEO sometimes or it's the CMO. I'm curious for two things, I'm curious #1 where you see that role going and where that role should live in an organization. You've got a Chief Customer Officer, is that the same or very different from a Chief Brand Officer or a Chief Marketing Officer?
Second part of that, Nick, is ... we'll go back to United airlines, an amazing almost 100 year old brand, but has had some terrible, terrible challenges in recent memory, do they need a Chief Brand Officer that can help turn that around or is this so far beyond that? Or to your point, is the idea that a Chief Brand Officer has some control over HR, over customer service, or marketing? You need someone who can really steer the ship or in this case, steer the plane.
Nick Westergaard:Well I think that and I know there's marketers listening and I'm a marketer myself, this could sound like a scary thing but I think brand has to be bigger than the marketing department because it does [crosstalk 00:27:00]
We've talked about all kinds of different buckets in the organization chart already and I think in some organizations it might make sense to have a Chief Brand Officer and others it might make sense to have a cross functional team. I talked to the folks at McDonald's and that's a model they use, where they have internal team members, they have their agency and they form kind of cross functional brain trust. So I think that it can take a lot of different forms, but I think it has to be something bigger and something with some pretty big leadership buy in as well.
Adam Brown:We talked about the fact that the brand is the composition of all the things that customers think about your organization, but customer experience is that as well right? Customer experience is sort of how we make our customers feel, so if we say "all right Chief Brand Officer transcends Market team," to me that starts to sound like a CXO, like a Chief Customer Experience Officer. And so then you start thinking ... okay, as we're starting to see much more dollars and conversation about customer experience in organizations simultaneously the interest in branding has never been higher. Do those two things converge are they the same? Is one more operational and one more theoretical? I'm just not quite sure how to align the rise in branding and the rise in customer experience.
Nick Westergaard:I have trouble answering that because I talk a lot about experience in the book and I think they do go hand in hand. I think that's one of those, where it might make sense to do it one way in one organization and another way in another. I've also seen, not to complicate things, even further I've seen people in a Chief or VP of Brand Experience as well... Ways to have your cake and eat it too.
Jay Baer:Exactly, foot in both camps.
Adam Brown:One of the things that, Nick, you talk about in the book, is this concept of the alternative brand. And I'm curious if you could talk a little bit about the alternate brand, but specifically is the performance in production and management of social media more difficult or easier with this concept of the alternative brand? And kind of, where this whole space is going.
Nick Westergaard:Well, when I talk about alternative brands it's in response to ... in both books I rail on the idea of checklists a bit, that there's these arbitrary checklists of all these things all these social networks, all these brand touchpoints that we have to do. I think we are too busy, it is too crowded, it is too distracted to do all of these things, so I talk about the idea of a dimmer switch where you're turning different touchpoints up and some down, some even all the way down. So, the alternate brands are the ones that may not have other key touchpoints that some in their space do.
I talk about Tesla, moving away from dealer networks and that allows them to control the customer experience more. I always raise an eyebrow and put an asterisk when everybody says that they don't have a marketing budget, because they do it's just a different line item. But, they don't, I would say, in the traditional automotive sector sense, advertise in that same way as well, so they've turned down a lot of those touchpoints and turned up several others. There's simple examples too of products that have extremely different packaging, Sriracha, W-D40, Poo Pourri, which is an interesting brand that I talk about a lot in the book. But their packaging is turned way up because there's a lot of other gross, big aerosol cans and they've decided to make theirs look like a pretty bottle of perfume.
Adam Brown:One last question, Nick, I have for you, and again like Jay said, would recommend everybody pick up "Brand Now Dynamics" it's a fantastic book. One of the things you talk about in the book is that CEOs are spending more money on branding today than they've ever done and that's a wonderful thing. My question is where that money coming from? Where are marketers taking money away from the media mix to put to the tactics and strategies that we would call brand marketing?
Nick Westergaard:Across the board you're seeing, as I'm sure you've mentioned here, that we're seeing more of the money go from some of those traditional checklist items that we did just sign off on every year. On the TV budget being what it was before, on the sponsorship budget being what it was before, so I think we're seeing a shift there. I think the brand one starts to diffuse for that same reason because it can go a lot of places as well and I think that thinking about ... I talk about clarity and simplicity in brand touchpoints, but I also think that moving on a parallel track to that might be the budget as well and simplifying what we're doing and what we're allocating where, as well, for a bigger impact.
Jay Baer:One of the interesting things about the structure of the book, "Brand Now" is that you've got chapters about branding for different types of organizations, types of circumstances, you even have a section on branding for politics, which obviously hits close to home for you. One of those sections is about B to B and I thought I'd ask you to just compare and contrast branding for Business to Business companies versus B to C and maybe give our listeners a couple of tips on how they diverge.
Nick Westergaard:You're right about the politics, that one was close to home, but right after that I'd say writing about B to B brands because especially when you talk about something that is perceived as creative and dynamic as branding, that is usually a trigger that produces that "Whoa is me" B to B kind of, "I can't do any of that, that's all that cool stuff." And I push back on that because a lot of times you have information that makes the work that you do so much easier.
You could say that it's easier for Dollar Shave Club because they're a B to C brand, but their audience is everyone who shaves and that's a few people out there. As opposed to a B to B software company that is for accounting firms that are of this size and you can get even more specific, which gets back to that meaning that we're talking about and that uniqueness that can come from not just meeting the needs that your software meets, but what organizational need, what sense of security, what sense of simplicity, what sense of making someone’s life easier does your brand appeal to and how can you communicate that with your brand? And once you know that, you can bring that to life across the rest of your brand experience as well.
Jay Baer:Yeah, to some degree a smaller set of customers, a more focused organization should allow you to have a brand that's more richly defined and more consistent, not always the case, but in theory!
Ladies and gentlemen that is Nick Westergaard's, author of the new book "Brand Now: How to stand out in a distracted, noisy world" Available all the places that books are available. Officially is released in just four days, since the debut of this episode, but of course available on the Amazon, and places like that at your convenience. Nick's also the Chief Strategist at Brand Driven Digital. Also, a quick plug for Nick's email newsletter each week. It's one of the favorite ones that I get from all marketers out there, so go to his website and sign up for it, it's really super good.
Adam Brown:Nick, gonna ask you the two questions that we've asked all 300 and whatever number of the guests that we have. Questions #1 what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro?
Nick Westergaard:What one tip to someone becoming a social pro? It's an eye roll, so I'll just go with that, if we're talking about branding I think that having these tough questions makes the work of social media easier because you're not just scooting up to the monitor and thinking about "Got to create some content. Got to get the calendar set up for this week's social posts," because it really gives you a compass to guide what you're talking and how you're talking about it as well. So, it's exhaustive and eye roll-y.
Jay Baer:No, but it's so true. Having a compass, I like the way you articulated that is something that a lot of social media professionals would kill for because you describe a very common scenario, right? The organization doesn't really know who they are and the expect the social media person to manifest that with pithy, effective social content on a regular basis and it's like ... I've used this analogy before they're just firing bullets off in the air and hoping that a bird flies by simultaneously. It's mathematically possible, but it's not likely, right? So you're sort of fighting with one hand tied behind your back if your company doesn't actually know who it is, to expect you to make that sing on Facebook is probably a leap.
Nick Westergaard:I think that that's ... I've got a pun alert, I've got a beef with the Wendy's social media because I think it got attention, but I think that's an example of what you're talking about, it's something pithy that came out of the social media department that to me, doesn't look or sound like the rest of what I know about the Wendy's brand.
Jay Baer:Don't even get me started, I've talked about it on this show a number of times. I've written two different columns in Ad Week about it and my point, I think you and I are aligned on this, is that in a vacuum it's fantastic, it's super successful, totally get it, but the problem is from a branding perspective it doesn't make any sense to me because Wendy's doesn't insult me anywhere else. They don't insult me on Facebook and they don't insult me in the restaurant, so it seems so incongruent to me. If you were Joe's Crab's Shack, or one of those restaurants where they insult you as part of their operation - that makes perfect sense, but that's not Wendy's unless I'm always going through drive-through, and that's why I'm not getting yelled at, but I don't think that really ... it just doesn't feel like Wendy's to me, which is my problem with it. I mean, as a tactic and as an execution playbook, they've nailed it, of course. But, it just doesn't make any sense to me.
Nick Westergaard:Couldn't agree more.
Jay Baer:Maybe they should just start insulting people everywhere, that's the secret.
Nick Westergaard:They're actually, I get it, it's one of those opposite cases, they're actually a very nice company.
Jay Baer:Yes, it is very strange. Last question for you, Nick Westergaard's, if you could do a Skype, or now we can say a Zoom video call with any living person, who would you choose and why?
Nick Westergaard:Any living person ... I'm gonna go with Steve Martin.
Jay Baer:Nice answer! First time we've had Steve Martin on the long history of this podcast. Eight years we've been doing this show, first Steve Martin reference, I love it. That guy is a total polymath, man, he knows everything, he's good at everything.
Nick Westergaard:And that's kind of why, because it'd be obviously funny and everything else, but someone that moves somewhat seamlessly between different worlds is ... and, I'm making it all about branding, is somewhat consistent with the Steve Martin personal brand that he's developed.
Jay Baer:Bill Murray too, for the same reason.
Nick Westergaard:Broadway to Banjos
Jay Baer:I was gonna say, we need more banjos on this show, we could change the outro of the show. That would be great and if we could work on that ... for anybody out there listening to the show, all many thousands of you, if anyone knows Steve Martin, hook 'em up, get him on Social Pros. But, before you do that you should go out and buy a copy of Brand Now: Standout in a distracted, noisy world by this week's guest Nick Westergaard's. My friend, thanks for being on the show.
Nick Westergaard:Thank you for having me.
Jay Baer:We'll do it again. All right, ladies and gentlemen that is this week's episode. We will be back in your ears soon with another episode of what we hope is your favorite podcast, a consistent brand for more than eight years now, Social pros. Also, speaking of consistency, you can listen to and or read and or just browse every single episode 300 and a million, go to Socialpros.com and find your favorites, we'd like that very much. On behalf of Adam Brown from Sales Force Marketing Cloud, I'm Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert thanks for being here. See you next time on Social Pros.
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