299 episodes

On Brand is a podcast about the art and science of brand building. Each week host Nick Westergaard of Brand Driven Digital interviews thought leaders or those working for innovative brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Maker’s Mark, the Minnesota Vikings, The Onion, Salesforce, and Whole Foods. For show notes and more, please visit http://onbrandpodcast.com.

On Brand with Nick Westergaard Nick Westergaard

    • Marketing
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

On Brand is a podcast about the art and science of brand building. Each week host Nick Westergaard of Brand Driven Digital interviews thought leaders or those working for innovative brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Maker’s Mark, the Minnesota Vikings, The Onion, Salesforce, and Whole Foods. For show notes and more, please visit http://onbrandpodcast.com.

    Developing a Strong Brand Name with Brad Flowers

    Developing a Strong Brand Name with Brad Flowers

    “We have to put aside our personal preference and put in the time to figure out what really works for what the client needs.” This is a challenge for marketers on a variety of topics but is especially critical to the vital task of naming. Luckily, Brad Flowers wrote the book on naming—aptly titled The Naming Book—and he’s joined us this week on the On Brand podcast to discuss just that.
    About Brad Flowers Brad Flowers co-founded Bullhorn in 2008. Brad’s degree in Literature serves him well in his strategy, language, and naming work. It only helps a little in his operational work, which is primarily informed by 10 years of on-the-job training. Brad is also an avid bicyclist – for commuting and for competition. He co-founded and currently serves on the board of the non-profit community bike shop, Broke Spoke. He’s also the author of The Naming Book from Entrepreneur Press.
    Episode Highlights First of all, was it hard to name a book about naming? “It was awful,” Brad confessed. But he ultimately came up with a tactical, practical title that gets the job done. “As a namer it feels underwhelming!” However …
    Brand building and naming is about putting aside your own drive to do something cool and creative. “We have to put aside our personal preference and put in the time to figure out what really works for what the client needs.”
    Why naming? This has been an ongoing focus of Brad’s work at Bullhorn. However, he also thought of someone else while writing the book—the entrepreneurs who have to come up with a brand name and then move on to the other aspects of their business. “I wrote the book with the non-naming professional in mind.” As such, it’s very process-oriented.
    Three hard things about naming. “First, you have to have a criteria for what makes a good name (most people skip this). Then you have to generate lots of ideas and types of names. Finally, you have to make a decision.”
    Brad also shared his favorite brand names and why ... along with some that weren’t so great. But you’ll have to listen to the show to hear more!
    What brand has made Brad smile recently? A Lexington, Kentucky resident, Brad shared the story of a local startup called App Harvest that helps people get fresh food faster.
    To learn more, go to the Bullhorn website and check out TheNamingBook.com (getting your URL is one of the many criteria for finding a good brand name).
    As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.
    On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.
    Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out. Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

    • 29 min
    Building Brands That Create Social Impact with Eric Ressler

    Building Brands That Create Social Impact with Eric Ressler

    “All companies and all brands should be working toward being the best version of themselves that they can be across all lenses of their impact on the world.” Eric Ressler knows a thing or two about brands making at impact. That’s the focus of his work as Founder and Creative Director at Cosmic, an agency helping brands build their awareness by having a strong social impact in the world. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.
    About Eric Ressler Eric Ressler is the Founder and Creative Director at Cosmic, a Social Impact Creative Agency. Cosmic empowers social impact organizations to catalyze real-world change by helping them nail their impact story, build brand awareness, and inspire action. By and large, the traditional strategies and approaches in the social impact space are still based on what worked well in the pre-digital era. This leaves many organizations under-resourced, siloed, and struggling to reach their full impact potential—because they are not leveraging the power of our current global digital culture. Cosmic helps future-thinking social impact organizations understand this paradigm shift and rethink their model and approach to multiply their impact.
    Eric got his start in design from a very young age, and after leaving a design program in San Diego early to pursue freelance work, cut his teeth running a freelance business in the digital design space. After organically building a strong roster of clients, he discovered a passion for the social impact and philanthropic space. Through working with numerous organizations across this sector, he found that often their missions and visions are strong, but their efforts are stymied by ineffective communications philosophies and practices. Now, Eric and Cosmic are on a mission to help social impact organizations across the globe navigate a rapidly changing world.
    Episode Highlights Why social impact? While labels like ‘corporate social responsibility’ and the like are nothing new, Eric’s focus at Cosmic is decidedly different. Social impact is all about moving beyond “virtue signaling” to doing the work.
    Beyond the strategy behind social impact, how do brands do the work? “You have to start by embracing a digital-first mindset.” From here, you can connect your social impact to all of your brand’s key touchpoints.
    How do you measure this? “We’ve heard a lot about slacktivism but it’s a fair question.” Eric shared his thoughts on measurement. Specifically the value of integrating qualitative and quantitative. “It’s anecdotal but it’s not nothing.”
    What brand has made Eric smile recently? Eric went with Patagonia. While this is always a strong smile-worthy brand choice, their recent inclusion of the “Vote the A$$holes Out” tag in their clothing drew a more recent and topical smile.
    To learn more, go to designbycosmic.com and be sure to check out their manifesto as well.
    As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.
    On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.
    Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTu

    • 32 min
    Designing a Meaningful Brand Experience with Daniel Scrivener

    Designing a Meaningful Brand Experience with Daniel Scrivener

    “You always have to look inside to really understand. Because all design at the end of the day falls flat if it doesn’t connect with customers—if it doesn’t understand the market that you’re in, if it doesn’t understand the problem that your specific customers are trying to solve.” Daniel Scrivner has led a unique and design-centric career that’s taken him from Apple to Square to the C-suite at Flow. We discussed how this focus has explored his work as a brand builder this week on the On Brand podcast.
    About Daniel Scrivener From college dropout to Head of Design at Square to CEO of Flow, a simple project management software used by teams like Apple, Shopify, TED and Harvard to manage projects and tasks, collaborate and stay productive, Daniel Scrivner's path to success has been anything but typical. Today he’s considered a leader in his field, with numerous design awards and accolades under his belt and a client roster that includes household names like Nike and Disney.
    Episode Highlights The trouble with design. “Design is a word that’s lost a lot of value. It doesn’t have a good shared meaning,” Daniel noted as we began our show. However, he offered us his definition which is a big improvement: “It’s an approach to problem solving that involves both the quantitative and qualitative.”
    How does design inform brand experience? “You have to make sure your values are threaded into everything. You have to have a competency in storytelling in order to build your aesthetic toolbox. About 80-90% is the idea. Only 10-20% is the execution.
    The questions to ask before embarking on a rebrand. While Daniel relayed many of the background questions they asked at Flow in approaching their rebrand, one was especially helpful: “What can we create that no one else can? How can we own what is lacking in the productivity space?”
    What brand has made Daniel smile recently? Daniel referenced a new probiotic called Seed because of how they’re “different from their competitors.”
    To learn more, go to getflow.com and check out Daniel’s personal website.
    As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.
    On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.
    Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out. Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

    • 36 min
    Hunting for Killer Branding with Ryan Hogan

    Hunting for Killer Branding with Ryan Hogan

    “When you talk about brand you immediately go to marketing. But brand is how something from a company makes you feel. That transcends marketing.” Ryan Hogan would know. As a serial entrepreneur who’s built several brands, he now helps thousands hunt serial killers with his fast-growing Hunt a Hiller gaming company. We discussed Ryan’s unique backstory, business, and brand this week on the On Brand podcast.
    About Ryan Hogan Ryan Hogan is the Co-founder and CEO of Hunt A Killer, an innovative gaming company that delivers clues, items, and correspondence to your doorstep that creates an interactive and immersive story for its Members. Ryan enlisted in the United States Navy in 2002 and was selected for the Seaman to Admiral commissioning program in 2008. He commissioned and graduated from the University of Maryland with a business degree focused on marketing and management in 2013. Ryan separated from active service in 2017 and entered the US Navy Reserves when he decided to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. He currently serves as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy Reserves and as CEO of Hunt A Killer.
    To date, Hunt A Killer has sold over one-million boxes, surpassed 100,000 subscribers, and has doubled revenue two years in a row without outside investors, with continued growth expected.
    Episode Highlights First of all, what is Hunt a Killer? “It’s an immersive storytelling company.” Part murder mystery party, part subscription box company, Ryan’s founded a truly unique brand. However, the journey in getting there was just as unique …
    “Entrepreneurship is about understanding goals.” If you know where you want to go, the path becomes more and more clear. Eventually. Ryan stepped us through his journey founding two unrelated companies—activewear and adventure races—that lead to what would become Hunt a Killer.
    The importance of brand voice. Building on their “active” name, Hunt a Killer knew they needed a strong brand voice. Initially, it was very direct (“Do you have what it takes to Hunt a Killer?”). However, over time, Ryan realized that by evolving the brand voice, they could “grow the overall addressable market” beyond crime aficionados to those looking for family activities that don’t involve phones and screens.
    Brand experience is everything. “It’s the easiest thing to identify and the hardest things to execute. That’s because brand is how a company makes you feel.”
    What brand has made Ryan smile recently? “I’d have to say Tesla—right or wrong.” Specifically, Ryan reminded us of the founding story of this very unique brand.
    To learn more, go to HuntAKiller.com.
    As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.
    On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.
    Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out. Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

    • 29 min
    Adapting to Industry Shifts with David Bates

    Adapting to Industry Shifts with David Bates

    “We can shake our fist at it or we can ride the wave. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scenario where someone’s shaken their fist at what’s developing and won. It doesn’t solve anything.” David Bates has built a career doing creative work for dynamic clients and adapting to significant shifts in the industry along the way. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

    About David Bates David Bates is the Managing Director of ATK PLN, a design-driven creative studio. He combines a background in brand strategy, design, and marketing for top brands including FOSSIL, Shinola, and Filson with the artistic vision of Executive Creative Director Jose Gomez to create engaging campaigns for clients such as Frito-Lay, Paramount Pictures, Mercedes, AT&T, Cinemark, and Warner Bros.
    Episode Highlights What does it mean to be design-driven? “Our business has evolved dramatically. In some cases, our clients became competitors.”
    How can agencies adapt to challenges like clients taking work in-house and shifts in technology? “We can shake our fist at it or we can ride the wave. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scenario where someone’s shaken their fist at what’s developing and won. It doesn’t solve anything.”
    How do you market the movie business in the midst of COVID-19? “We work directly with movie studios—we become their hands and feet!” David says of ATK PLN. “There was an audible gasp” at the beginning of COVID. Now, David and his team work on all sorts of dynamic media for studios from social media to lower thirds on TV. He shared several stories during the podcast including a TikTok campaign they did for the movie Scoob.
    A note of caution. David warned brands not to get caught in the “reactive mode” that social media and even COVID constraints can bring. Know who you are as a brand and work to communicate that as effectively as you can, everywhere that you can.
    What brand has made David smile recently? David is a big fan of Howler Brothers for the way “they’ve blended their love of the outdoors with style.”
    To learn more, go to the ATK PLN website.
    As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.
    On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.
    Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out. Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

    • 26 min
    Finding Your Brand Personality with Margie Agin

    Finding Your Brand Personality with Margie Agin

    “You can start with a catchy tagline but you can’t stop there.” Margie Agin helps B2B technology companies discover what makes them unique and find the words to say it. She is the founder and chief strategist of Centerboard Marketing, a DC-based marketing agency, and author of Brand Breakthrough: How to Go Beyond a Catchy Tagline to Build an Authentic, Influential and Sustainable Brand Personality. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s On Brand podcast.
    About Margie Again Award-winning marketer Margie Agin helps B2B technology companies discover what makes them unique and find the words to say it. She is the founder and chief strategist of Centerboard Marketing, a marketing agency based in the Washington, DC area, and author of Brand Breakthrough: How to Go Beyond a Catchy Tagline to Build an Authentic, Influential and Sustainable Brand Personality.
    As both an external strategist and an in-house marketing leader, Margie has helped companies in the cybersecurity, communications, EdTech, and software industries distill complex topics into content and campaigns that drive action. She has built and led teams through times of rapid change, launched and relaunched brands, and created sustainable marketing programs that prioritize the customer experience.
    Before founding Centerboard Marketing, Margie led demand generation efforts for the education technology company Blackboard and digital marketing for video conferencing leaders Tandberg and Cisco. She also taught content marketing and web writing at Johns Hopkins University. Margie completed her undergraduate work at Tufts University and earned a Master’s degree from American University.
    Episode Highlights “You can start with a catchy tagline but you can’t stop there.” Just as we tend to fixate on logos, branding often gets boiled down to “coming up with a catchy tagline.” Which, as Margie notes, is fine. Provided you build onto it with authenticity and sustainable systems.
    “I’ve seen a brand delivered to an organization from above,” says Margie. “This often created a gap between the umbrella statement from on high to the boots-on-the-ground people who are actually building the brand.”
    How do you fill that gap? “It’s getting everyone on the same page. You have to get people involved early—including sales, customer service.” You also need to provide these key individuals with tools.
    What’s the secret to useful brand messaging and editorial guides? “Show examples,” Margie says. A document can say a brand should have a “friendly, open tone” but that can be interpreted lots of different ways. “That way people don’t have to start from scratch or guess.”
    What brand has made Margie smile recently? Being a tech marketer, Margie pointed us to Thycotic, a software company that celebrates System Administrator’s Day in a very unique way.
    To learn more, go to the Centerboard Marketing website, check out Margie’s book Brand Breakthrough, and get a free action guide.
     
    As We Wrap … Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.
    On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.
    Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and RSS. Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to Apple Podcasts and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And, if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast. OK. How do you rate an

    • 31 min

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