48 episodes

On How Brands Are Built, branding professionals get into the details of what they do and how they do it. Other podcasts about branding focus on news, opinion, and high-level theory. They can give you a 30,000-foot view of branding; How Brands Are Built is where the rubber meets the road. In each episode, Rob Meyerson, a San Francisco-based brand strategist, interviews other strategists, designers, writers, namers, and researchers to help you understand how brands are really built.

How Brands Are Built How Brands Are Built

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 51 Ratings

On How Brands Are Built, branding professionals get into the details of what they do and how they do it. Other podcasts about branding focus on news, opinion, and high-level theory. They can give you a 30,000-foot view of branding; How Brands Are Built is where the rubber meets the road. In each episode, Rob Meyerson, a San Francisco-based brand strategist, interviews other strategists, designers, writers, namers, and researchers to help you understand how brands are really built.

    Fabian Geyrhalter builds and launches successful brands

    Fabian Geyrhalter builds and launches successful brands

    Rob Meyerson and Fabian Geyrhalter discuss brand strategy's balance of innovation and foundational rules, touching on brand creation challenges and successful launches in the evolving marketing landscape.
    Today’s episode is special. It's an edited version of a LinkedIn livestream chat with Fabian Geyrhalter, founder and principal at FINIEN, "a purposefully small consultancy based in Los Angeles." Fabian is a brand strategist and creative director and host of the Hitting the Mark podcast. He's also written several best-selling books, including How to Launch a Brand and The Brand Therapy Book. Lastly, Fabian is founder of Toneoptic, which we discuss on the show.
    Fabian was a guest on season two of How Brands Are Built, and I had a great time talking to him again. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
    To learn more about Fabian, visit www.finien.com. From there, you'll find links to his podcast and books. For Toneoptic, visit www.toneoptic.com.

    • 56 min
    Rob Goodman uses content to drive business outcomes

    Rob Goodman uses content to drive business outcomes

    Today's guest is Rob Goodman. Rob specializes in content strategy and creative content production, with experience at companies like Google, Wix, and Webflow. He's delivered award-winning branded content, content strategies, and comprehensive content calendars for these companies and other clients, helping brands transform into publishers built for engaging today's audiences.
    Rob also hosts his own podcast, Making Ways, about the intersection of art and music. He interviews bands, like Melvins and Nada Surf, and the visual artists they collaborate with to create album art, music videos, and more. It's as cool as it sounds—I highly recommend you check it out.
    One of the reasons I wanted to talk to Rob is because he's also a contributor to the new edition of Designing Brand Identity, which I co-authored with the late Alina Wheeler. Rob pitched in on the pages about social media and a few others, but his biggest contribution was helping us update the content strategy spread, where you'll find the following quote from him: "The best content cuts through the noise, connects with customers, and drives the business—all while moving at the speed of culture."
    On the episode, we talk about definitions of terms like content strategy, content planning, and content production. We dive into the different objectives of content strategy, and Rob shares some high-level process tips for creating great content. We also run through Jonah Berger's six "STEPPS" to viral content, and Rob shares his take on a few of them.
    To learn more about Rob Goodman, visit robgoodman.com or find him on LinkedIn. You can listen to his Making Ways podcast at makingways.co. And if you're interested in the sixth edition of Designing Brand Identity, find it on Amazon or at dbibook.com.

    • 46 min
    Season four wrap-up: How brands (and branding professionals) can do good

    Season four wrap-up: How brands (and branding professionals) can do good

    It's the summer of 2021—one year since the murder of George Floyd. And if you’re wondering what that has to do with the season-four wrap-up of a podcast about branding, let me tell you: in early 2020 I had a plan for season four of How Brands Are Built. But in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and protests around the world, my plan changed a bit. 2020 was already a pretty awful year for most people, and it just seemed to be getting worse and worse. So I started thinking about whether there was a way I could use this little platform of mine to do some good—or at least talk about something positive.
    That led me to reach out to my most diverse set of guests yet, starting with Dr. Jason Chambers, who talked about the origins of racist brand names and what to do about them. I talked to female agency founders like Dava Guthmiller of Noise 13, Sunny Bonnell of Motto, and Emily Heyward of Red Antler about how they got started and the role of diversity in their agency cultures. The season ended with a two-part episode featuring Brian Collins and his agency's design apprentice, Diego Segura, who told me about one way to create opportunities for talented, but less privileged, designers and strategists. And along the way, I talked to Armin Vit of Brand New, Alina Wheeler, author of Designing Brand Identity, and Nirm Shanbhag of Sid Lee.
    While I talked to guests about their agencies, books they’d written, or other topics specific to their areas of expertise, I also asked nearly all of them about what brands and branding professionals could be doing to improve the state of the world—in light of COVID-19, in light of racial injustice, and just in general. Are brands a force for good? Can they be? Should they try to be?
    At the end of this episode, which features clips from every interview this season, I boil everything I heard and learned down into five ways brands—and branding professionals like you and me—can make the world a better place (sorry):
    Be selective (and stick to your values) Walk the talk Wield your influence Proactively pursue diversity Don’t underestimate the power of your work In the episode, I break down each of these ideas in detail.

    • 39 min
    Diego Segura goes through the doors that open

    Diego Segura goes through the doors that open

    Diego Segura is a design apprentice at Collins, an independent strategy and brand experience design company with offices in New York City and San Francisco. In this episode, Diego describes how he discovered graphic design, his decision to drop out of high school, and what it's like being an apprentice at a prestigious branding and design company.
    This is the second part of a two-part series; the episode begins with a continuation of my conversation with Brian Collins in part one. Brian shares his side of Diego's story—how Diego first got in touch, how he became a full-time employee, and why, on one of their early days together, Brian took him out to run errands throughout New York City.
    After a short intro from Brian, the interview with Diego begins. I was eager to get Diego's backstory—it's fascinating (and inspiring) to hear how he got from a small town outside Austin, Texas to Collins in New York City. Along the way, he emailed with Michael Beirut, did multiple remote internships, and wrote The Dropout Manifesto (a chronicle of [my] crazy junior year).
    We also talked about the importance of agencies and design studios looking outside the traditional design schools, like SVA and RISD—schools Diego wasn't even aware of when he was in high school—for new talent.
    I'm telling you now: If I was out to start a studio today, I would practically build it solely on young ambitious people led by a really great creative director, head of design. Because the level of talent who reaches out to me personally, because they see I'm the design apprentice on the [Collins] website—the level of talent is insane. They are so, so, so good. ... There's no doubt they can add value. It's just, they didn't come from the same places that all the other designers came from, and we've gotta be okay with that."
    – Diego Segura
    To learn more about Collins visit their website. You can learn more about Diego (and see some of his work) at diegosegura.me and you can follow him on Twitter. If you're interested in checking out Diego's book, The Dropout Manifesto, it's available on Amazon, as is his second book, To a Man Much Like Myself.

    • 48 min
    Alina Wheeler has a doppelgänger named Blake Deutsch

    Alina Wheeler has a doppelgänger named Blake Deutsch

    Today’s guest is Alina Wheeler, best known as the author of Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team, now in its fifth edition. One of my favorite memories of this book is seeing it on a desk when I arrived to my first day on the job at Labbrand, where I worked in Shanghai. I already knew the book, but seeing it in use, so far from home—that's when I really understood how influential of a book it is. In fact, it's been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, and other languages—and it's used by brand, marketing, and design teams, undergraduate and graduate students, and brand and business consultancies all over the world.
    I wanted to get an idea of why Alina wrote the book and what she was doing beforehand (around 2003). Along with being an author, she's a designer with over 40 years of experience working with teams in the public and private sector. She’s led the development of integrated brand identity programs, sales and marketing strategies, and design and communications systems.
    I was excited to have the opportunity to talk to Alina about her career, the book she’s created, and what the future holds for Designing Brand Identity. During the conversation, I learned that there will be a sixth edition but she won't be the author (!!!), how she gets case studies and quotes for the book, and the true identity of the mysterious Blake Deutsch. (It's hilarious—listen to find out.)
    Toward the end of the conversation, I asked Alina whether there's anything she'd like to support and ask that others check out, and she talked about Simon Charwey, a brand identity designer and anthologist on indigenous African design systems and African Symbology. Simon's work includes the African Logo Design book, a compendium of 1,000 unique symbols inspired by indigenous African design systems, symbols, and culture. And off the air, Alina also mentioned Certified B Corporations, something else she’s passionate about and recommends everyone checks out.
    I found the conversation both enlightening and inspiring, and I hope you do too. To learn more about Alina and Designing Brand Identity, visit designingbrandidentity.info. Of course, the book is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Alina’s also active on Twitter and Instagram.

    • 47 min
    Nirm Shanbhag sees brand architecture from the consumer's perspective

    Nirm Shanbhag sees brand architecture from the consumer's perspective

    Nirm Shanbhag is the Chief Strategy Officer of Sid Lee USA, an international creative company. He’s also my old boss. Back in 2012, he was running the San Francisco office of Interbrand, and he hired me as Director of Verbal Identity. Before Interbrand, Nirm earned his MBA from London Business School and worked in advertising, at firms like Mullen and McCann. He also ran his own, independent agency, Notch Strategy, for about six years between his roles at Interbrand and Sid Lee.
    Nirm and I have worked together quite a bit—first at Interbrand, then as independent consultants. We’ve been called in on brand architecture projects a few times, and Nirm is one of just a handful of people I consider an expert on the topic. Since I haven’t had too many (any) episodes focused on brand architecture, I was eager to get Nirm to share some of his insights into brand architecture—what it is, why it matters, and how it should be done. Throughout the conversation, Nirm came back time and again to the idea of keeping the consumer’s journey front and center, considering their motivations and approaches to decision-making.
    We also talked about brand purpose, and whether brands are good or bad for society (heady stuff). At the end of the conversation, Nirm recommended two very different books: The Experience Economy (“a seminal work and … one that not a lot of people know about”) and A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking.
    I’ve probably read [A Brief History of Time] four times in my life. The reason I think it’s worthwhile is because, yeah, it’s about physics, but at its heart it’s a book about perspective and recognizing that your perspective can change.”
    – Nirm Shanbhag
    To learn more about Nirm and Sid Lee, visit sidlee.com. I also recommend you check out some of Nirm’s blog posts on the Notch blog.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

YourBuddyRio001 ,

Mind blowing

Knew Rob from his naming course on domestika and came across an episode of his podcast after following Chris Do’s advice in one of his videos to listen to podcast. Which is something I decided to do because I believe what we watch, listen to, read or let’s say consume, shapes what or who we become.

So I decided to jump on the podcast and listen. From the first two days of listening to these episodes, my brain was being loaded with so much information that I could only process some part of as the podcasts are rich with so much nuggets of indispensable information.

In two days, I realized that I had learned more that I would if I had keep on doing courses or watching YouTube videos for two weeks. Not to say those weren’t good either, at least they got me here, but I’m just fascinated with the practicality of ideas that are contained in these podcasts.

Good guests, great host, excellent content.
Thank you Rob!!!
Please keep doing this.
You’re awesome!

thetrue_mcewen ,

Fantastic podcast!

This is a MUST LISTEN. Loaded with knowledge and an awesome guest list. Rob's podcasts are a pleasure to listen to and easy to learn from. As a seasoned industry expert, he knows the important questions to ask, he doesn't just keep things surface. He gets into the nuances of practice but breaks things down for all levels of experience to understand. This podcast has increased my awareness of the Branding/Naming industry and has truly fostered a renewed sense of inspiration and ambition to pursue the field(s) even further. I wish this was around years ago when I was unsure of what professional avenue to pursue. Thank you Rob for all your efforts and knowledge. I am looking forward to many more episodes.

Just Creative ,

A must listen! Top talent, top conversations

Rob does a brilliant job on lifting the curtain on what it takes to build a brand, sharing his own insights as well as facilitating conversations to get golden nuggets out of his top tier guests. JUST give it a listen and you’ll be hooked.
- Jacob, JUST Creative

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