201 episodes

Every week Lochhead on Marketing ™ examines the mindset & strategies required to win.



This podcast is for executives and entrepreneurs who value counterintuitive marketing approaches coupled with category design and category creation strategies.



Host Christopher Lochhead is a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, host of “100 Outstanding” podcast “Follow Your Different”, Amazon #1 bestselling author of “Niche Down” and “Play Bigger”. The Marketing Journal calls him “one of the best minds in marketing”, NBA Legend Bill Walton calls him a “quasar” and The Economist calls him “off-putting to some”.

Lochhead on Marketing Christopher Lochhead

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 187 Ratings

Every week Lochhead on Marketing ™ examines the mindset & strategies required to win.



This podcast is for executives and entrepreneurs who value counterintuitive marketing approaches coupled with category design and category creation strategies.



Host Christopher Lochhead is a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, host of “100 Outstanding” podcast “Follow Your Different”, Amazon #1 bestselling author of “Niche Down” and “Play Bigger”. The Marketing Journal calls him “one of the best minds in marketing”, NBA Legend Bill Walton calls him a “quasar” and The Economist calls him “off-putting to some”.

    Complexity Is The Enemy of Revenue: Why It’s Time to Shave The Marketing Dog

    Complexity Is The Enemy of Revenue: Why It’s Time to Shave The Marketing Dog

    On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, it’s time again to shave that Marketing Dog with Christopher Lochhead.



    If you’re an avid listener of the podcast, you probably think you’re experiencing déjà vu. But we think that people still don’t get this simple concept, that it merits a replay. It is also a good reminder for others who may be falling into the trap of overcomplicating their marketing strategies.



    So strap in, and get ready for some timeless advice from yours truly.



    Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

    Quality Over Quantity: A Bruce Lee Philosophy in Marketing

    In the world of marketing, there's a tendency to equate being busy with effectiveness. However, Christopher likens this to a young fighter who is all showboating but lacks the strategic focus to win. This fighter often ends up being knocked out by a more experienced opponent who understands that precision and strategy trump frantic activity. This analogy perfectly encapsulates the inverse relationship between activity and results in marketing.



    The pressure to be omnipresent in the marketing world is immense. Marketers are often told they need to be on every channel, churning out content at an unsustainable pace. But Christopher challenges this notion with a powerful quote from martial arts legend Bruce Lee:



    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."



    This philosophy is a stark reminder that quality and impact should always take precedence over quantity.

    Shaving the Marketing Dog: The Art of Elimination

    One of the strategies Christopher advocates for is "shaving the dog," a metaphor for the practice of eliminating the unnecessary to focus on what truly matters. By force ranking the critical components of a campaign and rigorously evaluating which elements have the maximum impact, marketers can streamline their efforts for better results.



    “Shave the dog. Shave that doggy down. Practice getting everything out. Consider getting even more radical.”

    – Christopher Lochhead



    Thinking Wrong to Do Right

    Innovation in marketing often requires us to "think wrong," to consider what is 180 degrees from what everyone else would do. This approach fosters creativity and differentiation, setting the stage for truly legendary marketing campaigns.



    “I learned everything I know about design from a couple of legendary designers and one of them is John Bielenberg. He’s an incredible business and corporate marketing designer. He has a perspective; he calls thinking wrong. The idea is this, when you do anything creative, ask yourself ‘what is 180 degrees from what everybody else would do? What is wrong? What would be the wrong way to go do this?’”

    – Christopher Lochhead



    This line of thinking also allows you to pursue options that multiply outcomes, as you can sift through the “wrongs” and find those that were rejected, not because it is inherently wrong, but either be not viable in the past, but now doable in our current technology or network.



    To know more why Complexity Is the Enemy of Revenue and Why It’s Time to Shave the Marketing Dog, download and listen to this episode.

    Bio

    Christopher Lochhead

    Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:



    *  a href="https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Leopard-Legendary-Writers-Category-ebook/dp/B0B7Z7RT86/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1IMCZRW6O5SAN&keywords=snow+leopard+category+pirates&qid=1659956548&sprefix=snow+leopard+category+pirate%2Caps%2C92&sr=8-1" target="_blank" rel="n...

    • 14 min
    Tesla Cybertruck: A Masterclass in Lightning Strike Marketing with Eddie Yoon

    Tesla Cybertruck: A Masterclass in Lightning Strike Marketing with Eddie Yoon

    On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting Christopher’s partner, friend, collaborator, and brother from another mother, Eddie Yoon, breaking down how to do a legendary marketing lightning strike with the Tesla Cybertruck as a textbook example.



    Eddie Yoon is the category design guru to the S &P 500, and he's written more about category design in the Harvard Business Review than anyone else alive or dead.



    So buckle up for a quick lightning strike of an episode, and hey ho, let’s go! Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

    The Concept of a Lightning Strike

    Let’s talk about Lightning Strikes.



    Lightning Strikes have four critical ingredients: one, it should be profit-center and not an expense. Remember, marketing that does not drive revenue, category potential, or market cap, is just arts and crafts. Lightning Strikes are no different.



    Two, Lightning Strikes should be a strike and not a spread – meaning don’t space it over the whole course of the year; it will just dilute the effect of it that way. You want a clear point in time, a quick in and out in a certain area or market, and you’re done. The idea is to get maximum lift without spending too much.



    Third, it should have a multiplier effect. It must be engineered to generate word of mouth that lasts beyond the strike itself. You do it buy creating a stunt or a fight, or you want to have a very prominent giveaway. These are the things that people tell their friends and family, and spread from there.



    And lastly, you want to be a hijacker or hitchhiker. You want to your lightning strike to take advantage of some broader thing where you take over the conversation, or piggyback off an audience that is already established.

    The Cybertruck as a Lightning Strike by Tesla

    So, how does the Cybertruck fit into all these things?



    Let’s go through the list.



    First, the Cybertruck is a profit center in multiple ways. One is the product itself, but it also promotes the broader brand of Tesla motors. Lastly, its components are also something that can be a profit center for later generation of electric cars.



    It also has a multiplier effect, as it has generated word of mouth not only from Tesla car owners, but people who are either at awe or making fun of the Cybertruck’s design. Even after it’s short showcase, people are still talking about it. The design is so polarizing: you either hate it, or love it. Either way, you’re going to hear about it. The Cybertruck itself became the stunt it needed for the lightning strike to occur.



    Lastly, it’s hitchhiking off the launch of Apple Vision Pro, some people who are using Apple Vision Pro has been seen driving said Cybertrucks in videos and social media. It hit its target well that it hitchhiked in the Apple Vision Pro conversation to some extent, getting a rise from Apple enthusiasts.



    And that, my friends, is a successful lightning strike.



    If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach.



    Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:



    *  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One

    *  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyon...

    • 6 min
    Marketing The Problem, Not Your Solution

    Marketing The Problem, Not Your Solution

    On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we talk about why marketing the user’s problem works, but marketing only your brand/product/solutions doesn’t.



    Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

    The Importance of Understanding Consumer Problems in Marketing

    Market your brand/product/solution, and I think you want my money. Market my problem, and I think you want to help me. This is one of the biggest unlocks in category design for marketers. And it comes from a very simple, powerful notion: people do not buy solutions unless they have problems.



    Yet a lot of companies do not get this simple concept. For them, it’s always brand awareness this, or advertise this product to the “market”. They play the attention game and call it frequency and reach. But most of the users in that market only see it as a cash grab for said company.

    Marketing the Problem Done Right

    So here we present a good example of how to market a user problem, and it’s in the form of the American jeans we all know and love.



    Over the years, Jeans have come a long way from being those stiff dark blue pants to now being very soft and somewhat comfortable to wear. But therein lies the problem: the thing that makes it soft and pliable is very polluting and very resource-intensive. After which, they present their fix, a “remaking” of the American jeans as we know it.

    Framing the Problem to Create Urgency

    After naming the problem with the jeans, the article continues to explain that multiple companies have tried working together for years to develop jeans that are soft but not as punishing to the environment and our remaining resources. This serves as a way to intensify the problem by framing it as something that has not been solved. But now, they’ve found a solution. A solution to a problem they themselves proposed.



    If you follow that flow, they first introduced a problem that a user can relate to, being that the jeans they wear harms the environment. They then mention that other companies have tried but not yet succeeded in finding a solution. Only after that do they supply the solution, so you can continue to enjoy those comfortable jeans without the previous repercussions and guilt on them. Prompting users to buy new jeans and ditching the old.



    And that’s how you market with Category Design.



    Link to the article on The Remaking of American Jeans 

    Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:



    *  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One

    *  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche

    *  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy

    * The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different

    * a href="https://www.categorypirates.

    • 18 min
    From Category Contenders to Category Kings with Al Ramadan

    From Category Contenders to Category Kings with Al Ramadan

    On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we enjoy the first of many visits from Al Ramadan in 2024, as we talk about moving from being a Category Contender to a Category King.



    We’ll dig into what is a category contender in what it takes to win the 18-to-36-month epic category battle that every tech startup faces. So if you're an entrepreneur or marketing leader who wants to go beyond competing to actually create and dominate your own market, you're in the right place.



    Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

    Al Ramadan on Tech Industry Category Development and Dominance

    Christopher and Al discuss the concept of being category contenders, reflecting on past research and their book on category kings.



    They emphasize the dominance of one company, earning around 76% of the economics in every tech category, despite skepticism. They outline the three phases of category development: define, develop, and dominate, taking approximately 15 years.



    They note outliers like open AI and Google's swift battles, contrasting with Salesforce's longstanding dominance. They highlight the importance of category design, likening it to a fast-paced battle where one company wins all, stressing its critical role in the tech industry's landscape.

    Market strategy in a competitive industry

    Al and Christopher discuss marketing strategies in a competitive industry, emphasizing the importance of a winner's mindset and setting the agenda.



    They share a scenario where a leader in a crowded field differentiates by framing the problem uniquely, focusing on end-user needs rather than feature sets like competitors. Both highlight the futility of incremental strategies and the significance of capturing mindshare by empathizing with customer problems.



    They term this the "Battle Royale" for mindshare, where winning means addressing the core problem effectively, rendering feature comparisons irrelevant. Christopher also stresses the pivotal role of understanding customer problems in securing market dominance.

    Category design and understanding customer needs

    Al and Christopher discuss category design and understanding customer needs. They highlight the importance of framing the problem uniquely to differentiate in a crowded market.



    Christopher shares a scenario where a leader in a competitive field focuses on customer needs while competitors emphasize feature sets. They critique the common focus on technology rather than customer-centric solutions, illustrating with examples from Gartner's history and Google Plus.



    They emphasize that categories are about customers' problems and opportunities, not just technology, stressing the significance of defining the problem scope to win in category battles.



    To hear more from this Al Ramadan and Christopher Lochhead dialogue, download and listen to this episode.

    Bio

    Al Ramadan is a co-founding partner of Play Bigger Advisors and coauthor of the book, Play Bigger. He also co-founded Quokka Sports, which revolutionized the way people experience sport online.



    Al then joined Macromedia and Adobe, where he spent almost ten years changing the way people think about great digital experiences. At Adobe, Al led teams that created the Rich Internet Applications category and helped develop the discipline of experience design.



    In the early ‘90s he applied data science to Australia’s Americas Cup — an innovation in sports performance analytics. His work in sailing led directly to the idea for Quokka. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

    Links

    Connect with Al Ramadan!



    Play Bigger | a href="https://www.linkedin.

    • 1 hr 31 min
    How Important Is Framing, Naming, and Claiming A Problem? | Pirates Perspective

    How Important Is Framing, Naming, and Claiming A Problem? | Pirates Perspective

    Today is a fun conversation with my fellow Pirates Eddie Yoon and Katrina Kirsch, as we talk about the importance of Framing, Naming and Claiming a problem, to create a different solution for your business.



    From time to time, we drop these video discussions that three of us have in Category Pirates, and this one I thought you might also enjoy. If you do enjoy this kind of content, you can check us out at CategoryPirates.com And subscribe to the Category Pirates newsletter.



    Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

    The Importance of Naming, Framing, and Claiming in Business

    When asked by Kristina on what “problem” does category design “Name, Frame, and Claim”, Christopher responds that category design solves the fundamental challenge of defining and owning a distinct market space. It asserts that successful companies excel in three areas: creating legendary business models, products/services, and categories. He emphasizes that a company must recognize category design as a crucial third of its success.



    Eddie reinforces this, highlighting the importance of capturing a significant portion of the market share by framing, naming, and claiming a category. He argues that failing to do so results in competing for a smaller market share, which is familiar but less lucrative.



    Ultimately, effective category design enables a company to articulate its unique value proposition clearly, ensuring it stands out to customers, investors, and employees.

    The Value of being an "Exponential Different" in Business

    The next part of the conversation delves into the concept of being an “exponential difference” in business, emphasizing the contrast between incremental improvements and exponential innovations.



    Christopher reflects on his career, realizing that focusing on exponential changes often leads to friction within companies geared towards incremental progress. He highlights the importance of recognizing when to contribute to exponential shifts and when to step back, as pushing too hard on exponential change can disrupt the organization.



    This understanding prompts a shift in perspective, reframing what was once seen as a career obstacle into a strategic advantage. Overall, it underscores the necessity of balancing incremental improvements with exponential innovations for sustainable growth and success in business.



    If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach.



    Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:



    *  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One

    *  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche

    *  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy

    * The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different

    • 11 min
    Your Biggest Competition Is Thinking You Have Competition

    Your Biggest Competition Is Thinking You Have Competition

    On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about a trap that most budding Category Designers fall for, and that’s thinking about competition.



    Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

    Feature Battle vs Category Battle

    Christopher shares a story of a company who consulted with him, regarding a rising competitor in the market. Most companies’ knee-jerk reaction would be to compete; take on the same messaging, and muscle out the competitor while it’s still early.



    But in the end, they opted to do the opposite – they did not compete, at least not in the usual sense of it. Rather than doing a Feature Battle to see who has the better additions, messaging, and branding, they focused more on their product. They went the Category Battle route instead, carving out a large portion of the market with their improved category, and leaving the others battling for the remaining scraps.

    Competition Derangement Syndrome

    The apparent simplicity of the concept begs the question: why do most companies fail to adopt it? The answer lies in what could be termed "Competition Derangement Syndrome." Many companies, instead of pioneering their own unique category to dominate, fall into a pattern of waiting for new categories to emerge before entering the fray.



    Alternatively, larger corporations may opt to eliminate competition by acquiring the reigning Category King. However, this strategy essentially involves investing a significant sum to pave the way for the emergence of the next category, which their competitors will inevitably exploit. This cycle repeats itself, with each new category birthing fresh contenders, until the tables turn and the once-acquirer finds itself being acquired. Thus, the cycle perpetuates, underscoring the failure of many companies to break free from the pattern of reactive competition.

    Competition vs Consumer

    This does not mean that you avoid competing altogether. We are all driven by our will to fight, and business is not so different in that regard. But rather than going down to their level to fight on “equal” grounds, why not make it so that you are always thinking a few steps ahead, rather than slowing down just to match up to them.



    And if they seem to be catching up to you at a faster rate, trying to adopt their strategies just means maintaining the status quo. It also sends the wrong message to the consumers, because you are adjusting for the competition, and not for them.



    In the end, it’s better to achieve market dominance by consumer trust rather than just having the competitive edge, because there will always be someone that will try to compete. But as long as your consumers know that your product continues to improve for consumer satisfaction, then it will always remain as the Category King.

    Bio

    Christopher Lochhead



    Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:



    *  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One

    *  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche

    *  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand,

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
187 Ratings

187 Ratings

Dan1777999877 ,

Fantastic!

Lochhead on Marketing has quickly become a favorite in my feed! I'm consistently impressed by the engaging conversations, insightful content, and actionable ideas. I truly learn something every time I listen!

Facqt Media ,

I will be listening!

This podcast is like having a marketing coach for free! I love how generous Christopher and his guests are in sharing their knowledge and expertise. They give practical advice. Insightful!

D1315 ,

Brilliant

I stumble upon new podcasts all the time. This is the first one, in the last year plus, that I genuinely get value from. In fact, I hit rewind frequently so I can stop and take notes.

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