The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

12. Branding Through Customer Experience Like Apple w/ David Brier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Like it or not, your customer’s experience is your brand.

How do you make your branding win in the long term?


To find the answers, we spoke with David Brier, Chief Gravity Defyer at DBD International, a branding consultancy and agency. He's the author of Brand Intervention: 33 Steps to Transform the Brand You Have into the Brand You Need.

Branding is the art of differentiation. If you fail to differentiate, you aren't branding, you're making you're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customers success experts surprise and delight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Thank you so much for clicking play on this episode of the Customer Experience Podcast. My name is Ethan Butt and I'm so excited to have David Bryer with me today. David, welcome to the show. Absolutely man, thank you so much for having me. David is the chief gravity to fire at DVD International. He runs a branding consultancy and agency. He's the author of brand intervention, thirty three steps to transform the brand you have into the brand you need, and this line one really resonated with me, helping brands defy gravity and achieve brand elevation. So I normally start with a definition question, but I want to start with this instead. In this model of helping brands defy gravity, what is gravity? In this case. What is the constant force that is that a company or a brand or a team has to fight against all? I'd say there's two sides to that. What is the factor of the ever increasing amount of noise out there, and how do you not add to it but actually still be a singular voice that's meaningful amongst all that noise? And the other flip side of that is that that you, as a brand, as an organization, that what happens is is that you do not fall into the sort of brand hell of using cliches and that will suck the life out of a brand faster than a room full of politicians. Is Great. I knew I get a good answer on that, in a...

...helpful one to those are both great insights to find for me, customer experience. When I say customer experience to you, what does that mean? What are some of these characteristics? What comes to mind on that term? Well, customer experience. Well, let's let's look at this. Well, let me let me step back and crush one myth right out of the gate. What I'm about to talk about equally applies to be, to be as well as be to see. There is this myth that oh well, do you brand businesses or do you brand, you know, business centric businesses or customer centric businesses? And I'm like, excuse me, there's actually a person at the end of each of those decision points. One is making a decision for an organization, one's making a decision for either their family or their cells or whatever like that. See, have slightly different criteria, but you're still dealing with having to be meaningful and impact a person. So, in terms of customer experience, one of the big, big potholes and customer experience is doing what is predictable. I I actually say that meeting expectations is a death sentence, and what I mean by that is any organization that merely does what is expected of them, their days are numbered. Right. They're not giving you or me anymore then what we expect it. They're not. You know whether it's and and that could be anything. It could be the speed with which you respond. If you're offering tech support, it could be people answering the phone instead of machines. It could be like, for example, I mean I remember when you know what it I mean. We look at apple and apple introduced the genius bar. It brought the biggest sore point for technology was tech support. That was the most dreaded thing that anybody I ever had to do. They get on with some Bozo, or they wait for really long time or they would even try and be up sold to Jo. That's going to cost you. I mean any one of those. It was always a...

...sore I and so apple, in a brilliant move, moves the genius bar into the stores themselves. You, as the consumer, have experience, you have a an above above way exceeding expectations. You're also dealing with a person right there who can look at it with you, and the culture of apple being not like, for example, it wouldn't have worked in the culture of best buy, because best buy isn't known for being a people centric culture. Right. They're moving crap. They've got inventory. They've got four thousand different versions of laptops, they've got four thousand different speakers, they got four that you know, it's like a gazillion. It's just inventory. They're shoveling crap. So when I look at customer experience, I look at what's it's a very simple exercise. What's the benchmark for what is expected? What's the norm? Becomes real said, what is the norm? If the norm is X Y Z, well, how how can you do a better X Y Z? Or How could you do Qrst U v W X Y Zz? Because you know what, five percent, ten percent, fifteen percent more can make an enormous difference for the customer and be a very slight investment on the part of an organization. As far as it's brandon the yet yet that could be the pivoting point that makes the difference in terms of customer experence view, and me that's awesome. I also that the way you describe the genius bar makes me see it differently. The thing that I always appreciated about is got that kind of exit through the gift shop thing going on. We have to go all the way past all the gorgeous product displays to get there and I get on the way back out. So you're always like you know it is. It is genius truly to create such a gorgeous space to tackle the biggest problem in a in a truly human and helpful way, and then, you know, have that interaction with the product display as well. When I hear what you just offered, which is great. What is the benchmark how do I exceed it? Is there any disk in you have to continue to raise expectations...

...for people who are doing business with you over time. And what does that look like? Is it? Is that really it like? You just need to be better today than you were yesterday and you have to keep doing that, because every day is a new day and you got to, like I operate out of a basis of fear, understand, and so I think like, okay, do I have to keep raising the stakes? And I ate. Yeah, okay, talk about that. If you know, I can guarantee you look at any you grab any autobiography of any major achiever in the world, whether you're talking Michael Jordan, you talk Muhammad Ali, or you're talking about any artist or any business leader or entrepreneur. Today's innovation. What ultimately happens? It becomes tomorrow's norm. You know, you look at I mean we now, we will now, you and I will find things on the drive through menus on McDonald's and Burger King and Wendy's today that ten years ago, like no freaking way, are you kidding? You know, unusual, more exotic, different things a little you know whether they you know what's stuff in their salads that's different, or seasonings or different taste profiles that ten years ago there were there would laughed you out of their corporate headquarters. Now, today, their mainstream. So if one has to really accept the fact that evolution, constant evolution, is the normal way to do business. It's not the exception. It has to become the rule if you're going to continue to lead, a culture of innovation needs to be your norm. And and complacency is the work of the dark Lord from Harry Potter or wherever you want to pick, whatever dark line right. Yeah, nastiest character you've ever encountered on a screen. Exactly. It's like it's like the Zombie Apocalypse. If you're look at you go wait a second, because complacency is like, Hey,...

...we've made it. And I cover this in the book, which you know, I talked about the fact that you know the what the difference between losers and real winners, or or let's a short term winners versus long term winners. Let's put it in that context. The long term winners realize that every time they reach a milestone, that that's a new start. Basically, there is no finish line. And whereas the short term winners. They'll be like, oh good, we made it this mouse, so we can now coast, we can chill for a while, we can kick our feed up. And that's not true. It's just not true. You need to always raise the bar, you need to always go okay, I mean and great example. I mean I just use this because I know a lot about a not that, not because I'm like a Steve Jobs Junkie, but I do it I admire what he did so much. I remember reading from his book autobiography, that when they were done with the first IPAD, before was ever released, he was already saying, good, what's what's number two version going to look like? Up What's number three version? Even before he was already already ready to outcreate, sort of literally make his own product line obsolete. He was already planning on its own obsolescence, based on his own innovation, not waiting for somebody else to come along. That's the that's the viewpoint of the true winner in today's in today's business mode. So good. I love the idea of and this applies especially for people that are listening in in a software business, you know it's you know, but this ipad thing it's hardware, which you know you have to have a formal release date, but you know with with software, even though you can kind of correct it on the fly, you still have major releases. But knowing okay, in order to make this deadline, we cut some corners or we made some compromises or we said we'll do this later, but having that plan baked into the whole thing from the get go to create this just constant movement for I love it. Talk now about brand or branding. How do you define it and what is its relationship to customer experience? Okay, so little little backstory, just to...

...give a context here. About five years ago I started looking at I start looking at branding from a standpoint of how do I how do I simplify this, because all of a sudden I was starting to see so many more people entering into the branding space and people calling themselves branding experts and all these kind of stuff from Blah Blah, blah, I'm will and thence graphic, graphic design background or something. Yeah, they they have a graphic design background or or they may or they may have dabbled in so show media channels and it's like, well, I'm a brand expert because I can get brands, I can get them eyeballs. What does make you a branding expert? That makes you a good person to give attention to the brands. It's one part, but that's not the old story. So it happened was was I went to Amazon one day and I typed in branding on the books and I pressed search just to see how many books and at the time and again, it's about six five. Six years ago, there's over six thousand three hundred books. Blew my mind. Then there was then, then then I think most recently I've checked within the past few months, it's up to eight thousand three hundred or something like that. Now I think I did the math and if I did it right, if you were to read each and every one of those books, one per day, who take you twenty two years? Okay, now, the thing that's amazing about that is this is a specific tool and the one thing that I know, I've been doing this long enough, that I know when there's a lot of different viewpoints about one thing, a lot of conflicting viewpoints, there's always something central and fundamental that has not been well established. There's like a missing fundamental point if there's that many viewpoints, that many experts, that many philosophies and approaches and systems and things, and listen at the other. So I looked at all this, I looked at all this, I looked all this and then I actually realized it actually is one thing because I'd been using this successfully for clients. I'd also been using it in my own my own philanthropic activities and raising millions of dollars for things that I care about, and so I'm like, what am I doing and what's working here? And it came down instead of all like of these eight thousand...

...plus books, it came down to a four word definition, and that forward definition is the art of differentiation. Branding is the art of differentiation. If you failed to differentiate, you aren't branding. You're making you might be making something prettier, you might be making something sound cooler, you might be rewriting its copy, you might be getting it more distribution points on social channels and other channels. But if you are not, if at the bedrock of each of those activities you are not differentiating, then you are not branding. And the reason that that's important is because you and I if I were to say, I say, okay, Ethan, here's the deal. I have two bottles of water. Here I got sick one. Here's the sixteen ounce brand, a sixteen ounce brandby and neither of these manufacturers have done anything to differentiate one from the other. I just say which one, which one do you want? Which one do you want to buy? And you're like, you look at them, you like you're trying to look at the label, you look in an inside to see if there's any difference in color or something. You can't tell any difference. The first things that going to command in mouth is like well, which one's cheaper? Now it's not because you're cheap, but it's because you and I we demand difference. We demand a point of difference and if a manufacture, if a company, whether they're offering a service or product, fails to deliver differentiation, the consumer will do it on your pap that's why, that's why you get the these races to the bottom of undercutting, undercutting, undercutting on price. The reason that that can happen is because those categories were that's happening. They have failed to differentiate and add value. Differentiating this in this context is synonymous with value, but it is clearly differentiation in the in your eyes and in my eyes, like I can see that's totally not like anything I've seen before. You look at the best product launches. That's not like any I've seen before. You look at the best whatever, whether they're anything, sneakers, cars, clothing, building equipment, whatever. You know, it's just, you know, I mean even with...

...what you've got going on with with Bomba, I someone I ended up. You know, I was talking to somebody. I was like, Whoa? I saw this thing. I was like and I I clicked on it. I'm like, I want to track chrack, track down who was this person that had this little animated gift in my thing, because I noticed what I did. I see this person on this little loop and it's whatever it is, the three second or four second animated gift, and I'm going, you know, what what did I do? I clicked play. I needed to hear what they were saying. I was compelled. I what I it didn't fall into I don't have time to look at that email right now. I was immediately compelled, instantaneously, and I'm a consistent observer of what are those things that trigger me into action rather than Ah, that's just adding to the noise. I'll get to that later and then I end up with way too many things to get to you later. Yeah, gravity used to come to gravity rather your sender succumbs to gravity. Yeah, so I lovely of offer there this, and that's why I just want to reiterate this idea that there is no finish line and you have to constantly be innovating, because if you're innovative and different, times to differentiation. You know, eight years ago, ten years ago, but now the norm has come to meet you because you've been complacent. You need to reinvent. Hence the brand intervention. One of the one of the great lessons in there is about seeing and being seen. Can you talk about that, because I think, you know what a lot of people not only will they confuse branding with advertising, let's say, or even marketing in general, when we know that brand is even more broad and fundamental than any of those activities. You know, I think a lot of people think that it's about, you know, how do we look to the public? But can you talk about this relationship between helping other people see versus seeking to be seen yourself? Totally totally. I'm always of the mindset for myself and for my clients is very, very important distinction. I'm always like, how do I am power my clients and how do I get my clients...

...to empower their clients or customers? The greatest brands empower you and me if you and I feel bigger, bolder, freer, more liberated, more empowered at the at the end of an interaction with a brand then we did at the beginning, rather than okay, I completed a transaction, so that's that's not anything. I mean even something is trivial. What do you I mean? And I know Amazon has been like on everyone's chopping black what lately? They've been kind of like everyone's the left to kind of kick them these days. But let's take, for example, even Amazon. What do is that's done do now they have they give me the user. They give me more of my time, because I can go in and out of there with the one click and I could be out of there in about a minute and a half. Okay, that made me more potent. I didn't have to speak to somebody on the phone, I didn't have to spend twenty minutes, thirty minutes or whatever I gave me back twenty eight minutes. That's not no, that's not a big thing that. It's not like a technological revolution where I have a computer and all of a sudden I can do things that I couldn't do before or blah, blah, blah, Bablah. But that's an example. And so the thing is is when brands are looking at the equation of things, yes, you need to get eyeballs, but when you're getting those eyeballs, don't become so obsessed and fixated onto the issue of how do we get more eyeballs? How do we get more eyeballs? How do we get you got to be in the you got to provide value before you can seek to get value back. So how do the real question becomes how do we help other how do we help empower others, instead of how do we get empowered? How do we empower others? How do we add so much to our customers? How do we give them so much more? And again it aligns some we talked about earlier. We talked about me expectations. Is a death sentence. If I'm going to give you the same as anyone of my...

...competitors could give you why going to come back to me? Why is that? Why is this relationship that we have going to be considered valuable to you? Why are you going to be loyal to me? You have no imp you have no incentive to do that. But if every time I make sure that I give you some additional tools. I mean, I will take twenty minutes in a conversation with a client and I'll say, by the way, I just said something. I really want you to understand the meaning of what I've said and how you can use this. Here's why this is important. I never assume that they know why I'm saying what I'm saying. So I take I take those ten, fifteen, twenty minutes and I say I want to explain this to you because it's vitally important. If you do not understand why, you will not be able to make use of it. And that's one of the rules that I basically applied throughout my career, which is that rules enable you to follow, but knowledge enables you to lead. I never want a client to just have a set of rules that they can now follow. Okay, when we advertise here, this is what the brand pieces we should use, and we do this. We should just that's blindly being a robot. I want them to understand why are you doing that? You got you must understand the role of differentiation. You must understand why we've chosen the voice that we've chosen. You must remain attentive. You must realize when you've achieved one milestone, that's simply a milestone. That's yesterday's news. What's tomorrow's news? It's going to keep us as relevant tomorrow as we sought to be yesterday. And so all of these things really start to come together and they just make an amazingly powerful recipe. That's great. So when in the recipe, you know, we talked, I think it was before we hit record, about vision statements and mission statements and things. What are these executables like? What are the you know, when you engage with someone, you know what is what is one of the leaf behinds? In addition to this knowledge, in this philosophy, in this mindset that's so valuable to be operating from as a contributor in a business enterprise, do you leave them with some not...

...again that rules, but you know, some some documentation, some filters to evaluate opportunities on to move forward like wood just tangibly. What's a what is a practical leaf behind that as an exercise to go with the knowledge totally? So well, there's there's a few, there's a few different things. And and to be just to give you a little sneak peek, a little pull back on the curtain, I'm acting putting together an actual course that that goes, really dives quite deeply into this. But to give you an idea, there there's there are four core phases and fifteen steps that go into this. They go into this whole evolution. Some of the things are really reminding them and sometimes I have to I have to beat up my clients verbally to basically say, what are you doing? Where the hell was that in the brand voice that we establish? You fell back into your old habits and those old habits didn't they're not going to take it to tomorrow. Okay, they're not. They're not your gps for where you're going. And so a perfect case in point one of my one of my clients out of Napa Valley. It was just amazing because they saw a nine hundred percent growth in twenty four months after the rebrand that we did for them. Maybe about six months into it. The owner, Sander, had called me up. She Goes, David, we have a we have a new salesperson that we want to introduce, that we want to actually take on, but they're not quite comfortable with the brand, with the brand title, the title of that you came up with us, because I created titles that were part of the brand culture, like, for example, because they produced this amazing stuff Napa Valley. So it delicious, these amazing short bread cookies that they were like melt in your mouth, ridiculous. They were a freaking drug. Okay, you needed, you definitely needed like someone to be your supplier. You needed different kind of intervention. It was a different kind of intervention. But what happened was so she went from on her card, going from founder to chief indulgence officer. Okay,...

...that was her new title. So it had the spirit of the brand, it had the fun of the brand. The brand was a fun brand. WHO's not a serious brand? And so that was the you know, some brands are a little more serious and some brands are not, but that's one thing. It's like, you know, people do respond to fund you'll notice people actually do respond to energy, and so it happens is the name of the salespeople. That I the title that came up and I said on ner sales personal going to be called senior taste testalizers. All right, and this person. Now, so there's new persons coming and say this person is not quite comfortable, David, with this senior taste antizer. Can you can you dilute it a little bit? I said, Sandra, I really don't recommend this. She's like no, please, can you just humor me? So I came up with something that was definitely diluted. There was no question and I didn't like it and I said look, if you feel you have to, here you are, but whatever. And so the funny thing is here's just the lesson in points to answer your question. This person comes in, the new title is given to her, this diluted one. This person is there for a day. At the end of a nine hour shift, as in this new sales capacity, the person that the culture was too much for her and she quit and son and the end sounds are the owner will have control. What a tell from the beginning exactly she goes. I learned my lesson. She goes. You told me it was off brand to do that? I said yes, I did, and she got and I said, why would you compromise your brand to satisfy her if she's already having problems with that? That's already it should be a red flag. See, there's the door. We don't have to do business together and that and she goes. I will never ever go off brand again. And that would that's just one example, one much little baby example. So good. Hey, I could go an hour or two hours easily because I'm sure you have so many more great takeaways and stories. But I'm going to wrap this with the way I always like to rap it because I always get such great answers. We're all about relationships here on the show and at bombomb and, so I want...

...to give you a chance to think or mention someone who's had a really positive impact on your life or on your career and a shout out to a brand or a business that's doing customer experience. Well, wow. Well, okay, so I don't know that I can limit it to one, but I'll throw a couple. I'll draught a couple to do please. So the first one and what? So? First of all, Ted Reuben, if you know, I don't know if you know Ted, you know Ted. Yep, Ted, TED's. Teds like a brother from another mother. We're we're very conjured spirits. Ted Is Great on relationships and and to Ted Ted's. Ted's awesome in terms of relationships and customer experience. He's all about that. Damon John is a freaking rock star. Damon. Damon had actually responded to an article that I had written for Fast Company and he literally tweeted out the best article ever written on Shark tank ever. That's what he tweeted out and I saw that I was like, Holy Shit, right, I was just astonished and then I responded. He responded immediately back. I know. I didn't know damn at the time. So this is like and and Damon ended up writing the forward to my book Brandon Dimension, and so he's such a great example of someone who is never lost touch with being buried down to earth and accessible, and he's such a continual shining example of that and that's fabulous. And then also, I would say, I'd say Lacy Abacchi, lacy a Bachi, she's gonna, she's gonna go no way. You didn't mention me, as ad the I did. So she's someone that that I came from know on Linkedin and she's she's the really she's an awesome linkedin coach. She's really she's really cool, really quite badass. And those are those are three first ones. And of course, I mean my my wife doesn't doesn't help me in this regard. She gives me great, great customer search as a fabulous spouse. We're we're just like, we're just an amazing team. But that I have to include, because not no answer would be complete without...

...that in there as well. Of course, Nat and then Nama, company that that you really respect the way that they're doing brand or customer experience. Wow, let's see here it go to you obviously have some clients you love, but give me something, something else totally, will you? I'll tell you know this is this made me. One or your listeners may or may not be aware, but I'll tell you a company. They're more of a booty company, but I'd really dig him. Now, you know. I mean obviously everyone knows Sonos so on. Thos has done a real good job in terms of their own brand. But there's a company called, it's coming called Peach tree audio and they have an amazing Bluetooth. So when we moved to her new offices about three years ago, I was looking for a Bluetooth speaker, like kickass one, and so everyone say, Oh, son, son, the son's that I was. That was I'm doing my own homework and this deep blue to keeps on coming up that people are talking about. They say these guys are like real audio files. They're really just they're just amazing. They're off the hook and they've all of these presets. When you make it louder or lower in this or that, are like like, for example, like I didn't even know that when a sound signal goes across Bluetooth that it actually loses sound quality and that unless the speaker, the receiving speaker, compensates, you'll actually end up with a diminished sound quality. I didn't know that. So a really good Bluetooth, bigger is going to compensate and do it really to very high levels. And these guys have been amazing. I've called up their tech support. They've called me back. Literally of called me, but I mean on my phone ten minutes later and they've taken twenty minutes. Thirty minutes will be when I've had a few technical questions and they've been always accessible, and so that's a company's a smaller bootique company, but it's a company that I completely I love. Their customer service is amazing and they're always available and they're just super supportive that it's a really a lost art.

Whenever I think of great customer service, I think of these guys. It's a great story because they've done some education with you right like before you engaged with them. This whole you know, loss over blue tooth is like now you have something. I'm super compelled now big just just on that little learning alone. So great example. Hey, David, has been so fun. If people want to follow up, and by the way, I encourage you. I hope you mentioned linkedin. David produces a ton of video and it's just as engaging as this conversation was. David, where would you send someone to follow up with you or learn more about Brandon intervention? Well, I mean you do. You definitely can go to rising above the noisecom Oursi. G. Rising above the noisecom is my website, so you can definitely go there. You can subscribe as a free book, the Lucky Brand Ebook. You could download that. That immediately gets your subscription. I would recommend doing that because there's a lot of amazing stuff over the next several months is going to be coming out for those that want to learn. Definitely Hook up with me on Linkedin, subscribe to my Youtube Channel and Brandon divention. Grab it and here's the here's the tip. Here's the tip I'm going to tell all of you listens inside secret. If you get not, if you when you get your copy of Brandon Devention, grab the hardback copy. Trust me, the actual production guy who's are different than the paperback. Get that one because when you see me, whether I'm speaking in your city or you come to a conference room talking and you have your hardcover with you, I will sign your hardcover. You come up to me with a paperback, I'm going to look at you and I'm going to look at you say you're joking. Right, yeah, it's well, you didn't read the Amazon reviews. That's another thing Amazon does well. That's the one tip that I read on the Amazon reviews. You have to get the hard back because it's just as gorgeous coffee table experience, just really well designed and laid out. So great closer, David, thank you again. So much for spending time with me today. I hope people love the conversation that they reach out and connect you on Linkedin. Oh, absolutely, man, I totally appreciated great interview and and keep on, keep on doing what you do with bomb baby them. You...

...and I need to talk about bumbum or anyway, because I I think I can actually like get you involved with some of my clients. I think that there's I think that there's some real synergy there. That can happen. They'll be awesome. Yeah, I mean you are your own best differentiator, and that's what we're trying to put forward, is you know who you are, and so these customer experience touches by video again, the asynchronicity. Yes, Great, I'm glad you have that vision. We do need to have that conversation. Absolutely, mad perfect. Thanks so much. Have a great rest of your week. Oh, you too, crush it. Bye, bye, bye, bye. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're entrusting some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better rehumanize the experience by getting face to face through simple personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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