The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 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 tothe customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore apersonal 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 theircustomers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Thank you so much forclicking play on this episode of the Customer Experience Podcast. My name is EthanButt 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 abranding consultancy and agency. He's the author of brand intervention, thirty three stepsto transform the brand you have into the brand you need, and this lineone 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 thisinstead. In this model of helping brands defy gravity, what is gravity? In this case. What is the constant force that is that a companyor a brand or a team has to fight against all? I'd say there'stwo sides to that. What is the factor of the ever increasing amount ofnoise out there, and how do you not add to it but actually stillbe a singular voice that's meaningful amongst all that noise? And the other flipside 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 ofbrand hell of using cliches and that will suck the life out of a brandfaster than a room full of politicians. Is Great. I knew I geta good answer on that, in a...

...helpful one to those are both greatinsights to find for me, customer experience. When I say customer experience to you, what does that mean? What are some of these characteristics? Whatcomes to mind on that term? Well, customer experience. Well, let's let'slook at this. Well, let me let me step back and crushone myth right out of the gate. What I'm about to talk about equallyapplies to be, to be as well as be to see. There isthis 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 decisionpoints. One is making a decision for an organization, one's making a decisionfor either their family or their cells or whatever like that. See, haveslightly different criteria, but you're still dealing with having to be meaningful and impacta person. So, in terms of customer experience, one of the big, big potholes and customer experience is doing what is predictable. I I actuallysay that meeting expectations is a death sentence, and what I mean by that isany organization that merely does what is expected of them, their days arenumbered. Right. They're not giving you or me anymore then what we expectit. 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 techsupport, it could be people answering the phone instead of machines. It couldbe like, for example, I mean I remember when you know what itI mean. We look at apple and apple introduced the genius bar. Itbrought the biggest sore point for technology was tech support. That was the mostdreaded thing that anybody I ever had to do. They get on with someBozo, or they wait for really long time or they would even try andbe up sold to Jo. That's going to cost you. I mean anyone of those. It was always a...

...sore I and so apple, ina brilliant move, moves the genius bar into the stores themselves. You,as the consumer, have experience, you have a an above above way exceedingexpectations. You're also dealing with a person right there who can look at itwith 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'tknown for being a people centric culture. Right. They're moving crap. They'vegot inventory. They've got four thousand different versions of laptops, they've got fourthousand 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 benchmarkfor what is expected? What's the norm? Becomes real said, what is thenorm? If the norm is X Y Z, well, how howcan you do a better X Y Z? Or How could you do Qrst Uv W X Y Zz? Because you know what, five percent,ten percent, fifteen percent more can make an enormous difference for the customer andbe a very slight investment on the part of an organization. As far asit's brandon the yet yet that could be the pivoting point that makes the differencein terms of customer experence view, and me that's awesome. I also thatthe way you describe the genius bar makes me see it differently. The thingthat I always appreciated about is got that kind of exit through the gift shopthing going on. We have to go all the way past all the gorgeousproduct displays to get there and I get on the way back out. Soyou're always like you know it is. It is genius truly to create sucha gorgeous space to tackle the biggest problem in a in a truly human andhelpful way, and then, you know, have that interaction with the product displayas well. When I hear what you just offered, which is great. What is the benchmark how do I exceed it? Is there any diskin you have to continue to raise expectations...

...for people who are doing business withyou over time. And what does that look like? Is it? Isthat really it like? You just need to be better today than you wereyesterday and you have to keep doing that, because every day is a new dayand you got to, like I operate out of a basis of fear, understand, and so I think like, okay, do I have to keepraising the stakes? And I ate. Yeah, okay, talk about that. If you know, I can guarantee you look at any you grabany 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 businessleader 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 andBurger King and Wendy's today that ten years ago, like no freaking way,are you kidding? You know, unusual, more exotic, different things a littleyou 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 laughedyou out of their corporate headquarters. Now, today, their mainstream. So ifone has to really accept the fact that evolution, constant evolution, isthe normal way to do business. It's not the exception. It has tobecome the rule if you're going to continue to lead, a culture of innovationneeds to be your norm. And and complacency is the work of the darkLord 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'slike it's like the Zombie Apocalypse. If you're look at you go wait asecond, because complacency is like, Hey,...

...we've made it. And I coverthis in the book, which you know, I talked about the factthat you know the what the difference between losers and real winners, or orlet's a short term winners versus long term winners. Let's put it in thatcontext. The long term winners realize that every time they reach a milestone,that that's a new start. Basically, there is no finish line. Andwhereas the short term winners. They'll be like, oh good, we madeit this mouse, so we can now coast, we can chill for awhile, we can kick our feed up. And that's not true. It's justnot true. You need to always raise the bar, you need toalways go okay, I mean and great example. I mean I just usethis because I know a lot about a not that, not because I'm likea Steve Jobs Junkie, but I do it I admire what he did somuch. I remember reading from his book autobiography, that when they were donewith 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 numberthree version? Even before he was already already ready to outcreate, sort ofliterally make his own product line obsolete. He was already planning on its ownobsolescence, based on his own innovation, not waiting for somebody else to comealong. That's the that's the viewpoint of the true winner in today's in today'sbusiness mode. So good. I love the idea of and this applies especiallyfor people that are listening in in a software business, you know it's youknow, but this ipad thing it's hardware, which you know you have to havea formal release date, but you know with with software, even thoughyou can kind of correct it on the fly, you still have major releases. But knowing okay, in order to make this deadline, we cut somecorners or we made some compromises or we said we'll do this later, buthaving that plan baked into the whole thing from the get go to create thisjust 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 fiveyears ago I started looking at I start looking at branding from a standpoint ofhow do I how do I simplify this, because all of a sudden I wasstarting to see so many more people entering into the branding space and peoplecalling 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 havedabbled in so show media channels and it's like, well, I'm a brandexpert because I can get brands, I can get them eyeballs. What doesmake you a branding expert? That makes you a good person to give attentionto 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 inbranding on the books and I pressed search just to see how many books andat 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 wasthen, 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 Ithink I did the math and if I did it right, if you wereto read each and every one of those books, one per day, whotake you twenty two years? Okay, now, the thing that's amazing aboutthat 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 ofdifferent viewpoints about one thing, a lot of conflicting viewpoints, there's always somethingcentral and fundamental that has not been well established. There's like a missing fundamentalpoint if there's that many viewpoints, that many experts, that many philosophies andapproaches and systems and things, and listen at the other. So I lookedat all this, I looked at all this, I looked all this andthen I actually realized it actually is one thing because I'd been using this successfullyfor clients. I'd also been using it in my own my own philanthropic activitiesand raising millions of dollars for things that I care about, and so I'mlike, what am I doing and what's working here? And it came downinstead of all like of these eight thousand...

...plus books, it came down toa 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'tbranding. You're making you might be making something prettier, you might be makingsomething sound cooler, you might be rewriting its copy, you might be gettingit more distribution points on social channels and other channels. But if you arenot, 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 becauseyou and I if I were to say, I say, okay, Ethan,here's the deal. I have two bottles of water. Here I gotsick one. Here's the sixteen ounce brand, a sixteen ounce brandby and neither ofthese manufacturers have done anything to differentiate one from the other. I justsay which one, which one do you want? Which one do you wantto buy? And you're like, you look at them, you like you'retrying to look at the label, you look in an inside to see ifthere's any difference in color or something. You can't tell any difference. Thefirst 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 wedemand difference. We demand a point of difference and if a manufacture, ifa 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 youget 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 synonymouswith value, but it is clearly differentiation in the in your eyes andin my eyes, like I can see that's totally not like anything I've seenbefore. You look at the best product launches. That's not like any I'veseen 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 withBomba, I someone I ended up. You know, I was talking tosomebody. I was like, Whoa? I saw this thing. I waslike and I I clicked on it. I'm like, I want to trackchrack, track down who was this person that had this little animated gift inmy thing, because I noticed what I did. I see this person onthis little loop and it's whatever it is, the three second or four second animatedgift, and I'm going, you know, what what did I do? I clicked play. I needed to hear what they were saying. Iwas compelled. I what I it didn't fall into I don't have time tolook at that email right now. I was immediately compelled, instantaneously, andI'm a consistent observer of what are those things that trigger me into action ratherthan Ah, that's just adding to the noise. I'll get to that laterand 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 Ijust want to reiterate this idea that there is no finish line and you haveto constantly be innovating, because if you're innovative and different, times to differentiation. You know, eight years ago, ten years ago, but now thenorm 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 inthere is about seeing and being seen. Can you talk about that, becauseI think, you know what a lot of people not only will they confusebranding with advertising, let's say, or even marketing in general, when weknow 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, youknow, how do we look to the public? But can you talk aboutthis relationship between helping other people see versus seeking to be seen yourself? Totallytotally. 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 clientsand 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 aninteraction 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 somethingis trivial. What do you I mean? And I know Amazon has been likeon everyone's chopping black what lately? They've been kind of like everyone's theleft 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 giveme the user. They give me more of my time, because I cango in and out of there with the one click and I could be outof there in about a minute and a half. Okay, that made memore potent. I didn't have to speak to somebody on the phone, Ididn't have to spend twenty minutes, thirty minutes or whatever I gave me backtwenty 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 asudden 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 whenbrands are looking at the equation of things, yes, you need toget eyeballs, but when you're getting those eyeballs, don't become so obsessed andfixated onto the issue of how do we get more eyeballs? How do weget more eyeballs? How do we get you got to be in the yougot to provide value before you can seek to get value back. So howdo the real question becomes how do we help other how do we help empowerothers, instead of how do we get empowered? How do we empower others? How do we add so much to our customers? How do we givethem 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 togive you the same as anyone of my...

...competitors could give you why going tocome back to me? Why is that? Why is this relationship that we havegoing to be considered valuable to you? Why are you going to be loyalto 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 clientand I'll say, by the way, I just said something. I reallywant you to understand the meaning of what I've said and how you can usethis. Here's why this is important. I never assume that they know whyI'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'svitally important. If you do not understand why, you will not be ableto make use of it. And that's one of the rules that I basicallyapplied throughout my career, which is that rules enable you to follow, butknowledge enables you to lead. I never want a client to just have aset 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 understandwhy 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 mustremain attentive. You must realize when you've achieved one milestone, that's simply amilestone. That's yesterday's news. What's tomorrow's news? It's going to keep usas relevant tomorrow as we sought to be yesterday. And so all of thesethings 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, Ithink it was before we hit record, about vision statements and mission statements andthings. What are these executables like? What are the you know, whenyou engage with someone, you know what is what is one of theleaf behinds? In addition to this knowledge, in this philosophy, in this mindsetthat'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 likewood just tangibly. What's a what is a practical leaf behind that as anexercise 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 youa little sneak peek, a little pull back on the curtain, I'm actingputting 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 phasesand 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 haveto 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 fellback into your old habits and those old habits didn't they're not going to takeit to tomorrow. Okay, they're not. They're not your gps for where you'regoing. And so a perfect case in point one of my one ofmy clients out of Napa Valley. It was just amazing because they saw anine hundred percent growth in twenty four months after the rebrand that we did forthem. Maybe about six months into it. The owner, Sander, had calledme up. She Goes, David, we have a we have a newsalesperson 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 thatwere part of the brand culture, like, for example, because they produced thisamazing stuff Napa Valley. So it delicious, these amazing short bread cookiesthat they were like melt in your mouth, ridiculous. They were a freaking drug. Okay, you needed, you definitely needed like someone to be yoursupplier. You needed different kind of intervention. It was a different kind of intervention. But what happened was so she went from on her card, goingfrom founder to chief indulgence officer. Okay,...

...that was her new title. Soit 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? Andso that was the you know, some brands are a little more seriousand some brands are not, but that's one thing. It's like, youknow, 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 thetitle that came up and I said on ner sales personal going to be calledsenior taste testalizers. All right, and this person. Now, so there'snew persons coming and say this person is not quite comfortable, David, withthis 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 thatwas definitely diluted. There was no question and I didn't like it and Isaid look, if you feel you have to, here you are, butwhatever. And so the funny thing is here's just the lesson in points toanswer your question. This person comes in, the new title is given to her, this diluted one. This person is there for a day. Atthe 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 sonand the end sounds are the owner will have control. What a tell fromthe beginning exactly she goes. I learned my lesson. She goes. Youtold me it was off brand to do that? I said yes, Idid, and she got and I said, why would you compromise your brand tosatisfy her if she's already having problems with that? That's already it shouldbe a red flag. See, there's the door. We don't have todo business together and that and she goes. I will never ever go off brandagain. And that would that's just one example, one much little babyexample. So good. Hey, I could go an hour or two hourseasily because I'm sure you have so many more great takeaways and stories. ButI'm going to wrap this with the way I always like to rap it becauseI always get such great answers. We're all about relationships here on the showand at bombomb and, so I want...

...to give you a chance to thinkor mention someone who's had a really positive impact on your life or on yourcareer 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 canlimit it to one, but I'll throw a couple. I'll draught acouple to do please. So the first one and what? So? Firstof all, Ted Reuben, if you know, I don't know if youknow Ted, you know Ted. Yep, Ted, TED's. Teds like abrother from another mother. We're we're very conjured spirits. Ted Is Greaton relationships and and to Ted Ted's. Ted's awesome in terms of relationships andcustomer 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 forFast Company and he literally tweeted out the best article ever written on Shark tankever. That's what he tweeted out and I saw that I was like,Holy Shit, right, I was just astonished and then I responded. Heresponded 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 bookBrandon Dimension, and so he's such a great example of someone who is neverlost touch with being buried down to earth and accessible, and he's such acontinual 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'sgonna 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'sthe really she's an awesome linkedin coach. She's really she's really cool, reallyquite 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. Shegives me great, great customer search as a fabulous spouse. We're we're justlike, 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. Ofcourse, Nat and then Nama, company that that you really respect the waythat they're doing brand or customer experience. Wow, let's see here it goto you obviously have some clients you love, but give me something, something elsetotally, 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 tellyou a company. They're more of a booty company, but I'd really dighim. 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 havean amazing Bluetooth. So when we moved to her new offices about three yearsago, I was looking for a Bluetooth speaker, like kickass one, andso 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 oncoming up that people are talking about. They say these guys are like realaudio files. They're really just they're just amazing. They're off the hook andthey've all of these presets. When you make it louder or lower in thisor that, are like like, for example, like I didn't even knowthat when a sound signal goes across Bluetooth that it actually loses sound quality andthat unless the speaker, the receiving speaker, compensates, you'll actually end up witha diminished sound quality. I didn't know that. So a really goodBluetooth, 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 myphone ten minutes later and they've taken twenty minutes. Thirty minutes will be whenI've had a few technical questions and they've been always accessible, and so that'sa company's a smaller bootique company, but it's a company that I completely Ilove. Their customer service is amazing and they're always available and they're just supersupportive 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 donesome education with you right like before you engaged with them. This whole youknow, loss over blue tooth is like now you have something. I'm supercompelled 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 conversationwas. David, where would you send someone to follow up with you orlearn more about Brandon intervention? Well, I mean you do. You definitelycan go to rising above the noisecom Oursi. G. Rising above the noisecom ismy website, so you can definitely go there. You can subscribe asa free book, the Lucky Brand Ebook. You could download that. That immediatelygets your subscription. I would recommend doing that because there's a lot ofamazing stuff over the next several months is going to be coming out for thosethat want to learn. Definitely Hook up with me on Linkedin, subscribe tomy 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 differentthan the paperback. Get that one because when you see me, whetherI'm speaking in your city or you come to a conference room talking and youhave your hardcover with you, I will sign your hardcover. You come upto me with a paperback, I'm going to look at you and I'm goingto 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'sthe one tip that I read on the Amazon reviews. You have to getthe hard back because it's just as gorgeous coffee table experience, just really welldesigned and laid out. So great closer, David, thank you again. Somuch for spending time with me today. I hope people love the conversation thatthey reach out and connect you on Linkedin. Oh, absolutely, man, I totally appreciated great interview and and keep on, keep on doing whatyou do with bomb baby them. You...

...and I need to talk about bumbumor anyway, because I I think I can actually like get you involved withsome of my clients. I think that there's I think that there's some realsynergy there. That can happen. They'll be awesome. Yeah, I meanyou 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 byvideo again, the asynchronicity. Yes, Great, I'm glad you have thatvision. We do need to have that conversation. Absolutely, mad perfect.Thanks so much. Have a great rest of your week. Oh, youtoo, crush it. Bye, bye, bye, bye. You're listening tothe customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and servingcustomers, you're entrusting some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digitalcommunication. You can do better rehumanize the experience by getting face to face throughsimple personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You'vebeen listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss anepisode, 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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