How can your brand stand out in an oversaturated market today?
If you’re a frequent listener, you already know we talk a lot about branding on this podcast. It’s because I believe that branding is the core of marketing. Without a solid foundation in place, your marketing strategy will flop.
In today’s episode, Rebecca Vogels and I chat about the connection between branding, storytelling, and your personal brand.
listen to this episode
- How social media has transformed the concept of branding
- Why companies must know what values they stand for today
- Finding out what your customers care about (and how they communicate)
- The difference between your existing customers vs. leads you want to attract
- How to tell a story about your brand that delivers value
- What three key story concepts your brand can tell
- Why marketers should focus on empathy for their customers
- Storytelling Marketing Strategy: Tell Your Business Story in 6 Steps
- 26 Types of Brand Positioning to Stand Out In Your Customer’s Mind
- All of the Above
- t3n – digital pioneers
- Product Positioning: 5 Proven Methods
- How to Use Jobs-to-be-Done to Read Your Customers’ Minds
- Buyer Persona: Your Guide to Create 100% Accurate & Detailed Ones
- Mark Ritson: 4 Steps to Creating a Rock-Solid Marketing Strategy
- Why Am I Crying All the Time?
- Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending
- SXSW: South by Southwest Conference
- Seth Godin’s Marketing Secrets to Launching a New Business
- Purple Cow
Louis: Bonjour, bonjour! Welcome to another episode of EveryoneHatesMarketers.com, the marketing podcast for marketers, founders, and tech people who’re just sick of shady, aggressive marketing. I’m your host, Louis Grenier.In today’s, episode, we’re gonna talk about the intersection of branding, storytelling, and personal brands, and how it can really help you to stand out as a brand in an oversaturated market. We talked about branding quite a lot in this podcast, but as you know, I believe that this is one of the core foundations of good marketing, and we’ll talk about it forever so I won’t stop.
My guest today, is a brand and communications strategist, and author and a public speaker, she’s the founder and CEO of the Vienna based brand communications agency, All of the Above. Vienna in Australia.
After spending many years living in the US, she’s now bringing Silicon Valley brand strategies and ideas to companies based in Europe. Recently, she was the CMO of an Australian startup called Usersnap where she successfully positioned the company on a global scale and helped attract clients such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Netflix. That’s quite a portfolio.
She’s also a regular contributor the Huffington Post where she has a column featuring women in tech, and writes for the German digital magazine t3n. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the way it’s pronounced but I pronounced it the English way.
Anyway, Rebecca Vogels, thank you so much. Welcome aboard.
Rebecca: Hi Louis, and thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here. Thank you.
Louis: You’re very welcome. How do you pronounce your last magazine I said, like t3n, how do you pronounce it in German?
Rebecca: I think it’s totally correctly, yeah, t3n. It’s great. It’s a digital magazine. It’s actually quite popular in Germany. It has over a million readers a month. Yeah, it’s cool.
Louis: Right. Let’s talk about branding in particular, ’cause you have a certain view about it which is interesting. Can you describe for me, the way companies used to do branding in the past? What were the typical things that brands and companies used to do?
Rebecca: Yeah, absolutely. I really think branding has changed in the last few years, and how it has been in the past was that you would look at your brand values, you were asking questions like, “What does our company stand for? Who do we wanna be? What’re our values?”
I think that’s been in the air, it’s not just me, but I feel this perspective is changing right now, and the reason for this is also interesting. It’s because every one of us personally has a personal brand that we’re expressing on Facebook, on Instagram. We all stand for something. We all present our lives online.
For example, you might stand for being a vegan or being into fair fashion or being an activist, standing for promoting gender equality.
We all have our values we personally stand for, and that means what companies have to do is also changing, which is like instead of asking like, “What’re our values as a company?” it’s more about, “How can we as a company add to the personal brand of our customers?” In other words, it’s what does making business with us mean for our customers? What value do they get for their own identity?
Louis: That’s an interesting way of putting it. I never thought about this way, which is why it’s interesting to talk about it. I wanna dig more into the past and how brands used to do it. Do you think that it’s not valuable anymore for any company to think about what they stand for and the values they have as a brand?
Rebecca: Absolutely, I think it’s actually crucial to still think about your own company values, and how to define them as well. In fact, in March actually at the South by Southwest listening to a talk on how brands nowadays really have to stand for something, so they actually need to have stronger and stronger company values to have a position on certain issues.
It’s like almost political, I would say, but what has changed from how it used to be is like in the past, branding used to be centered around the company. It was like, they’re like what does the company logo look like? What’s the web design? It was centered around the company brand, whereas nowadays, branding, I feel, is centered around the customer.
It’s like what can we as a brand provide to the personal brand of our customers? In a way, I feel this idea is also not new. I feel it has also been expressed by Seth Godin who was also on your show a while back, and the way he expressed it was like, “Companies tell stories to customers that customers tell themselves.” That basically digs into the same area of this new branding approach.
Louis: I agree with you, but there is one caveat. I think there’s something that I would say. I don’t think that good brand strategists or companies who understood what brands really were even 50 years ago, I don’t think they didn’t consider customers.
In fact, I believe that good brands from the very start understand that they need to connect with people. They wanna make sure the attributes of their brands, what they stand for, is also something that people connect with.
However, I will say that the vast majority of companies didn’t understand that in the past, and now those companies start to understand it at the minute. They start to understand that, “Yeah, actually, you know what? We’re sending to customers, maybe we should give a shit about what they think.”
That’s the only thing I would say. Do you know what I mean?
Rebecca: Yeah, that’s a great point. Maybe it’s also because nowadays, as marketers, we have so many more ways of getting to know our customers, because everything is out there. Everyone presents themselves online, in their profile, so nowadays if you do like the buyer persona analysis or something, you cannot just look at like Mary is 35.
She’s living in a dorm building and so on, but you can actually go to her profile and you can see how she communicates. Like how she communicates on Facebook, on Instagram. Mary here, in this case, is just an example. If she’s in your target group and one of your friends, you know how she’s communicating on WhatsApp.
What Instagram stories she’s posting, what hashtags she’s using, what her humor is like. I feel we have like a super detailed way now of understanding, not just some demographics about our customers, but really ways of connecting with them.
Louis: Yeah, we’re living in an age where it hasn’t been easier to talk to customers, so there’s no excuse. You can reach out to them via video chat, via chat, via email, via real-life conversation. You don’t have to move from your office. There’s no excuse anymore. You don’t even need to literally get out of the building to talk to customers.
Rebecca: That’s true.
Louis: Let’s talk. I wanna go through a proper step-by-step with your methodology, and what I wanna go through with you is how can you, as a company, even if you’re a small company, how can you make sure that your brand connects and adds values to the personal brands of our customers.
Because it seems like more and more people care about what they stand for as individuals, what they believe in? Let’s go through that. Let’s say, we’re one of your first clients in your consulting, and one of the thing, we want just to reposition or brand.
We want to make sure that our new brand connects with people, and you would actually say, “Well, actually, we need to connect with them on a personal level. We need to add value to their personal brands.” How do you go about that in practical term, and what is step number one?
Rebecca: Yeah, a few steps. I think the first step is really digging deep and understanding your customers, where they are coming from, like exploring their identities, and seeing how they are communicating, and how you can actually add value to a problem they’re facing in their lives.
The second thing to understand is that it’s actually not about your product when you do marketing, and at Silicon Valley we see, actually Judy Loehr put this very adequately. I think she said like, she has this quote where she says like, “People don’t care about your belly button, and they don’t care about your product.” I think that’s a super important thing to understand, that people, they care about what they can do about your product, and they care about how your product makes them feel.
For example, if you look at beer ads, they’re not about how good the beer tastes or something, but they rather show like a community, friendship, celebrating life, so they’re not advertising the product per se, but they’re advertising a feeling.
Louis: Right. How do you go about it? That’s all super interesting. If we’re working together, and you tell me this in the meeting, I’ll say, “Okay, I cannot feel that … I agree with you, but how do you help me to figure that out? How do you help me to figure that out in my own business? What do people care about, and who are my customer and how they communicate?”
Rebecca: Yeah, who are your customers? Good question. I would actually look at the existing customers you already have, and then see, and really ask you what customers you want to attract, which might be two different things, right? And then I would go from there to thinking about how you can actually tell the story of your business, so that you can attract these customers, and that you can tell a story that your customers can tell themselves.
Louis: Right, and I love this concept. Step number one, you would identify your agile customers. In a noble business, we talked about this concept a few times in the podcast. You will normally go and identify the most profitable customers of the company. What subset of customers are actually bringing the most revenue or the happiest, not draining your customer support department, the ones that seem to be the happiest using our product? You try to understand who those people are.
Rebecca: Exactly. It might be the customers you already have or it might be someone else you have in mind. This really depends, basically, how you wanna position your business. Who’s your target market? Do you wanna talk to startups? Do you wanna talk to SMBs, and so on?
Your existing customer base definitely can give you a clue but you might also want to talk to a different customer base, and then you need to figure out how to get there, and what it is that you are actually attracting other customers in the first place, and how you can change your brand so you can attract a different kind of customers, for example.
Louis: In what scenario would you like to …? Let’s say, you have a profitable business, and you have happy customers, some of them are super happy, why would you go about trying to find new types of customers if the ones that you already have are already spending money with you and are happy with you?
Rebecca: It really depends on how you wanna position your business. If you’re super happy with your customers, that’s amazing. That’s something to celebrate, but if you wanna position your business, for example, you wanna attract higher-paying customers then you would need to change your branding. but But if you’re already happy with the ones you have, that’s perfect, I would say.
Louis: Right, and I assume when you’re thinking of brand positioning and you’re thinking of updating your brand, it usually comes from a place there you’re not necessarily acquiring the right type of customers or you wish you had more of these certain types of customers.
Rebecca: Yeah, exactly.
Louis: In this example, let’s take the consideration that we have some customers, they’re paying us, but they’re not paying us enough, and we’ll like to get higher-paying customers, people who spend more or who would potentially spend more with us, right?
Louis: That’s step one. We talked about this in many episodes. We talked about it during the Job-to-be-Done, with Claire Sullentrop, we talked about it during buyer persona analysis with the CEO of the Buyer Persona Institute. We also talked about this during our episode with Mark Ritson, recently around brand strategy, so I know that a lot of listeners will be accustomed to how to pick the right market.
Let’s assume that we have a subset of customers that we wanna go after. What is step two then? How do you go about this story that you mentioned?
Rebecca: Exactly. Then the next step would be to tell a story about your brand that your customers can tell themselves. For example, in the case of Nike. Nike is basically telling their customers, “If you wear our shoes, that means you’re active, you’re healthy, you have a great lifestyle, you literally jump into life and life’s decisions.”
The Nike tech line slogan, Just Do It, basically illustrates that. That is basically the story Nike tells their customers that they can tell themselves. In your case, it would be what is the value that your customers have by doing business with us? How can they profit from our business relationship? What’s the story they tell themselves because they used, for example, an app that tracks their heart rate?
In that case, it would mean they’re listening to their health. They wanna live a healthy lifestyle. They also wanna be in control. That’s basically the story you will have to figure out, that you can tell so your customers can tell themselves. It’s called like Three-Room Principle by Judy Loehr, which is about, as it says three rooms.
It’s a concept on how to go about telling your story, and the idea is that you’re basically zooming into your product. The first room is your context. You don’t talk about your products in your first room. You talk about the context you’re in, like which area you’re in, what problem do you wanna solve, and so on.
The second room is the value you provide. What is it actually that you’re delivering to your customers? For example, the brand Pampers, the baby diaper brand, if you look like advertising by Pampers, it’s super interesting. Their value is not as you might think. They deliver this great diaper and so on. Their value is also not that the kids are happy, but if you look at like advertisement by Pampers, the value is that the parents can sleep through the night. That is their value, and that is the second room Judy Loehr talks about.
Only in the third room, it is about your product or where you’re allowed to say what makes your product great.
Louis: Let’s go through that in detail ’cause I feel that could be our next steps in a sense, and you started to talk about this company selling those gadgets you put on your hand, you put on your wrist to monitor your heart rate, for example. Let’s take that as an example.
Let’s say that you’re working with us, and this is a type of product we sell, and let’s say we wanna reach out to those people who have a bit more money than the one we’re selling it to. Let’s say, we used to sell to, I don’t know, students and Millennials who don’t necessarily have jobs that are as well paying as maybe as generation under…
I generalize a lot here, but just trying to take an example, and we want to reach those 50 plus year-old people who are into running to get fit so that they can live a long life, a happy life. We’re already saying, providing a value here, but what is the context then for this example?
Like you talked about the first room, how do you go through the context for this example?
Rebecca: The context would be living a healthy life. The context is not about if you wanna use this example of like having a heart rate may be specifically for running. The context would be living a super healthy life, making healthy choices.
If this would be an advertisement you would see people eating healthy fruits, going out for walks, laughing, maybe doing like a yoga class or something, so it would not be about the actual product. Then the value would be understanding what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. That’s the value the product delivers but also the value of the second room, and only in the third room the product, which we talked about.
Here’s how it works. It’s perfect for you because it gives you exact heart rate when you run. It keeps you updated, and maybe it also does like, in the case of an emergency just to feel safe. It can make like an emergency call, stuff like that. Maybe you can show it has maybe some things, how to show it to your doctor afterward. That would be the third room, the product.
Louis: You’re obviously a specialist in this area, and it’s quite natural for you to come up with those examples quite fast without doing research, you make assumption that seems to be quite in-line with what people are actually trying to do. But let’s take the perspective of someone who doesn’t have a single clue how to do this and might have a product, but you know how it is, right? You sell a product yourself or you sell a service yourself, and it’s super difficult to remove yourself from–
Rebecca: It is.
Louis: –this. How do you go about setting the context when you sell a product?
Rebecca: Absolutely. I completely agree. It’s super hard to do this yourself because that’s what you’re working on every day. You’re working on your product, and it’s super, super hard to actually, first of all, tell your story.
And then as you said basically remove yourself out of this story to focus on the value you’re bringing to your customers. One way to do it to go about this is really ask people in your target group, like interview them on what is the value for you? How could my brand add to your personal brand or personal identity? Could you walk me through how you’re using my app, for example? And really get in touch with people using your product.
Louis: Do you do that face-to-face? Do you do that in your survey? How do you typically do this exercise?
Rebecca: There are different ways to do this. I think if you’re like an early stage, I would recommend doing a face-to-face meeting with people who’re maybe not your friends and might answer in favor of your product, but with people who are in your, maybe, tech or startup environment, whose opinion you trust, and just ask them what’s the value for you personally?
What do you get out of this product? What does it mean using this product? Or also, how does using this app make you feel?
Louis: You’ll talk to people, and then let’s say, that’s a small company, you talk directly to people, and then let’s say, you have a bigger client, a bigger brand, more employees, how do you like to typically find out this type of information?
Rebecca: A very typical thing is to do user testing. I had an interview once with the VP of strategy at a hotel tonight. You know the hotel by hotel booking brand?
Rebecca: The way they set it up is they regularly have user testing every two weeks, and it’s super interesting to know they do it … They actually just bring people in every two weeks, and they ask them about their experiences booking a hotel, basically. It’s not about actually does this feature work for you.
But that is, I have to say, one step ahead of like a small company, but still the concept is super interesting, so HotelTonight really thinks about how does this whole booking process work, and what’re some questions we might not even have thought about? They don’t go in with a predefined set of questions or expectations, but they just bring these people in and talk about it.
I thought that was really fascinating. Another example, that was just a few weeks ago, I think. There was an event in San Francisco that was called drunk user testing, which I also thought really interesting, because the idea was that, say when you’re using the Uber app to take you home.
Chances are you come from a bar, you went to a friend’s party. You went out late, you might’ve had a glass of wine or two, and so the app needs to be super simple for you to navigate. That’s what this drunk user testing was about. It was like an event that brought people together, where people had a drink and were also testing out apps.
I thought the concept was really interesting, and also not just because … Think about how we are using apps. It’s not that we had so much to drink all the time, but so much of the time, we’re doing something else on this side, we’re busy, we might’ve have lunch while sending a tweet or Instagram story or whatever, but most of the time, we’re not maybe paying 100% of our attention to this app, and that is why these events can really provide value.
Louis: Yeah, there’s even this guy. I think this conference is probably organized by this guy who started it as a service. It’s like I’m making my mom drunk or something like this, and I make her use your website and you pay me for it.
It’s like the best user testing, but then I think he had to stop because the mom was getting too good at doing that, but that’s the right point. I do, for example, work with two screens, and assuming that people using your app or your service or product has 100% of their attention on it is a mistake for sure. That’s a very good point.
Going back to the context and the value, and then zooming into the product, so let’s talk about another example, ’cause to be honest, even though I know about branding, probably not as much as you do, I’m still a bit confused between the context and the value.
What is the main difference between setting the context? In the example of the heart rates monitor that you do when running, you talked about having a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle and seeing your grandkids grow up, and making sure that you can spend quality time with your family. What’s the difference between that and the value there?
Rebecca: The whole principle of the three rooms is basically zooming in. It’s like if you have a lens, you would zoom in. Your context is the whole surrounding, like the whole area where you’re in right now, but it’s also what is going on in your market and what makes you relevant at this point of time. The value is what value can you bring? Because we said people, like 50 plus, so what value can you bring to this customer segment?
Louis: But then it means the value is actually, in this example, to make sure that they live a healthy lifestyle, right? Am I not-?
Rebecca: Exactly. It’s that they live a healthy lifestyle, and it’s the 50 plus year-old people.
Louis: Right, so then the context–
Rebecca: The context could be also living a healthy life in general, I would say.
Louis: I know what you mean. Thinking of zooming in, you think about the core jobs-to-be-done. The core thing that people wanna achieve, and usually, it surrounds around the same kind of things, basically to be happy.
Louis: Whatever it is, it’s always surrounded to being happy. The heart rate thing is to live a healthy lifestyle. For Pampers, as an example, is to sleep through the night because it’s actually like as parents, probably the one main thing that you want when you have a newborn baby is to sleep, and it’s all about being–
Louis: –happy as a whole, anyway. You zoom in and then you move on to the value. How does the product or service help you to fulfill this in the context? How does Pampers apply to this making sure that you’re happy?
It connects with the fact that you wanna sleep throughout the night, and it helps your kid. Your kid doesn’t cry, he doesn’t wake up, he doesn’t feel like wet or uncomfortable because Pampers actually absorb everything and they won’t wake up.
Rebecca: Absolutely, exactly.
Louis: And then the last thing is this is where you start our patented technology absorbs 50% more than our competitors, blah, blah, blah.
Rebecca: Exactly, Louis. Yeah, that’s exactly the thing. Also, in terms of Pampers, it’s obvious, but you’re targeting the parents and not the babies, so it’s the parents’ story you tell, and it gets more convincing when you talk about the technology that lets your baby stay dry, that’s why they sleep through the night, and that’s why you, as parents, can be relaxed and have a heavy happy night sleeping.
Louis: Right. Let’s say we have said we talk to people, we send them surveys, we deduce our testing, we even drunk to get to this point, and we understand the context value and how the product relates to all of that.
Now, how do we create a story? Because the example of Nike is a famous one and every single brand strategy out there, I probably mentioned it twice a day at this stage. Just Do It, a super simple tagline. It tells a bigger story, and it’s so powerful and they haven’t changed it in, I don’t know–
Rebecca: That’s true.
Louis: –I don’t know how many years. It’s super tough for other brands to do the same. How do you come up with a story that is simple to understand, yet powerful for people to connect with?
Rebecca: In this particular case of having a heart rate app, I would tell an individual story. I would tell the story of one person using this heart rate app, and maybe that was a person who was born with a heart condition, and never felt really comfortable exercising. But with this heart rate app, it’s possible to really control the heart rate in every second, and also make sure not to go beyond a certain rate, and tell the story from a single perspective.
If you look at storytelling, there are like a number of ways how to tell a business story. There’re like three core stories you can tell. The one I illustrated right now was like sort of the impact story of what companies, if you’re a tech company, you would call it the use case or a customer case study.
Like telling your story from the impact your product has. Also, like connecting it to the context, your value, and your product. In this case, I just outlined the individual story, the context, and the value would come first as well, and the product would only come last.
Louis: Right, so that’s the case study style of story, so everybody can relate to it. You can almost pick a real customer, a customer who got value out of it, the before, the after, what happened, and everybody is happy ever after. That’s one type. Then, you mentioned two other types. What other two other types of stories, business stories in particular?
Rebecca: Then, of course, you have the origin story, that is like how your business came about. I think in the case of Nike, it was story with the Waffle Iron that makes the special Nike soles. The origin story is basically how you came up with your business idea, and it doesn’t mean to put yourself first.
It also might mean to put a problem first that you were facing. And then from this problem, for example, your dad wanted to start running, but he was concerned about his heart rate, and so on, and he could tell it from this perspective that this got you the idea for this product in the end.
And the third one is the vision story. What is the vision you have for your company? But there’re a lot of other story types. It’s also like what story do you tell on your website? How do you tell this story when people first visit your website? How do you present your product?
How do you want people–if you have like this heart rate app–what’s the thing you’re after? Do you people to feel now they have come to the right place to feel great about exercising? Feel super healthy, and then, of course, tell the story not just with the words you’re using or with a nice tech line and so on, but also with the colors and everything.
Louis: Yeah, I love those. I’m a big fan of storytelling. It’s not stupid saying that but because it’s one of the core components of how people absorb information.
Louis: Thousands of years in the past, we gathered around fire, we gathered in groups in small communities, we didn’t have TV or iPads, the way we were entertaining ourselves, the way we were communicating with each other was through stories, and this is why it’s so powerful. That’s why I said I’m a big fan of it.
Louis: But to go back to it, and I love this example, there’s another example that springs to mind. Probably the best example in my head of brand positioning recently is Dyson. Dyson sending those vacuums without coils that don’t lose suction. It’s amazing that I’m able to remember that because I barely watch TV, yet I remember it. I remember it, and this is pretty much the only thing they say.
I think the type of story they use was the founding story originally. The guy is an engineer, and he tried many ways to create those vacuums that didn’t lose suction and blah, blah, blah. Now they’re talking about technology a bit more, but what I wanna stress here is, you might, when you pick a brand and you pick a new positioning, you might wanna go overboard by telling maybe different stories.
Maybe you wanna tell the founding story because it’s super interesting. But then you wanna tell stories about customers, then you wanna tell a story about something else, and then you wanna talk about all of those attributes that your products have.
From experience, Rebecca, do you feel that you have to pick your battles and really go super simple and repeat your message over and over again, or do you prefer to have a wide array of things to say?
Rebecca: I actually prefer to have a couple of these stories–and the drawers so that you can pull them out when you need them or for different occasions. A website is a whole complex story in itself that is it’s very hard to describe in pure story architecture terms.
But for the other stories. What I would do is start outlining these stories and then I feel you’ll probably come back to all of these stories at some point. Whether it’s like in the press interview or with your customers, on a sales call, I think there are plenty of opportunities to actually tell the story.
Because Louis, as you said, stories are a super powerful tool to connecting with people. If you tell a story, you make connecting with your customers so much easier right there. It’s like a super powerful tool to relate to something and to care about something, and that’s what makes it so interesting.
Louis: How does it all connect with the personal brand aspect? You mentioned at the start, and I think we touched on each, the context, the value that we’re providing. How do you make sure that your product adds to people’s personal brands?
Rebecca: I think you will notice how people resonate to your stories, in particular. If the stories you’re putting out–and with stories in this case, I know it’s super misleading. Story and storytelling is such a buzzword, but stories can also be like these tiny elements you have, for example, in a Facebook post.
I feel like you will find out in–maybe call it like in these micro-moments or micro interactions you have with your customers–if they resonate with how you tell the story, if that’s like in a Facebook post or in a chat or how your customer service is interacting, that is something.
That ties back into what we talked about earlier. You can find that out by looking at the data or by asking the customers you’re interacting with if you’re in direct touch with them. By asking your friends and acquaintances and startup ecosystem, what they think about it.
Make sure that the stories really resonate with the people you’re talking to.
Louis: Right. Rebecca, thanks for going through this exercise with me. I know it’s not easy to come up with the step-by-step approach like this live almost. Because I don’t like to cut anything in the podcast, so I usually what you’re listening to right now in your ears is an unedited version of the conversation. Thanks for doing that.
Switching gears a bit and talking about storytelling, branding, personal brands, what do you think marketers and people listening to this podcast right now should learn today that will help them in the next 10 years, 20 years, 50 years?
Rebecca: I think an important thing to focus on is empathy. I know it’s not particularly sexy, it doesn’t have a KPI attached, it sounds maybe fluffy. But I feel really trying to listen to your customers, not only listen, but really figuring out how they’re talking to each other, what they’re feeling.
That is something that will become more important in the next 10 years. I think last weekend, I read an article in the New York Times that was titled Why Am I Crying All The Time? It was about how TV shows and everything around her has become so emotionally dense in a way.
I thought was really interesting because I feel that focusing on the emotional side, and game designers have done this long ago that they focus on that games are basically like navigating your own emotions.
Brands have caught up with this, I feel. Emotions and designing for positive emotions will become or are already a huge part of marketing, and empathy, meaning understanding these emotions in customers would be the first step.
Louis: Alright. What are the top three best resources you’d recommend to our listeners? Before that, actually, you can think about this answer. I just wanna go back to what you said around Why Am I Crying All The Time?
I have a need to watch every single crime series on Netflix every three days, everything related to killing. This is the only thing I can watch from start to finish. The emotion attached is just that I like to be scared a bit.
I like to feel … I’m addicted to it at this point, and Netflix knows that obviously, so my wife and I are only shown crime TV shows and stuff like this. My evenings are usually full of that, but to be honest and to be serious for a bit, it’s actually true. Brands are catching up with this and things are gonna get saturated.
But I do believe, though, that a lot of companies still have no clue on how to do this properly, so they still use the opportunity for anyone to understand and who can empathize with their customers to do a better job.
Rebecca: Yeah, exactly. It’s also like these strong emotions are super attention-capturing, which makes them for a brand so intriguing, because it’s so much harder now to capture your audience’s attention, and by triggering really strong emotions, you’re able to do that.
Louis: Right. To repeat my question, what’re the top three best resources you would recommend our listeners?
Rebecca: Sure. One resource I really recommend is go to South by Southwest. That’s a conference I really, really love. It’s like a tech conference, a music festival, a comedy film and so on. It feels like it’s like once a year in Texas, Austin. I’m sure many of you know this conference already or have been. For me, it feels like once a year, you basically get caught up in various areas what’s going on in the world, and it’s also a lot of fun, so that’s great.
The second thing I can recommend is the book by marketer Michael Norton. He’s a professor at the Harvard Business School. His book is called Happy Money. It’s actually not a marketing resource, but it shows Michael Norton’s thinking, which is really, really nice. It’s about how we spend money to make us happier and more satisfied.
The third one is basically anything by Seth Godin.
Louis: Who’s that?
Louis: I never heard of him. What is your favorite book from Seth?
Rebecca: I think Purple Cow.
Louis: Yeah, I have to agree. It’s funny because, Seth, I never thought that he was this kind of practical marketer in a sense. He has super good ideas. He’s a great thinker and makes you think. But when I challenged him in the podcast to come up with a very practical thing, he didn’t flinch, and it was really easy for him to do that. I wish he was writing a bit more about practical stuff that apply to everyone’s life. He does that sometimes but not every time.
Rebecca: That’s true.
Louis: Sometimes it doesn’t change, but sometimes it does change, but yeah, I would appreciate him to do a bit more of that, ’cause he knows this, but I know that he sticks to great thinking because he wants people to feel their things out on their own as well.
Rebecca, thank you so much for your time. Thanks for your insights. Where can our listeners connect with you and more from you?
Rebecca: On my brand new website, itsalloftheabove.com. Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Louis: You’re very welcome. Right, that’s it.