The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 months ago

Crafting an Outstanding Experience for Global Brands w/ Kyle Duford


You have your ideal customer persona nailed down. You know the problems they have and why they should choose your company over your competitors to solve them. You’ve spent a great deal of time learning what they think about your product.

How much time have you spent learning how they feel?

My latest guest, Kyle Duford, as Executive Creative Director of The Brand Leader, has spent his career learning about it. He joins the show to simplify the intangibles of brand into something you can master, too.

We discuss:

  • What most people get wrong about brand
  • The experiences that make for a memorable brand
  • How the pandemic has affected branding

Now that you know how to craft your brand, are you ready to learn how to establish a repeatable sales process or build the right team? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the Bob RevenueExecutive Experience, a podcast dedicated to help an executives traintheir sales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one: welcome every one to theB to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chat Sanderson todaywe're talking about what it really means to craft outstanding experiencefor Global Brands. How each team member can contribute to that experience andhow you, commerce, Trans in tactics, branding positioning and design allcome together to contribute to this thing, everybody seems comfortable.Labeling quote: Unquote. Air quotes intended experience to help us. We havewith his Kyle, do Ford executive, creative director of the brand leader,and he focused on turning rapid growth companies into unforgettable,strategically position, Brands Kyle thanks for taking the time and welcometo the show yeah thanks man, it's good to be here with you, so we always liketo start with a random question. Just so our audience gets to know you alittle bit better and everybody has you know digital personas and work life andall that stuff kind of curious to know something you're passionate about that.Those that only know you through work might be surprised to learn well yeah, for if it's from the worry,there's lots of things that are surprising it I'm married to Billy Graham'sgranddaughter, for example, you know those are fun things. His grandsonworks here with us, but folks that would know me from work would tell youthat it takes an act of God to get to me. Get me to the office before liketen a m. So that's A. I mean you'd, be lucky to see me rollup around that. So it's that's kind of my thing and it's so definitely a nightout, no, not at all, I'm in bed by, like eight thirty it it's crazy. I'm Iwatch a dateline with my wife, we crash, but I get up early to work out and thenI find if I do, that for at least an hour or so I can. I do my best thinkingin the morning when I'm running or or cycling by myself and then I'lltypically do an hour or two work at home before I come in, it's just kindof an unmitigated silence, of which I like perfect all right so for context,tell us about the brand leader and how you came to be there. What's the storythere? Well the brand leader what we say. We are a branding agency thatspecializes in strategy and design, and by that I mean we, you said I in theintro. You know we help companies turn their brands into unforgettable ones.We primarily focus on re brands or new brands, but we do a lot of differentkind of brandy work. Typically, though, we say strategy and design, because youknow we're not a marketing shop, we do do some marketing we're not adevelopment shop. We do develop the things we design, but we focus onhelping brands understand what what a brand means exactly, what we're talkingabout today and how we can position them better, how we can give them avoice, how we can help them decide who they are, and if you know who you are,then we know that you can talk about yourself better and then you go alsoknow who to attract so that's kind of what we focus on. I know it's a littlebit of a kind of a weird answer, but it's kind of branding period, okay, andso when we talk about branding. That's a word that you hear a lot of peoplekind of kick around right. Everybody has a tendency to use that word. Manyseem to think they know what it means Tares to know from your perspectivewhen we say branding what does that include? What is that? What does thatlook like just for contextual standpoint? Well, you know you're right.Everyone talks about brands if they know what they are and a lot of peoplesay they're branders and I don't want to disagree if they are, but there's alot of folks, you don't understand with it is you know we all watch madmenright and we understand what the advertising world is like and in the sthe famed kind of Ad Man of the time David Ogilvy said that a brand is theintangible some of its parts. Basically, what I means is it's all the thingsthat you can't touch or see. Necessarily it's the intangiblequalities we like to say a brand is the emotional connection between a consumerand your business product or service,...

...and I just heard the other day.Somebody say a brand doesn't exist in reality. Like you can't buy one youcan't like hold it, you can't smell it or taste it and that's why it kind ofexists out in the ether somewhere and so a brand is not a logo. A brand isnot your business name. A brand is your the feeling you have when you thinkabout Nike when you think about Apple, when you think about starbucks. It'swhat you think about it's what you feel it's kind of that intangible thing,which is why I can't even describe it but a brand. A brand is, is that youknow it's kind of it's your personality, it's your makeup! It's your aura ofthat business, product or service, and I think that's a great summer indescription of it I mean the one that comes to my mind, just because I am abrand fanatic for the for the company's Harley Davidson and I ride Harley's. Ican't I mean. I know there are the motorcycles that are more mechanicallysound. You know I get all of that, but there is something about that branddthat I probably can't describe either. That keeps me coming back right. Keepsme in that right in that click of people, but a part of that from fromwhat I've seen is this concept of the experience and how does the experienceplay into that emotional reaction that somebody has to the brand and I get touse my air quotes again here and people banter around. That word experience allthe time right. They say. Oh, no, we're going to work on the experience for thecompany, but I again just most like branding. I don't think a lot of peopleknow what that means, and so again, from your perspective, would love tohear when we talk about brand experiences were more crafting thoseexperiences. How do you kind to approach it or see that as part of theoverall yeah? Well, I mean you kind of hit iton the head. Wouldn't you talking about Harley, you know Harley is an outlawbrand if you're talking about you know brand archetypes they're, the ones thatdo things a little differently. I read myself as well. I don't write a Harleybecause I'm not part of that tribe, but if you are part of that tribe, you know.There's a certain sound of hard Sol, there's a you know, there's there'ssomething about when you start up that ignition for the first time that youknow you're on a hog and you're, not on a ducat or not on a there's, there'ssomething about that. You know it's kind of like the jeep wave. When youpassed on the jeep, you waved to them and there's something about Harley,guys or Gals who, when you're next to each other at a stop lighter when yousee each other at a bar. When you just see that emblem some place, you knowthat's the experience that we try to go for an a lot of people do kind ofconflict. Those kind of elk. How you said air quote experiences with actualbrand touch point experiences, because there's brand activations, there'sbrand events, there's things you can do with a brand. You know: Nike can have ainner city basketball tournament to sprout up a three on three in themiddle of nowhere and that could launch a new shoe and that's an activation.That's activating the local crowd, the local consumer base to experience yourproducts. Somehow, when we talk about experiences, we talk about again. Howis your brand received by the person you want to touch, and you know pick onNike for a second, and I said this a billion times and I always dificulty,say people probably sick and be saying this definitely in the office here. Butif I told you to imagine Nike- and I told you that they just announcedthey're going to start, the new airline Nike Air, which is, I just think, isfun of like- are make care, but anyway, so they start this new airline, and Iand I said Chad close your eyes and tell me or the listeners out there,tell me what you see what kind of food are they serving? What does the planelook like? What are the flight attendants wearing? What's on the TVand you're probably going to come in with you know, plus your mind is two orthree percent of everybody else who answers that? Who knows Nike and it'sgoing to be. You know, there's probably going O be a swush on there, there'sgoing to be orange somehow on the tail fin. The plight attendance can bewearing, obviously trainers and they're going to be wearing probably some quickwicking fabric and you're going to see ESP on the TV and probably have somenutritious meal on your plate. That whole thing. The fact that you can dothat and I can do that- we're all going to come with some kind of very smallmargin of error from one another. That's the brand, that's the experience,because we've all experienced what they... and how they do it. That's whatbuilds that brand equity over time to the point where it means something tosay: You're going to wear a Paranik s? No, I'm not I'm not advocating Nike'sover dites or anyone else, but I'm just saying you can do that with so manydifferent folks. And if you take your hartly example- and I said, okay closeyour eyes and Pitcher Harley David San- you can probably smell that kind of oil,gas mixture, and you can, you know, hear the sounds and and that's theexperience you want now- that could be a little bit more tangible. If you talkabout brands like Zappo, who you know, you probably had the customer serviceexperience, which is pretty good or home depot when someone comes up andask you in an isle, what's going on, all of those things can amount to agreat experience. Great experiences. Positive experiences only go to helpserve the foundation of a building brand or rebuilding bran it well andthen it create can create challenges for the companies right, because theminute they stray from what he, the Faithful, believe to be the brand fromtheir perception. It can sometimes create friction between my experiencewith the brand so keep going with the Harley one when they first unleaseproject live wire, their electric bikes and you real got any many people that Iknow that were like what in the world is going on here this. This can't behappening, that's not part of the GIG, it's the sound! It's the leather, it'sthe oil! You know it's all of those things from my perspective. It madesense the brand of valves it has to evolve, but some people stuck, you knowvery connected to the brand- and I think does that sometimes create achallenge for the companies to stay true to that as they evolve and changeover time, and how do they deal with that? You're absolutely right, and Ihave to give a shot out to my good friend, John Becka who's, the G M ofbrand at Harley- and I remember when I saw that first Yu, magre or documentaryabout it- It was a long way up and they introduced this and that's the firsttime I saw it was I'm like what in the world and even the guys who were inthat documentary were like Harley and batteries like how does that even mix?But you got to give a shout out to these guys, because what they did wasthey said we're going to pivot we're going to move because we have to. Thisis: What's coming down the pike everyone's going to be more sustainableand forward thinking, and this is the next evolution. How do we do that toour tribe? How do we present this and also they want to grow so like everyone?So how do we introduce a new audience to Holly Davidson on? You have to givethem credit for how they launch that thing they launched it with this ethic.Harley Davidson feel that went viral, so not only got a younger audience, butalso still incorporated their tried and true customers without alienating them.They didn't make a big right turn and say we're not going to do that any moreguy. Sorry, if you got an old hog, you're stuck with it, you're no longera part of us not what they did. They incorporated everyone by releasingsomething in the same way they have for years and years n years by doing itwith people doing it as a public event, sharing it with folks who love Harleysand a lot of writing experiences having a little events across the countrywhere people can come and literally touch this thing and go wow. This feelslike a hot. Now it might not smell like one and my nine smell you far up thatengine anymore, but it feels like one now. It doesn't sound like one either.So that's the trick, but helping people bridge that gap as huge. Now if itcomes the other way if customers impose brand meaning to you that wasunintended, that's where can go awry, so it's really important. If you'regoing to take a pivot, it mean starbucks, introducing Tazo, T and saywe're going to be to company as well, that I mean that can be e Whoa, Hey,I'm a hard coffee guy or I went that hard, starbucks guy. That can totallyalienate folk. So again you have to incorporate them. It's throughexperience. It's through hey, it's the same Lens. We look through things, andthis is where your brand vision and mission comes to play your core valuesand your attributes, Harley, probably never said in their mission statementand I've got it written down somewhere, I'm sure, but they never said we'regoing to be a gasoline powered...

...motorcycle for years. I'm sure it'sabout a driving writing experience for rebels who want to explore the countryside or something like that. Does that New Harley, the batter petter Harleyfit in that mission and their overall vision? What sounds like it does sureyou know. So it's like that fits they're, not going to say we're goingto introduce a you know, helicopter, because that doesn't help people. Youengage the road through freedom of motorcycles or again, whatever theirtheir mission might be, but doing a battery patter. Well that doesn'treally offend the brand, so it shouldn't offend the people. So let'sdeliver it to them in a way that we can really craft that experience. So theycan understand it. That's where they did. You know a hardly an amazing thingwith we got roll out. I love the public events. I did. I went and rode one tocheck it out, but they did something to connect to that. Hey that doesn't soundlike a Harley feeling, and that was by messing with the sound on the electricbite to turn it into some called it sound like a jet engine taken off orwhatever, but they had messed with that and taken that same sound component,which was something that the people that I you know ride with, who can'teven wrap their heads around it could at least connect to that. So hats offyour right to the to the individual right came up with that, and so now weget into this okay, we just we're in the middle of a pandemic or maybehopefully towards the end of a pandemic, and I'm just I'm kind of curious overthe last year. How have you seen what we've been through impact, the abilityand or focus of companies who have to develop wir evolve the brands in thiskind of weird atmosphere, weird situation that we're all in what? Whathave you seen change or elements of the brands that now get thought of that?Maybe hadn't been thought of before yeah a great question: We've seen a lotof folks coming through and our agency, or just through thought leadership andtalking it. Some colleagues and our brands and clients themselves a lot ofpeople panicked right away and once that we all did right when we were allunder extreme lock down like the stay at home order, depending what stateyou're in depending on how long you were there, but a lot of brands werelike okay, here's our opportunity. How are we going to emerge from this? Thesmarter ones looked at things like infrastructure and supply chain, andthey, knowing the retail stores, were closed. How can we adapt? How can wesell things on? You saw this? You know play out first and foremost throughbars and restaurants and, and you know, doing take out and cities allowing youtake away alcohol and things like that. I mean you saw that really cool out ofthe box. Thinking happened right away from those folks who are effective themost as brand started. Thinking about them, you started seeing we're going tochange up our Omni channel structure, we're going to allow things from home,different marketing experience, ments from home, introducing ai or somethingthrough their mob experience. You know you saw this happen through net flixand Hulu, and just the proliferation of quick access to everything likeeveryone's coming out with new shows or new experiences or mobile or emailswhatever it might be one. You had a captive audience which totallydisrupted by the way how people thought people were shopping. There was moreshopping during the R business hours than there ever was, which makes sense,but the smart ones actually said. Let's take this time and to see if ourposition is right. So when we come out of this thing, how do we look? How do we emerge? Whatis this brand look like, and you saw a lot of major brands. You Know Kia forone burger king for another, go through a major rebrand and took that timealmost that down time, if you will to really think it's like that, that pieceand quiet that I have every morning when I ride in my bike or go for a runduring that time, I get to think and that's what it was like this collectiveconsciousness for brands. Okay, let's take a pause. How do we want to be seenwhen we were re emerged, and it was a time that we might never see again,hopefully never see again because of the situation where almost everyoneneutel atory you, so I can't speak to day unilaterally had the opportunity toto do what they've never had, which is stop and say. Do we want to be knownfor this or that and if we don't, how can we pivot? How can we turn and a lotof those re brands kind of emerged now...

...that the trends that we saw were allover the place there were you know, retail trends and a lot of socialconscious trends. A lot of brands came out during the black. Less mattermovement early summer taking a position which we've never really seen to thisextent before and involve that into their into their brand. You know we arenow going to support this cause or that cause- and you know, let alone theelection that kind of played in as well. So there's a lot of things that change.It gave opportunity to brands and their leaders to think about who the who theywere individually and who they wanted to represent from a brand standpoint,and I think you saw the ones who took the time to think about it or merge alot better than they were when they went into it. Absolutely it was anopportunity for those that didn't panic to use the change in the velocity ofbusiness and the velocity of individuals to do those things to pivot,to find the new opportunity to realign with the hate the phrase, but the new realityright as this all unfolded change is the only constant we all have. This wasa huge change and it was global or a lot of us, so we actually trying tofind a silver lining in the pandemic. We all for the first time that I canremember, have a shared human experience around the entire globe toimpact totally differently right, but it is it's kind of brought theawareness to the forefront and so people got through it now. The questionis: Where do they go? So I'm curious when you look at you know the nexttwelve eighteen months. I can remember back in the day when people used to sayyou have a five year plan. I can't even imagine like a twelve month plan atthis point, because you never know, what's going to happen right right whenyou look out twelve or eighteen months, what do you think brands and companiesare going to need to be aware of or keep their eye on as this environmentof change continues? Well, I mean this goes back to what you asked aboutearlier and experiences when we're all coming out of this. Now you can startseeing this locally. You can see this from national brands. You can see thisat grocery stores, which is pretty amazing. We have a a deep human needand desire to be with people, and you could see through you know the mentalhealth profession and, what's going on now, a lot of people are finally comingout being able to speak to people, but because of what happened, we were allso quested our own way and we all started internalized things differently.Now that we're coming out of it. The one thing has been constant, and Italked about this a number of times before I believe a human connection isso desired from people and brands are the vessel in which to allow thoseconnections. So now that we're coming out of these things, you can talk aboutHarley again those events where they were allowing people to come out. Theycould have been the first time or the first event that people came to and itallowed them to meet with people who were like minded or like themselves.You know a tribe if you will in a new cool way, and so I think what you'regoing to start seeing this a lot more. A lot more focused on in personexperiences on. If we have a captive audience in front of us, let's notwaste it. Let's make sure we give them a really tailored message and I thinkit's going to be a little softer. You know this hard sale. We do a lot ofwork with people in Europe and one of the big differences that we seeconstantly is in the US. It's a hard sell it's by this. It's discount! Now,it's you know, get it right away. You know get this in your car you're goingto miss, you know miss out and in Italy and Germany and France and Spain and soforth. A lot of it is based on here's, the value of our product. Do you likeit or do you not? Because if you like it, come on T S, we've got somethingfor you and it's not this harsh. This not harsh push. You know to Er to get asale to drive in the bottom line. I think we're all so conscious of whathappened and the people who lost their jobs and, unfortunately, their homes inthe way of life that we're not doing the hard sell as much anymore from whatI can tell from the few brands that we work with that are in the commerce ofspace who are selling online or sorry in stores we're seeing a lot of peoplegoing. Hey we're just glad you're here, here's what we can offer you- and yousee this a lot with in a small way, just offering people an oppor unity toshop from their mobile phone or have...

...enhanced sanitized stations when theywalk in or anything that can can say, hey we're taking care of you, but we'restill here and I think that's going to be continued. The next twelve eighteen,twenty four months yeah. We see it a lot actually in be to be brands as theypivot and have to you know, have their sales force go from. What many wouldhave thought would have been a hard push before to really training theirteams, to be able to connect to another human being and understand what thatother person cares about what they find valuable and connect to that, ratherthan a attempt to say hey, I got this black box really want this black boxand everything that's in it. It really is how do I train those organs, thosethose individuals to consistently have those those conversations, and I thinkthat human connection and that authenticity at least in what we dowe're seeing it I become even more critical than it was before it wasalmost an accelerator for it so completely lit, and it's with welcomeit's an. I isn't like a nice O, it's a Nice Change Yer. You know especiallylike on Zoom, I'm glad to see the data catching up on virtual meetings, wherethe virtual backgrounds need to go because they're annoying, a crap andpeople want to. You know what I don't care. If I see your laundry or you knowthe cat walks by and I see the cat, but that's life right, like that's. That'sauthentic, that's more human, so that focus on, I think, is very, very, verywelcome for many people, myself included, and so when you think aboutover your career as x, CD at the brand leader, if there was one thing youcould change, you know one thing that that you wish you had done differently,I'm not saying necessarily mistake, but just you look back and go. Ah that wasgood, but I could have made it better kind of curious. What that would be. You know I'll be honest with you. Ithought about this question quite a bit and not just because I knew you weregoing to ask it, but because I think when you get to a certain age, when youget to a certain point of your career, it's incumbent upon us to look back, sowe can look forward in a better way and I've got a lot of people here who I'mresponsible for for their pay, checks for the livelihood or just doing greatwork. And I look back and I just I wish I listened more and I really wish I waskinder to people, because I had an unbelievable opportunity at almostevery job. I had to work for somebody who took a chance on me and let me dothings that they probably shouldn't have. Let me do and allow me to failand allow me to to iterate and allow me to make a fool of myself and I wish Iwould have known the impact of that in my life rather than try to hide behindsomething in authentic and kind of cover that stuff up with you know prideand maybe that's just growing up and that's just kind of the bruises youhave to take as you get to be an adult, I'm not saying to have the answers now,but looking back, I wish I had that opportunity to either apologize topeople or just know that I could have been kinder because that's really atthe end of the day, and maybe it's the pandemic. Speaking- and maybe it's justyou know, like I said getting older, but at the end of the day I mean Idon't care really how many brands we've helped grow. It's it is that emotional,physical connection with people, and that makes life worth living absolutelyabsolutely right. So, let's Change Direction here, a little bit. We askall of our guess two standard questions towards the end of each to night. First,as simply as a revenue executive, that makes you a prospect for a lot ofpeople out there. So a lot of people probably want to get in front of andsell you something and- and I'm curious to know from my guess, when somebodydoesn't have a trusted referral in somebody who says hey. You reallyshould talk to this person. I think they could be had some value. How doessomebody capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendarman? If that is hard, and I think this is an just an ongoing battle foreverybody. It's really difficult to do that. When I was at Dor Martins, Iwould get hit up three four five times a day from people even to the pointwhere someone found out what I was really into and I've said already, youknow, siting and running and so forth. They found somehow the pair of socksthat I liked fed me a couple pair and said: take these on your next run andlet's set up a time to chat, and I was so creeped out by that I was like I'mnot. I took the socks, don't don't don't give me on. I ran in them thenext day, but yeah, it's really hard.

You know we all get the linked in. YouKnow Bat and switch. We all get. We all get that and I would say it's just it'srelationships. It's earning the right to be heard. I would much rather havesomebody write me and say: Look. I know I don't know you and this might comeoff so a cold call, but you guys are in this space and we're in the space andwe're just trying to see if we could be a fit and if not cool, but I just wantto get our name out there. Man, I would have respond to that in a heart, beatit's the ones who just assume that you know you are. You know a free game thatyou don't have a busy schedule or that we, the ones who actually just sent,put something on your calendar, because you know they think they can andsomehow they you know, get a link to your scheduling calendar. So those arethe things that I think are all goes back to. This kind of you know,connection, you know, make a connection first, build a relationship and earnthat right, and then man I'll do anything so this years, and we tell this to brandswho who are struggling with what they need to do or might not be able toafford us I'll, tell them I'll give you my time. You know you want an hour. Youwant forty minutes of ask me anything. You want like I'll, totally tell youwhat you need, whether you go with us or somebody else, because again thathappened to me, people were gracious enough with their time. I'm happy to dothat for anybody, your listening or anyone else, and- and I really trulymean that, because I mean you might not go with us, but I don't care if youtake whatever I told you and make a million dollars off it or more likegood for you. You can't have the thoughts in my brain and how I got tothat right and but you know you can own the painting at the end and if you wantto take that with you and resell it, you know great. So I think we'remissing that we're missing, especially in the sales world, where everything isdigital, and I don't blame these guys, you mean they're, you know they're,they have a quota and they don't know what to do. And how do you connect withpeople, especially during the pandemic? It's hard, I get it. So just be honest,you know just write and say man I'd love to work with you. How do I? How doI get noticed? I think that's the best way to go. I love it. I lot all rightso the last question we call it our acceleration insight. If there's onething you could tell sales marketing or professional services people, one pieceof advice should give them that you believe would help them Hitori seetheir targets. What would it be and why easy believe in your product? If youdon't believe in the product, you are selling whether it's a service or anactual physical product, you're never going to hit your target, and if you doit it's you know, luck! You Do, though you know yeah luck or lies. I was goingto say you know we only work with brands which we can get behind. I onlyworked for companies and brands in my previous career that I used myself. IfI didn't believe in the product, then I can't in good conscience work there. SoI would say you know just just really believe in what you're doing, and ifyou do that, then it's you know, conviction and just pure desire, and Ithink people read that I think people read that with authenticity so anddon't give up. I mean just persevere. I mean this. What we all have to doexcellent excellent! I can't thank you enough for taking time times of oneasset. Nobody can get back. I really appreciate you sharing some of it withus today and appreciate your being on the show, of course yeah. This was mypleasure thanks. so much all right, everybody that does of this episode.You know the drill be to be revizor share with friends, family co workers.You like what you hear leave us review on I tunes until next time we avvisoLing associates with hell nothing, but the greatest success. You've been listening to the B TobRevenue Executive Experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an I tunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time. I.

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