Thursday, August 30, 2018

Where Does #BrandStorytelling Fit in Your Marketing Strategy?

How do you cause disruption in your segment? You may alter your pricing, so that customers notice your brand when compared to your competitors. You may alter your product offering by adding some appropriately aligned items. And you may offer discounts to entice buyers to visit your retail stores on holiday weekends. But, do you feature brand storytelling in your marketing? The easiest way to appeal to your customers is to create memorable stories.

Dave Sutton (@TopRightPartner on Twitter), author of MARKETING, INTERRUPTED, wrote, "The power and impact of your brand, your product, your services and your story comes from making the customer the hero, and you, the marketer, serving as the guide on their buying journey."

Consider two famous icons in the automotive industry and their personal stories: Henry Ford and Elon Musk. According to Sutton, "Ford aspired to transform the marketing for automobiles, which at the time were expensive toys for the wealthiest few, into a mass marketed vehicle for the many…He was an industrialist and the father of the modern assembly line mode of production." Musk wants his Tesla "to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible…He is known as an explorer, inventor, and engineer."

Sutton used these examples to explain that everyone has a personal brand story – more than what you do for a living. "It speaks to who you are and what you represent – it speaks to the core of why you do what you do." Personal brand stories are key to understand the importance of brand storytelling.

"The most remarkable personal stories are generally about a transformational journey. What traditions and norms must be challenged? What are the treacherous obstacles to overcome and pitfalls to avoid? What overwhelming odds must be beat? Who are the villains that must be conquered? Who are the dragons that must be slayed along the way? By bringing this level of clarity of action, you can create a more compelling and emotive story for yourself and the journey you want your audience to accompany you on."

Despite all the messages that bombard us all day long – whether in emails, texts, pop-up ads, TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, etc. – no one wants to be interrupted. Everyone wants their time to be valued and respected. As Sutton wrote, "This calls for marketing to make a change: a change in how customers understand you, engage with you and experience you."

So, will you alter your marketing before it’s too late? 

TWEET THIS: No one wants to be interrupted. This calls for marketing to make a change: a change in how customers understand you, engage with you and experience you. ~Dave Sutton @TopRightPartner

Image Credit:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Who Owns the Customer Journey?

Who plans a customer journey, touchpoints, or customer experience? Is it an organization's President or CEO? Is it an entire customer service department? Or, is this essential competitive advantage defined by a single marketing or technology employee? Whoever is responsible in your business, make sure that all employees - no matter what their role is - understands the importance of satisfied customers.

According to Wikipedia, "In commerce, customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction is made up of three parts: the customer journey, the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with, and the environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience. A good customer experience means that the individual's experience during all points of contact matches the individual's expectations."

Recently, I visited a car dealership in California that sells and services new and used luxury vehicles. While I don't have a brand new vehicle with a six-figure price-tag, I have a 10-year-old luxury vehicle with less than 50,000 miles that, according to Kelley Blue Book, is in excellent condition.

However, I experienced a strange issue with the car. One day, the windshield wipers stopped working. After adding an entire container of windshield wiper fluid and discovering that the wipers still didn't work, I took the car into my dealer. I was told that some engine components would need to be removed in order to access and fix the problem. I made an appointment a month ago and recently took the car in for the scheduled service.

When I dropped the car off at the dealer, I spoke with the check-in technician (who was also my regular service rep). He asked me, "Did you order the parts?" I nearly fainted with surprise. Had I just been hired as the newest mechanic? Or was I the customer? I made the appointment, so the dealer should have expected me and, therefore, should have ordered the required parts to handle my service request. I was the one giving my business to the dealership - and my money! Naturally, the parts had to be ordered after I arrived with my car, so my service would have to wait at least 24 hours to begin.

As a result of this experience, I wonder if the owners of the dealership (the dealership has been in business since 1948!) conduct regular customer experience training. You would think that a business with that amazing longevity would understand the importance of happy customers - but sadly, they do not.

Had I been the check-in technician, I would have said to the customer, “Wow, crazy thing, it looks like we did not order the necessary part or parts. We’ll take care of that immediately. In the meantime, we value your business and your time, so could I interest you in a coupon for lunch in our lobby cafe, or maybe a coupon for coffee and a snack at a nearby Starbucks?”

What does your brand do to show gratitude for customers when errors happen?

Monday, August 20, 2018

How Can Leaders Help Employees Exceed Expectations? It’s All About the Culture!

Recently, I saw a memorable tweet in my Twitter stream which read: “The answer to employee happiness is not in the form of bean bags and ping-pong tables…it is the company’s culture and career opportunities.” The name behind the tweet was Katherine Spinney, and upon reading the article associated with the tweet, I began a conversation with Katherine. She and her company provide coaching, mentoring, training, and team building in the Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Baltimore metro areas, and her company tagline is “Manage. Lead. Succeed.” Highlights of our conversation follow below a brief introduction.

To quote Katherine, “From my first job delivering newspapers to my current role as business owner, I have worked in a variety of organizations, roles, and sectors. Despite differences in culture, responsibility, and function, I have learned a very simple lesson: strong leadership creates positive work environments; poor leadership destroys them. It is my mission to help support leaders better support those they lead in order to maximize the value, contribution, and joy in work. We all should have the opportunity to do what we do best and be appreciated for it.” Check out Katherine’s website at, connect on LinkedIn at, and follow on Twitter and Instagram @CoachKat2017 and on Facebook /CoachKat2017.

QUESTION: What are three things a President/CEO can do to establish a corporate culture that all employees will enthusiastically follow?
KATHERINE SPINNEY: There are many components to successful leadership, and different individuals will attribute different levels of importance to each. Generally, though, there are guidelines that all leaders should follow.

For starters, staff want to be led by those who possess the highest levels of integrity and honesty. Trust is essential and the absolute foundation of leadership, and there is no stronger way to lead than through example.

Secondly, today's workforce does not simply want to be told what to do. They want to be included and involved in the process. They want to feel that they are authentically contributing to the company's goals and vision.

Finally, leaders must recognize that there is no organization without their staff and that staff must come first. This entails praise and recognition along with adequate compensation, benefits, and opportunities for growth.

TWEET THIS: Leaders must recognize that there is no organization without their staff and that staff must come first. —@CoachKat2017

QUESTION: How can a President/CEO become an organization's number one brand ambassador?
KATHERINE SPINNEY: Leaders must be able to articulate and demonstrate why their businesses are deserving of your patronage. Most organizations provide products and services that many other organizations also provide. There must be a reason for consumers to choose you. Often, this reason has more to do with your organization than what it is selling. What are your values? How are you demonstrating corporate responsibility? How are you giving back to the community? How are you embracing diversity? Increasingly, consumers want to feel that the companies they support share similar values and beliefs. This holds true for organizational leaders as well. What values are you demonstrating?

QUESTION: What three traits are most important to be a good leader, and why?

KATHERINE SPINNEY: There are so many components that comprise strong leadership. Some are more important than others, and many will depend on a person’s natural gifts and personality. I often break down these components into three main categories: skills, traits, and values. I ask those I work with to come up with as many items under each category as they possibly can. They generally do so with ease as there are many. I then ask them to choose which ones they deem most important, which ones they are already strong in, and which ones they need to work on. This exercise serves as a reminder of all that goes into strong leadership and begins the planning process of getting there.

As far as traits go, honesty, humility and commitment are among the most important. Honesty is necessary to ensure ethical and effective leadership. Humility is required for personal growth as well as appreciation of those you lead. Commitment encompasses commitment to the vision of the organization as well as the staff who comprise it. 

QUESTION: On your Blog, you write about something you called “Manager's Amnesia.” What are some of the symptoms, and what are some treatment options?
KATHERINE SPINNEY: Manager’s Amnesia is a term I use for a phenomenon that is all too common. It happens when someone begins managing others and seems to completely forget what it is like being managed. All the things that drove her crazy about her manager, she suddenly starts doing. All the things she wishes her manager had done, she doesn’t do. She makes being a manager all about her and not those she leads.

The symptoms show up in a number of ways: enforcing policies that don’t make any sense, being inflexible about situations that hurt staff, taking all of the credit and none of the blame, micromanaging, not involving staff in decision making, not investing time into supporting and developing staff. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.

Treatment options are to reflect and remember about what it is like to be managed. Listen to your staff. Involve them. Recognize them. Don’t just be open to feedback, seek it. Keep growing and learning. Admit your mistakes. Invest in your staff. Advocate for them. Believe in them. Serve them.

TWEET THIS: There is no one right way to lead effectively, but there are a lot of wrong ways. –@CoachKat2017 

QUESTION: In one of your publications, BEYOND THE TOOLS, A Workbook for Self-Reflection on the Mindset and Values that Affect the Way You Lead, you wrote about something called leadership shields. This is timely and intriguing due to the new coat of arms created by and for the new Duchess of Sussex. Anyhow, you explained that this exercise is an effective way to see a visual representation of a personal leadership journey. Can you explain this further as well as the four quadrants?
KATHERINE SPINNEY: Shield exercises are great because they provide a way to reflect and visually capture whatever it is you hope to reflect and capture. You can design the quadrants in any way that best serves your goal.

In the leadership shield in Beyond the Tools, the four quadrants are:
1)    An accomplishment you are proud of as a leader.
2)    The values that inform the way you lead.
3)    The leader you most admire and model yourself after.
4)    The type of leader you strive to be.

These four areas help provide an overview of what informs your role as a leader. The exercise, like all those in the book, highlights the foundational importance of values and how they affect the way you lead. There is no one right way to lead effectively, but there are a lot of wrong ways. If integrity is not at the center of the work you do, there is no way to be a true leader.

QUESTION: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): "Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What does that mean to you?
KATHERINE SPINNEY: As a leader, it is your great privilege and responsibility to support and develop your team. That is your number one priority. In order to do that, you must invest in them through both time and money. You must develop them, advocate for them, recognize them, and provide opportunities for them.

One of the first things I ask leaders is what their staff’s long-term professional goals are. Very few of them know. How can you support and develop your team members if you don’t even know what motivates them and what they’re working toward?

Investing in your team’s growth includes helping them develop in ways that may not directly connect with their current position. This is still an investment worth making. Staff who feel valued and supported are far more likely to stick around and exceed expectations. Their level of investment in you is directly related to your investment in them.

TWEET THIS: Staff who feel valued and supported are far more likely to stick around and exceed expectations. –@CoachKat2017

My gratitude and appreciation to Katherine for appearing on my Blog and sharing her insights. Check out the interesting links below relating to this Q&A.

Check out the article on Fast Company that resulted in my conversation with Katherine:
“Employers, Your Idea about Employee Happiness Is All Wrong”

Read Katherine’s post about Manager’s Amnesia on her Blog:

Check out Katherine’s workbook, BEYOND THE TOOLS:

Image Credit: Feedback quote thanks to Katherine Spinney with graphic by Debbie Laskey.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Why Your Brand Needs a University and Other Tips for an Amazing #BrandExperience

I may be unique in my choice of favorite social media platforms, but I've met a myriad of amazing and inspiring people through my Tweets, conversations, and chats on Twitter. Recently, I met Dennis Snow, a fellow advocate for creating positive and memorable customer experiences. Since we've both worked for "the company that started with a mouse," as Walt Disney used to describe The Walt Disney Company (Dennis at Walt Disney World, and me at Disneyland Paris in France), I invited Dennis to appear on my blog to share some of his insights about customer service and customer experience marketing. 

At the end of an interaction between a brand and a customer/fan/guest/client/media rep/stakeholder, a positive and memorable experience results in an amazing brand experience. Tips to create an amazing brand experience and highlights of my conversation with Dennis follow a brief introduction.

Dennis Snow is a business author, speaker, and consultant who helps organizations deliver a world-class customer experience. He is the author of two best-selling business books, "Lessons from the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization and Career" (DC Press), and “Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service” (Wiley). Visit Dennis' website at, read his blog at, connect on LinkedIn (, and follow on Twitter @DennisSnow.

QUESTION: You've spent a great deal of time teaching others about the secrets of customer service from "the company that started with a mouse." What are three of your favorite lessons that all brands can learn from Disney about customer service?
DENNIS SNOW: Here are my three:
1. Walt Disney World cast members (employees) are relentlessly reminded that, “We’re not selling rides, we’re selling an experience.” Most companies’ products (including rides and shows) are commodities, and consumers have countless choices for where to spend their money and time. An outstanding experience, however, is very rare and encompasses every touchpoint of the customer’s interaction with an organization.
2. “Everything speaks.” From the appearance of the facilities to the tone of voice of the employees, every detail impacts the customer’s perception of an organization’s brand. In fact, the number one compliment Walt Disney World receives is how clean the place is. There’s a good reason for that. It is the responsibility of EVERY cast member (employee) to pick up any stray piece of trash they see on the ground. With 66,000 cast members focused on keeping things looking good, it’s no wonder that cleanliness of the place is the number one compliment.
3. “Little wows add up.” While grand gestures are wonderful, and customers appreciate them, the magic is in the little wows. Walt Disney World encourages its cast members to consistently exhibit simple but effective niceties, such as, offering to take a photo of the family, smiling, asking where guests are from, interacting with children, making recommendations, etc. Taken individually, these behaviors seem like no big deal. But over the course of an entire Disney vacation (or even one day), those little niceties add up to a very big deal.

TWEET THIS: While grand gestures are wonderful, and customers appreciate them, the magic is in the little wows. ~@DennisSnow #CustomerExperience #BrandExperience #BizTip
QUESTION: You were a part of the Disney University team, during which time you taught the Disney corporate philosophy and business practices to cast members and members of the leadership team. How can other orgs create and maintain a University for their brands?
DENNIS SNOW: The Disney University came about because Walt Disney himself understood the vital role that employees (cast members) would play in the Disneyland experience. Since 1955, the Disney University has been the first step of any cast member’s career. There, they learn about the Disney culture, as well as what will be expected of them. And throughout a Disney career, the Disney University provides ongoing learning opportunities that reinforce the organization's culture. I’m regularly asked, “How long is the training at Walt Disney World?” The answer is that begins when you join the company and continues for as long as you work there.

Creating and maintaining a corporate University requires commitment from the top level of an organization as well as an iron-clad belief in the importance of ongoing training. Even in tough financial times, the best organizations don’t cut back on training. They see it as an investment, not an expense. And that takes commitment from those at the top.

QUESTION: One of the ways that you teach about creating a culture of excellence is to "Ensure that your organization's backstage environment never impacts the onstage customer experience." Can you please explain for those who've never visited a Disney theme park?
DENNIS SNOW: A good way to think about the onstage/backstage philosophy is to imagine a high-end retail store or luxury hotel. Everything about the environment communicates elegance and quality. In that scenario, imagine an employee accidentally leaving a supply room door open, with full view of dirty mops, cleaning products, employee schedules, etc. Backstage just came onstage, causing a disconnect between the image the organization worked so hard to create, and the reality of the what the customer sees.

You can imagine the logistics involved in running a place like Walt Disney World. There are delivery trucks, cast member break areas and cafeterias, management offices, warehouses, storage areas, and thousands of other elements required to run a place that is twice the size of Manhattan. But remember, Walt Disney World is supposed to be a magical place. So, all of those operational elements are located behind the scenes (backstage). Here’s a graphic example of the importance of the onstage/backstage philosophy: Imagine a child at Walt Disney World seeing Cinderella on break smoking a cigarette...the result might be years of therapy!

QUESTION: What is a customer-focused culture?
DENNIS SNOW: A customer-focused culture is one in which everything is designed with the “lens of the customer” in mind. Too many organizations design their processes and procedures for their convenience, not the customer’s convenience. A customer-focused culture asks, “What do we want the customer experience to be?” and then designs all processes and procedures to deliver that ideal experience.

TWEET THIS: A customer-focused culture is one in which everything is designed with the “lens of the customer” in mind. ~@DennisSnow #CustomerExperience #BrandExperience #BizTip
QUESTION: A favorite question among cast members at Disneyland in California, the Magic Kingdom in Florida, and other Disney parks around the world is, "What time does the 3 o'clock parade begin?" Can you explain what the question really means in Disney-speak and how it cuts to the core of Disney's customer experience?
DENNIS SNOW: “What time is the 3 o’clock parade” is the classic example of a legitimate question masquerading as a silly question. Since the Magic Kingdom parade route is nearly a mile long, the question the guest is really asking is, “What time does the 3 o’clock parade get here?” In this case, "HERE" means a specific spot along the route. Disney cast members are trained to recognize that guests are out of their comfort zones and likely overwhelmed. So, of course they may not know how to phrase certain questions or may not even know what questions to ask. It’s the job of the cast member to understand what the guest really needs.

In the late 1970's, I worked at the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction in the Magic Kingdom in Florida. I was required to wear a Captain Nemo costume. I was approached by countless guests who asked, “Do you work here?” Rather than respond, “No, my mother just dresses me this way,” I understood that what they were really asking was, “Can you help me?” The bottom line is to look at things from the customer’s perspective.

Dennis Snow the Disney Cast Member

QUESTION: Your pinned Tweet on Twitter says, "No matter what business you're in, every employee at every level has numerous chances to wow customers. You just have to be on the lookout for chances to amaze." Can you elaborate on this?
DENNIS SNOW: This goes back to what I said earlier about little wows adding up. It’s so easy for employees to fall into robotic mode and to simply process customers through a series of transactions. However, by being present in the moment, it becomes clear that there are multiple opportunities every day for creating moments of wow. And it doesn’t have to take any additional time or cost anything. It’s simply a matter of being present and caring about the customer’s experience.

TWEET THIS: This photo of Walt Disney at Disneyland (probably in the late 1950’s) is my all-time favorite Disney photo. The message it communicates is timeless: effective leaders walk the talk. #WaltDisneyWorld #Disneyland #CustomerExperience #WalkTheTalk #EmployeeCommunications
My gratitude and appreciation to Dennis for sharing his customer experience marketing insights. What will you use from this post to improve your brand's customer experience? Please chime in.

To read about a memorable customer experience story from a visit to Walt Disney World, check out my blog post featuring Kevin Leifer (@KevinLeifer on Twitter) – it’s truly an unforgettable story. Click here.

Image Credits: Dennis Snow (Walt Disney and Dennis Snow photos). Debbie Laskey (Disneyland Paris cast member guidebook photo).

Friday, August 10, 2018

Summer Reading Recap: Business and Fiction

Every summer, we plan extra hours for all sorts of activities. From beach excursions to museum visits to outdoor hikes, the summer is the time to catch up on all the adventures we don't have time for during the rest of the year. In addition to all the fun outdoor adventures, another activity on our summer “to do lists” is reading. Some of us even build a stack of “must-read books” all year-long with the intent to read them during our summer vacations. I highly recommend that you add these five books to your reading list.


Leadership expert and author David Burkus ends this book with the sentence, "Your friend of a friend is your future." Throughout the book, he explained that, "We don't have a network, rather, we're embedded inside a massive network that we must learn to navigate. Doing so requires paying attention to who is in your network and recognizing that how your network works matters for issues much larger than just finding that next client or landing that next job...Navigating your network deliberately - making choices about who your friends are and being aware of who is a friend of a friend - can directly influence the person you become."

Burkus told the story of the Isle of Murano, Italy, which has become known as the Isle of Glass. "And Murano isn't unique. For every example of the damaging and isolating effects of silos, there's an example of how clusters in a social network help unleash creative ideas or make individuals and teams more efficient and productive."

He also shared the story of filmmaker Brian Grazer, who may not have started his film career by being well-connected, but he was definitely curious. No spoiler alert here, read the book to learn how curiosity and hard work led to his long-time partnership with Ron Howard and blockbuster films such as, Apollo 13, Liar Liar, Splash, and many, many more.

Lastly, Burkus' best advice was to create one's own community. Make a list of 10-15 people who work in your profession or do something similar enough to have shared experiences. Commit to regular meetings, at first, once a month. Commit to a set of structure for your conversations. Consider asking these questions to start:
*What are you working on right now? What project is dominating your time now?
*What is holding you back? How can the group help you?
*What do you need prompting on? What can we do to keep you accountable?

To quote leadership expert and author Kevin Eikenberry (and his co-author Wayne Turmel), "Leading a team at a distance is at first and foremost about LEADERSHIP, and the principles of leadership haven’t changed - they are principles. What HAS changed is that people are working in different places and perhaps at different times. Given those changes, how we apply the timeless principles of leadership in this new world matters a great deal - for the team members working at a distance, for you as their leader, and for the organization that you all serve."

There are a number of exceptional tools included the book:
*21 Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership (here are a couple: Building trust at a distance doesn't happen by accident AND think about leadership first and location second.)
*Skills of Management versus Skills of Leadership - they are definitely different!
*Leadership and Management Gear
*Excellent Questions to Ask about Developing Long-Distance Leaders

Do you know the story behind 7-Eleven? In customer service expert Shep Hyken's seventh book, he tells the story of how a store selling ice created a new industry, the convenience store industry by adding bread, milk, and eggs. Other examples ranging from spending $5 for a Coke in a hotel's minibar rather than walking down the hall to a vending machine to Uber's pre-payment system showcase the importance consumers place on convenience. But can all brands implement convenience into their competitive positioning? Not only does Shep say yes, but he poses that if brands don't add convenience as a competitive advantage, they may not survive.

The Six Principles of the Convenience Revolution are:
*Reducing Friction (a hassle in your consumer's world)

Lastly, Shep ended the book by repeating the question he asked at the beginning, "How easy is it to do business with you (your brand)?" He explained, "If you keep returning to that simple question, day after day, week after week, month after month - if you look closely and strategically at the honest answers that come back - then you really can join, and win, the Convenience Revolution."

This inaugural novel by British actress Catherine Steadman captures the reader's attention from the first sentence, "Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?" The story poses a variety of questions to the reader, and before too long, an unexpected twist happens. I guarantee that you will remember this story for a long time after finishing the final page.

As a fan of the legal thriller created by Scott Turow and perfected by John Grisham, I am interested in every legal thriller ever written. This novel by Anthony Franze does not disappoint. Set in the halls of the United States Supreme Court and neighboring areas around Washington, D.C., the story follows a lawyer's investigation into his daughter's unexpected death while he undergoes scrutiny as a potential Supreme Court Justice.

What business book did you read this summer? And what captivating fictional story will you long remember? Chime in and share.

Image Credit: Debbie Laskey's library.

Follow these authors on Twitter:
@KevinEikenberry and @leadingremotely

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Can You Build a Brand and Tell a Story with a #Hashtag?

Back in 2014, while I was watching the Super Bowl and the ads, I encountered a stream of live Tweets on Twitter led by Jim Joseph in New York. While 3,000 miles away, I enjoyed the discussion about the ads (and sometimes about the football game, too!) with fellow branding and marketing experts. Over the last four years, I've continued to participate in Jim’s Super Bowl chats as well as others he’s led on Twitter during other big events. Based on Jim's expertise, I've invited him to participate in a Q&A about branding and marketing, and highlights follow his bio below.

To quote Jim Joseph, “Marketing is a spectator sport,” and he’s one of the industry’s most engaging, enthralling, and entertaining commentators. As the Global President, Brand Solutions of marketing communications agency BCW, Jim constantly puts his experience to the test. He is also an award-winning author of The Experience Effect series and an adjunct instructor at New York University where he teaches a graduate class in integrated marketing. Entrepreneur of the Year, Agency of the Year, Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year, Most Creative Agency, Best Place to Work, Social Media Icon, Hall of Fame – these are the accolades that Jim has amassed through his long career in marketing. But none are more important than the daily badge he wears with the most pride: Dad. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimJosephExp and check out his Blog.

QUESTION: Since we "met" as a result of your live-Tweeting chat during the Super Bowl in 2014 (#SBexp has evolved into #SuperBowlExp), can you share a brief history about the chat?
JIM JOSEPH: I started out doing the Super Bowl Twitter chats because I noticed that a lot of people were commenting about Super Bowl advertising during the game on Twitter. Then a friend started chatting with me about it too, so I formalized it with a hashtag and invited viewers to join in. It sort of took off from there! It's great fun to chat about the advertising during a television event in real time. It keeps us connected from our various couches! I've done the Twitter "EXP" chats for the Super Bowl every year, and often do them for the Golden Globes, Oscars, Grammys, etc.

QUESTION: How did you come up with your Twitter handle (@JimJosephExp)?
JIM JOSEPH: My first marketing book was titled "The Experience Effect," so "EXP" comes from "EXPERIENCE" as in the “BRAND EXPERIENCE.” So, I just added "EXP" to my name to establish it as a bit of a brand for me.

QUESTION: What's your favorite brand, and what makes it stand out?
JIM JOSEPH: I always cite Starbucks as a fave brand because it's a great example of a brand going well beyond just the product it sells, and standing for a full experience as an active member of the community. Starbucks actively promotes local community organizations and speaks out on social issues. Starbucks actively utilizes its physical and social footprint to add value to people's lives, and, of course, Starbucks sells coffee!

QUESTION: Most organizations have a digital footprint with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. But it seems as if blogs have become a poor step-child in recent years. How can orgs use blogs to build brand equity and create brand awareness?
JIM JOSEPH: Blogs are great when you have a point of view, but they are only effective when they are integrated into a full social marketing strategy. They have become less effective recently because of the rise of content on other social channels, but when fully incorporated, they can be a great driver of social engagement.

QUESTION: How do you get all your timely ideas for your blog posts?
JIM JOSEPH: I pay attention! I love observing marketing, and since it's happening all day every day, it's easy to get a lot of content. My motto is "Marketing is a spectator sport," so we can learn a lot from each other.

QUESTION: How can an organization's President/CEO be its best brand ambassador and set an example for all employees?
JIM JOSEPH: The CEO is the brand and should live the brand every day. It's nearly impossible now to separate an organization's leadership and its values from a brand. They are completely linked. The best thing a CEO can do is to live by example of the brand. 

TWEET THIS: It's nearly impossible now to separate an organization's leadership and its values from a brand. They are completely linked. ~@JimJosephExp

My gratitude to Jim Joseph for appearing on my Blog and for sharing his amazing insights about our passion, branding. Hope you join us during the 53rd Super Bowl on February 3, 2019, from the comfort of your living room and smartphone or tablet on Twitter for Jim's live TweetChat. And remember to add hashtag #SuperBowlExp to your tweets!

Image Credits: and