How to create beloved brands

Graham Robertson, Author of Beloved Brands
The more love you can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profit you command. It's as simple as that.

Some of the headlines included:

  • Why brand love matters
  • The difference between a product and a brand
  • The love cycle, and how brands build emotional attachments over time, with associated actions
  • Why you should love your customers back
  • Setting your brand out as the solution to the enemy
  • Figuring out your customers through insights and the tools to do so
  • The consumer benefits ladder – insights, product, functional, emotional
  • The functional & emotional benefit cheat sheet
  • The balance between creativity and strategy
  • Why ‘love it’ is the best bar you can set
  • Why brand love means more profit

Graham’s profile:

We’re really excited to have the author of Beloved Brands, and founder of the namesake company speaking with us. Graham Robertson.

Professionally, Graham has led some of the world’s most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, Coke, General Mills, and Pfizer, rising up to VP Marketing. He’s won numerous awards including Marketing Magazine’s “Marketer of the Year”, BusinessWeek’s best new product award and 4 Effie advertising awards. His book, Beloved Brands, is the playbook for how to build a brand that consumers will love. Might I say with it sat on my desk with tea stains very happily on it, that it’s one of the most practical marketing/business books I have ever read.

On a personal level, we first came into contact with Graham at the beginning of lockdown when we announced our webinar schedule. We asked the community who else they’d like to see and Graham’s name was mentioned a couple of times. Some days later we were on a call and we immediately saw why people were so keen to have him involved. Not only is Graham’s philosophy very much in line with everything we’re trying to do with The Marketing Meetup (he speaks about love for goodness sake!), but having had the chance to work through his book, Beloved Brands, he also outlines very practical steps on how you can go about creating a brand that matters, truly.

Graham himself posted possibly the best explanation why this session is relevant. We would try and add to it, but he said it best, so here it is: The reason behind creating beloved brands is simple; you make more money. If consumers love your brand, they think less and feel more. They cheer on your every move; defend you at parties, buy the mugs….pay higher prices. Retailers cave to your every demand. Suppliers cut their costs to be part of your roster. Competitors can’t replicate the emotional bond. You can enter new markets, and your consumers will follow. Higher usage frequency as your brand becomes linked to their favorite part of their day or week or year. You don’t need to promote on price. People want to work for your company, and they know everything about your brand on day 1. You get free media, easier search, free influencers talk. The more love you can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profit you command.

Finally, we want to thank the sponsors, all of whom have been unbelievable. They’ve really kept this show on the road, and while I’ve been so blessed to have received so many messages from the community, these folks all deserve a huge amount of credit. I won’t go into depth here because of the email I will send after, but I want to thank Pitch, ContentCal, Fiverr, Redgate, Cambridge Marketing College, Leadoo, Brand, Further, Third Light, Bravo and Human. One ask: thank the people who help us: I’ll link them in the message too.


Joe Glover 0:00
Call the broadcast button has been pressed. So folks will start joining us right now

to speak of you, and welcome everyone. And thank you so much for being here. We had a few interesting tech problems as it is, you know what the problem is like sometimes it just happens. So sorry for being a few minutes late. But we’re here now, and that’s what matters Tuesday night, and we’re gonna have a really good time. Tonight, I’m really excited to have the author of beloved brands and the founder of the namesake company, Graham Robertson. Professionally, Graham’s lead some of the world’s most beloved brands, such as at Johnson and Johnson, coke General Mills, Pfizer, and rose up to the rank of VP of Marketing is a multi award winning chap, including marketing magazine’s market of the year. Business, we expect

Products award for FC advertising awards. His book, beloved brands is the playbook for how to build a brand because consumers will love my essay. I’ve got it set here on my desk. It’s got a covenant tea stains and sort of dog eared from a very happy afternoon, sat in the sun reading the book. And God said, it’s one of the most practical marketing business books I’ve ever read in my life. I really, really recommend it. I’ve had a lot of fun getting into it. It’s not just theory. There’s a lot of practical stuff there. And on a personal level, I came first came into contact with Graham, at the beginning of lockdown. When we first announced our webinar schedule, what feels like 4 billion weeks ago, I asked the community who else they’d like to see, and Graham’s name was men, one that was mentioned a couple of times. Some days later, we found ourselves on a zoom chat. There were no tech problems on that day we got worse

and I immediately saw why people

We’re so keen to have them involved. Not only is Graham’s philosophy so much in line with everything that we’re trying to do with the marketing metre, for God’s sake, he uses the word love everywhere, which is awesome. But having had the chance to work through his book,

I just can’t reinforce how practical it is to to work through this morning, Graham posted possibly the best explanation of why today’s session is relevant. We’ll try and add to it but he said it best so here it is. The reason behind creating beloved brands is simple. You make more money. If consumers love your brand, they think less and feel more. They cheer on your every move. Defend your parties, by the marks, pay higher prices. Retailers cave there every demand suppliers cut their costs to be part of your rosters. Competitors can’t replicate your emotions. You went you can enter new markets and you can Schumer’s will follow hi Usage frequency as your brand becomes linked to their favourite part of their day or their week or year, you don’t need to promote a price. People want to work for your company, and they know everything about your brand on day one, you get free media, easier search, free influences talk, the more love you can generate with your most cherished customers and will power growth and profit, you can command. I think that’s a pretty light, awesome description of today. So I, you know, we set the bar high. And so I think that’s a that’s a great place to start. This session will run as a presentation, and then a q&a. So the q&a feature is live right now. So if you have questions throughout the presentation, or afterwards, just get them in now. And the best way to then do that is use the thumbs up feature too, because I’ll be taking questions from the top as ever, I just encourage you to be nothing less but then positively lovely. Finally, before I hand over to Graham, and actually me as well, because I’ll be doing his slides tonight, which I apologies in advance is that I want to thank all the sponsors. And I know I do this every time and I know this is the bit where some people roll their eyes, but you know what, they really matter. They matter to this community and they’ve supported us since day one, but then they’ve also supported us through all of this stuff that has gone on. So you’ll get them in the follow up email. All I say is please take the time to thank them individually, their people to and get their messages of support from us to say thank you for supporting us that really, really does make a difference. And just to mention them briefly here. Thank you to pitch content cow fibre red gate, Cambridge marketing college, leading brand further third light Bravo in human money ask is please take the time to get in touch with them. So My introduction done. I’m now going to be handed over to Graham who is on this phone instead of his laptop.

Graham Robertson 5:09
We’ve had our fun and grand team, my friend. Thank you, Joe. Appreciate it. Before we got well in our 15 minute warm up before we got on the call, I dropped a few f bombs here and there over the technology of zoom. And probably a good rule is never to have your consumer drop f bombs about your brand would be a good start. So Joe is going to be the clicky and and help us get through this. And I’m gonna go to that next slide Joe and I love

the simplicity of this ad because it tells a story. It’s you know, you know a brand it’s about you could actually write the story itself. The product is not there, the logo is not there, there’s not a text, destroy this ad. And I just love the

person, I’m supposed to be able to explain how brands work. And part of what I always tell people is leave a bit of room for the magic, because the magic is the unexplainable part of how these work. So even though I’m supposed to explain it, there’s got to be room for that unexplainable part. If we go to the next slide, so we’re going to click through these pretty quickly on the next few, but Apple can create a lineup to get into their stores. And that’s that passion that people have for that brand is crazy, because I’ve walked by the Apple store a few times before it’s open. And there’s like 20 people milling about trying to get in and I almost feel like grabbing a loudspeaker and say, by the way, people there’s nothing new in that store. I know you want to get in so badly. But there’s nothing new in there.

A brand has emotion and we love certain brands. And that’s very true if we can keep going Joe Sorry, I forgot to say click. So it’s got a motion. Again, Joe, just to keep going. A brand becomes a favourite life ritual as we have that pumpkin spice latte. It brands were strictly rational, then how does Starbucks charge two or three times as much for a coffee that’s average. And it’s everything around that cup of coffee. That is what people buy into.


a brand is experienced. And that’s what we see with the Disney brand. And it’s much about consumers as the product itself. Keep going, Joe.

And we can see that the Ferrari consumers as crazy as they are. You know, we see these large crowds people paint themselves ran, it’s an Italian Mystique. And most of these people will never ever own a Ferrari, let alone driving a Ferrari. But what is it about that brand that creates such

And we can see the next one is Patagonia. And Patagonia sold even more jackets by telling consumers not to buy their jacket and they were trying to promote the over consumerism of products and told you not to buy this because your jackets good enough and yet people buy into the movement of

Patagonia and the idea of Patagonia, so they, they create that passion. And the next one we see Koch invented Santa Claus. And what’s more emotional than that? This is the image we now have him to be.

And then the next one Harley Davidson, people tattoo the logo onto themselves. So how can you get a lineup? Your brand? How do you create such passion that people were willing to put a tattoo of your brand? next job.

I want to just show the difference between a product and a brand itself. And to me this is a product solves problems. They’re rational, they list of ingredients. The brands beat down a consumer enemy. I’ll talk about that in a few minutes. There’s an emotional connection. We have an identity of assets. The brand is experienced, it becomes a favourite ritual. It’s a matter unprotected reputation. And while you have that legal design, it keeps, you know, we see the brand shift from a commodity to a beloved brand. And every most of the brands out there, it’s every buddy always tells me my, my brands that commodity What do I do? Well, isn’t coffee a commodity? And how does Starbucks do it? ground beef is a commodity, and how do those restaurants do it? And so that’s part of it. What do you have to put is more on to it than just the commodity itself.


So one of the things that struck me is that I was at Johnson and Johnson about a decade ago, and I was trying to sort through my brands, I had 15 brands at the time. And you know, kind of like I was kind of how do I sort through this mess and how do I organise it and this idea of the love connection sort of struck me as I can see that in my own company. People wanted to work on those beloved brands, they would think it’s a promotion, wow, I get to work on that brand. And we’d stick them on rather, in different brands and think it was a demotion. When we did brainstorming the beloved brands, we’d come out of there with 94 ideas. And then the in different brands, we’d have a brainstorm and be like, what do we do? You know, we take like, 30 minutes to get like two or three ideas, and everybody was like, depressed in the room. And it really struck me that this idea of this love and connectivity because the more love you creates, everybody wants to be part of it, including the agencies who worked on the business and employees and we just found that if we go to the next one, I found that there was a connectivity between how we do relationships and how we manage brands. We move from strangers to acquaintances to friends. We become into romance. And we move to a forever love. And then if we go to the next one, what we start to see is how the consumer and the relationship of a brand moves in the same way. We see the end different brands. And they they, you know, have never heard of that brand, the sorry, the different ones. I don’t see any difference to my current brand. So why would I ever switch at the lightest stage, we might have had some great experiences in the trust might be starting. At the loving stage, the brand becomes a favourite part of my day. And at the blood stage, I can’t live without it. And I become an outspoken fan. I always provide this tip for you. And it’s not a good way to maintain your personal relationships. But if you’re ever at one of those parties you want to get away from find the biggest Apple lover and tell them the 10 reasons why Apple sucks. Now even if you don’t believe it, at least you’ll get out of the party. Now it might take you 48 hours to 72 hours to smooth things over with the significant other. But as I say, it will cause such a stir and such a commotion that your significant other will drag your ass out of there. That’s just that connection that people have. So if we go to the next one, there we go, this one Joe is fine. And we can see that what I actually started to notice is the strategies started to change. And what I have up on here is body parts that we actually can move, we try to focus on the eyes of the unknown stage and get noticed in the indifferent stage we focus on the consumers brain. At the light stage, it becomes about the feed and getting them to purchase over and over again. At the love stage it becomes about the the tightening the bond with the consumer in their heart. And then at the bluff stage, it all becomes about influencing others and getting them to share it on social media. So if we go to the next one, we can start to see how the actual tactics line up to. And so we see different tactics based on the different stage you’re at and where you should focus. So at the unknown, it’s all about a setup of the brand, finding a core message and finding early fans in the in different stages. It’s about the brand, whether we want to shift and change that brand perception or gain more attention of the consumers mind. As we move along to the Lovett stage. It’s about building memories and maintaining that love and deeper reasons to love and so on. But we can’t, you know, I get a lot of questions Can I can I move far along the love curve? Well, a lot of about like that relationship thing. You can’t build memories with me if I think you’re indifferent. You just can’t. And if I go back to that human relationship, well, we all want to hear the words I love you. We just don’t want to hear them on the first date. Because they That’s a little bit creepy. And so as you have to build this relationship, it does take time and energy and you have to do things right, and knowing where your consumer is. So there is a bit of thinking that goes on to understand where your consumer is.

And that’s really important to understand that where they are, because now you can move from one stage to the next. So speaking of that consumer, on the next chart, I just asked the question of do you know your consumers better than your competition knows your consumer? And I asked this at every meeting I ever hold, and I’m always disappointed in the answer. And I finally thought, I finally heard somebody say, Yes, we do. And then like, as we started to describe the consumer, I realised this client didn’t know the consumer very well at all. And I finally said, I thought you told me that you know your consumer really well. And they said, No, it’s just that our competition sucks at it just as bad as we do that, oh God. Maybe I asked the question the wrong way. But the idea is, if we can really know them, now we can actually understand them and build that relationship with them. And I don’t think you can build the relationship if you don’t know your consumer. What I’ve found over the years of time is, you know, I’ve hired many people in marketing. And I found that, you know, the people who like to do stuff is one thing. The people who like to strategize is another. But I found the best marketers love the psychology of things and love to understand what’s going on in the consumers mind and try to figure it out like a riddle or a puzzle or on private investigator. you’re figuring out how to make something work in that consumers mind and heart and it’s That to me is what the essence of a beloved brand is all about. If you’re building a relationship, it’s very starts with knowing that person and figuring them out. So next, instead of figuring out there’s another different question, because we always go into things with who do we want? And the more obvious question might be a little twist on this, which is who wants you who is already out there that wants your brand and what you’re offering who’s the match to you? And stop trying to figure out why we really want that consumer when they hate you or despise everything you offer or not connected at all. So you should try to figure out who you who wants you and that’s the consumer we want to really focus on. Next. I also want to talk about this relationship because I love this quote, never love anyone who treats you like your ordinary. Do you treat your consumer like they are ordinary, or are you treating them special? Next jump, and do love your consumers back. I have a great story of a friend of years ago who they were in a relationship and they told me that their as their their boyfriend said at the time that they said, I love you. And I, they said they froze. And I said, Well, what did you say? i? I said thank you. And I guess if you have consumers that love you, are you the type of brand that saying thanks? or Are you loving them back? Because imagine how they would feel if if somebody is paying $5 for a cup of coffee and you never make them feel good. That’s not a good relationship. So you have to figure out how it is to make that consumer feel the same passion that they’re giving you.

And that shows up a couple of different ways. It’s really underrated. Standing the consumer. And I mentioned this early on. But while products solve small problems we didn’t know we had brands, our role, hopefully is to beat down the enemies that our consumers face every day. These things and you know, Apple does it with frustration, which I experienced prior to this call. But I’m on an apple and it didn’t ease my frustration. A couple of examples we’ve got, which is if we look at the next slide, Joe, we can see that the what I want you to do is the reason why I like this enemy concept is because we take what the problem is, and we see if we can dial it up. So well a small problem might be I don’t have enough time in life. The enemy for that Starbucks consumer is the hectic life they can’t escape. So Starbucks for 15 minutes. lets you order in Italian the person knows your drink. You can sit down there and listen to Indian music and just escape. You know, it might be between your job and having to take the kids somewhere or something and you can just escape for that little 15 minutes. tide, which is the American. I don’t know if it’s in the UK, but it’s the it’s the brand that basically has so many chemicals, it gets your clothes so white, but it’s the grass stains on your kids clothes. That’s the problem. The enemy is the judgement of your mother in law. So that’s where it gets dialled up. And then Volvo is all about safety, but it’s actually the enemy is the other drivers and that’s my enemy, the fearing the mindless other drivers. The benefit of playing around with this space for your brand, is it opens your own mind a little bit to some creativity, which will allow more emotion into your work. And so at every stage of the process, You need to drive more emotion. And whenever somebody says we asked the agency for an emotional ad, I said, great, I’m really looking forward to the emotional brief. You know, let me see that thing. And when you see the brief, it’s just kind of flat. So you’ve got to find ways to drive more emotion into the analysis and into the brand plan and into the actual creative brief. Okay, so this is one way to start, keep going. The next thing we’re going to talk about is if the enemy is sort of the, the problem dialled up, now we need to go beneath the surface to really understand these consumers. And the way I look at consumer insights is their little secrets hidden beneath the surface. Consumers can’t always explain them, but when they’re played back to consumers, they say, Yeah, you got me. That’s exactly how I feel. And we’re trying to understand those behaviours. motivations, pain points, the emotions. And we’re trying to get maybe two, three layers beneath that surface that don’t reside on that surface. If we ever been in a focus group and the people say I don’t really like advertising, we hear that all the time. That’s at the surface level, I only bet by based on price again, at the surface level, I buy based on rational thinking, I’m a smart consumer. Again, that’s at the surface level. What we need to get to is probably three or four layers beneath the BS and into this space that actually matters.

Next, I want to provide this tool which I use, which is using the consumers voice and being in their shoes. So right away, it’s got quotes and it starts with the word Ay, ay, feel blank whenever I blank the first time Blank speaks to this behaviour, inspiration, belief system pain points, the emotions. And then the second blank speaks to something in the consumers life, a monumental moment, a moment of strength or weakness part of the day, part of the week, the year. And if we look at the example for quit smoking, I feel I become a monster and the worst version of myself. Whenever I tried to quit smoking, I don’t want to be that person. Quitting smoking sucks. And what we did in this case was we did focus groups with people. And we gave them you know, two hours at that minimum focus group wage for the first hour that consumers were normal human beings. And by the way, we were talking about their Least favourite subject in the world which is quitting smoking. Around the one hour we started to see them become agitated and annoyed and how long Does this last when we hit the hour and a half, we saw that monster come out and they were completely annoyed. This is stupid, I hate it. And those observations of that consumer really came up to this insight becoming that worst version of myself. my in laws would rather I not quit, my friends don’t want me to quit, you should see how insane I become. It’s this alter ego. And that’s really what we tried to do with that insight. So now if we understand the consumer a little bit more, and that’s really just a touching on it a little bit, but you really add in these insights, adding this flavour to really showcase we get you. Now we need tight words to describe our brands. And the problem is if we don’t have those words, we tend to spin around in circles. So whether you need positioning in the marketplace or not. If you’ve ever had a crappy brief out there that didn’t really say anything. You Only got great work out of luck. It just doesn’t come and you really need to tighten it. And so most creative people I know will say the tighter the brief, the bigger the idea is I can provide. And what we’re trying to really do is zone in and tighten things up.


I want to eliminate fat words. And fat words are so broad and meaningless. They’re these vague words that mean so many things. They start to mean nothing at all. The word nice, that hamburger is nice. Matthew McConaughey is nice. And my 85 year old mom is nice. None of those nice is the same thing. So in a brand, we have to find better word choices than these. And you’ll see some up there but you probably see them as well. Delicious, great quality. I had a great time, I saw a great meme that said the most, the least interesting word is interesting. So if you put these fat words into your brief, this is again, where you start to spin. You don’t really define what you are. And whenever you find a fat word, just ask the person. So what do you mean by Knights? with that? Matthew McConaughey is so damn good looking, well put that he’s so charming, but that, you know, so now we’re starting to actually define things rather than these big fat words that are nice because that hamburger is not charming and hot. It might be hot in temperature, but it’s not gorgeous. It’s some kind of different nice. So those meaningless words are a bit of a problem. And then the next slide, I want to show you this consumer ladder and I’ll play around with how we use that we Start with all that consumer stuff we know we just did with the insights and the enemies really start to layer in who that person is. And then we drag out the product features. And this gives the brand a chance to talk about what they do the bragging kind of feel. And next we shift into once I know what you do as a brand in the voice of the consumer. So what do I get? And then we move up to the next layer. So how does that make me feel? So I believe brands mistakenly play in this product features space too long. And they don’t go up into the functional benefits space or the emotional benefits space enough. And my belief is that you should start to understand which of these functional and emotional benefits you can play And then when, because I may have different consumer types that I have to play to. And if I go back to my love curve, if it’s at a that in different stage, I might have to be 75% functional and 25% emotional. But if it’s to the beloved consumer or the love it consumer, I probably want to reinforce with the emotion. Imagine, I have a friend who’s actually a fairly beloved brand and probably figure out who it is. But for 20 years, they were it was a serial brand and they were spending nonstop effort to say, we’re made of Oprah and every GRP for like, 15 to 20 years we’re made of Oprah and I get it you’re made of Oprah and I already love you. What do you want me to do without brand like you know, so imagine telling your Love consumers some kind of product feature that they already know they’re long past that, you know. So that’s part of that relationship and trying to understand where they are. next job. This is what I call a functional benefit cheat sheets. And here what you start to see is nine different zones. And probably in total about 60 words. How I look at this is I take a brand and I say, okay, start to tell me which three of these zones you think you can own and match up to what the consumer needs based on what you have to offer. And so if we look at the next slide, I’ve got the apple example, which is they simplify your life, they provide an experience and they have that sensory appeal. And that’s why that you can see the little words around it what they also offer What we see on the next slide is Google is in a different space. Google is works better for you and does simplify your lifestyle, but it makes you smarter.

And so we can start to see that the brands are playing two different word choices. And you can own those word choices as well. And that will help you to actually, you know, hold these three word choices, these three examples up with a Google ad, and you’ll actually see they do a pretty good job there, the great Google reunion ad from India, which is I love the ad because it’s a two minute ad from India and even if you don’t speak the language, you’ll probably end up crying at the end. It’s just such a beautiful ad, but it really speaks to that. Next, we’ve also got the emotional cheat sheet. And these are eight different zones we play into, whereas optimism, freedom get noticed. Feel like comfortable. feel myself stay in control and curiosity for knowledge. And so if we look at what the apple brand plays into, they play into the sense of optimism and the freedom space. And if we shift to the Google ad, they play into the knowledge and stay in control space. So kind of near each other, but kind of far enough away, that we can actually play on our own space. And there was a brand that also played in the knowledge space years ago and the control space, which is from my home country, which is Blackberry. 10 years ago, they were that brand. Now they’re kind of dead, because they left this space of knowledge and control and they tried to be what Apple was. Apple came in, and and BlackBerry’s first response was, we got to be like them, and they tried with things like BBM, which may make you a snicker that you probably had one day ago, but it’s not around anymore. Are they spying? Sponsored concert series and they had the beat that b2b market nailed and they let it go because they wanted to be Apple, and you got to own your own space. So now if I’ve got word choices, I can manage my brand. If you go to the next row, we can see that these a brand needs these tight word choices, I can define my grace cookies, I have that target and the main benefit and some reasons to believe I’ve got the brand idea the enemy or insight I can create this creative brief over on the right hand side. And what you’ll notice, by the way, my brief is a little bit different. Some of the same stuff, but half of the brief is about the consumer to the left hand side. And half of the brief is about the brand. If we figure that we’re building a relationship between the consumer and the brand, it shouldn’t be 5050. Right? It should be half and half. We’re bringing these two elements together and That’s what that brief does as well. So as I say, even though the planning tools, so then we get to the execution stage, and now we got to judge what’s working.

Go to the next job.

The interesting thing about this is I believe that great execution is a balance between the smarts of strategy, and the creativity, the emotions of creativity. And what we’re looking to find is that space that is both different and smart. So this is where the creativity breakthrough. It’s something completely different creatively, but it’s also pretty solid on the strategy. We know that that strategy is going to work, because we know the space and the word choices we’re going to own. If we Look at the next slide, what we see is the two problem areas. The blind spot of the brand manager is the play in the space that’s too safe. We get, you know, naturally and I am a marketer by by training. You know, in every other part of our job, we’re told to show proof of that. You know that ingredient is blah, blah, blah, well show proof of that. The problem is as we get into the creativity of things, we can get to safe there. And we just saw a great example. In your market did 99% of brands say were there for you and send out emails and they played it completely safe, right with the Coronavirus there were only about two or three brands. If anybody saw the dove ad. It was it was breakthrough. It was different. But everyone else look the same, you know, cue the violin cue that were there for you show the people in our back room employees. So some nurses and show some consumers and you know, maybe a puppy comes in and we’re there they were made a spot well, none of those ads broke through it. Everybody says you got to advertise Well, you can’t advertise crap. And so that to safe stuff is not good. The creative blind spot for your agency, is they might play into that creative but not smart. And that could be your fault if you didn’t give them a good brief. And so it’s not linked to a strategy. And again, that’s why words matter is if we have a really good brief, the creativity can stay focused. The brief does the smart already don’t leave the brief. But now you give up room. The other thing the fly in the system for brand managers and I imagine this lot of you on the call is we try to control The outcome of the creative through our briefing process when we actually should be trying to control the strategy only, we should give freedom to the execution and allow that creativity to take us on a surprising leap. I always say that this idea that the best creative idea should be like that gift you never thought to get yourself. And so that’s what you’re hoping your agency brings you. That gift you go oh my god, this is amazing. This is perfect. I love it. I never thought of this. And that’s this the different and smart space. And then the next area if we talk about it, which sets it all up. There’s this idea that love it is the best bar you can set. So I finally figured this out. I had one of my brand managers bring me an ad, and it was a piece of crap. And I was Staring at this thing, it was so bad. I had no idea what to even say. And I probably sat there for like five minutes. It was awkward. I was staring at it, thinking, Okay, I could say this, I could say that. And I finally just looked across the table. And I said, Do you love it? And he goes, No, not at all. I throw it back across the table and said, Bring me something you love. And it was I don’t know if it helped him, but it sure helped me. Because I needed to create work that I love that was important to me. This is like preschool and that we make work that we can actually put on our fridge that we’re proud of and show our friends. And that’s the kind of work you want to be making. Because if you don’t love your work, how can you ever expect your consumer to love your brand? And that is kind of so love it I just walked around for you know, it was the head of marketing for j&j in Canada and I walked around for everyday people show me stuff do you love it’s Yeah, it’s okay. Oh, let’s get some my love. You know, and it was that’s what the passion you have to bring into it is, all of these amazing brands have that passion.

So to close a little bit is, you know, I want you to be the person who looks for these consumer insights, don’t be the spokesperson for your brand consumers, be the spokesperson for your consumer back to your brand. Your brand is this entity that probably was there before you started and thereafter, you need to actually say this is what my consumer wants. This is what they believe this is the benefits they like the brand is itself and you need to represent your consumers. So we ask the question, I think Joe asked the question before, how do I tell my boss why I should do this? Well, how about higher prices, lower costs, bigger market share, and a bigger market we can play it, which means higher margins and higher volume and by the way, it can To take higher margins times higher volume, that is profits. So in the last getting there, Joe, the more loved your brand is by consumers, the more powerful you will be in that connection, the more profitable your brand will be. And that’s what I stress about brands. So as Joe’s got up there, I just launched the brand management, virtual training. So you can go on there, if you’re collecting CPD hours, it’s got 24 hours. And then the last slide, Joe is my book. If you sign up for the course you do get the book. And you do get all our formats to all of everything you see in the book. We provide those in PowerPoint, so that you can, you know, take the training presentations and write a brand plan and write your positioning statement and present it to your boss who doesn’t understand marketing And that’s my last slides. Tell your Tell your boss, a beloved brand makes more money if they don’t get that then get a new boss.

Joe Glover 40:13
Oh my god. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. So I’ve I’ve consulted with my microphone on mute, but I’ve been laughing along the entire time. Absolutely like nodding what a brilliant, brilliant presentation grant. That was. Okay. Thank you. Amazing. So thank you very much.

Graham Robertson 40:33
Hopefully people understood my Canadian accent.

Joe Glover 40:36
Again, some comments through sort of saying how good it was.

Graham Robertson 40:39
Did I ever say about our house? You did a couple of times. I know.


Unknown Speaker 40:46
isn’t bearing.

Joe Glover 40:49
So folks, do get your questions through. We’ve got a number open here. But if you want to use the thumbs up feature if you see a question that you like, or if you’ve got your own question, Ask them to because we’ve got the opportunity to pick the brains of someone who clearly knows exactly what they’re talking about. And so the way that I’m going to take it is literally from the top. So the first question here is from Mark. So I’m in a bit of a dangerous territory here, because that’s the first one that’s rose to the top, and I haven’t had the opportunity to read it. So forgive me grow. So it says, can you create a brand out of any business or organisation? For example, can a b2b service business become a loved brand?

Graham Robertson 41:36
Yeah, it actually, you know, what I believe is that,

you know, b2b brands have just as much opportunity, maybe not the fame and fortune that as Starbucks is going to have, but if you have b2b customers, it becomes what you’re doing for those customers. And so I had a big client who had honestly 20 companies they sold to, and they didn’t really know or understand their customers. And I felt like screaming, you only have 20 customers, how do you not know? You know, it’s like get get crack and I’m doing that work. They were in business for years. And it’s like, trying to understand those one to one relationships for that b2b is you might want to engage those type of customers, whether you have them if there’s certain industrial types, what are they looking for? What’s the insight, you’re going to find just as many insights and tools fit that b2b market as well as a consumer?

Joe Glover 42:39
Thank you. Cool. Next one from Lucas who says, With recent events in mind, should a brand care about the political views of their consumer base?

Graham Robertson 42:50
That’s a hard one. If, if the politics fits your area, I think it’s fully acceptable. So Nike So with the Black Lives Matter, Nike is a perfect fit for that. You know, 75% of the NBA are African American, and they should take a stance if they didn’t, which Under Armour did not. It kind of leaves you void. And it’s not that companies shouldn’t all take a stance, but it’s not gonna mean as much. If a bar soap takes the stance on that, but Patagonia takes a stance on the environment. They got the Donald Trump tax cut, and they gave that away to the environment, and that fits their brands. And so try to find those issues that fit your brand or causes that fit your consumer as well. That’s what I would say. So you shouldn’t all day long on that issue. Because then you’re you know, we won’t even know what you stand for. But if you find ones that fit your brand perfectly, that’s a good fit.

Joe Glover 43:54
Absolutely. I think there’s a quote from the Patagonia CEO who said something like every time We double down on the social purpose environment, our profits double to.

Graham Robertson 44:04
Yeah, it’s, you know, like it’s telling you not to buy a jacket and people like I gotta get that jacket. stop selling the Wall Street to, and they no longer will sell their stuff because they I think one of the senior people was walking along Wall Street and saw all these people with a Patagonia jacket and that’s, you know, not our thing. Not hundred percent I think Yeah,

Joe Glover 44:31
they might use in the same in Silicon Valley. I feel like

Graham Robertson 44:34
that was Yeah, I think so yeah, I now have to be a big company, which is you, you have to give away 1% of your profits to the environment for them to actually sell to you. Wow, that’s crazy. Yes. That’s really cool.

Joe Glover 44:47
So we got a question from Phil. Have you got any tips for identifying what the enemy is? So you gave us the concept of execution?

Graham Robertson 44:57
Yeah. So in in the book I talk about some other different ways to find the insights to. So I look at sort of five different stages that don’t have them. But we want to look, we want to, you know, dig into the data, observe the consumer inaction, try to feel their issues. And so really I have that last slide where I talked about you, as a consumer have to really get to know know you, as a marketer have to get to know your consumer. And that’s observation. That’s playing it back. Jerry Seinfeld, to me is the best insights comedian. And what he’s doing is he’s throwing insights out. And if they laugh, he keeps it in the routine. If they don’t laugh, it’s gone. So you have to not only you have to play with those insights and get feedback based on what your consumers are thinking or feeling. Does this make you feel? I have a great one that I do personally, with heads of marketing, and I throw it out there during the lunch. And coffee. It’s wow it’s a really it’s a lonely job isn’t it? And I find it connects with half the people because I found it kind of lonely at first when I was the head of marketing and I find it is a lonely job your sales head thinks you’re a loser and you’re you know, your, your spouse doesn’t want to hear the stories anymore was cute when you’re in the system brand manager but now you’ve been in business 15 years, your same stories coming home, they don’t want to hear it. You got all this stuff Park, you got no peers, you got people below, you don’t want to hear your problems because you’re the boss. And that’s why I use that example of it’s kind of lonely and half the people Oh my god, it’s completely lonely job. And that’s a personal insight that you can kind of throw out. And if they bite now you’ve got a good story and if they don’t you move on to another insight.

Joe Glover 46:47
That’s me an interesting um, would you do the same thing? In terms of like implementing small scale, live marketing campaigns out in the real world or do you tend to burn Yeah,

Graham Robertson 46:56
part of it. It depends on what you’re in. You know, your your media choices are if you can do it on social media, you can throw those out and see what responding to. And that can even feed it back into your TV advertising in case you’re only going to make one of those a year. And that’s you can’t really say, Hey, we’re gonna do four Superbowl ads, you know, these costs a million pounds, you tell me which one you like. But you know, so partly, I think it’s, it’s constant. The other thing too is you can use social media to use the word choices that they use. Yeah, I worked in kids cereals years ago at General Mills. And before I got there, every headline said, Hey, kids, right? And I remember a 10 year old telling us in focus groups. We’re not kids. Kids are like five years old. You know, stop calling us kids. And it’s like, Ding ding, ding, ding ding. We’re caught. We’re insulting our consumer by speaking language like a 38 year old would speak to a 10 year old Hey, kid, you know, kids and insult to that kid? I think a kid is 35 in case anybody on the call is 35 I think you’re a kid.

Joe Glover 48:11
But I’ll read that headline, then I’m gonna take that

take away from

Graham Robertson 48:18
you are taking it as an insult. Yeah,

Joe Glover 48:20
man, I’m walking that pride. I’m taking that. So we’ve got a question from Paul here. And I don’t know where this is whether this is a debate that sort of made it across the pond. And so if not, then just let me know. And we can move on to the next question. Or Paul can provide a little bit more context. Who says, What’s your take on the distinctiveness versus differentiation debate?

Graham Robertson 48:44
Yes, you need both. I think in my presentation I talked about the words matter. That’s the the differentiation and the distinctiveness is the visualisation the assets we have and I like to do both because The words help us to get assets. Yes, if I worked on Coke, the red has already done, the Santa is already done. But a lot of brands we have we don’t have those assets yet. And part of it is you have to build all those distinctive assets. And so I appreciate that the idea of differentiation might not work. How do you write an effin brief? Without the right words? How do you Okay, round number 7400? creative? We’ve been going to this for a year and a half. run our 19th creative team because every other creative team hates you because you won’t tell us what the brand’s about. You need those words to get to the work.

Joe Glover 49:39
Yeah. Oh, so sweet. So we’ve got a question from my mate James, who says, Can a brand who isn’t authentic still become beloved through marketing, for example, a fashion brand who tells us good story but has bad practices behind the scenes?

Graham Robertson 49:58
Yes, you can’t be that So that that will get caught.

So one of the things that I I do talk about a little bit in the book is this idea of trust. In that relationship, that idea you want to, you need to trust the other person before you can throw those words. I love you. It’s the same thing with consumers, you can’t open up until you actually trust the person. And that’s an important part because I think the difference there is those brands can become blessed. Right? I was I was once in Hawaii where I had this ice cream called stone cold ice cream. They take ice cream when they put candies in it like in the I’ll take those three candies put it in, and I was like, This is the fastest I’ve ever loved a brand, my God and love it. And then my wife turned to me and said that’s about 1700 calories, and oh my God, I’ve never had it again. So it’s the same thing with that lost you can be attracted to Audi because they’re speaking out about you No female equality. And yet, then you find out on their board, they only have one member out of 17 members that are female. It’s like, man, I bought into you because you lied to me. Not only do I not like you or love you, I dislike you, and I’m gonna, you know, never buy a car again. And I got to tell 58 people that Audi sucks because of it.

Joe Glover 51:25
Is there? I mean, I guess we’ve got to be careful of using the relationship analogy too much here. But is there a way plastic? Is there a way past after like, that trust has been broken? So I think you even open up the book, you know, by saying the context is that brands do break their promises?

Graham Robertson 51:40
Yeah. Well, a great case study, which we’d have to examine a little more is Samsung spent about 18 months on this past decade where their phones caught on fire or exploded or you can’t take them on aeroplanes. Yeah. They’ve gotten past that and I think it’s just they they know they’re The brand so well in their consumers what they want and that technology base, they you ask a Samsung lover and there are those people who love Samsung and hate Apple technology and advancement of technology has a risk and you’re kind of like, Are you crazy? You’re but you can’t take your phone on the plane, you idiot. You know, but they got a great camera. It’s a great megapixels and you’re like, you try it, you know. So that’s part of that, you know, trying to trying to tell someone they shouldn’t think something about a brand is like talking politics in a sense.

Joe Glover 52:36
Absolutely. And actually speaking of sort of like taboo, subjects, then the language, I say, I love the language that you use, because it is it’s so emotional. But it’s also brave, you know, to say the word love and to say that we’re going to appeal to customers emotions and try and be in a relationship you know, figuratively with them, you know that that feels like brave language? And do you find resistance to the language that you use? And how do you sort of circumvent that?

Graham Robertson 53:12
Yeah, the I would say about half the marketers out there find they like the love talk and half don’t Yeah, and that’s a good enough market share for me what I normally tell people that don’t is man I wish I was still in marketing and competed against you. That’s about all I can say is that, you know, if if the connectivity of Starbucks allows me to sell a cup of coffee that’s average in a blind taste test, and by the way, it is average for twice that much and I got a lineup out the door. All because of the connection and the bond I’ve created. That’s when you say you’re a commodity. Well, that coffee is the biggest commodity on the planet. And they’re selling it at twice the price for you know, five times the speed of another cup of coffee shop. Then that’s that connection. And if you go through some of the brands that do have that love, what you’ll see is the performance on the stock market and the performance and their profitability is really strong. It’s kind of shocking. Interesting. That’s fascinating. So if you don’t like making money, then don’t buy into the whole lot.

Joe Glover 54:22
So, Berenice asked, Will the presentation be shared later? So yes, yeah. Yeah, I’ll make everything available, including my slicked right slump slide transitions. And so we’ve got a question here from Fiona. So I’m wary of time here, folks. There we go. Okay. Yeah, we all five minutes left. So. So if you’ve got any questions that you really want answering, give it a thumbs up because that’s where I’m taking them. So the question here from Fiona, is, how do you think encumbered brands need to adapt to the threat of challenger brands who are managing to build themselves into bluffed runs pretty quickly.

Graham Robertson 55:02
Yeah, you have to find your flaws in what your brand is right now in because if you’re getting pushed out, you need to reconnect with those consumers. And you probably have to assess two things. One is what’s happening to the change in the marketplace. And how do you adjust your brand? I don’t know if in the UK, they have the Old Spice brand, they would have p&g. Yeah. So it’s done really well, because 20 years ago, it was dead. And they’ve reconnected with a younger audience with a completely different brand. It looks nothing like the Old Spice branded 3040 years ago. And they’ve really reinvented themselves by finding that consumers wanted something completely different. Right. And, and one of the things I always stress is it starts with that consumer, you have to understand what the consumer is going through. So if you’re sitting there and you’re kind of flat, and somebody’s really accelerating, It’s likely that it starts in the consumer of what they love about the other guy and what they aren’t connected to you with.

Joe Glover 56:09
And at that point, do you, I guess the temptation would be to try and copy what the challenger brand is doing. Yeah.

Graham Robertson 56:17
That’s how do you deal with that? And that’s the BlackBerry example, right?

Where we see that when you copy you don’t do it as well. You look like a copycat. First of all, and you don’t do it as well. It’s just, it looks, you know, if you go back over the last 10 years, and I Samsung’s a product brand, and I talk about Apple be more of an idea or a story brand. And every once in a while Samsung tries to do an apple like ads. Yeah. And it looks like the nerd guy dancing at the party. Right? It’s just yeah, it’s just not working. There’s something wrong and what you’re trying to do, and Microsoft tries to do that, too. But when when they find what they are, it looks so much more natural. You talked about authentic, it should also be natural. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 57:08
Yeah, that makes no sense. Right when you execute?

Joe Glover 57:11
Yeah. You know, again, I guess we can go back to that relationship analogy. You know, it’s something. I’m semi conscious here that if my internet cuts out, there’s a massive thunderstorm going on outside my room. Okay. Folks, I am pre warning you that if that’s why then that’s the case. Okay, so we’ve got a question from Pollyanna, who says, How do I communicate to my bosses that brand building takes time? They’re very last click orientated. And I need to know how long I want them to hold their nerve with me.

Graham Robertson 57:43
Yeah, it’s the difference between brand building versus transactional and transactional eventually feels to hollow in that relationship is like the friend always boring money in a sense, right? Okay, you want money again? Like when are you gonna do me a favour and You know, do something for my car or help me out here around the house like what? You know. So that’s that, that it just feels like you’re constantly triggering a transaction. And I think that’s one of the flaws that I see with brands today is the push for fast results is one thing, the push to tell them that we can put seven ads on and we’ll tell you which one works best based on a 48 hour span. Because you know that that will tell you in the short term that 19 people clicked on it and you sold three, but what you know, what you really need to do is to build that relationship to it’s the difference between you know, the, the power versus the money. And so try to think of the outcome that if I build more power over time, then I’ll eventually make more money. But if I just sell the product now 12 months from now, I’ll still be just selling the product and 24 months just selling the product. versus the other way is if I can create all this pent up demand 24 hours from now, they’ll be wanting to buy me rather than me have to sell me.

Joe Glover 59:19
So it’s arguing the logic behind this thing and saying that, yeah, need to. This is a process that you need to understand, you know, and I guess, do you tend to see when you see people go through the love cycle? And yeah, there’s sort of metrics that you assigned to them when when you sort of go through with companies and trying Yeah,

Graham Robertson 59:41
I have a whole analytical section in the book that talks about that, but we look at you know, even the brand funnel and how that adjusts, how that you know, different statistics and how the usage frequency will go up. The voice of the consumer will also go up so try to analyse that What I also have in the book is I have the 60 best analytical questions you can ask. And that’s really digging into all the data to figure out that all this stuff, we’re, we’re in the strategy talk here, but there’s got to be a lot of work that goes beneath the surface to figure out what the situation is, what your brand strength is, and all that work.

Joe Glover 1:00:23
Absolutely. And like, I know that I said at the beginning, and probably the middle, and I’ll say it again, that is a really, really good book. So please do take the time face it is really, really good. And we’re going to take two more questions and then I have to, to wrap up. So we’ll go for a question from Marie halen, who says, Do you agree with Simon Simon cynics theory about the why, and maybe if you can elaborate on that, how it ties into

everything that you speak about as well.

Graham Robertson 1:00:56
So I do in a sense, and that every brand should have a wall

But you should make sure that your y is fully embedded in your company before you release it to consumers. We talked about that authenticity, right? So if if outtie says we’re going to be about the quality and work, then you better fix everything for five years. And, you know, Gillette came out with a toxic masculinity. It only lasted for three months. Yeah, that’s how long the ad was at there. Are you really buying into the Y? Or are you just thinking that the Y is the latest fad? So we see Patagonia will stop selling to different companies will stop selling to Wall Street and Silicon Valley to people who have a tonne of money for an expensive jacket and we’re gonna stick to our guns. That’s really when you know we’re living the why. So a real Why is fully embedded in the company of fake news. is just in the creative brief. And and no one in the company would actually understand what you’re saying. It’d be like, really, we’re toxic masculinity. Steve down the hall just got fired for that the two weeks ago, like what are we doing there? Yeah. You know. So that’s

that’s the why makes sense.

Joe Glover 1:02:21
But that last one, which is more tactical than anything, which focuses on brand. So the question is, how important is brand colour? And so how important is brand colour that should be used in branding? And I guess there’s more question here which is the outside perception of the beloved brands and

stuff like that. I mean, how

Yeah, everything feed into the brand that people go out with?

Graham Robertson 1:02:50
Well, I’m not a design expert, but I would put all that into the creativity of everything, and that you as the brand manager shouldn’t be the expert on those creative devices, and you should rely on your experts to help you out. So, in a sense, the best marketers out there know a little bit about everything, but don’t know anything about one particular area. So if your creative brief is really good, the designer will help to steer you on colours, slogans, logos look and feel. And your role is to make sure that they feel like they fit your brand. And if they do, then it’s important. Absolutely. And and because I’m about all about passion. All my colours are red, if you say

I ran out of red ink before I run out of everything else.

Joe Glover 1:03:45
I love it. I do the same with pink is becomes quite distinctive over the course. Yeah. I think there’s a there’s a point that you made about leading people leaving people who are specialists in their area to do their thing, which

Graham Robertson 1:03:57
Yeah, that was a

Joe Glover 1:03:58
that was a comment. In the section there from Jessica, who was just like, yes, that’s the thing is, it’s so true.

Graham Robertson 1:04:04
Like it, it annoys the heck out of me when the CEO comes in and says, Have you ever you know, I always joke that this actually happened but it’s not Tick tock, but it was five years ago. So update it with Tick Tock. There was a company that sold windmills to the government, and they’re only in North America, five buyers across, you’re not going to buy a windmill for your backyard, this government right. And somebody the CEO told the windmill people, you should be on Instagram because windmills are beautiful.

Joe Glover 1:04:39
It’s killer.

Graham Robertson 1:04:40
And it’s like well, all we do is to sell to these five people and they’re not looking at my Instagram no matter how beautiful they are. So part of it is you have to rely on those, you know, you don’t know a lot of stuff. And so, we should be giving the creative people the business problem, the brand problems The brand parameters and words and and you know, one of the things I put in my brief that a good a good creative brief this is this is radical thinking. A good creative brief has zero mandatories right nice. Wow, zero mandatories because the brief is so damn good. You didn’t need to go. Oh yeah, by the way, I want to see the product in the first five seconds and don’t use humour and yeah,

Joe Glover 1:05:30
that’s absolutely go. Well wait to finish. Well, that was honestly brilliant. Just so brilliant. So thank you so much. I feel like this has been like the most British I’ve ever been. But I’m just so you can hear the thunder outside as well. But it’s Matt.

Thank you so much Graham, like

Thank you. Absolutely fantastic. And the comments are going nuts as well, just with people saying how brilliant has been so

I don’t know if you can keep on saying

Graham Robertson 1:05:59
They can add me on LinkedIn or whatever a few people already have. But if anybody wants to add me, that’s my home.

Unknown Speaker 1:06:06
That’s for like,

Joe Glover 1:06:08
I’ll link it in the follow up email. So last, last thing for me is just to make sure we thank the sponsors. I’ll include, we’ve got a code for your course as well, I think Oh, yes,

Graham Robertson 1:06:19
yes. So if anybody wants to take the course we’ll do 10% discount if you use the word, the meetup.

Joe Glover 1:06:28
Yeah, we’ll, we’ll get the code in the Philippines as well. So thanks. Got that. So um, thank you all for being here. Thank you so much for your question. Thank you. Thank you, Graham. And you have a great day, my friend.

Graham Robertson 1:06:39
All right. You too, Joe. Thanks for having me.

Joe Glover 1:06:41
All right. Absolute pleasure. Take care. Bye.