What is Branding A deep dive with Marty Neumeier

What is Branding? A deep dive with Marty Neumeier

What is Branding

What is Branding ?

flip of scramble the brand dictionary a total of eight books I believe eight books he literally wrote the book on branding he\’s here you guys want to stick around for this episode we\’re gonna get into a lot of things how he got started what he\’s up to today and why are we even having this conversation so let\’s get right into Marty Neumeier welcome to the show oh thanks Chris it\’s great to be here The Futur yes in the Futur is definitely here I can see it smells like $1 bills or fresh printing or something like that okay so why are we talking today when I set the tone intention initially it was because you and I were producing a workshop here or at least I shouldn\’t say produce and we\’re hosting the workshop that you\’re having here at the end of February called the brand masterclass and I wanted to have you on so in case somebody who\’s been sleeping under a rock somehow and they haven\’t heard about you or the workshop this would be a great opportunity then to find out about this but the class is sold out you guys snooze you lose so the next opportunity to see Marty in the United States do is two-day workshop which there\’s a certification part which is incredible is in Philly yeah that\’s your next best time our best opportunity to do this so you guys will include the links in the description below if you guys want to attend that to go to Philly I\’m gonna tell you this is something you do not want to miss I agreed to host this just because I want to learn from the master himself now before we get into all the brand gap the brand goodness and definitions and misunderstanding and dialogue conversation and debates that have happened prior to this I want to take us back in time so whenever whined the tape because we were just talking we\’re both Arts Center people know you have a few years ahead of me and the program was very different back then take me back oh tell me about our senator sixties was a really cool place to be it was in an old used to be a girl school I think in Hollywood third Street and it smelled like pipe tobacco because every you know design teacher our teacher there smoked a pipe probably wore a wool vest ya know you know but it was a cool place and you get a lot of teachers who are actually working professionals and I mean it was a lifesaver for me because my world opened up when I finally got to do what I always wanted to do which was be commercial artist at 7 years old I had put my stake in her hand in grammar school and that\’s what I wanted to be and I stuck to that the whole did you knew that a 7 I knew it at 7 years old yeah and everybody said what Wow you\’re heading for time for sure well you know you get these ideas in your head and you just you know it becomes who you are and so that\’s that\’s you know I\’m just you know marking my days until I get to be good alright so anyway it was a great place to be there was no graphic design track they didn\’t use that term really it was just sort of coming out at the time they had you could go into advertising or you could be an illustrator and so I took both of those figuring that graphic design was somewhere in there you know and later they added the graphic design program but a great experience I lasted two years until I couldn\’t afford it anymore because it was $50 a semester okay just for context you guys Art Center semester now is I think somewhere on $22,000 no spacer and this is important to note because some of the things what we are talking about later about money and what we charge just keep that in mind all you young whippersnappers out there it would used to cost $50 and Marty could not afford it yeah but my first really big job after I got out really great campaign that I worked on I got $50 per ad so oh I made Wow I mean I made the whole thing back okay yeah so were you living in LA at this time going arts at that time I had moved I left school I went to Santa Barbara got married okay okay started a freelance business there were no designers no graphic designers you go look in the yellow pages where you\’d find people and there\’s nothing so I had to actually have them put that in there for me and I was the only one oh my god the graphic designer heading and I had to as part of my job as being the only graphic designer I had to explain it to would-be clients I had to tell them what it was and why they should pay any money for it at all and they so you\’re like yeah you\’re a commercial artist oh you know that\’s that\’s old-school no we were serious professionals now explain why it\’s gonna be good and that that that exercise of having to explain it like what\’s the business value of design was really good and I think that probably set me on this course of what I\’m doing now is explaining all this stuff and how business works and how design and business interacts connects together mm-hmm what what\’s surprising for me to hear the story is I know you mostly through your books and through your writing and just how clear you write how you articulate very complex ideas that are very tangible and just very easy to digest so how did you develop this ability to write did you teach yourself how what is come from yeah I mean it\’s comes from writing okay and one thing I have to interject before I answer that question is that what I\’ve noticed about graphic design and probably other kinds of communication design is that language is super important and even if you\’re not the word person hmm so that\’s what I discovered pretty early is that I can\’t do really award-winning cool work unless I have good writing to go with it because it\’ll drag it down to a lower level if it\’s not great yeah and you know the words and the pictures have to work together so what 1 in 1 gives you 3 so how am I going to do that and I just started you know really looking closely at how award-winning were sounded looked like you know how the words and pictures went together I started just teaching myself how to do it I didn\’t really like doing it I didn\’t like writing was hard it was harder than graphic design mmm I mean graphic design is like eating candy it\’s like you have a piece of candy and it\’s really good so you want another one right and writing is like oh god I\’m tired after that one that\’s like took everything out of me so it took many many many years before writing was pleasurable at all but I always did like it when it came out well and when I made my work look really great it was just like yeah and then you know who would win awards and so I you know I had that experience of doing it all and having control over both sides of communication the words and the pictures and and that really taught me a lot and it started leading me into thinking about how other things connect you know how does design connect with business where\’s the connection because my clients didn\’t really see it right and I wasn\’t sure exactly how I was contributing to their business mm-hmm because they wouldn\’t tell me really what their business was or how they were achieving success and so I had to figure that out so that I could be in that conversation so many while we\’re on there sometimes so many people in our audience in our community have a really difficult time answering that question what value does design or writing creativity have on a company because they\’re feeling that pressure of doing work for less and they don\’t even know how to articulate that so here are in the 60s 70s in Santa Barbara and you\’re already figuring this stuff out how could you advise or help some of these young younger people that are out there right now who have a hard time communicating what is design what\’s the value of it I would love to hear from you yeah well you know so so business has its own names you know I mean it\’s it\’s really profit driven there\’s more to it than that it\’s not just money money money shouldn\’t be and design has its own history and we all love that history and we want to be like those people that we admire in our business and if it\’s a new whole new thing we want to be the leaders in that but it\’s kind of divorced from business unless you connect it yourself and that place that it connects is branding that\’s the area where everyone plays together right so whatever skills you have as as a designer as a creative person they become weaponized when you understand branding suddenly you know where to aim those skills that talent you know so it\’s it\’s a force multiplier it\’s like you know so once I understood that branding is the area where we can all play together and and we understand each other\’s business and what we\’re doing together probably made me about ten times as valuable as I was when in the early days when I was just copying what Milton Glaser did more Paul ran before him you know so I actually knew how this hopefully award-winning work would actually be driving business forward and I could explain it from my little corner of what they were doing how I was helping them and then they\’d appreciate it more paid me more let me into more parts of the company that I wasn\’t in before so I realized that even though business wasn\’t something I was ever really very interested in I had to be interested in if I wanted my work to be great so many questions here I feel like I\’m gonna splinter into a thousand parts and pieces here in that the term branding I think unfortunately has become some like people use it interchangeably with logo design identity design or even sometimes typography and maybe we need to set the record straight and I I know you\’re the best person to tell us what is branding Marty yeah so let\’s start with what branding isn\’t okay it\’s because it\’s not a lot of things people say it is yes it\’s not a logo okay a logo is a very useful tool for a business but it\’s not the brand it\’s a symbol for the brand a brand is not a product so when people talk about this brand buying this brand or that brand they\’re really talking about buying one product or another product to Brandis not that people say the brand is a promise the company makes to customers and there\’s some truth in that yeah I mean it it does end up acting as a promise but that\’s not what it is either advertising people like to say well it\’s the sum of all the impressions that a company makes on an audience yeah well you know if you\’re trying to sell a lot of impressions I can see where that might be useful to you but from a business point of view why do they want that so and how does that help people understand what they\’re doing so none of those things are really what branding is a brand is a result it\’s it\’s a customer\’s gut feeling about a product a service or a company it ends up in their heads in their hearts right they take whatever raw materials you throw at them and they make something out of it but it\’s there making it there creating it and so in a sense when you create a brand you\’re not creating one brand you\’re creating millions of brands like however many customers or people in your audience each one has a different brand of you so brand is like a reputation all right so it\’s your business reputation and everyone\’s gonna be a little bit different about what that reputation is and that\’s okay as long as you have a you\’ve got it corralled it\’s mostly where you want it and that it\’s beneficial to the company so we tend to look at companies and designers tend to look at branding as from our point of view like we\’re this is something we\’re doing we\’re telling a story where we\’re making a claim or you know we\’re making a pitch and and that\’s what we do but that\’s not what a brand is a brand is the result of that and if you don\’t start there you don\’t know what you\’re doing you actually don\’t know what you do you think you know what you\’re doing but you don\’t so from a designer\’s point of view I mean I always tended to be this way it\’s like I just had a it was my gut feeling right about whether this is gonna work or not and then I would sell it as hard as I could get the client to sign off on it from the clients point of view they\’re going well it\’s a checklist I got you know I got the logo I got the out the tagline I got the ad campaign click check and they think they\’re done right none of that\’s right you know what\’s right is what happens in people\’s heads like what are we achieved like what\’s the reputation that we\’ve created through the products were putting out and the design of the products the messaging we\’re putting out the look and feel of them our culture you know how does that affect people how our how our employees behave you know how is that affecting our reputation all that stuff counts so it\’s a big world and it actually takes in almost all of the business not so much finance but finance is involved too because finance has to green-light all these things but almost everybody in a in a company is you know affecting the brand doing something with the brand doing it for the brand or hurting the brand so you you got to think of it that way now this is not well understood so anybody who gets this and can explain it is in a very powerful position with the company nice and designers are just naturally good at this like if we opened our minds to it and learned a few skills learned a little bit more about business we suddenly have a lot more control over how our work is perceived by our clients how it works in the marketplace how much we get paid for it and at some point when you get really good at this you don\’t have to charge by the hour you charge by the results and or or not even that use charge for being involved that very highest level and it can be huge amounts of money so the the range of like starting out as an hourly performer getting up to where you\’re an expert in something is huge I mean that the difference is like these millions of dollars in your income so it\’s worth doing is what I\’m saying so no matter what skills you have creatively if you find out how they apply in the world of branding they\’re suddenly more valuable same skills but you will be doing it differently and you\’ll have the confidence that you\’re doing it really really well and you can explain why oh yeah I could I do you want to say one word because that was perfect this is unscripted Marty\’s just talking from decades of experience and writing and articulating this it\’s very clear to me I\’m trying to imagine myself in the audience right now listening to this like you mean I could to have a more profound impact on the business Marty are you saying there\’s more to this branding than the logo or the product and and then it\’s like you\’re talking about business and I can make more money I can charge for the result or even my involvement this sounds very exciting so if they\’re watching this and they\’re in the traditional graphic design space and they make things visual what are some easy like let me just get started in this well drive to learn how to write do I have to take a business course or get a business degree point me in the right direction maybe not the whole plan but just help me out you know the business degree is interesting I\’ve talked to some people who sort of learned how to do their craft and then they\’ve taken business like MBA classes and I think that\’s really helped a lot but you have to figure out how to put those together because you\’re not going to hear anything about design and an MBA class nothing zero zilch they don\’t want to think about it right yeah so it\’s your job to get them to think about it so that\’s why I wrote my books I would just say start there anybody else who writes books like mine if there are that many people but where they\’re trying to connect creativity and business that they have you have to connect them and you can figure this out yourself but I think it helps to get you know inspired by it and get a few principles under your belt and then suddenly the world will open up for you and you go oh my god it\’s like I\’m really powerful if I if I understand what I\’m doing right yeah Paul Rand the famous graphic designer told me that when I this magazine hear critique I did this for five years until it almost killed me and sort of similar ideas like how can I bring designers closer to being masterful yeah like you know how do I teach them about business like how do we talk more about the ideas behind design instead of just the look and feel of it yeah and when I did the first issue I sent it to Paul Rand who was old at this time he was I didn\’t know it but he would only live a few months after that Allah and he looked at the magazine he says yeah yeah that\’s good you got some good people in here if I were you I would just like only show good work don\’t show any bad work don\’t show crap like those other magazine it\’s just you know do it he\’s kind of like that cigar chewing yes rough sort of person he says you got to teach designers what they\’re doing that\’s what he said and I thought gosh that\’s right I mean I really didn\’t know what I was doing and nobody ever gave me that advice before I did get some really good advice when I was a young designer I went to a poster be a neol in Colorado where they have this annual no B annual poster international poster conference competition and the winners are there and you\’re meeting these famous people that you know have been in graphics magazine and so forth and I was just really excited to to have won an award and be talking to those people and I ran into you know or I\’ll have our plates of food and we\’re sort of schmoozing and everything and I run into this old guy he seemed like he was probably 90 but you know – he\’s probably only 70 I was pretty young so 25 or something and he says so you\’re uh what do you do you\’re like a you\’re a designer yeah yeah I was a designer – I used to art direct graphics magazine when it first started I said whoa I think I\’ve seen your name before he goes oh yeah you know let me I\’m you know almost retired I mean I\’m still working and everything I love it but let me just give you young let me give you a piece of advice and I said okay he said okay just kind of telling you one or two things about how you work I said all right he says well so you work at it like at a desk or a table I said yeah yeah I have a table with a drawing board on it so that\’s good says okay is the table like up against the wall like you\’re facing the wall or is it out in the middle or so well it\’s kind of like it\’s one side of its against the wall and then it\’s sticking out into the space okay oh yeah that\’s good that\’s good okay so here\’s my advice when you finish your sketch or your drawing or your work whatever you\’re working on get up and go to the other side of the table I said yeah just know that\’s it it took me about a minute to like uh-oh alright I get it look at it from the other point of view and he goes exactly mmm exact ammo he says French so so I I just thought that was charming and wonderful and I thought you know that\’s that\’s a great metaphor for really what we should be doing we have to look at our work from the readers point of view the users point of view the clients point of view we cannot look at it just from our own point of view it\’s just not gonna is it\’s not gonna get us anywhere we have to look at it from a different point of view so I think that stuck in my mind for a long time and eventually that\’s why I started testing my work I wanted to make sure that I actually nailed it because it\’s gonna get judged right sooner or later it\’s gonna be judged in the marketplace so what if I could get judged before it goes in the marketplace and correct it we\’re gonna get into more of that I just want to make sure the program or the YouTube community that\’s tuning in to watch Jonah and Mark are checking out your questions and the questions that are relevant to what we\’re talking about we will bring up to Marty now this idea of testing is going to make a lot of sense in a little bit but before we get there we\’re going to do like a Quentin Tarantino style edit here we\’re gonna take you back to Santa Barbara and then you move to Silicon Valley at some point I think you said you spent 15 years in Santa Barbara and basically the only listing under graphic design in the yellow pages young people will know what we\’re talking about but I know what you\’re talking about you decide to move to Palo Alto and you\’re gonna work there I think something there specials happening with Steve Jobs and Apple and all that kind of stuff take us like what what made you go out there how did you relocate your business how do you get business I want to know it was such a wrenching change or my wife and me and our daughter because we lived in Santa Barbara and even though it\’s very difficult from a business standpoint it was beautiful from a living standpoint and then we had to leave that to make enough money to send our daughter to college eventually you know and so that was that was the tough free but we just weren\’t getting anywhere so yeah so I started hearing a lot about Palo Alto Silicon Valley and it seemed like not a big thing to me at the time you know but then I talked to a few people who are like investors and stuff and they were saying like no no Silicon Valley is like hot hot hot it\’s like and we\’re and at the time we were in a recession the rest of the world was in the recession Silicon Valley\’s hot you\’re kidding me no yeah I mean you don\’t know what\’s going on there so I started just looking around it like what companies were up there I mean there was no internet or anything so there is no way to easily find this out me were they even computer I mean one year we thought well the reason I wanted to move is because the Apple Macintosh well it\’s almost ready it was ready to come okay they had to I saw the Lisa ok apples team brought the Lisa to Santa Barbara and in this trade show that had like three booths and they were all just these like little desk top funny desktop computers and then they des this beautiful one with the beautiful graphics and I went oh my god where did this come from Palo Alto right Silicon Valley yeah so I started looking at you know what companies were up there and I saw all these like Atari was up there and Hewlett Packard and and then I started looking finding them on the map and I think these are like all within like I don\’t know five square miles all of these companies think these are the clients that you know they\’re right there all I have to do is like move in and say I\’m here you know and say that\’s what we did and it was just that easy I mean I mean we started with a phone number only that\’s just a testament you could get a phone number that that looked like it was from that area yeah really rang in your you know that\’s so that was a nice tricky little thing and so I\’d get calls all right call I\’d cold call companies and say can I show my portfolio because that\’s what you did and they\’d say yeah you know so I called Apple I said yeah yeah so I said can I show my portfolio and I got like the creative team they said yeah come on in how about Monday morning so I get in the car you know Sunday night and I Drive up and I stay over at a friend\’s house you still can\’t know that right because they got to think I\’m local or they\’re not gonna give me any work so I just drive up and I stay overnight and I get there and they forgot about the appointment I can miss I only have to drive that didn\’t mean anything to them right to me it was like everything right so you know so I but I I made that work I landed Sun Microsystems I got Atari I was wonderful we\’re from Atari from Santa Barbara and then I installed one of my former employees up there and a little one of those like you know workspace offices where you get a cubicle yeah and she was doing more work than I was getting in Santa Barbara so I said okay that says it we got to be there yeah we packed up the kid and the parakeets and the cats and the dogs drove up there was this horrible horrible thing the daughter hated its he was just starting high school oh it\’s just like she just was really wrenching yeah but as soon as we got there it was like the just the roof filling with work and you know all I had to do is say look this is where I started to realize specialization it was a really powerful case I mean and I just I just said this is a big lie you know sort of fake it to you make it that\’s I I told clients look all I do is high-tech that\’s all I do other designers they\’ll do a little high-tech then I\’ll do a museum you know they mean they\’re just not dedicated to this I\’m all about high-tech like I had done leave me two jobs for tech tech companies but I could show those two jobs yeah so I and they said hey that\’s great cuz nobody really you know takes this stuff seriously and I got a lot of work and then and so I said this is totally working right and my income quadrupled first year yeah so all I did is bring the same as I had to a different place literally yeah into a situation where there was a framework for it mm-hmm so you did a couple of really smart business things may ask like at that time how old you are your daughter\’s in going into high school so she\’s like 15 years old yes back then must have been 30 early 30s early thirties okay so here you are in your early 30s you realize you got to go where the client is they ain\’t coming to you you also did something that most designers would never do you had the guts to pick up the phone and just call people and say hey I\’m in town I ever did I\’m just you know they say that if you\’re if you are if you run a business you\’re probably an extrovert and I think you need to be but I think a lot of designers are not born extroverts so they have to learn to be extrovert or fake it yeah like just force themselves to be extroverted when needed right and that\’s that\’s what I did but you know what makes that a lot easier is if you have something that the person on the other side of the fence or the phone or or the computer really wants it\’s it\’s not a cold call it\’s a very warm call so you just have to have that thing mm-hmm and be able to express it so you know so I would say look you don\’t know me but I\’m an award-winning designer like I thought that meant something maybe you did at the time yeah and I only do high-tech and I\’m doing identities and advertising and just like everything for small start-up technology companies and I just like love to show you what I\’ve done for X and X you know Sun Microsystems Atari Apple because I was involved in the launch of the Macintosh Plus so I had some things to show there and it was like yeah come on over so there was just really not this sort of distance like there is now oh and like there was for me if forever until I had something I could specialize in and say look this thing is what I own right nobody else does this if that\’s what you want we need to meet and I would yeah okay or they would said no we don\’t need anything now and that\’s fine right later they might I have so many questions about what was your what was your instinct or what drove you to say of all the things I can sell it seems obvious now but back then I\’m just gonna tell people I do high-tech and I only have two things that are my belt I mean and it\’s pretty awesome that you figure that out because again just like you\’re and I\’m seeing patterns here you go to Santa Barbara like I\’m holding graphics on I\’m just gonna take over this category and then you go to Palo Alto it\’s like a lot of computer companies I should just tell mom high tech I mean where do I come from and how did you know like that\’s what I want to say because so many people are afraid that by staking a claim or specializing they\’re limiting all these opportunities when it\’s actually the opposite I couldn\’t have said it better I mean it\’s it\’s counterintuitive isn\’t it so you know as a designer you\’re creative and people who are creative like they do lots of things yes I mean they want to be Leonardo da Vinci I mean really won\’t be Renaissance people yeah and it\’s fun to do that but the world doesn\’t want that from you and so I had to understand that and I I think I understood it like in the first 10 years of being a designer I\’d watch how illustrators got famous so in the old days I don\’t think there are any illustrators of the way they were then but you know you had all these magazines and you know there\’s Playboy magazine you always wanted to be in that one because it got a lot of readership yeah so an illustrator if it would settle on it one style one look yeah was unique and cool and then that illustrator like got hot and within five years was dominating it and then and then had another five years until they would be out of business basically because everyone had seen everything they could do and it just the world moves on so there\’s like a 10-year career yeah that they could and if they wanted to change after that and adopt another style they could probably have a second act but I\’m thinking well I don\’t want to be the kind of person has a ten-year career but I have to admit they really get successful fast yeah by doing one thing and I said what if I applied that to something else about my business like the kind of work I did or the kind of in this case Silicon Valley case the kind of business that I specialized in so that I get a lot of word-of-mouth so if people say oh you need to design it this guy did our whole everything he did the whole thing it\’s like amazing like brought us from nowhere to being highly visible you got it here have-have my guy yeah and so that was my original idea when I got there and then I found out that actually Silicon Valley was moving past that really quickly and it was so big getting so big so fast that that was no longer specialty it was that was too general to say no I do identity and everything for a company like I do all their communication because software companies didn\’t talk to hardware companies who didn\’t talk to chip companies didn\’t talk to you know I mean they were all separate little universes and you had to pick one so so eventually I decided that I would be the guy you go to if you need retail software packaging which was just starting out it was just starting and it was like I really didn\’t want I want to specialize but I could see why it worked you know you know it\’s like it just makes the decision so easy for clients they go well we need this we got this checklist we need the package who\’s gonna do that who does these things Joe go find that go find the package designer and they go out and get land or somebody and I say no I\’m gonna be the guy that does it and and that means I have to do only that or at least that\’s what I say that\’s I have to say right if I do other things I\’m just not gonna show those things I\’m just gonna master this and I\’m gonna be obviously mastering it so that I can prove it and and then I\’ll get it all for as long as that lasts mm-hmm so that\’s what I did and that worked amazingly well and it was only about two years before we were charging more than Landor and more than anybody actually because Lando didn\’t know what they were doing and couldn\’t you couldn\’t explain why they were doing what they were doing I went to get into all that mark you flagged me you\’re like make a little signal and then I\’ll acknowledge you just give me one second I do want to talk about this a little bit just to kind of re articulate what you\’ve said there\’s a lot of stuff to absorb here so you started out kind of broad as I\’m a graphic designer communication advertising guy and you thought that was specialized enough no maybe he\’s just identity designer or maybe it\’s just for high-tech industry and then it became software retail packaging they just you went near all business software business business software retail packaging guy so if somebody needed that there was one game in town that was your game yeah can you dominate it and you win against and people don\’t know this land or such I enormous operation a multinational corporation right it\’s just high prices too high prices okay the market we have a question either on branding or specialization or something like that go ahead mark effectiveness of branding in terms of ROI okay that\’s a good question yeah so traditionally people say you can\’t you can\’t measure it because it\’s too soft it\’s it\’s it\’s too amorphous but you can measure it in terms of engagement with with customers and you can measure that from year to year and it\’s cheap and it\’s almost free to do any company wants to do it my book the brand flip has a really good formula for that and it\’s called the brand ladder mmm it measures how people move up from how they how they regard your company\’s so how your reputation is doing so there it is there\’s the brine Lander yeah so Chris what\’s a crime with a letter bottom of the ladder is satisfaction right so our customers satisfied with with the company and what they put out well that\’s pretty low bar these days right yes satisfied means yeah they did what ya do and you know I you know maybe I\’ll buy it again it feels like that then from there you go up to what the next step up is delight delight so delight is when you\’re going wow I didn\’t know it\’d be this good this is really cool and I\’m gonna tell my friends alright so you can measure that and the next one is engagement engagement so engagement you\’re like it\’s a customer going I love this company and I really feel like I belong with this brand with this I love this product let\’s say Apple I really an apple person I really just buy everything they come out with because I know it\’s gonna be good I just even if I I\’ve never even thought of that before that category you know here comes an Apple watch I didn\’t even know I wanted to watch I\’m gonna get it right so that\’s engaged customer then from there you have three things under engagement I want to point out to them because I had the book in front of me I\’m a genius here automatic repurchase is how you can tell you used with that question they launch anything I\’m in I\’m bought in the emotional attachment you\’ve talked about this in many of your books about how when Steve Jobs passed away there was like dividuals and people were like crying and just eulogies and all kinds of stuff there was an emotional attachment you don\’t feel that way about a lot of companies and the sense of belonging like I am an apple tribe guy and I know my PC friends I\’m a Cristo tribe guy right I like that it\’s yeah and so what you\’re doing though is you\’re going beyond that you\’re at the top level yes here we are at the top the top of the brand ladder is empowerment talk to counter that so that\’s where as someone who\’s joined the brand which is what you do with brands you don\’t buy them you join them it\’s saying I don\’t know what I would do without Chris Chris doe helping me understand all this stuff I mean I wouldn\’t be making as much money I wouldn\’t be as happy I\’m I\’m totally about it my life wouldn\’t be as good if you took that brand away from me so that\’s that\’s at the very top um and the and your customers are gonna be at all these different levels but you want to see how many have moved up to the top so that\’s a way to measure the overall success of the brand now as far as your part in the brand that\’s a little more difficult you have to like decide what it is you\’re contributing to to make that happen on the brand ladder and then explain that so a lot of its just being logical about it and just saying I know we\’re trying to do together here some my parts gonna help and so it\’s it\’s a bit of explaining mm-hmm and and if you know enough to know more than that more than what your part is now you\’re becoming more valuable now you\’re someone to listen to right it would be fair to say like when you engage with the company that wants to enlist your services that you probably want to establish a baseline some kind of metric like let\’s measure something first and let\’s make an effort towards improving that whether like right now let\’s just say they\’re at the lower rung of the ladder and like we just have satisfaction we\’re just barely doing what it is that we tell people we\’re gonna do we want to move enough to delight like and then you come up with ideas on how to add a little surprise yeah yes so you go beyond expectations and then you can measure that maybe customer surveys satisfaction things you rank things something like so the first thing is to have this language mm-hmm all right so that a lot of my books are just about create and that\’s why I have a dictionary it\’s creating a language so that you can talk with business people in a way they\’ll understand it and it doesn\’t mean using their language but it\’s using sort of a language that everybody understands and that you could easily explain that makes sense to both sides so if you talk about engagement they\’re gonna get that yeah and they\’re gonna understand how engagement leads to customer loyalty and loyalty leads to higher profits mm-hmm but if you can talk about higher profits too I mean that\’s what branding is about branding is a way to get more people to buy more stuff for more years at a higher price and every business owner can appreciate that and then you just have to say like here\’s how we\’re gonna help ya but already you\’ve given them some information that they didn\’t know they didn\’t know branding was supposed to do that right so I mean that\’s what my level C program is trying to do is teach all that that language to people and little by little they absorb it so they can talk about it without you know in their sleep mm-hmm and makes sense to people who actually are gonna hire them yeah a lot of stuff to process here in case you guys are joining us who is this wise gentleman sitting across from me and in Who am I why am i reacting to him in this way I am gonna just admit I\’m a Mardi Neumeier fanboy for sure I I think I have almost all of your books I had to track down this through a used book seller and I was like I\’ll get in any which way I can get it because I knew you were coming here I\’m like let me track it down yeah this is I don\’t know maybe you can get these like used on the gray market maybe a eBay maybe maybe yeah yeah this is a little dictionary paper dictionary that was commissioned by Google because they wanted to use all my my language of my system my understanding of branding for their clients their big high-roller clients yeah and so they started it like a little school and my dictionary is the the the text that they that they use for that so I updated it from the earlier version put it in a lot of cool terms since that that one\’s pretty interesting but I have an even newer one more updated that that you can get on Amazon it\’s a so it\’s yeah okay and that is linked the the dictionary of brand from A to Z the dictionary that\’s called brand A to Z branded easy here we go and you can get actually free if you just sign up on my website just subscribe ok we\’ll include that link in a little bit and and as I was talking Mardis authored 8 books and probably has a couple of more in him but we\’ve talked about the brand gap and this is I refer to this a lot I also love zag and and right now I\’m just like rereading this like a gazillion times this is the brand flip and we\’re talking because some of you guys are probably super excited about hearing the way Marty articulates branding and our role as creative people and what we can do there is a brand masterclass that you started out in Europe in in London and you\’re bringing it here back to America and if you guys weren\’t able to sign up because the tickets sold out pretty quickly for Los Angeles the next time is in Philly diamond do you know the date we should have Andy yeah if you go to level c CC yep all the dates are there so Philly\’s the next one yep and there\’s seats there and then if you want to be a little more exotic and go to London mmm it\’s a fun place to do it yeah and in London we\’re gonna do masterclass one followed by Latin masterclass two the first time that we\’ve done that one and then after London we\’re going to Dublin in Ireland so that and that ones that\’ll be fun yeah I love both those locations by the way yeah and we\’ll get back into this a little bit I\’ll put a pin on this talk about the the five levels of level C but I do want to read a little bit of something from the the brand flip here because a lot of times you read books and you feel like a little bit smarter and you learn a few new words but what I love about your books is that I can apply what it is I\’m reading they\’re all frameworks built in and there\’s a lot to think about from the brand gap I think it was the only in a statement where there\’s like this structure and I started to use it now I have to say you\’re a far superior writer and this is not like false modesty because when I read it it makes sense everything clicks every example you gave was like also so good and then you driving the ball 300 yards and then you can\’t do it on your own the next day no I\’m not even that good I just watch you do it and then I went to swing and went right into the lake or wherever away but there\’s some great frameworks and now we\’re looking at our community in the brand that we\’re building around the Futur and I remember having a management meeting I turned it to the teams like let\’s stop talking about clickfunnels and marketing and retargeting and all that kind of stuff yes we do need to do that but I want to talk about how we empower our community the pro group and I\’ve made it like our mantra that I sit there and think about how we can achieve these five things that you talk about in the book for our community and I want to go over it personal growth how do we help our community grow how can we give them emotional support that was number two how can we help them to achieve business success make more money charge a higher rate do fewer pictures whatever it is we want to help you grow in your business social status and that\’s not something we think about like how do we celebrate the people who are doing a great job and help them rise in esteem among their peers and to achieve fulfilment so you guys if you get nothing from our talk today remember those five things whether you\’re a solopreneur if you run a big firm if you managing a team of a hundred thousand people think about your customers in that way and if you can do that that\’s the top of the rung empowerment right so go back to the definition of what a brand is it\’s a person\’s gut feeling that\’s not a product service or company so that means it\’s not what you say it is it\’s what they say it is and once you understand that and start thinking about what that means for you it changes everything so that\’s the big sort of flip is you in your mind you have to realize it\’s not about you it\’s about them and what they achieve so if you have customers or clients think about how is their life transformed by what you\’re doing in some some small way or how is their company transformed and you got to be aiming at that all the time not aiming at your own success and you because that you know you have to worry about that but that\’s not what\’s really gonna make you successful it\’s doing something big for your clients and once they understand that they can\’t live without you all things are possible mmm okay let\’s see Marco is there another good question and thanks for kicking us off with that question I don\’t want to prompt a unless you find like a really good question cuz I have more things I want to okay I\’m gonna prioritize my questions over your questions we\’ll just keep going here so so Marty you before we went live we were talking a little bit about how you were the reluctant salesperson but you did it and you achieve success like even in the first year you\’re like quadrupled your business but you\’re sharing with me something that I have to we have to recreate for the audience here you talked about at the Neumeier design team your pitch was I\’ve got a presentation on 20 ways to sell more software this sounds genius tell me about it and who could refuse this at this point yeah this is a breakthrough for me this is kind of it\’s the perfect question after what have you just said about like how are you going to do something for you know what are you doing to change your customers our clients I really wasn\’t fully getting it at that stage and but I didn\’t know I had a specialize so I took took up the specialty of software packaging and figured out every part of what a software package with needed to do and ways of measuring it and ways of testing it and all that because I had it and I put together a typical portfolio showing here\’s all the great work we did and here\’s what we did on this one we did this for this company and so forth and and then here\’s some of the results we got for instance for Apple they said the president of the of klaris which was Apple\’s software division I asked him how it went he goes are you kidding no one told you I said no he said we got 40% increase in sales across 15 products without changing one product hmm Wow I went that sounds really good he goes yeah that\’s 40% with no extra work an extra 40 you don\’t know how much money that it\’s like like I\’m a hero and I said can I quote you his name is Bill Campbell just a wonderful guy does yeah you should yes definitely quoting so I had that slide show kind of put together and I showed it to a guy who had nothing really nothing in common with he was completely a marketing guy and a retail consultant helping software and hardware retailers to sell stuff like it\’s just not my world even though my my my packages are in those stars I really don\’t think about it the way he thinks about so I said would you kind of look at my slideshow and because I think it\’d be great if you recommended us to some of your contacts because you know all these retailers he goes yeah I\’ve got it so I looked at it and he didn\’t say a word through the whole thing at the end he goes well where\’s the ending I said what do you mean I showed you all the stuff he says you didn\’t tell me like how much money this is how much it was they said well you know we designers don\’t yeah it\’s it\’s all you know we you know it\’s it\’s depends on the assignments it right no no just tell me how much it cost and how much just go do for me right I said well Bill Campbell said you know that they got 40% increase and because you\’re kidding me just that\’s your ending right there if you don\’t say that you\’re out of your mind what\’s do that over and then then I realized another client had said look we\’ve got we do you know you did our a series of products for us and we got a 500% increase after that Wow good so I started collecting those and using them to prove the value of design yeah it\’s like this is a measurable thing you know you do a package it was the product was selling X and now it\’s 10 times X or 5 times X so that\’s something you can put in there and you should does it really tell you that much about why that happened though it doesn\’t tell you anything but but business people aren\’t as as geeky as you think about business they just like they just want something that they can tell each other so give them something give them something true that sounds like a business result uh-huh and and you\’re all happy and and just keep learning how to do it better my business coach used to tell me that they need a repeatable story and you gave them plenty 40% increased 500% increase those are some story they forget the rest of the presentation you just go back and look we need you this guy they didn\’t change the single community sold 500 I think an important part of that particular pitch aside from here the results where it was and here\’s how much it costs to get those results and so I was smart enough to realize that if those results were like amazing I don\’t know if landowner could get those kind of results I don\’t think so because I don\’t think they\’ve thought about it very much like how to actually accomplish what they needed to accomplish see if I was going to say where were we take me back I went off on that side road I don\’t know where we were at either so let me think here I was talking about the repeatable story yeah and about the impact you were able to create 40 percent 500% that they forget the rest of the story and this is kind of like what you need yeah it\’s like so the main thing I need to tell you is I forgot it so come back okay yeah but that was just a huge you know experience for me to see that you didn\’t need to be the biggest company to compete to just wipe out the biggest company you just need to be so specialized that they couldn\’t afford to do the same thing yeah and so the rule is the bigger the market the more you need to specialize because there\’s more competition and you\’ll do better if you do less okay you guys hear that the bigger the market the more you need to specialize right the smaller the market like was when I was in a little town and I was the only designer I had to do everything I was not a country doctor you know they needed me to do everything and sure I sewed up all the business because there wasn\’t much competition right but you know it only went so far so yeah so it\’s all about that so if you want to compete in the big world and make good money you need to specialize more mm-hmm and that\’s the counterintuitive thing you think oh well then I\’m gonna be ruling out all this business that I\’m getting now I can\’t do that anymore because now I\’m just going to do this little sliver so I would encourage you to think about it in a different way think about it as if there\’s some enough money in that category and you got a lot of it how and let\’s say that category is growing right that could be huge right you can grow with the category so I just think that\’s the way to go specialize now you doesn\’t mean you can\’t do other kinds of work so all you people are worried about all the clients are gonna have to say no don\’t worry about it just take that look yeah just don\’t talk about it just take it you got it it\’s profitable talk about the one thing you can do that nobody else can do and talk about it in a really clear powerful way make sure they understand you\’re the only one that knows how to do this and you\’d be surprised at what that does for you and you\’ll still get other work from that that you just want to talk about yeah okay so if I had a software company and they did the software they might say kin like Apple said can you do the klaris logo for us yeah charge a lot of money for that because it\’s Apple right think I don\’t like make sure it works all around the world yeah that means traveling around the world and testing it and all the kinds of things we did so it was probably I don\’t know half a million dollars to do this little logo that was just typed that you could buy for $40 mm-hmm but it was the right type and it was the right solution and they were all really happy and felt very strong about it so it was valuable we made a lot of money we just never made a big deal out of that because it\’s not what we do it\’s not our niche you were talking earlier about segmentation and how different companies don\’t talk to verticals of other things like software doesn\’t talk to hardware and hardware doesn\’t talk to retail so when you are able to pick a lane which you did business retail software packaging if that sounded like you you were the guy to call and you could basically outdo a firm that was probably 100 times your size and start to charge and I want to talk about this a little bit how much were you able to charge for this business software retail packaging back in the day right so allowing for inflation I mean would be a lot more now but probably triple it and that\’s how much we would beat okay so guys keep that in mind take these numbers and guess that triple yeah so we started out doing packaging at the same prices as other firms were doing it that weren\’t specialists you know like Landor and primo Anjali a lot of food packaging and really beautiful packaging but not specialized in software and we took us a couple of tries to get up to that level where they were and and that was at about 10,000 per package okay it\’s basically six panels of a box and whatever goes on that and for us it meant also testing so well actually at the time we didn\’t test we didn\’t about that Apple got us into that they forced us to do it it was the best thing I\’ve ever ever been forced to do so $10,000 and then we started getting up to 15 and as we got more when we could say look all we do is software packaging hooks here\’s five five examples was probably everyone we\’ve ever done here\’s just a section okay a cross-section and and so we get more and we can charge more now once we got to the point where the retail stores were recommending us like you know a software company would go into the CompUSA or Fry\’s Electronics and they say look we here\’s our product we\’d like to get into the store and they\’d say well the package you know really we find packaging is very important nobody can really test your software and so if the packets isn\’t really doesn\’t pop on the shelf right and it doesn\’t look like yours you really know what you\’re doing and and the reason they thought they knew what they were doing is because we\’d been in there hmm in Silicon Valley and testing them and talking with the managers and the sales people and like we indoctrinated them over a few years and so they now had all the answers right yeah oh no you you you got to have the name really big on the front you\’ve got to have some symbol you can\’t put all those screenshots on the front of the package nobody wants to see they don\’t know they have that on the back right you\’re just not doing it right so okay that\’s what should we do they\’d write out our phone number that\’s fantastic and they\’d say use these guys like a prescription so they come to us and they say oh we got to use you guys we were told like I was surprised right okay so at that point the price was 60,000 hmm now we\’re doing the same work as when we were making a profit at ten thousand but now we\’re charging 60 so you see how that works now we are also better at it after a while and we really knew that we could make a lot of money for companies and it was so measurable because it\’s a package it\’s a little more difficult when you\’re selling selling logos and trying to get a hundred thousand dollars for a logo when they can get one for you know fifteen hundred or something someplace but there are ways of doing that there there are so many layers to peel away from this one story this one example that you have that I would be remiss not to point out some of them before we went live you were telling me at the end of the presentation of your your carousel slideshow of the 22 ways to sell more software and that they would ask you like so what\’s the price and you were saying like ten thousand bucks even though that\’s more than what you have ever charged and you were doing something very powerful you\’re you\’re dropping an anchor and eventually you got at ten thousand and then you blew pass which seems kind of like almost unfathomable that you could take on land or own one section of it and do 6x of what they were charging and beyond and just keep going you went in you were so well known that you actually went into these big retail spaces and you educate them on what you need to do is so much so that you became the de facto authority and they your words guy they were using your language to tell potential manufacturers this is not gonna work here and you guys don\’t know this but retail stores these big chains they have a lot of power because shelf space very valuable to them they put a dud on there they\’re not making money and so they\’re gonna it behooves them to say we\’re not gonna accept this go hire a Neumeier design corporation that\’s what you need to work with amazing so now they\’re doing your selling for you when you specialize in your that as good as Marty is people sell for you incredible yeah and you know that language thing is really important having the words and keeping it simple and and making your how you express your work making it memorable is super important so that\’s one of the things I try to do in my books is give people that language so they can just take it and use it I mean a lot of it I took from somebody else mhm and talking about software companies one of them that we had we ended up doing I don\’t know 50 packages for them they just kept after a while they were testing packages with no software in them to see if there was a market if they built that software oh this is like early prototyping here yeah it\’s like a product prototyping right here\’s a would you like this product and people if they went oh yes they would go they would program it they would build that product so we were doing a lot for them and and after a while I got more and more comfortable with the people I was working with there and I talked with the head of the whole product division and I said so we\’ve been doing a lot of work together this has been great that\’s fun we like working with you guys and just I hope it goes on forever now why did you make that decision to use us when you had you didn\’t even know we were in the beginning right what was it and my contact said it was the Zack I said this AG remember what you said when everybody\’s zigs Zack so okay yeah because I just remembered that story\’s like right that what\’s that word stuck in his head and I want a title that\’ll stick in people said so it\’s zag and I chef Godin said his review of it if you read it says before we even read the book you know one thing this is the best title of any business book ever so so it\’s all about how do you how you name things how you express things in your work and if your work is specialized and you do something that nobody else does or in it do it in a way that nobody else does you\’ve got to name those parts you have to name the things you\’re doing and and and that\’ll help you sell it it\’s all you don\’t even know when it\’s working but you find out later usually it\’s like because like you say they tell people they tell other people yeah I have one little quick question and then mark you have somebody lined up here to give me a signal there take me back to this awkward Marty doing this sales pitch because you shared that like when you picked on the phone and you wanted to get one of these meetings and talk to them about the 22 ways to sell more software take me through that pitch like how did you do this take military you guys are you guys ready for this you know yeah the dial yeah come on yes so push the buttons yeah like I pushed in the hang-up just like it was so hard but I get somebody on the phone and I like pick up the phone because they probably didn\’t know it was a sales call and they\’re used to not getting that sit in any sales and call us if you\’ve got their number you\’ve it\’s hard to get the number but yeah they\’ll pick it up and I\’ll say okay hey um you don\’t know me I\’m Marty Neumeier and I\’ve got a I do software packaging and you\’re in the software business and I\’m the guy who has kind of helped shape how a software package works and store and I think we should know each other and have this slide show called um 22:22 ways to sell more software and you know no rush whenever you ready whenever you think you\’re interested in this ayah we\’ll bring over a slide show called 22 ways to sell more software and I\’ll share with everybody for free and you\’ll know all my secrets Tuesday yeah 15 people good yeah I\’ll be there see him it\’s like they were like you know you don\’t get any feedback like hey that would be great you just get okay Tuesday and how many people can I bring 15 okay great and then be there to be 30 so huge room of people and God given the slideshow and with all the questions they would go on for like three hours just talking it was a 45 minute slideshow that ended up three hours because they want to know everything about it now once you get to that stage who else are they going to hire I mean it\’s like if they go to to somebody else another company pentagram or land or and they ask the set they said well what do you think about what should happen on the side of a box or what do you do with the top of the box and they don\’t know they\’re you know can\’t hire these guys or they say how do you know your design is going to work in the marketplace and they go well because we are experienced we\’ve been doing this for a long time they\’ve got no not going to do it Neumeier design team they test so we just basically sewed it up and and then when you get to the point where you own that category and there\’s nobody else that can compete with you that affects profit margins that you can the price goes up you know if it\’s valuable and the amount of money they were making in software I mean it was really expandable from hardly anything to billions of dollars so this is not a big investment for that it\’s a job is huge for me it was like I couldn\’t believe yeah that they were paying me this much money yeah so I went from being like broke all the time like most designers to to having to be able to buy another house and to you know to upgrade my Toyota Tercel to Honda people think like boomers they got it made well you know yeah now sure but yeah you know it took a long time and you have to learn how to do it and but you can do it that\’s the whole thing it\’s it\’s it\’s it\’s it\’s not magic it\’s just like figuring it all out trying things trial and error putting it together find out who you are what you love get it out there make sure that you you\’ve you know everything there is about that life gets better yeah I\’m gonna say this just so that everybody\’s watching you\’re probably gonna want to rewind this and loop this part where Marty does his sales pitch and studied it study it and figure out his framework his process because it\’s the most natural true genuine way to do a sales call that I\’ve ever heard this is so you were like I wish this was one of those competition shows where I could hit the golden buzzer and the confetti rings out on you balloons and everything that was pitch perfect I wanted a plot but I didn\’t want to to break your story there so you guys real issen to that part see how he structured it high piece of content high value you know how good he is is because when they don\’t ask you any questions like Tuesday because to open up their appointment book that\’s a big freaking deal to say that can we invite other people and all the executives taken offline that are these highly paid executives to listen to something yes three hours right and with rapt attention when you go for 45 minutes or three hours you know pretty much the fish you want the fishing where the fish are jumped in the boat and your veggies jumping and that\’s time and actually that\’s the way you want the seem you don\’t want to have to sell or push pushing is it is a tell for clients thing oh yeah they really want the job yeah they\’re just say anything to get it then but I never like no I\’d say you know we\’re not for everybody that\’s really expensive so part of the thing is when I showed him the price I wanted it to be more than I even wanted to get because I wanted to to like make sure they understood that this is super valuable right and we can always argue about the price later if they say they say you know we loved your sick you\’re way out of our budget and then say well how much way out are we you know you it\’s like ten thousand overnights well what if we compromised right well maybe but usually it was more like we want the best chair um so we have no choice right and through specialization and your testing you were able to spot and see patterns that these other generic firms could not see that\’s why you can say we always put the screenshots in the back this is what\’s on the front these are the colors this is what works with authority because we\’ve tested it okay that was perfect let\’s segue to another question mark take it away to be brand specialist what do you recommend so that they could up their game we already answered that question and you touched on about they\’re wondering kind of like gala as they progress you know like I\’m saying for Marty I\’m gonna say it for Marty the first thing you do is you buy every book that Marnie\’s written and you read them and you reread them and you highlight them and you take notes and you start try to incorporate this and you get the language now this book brand a tizzy is new to me so I need to go through this because you can see that Marty is very specific in particular about language and words and when you use the right words to describe something you communicate the other person they know what they\’re talking about so yeah so I think that\’s that\’s what I would suggest to you start you read my books in order you can go online and Amazon and you can see them the dates when they were published yep the brand gap is the first one then zag it\’s actually the order that my brand teaching program follows that same order starts with a general idea of what branding I sell people fit and then it drills into strategy and then it opens up a little bit and so forth so and once you\’ve gotten everything you can out of the books taking it as far as you can and then maybe sign up for a master class yeah we like to have people that have read the books not just come out of the blue because they might not pass right past with us and that would be very embarrassing but so far everybody\’s read at least one of my books probably the brand gap and so they\’re primed for this and and usually they\’re they\’ve been in the field for a few years so it\’s not like they\’re just out of school or something yeah okay so we will include a link in the description below with our affiliate link guys and the order in which you should read them and I felt like this and thanks for reminding me of this it\’s like I think zags like the philosophy the primer and I\’m sorry it was a brand gap was the philosophy in the primer and zagged it got a little bit more tactical and like I could get into a little bit more write is about differentiation what\’s what makes just like I\’ve been talking about like how did how did I become successful in Silicon Valley I specialized so what is that like so that is actually the bedrock of branding is that difference a difference that people can believe in right they see it they understand it they get it that this is how you\’re valuable in the world this is that Lane that you\’re in so the the question at the center of this book is our brand is the only blank that blanks there\’s the only Ness only the only and that\’s a very high bar to say you\’re the only anything but that\’s what you\’re shooting for and so that\’s the centerpiece of everything I do right there so if you just want to go right for the strategy zag is the book to get nothing I do recommend that you understand branding first so maybe brand captain zag are really good when I when I was writing this brand gap if the publisher came after me they said we saw you give a talk we want you to write a book it hasn\’t happened to me since but that was really great and and I said okay if I have to come up with some ideas I\’ve got some thoughts let me get back to you and they flew out to California to talk about it and I said I got two books I don\’t know which one to do I got one that\’s called the brand gap oh that\’s good and then and then I have one called Zach oh that\’s good too and so I told him a little about it they said oh this is an easy thing you do the brand gap and then you do Zach so I sold two today two titles Wow one meeting and that was the right thing to do yeah because first you find out about the general layout what\’s the game what\’s the playing field of brand yeah where do I fit oh this is kind of cool and then you get to this part about differentiation which is the first part of that book and you know this is really counterintuitive I\’m not sure I\’m getting this I don\’t understand how this works so the zag is the next one to read and explains exactly how it works and once you\’ve got those two things you could pretty much build in pretty good shape and that\’s more okay so the rest is just yeah so I always recommend this because people always ask us the same question like what course should I\’m like you know what why don\’t you look at all the free content or just take small steps read the books or listen to the podcasts first there\’s a nurse shortcut guys read the book and then you\’re primed and now you know and when you take the course and hopefully some of you guys will want to take Marty\’s master class that\’s happening in Philly and then back to London and then Dublin participate in that way and then you use its layers to just peel it back so that you don\’t get overwhelmed I wouldn\’t say to observe at all once yeah it\’s it\’s not lifetime of learning you know it is and you got a long life to do this but I just keep making progress little by little and make sure you understand whatever you\’re learning a really understand and absorb it even if it\’s just one thing a month like I really get that concept and you remember it all the time and you add that to your you know your repertoire yeah you\’re gonna get there and if we apply some of the things that you\’re talking about today even in the way that you learn I I know I probably read brand GAAP probably twelve times now may be more exact I don\’t know I mean at some point the books are gonna fall apart cuz I\’m going over it rather than spread yourself out wide you can buy these two books read them stop think about it reread them because you\’re gonna pick out new bits that maybe were just too much for you to process the first time something else that you talked about know you\’ve had a lot of practice writing because you\’ve had years of writing and editing the magazine critique right and I started I was writing advertising copy and learned how to do that and it has like really hard but I could write a headline and then I could write maybe 20 words of body copy and make that perfect so you know I just learned a little bit critic though that\’s what really gave me a lot of strength and writing cuz yeah you know you have to write 3,000 words in a couple of days yeah and it has to be good so so maybe that\’s another tip is to practice articulating your ideas by writing maybe even do public speaking but at least start writing and formulate the things that you think you\’ve learned and and maybe you can pick up maybe one or two books on on business and marketing and I think you you have a pretty good foundation to build your house of branding on I would think mm-hmm okay mark are we good with that okay and I think we\’ve I could sit and talk to you for 14 hours but I think at some point you and I if you have time I\’d love to have lunch with you is well how do we how do we wrap this up here we need to kind of finish it strong and maybe maybe it\’s another story something else you want to talk about Marty I want to talk about my latest book because just because I love it yeah I love writing it it\’s different than the ones on the whiteboard CS scramble scramble scramble yeah so I\’ve been writing these whiteboard books which are very simplified the fewer words the better mmm just get it down to just pure gold and and illustrate it and make it interesting and that those work great but I realized that as you take branding into a more collaborative setting where you\’ve got executives that you\’re working with so this is advanced branding not just being a designer but being involved in advising companies it\’s a whole different can of worms because you\’ve got a lot of different personalities and people protecting their turf this is where things go wrong in companies it\’s people at the top being Machiavellian basically not that they set out to do that but that\’s just the way people are and so how do you how do you show how to get through all this complexity that you have this human complexity and I think the best way is with a story so I decided that I would write up all this brand stuff as a thriller mm-hmm so it\’s a business thriller so a new category mm-hmm and it\’s about a company that the head of the company is young he has only been in the job for a year he started out as an architect so he\’s a creative person he\’s he led this architecture firm to get to be like two three hundred people like amazing a number of people and it\’s very successful and one of the clients a hotel client that they were building hotels for said why don\’t you come and run our business because you\’ve already been running a pretty big business and you can design amazing hotels and so why don\’t you run the company he takes the job and the first year is a disaster not his fault but he\’s facing all kinds of headwinds as we say in business that he doesn\’t know how to deal with and so the Board of Directors gives them an ultimatum they say you have to reinvent the company in five weeks or you\’re out that\’s we can\’t we can\’t tolerate it anymore we\’re gonna go out of business after this business has gotten to the size 3,000 people in 40 years suddenly in one year we could lose the whole thing so it\’s up to you to reinvent it so that means changing the strategy of the company so brand strategy becomes very important so that\’s just page one yeah so he\’s he\’s like in trouble from day and yes he gets picked up by an uber driver who asked him a few questions that just like totally stun him hmm so he becomes a major character the uber driver the can comes his personal driver essentially even though he\’s an uber driver so it\’s that story of how this young CEO to learn a new way of looking at things through the lens of branding to reinvent the company into something amazing like really innovative and it\’s awesomely innovative and what happens when you do that what happens to you what do you have to go through to get that to happen well you know how do you deal with the Board of Directors who\’s maybe not so open to something new how do you get design and involved in this full you know like all the way in and make it like a design centric solution all this kind of stuff mm-hmm so and this book now is the first book I\’ve written that\’s out selling the brand gap the brand gap is just because it was first just you know I mean it\’s been read by 23 million people so but this one is selling really well so I know it\’s working for people I know they\’re getting a lot out of it and there\’s two more that I would love to write so we\’ll see if it goes well I\’m gonna follow it up with the next the sequel and the next one but it\’s follows this same company all the way through to like amazing awesome success Apple sort of success so the book is scramble and it\’s a it\’s a zag for you because previously these were kind of instructional a very graphic it\’s a narrative but it\’s it\’s actually pretty visual yes and everything are include a lot of design and designing and visualization things so you the whole thing is to make it palpable for people to bring in a lot of bring the five senses into the story so you\’ll see a lot of stuff there so it\’s a it\’s was a great experience for me not that different than the little stories I\’ve been putting in the glass and I mention that this is just an expanded one right and my goal is to create an atmosphere where design is much more appreciated so it\’s for you guys out there so when you come into a company you\’re gonna get invited into the big big room the big conversation they\’re not just stuck in the back room stuck in the basement with no windows if I don\’t know anything about branding if I read this book do I learn about branding through your narrative okay this is perfect yeah I mean I\’m trying to teach CEOs about branding because they\’re the key to all this if the CEO doesn\’t really value design or puts it down and lower on the food chain that\’s where you are you can\’t get beyond that so I want everybody to understand what their role is so it parallels all the other books but it just puts it into a narrative so for people who love stories or even thrillers they\’re gonna really gravitate to that one if they just want the principles in the most memorable way maybe the whiteboard books although these can you know the stories can make things man were memorable – yeah and and this is also now self-published it\’s the level\’s imprint there yeah so this is great and as you were saying this is now outselling the original book and the brand gap which this looks very promising for books two and three so I hope that that does happen you guys go and pick up this book like I said we\’re gonna include all the links in the notes below Marty Neumeier I like I said honestly I\’m not just saying this I could sit here and talk to you forever but here\’s the good news this is actually the prequel to the workshop so that\’s happening at the end of February and we\’re looking forward to that I think we\’re all sold out now I just you need to have to know somebody on the inside to get a ticket at this point I think we\’re sold out at 60 that\’s it you guys go to Philly that\’s the next location otherwise you can make a beautiful trip across the pond and go to London or Dublin and before we go you talked about level C having five levels yeah and I said I put a pin on that one so what are the five levels that you plan so the first level is what we\’re doing here in the Futur and this is certified brand specialist so this teaches you where you fit in the big world of branding where you\’re going to be most successful how to collaborate with people and make the most use of your skills and start to learn the terminology start to learn the language of branding the next one is more like the book zag and that\’s level 2 level 2 is certified brand strategist so that\’s where you get to think bigger like and you really connect design with with business success right and if you get to if you\’re lucky enough to be a strategist and make money consulting that way that\’s that\’s to step up the terms of profitability for most people not always but it is third third level is brand architect and so that\’s like going from checkers to to to chess to three-dimensional chess and that\’s where you you can lead a whole company basically you can lead any part of branding very valuable in the world the fourth level is a brand instructor that\’s where you get a chance to teach the same stuff that you were learning and you that really cements it in your money like once you start teaching it you know it cold right and from there you\’re ready to go to brand master which enables you to be a CBL chief brand officer in a large organization where you\’re working side by side with the CEO in full partnership so that\’s a new job classification that wasn\’t there before it\’s just coming out now and by the time we get that in place there\’ll be jobs there already people in our first our first class are already getting those titles oh wow they just heard about it and then it\’s just like tuned into it and they\’re getting them for smaller companies or for divisions of bigger companies but it\’s it\’s an emerging role that you can play and that\’s not for everybody obviously not everyone wants to be a leader and lead you know hundreds of people mm-hmm but if you have if you think someday you may want to do that we can show you how to do it did you coin that term CBO I thought it ready in one of your books yeah yeah I put it into the brand gap my first book I envisioned it right then we have a CBO there has to be some ones do snakes doesn\’t exist but we have to have that so now it\’s starting to exist mm-hmm okay guys on behalf of everybody I know that\’s watching live first of all thank you guys Marty it\’s been a true pleasure this has been fantastic I know this is gonna get a ton of repeated views because of how much information you\’ve shared with us the learning the sharing like I said we probably need to do a follow-up at this on this episode sometimes oh please I have a thousand more questions to ask you thank you very much guys thanks for tuning in and the team Jonah Mark and Ricky thanks guys for doing your bit see you guys next time

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