This episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show features David Aaker, a renowned figure in the world of marketing. Together with host George B. Thomas, he delves into the fascinating concept of disruptive innovation and its impact on B2B branding, storytelling, and social efforts.

Let's dive into the key takeaways from this episode and explore how David's insights can revolutionize your company's marketing.

Disruptive Innovation: The Gamechanger

"Disruptive innovation" has been a buzzword in the business world for some time. But what does it really mean for your company? This episode breaks down the concept in a way that's both understandable and actionable.

Disruptive innovation isn't just about technology; it's about changing the way we think about our markets, our customers, and the ways we deliver value to them.

The Power of Storytelling in B2B

A highlight of the episode is the discussion on the power of storytelling in B2B marketing. Stories are not just for consumer brands; they are equally powerful in B2B marketing. A compelling story can humanize your brand, making it more relatable and memorable to your clients.

David shares insights on crafting stories that resonate with your audience, creating a lasting impact on your brand perception.

Social Efforts: More Than Just Presence

In the digital age, having a social media presence is a given. But how do you make your social efforts count? The episode sheds light on strategic social media practices that go beyond just being present. Rather, it's about creating content that engages, educates, and empowers your audience.

George emphasizes the importance of being intentional with your social media strategy to build a community around your brand.

* * *

This episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show is a treasure trove of insights for anyone in B2B marketing. The discussion provides a fresh perspective on disruptive innovation, storytelling, and social media strategies.

Discover the exciting possibilities and far-reaching impact of disruptive innovation. Check out the video:

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 57

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:

Transcript: B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation: David Aaker

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you EPISODE 57 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation.

So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas, speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this here show, the Marketing Smarts Live show, as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than David Aaker.

David Aaker is the vice-chairman of Prophet and professor emeritus of marketing strategy at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business.

He is the winner of five career awards for contributions to the practice and science of marketing, including the Paul D. Converse Award, the Vijay Mahajan Award, the Buck Weaver Award, the Sheth Foundation Medal, and being named to the NYAMA Marketing Hall of Fame.

He has published 100+ articles and 18 books that have sold over a million copies and have been translated into 18 languages, including Strategic Market Management, Building Strong Brands, Brand Leadership (with co-author Erich Joachimsthaler), Brand Portfolio Strategy, Brand Relevance, Aaker on Branding, Creating Signature Stories, and others.

He blogs regularly at

Now, remember the clips of David Aaker today are pulled from the full Marketing Smarts podcast episode, and if you want to listen to the full interview with David Aaker and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with David Aaker about B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation.

In this clip, I wanted to ask David: when thinking about B2B Brands and brand building, what is something that we need to know or something that has worked for all time?

So, I asked David: Why is brand important, and what should every B2B marketer know or think about when building a B2B Brand?

David: It's because literally, with some rare exceptions, it is the only way to grow. The only way. I think the most robust empirical law that we have in all of marketing, if you go back a whole century of research and observation about marketing, the one empirical law is that we know what causes a new product to succeed. You know what that is? It's being different.

There's all kinds of studies, dozens and dozens of incredible studies on new products and what makes them successful. It's being different. If they're different, people listen to their information, and they buy them and they try them. If they're not different, they ignore them. That really is some support for the idea that if you want to grow, "my brand is better than your brand" doesn't make it, it doesn't create growth. It just doesn't. What does create growth is to create new must-haves to finding new subcategories.

Are you playing the "we're better" game or, the "we're different"?

Have you listed out every way you are different? Are you leveraging that for your brand messaging and your future growth?

Are you creating your own subcategory or category in that difference?

Put the answer to that in the chat pane or let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and, of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.

We'll get back to David Aaker and his thoughts on B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation, But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to - That's

Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections...

In The B2B News, where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the Google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...

How B2B Is Reaching New Heights of Creativity, by Ian Darby

Emotional appeal packs a punch with business audiences and marketers are investing in powerful creative campaigns that deliver. But will this continue in the era of optimization and automation?

This year has seen a real coming-of-age for B2B marketing. No longer dismissed as the forgotten sibling of consumer marketing, it has moved far beyond "just" a lower-funnel marketing play, and standards of creativity are higher than ever before.

The sharper focus on creativity is highlighted by the recent finding that "creative strategy and execution" is the most important skill in the B2B CMO role, according to the Global B2B Marketing Benchmark. This expertise is on the rise, with 46% more creative skills being added to marketers' profiles in the past year.

To read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.

So let's get back to David Aaker and his Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

In this clip, I wanted to dive a bit deeper into this idea of B2B branding and what are the two to three things you need to make sure are in place for your organization.

So, I asked David, what do we need to have in place that equals future brand success?

Here's what he had to share.

David: I think that one thing, this particularly is true of startups, but it's true in general, is that if you have a disruptive innovation, you need to access branding talent, branding concepts, and branding tools. What happens is that the number one priority is to have people on your team that have the technology and the skills and the resources to come up with this disruptive idea and to make it happen. That's number one.

For a startup, number two is to get money. But even within a business, the number two thing is to get organizational support for this. You gotta have a home in the organization. You gotta have funding within the organization. That's the number two job.

Then everybody knows you need marketing, you need to have advertising, you need a name, you need a tagline, and so on, but what you really need is the branding strategy. You need branding talent within the organization or outside of the organization, you gotta be able to realize that is an indispensable part of your future success.

I think that's a problem that really isn't recognized, or even if it is recognized, they find it difficult to do that. So, most disruptive innovation programs lack up front branding.

Do you have these things in place in your organization?

Did you hear a couple that you may need, or even a few that you might need to revisit?

If so, take action and steer your brand into the future success you seek.

We will return to David Aaker in a few minutes, but first, it's time for some...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, it's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: Problem Solved: How Much B2B Branding Is Too Much? by Claire Coyne

There's nothing we love more than solutions—top-notch insights from top-of-the-line experts that help solve common marketing problems. Here's this week's problem and expert solution.

Problem: How Much Is Too Much?

You want to incorporate your B2B brand message into every encounter with prospects and clients. But how do you do that without overdoing it?

Article two this week is: Why B2B Branding Is More Important Than Ever by Margaret Molloy.

For years, B2B brands invested more in sales and product than in brand marketing. The conventional wisdom was that superior specs and personal relationships would win the day.

Today, however, it's clear that strong branding is crucial in B2B, where it enhances the effectiveness of demand-generation activities, lowers the cost of sales, and commands a price premium.

Some of B2B branding's salience stems from evergreen truths: Emotion has always been a large driver in B2B purchases—more so than some people imagine.

A business buyer, after all, is still a human buyer, and there are detrimental career implications for selecting the wrong supplier for a critical business process.

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.

OK, back to David Aaker... Let's dive back into this conversation of B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation

Next, I wanted to dive into David's brain and pull out some great B2B examples of really strong brands. As well as why he thinks they stand out above the rest.

So, I asked David who is crushing it when it comes to B2B branding and why they stand out from the crowd.

Here are his thoughts.

David: You look at Apple, you look at Microsoft, you look at Caterpillar, you look at Goldman Sachs, and all of these B2B companies, what you see is really a solid use of branding. We have things like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and Office, and Apple iPod and iPhone. All of these are brands or sub-brands or endorsed brands that really stand for something. You say, "What is the iPhone about," and people can give you three, four, five pillars that become well known, and it really is the foundation of their success. These are dynamic and they change over time. They've handled the dynamic thing so well in all these cases.

I think that the key thing that you're looking for is relevance. If you've really done it well, what you've done is to reduce or eliminate the relevance of competitors and you've enhanced the relevance of your offering. Again, relevance is visibility and credibility.

Those are some powerhouse examples!

Did you hear the critical words in that section?

What do they stand for—their pillars if you will!

Dynamic and change over time!

Relevance is key! Enhance the relevance of your brand!

Relevance = Visibility and credibility!

We're going to get some words of wisdom from David Aaker here in a few minutes but right now, it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...

Jaime Shine - @jaimeshine - Marketer | Writer

How can you utilize AI in your marketing efforts? Train it to understand how you think.

Teach it your brand voice and explain the goals of the content you're creating.

Give it examples so AI can do a better job for you. #AImarketing

Excellent session by @DrewDavis Here at #mpb2b!

But you need to check out the description and click that link to check out the post and read or learn more!

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember, community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro-tip, it won't hurt if you tag me in your post as well; I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to David Aaker and some words of wisdom around this topic of B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation.

Here is what David Aaker wanted to leave us with...

David: My take, and it has been for some time, first my take was to try to understand branding and how people should manage brands. It started out with, what is brand equity. It turns out to be relevance, image, and loyalty. Then I talked about how to manage it. That is, really develop what are your brand pillars and how do you communicate them.

Lately, these last four or so books that I've done, what I really focused on is to apply branding to strategic areas that have ignored or underplayed branding. I brought branding to the problem of breaking through the clutter in the form of storytelling, I gave a branding slant to that. I gave a branding slant to disruptive innovation. I gave a branding slant to social programs and being effective there. That has sort of been my take.

Relevance - Image - Loyalty!

Manage it - Your Pillars and communicate them.

Apply branding to strategic areas!

What's your take? Are you using and getting everything you can from your B2 Brand?

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

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B2B Branding, Stories, Social Efforts, and Disruptive Innovation for Your Company | Marketing Smarts Live Show

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas