In this episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show, guest Allen Adamson delves into the importance of adapting your brand to changing times.
Titled "A 'Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation' Conversation," the episode offers valuable insights for businesses looking to thrive in dynamic environments.
Host George B. Thomas and Allen Adamson emphasize that as the world continues to change rapidly, businesses must evolve to keep up. They discuss how businesses that are quick to adapt can use change as an opportunity for growth and differentiation.
- Innovate through experience. The conversation highlights the significance of creating unique customer experiences. In today's competitive landscape, offering a product or service isn't enough. Businesses need to innovate by providing memorable and engaging experiences that resonate with their audience.
- Embrace change as opportunity. Change is often seen as a challenge, but it can be a powerful catalyst for growth. Companies that view change as an opportunity can find new ways to reach customers, improve their offerings, and stand out in the market.
- Continually learn and improve. The importance of a mindset geared toward continuous learning is a recurring theme in the discussion . In a world where change is the only constant, businesses that are committed to learning and improving are more likely to succeed.
By embracing change, focusing on creating exceptional experiences, and committing to continual learning, businesses can not only survive but also thrive in a constantly changing world.
Check out the video for more details, and the full podcast (link below the video) for the entire insightful conversation.
Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links
Episode No. 62
- Live date: December 28, 2023
- Episode link: youtube.com/watch?v=QzH3LI4cyDU
- Original podcast episode: A 'Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation' Conversation: Allen Adamson on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
Guest's social media profiles:
MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:
- Brand Transformation: When (And How) to Revitalize a Brand
- Keeping the Brand Healthy: The Annual Brand Checkup
"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:
"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:
Transcript: Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation, With Allen Adamson
Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you another episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show.
This week's topic is all about A "Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation" Conversation.
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 Allen Adamson.
Allen Adamson is a noted industry expert in all disciplines of branding. He has worked with a broad spectrum of businesses in numerous industries.
Allen helps clients seize opportunities before the competition, activating solutions that enable them to shift ahead of the market, generating long-term value and increased brand equity.
Allen's newest book, Seeing the How: Achieving Market Advantage by Transforming the Stuff We Do, Not the Stuff We Buy, published in May 2023, focuses on the consumer experience as a competitive advantage and the ways that such a change in perspective has allowed companies to achieve dramatic growth and category leadership.
Now, remember the clips of Allen Adamson today are pulled from the full Marketing Smarts podcast episode, and if you want to listen to the full interview with Allen Adamson 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 Allen Adamson about A 'Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation' Conversation.
In this first clip. I wanted to ask Allen a question about Experience Innovation and what he means by this, and maybe if he could share a couple of examples.
I mean, Experience Innovation sounds complex but, I was curious. Is it?
Here's what he had to share.
Allen: It's a hard change because most successful businesses are started by engineers or someone who has invented a product, and to tell them that they shouldn't talk about their product is hard. Talk about how it works, because while you have a difference, it's not something that is going to last. In fact, the differences people are already going to know about. Let me give you a story.
FedEx is a very successful B2B company that also does B2C. For a long time, they were talking about when they first started how they got the packages to everywhere fast. They talked about all of the packages flying to Memphis and the whole thing. But at the end of the day, customers don't really care how you do it, they just want to know is it happening in time. Lots of these companies have gotten better about just telling the customers, "Your package is now in Cleveland. It will be at the store in two seconds."
Again, that's not their product, that's just telling them things that will make them worry less. It gets back to that simple thing of do less. If you're doing too much, you can't be good. Experience differentiation sounds like a big word, but small things make a big difference in experience.
Back to a customer thing. When Amazon started to deliver packages to your house, texting you a picture of the box at your door seemed like who cares about that, but that just says I better go open the door and get it, or it's there. A simple picture. For years, they would log on here and get this.
Just look at how people are living and how you might do simple things. Make it a little easier, a little friendlier, a little faster around your product, because you can't win on the product. I mean you can't win in the short term, but there are some winners.
Did you hear that?
Don't talk about the product. Talk about how the product works.
Customers don't care how you do it, they just want to know if it is getting done and when.
A big nugget I heard was around the word worry!
How do you make the customer worry less?
Does Experience Innovation = A picture of a box at your door?
If you are Amazon, it sure does.
During that clip, did you think of a way you can start implementing Experience Innovation in your organization?
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 Allen Adamson and his thoughts on A 'Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation' Conversation, 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 mprofs.com/mptoday - That's mprofs.com/mptoday.
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...
4 Ways to Make B2B Marketing Less Boring BY LINDSAY TJEPKEMA
Even the best B2B marketing can be forgettable and uninspiring. Instead of letting your company's B2B efforts fall short, liven them up with four proven strategies.
Traditional B2B marketing content may be data-rich and insightful, but it often falls short on character.
When was the last time you heard anyone call a whitepaper "exciting" or a case study "riveting?"
Never? Me either.
The problem is that most marketers have fallen for the myth that B2B efforts need to have a sterile, practical element. As a result, their output—while inherently valuable—falls flat in the personality department.
Want to learn 4 Ways to Make B2B Marketing Less Boring?
To read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.
So, let's get back to Allen Adamson and his Marketing Smarts podcast episode.
In this next clip, I wanted to get Allen to unpack his brain on what mentality businesses need to have to really lean into this strategy or culture of Experience Innovation.
Here's what he wanted to share with us.
Allen: That is a challenge, because the premise is I've got it right. That used to be the way you could survive in business. You'd fix something and then you could get into if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and you could sit back, open the beer, and say, "I've done it." But as you said earlier, the pace of change is so crazy. If you just look at that as the end point, I've fixed the product or the service, I've solved the customer's problem, they're happy, every day you have to feel like you are becoming obsolete. You need a bit of this only the paranoid survive. If you don't come into the office every day realizing that yesterday you got lucky and things are changing, and if you just do the same thing you did yesterday, the only thing for sure is you'll be less successful.
I think part of it is not accepting the I've achieved it. You'll know when you've achieved it because, ultimately, sales is a good indicator of things going right. If the sales chart is going up, you're fine. But if you just say that's good, let's keep doing what we're doing, which is most of the mentality out there, you talk to people with successful businesses they say, "Business is great. We're just going to have Bob and Debbie do the same thing as always. We have no worries." Once you're into that we have no worries world, you're already in danger of becoming your father's Oldsmobile. You have to be constantly the nervous founder. Don't let your success get to your head.
Back to the other point that I said. Even small changes, like showing a picture of a package, take a long time to get right. You're better off doing a few small things and getting them right than trying to completely reinvent everything.
Did you hear that?
Times are changing for businesses and their product lifecycles.
Every day, you have to feel like you are becoming obsolete.
I like when Allen mentioned not accepting the "we achieved it" and let's keep doing what we've been doing.
Are you in no worries land? Or, are you always innovating your customer's experience?
We will get back to Allen Adamson 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: Brand Transformation: When (and How) to Revitalize a Brand by Ted Mininni
When should companies allow declining, aging brands to finish their lifecycles?
When should they opt to revitalize them?
These are hard questions for companies in view of fast-changing consumer demands, increasing global competition, and diminishing awareness of heritage brands among younger consumers.
Many CMOs feel that brands follow irrevocable life stages: they are born, mature, plateau, and eventually decline and die.
Generally, companies that witness declining brands in their portfolios employ the "best business practice" of cutting marketing investments in them, and reallocating the dollars on growth brands instead.
Without any marketing support, declining brands continue to wither away and die.
Yet, with the heavy investment necessary to launch new brands and products, companies seem to be interested in the revitalization of diminishing brands more than ever.
Article two this week is: Keeping the Brand Healthy: The Annual Brand Checkup by Mark Shipley
One of the key and biggest challenges with building premium brands is maintaining a healthy balance between growing the business and maintaining consistency in your brand communications program.
That's because premium brands, by their very nature, have a way of taking on a life of their own.
When you first position your brand, the people behind it become engaged. They take ownership and get down to business.
The competition reacts. The category evolves.
Over time, staffs come and go. New players aren't always adequately initiated. Experienced staff members are often too busy to take notice or simply forget why staying true to the brand is important.
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 Allen Adamson... Let's dive back into this conversation of A 'Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation' Conversation
In this next clip, I wanted to ask Allen how we measure success and how we know how to map out the journey toward our future success.
Here are his thoughts.
Allen: Look at how you touch your customer, whether it's sales, a PowerPoint deck, what your website looks like, when they get your product, what happens, is it just dropped off or does somebody talk to them. Map those out. Don't try to fix everything, but pick one or two of those touchpoints and get together with your team or yourself and say, "How might I do that differently?" Come up with a couple of ideas and try them. Try them on five customers.
Don't spend forever polishing it and then introducing the new way we're going to do business. Be ready to try it, change it, try it, change it, because as we talked about, you have to be great at whatever you do because average is over. To get there, like anything else, anything you do well you have to focus on and practice. My thought is look at those touchpoints, find one or two, and start practicing how you make it slightly different every day.
Did you hear that?
The average is over.
Start practicing with one or two customer touchpoints.
Iterate, innovate, and keep asking yourself, how might I do that differently?
And I love this…
Don't spend forever trying to polish it and release it to the world!
We're going to get some words of wisdom from Allen Adamson 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...
Corey Tarne - B2B Marketing Consulting, Training, and Lead Generation Services for StartUps and the Fortune 500
This community post was found on LinkedIn and goes a little something like this…
ChatGPT is powerful. But combine it with more nuanced AI tools and you can create content optimized for your audience, says @MarielleDellemijn:
ChatGPT for ideas and rough content
Jasper for specific content types
Neuroflash to target that content to your audience
This article walks you through this workflow in six steps.
Do you use more than one AI tool to create your content? Or none at all?
If you're open to sharing, tell me about your AI workflow in the comments—I'm curious how these tools are rolling out in the real world.
#mpb2b #b2b #ai #artificialintelligence #aitool
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 Allen Adamson and some words of wisdom around this topic of A 'Brand Differentiation Through Experience Innovation' Conversation.
Here is what Allen Adamson wanted to leave us with...
Allen: The first one is surrounding yourself with people that don't say yes to you. "Oh, great idea, George." Make sure that you bounce ideas off people that are comfortable saying, "No, that's terrible," that have different perspectives. We get into these bubbles where people say, "Great business," especially in successful companies, no one wants to tell the boss that it's going to rain. Make sure you have friends who are honest with you and you bounce ideas off of people that see the world a little differently than you. That's tip one.
Part of seeing what's going on is to be in reality and not in a bubble saying everyone around me thinks I'm great. That's what happens to a lot of companies, they get very much in the bubble of no one telling them their stuff is not that good anymore. One is surround yourself with people that are brutally honest, look for people that are different, don't go to the same group of friends that always say you're great and all went to the same school, all live in the same neighborhood, and all watch the same movies. Try to shake it up.
The other is try to become a 12-year-old again. Remember when you took your kids walking and they said, "What's that?" Try to see the world as if you're landing from Mars, because that's where new stuff comes from. Why do people always use 40-page PowerPoints when they start a presentation? Who wants to do that? Make sure you're asking why. If not, get people around you that ask why.
Those are my top two.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you vs. yes, men and women. Love it!
Surround yourself with people who see the world differently than you do.
Stay out of the bubble and shake it up every now and then!
Be 12, land from Mars, and look at the world differently!
Hey, if you get it, you get it!
Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.
Know someone who would enjoy it too? Share with your friends, free of charge, no sign up required! Simply share this link, and they will get instant access…
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