Straight Talk Radio

Branding Guru Bruce Turkel – Insights into Market Disruption

Rapid change!  That’s a bit of an understatement when you look at how many businesses and organizations are being disrupted with new technology and ideas. Bruce Trukel is a branding guru and an expert when it comes to connecting your idea in the market to create product and organizational success.  What is it that we can do that sets ourselves apart in the marketplace? With

Bruce Turkel Branding Guru

Bruce Turkel Branding Guru

people having gone through the great recession and in many cases thinking about how we recover, and for those of us with a little of age, what does it mean to have our personal brand moving forward? Bruce is uniquely qualified to be able to talk with us about that, and I’m thrilled to have branding guru Bruce Turkel here on STRAIGHT TALK RADIO.

To hear the show click here:  Bruce Turkel on Straight Talk Radio

Tired of traditional talk? People pontificating about this or that? The left or the right? Sometimes the truth is just off lost in the noise. Having learned life lessons the hard way, Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!

Nationally-known guests talk about what’s important to you – your life, your concerns and your success. So tune in, turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.

Now, here’s your host, Chuck Gallagher.

CHUCK: As you’ve taken the time to join us here on the show, I know that there are a lot of things that we have the opportunity to talk about and it’s an honor for me to know that there are people who will take time out of their day and tune in and listen to some of the unique and interesting insights that we have from time to time and today is no exception. In fact today’s show is going to be really one of those that I consider unique and fun.

How do I want to start this? Well, I think the first thing to say is we are in a disruptive age and by that I mean I sit here as a 57-year-old baby boomer and I can think of things that were absolutely almost ironclad guarantee that existed 10 years ago, 20 years ago, even 30 years ago, and then I look today and see the dramatic change that’s taken place, the speed at which that seems to change and where we’ll be in the future.

In fact, I was talking to my wife the other day and I made the comment that our grandchildren, as a fair chance, let’s put it this way, I’ve got a 2.5-year old granddaughter and a seven year old granddaughter. The seven-year old, I’m not sure about, but there is a chance that those two girls won’t really know how to drive a car. Chance. The chance is the car will drive its self, and if not that generation, their children for sure, because life is changing at a rapid pace and it’s interesting to look in the marketplace and see those companies that, well, let’s put it this way, I wish I had purchased stock in them so many years past, because companies that I would never have even given a second thought to today dominate the market.

To help us understand this, to cut through the noise of it, to find out what this really means, I am so thrilled, because Bruce Turkel is the nation’s foremost expert, in my opinion, on branding. The branding part of it, and we’re going to talk with Bruce here in just a second, but the branding part of it not only is branding at a big corporate level with Amazon and Apple and whatever, but also individual branding. What is it that we can do that sets ourselves apart in the marketplace? With people having gone through the great recession and in many cases thinking about how we recover, and for those of us with a little of age, what does it mean to have our personal brand moving forward? Bruce is uniquely qualified to be able to talk with us about that. So, with no further ado, I want to take the time to say, Bruce, welcome to Straight Talk Radio.

BRUCE: Thank you, Chuck. I hope my mother is listening [chuckles], because I really want her to hear you say those things about me.

CHUCK: [laughs] Well, look I’m going to say this, I hope you mother has the opportunity to hear it, but it’s not something that I’m sure she hasn’t already heard by many, many people. You are the branding guru. There’s just no doubt about it.

BRUCE: Well, thank you very much. I’m going to make sure, you know, my mother is on the Internet, so she calls it the interweb, and I’m going to make sure she that gets a copy of this.

CHUCK: Well, let’s do this. We’ve got a fair amount of time ahead of us and I have just this passel of questions, but today we’re sitting in an age when the brands that we see floating out there, I mean dominant, disruptive brands, are brands like Amazon, and Apple, and Google, and these Internet startups that I’m baffled by, with weird names that sell for billions of dollars. Can you give us a little perspective on, at least from your world, what’s taking place in the marketplace with this disruption and will it get faster or will it slow down or where are we going?

BRUCE: Sure. Steven Wright, the comedian, had a great line. He said that if you put instant coffee in a microwave, you’ll go back in time, and that’s kind of what’s happening. Things are happening so fast and so quickly that it not only disrupts the business that we’re used to, but it disrupts our whole perceptive sense of what’s going on and it’s happening for two reasons. It’s happening first of all because the access to new technology allows things to work differently than they ever worked before. Airbnb, a company or a group of letters that you hadn’t even heard of three, or four, or five years ago, now manages more vacation rentals and hotel rooms than the major hotel chains combined. These are companies–


BRUCE: That spent the last 30, 40, 50, 60 years building bricks and mortar, building hotel rooms, and then a couple of guys figured out a way to put together people who want rooms or people who want to rent them. And boom! A few years later, and their managing and renting rooms or leasing more rooms than the old standby. So, the new technology has given people an amazing way to reach out to the audiences and say, “Look, here’s a different way of doing things,” and you can lift lots of companies that are doing this. Airbnb is only one. You mentioned Amazon and Apple, of course. Look at companies like Uber. I mean, there are just so many different companies that are changing the way we do business.

But the second thing that matters, it’s also because of computerization, but not necessarily because of the Internet, is that computerization has brought manufacture into a place where all products work. They all work relatively well, they all work very well and on some level you can even say they’ve become interchangeable. Thirty years ago you would pay more money for a Mercedes Benz because it was a superior automobile. It would handle better, it was safer, it would drive better, and it would last longer. You would be hard pressed today to argue that that’s still true. It’s still a great piece of machinery, it’s still first class and has the latest technology, but the cars that are manufactured from lots of other companies for a lot less money are just as good at providing transportation. They’re just as good at getting you from point A to point B. So the companies that understand this have figured out that function is not what sells. Function is cost and unfortunately too many of us are stuck still in the twentieth century where we think function is what people buy, and it’s not.

CHUCK: Well, two things just completely jump at me from what you just said, but let’s stick with the last one for a moment. You’re so right. I mean, I’m sitting here listening to this and I’m thinking to myself, I travel a lot just like you and in some cases it’s okay, you travel to point A and you’ve got to rent a car. Well, one thing I’ve found in renting cars is you get to try a lot of automobiles. So I’m stuck, I say stuck, that’s a bad way to put this. I had the privilege through Hertz or Almo or whoever it was, to drive a Hyundai Genesis. It was one of the finest automobiles I’ve ever ridden in. I was sitting there thinking, and it goes back to your comment on function, the function of that car was as good as any car on the market that I’ve had the opportunity to drive and that includes BMWs and Mercedes. I mean tight, nice, great electronics, wonderful ride, you couldn’t find any better.

Now, however, probably the distinction, it was substantially less priced as well, but I guess the distinction was is it doesn’t carry, from a brand perspective, the same status that somebody has when they drive a Mercedes or BMW. So, I have to assume from that if function is fundamentally interchangeable, then from a branding perspective you’re branding some emotional feel, not the quality of the product that’s being purchased.

BRUCE: Well, that’s exactly right. You’re very perceptive to pick that up. In fact, the last book I wrote on branding called Building Brand Value point two was “hearts then minds”, talked about the importance of building an emotional connection with consumers before you build an intellectual connection. It used to be the other way around. We used to talk about the intellective purchase – why you bought it, why it was a good decision, why it made sense – but today it’s that emotional connection that fuels people’s purchases. They buy with emotion and they justify that purchase with the facts.

So you’re right, the BMW, the Mercedes Benz provides all kinds of other benefits to the consumer, and they’re all legitimate benefits, don’t get me wrong, but from a purely functional point of view as you experienced Hyundai, which by the way, let’s remember, Hyundai is one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world, so it’s no surprise that they would be able to manufacture a superior product, but Hyundai is producing a product that pound for pound and dollar for dollar might actually be superior to the competition. However, they do not have the same degree of brand loyalty and brand value in their consumer or their potential consumer’s emotion.

Yet that’s going to change. You said in the introduction that your granddaughters may not learn how to drive. So we have entire cohorts of generational consumers who are coming up with very different expectations. If they don’t know how to drive, they’re certainly not going to be impressed by a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW.

CHUCK: Yeah, and, you know, Bruce, the thing about that is, and I’m not trying to be funny with, well okay– [laughs] You know it’s amazing on a show like this how quickly time passes when you’re having fun. We’re obviously coming up on the end of our first segment, so I’m going to hold that question until we get back from the break.

My guest is Bruce Turkel. He is the nation’s foremost expert on branding. Bruce knows more about branding in his little finger and thumb than I probably ever [11:30] to know and I have to say for the people that are listening who are associated in business, you might want to go to his website, take a look and consider calling Bruce because he understands what’s in the mind of a consumer to help build that brand. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. We’ll be back in just a few moments.

[Commercial break]

CHUCK: Well, thank you for sticking with us during the break. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and my guest is Bruce Turkel, the nation’s number one branding expert and I want to get straight back into this because, you know, we were talking, Bruce, about this issue of emotion and the fact that today, and it really is true that in so many cases, and we were talking about automobiles, we will get off of that subject in a minute, but we were talking about automobiles. The fact that most products produced today are fundamentally equal in terms of at least their ability to perform, but when you’ve got something like a Hyundai Genesis that really functionally is as good as any BMW or a Mercedes I’ve driven, yet you also can go back 10 or 20 years and probably not that long and Hyundai was considered the Korean automobile manufacture that manufactured really low-end kind of stuff, not equal to a Honda or a Toyota. I know that’s changed. I know they worked to help make that change, but how do you get to the place where you’ve got this really wonderful product and get the emotional connection so that people see that as a similar product to your brand?

BRUCE: Chuck, you used the right word to describe what they did in the previous segment, you used the word disruptive. So, to your point, the Hyundai was not considered equal to a Honda or a Toyota, let alone a Mercedes or a BMW. If they would have continued to build inexpensive little cars, they could’ve kind of crawled their way up and then they could’ve said, “Hey, we’re as good as this. We’re as good as that,” and perhaps they would have moved up to the perception of the companies you mentioned.

However, they did something disruptive, right? They built a first-class luxury vehicle. A $50,000, $60,000 or $70,000 car, something nobody expected from them and they stuffed it with innovation, they stuffed it with technology, they stuffed it with luxury. And then, how did they [14:06] trial? They lowered the price drastically so you could get this car at a much lower price than you would ordinarily pay. Pound for pound? Perhaps it was as good as the more expensive cars, but dollar for dollar, it was considerably cheaper.

By the way, they didn’t innovate with that specific strategy. Lexus used that strategy 20 years ago. You were calling Lexus, Lexuses, Lexai, whatever you call a multiple of Lexuses—

[Chuck laughs]

BRUCE: When it came out, they brought out their first car to look like a Mercedes Benz, it competed with the Mercedes Benz. I think it was the E300 at the time the Mercedes. However, it was at a much lower price, but 20 years later nobody would suggest that Lexuses are inexpensive automobiles, because over that time they built an emotional relationship with their customers and they let their prices creep up, they provided a specifically friendly experience at the dealer, they provided a more durable automobile, which were two places why I think the German manufacturers were kind of weak. They had obnoxious dealers, because they were the only gang in town if you want that kind of luxury in an automobile, and their durability was good, but it wasn’t as good as people expected. So Lexus was able to take Toyota’s durability and add a whole new sales process and create an emotional bond where you felt better about the car, because you were treated well and you felt safe that it would get up, and it would get you out, and it would get you back, every day, day in, day out. That’s how they got you in. That’s how they [15:35] trial. Build the emotional relationship and then you are a Lexus driver.

So Hyundai is doing the exact same thing. They built something nobody expected, they put it out at a low enough price that people can get into them and they put them in rental fleets so that someone like you, who never would have tried one, got in one, got out, said, “Wow! This was awesome!” and now here you are on national radio or international radio talking about what a great brand it is. They built an emotional relationship with you, even if that emotional relationship was simply a sense of surprise.

CHUCK: You know, it’s interesting to see how that works, because you’re right, it is a function of being able to try, and from lack of anything else to say, but you know, when you have the opportunity to rent lots of cars because of travel, you quickly learn those that you would have an inclination to purchase and those that you wouldn’t. And I could name a number, I don’t need to do that, there wouldn’t be a chance that I would ever park in the door to buy, but it’s kind of neat to have the opportunity to try.

Let me switch one thing before we go into maybe some different genres, but the one thing that really strikes me is interesting is, and I mentioned this I think in the prior segment, my grandchildren may not know how to drive a car. I’m not saying that they’re stupid, I’m saying that there may not be a need to drive a car and their children, there likely won’t be because cars will be able to drive themselves and all we’ll do is just climb in and hit the little program button and tell it where we want it to go and it will take care of the rest.

I wonder if there’s a generation, or two, or so that are following me, and I’m in that baby boom group, who look at the world perhaps the way, I don’t know, this is a poor way of putting it, but maybe the way Henry Ford looked at it because when the horseless carriage was introduced, everybody knew how to ride a horse because that’s what you did. You had horses and they pulled the carriage and so forth. Today the only people that ride horses are the ones that want to and most of us human beings don’t have the first clue as to what to do, how to saddle it and how you would even navigate an animal between your legs. So are we moving to a place where it’s almost a moot point, are we talking about automobiles like this?

BRUCE: Well, remember, since you brought up Henry Ford, Henry Ford’s great quote was, “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would’ve said faster horses.”


BRUCE: They didn’t see the automobile as transportation. Automobiles back then were kind of like jet skis right now. They were fun and they were expensive and they were the play things of people who were rich and affluent, but they were not used as practical transportation. What Henry Ford introduced, because, remember, he did not invent the car. The car had already been around for 50 years, it was either invented by Daimler or Diesel or Peugeot, depending on who you believe, but they’ve been around since the 1860s or ‘70s.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that what Henry Ford changed was not the automobile, but the context that the automobile existed within. He lowered the price drastically to a number of different things. He made parts interchangeable, so if your car broke down 20 miles away, you could actually put an interchangeable part in it and drive back. He did a lot of the things to create infrastructure to make automobiles ubiquitous and so I don’t see why we would assume that a new technology would not come along that would then make the automobile obsolete and make a new technology ubiquitous. Remember, we’ve only have been driving cars as regular parts of our lives for 80 or a 100 years. That’s really not very long and we had been riding horses, to your point, probably since the dawn of time. I think this idea that your grandchildren won’t drive, your great grandchildren certainly won’t drive, and you great-great grandchildren won’t know what an automobile is, is not something any of us should be surprised about. It’s just the way technology continues to change and disrupt our lives.

CHUCK: Now, when you are, in your world you deal with issues of branding. So if you’re sitting there and you’re a, I’m going to switch gears now in terms of business models, but let’s say that you’re a book seller. What the heck do you do when the market is so dramatically is disrupted by electronic books and the delivery of reading material and you’re a local book seller or Barnes & Noble, or Books-A-Million, or, well, I would say Borders except they’re out of business because of this. What do you do? How do you solve that problem?

BRUCE: You used the same point we talked about earlier, hearts then minds. You move from selling an intellectual sale to an emotional sale. I’ll give you an example, a proven example. My buddy Mitchell Kaplan, a guy I grew up with, owned a bookstore here in Miami called Books & Books. It was a little neighborhood bookstore, the kind of business that had been disintermediated and put out of business by the Amazons of the world, but first by the Barnes & Nobles and the Borders, but then later by Amazon.

What Mitchell realized was that people are looking for a sense of community. If he had done the function, like the car getting you from point A to point B, he would have sold books, but he didn’t. Books are only where he earns his money. You exchange a book for money. That’s where he gets dollars from, but what he sells is a sense of community amongst artists, and intelligentsia, and leaders, and people who care about culture. So in his stores he has a book reading every single night with a well-known author, an emerging author, a local author. He has bands, he’s put cafes, he brings in all kinds of lecturers, he ties in with political candidates so they can come and talk about their books and he has created, and now I believe he has five or six stores and he continues to grow in a time when no one is selling books, but he continues to grow because he understood that what we were buying was not what we were giving dollars for.

I’ll give you another example. I have a friend of my who sat in first class because he says he always meets business contacts in first class and he met Tom Monaghan in first class. Tom Monaghan probably has his own planes now. This is a while ago, but Tom Monaghan is the CEO of Domino’s Pizza.

CHUCK: Right.

BRUCE: My friend Bob says to Tom, “Oh, I love Domino’s! It’s my favorite pizza.” Tom says, “No, it’s not. Come on! There’s a little neighborhood pizzeria somewhere near your house, they use a coal-fired oven, or they use fresh buffalo mozzarella, or they make their own sauce, or they make their own crust. That’s your favorite,” and Bob says, “Well, you know, now that you mention it, you’re right. There’s a little place, my wife loves it. We go there.” Tom says, “It’s okay! I’m not in the pizza business.” This is Tom Monaghan from Domino’s Pizza, he says, “I’m not in the pizza business. I’m in the problem-solving business. Here’s the problem: you invited your friends over to watch the game. You forgot to tell your wife. You had no food in the house. That’s the business I’m in. I just got home from work, the kids are hungry, I’m tired. I don’t feel like cooking. That’s the business I’m in.” He says, “I’m in the solutions business, which is why, by the way, my pizza is 30 minutes or it’s free because in more than 30 minutes you can get a pizza you like better, I get that. But in under 30 minutes I’m the expert at solving your problem. My emotional brand is that I will make everything okay in under 30 minutes. Pizza is what you give me money for, but what I do is solve problems.” So that’s–

CHUCK: You know I’m– No, go ahead.

BRUCE: I was only going to say that’s what the bookstore business or a brilliant bookstore salesman like Mitchell Kaplan are doing. The problem with the newspaper business, for example, is that they thought that they were in the paper business, not the news business, because it was in their name.

CHUCK: So here we are, we’re coming up on another break. Man, this has been a fascinating conversation and it already leads to some more questions. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. My guest is Bruce Turkel. You need to go to Bruce’s website. He’s got a fascinating blog, there’s a lot of material there as well as his new book, but stick with us. We’ll be back after just a few messages.

[Commercial break]

CHUCK: Well, we’re back from our break. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and we talk about a variety of things on this show. This has been a fascinating discussion about branding, and disruptive technology, and the things that are taking place in life, because things are happening at a rapid pace and my guest Bruce Turkel is the nation’s leading expert on branding and brand awareness. If you’ve got a business and you’re sitting back thinking about, how do I drive my customers, how do I grow my business, Bruce is the guy you want to talk to.

We just finished up the second segment with, Bruce, you talking about a bookstore in Miami and Domino’s Pizza. Two dramatically different experiences, but both companies recognizing what they really do and that really strikes me because the Domino’s Pizza president, chairman says, “We’re in the business of solving problems. Pizza happens to be the exchange for which money takes place, but we solve people’s problems.”

And the bookstore in Miami, it was really fascinating because it really strikes me, I think people are looking for experiences. I can buy a book anywhere. With all due respect, if I want to buy your book, I’m going to go on my iPad, to the iStore, type in your name, see the book, hit Buy, it’ll download and I’ve got a virtual library on my iPad, so as I travel, I’ve got the opportunity to read and I don’t have to carry around massive books that are heavy and weighty. But I don’t get the experience of being able to hear you, or see you, or listen to a lecture other than being able to go to the store. And that strikes me as simple and brilliant and something that I can’t quite fathom why Barnes & Noble hasn’t really adopted, because obviously they got a world of [26:19] with things changing as they have.

BRUCE: Well, it also applies to authors. So authors talk about how books used to be a profitable business and now they’re not. Truth is books are still very, very profitable, but just like Domino’s Pizza business, you have to understand where your income comes from. So I’ve written four books that I’ve published and I got to tell you, none of them have made me that much money when I exchanged books for dollars. You buy it at a bookstore, you buy it online, when I speak at conferences, they buy my books, you make a little bit of money. However, if I think that the book is the exchange rate for the money, but it’s not the business I’m in, then all of a sudden what happens is I make my money on consulting, I make my money on marketing, I make my money on building companies’ brands. The book becomes the very, very impressive business card. In fact, my partner and I have it in down to a science. We’ll be at a presentation and the potential client will say, “Oh, by the way, do you have the brochure?” and Roberto will turn to me and he says, “We don’t have a brochure. We have a book,” and the guy will say, “Yeah, a book, a brochure, you know, something about your company,” and we reached out. Now, one of our books is a coffee table book, so you kind of toss it onto the desk and it goes bam! And it passes the thump test and then we throw the other two on the desk so the potential client goes, “Wow! You guys have books?” I go, “Yeah, yeah. I’ve written these books on branding and marketing.” Of course, Roberto will say, “Well, of course, he wrote the book on how you build brand value.” So the book itself becomes incredibly profitable, but not if I simply exchange the two hard covers and the paper in between for dollars. It’s a disintermediation strategy that says, “Here I have this asset. How can I use this to build my business?”

CHUCK: Yeah. Bruce, I think that makes such sense in terms of where we are today and what is it that you do, or what is it that other people do and what’s the real exchange that’s taking place. I’ve had the opportunity, I mean, you know this about me, but I had the opportunity for a number of years to work in the funeral industry. It was functionally sales related, but the thing that struck me about it is that is, well, it’s an industry that is slow to change, because by the nature of things those people who typically expire are going to be at least my seniors. So, therefore you’re dealing with the expectation of an older generation, but the other side is, is you can also sit back and see that you’ve got this baby boom generation that if people in the industry don’t recognize what it is they’re selling, which frankly is an experience to celebrate a life versus doom and bloom, they’re going to find the industry changing on them and wondering what happened? And I think that happens in so many industries today.

BRUCE: Well, I think it’s going to happen more drastically in that industry than any, because when the generation coming up that was born using social media, when they reach our age, and older, and start dying, they’re going to have a very different viewpoint of dying because, remember, their relationships were based online. Your relationships and my relationships were physical and personal, theirs are not. There’s something, a phenomenon right now that if you pay attention to it, it’s called “social narcissism” and you’ll see what’s happening, where people, younger people do not consider a vacation experience of any value unless they can photograph it, video it and upload it to Facebook, because unless other people know what happened, unless other people experienced it online, they don’t get any value out of what they’re doing. It’s a new take on the old line of if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, it didn’t make a sound.

CHUCK: Right.

BRUCE: Today you would say you know if you go on vacation and you can’t take a picture and post it on Facebook, did it actually happen? So when those people start passing away, the rituals and the rights over the bodies themselves, I believe, are going to change drastically, because that’s not going to be what matters to them. What matters to them is their online existence and how are funeral homes, and how are the companies that deal with this going to handle that new perception, so that business is ripe for disintermediation. Some innovators are going to come along and say, “Wait a second. There’s a whole different way we can do this,” and people are going to follow.

CHUCK: Yeah, you’re a 100% right and the funny part, and I don’t mean “ha-ha” funny, the ironic part, I guess, is you look at what’s taking place and for a number of people, and I don’t really know the answer to this, but you mentioned earlier on, I think in the first segment, you were talking about Uber, and for some folks that are listening on the show, people would say, “Well what’s an Uber?” and I’m going to be the first to tell you, I may not be exactly tuned to exactly how it works, but I’ve got the app and functionally it’s, if I say this wrong, correct me, but you have automobiles who are willing to provide transportation in lieu of a licensed taxicab. So you look on the Uber link and you find out who has a car nearby or people who are involved in the process and they come pick you up and take you from point A to point B for a price. Am I kind of on target with that?

BRUCE: Yeah, but there’s a bigger picture and it goes actually back to your funeral home picture, which bizarrely the concept of Uber really is that we have these assets, in this case a car, that we don’t use 24/7 and therefore if you can manage the logistics, you can make ownership of a product much more efficient. So there’s Uber X, which is exactly what you just described for personal cars, there’s Uber SUV for SUVs, obviously, there’s Uber Black for big town cars. The concept is that, yes, you can summon a taxi-like service using your cell phone, but the bigger question is that Uber provides the logistical support to manage asset ownership.

So go back to your funeral home for a minute. The old town set of a funeral home is a place where people come maybe on weekends and maybe once or twice during the week when someone passes away to sit there and spend time with their relatives and their family.That’s what a funeral home is. However, if you look at a funeral home without those constraints on it, what you see is you have a big space where people can gather. So some very smart funeral homeowners have changed the name of their funeral homes to community centers and they don’t only use them for funerals. They often use them for weddings, and Bar Mitzvahs, and for the christenings, and for reunions, because they have this facility and you can manage the logistics differently, and that’s what Uber does. What you’ll see is Uber is going to move into delivery of products, Uber is going to move into delivery of food, because they’re not really about providing taxi service. That’s just what you exchange dollars for. Uber is about logistics management.

CHUCK: That’s fascinating because, fundamentally, the logistics management side in a sense is, I guess, kind of where Elance and Fiverr are coming from. A “X” person has a service that they’re willing to provide, but they’re not really sure how to be able to or whom to sell it to, and Elance is just the platform with which people exchange services for a fee, of course, which Elance gets a portion of for having provided the logistics.

BRUCE: That’s right. And if you provide those services, if you’re a retoucher or if you’re a designer, you might say, “Listen, I have two hours a day of my working time that I don’t have any work so I can give those resources for much less money, because that’s money I wouldn’t earn otherwise,” and Elance controls that logistical relationship. But to get back to the branding point then, what Elance does from a branding point of view is Elance tells the consumer that, “Emotionally you can trust us. We will provide you with solutions to you problems. Therefore you can be better at what you do. You can be a better business owner, you can be a better designer, you can be a better PTA manager, you can be a better parent.” Whatever it is you care about. Elance is going to facilitate that emotional relationship and make the things that matter to you happen.

CHUCK: Now, Bruce, I’m not keeping up with time, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to be moving pretty close to a break. Talk to us a little bit before our last break about some of the brands that really are working today. I mean, what would we see and hear and it would be like, yeah, that makes sense?

BRUCE: Well, there’s plenty of them. If you look at the brands that matter to you as a consumer, you will see the brands that have been able to utilize building brand value techniques to make their products or services more valuable. You can just number them and you know who they are. They’re companies like Apple, and they’re companies like Starbucks, and they’re companies like Nest, Harley Davidson. I mean, they are the companies where their consumers have an emotional relationship, where the product means something to the consumer besides or beyond the actual value of the product.

CHUCK: And as I suspected, we were coming up on a break. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. This has been a fascinating discussion with Bruce Turkel, the nation’s number one expert when it comes to branding. We’re going to come back after the break and we’re going to talk about your personal brand. How do we as individuals create our brands so that we can stand out in the marketplace? So stick with us for this. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio.

[Commercial break]

CHUCK: Well, this is Chuck Gallagher and thanks for sticking with us here on Straight Talk Radio. You know, this has been a fascinating discussion about brands and branding and we’ve got the nation’s number one expert on the line, Bruce Turkel. He is the guy that has written the book about building a profitable brand and one of the things, Bruce, that I want us to do, because I know we have a short period of time, but we have a variety of people that’ll be listening the show and, of course, I know that we have business leaders, I hear from them from time to time who tune into to the show, but also a number of individuals. S

Some folks might be listening and say, “Well you know it’s all great to hear about Apple and Amazon, but you know I’m just Chuck or I’m just Steve or I’m whoever,” and in today’s market place whether it’s a job you’re looking for or you’re looking to build your reputation, what do people do, from your vantage point, to help build their personal brand, the brand of who they are and what differentiates them in the marketplace?

BRUCE: Well, just Chuck, as you called yourself, you asked the perfect question, because that’s what happens. People say, “Listen, I can’t afford those marketing techniques. I can’t do those things,” and then they go back to what it is they do and they probably do it very well and they wonder why they’re not recognized for them and they wonder why they don’t move up.

I love what you said that you can use this if you’re trying to get a job, you can use it if you’re trying to get a better job, you could use it if you’re running a small business. The concept of branding really is all about building a relationship with a consumer, with a customer, with a boss, with whomever it is that you’re trying to do business with that improves the perception of what it is you do. We don’t work with our clients’ operational opportunities or their operational assets. Now, we might make some recommendations of, “Hey, you should change your uniforms or use your signage or whatever,” but really what we do is we help our clients change their customers’ perception of who they are and what they do. Flaubert said a 100 or 200 years ago, “There is no truth, there’s only perception.”

There are some very, very simple techniques and I’ll take you through them. There’s seven of them that we use that I’ve written the books about, that people can use to change their lives almost immediately if they really pay attention to them. Each one of them is, by the way, only three words, so it’s really easy. You can write them down as I say it or you can go on our website, it’s available there.

The first one is “all about them”. The best plans do not talk about the brand. The best brands talk about the customer and more importantly why and how the customer will benefit from their interaction with the brand. Here’s a homework assignment. Tonight after you listen to this show, turn the television on and watch the ads, and I promise you the best ads, not all the ads, not even most of the ads, but the best ads, the best ads that make you respond don’t say anything about the product. They talk about you. They figure out a way to get you involved and to get you to respond. “All about them”. Here’s what you need to know, a good brand makes you feel good, but a great brand makes you feel good about yourself. And if you think about the brands that you show off with, I know you don’t want to admit you show off, but let’s face it we all do it, you’ll realize that those brands have built those relationships with you. The question becomes, how do you do that yourself? You make your brand all about them. You make sure that your brand is talking about who your customer is and what they care about. Should I continue, Chuck?


BRUCE: Okay.

CHUCK: That makes perfect sense.

BRUCE: So point 2, we talked about it earlier, is “hearts then minds”. You need to make an emotional relationship. We’re so busy making intellectual relationships, talking about how early we came in, talking about how much we earn, talking about how many customers we have, “Se habla espanol,” whatever it is, but the truth is people respond to emotional connections. So, how does your brand have an emotional component that makes people feel good? When you figure that out, you’ll stop talking about function. You’ll start talking about feelings. What happens is, those functional points, the reasons you do business, location, price, application, all those different things, those become what we call RTBs – reasons to believe. Once you’ve established your emotional connection, then you say, “Listen, I can provide this because I do A, B and C.” Once I want a car, for example, because I love the way I look in it, or I love what it says about me, or I love the way it makes me feel, or whatever, then I need to know I can afford it, it got a big gas mileage, the dealership is near my house, all of those things. But if you tell me right up front the dealership is near my house, what do I care? I don’t even want the car to begin with.

CHUCK: Right.

BRUCE: The second line says you build an emotional relationship and then you build an intellectual relationship.

Point 3, “make it simple”. We are all so busy making our lives complicated and then telling these long, evolved stories, when nobody cares. When if you think about the best brands, the ones that really resonate with you, you can describe them in one, or two, or three words. You know, I say New York, you might say Broadway, or Central Park, or Wall Street, but we know what it stands for, it’s the Big Apple. If I say LA, you might say Malibu, you might say Beverly Hills, you might say Hollywood, but we know LA is about movies. If I say Miami, you might say South Beach, you might say Coconut Grove, you might say the ocean, but we know what it’s about, it’s the coolest, the hippest, the hottest place in the world. If I say Vegas, Vegas stands for one thing – sin. And specifically they niched sin, it’s adultery. What happens here stays here. They have a simple way of saying what it is that people resonate with. By the way, it doesn’t mean you’ll commit adultery when you go there, just that that opportunity is there. So make it simple.

Point 4 is “make it quick”. Point 5 is “make it yours”. What are you going to own? What are you going to stand for? What is your authentic truth? Because if, in fact, all products these days function mostly very well, and if you think about it as an employment situation, sure, not all employees are good, but the ones that are vying for the positions you want are the ones that are still there and still getting the promotions are, and so are you. So what is your authentic truth? What is the thing about you that sets you apart and makes you special and different and allows your purchaser, meaning your boss, the company you work for, or whoever, your customers, to build that emotional relationship?

Point 6 is “all five senses”, meaning quite simply that we don’t simply decide what a brand means by what we see and what we hear, but it’s also what we taste, touch and smell. You need to build a sensual relationship, meaning all of the different interactions, all of the different touch points you have with your consumers. By the way, I say that and sometimes people snicker, but it’s not funny really the way a company smells, the way a company feels when you walk into it, all those kind of things. Think about restaurants. That atmosphere becomes critical to building a brand. And then finally–

CHUCK: Cinnabon®, oh my goodness. You know when you’re close to one because, by golly, you can smell it and it lures you in.

BRUCE: Absolutely. The funniest thing about Cinnabon® is they have them in rest stops here in Florida on the turnpike and you see people, pardon me for being a little bit vulgar, but you see people park their car in the parking lot of the rest stops, they leave their cars running, doors open, because all they need to do is get to a bathroom, right? Because they’ve been driving.

CHUCK: Right.

BRUCE: They’re here to make a stop and they just kind of fall out of the car and they’re running into these rest stops and I mean, they would kill their mother to get to a bathroom. But as they run in, all of a sudden they look up and they sniff and they smell Cinnabon® and as soon as they smell cinnamon, which by the way I have read that cinnamon and nutmeg are two of the most powerful scents of any products, as soon as they sell it, smell it rather, they go and get in line.

BRUCE: All of a sudden they don’t have to go to the bathroom anymore–

CHUCK: Oh, yes.

BRUCE: Because it’s so powerful and it’s so unexpected. I think they said Mrs. Fields Cookies, they used to actually vent the ovens into the shopping centers so you’d smell the butter, and the sugar, and the chocolate, and the cinnamon and they’d kind of draw you into the stores. There is a way that you can do that with your own business or with your own personal job advancement.

And finally point 7, again it’s only three words, but I was getting tired of writing the book so I said one word and I said it three times, it’s “repeat, repeat, repeat”. Once you figure it out, you say it over, and over, and over, and over, and over. You stand for something and you are steadfast. Now ironically, Chuck, this doesn’t give you the right to be repetitive. You got to come up with new and creative ways of saying the same old thing.

CHUCK: Right.

BRUCE: But, people need to know what do you stand for? And they only know it if you tell them over and over again. If you take those seven points and you apply them to your brand, you will see a difference. People will deal with you differently. They will understand what you’re offering and they will understand why it matters to them.

CHUCK: You know, Bruce, I know we’re running close to the end of the show, but I have to say this. I was talking with my oldest son who’s 27, just took over the role as national sales director for an up-and-coming golf company, but in any event as I’m hearing the music, the one thing I will know is that I told him early on, “Make sure what you’re posting online is the brand you want people to see, because what you have online really says a lot about who you are.”

And this has gone so fast. Bruce, I am so thankful for you being on the show. This has been a great show. Full of some wonderful information. My guest is Bruce Turkel. He is the nation’s foremost expert when it comes to branding. This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio. I am so appreciative of those of you that have taken the time to listen or perhaps read the blog and listen to the podcast following., go to his site. Take a look at what Bruce offers, because if you’ve got a business and you want to grow that business and make sure that you’re positioned right in the marketplace, Bruce is the man for it. Bruce, thank you so much for taking the time on the show, buddy.

BRUCE: Thank you, Chuck. I really appreciate it and I’m looking forward to chatting with you. It’s ever so interesting talking about it some more.

CHUCK: Alrighty. Well, this this is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio and tune in next week. We’ll have other fascinating guests and some great information and remember, every choice you make has a consequence.

You’ve been listening to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher. Tune in each week on, each Monday at 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern, as Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency. Nationally-known guests talk about what’s important to you – your life, your concerns, and your success. Visit for more information and turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.

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