Everyone Hates Marketers

[Republished] Branding 101: How to Build a Strong Brand in the Digital Age

Are brands dead due to the Internet and direct accessibility to companies? Today, I’m talking to Bernie Schroeder about why you (especially millennials) should care about branding. Bernie is a senior marketing and brand expert working at San Diego State University to help students start their own companies. Also, he is the author of Brands and Bullshit.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • People (mostly millennials) do not understand brands and customers; leading to mindless noise and chatter
  • Focus on strategy rather than tactical decisions
  • Transaction Revenue and Law of Diminishing Returns: Someone else in the marketplace copies your transaction and offers it at a better price
  • Differentiate yourself through strategy and brand building capabilities
  • Brand: An intrinsic, emotional, or feeling of trust that something is better than an alternative in the marketplace
  • There’s only room in our mind for 3 brands in any category
  • How to improve or create a brand
  • Customers are not always right, but they are never wrong
  • Be aware of shifting trends
  • Ask questions that are 5 words or less to determine what customers are trying to do and their pain points
  • Use observation labs and mystery shopping - watch what consumers do
  • Talk to customers to ge their perspective
  • Simplify data and create a marketplace grid around most important factors
  • Establish trust with customers and build relationships
  • Avoid being aggressive and establish a long-term view to build an amazing brand
  • Become a leader in a specific category
  • Review communications to determine if current efforts position you in the right place
  • Experience, branding, marketing, communications, and strategy create good marketing
  • Find a marketing and branding mentor to be successful in your career
  • Rise to a strategic level and understand the value of branding


“An entire generation of marketers has missed the classical training that traditional marketing provided.” - Bernie Schroeder

“It’s the strategy and the brand building capabilities that will differentiate you.” - Bernie Schroeder

“A brand...is something that you have an intrinsic, emotional, or trusting feeling that that brand is better, for whatever reason, than an alternative in the marketplace.” - Bernie Schroeder

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