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respect in business

Lessons From Legendary Brands

I’m at the Marcus Evans CMO (chief marketing officer) Summit on the Gold Coast – listening, and learning.

Richard Sauerman on brand

Richard Sauerman told us today he ‘does not want to tell us how to suck eggs’.

When marketers speaking to marketers, you’d want to stay away from the basics. We are all looking for something new, interesting or at least entertaining.

Richard implored the audience of senior marketers to understand the great human need – people want understanding, connection and empathy.

People aren’t seeking meaning in life’ he quoted ‘They are seeking the experience of being alive’.

He quipped that you cannot ‘bore’ people into doing anything – we all take ourselves way to seriously – we need to lighten up and to laugh more. (Kids laugh 400 times a day – adults 15 times, no wonder we all want to be kids again.)

Richard shared his five brand insights – and used the recent Interbrand Global brand study 2010 to illustrate his points:

1. Powerful brands are more about heart than head – (people will not remember what you said – but they will remember the way you made them feel.)

2. Brands have never been more important. (When we were kids there were only 2 kinds of bread, brown and white – now in any given Australian supermarket there are more than 380 bread types/brands). Brands need to help people ‘live’.

  • How does the brand find your time?
  • How does the brand make the world less variable?
  • How does the brand make the world more of a sure thing?
  • Brands have a role to play in making people feel safe.

3. Brands must stand for something – it is the only way to succeed in an increasingly cluttered world – Powerful brands stand for ‘One Thing’ – they are not all things to all people. The question to ask now – is not ‘where do you live?’ but ‘what do you live for?’

4. Powerful brands walk their own talk! – There has been a death of trust in recent decades – our view of religion, government, law and order have all changed. We do want to believe in something. The recent Virgin Blue IT melt down and the David Jones Mark McInnes scandal – will tarnish those brands for many many years – he also cited the damage to the BP brand. (It does not mean that those organizations are not working on rebuilding trust – it just becomes the primary driver for their being.)

5. You are in charge! – Every single person working in an organization is accountable for the brand experience… 8/10 is not a good score – unless you are a 10/10 then you don’t deserve to have customer intimacy.

He finished by urging the audience – to DO EPIC SHIT!


Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks Naomi. And thanks too for saying Hi at CMO. How did your talk go? You certainly seemed to inspire quite a few people judging by the tweets. Richard 🙂

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