Drink Like a Lady Podcast

7 Points to Building a Great Brand With Bruce Turkel

January 14, 2022 Joya Dass
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
7 Points to Building a Great Brand With Bruce Turkel
Transcript
Joya:

Ladies, I want to welcome you to the first speaker of 2022. And I have the pleasure of introducing you to Bruce Turkel. Now, Bruce is a friend and a colleague, but he has been CEO of an advertising agency. He's been about 30 years in the branding and advertising space. He's worked with some of the biggest brands in the country. And now he's in a place where he's often called in to speak about advertising and branding. And I invited him today because I know a lot of you are building brands. You're building a powerful brand, but you want to also figure out how to make that profitable. And so what Bruce is going to do is it's going to share kind of like his seven keystones to profitable communication. We're going to run through that in the first 20 minutes. And then as always, I'm going to open it up to questions, call on you individually. So be prepared to ask your question to Bruce. So Bruce welcome.

Bruce:

Thank you. Thank you. It's it's a thrill to be here and to see all your smiling faces. You're right. This is one of the first things I've done in 2022 as well. And it's, it's just so, so much fun to be back on the horse. So thank you for inviting me. I appreciate it. Thank you all for showing up.

Joya:

Well, I'm really excited to dig into this, the name of your book. You've written several books, but one of the names of your books is All About Them. And this is an important mantra. Anytime somebody building a brand is people tend to want to make it about themselves, but it's so important to make it about your consumer and making them feel good.

Bruce:

So that when I ran the agency, that was the hot, one of the hardest jobs we had was convincing our clients, especially our successful clients that they had to stop talking about themselves. And there's a couple of reasons. The number one reason is that nobody cares, but the other reason is that today every bit of information anybody wants about you is instantly available. We all carry these little magical devices. They know. Everything. The thing is not everybody we deal with, wants to know everything. We all know the person we call them, you know, like belt and suspender guy or belt and suspender girl, because they wear both right? Because if one breaks they up the other, they read everything, they look up everything, they study everything. That was my partner. When I ran the agency, um, then there's people who kind of go on a, Hey, I met you. I like you. I want to move forward. And they don't do anything. And there's everything in between, but the problem is we spend so much time talking about ourselves, who we are, what we do, why we have the credentials to be doing what we're doing. And we're kind of like that little kid on the diving board when we were younger. You all remember them at camp, but kids, Hey, look at me, look what I can do. Look what I can do. Hey mom, Hey mom, look what I can do. And like the only thing we want them to do was a belly flop, right? Because we don't care. And if you look at the best companies in the world. If you look at the brands that you emulate, that you want to be, that you aspire to, they don't talk about themselves. They talk about you. They talk about why you are a better person, a better consumer, a better business person, a better parent, a better spouse, a better partner, a better whatever. Because of them. It's a huge paradigm shift. It's so simple, but it's so difficult for people to do.

Joya:

Bruce, before I move on to the next point, why is it hard for people to make that paradigm shift? Why is it hard for a company if they're already successful to make that shift?

Bruce:

Two reasons. Number one, we've been trained to do it when we meet each other. What's the first thing we say is our name. And then we probably say, hi, how you doing? And then what's the next thing we say, what do you do? And then we describe our function. As if we were a roll of aluminum foil or a camera or a pickup truck, here's my function. I'm a lawyer. I'm a doctor. I'm an Indian chief. I'm a, whatever. We we've been trained to do that since we were little, in fact, people used to be named by their functions, someone named Carter actually drove a cart. Someone named Bowman or Archer actually fired arrow. Someone named Goldstein was a Goldsmith. So we have been trained to do that. What did, what did mommy say or daddy said, tell them what you do. Tell them what awards you won. It's just who we are and what we've done. Number two, we spend so much time being good at what we do. Whether it's a product or a service being good at logistics, being good at distribution, being good at customer service that we believe that's why we're successful. And the truth is those things are cost of entry. If you all weren't good at what you do, you would not be successful. True. However, being good at what you do just allows you to then have an opportunity to provide goods or services. If you go to a casino and you go into the poker room, if you sit at the table, they don't let you play unless you ante up, you have to pay to be there. Right. But just because you do Antioch doesn't mean you win. Table-stakes get you in the game, being good at what you do get you in the game, but we spend so much time on it that we're convinced that either we're better than the competition. Therefore we have to say so, or we're insecure and we're not sure we are. Therefore we have to say so. Either way, we are talking to ourselves, not to our customers or clients, and more importantly, not to our potential clients.

Joya:

Before we go to the next point, which is hearts then minds, who is a company that does it really well, makes it all about their customers?

Bruce:

There's lots, but the company that does it really well, that you all will nod yes the minute I say is Apple. If you look at what Apple does, they do it in everything. Um, if you remember when the iPod first came out. The whole point of the iPod was that you could carry hundreds or thousands of songs in your pocket. Other companies had come up with digital music players before. Microsoft had one, a company called Creative, had one. Lots of companies did, but if you remember the Apple ads, they showed a very colorful outline of a person dancing. It was kind of, it wasn't a cartoon. It was animated from real life, but they didn't show the person. They showed colors around them, dancing to music. Because they didn't want that person to be you or you or me, or my mother or father or grandmother or sister or wife or brother. They wanted it to be anyone. The idea was this could be you. And if you remember, when they first came out, the one thing they have different than any other digital music player were white headphones. Everybody had headphones that your buds or whatever, they had white ones. Why were they white? So I would know. That you had an Apple iPod. Thanks. Alison it's it's um, it's it's it was so clear. Do you remember an airplanes? You know, they say all, you have to put away all electronic devices and then you you'd fly. And then at some point they stayed again. Boom. And it's all safe. And those people would take out those white headphones and put them on it's like, Hey,look at me, I have white headphones. And I'm not saying we're consciously showing off, but Apple understood that what is called in the computer business speeds and feeds why their products were in fact better, only spoke to a small group of IT geeks, but why their products made us cool. Spoke to everybody.

Joya:

Your next tip is hearts, then minds. Why is this a keystone to personal branding?

Bruce:

Once again, we spend so much of our time talking about function and function comes from our intellectual abilities. What we studied in college, what we've learned, the certificates we've accomplished, the things we've written, we've invented. We figured out our skillsets, but people make decisions based on emotion and they justify their decisions with facts. And again, if you look at the best branded products they sell emotional benefits. I'll give you a very, very quick example. When I was in high school, I grew up on Miami Beach, South Beach that everyone thinks is so cool as well. I was actually born and grew up. And when I was 16, my father gave me his old car, which was a convertible. So it was great. I lived on Miami Beach and I had a car. It was a piece of junk, but it was a convertible. And I've had convertibles ever since, just because I love convertibles. But one day my lease expired and my wife asked me. Uh, I mentioned to her that I was gonna get another car. She said, are you going to get another convertible? I said, well, yeah, I think so. She said, well, then we need to talk. Which of course had nothing to do with us talking and then she needed to talk. And her issue was, the kids are getting bigger and convertibles are unsafe. Now my wife is much smarter and much more credentialed than I am. She's a nurse, the nurse at the time in neuro intensive care. So she saw people who came in with head trauma and brain damage from mostly motorcycles. But also I suppose, from convertibles. The idea that the kids were getting bigger was not rational because when the kids were smaller, we didn't care. You know, but now we paid for the bar mitzvahs and we paid for the braces and right? It was not a rational decision and I'll cut the story short. But the bottom line was one day she was driving me home from the airport. I had a gig somewhere and she was taking me home and we passed a car dealership and there was a picture of a, of a car of a convertible on a billboard with two words. It said "tan safely" and I said, I didn't know, they made a convertible. What if I get one of those? And my wife looks at the billboard and she says, yeah, that's fine, they're safe. It was a Volvo convertible because Volvo sells safety, safety, safety, safety, safety, that's their brand essence brand value. Now is a Volvo safer than a Mercedes or a GMC or a Subaru? None of us know, especially my wife who worked in neuro intensive care, but the emotion was. Her kids, her children would be safe in a Volvo because Papa bear would feed them peanuts and beer on the couch and not pay attention. None of that is true, but the intellectual analysis comes later. You must, this is critical... you must build an emotional connection with your clients.

Joya:

Your third tip is to make it simple. And this is something that I've talked about with a few members here, because for example, one person has a somatic business coaching practice. And we're going to get to her in a second, but I was like, I don't know that everyone knows what somatic means. So how would you make that simpler?

Bruce:

Well, I don't know what it means either. So it would be hard for me, but I would tell you that if you use the first two, that you understand that your pitch needs to be about them, not about you and it needs to be emotional, not intellectual. You begin to understand that the, um, the simplicity is talking about how, what you do makes your clients' lives better. And so that becomes this simple message. Let me just keep using the automobile metaphor for a moment. Cars, get us from point a to point B really. That's all they do function. But that's not how they sell them. You've never seen a car ad that says when you really need to get to the post office or when you really need to get to work, you should drive our car. Right. They don't sell that. Volvo sells safety. Mercedes-Benz sells status. Porsche sells performance. Jeep sells ruggedness. Subaru sells outdoors. A Toyota sells durability. I could go on and on and on, but each one of them sell one word. That word has nothing to do with their core function. That's how you do it

Joya:

Make it quick. What does that mean when you're building?

Bruce:

No one's going to hang around until listen to you, go on and on and on and on about how good you are, where you went to school and why you matter. Make it quick. Any of the brands I described, you can say in one word. When I ran my agency, one of our specialties was travel and tourism. And if you look at the best tourism brands in the world. You can describe them with one word. If I say New York City, you might say Broadway, you might say Central Park. You might say shopping, you might say financial, but we know what that means. If I say LA, you might say Malibu or Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, or seeing movie stars, but we know. LA is movies. It's Hollywood. If I say Miami, where I live and I marketed for years, you might say beaches, or you might say art, or you might say hip, but we know what it stands for. And we can say it quickly and people get it.

Joya:

Make it yours is number five. Why is that an important cornerstone to building a personal brand?

Bruce:

Because when people decide to use you or to use your competitor, what they're buying once again, it's not what you do. That's an assumed value. What they're buying is you, people don't choose what you do. They choose who you are; we are all here because of the woman who runs this program because of Joya, because of what she knows, what she understands, how she looks, how she makes us feel with her smile, how she makes us feel with her knowledge, how she makes us better versions of ourselves. Let's be fair. There's lots of people that put on programs like this. Um, some are good. None are as good as you. Of course. Potential customers don't know that, but what they do know is this relationship that they have with you. And so you have to own your positioning. You have to stand for it. I said it earlier is a Volvo safer than a BMW or safer than a Dodge? Probably not. The truth is in this country. We have safety regulations. All cars have to meet some level of regulations, but Volvo owns safety. Other cars can be safe, but if safety is my primary concern, they are in my consideration set.

Joya:

Doesn't make it yours and talking about you run counter to your first point, which is making it all about them?

Bruce:

Thank you. It works. Yes. Yes it does. It's like dichotomy. You need to understand. And here is the, um, here's the formula. And I'd like you all to remember this, write it down, or I could send it to you when you get, just remember, it's not that hard. It's, it's five digits CC the letter CC the number two, the letter CC CC two to CC, and it's an algorithm and I want you to focus on it. And what it means is Company Centric, CC Company Centric to Customer Centric, or to Client Centric or to Consumer Centric or Country Centric, County Centric, City Centric, Church Center. Community-centric whoever you work with, the meaning is you have to take who you are and what you do and give it to your consumer. So being in this group should be a bragging point that all of you use to tell people who you are. Perfect example, our political candidates. Um, I'm not going to get into politics here for obvious reasons, but you have an instant opinion of somebody. If they're wearing a shirt that says Biden or Trump or Obama or Bush. Good-- bad, we can happily have that conversation. But the point is the minute you take that brand. And you present it as your brand, you as the consumer, the voter you're telling the world who you are and what you do. So that's where you overcome the dichotomy by talking Apple is the same way, by the way. As soon as you pull out your laptop and it's got the little Apple and you're sitting in Starbucks, you were different than the person next to you who has the laptop that is your all black or says SONY or LENOVO or whatever you have to take your brand and give it to your customer in such a way that it enhances who they are.

Joya:

I love the next one because I teach this in my public speaking masterclass. You have to engage all five senses because a really descriptive story creates that experience that has the power to really influence decision-making power.

Bruce:

Of course, because as sophisticated as we like to believe we are, we are hunter gatherers on the great Savannah that was not long ago, enough evolutionarily for that no longer to be part of who we are as human beings. So we think intellectually that we make decisions based on what we see and what we hear, the fact that those are around our brain. I don't know if that's why, but if you think about advertising. Billboards newspapers, magazines. You see them, our radio, you hear a television, you see it and hear it internet. You see it and hear it. We think that's how we make decisions, because we think our decisions are logical. But the truth is we make decisions based on what we smell. What we taste and what we touch and whether it isn't actual touch taste or smell, or to your point it's visualized or it's, um, actualized by our thought process is almost irrelevant to our subconscious. So the best writers use words that evoke smells and tastes and feelings. The best music makes us feel things. It's almost a sense of synesthesia where one sense fills in for another. And so using sensual words that involve people in a sensual manner means you move them from intellect to emotion. And when you move them from intellect to emotion, you lower barriers of resistance and you open up the opportunity for someone to welcome you into their lives. And by the way, you all, I don't need to go into this in much detail. You all know about seeing someone that you've wanted to meet. And then, because you know, you want to pitch their business or whether it's business it's personal, it's romance, it doesn't really matter. And then when you do, you are overcome by some physical trait that you find distasteful. Everything else changes even if you still think, oh my God, I have to win this piece of business. I need that. I need that fear of, oh my God. I really would like to talk to this person because they can help put me on the map. Your entire opinion changes because of a physical manifestation smell, taste, or touch that you find distasteful.

Joya:

Last point. Repeat, repeat, repeat. What does that mean?

Bruce:

It means I was getting tired of writing the book and I couldn't come up with a three words for this one. So I said the same word over and over. No, actually here's the thing. When you are getting sick of your branding, when you're saying, oh my God, I need a new website. I need to change my colors. I need to go buy new clothes, whatever. Your customers are only starting to notice it. And so you have to say what you want to say. You have to show what you want to show over and over again. When I was on television, I was on over 400 times. And after the first 20 or 30, when I really got into the groove and learned what I was doing, I wore the exact same thing. Every time. I mean, they were different, but it was the same look, dark blue jacket, light blue shirt, dark blue tie. No one ever said to me, oh my God, you're wearing the same thing. Don't you have any other jackets? In fact, I do. I used to have a whole lot of them now we don't wear them anymore, but, um, but what I wanted was every time I came on someone who wasn't paying attention to, oh, I love that guy. Or oh-- I've seen that guy before. My wife would say, you're going to the studio. How can we tell? When you're wearing, you're wearing your uniform. But nobody, even the producers who are responsible for how you look, I'm sorry to bring them up now at this point. But Chris Cuomo did that with the way he dressed. No one says, oh, look, he's wearing a black suit, white shirt, black tie. Again, what they're saying is, oh, I know that guy. I'm not suggesting. It's just about clothing. BMW has been the ultimate driving machine since 1972. They've used the same tagline. Their cars have changed drastically, but their messaging, their strategy have not because none of us are waiting around to hear what a company has to say. So they need to reinforce it. And you do that by saying it over and over and over, which ironically does not give you license to be repetitive. You need to be creative in coming up with new ways of saying the same old thing, by the way, that's job security for guys like me who are, you know, art directors and creative directors. We figure out new ways to say the same old thing,

Joya:

Amazing Bruce. Thank you so much. This was a ton of information and we couldn't have asked for a better speaker on the topic. We wish you well.

Bruce:

Thank you for inviting me. By the way, you do a, you do a wonderful job of making people feel good about themselves. And I hate to give away your secrets here, but whether you felt it consciously or subconsciously, everybody look at that and I felt good about talking to such accomplished people. So you were really good at this. I'm impressed.

Joya:

Thank you so much, Bruce. We'll see you soon.

Bruce:

Bye bye everyone.