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On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s ask what is the role of business, beyond just business. Today marks the 5th day into the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, the first attack of its kind since Sept. 1, 1939 – the start of World War 2. So let’s talk about how this affects businesses, and how businesses can affect it. Roll Call for Companies According to the Wall Street Journal, the US is still buying 8% of its oil from Russia. On the commercial side, there has been no announcements by companies such as McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, and Papa John’s to name a few, on closure of their branches in Russia, temporary or otherwise. On the tech side of things, there have also been no word from Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, nor from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as CISCO CEO Chuck Robbins and Oracle CEO Safra Catz on their stance and plans as things progress in Russia. I'm disheartened, somewhat defeated, and absolutely fucking royally mad about the silence from Silicon Valley on this topic. There are some exceptions, of course. Criticize the man all you like, but Elon Musk made a commitment to keep the Ukraine connected to the internet via his Starlink satellite internet. Less than 48 hours after he made that promise, a shipment of Starlink terminals arrived in the Ukraine. Businesses Getting Involved in War There are those on the web that criticize people who celebrate when big corporations do something in the situation. My response to them is this: “Anyone who supports in any way, a free democratic society, who is being invaded, attacked, and mass murdered is a hero.” – Christopher Lochhead Now, if you wish to join me in making a financial contribution, we took a list of charities helping in the Ukraine(published by NBC News). You can check out that list of charities and I encourage you to crack open your wallet and see if you can make a difference for the people of Ukraine. You can also donate to Doctors Without Borders as they mobilize to help Ukraine and nearby countries that were affected. The Role of Businesses beyond Business As a business owner or entrepreneur, you might be asking – how exactly can businesses help in this situation? Well, imagine what would happen if all the tech security companies pulled the plug on the Russian government and on major Russian enterprise. Imagine if all tech infrastructure companies pulled the plug on Russia. Imagine if all of the SAS application companies, the database companies, the gaming companies, the IT operations companies shut down Russia's digital world, the digital world is as important today as the analog world. if they manage to shut down the Russians government's ability to do things in the digital world, we're going to shut down a lot. Of course, there are certain companies and certain situations where it makes sense to keep doing business. In Russia, for example, communication, and social platforms is critical for Russian citizens to be able to see and hear what their government is doing in the Ukraine. So what leaders do in times of crisis matters, what you and I do in times of crisis matters. If the US federal government will not stop buying Russian blood oil, will we stop doing business with Russia? Will our CEOs put peace before profits? Or will businesses do whatever they want to do? It's easy to be great when everything's great. But what defines our lives is who we choose to be in times of crisis. Bio Christopher Lochhead  We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let's talk about why it's time to stop trying to fit in. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Everyone Wants to Fit In There’s an ongoing trend in the business, startup and marketing world of companies trying to fit in. There have been studies that indicate that among the B2B tech space, as many as 70% of the brands are blue. This urge to fit in seems to stem from a combination of several factors. One of which is that companies are trying to compete in the same market, and they end up adopting marketing trends that seems to be working, which just makes them look like carbon copies of each other. The second part is the current culture of people seemingly being offended by the simplest things, or if something does not align with their beliefs. So companies try to be as non-offensive as possible, which in turn just make their brand into something bland. “The overall strategy in people's marketing, and frankly, in many people's careers, is to achieve Marriott lobby status. So what's a Marriott lobby? Marriott lobby is nice; It's very functional. It's effective. And it's bland. It's forgettable. And nobody ever said, “Wow, that was a fucking legendary Marriott lobby.”” - Christopher Lochhead   The Primordial Need to Fit In We get it: people have a primordial urge to stay in groups. We are pack animals, after all. Staying in a group is safe, staying in a group is comfortable. And having something in common lets us relate personally to a group, which is why marketing companies aim for those traits to relate to their market. But at the end of the day, nobody legendary ever fit in. Because when you try to fit in, you become part of that whole, rather than something that defines it. And rather than companies trying to make their own markets and circles, they are being content in staying in the same circle, and competing for an ever-shrinking part of it, as more and more companies try to muscle their way in. So be legendary, and start being different. “And then I say fuck that, I'm going to follow my different. I'm going to focus on the things that are most meaningful to me, and most importantly, are going to make the biggest difference.” - Christopher Lochhead Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
Today on Lochhead on Marketing, we talk about the good way and the bad way to rebrand. And wat better to use as an example than the recent Gemini AI rebrand by Google. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Good Reason to “Rebrand” Before we proceed with the main topic at hand, let’s first have a good example of when to “rebrand”. There’s a company called Chirp that sells foam rollers, which is used by athletes for training their muscles and easing soreness. But after some time, a new category was invented that was adjacent to their market, the percussion massager / gun. Rather than just create their own version of percussion gun, Chirp went ahead and combined their foam rollers into this new category, essentially making a new category, the rolling percussive massager, for themselves. The Bad Reason to “Rebrand”: Google’s Gemini So why did we tell you that story? Because Google is doing the exact opposite of that, always going for the “Compete in the market” model rather than making their own market. And it could be seen with their latest endeavor in AI, Bard now rebranded as Gemini. So, why did Google make this move? While we can't say for certain, we can infer their motives. Essentially, they directly challenged ChatGPT and came up short. Now, they're revamping Bard to give it a "fresh start." While that might be their goal, most marketing experts would tell you that it simply looks like Google is backing away from the competition and trying to repurpose their AI to make the best of the situation. That in itself is a problem, but there’s also the fact that Google doesn’t really do anything different than the reigning Category King of the market. This has been true with their forays in podcasts, social media, and their other services that are now defunct. They're competing, instead of creating, which is what most companies do, and they're fucked. When to do a “Rebrand” With that said, the best time to do a rebrand is if either you’re introducing a brand-new category as your main product, or revolutionizing one of your current ones by making a new category. Rather than chasing after the tail of the Category Leader and competing for the remaining small chunk of the market, why not try doing something different? Because otherwise, you’ll just get your ass handed to you, just like what happened with Google Plus, Google Podcasts, and now, the unfortunate Google Gemini. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we have a very special episode with one of my favorite marketers, Ryan Alford. Ryan Alford runs a digital marketing agency called Radical Marketing. He also has a great marketing podcast that I've been stoked to be a guest on called The Radcast, which is a top 25 Business and Marketing podcast. He's just one of those guys I like talking about marketing with. Today, we are going to talk about how to have a legendary marketing career. We also talk about why it is that many people in Marketing don't view what they do as a craft that they're working on their whole lives, and what happens when you do so. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Ryan Alford on Marketing Careers and Current Industry Trends Christopher and Ryan discuss the appeal of marketing careers, especially for younger individuals. Ryan, with 20 years of experience, emphasizes the importance of creative thinking and adaptation in the face of industry changes like AI. He believes marketing offers opportunities for innovation and creativity, essential for standing out amidst a crowded field. Christopher adds that many marketers don't view their work as a craft, but rather as a job or set of skills, contrasting it with master surfboard shaping. Ryan, drawing on his own experience, sees marketing as a craft that requires honing skills over time, akin to his father's craftsmanship. Both agree that when you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work. Ryan Alford on Marketing Skills and Adapting to Platform Changes The two then discuss the evolving landscape of marketing skills and the need for adaptability. They highlight the importance of curiosity, continuous learning, and embracing change in navigating the industry's shifts. With the proliferation of digital platforms, they emphasize the challenge of staying updated and the risk of relying too heavily on platforms beyond marketers' control. Despite these challenges, they underscore the enduring power of innovative ideas to capture attention and drive success. Christopher also cautions against shallow tactics focused solely on grabbing attention without meaningful content, using the wind feather in car dealerships and mall entrances as an example. They advocate for a balance between leveraging new platforms and maintaining focus on substantive messaging to achieve marketing goals effectively. Ryan Alford on Marketing Strategies and Generating Outcome Christopher and Ryan discuss the importance of marketing strategies producing meaningful outcomes rather than mere attention-grabbing tactics. They emphasize the necessity of tying marketing efforts to revenue generation, highlighting the distinction between visibility campaigns and those that drive sales. Ryan stresses that successful marketers focus on moving consumers from one perception to another, ultimately leading to sales. They acknowledge the controversy surrounding this viewpoint, especially among marketers who resist being held accountable for tangible results. Both agree that marketing is for those who embrace accountability and are committed to producing revenue, with Christopher noting that marketing allows for creative ideation that triggers sales, contrasting with the more direct approach of salesmanship. To hear more from Ryan Alford and learn how to have a legendary career in Marketing, download and listen to this episode. Bio Ryan Alford Links Connect with Ryan Alford! The Radcast | LinkedIn We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
Happy new year to everyone, and we at Lochhead on Marketing hope that you’ve been having a good one so far. To start off the year, let us talk about the big Distribution Lie, why it is so, and what you really need for your new startup or project to make it big. You see, in Silicon Valley, there has been an ever-increasingly large drumbeat that says the number one thing that a startup needs or that a new software launch of any kind needs is distribution. That if you can only get distribution, then you'd win, right? So, let's test this. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Myth of Distribution as a Key to Success For this discussion, let us use Google as an example. In 2018, Google launched Google Podcast as a competitor to the category king (Apple), and the current challenger (Spotify). On paper, Google Podcast should have the advantage: Google has a legendary distribution line with its 5 billion users and having a mailing and browsing platform that is widely popular worldwide. And yet for some reason, Google Podcast is now at the brink of closing down in 2024. So why did it not beat out the category king, much less its challenger in this race? Building the Category versus Muscling into the Market Simply put, Google Podcast did not offer anything new that Apple Podcast or Spotify doesn’t already do. It was simply relying on the fact that on paper, it looks like the better product with a well-established distribution network to back it up. Whereas Apple created the category, designed the space, and solved the “problem” that their product “solves”, thus cornering a big chunk of the market. This is a mistake that happens over and over and over again, category design economics are clear, the company that designs the space is best positioned to dominate it and by dominated our primary research has shown that the company that designs the category, if they can execute over time, earns 76% of the total value created. Doomed to Repeat Itself Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened to Google. One big thing most people might remember is Google Plus, which was supposed to take down Facebook. And not only Google is susceptible to this, as different big tech companies have committed this mistake, because they believe they could just use their better distribution systems to take over a market, rather than creating their own to dominate. So at the end of the day, no matter how good your product is, and how great your distribution advantage is: if you don't design a new category, around a problem that matters to customers, it doesn't matter how legendary your product is. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
First and foremost, we at Lochhead on Marketing would like to wish everyone from the bottom of our hearts, happy holidays. Christopher Lochhead hopes that you have an opportunity to be with the people you love this time of year, and enjoy some happiness and peace. That said, there seems to be a lot going on lately. Be it about antisemitism, diversity, equality, and inclusion, and sort of the core values that the United States will be governed by and will latch on to. So I wanted to take this time and have a talk between you and I. You may not like what I will have to say, and that is all right. The important thing is that we have a good dialogue between us, and open ourselves to thinking Different does not always mean they hate you and your type of thinking. As we head to 2024, that is my wish for the holiday season. That we have a breakthrough in real, authentic, civilized, thoughtful dialogue. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Christopher Lochhead on LGBTQ+ rights over the years Christopher shared a heartwarming story about a LinkedIn acquaintance, a marketing executive, who recently had a baby with her wife. They had a positive exchange about babies, and Christopher expressed genuine happiness for the couple. “Around here, we think babies are fucking fantastic, especially when they're born to good people who are committed to raising those children and loving knows children. What could be better than a great couple are a great group of folks who have a baby, love that baby, and do everything in their power to provide that child with a great life and enjoy that child. It's wonderful.” – Christopher Lochhead Christopher then reflected on growing up around queer individuals, recalling the challenges they faced over the years. He emphasized the progress in societal acceptance of the queer community, highlighting the positive change that allows people to openly share personal milestones without fear of judgment. That said, Christopher expressed joy for the LinkedIn acquaintance, appreciating that she can legally be herself and share her family news without hesitation, considering it a legendary step forward, especially in the United States. Christopher Lochhead on mortgage discrimination Christopher then talks about a CNN headline that revealed the systemic racism about the Navy Federal Credit Union's discriminatory mortgage approval practices. The report states that while over 75% of white applicants were approved for conventional home purchase mortgages, less than 50% of black applicants were approved under the same circumstances. Christopher condemns this as not just systemic racism but outright evil. He criticizes financial institutions like Wells Fargo for repeatedly facing charges related to racial discrimination without executives facing jail time. He emphasizes the urgent need to acknowledge and fight systemic racism for true equality and justice, citing the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. “This is racism right in front of us. And anybody who's just anybody who cares about equality, and justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all must acknowledge that there is systemic racism against certain groups. There's no doubt about that. And we need to fight it. We really need to fight it.” – Christopher Lochhead On Systemic Racism and DEI in society Christopher expresses concern about the rise of hatred, particularly in the context of recent events, notably the conflict in the Middle East. He highlights the misunderstandings surrounding the October 7th events, emphasizing the severity of the situation and the explicit threat against Israel and the Jewish population. Christopher is dismayed by the confusion and the lack of recognition for Israel's right to defend itself. He shares a personal experience of a friend falling victim to violence and underscores the complexity of the situation,
This week, we're presenting to you Christopher Lochhead's appearance on Lenny’s Podcast, hosted by Lenny Rachitsky. Lenny Rachitsky runs the #1 Business Substack newsletter, Lenny’s Newsletter. It is legendary especially for people in tech marketing, product marketing, and startups. It's so legendary that even Christopher pays for it. And now, he’s in it. This is one of the more in-depth discussions Christopher has had with a very smart person about category design in a while. So settle in for a good listen and great lesson about category design. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. On taking the Good with the Bad Lenny starts off the conversation by showing appreciation to Christopher's extensive work, and jokingly adds that it was challenging to prepare for their conversation due to his numerous podcasts, books, and other content. That said, Lenny noticed Christopher's website displayed negative reviews prominently. When asked about it, Christopher explained his approach with humor, calling his team Category Pirates and embracing criticism. He believed it was essential for innovators not to fear criticism, citing examples of famous artists and musicians who faced initial negativity. Christopher displayed negative feedback to show the reality of creative work and to remind people not to take themselves too seriously. Lenny admired Christopher's ability to handle criticism and expressed the desire to adopt a similar mindset. Lenny Rachitsky on how Lenny’s Newsletter came to be Christopher Lochhead expressed admiration for Lenny's branding choices, appreciating the simplicity of just being called "Lenny." He found it endearing and highlighted that Lenny's authenticity stood out in a world where many influencers create an aura of superiority. Lenny shared that the name "Lenny's Newsletter" was a default suggestion from Substack, and he never intended it to be a long-term commitment. Similarly, he struggled to find a different name for his podcast, wanting to avoid a self-centered approach. But despite having his name in the branding, Christopher noted the content wasn't self-centered; instead, it reflected Lenny's genuine approach, unlike influencers who focus on creating envy. They both appreciated the authenticity in Lenny's approach. Lenny Rachitsky and Christopher Lochhead talk Category Creation Lenny asked Christopher about category creation, a concept Christopher has championed over competition in existing markets. Christopher explained how most people aim to compete by offering a better product or service in an existing category. However, legendary innovators don't follow this path. They create entirely new categories, defining unique problems and solutions. Christopher emphasized that a single company in a category usually captures two-thirds of the market value, making category creation a lucrative strategy. He cited Gojo Industries, creators of Purell, as an example. They didn't just invent hand sanitizer; they redefined the problem of hand cleanliness, leading to a new market category. Christopher stressed the importance of focusing on problem-solving rather than just product features, making one's brand irreplaceable in customers' minds. He contrasted this approach with typical marketing, where companies invite comparison, emphasizing the power of radical differentiation and being a category creator. To hear more about Christopher’s conversation with Lenny Rachitsky on Category Creation, download and listen to this episode. If you want to learn more about Lenny Rachitsky, check out his Newsletter and Podcast at LennyRachitsky.com. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche
On this episode, let’s talk about Israel, and the war that has come to this “Startup Nation”. Off the top, let me say the pain and suffering of what's happening is unbelievable, unbearable. My heart goes out to Israel, all Israelis, and all Jews around the world. I also want to say I have spoken with many Arabs since this happened. There's a very big difference between an Arab or a Palestinian and Hamas. They are not the same thing. My Arab friends wanted to stress that to me. My heart goes out to all the innocent Arabs in Gaza and in the region who are suffering and also experiencing extraordinary pain and loss. Israel is a “Startup Nation” If you’ve been in tech for a while, you’ve probably worked with Israelis. For the better part of my professional life, I’ve worked with entrepreneurs, engineers and executives from the country. The Israeli’s I know are smart, tough, driven, no-nonsense result producers. If you want to get big tech shit done, work with Israelis. It has one of the highest concentrations of startups in the world. Its tech sector is a major contributor to the country's economy. Tech is 18% of Israel's GDP, and 14% of all salaried employees work in Tech. That’s roughly 500,000 people. On top of which, 50% of Israel's total exports come from Technology developed by these people. The framework Israelis created to co-locate Israel/US tech startups, established an innovation model that is envied the world over. Israel has over 6,000 Tech Companies The impact of this war borne out by the Israeli people. Reports indicate that the start if this war was "the darkest day in Jewish history since the end of the Holocaust.” And, it will also be felt by virtually every major tech company in the world. There are over 6,000 tech companies operating in Israel, including some of the largest names, with Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Intel to name a few. These companies have a variety of strategic operations in Israel, including research and development centers, sales offices, and customer support centers. Israel is home to over 15,000 startups, and they employ over 100,000 people. In 2021, Israeli tech companies raised a record $25.6 billion in venture capital funding. Today, they are scrambling to secure and support their people.   15,000 Israeli Tech Startups Now, this evil war is extracting an unbearable human cost. More death, suffering and disruption is sure to follow. And this war will be felt by many of us in the tech industry. My heart aches for Israel. My heart aches for all of the innocent souls in the Middle East. We’re praying for peace, and the day we can all get back to building legendary companies. To hear more of Christopher Lochhead’s thoughts on the recent events that unfolded in Israel, download and listen to this episode. If you wish to join the conversation and get more information on the matter, check out Christopher’s post on LinkedIn: Christopher Lochhead Different: Weekly Newsletter We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates about consumer spending trends. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss the latest consumer spending reports and what they mean for the retail category and retail category queens. They also dive into a category opportunity for McDonalds and how it could impact the future of food delivery. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Changing Retail Landscape Eddie Yoon examines the evolving economic landscape and its impact on U.S. consumers. Employing a Category Science lens, Eddie highlights significant disparities in economic indicators. Disposable personal income in July saw a mere 0.15% uptick, the year's lowest, while personal consumption expenditures (PCE) surged by 0.82%, marking a 2023 high. This income-spending disconnect raises concerns. Eddie notes the imminent return of student loan payments, averaging $503 per month, which may strain disposable income. Loan delinquencies, nearing 2020 levels, signal financial challenges. Notably, a fourfold increase in young adults aged 25 to 34 living with parents since the 1960s reflects economic constraints driving lifestyle changes. Prompted by Christopher, Eddie also identifies two contrasting trends: robust growth in experiences and personal transformations versus declining interest in traditional goods. While international travel and categories like medical aesthetics flourish, traditional retailers like Target, Kroger, and Home Depot report declining revenues. Eddie predicts a future marked by consolidation and M&A, with only a select few brands and private labels surviving. Navigating the Shifting Consumer-Driven Economy Christopher Lochhead and Eddie Yoon then tackle the intriguing dual signals in the economy, driven by increasing digital influence on consumer behavior. On one hand, positive indicators suggest the American consumer remains a key economic driver, with retail sales growing by 0.6% in August and a forecasted real GDP growth of 3.5% for the third quarter. However, Eddie Yoon emphasizes the underlying shifts: Consumers are driving economic growth through increased credit spending, but it raises questions about sustainability. Many are making significant changes in their financial habits, including declining college enrollments, reduced home purchases, and a lower birth rate, all contributing to a redefined economic landscape. The trend toward single-person households, now at 29%, signifies a fundamental shift in the traditional nuclear household model. While the macroeconomic picture may still appear positive, these changes point to a significant remaking of the American economy, shaped by evolving consumer preferences influenced by digital transformations. McDonald's Dilemma Christopher and Eddie then discuss McDonald's recent announcement to phase out fountain drinks inside their stores by 2032, which highlights a significant shift in consumer behavior. Currently, 40% of their revenue is generated through app purchases, delivery, and drive-thru, indicating a decline in physical store visits. This trend reflects the changing preferences of Native Digitals, who prefer digital-first experiences and the conveniences they bring. As consumers become more discerning and value experiences over material possessions, businesses need to adapt to these mega trends. Eddie Yoon points out that while some trends are favorable, like digital and app-focused sales, the shift in product mix poses challenges. McDonald's heavily relies on the profitability of fountain drinks, which drive a substantial portion of their margins. However, the convenience of home beverages and changing consumer preferences may lead to a decline in the sale of large-size drinks at McDonald's,
On this episode, we have a powerful dialogue with our guest, Josh Greene about what it really takes to build your reputation online and do legendary marketing in the digital world. Josh Greene is the CEO of The Mather Group. In a world of digital marketing BS, sophomores hacks and self-congratulatory vanity metrics, Josh is the real deal. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Josh Greene on Marketing and Reputation Management The episode starts off with a discussion about marketing trends and reputation management with Josh Greene. They touch upon the impact of AI on marketing strategies and delve into reputation management techniques. Christopher highlights how individuals with negative reputations try to bury their past misdeeds in online search results. Josh explains that reputation management involves manipulating search engine rankings to push down negative content and make it less visible, while at the same time providing more positive information about you or your company. They also touch on the evolving landscape of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), with Josh emphasizing that SEO is not dead but constantly changing. He notes that traditional SEO tactics, such as keyword optimization, have evolved due to changes in Google's algorithms and the increasing importance of AI-driven queries. Josh Greene on what is the Internet thinking about you They also discuss the topic of the evolving landscape of SEO and the impact of AI, particularly in large language models like ChatGPT and Bard. As mentioned earlier, Josh highlights how SEO has evolved beyond optimizing for Google to also include considerations for AI-driven queries. He then emphasizes the importance of managing one's online reputation in this context. On the topic of AI, Christopher shares his experience with ChatGPT, mentioning how it produced relevant results related to category design, which led him to ponder the connection between AI training data, the internet's content, and these AI models' abilities to provide meaningful information. He also mentions that experts in various fields, including category design, are actively teaching AI models to enhance their understanding and capabilities. Josh Green on how to stand out from the crowd They then discuss how to stand out in the digital landscape, particularly in the context of AI and SEO. Josh explains that AI models like those used by Google rely on credible sources, with Wikipedia and Google's patent tool being primary sources. He emphasizes that credibility, links, and signals play a significant role in determining the relevance of content for AI models. Much like in SEO, authoritative content with strong signals will have a more substantial impact. Christopher adds that AI is evolving similarly to SEO and mentions that some individuals are already trying to exploit AI for personal gain by selling courses on how to manipulate AI models. He highlights the importance of providing valuable content to help people rather than merely trying to stay ahead of trends or exploit emerging technologies. They both agree that the key to success in the digital age, whether in AI or SEO, is delivering valuable content and expertise to genuinely assist others rather than chasing quick fixes or trends promoted by self-proclaimed gurus. They also note that having a real impact requires substance and credibility, not just buzzwords. To hear more from Josh Greene and on how you can build your online reputation, download and listen to this episode. Bio Josh Greene Links Connect with Josh Greene! The Mather Group | LinkedIn We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s take a look on what the movie Barbie did to reach such an overwhelming success, and what Tech CEOs can learn about their approach to marketing. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Barbie’s Approach to Marketing Christopher Lochhead opens up the dialogue with pointing out the things that the Barbie producers did that made it a blockbuster win, particularly with what they did on the marketing side. According to Christopher, Barbie pulled off the greatest “lightning strike” framework of any brand in 2023. One of the notable things that stood out was that Barbie spent $145M on producing the film, while spending almost $150M on marketing. Let that sink in: $145M to make it, $150M to build it up. Most companies would consider it outrageous to do such a thing, opting to focus their resources on building the product and spending what’s left on marketing, if any. And this is why most of those companies fail to make a mark and carve out a market early on in their product’s lifecycle. How about Barbie? Well, it spent a combined $295M, but that marketing approach resulted in $1B in sales. $145M to make it, $150M to build. $1B in revenue. Barbie’s Missed Opportunity That said, Christopher did point out a few missed avenues that Barbie could’ve made to take advantage of their marketing strategy. For one thing, they left the digital space widely untapped, spawning newsletters and enticing new generations of girls to getting into collecting Barbies and other related merchandise. Another thing they could’ve done is get older fans together and start building out a community in the digital sphere and talk all things Barbie. Not only does it heavily hit people in their nostalgia, but it can also help expose those older generation’s children into Barbie, and then you are back to point no. 1. The Recession that Never Came One of the things that Christopher also noticed with Barbie’s approach is that people are still bracing for a recession that seemingly never came, or at least was not as full-blown as we were expecting it to be. While everyone else was still timidly testing the waters, Barbie decided it would make a big splash instead. So for Tech CEOs out there, it may not be the time to be holding down the fort. Rather, it should be a good time to try and hurl some lightning strikes in the market and see if you strike gold. To hear more about Christopher Lochhead’s views on Barbie’s success and how it can teach tech CEOS about marketing, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss Elon Musk’s recent move to rebrand Twitter to X. They also speculate why Elon made such a move, and what he could have done from a category design perspective. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Twitter to X Elon Musk's choice to rename Twitter as X has left people puzzled, questioning why he would give up a well-known brand and introduce a new one. Katrina follows up that the others think the move might be aimed at entering a different category, possibly related to financing. She wonders whether it would have been wiser to create a new company instead of rebranding Twitter. Eddie Yoon discusses the debate surrounding the cost of rebranding and the value of legacy brand identity. He highlights that classic economic theory suggests ignoring sunk costs, which are expenses from the past, and instead focusing on future opportunities. Eddie mentions that while some argue against rebranding due to the value of Twitter's legacy brand, most consumers prioritize what a brand can offer them in the future rather than its past reputation. He suggests that rebranding can make sense when a company wants to enter new categories and emphasizes the importance of looking towards future opportunities rather than dwelling on the past. In Musk’s case, he’s not banking on the legacy of the brand itself, but the established userbase that Twitter has, who have a high potential of also buying in to what new category Twitter, now X, might become. Elon Musk’s Mistake with the rebrand While Christopher Lochhead agrees with Eddie Yoon’s points, he also believes that Elon Musk made a mistake by rebranding Twitter without clearly unveiling his vision for the new category of service he wants to create. He argues that a rebrand should be part of a strategic launch of a new category and not just a standalone action. The value of a brand lies in its perceived leadership in a relevant category, and in this case, the microblogging category may not be as impactful as before. Although Elon Musk's approach might not align with the ideal category design strategy, his reputation and influence will likely still garner attention when he eventually presents his big vision for the new category. But it definitely will lose some steam because the rebrand has become open to interpretation, rather than being focused on the intended category creation. X as a financial category The three further discuss the possibility of X creating a new currency or incorporating cryptocurrencies into its platform. Eddie mentions that X is already experiencing a shift in money flow, with revenue coming from both advertisers and users. They also speculate that Elon Musk might have plans to introduce financial services or a new token (X token) on Twitter/X, incentivizing creators and potentially offering various payment options, including cryptocurrency. They compare this potential move to American Airlines' frequent flyer program, which essentially created a currency in the form of loyalty points. While they acknowledge they don't have insider information, they highlight that Musk's background with PayPal and his desire to make X a vital part of everyone's life might lead to interesting developments. To hear more about the discussion on what Elon plans to do with X, download and listen to this episode. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche
On this episode, we welcome Mike Bruno, Senior Category Designer at Play Bigger. Today, we dig into what it takes to make Category Design your career, and how incredible it is working with some of the most advanced technology companies in the world on category design. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.   Mike Bruno and his first year as a Category Designer Mike, who has been a category designer for about a year and a half, started his career working in agencies and social advertising. Transitioning into category design was a return to a beginner mindset for him, which he found interesting. In his previous role, he helped people solve problems and develop strategies based on business objectives and existing products. This experience translated well to category design, where the front door is identifying the problem that the category solves uniquely. Mike also mentioned that category design involves many new concepts and a broader aperture, as it requires structuring not only the client's business but also influencing the entire market. While it was a humbling experience trying to figure it all out, he also had a sense of familiarity, knowing how to approach problems and strategize effectively. Overall, his first year as a category designer was challenging and exciting, with a mix of the familiar and the new, which kept him engaged and interested in the field.   The way people think about Category Design Christopher and Mike discuss the challenges of transitioning from traditional marketing to category design. They emphasize that category design involves creating new markets rather than catching existing demand. Mike points out that realizing someone invented categories was a facepalm moment for him, but it made him realize the importance of solving unsolved problems. Christopher and Mike also talked about the power of not doing anything, meaning finding a category that has already been solved, and how this is often underestimated in the business world. They use Apple's example of launching a new category called "spatial computing" instead of just a new product like most marketers do. They compare it to Magic Leap, which failed to create a category despite having inspiring visions. Mike believes Apple succeeded because they could bridge the gap between their vision and the technology needed to achieve it.   Mike Bruno on the Difference between Category Design and Product Design Christopher and Mike discuss the difference between launching a product and category designing a market category. They use the example of Magic Leap, which had a product but failed to category design the spatial computing market. Christopher explains that category design involves framing, naming, and claiming a new problem, creating an ecosystem of partners to solve that problem, and evangelizing the solution. Mike shares his surprise about the comprehensive nature of category design, realizing that it's not just about coming up with a new term but involves a rigorous process to make the category successful. They also mention Apple's success in category designing the spatial computing market, positioning themselves for significant market cap growth while other players who only launched products may miss out on the opportunity. To hear more from Mike Bruno and his experiences as a Category Designer, download and listen to this episode.   Bio Mike Bruno Mike is a Senior Category Designer with a background in psychology and communications strategy. He finds hidden problems and unspoken truths, and connects those with companies, brands and products to drive businesses and, importantly, the people they serve. Mike’s style of Category Design is simple, straightforward and playful. His work is equally influenced by the behavioral sciences, business theory and imagination. Carl Jung on one shoulder, and Dav Pilkey on the other.
On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss why it's crucial to frame, name, and claim a problem when designing a category and marketing it to customers. They also discuss why companies struggle to articulate their problems, and explain what happens if they fail to properly language it. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The three most important things a company does at the highest levels When asked about the problem that category design solves, Christopher emphasizes three key aspects. Firstly, it is important to believe that there are three crucial elements for a successful company: designing a legendary company/business model, offering legendary products/services, and creating a legendary category. These three aspects are considered the most important things a company does. If someone does not agree with this belief, he thinks that there is no basis for further discussion. Secondly, it is necessary to acknowledge the significance of taking ownership and authorship of the category. If someone is willing to assume this responsibility, then assistance can be provided. However, if they are not interested in this aspect, there is no intention to convince or persuade them. “That's the difference between you walking in the dojo and us standing outside the dojo and dragging you into it.” – Christopher Lochhead Would you rather capture the 76% or compete for the 24%? Eddie Yoon emphasizes the importance of category design in capturing the market. He argues that if one does not recognize the significance of category design, then other considerations become irrelevant. If it is agreed that category design is important, it must be acknowledged that it should be pursued wholeheartedly. Eddie suggests that the question of why naming, framing, and claiming are important is essentially a question about the importance of category design itself. He states that if one does not understand the essence of category design, they cannot effectively address the first question. He presents a scenario where capturing 76% of the category economics is compared to competing for the remaining 24% with a better or faster, cheaper version. Eddie suggests that many people are actually comfortable with the smaller percentage because it is familiar and known. However, if someone is content with competing for the smaller share, Eddie acknowledges their choice and states that traditional business strategies and teachings will suffice for that situation. Ultimately, Eddie highlights the importance of understanding one's preference for a larger or smaller market share and reframing the perspective accordingly. Unlearning the 24% way Eddie Yoon discusses the necessity of unlearning old and "comfortable" ways in order to capture the 76% of the market. He emphasizes that choosing to pursue the larger market share requires a significant amount of unlearning. Part of this unlearning process involves freeing oneself to focus on understanding and articulating the problem at hand. Eddie compares it to Mark Twain's quote about not having time to write a short letter, which highlights the importance of concise and effective communication. Framing, naming, and claiming the problem are essential because without the ability to express it clearly, important details can be lost in subsequent conversations with coworkers, investors, or customers. This loss of clarity can lead to a diluted understanding of the value proposition. Eddie explains that without a clear understanding of the problem and its articulation, customers may not perceive the worth or premium of the product or service, investors may question the multiple premiums, and employees may not see the value of choosing the company over competitors focusing on...
On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss why some companies ship products, but very few companies category design markets. They explain this through the lens of Apple's new Vision Pro spatial computing headset in talk about why Apple's approach is different. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Apple has always been Category First, Product Second Katrina Kirsch starts off the conversation with how a lot of companies tend to put out products, and not focus on creating a category for them first. Apple seems to be the biggest contrary to this statement, as it has always been a category-driven company rather than product driven. Eddie Yoon agrees with this, and adds that Apple has never been one to create a product first, or a first-mover. Even going as far as the first Mac, there have been personal computers before it, but Apple sold people to a whole new experience by creating a category around personal computers and having an interface that’s both intuitive and easy to get into. Copying vs Innovating Following up to this, there are those who say that Apple is just copying ideas from its competitors and adding their own quirk to it. But if you look at this deeper, Apple is just really good at finding different uses for existing products in the market, something that those who made it first didn’t even consider as a function. Take for example what Apple is doing to the Vision Pro right now, which was discussed by Christopher in the previous Lochhead on Marketing episode (LOM 178). The main difference with how Google and other virtual headset devices marketed themselves versus the clear-cut presentation and demonstration by Apple is just miles apart. It doesn’t just look like a proof of concept that people can experiment on: Apple clearly tells you, “This is what you can do with it, and what other things you can add on later.” Apple is attacking the "tyranny of the screen” Christopher then explains that a lot of people misunderstood Apple’s point of attack in launching the Vision Pro. As product-centric companies and businesses, they think Apple is attacking other products like the Oculus and other VR headsets. When in reality, Apple is aiming for something else. As Eddie Yoon puts it, Apple is attacking the tyranny of the screen. The concept that we have to get bigger screens when we want better entertainment value, or that we have to be tied down to a certain place when doing work because your display cannot move with you. The other misconception is that people say Apple did not invent spatial computing. That it has been there this whole time in other products. And that’s true. But they are one of the first to adopt it to a question that only spatial computing can solve, and not just push out a product to see what people will do to it. This gives Apple app developers a range that they can work with; a clear scope and limitation so they don’t overshoot their promises, but at the same time push the boundaries of what can be done with it. To hear more about these Pirates Perspectives, download and listen to this episode. And if you like to hear more Pirates Perspectives, you can find it and other buried treasures when you subscribe to our Category Pirates newsletter. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him,
Apple announced some powerful new stuff at their Worldwide Developer Conference. And, as usual, many people in the business press, Twitter, and in Silicon Valley didn't see what happened in plain sight. So here we are again, explaining why this new category is different from the other virtual and reality augmentation devices out there, and why it is important. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Don’t just launch products, launch categories Let me put it to you this way. Google launches products, aka Google Glass. Facebook, launches products, aka Oculus. Meanwhile, Apple does Category Design. It's fascinating to us that category design hides in plain sight. Because what most people got wrong is they think that Apple introduced a product called Vision Pro. And yes, of course, they did that. But they did not make the same mistake that Google and Facebook made, which is they just launch products; Apple designs categories. And they tell you that's exactly what they're doing. Press Release for Apple Vision Pro Here's the headline: introducing Apple Vision Pro, Apple's first spatial computer. And what you have is the new product and brand Apple vision Pro. And they tell you what it is. It's a spatial computer. It's not a VR/AR headset. It's not some kind of other variety – It's a spatial computer. And if you go on to read the press release, what you'll discover is that Tim Cook's quote sums the whole thing up. “Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing. And that, my friends, is the difference between marketing a category and just a product. Creating a new computing platform And this is what most people miss. And the reason they did it at their worldwide developer conference, is because they want the vision pro spatial computer to become a new compute platform. Just like the iPhone became a new compute platform, the personal computer became a new compute platform. That's what they're doing here. The iPad, etc. became a new platform, a new category of technology, not just a product that they gave to people. Launching a product without a category is like a loose cannon When Google launched Google Glass, they launched a product, they never articulated a problem that that product solved. They never evangelized a different future with that product. What they did was show a bunch of features. And because they didn't provide the strategic context for understanding of what the product was, aka category, they left it up to customers and the media to decide. Google Glass Demo Well, what happened? If you don't control your own category narrative, somebody else will. And so what emerged about Google Glass? Well, number one, because they did the launch in Silicon Valley, the people who used it immediately got the nickname of “glass-holes”, because it was rich assholes using Google Glass and beta and early release driving around in their Tesla's and the like, that sort of drew the ire of much of the world. To hear more on what Apple did right with the launch of their new category, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006,
On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon and Christopher Lochhead of Category Pirates answer questions about how important it is to create a category name that resonates with people—and that is similar enough to everyday language. Languaging takes thinking, but it’s worth getting right. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The importance of a Category Name entering the mainstream The first topic comes from a question about the importance of having a category name, and how important it is to be relevant enough to be used in everyday speech and lingo. Eddie points out that it is every important and a great deal to have one’s category name be something recognized by the public, particularly the target consumers, while striking a balance of being unique and different from the rest. An example he gives is Starbucks, which is in the “Dessert Coffee” business. While they might not outright say that they are in such as business, how they portray their products is perceived by consumers as such. And they capture that particular market by Languaging, creating something new like the Frappuccino. Having your Category Name make a mark in people’s minds Continuing along that line of thought, Eddie Yoon emphasizes that it is not only important to create something new, but it is also important that people find it relevant and want to engage with your product or service. Going to the example of Starbucks again, people have had coffee before, but they have not had dessert coffee. And say what you will, Frappuccino is essential a liquid sugar bomb in a cup, which a lot of people find more interesting than your regular latte or cappuccino. And where can you buy this Frappuccino? That’s right, Starbucks. Nowadays, there are numerous coffee shops that use the term, but whenever one thinks of Frappuccino, Starbucks is one of the first things that come to mind. And that is how you make a mark in people’s minds. Combining Ideas to make a new innovative Category Idea Christopher Lochhead then brings up the topic of combining two or three ideas to make a new Category Idea. Sometimes, those ideas can even clash with each other individual, but makes sense when you combine them. An example of this was Sun Microsystems, which went all-in for networking earlier than everyone else. While people are still using their computers as standalone units in business, Sun Microsystems have been selling servers and advocated for business to build a network for their office PCs. They even have their own networking software called Solaris. So while the business people in the 90’s finally had their delayed A-ha! moment, Sun Microsystems have already carved up a sizable chunk of the market for themselves. To hear more about these Pirates Perspectives, download and listen to this episode. And if you like to hear more Pirates Perspectives, you can find it and other buried treasures when you subscribe to our Category Pirates newsletter. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we have a dialogue with Mike Maples Jr. on how artificial intelligence is changing startups and venture capital. Mike Maples Jr. is the co-founder of Floodgate, one of the highest profile early stage venture capitalists. He also has a podcast called Starting Greatness, and it is one of my absolute favorites. By the end of it, we hope that you'll gain a new way to think about both technical risk for startups and market risk. And why in an AI world, you must either be radically different or radically disintermediate something. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Mike Maples Jr. on AI We begin the discussion on the topic of challenges of making sense of the rapidly evolving field of AI. Mike also talks about the traditional funding model of startups, where the primary focus was taking out technical risk, and how the LAMP stack, which commoditized what was once expensive, made it easier to start a startup. Mike notes that the nature of the LAMP stack changed what startups were funded for. “What I like to say is that the LAMP stack was deflationary in terms of the cost of starting startup. And so what does that mean? It meant that what you were funding was different, because if Kevin Rose can start dig for $1,500, over a weekend, there's no technical risks there. I mean, he hired a contractor to do it that he didn't even know at the time.” – Mike Maples Jr. Who gets Product Market Fit first The conversation then moves on to the changing dynamics of venture capital investment. The discussion continues with the notion that technical risk and market risk are inversely related. Solving a technically difficult problem that is valuable to society will create a market; if the problem is easy to solve technically, it will all come down to who achieves product-market fit first. To add value to the business, Floodgate and YC have taken the approach of funding market risk takedown. As technology becomes more commoditized and innovations become more accessible, the person who creates something people want the quickest wins. This is why YC was so successful: it offered young people $100,000 to either take market risks or leave. He also mentions that the traditional venture capital model may not be appropriate for all businesses and that deflationary factors such as content, code, and data may change the way businesses are built. Mike Maples Jr. on AI and the future of Venture Capital Mike Maples Jr. then returns to the topic of artificial intelligence and its implications for the future of venture capital. Here, Mike emphasizes two ends of the risk spectrum: high technical risk and high market risk. On the one hand, some projects require large amounts of funding for mass computation in order to build massive models that have the potential to change humanity. On the other hand, AI is being used in a variety of fields, including content generation for marketing, customer service chatbots, and lead generation, resulting in a deflationary effect on content, code, and data. According to Mike, some businesses may not require traditional venture capital funding and should instead focus on achieving $50 million in revenue with a small team and minimal funding. There is also speculation that the current billion-dollar funds may be providing the wrong incentives to these companies. To hear more from Mike Maples Jr. and how AI can affect the future of startups and venture capital, download and listen to this episode. Bio Mike Maples Jr. is an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He’s co-founder of Silicon Valley based, early-stage VC Floodgate. And the host of the popular “Starting Greatness” podcast. Investments include Twitter, Lyft, Bazaarvoice, Sparefoot, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Doubledutch, Twitch.tv, Playdom, Chegg, Demandforce, Rappi, Smule, and Outreach. Link
On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, myself and Eddie Yun, co-founder & co-creator of Category Pirates, tackle what's going on with what Elon Musk is now doing at Twitter; specifically, the move to charging people for their Validation Verification– once coveted, now purchasable – Blue Checkmarks. This is part of a new thing we're doing with our Category Pirates newsletter called Pirate Perspectives. So if you are interested and haven’t subscribed to Category Pirates yet, now’s the best time to check it out. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Twitter removes the Blue Check. Kinda. The conversation starts with Christopher and Eddie Yoon discussing Twitter's recent decision to remove Legacy Blue Checkmarks and only allowing verified accounts for those who pay. Eddie argues that this move is a step towards aligning Twitter's incentives with its users by making them pay for the service rather than monetizing their data through an advertising model. However, he suggests that Twitter could offer a tiered pricing structure to accommodate different budgets. The two acknowledge that this move has caused a lot of controversy, with some users upset about losing their Legacy Blue checkmarks, while some are given Blue checkmarks even though they didn’t ask for one. Christopher mentions that Elon Musk paid for verified accounts for Stephen King, LeBron James, and others, and they are angry about the change given their prior stance about it. Elon Musk and the missed opportunity with repurposing the blue checkmark Christopher and Eddie then talk about the recent decision by Twitter to remove the blue checkmark verification for some users. Christopher mentions that he appreciates the verification process before because it helps him identify real people on the platform. They also discuss the success of OpenAI's GPT chat and the importance of delivering a valuable user experience. Eddie agrees and mentions that incentivizing creators can improve the overall ecosystem by improving content and reducing fraud. They agree that Elon Musk and Twitter missed an opportunity to position the repurposing of blue checkmarks as an improvement to the user experience rather than a takeaway. To hear more about these category pirates’ hot takes on what is happening to Twitter and the social media space, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
This Lochhead on Marketing episode is a short one, almost like a bedtime story with Uncle Lochhead. I recently did a post on LinkedIn that blew up in a way that I didn’t quite expect. It was meant to be a humorous post about Marketing, but it seems to have cut quite deep in some, and others found it relatable. I thought it would be fun to read to you so we could share a few chuckles about it. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Conversation CFO to CMO: “Our revenue is going down, so we must cut your marketing budget” CMO: "I’m confused, Marketing is how we drive revenue?” CFO: “The macro environment is tough and we need to cut costs.” CMO: “But, Marketing is how we drive revenue?” CFO: “Yes, but Marketing is the fastest and easiest way to cut costs!” CMO: “But, if we need revenue, don’t we need Marketing more than ever?” CFO: “Not sure what they’re teaching today at Marketing MBA school, but we’re cutting your Marketing budget 30%.” CMO: “OK, so when revenue goes down, the best strategy is cut Marketing?” CFO: “YES! I believe you’ve got it!” To check out how people reacted and responded to this “conversation”, check out the post on LinkedIn. If you like this and are interested in joining different business and marketing conversations, join us at Category Pirates today! Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
Comments (4)

Alex Saunders

The article highlighted how the business practices of Russia have had a detrimental effect on Ukraine's economy and overall well-being. It was disheartening to learn about the unfair trade practices, economic sanctions, and political interference that Ukraine has had to endure. The author's choice of words, such as "devastating" and "crippling," effectively conveyed the magnitude of the challenges faced by Ukraine. Despite the somber subject matter, the article managed to maintain an optimistic tone throughout and you can also explore more details on https://www.pissedconsumer.com/blog/2022/03/how-business-in-russia-hurt-ukraine/ . It emphasized the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people in the face of adversity. The author's use of words like "resilient" and "unyielding" painted a picture of a nation that refuses to be defeated. I appreciate how the article provided a comprehensive overview of the situation, including the historical context and geopolitical factors at pl

Sep 19th
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Chris McNall

Thank you for great content that you could easily charge for!!!

Sep 12th
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Real News

Lochhead distilled; the podcast which captures the essence of Lochhead's marketing philosophy surrounding category design. For a long time I have been looking to capture his pearls of wisdom in an easy to digest manner so that I could serve this up to friends and give them an insight into how to be the category king; the company that captures 76% of the market value rather than be one of the many companies slogging it out to capture 24% Sit back and drink in the wisdom!

Aug 19th
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Jeff Blain

The podcast that gives back! I first got infected by the first version this contagious Lochhead podcast, Legend and looser. The gene mutated to follow your different and now, marketing content. Its un curable, you binge them one after the other. Fantastic host, exceptional guests. Give Lochhead 20 minutes he will allow you to have a second life. This is no BS, the content is genuine. Last word would be, like the Ramones would say, Hey-ho, let's go!

Aug 12th
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