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Brand Tuned - Learn the Whole Story
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Brand Tuned - Learn the Whole Story

Author: Shireen Smith

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The Brand Tuned podcast explores the 'what and why of branding'. It's for founders, marketers, graphic designers, business advisers and lawyers in search of ideas to increase success. This often comes through better positioning, and understanding what customers want and need. Focusing on distinctiveness is about attending to intellectual property appropriately. Brand Tuned is hosted by Shireen Smith, author, marketer, IP lawyer, and business owner.
151 Episodes
In this episode, Emmanuel Probst, a Global Lead, Brand Thought-Leadership at Ipsos and an adjunct professor teaching consumer market research at UCLA, shares with us how to create a transformative brand.Emmanuel has 17 years of background in marketing and market research experience, such as at IP source. He is also the author of Brand Hacks, and Assemblage - The Art and Science of Brand Transformation, which releases this coming January 2023.Among other things, we discuss:that brands can no longer just sell products. They must aim to be transformative for people and the world they live in. That brands are no longer in control of the narrative, so they must harness the power of the community and make a greater and more sustainable one.the importance of noticing what existing brands are offering the market. Then consider creating something new and unique to offer in the category. creating your market positioning.The trick is really to understand your audience and  get a deep understanding of the market.three Dimensions of Brand TransformationWhat is Programmed Obsolescence?How to Create a Transformative BrandUnderstanding Trends in the Societywww.emmanuelprobst.comTwitter: @EmmanuelprobstLinkedin Emmanuel ProbstResources mentioned on the podcastBrand HacksAssemblage - The Art and Science of Brand Transformationmarketingweek.comadage.comadweek.commediapost.comChallenger Project - Eat Big FishFinancial Insights at Ipsos.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
Having recently asked people what their top questions are about branding and IP (Intellectual Property), I decided to record my answers in this episode.The questions answered in this episode include:What are the different ways I can protect my brand?Do I need international protection or is UK protection enough?How do I explain to graphic designers I work with the importance of checking they are not infringing on anyone's IP?How can you be sure that graphic designers you work with hand over the rights to all the assets they create? How can you be sure they have done this fully?What do you regard as the best branding campaign(s) of all time? And why?Do you think the Internet is actually effective for brand building?Valuable Resources:Register for Free Webinar on 23 NovemberRegister Your Interest to be Notified of the Next Webinar DateBrand Tuned Newsletter
In this episode I discuss some thoughts  following the recent podcast with Sean Adams,  an internationally recognized graphic designer, and the chair of undergraduate and graduate graphic design at Art Center College of Design in California. I found Sean's approach refreshingly client focused and empathetic.  For example, Sean takes clients on the design journey and explains what he is doing and why. This collaborative approach, and avoiding a big reveal at the end of the process, is more likely to result in an identity that the client finds acceptable.I think if the designer can also talk about the IP dimension they would be the ideal adviser to clients. While the word ‘design’ is commonly associated with graphic designers, in truth it includes anyone who advises on business structure. They can help plan how a business should work in all respects, not just visually.Given that visual identity needs to be permanent I’m often baffled that  designers radically change the visual identity of established businesses just because the business’ strategy changes.Surely tweaks to the identity is all that's needed, unless there is something radically transformed about the business. It’s vital to leave the identifying elements so you don’t disturb memory structures.This episode tackles:Importance of taking clients on the design journeyWhat makes a good logo?When is it the right time to radically change a visual identity?Drawbacks of changing your identityMeasuring brand equity to make identity design decisionswww.seanadams.designResources mentioned on the podcastThe Designer’s Dictionary of Color Valuable Resources:Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
In this episode, Sean Adams, an internationally recognized graphic designer, and the chair of undergraduate and graduate graphic design at Art Center College of Design in California  tells  us to succeed with identities without really trying.Sean Adams is the author of multiple best selling books, including  The Designer’s Dictionary of Color.Brand Identity is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It's a toolkit, an approach to solving problems, an equation. It's not a thing that you can just slap onto your business and hope for the best. You have to understand it and use it correctly in order to succeed with brand identities without really trying.If you're just starting out, the process can seem overwhelming at first. Where do you even begin? What kind of logo is best for your business? How do you go about creating an identity that speaks to your customers and attracts new clients?There’s no one right answer, but there are three kinds of identities that you need to understand to start with: word mark, monogram, and symbol. Your branding strategy may use one of these approaches, so it’s good to explore them all and know what they mean.One of the trickiest aspects of branding is building equity over time. If you think about the Apple identity, it has that little bite out of it, which forces you to think a little bit, the more you think, the more it sticks in your head. Design is an important part of branding. You can't just have a nice logo and expect people to buy your product. You have to make it appealing in other ways too, Branding isn't just about beauty and aesthetic, but it should be how we can make it unique. We focus on certain colors because they've become emotionally loaded with meaning for us. How do we get those emotional meanings etched into our brand image?This episode discusses:Three kinds of identitiesBuilding equity with symbolsChoosing your branding fontsVisual attributesHow to know you have a great designer/ designers sensibilitiesThe cultural impact of color choicesSemioticsCurrent challenges facing designerswww.seanadams.designResources mentioned on the podcastThe Designer’s Dictionary of Color How Design Makes Us ThinkDebbie Millman booksSean Adams' LinkedIn leaning course on brandingValuable Resources:Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
Is being unique your ultimate goal in your business? How, exactly, do you stand out from your competitors and make sure that you remain a purple cow?  A crucial part of a business’ success is being distinctive and visibly different from its competitors. This is the main objective in creating business brand. Having a recognizable and distinctive name helps ensure you will be able to stand out from the crowd.   Distinctiveness is about the identifiers we use. These identifiers are how consumers recognise brands. They associate them with you. It’s your name, and brand elements you choose, such as your logo, any distinctive symbols, characters, shapes, sounds, colours etc. When you’re creating your business' brand, understanding what competitors can and can't legitimately copy is key to creating a unique brand. Your focus should be as much on what to create as whether you can prevent copying of the elements you create.. That’s why creating slogans and taglines that are ownable is key to protecting our messaging strategy. We stand a greater chance of being associated with the message behind our strategy.   In today's fast-paced world, it is not enough to raise awareness of how we differ. We need to know and understand about intellectual property rights, and how this can help us achieve design choices that set us apart from competitors.  In this episode I touch on the laws governing the ownership of ideas and trademarks, as well as how to use them to protect your brand. I discuss:Two components for a business to stand outDifference between personal and business brandsIntellectual PropertyConcept of distinctivenessPopeye the sailorHow important trademark rights are in protecting business brands Famous personalities and their distinctiveness/uniquenessValuable Resources:For the latest insights on branding, and brand strategy sign up to receive TUNED news weekly.Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
In this episode Robin Landa explains strategic creativity. Robin Landa is a Distinguished Professor in the Michael Graves College at Kean University. She specializes in advertising ideas and art direction, creative thinking, graphic design and branding and has written bestselling books including Graphic Design Solutions, 6th ed., Build Your Own Brand, and Nimble: Thinking Creatively in the Digital Age.What's the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase "brand identity"? A logo, color palette, and characters right? But that's only a small part of the story.To have a successful brand identity be strategically creative. A brand identity is the representation of the brand and it is the strategic position in the marketplace. So, it has to be strategically creative in order to gel with the target audience.Brand identity does more than just build an imaginary world, it creates a relationship between people who have heard you and made your name part of their lives. A logo mark is more than just a logo. It's the entry point for your brand and its identity. It's your name and the way you're perceived by customers, and it's the foundation for everything else you do. It's what sets you apart from other brands and allows you to stand out from the crowd. It has to be memorable, differentiating, imprinting on people, and most importantly, it needs to be easy to remember—and ideally, emotionally inspiring.It's really hard to make a brand identity that is personal and unique when you're working with a company that has thousands of designers and their work is available for all to see. This is why we need to be careful that we don't just lift someone else's work and use it without permission. Brand identity must be unique and personable!In this episode, we discuss:Brand Identity and how to make it memorable and distinctiveBrand construct and manifestoBasic design principle you need to knowThe idea behind balance design and color associationsSonic brandingHow to identify talent in identity designIntellectual property lawIdentifiers in brand designValuable Resources:For the latest insights on branding, and brand strategy sign up to receive TUNED news weekly.Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
Why Focus on Ownership

Why Focus on Ownership


There are many misconceptions when in comes to IP ownership.In this podcast I outline why it's important to ensure you own what you create for your business. Owning what we do is about retaining control rather than giving away the value of our knowledge and skills.Among other things, that involves understanding the role of names in business, and what is involved to legally own a name. Failing to focus on ownership shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the interplay between branding and brand protection.  The episode touches on:Why marketers and designers need training in intellectual property.What ownership of names involves. The 2-step process to securing ownership rights in a name.That ownability of brand elements involves making the right choices. The drawback of failing to focus on ownershipValuable Resources:For the latest insights on branding, and brand strategy sign up to receive TUNED news weekly. Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
In this episode, we discuss having one brand voice with Chris West, the founder of Verbal Identity. Chris is a specialist in helping brand leaders align their teams in one voice. He is also the author of Strong Language, the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in Language Communication.  We tackle the importance of having a great language and how this could create differentiation for brands. As we go through the podcast, we explore:The power of languageThree levels of languageHaving one brand voice for early-stage businessesVisual attracts, verbals engageAligning everyone in a company with a one brand voiceHow brand message resonatesLinkedin: Chris WestTwitter: @VerbIDBook: Strong Languageverbalidentity.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
In this episode, I talk about brand strategy for start-ups. Brand strategy is an overused term in the branding industry. I discuss what makes for a good brand strategist and how they can best support businesses. Sometimes, design is what's needed. Other times it's support to understand which segment to target and how to discover buyers' wants and needs. When working on brand strategy it is essential to be aware that there is a world of difference between the actions you need to take for a start-up to those you would take for an early-stage business to those you would take for an established brand. The work differs, not just because of the size or stage the business has reached but also due to the reason that the business is seeking your support with its brand strategy.  I discuss: - The different brand strategies- Proof of concept- What makes for a good brand strategist- The different needs that start-ups and early-stage businesses have- Why choosing names and identifiers needs to be informed by intellectual property law.Valuable Resources:Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
Austin Franke is the founder of Woo Punch, a brand design consultancy rooted in the science of how brands grow. Austin is also the man behind, a newsletter that exposes common branding, marketing, and advertising myths, and co-hosts The BS Show with Stef Hamerlinck on YouTube.In this episode of the podcast, Austin shares why the old notions of brand love are outdated. In keeping with the new format of the podcast, he delivers a 10-minute masterclass before being interviewed.  A 10-minute masterclass about brand love The old notions of brand love that are outdatedWhy distinctiveness is not synonymous with differentiationThe reality and the evidence-based insights into how brands Books mentioned:Building Distinctive Brand AssetsHow Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't KnowSeducing the Subconscious: The Psychology of Emotional Influence in Advertising Valuable Resources:Brand Tuned NewsletterBrand Tuned Training Courses
In this episode, Sean D'Souza of Psychotactics discusses how small businesses should approach differentiation when selling their products and services.  Sean is the author of The Brain Audit, and is a copywriter, cartoonist, and speaker. He is also the host of the three month vacation podcast. We discuss common challenges people have around differentiation, and how the biggest mistake people make is that they promote their company instead of talking about their products. We cover:How to position a product so it sticks to the consumers' mindsCommon challenges people have around how to differentiateMeasuring results through benchmarks Reasons for the high failure rate of small businessesLinkedin: Sean D'SouzaTwitter: @seandsouzaBook: The Brain Auditpsychotactics.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
In this episode I explore positioning with Ulli Applebaum. Ulli is an experienced award-winning brand strategist and founder of First The Trousers Then The Shoes and the author of the brand positioning workbook. There are different philosophies about positioning and it depends on what category you are working in as to the research that's appropriate to do.  We might have one central brand position, and separate positions and messaging for  products we supply.  We touched on:Brand purposeIdeas on how you can do positioningPositioning — how to create your positioningHow does positioning tie with differentiationCreating a category — should it be part of your positioning?Examples of well-known brands and their positioningLinkedin: Ulli AppelbaumTwitter: @FirstTheTrouserBook: The Brand Positioning Workbookfirst-the-trousers.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
In this episode, we discuss positioning and differentiation with Johnny Molson a marketing consultant and strategist with Wizard of Ads who helps small businesses to build custom marketing strategies. We consider the difference between niching, positioning, differentiation and distinctiveness, including the challenge of becoming known.  Trying to become known for one thing rather than three things makes it more possible to be remembered in the marketplace.  The episode touches on:The need to test the market to decide how to position your brand.Difference between differentiation and positioning with examplesHow to get your desired perception into the consumer's mindSocial media – is it worth doing in terms of building a brand? View the podcast transcript hereLinkedin: Johnny MolsonTwitter: @disruptingadsBook: Campaign-O-Matic! & molsonpartners.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
Lee Salz is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects where he helps clients develop processes to hire the right salespeople, effectively onboard them and align their sales activities with business objectives.In this episode,  we talk about differentiation, Lee shares his insights on two types of differentiation which are marketing differentiation and sales differentiation. He also shares why the word "unique" is one of the biggest causes of frustration in sales. This episode covers:Why is it important to differentiate What does a business need to do to differentiate itself and what examplesWhy the word "unique" is one of the biggest causes of frustration in salesTwo types of differentiation — marketing differentiation and sales differentiationHow to perceive meaningful value in what you're selling through an ideal client profileHow some buyers don't see an objection to prices and value a product intrinsicallyHow to work out who your target buyer isLinkedin: Lee SalzTwitter: @SalesArchitectsFree tool: Target Client Profile TemplateBooks: Sell Different! &  Sales Differentiationsalesarchitects.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
Daniel Priestley runs business accelerators for entrepreneurs. In this episode, he discusses the Dent rebrand, Lifestyle v. Performance boutique, and the new edition of his book OversubscribedHow the entrepreneurial revolution shifts people to earn money through entrepreneurship and starting and growing their own businesses as the Industrial Revolution changed the way we live and work.Why visual identity has to work harmoniously with the rest of the brand identity and has to be simple and cleanWhat happens when you nail your vision and its simple, the clear message becomes a turning point for your businessHow having a strong culture and vision allows you to attract the right kind of people when you’re recruiting talent.Why Daniel incentivises new hires to leave quickly if they discover his company isn’t a good fit for them What presidential elections can teach you about the evolution of marketingDaniel released a new edition of his book Oversubscribed: How to get people lining up to do business with you in February 2020The two main successful business variations are Lifestyle Boutique. 3 - 12 staff, profitable and lots of fun. The second is Performance business that employs 40 to 150 staff who are a talented team, it has recurring revenues, assets and a good niche in the marketplace.How businesses are valued by various methods including benchmarking, multiples of profit and based on their brand, market position and systems like Uber for instance.Linkedin: Daniel PriestleyTwitter: @DanielPriestleyInstagram: @danielpriestleyBook: Oversubscribed: How To Get People Lining Up To Do Business With Youdent.globalValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
David Aaker hailed the “Father of Modern Branding,” and Vice-Chair at Prophet is a recognized authority on branding, He has developed several concepts including the Aaker brand vision model.In this episode, we discuss all things brand related, in particular names. We covered:Why intellectual property is not included in the training of brand managersThe importance of being clear on the definition of IPThe different perspective that IP brings to namingNaming and whether descriptive names are a good choiceThe role of intellectual property in building barriers to entry against competitorsBrand equity — three things it consists inLinkedIn: David AakerTwitter: @DavidAakerdavidaaker.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
Rory Sutherland,  Vice Chair at Ogilvy UK and author of the book Alchemy, the Surprising power of ideas that don’t make sense discusses brand, advertising, decision science and more.In this episode, Rory points out why ambiguity in terms like brand and IP are problematic. The word brand is used to mean anything people want. It's even been used to defend advertising, that doesn't work, the episodes touched on many interesting points including:The misunderstanding of the value of brandsThe reasons why brands might change their name and logo Situational examples when brand names can't be protectedChesterton's Fence and how it relates to Tropicana's redesignThe value in simple fame that defies logic explained by behavioural scienceThe importance of understanding what the law means by IP in terms of brandingHow plagiarism is  policed through professional shaming in the advertising industryView the podcast transcript hereLinkedIn: Rory SutherlandTwitter: @rorysutherlandBook: Transport for Humanswww.ogilvy.comValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
In this episode of the BrandTuned Podcast Shireen interviews Susan Payton who helps business owners tell three stories - their personal story, their business story and their customer story. How a career writing and researching in TV and radio led to Susan's business which revolves around how businesses should use storiesSusan has trained in Nashville with Donald Miller - the author of Story Brand and is a certified story brand guideWhy your customer’s story is the most important story of all, the one to focus onShowcasing what your customer needs will show you care about their problemsA good example of business storytelling in action is TOMS shoes who donate a pair of shoes for every pair they sell.Susan can be found at thebusinessofstories.comLinkedIn: Susan PaytonValuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
John Pryor is a management consultant and founder of Exalt IP and intellectual property firm. In this episode, John shares his insights on trade secrets, including why it is so important to distinguish trade secrets from general know how in an organisation. Classifying an important recipe as a trade secrets gives you more powerful rights in the event of any breach of them. He walks us through trade secrets policies and the importance of educating employees about intellectual property and trade secrets. This episode covers:Guiltless Gourmet's buy out talks with Frito Lay - an example of what not to do  with your trade secretsSteps an organization needs to take internally to protect trade secretsHow to classify trade secrets possibly using red, amber and green classificationThreats to leakage and theft of trade secretsExamples of brands protecting their competitive advantage through trade secretsWhy reputation is the single most important issue for brands to focus onLinkedIn: John PryorInstagram: @the_ip_foundryFacebook: @TheIPFoundryWebsite & blog: Valuable Resources:Brand Tuned AccreditationBrand Tuned
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