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Mitch Duckler - Managing Partner at FullSurge

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Mitch is a brand and marketing strategy consultant at FullSurge, a firm that helps mostly Fortune 1000 companies build and maintain strong brands (and portfolios of brands) through conducting primary customer research and developing strategy. His areas of expertise include global brand strategy, brand architecture, customer segmentation, consumer behavior and new product innovation.


Show Notes

Part 1

Mitch’s Background - (02:23)

I have about 25 plus years of experience in brand and marketing strategy.  I was a brand manager with Coca Cola and Unilever for about 10 years.

What I liked most about my job in brand management was the strategic components of brand management. Coca Cola gave me an opportunity to work on an in-house consulting assignment that I enjoyed very much.

Playbook for Establishing a Brand - (05:23)

Brands are becoming increasingly undifferentiated and homogeneous.

I'm a big fan of digital marketing and the potential that digital has for advancing brands, but I think that far too often marketers fall into a trap where they get very tactical in their digital activation.

Also, the more consumers are faced with a choice, the more they're becoming overwhelmed and struggling to choose the right product for them.

The Ways Brands Can Differentiate - (08:33)

The most typical way that brand marketers will go about brand positioning is by answering the question “What your brand can do for me?”.

What makes brands different is how they do something. Simon Sinek did a very famous TED talk around the power of why.

The Process for Establishing Brand - (14:45)

You have to look both inside and outside. From an internal perspective, you can develop a brand strategy based on your objectives, your mission, your competencies. Others will go and research consumer needs and attitudes.

What will make you different and special is looking at both lenses. Goals, priorities, financial and strategic objectives change. You always need to be reevaluating your brand strategy with those different components in mind. There's really no replacement for good old fashion brand tracking and research to constantly take a pulse on the outside market.

Part 2

How to Evaluate a Brand - (02:40)

I tend to instruct clients to look across three different categories of metrics that are all important but are highly different. The first is the perception of your brand among customers.

They include things like awareness, consideration, purchase intent, good old fashioned brand health. But, they can also include brand-specific attributes.

The second thing is behavior metrics and the third are performance metrics. The last one includes things like market share or household penetration.

Tools for Evaluation - (05:06)

Survey tools are a place where it's become easier for brands to evaluate their metrics.  

Something is better than nothing here. Even if you cannot afford some of the tools, you can always conduct in-depth interviews with the customers.

Qualitative interviews can be very helpful to assess the status of your brand.

The Evaluation and Prioritization of Brands - (11:56)

The brand should be an external manifestation of everything you do and it should drive things like your product offering and your experience into which you extend.

Brand extendability is all about - how do you take the positive equities of your brand and extend them in logical ways?

You also have to look beyond the obvious. Look beyond very tangible feature like attributes which inherently lead to incremental growth.

Mitch’s Book: The Indispensable Brand - Move From Invisible to Invaluable - (18:54)

My book is called “The Indispensable Brand - Move From Invisible to Invaluable”. It helps readers decide what’s unique about their brand. There's an entire chapter on digital activation and the role of brand within it. If you visit my website you can get a free chapter download.

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