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Your Brand And Your Community | Patrick Hanlon

From Audio: [Special Episode] Patrick Hanlon On The Components That Fuel Successful Brands — The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 4

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The ROI Online Podcast
Duration: 08:24
Patrick talks about how his epiphany, and why branding and community are connected.
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Patrick talks about how his epiphany, and why branding and community are connected.
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I'm curious at some point you had this epiphany where this kind of revealed itself to you is probably there all along. But one day it just really revealed itself. Talk to us about about that day. Yeah. Well, um I want to respond to something you just said though first and that is that yeah, we got very lucky with the examples that I chose which still are are still around most of them. And the and the thing about the construct, primal construct is that It's it was as true 4000 years ago as it will be to 4000 years from now and it's basically it's based upon human behaviors and um rationale and emotional stuff. And in the book there are things like Ted conference which I talked about Shepard, Fairey, wired magazine and a bunch of other things that still apple, other things that still exists today and they're just as relevant now as they were then, which I guess in some ways just occurred to me kind of proves that out. But I, I, you know, we've talked about this before, Stephen, there are three kinds of people that write books. There are people are professors in the academy who need to write in order to keep their jobs are journalists who also need to write about things, but then there are practitioners like you and me, and we don't necessarily need to write a book, but like you, I found this gap out there in the world and um, and just thought, hey, there's a better way of doing this, or at least a different way of doing this thought at the time. And in my case, I was working on a project, the client project and I just felt that they were being just ingenuous, um, a little bit fake, a little bit um artificial today. We would say that they were being not being authentic for themselves and but we didn't articulate that as being authentic, you know, back in 1999 2000 2001. And so the client at the time was lago and I was working on, I was one of the, I was in advertising and I was working on as one of the executive creative directors on Lago assume that there are probably other ones because there are also other agencies at the time. And um but I was going back and forth between Berlin and new york city villages where lego headquarters is in Denmark in the middle of nowhere and between there and new york city. And then I was also going to the lego land in um Carlsbad held in California north of san Diego. And um that's when I learned that you could buy a Mighty Mouse roller coaster and put whatever kind of shell you want on it, you could put a steve brown shell on there and uh, I online shell on there, you can have your own own roller coaster ride, you know, and that's what lego is doing. They were taking off the shelf elements and putting them on, whereas in the legal land, at the legal land in bill and at headquarters that have been done by the grandfather and it was like, well he was there walt Disney and it was very, um, there was a heart and soul there, right. And so, so to make a long story short, the, that is exactly, that was a feeling that I had, was exactly the same time that a Mckinsey consultant was working with them and he told the family that if they continued on the way they were going to be out of business in the next two or three years and so there, what I felt in my gut was actually in reality happening. And so what I started to think about is why do we care about some products and services and not about others and the company either the companies that make them and or the products and there were the usual ones. Um, but there were also like coca cola and american express and things like that. But there were also, there was a coffee company that was sweeping the nation at that time called Starbucks and they weren't doing any advertising. And remember my perspective at the time was in advertising from advertising from an advertising point of view and they weren't advertising and google was, had just started become popular. They had just been created Maybe two years old or something and they were not advertising, there was no youtube or twitter or anything like that yet and our facebook and the um so there would always be this and I talked about this in the book a little bit, but there would always be this uncomfortable moment when you're presenting a campaign and you've gone all the way up through the hierarchy of the company, the advertiser and you'd finally be at the Ceo or president and they'd say, well, google and Starbucks don't advertise and they seem to be doing very well, they're on fire. Why should we be spending $30 million on this advertising project campaign? And there would be an uncomfortable silence in the room and someone would pull something from the air and you know, we move on and you run the advertising. But um they had a point and there was something there that was outside of advertising that was going on, certainly at Starbucks and google and people were talking at that time about Nike tribes and the Apple called and all that, but they didn't know how to create it for themselves other than by imitating apple and Nike. And And which is why I always point to why today uh we still have gatorade commercials that run that looked like their 1990s Nike spots. And so the and I've been saying that for 10 years over almost 20 years now, right, like they pulled that white label mickey mouse version of that ad and just put caterer hit on it. And so so I started to think about icons, I thought it was the Nike swish and I thought about the cross and I thought about, you know, other things like that. And then I thought well they have icons and uh they all seem to have a creation story. Nike, you know, started in a garage er and Bill Barr Berman's kitchen making the waffle sole, his wife's waffle iron and Apple started in a garage and three am start as a as a sandpaper company. And IBM started as an office supplies company and you know and you just kind of go on from there. Hp started by the two guys Hewlett and Packard winding coils, you know, so they had that and then they had all these other things. They had a creed obviously think different just do it and so forth. They had icons rituals that went with the icons. They had a group of special words, I scrawny, skinny decaf latte. Uh they had people who didn't want to go there, nonbelievers, pagans, they called them at first. And um for all the Starbucks that are out there, there are still people going to tim Hortons or Dunkin donuts or these days, you know, stumptown or blue bottle or some other place that they prefer. And uh and then there's a leader. And so once you wrap all those things together, you have, you developed today, we call a strategic brand narrative which came from one of the books, which is nomenclature that came from someone who read the book and you pull that together and you construct, create to build what today we feel as a unifying theory that is really a level above social media, digital media uh in traditional advertising and experiences and helps drive the content that goes into those.
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