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The Future Of Branding & Brand Strategy (W/ Marty Neumeier)

Brand Master Podcast logo

The Future Of Branding & Brand Strategy (W/ Marty Neumeier)

On this episode of the Brand Master Podcast, we’re speaking with branding legend the one and only Mr. Marty Neumeier.

Now Marty Neumeier is an absolute pioneer in the branding industry and the best-selling author of industry classics such as The Brand Gap, Zag, and The Brand Flip. 

In our chat today, Marty shares his wisdom on how to master brand strategy and ask bigger questions to connect your brand with your audience… 

So, if you want to learn what brand strategy is, how this discipline is evolving and the skills you can develop, and steps you can take to become a brand strategist, then stick around for this episode of the Brand Master Podcast.

Master Brand Strategist Marty Neumeier (The Brand Master Podcast)

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The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

Stephen Houraghan

When I got into design and branding I quickly realized that branding was what I was happiest doing and where I wanted to be. 

So that’s when I started to dive down that rabbit hole and learn a bit more and started to dig deeper and that’s when I came across the Brand Gap which completely opened my mind to what branding was all about. 

Did you ever expect that book would be so popular and put you on this trajectory to be a pioneer in this?


Marty Neumeier (Summarized)

Well, I hoped it would, but when I wrote it, I realized this was either going to be a home run or I was going to strike out.

I wrote the book and designed the book in such a counterintuitive way, or at least in a style that was not typical of business books. 

It’s short, it’s sync, it’s designed, even though the writing is designed in the sense of being very succinct and memorable and quotable and all that kind of stuff, which wasn’t the style of business books that you find now.

So I either thought people are going to love it or they’re going to hate it. 

When I saw it finished, I looked through it after all the work that went into it, I kind of just thought I hate it. I just don’t think it’s good and I think I was just probably sick of it.

But when it went out there, people got to look at it and started to buy it. It just shot up the charts and at one point I think probably after six weeks of being on the market, it was number 15 on Amazon.

A pretty incredible for a business book, especially a different one. 

People’s ideas started to change what a brand is. So it was great for me and then what happened is someone took a bunch of slides that I had created of the whole book and they put it on a new website called SlideShare.

I didn’t know about it and it probably took me two years to figure out that people were getting it there for free. So I was shocked to see how many views there were of it and thousands of thousands of views, which that’s books I could have sold. 

I was grateful for it because it actually was probably part of the success of the book in that it got the word out there and got people reading it and talking about it.

What Is Brand Strategy?

Stephen Houraghan

There are so many quotes from you out there and there are so many quotes from different people about what branding is because it’s such a fluffy thing because it means different things to different people. 

But instead of focusing on branding and getting another quote from you about branding, talk to us about brand strategy in a bit more detail.

So what is a brand strategy for you?

Marty Neumeier (summarized)

it’s a long-term plan to outmaneuver competitors through radical differentiation. I think what happens is companies believe they’re being different because they know that differentiation is strategically very helpful

You don’t want to be competing for head to head with anybody but they underestimate how much difference you really need to make it clear to customers that you really are different. 

So that takes constant work and companies usually find that even if they start out really different, they kind of collapse to the center after a while. 

They become normal, they become like everybody else because I just think humans are like that. We like to fit in and fitting in is not the best way to stand out. 

So it’s just counterintuitive for people. So you really have to always think about 

How we can be more radically differentiated knowing that’s going to appear.

It’s just a little bit differentiated to the world outside, since they don’t care what you’re doing, they don’t know everything you’re doing, they’re not paying that much attention. 

You have to exaggerate that difference. 

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