• Matthew Kaminsky

Three Takeaways From Episode 1 of Hard Stop at 5

Last week we launched our new content series, "Hard Stop at 5." Each episode will feature a discussion about or related to an advertising/marketing topic, with people across a broad range of industries. If you haven't seen our inaugural episode with Brad Nardick, President of The Bazaar, be sure to check it out!

If you have seen it, you know I could have sat down with Brad for far longer than 5 minutes. He was a wealth of insight and knowledge about a topic that's dear to his heart: disability advocacy. Of course, I viewed this particular conversation through a marketing lens, and from that perspective there was a ton to learn. The following were my three biggest takeaways:

1. Yes, branding can drive revenue growth.

I go to this first, not because it's an opportunity to sell-in a service we offer, but rather because it is a question we hear all the time: "how will I see ROI on a branding initiative?" Brad's is a tremendous example. Sure, a new logo or a brand color change may not, on their own, directly relate to more business for your company. But establishing an authentic and strategic set of values to guide the way your organization operates most certainly will. This is the core of what branding really is and the most difficult part to develop. It informs the logos, the colors and the tone of the copy. And when you let it inform action too, it will undoubtedly lead to business success.

2. Purpose is power.

One of the most compelling moments of our interview was when Brad noted his desire to implement a company mission beyond just moving inventory. He was following his natural inclination to establish purpose for The Bazaar. At Strike 2, we talk about purpose all the time. Why? Because it is the single most powerful tool a marketer has to offer. Ultimately, it is not your service, the nuances of your products or even your prices that will lead to customer loyalty. It is your purpose. Not only is this the area in which companies can most explicitly differentiate, it is also what drives a human connection between customer and brand.

3. Look in the mirror!

I'm particularly fond of the final takeaway from this episode because it was a good reminder for me too. Often times, branding efforts become so singularly focused on the "how will our customers respond to this?" that the question "how will we implement this internally?" is forgotten. Thoroughly answering this question will set the foundation for impactful external advertising communications and, as we see with The Bazaar, create an environment in which employees truly believe in their company and genuinely want to work hard to drive success.

Lots to learn from a five minute chat. Be sure to keep your eye out for episode 2!

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