Recently I was interviewed by author and business growth specialist Jeff Blackman. I thought you’d enjoy reading the interview. Bruce Turkel sees things from a fascinating perspective. And it’s not because he stands six-foot-four. Instead, it’s because he has the ability to help leaders and companies “…futureproof their brands in a world of constant disruptive upheaval.”
Bruce is a marketing consultant, fellow Hall of Fame speaker and author, (Building Brand Value and All About Them). In July, we were together in Dallas and that gave us the opportunity to chat, laugh and ponder possibilities.
Jeff Blackman: You say, “Good brands make people feel good. Great brands make people feel good about themselves.” Tell us more…
Bruce Turkel: For years Volvo has told us their cars are safer. While safety is important, it isn’t an asset that makes a car better at its function—getting the driver from A to B. What a safety brand positioning does do, is allow and empower a Volvo owner to feel better about themselves. Because driving a safe car means being a better parent, spouse, friend or citizen.
Understanding your client or customer is the key to creating an All About Them brand name.
Once you know who your customer is and what they care about, then you show them why your brand identity helps them reach their aspirations and self-expression.
JB: Who are some of the entrepreneurs you’ve worked with? And what valuable lessons did they teach you?
BT: John Hendricks at Discovery Channel. He taught me the importance of strategy when he told me his idea was to build, “everyone’s second favorite network.”
The Bacardi CEO who explained that even though he sells a product, he really sells an experience.
The CEO of Babies R Us, who taught me the importance of systemizing creativity, when she explained her operations people couldn’t understand the magic of creativity but understood the inevitability and security of systems.
JB: What’s your advice, to folks who claim, “For our customers, the price is everything!”
BT: I try to show them if the price is the only thing their customers value, they won’t be customers for long.
JB: How can one strengthen their creativity?
BT: Here are four strategies:
Great creative thinkers stand on the shoulders of giants. Constantly expose yourself to great music, art and architecture. Develop a voracious curiosity, so you have resources to draw on.
Understand that great ideas are ephemeral and fragile. When you’re thinking and creating, take off your critical thinking cap and write down every thought. There’s always time to cull out the bad ideas, but you never know when a bad idea is an impetus for a great idea.
Create lots of ideas. Quitting when you think of one or two good solutions often stops the process, long before the best idea arises.
Creativity must be “exercised.” If you want to write great prose, write. If you want to paint great paintings, paint. Talent matters, but potential without effort equals nothing.
JB: To drive growth, what do you know, that most folks don’t know but need to know?
BT: People don’t choose what you do, they choose who you are. Customers can purchase the products you’re selling from lots of sources. If you haven’t built a relationship that helps your customers achieve their own aspirations, you’re already out of business. You just haven’t realized it yet!
JB: You claim, “Special sales secrets are hidden in plain sight.” What are they?
BT: To thrill your customers: Watch them. Study them. Learn everything you can about them.
Just like a savvy poker player watches for their competitors’ “tells” —your customers will show you how and why you matter to them. Their answer and your solution is “hidden in plain sight.”
As Michelangelo answered when asked how he carved the David, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
JB: You stress, “think about others.” What are the best ways to do that?
BT: People will listen when what you say benefits them: Entertain. Educate. Enlighten. Best of all, do all three. Create a message that’s truly, all about them!
To discover more ways, Bruce can help you craft meaningful and memorable messages, take a peek at bruceturkel.com