Affinity > Awareness | The Journey


James and Dan provide a behind-the-scenes look into what's working and what we're trying here at Sweet Fish and B2B Growth. Today's discussion is around building brand affinity.  


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Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B two B growth. Welcome back to be to be growth. My name is James Carberry and the founder of sweet fish, and I'm joining today by our director of audience growth, Dan Sanchez, affectionately known as Dan chaz on, linked in our favorite social platform. So today is another episode of our series that we're calling the journey. So we are on a mission here and we are trying to become the go to media property for B two B marketers, and there's actually some different language that we're gonna be using that I don't want to share just yet. Just in a few minutes Dan and I are going to be unpacking the specific kind of burbage of our mission, but I wanted to set some context, and that's essentially, you know, what the entire series about is this journey that we're on to build B two B growth as a media property. Everybody's talking about building a media property, you know, build a media company inside of your niche. That's exactly what we are setting out to do and we want to document all the different things that that we've been thinking about on that path to doing just that. So Dan set us up today with mission and what we're going to be talking about as it relates to the mission of Bob Growth. The mission right usually think of like organizational strategy and planning and all that kind of stuff. I think the reason why we're thinking about it, even on the marketing is because of what Andy Raskin has been doing. Like we're all talking about this strategic narrative and it's even part of why we're sharing it as we come along, because we're not a hundred percent on it that we think we're getting pretty Dann close. The strategic narrative assumes that you came from somewhere and that you're going forward towards a dusk nation of some kind and there's a story of why you're going there. So last week we talked about like why we're really grabbing onto B two B and why we're like, you know, graduating on from B to c into this awesome wonderland called B two B and the part of that right, just just to give people the context as to why brands need a villain, and the most iconic brands all have villains. They're fighting something, whether it's Chris Walker fighting marketing, attribution drift, fighting forms salesforce, uh, fighting, what was it? Uh? On Prem software, on premise software. These iconic brands all have enemies, and so we had to really define what is the enemy of B Two B growth? If we're, you know, if we're going to treat B to be growth like a business, like this media property, like a company, then we've got to treat it like the best brands in the world. And so identifying the villain of B two C plays really, really well for us and it's something that took us. Took US several years to figure out...

...that that that was the thing. But now that we've got the villain locked in, now we've got to get really clear on what our mission is. Where are we going? Andy Raskin strategic narrative huge part of this. You have to have a place of where you're going, and James and I have been wrestling with this for well over a year because it's not easy. It's so hard. You get caught into this nebulous place and then you even wonder like, Oh wait, well, the company's narrative is this, and should our show have a different thing going on? Like what's The podcast? Is Our main media property? WHAT'S B Two B growth? Is supposed to have a different one is supposed to link. You know, it's kind of like a similar conversation is just around branding, right. You know, we a branded house? Are we a house of brands? What are we doing? It's the same kind of chicken and egg problem where you're not sure how which one comes first and how they tie together. So if you're out there wrestling with us, know that we're all freaking wrestling with this. This is this is a hard problem and, honestly, something that James and I have even said like, Oh, this is why cmos and like high level VPS get paid the big bucks, because it's freaking hard and we've been on a journey with this. So I wish we would have started like recording some of these episodes like earlier so we could like even show our missteps. But Oh wow, we haven't recorded those moving forward, so I'm not I'm not too worried about not being able to share our missteps. Fair enough, what we're moving forward now is the journey that we're going on and where where we're trying to take people. Is this idea around becoming somebody's favorite versus becoming the best, like even the way James opened it up. It's like the go to source. That's so hard to to find. How do you know when you've reached that? It's a really hard mission to actually attain. The most of us kind of want to get there and what we've learned from our friend Jed Kenzo is that being the best is harder to find and even if you reach it, what does that even mean? But being a favorite is something worth pursuing. That idea to be the best. It's like you said, Dan, it's so ambiguous. And being the best it's a personal thing. Like the best liquorice on the planet to me is Red Vines, hands down. There's no marketing that twizzlers can do to to change my favorite liquorice. And so is twizzlers the best or is Red Vines the best? Well, it depends on who you're talking to. But I can tell you that for me my favorite. I can't determine what is best because it's it's such a personal thing to me, but my favorite hands down. I will dog on anybody that likes twizzlers over red vines. I will think your taste buds are broken if you like twizzlers more than red vines, because red vines are my favorite. They're nostalgic, they're my childhood. They're like what I remember going to get...

...after I mowed somebody's yard. I would get like red. I would go to target and get a bag of red vines and just dominate them. You can't replicate that, regardless of how good your marketing is, but you can make your product so good. They made their products so delicious to me that red vines became my favorite. And so I think when we think about our mission here at sweet fish, like the specific verbiage that we're gonna use is that we're on a mission to become ten thousand B two B marketers favorite show. And we were talking even before we hit record here, like that's gonna be tough to measure, like how do you how do you know whether or not you're somebody's favorite show? My thinking right now, at least at the time of this recording, is that we just asked people, and what I foresee being tough is, like people are so accustomed to signing up or or putting filling out a form to get something, whether that's a pdf or something swag that they're going to get in the mail. And with this it's like that's tough because if we say go, Hey, go to Bwi grow show dot com, slash favorite and tell us whether this is your favorite show, and if you do that, we're gonna like my my knee jerk is to say, if you do that, we're gonna give you something. We'll send you a copy of my book, will you know? We'll give you some digital asset that's gonna help you get better at work. But if you do that, then you've got people signing up because they want the thing, not because we're actually their favorite show. And so I don't know, as we were talking about that before, Dan, what are your thoughts on on measuring? How do you think we should measure this show becoming our audiences favorite show? Tough question. I think we'll learn a lot over the next few years, though one thing I know for sure is that you can't just ask people and then like Callie them up over a couple of years and then maybe you get to ten Tho, because people's favorites sometimes change, especially with podcasts. We've all gone through seasons where so and so is our favorite podcaster and then it's dropped. So do you take it an aggregate or do you want ten thousand at one time? And that's hard to measure at one time. For sure, I would think if it's a podcast that you're aiming for, then you should at least be seeing ten thousand plus downloads one episode. Right, if your goal is ten thousand and it's their favorite episode, then they're all going to download at least one episode, not the favorite. Yeah, their favorite show. So yeah, if you would think, but you know with different podcast players auto downloads. So so looking at downloads isn't necessarily at least the thing it should be. It should probably be well north of ten thousand. If it's ten thousand people's favorite show right right now, it would. It needs to needs to be more, but it needs to be at least that, probably at least double, probably maybe even ten X. I don't know, like ten. In social media we know that that's like the one or it's the ninety nine one rule, right. So for a hundred people on the platform or lurkers or engagers, and one percent or creators, and...

I actually think it flips to the other way around. I think I think there lurkers, yes, sorry, lurkers, nine percent or engagers, one percent are creators, right. So most people just listen, and I think it's the same way here, like you'll have a lot of people that are just lurking and kind of listening. It's one of many shows they listen to. A bunch will be really big fans, but only a small percentage will be your the top, the true fans, and I think that's probably where they get to. Like you've heard that their phrase, like thousand true fans. I forgot the guy who wrote the paper on that, that Tim Ferris, like trumpets all over the place like a thousand true fans. It's probably only one percent. So if you need a thousand truth Evans, you probably need a a fan base or a group consuming your content in the hundred thousand range, I would think. I want to go back, Dan to really talking about why trying to achieve favoritism or being someone's favorite is so beneficial from a business perspective. When I was talking about red vines earlier, and this is this happens regardless of whether I'm recording an episode or not, there is a passion that I have for Red Vines, liquorice. I would run through a wall to fight somebody who thinks that twizzlers are better than red vines. Imagine if you're able to create that kind of passion, you've got folks running through a wall to advocate for your brand, whether it's your media property, whether it's your company, if you can evoke that kind of passionate interest in your brand. Man Back and we did. We did an episode. I don't know if it's it'll be live yet when this one goes live, but we talked about what the heck happened to drift in another series we're doing on on B two. B growth called the Echo Chamber. And man back in was when drift was in their heyday. You had passionate, passionate fans that loved the brand of drift. They would go to their hyper growth events, they would buy their swag, they would talk about the product on Linkedin and on twitter. I mean they were passionate, passionate lovers of drift, the product, but also the brand and the and the creative outside the box stuff they did from in their marketing. And that's why I think striving to achieve becoming someone's favorite is so strategic and so important. And so as you think about Dan trying like okay, we want me to be growth to become ten thousand B two B marketers favorite show. It's like doing the work of coming up with the villain and the mission, I think is a is a huge part of it. Like you want to be able to connect with people viscerally, on an emotional level, and so by defining B two C as the villain, by defining the mission of like trying to trying to achieve this favorite status amongst, you know, ten thousand people, it gives somebody something to want to be a part of. B Two B growth will be right back.

There are a lot of questions on marketers minds right now, and analyzing the latest trends can be a full time job in itself. Can an a R filter really improve brand awareness? Why are streaming ads so allowed? What do viewers really think about shoppable ads? Marketing Group does the hard work for you, dropping a quick to read free newsletter in your inbox every weekday, covering essential topics from influencers and advertising to social media and more. Marketing Group never misses a beat. Get The answers you've been looking for, along with the ones you haven't even thought of yet. Upgrade your game alongside a growing community of over two hundred and sixty five thousand marketing professionals. Check it out by clicking the link in our show notes right now. You want to be able to connect with people viscerally, on an emotional level, and so by defining B two C as the villain, by defining the mission of like trying to trying to achieve this favorite status amongst, you know, ten thousand people, it gives somebody something to want to be a part of. It actually reminds me of the book tribal brand, which he did a fantastic job of actually how to actually make a brand something that's actually strong and not just a fancy logo, not just to look even if the designers are all happy with it. There's something more to it. There's got it's got teeth to it, which he really comes and brings it down, and I've actually had to rephrase it because what he might call language, I'm like, it's more than language. There's really core beliefs. You could call them core values, but to call them core values makes it sound kind of corporate and glossy and something that people don't actually really value. But I mean like the true values of the things that will never change that you all your core founding team, or like the all employees, hopefully you're vetting against, you know, are the things that you're like. No, we will always believe in this. You heard one of them earlier, the idea that favorite is better than best. What we're really saying is one of our core beliefs is a fin is better than awareness. A lot of people can know about us, but we want people to have a strong affinity. That's a belief that we have at B two B growth, and you can't change our minds about it now. We're not going back and we will slam the other opinion all day. We don't even care if they have better stats in some cases, like we don't care. Okay, your data proves otherwise. Don't care. We know this is true. Don't care. You can go do your thing. Well, they're gonna do our things and we'll see who's right at the end. We're going for it. You need core beliefs at its, a bunch of them that all work together with the narrative that then you can flesh out into an actual brand that's worth following. From the core beliefs comes the language, from the core. From that language comes the ICONOGRAPHY, comes the design, you know, the visual symbolism that represents things like you can't look at a Christian Cross and just be neutral about it. You can't look at a swastika and just be neutral about it. That symbolism means something. They're not just simple lines. Both of those symbols are very simple lines, right, but they both...

...bring something to the surface because there's beliefs behind each of those, whether you're four or against either of them. Right, your brand and your logo have to represent something and that's the brands and their needs, the values underneath. and honestly, they can't be normal values. They can't be values that everybody's like, Oh yeah, we agree with that, because that's boring. They honestly kind of need to be weird. You have to find your weird values because that's going to make your brand so much stickier. It's the reason why somebody wants to adopt your way of thinking as their own identity. It's it's why the villain and the and the mission piece, I think, are such a big part of building a brand that can become someone's favorite. The villain, like, as we villainize B two C and talk about how B Two B is the big kids table and B two B is where you grow up in business when you really want to like do the adult work and do it in a fun and refreshing way. Well, that is going to resonate with a whole hopefully that resonates with a whole lot of people that feel the exact same way. Like man, I used to do B two C two and I also feel like I graduated, like I'm I'm able to make a more significant impact on the business and B Two B, I'm able to be more strategic in my decision making and and B two B. I'm able to do all of these things in a way that I couldn't do whenever I was stuck in my b two C role. And so by hearing a show that just rails on B two c relentlessly talking about how much better B two B is, well, they're able to voice something about your identity that you haven't necessarily voiced before yourself. And so when you see Chris Walker seemingly come out of nowhere over the course of three years and become like the go to voice in B Two b marketing, what's because the favorite voice he said a lot of things that people have been thinking for a while but hadn't quite articulated the way he was able to articulate and I still think we've got a long, you know, a long way to go and truly figuring out what are those things that that lots of people are thinking that they just haven't figured out how to articulate yet. Well, but dark social being one of those things that he named and claimed marketing attribution and not overly, being overly reliant on what your software is telling you, Hey, these leads are coming from, you know search, when in reality you do self reported attribution and you figure out that they heard you on a podcast or they found you through a former coworker that told them about your product. And so, to your point, the beliefs, the mission, the villain, so many of those things, I think a lot of times people accidentally developed them, but then you've got brands that that, like what we're trying to do, purposely create them and I think we're going to get there a whole lot faster because we are purposeful in the creation of the things that we believe make up a brand. And the book... were referring to earlier primal branding. I think you know it's written by guy named Patrick Handlon and the book was a little bit, you know, weird and how it was organized, but the continents, I mean our our friend tyed class or raves about this book. He's the one who turned US onto the book and the ideas in the book, regardless of, you know, being a little bit scattered from an organizational standpoint, the ideas in the book are powerful and if you can reverse engineer your brand, whether it's for the media property you're trying to build or your company, I think you're you're going to be on the fast track to building a brand that can become someone's favorite. You know, one of the things that gets me excited about this mission, particularly because you might look at this and think, well, well, that's great, that's a good mission for B twob growth and you guys, but what's the mission we're all going there together on, and what I'm hoping that this personal mission of ours inspires you to do is to do the same thing, to build a tribe of one thousand, two thousand, Ten thou true fans, ten thou people that can call your media property, whether it's a blog or youtube channel or a podcast, whatever. It is their favorite thing, one of their favorite things. I'm excited about that because the more of us are doing this and B two be the more fun work becomes. When you have some brands and some purpose and when you see it and you're like yes, this is the thing and it's so cool that you want to wear the logo on your t shirt, which is kind of like the ultimate sign of a fanboy, right when you're just wearing the swag. I heard Daniel Murray and Chris Walker talk about this on another podcast recently. It's like the ultimate sign to brand affinity is when they just wear their logo across the shirt or a hat or something. So I'm like, yes, that that might be a sign of favorite. You know, when people are wearing your stuff because you don't sports stuff that you're not like want to be associated with. They want people to know that, yeah, this is me, you don't understand, don't care, it's my favorite right. Not a bad way to measure it. How many? How many people we got sport and Swag? But the reason why I'm excited about it is because the more fun we can bring to be to be, the more fun work becomes because B two B serves other businesses and other people are working in those businesses, even if there will be two. See, the more fun we can make work, the better people's lives get, because we all spend how many hours, James, of our lives? Our Life, nine thousand freaking hours of your life is going to be spent at work. Let's make it something worth celebrating, let's make it something worth like getting passionate and geared up for. If we have to put ninety hours of our life into this thing. Let's make it fun, let's bring some passion into it, let's have some brands where we're gonna go like head to head on and be like no, this one's better, no, this one's better, and we're just going after it right. It's just more fun. Let's make the facts worth it. So, while we're gonna BE PUSHING IT for B two B marketers, someone needs to be pushing it for chemists working in the food industry, someone needs to be pushing it for, I don't know, like all the other all the other...

...professions out there. Every profession needs this, for doctors in small hospitals, like. There's so many professions and niches they need a favorite, they need something to be passionate about in their work, and you can do that brand, you can build the media property that becomes that chemist's favorite, favorite podcast, favorite blog, favorite media brand. That being said, Dan, do you want to tease what we're gonna be talking about in, uh, in our next episode of the journey? Dang, the next thing was almost going to be the thing around owned media, like we literally decided, almost decided that owned media was going to be the thing. We decided to go be two B was the thing, but owned media is still a big part of what we have coming in next week's episode, when we do the next episode of the journey, and so going going beyond the podcast and really talking about, you know, building a holistic media brand. I'm really, really excited to talk about that. Dan. If folks aren't already following you, where's the best place for for folks listening to this to follow you elsewhere? Linkedin, DOT COM, slash iron slash digital marketing. Dan Man, I like it when people come from the show over to Linkedin be like I listened to the show. I'm like, yes, we got we just got a message on on our I just got a message the other day on on Linkedin. I shared it in our marketing slack. It was from Tricia Ruez and she said James, the Echo Chamber. Yes, keep those episodes up. All three of you, all together, bring so much value to the table. So thank you, Tricia. That was that was for our Echo Chamber series. Hopefully we start to see some messages like that for this series for the journey. But if you have not already left a rating for B two B growth either in spotify or apple podcast, make sure to do that. Those ratings help us a ton as we are on this quest to become ten thousand B two B marketers favorite show. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon.

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