B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1684 · 5 months ago

One of the Dumbest Marketing Campaigns Ever with Christopher Lochhead (2 of 2)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this replay episode (part 2 of 2) John Rougeux talks to Christopher Lochhead, 3-time Silicon Valley CMO and host of the Legends and Losers Podcast.

Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is be tob growth. We have unfinished business. So welcome to Friday's show. If you tuned in yesterday, you know we shared part one of a two part conversation from back in the day with Christopher lockhead and the genesis. The origin of why I'm bringing this back to the surface and wanting us to take a another glance at it is because category design has been in a lot of conversations recently, something that I was talking to a couple people about on linkedin and have been in some zoom calls where this topic of category design came up. Thought what do we have in the archive around this topic and was going to just share it on today's show, but found the two parter and I thought, man, we should just share both parts because it's insightful and timely. Yesterday Chris broke down what legends do differently right. So they design legendary products, they design legendary companies and ultimately legendary categories. talked about how categories got set up in the first place. WHO DOES IT benefit? Clearly it benefits the category designer, and how you are best positioned if you create it right. Two thirds of the market can be ultimately is controlled by the king or the Queen of that category and by the research that they did for Harvard Business Review, and you can hear more on that in part one. I encourage you, if you didn't listen, to look to yesterday's episode. Go back and do that before you jump into today's second part of the conversation. So on today's episode, this one's called one of the dumbest marketing campaigns ever, but it rounds out...

...the conversation another about thirty minutes here with Chris giving us some more insights on category design. So let's jump in one of the dumbest marketing campaigns ever with Christopher lockhead. Here we go. So you talking about defining this problem and marketing that versus the product itself. Does that process mean that you have to have a huge advertising budget, a huge team to support that, a big kind of Pr Push, or is it you know, equally or can it be effective if you kind of are taking it from a more of a grassroots approach or more of our own organic route? You can absolutely take the more organic route and Victor Victor Hugo famously said all the armies of the world cannot stop an idea whose time has come, and so in a lot of ways, category design is a process and approach to making it your time. And so as you go to execute from a marketing perspective, what you want to ask yourself is, what's the best way to have my point of view about a problem and therefore a solution catch fire? And look, would having a two hundred and fifty million dollar marketing budget help? Sure, but you know, if you look at it, most startups don't have anywhere near that. And so the thing you got to ask yourself is, what are the ways in which I can move the thinking in the space to my agenda? And Begin to ask yourself that. And you know, we can get into tactics if you like, John. There's a lot of ways to go after this thing, but fundamentally you're doing something different. What most people are doing is they're competing. They're competing on price, they're competing on speeds and feeds. My carbondingulators, and I'm going to use this word on purpose, better than your carbondingulator in anybody who's having a better conversation has fallen into a product, feature and price war, and that's always a race to the bottom. The...

...other thing about this word better is when I say my products better than your product, what's left in everybody's mind is your product better. Is a comparison game. And so you know, right now, I don't know if you've seen this ad, the idiots at Pepsi are spending God unknown millions of dollars on a new campaign with the guy from the office. And which guy? I don't want a slot of TV. which which, God, the main guy? Steve Carrell, seve kraft? Yeah, and the first set of ads have this are, I think in a diner, if I'm remembering right, and the waiter, waitress, comes up to these folks and says, you know, what can I get you to drink? And they say, you know, we'd like a coke, and the waiter says will Pepsi do or is Pepsi all right, or something like this, and then this actor gets up and says is Pepsi All Right? Well, Pepsi's Awesome and it's this and it's that and and I'm sitting there going you dumb efforts. You guys are so stupid, because the minute he says well, Pepsi's who do you mean? Pepsi's all right, they're comparing themself to coke. And so whenever we compare ourselves to somebody else, what's left in the mind of the customer, the consumer, the buyer, is the thing that we are comparing ourselves to, as opposed to our own unique space. And so all they're doing with this multi zillion dollar campaign is telling the entire world that coke is a category king and we're not. It's the dumbest marketing campaign maybe in history, and that's the trap that everybody falls into. This this comparison game, and all the comparison game does is validate that the company, end or product you're comparing yourself to is the category King and you're not. So it really works against you because you're you're having the conversation on someone else's terms instead of your own. Yes, and you're also the game is wired against you because...

...the rules have been created by somebody else. The minute go Joe Industry says, well, it's not about how do I wash my hands, it's about how do I get my hands clean in the absence of water. They have redesigned the way we think about it. Yeah, it's it's funny. You mentioned that that coke and Pepsie, example, because a few decades ago they did that famous kind of taste test campaign where they talked about how Pepsi tastes better than coke, which is exactly kind of going against what you talked about earlier. It's a, says, subjective, but they're trying to positions. They would they were trying to position Pepsi as kind of an objective better a product than coke, and then, you know, thirty years later they're still finding the same battle. Yeah, the other thing that the the category does, of course, is they look at who number one is and they assume that number one is the best product. That's the assumption that you and I make. The other thing that's interesting if you get into the human psychology of it, John, is human beings are pack animals. We don't want to be an outlier because if there's ten of us together in the woods and two of us are away over here and eight of us are over there, the two that are way over here are the ones more likely to get eaten by the bear. And so every user of zoom makes potential users of zoom more comfortable that zoom is what I should do and so human beings are heard or pack animals, and so we are comforted by buying the product or service that is the category King. Yeah, it's like I think in the book you mentioned. It's kind of a self reinforcing cycle where the category king is seen as, like you said, the best product and then people buy that product or that service because it's perceived as the best and it just continues to cycle itself or drive itself from there. And I know one of the other points...

...you made is when companies are faced with a potentially new category that's coming to market, there's a real need for them to take the initiative and define that because if they don't, someone else is going to do that and we'll be caught in kind of a secondary position. If you tell me a little bit more about that. Yeah, I'll give you one that has been going on the tech industry for a long time. A lot of people say email sucks, I hate email. When somebody going to reimagine email, and this has been tried many, many times, and the reason that no one's been able to displace email, even though many of us agree that the email paradigm is not maybe the greatest paradigm, is because everyone that has tried to take out email has been using email as the point of reference. Right. So if I say to you, Hey, John, don't think about pink dinosaurs, whatever you do, no, no, pink dinosaurs, don't think about pink dinosaurs, you can think about anything you want to think about, but not a pink dinosaur. or You can create any animal you want, any color you want, but just no pink dinosaurs. What's in your mind? Yeah, of course pink dinosaurs. Right. And so the reality is, if the problem is how do we have an asynchronous communication that shows up as a time based feed in an inbox? Well, email wins and everybody who has tried to take out email, for the most part, has lived inside of the framing of the problem that is email. And until you reframe the problem, no one's going to take out email. that. Does that make any sense? Huhn? Yeah, it's like you're you're talking about, you're offering in terms of the kind of the wrong problem. You're talking about why it's better than something else. It kind of goes back to that cooke versus pepsie example. It's like you're setting the stage of you know, this is why what we're doing is better than email. Out All of a sudden someone has to maybe give up emails to use this new thing, which poses a huge kind of mental barrier that they have to get through and instead of taking them...

...to maybe a new way of communicating and reframing it different style, maybe synchronous, you know, were non time based perhaps, but like that, that shift is it hasn't happened. They're like they're talking about something that is is working against them. They don't really have a way to talk about what they're doing in in a way that maybe complements email or goes on top of email or kind of benefits you in some other way. Yeah, I'll give you a simple example that I think certainly I can relate to. Maybe most people can this. Well, there's a small chain of restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area, Sushi restaurants. Now, you think about Sushi restaurant as a category, it's a wellknown category. If I say to you, Hey, John, we're going out tonight for Sushi, you have a picture in your mind of what that's probably going to look like. Right. Yeah, this company said we're not going to solve a problem called how do you make great Sushi, which is the problem that most people look at when they open a Sushi restaurant. Maybe they and maybe they think how we got to make great Sushi and make money doing maybe they look at it that way. Anyway, however they look at it, is how they look at it and they do what most Sushi restaurant entrepreneurs do, which is they compete on how awesome are Sushi is, the location of our restaurant, how awesome our staff is and the value that we deliver ie, you know, price for quality is good, and they they accept those kinds of dimensions, if you will, of competition as the only way to compete. And what they what they hope for, because their artists, because they're their chefs, is that when they open their restaurant, people are going to say, wow, that's the best Sushi I ever tasted. That's how most entrepreneurs think, and that's how tech entrepreneurs think as well. All, that's the greatest algorithm ever. Right, Oh wow, I've never seen a carbon dingulator so fast and so elegant. Right, that's what they're all trying to build. So this small chain of Sushi restaurants reimagine the problem and here's how they reimage edgend it. They said,...

...we love Sushi and we love eating on the go, but Sushi on the go stucks. I don't know if you're try to eat Sushi walking down the street or eat Sushi in your car while you're drying, like it's a disaster, right, because the sauce everywhere and they're you know, Rice gets everywhere and it doesn't. Sushi is not a good portable food, right. Yeah, closest thing I that is those those premade Sushi containers of the grocery store. I'm trying to eat something semi healthy, but yes, it's like mediocre at best. So these guys create a new category and they call up the SUSHIRITO. They take the concept of a Burrito and they apply it to Sushi and therefore they solve and the problem called how I eat Sushi on the go, and they're killing it. And, like I said, they're six or seven of them, they're growing very rapidly and they are not competing on the traditional dimensions. They're competing on a new dimension, which is, what's the best way to eat Sushi on the go, to a Sushi Rito, and so they have differentiated themselves, and I use that word very much on purpose, by creating a new category of Sushi called the Sushi Rito, and there are now knockoffs of the Sushi Rito who are trying to engage in a battle with them, saying, well, our Sushi Rito tastes better than their Sushirito. But, just like the idiots at Pepsi, when you do that, when you rip off the Sushirito, all you're doing is telling the world that the original Sushi Rito is better than my knockoff poser Sushi reto. Right. And and yet this is the mistake that entrepreneurs make over and over and over again. They are essentially doing a copycat strategy. And my question is, why fit in when you can stand out? Why not do something unique? If you look at every company, every entrepreneur, every marketer, every brand, every artist, every scientist, every political leader that you respected, Myer, love and joy, they all share some characteristics, and one of them...

...is they broke or took new ground. They are viewed as being the first. Whether they were, they weren't as irrelevant. But the reason we know who Picasso is and if you look at his wikipedia page in the first or second sentence. It says he's the founder, he's the Godfather, he's the creator of a new type of art called cubism. Well, we know his name. We don't know the eighty seven most successful cubist artist in the world. We never heard of her. Right. We know who Bob Marley is. We don't know who the thirty two most popular reggae band in the world is, because Bob Marley is the category designer of a new category, a new type of music called reggae. And so my question for entrepreneurs, my question for marketers, is who would you rather be? Picasso or Marley, or the forty seven company? Would you rather be Sushi reto or the if Sushi Red Open? Imagine it, a spreadsheet filled with rows and rows of your sales enablement assets. You've devoted two years to organizing this masterpiece, only for it to stop making sense. This was Chad tribuccos reality. As the head of sales enablement at Glent, a linkedin company, he's responsible for instilling confidence in his sales reps and arming them with the information they need to do their jobs. However, when his glory is spreadsheet became too complex, he realized he needed a new system. That's when Chad turned to guru. With Guru, the knowledge you need to do your job finds you. Between Guru's Web interface, slack integration, mobile APP and browser extension. Teams can easily search for verified knowledge without leaving their workflow. No more siload or staled information. Guru acts as your single source of truth. For Chad, this meant glent sales reps were left feeling more confident doing their jobs. See why leading companies like glint, shopify, spotify, slack and more are using guru for...

...their knowledge management needs. Visit BB growth dot get gurucom to start your thirty day free trial and discover how knowledge management can empower your revenue teams. Right, right. So I've heard a couple of comments on kind of whether a category exists in kind of its nest, hit stages, and so what I mean by that is for some folks say, well, it's not really a category if you're the only company participating in that space. In order for it to be a category, there has to be multiple companies participating. Now at the same time there there still has to be a first because one point that category should not exist, and then one company emerged two, three, four, five and so on. And so how do you balance that dynamic of looking at a space wanting to be the first but also recognizing that if others don't participate in that space, then maybe you haven't really designed a category, maybe you've just designed a unique position. And is that a downside? Is that something negative you should look out for? Or maybe I'm looking at things the wrong way? Yeah, it's a great question. So I just just had this conversation with an entrepreneur and he was going to name his product and his category the same thing, and he was going to trade mark and I said, well, if you trade market, it won't become a category. Right. So I phone is a brand. Smartphone is a category. Right, right, right, and so that's ultimately what you want. You want to have a category name that you do not trade mark and you absolutely want competition to rip off. And here's the truth. Look, let me just say something. It may not make me a lot of friends, but I'll say it anyway. Most people are freaking stupid. Most people are not creative, most people are not innovative, most people don't do any real thinking,...

...that is to say, thinking about thinking is the most powerful thinking you can do, and most people don't do thinking about thinking. My friend and mentor BIX BIX and said most people and most companies are living inside of somebody else's thinking. And ultimately, category design is a way of thinking about new ways of having a market category work in your favor right. And so, given all of that, if you design a new category, you have evangelized that category powerfully with a really creative, innovative point of view that frames a problem and teaches the world to move from the way it is to the way you want it to be. Don't drive to blockbuster, go to a website called Netflix and just have the movies magically show up in your mailbox. And of course, today we stream. That's an idea, that's a point of view right. And so here's the truth. If you have a powerful category design that that and a point of view that delivers against that category design, then your idiot competitors, when they see you having success, will rip you off. They will come and you want to welcome them. So you don't want to look at competition as a negative. It's something you really want to foster to help go back to that point you made earlier about as a category leader. You don't want to market your product, you want to market the category itself, and having competition and really helps you do that. Yes, and so the only way I want to compete is by having others compete with me. I don't want to compete with anybody else. So when somebody says, well, who's your competition, my answer is always well, we don't have any real direct competition. We do something different and that changes the conversation. If I say to you, Hey, John, let's go to dinner tonight, and maybe you're visiting me here in Santa Cruz and I'm telling you about some of my favorite restaurants in town, I say, and so I'm thinking...

...about maybe Italian or Sushi. which do you prefer? That forces a choice in a way that you know I'm thinking about Italian or pizza. Doesn't force a choice. You follow me? And so legendary entrepreneurs, the way they want to compete is by having others compete with them. But we don't compete with others. Sarah Blakeley, the founder of spanks in the creator of the shape, where category refuse to have her, and these are her words, innovation, her invention be thought of as a girdle. It's not a girdle, it's shape where. It's a new invention. Those are her words, right, and the reality is it would have been very easy to position that stuff as a girdle to dotto. And nobody wants a girdle, but hey, shape where? Wouldn't you like to be a little bit more shapely? And she's the most wealthy, selfmade female billionaire in American history and it's because she distinguished herself, because she did something different, and now there are shapewear competitors. Same thing with Lulu Lemon. I don't know about where you live, John, but sometimes I think in Santa Cruz County there's a law that says twenty five percent of the women must be wearing lululemon pants at all time. Yep, and they are the creators of a new category of clothing called at leisure right. And now when women go to buy, quote unquote, Yoga Pants or athletes or clothes, they are the gold standard because they are, by definition, the category Queen. And so if you're not wearing Lulu, then you're not wearing the original stuff. They created a whole New Paradigm in women's clothing. Now. Had there been stretchy, spandexy, you know, close fitting pants for women before? Sure, there had, course, but they went out and evangelize this ath leisure lifestyle and tied their category to...

...an emerging I don't if you want to call it support or activity or whatever you want to call it, called Yoga, and by doing those things, Bam, they created a whole new category of clothing where one did not exist. And most people today, just like when, if I'm sneezy, I m'd say to you, Hey, John, please pass me a clean x, which, of course, is a brand name and the category is called a tissue. Right, most people say, Oh, you know, she's wearing lululemon pants. She May or may not be wearing that brand. Lululemon has become the clean x of Ath Leisure and Yoga Pants. So to Tesla, a few years ago released the patents on its battery design and I remember reading the commentary at the time and it was I think, supporting is the same idea of you know, Tesla didn't just want it to be the only maker of electric cars. It really one of the electric car category to grow and blossom minute new by releasing those patents. It would help foster that. So is that kind of what you're talking about in terms of fostering competition and not maybe trade marking or keeping everything in house, but allowing that ecosystem to thrive? Yes, absolutely, and I would say that Elon Musk is one of the most exciting, natural intuitive category designers in our world today and he understood this that if I'm the only company evangelizing the electric car, then this category might not go. I need to get the entire industry to tip. I need to move the industry from the way it is fossil fuels to the way I want it to be, electricity and on. I need the help of competition to move a giant category in this newly design direction that I just created. That's exactly what he was doing and it's pure genius and it's worked. Look at the number of new electric cars now. You could argue,...

...well, was that going to happen anyway? I don't know, but here's what we do know. He evangelized the car, he prosecuted the Magic Triangle that it's to say, Got Product Company in category right and, to your point, he's purposely expanding the category by sharing some of the secrets with his competitors so that they can collaborate with him on making the category tip. So, Chris, if I'm listening to this podcast and I'm an entrepreneur and exact marketer thinking about category design, how do I know if it's something my company should pursue? It's not something that necessarily every company can. We should pursue. Right, we don't need tenzero categories of products. But you know, how does someone make that distinction of whether they go down this road or choose a different path? Well, and look, you can argue I'm overly biased. I think if you're not doing category design, you're an F and moron, because what you're declaring by saying we're not going to do that is, by definition, we're going to let somebody else decide what the problem is, what the solution is and teach people about how to value that problem and solution. And as a result of that, we are going to submit to having the company that designs this category that we're in design it and take two thirds of the economics and we will be one of the fifteen, twenty, forty five whatever competitors fighting for a quarter of the economics. So if you want to just play for a quarter of the economics. Well, somebody else sets the rules in your industry, in your market, in your category. I think if you consciously make a frontal lobe decision to do that, you're an F and moron. That's what I think. All right, love it, love the I love the candor. So I want to ask you one last question. It's not about category design, or maybe it is, but you know I'm here in Lexington and most of the world's Bourbon is made within a...

...couple hours of where I live and I know that you enjoy it kind of seeing what's what's best in that space. So top three BOURBONS, three to one go. You know I'm going to have a real lousy answer. I kind of like them all. I mean I you know I drink a lot of scotch. I Love Bourbon. I think probably my go to daily Bourbon. It is just a good old fashioned bullet bourbon. I get in trouble with a lot of Scotch Guru guys because I like Jack Daniels, I like a Jack and coke, I like gentleman's Jack, I like, I don't know if you've had the Frank Sinatra Jack that's a really fun one, and so I'm generally somebody who mixes it up. I when I go into a bar, you know, if they have a good bourbon selection, I'll ask the Oh, here's this, this great category design. Remember when they used to be bartenders? Yeah, you know what they're called today where they knows Ologists, mix ologists, right, that's what they are their mixologist. When I was a kid, if you bought a secondhand car, you are buying a used car. Today we don't buy youth cars, we buy free owned cars. That's all category design. That those are people changing thinking about a particular market category. Anyways, I digress. Like I said, like Kevin said, category design is a new Lens on business and once you have the lens you see categories everywhere. So, to get back to your question, John, I will often go in and I will say to the mix ologist, you know, you guys look like you have an awesome, awesome selection of whiskies and bourbons. What do you have this new? What do you have that's exciting? What do you have that's interesting? What should I try? And I generally don't have mixed drinks. Mixed drink for me, as a Jack and Coke I get. If I'm going to drink a bourbon, I like it neat. I like my bourbon with Bourbon, just like I like my coffee. I like coffee with coffee, and I think putting other almost set a different word that begins with s. But I'll say stuff in my bourbon or in my coffee is somewhat blasphemous. And Look, I know,...

...having spent time in Scotland and and so forth, there are some experts that say you should really put a little water in there, a little lice in there, quote unquote, open it up. I think all that's BS. I like Bourbon in my bourbon because stuff. Yeah, well, it's kind of an interesting space to watch because it is a very, very crowded. If you go to, you know, liquor store around here, you'll see literally hundreds of bourbons on the shelf, and so every once in a while you'll see someone who's trying to kind of reframe that conversation or about a different bourbon or a different blend while still kind of remaining too true to that kind of a heritage of Bourbon. So it's really interesting to kind of see what idea stick in which are just kind of flashes in the pant and I love the innovation, the new category of Whiskey that I love. It's at least new to me. Maybe it's been going on for a while and I didn't notice it. I'm not I don't follow it super closely, but there is a whiskey that's made here in the Santa Cruz area called Wayward Whiskey, and I joined their club and I, you know, get a selection of stuff from them every quarter and you got to go to their place and pick it up, which is fun. It's just the other side of town for me and I was in there a couple weeks ago John and picking up my quarterly drop ship of Yummy and while I was in there I noticed behind the bar, because they have a tasting area, they had this very sort of dark ruby, almost blood ready looking whiskey and I'm sort of trying to read the label. Anyway, long story longer. It's whiskey that has been aged in pork barrels. Oh really, and I love port and I love whiskey and I'll tell you, man, is this ever good? I'm going to buy a case of it. It is absolutely outstanding. And so right now my favorite go to is wayward whiskey aged in port barrels nice. So does that kind as a new category of whiskey or is that just differentiation? It's new to me. I don't know if it if it's if it's been a...

...longstanding category. I had never heard of it, so I'm guessing it's new, but I can't tell you for sure. But it certainly was new to me. I hadn't heard of anyone else doing it. And if you start paying attention, you know you'll start to see new categories all over the place. I just saw one. Let me see if I can grab it for you quickly. A new category of Jerky. I was in my favorite local, local store, local market. Yeah, here it is Auhi Tuna Jerky Strips, wildcot cut, whole cut island Kariaki tuna jerk strips from a company called wildly responsible. So it's Ahi Tuna jerky strips. So there you getting. I'm getting kind of hungry and thercy just talking to you on this interviewer. I think about Jerky in Bourbon, Coke Pepsi earlier. How lots of good stuff. Chris, thanks so much for all the advice you shared today. I could probably take your brain for another few hours. Be Tob growth is brought to you by the team at sweet fish media. Here at sweet fish, we produce podcast for some of the most innovative brands in the world and we help them turn those podcasts into Microvideos linkedin content, blog posts and more. We're on a mission to produce every leader's favorite show. Want more information, visit Sweet Fish Mediacom.

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