trust truths and other bits from summer brand camp
brand-as-business bit: What do you get when you bring together Human Resources, Marketing, and Ops people for an event featuring best-selling business book authors, a talent show, a community service project, and lots of stickers, beads, and trail mix?! Summer Brand Camp, an annual “conference” for the restaurant industry staged by People Report / Black Box Intelligence — it’s a mash-up that’s fun, thought-provoking, and well, a little campy. I had the privilege of speaking at the event a couple of weeks ago — I also learned a lot from the other speakers. Here are a few of the sound bites that I’ve been marinating on:
- “Trust built to grease the skids for a transaction isn’t trust.” — Doug Levy, CEO of MEplusYOU, and co-author of Can’t Buy Me Like (see my write-up on the book)
Brands need to cultivate authentic relationships with people.
- “Leaders should trust and track [their people’s efforts] – without ‘track,’ you only have hope and hope is not a strategy.” — Nick Sarillo, President of Nick’s Pizza Pub and author of A Slice of the Pie
This reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s famous advice: “trust but verify.”
- “Everyone has a circle of trust and as leaders we need to invite people inside.” — Ryan Estis, Chief Experience Officer, Ryan Estis & Associates
Do you see a theme here? Trust is critical to leaders, whether they’re brands or people — and it takes a concerted effort to build it.
- “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention – we’re suffering from ‘infobesity.'” — Aric Nissen, former marketing lead at Famous Dave’s and Dairy Queen
Our minds consume more data than we can absorb — this creates a tremendous challenge for marketers.
- “Marketers are like bulldozers; community managers are like magnets.” — one of the panelists in the Community Manager session (sorry I didn’t catch which one)
While I think “bulldozer” might be hyperbole, the idea of attracting people to your brand being more effective than shouting about your brand through media is so right.