5 favorites on friday — favorite brand podcasts

Today wraps up my 5 favorites on friday series on great brand resources with a post on favorite podcasts.  podcast_rss_micWhile the challenge with past entries in the series (covering favorite brand books, blogs, and articles) was narrowing down the huge number of choices, this week I struggle to name 5 great podcasts on brands/branding. 

Don’t get me wrong — I know there are lots of great podcasts out there which say they’re about brands/branding, but the vast majority of them are either about 1.,  social media/new PR/new marketing, or 2., personal branding.  Both of these are hot topics these days — and indeed they are important and interesting.  But I am mostly focused on brand development as it relates to business strategy and operations and so I want to recommend brand resources that provide insights, news, and information in this area.

With that in mind, I’ve decided the following podcasts fulfill this criteria enough to be considered my 5 favorite brand podcasts:

1.  Brand Fast Trackers — Each week Brian F. Martin, CEO and Founder of Brand Connections, a media company,  conducts interesting interviews with interesting businesspeople.  Recent guests have included Clayton Christopher, Founder of Sweet Leaf Tea Co. and Michael Fisher, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Coldwell Banker.  The combination of Brian’s probing questioning and the stories/angles that the interviewees bring makes for valuable insights and practical takeaways about brand-building.

2.  The Brand Show — This podcast also features interviews, such as one with Vani Kumar, Founder and CEO of The Suit Closet (a women’s apparel store which will soon be expanding beyond its Los Angeles location — can’t wait!) and another with Paula Berg, Southwest Airlines’ emerging media evangelist.  While The Brand Show focuses a lot on social media, generally there’s a mix of types of folks on the show and so listeners get a wide range of perspectives.  The Brand Show is produced by Two West, Inc. “a transformation design firm” and the hosts seem to have a lot of fun bringing brand-related ideas to their readers.

3.  The Starbucks ExperienceJoseph A. Michelli, this podcast’s owner, is the author of the book by the same name.  But the name is a bit misleading — it’s not all about Starbucks.  Rather, Joseph serves up brand strategy insights like “Differently Different” an episode about how to identify and articulate your brand’s differentiation, and “Define and Refine” which presents a framework for thinking about the customer experience you provide.  The episodes  are short (3-5 minutes) which make them ideal for attention-span-challenged folks like me, but provocative thinking about brands is packed into each.

4.  Marketing Over Coffee — This podcast by John Wall and Christopher Penn covers a wide range of topics.  In a recent episode, they went from discussing Rand Fishkin’s SEOmoz article on the perfectly optimized web page to responding to a question about networking to find a job to talking about the value of writing an e-book and publishing it on Amazon.  Sometimes the focus is more on social media and marketing than on brand development, but business insights are always woven in (probably at least in part because Christopher runs a business himself, which gives him a unique perspective.)

5.  MorningNewsBeat RadioKevin Coupe of Coupe Communications, a corporate video company, offers up his unique perspective on brand-related news items in this weekly podcast.  The most recent episode provides a great example:  Kevin talks about what happened when a cyclist who was denied service while trying to use the drive-thru at a Burgerville made a social media stink about the experience — and he outlines the key lessons learned from Burgerville’s response.  The episodes are timely, frequently humorous, and deserving of the podcast’s tagline “Retail News in Context, Analysis with Attitude.”

Despite these recommendations, I’m sensing a real need for a podcast which serves up the kinds of insights and information found in my other favorite brand resources — that is, building strong brands, the brand:business connection, etc.   So I’m thinking about launching my own podcast soon.  After all, someone recently defined branding as “finding a hole in the market and filling it well,” so I hope to do just that.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, thanks for your readership throughout this series.  Perhaps I’ve introduced to you some new brand resources?  I  look forward to getting your recommendations about other ones I should check out.

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