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.



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