Lindsay Bell

Join Steve McKee for a Special Author Q&A Today

By: Lindsay Bell | May 21, 2014 | 
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Steve McKeeBy Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

Consider this statement: Every one of the largest, most successful corporations were, at some point, mere startups.

It’s a powerful thought, isn’t it?

Coke. Apple. GE. GM. McDonald’s.

They all had to start somewhere.

Why are they still with us, you ask? What did they do so right, that a bazillion others didn’t?

Well, today’s author Q&A guest can answer those questions for you.

Steve McKee is president of McKee Wallwork + Company, an integrated digital marketing firm based in Albuquerque. But, as is usually the case with our author Q&A guests – that’s not all he does! (Why are these people all so accomplished?? Note to self: Get more accomplished.)

He has nearly three decades of experience as a leading brand strategist, is a longtime marketing columnist for BusinessWeek.com, and is the founder of a tech startup in San Francisco.

He’s also written two books, the latest of which is what we’re going to talk about today: Power Branding.

So, back to the questions we asked above. Why did those brand behemoths have such staying power?

McKee believes that the difference lies in the ability to take risks. That the biggest and best brands aren’t slaves to conventional marketing wisdom.

And he shows by example how the same strategies used by the biggest brands can serve small and mid-sized companies.

David Ogilvy said about branding:

You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.

And that’s exactly what Steve McKee explores in Power Branding.

How can a company grow big by thinking small? Why do the best companies sometimes avoid being better? Why do brands that create the most memorable advertising stay away from focus groups? What is the secret to an effective slogan? When can admitting a negative become a positive?

He includes case studies and lessons learned from many companies, from the aforementioned Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and General Motors, to new media models such as Google and Facebook.

Ask him anything – how making the right (or wrong) hires can dramatically affect your brand? Why a healthy corporate culture is so important? How to ‘ignite’ your brand, and which companies out there have sparked a renewed flame of interest around their own brands? What is ‘choice overload,’ and how does that affect the work of marketers and advertisers? Or, how often he gets mistaken for that other Steve McKee, the Aussie Rules football player?

Today’s Author Q&A with Steve McKee

At noon ET (that’s 11:00 CT, 10:00 MT, and 9:00 PT for those of you who can’t do time zones), Steve will be here to answer any and all of your questions.

In order to participate, all you have to do is:

  • Make sure you have a Livefyre account or be ready to sign in with one of your social networks.
  • Set a reminder for noon ET today.
  • Order the book so you can support Steve and get your learn on.
  • Create a list of questions (if you haven’t read the book, you can bribe me and I’ll write some for you!).
  • Come back here, scroll to the bottom, and write a comment in the form of a question. As soon as you hit “post comment,” Steve will see it and reply to you. You can even join the conversation around questions others are asking, if you like.

We’ll be here for an hour so you can join us the entire time or step in and out during the hour. It’s entirely up to you; just make sure you’re here before 12:59.

Win a Copy

Those of you who participate in today’s Livefyre Q&A (even if you’re late to the party, but not if you’re an Arment Dietrich employee) will be entered into a random drawing for a free copy of the book.

Don’t forget – you have to actually leave a comment, ask a question, or participate in the chat to be entered in the drawing. Otherwise we won’t know you were here.

Get ready with your questions and join the conversation. And don’t fear! If you missed the live portion of this, we’ll keep the drawing open until midnight PT so you still have time to get in your questions.

Former Guests and Who’s Next

For former guests, check out Margie ClaymanSarah RobinsonMark StoryBeth HaydenSarah EvansStanford SmithChris BroganC.C. ChapmanMitch JoelDanny BrownChuck HemannMichael BritoDJ WaldowTom MartinAhava LeibtagJay Baer, Shel Israel, Mark SchaeferGini Dietrich, and Rob Biesenbach.

And following are the dates for the next few months, so mark your calendars!

Same bat time, same bat channel.

About Lindsay Bell


Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

  • Shoot! Won’t be able to join but it sounds AWESOME!

  • nice someone who writes about hocus pocus! 8)

  • nice someone who writes about hocus pocus! 8)

  • that ogilvy comment cracks me up. represents everything i hate about advertising.

  • I just saw Steve speak a couple of weeks ago and it/he was great! Join this discussion and check out his book!

  • Howie Goldfarb  Such a curmudgeon!

  • Howie Goldfarb  Crabby pants.

  • Almost time!

  • belllindsay  Woooo!

  • Hi Steve, and thanks for joining us today! Can you give us the back story on the book? Why did you write Power Branding?

  • Do I get to ask Steve questions unrelated to the book?

  • Rest easy everyone, I’m here! We can start now!

  • ginidietrich  Yes.

  • belllindsay YAY!

  • LauraPetrolino  Oh jeez.

  • Thanks! Power Branding was a labor of love. So many lessons I learned the hard way and I wanted to share them all in one place so people could learn them the easy way. Now they can.

  • ginidietrich  I dare you.

  • I hear you channeled Hemingway when you spoke at Counselors Academy. Tell us how.

  • Steve McKee Oh goodie! I love dares!

  • Steve McKee ginidietrich  I double-dog dared her the other day Steve. It wasn’t good.

  • Yes. It wasn’t hard to channel Hemingway since we were hanging out at his Key West home. Pretty intimidating, though.

  • Steve McKee  But all those cats?! Ew.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  Whoa. I don’t love cats, but I do like the ones with extra toes a little.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  Ew indeed. We were warned not to mess with the cats.

  • Steve McKee I wouldn’t have been able to go. Deathly allergic. martinwaxman would have had to stab me with the epi pen.

  • One of the biggest obstacles to successful innovation and risk taking is often the structure of an organization itself. This is especially true with large, layered corporations. How do you suggest companies start making changes when they have built a structure that doesn’t support successful innovation?

  • You did an incredible job of building buzz before Power Branding came out. You got some really good reviews. Tell us…who wrote your favorite review?

  • LauraPetrolino  Laura, that’s a great question, and a BIG one. You mention structure, and structure is (or should be) a function of strategy, which is a function of culture. So the place to start is in building a culture of innovation, which is not easy to do if you don’t pull the strings. But I don’t think there’s any way to shortcut it.

  • ginidietrich  Now that’s a softball. You mean besides Gini Dietrich? I’m not sure I can remember others–hers was so good. I still tear up just thinking about it.

  • Steve McKee I was thinking the same thing!

  • Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  So many leaders are terrified of change and/or innovation.

  • I’d love to hear about a brand you think is doing really innovative work lately. Who’s been impressing you, and how?

  • If you were my copy of Power Branding, where would you be? It was on my desk. Darn cleaning lady!

  • belllindsay Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  Totally. But in some respects, then, they’re not really leaders, are they? Leadership implies change.

  • Steve McKee belllindsay LauraPetrolino  So true!!! Great point!

  • The recent Burger King brand slogan change “Be Your Way” – good move or bad?

  • ginidietrich  I want a cleaning lady.

  • Eleanor Pierce  This may sound silly, but I love how Taco Bell has embraced social media, thrown caution to the wind in some respects, and just has fun with it. It’s a real-time, real-life living of the brand online. And having a young son who lives to be retweeted by Taco Bell is evidence that it’s working for them. Think of the free advertising he (and all his buddies) provide!

  • belllindsay You keep working hard and you will earn one!

  • ginidietrich Oh, jeeze.

  • ginidietrich belllindsay  Or work less hard and you can become one 🙁

  • Steve McKee ginidietrich belllindsay  HA! I have a husband for that, Steve! 😉

  • Steve McKee belllindsay  Ha! Ba da dum!

  • Steve McKee Eleanor Pierce  Good one! They definitely embrace the weird in a way that works.

  • What is the best way to for brands to ‘test’ ideas, prior to making major (and expensive)  shifts

  • belllindsay  Neither, really, but leaning towards bad. One of the tenets of Power Branding is that slogans are waaaaayyyyy overrated. Brands put way too much emphasis on them when in reality they’re just three or four little words. Sloganeering is now Power Branding–not by a longshot.

  • OK. I have a serious question. Recently there has been a lot of blogosphere conversation about the age of the independent blogger is over and there is room only for big brands or already established blogs. They’re citing that many of the most influential blogs have staffs and resources the independent blogger doesn’t have.

    I think that’s kind of baloney. I mean, we all started with nothing – just like some of the biggest brands did. What’s your take?

  • Steve McKee Interesting. I would think a slogan would be as important to a brand, if not more (usage in audio advertising, etc.) “I’m loving it” comes to mind. “Like a Rock” is another.

  • LauraPetrolino  Another Power Branding principle: “The best research is the real world”. MOST market research is flawed in design and can easily lead companies astray. To truly test something you need to find a way to run it, however small and contained, in a real world environment. Otherwise you risk the test being biased and you may never even know it, which could lead to big problems.

  • Steve McKee belllindsay  hmmm…that’s interesting. But do you not think the sticking power of many slogans help keep the organization top of mind?

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  She’s fallen and can’t get up.

  • LauraPetrolino Steve McKee Stop stealing my comments, Laura.

  • ginidietrich  I couldn’t agree with you more. One general principle of mine is that “small beats big”. Innovation almost always comes from outside the mainstream–ask Clayton Christianson, author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma”. Let them say the age of the independent is over. And then an independent will eat their lunch.

  • belllindsay LauraPetrolino Steve McKee  Nike told me to Just do it!

  • LauraPetrolino belllindsay Steve McKee  BOOM!

  • You have a theory that is opposite of my own. You say a company can grow big by thinking small. I believe a small company has to act big, if that’s their goal. Not big, from the perspective of silos and red tape and bureaucratic politics, but from presenting a solid team and sophisticated capabilities. Do we actually agree or not?

  • LauraPetrolino Steve McKee belllindsay  Most slogans have close to zero sticking power. That’s the point. There are a few notable exceptions but they’re just that…exceptions.

  • Steve McKee That’s my thinking, too. I started out blogging with just me. Sure, we have a team today…but we built it that way. I think anyone who thinks that way is just wrong. (And I may quote you in a blog post, if you don’t mind.)

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  Name ten current slogans of big brands. Betcha can’t. None of us can. (Of course, if you can you watch way too much TV!)

  • ginidietrich  We agree. We’re using the same words in different contexts. By “think small” I mean “stay nimble”. By “act big” you seem to mean have big vision and capabilities. The combo is the perfect formula, no?

  • Steve McKee I think so. It’s something we talk about, as a team, all the time.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  Which is why your team rocks.

  • Steve McKee My team DOES rock (just don’t let them hear me say that)!

  • Steve McKee ginidietrichbig companies can’t be nimble. Not when you have massive supply chains and employees and distribution. Things take time Nothing can be done about it. You can be opportunistic I think as a better word.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  Helloooooo, cleaning lady!!

  • Let’s talk focus groups. I hate them.

  • I haven’t gotten a chance to read the book yet, but Lindsay mentions you don’t like focus groups – are they really that bad?

  • Why would a large organization with a solid, trusted brand decide to make a change? Is it just a PR stunt?

  • ginidietrich  Ha!

  • Eleanor Pierce LOL!!

  • ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce  I was just about to mention FGs as well! LOL

  • ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce  I have a friend who specializes in them, and I think they’re fascinating. I want to hear more about why y’all hate them.

  • Eleanor Pierce ginidietrich  Focus groups hate you, too. That’s why they kill all your good ideas. It’s an artificial environment (remember, the best research is the real world) and participants think their role is to “help” by being critical. So they find things to pick at. And too often their comments are given much more weight than they should be. No worse form of abuse in market research

  • Steve McKee ginidietrichwho wants to read a BRAND BLOG? Ick. not me. If you looks at some of the biggest companies in tech and media and advertising their blogs are empty wastelands with no commentary and very little readership.
    BUT take the CEO if he blogs and participates on his own..POW BANG! people eat that stuff up. People love people. Just like with social media. Talking to a face vs a logo is sooo different,

  • I have a business growth question. It can’t be easy to grow a national business from Albuquerque. Though it’s silly in today’s digital age, many big companies think their agencies should be in New York, Chicago, or on the west coast. How have you managed to get around that thinking?

  • belllindsay  A change in its brand? It shouldn’t! But a change in the expression of its brand–that’s a different story. It’s kind of like hairstyles and fashion–we have to change with the times, but still need to be true to who we are. Brands are just like people in that respect.

  • Steve McKee Brand > logo…?

  • Steve McKee belllindsay  LOVE that analogy!

  • ginidietrich  I love that question. We find, basically, two types of clients. Those for whom geography matters (we lose) and those for whom excellence and specialization matters (we win). What it has forced us to do is sharply hone our niche, which is awesome.

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  Noooo. Logo = representation of the brand. Just as your avatar isn’t you, it just represents you.

  • Eleanor Pierce They’re pretty painful to put together and to attend. I’m not a big believer that you put a group of people in a room and they’ll help you decide on your direction. What happens, instead, is the extroverts take over and everyone else nods their heads in agreement…even if they disagree. Today we have constant feedback on our organizations from customers, prospects, fans, and critics. That’s much more valuable than putting 10 people in a room with free pizza and asking them what they think.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  See, for me the brand is the logo – the color, font, image, everything. It *means* the brand to me. It makes me *feel* the brand. Surely, as a consumer, I’m not alone in that regard?

  • Steve McKee Which every business should do…and many don’t.

  • So I ridiculed the Ogilvy quote. If all you have is an image you have nothing. You can’t take a crappy product and sell it on superficial terms. You can get people to try something. But if the product or service sucks no advertising or branding can change it. A great example was how Saatchi won mega awards for the JC Penny everyday matters campaign from 2008 I think. Yet people still saw ‘same low priced crappy JC Penny’
    So shouldn’t branding come after you have a great product or service? I mean Walmart tries the branding play over and over and yet most people buy only because they cant afford to go elsewhere. So really they should say ‘We sell crap to you with underpaid employees so you can have poor quality crap in your house….for a very cheap price’ In fact that is their brand. And they know it.

  • Eleanor Pierce ginidietrich  I actually don’t mind them IF my team is the only one in the observation room. You can learn a lot from them. But when people who don’t do what we do for a living get in there they draw all kinds of wrong conclusions. It’s like watching surgery, I suppose–fascinating to another surgeon, but something likely to freak out the average Joe.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKeeIf a business isn’t HQed in Vermont then of course it is risky doing business with them. Nuff said.

  • You wrote one of my favorite books of all time – When Growth Stalls. What are the three things business owners should consider when their growth inevitably stalls?

  • Howie Goldfarb  Howie, that gets us to the definition of branding. I see it as the sum and substance of everything a product, service, person or company does. In that sense, there’s no “before” or “after” about it. There’s no way to separate the business from the brand. Companies that mistakenly think there is make the type of mistakes you’re citing.

  • ginidietrich fire everyone and start over?

  • Howie Goldfarb Ha! That could be good for some, but really bad for others.

  • ginidietrich  Thank you! Three things: 1) Don’t freak out–you’re not alone and it happens to the best. 2) Don’t panic or you’ll make things worse. 3) Look within–the biggest and most intractable issues are surely there, and you must address them first. Oh, and 4) Buy When Growth Stalls.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  Amen

  • Steve McKee I would argue #4 should be #1. I referred back to it earlier this year. Q1 was so incredibly slow, which is very unusual. Of course, later we learned all the snow made it slow for many, but I panicked. And then I picked up your book again and forced myself to calm down.

  • Howie Goldfarb  But … the “low prices always” WalMart brand is incredibly successful and powerful. Everyone doesn’t just shop at WalMart because they can’t afford to go elsewhere, they shop at WalMart because they KNOW that they’ll get the cheapest prices there.

  • What can a small to mid-sized company learn from the big boys when it comes to branding strategies?

  • belllindsay ginidietrich Steve McKee  I would disagree. If you love the logo but hate the company how does that work? Or vice-versa. The logo is just a piece of art–a piece that should be in keeping with the brand, for sure, but it’s not the brand itself.

  • Most organizations have branding in the marketing department and leave it at that. But you argue it shouldn’t be a department. Why is that?

  • Eleanor Pierce Howie Goldfarb  I like WalMart. *ducks*

  • belllindsay Eleanor Pierce Howie Goldfarb  HA! Shopping at Canadian WalMart cannot possibly be as bad as South Carolina WalMart.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKeebut decisions are different at private vs public companies. If you are a CEO of a public company you don’t have time to see course corrections or new markets to develop if they are too far off. Founders and Private Companies are able to do this is the face of sagging revenues or profits.

  • Steve McKee belllindsay ginidietrich  I spent 20 years in Tv. It’s all about the visual impact for me.

  • ginidietrich  Yes! Because everything is branding and branding is everything. Name one decision that doesn’t somehow impact the brand? You can’t. Marketing is a philosophy, not just a department. The most iconic brands (that tend to be headed by intuitive marketers like Steve Jobs and Howard Shultz) get this at their core.

  • belllindsay it takes money to make money. Tattoo that on your forehead.

  • Eleanor Pierce belllindsay Howie Goldfarb  It’s pretty bad. “Oh, hey, you brought your WHOLE family shopping with you! Awesome!”

  • Howie Goldfarb How much will you pay me….?

  • How do you suggest large companies make sure the brand message they send out is consistent through all their channels

  • belllindsay Eleanor Pierce Howie Goldfarb  But are they all wearing tube tops?

  • Eleanor Pierce belllindsay Howie Goldfarb  Oh. It’s coming. If the weather ever warms up. 😉

  • LauraPetrolino  Great question, Laura, and a knotty one. That’s the trick for most companies and it’s where they trip up. First of all, it takes TIME. Lots and lots of time. You have to ensure that the brand essence is integrated across every department, every location, every employee, etc. It takes time just to complete one loop of that. But then it needs continuous reinforcement. Perhaps the biggest challenge in branding is staying the course. Too few companies do.

  • ginidietrich I never heard of branding being in the marketing department vs with the CEO. Who leaves the image of the company with marketing as the final decision maker when higher up’s jobs depend on their success?

  • Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  What are the top three things they can do to help “stay the course”..??

  • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich  Too many companies do that, Howie, probably mostly by omission. The marketing department launches a “branding campaign” and unintentionally sends a signal that branding = advertising when in reality it’s so much more. It’s everything.

  • belllindsay Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  Continuity of management is most important. When someone new comes in it’s easy to throw out the old and bring in the new, even if it’s not the wisest thing to do. They must also tamp down their boredom meter. We all get bored of our own branding efforts long before they’re even fully exposed to the marketplace. Third, I would use a line that I’m fond of and has served me well: “The lack of a compelling reason to change is itself a compelling reason not to.”

  • Lindsay also mentioned something about how making the right hires can affect your brand. What’s your #1 piece of advice on this front?

  • You talk about honing your niche below…and you do in the book, too, from the perspective of defining your key audience by lifestyle, attitude, perception, behavior, and more. How does an organization go about defining all of that?

  • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich Steve McKee  Too true. That’s one of the big problems we face. But I would say that a true, wise leader of a public company should make that clear to his or her constituents. That’s one of the reasons why Howard Schultz quit issuing quarterly guidance on his same store sales…too much short termism.

  • Steve McKee belllindsay LauraPetrolino  I love the point about boredom! Gini and I have talked about this a lot – we get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, but our audience doesn’t – in fact, they may not have heard us the first 10 times we said it.

  • Eleanor Pierce Steve McKee belllindsay LauraPetrolino  And, there are always newbies.

  • Eleanor Pierce  A company’s brand integration should FIRST be rooted and grounded and woven through its HR department and compensation structure. The interview process, onboarding, training, communications–all of it must be fully grounded in the brand. And recruits should be put through some sort of paces to make sure they’re compatible with the company’s brand. Southwest Airlines and Zappos are probable the best poster children for this approach. My new Businessweek column touches on this.

  • Steve McKee LauraPetrolinoI dislike the term Brand Essence. It smacks of hocus pocus something like Chris Brogan would say to make the smart people gag.
    I prefer the mission statement. Or knowing what you do as your core competency. So not sure I understand how employees wouldn’t know the brand.
    What I have seen though over and over and over is workers paid so poorly they could give a flying freak about the brand or who they work for. In fact over 50% of all jobs in the US are such. This is the glaring hole in the Social Business pitch.

  • Steve McKee Eleanor Pierce  We just started talking about this. Having some sort of university for new employees AND new clients. I think it is the difference between average and excellent.

  • ginidietrich  That’s where the effective use of research comes in. When we work with a client we put together a comprehensive approach, beginning with internal interviews (companies know much more about their customers than they even realize) and including quantitative and qualitative research. This is one application where focus groups make sense–exploring, not testing.

  • Howie Goldfarb Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  Fair enough, Howie. Call it whatever makes the most sense. Semantics aside, the brand essence and the mission are intimately related.

  • There is a lot of discussion about selling by not selling. Jay Baer has Youtility. Tom Martin has The Invisible Sale. And you advocate to sell by relating. What do you mean by that?

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee Eleanor Pierce  It was definitely a good exercise for me to start right as Spin Sucks launched – it’s practically a handbook for “how we do things.” Not sure writing a whole book is feasible for all companies though …

  • Eleanor Pierce Yeah…considering it took an entire year to write it.

  • ginidietrich  Business (like life) is all about relationships. And commerce is all about trust. If I want you to buy what I have, and there are even closely acceptable substitutes, you’re going to default to who or what you like and trust better. The more affection and trust I can build with you (in person and even through impersonal communications) the more of a shortcut I’m going to create for you to buy my stuff. We think as consumers we’re so darn rational. Nope–we develop shortcuts all the time. And the best shortcut is a relationship.

  • You mention Zappos and Southwest as brands who do ‘culture’ well. Any who really tank at it? Or who did, and changed?

  • Steve McKee Howie GoldfarbLauraPetrolinobut if your employees have no buy in then you can’t look at them as channels for your brand message was my point.

  • Steve McKee ginidietrich  I was just having this conversation the other day. In a bar, no less. #alwaysworking People buy from who they trust.

  • Everyday another social or digital focused marketing shop pops up. Much separates the good from the great, and one attribute tends to be relentless focus / specialization. How/when did your agency develop your OWN niche and position? What’s your advice to others?  p.s. you rock!

  • belllindsay  Sears. JC Penney. Burger King. Citibank. The examples are legion and it’s very difficult to change. Target is just now going through some cultural challenges, and hiring a new CEO. That’s either going to go up or down, and I’m not sure we can say which at this point.

  • Howie Goldfarb Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  Totally agree.

  • Steve McKee Target is getting SLAMMED up here in Canada. And so they should. It’s been a major fail.

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  Amazon’s been taking some pretty massive hits, too.

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  Yep, which is one contributing factor to the CEO ouster. It’s going to be interesting to watch what happens next.

  • ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce  Tell me about it.

  • belllindsay Steve McKeeginidietrichin direct sales you are told over and over again if everything is equal they buy from the people they like more. But this led to bribery which still exists. The key for brands is to reduce substitutions.

  • Steve McKee belllindsay I thought the letter the Target CMO wrote on LinkedIn was brilliant. He pretty much said the culture stinks and they’re working to fix it.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee belllindsay  Yep, but they’re overlooking one very important detail, which I’ll be posting on my blog later today. (hint hint)

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee belllindsay  I would love to see a case study on this Canada debacle. I mean, it’s hard to believe it even happened with a company that large. Who the heck had control??

  • Steve McKee I’ll check it out…because I’m going to write about it, too!

  • ginidietrich Steve McKeebelllindsaytalk about blowing the gay marriage glow they got when they came out in support. It is why you can not ever calculate the lifetime value of a customer. Things change so fast you are lucky to keep them for a short time.

  • belllindsay ginidietrichSteve McKeewhat happened in Target Canada?

  • Steve McKee ginidietrich You’re not going to blame Canada, are you…? 😉

  • belllindsay I’m definitely going to blame Canada.

  • ginidietrich I was asking Steve McKee.

  • Alright, we have time for two more questions. Hurry!

  • belllindsay Oh.

  • Steve McKee ginidietrich belllindsay  look at that teaser tie in!!! Well done!

  • belllindsay ginidietrich Steve McKee  No, I won’t blame Canada. I love Canada. Eh?

  • LauraPetrolino Steve McKee ginidietrich belllindsay  Seriously. Pro-status.

  • Hey, Steve! What was YOUR favorite part of Spin Sucks (the book)??

  • Steve, if you could go in and help save one big brand that’s currently faltering, which one would it be?

  • Ok, Steve McKee – tell me – “Why does spin suck?”

  • ginidietrich  I really liked the Media Manipulation chapter because I think we can get so intimidated by the media when there’s really no reason to.

  • Steve McKee Wrong answer.

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  The part where I was in it??

  • LauraPetrolino  LOVE that question!!!  If I had control, I think I might choose Sears. So much potential–still–yet so mismanaged. It’s really a shame. I’ve also always wanted to work with Dr Pepper. As a Pepper myself, I don’t think the brand has ever fully understood its fans.

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  Another wrong answer.

  • Steve McKee LauraPetrolino  There’s that slogan again!!

  • ginidietrich belllindsay Steve McKee  Dang.

  • belllindsay Steve McKee  Because truth is truth and if you’re not authentic you WILL be found out. That’s always been the case, but in today’s world you can get busted a whole lot faster (and more publicly) than ever.

  • ginidietrich belllindsay Steve McKee  it’s impossible to pick one section, the entire thing is so fantastic Princess Gini

  • ginidietrich Steve McKee  The part where I was in it.

  • LauraPetrolino While I love your enthusiasm, Laura, I was looking for what he just posted below…

  • Steve McKee Woo hoo!

  • ginidietrich LauraPetrolino  I was trying to feign humility. There’s that dang transparency thing again. Busted.

  • Steve, it was a real pleasure. Thank you for spending an hour with us! I’m bummed I didn’t get to see you in Key West. We’ll have to find a time to get together soon!

  • ginidietrich  Fastest. Hour. Ever. THANK YOU!

  • ginidietrich  Thanks Steve!

  • Steve McKee ginidietrich  This was great! Now I really need to get my hands on a copy of the book …

  • photo chris

    Isn’t that “just” packaging?

  • photo chris

    Nope, me too. And I’m back to packaging.

  • photo chris

    Isn’t “how” tied up a bit in culture then?

  • photo chris

    Sorry, I live under a rock…what are y’all talking about here?

  • photo chris

    Isn’t there a saying that right around the time you hate a piece you’ve put together is when it really starts working?

  • photo chris  I think we were talking about how we blame Canada for everything. But yes…I agree. As soon as you start to get bored with something, it begins to work.

  • Hey photo chris! Send me your address! I’m not sure I have it.

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