Brian Spain: Connecting Users’ Emotions to Brand Strategy

Brian Spain: Connecting Users' Emotions to Brand Strategy - Klashtech

We are starting a blog posts series called “Leader Spotlight” where we will feature industry experts in the digital and marketing industries that can share their experiences, more than just their knowledge. As the world evolves and we become more consumed in our personal goals, we forget to check-in with our community and connect with people that could act as a support net in the process. Yes we have the experts, but we also like to connect with people that have ‘been there, done that’ and are generous enough to share those valuable stream of insights. In this occasion, we have the privilege to interview our friend Brian Spain, a brand strategist who has reached success professionally and personally by truly focusing on reading people’s deep emotional needs. Brian is born and bred Canadian, but currently living in South Florida enjoying the sun. Without further ado, below is Brian’s take on how to build brands that actually create a connection.  

Brian's Professional Background

Brian is an experienced customer experience, design thinking, marketing, and brand strategist with more than 25+ years of experience across a broad range of local, national and international brands. He is an expert in solving challenging branding, communications, and new product launch problems by finding simple and inspiring ways to deal with complexity.

Starting with the big picture, Brian has helped different organizations analyze the marketplace through a broad lens, then drill down to understand problems and opportunities through market and customer insights. With a fresh perspective, then present strategic and creative solutions on core issues that can be addressed, collaborating with others on how to shape and execute these ideas.

In Brian’s own words: “While the concept of ‘customer insights’ is not always appreciated or approached in the best way, it’s still the most powerful starting point. Not simply the things our target tells us in research. But the ways they might contradict things they may say or do, without actually thinking about it. Things that when properly interpreted and played back – have an impact.”

The Interview

1. What is your story?

I have always been attracted to the creativity involved in product development, marketing and communications. I started in the ad agency business working on international brands ranging from Jell-O, to Palmolive, Nestle Quik, Cheerios, Tropicana and more. But from an early stage of my career, I’ve understood creativity must serve a purpose for a brand and the customer. I deliberately branched out into financial services, hospitality, travel, energy, adult beverages, pharmaceuticals, retail and technology to leverage personal strategic strengths, while continually learning about many different needs of customers and business strategies that can address these. This path has strengthened my understanding that creativity can attract people to a product, or brand, but that a deliberate strategic approach should be the foundation to building a brand and a business. I have learned that success almost always comes from an important balance of creativity/innovation combined with disciplined thinking/problem solving approaches.

2. What is the moment in your professional life that has had a lasting impact?

Moving from a project/client management role to a dedicated brand strategy and customer insights role over 20 years ago allowed me to focus on the aspects of product, brand and business development that I continue to enjoy. This has allowed me to be at the front end of business development, planting critical seeds for success.

3. If you could share one piece of advice for people investing in building a brand, what would that ONE piece of advice be?

Understand what emotional connection your brand can make with your customer, not simply the practical issue it may solve. Customers like to think they are rational, but almost all decision making (especially B2B) has critical emotional underpinnings. Understand what emotional need you are fulfilling and use that to build a lasting connection to your customers. Use that understanding to strengthen the connection along as many parts of a customer journey that you can efficiently influence.

4. The number one trait to have in the path to success is... ​

Always be open to asking questions. Feed your curiosity and be prepared to adapt to a changing marketplace based on competition, customer expectations and often technology. Don’t change things around your brand that would potentially confuse your audience, but continually adapt to stay highly relevant.

5. If you would be at the beginning of your career, what would you be spending your time in? ​

Learning from those around me that I respect and admire. I would be asking lots of questions and listening with a strong intent to learn.

6. What book do you recommend for entrepreneurs starting out? ​

Eating the Big Fish – By Adam Morgan – which will teach you how to be a challenger brand

7. Where can people connect with you? ​

We can connect through my LinkedIn, Twitter, or you can reach out to me by email at [email protected]

"Understand what emotional connection your brand can make with your customer, not simply the practical issue it may solve. Customers like to think they are rational, but almost all decision making (especially B2B) has critical emotional underpinnings."

Customer Journey Success: The HubSpot and Calendly Integration

Customer Journey Success: The HubSpot and Calendly Integration - Klashtech

We bet you’ve already heard about HubSpot and Calendly. If you haven’t, we’ve got you covered with the basics! Hubspot is a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service and CRM software while Calendly is a tool that allows you to offer online appointment scheduling to your customers. Just imagine these two coming together? And you guessed, now there is a way to integrate Calendly to Hubspot in order to track customer journeys from beginning to end. The best thing about both platforms is that you can start using them for FREE, obviously there is a time where if your business grows enough, you have starter affordable plans to keep growing.

There are two valuable documents for you to check out, one is an ebook that guides you through improving your customer relationships by aligning processes around customer journey. The second document will show you exactly how the Hubspot + Calendly integration works. Find both downloadable PDFs at the end of this post.

If you are too busy to read the ebook, here are the key points:

You can find the complete guide below:

We have many customers that are just getting started and don’t know how to handle the growing pains of handling incoming leads in an organized and effective manner. Hubspot + Calendly are definitely tools to check out!
If this content adds value to you and your business, please share it with more people like you that are looking for FREE useful tools to grow their business. Here is a downloadable PDF Link of this article.

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen?

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

Let's Talk Reality...

You are all set, you invested thousands of dollars and/or hundreds of hours building your website – It’s LIVE! Now how in the world do you get eyes to see it, explore it and most importantly, sign up for your service or buy your product. There is so much information out there, you really don’t know where to begin.

Our best advice to you, in case of doubt, ask the experts! Who has cracked this code before? Let us introduce you to Neil Patel, best known by the Wall Street Journal as top influencer on the web. Considered one of the top 10 marketers by Forbes and recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil is a self-made millionaire who cracked the code on SEO and many traffic analyzing tools that have helped many entrepreneurs implement strategies for traffic generation and activation.

Ubersuggest Tool

neilpatel.com has many available resources to win at the game of “Traffic”, however we particularly recommend his “Ubersuggest” tool where you just type in a domain or a keyword to get started. Ubersuggest allows you to get insight into the strategies that are working for others in your market so you can adopt them, improve them, and gain an edge. Take for instance the word “marketing”, we typed this keyword to be analyzed for the United States and the tool will gave us free information as per portrayed below

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

As we can see from this SEO report “Marketing” is a Keyword with High Search volume, very competitive for organic, and paid with no suggested keywords marked in green. The Ubersuggest tool is the perfect resource to use when creating content that drives traffic to your site and also crafting a strategic plan around keywords.  

The Five steps

Below are the five steps to use the ubersuggest Free Tool to craft a strategy starting with analyzing your competitors:

Step #1: Go to Ubersuggest looking for your biggest competitor’s domain name in Competitive Analysis.

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

Step #2: Click on TOP PAGES BY TRAFFIC on the left side menu and this will take you to a report of the top pages ranked by Google on your competition’s site that looks like this:

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech
If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

This report will show you all the top pages on your competitor’s site, the pages that have a higher rank and drive the most traffic.

Step #3: Select the top page that best adjusts to your product or service, click on “View All” at the estimated visits and check the keywords that worked better.

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

 

Once you do this, a big list of keywords will appear.

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

Step #4: Download as a CSV the keywords and create a masterlist to use after.

If Cash Is King, Is Website Traffic Queen? - Klashtech

Step #5: Now all you have to do is to focus on your content, use keywords in your content pieces that add the most value to your competitors. No need to waste time on writing content that people won’t want to read.

Repeat this exercise with at least your top 10 competitors.

If this content adds value to you and your business, please share it with more people like you that are looking for useful tools that are also free to grow their business.

Here is a downloadable PDF Link of this article.