Joe Toubes
July 2, 2021

Sweetening Honeywell’s Brand Promise

Guest: Joe Toubes - VP Global Marketing, Honeywell

You’ve no doubt heard of Honeywell, the publicly traded, multinational conglomerate among the Fortune 100 and list of top 100 US federal contractors, with stock in both the Dow and S&P. Around since 1906, Honeywell is a mega brand, bringing in over $32 billion in revenue with a global workforce of over 110,000.

But what is it that Honeywell does exactly? That was the marketing challenge Joe Toubes encountered when taking on the VP of Global Marketing role in 2019—the market still associated Honeywell with a product it didn’t even sell anymore. Tune in to learn how Toubes and his team revamped the Honeywell brand, solidifying a new message in the market and attracting top talent along the way.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • How Honeywell transformed its brand
  • How to conduct an effective B2B market research study
  • Why employees are crucial to brand, demand gen, and recruiting

Renegade Thinkers Unite, Episode 246 on YouTube

Resources Mentioned

  • [0:26] The Beginnings of Rethinking the Honeywell Brand
  • [5:18] B2B Market Research Lessons for CMOs
  • [9:06] Honeywell’s Brand Research Results
  • [14:39] On CMO Huddles
  • [15:21] How Honeywell Involved Employees in Brand
  • [24:12] From Customer Launch to Pandemic Pivot to Today
  • [32:05] Honeywell’s Key Marketing KPIs
  • [36:17] What’s Next for Honeywell (& Why They Do TV Ads in the Digital Age)

Time-Stamped Highlights

Transcript Highlights: Drew Neisser in conversation with Joe Toubes

[0:26] The Beginnings of Rethinking the Honeywell Brand

“They understood what we were, but they didn't understand where we were going.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: Hello, Renegade Thinkers! Chances are most of you have heard of the brand Honeywell. After all, it’s been around for 115 years, it’s one of the components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 100 and 500, and it is usually ranked among the Fortune 100 with over $32 billion in annual revenue.

But when you start to think about it, you may not know much more than that. I certainly don’t, which creates a really interesting marketing challenge. What do you do when you have brand recognition, but you don’t have as much attached to it or the way that company has evolved has changed? That problem is often associated with the word “salience” or “saliency.” As in having a known quality that stands out from its competition.

It’s not enough that everybody knows your name, although that helps. In today’s show, we’re going to explore this challenge with Honeywell’s VP of Global Marketing, Joe Toubes. Hey, Joe, welcome, how are you?

Joe Toubes: I’m well, Drew. Thanks for having me.

Drew Neisser: Thank you, and I just realized, I meant to ask you—did I pronounce your name correctly? You pronounced my last name like every teacher did in school my entire life, which is incorrect but perfectly fine.

It’s toe-bis. I never correct it because as long as you’re calling my name, I’m all right with it.

Drew Neisser: All right, Joe Toubes, we’ve got this. And just in case anybody was wondering, yes, we are recording this live. You’ve been at Honeywell for 20 years, which is a long time, but in the last two and a half, you’ve been in the hot seat as VP of Global Marketing. What was the situation like when you took on that role?

Joe Toubes: When I took on the role a few years ago, we were actually just in the midst of going through a transformation that you teed up upfront, Drew, which is how to transform the story of the Honeywell brand.

Actually, if you go back, you mentioned I’ve been with Honeywell 20 years—I’ve seen that Honeywell brand go through multiple variations over the years. I think the one that most people remember, Drew, is the thermostat on the wall, right?

If they think of Honeywell, in fact, our research shows most people connect it to the thermostat on the wall. Well, you know what? We don’t even own the company that makes the thermostat on the wall. We spun it off about four years ago.

When I took the role as head of marketing, one of the responsibilities I had was to rethink how we tell our story as a brand and make sure that people don’t connect us to just the thermostats that we once invented years ago.

Drew Neisser: Let’s talk about that for a second. It’s so interesting. I had this conversation probably three years ago with Toni Clayton-Hine when she was at Xerox. You know, you get well known for something and it’s a good thing, because “Oh you’re Honeywell, I know Honeywell!” But it’s a bad thing because you’ve changed in the last 50 years. I know that there was an Allied-Signal merger, so your product lines changed.

Talk about—where do you start as you’re rethinking your brand? What were the first things that you did?

Joe Toubes: There were two things we did, Drew. One was, as you mentioned, understand what people understand about us. While they did understand or thought they understood that we were the thermostat brand, they also understood we were a tech company, a company that was delivering aerospace technologies, technologies for buildings, and for distribution centers in the markets that matter to us. Which was actually a bit of a surprise, Drew, because a lot of people would have assumed that, if you’re known for one thing, you really don’t have that knowledge in others. But they did.

The piece that we also knew though, Drew, the second piece that we had to understand was what we wanted them to know about where we were going with the brand. They understood what we were, but they didn’t understand where we were going and that’s something that we actually invested the next two years of our time starting to build out. That was positioning us as a tech company.

[5:18] B2B Market Research Lessons for CMOs

“We did testing with not only our current customer base but also those throughout the industries.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: Right, so let me stop you for a second because there’s a lot of things that I want to break down in this process and we have time. To get that first understanding, I’m assuming you did some kind of customer survey. Did you do focus groups? What did you do to get this?

Your customers, I’m going to assume your customers who are in aerospace knew you’re in aerospace. There’s some awareness there. What did you do actually to get that information?

Joe Toubes: We did. We did testing with not only our current customer base but also those throughout the industries. We operate in eight critical verticals, so we did research of our brand in each of those markets, not only understanding whether they knew Honeywell, but what they knew about Honeywell, how they rated us as a brand, how they rated us compared to our peers.

We really got an in-depth view within each of the industries of what our brand meant and where we kind of stack ranked against peers in each of those key verticals.

Drew Neisser: I want to stop for a second and just explore the research process in a little more detail because a lot of new CMOs get in there, want to do this research, find it’s really expensive, and you can make mistakes. I’m just curious, as you were doing this research, what were some mistakes that you learned from?

Joe Toubes: Yeah, Drew, not ashamed to say I definitely made mistakes along the way. A couple of the ways that I think I probably could help others who go through this is, that first year, we didn’t ask enough of the questions we needed to ask in each of the sectors to create benchmarked data that we could use over and over and over again.

It took until Year Two and Year Three—and perhaps that’s how long it does take to really understand your markets—but it took until Years Two and Three to truly get our benchmarked questions that we now ask year over year over year, and are able to then align it to the success of our brand campaigns to see whether we’re impacting it. Our Years One and Two definitely are missing probably two or three of the really critical questions that we now answer and show the progress of brand progress.

Drew Neisser: That’s so interesting to me. One of the things—as you take a new job, you get in this role, first 90 days, particularly in a situation where you are trying to change brand and brand understanding, you need to benchmark where you are. And you need to have it in a statistically significant sample of your target audience so that you can then come back and say, “Hey we made progress.”

Because these are things that can only be measured in tracking. You can’t get there any other way. It might show up in lead generation, it might show up in sales, but it probably won’t. It won’t show up to the extent and it’s probably a lagging one anyway.

That’s great. Thank you. That’s a great reminder. Look for those things.

[9:06] Honeywell’s Brand Research Results

“The biggest #aha moment was how powerful people related to the technology innovations that we have had and have.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: Now, I think the harder part here is you needed to do this process to figure out what is it we did want them to know.

Joe Toubes: Yes, yes.

Drew Neisser: And so, in fairness to you, you don’t always know what you don’t know. You don’t always know what you want to benchmark because this is the perception that, “Oh, they know us as a tech company, but they don’t know us about this.”

Joe Toubes: Actually, Drew, one interesting point that’s sort of related—we even had a question about, I don’t think it’s giving anything away: Do you see Honeywell as IIoT company? Which is exactly what we want and believe we are, an Industrial Internet of Things company.

Well, that term has evolved, and we realized that the statistics were actually more related to who knew what IIoT was more than whether Honeywell was an IIoT. You have to be really mindful of language like that, especially in tech that’s evolving so quickly.

Drew Neisser: Yeah, I mean the acronyms that we all take for granted may or may not be well known. I wouldn’t have known what IIoT was. I knew Internet of Things, because I think that’s fairly common, but even that. Just a reminder—put a punctuation point on this one—when you’re doing research, make sure if you have an acronym that you explain what it is.

You go from Year One to Year Two, let’s talk about what was the big “aha” moment for you during your background research phase.

Joe Toubes: I think the biggest “aha” moment was how powerful people related to the technology innovations that we have had and have. I think going into it, there was a lot of anecdotal input from our own leadership that we need to reinvent and focus on the future and just disregard what was in the past.

The research just showed how strong our customer base connected to key technologies that we’ve had. When we brought that to bear to leadership, not only were they thrilled—of course, it’s our company, right? But it also kind of spurred something that was going to kind of bring fruit to bear in the next months ahead, which was what we definitely are going to get our employee base very excited if we’re able to tell our own story and their story as part of our brand package.

That was probably the biggest next phase of research. The research strategy and recommendation were: Do not take away what you’ve done in the past. Use it as ammunition for how you are starting to build your strategy of the future. That’s kind of what we brought to leadership and started to build the brand strategy on.

Drew Neisser: That’s so interesting and it’s a tricky one because some people, particularly I would imagine it varies by age, but a 28-year-old engineer may not give a hoot what you did to build the space shuttle. They may or may not. They might think, “Oh, that’s cool! You did that, but what have you done for me lately?”

It’s an interesting dance, but it is not about just talking about the past. It’s connecting the past accomplishment with where you’re headed. I think that’s what I heard you say.

Joe Toubes: That’s exactly right, Drew. We ended up building a campaign that was doing both of the things that you just talked about. Very, very proud of the fact that we did help the space shuttle fly every single one of its missions. We’ve been on every mission to the moon that we have that there ever was.

But by the way, we also are building all of the technology that’s going to get us to Mars. Our campaign is about the fact that our technology has survived all of those things and is now going to put, in the next 20 years, somebody into Mars, which is pretty exciting.

Drew Neisser: Yeah. I remember I was at an event and I met—this was literally five years ago—I met a young lady who had volunteered to be one of those astronauts. I believe, at the time it was essentially a one-way ticket.

Joe Toubes: Wow.

Drew Neisser: Yeah. Obviously, we’re still years away from this trip but man, you imagine the curiosity, the bravery. That’s an interesting life choice.

[14:39] On CMO Huddles

Drew Neisser: I think it’s a perfect time for me to digress even further and I’m going to do a little commercial plug here for CMO Huddles. Launched in 2020, CMO Huddles is an invitation-only subscription service that brings together an elite group of CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness.

One CMO described Huddles as timely conversations with smart peers in a trusted environment, while another called that a cross between an expert workshop and a therapy session. If you’re a B2B CMO that can share and care with the best of them, visit CMOHuddles.com, or just send me an email and we’ll get you a guest pass.

[15:21] How Honeywell Involved Employees in Brand

“We put our employees in a position where they were making the future through building technologies and innovating in a bunch of different ways.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: You’ve done your homework. You’ve done your research. You think about it. Talk about the internal communication. So, you’re getting close to what it is the story that you want to tell is.

I mean, you’re a big company with a lot of employees. They are out there every day, if they don’t buy into the brand and so forth… Talk a little bit about how you approach the employees in this process.

Joe Toubes: Absolutely. 100,000 plus employees around the world, Drew, with Honeywell and the best thing we did in this entire campaign is build our brand campaign with a starting point with employees, our ambassadors directly with customers in every region of the globe, and to have the best ability to tell our story in the way that’s necessary.

Our focus of the campaign actually was to not only launch with employees via the natural tactics you do to generate excitement internally and build out programming, but all of the content in Year One was employees talking about the technologies that they’re supporting.

In essence, we built a campaign called “The future is what we make it” and, in essence, we put our employees in a position where they were making the future through building technologies and innovating in a bunch of different ways.

We had 12 different employees from around the world and across each of the verticals and technologies highlighted as our profiles. We launched each of their campaigns separately in different parts of the world and in different verticals and started to build a tremendous buzz through that employee base that kind of pre-launched the overall media campaign by about two or three weeks.

Drew Neisser: It’s really cool, and it works on so many levels because, obviously, with a line like “The future is what we make it,” we can start with employees, we hopefully include your customers. But it also helps when you have complex technology and you put a face on it and a person and say, “I’m working on this.” It makes it more tangible.

Joe Toubes: Absolutely, and that was the beauty of it. You hit it exactly right, Drew. One of the things that the research talked about was that “You’re in technology that I’m not 100% sure I understand.”

We really needed to bring it up. We’re not the first ones in the B2B space to have to realize that we’re one level deeper in the technology supply chain than people understand. A lot of the discussion we had was about, for instance, one of our employees said, “I’m letting people breathe on Mars.”

The idea was they’re doing this unbelievable thing and it’s a person. It’s Honeywell’s people connecting with our customers that are doing these amazing things. Obviously, that’s just an example, one of the more extraordinary examples of ways that we did it. And by the way, she is building technology so that the volunteer who is going to Mars actually makes it back to Earth. The goal, in fact, is to get them back to earth.

Drew Neisser: Well, thank you for clarifying that. I was perhaps giving her more heroism than…

Joe Toubes: It’s possible that she really was on a one-way mission, but I think they figured it out now.

Drew Neisser: I wonder if you could give another example of this. How did you pick these employees? What was the process that you went through? I’m imagining you’re looking for diversity on all levels.

Joe Toubes: Correct. We were looking for diversity, yes, obviously in diversity of verticals and geographies. Age was it was a critical one. Gender and ethnicity. But we’re also looking at a diversity of types of technologies that we were involved in. Software, mechanical, chemical. You’d be surprised that at the diversity of technologies that Honeywell has.

We needed to make sure that it was touching each of these things, all with the commonality that they are innovating, technology, future-shaping each of the industries that they’re in.

One of the other things, Drew, and you mentioned diversity—one of the other things that we as a brand, not unlike a lot of B2B companies were trying to do, is also make sure that we are positioning ourselves to recruit the employee of the future. Part of this brand campaign’s goals is just that. We are more and more a software company, and so we are going after the software technologists that are so in demand right now across so many industries.

We know that they’re looking to be in a company that’s exciting, a company made up of people that look like them, that’s excited about technologies like them. A lot of the campaign aimed at the recruitment side of things as well.

Drew Neisser: I think this is a conversation that’s been coming up. In fact, we spent the whole month of June in CMO Huddles talking about the challenges of recruiting and retention. Of the folks that showed up this month, every single one of them, when I asked, how many of you have lost employees, everyone raised their hand. How many of you had open spots? Every one of them raised their hands. And also, how many of you are looking at your employer brand differently right now? Because there is an extreme talent shortage, particularly in tech and developing.

This where we started the conversation. Awareness is good. “Yeah, I’ve heard of Honeywell. I’m not sure what [they do.” But having some attachment, some salience is really, really important in that. Not just for customers, but you’re really selling an idea to employees who are your future. And showcasing employees is obviously a good way to do that.

Let me ask you this. We’ve worked over the years with employees to try to get them on camera. Not every employee, even though they could be really good at their technology, is good on camera. Did you have any that you tried that just couldn’t do it?

Joe Toubes: Of course. We actually started with employees who didn’t want to do it despite having everything you would want from them. They looked great, you knew they were a good presenter or speaker in the past, they have amazing stories to tell— they just have no interest in doing it.

The second, Drew, as you mentioned, is people who couldn’t do it. I think we brought to our shoot that first year 15 employees, and 12 made it onto something. We had some reasons why one or two didn’t do it, and then, yeah, one froze. I won’t go into detail on it, but one just absolutely froze on set. They just completely froze. We tried very hard, our agency tried very hard to get different pieces of it to work and it just didn’t. It just did not.

Drew Neisser: But the good news, I guess, all of this work it sounds like you did before the pandemic.

Joe Toubes: Oh yeah, Drew. This was early 2019.

[24:12] From Customer Launch to Pandemic Pivot to Today

“Our team in China gave us a blueprint for how to make the shift because in January, they were shut down and started to do virtual events.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: Let’s fast forward. You do the employee launch, and then what were some of the key parts of the, we’ll call it customer and broader launch with media support. What was the timing on that?

Joe Toubes: Probably a couple of weeks later, we launched through social and digital and also did customer events with some of the key customers who were featured in the program so that they could be a part of it. We have some pretty big customers, as you could imagine, in some of the industrial space we have, so very excited to be a part of the program and to be part of the outreach.

Probably a month later, Drew, we launched our TV spots that ran for about four months. That obviously pushed us to a pretty significant level. That was all in the US in that first four months.

What followed then was, we launched in China about three months later with a pretty significant digital-only program. Then did a similar one three months after that in the Middle East in English and Arabic with a similar campaign. We were running US, China, Middle East for about nine months in 2019.

Drew Neisser: Now it’s 2020, it’s March. Customer events, remember those? And being able to shoot in person. So, March 2020 comes along. I am imagining that you are a company—you and I talked about this—that was heavily dependent on physical events as a source of leads. Let’s talk about your pandemic pivot.

Joe Toubes: The pandemic pivot was rapid. We were quick to come together as a marketing organization and understand what we had in store starting with events, of course, as you mentioned.

There are several in-person events that we deemed really critical, mostly our user group events that we have across a number of our industries, which obviously were not going to happen. We quickly cancelled those but there were quite a few events that we either cancelled or were canceled on us, as everybody else was, probably within the second week of March.

The good news is our team in China gave us a blueprint for how to make the shift because, in January, they were shut down and started to do virtual events. We had our global teams on with our China counterparts understanding what they were getting, the return, what it might look like.

When March came around, we actually were able to flip the switch in most regards and identify which of the events that we were going to could be duplicated, replicated, or at least attempted in a virtual environment. We made a pretty quick pivot albeit a little bumpy along the way in terms of how quickly our teams could implement all of these programs.

Drew Neisser: All right, we’re now in an optimistic US situation with things opening up. Let’s talk about 2021. How has your marketing evolved, what are you doing, what’s new, what have you learned? Pick one.

Joe Toubes: Obviously optimistic is exactly how I would put it. We’re making a shift back to a little bit to the norm in the US for the second half of the year. We have several in-person events going back on the books albeit definitely hybrid-type events where they’re creating a little bit of a virtual extension even to predominantly physical events like our user groups.

We’re also seeing a continuation of virtual events but I’m not sure if CMOs in other businesses would agree—there’s an exhaustion, I think, right now, from virtual events that I think probably deserves a break for a few months. Maybe we’ll come back.

I believe it’s not going anywhere. I just think it needs a break. People are just tired of sitting on a Zoom or whatever for too long. But I do think that there’s tremendous value—if for no other reason, the reach that we’ve been able to get through virtual events is really something that can’t be missed. We continue to do virtual events. We have a premier tech event that we’re doing that’s been primarily virtual. We’re going to keep it at least partially virtual going forward.

Drew Neisser: Yeah, I mean, I have to say, we’ve been talking a lot about webinar fatigue. Even if the numbers are there, the lead quality has dropped almost across the board. Unless you’re continuing to raise the bar and doing something unique and bringing a reason—why is this live—really emphasizing that, otherwise you’re competing with email and texts and Slack.

It’s really gotten hard and you’re right about the screen fatigue. It is going to be fascinating what happens in the next six months. And it’s so difficult because if you’re a global company like you, yeah, the US is ready to go back to physical and there’s a great pent-up demand, but in Europe and other countries, it’s still in lockdown in some places.

[32:05] Honeywell’s Key Marketing KPIs

“On the recruitment side, we've seen an increased percentage of recruitment come through branded programming.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: You started on this journey two and a half years ago, I want to get to what would you say, when you look at the progress that you’ve made, what would you point to? You did the benchmarks, are you seeing movement? What’s been good? Defend yourself, you know, give me the KPIs that you felt you moved the needle on.

Joe Toubes: Yeah, we looked at a number of KPIs and I’ve seen progress across the board. Number one, in terms of brand familiarity, the numbers have gone up significantly each year, actually. The biggest increase was Year One, not surprisingly, but we continue to go up in Year Two and Year Three.

The two or three of the things that we most focus on are Honeywell as a tech company and as a software company. We’ve seen double-digit increases since the campaign started. On the recruitment side, we’ve seen an increased percentage of recruitment come through branded programming that we’ve built in. In fact, I’ve hired within my own marketing organization a recruitment marketer to make sure that brand is aligned to it, so we’ve seen tremendous improvement there.

We’ve also seen Honeywell employee engagement increases. Pride in your company and those types of data points. While can’t necessarily take full credit from a brand campaign standpoint, I certainly think that it aligns at least partially to it.

Drew Neisser: I’m so glad you mentioned that because I’m a little bit of a broken record on this show, but I really truly believe, and I write a lot about it, [inaudible] have sort of a three-legged stool. If they have metrics for employees, if they have metrics for customers and brand, and then they have metrics related to acquisition and velocity, then you’ve got these three things that you can lean on that all matter, and all combine to the success of the company.

So often the metrics that we talk about on this show are just, “Yeah, we tripled our lead count or our pipeline. We moved the pipeline from 30% to 40% marketing and certified that they touched it.”

If you don’t have that employee part, there’s something that’s missing because the brand and the brand work that you’re doing has such a big impact on it. I’m done preaching on that. We have an employee metric. You’ve talked about brand-related, brand health metrics like familiarity and understanding. What about when it comes to, “Hey, how are you driving revenue?” What do you point to and live by for that?

Joe Toubes: Absolutely, yeah, so we have a pretty healthy program that measures demand and lead generation through marketing channels. We’ve seen significant double-digit increases year-over-year in both pipeline and marketing-based revenue.

The interesting thing there is, I look at it—and I’m happy both ways—but I kind of look at it that it’s a combination of better brand, better marketing that’s helping us through it too, right?

It’s not just the fact that the brand itself is driving this, but I think we’re also building better campaigns, we’re delivering it better, we’re targeting it and segmenting our audience better. But in the end, it’s delivering for the business what’s necessary.

[36:17] What’s Next for Honeywell (& Why They Do TV Ads in the Digital Age)

“The next phase for us is really how to bring the brand to the next level.” —Joe Toubes @honeywell Click To Tweet

Drew Neisser: As we wrap this up and think about some of the biggest lessons learned, your current self, two and a half years, gets to go back and advise you when you first started on this thing. What advice would you now be able to give your earlier self?

Joe Toubes: Oh, that’s such a great question. I would tell myself three years earlier to expect to make mistakes. There is no way to get it all right on the way there. We highlighted at the beginning of this conversation a couple of the mistakes. In many ways, though, those are the rich learnings that you need. But when they happen, Drew, they sure don’t feel that way. I think I would tell myself to give myself a little bit of a break along the way. It’s going to work out.

I don’t know if I would accept my own advice, I’ll be honest, but that’s probably one that CMOs should probably give themselves if they possibly can.

Drew Neisser: Yeah, you know, CMOs are not very good at cutting themselves slack. They really aren’t. But nor are their bosses.

Joe Toubes: No, I get it, I get it.

Drew Neisser: But we’re going to cut them some slack. Lastly, what’s on the horizon for you?

Joe Toubes: For us at Honeywell, I think that the next phase for us is really how to bring the brand to the next level. I think that some of our growth in new markets, both geographic markets as well as new industries, will create new challenges for us. Telling our story in a market that doesn’t recognize us like health care or in markets that we’re not seen as such a big brand in some parts of the world will create new opportunities. Exciting ones, I think.

The second thing is, how else to utilize media and promote sponsorships and partnerships that we haven’t really tapped into in the past. We’re exploring each of those as well. Those are two of the different angles that we’re aiming towards.

Drew Neisser: Interesting. One of the things that I realized that I completely skipped over. You did use the word “television.” That you were doing paid TV ads. A lot of folks listening will either be, A, jealous or, B, going, “What!? Digital age… how could you be using television?” And yet I know a number of brands that are obviously are using television, B2B brands that are using television to great effect. Did you have any trouble selling in television advertising internally?

Joe Toubes: No. No, in fact. It came from leadership that they thought it was an opportunity to amplify what we were doing strategically and in the digital space. We happen to know anecdotally that the feedback to our C-Suite was very strong through the TV ads.

Drew Neisser: Where did these ads run?

Joe Toubes: It was mostly a mix of financial like CNBC, Bloomberg TV, but also ESPN and a number of sports, MLB network. There was obviously a target. 35 to 49, think C-Suite that we were aiming at.

Drew Neisser: Right. What’s so interesting about that for public companies, particularly ones that have been around as long as Honeywell, there is that benefit as well. I mean it’s just inarguable that when you’re running those financial news ads that it helps that industry stay—you’re keeping investors top of mind, too.

Joe Toubes: It’s not an insignificant target for us. You’re right.

Drew Neisser: And it matters. I mean, I know that GE for years was on television because it was the largest held stock in the country. Of course, you can say that they may not be selling a windmill through it or a turbine or something or a giant jet engine but there’s stock, that matters. So, that’s interesting.

All right. Very good. Joe, it’s such an interesting journey that you’ve been through and where you’re going, and what an interesting time, because you had the good fortune of getting this campaign out there before COVID and then made the adjustments.

There are a few things that I’m going to summarize quickly that I think are so interesting here. You’ve got to do your homework and make sure you understand your target really well and understand what that baseline of understanding is. We need to know what problem we’re trying to solve, and in this case, it was, “Yeah, I’ve heard of Honeywell but I don’t know enough about them to make an intelligent decision or recommend.” So, we need this deeper level of understanding.

Phase one, starting with employees, telling the story is so interesting because it does a number of things. It’s great for your employees because they say, “Oh, that’s me! Oh, look, that’s kind of cool.” Two, there’s something more real about an employee talking about something than just this third-party voice over a typical B2B commercial. So, there’s some credibility there that goes with it.

And then launching the campaign. I do like the language, “The future is what we make it.” This is a 150-year-old company whose first word in their tagline is “future.” Interesting. “What we make it” in that it’s almost like an ingredient brand. And that’s what you’re selling.

I just connected a lot of dots for you there and, you know, if you’ve got a brand that’s well known, you still got to do a lot of work to make sure that it’s known beyond just the word. Alright, Joe, thanks so much for being on the show.

Joe Toubes: Drew, thank you so much for having me.

Drew Neisser: Oh, by the way, if you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go on to your favorite podcast channel and give us a six-star—all right, we’ll take a five-star review because nobody takes six stars. Or share it with a friend. We really appreciate it. Sharing is caring.

Show Credits

Renegade Thinkers Unite is written and directed by Drew Neisser. Audio production is by Sam Beck. The show notes are written by Melissa Caffrey. The music is by the amazing Burns Twins and the intro voiceover is Linda Cornelius. To find the transcripts of all episodes, suggest future guests, or learn more about quite possibly the best B2B marketing agency in New York City, visit renegade.com. And until next time, keep those Renegade Thinking Caps on and strong.

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