Things to Consider Before Abandoning Your B2B Brand Name
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What happens when you put an incredibly articulate CMO in a cab with the host of Renegade Thinkers Unite? Genuine fast-paced goodness, that’s what! Jennifer Renaud, CMO of Vertiv, a $4.5 Billion company that spun out of Emerson Power in late 2016, is absolutely riveting as she shares the stories of two large companies that abandoned well-known brand names with frightful results.
The first company in question was Oracle. During her time there, Renaud witnessed the disappearance of both the Eloqua and Responsys brands in favor of the new Oracle Marketing Cloud. The initial results were not pretty as thousands of Eloqua and Responsys lovers searched in vain for those brands. Site traffic dropped off dramatically until they returned to using the old names at least on the landing page.
Amazingly, the same thing happened at Vertiv, the parent company of brands like Liebert, Avocent, and Geist. While none of these are household names, it turns out they are well-liked in their vertical markets. Shortly after her arrival at Vertiv in April 2018, Renaud visited a customer who had not heard of her new company, but when she shared the name of the other brands, he said proudly, “Oh great, do you want to see my Liebert?” It was at the moment that Renaud realized that bringing back the Liebert name, at least online, as well as the others, could have a dramatic impact on their business. She was right!
If you’re thinking about abandoning a brand name, then do listen in both to understand the risks and to hear ways of mitigating the downside. And for anyone who wants to make a case for growing brand awareness, you’ll find it especially interesting to hear what happens when that awareness is suddenly taken away. Fascinating insights await you. Enjoy.
Full Transcript: Drew Neisser in conversation with Jennifer Renaud
Drew Neisser: Hello, Renegade Thinkers. This is a first for Renegade Thinkers Unite. We’re actually recording an episode in a cab. We just left the CMO Club Summit, where we were totally pumped up talking about brands and demand generation. Jennifer Renaud and I decided that we could actually produce an amazing podcast in a cab on the way. So first of all, Jennifer, who is the CMO of Vertiv, welcome to Renegade Thinkers Unite.
Jennifer Renaud: Thank you so much. It’s awesome to be here.
Drew Neisser: Here we are. We’re in a cab. This is hard because it’s beautiful down here in Tampa. But I wanted to record this episode because a lot of times, CMOs say to me that when they have a conversation with a board of directors and the CEO, this brand thing is called “fuzzy.”
When I talk to Jennifer on the phone in preparation for a panel, or actually a workshop, at the CMO Club Summit, she mentioned she had two experiences where brand existed and then brand was taken away. I just can’t wait for her to share with you what happened in both of these cases.
First of all, before we get started, just tell us a fun fact about yourself, Jennifer other than that you’re game to do just about anything when it comes to recording a podcast.
Jennifer Renaud: It’s true, I am game to do almost anything and I was going to actually consider renaming your podcast.
Drew Neisser: Oh, really?
Jennifer Renaud: Yes. I really like that show Cash Cab, so for every good answer, I’d like $1. I also like carpool karaoke. Maybe we’ll sing and answer.
Drew Neisser: That would be awesome.
Jennifer Renaud: And then really one of my favorite TV shows is Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee.
Drew Neisser: We’re doing all three of those.
Jennifer Renaud: So this is going to be Renegade Marketers in Taxis Going to Airports.
Drew Neisser: I love it.
Jennifer Renaud: I think that’s the new name. You can subtitle it when we’re doing this. Whoa, we’re stopping fast. I just made that up, so fun fact. I was thinking about that because I was asked the other day, “What was my first job?” My first real paying job was detasseling corn in Iowa.
Drew Neisser: Oh, I got to ask some questions about that. Detasseling. There was someone who is the shucker, right? So you were the detasseler?
Jennifer Renaud: Well, I think I could be a little more graphic. When detasseling corn, you’re actually making seed corn, so you’re pulling the tassel off. That’s so that when you make hybrid corn, the mating happens across rows. That’s really what’s happening.
Drew Neisser: I see. That’s very interesting. So corn can mate. You know, most of the time when we’re on these podcasts, we don’t talk about making corn, which is kind of cool. But here’s your real question—what did you learn from that experience that you’ve applied in your career since?
Jennifer Renaud: Well, I actually learned that that is really hard work. When you trudge a mile in the mud at five o’clock in the morning, that’s hard work. There really isn’t anything I do today that’s that hard.
Drew Neisser: You know, it’s true. I spent two months on a kibbutz when I was in college and there was there were a couple of jobs. One was melon picking and farming at 4:00 in the morning. Another one was working in a factory. I took the factory floor. Much easier work.
So, we’ve got the first job out of the way. When we were talking, you mentioned you had a very interesting experience at Oracle. I’d love to hear what was the situation like. Talk about what happened.
Jennifer Renaud: First, I’d like to give props to the team that was there before me because they did the amazing job of creating a category called “marketing cloud.” As a result, there became a number of marketing clouds. One of the unique things that happened in that is that the marketing cloud came to be by a number of acquisitions—Eloqua, Responsys, BlueKai, Maximizer, etc.—that came up with what is now the Oracle marketing cloud. Part of their decision was to effectively rename each of those top brands to Oracle Marketing Cloud Marketing Automation and Oracle Marketing Cloud Cross-channel Orchestration, which created a couple of problems. Number one, we actually had to explain what each of these was when we already had Eloqua. And number two, when people started to search Eloqua and they’d hit the site, they’d leave because there was no one there.
Drew Neisser: Right. That’s so interesting. When you have a brand, you get to explain less. They know you. Let’s put this into the circumstance of people you do business with every day. You know them. You like them. And you trust them. I knew lots of people who were big Eloqua fans and for them, particularly the ones who were early adopters of it, it felt like a personal friend. They had a relationship with this that they trusted. And so you take that away, and what do you have?
Jennifer Renaud: You have nothing. I mean, people lost their identity. I think the interesting thing about Eloqua especially was that people identified as EloKings and EloQueens because they were so into the brand. And then we took that away.
Drew Neisser: So, you have a brand when people adopt your brand and say “We’re part of your community. We were EloQueens and EloKings.” That’s an interesting sort of litmus test for you in the software business. Do you have people who are devoted to it? On an episode earlier, actually, twice, I had the CMOs of Marketo. I’ve attended Marketo Nation twice. I don’t know if they are Marketoteers or something like that, I can’t remember, but those people were really, really avid fans. And I then subsequently talked to Ann Lewis, who is the CMO of the Adobe. It’s been very interesting to watch because when I asked her, “Is Adobe a branded house or a house of brands?” she said, “We’re a branded house.” But if you watch what they’ve done, it’s Marketo, an Adobe Company. They did not walk away from that equity. At least they haven’t done it day one.
Jennifer Renaud: Day one. Right. They haven’t done that yet. I think it’s a great way of looking at that because, especially in that particular space, there is a lot of commitment and loyalty to those brands. I think that’s really helpful.
Drew Neisser: I think part of this is about the investment. That you can’t really appreciate with software companies that their relationships is how much time it takes to truly master. When you’ve mastered it and you’ve been certified, if you rip that name out, you’ve ripped a part of the soul of your community out. So at Oracle, were they able to respond? What did they do to try to deal with this once they realized that people were looking for Eloqua and Responsys?
Jennifer Renaud: Well, it was an interesting conversation that we were having because, of course, at the time this was happening, Marketo was also building its brand. And so, you know, you start to ask the question when we feel like we’re under a little pressure and their biting at our heels a little bit, do we feel like it’s the competition that’s a challenge or is something else affecting our business? We started really looking at absolutely everything that was going on, looking at the digital assets and what’s happening with their bounce rates, what’s happening with the time on page. We could start to see a couple of things. First of all, people are still searching or actually typing in Eloqua.com and still typing in Responsys.com, but they’re landing on a page that says Oracle Marketing Cloud and it doesn’t have the brand name on it, so they leave.
Drew Neisser: Which is kind of amazing. If we think about this for a moment, Oracle is clearly a branded house. I mean, this is a company that says, “Hey, everybody’s heard of Oracle. Why should that be a problem?” But it happens when, and this is a sort of a classic what do you do with the acquisitions? Now, you all know, regular listeners to the show, that I’m a branded house guy and we don’t do house of brands. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, that’s just what we focus on, especially. So I really do appreciate the idea of what Oracle is trying to do, but I think it’s really the execution that screws it up. You didn’t give away for those EloQueens and EloKings to become something new or to evolve with you, to come over. They just sort of were cold turkey. Did eventually Oracle say, “Oh, hey guys, Eloqua is still here.”?
Jennifer Renaud: We did it actually. It happened when I went to visit a partner and the co-partner asked me the question, “What did you guys do with Responsys?” I said, “What do you mean? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And that’s when I really started diving into the questions. We went to the web team and said, “Can we just bring back the name? Can we just make sure it’s all over the website so that it is Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Responsys, Oracle BlueKai? Will that help us? Will that bring it back? It did. If you really think about what started to happen in our engagement then with our prospects and customers, we started to see a material change. That was incredibly important because, of course, you want to fill the funnel.
Drew Neisser: It’s just such an interesting story. I want to make this leap and I can’t, and part of it is just it’s been a long couple of days. I want to be able to say that brand matters and therefore, you should be able to talk to your CEO and invest in brands. These companies obviously built brands. What we’ve simply established here is that when you take brand away, you lose a lot. Now we’re going to eventually try to get to brand matters later in the show, but for now, it’s just remarkable. In that specific example, Oracle’s a well-known brand. You took Eloqua out of the mix. Business tanked. OK, we’re gonna take a break and you’re not going to believe this, but this happened again to Jennifer. Stay with us.
Drew Neisser: We’re back. We’re still in the cab. It’s all going well. Traffic’s not too bad on the way to the airport. This is going to be a very tight show, I can just feel it. We were talking about Oracle. So then you go to this company called Vertiv, which is how big?
Jennifer Renaud: We are a $4.5 billion company.
Drew Neisser: Right. So this is a $4.5 billion company that I’m pretty sure no one on the show has heard of. When you get there, you discover something kind of amazing.
Jennifer Renaud: Yes. So first, I love to say it: “We’re a $4.5 billion company that you don’t know, but you all know because we are running the critical infrastructure of data centers all over the world.” The reason you are on your Facebook app and posting on LinkedIn and making sure that your phone actually works is because our technology is working in those data centers. It’s a really cool place to work. So I arrive and the company within a year prior has been purchased by private equity and changed their name from Emerson Network Power to Vertiv. And they are the owners of a number of fantastic brands, including one called Liebert. Liebert is an incredible brand in the data center space, so much so that when I went to visit on one of my first customer visits, I walked in and I said, “Hi, I’m Jennifer Renaud from Vertiv” and the guy looks at me blankly and says, “I’ve never heard of you.” And I’m like, “Wow, because you’ve got a lot of our stuff in your data center.” And I said, “How about Liebert?” He says, “Oh, my god, do you want to see my Liebert?
Drew Neisser: There are a couple of things I want to just point out. In there, the customer visit. By the way, in both examples that you said, you went to visit the customer. And I just want you to pause as you’re listening to the show if you’re a CMO and say, “When’s the next time I’m going to visit a customer?” Like this week, some customers should be on your list and it will be really interesting to have a conversation and learn something about your business, including maybe the fact that the name change was a little too quick.
I also want to make one other note. Kathy Button Bell, who is the CMO of Emerson, was on the show and also she joined a special episode on women marketers specifically and some advice. I have a daughter and I wanted to get some advice for her and her career. She was a great contributor and Emerson is a really interesting brand. Obviously, they decided to divest that $4.5 billion company, and then your folks came and said, “Well, we don’t want the Emerson name, we probably don’t even have the right to use it anymore.” Ironically, it wasn’t about the Emerson name, it was about the sub-brands within Amazon. Just before you got there, these folks change the names and they change the names of all the brands to Vertiv? What happened to the business?
Jennifer Renaud: Overall, business has stayed strong, but we could probably be in an even bigger growth environment. But I think the bigger challenges are that sellers still identify as Liebert. Our customers still say they have a Liebert, even sometimes if it’s not. And we took all of that all the way down. We took the Liebert stuff and said, “We’re just going make it a word at the bottom of the page. We’re not going to make it front and center.” We did a test of one of our other brands, Avocent, and said, “What if we take our Avocent.com,” which was pointing at Vertiv.com, “and move it to its own page.”
I’m not even doing SEM at this point. I’m just saying, “What if I just repoint Avocent.com back at a page?” Suddenly, from that search term, I go from bounces to a lot of on-page activity and growth like crazy. It was phenomenal.
Drew Neisser: Let’s just get this right. You return the brand name. This is a search related thing. There’s a group of people who are spending I don’t know how big that other brand that you just mentioned was, but probably half a million dollars or something in that area. You allowed people to find it and business improved simply because they could find the brand they were looking for. This is easy to understand because if you were a Lexus person and suddenly Toyota said, “You know what, we’re not going to call it a Lexus Toyota anymore, we’re just going to call it Toyota Premium.” You’d kind of go, “No.” You would stop. If you go to Toyota Premium, you would personally say, “I’m not going. I’m looking for Lexus.” This behavior shouldn’t have been a surprise at all.
Yet, what is it that allows a company in leadership to make a decision like that. In your mind, what is it? Is it arrogance? I’m putting words in your mouth and I know this is hard because you’re going to have to talk about people who are probably still in the company, but how is it that something that feels so obvious, this decision can be made twice in your career in the last five years?
Jennifer Renaud: Well, I’m sure it happens to a lot of people especially given the amount of M&A activity that goes on in the world. Anyone who’s involved in M&A probably has this challenge coming into play all the time, and in M&A, you buy the strongest brand. You’re not looking for the weakest spoke in the wheel, you’re looking for the strongest. But you’re doing it as an acquirer. So arrogance could be the word, but I think that it’s a belief in the power and strength of one brand doesn’t necessarily need the other.
Drew Neisser: That’s certainly the case at Oracle.
Jennifer Renaud: Right. Certainly the case at Oracle. Even in the Vertiv decision-making process, I believe since it was already a new brand, let’s just put all our eggs in the new brand basket and see if we can really drive that brand recognition and build that brand.
Drew Neisser: This is an interesting part for me because I do believe in the focus. Now, typically when I’m talking about this, we’re talking about a $50 million brand or $25restarted billion brand that starts to create sub-brands. It’s like, “Wait, why are you doing that?” That energy is often wasted when you really don’t have enough money. But you’re talking about a $500 million brand or billion-dollar brand and you suddenly take that name off. In Oracle’s case or Adobe’s case, two examples of the same thing, there’s probably a migration strategy that would make sense. If you’re changing the name of your company to something else or a sub-brand to the parent brand, there’s got to be some migration strategy. In your mind, is that the solution here?
Jennifer Renaud: I do think so. And I think it needs to be a well-thought-out, multi-year strategy. I think you need to think about what this is going to look like over time and you may change and evolve over time. You might say, I want to be a house of brands versus branded house over time. You can make changes in that decision, but you’ve got to give yourself the space to make those changes.
Drew Neisser: We talked a little bit about Liebert when the individual said, Do you want to see my Liebert?” I get the sense that Liebert is like Kleenex or Xerox, it is the eponym in the category. Is that a fair description?
Jennifer Renaud: That is a fair description.
Drew Neisser: So if you are lucky enough to have the Kleenex or Xerox name, none of us would say, “Hey, Kleenex, you really ought to change your name Kimberly Clark” or whoever owns them. I may have screwed that up. But you just wouldn’t do it. That would be ridiculous. But that’s essentially what happened. All right. Well, we’re not going to beat up on the folks that made that decision, but we are going to say that if you were entertaining changing your brand name and you have loyal customers who identify with your brand, be careful not to walk away from that brand too quickly.
Is there any other thing that I’m missing here? The lessons that you’ve learned from these two experiences?
Jennifer Renaud: Well, I would say be careful about walking away. But I would also say that something I’ve learned is that you can bring it back. It actually does take a long time for people to de-identify with that brand.
Drew Neisser: That’s such a great point. If somebody made that mistake, you could bring back the brand because—it’s funny—if you don’t have a brand name, you probably can’t appreciate this, but when you work for a company or a product that people are excited about and want to show up and wear your brand. It’s a pretty good litmus test if people want to wear your brand. Consumers, they do that all the time. But I think people like to wear B2B brands, too, if they feel really passionate about it. We’re going to end this segment. And when we come back, we’re still in the taxi, we’ll figure out what we’re going to talk about next.
Drew Neisser: We’re back. And now we’re going to talk about what you do after you’ve discovered, wait, we killed these brands way too early and we need to bring them back, but we still have this one big parent brand. Talk about some of the things that you’re doing now from a marketing standpoint to deal with this multi-brand environment.
Jennifer Renaud: I think the beauty of some of the things that we can do in marketing is really test what might work and what might not. We went to one event recently where the carousel just said Vertiv and Avocent. It’s great because people come up to us and they say, “Wow, I had no idea that you were here,” so it helps us a lot to get that brand up there. We also did a video that said, “We are Liebert. We are Cybex. We are Avocent. We are Chloride. We are Vertiv,” and ran that at events. We had pop up banners and different ways of really trying to bring back the brand. By the way, let me be really clear, not the old logos. The logos are not coming back. The name is coming back. If we have a trademark or registered trademark or anything associated with it, we’re making sure we’re bringing that back. But the old logos, we are not bringing back.
We are looking at ways that we can continue to bring that back. One of the things we learned at one huge event is that we’re not in the guide in those sub-brand names because of course, we’re signing our contract as Vertiv. We’re not in there as Avocent and Liebert and anything else, so when people do walk by our booth and they see it, they go, “Oh, I didn’t see you in the guide. I didn’t think you were here, but it turns out you’re here.” That’s amazing because they’re here and then we take a really big order, so it would be helpful for us to make sure that that’s listed in the guide. We’re working on how to negotiate those sorts of agreements with multiple listings in the guide.
Drew Neisser: Again, it speaks to the stickiness of brand. And this is an interesting part of event marketing. First of all, we’ve got more and more conversations this year on the show about the power of events done right in B2B marketing. That’s number one. But number two, when thinking about events, I know that so many companies are focused on prospects, so they’re really thinking about what kind of leads we can generate. But the most interesting thing is, and I know this from my experience at CBS, we go to the booths of products that we buy already. We want to because we have a question, we feel at home because again, these are our people. This is our tribe. This is a brand that we relate to. Think about your booth first and foremost as a customer service interaction opportunity. Now, if your customers are looking for you and they can’t find your brand in a program guide, it’s kind of a problem.
It is kind of a problem, especially if they’re making decisions about their ongoing investment in those products. Maybe they want to buy more, maybe they are having challenges with it. What you don’t want to do is basically drop the busy signal in and “Beep, beep, beep. Sorry, we can’t help you.” That’s how that happens.
Drew Neisser: Drop the busy signal. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to turn that into a song. We’re going to drop the busy signal. That’s a funny expression because that’s really what this conversation has been about. It’s like changing the phone number of your business and suddenly people can’t find you. You suddenly lack an identity. Is there anything else in this mix? You’ve tested events and trying to deal with a multi-brand environment at the events. What else are you doing to help your business—I’ll use the term “recover”—and rebuild the loyalty of your current customers and the awareness that you have and the equity that you have in some of these sub-brands?
Jennifer Renaud: I’d say there are some small things as well. I just had some sellers ask me if they could brand T-shirts with the Vertiv logo, or a sub-brand logo. I said, A) “No” to the logo. B) I will let you do a shirt that might have that product name and the Vertiv name on it because I do want to join those brands. But I think going in and saying, “Let’s try a couple of things and see what might work,” the sellers probably are still aligned to those same product categories, so they still have an affinity to the brand. How do we make sure that we have them feel as connected? Because there’s pride in that, so how do I maintain that same pride as well? Once it starts with our sellers in front of the customers, it continues a great virtuous cycle of more happiness and joy in that brand relationship.
Drew Neisser: That’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought about that, but in your environment, you have resellers who are selling these things and putting together the whole systems, right? When you ripped those brands away from them, they might have even thought that they don’t exist anymore, so then your pipeline drops that way, too.
Jennifer Renaud: Exactly. And then, you know, you’re fighting something now—this conversation came up with someone yesterday as well. If you’ve got a 30-minute conversation and you’re spending 25 minutes explaining the brand and then you’ve got five minutes to try and sell, that doesn’t help anyone. How do we get that so we can shift that? So it’s a five-minute conversation, 25-minute conversation instead. As a B2B marketer, and I think that all my B2B marketing brethren will say this, we have limited budgets. We can’t spend an unlimited amount of money creating the brand. I don’t have Apple or Microsoft’s budget to go create consumer awareness. It just doesn’t happen. Given that I’ve got a much smaller amount of money, I’ve got to capitalize on anything I have to make it easier.
Drew Neisser: Well, I think the other thing, there is a big difference in the Oracle story and the Vertiv story. At least I’ve heard of Oracle. I’m wondering, in part of the plan that you’re doing, how are you going to be able to pump equity into Vertiv when it’s really about these individual products?
Jennifer Renaud: I’m going to challenge the Oracle assumption just a little bit first because in Oracle they primarily sold to IT buyers. Then they buy Oracle Marketing Cloud Solutions, and now the buyer is the CMO. While the CMO might have heard of Oracle, they certainly don’t know Oracle as a marketing technologist. There was a leap there. But I agree, in the Vertiv location, we’ve got a decent market share in a number of our categories. Somebody has probably bought one of our products along the way, they just don’t know it. And that, I think, is the more difficult challenge. Building a brand new brand when you are a larger company—we say we’re a large startup, and we are in a lot of ways, but we’re not because we have some level of market share. Making that brand shift, I think, has been hard for everyone involved.
Drew Neisser: All right. A couple of things. First, if you were to do this again, starting from scratch, they had just fought Emerson Power. Would you just do a house of brands strategy?
Jennifer Renaud: Probably.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, yeah. I think that’s really the key message here. If you’re in an acquisitive mode and you’re buying a company, you ask yourself, “What is the component of brand that matters in this thing?” Are you really thinking you’re just buying the technology and the relationships? Because if you are, you’re probably making a mistake. You can’t just slap your name on it. The difference between Oracle and Vertiv is pretty substantial. At least one has awareness and the other does. They don’t have awareness in the category, but it’s a software company, so it’s not a far stretch. In the case of Vertiv, you’re starting at zero.
So, be careful about walking away from your brand. Number one. That’s key. Number two, if you find yourself in this unique situation, if we were starting from scratch now and we were trying to make the argument for brand just in general versus demand generation, do you think you could help the folks? They’re talking to their CEO, they’re talking to the board of directors, how would you make the case for brand based on your experience?
Jennifer Renaud: Well, one of my favorite books is A More Beautiful Question. In some of the questions that you could ask it’s, when you’re making the case for brand, then what happens in the absence of brand? I think having case studies like these that say, “Here’s what happens when you have it and it’s gone,” if you can get it, which means you need to invest in it properly, it does mean something. There is a value to it. And frankly, as a C-level executive, let’s say you’re a mid-sized company and you’re looking for an end game, you’re looking for an acquisition? What gets acquired is the brand. You want to be building that brand for that purpose. Your goal should be that there’s a certain value in that brand, so let’s make sure we understand that we are building to it.
Drew Neisser: Right. Do you subscribe to the Interbrand brand valuation model? Are you familiar with it at all?
Jennifer Renaud: Yes. I am familiar with it and I just was reading about it today on one subject. Yes, I’ve seen a little bit of it.
Drew Neisser: I have talked with an individual who I won’t name here or embarrass who has said that it’s essentially really a black box and there’s a little voodoo behind the scenes, but it is accepted as a genuine way of evaluating brand. I think I had Alicia Tillman on the show from SAP, and she is measuring the success of her marketing based on where they end up on the brand valuation model.
Jennifer Renaud: I would totally see doing that and I think that’s a great C-level conversation. I have followed other brands as a result. I’ve watched where 3M appears on that brand valuation model, companies that are native to my hometown because I want to know more about what’s happening there and then go back and look at what they’re doing that’s improving their brand or changing their brand or not doing, what is absent that is preventing that. I could see having that on a global scorecard for a business.
Drew Neisser: Since we just came away from the CMO Club Summit, it’s drinking from a firehose, but I’m interested in and I’m sure you were making notes about the key takeaways that you had from the summit, perhaps related to brand or just marketing in general.
Jennifer Renaud: My number one key takeaway is that, as marketers, we really do need to redefine the role. Whether you’re in B2C or B2B, everything is changing so fast and what’s happening around us, how consumers buy, how businesses buy, the impact of geopolitical situations, etc., the role of the marketer can add more value but it’s a super complex job. We’ve talked about brand, but we’ve also talked about demand and we could talk about people and we could talk about the right product mix and if we’re pricing of right. It’s a super complex job. That was probably take away number two. This is a really hard, complex job, which is why we did the drinking from a firehose conversation. It’s why we’re all a little bit tired—because there’s a lot going on in the space. I think that’s the beauty of it, actually. I think that’s the part that’s so much fun.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, I think you have to have a high tolerance. The folks that listen to the show regularly know I talk a lot about the four characteristics of courage, artful, thoughtful, and scientific. But I would say, for me, the reminder is—and this happens every six months at the summit—get together with your peers. Even if you just have to say, this moment at this second, this situation kind of sucks, how did you deal with that? What’s amazing is that when you get together with a bunch of your peers, you find folks that have exactly the same challenges and some of them have solved it.
You go, “That was so simple. I got that. I can do that.” And it was fun to watch this. The other part of it that was fun to watch was, when one CMO would talk about, for example, their ABM demand generation or sales versus marketing issue, they talked about it in such a rudimentary way for their organization. When you’re at an organization that’s really advanced, I can see people going, “Ah, I feel better. I’m like 10 steps ahead of that.” There are a lot of other good things. But anyway, this has been good. I think we’ve beaten the subject of the importance of brand. If you’re lucky enough to build a brand, really respect that. The litmus test is, “Do your customers identify with your product so much so that they’d be willing to wear it on a shirt or refer to themselves as EloKing or EloQueen?” Know your customer. You do that by going and talking to them. And then importantly, if you’re going to events, make sure you’re there and present and thinking about your customers first. Anything else you want to add, Jennifer?
Jennifer Renaud: Should we have a song now?
Drew Neisser: Oh, please. Yes. What would you like to sing? Oh, my wife would kill me and I think my daughter is like, “Dad, you’re not going to sing.” I promised her I would probably never sing on the show. Early on, I had Will Daly, who did sing on the show and he was really cool. We’ll link to that in. That was fun to have somebody sing. For all of those who have enjoyed this taxi ride podcast, maybe I’ll have to just do this again. It’ll be a reinvention of Renegade Thinkers. I thought we were pretty on the case. So, Jennifer, thank you for being on the show.
Jennifer Renaud: Thank you for having me.
Drew Neisser: And to the listeners out there, I’m going to thank you for hanging with us. If you enjoyed this, share it with a friend. Write a review. Always appreciate that. And until next time, keep those Renegade Thinking Caps on and strong.