David Brier, Transforming Your Brand – InnovaBuzz 285

David Brier

David Brier, Brand Intervention

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, David Brier one of the world’s top branding experts. David is a branding veteran who for over three decades has provided branding strategies, brand identities, and package design for startups, retail, technology, and tourism brands. His work has been featured in ADWEEK, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, New York Times magazine, INC., Communication Arts, and numerous other publications. He has helped build the brands of the New York City Ballet, Revlon, Estée Lauder, Botanical Bakery, Coco Polo, Legacy Chocolates, The New York Times magazine, Sunbelt Software, KnowBe4.com, and many regional and local companies as well as several cities.

David is also the author of the bestseller “Brand Intervention: 33 Steps to Transform the Brand You Have into the Brand You Need” which he has called “the branding bible.”

In our discussion, David and I talked about:

  • A brand is the entire customer’s experience and the customer’s transformation
  • A brand is also the art of differentiating
  • A brand needs to build an emotional connection with their audience via the brand story

Ted Rubin in episode 262 introduced us to David.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Branding is the art of differentiation. @DavidBrier on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with David Brier, author of Brand Intervention

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Your logo, typography, colors, and imagery are the results of having a brand.
  • You got to have a brand story.
  • Branding is the art of differentiation.
  • Brands exist because people exist.
  • There are thousands of options and places to buy from. You need to be able to tell one from the other. If you can’t tell one from the other, branding isn’t happening no matter how pretty things might appear.
  • A brand is something that is deeper. You need to go deeper to understand your brand. Start from the core going out because it’s not just the outer skin that defines what a brand is.
  • Great brands expose their souls and connect with people.
  • Moving from the brand you have to the brand you need is a transformation that needs to happen. If you do it well and you have a solid foundation, you’ll be able to navigate that pivot very organically.
  • A brand needs to be built on value. It needs to be deeper. It needs to start at the right place.
  • Stop talking like your industry. Talk to people in the way they talk.
  • Stories connect us to things. Stories are the oxygen for brands. They take people on a journey. They paint a picture for them. They take them to a place that they can envision and immerse themselves in the human experience.
  • A great story brings transformation.
  • Features don’t engage people. A story brings the human component.
  • In order to be able to establish a differentiation point, you need to know where your stuff will be heard and seen.
  • Every conversation starts with people not knowing anything about you. They know nothing about how you are different than other people. If you start talking like everyone else, you’ll never get to a point where they’ll find you interesting. You’ll never get there because they probably will be bored.
  • A brand is a thing that people can differentiate from whatever else is out there.
  • All differences are not the same.
  • Understand the values of your customers and make them super plainly clear.
  • It is our job as entrepreneurs to look for those nuances of difference. Don’t be lazy and ignore those nuances of difference in values.
  • What you make and what you sell is not what people are buying. Don’t confuse features with the transformation.
  • Stop talking about yourself. It’s not about you.
  • A good brand makes us feel good about what THEY stand for and a great brand makes us feel good about what WE stand for.
  • Brands can never be married to their own solution. Brands need to be married to the customer’s desires and aspirations.
A brand is a thing that people can differentiate from whatever else is out there. @DavidBrier on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are David’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Have tireless inquisitive curiosity.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Look a lot. Watch a lot and listen a lot. Never get tired of wondering if that is the best there is. Develop the discipline to continuously admire and appreciate people whilst asking how you can make something better.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Listening to inspirational thought leaders.
  4. Keep project / client on track – Continuously keeping them engaged and challenging their notions.
  5. Differentiate – Be smart. Have pride. Rip out of your own world any notion of entitlement. Do good by people and it will come back to you, but don’t expect. You are not entitled to anything. Love the hustle and love the value of what you do for others.

To Be a Leader

The world isn’t getting better own it’s own. Rise up. We are each a leader more than we give ourselves credit for. Own up to the fact of being a leader and just dig it. It’s an awesome thing. Once you reach a certain plateau, own up to the next level. Never be complacent.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank David through his website and on LinkedIn

Suggested Guest

David suggested I interview Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer of Vayner Media. So Claude, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of David Brier.



Cool things about David

  • He’s the recipient of the Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship medallion, a rare honor amongst business leaders, presented to those who provide insights to entrepreneurs and startups for leadership, marketing, entrepreneurial innovation, and branding excellence.
  • He was voted #11 of the World’s Top 30 Global Brand Gurus.
  • He’s a recipient of over 300 industry awards.
A good brand makes us feel good about what THEY stand for, and a GREAT brand makes us feel good about what WE stand for. @DavidBrier on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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