Wednesday, September 29

American Marketing Association

Yesterday I spoke at the American Marketing Association conference in Atlanta, with content from my book about building brand experiences.

What an experience! I had a ball.

The conference was filled with marketing executives, market researchers, agency partners, and valued suppliers -- one person more insightful and intelligent than the next.

The key note speeches were amazing, the best I've heard quite honestly at a conference. And the networking events were just that - networking events. Everyone was so eager to meet each other, there were no clusters of people hanging with their own posses. We were all there to meet each other and share experiences.

I spent a lot of time talking about "need vs. want" and how that's what distinguishes a product from a brand. We need products, but we want brands. I need a cup of coffee in the morning to get me going, but I want a Starbucks. Can't always explain why, it's the emotional connection that consumers make with a brand that creates that want. It's up to the marketers to create that emotional connection through a compelling brand experience. Ahh, the magic of marketing.

You can read about my presentation here, where a marketing blogger covered my content almost word for word. So appreciate that!

After my presentation, I did a few video interviews both alone and with another author. That was great fun -- I'll post them as soon as they go live.

My message to you? Attend industry conferences! You can learn so much, and you get to meet so many interesting people. We all traded business cards and twitter handles, so I know we'll stay in touch.

I always say that marketing is a team sport - just proved it to myself this week!

What's your experience? Jim


  1. Jim -

    Thanks for the great presentation at the American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference.

    I particularly liked your exploration of Lady Gaga and the brand experience she creates for her "little monsters." Her use of letting fans see "behind the scenes" is a really important way to create strong experiences which it seems many traditional brands ignore or address in a very superficial way.

    Also appreciated your answer about how Best Buy has managed and changed its in-store experience over time to stay revelant with its customers.

    Mike Brown
    AMA Marketing Research Conference Chaiperson

  2. Thanks, Mike. It was a pleasure meeting you and I really appreciate the support. Jim

  3. Can you expand on what the "Big Three" automakers need to do to win customers?

  4. First of all they need to understand what consumers want. I don't think that they are really in touch with how we all live our lives and what we need in our transportation.

    Secondly, they need to innovate around that understanding. If you think about it, there really has been no innovation in the car industry in decades. I mean true innovation.

    There should be new ways of experiencing your car, using it for home and work, how it runs, what it offers, etc. There's really been nothing.

    But it starts with understanding consumers lives and then exploiting technology to create change.

    IMO. Jim