Getting Dishy

If you're reading this blog, you're probably interested in marketing, advertising and technology. If that's the case, you might want to consider putting Susan Bratton's DishyMix podcast on your iPhone. It's a great little program where she interviews some amazingly smart and relevant people. Past guests have included Steve Wozniak, Alex Bogusky, Nolan Bushnell (inventor of Atari), Gina Bianchini (CEO of Ning), Seth Godin, John Battelle (Federated Media) and dozens of other really smart and knowledgeable people in the industry.

I listen to it all the time, so I was really pleased when Susan asked me to be on it a few months ago. Even more so when she invited me to guest host the show. I interviewed Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora.com and I'll publish a link when that episode goes live. It was really fun and Tim's an amazing guy and Pandora is revolutionizing how we discover and listen to music. Can't wait to share that.

A transcript of my interview and the actual podcast are available on the DishyMix blog. Here's an excerpt from the transcript that I liked (I took the liberty of editing out the "ums" and you knows"):

Adam Kleinberg: ... the vision that we have—that I found from our first website on the Way Back Machine—is still true to everything we say and believe today despite all of the web design agency, advertising agency, confusion along the way. There’s a vision that we’ve been true to all along…

Susan Bratton: What is it?

Adam Kleinberg: The vision is that everything is interactive. It’s all about the experience. What we have here that’s different from other agencies is that we have both a very established practice of human centered design, user experience design, and we also have a really great background in branding, advertising and design. We try to bring those two together into an approach that we call brand experience design. You ask us what we are? We try to avoid it ‘cause it sounds kind of buzz wordy—but we're brand experience designers. That’s really what we’re designing. Every point of contact between a brand and a consumer… I’m not saying we do everything. We don’t do PR. We do what we’re good at and we outsource the rest for sure. But, we’re taking a really holistic approach. We’ve even come up with an approach to communications design, communications planning, that we’re calling engineered marketing.

You know, the funnel doesn’t exist anymore, right? The marketing funnel is now…

Susan Bratton: No, the funnel is now shot full of holes, right?

Adam Kleinberg: Yeah, it’s a maze, right…

Susan Bratton: Or a siv.

Adam Kleinberg: So what do you do with that? There wass an e-marketer study last year that said 60 percent of consumers now rely on word of mouth for how they make purchase decisions. That’s up quite drastically from a few years before. I don’t want to throw out a statistic because I don’t have it specifically, but I believe it was in the range of 30 percent a few years earlier…

Susan Bratton: So twice as much.

Adam Kleinberg: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Adam Kleinberg: That means you’re in a world where contributors to your brand's story are as important as purchasers because purchasers are relying on contributors when they’re making purchase decisions. So you have to really think through all of these things. You know, one of the things—when we were frustrated about the lack of integration we were seeing—was: here’s a print ad, use the same photo in the banner ad. That’s not integration. Integration is thinking like where are people going to go, what are the opportunities, what are the possibilities, how are they linked together, what are the metrics that you’re assigning to track and optimize all of these things and how is everything working together, because every time a customer comes into contact with your brand it’s part of an overall brand experience.

Susan Bratton: So it’s planning, but it’s planning in the web world where so much of that contact is either IRL – In Real Life – or something that’s a touch point on the web that is something that a classy corporation is just getting their hands on, that change, right?

Adam Kleinberg: So we’re doing print, we’re doing TV downstairs, we’re even doing packaging, but we see them all as part of a brand interaction. We’ll think about where that print is driving someone online… We’re just doing wire frames that extend beyond the page out into the ether.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

Adam Kleinberg: You know, interactive goes beyond digital. I think everything is interactive.


  1. Thanks for the interview .

    One question I have in mind is that as "word of mouth" and "personal branding" are becoming more and more prevalent, shouldn't brand be created bottom up ? and leverage the people in their target communities that have already a strong personal brand?


  2. Dominic,

    Yes, community should be an strong influence on brand, but so should other influences like the competitive landscape, company culture, historical perceptions of a brand and an ethnographic understanding of human behavior. I appreciate the spirit of your questions 100%, but leveraging individuals with strong personal brands is an effective tactic, not a strategy for crafting a brand.

    Appreciate the comments :)



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