Podcast 904: Exponential: Transform Your Brand by Empowering Instead of Interrupting with Jeff Rosenblum

Great brands stand for more than just cool products and clever advertisements. They inspire audiences. They enrich communities. They energize people. They move people’s lives forward. Most importantly, great brands don’t just interrupt: they empower. And that empowerment leads to exponential growth.

In my interview with author and entrepreneur Jeff Rosenblum about his new book “Exponential: Transform Your Brand by Empowering Instead of Interrupting,” he explains that your brand is your most important asset and states that one of the keys to his success is sharing his story with influencers in the marketing and technology industries.

In his book, he talks about Intentional Sales, a collaborative process that methodically gets team members aligned.  and  how to prepare for exponential growth.

If you want to learn more about Jeff Rosenblum and his team at Questus, please click here to be directed to their Questus website.  

I hope you enjoy this engaging and informative podcast with author Jeff Rosenblum about his new book entitled “Exponential: Transform Your Brand by Empowering Instead of Interrupting.”   You can learn more about the book by clicking here to be directed to the book website.

THE BOOK

Exponential is about storytelling done right, and the book practices what it preaches. It’s packed with colorful anecdotes from Rosenblum’s own career and clear examples of brands that grew exponentially. With a light touch, it unpacks heavy insights from neuroscience, market research, and big data, outlining what it takes for brands to truly be great and not merely say they are great.

The book makes a passionate case that business leaders need to shift away from interruptions and superficial messages to focus on empowerment, culture, values, leadership, and transparency. With engaging stories and revealing brand examples, Exponential shows how brands can:

  • Produce exponential growth by shifting from interruptions to empowerment
  • Create brand evangelists with content that informs and inspires
  • Embrace transparency and culture to tell authentic brand stories
  • Generate massive ROI throughout the purchase journey

THE AUTHOR

One of the world’s top advertising executives shows how iconic brands win new customers and build armies of evangelists.

Jeff Rosenblum and the award-winning team at Questus have worked with many of the world’s most influential brands, including American Express, Apple, Capital One, Disney, ESPN, The NFL, Samsung, Starbucks, Universal, Wyndham, and Verizon. Jeff created a documentary about the advertising revolution called The Naked Brand and the groundbreaking book about passion brands called Friction. Jeff has lectured at some of the top universities, won some of the ad world’s most prestigious awards, and presented at many of the industry’s largest confere



You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Jeff Rosenblum Interview

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside personal growth. This is great voice in the host of inside personal growth and we have Jeff Rosenblum joining us. And he is a nice in what he just said is he's got a house in the country is what it sounded like to me on the East Coast. And Jeff has a new book out called exponential transform your brand by empowering instead of interrupting. And Jeff, Good day to you. How are you doing now that this book is broken on the 18th of January today is what the 13th. So it's a few more days for to actually release is that right?

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, lunches next Tuesday could not be happier to have it come out, you know, you've gone down this path. And it's it's tough man Writing a book is challenging you the first parts of it are easy. And it drags on. It's hard. A lot of people are who write books or business people that have day jobs, I'm really excited to get this app in, frankly, you know, my name goes on the cover, which seems almost unfair because it takes a village to write a book. And there's a lot of people who are involved. So I'm really excited to get it up on the shelf. So those guys can see the fruits of their labor.

Greg Voisen
Well, you did a great job. And I'm gonna let our listeners know a tad bit about you. Jeff is the co founder of quest us a digital advertising agency, that's worked with some of the world's most influential brands, which include American Express Apple capital, one, dizzily, the NFL, Samsung, Starbucks universal. And Verizon. And list goes on and on. We were just speaking about his documentary as well. He has another book called friction. And we're going to put a link to that one in the blog entry as well. But he also is got a documentary out called the naked brand. And for those of you who are interested, you can watch that on YouTube. It's there. I think it's, what, 15 minutes or something just because that's what it turned out to be. Yeah, I don't know. So there we go. But this new book is really the topic of this discussion. And it is, I think the way that Jeff is approaching, I don't even want to use the word advertising, because it really isn't advertising. There's a lot, we've always known that psychology is involved in this. And people have to, you're looking inside of heads, and you're trying to see what makes them take action. And we we also know that we're being molded by Amazon, and Google, and Facebook and all these other guys who watch our moves. But the reality is, Jeff's got a I'm going to say a unique transformational approach. Because the subtitle of this book is, and people got to get this, transform your brand by empowering instead of interrupting. And, you know, everybody's interrupting in it's happening all the time, and they're still interrupting doesn't matter if it's a telemarketing call, or if it's an email, or whatever it is, you need to know more about your prospect and their prospect. It needs to know who you are, which is kind of why I like how Apple quote advertises and we'll put it that way. So Jeff, to set the stage for the interview. You give the listeners a little context for your book. Can you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself? And what brought you to this career path? And the prior book, which was friction, which was the predecessor to this one, the documentary, which was the predecessor to this one. Why have you chosen this path? And what do you think needs to happen in your industry? And what are you doing about?

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, um, first of all, thank you for having me on. I appreciate it. And thank you for the kind words of by way of background I'm I'm I'm an ex market researcher, I found myself in the right place in the right time, and actually helped pioneer the field of internet research. So I was still a zit face kid in my early 20s. But I was working for these incredible Harvard Business School guys. We had these crazy clients, we had Microsoft Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Walt Disney, Levi Strauss. And what I was doing was as one of the first people to conduct internet research, I was figuring out what do people really want from brands now that the entire world has been disrupted? And what I realized is the relationship that people have with brands is fundamentally in completely in totally gone through a revolution. People know the truth and they know it in real time. brands can no longer obfuscate they can no longer leverage duplicity. They need to focus less on saying their Great in more than actually being great, but I'm pretty hyperactive guy. So after conducting all this research for five or six years, I no longer wanted to have the data and tell other people what to do with it. What I wanted was to get in on that action. So I called my, my best friend. He is a world class artist. He had art gallery openings, he had like Johnny Depp bought one of his paintings he was, he was on his way up, but he really didn't want to be the guy sitting in art galleries, smoking cigarettes all day, he got into the world of digital design, I called him and I was like, Let's go start a digital agency. And he's like, dude, have you ever even been in an agency at all? I was like, No, man, if you he's like, No, we were like, eff it, man. Let's do this thing. So a couple of guys with absolutely no advertising experience, decided to start our own advertising agency. And the idea was really quite simple. How do we take data and creativity blended together, and actually empower people actually improve people's lives one small step at a time, because people no longer want to be interrupted over and over and over again, through traditional media, whether it's TV or banner ads that are looking for content, that's a lot more meaningful. So interruptions are still a powerful tool, and it's still something that's leveraged, we're just asking it to do too much. So we started an agency that said, let's look at the entire consumer journey. And let's think about how we can improve people's lives and bring value to the equation. You know,

Greg Voisen
on in your movie, you had the founder of Zappos on and I watched that part, and unfortunately, is no longer with us. But, you know, kind of a big shift, because then we saw the shoe company, and we've seen all kinds of it. And, you know, some consumers out there will speak about greenwashing. They'll talk about the fact that, you know, these brands are now trying to do this, or I'm going to buy a pair of shoes and give a pair away Tom's right. And I get that now, how do you help companies who have a brand, create sincerity in that message can create that the people aren't reading it wrong, you know, do it you you actually had the Patagonia founder on to and he's an amazing guy for his 70s. But, you know, he said advertising was dead. You guys what he said in your video that it's dead? Um, so what is this web 3.0 version that we're looking at?

Jeff Rosenblum
You know, you're touching on so many things right there. And honestly, one of the things that was a challenge for my career and for our agencies, we agree that advertising to a certain extent is is dead. But what we realized is it's a lot more productive to say, it just needs to be redefined. If the goal of advertising is get people to understand in respect and admire in recommend brands, if it's to get them to understand and respect and buy and recommend specific products, then let's just say that's the goal. And anything that facilitates that, that's advertising. So rather than trying to say your entire industry is antiquated, all of your awards are antiquated. All of your magazines and books and blogs, they're dead. Let's just say let's re define it. And you know, you're touching on a really important point. So we had Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, the CEO at the time of Patagonia was in our documentary, amazing guy doing incredible things for the planet. I'll tell you a great story, actually. So I met Yvon Chouinard. We go back into his workshop, the very first workshop we had, we was actually bending metal in creating climbing equipment and all that and we did an interview and he was fantastic. So I fell in love with him. So the documentary is being edited. I go to visit my parents in Florida. It's Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the number one shopping day of the year, brands sell more on Black Friday than they do in months combined. And because I love the brand, and because I needed a new jacket, I already had a jacket in my mind that I want to buy. It was this blue fleece jacket. So I type it in dub dub dub patagonia.com. And when the website comes up in on the homepage, as if they read my mind was the exact jacket that I wanted to buy. And then had this giant font that said, don't buy this jacket. What this is the craziest thing.

Greg Voisen
I remember that Yeah. And then it

Jeff Rosenblum
had a button in the button, which is normally by now was a click here to learn more. And what it said on the landing page was reduce, reuse, recycle the number One thing is reduce in their point was like, Hey, man, if you want to buy the jacket, we'll sell it to you. But maybe you don't need this jacket. Because when we manufacture this jacket, we make manufacturing byproducts. And when you buy this jacket, you make garbage out of your old jacket. So we're happy to sell it to you. But maybe pause for a second man, maybe you don't need this jacket. Right. So this is a crazy content. This is a brand who's got, I've got my wallet, half out of my pocket ready to buy something. And they're telling me not to buy. I remember I literally cried. Maybe I'm a little crazy about branding and everything. But I had tears coming down my eyes, the big lump of my throat, this is the most powerful thing that I ever seen. Now the point is this, I did not buy the jacket. I call my friends over there. I called the executives who work there. And they explained to me like, yeah, man, they lost a lot of potential sales that day, perhaps it was millions of dollars. But here's what they got. They got a brand evangelists, they've got me as an everyday consumer recommending that product to every single person that I know about that experience, I think it was like five years ago. And here we are on podcast, all your listeners still talking about it. But what's interesting is who really cares about me, I'm some yuppie dude who spends his time on a computer. The really influential people in that category are like fly fishing guides, and hiking guides and mountaineering guides. And they're covered from head to toe in Patagonia gear. And the reason that they do it is Patagonia defends the one thing that's most important to them, which is the environment, those brand evangelists. And it's hard to find the data because the ad world doesn't want us to see it. But that those recommendations are up to 12 times as trusted as advertisements. And that makes perfect sense. Think about every product that you've bought, not not sold or not beer, not your impulse buys. But every significant purchase $50 or more, you know, new skis, new appliance, new jacket, you know, new high end clothing, like you're always getting recommendations from friends. So the key is, how do you make a brand that's so emotionally engaging, that you get those recommendations. But here's the thing, Greg, because you brought this up. So I fell in love with these guys. I'm on stages around the world talking about Patagonia. And all of a sudden, everybody started thinking this was a green story. And then every brand that I interacted with wanted to get their own green story. This is not a green story, right? People do not wake up in the morning, wanting brands to hug the trees and save the manatees. That would be absolutely awesome if all brands did that. But it's not authentic. And it's not realistic. This isn't an empowerment story. This is about understanding what's most important to your target audience, and what's most important to you. And when you find that nexus, you lean into a way to improve people's lives. One small step at a time. Think about this. Everybody, everybody wakes up in the morning, wanting one thing. They want to be better than they were the day before. It's at the heart of the human experience. What drives capitalism. So what can brands do to actually improve people's lives? One small step at a time. It doesn't need to be a green story. One of my favorites is Fender guitar. Think about this. They sell guitars. Now all of a sudden, there's all this pressure on that entire industry because people can make incredible music. Without instruments. They could do it all through their computer. playing a guitar is really complicated. Using some of the software is really easy. So what do they do? What they do is they invested in a platform called fender play, and what fender plays it enables people to learn how to play better guitar, very high end video lessons is personalized on a one to one basis. There's all different styles, it grows with you it flows with you. They never ask you in that process to own a Fender guitar. They never asked you in that process to buy a Fender guitar, but they help make you a better guitar player. They empower you in the most authentic way possible for fender, if a vendor wants to defend the environment, that's great. The chances of that actually selling more guitars pretty minimal, but now they're making people shift from not playing to beginner beginner to intermediate intermediate to advanced prospect to customer, customer to evangelists. That's the power of empowerment. What's crazy about it is I would argue that the newest and most powerful form of advertising, but it's actually also a revenue stream for them now, because what happens is you can get some of that content for free, but it's a freemium model. Now people subscribe. So they're making more money selling guitars, they're making more money through the fender Play platform. In parallel

Greg Voisen
it, it comes down to Jeff, I was listening to Whitney Johnson about WD 40, the most highly engaged company went from 200 million to 2.5 billion. Now you're talking about an oil that takes creaks out of doors. But people don't want to leave their employees are so engaged. What's the two reasons? Number one reason, as she mentioned, and I know Gary, the CEO, because it's the San Diego based company literally, is because people are allowed to reinvent themselves if that's what they have to do. And they disrupt themselves. It's a disruption and reinvention on the S learning curve. Now, what you just said, about those brands, fender using that story, was they were willing to kind of disrupt this market, look at something new and reinvent. And at the same time, it wasn't like you said it wasn't about greenwashing or anything. It was like, How do I improve someone's life? A little bit every day. And I think, like you said, I think people want to wake up, they want to be happy. And they do want to have this improvement. And in your chapter, introduction to the advertising revolution. You tell a story about babysitter and state that you're interested in the research and advertising started soon after this incident. With a babysitter. Can you quickly share that story and why that incident with the babysitter was so important to bring in the book.

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, totally. I start that story on on page one of the book. And, um, it's really my earliest memory. I'm like 10 years old, and I'm in the kitchen. And I've got a 12 inch steak knife in my hand, serrated meant to cut the sharpest of meat. It had two tips at the front for picking up those hunks of meat. And I've been chasing my brother around the house. We are up past our bedtime we that crazy laughter that only kids can get when they're hyperactive. And they're past their bedtime. We had our our pajamas on with a comic book characters all over them. Finally my brother stops like after I chased him and he opens up the drawer and he pulls up the classic 10 inch chef's knife. We've all seen that. We're sitting there pointing up at each other's torsos. Perfect Form. I jab, he moves, he jabs. I move, someone appears like they're gonna get killed. The truth of the matter is my brother was my best friend. Nobody was getting get hurt. We were just pushing the boundaries have good behavior. But my babysitter, great guy love this guy didn't smell weird, like my old babysitter, right? He's there. He had no idea what was going on. He's got to make sure none of these kids get killed. So he's like, No, and I'm like, Yes. And he's like, No, and I'm like, yes. Now after the third time, finally he goes to grab the knife. And what he should have done was grabbed my wrist, but he grabbed the blade. So I pull out the 12 inches of serrated next thing you know, his thumb is dangling there. We cut it all the way down to the bone. And I remember everything about this incident, where we were standing the shape of the knives, the pajamas we were wearing. I remember watching the blood drip down his arm and off his elbow. We took rolls and rolls of paper towels waiting for the ambulance to arrive. But here's the thing. There's one thing I did not recall it off, which was the punishment. There was literally no punishment. He went off to the hospital, he got stitched up. We never saw him again. We never talked about it. The reason I didn't get punished is that my father was actually raised by a gangster. He was in Murder Inc. This is the Jewish mafia born out of the prohibition, apparently and reportedly they killed 1000s of people. And he had all these crazy stories. Remember, Goodfellas. There's the scene where Henry Hill and he takes his girlfriend to the Copacabana and they go through the door and they go down through the kitchen and was like Hey, Henry, Henry Henry, and he knows everybody and he's throwing tips. And then he comes out and he's got a table right out front. My father had that same experience, because his grandfather was his father was a gangster in the liquor business. All of that right down to their own table right at the front row. The only difference is my father didn't go through the side door like Henry Hill. He went right through the front door like Jewish royalty. The thing about it is that is only good story. The truth of the matter is my grandfather was an absolute monster. He'd beat the hell out of my father punched him, kicked him in the face, you name it. There's a story when my father was about eight years old, and he said Time moved in slow mo Because when he hit the ceiling, he knew it was gonna be a long drop to the floor. He hit the ceiling because his own father picked him up and threw him across the room. So usually this violence is passed along to kids, my father went the other direction. Still, to this day, he's 85 years old, my absolute best friend couldn't be any cooler. But he was like, I'm never going to punish my kid, I've seen enough, I'll make a mistake of going the other direction. So as a kid, I was a hot mess. But it was actually the greatest gift ever. Because there's a bad student and graduating college with a 2.8 GPA, I was lucky to have a job at all. But I always was able to look at things a little bit differently than most other people. Because if I don't get punished for cutting off my babysitter's thumb, I don't get punished for anything. I'm comfortable with risk. Right? I had to fight to get that job. As soon as I got that job. I told my Harvard bosses like, Dude, you're doing everything wrong. You're about to go out of business, if you don't embrace the internet. As soon as we figured out what the internet was about, I was like to heck with this. And back to the story I told before, like, Let's go start our own agency. As soon as we started getting clients, we told them, they're doing it wrong, we have to take on this new model. So being able to live a life not thinking about risks, and downside has been really prosperous for me and prosperous for the clients that I work with. Because we're not married to the old way. And if you're a kid nowadays, entering the advertising world, if you're a youngster right now, not even a youngster, you can be 40 years old, making millions of dollars. But if you're not 65, and raised on the old ways of just sitting around watching TV, you're looking for something different from brands, you're avoiding those interruptions, you see 5000 branded messages per day, you see one every 2.7 seconds, that you're awake, you're looking for something powerful and immersive, in meaningful and empowering. And that's what we're focused in on. And it's proven to work because we were able to take the risk of saying, We're done with the old model, we're embracing the new model.

Greg Voisen
Well, you had great influence from your father, or how know how to I want to put that gave you an opportunity to look at risk in your life in a different way. And I think that's very beneficial to you, especially the career that you chose. And that brings me to this question, you state that you, you pay obsessed with emotions affecting consumer behavior. And you speak about two types of brands that were emerging. Can you speak with our listeners about the transactional and the emotional brands, because, look, there still are a lot of transactional brands out there. Okay. I got out of an industry I was in because I didn't like the transactional element of it, it didn't mean that the product wasn't good. It just means as a marketer slash salesperson, I didn't want to be bound to the rabbit wheel of having to just keep doing more and more transactions to make it happen. Speak to us. So the differences between transactional and emotional brands.

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, there's nothing wrong with with transactional brands. Transactional brands are brands, they make good products, they charge a fair price, they do some solid advertising. And when people have a product, they conduct a little research, and they buy. Maybe some of them are loyal, very few of them actually recommend more than enough to have a good career more than enough to have a good brand and a good business. There's nothing wrong with the transactional brand. In most brands, most are transactional. I'm just personally absolutely obsessed with the concept of brands that grow exponentially, and absolutely dominate the competition. And those brands are what I call emotional brands. These are the brands that have in a rational relationship with their customers. People ignore the competition, they're more than happy to pay a higher price. They're up around the campfire, they're at the dinner table. They're in the bars and the restaurants and probably most importantly, they're on social media. They're actively proselytizing for these brands as if these brands are their best friend, in the reason they get those irrational relationships is that the brands actually act kind of irrationally themselves. Think about the story be told about Patagonia don't buy this jacket. That is totally irrational behavior, right, even fender, instead of focusing just on the guitar, they started focusing on content, you can play play a Gibson guitar and still use that content. That's kind of irrational behavior, but you're improving people's lives. You're empowering them. You're drafting off the millions of years of evolution that we talked about, where people want to be better today than they were yesterday.

Greg Voisen
What's the elixir Jeff that you think's going on? You work for Apple? Look, Apple survived some pretty amazing time. and continues a $2 trillion market cap. It isn't just the money. So what makes them so desirable to so many people? And I have my own theory here. That that is and I'm a full on Apple user all their products, blah, blah, blah. And, and I see something different, but I'd like to hear what you think.

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, I think a lot of people in the advertising world may look at some of the advertising that they've done. They may look at the 1984 campaign, it was a 62nd. Ad. I think it ran a total of one time. Steve Jobs love this campaign, so much cry when when he was being developed. And it told this sort of like, Orwellian story about this female athlete bashing into a big brother's face with a sledge hammer. If you actually look at the data, nothing really happened after that, right. Maybe it was a nice, a pep talk internally. But it didn't resonate with mill America didn't grow their market share didn't really grow their revenue. But what you see now is yes, they still have great advertising, right? I think the some of the think different work is some of the best advertising ever created. That's not enough to create Apple, there's a lot of brands with solid advertising, I think what they do is they look at the totality of the consumer journey, not just awareness, interest can conversion, but they're looking at all of the micro steps in between. And they're removing all of the friction in that relationship. And they're replacing it with empowerment, some of it is really big things like, let's say you were raised on the Microsoft platform, right? And you're trying to figure out how do I shift over to Apple because it's really different? Well, all the retail stores have a genius bar, and you can get support online and through the phone to help you make that shift. That's a really big thing. And sometimes it's just little things like their packaging, right. And a lot of people are jumping on and trying to copy great packaging and whatnot. But now that's just emblematic of all of the granular steps that people go through in the fact that Apple is taking care of every single step in that journey, replacing friction with empowerment.

Greg Voisen
I agree with you. And one thing I would say is because I've experienced other brands that produce quality products, maybe not as good a quality as Apple, but the customer care and customer service, which is the last part in the cycle, somehow breaks down. Crazy training. They just I they just don't think it through. And one of the things that I like about Apple and I could cite others that are in the digital space is really, their customer care is exceptional. It's beyond. It's beyond exceptional. And it keeps people coming back. And in my estimation, I would pay more money just to get the customer care. Because you can buy another product, you probably get it cheaper. But in the end, is anyone going to pick up the phone is anyone will listen to you. Will anybody hear you? Will they take action? Will they follow through? I mean, all the things that we think are small, they're not small at all. They're a big deal. And in chapter three, you speak about the brain and advertising say that we're in the profession of creating influence, demand demand, and that begins and ends in the brain. What advice can you give our listeners and breaking through the brain's cognitive span filters and building trust and motivating behavior?

Jeff Rosenblum
Absolutely. Let me tell you the whole story in the journey that I went on. So there's a guy named Phineas Gage. Big, strong, handsome man, back in the 1800s. Yeah. And he led a crew in Vermont, where they were laying down train tracks. One day he was boring a hole in the ground, fills it with gunpowder and then they have this big tamping iron. It's like six feet long. Yay wide. There's an explosion. The tamping iron shoots out like a javelin literally goes right through his eye socket right through his head out the back of his head in lands behind him a couple yards away like a javelin. What's incredible is heating dye. They take him down off the hill, they bring them into the local hotel, he's sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair. They call a doctor. He finally arrives. The doctor didn't even believe the story until Phineas leans forward in grows up about what they described as a teacup full of his own brain. What's amazing about it is Phineas lived and went on to have a fairly typical life in a lot of ways you Except he used to be this really nice, kind, affable guy. Now, after the accident, he's basically a jerk. And this was a seminal moment in understanding the brain. Because what they realized is the brain is not monolithic at all, doesn't do the same thing. Clearly what happened is, he hid a part of his brain that control part of his personality. Now, fast forward to today, we have learned more about the human brain in the last decades than we have in all of human existence, combined. And what we've learned is there are different sections of the brain and we need to understand the human brain if we want to influence the brain, right? That's what we're in the business of, we're in the business of influencing the brain. It sounds sort of ominous or nefarious. It's not that's just what we do. We're trying to get brands to appeal to the human brain. What we've learned is the part of the brain that we want to appeal to is the prefrontal cortex. That's where all those brand decisions are made. Here's an example. There's the Pepsi Challenge, which we all know about, right? Coke and Pepsi. If you see on everybody, not everybody, the vast majority of people prefer coke. If you cover up the brand's the majority of people actually prefer Pepsi. And what they know about that is that's the power of branding. Right? The product alone is more appealing from Pepsi, the coke brand is worth $84 billion alone, not the revenue, just the brand is six times more powerful or more valuable than Pepsi. Because of that, because people prefer that brand over the Pepsi brand. Some genius scientists have figured out how you do something called lesioning in the brain, you can actually turn off parts of the brain. When you turn off parts of the prefrontal cortex and you give people the Pepsi Challenge. It turns out that people prefer Pepsi when they see the brand. So what does that mean? It means that all of those brand decisions are made upfront in the prefrontal cortex, when we're standing in the conference room, trying to come up with our own ideas are on products or a marketing around advertising, we're using our prefrontal cortex seems pretty easy, right? Take our prefrontal cortex, do something that appeals to the audience's prefrontal cortex. Hey, mission accomplished. The issue is this. The rest of the human brain, the amygdala, and all sorts of other sections work together to create a cognitive spam filter, the human brain is exposed to 11 million bits of information, every second pause, listen, there's the squeak of the chair, the hum of the heater, the cars driving by right now, all of that information is coming to our brain, but we block it out. Because if we get so distracted, we won't be able to function 11 million bits of information every second, we only consciously process 50 bits 50 out of 11 million. So what does that mean? The brain is a cognitive spam filter, how do we break through. And what we've been doing for years is trying to use technology, like TV, trying to use a clever taglines pitches, fancy jingles, disruption, and all of that works? Babies, dogs, right, all that stuff works to a certain extent. But I believe what we need to do is create content that's so appealing, and so powerful, that we don't need to interrupt people over and over again, people will go out of their way to participate in it, and share it with others. And if we can create content that's so valuable, we will break right through that cognitive spam filter.

Greg Voisen
So do you have an example of creating content that will break the spam filter? I think that's a, you know, that's a very important element that you're talking about. And what is Qwest us kind of doing to help their clients break that spam filter? And if they do, you know, what, in general are you seeing that would help create that environment where the action takes place? And you're incentivizing, motivated, motivating, inspiring, whatever it might be whatever word you want to choose, to get people to take action, okay? And I know even for me, I watch my behavior. I think that the most important thing we can do is to slow down and be an observer of self. You know, one of the things you said is Don't interrupt, right? So if we're not interrupting, but whatever is being filtered, filtered in has significant meaning for us. There are six, six significant emotional meaning. We will take action. It's It's like somebody getting hurt across the street, are you going to stand there and do nothing? Or do you have the empathy to go find somebody and help them out? Right? You're going to take action. So what have you guys found that quest us? That's that's the kind of works I don't believe there's any one formula. It isn't like one size fits all. But give us a story.

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, absolutely. That's exactly right. It's not one size fits all, every client, like different audience different products. Sometimes you lean into creativity. Sometimes you lean into video, sometimes you lean into technology and utility. You know, one of the one of the stories or examples that I absolutely love is a project we did for Super Eight hotels. And Superman had a really unique challenge, which is they redesigned all of their rooms. They were fairly dated. And now all of a sudden, the rooms are fairly beautiful to be honest with you, right? I mean, it's not it's not the Ritz. It's not pretending to be but new bedspreads, beautiful black and white photography, customize. If you're in San Diego, you see palm trees, if you're in Wyoming, you see, you see cowboys and horses, right, really lovely rooms, free breakfast. Great value for the dollar. The issue is, nobody knew about it. And there was a little bit of probably more than a little bit of negativity around the brand when they first came to us. So what we realized is we had a challenge on our hands, we can try to spam people over and over again, social media, banner ads, TV, whatever, and try to force them into understanding how great these rooms are. And we're going to spend a lot of dollars and then people are going to avoid it. But what we want to do is celebrate what we call the spirit of the road, because people don't go to Super Eight specifically for the room. Right? It's not like staying at a at a Ritz once again, where they it's all about the hotel. You're doing something special on the road.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, guys that got that? Who is the announcer with that crazy Texan kind of voice? Is that is that the campaign that you helped to run? Do?

Jeff Rosenblum
I think that's Motel Six?

Greg Voisen
Oh, Motel Six. Sorry, I got it mixed up. But I did love the guy's voice and I love the message. That's what I think.

Jeff Rosenblum
So so first of all, let me go down on record Super Eight is a lot better than Motel Six super is absolutely fantastic. Motel Six can't keep up. Right. Here's, that's just a great example, Greg, like how often does that happen? Where it's Motel Six, or some other brand? Really? Oh, yeah, I know that ad or that was hilarious. But like, I don't remember what the brand was for. I don't even understand TV advertising. Like, first they try to make you laugh. Then they talk about the product, then they try to make you laugh again. Like dude, if I want to laugh, I'll go to netflix. They're comedians, like, why are you not doing something? More specifically? Like you do this? Greg, your listeners do this. Anyone who works in advertising does this they sit with their friend or their sibling or family, their wife, wife, when when you're watching TV? And you turn in like, at the end of an ad be like, You know what? What product was that for? Right? Have you seen this ad? Right? That's what we do. In advertising. We conduct this little informal research. All the time, like the recall of ads is pathetic. It's absolutely pathetic and is most pathetic for the categories where you see it the most like beer and cars and whatnot. Right? How do you break through so we separate? We came across a guy named Ian. Ian was a big, strong, handsome Marine who fought in Afghanistan. In the way he described it is he was trained to fight. But he wasn't trained to come home. When he was at war, he felt like a hero. And when he came home, he felt like a zero. And he was going around to all of these different veterans hospitals, trying to get help. They offered him psychology. They offered him pharmacology. None of this stuff was working. He's got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He's literally on the verge of suicide. And a nurse comes up to him at one of the veterans hospitals, says you know what you need? Like, no, I don't know what I need. She said, I think you need a hug. Can I give you a hug? said yes. The nurse wrapped her arms around this big strong Laureen. In all of a sudden he started uncontrollably crying. Because it was the first time somebody said, I feel your pain. You're a human. You're important. Years of stress poured out of him in the way he describes it. He wasn't healed, you know, probably never be healed. But it was first his first step forward towards feeling important and valued. And he got together with a couple other veterans he knows. And he started something called the human hug project. And his idea was simple. Go from Veterans Hospital, to Veterans Hospital, giving hugs, to those suffering from PTSD, helping them heal, helping them understand how important they are as human beings. But he's broke, he's Bootstrap, cars breaking down, he's on his bicycle, he doesn't have money for this whole thing. It's a it's a homemade nonprofit. So we came across him and said, Look, he's doing something important. Veterans have always been a really important audience for Super Eight, he's doing something incredible on the road, let's get super aid to support him. But to invest dollars in his travel, it's bringing cameras and tell the story, but to make micro documentaries so the world can see what he's doing. Let's get him free hotel stays at Super Eight, all around the country. So now we're empowering him as a target audience member to tell his story. To help the world understand that veterans are forgotten. They're suffering from PTSD, there are simple solutions, like hugs. And what we didn't do is say, this is a story presented by Super aid. Here we are, it's super aid, super, it wasn't part of the story, maybe you could see it a little bit way in the background of a video. But a lot of it lived on Super aged channels. So you're so we were supporting this veteran doing incredible things for a guy doing incredible things for veterans. But we're also helping support the brand. Now, when people, it's not enough to just do great things to be honest with you. Right? If you want to do great things, you also have to tie it back to your brand. So there's some fiscal benefit, there's some brand and product sales benefit. For Super Eight, they need to put heads and beds. So you can track if people see the video, and they don't care, that's fine. But if people watch the video, we can serve them more videos, and we can help them understand the power of the hug this incredible story that Ian's going through. But eventually, in classic sales in marketing, awareness, interest conversion, eventually, what we can do is say, Look, we know you're emotionally engaged. Now let's serve you some ads that show you how great these rooms are. Talk about the bread spreads, talk about the design, talk about the free breakfast. And if you engage in that content, then later, we can chronologically serve you targeted discounts, targeted promotions. So you see these incredible measurable results or something called row as return on adspend. We crushed it at an unprecedented level, because now all of a sudden, you're emotionally engaging, you're functionally engaging in your converting. But you could also see the complete and total change in brand perceptions just by looking at the conversation going on in social media. And one moment, it's a transactional brand. Next thing, you know, incredibly positive comments, Super Eight becomes an emotional brand.

Greg Voisen
It's a great story. And it obviously exemplifies you know, exponential, you know, you look at this book, and you crushed it. Because you were able to look at transactions and emotion and bring them together and merge them. And that's the creativity of your I'm not even gonna say agency, but just a view. And what quest does does. Now, in every chapter of your book with exponential, there are takeaways. And if you were to leave the audience with three exponential takeaways from your book, what would they be? And how could they apply them?

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, look, I could probably boil it down to one, I'll give you three. We haven't had a chance to talk about it today. But if you're thinking about growing your own brand, the number one thing I can say is focusing on your culture. Everything that we talked about everything that we write about all these philosophies, exponential growth, nothing matters. If you can't get culture, correct. Culture used to not be that important to be honest with you in the world of advertising and marketing. All you needed was a couple of geniuses, right? One great copywriter, and some videography people in you'll be absolutely fine. Make a great 32nd spot people will complacently watch the entire story. Nowadays, advertising is much more complicated. You've got technology, you've got data, you've got creativity, you've got artificial intelligence, mobile, social media, you name it, right. So you need to be able to break down those silos and you need to be able to hire nothing but the best in the brightest individuals in the world, focusing on culture. To be clear, culture is not it's not about making your business a fun place to to work, yes, your business should be a fun place to work. Yes, you should be investing in some toys, some games, some team building, dinner, drinks, whatever is authentic to your business. That's the window dressing. The foundation is putting people in position to do their best work. The best team members in the world, that's what they're looking for. They want to put out the best product possible. They want to advance their career as successfully as possible, they want new titles, they want to make more money, they want to do work that they're proud of. They want to work with a team that they're proud of great culture is about putting people in position to do their best work in the way that you do that. But I've learned comes down to two things. We call it talent acquisition, and talent collaboration. And the bottom line to it is talent acquisition, how do you bring a players into the house? Talent, collaboration? How do you get people to work across all of these different disciplines? Think about all the stuff that goes into your apple example that you brought up? How do you get them to crush those silos collaborate, build up their own collective intelligence. And it requires process, we outlined some of it in the book. But really, it's when you understand it's about talent acquisition, talent, collaboration, fuel by process, that's putting people in position to do their best work. That's how you create world class culture?

Greg Voisen
Well, I would say to you, you hit the nail on the head, because to have the people the processes, and the aim and call it inspiration and energy behind it to execute. And then that brings me to thing for dx, you know, the guys that do that, the the four disciplines of execution, you know, if you have the right team, you can then complete all these steps that Jeff is talking about. And the right team means that they collaborate together, and they execute together. And that's a really important element. And I know we didn't get to everything. Now I'm going to invite you to come back again, because I skipped a lot of questions, we got deep into some other things. But the the fact is, is real hold up the book, please. You've got it there. I know somewhere. There we go. So exponential is the book, we will put a link to Amazon will put a link to quest das quest us, which is Jess, agency. And the book basically will give you a framework, you know, it's a great place to go to get a framework and look only for the cost of a book, in prior years preyed on all of these authors that come on our show that do these things and give away of their time, you would have spent spending 1000s of dollars to get this knowledge. And I think I want to thank you for sharing your wisdom and your knowledge with the listeners. Because those people that listen to the show, are most likely going to want to pick up that book and say, Can I DIY it? Well just given you the, you know, they've given you the formula to kind of DIY it but you know, reach out to quest us reach out to your own advertising people take the book into them. Let them help you. Take some of the formulas, the processes, the procedures, the stories, and string them together and do something with it. Any last parting words from you, Jeff?

Jeff Rosenblum
Yeah, I think my only last parting words say thank you. I mean, I appreciate the kind words I appreciate the support. I appreciate all of your listeners. So thank you so much.

Greg Voisen
Well, thank you, Jeff. And we appreciate you and the book and all the you know the kind of the gift you're giving people whether you're trying to build a company that's environmentally sensitive, or transactional business. I learned a lot from you today, Jeff, and I want to thank you for that because it's always good to hear the stories because the stories are relatable, you know, tie a tie, you make the connection so much.

Jeff Rosenblum
I appreciate that.

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