Episode 123:

It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing my agency owner hat or my AMI hat, branding is one of the topics that I always love to talk about. It’s one of the few things in our world that has stayed consistent. It’s very difficult today to survive and thrive if you are indistinguishable from your competitors. I know many of you spend a lot of time and energy developing brands for your clients but struggle when it comes to articulating your own brand in a way that is easy to grasp and actually is distinct.

When I think about brand, Derrick Daye, one of the preeminent thought leaders in branding for the last ten years or more comes to mind. You may be familiar with Derrick; in 2006 he launched a website called Branding Strategy Insider. Back in the day it was a blog about branding, and today, it still functions that way, but for many people, it’s a branding bible of sorts. Derrick and his team use real examples and case studies to teach the art and science of brand.

It was also the launching pad for Derrick and his company, The Blake Project. It’s where they launch research around branding, and dissect the best brands and what they’re doing. It’s a great resource for agencies and client side professionals to learn about cutting-edge thinking when it comes to branding.

My conversation with Derrick was all about what he’s learned about defining and building brands like the White House Press Corps, Coca-Cola, and the National Parks of New York Harbor, when they were trying to re-think the Statue of Liberty and how it could continue to be an icon for tourists and for all Americans in NYC and throughout the country.

We got into methodologies, branding clients, getting back into the C-Suite and much more. I think you’re going to find yourself taking notes.

Before Derrick launched The Blake Project, he spent about 20 years in advertising. He worked for Saatchi & Saatchi and several other agencies and then decided that he wanted to change his career a little bit and he wanted to go on the consulting side of the business.

Since then, Derrick has been working in many countries across the world, working with national brands. He has worked with everyone from He’s done some really interesting work.

Today he spends a lot of time helping agencies to figure out how to articulate their own brand and how they can work with clients to put together the strategy behind a client’s brand.



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Derrick’s work helping brands figure out their unique value in their own marketplaces
  • How brand consultancies (like The Blake Project) do strategic work that define the brand and then hand it off to brand agencies who take that strategic work and bring it to life
  • Why you’ll never be able to differentiate your agency with creative, people, process, methodology, global network
  • How to rely on your relationship skills to develop new business
  • Why your agency’s brand is all about your distinct POV and why you need to focus on the customers that love that POV, not the customers that are the easiest sale
  • The three things brands need to lead today
  • Why consultancies have better access to CEOs than agencies do and how agencies can get into the C-Suite conversation
  • Turning prospects into clients by showcasing creative that had a great ROI rather than touting awards
  • Figuring out what a brand is fighting against and making sure that fight aligns with their goals
  • Derrick’s Un-Conference which is built on the idea that people learn better in small groups and groups marketers up in teams for “competitive learning”

The Golden Nuggets:

“Every agency that’s worth anything has good creative. Everyone has great people. They all have a methodology. Those things aren’t going to create differentiation for your agency. ” - @DerrickDaye Click To Tweet “To build a strong brand, it takes the discipline to say no to everything that doesn’t align with that brand. That’s really hard.” - @DerrickDaye Click To Tweet “How does an agency change their perceived value to the C-Suite? Look for ways to be strategic. You’ve got to find a way to flex your strategic knowhow in the conversation.” - @DerrickDaye Click To Tweet “If agencies want to stay relevant, now is the time to look within and start thinking about their own brand.” - @DerrickDaye Click To Tweet “Who is your enemy? Who are you fighting? Is it the fight your customer wants to see you fighting? That’s where the real secret is.” - @DerrickDaye Click To Tweet


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