Episode 136:

Branding has always been a cornerstone of my own agency. We’ve spent a ton of time and effort building brands for clients. We have, like all of you, created what we think of as a proprietary process around brand, and it’s a topic that I have a great passion around.

Many of you are either too polite to ask or have point-blank asked me, “Drew, what is the deal with you at Disney.” Brand is part of why I love them so much. One of the aspects of Disney that I really admire and connect to the most is that I think they’re just about as good as it gets in terms of understanding their brand, building their brand, and evolving their brand over time.

One of the guys in the agency space who I think is really brilliant at branding is an Iowa based agency owner named Nick Westergaard. His new book, Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World, just came out and it is a brilliant blueprint for how to create a memorable, meaningful brand in today’s chaotic time and space.

Nick and I talked about are how building a brand has changed in this digital crazy, crowded, distracted time, and what are some of the elements that we as agencies can really spotlight and offer as a huge value to our clients. How do we use brand as an agency offering to stay sticky with our clients rather than a one and done project?

Nick is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. As Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses and Fortune 500 companies to President Obama’s Jobs Council. In addition to his new book, Nick is also the author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small.

Nick is a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences and corporate events throughout the world. He teaches at the University of Iowa where he sits on the Advisory Council of the Marketing Institute at the Tippie College of Business and the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also a mentor at the Iowa Startup Accelerator.



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Working with brands in a distracted, digital age
  • How the world changed our views about how we should be looking at branding
  • Why simplicity in branding is more critical than ever
  • How agencies can help their clients understand what storytelling really is and how to help them construct better brand stories
  • Why “Story” is a buzzword and how we can rescue it
  • Why the main character in the story shouldn’t be the brand and why it should be the client’s end user
  • Why making sure employees understand the brand is so important for your agency culture and the work that they do for clients
  • The role agencies play in building brands and moving the brand forward
  • How to provide real value to clients in this era of distraction and rapid change
  • The opportunities agency owners are missing out on during the brand discovery process
  • Why a brand is everything a company does – and why that doesn’t have to be overwhelming
  • Why it’s important for you to plant your flag for your brand
  • How Nick’s book can help agencies work together on their own brand
  • The value of getting outside perspective on your own agency

The Golden Nuggets:

“We often think that our agency is the main character of our story but it really the client needs to be the hero and we build the story around that.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “Employees are your most important brand ambassadors.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “Treating your best customers well – treating them differently – is something that’s hard to do. When it’s done well, you stand out.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “If they say, ‘no, no – we just need a logo’ they might not be the right client for you.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “Clients who understand the value that your outside perspective brings in terms of their brand – those clients are golden.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “I love quoting you, Drew. You said this on my podcast. ‘A brand is not a checklist. A brand is a flag you plant in the ground.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “Brand is everything we do, day in and day out. It sounds scary, but it’s about knowing who we are and what we’re always striving towards.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “Teaching and helping are the crux of what I’m trying to do in all my work.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet “Ask questions, and then ask questions behind those questions. And then more with the questions. That’s how you help clients (and your own agency) develop a brand.” – @NickWestergaard Click To Tweet


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