Whether you want to deal with it or not, you’re going to have to deal with branding.
To be effective as a leader you have to develop an inspiring personal brand.
And then, to lead a successful organization, you have to develop a powerful brand that your customers will love in the long run.
So if you’re ready to learn ‘How Leaders Can Build A Remarkable Brand’ then you’re going to enjoy listening to episode #142 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
That’s because we interview brand strategist Luiza Campos, and during the show you’ll learn:
- The necessity of creating a compelling story that your customers will love
- Why you should invest in defining your true purpose
- How to define your values and more importantly, why you should practice them
- Why branding will drive your bottom line and more
So if you want to learn the secrets of great brands like Starbucks, Pepsi, GE and more, then listen on!
After over 25 years of experience in growing and strengthening brands from various industries and sizes, in 2010, Luiza founded marca strategy, a brand studio focused in helping organizations build powerful brands.
Her strategic and tactical experience in branding helps organizations not only be different but be meaningful to their audiences.
Luiza is also the host and producer of the podcast A Branded World, where she interviews renowned experts and brands, providing insights, inspiration and advice on how to build a remarkable brand.
You can get in touch with Luiza at https://marcastrategy.com
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Click Here To Read The Show Transcript
Gordon Sheppard: As a leader, are you aware of the importance of branding? How profitable it can actually be for you and your entire organization? Well if you want to learn the secrets of branding success for companies like Starbucks, Apple, GE, Airbnb, and a whole lot more, then listen to today’s episode on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Because today’s episode is an interview with branding strategist, Luiza Campos.
Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for practical tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.
Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. It’s great to have you here. It’s great because you’ve been coming to the podcast to pick up another leadership skill, another tip, another strategy. Something that you can take into your next meeting to make it significantly better. Because you understand that when you make one meeting better, it has an incremental impact on you, your team, the entire organization and that can flow through all the way to the high level that you want to serve your customers and your community at. It is really great to have you here.
And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now there you’re going to find some terrific options to improve your leadership skills and learn how to run outstanding meetings. Everything from great one on one coaching, online or in person, or they have half day workshops and full day workshops now for you and your team to really get a spark or a jumpstart into making your meetings significantly better. And of course there’s all the leadership skill sets that are thrown in there and online options as well. And you can learn all about that by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.
And if you haven’t done it yet, please take a moment to hit the subscribe button when you’re listening to this episode so that you don’t miss an episode in the future. And you can go back and explore all of the practical and wonderful episodes in the past that have interviews, inspiration and great tips that you can use to make your next meeting better and grow as a leader. And speaking of growth and profitability, today’s episode is an absolute blockbuster. That’s because today you’re going to learn how leaders can build a remarkable brand. And fortunately we have a guest, her name is Luiza Campos.
And Luiza, Well, she comes by her branding expertise quite honestly, she works with major brands like Pepsi and GE. She has over 25 years of experience. And in 2010 she founded Marca Strategy. It is a brand studio focused on helping organizations to build powerful brands. And Luiza is also the host and producer of a wonderful podcast called A Branded World. And you can get that on any of your major podcast apps and I’ll make sure to leave a link to it in the show notes as well.
And now it’s time to get out your pen and paper and make sure you’ve got a lot of paper. Because Luiza is going to take us through why it’s so important to find your purpose, to bring your values to life, to live them, to help you and your organization be successful through realizing an outstanding brand experience. And with that in mind, I’m not going to hold you back any longer. Here’s the great interview with Luiza.
Luiza, welcome to the show.
Luiza Campos: Thank you. It’s great to be here.
Gordon Sheppard: Well, I am just super thrilled. I know sort of in this podcast space, you have a really strong reputation. In the branding world you have an even stronger reputation. Just pulling things off of your site around big brands like Pepsi and the ones that you’re handling along your way, the 20 years of experience that you’ve got in there. I know you started your own company. I’m excited to hear about that. Like back in 2010 and I want to hear how that’s been going as well. But before we keep on going here for a second, if people don’t know you, what do you like to tell them? Sort of at a cocktail party or that kind of thing?
Luiza Campos: Oh, at a cocktail party. Well, I don’t know. And thank you so much for those kind words. I am a brand strategist at heart. It is something that I’ve always loved. In fact, even when I was looking at where to go university and what program to take, I didn’t know what to call it, but I was looking for something that will give me a really holistic perspective of, how do you build an organization? So not just about the business aspects of it or the marketing and sales aspects of it, but I wanted to learn everything. How you create a personality, that brand, that iconic brand that people really feel an emotion and attachment to. And it has to do with a lot more than just sales or business tactics and strategies. So I think I would just say that. That I’m a brand strategist and I love building and strengthening iconic brands.
Gordon Sheppard: I can feel that with you. It’s funny, there are words that I pick up when I think about you and the words are the purpose, values, reputation, meaning, that is really soaked into everything that you’re doing. And today on the show what we want to really be able to do is hear those things in both your tone and the information that you bring forward, and really help leaders to understand how they can build a remarkable brand. So for the folks, when you come into the leadership team contact, in your first moments and you want to convey the most important reasons that you should do this, what’s kind of the first thing that you would say?
Luiza Campos: Well, I think every brand or every organization, regardless if you are a for-profit or a non-profit or the of the organization or the industry you’re in, if you sell to end consumers, or if you sell to other businesses, if you’re a B2B or a B2C, it doesn’t really matter. Your need to communicate in a compelling and relevant way, that will drive the action that you desire. So will attract the right audiences, the right consumers. That need is there in any business, as I said, of any size and industry. And the best way to do that is by creating a brand. So something that is more than just the sum of the services or products that you have.
And that’s the best way to do it because that’s the way for you to not just have transactions with your potential audience, but to have a relationship, to have that loyal customer, to have that customer that will spread the message, that will refer you to others. And you don’t get that. You don’t get to differentiate yourself or to create that relationship with a potential audience. Unless you mean more to them than just the sum of the products-
Gordon Sheppard: Well, and let me just jump right in there and say, I’m a leader. I know that my brand needs help and I’ve come to you Luiza to say, what are sort of the first one, two, three things that I need to focus on to put what you’re talking about into action?
Luiza Campos: Great question. And the first thing you need to do is to find your purpose. That’s the absolute first thing you need to do. And it sounds easier than what it actually is. And sometimes we can name it mission, or vision, or purpose, or your why statement. Those are all the same in my perspective. And you need to find what that purpose is.
Now, a lot of organizations, as I said, or most of them would have a purpose, but if you look at them, they are full of jargon. They are very business like in terms of it’s the way you talk if you’re in a board room. A lot of the times they focus on what you do, not the reason you do it. And it’s more business focused in terms of, it’s more about periodization itself and what you’re trying to achieve for the organization.
Gordon Sheppard: I’ll just say, I know I get brought in to facilitate and help build strategic plans. And I literally say to people upfront now, if you’re looking for the guy to put the commas and the mission statement, don’t call me. I just refuse to do that kind of thing because I love where you’re going because it sounds like you’re actually able to tell people, get on to what they need to be dealing with.
Luiza Campos: Absolutely. So it’s… your purpose has to be really aspirational, really big. And it’s never about you. So when we shift the focus from what do you want for your organization? To, why does your organization exist? What are you hoping that the legacy of this organization, that the difference or impact that you can have in your community, in your roles, depending on what size of the company, what is that hope, what you are trying to achieve? Other than financial gain. Other than having a profit? Because that’s a given. That’s a given. But what is it that your organization can do for the community, for those who you serve? So that’s what your purpose needs to focus on.
Gordon Sheppard: Well, and in your experience, because you’re in there dealing with the senior folks, what’s blocking them from this first step? What’s holding them back so that the leaders that are listening to this can maybe learn from you. Typically, I mean, when you’re in dealing with people and you said, of course, it’s not an easy thing to do. What’s holding them back?
Luiza Campos: And that’s a really interesting question, Gordon, because I have seen a bit of a shift, particularly in the past five years or so. And I think some of the barriers is first, most business leaders don’t come from a branding background or a marketing background for that matter. So for them, this kind of language, or the idea of not just focusing on business goals or strategies or approaches seems very foreign. And it almost seems counterintuitive. For my business to be successful, I need to focus on the business. I need the purpose to be about the success of the business itself. That your business exists to solve a problem, your business exists because you need to engage others. So your purpose needs to focus on those people, not the company itself.
So it’s a bit of not being used to that and it just feels really awkward for a lot of people who don’t have that background. And I would also say the second possible hesitation that is the main thing that has been changing in the past five years as I mentioned before is a lot of organizations didn’t feel the need before, but now there is a very strong shift, both in terms of what consumers want. They’ve realized of course that they are voting with their wallet, and they have a lot of options. So if they have a lot of options they want to know and they will want to pick someone that they share values with. That is more meaningful to them versus another one.
Gordon Sheppard: And we are seeing this trend, of course, all over social media. And in fact, if you’re not following from some purpose-driven place, you can get sunk in social media really, really quickly. So I’m hearing for the leaders that are listening right now, one, they need to really understand their why, their purpose, their vision, whatever they want to call it, and know that it’s bigger than them. It’s about the people that they serve. It’s about that legacy message that they need to carry forward. So I hear purpose. What the next step you would take a leader through to kind of start to get at really developing an outstanding brand?
Luiza Campos: Absolutely. The next purpose is you need to define your values. And most organizations, again have a set of values and they usually show up in a bullet form in their websites and annual reports. But it’s nice to have a set of values. It’s vital to have a set of values, but they are meaningless unless you are living by those values. Unless your decisions, particularly as leaders. So the leader has to embody the organization’s purpose and values. Everything they do say, the way they act, and how they make decisions have to be based on those values and aligned with those values.
So, the values are sort of the guard rails that keep you within the right path so you can achieve that purpose. That’s what the values are there.
Gordon Sheppard: I’m so glad that you’re putting against some terrific emphasis on this as well. I can tell you for the work that I do in terms of helping leaders lead great meetings, I’ll say, if you’ve got the word respect in your values, it doesn’t need to just stay in your strategic plan up on the wall. At your next meeting, if you’re having trouble with respect amongst your team, bring that in. Say it out loud at the beginning of the meeting. Say, “This is one of our core values.” Have the meeting. And if you didn’t have respect in the meeting, you’re not living it right away. And it brings those values to life immediately in a very, very practical manner. And I love what you are saying about, if they don’t embody it then what’s the point?
Luiza Campos: Exactly. And particularly so everyone in the organization needs to embody those values, but it’s even more important for leaders because of course they are a figure of influence and power, so they really need to lead by experience or by how they act.
Gordon Sheppard: But come on, my email inbox is full. I’ve got to get home and pick up the kids. This branding stuff can wait until later. Can’t it?
Luiza Campos: For organizations that want to be successful and that want to be around in the long term, this can’t wait. This is not a nice to have. This is not a feel good type of exercise. This is a business tool. And I can say that because most successful brands and the ones that I’ve had the honor to work with like GE, and Pepsi, and Chrysler, and so forth, they invest a lot of time and resources on this. And they wouldn’t be doing this if it doesn’t have a direct impact in the bottom line. So we’re not doing this just because we want to be nice. We are doing this because it works.
And it is in my perspective, of course I’m biased, but it is in my perspective, one of the most effective business tools. Because if you have clarity of purpose and values, it’s so much easier to make any decisions to choose the right path to go after and filter the right people on your team, the right audiences, the audiences that are in there and will be much more profitable for you rather than other audiences that are just interested in transactions. So it really has very significant and practical benefits the organization.
Gordon Sheppard: And I love where you’re going with this, and I just so support what you’re talking about, why leaders need to substantiate that. And I’ll pick out one word from what you just said. Do you want to be a transaction type of business or do you want to build value where the price isn’t even really kind of almost disgust? I know that this is really, really critical. If you’re in a race to the bottom type of business, which is a very difficult one to be in and there are certain industries that do that. If you don’t want to be in that kind of position where you’re getting ground down on price all the time. Investing in this type of branding that you’re talking about is the way to pull up the value that you’ll have for the people that are buying from you.
Luiza Campos: Absolutely. And there’s a reason why a lot of people say, “Why does Starbucks charge so much for their coffees? How can they get away with it?” Well, you’re not just buying a coffee, we don’t buy just things, right? We buy lifestyles. We buy things that kind of add or that we think are aligned with how we want to be perceived as individuals. And this is more clear in consumer end products like the Starbucks example. So if you have a brand that reflects that, that people feel that attachment, that they feel is a reflection or extension of who they are, price is not an issue. I mean, there’s tons of examples like that with cars for instance. The more expensive ones, or Apple, right? Why do we spend so much money and-
Gordon Sheppard: Why do we? Why do I spend so much on Apple? And I don’t even hesitate. I can’t believe. I’ve got kids now and they’re coming up through Apple products as well and I’m thinking, “You’re a teenager, you can’t afford that.” But they’re like, “Oh, I want to get a…” Whatever it is. And these numbers in my head at 52 years of age don’t make any sense but I shell out because I just know for me it’s the way it’s going to go and I feel good about it and I’m really proud of it.
Luiza Campos: Exactly. Exactly. And that applies to any industry. It literally does.
Gordon Sheppard: The piece I want to pick up on now is, you talked about purpose and values. Is there sort of one other major driver or anything else that you need to mention in that early stages of helping a leader to really appreciate what you want to be able to bring to them?
Luiza Campos: Yeah. So the next step, and you sort of actually mentioned that already, is how you bring those values to life. Because values can be interpreted in different ways. And for instance, you mentioned if you have respect as a value in your organization, how does that look like in your day to day? How are you going to interact as a team, behave as an individual, and make decisions as a group that are based on your values? In other words, the way you behave, interact with each other and make decisions together is your culture. So your values help you define that culture. How you interpret those values, how you show up, how those values show up within your organization, that’s what your culture is.
So when you mention the example of the meeting, okay, respect is one of our values. It’s really useful to have those values. They’re all your values and how you as an organization interpret them. So for instance, the value of service, Air Canada might have that value as well as WestJet, but the way they express that or the way they show and live that value may be very different. Because it is unique to their own culture, right? Which is also how they want to be perceived.
Gordon Sheppard: And the airline example is a great one. And I think we could feel people punching their fists right through the headphones here right now as they think about just what would be so wonderful for the airline that pulls that off. And it’s funny, I was on an Alaska airlines flight recently. And they just had a little bit more leg room. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that. And you can see that they’re living by not cramming in that extra row of seats in their planes. I’d be excited to go back on their flight again because I thought it had such a good experience in that way.
I really want to pull this back to take a moment here. And just without naming names and you can make up a first name or something like that, you’re in the C-suite, you’re in working with the teams, that kind of thing. Is there someone who was able to take these pieces that you’ve mentioned and put them into action and realize value from it, and can you tell us a little bit about that kind of case history?
Luiza Campos: Yeah, so that a great question because you’re absolutely right. You can create a brand, you can define and clearly articulate your purpose, your values, and how you’re going to live by those, but if you don’t actually implement that, then it’s a tool that you’re not using. So the implementation of it, the making, the use of those tools is really, really key. And there’s several really amazing examples of organizations that have done so. I have some of those examples on my podcast of people who I’ve interviewed from both for-profit and non-profit examples.
And Airbnb for instance, is an amazing example of that. And my last podcast show is also about McDonald’s and how McDonald’s also lives by those brand. And they are so careful. Both of these brands. Every brand that you can think of. A major brand being some of the examples we already mentioned, Starbucks, Apple, GE, McDonald’s, Airbnb. All of those brands, they are extremely careful not only in making sure that they’ve crafted the right purpose and values, but in executing them by living by those values. To the point that this is something that they live and breathe. This is something that they will delay hiring someone for a critical position if they don’t feel they are in alignment with the values.
Gordon Sheppard: And I’m so glad you’re mentioning some of those great brands. And another episode on the Meeting Leadership Podcast, we have Dan Cockerell, 26 years at Disney. And in that episode he talked about empowering workers at Disney. And one of the examples that he gave was, if you’re running the rollercoaster and you hear a sound that’s wrong and you think for a moment that safety is in jeopardy, safety is one of their core, like top three values. You shut the ride down. Now this is a really difficult thing to do. They’re putting it 50 million people a year through the Disney parks and you shut a ride down. It’s a big cost factor.
But he says one of the things that they do is because they carry that value, those workers are trained to not hesitate in that moment because safety is number one, number two value. Because they know that if that’s not there, they lose the people all down the road. So I’m so glad. And I have to stop there also and say, what’s the title of your podcast and how do people get to it to get some of the good stuff that you’ve been bringing to the air as well?
Luiza Campos: Yeah, absolutely. So the podcast is called A Branded World, and it’s a reference to the fact that you’re going to have a brand whether you want it or not. Everybody does. Just like everybody has a reputation, right?
Gordon Sheppard: Right.
Luiza Campos: So, the entire world is branded. So that’s the reference on the name. But the idea is, are you going to take the time to manage that brand so it is as close as possible to what you would like it to be? And the Disney example, I mean Disney is one of an amazing brand obviously. And it’s such a great example and they do such a good job. And the safety example that you just brought about Disney, it’s exactly what you need to do. So they are choosing the longterm success of the brand versus this short term benefit. So making that decision of shutting down the ride may seem like not a good idea for that moment, for that short term. But longterm what they are avoiding in terms of any potential risk is what really helps in the success of the organization.
Gordon Sheppard: And I love where you’re going with that and it makes so much sense. And also hearing the fact that you’re talking about, you’ve worked with small non-profits so they can do it. I mean, I guess I can do it today when I decide, what shirt to put on and how I want the world to see me. Right on up to the big brands that you’re talking about. This is just outstanding information and I’m going to say it again for experts like yourself that we have on, I really, beyond the information, I appreciate the conviction that you bring to what you’re saying. You can hear that it’s baked in. You can hear that when you’re in the room with people that so much of, again, beyond your words is coming through because you really have lived and understand the value of what you’re saying.
And I’m just going to just get into our last moment here in the podcast because I know we could go on and on. And it really gets down to the one basic question I like to ask every guest that comes on. And here it is. What inspires you?
Luiza Campos: I was pondering on that question. And I think there’s just so many things that inspire me, but I think leaders that really are building a business for the right reasons, and make the decisions that sometimes are really difficult. Because living your values is easy when everything is going right, but when it means that making a decision based on your values is going to take longer, it’s going to cost you more, and it will have a really high price, but it is the right thing to do, that really inspires me. And those are the leaders that I really look up to, and the brands that I really feel an attachment to.
Gordon Sheppard: And again, if you can name a name, great. And if you can’t and if you need to make up a name, but take us to a real story, one of those leaders that you’re thinking about that comes to mind when you convey this.
Luiza Campos: Well, one of the, I guess, most dramatic examples of this that I can think of. Because if I imagine myself in that situation, it will be really, really scary to make that decision. Is again, I’ll make reference to Airbnb. Airbnb at that time, they weren’t as big as they were now. They are about 30 staff. They had some success, but they were not that big. And they were asked by the general attorney, I think that’s [inaudible] of New York to send to them all of the data information, all the information about their hosts and their guests. And they denied that. They decided that they were not going to do that because they felt that that was not the right thing to do for their hosts and their guests to just submit all of their personal information.
And the office of the general attorney of New York called and said, “Do you understand what you’re doing here? Like nobody, nobody, says no to this.” And they fought it. They went for it and they fought it as a little company of 30 people because it was a decision based on their values. So this literally meant that the company could just be shut down the next day. But yeah, they made the decision to go and live their value, and here we are today.
Gordon Sheppard: An Airbnb, right? A massive success story in its own need to point out a moment in time that I’m sure we could pull up 100 in that very same thing where folks live their values. I can tell you, any leader that’s listened to this episode and got a chance to learn from you and the wisdom that you’ve brought, and the steps, and the practicality is going to be well on their way having spent their time here to even higher profitability. Not only for themselves but for the organizations that they lead. I’m really grateful that you’ve been on the show.
And if people need to get in touch with you because they want to learn more, figure out what you do and this kind of thing, what’s the best way to do that?
Luiza Campos: There’s two places that I would direct them to. One is of course my website, which is called Marcus Strategy. And Marca is spelled M-A-R-C-A. And the other one is the podcast itself. So it’s called again, A Branded World, and you can get it anywhere you get your podcasts from. Which have a lot of examples. And there’s also some solo episodes that I do and I go into a little bit more of an explanation of some of these topics. So those would be the two places that I would suggest people to go to.
Gordon Sheppard: Highly recommended A Branded World. I can tell you the information there is wonderful. I’ve touched on some of the episodes that you mentioned today. Terrific information, terrific interviews. I’m just again, thank you so much for being on the show.
Luiza Campos: Thank you for having me. This has been a lot of fun. And I really, really enjoy your podcast too. Thank you for what you’re doing in your podcast.
Gordon Sheppard: I appreciate it. And it’s just again, this great opportunity. For a second I have to say, the chance to bring on folks like yourself, the leadership capacity, mind shift, change and the need is so high for getting experts like yourself out doing more of what you do. Getting people like myself out doing more of what we do, the need is just unlimited. So I’m just again so thankful to be amongst folks that are out there day in, day out doing it. So again, thank you so much for being on the show.
Luiza Campos: Oh, Gordon, thank you. It’s been a real pleasure to be part of this. Thank you for having me and inviting me to be part of it.
Gordon Sheppard: Wasn’t that an insightful interview. I mean branding is not a nice to have. It is a necessity. And if you want longterm success for yourself, for your organization, for your community, whoever it is that you can influence to really improve their brand, live their values and do that in the long run, that is the way to be successful. And just in case you missed it, I’ll make sure that all the links that were mentioned during the interview are contained in the show notes for this episode and I really want to strongly recommend that you check out Luiza’s podcast. It’s called A Branded World. And because Luiza talks so passionately about finding your purpose and values and living it, I want to help you figure out a way to actually implement some of those things once you figure them out. And you can do that by going to episode eight on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
It’s called How Your Strategic Plan Can Help You Run Effective Meetings. And it’s a great way to remind you about how to kind of, why are those things in every time you get together with your team. And you can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/8. And there’s another episode on the Meeting Leadership Podcast that I think you’ll find useful as well. It’s called Customer Outcomes: Why Leaders Must Make Every Business Meeting Count. And you can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipin.com/126.
And I also want to let you know that the sponsor for this episode is the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now there you’re going to find some terrific options for developing your leadership skills and helping you learn how to run outstanding meetings. And those are real building block things that you can take forward to improve your organization overall and ultimately lead through to serving your customers and your community at the highest possible level. And you can learn all about that by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.
And as always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you next time on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies that help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you even more great content. We’ll see you next time. Right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
Links From This Episode
- Luiza Campos – https://marcastrategy.com/
- A Branded World Podcast https://marcastrategy.com/abrandedworldpodcast/
- MLP 008: How Your Strategic Plan Can Help You Run Effective Meetings https://meetingleadershipinc.com/8
- MLP 126: Customer Outcomes: Why Leaders Must Make Every Business Meeting Count https://meetingleadershipinc.com/126
- Meeting Leadership Academy – https//meetingleadershipinc.com/academy
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