What’s really on the minds of branding bigwigs?
We rounded up four anonymous industry leaders to give us their unflinchingly honest thoughts.
BY JEFF BEER AND CALE WEISSMAN
1. WHICH COMPANIES 2. WHICH BRANDS ARE UNDERRATED?
GET BRANDING RIGHT?
aged to create
advertising at all.
It’s just been
through the qual-
ity of their food
and the simplic-
ity of their brand.
It’s a direct contrast to, say,
is doing, which
is trying to be
everybody. As a
fast-food company, that’s
impossible. In-N-Out is just who
they are, and
Converse. It used to be 100% a sports brand, but it
has become synonymous with music, fashion,
and street style around the world. They really
found the groove to what that brand is all about.
It’s just one of the coolest brands around, even
though that company was once on its deathbed.
Amazon is absolutely crushing
it. Because they are risk tolerant—
the team over there seems
unafraid to try things. They’ve had
more than their share of things
that haven’t worked, but the
successes are big and bold, and
the customer is always first.
Apple, at its best, and Airbnb.
The way they market is the future.
But it’s more about products
that are amazing and full of
wonder. Marketing can make me
feel that more, but it can’t fix a
Oreo and Taco Bell. They have very
cheeky, authentic people working
those Twitter and Instagram
accounts. I like when brands feel
like actual humans I want to
hang with—where the tweet
hasn’t gone through three [tiers]
of approval. Another one is
Oprah and Weight Watchers. It’s
personal, authentic: “I struggle
with my weight and this is what
I do. I’m putting my money
where my mouth is.” That’s not a
spokesperson, it’s a real persona
we know and love. It’s no longer
just a celebrity. It’s Oprah saying, “I
struggle with it, so I bought 10% of
the company and this is how I roll.”
Prominent leader of companies that
are known for making a positive
difference in the world
Marketing boss for a household-name business
Chief creative officer at an
agency behind a slew of prominent
THE O THER CCO
Head of creative at another top