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BrandingNerds Of Business (episode transcriptions)

Ep.2 [transcription] “Brand positioning strategy: how to carve out market share and annoy your competitors”

By June 16, 2020November 20th, 2020No Comments


Darren Moffatt (00:01):

Hi there. It’s Darren Moffatt, your host. Thanks for joining me for this episode of the nerd of business podcast. As you might already know, our mission is to make entrepreneurs happier by solving the key challenges that all businesses must overcome. We’ll get to our guests and the problem solving bit in a minute. But I want to start today with a fun game. I’m about to play you some text that’s been placed in a wildly different context from that of its original source. Your challenge, should you accept it is to identify who actually said the words you’re about to hear

Speaker 2 (00:42):

We’re respected again. We’re no longer the laughingstock that gets taken advantage by every country, including by the way, our allies, who in many cases take a bigger advantage than our enemies. I will tell you that they take big advantage, but not so much anymore. We’re winning. We’re winning like never before. Washington Democrats keep on losing their minds. They hate the fact that we’re winning we’re winning big,we’re winning, winning, winning

Darren Moffatt (01:20):

Did you guess? Yes, it was the 45th president of the United States. Donald J. Trump, that speech grab was taken from a rally. He did on the 20th of February, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Now have a think about what just happened here. I took a short excerpt of a speech you’ve almost certainly never heard before I put it through a female robot to voice simulator, and then I set it to a lullaby and you probably still recognized it. That’s the power of brand positioning. Donald Trump’s political brand is so distinct that for good or ill, it’s instantly recognizable. Now, before you might get the wrong idea, we’re not about to discuss politics or ideology here, but when I began putting this episode together, I was looking for a brand with global recognition that I could use to illustrate the concept of brand positioning. Try as I might, I simply could not find a better example.

Darren Moffatt (02:19):

You might recall that to the media and a lot of his political opponents. It seemed completely crazy when he won the 2016 Republican nomination. But if you look at it from a branding perspective, begins to make a lot more sense. Trump’s team actually pulled some classic branding moves that large corporations have been using for years. First, they identified an uncontested brand position. Now I want you to visualize a vertical line crossed with a horizontal line in your mind’s eye. You should see four quadrants top left top, right bottom left bottom, right? Most politicians just like most retail products tend to cluster around the middle where the two lines intersect. They don’t take risks. They’re pretty safe and even boring. They’re trying to please the mass market Trump’s team saw that this left wide open spaces of uncontested brand position in almost every direction away from the center. Next they boldly state a claim on a big chunk of that open space. It wasn’t long before Trump had a whole quadrant of brand position to himself, a huge advantage in a crowded market of 22 candidates vying for attention straight away. He stood out and it soon became clear at his political rallies

Speaker 4 (03:43):

that because he’s brand positioning was so radically different, the same rules didn’t apply to him as they did to other candidates. In much the same way that luxury brands can charge a premium for their goods. Trump could say and do things that were unthinkable for any other politician. It drove his competitors mad, but for Trump’s supporters, it was all on brand. His words and actions were congruent with his brand positioning and it took him all the way to the white house.

Darren Moffatt (04:17):

It’s an example of brand positioning that literally changed the world. What if more entrepreneurs were able to harness some of this power for the good of their business, and if brand positioning really is so powerful, how can you use it to change your world for the better?


Darren Moffatt (04:54):

So the title of today’s episode and the problem we’re trying to solve is how do you use brand positioning to carve out market share and annoy the hell out of your competitors? We’ve got some great entrepreneur guests today, including the CEO of a publicly listed company. That’s reached a valuation of $1 billion. We’ll get to his story soon. But before we get started, he’s just a quick reminder that if you’re enjoying Nerds of Business, to please hit the subscribe button on your podcast player, this way you can get future episodes delivered to your device automatically every fortnight, it makes it easier for us to stay in touch. So you may have got a basic understanding of how brand positioning works from the Donald Trump example at the top of the episode, but there’s a lot more it, I spoke to Rachel Bevans from the healthy brand company. She’s one of our two branding experts for this series on branding,

Rachel Bevans (06:05):

From a technical perspective, it has those four key components, those key elements, which is the consumer insight and problem. It will have the value proposition and the benefit to the consumer, and it will have those key proof. So people will then take that. I mean, we’ll often develop that into a model, so it will have the other elements around it. So we’ll have it. We’ll also have your purpose and your vision and your values, and it will also have at the bottom, it will actually have your tone of voice, your personality behavior, and those key identity elements. So that brand model, and it’s, it’ll, it’ll all be summed up as a brand idea. So that brand idea is probably the clearest short form that people can use to then go and bring things to life. So across everything they do, whether that’s product or promotion or people or the environments in which it exists. So you use that to springboard those, all of your, um, your, your, for your four to seven P’s,

Darren Moffatt (07:06):

That’s nerdy your four to seven P’s?. I can do it again, but you’ll probably get sick of it. Um, do you want to explain the, the four to seven P’s? Yeah. This is where we’re nerding out on brand strategy here. Yeah.

Rachel Bevans (07:22):

Yeah. So the four P’s I essentially your market strategy. So it’s looking at your product, your promotion, your place and

Darren Moffatt (07:35):

price price. Thank you very much. I have read the text book.

Rachel Bevans (07:39):

Yeah. And the reason why it’s expanded to seven P’s that really takes into consideration more of the, uh, the, um, service brands. So you have people and process as part of that and physical evidence as part of that.

Darren Moffatt (07:54):

So why is this so important for business owners? What benefits or advantages can you obtain for your business with a superior brand positioning

Jon Michail (08:04):

You live and die in your positioning? That’s why, you know, the positioning as part of the brand is so critical. If you aim to be premium example as a product in your brand positioning, as opposed to, you know, um, budget, right. But then you’re presenting everything budget, good luck with that. It’s not going to work. Um, so your positioning, uh, you know, is all about elevating you. Okay. Uh, and you must get that right? So the positioning is everything. And the interesting thing is, you know, in reference to position that you got, when you’re working with professionals in his face, and you would know this, your letter weapon, people that know their stuff.

Darren Moffatt (08:52):

That’s Jon Michail from the image group, he’s second of our brand experts. And you’ll be hearing a lot more from him throughout the series. I’m a big believer in the power of mission statements, vision statements, and brand values to sharpen your brand position when you know exactly what you stand for, it’s easier to stand out from your competitors. And this was a key theme in the conversation with my next guest, Dr. Rob Newman is the CEO of publicly listed company. NEARMAP. NEARMAP are a global leader in mapping technology, and they’ve reached a market capitalization of $1 billion on the Australian stock exchange. Let’s hear what Rob’s got to say on this.

Rob Newman  (09:34):

Do you want me to start with the mission? Cause I always like to start there. Um, we changed the way people view the world so they can profoundly change the way they work. And, um, you know, so that mission, I think, is timeless because what it says is if we can help our customers, business customers, um, change the way they see the world, then, um, we can fundamentally change the way they work. So how do we do that today? Um, what we do is we have technology that allows us to capture, um, cities and around 600 cities globally. Um, and these cameras systems find planes and, uh, most people will kind of have an, a comparison, which is satellite view. Um, what we are, if you want to think of it as satellite view on steroids, uh, much more frequently updated, much higher quality. And that allows businesses to replace a physical site visit with a virtual site, visit using the map. Um, and you know, that’s a very high value to that customer. So again, by changing the way our customers view the world and their profoundly change, the way they work, they have much more, a much higher quality information, much more up to date, and it saves them time and money.

Darren Moffatt (10:42):

I love that straightaway that the mission is so clear. Uh, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that often the most successful businesses have super clarity around who they are, what they do, um, how they do it and so on. So I was really surprised to find how crowded this market is. Um, you know, because I think the perception of the public is that all online maps is Google maps, you know, and of course you can imagine that there’d be some others, but there are a lot of competitors in this space. So what’s your brand position and how did you arrive at that?

Rob Newman  (11:18):

It is you’re right. It’s a highly competitive market and highly fragmented and lots and lots of small players. Now let’s put Google aside. Google does mapping for two reasons. One is to sell you more ads or provide you more ads. And the other one is to drive the autonomous vehicle market, right? That’s not what the space where it went in space is serving business customers innovate. Um, and yes, there’s lots of small companies out there. The big difference is really that we provide a subscription service. Um, so everybody else sits out there. We’ll fly a plane, some imagery and deliver a discs three to six months later to their customer. It’s very much that old enterprise bespoke kind of model we’ve flipped that completely on that on its head. And our model is more analogous to Netflix. We generate the content ourselves and then deliver that through the cloud as a subscription service. So if you’re a business, you don’t have to wait for somebody to go find that survey or go find that data it’s already there. It’s already in the cloud. Um, that’s a very powerful proposition to business customers because literally they call us up and sign a subscription and immediately have access to all of North America or Australia funding.

Darren Moffatt (12:32):

How did you arrive at that? Cause that’s a very, very interesting story. I mean, you made the comparison to Netflix, the cloud’s changed, everything is faster. Internet speeds have made all this possible. Maybe give us a bit more detail on that process. How did you come to this model?

Rob Newman  (12:49):

Yeah. You know, and look, this is a great lesson for all early stage companies, I guess, which is, I always say you need to have the persistence to keep pushing forward your vision, but also the wisdom to know when to give up on that and move to something, pivot to something else. Right. And so it’s a weird schizophrenia for a startup CEO. That’s for sure. I look for us. It was one where we were very much a technology led company. Our founder steward Nixon had, uh, understood that if we, if he designed a new camera system and processing software and design those together, it could fundamentally change or profoundly change how efficiently we collected content from the sky. And, um, so that was really the starting point. But what we actually found is that even though it was intended as a virtual place to meet for consumers, most of our users and we were giving it away for free, most of our users were actually businesses.

Rob Newman  (13:41):

And you know, this is an important message is listen to your customers and understand how, where they’re seeing the value. And as we started to see the usage really go up significantly in Australia, we saw actually, you know, that usage is coming from businesses, continuing to come to our service every day. And that was really the pivot point. So we started as a digital company. We started as a, as a, as a subscription service. We started in the cloud. So we’ve always been there, but the key was to understand what value did we deliver. And once we saw that, that was for business and that verdict pivoted the company, we became a subscription service focused B to B.

Darren Moffatt (14:19):

And when did that happen? What year did you bring that model in?

Rob Newman  (14:22):

Yeah. So look, I’m in this by the way, just cause you need indications. Do you know how long it sometimes takes to work at your business model? Um, the original technical work done by Stuart Nixon was in 2007. Our first kind of commercial service that was put up was in 2009. And the actual transition to a, B to B business model was 2012. Right. Wow. Wow. You know, and so it was, it was not, um, you know, it was one of those ones where we kept trying different models and how would this work and looked at advertising models without all of these different structures. And, um, you know, eventually when you listen to your customer, the answer is kind of blindingly obvious.

Darren Moffatt (15:00):

Rob’s also got some great insights to share on how brand positioning or at least the execution of the strategy must sometimes differ for different markets. And to the point around the American expansion, the penetration into that market, I think you have about one to 2% penetration, is that right into the American market and highly fragmented. So what are the specific things that you’ve done to stand out from your competitors in that market?

Rob Newman  (15:30):

Yeah, so it’s interesting, you know, we have one to 2% of the North American opportunity, um, in many respects actually, um, we’re probably one of the top two or three providers in North America. So that tells you how fragmented that market is. Right? So the, you know, the, the, the kind of excitement of North America, and I know some companies focus on China as well, but let’s pick on North America. Um, you know, it’s a large market, it’s exciting market. It’s a market where if you win, you can win. If you win, they can win anywhere. You know, those kinds of, uh, uh, themes, right. Um, and the challenge and we made this mistake as well as we went over there and said, we’ve got the model working in Australia, we’ll just kind of go replicate it in North America

Darren Moffatt (16:11):


Rob Newman  (16:14):

you cannot replicate that. Australia has some natural advantages, right? It’s a smaller country. So therefore it’s easier to get the marketing message out there. Um, and whether we like it or not, North America is a more sophisticated market than our, than our own. Not more intelligent. It’s just because it’s a larger market is much more complexity. So even though you’re going after a very large market, what you actually have to do, and it’s kind of, again, a bit counter intuitive logic for a CEO is to say, actually, I’m going off to this huge market. Actually, what I need to do is focus, focus, focus, who is the one customer who I can win with and, um, and be the world’s best at for that one customer. Once I’ve got them, I’ll get two and I’ll get four and I’ll get eight. Then eventually I’m going to have market domination. So you have a big vision, but a real focus. I often use the phrase and it kind of surprises people that, um, when they’re going particularly in B to B marketing, but maybe most a B to C a, I ask entrepreneurs, tell me the color of the eyes of your first customer,

Rob Newman  (17:16):

right? And it’s because, unless you’ve actually gone and visited your first customer or visited those first customers, you don’t understand their business. You don’t understand their pain points. You don’t understand how their buying decision works.

Darren Moffatt (17:29):

Whilst Rob was super clear on what his brand stands for. Sometimes it’s just as important or effective to define your brand positioning by what you don’t stand for. Fred Shasta is the co-founder of They’re a $250 million internet business that has become a leader in comparison. And the way Fred tells, it articulating what finder won’t do, and won’t say, was a key step in setting their brand apart from competitors.

Fred Schebesta (18:00):

So another thing I’ve banned, um, in our brand is can’t say the word, find the right credit card, find the right one for you. And the reason for that, and this is actually one of our competitors, actual tagline, then that, that language doesn’t appear anywhere on the site. Not allowed to use that well, because what it’s saying is you’re wrong or find us, you know, or another one is another one. I, I, I,

Fred Schebesta (18:29):

banned is smarter. Here’s a smarter way to do things – what you’re telling me I’m stupid? Yeah. Another thing I refuse to do is make fun of the customer. It’s not a joke. These are not joking matters. This is people’s lives. And so we never used buffoons or, um, you know, clowns and jesters. They’re, they’re great tools. They work, you know, other companies do that, but that’s not something we stand for. We honor the customer and they are making serious decisions. We empathize their life just because you’re in that debt doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. And we’re okay about that. Come to Finder, let’s go and figure out a way what we’re going to do. It’s going to take some action.

Darren Moffatt (19:08):

So it’s very much a value or, or it’s about empowerment, more than using an archetype to run down and run down a negative and make a point it’s about empowering the consumer. And I think the word

Fred Schebesta (19:25):

you used before, I think is very important. I think that empowerment. So the fourth value of Finder there are five values of Finder. The fourth one is empower people. So that’s where I think that that comes from and it’s constantly coming out. Um, you know, we believe in teaching people to fish, not to fish. I think I just wanted to add one more, um, element the business model that we’re in is one of people making decisions and empowering themselves. And that’s, it’s an, a ethereal concept. Like it’s not a, I can’t point at it. I can’t hold it in my hand. And so the other thing I refuse and we banned is metaphors. The reason we ban metaphors is because it means that as a customer, you’re making me have to go and think more about your ads and, and, and why, why, why, why, why do that instead, what I encourage us to do is just, just tell it.

Fred Schebesta (20:24):

Yep. So the second value of Finder is being straight up, just be straight about it, you know, tell it, it’s okay to be, you know, we’re, we’re here to help you compare. Yeah. There’s credit cards here and mortgages, and they’re probably not the most fun things to do, but Hey, this shopping stuff, it just tell it straight. Yep. And then the customers that want to use that and find value and that they will, and the, that weren’t, they’d go, okay, that’s fine. But at least you just told me straight don’t let me sit there and think about some relationship to a gorilla or some like, just like, and where that came from. I was in the UK and I was sitting, um, so about January, 2007, no, it was about 2014. I was sitting in London and the TV was on and I was looking at the TV.

Fred Schebesta (21:11):

I don’t really watch TV. As I said, I don’t have a television. And as I looked at the TV and this ad came on and it just said, um, storm insurance, if you want storm insurance, go to storm, we’ve got your storm insurance right here, done. The ad was over. And I was like, wow, that is really helpful. You know, if I’m concerned about stolen insurance, it just told me what it is. And you mentioned the three times and I’m like, got it. I know what that is. I know what you’re selling. Thank you in, if I’m interested in the market, if I’m in the mode of get trying to get that job done, I can go and rent your service to get that job done. Thank you for being so polite with my time and just telling me straight. And I said, I said it was, I was like, that’s a really beautiful ad. Thank you. Actually, I was, I was

Darren Moffatt (22:00):

grateful, grateful. Wow. I think that’s such a great insight. Um, in terms of, you’re not using metaphors because that’s a friction point and one of my pet theories, I’ve got a lot of them. But I think irony is a waste in advertising. Um, and you know, it’s really hard to pull irony off well, because it’s all about context and particularly in a, in a society these days, it’s way more fragmented. It’s not a monoculture society. Irony doesn’t translate very well. So whenever I see irony or metaphors in marketing or advertising, I kind of quietly shake my head and go, that’s a lost opportunity. Um, so it’s actually thank you for sharing that with us. That’s, that’s a really great insight.

Fred Schebesta (22:41):

I agree with you. I think, I think your insights is probably better than mine, but I agree

Darren Moffatt (22:46):

You’re too generous. Um, so you can define your brand positioning by what you stand for and also by what you’re against, but sometimes you can be fortunate or smart enough to be early in a new category. If your brand can be among the first to scale in an emerging market, you can possibly end up owning the category. Now this is kind of like the Holy grail for brand marketers, and it’s pretty much what my next guest has achieved. Pic Picot is the founder of Pic’s peanut butter. They’re an international food brand that now export to 13 countries from their base in Nelson New Zealand. And they’ve got an annual turnover of more than $30 million pick who is actually legally blind has been running his business for over 10 years after becoming frustrated with large food, conglomerate, adding sugar and all kinds of other yucky stuff into their peanut butter.

Darren Moffatt (23:42):

So he decided to take things into his own hands and make some himself, and he started in the local markets and has gone all the way to global supermarkets. It’s really a fascinating story. And he’s now the category leader in what I would call real or authentic peanut butter. Let’s hear from pic. There’s a lot of people making homemade jams and stuff, but I would imagine there weren’t as many people making homemade peanut butter. Like, did you stand out more just simply because it was a little harder to do and they weren’t as many competitors in that environment?

Pic Picot (24:16):

Uh, I guess so I hadn’t really looked around it to who was making peanut butter. I mean, you could buy, you’d get, you could, they had grinders and some peanuts and stuff he could put peanuts in and grind them up and sort of make what appeared to be fresh, peanut butter, but it was ground up peanuts, no matter how old they were or whatever, but, um, no, well, there was nobody, there was nobody doing it at the time, uh, in New Zealand then. And it was a while before I came across any other natural peanut butters. Uh, it was only when we started to export and I realized how good as how well are stacked up against any others.

Darren Moffatt (24:52):

Yeah. And I had to look in the American market actually for a bit of research and that category is really growing. There’s quite a few competitors out there now.

Pic Picot (24:59):

Yeah. There’s a lot of natural peanut butters over there now. And I think there had been, you know, they had been, but it wasn’t until I started tasting them, you know, when I was started traveling and trying to sell stuff internationally. And so I started tasting these other natural peanut butters that I realized ours was a hell of a lot better than most other ones. In fact, you know, ours is the best in the world, you know, actually confident with that. So it’s pretty cool place to be.

Darren Moffatt (25:24):

It’s very cool. And it’s, it’s a massive achievement. Um, and you know, I think your journey here is so interesting to get to that point where you can build this business. Uh, I, I know that you started off, um, as the son of a grocer, you’ve had a leather goods company, you’ve been a restaurateur furniture, furniture, craftsmen, um, lots of other highlights. What key learnings did you take from, you know, some of those big adventures that made you such an intuitive marketer with Pic? Because I, I really think the way you do your marketing right from the start, I went back and looked at a copy of your website on, on the archive from 2010, right. From the start, the marketing has been excellent So there’s, you can still find our 2010 website? You can, there’s a thing called the way back machine. I’ll show that to the marketing department to show them what they shouldn’t be doing. Um, yeah. So like, it just struck me that you you’re such an intuitive marketer. Presumably you wrote, wrote the copy on the site originally. It’s just really so much personality comes out. So I’m really interested, like you must’ve taken learnings from each of those businesses before pigs and like what, what, what experiences really kind of led you to turn this into a, into a blockbuster? Well, I mean, I

Pic Picot (26:44):

say in the past the businesses I’ve had in the past, when I could see, and that sort of thing, I did pretty much everything myself. So, you know, I had the odd person working for me here and there, but I, I was kind of it and those businesses, which also, which was kind of cool. It meant I learned a lot of stuff, but it also choked the business because I couldn’t do everything. And, uh, and, and hope to, you know, have a business grow. And it’s only been since then with my eyesight that I’ve, I’ve had to cut back on things and I’ve been forced to delegate, and that’s been one of the neatest things. I think that’s why this has grown because I’ve been forced to delegate. We’ve got other people in doing stuff that, uh, and I usually do a lot better than I could, but so having those businesses and running them myself, um, I did learn a lot of the different aspects about, about running a business.

Pic Picot (27:41):

You know, I mean, when I started my own startup and started looking at stuff, it was getting popular. People said, Oh, you know that a Sanitarium is going to come along and make an offer you can’t refuse or something. Um, and you know, uh, and we were just going along then I can go to peanut butter, we started getting a bit of feedback and, and somebody said, Hey, look, you’re nudging you know, you’re nudging the big Sanitarium or Kraft or whoever it was, was selling lots of peanut butter at the time. Why are you the category leader is, and why you’re selling three times more than what they were selling. What do you think? I think they let their product get really crappy. I think they just started concentrating on price. You know, let’s make it all, let’s get a, we can get this done cheaper in China.

Pic Picot (28:25):

And, uh, and, and my head started, there were following, you know, international trends where, you know, there’s sugar and in all the peanut butter so they put sugar in it. And, um, when I started, there was, there had been a family company down in Christchurch that had been making peanut butter for the, you know, the home brand, making it under contract for a few brands in New Zealand. And I rang this guy and I said, look, I’m thinking of making peanut butter. He said, well, good luck to mate. You won’t sell any, because all that, all those supermarkets are interested in all in what they’re interested in price. You know, you have my luck by chance and we proved them wrong. You know, because I think, I mean, as a, as a lover of peanut butter, myself always been something, you know, you vaguely, if people say to you, what’s your favorite food and, uh, and you say peanut butter, you know, that’s kids food.

Pic Picot (29:25):

No we’re talking about, you know, Oh, you know, and so when I, when we started selling, I’d go into a fancy deli delis and stuff. And I said, peanut butter, Oh no, our customers drizzle olive oil on their toast. You know, this sort of nonsense, you know, that it was a, which it sort of, and I think people were reluctant to say they liked it because it’s vaguely protein and fat. And, um, and, but it was Mac and it was cheap, you know, it was sort of, and it was sort of a kids food, I think, you know, and I thought when I started, like, you know, you go for a meal and you get a platter, you know, Plowman’s platter. And you got the, you know, the, the olives and the bits of fancy bits of meat and a bit of hommous and stuff on it. I thought when we’ve got peanut butter appearing on these platters we’ll know we’ve made it because, you know, it’s been, and I think we have, have, you know, rebuilt it as a food that people can be proud to eat. And it’s so healthy.

Darren Moffatt (30:30):

There’s so much wisdom in what pic just said for all entrepreneurs. But the thing that really struck me was how he had a vision for his peanut butter as a gourmet condiment for platters and delicatessens. Now I’m not in the food industry, but that really strikes me as an utterly unique brand position for a peanut butter. And in my humble view, it’s probably a big reason why Pics has become such a beloved brand around the world. The other aspect that’s so striking about Pic’s peanut butter and indeed all top brands is what’s called brand alignment. I’ll let Rachel Bevans from the healthy brand company, explain how this works and why it’s important.

Rachel Bevans (31:10):

Yeah. It’s, um, brand alignment is essentially making sure everything within your business does align, and that may sound pretty straightforward, but it actually really happens. So, and I think it’s really important to think about from a, uh, an entrepreneur and startup perspective in that when they’re looking at then the scale up phase in particular, because what generally happens is that you are one or two to maybe a, you know, a small team of people. You’re all pretty much got the same values. That’s why you’re attracted to each other. You’ve got the same drive. You know, that’s what you’re, you’re motivated. This is your purpose. You know, you’re actually motivated to develop this product and give it to the people because you think there’s really great value in it. So you’ve a very small team and you’re all pretty much on the same page. Um, even then that’s, again, why it’s really important for you to have a brand positioning at the very, at the core, because then you can check everything that you do against that.

Rachel Bevans (32:09):

So it sets your criteria. So it’s a measurement mechanism. Yeah. The control mechanism control it is a control mechanism, but it’s to say, if you stand for being friendly, open, approachable then is, are our people, you know, we, we need to put on two more service people, are they being friendly, open and approachable? You know, if we need to go and do some promotions, you know, is that, or our website is that friendly, open and approachable. And if you have to go and you go through like a hundred pages to go and find something, or your experience is, um, way, way too many clicks, well, then that’s not friendly, open and approachable. So it’s actually then using that to critique everything that you’re doing and to do in order. So if you do that, then you actually are aligned as you start growing. What happens to a business when the brand alignment gets out of whack.

Rachel Bevans (33:00):

Yeah. And I think of it a little bit, like you’re making, you’re making a promise. Your brand is essentially a promise that you’re making to customers. And so if you don’t keep your promises to a friend, what happens, they, you don’t trust them. You don’t trust them. Exactly. And you don’t have a friend any longer. So, you know, they might, they go, hang on a minute, you promise this. And today I got that, but yesterday I got that and who knows what I’m going to get tomorrow, you know? And so, um, if you’re not aligned and you’re not delivering consistent experiences across everything that you do to your customers and to your employees as well, and to all of your key stakeholders. So whether it’s your suppliers and partners or your shareholders or whoever it is, if there’s not consistency across that, if you don’t have alignment, there’s not consistency. Then people don’t know whether to trust you or not.

Darren Moffatt (33:49):

But sometimes even the biggest brands in the world can get this wrong. And according to John Michael, from the image group, there’s a lesson in this for small business too.

Jon Michail (33:58):

No, it’s like it’s marketing departments can get it wrong, right? Yeah. Do you remember Coca Cola was the same when I tried to change the taste. I mean, that’s just crazy stuff. These are icons. You don’t touch them. Yup. Crazy that’s right. There’s nothing to improve on. It’s an icon. So say, you know, people stuff up as well. You know, I think sometimes in marketing or people get bored, Hey, I want to come up with something new. No, you idiot. Don’t touch it. It works in branding. I think, you know, especially with small businesses, big companies do this a lot better. Of course, because now you’re not laying out how powerful it is. Small companies, obviously they haven’t got the resources. They might have two, three different people doing different little bits and pieces. I website here, you know, logo here, um, communications here, if there is communications and the, and they’re not aligned, so there’s a lot of incongruency. Yes. So the signature is not the same.

Darren Moffatt (35:04):

It’s also important for the founder and senior leadership team of any company to live and breathe the brand positioning, which brings us to a regular segment. We call nerd superpower, listen to what Fred Schebesta from you nominated his top superpower. I think you’ll find it a highly revealing insight into how brand strategy intersects with company culture and why he’s been able to build a business with $250 million. This brings us to a segment that we have called super a lot of production time went into that. And I’m like, maybe feel like, Ooh, really enjoyed it. Thank you. So you’re getting onto this great topic about individual or personal superpowers. What’s your super power. How would you describe that?

Fred Schebesta (35:57):

I have an ability to see the big picture and look at the overall vision and describe to everyone, a North star of where are we going and making a Genesis of synthesis of everything that’s going on and combine it all together and look at the chess board, sorry, piece of trivia. I used to be a great tennis player, but I also would play championship test chess, which is, Oh, really very unusual thing, but potentially yes, actually that is extremely nerdy, um, lower game of chess. Um, but I think, you know, the superpower there, I think is the simplicity of the message and the vision of where are we going and reminding people of that. I think that’s something which zooming up and looking down and pointing and guiding, where are we in? Where are we going? I feel I have a good ability to do that. I think that’s would be again, part of my superpower. So it’s not only seeing that, but then you need to go and communicate that. And if I do that with an empathetic way and then go and make that fun and engaging.

Darren Moffatt (37:12):

So the problem we set out to solve in this episode was how to use brand positioning, to carve out market share and annoy the hell out of your competitors. We’ve heard from our brand experts, Rachel Bevans at the healthy brand company and John Michael at the image group on the technical process for establishing brand position and why that’s so important. And we’ve also heard some amazing, true stories from our entrepreneur guests, Rob Newman at Nearmap. Fred Schebesta at and Pic Picot from Pic’s peanut butter. I hope the wisdom and insights they’ve so generously shared today have given you ideas to crack the code for growth in your own business for me. However, there are a few powerful conclusions we can all draw from this episode. Firstly, you can’t have an effective brand position if you don’t know what you stand for. It all starts with your mission, your vision and the values of your company.

Darren Moffatt (38:11):

Secondly, that what you won’t do and what you won’t say is a great way to sharpen the differences with your competitors and carve out some serious market share. And thirdly, that the brand position needs to be congruent across everything you do. Brand alignment is the key to executing your brand position so that it permeates across all comms, the staff, the products, the systems, and everything else that forms the DNA of your company. We’re coming to the end. But before we go, it’s time for our regular segment nerd under pressure where a guest has to share one killer hack or tip, they recommend for you. Our listeners let’s find out who is our Nerd Under pressure today. Now, Rob, we come to one of our recurring segments called

Darren Moffatt (39:07):

So this is, uh, where we put you are you’re the, um, the mapping nerd. So to speak for this, for the context of this episode. Um, and you know, you’ve obviously got a very, very, um, interesting and wide background in business and, and, um, and, and startup world what’s one killer hack. You could recommend entrepreneurs for brand positioning. I’m going to give you some thinking time, your time starts now, okay.

Rob Newman  (39:41):

Put your language in the mind of it puts your language in the language of the customer. So if you’re solving a problem in the insurance industry and the insurance industry is saying actually our biggest issue is that, um, we can’t do, um, the, uh, insurance claims fast enough then put your technology and your brand positioning in their language, right? And in the early days, that’s easier. Cause you can just focusing on one type of customer, you’ve got one type of product, you know, how do you do that? As the company evolves, you’ve got to evolve that to a more broader brand positioning. Now on of course, as you just heard, it’s very much around providing certainty for a very broad range of businesses, but in the early days, it’s very much put your language in the language of the customer so that the heck would be, think of who your customers are and then talk in their language about who you are. Um, and so that will help them understand.

Darren Moffatt (40:32):

Fantastic. So thanks for listening to this episode of the Nerds of Business podcast. If you’ve enjoyed it, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify, Google, wherever you’re listening to this podcast that helps us climb up the ranks and makes us more visible to other entrepreneurs and businesses on those podcasting platforms. If you’ve got a question or some feedback we’d love to hear from you, you can engage with us at, that’s I want to thank all of our guests and the team Webbuzz for helping me put this show together and a special shout out to for the Donald Trump transcript at the top of the episode, we’ll be back in two weeks with our next episode, which is on how to launch a brand with no money, get heaps of attention and look like a complete superstar. Until then I’m your host, Darren Moffatt. And I look forward to nerding out with you next time. Bye for now.

Darren Moffatt

Darren Moffatt

Darren Moffatt is an award-winning entrepreneur & Director of Strategy & Content at growth marketing agency, Webbuzz. An experienced digital strategist, he is an in-demand public speaker on the topic of digital disruption and online marketing, and regularly features in the Australian media.

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