Branding Matters

Chip Walker - Activate Your Brand Purpose

May 21, 2021 Branding Badass Season 1 Episode 25
Branding Matters
Chip Walker - Activate Your Brand Purpose
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Chip Walker, the head of strategy and a partner at StrawberryFrog. Chip is recognized for his expertise in brand creation and re-invention, and has led the charge in transforming brands such as Goldman Sachs, Lexus, Bank of America, Jim Beam, and Heineken. He is a frequent speaker at some of the branding world’s major events, including the Cannes Lions Festival, the Advertising Research Foundation, Sustainable Brands and the Conference Board. And his writing and opinions have appeared widely in places like Adweek, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and CNBC.

I invited Chip to be a guest on my show to talk about his new book “Activate Brand Purpose” that he co-wrote with Scott Goodson.  I’m excited to have Chip here today to discuss what it means to “activate” purpose and why it’s so important to the success of a brand.

Joelly Goodson :

Hi, I'm Joelly, your Branding Badass, and welcome to my new podcast, Branding Matters. My guest today is chip Walker, the head of strategy and a partner at StrawberryFrog. chip is recognized for his expertise in brand creation and reinvention. And he has led the charge in transforming brands such as Goldman Sachs, Lexus, Bank of America, Jim bean, and Heineken, just to name a few. He's a frequent speaker at some of the branding world's major events, including the Cannes Lions festival and the advertising Research Foundation. And his writing and opinions have appeared widely in places like Adweek, The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, I invited chip to be my guest on my show to talk about his brand new book called activate brand purpose that he co wrote with Scott Goodson, who As you may or may not know happens to be my brother. I'm super excited to have chip here today to discuss what it means to activate purpose, and why it is so important, especially today to the success of a brand. Chip. Welcome to branding matters.

Chip Walker:

Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here. I've been looking forward to it. Oh, well,

Joelly Goodson :

I have to I just want to say, I know that you have been on the podcast circuit lately. Every time I turn around, I see another podcast and a lot of times you're there with Scott. So I feel very honored and privileged that I get you all to myself today, which is great. Well, thank you, especially for the fact that some people know that Scott happens to be my brother. And he was actually my first guest. I don't know if you know that when I didn't know that. Yeah, when I decided to launch I reached out to him and told him about it. And I said this what I'm thinking of doing. And he said that sounds great. And anyway, he was my first guest. So he felt he didn't want to take up the spotlight. Again, he wanted to give it all to you. So I'm really happy that you're here. And like I said, especially because I know you have been on the podcast circuit. So thank you for taking the time to come with me today.

Chip Walker:

What good I hope I have I have some of the answers down now that now that I've been doing so many podcasts, so fingers crossed, we will see right?

Joelly Goodson :

Well, you know, it's funny you say that. With that said, I hope I have my questions are a little bit different. I don't want you to be on autopilot. So I may throw in a few out of left field just to make sure you're on your toes and you're actually paying attention.

Chip Walker:

Okay, that's fair.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, you're here today to talk about your incredible book called activate brand purpose. I have it I read it. I think it's amazing. So tell me about brand purpose. I mean, can you give me your definition of what brand purpose is?

Chip Walker:

Yeah, yeah, that's pretty simple. I think I mean, it's a brand's higher order reason for existing, it's the brand's reason for being it's what motivates employees to get up and go to work every day. It's kind of the higher order difference that the company wants to make sort of in life and and probably also in the world.

Joelly Goodson :

Can you elaborate on that a little bit more, because I talk to people a lot about brand purpose, and they say the same thing. And then when they try to describe it, I don't think they really get it. So I wanted you to just dig it a little bit deeper, if you don't mind about when you say but what gets you up in the world? Can you give us an example of that? Sure,

Chip Walker:

sure. So Verizon is a good example is a client that we work with, sometimes. So, you know, they had been a traditional telecom company moved from the old landline into the mobile phone. And here in the USA, there were almost like a public utility, and they sort of existed to, you know, either give us telephone service, or maybe to help you communicate a little better, which is good and important. But um, you know, they were becoming a company that's moving into 5g and broadband. And we're starting to compete with the likes of Google and other major players in the world. One of our former clients, Hans vest, Berg came in and became the new CEO a couple of years ago. And he led an initiative to develop a higher purpose for the company, I don't think he thought they were thinking big enough. So their new purpose, and I may not get every word, right. But it's something to the effect of, we build the networks that move the world forward. So you can see a difference between getting up as somebody who climbs a telephone pole or works on a network to say, Oh, I'm building the networks that move the world forward. That's a very different proposition than saying, Okay, I'm helping give people telephone service, they're all doing the same thing. But their perspective on it is very different. And one is much more motivating than the other. So that's, that's kind of how purpose works.

Joelly Goodson :

I love to say no, yeah, absolutely. You referring your book to assignments and Skd talks about the why behind it. Right. And I think yes, is that sort of the gist of it is really getting to the why of you know, I think of a good example you like musk for example, right? I mean, when you talk about he you know, he is why wasn't to build electric cars. His why was to make the planet a better place. And right and how we did that was fast. So that's sort of the definition of purpose,

Chip Walker:

I guess. Yeah, that's Exactly right, right. I mean, you didn't know think that his purpose was around building a different kind of luxury car. But I think their purpose is something about advancing the planets move to a more sustainable future, or something like that. So it isn't really about cars. I mean, his streams are big, you know, the cars are one thing, but he thinks even bigger than that, which I think purpose can allow you to do, it can get you kind of out of the mundane nature of your product category, and get you thinking not only bigger than your current industry, but but you know, as we both been saying, like, like, how can we do something constructive for everybody, not just for our bottom line?

Joelly Goodson :

Mm hmm. Yeah, it's so topical right now. I mean, you hear people talking about all the time, you know, another thing you talked about in the book is movement thinking mindset. So how does that relate to purpose,

Chip Walker:

purpose can be a bit lofty, and a bit, sometimes hard for people to totally get it, especially if it sounds really inspiring, it may have a ring to it, but do you really know what to do with it. And so that that's a problem that Scott and I have encountered over and over again, from clients from the past couple of years, is that, you know, we've developed purpose, we read Simon cynics book, and we've asked why we exist. And so we have this neat statement. And as we've got it on a coffee mug and a T shirt, and it's in the about section of our website, but they come to us and say, but that was nine months ago, and we still don't really know what to do with it. That's where movement thinking comes in. So one of the ways we describe it is that purpose is so hard to activate, because you can't really join a purpose, but you can join a movement inspired by a purpose. So movement is in our in our view, the best way to go about reframing your purpose in a way that's easy for people to understand, and easy to activate. So movement thinking uses the principles of successful societal movements, like me to or black lives matter, or the women's equality movement or any of a number of successful movements. Traditionally, when we thought about a company's position or brand, you know, brand positioning used to start with kind of a benefit or unique selling proposition. Movement thinking usually starts with agreements, all movements start with agree that so there's a dissatisfaction that these movements sponsor and the people who participate in the movement agree is a problem, there's a change that we all want to see in the world a wrong that needs to be made, right. And there's sort of an enemy standing in the way of bringing about that change. And so the goal of the movement is to take a stand that makes that change possible. I'll give you an example. SunTrust bank, they had a purpose that was called lighting the way to financial well being when they came to us, which sounds great. Sounds like a good idea. But again, there was the problem, I think, with employees in particular, I'm okay, but what do I now do? Do I hold a light for people? Or do I did right? Yeah. So we kind of and this was right after the Great Recession, that we were talking with them, where the majority of Americans still had not recovered even two or three or four years after the the worst of the Great Recession. And we started to realize that there was a big problem for most Americans, everyone was feeling very, very financially uneasy and financially stressed. So one of the things that we did to sort of reframe their purpose and movement terms is that the dissatisfaction in the world was that, you know, it shouldn't be that most Americans have trouble putting together $400 in case of an emergency, which which, you know, was the case at the time. And so we sort of started this movement that was sort of against this rampant financial stress, and for financial confidence, can we be a company that enables every American to be financially competent? So that was the movement, we called it onwards and upwards, but all of a sudden, when you told employees, okay, yes, it's about lightened way to financial being but the way well being, but the way we're going to do it, is by doing all the things that help make people financially confident, well, all of a sudden, you start to say, Well, what do you do? Well, we need to educate people, we need products and services that don't make them feel afraid or insecure. But actually boosters have financial confidence, it starts to how you train people the way that you hire people. So that's just an example of reframing a purpose in movement terms having an A for and against, that are relevant to folks that both the employees and your audience can agree on. And it makes it just easier to execute on

Joelly Goodson :

I think that's a big thing. When you when you mentioned earlier about when employees go well, what does that mean? I think first you have to buy in from the employees, right? And make sure they understand what's going on, because they're your brand ambassadors, I guess you could say for lack of a better word, and they will you know, if they're inspired by it, then it's only gonna overflow into your customers, and then they're going to be inspired. Absolutely. How it has to start internally first. That makes sense. So you talk about a purpose economy and you mentioned about grievances and how that usually is something where brand how to activate a brand against grievances. And I mentioned purpose economy because again, I think today we're probably living in a huge purpose economy. I mean, I think around every corner, you're learning about a new purpose. Can you elaborate a bit more on what a purpose economy is?

Chip Walker:

Well, the way we think about it in the most macro terms is that basically Milton Friedman was wrong. So you may know Milton Friedman, the famous University of Chicago, I think economists who said, I think it was the 80s, he made the declaration that the sole purpose of the corporation was to maximize shareholder value. So basically, he's saying, look, you need to make a profit for your shareholders, shareholders. That is why businesses here, if you're not doing that, you are not doing your job. And I think what's happened is, in the intervening years, everyone bought into that for years. And that's the way that corporations made decisions was to, you know, have a higher stock price, that kind of thing. And I think there's been a realization that that is actually wrong, that that is not working the Business Roundtable, which I don't know if you've heard of, but it's a large association of I think about 180 CIO, CEOs of major corporations from around the world. I think it's currently chaired by Doug mcmillon, the CEO of Walmart. Anyway, they issued a proclamation I think a little over a year ago, basically saying what I just said that it's not about shareholder value, it's got to be about stakeholder value. It's about all of our constituencies, employees, communities, consumers, the environment, it's about all these things. It can't just be about stakeholders. And I think the reason that they've started to realize that is twofold. Number one, if all of your consumers are dead, because you've polluted the environment so bad, it's not good for your business, there are no consumers,

Joelly Goodson :

and there's no one spending money.

Chip Walker:

Right, exactly. I mean, if you don't pay any income tax as a corporation, and the roads are undriveable, well, then that's not going to work. Either your employees can't get to work, your trucks can't go anywhere. So it seems like common sense on the face of it, but it's taken a long time for businesses to come around. So that's one aspect of the purpose economy. I think the other one is just that there's been a growing realization, both among business leaders and among the general public, that our problems are so big, and some people view government as so inept, that business has got to play a role in business doesn't play a role that we're probably all sunk. And I think that pantin kind of reinforced This is at least in the United States. Now. I know you're in you're in Canada, right. So I think thanks for probably a little better there. But here that was really reinforced, because the response to the pandemic here initially was a bit small. And it took, you know, finally, you know, some companies to step in, and it's particularly the pharma companies to try to get to a solution. So I think a lot of people feel like, not only is it business, like obligated to do it, they have the ability to help and that they should, and that they share with you what we're going to say, Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

no, no, no, I was actually gonna say, you know, you said you were talking about the government. I tried to keep politics out of it. But I'll just say that I'm in Alberta right now. And while I heard from my brother the other night that he was out at a place and you guys were all out with no mass socializing. We are all in quarantine here still, and everything is shut down. So I think, yeah, you're in a much better position right now. We're not in a good place. Alberta, actually where I am, which is Calgary has the highest per capita rate right now of COVID. In North America. Yeah. So were you there? Yeah. Thank you. I mean, we're kind of going off topic. But I mean, you're you're in a much better place right now, especially as far as health goes anyway.

Chip Walker:

So it took a while. And as I said, I think if it wasn't for the vaccines that were developed so quickly, we would not be in a very good place here.

Joelly Goodson :

I know. Were you part of that dinner with him, by the way or my was? Okay. I got the Uber call. But that really fun night. It sounds like you guys had a great time. I mean, after being in quarantine for so long, it must have been so nice to get out and hug each other and

Chip Walker:

maybe drink a little wine. Maybe isn't that Oh,yeah. Oh, well,

Joelly Goodson :

that's great. But anyway, so brands, obviously have a lot more responsibility now. But you know, I've talked to a lot of people, especially on my podcast lately, and we talk a lot about brand and brand purpose. And there seems to be this greenwashing going on where there's a lot of brands out there and I don't want to call them imposters but they're saying with their brand purposes. But how do you know who's bullshitting and who is really putting their money where their mouth is? Because everybody seems to be saying the same thing?

Chip Walker:

Yeah, yeah. Well, we sort of refer to it a lot of people call it like purpose Washington, where you have sort of like a relative of greenwashing, where you say, some high minded goal, but do you really mean it? I mean, I think, you know, it's pretty clear. And we've done research that show that consumers feel like they have a pretty good bs meter and that it's pretty easy to know who's telling the truth and who's not. Because you look and see what they do. Does it match? And I think there are probably a couple of issues consumers sort of call companies on in terms of desert match. One is, is it connected to what the company does in some way. For example, I love this example. I always give it I probably should stop picking on them but about a year, year and a half ago. planters the peanut company came out with a product called nut trician, which was, I guess, a more nutritious nut product and they were advertising it. And they came out with a higher purpose. And it was all about helping women achieve pay equality, which you know is that's a good thing, who I mean, who would not want women to have equal pay? The only issue is like, like, What in the hell did that have to do with nuts? Why are they Why are they telling me that? Yeah, so that's when it's a head scratcher like that. And they finally after being criticized, they came out and they said it was because not paying women equally is nuts. But nobody really bought that. Yeah, I know. So that's it. So. Right. So having a connection, but it's it's surprisingly prevalent, how often people do that, you know, Pepsi got into bad trouble, because it did that ad with Kendall Jenner. And that was sort of implying that was about like race relations or something. And again, they've never talked about that before. It'd be different if it was Nike, you know, but they've never though, if it's a head scratcher, why are they doing this, the other one is just when it just seems like it's a call for attention. Or it's, you know, just just, you know, you're on this bandwagon hoping you know, in a desperate product, because you don't have anything else to talk about. And I think a good example of that, at least in my mind, was what Gillette did a couple of years ago when they were starting to be suddenly out of out of the blue about toxic masculinity. And I just think people had a hard time believing it and I think that backfired has been like this. And it did. It just felt like okay, here's a company that is desperate because they're getting their lunch eaten by Dollar Shave Club and others and so you know, desperate companies will say anything so I guess that must be what they're doing. You're right purpose. Washington. huge issue happens a lot more than they should.

Joelly Goodson :

I see that a lot. I have one for you. That's more recent. Have you seen the Oreo commercial that was all over a couple months ago, it was an Oreo campaign. And I find it a shame because I got sucked into it at first too, because it's it was actually about the it was a campaign basically celebrating lbgtq community. And it was an ad with a father and the daughter comes home with her girlfriend. And it's just, you know, it was like a film and it was beautiful. And it tugs at your heartstrings. And, you know, I have a sister and a son is part of that community. So I really, really connected with me. And then I started watching again, it's like, What does Oreo cookie who never talked about? That? All of a sudden now, where's that connection? And then I started reading more about and I thought, Oh, are they just trying to target my are they what they did? Was that really their purpose? So when I talk about their purpose, that's what I was getting at is their purpose to just get to me emotionally or their purpose bigger than that.

Chip Walker:

Yeah. Well, I mean, that that's a good example. And you know, listen, in some ways you I mean, you hate to criticize companies that I think are trying to do something good. But as people like you and me I think that advise companies I just think that they've got to keep in mind if there's not a clear connection considered a consumers can make consider it BS. Yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

definitely. This episode of branding matters is brought to you by gems for gems. gems for gems is a proactive charity focused on ending the cycle of domestic abuse. They do this by creating viable and sustainable path forward for survivors with a concentration on empowerment and economic recovery. gems for gems works hand in hand with the community to help survivors thrive. What can you do to help? Well, if you have any use jewelry lying around that you no longer wear, and let's be honest, we all have some of that you can donate it to their jewelry drive. If you have any spare time, and you want to find a way to give back, this is a great opportunity, and you can join their ambassador program. I personally am a part of this ambassador program, because I'm all about empowering women. And this is a great opportunity to do just that. And then finally, if you'd like to contribute financially, you can become a donor to their incredible Scholarship Program. Whichever way you decide to help, just know that you are making a huge difference and your contribution is meaningful and greatly appreciated. To learn more about gems for gems, you can visit their website at gems for gems comm You can also find them on Facebook, under gems, for gems, and on Instagram, under gems for gems Canada, and you can always reach out to me on any social media platform under branding badass. And now back to our show. So what sets purpose driven companies apart?

Chip Walker:

Well, I think that's the big thing is what we've been talking about is really activation and activation in a credible genuine way that seems to be the Holy Grail. And frankly, it was the reason that we wrote our book doing it not only activating it well, but doing it in a way that's visible and authentic. It's rarer than you then you might think we did a large scale study in the United States of consumers asking them which brands of 200 that we asked them about that they saw as being super purpose driven. And there were only a handful that really actually met the mark. So that's just more fodder. To say that activating it and activating it genuinely is the key,

Joelly Goodson :

what are some tools a brand can use to activate brand purpose,

Chip Walker:

the big one is probably what I talked about before, which is kind of movement thinking, reframing your purpose in movement terms and making it more actionable, sort of the way that we talked about with with SunTrust. I feel like that's the number one thing Smart Car is a good example, the campaign's called against dumb and it's been around for a while. So it's not a brand new example. But it's just usually one that's easy to get dissatisfaction that we focused on the smart car, you know, which which is small and environmentally friendly, and it's saves, it's cheaper, it's uses less gas, you know, we could have market as a smart car on, you know, efficiency, you know, save money, easier life with parking, but we just didn't think that that was going to be very emotionally motivating. So what we decided to focus on was the fact that a lot of the urbanites that we wanted to sell these cars to really felt that there was too much overconsumption and waste in the world that there were all these big, unnecessary SUVs around not needed giant pickup trucks that no one needs, especially in the city. And they're just kind of destroying the urban landscape. And the change we wanted to see in the world was really to kind of maybe help restore the urban landscape to a more kind of pristine state. So we sort of set up this enemy of like stupidly over consuming, like that's what this brand can't smart was going to be against it stupidly overconsuming, which we call to dumb, the standard they were going to take was for a more conscious consuming when it comes to automotive, which we deemed smart. So the campaign ended up being called against them. And it was so so so much more emotionally engaging with with the audience than if you'd said, okay, save money on fuel efficiency. So it's just another example of if you want your purpose to be actionable, reframe it in movement terms, and all of a sudden, you'll start to say, oh, wow, I can see what to do with it now.

Joelly Goodson :

And that's a brilliant campaign. I love and it's a great video, but you talk about in the book about the purpose gap? Can you elaborate on what that is?

Chip Walker:

Yeah, we sort of describe it as the distance over time and down through the organization between a purpose kind of being announced. And its continued sort of use and understanding at the kind of the bottom of the organization several months later. So what usually happens is, you know, usually a purpose is announced from the top. And there's all kinds of, you know, materials and meetings, and everyone's excited. And there's applause and maybe a global video, all these things. And the purpose gap is the gap between that enthusiasm and engagement, particularly at the top of organization. And what are people actually doing with it several months later, often 12 to 18 months later. And often what you'll see as the curve sort of lag, it goes, it's like up, and then it's either like slowly down or it goes way down over time. And so that's the kind of gap that we want to avoid between that initial enthusiasm, and and what happens later. So we find measuring these sorts of things within companies can help you sort of Ward against that gap.

Joelly Goodson :

So what are some techniques you can do to ward against the gap?

Chip Walker:

Yeah, there are all kinds. And there's some, I think there's some principles that are important. One is that a top down mandate alone, we found is just it's not going to work. You can't just come in, say, you're the CEO, or people in the C suite. And you've said, Okay, we have new purpose. Here it is, boom, go do it. That's an order. Not only do people often not know them what to do, but they kind of resented it, you know, then you end up having naysayers and people saying, really? Or is this just the idea to shore. So that's one important principle. The other one, though, is that it's got to be, we think a holistic approach. So we say it's got to be taught, it does have to be top down, because it has to come from the top, it's got to have the buy in of people at the bottom. And then we also say, middle out, so all the research seems to indicate that the secret ingredient to the fully activated purpose is, you know, its top and bottom engagement. But the glue between those two is middle management. And there's a really important study done, it was in Harvard Business Review of the most financially successful purpose driven companies. And what they found was that the the difference was that middle management was really, really engaged. And so they can kind of bridge that gap between people at the top people at the bottom. They're sort of the conduit. So those are two of the I think most important things to make sure you don't have a purpose gap.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, that's interesting. What are some strategies to get the buy in from the whole company? Like, Is there ever What about if you get, let's say, the buy in from the people at the top, and there are strategies that companies can use to get middle management in particular to buy in? Yeah, like you're saying that's most important. And then what would be the strategy to make sure that they're the ones if they're your focus?

Chip Walker:

I don't think it's super, super difficult. I think it's often just a matter of paying attention. As I said, too often it's the mandate of life. A busy senior leader saying okay, we hired purpose consultant, here's the purpose, middle management go figure this out, that's not going to work. I think what it takes is commitment from senior leadership across disciplines, CEO, CFO, chro, cmo who get their people on board with the ample of Verizon, we build the networks that move the world forward, they turned it into a movement called forward together. And it was, it's really inspiring to read about if you ever go, but senior management really did all kinds of stuff, from communications, to engagement initiatives to programs that got middle management, and the next two or three layers down really excited. And, you know, they spent the time spent them the resources and the money to, you know, spend, I think, really several months getting those folks engaged and doing things and programs that that made them understand the purpose and what to do with it, and kind of gave them training and materials to get their people on board. So I don't think it's like a giant mystery, how you get middle management involved is the things you would do to get them involved in on this anything. The problem is, is that often when it comes to purpose, people don't think that to do it, they think, you know, so often that announcing it is enough,

Joelly Goodson :

right? I see. And it's really about inspiring them. Right. But going back to what

Chip Walker:

you talked about initially galvanizing them, right, hopefully, the way you've developed the purpose that when they see it, they're like, okay, I can see that that's a really good idea.

Joelly Goodson :

That makes sense. Have you ever had a customer come to you? And how do I, I've got this idea. And I think we need to really activate our brand purpose, and how do I make sure that I get everybody excited about it? And because I think isn't there a way to sort of announce it to the company versus just sending an email and say, Okay, now we're doing this? I mean, I think it's a whole internal process.

Chip Walker:

Oh, yeah, absolutely. In fact, we do entire communication strategies. And it's often really tricky internally, because internal employee communications employees are notorious to ignore them,

Joelly Goodson :

especially nowadays, with what's going on, there's a new email every day, how do you do that in a way that is gonna break through the clutter? And make sure that they really are inspired? Yeah,

Chip Walker:

it's really hard. Yeah. I mean, you know, they're, they're obviously high impact channels, you can use like your all employee all hands, video, live address from your CEO, that's obviously but you can't do that all the time. And often, repetition is important. But I can give you a couple examples where there were big challenges. And we did a couple of different things. Walmart is a good example, where we were trying to seed an internal movement around sort of health and well being they have million and a half employees, many of whom are out on the store floor all the time. And you know, they don't check their company email all the time. And there were just limited ways to reach them, some of them didn't have access to a lot of digital tools, or that kind of thing. And so what we ended up doing was a lot of, we did a bunch of like qualitative focus groups with their their employees around the world and really thought hard about how to reach them. And one of the things that became clear was that video was much more effective than putting a poster up in the break room, sending them an email, and we didn't really have the option of even sending them a text. And so we ended up making really engaging videos, some of which were funny and humorous, and, and whatnot. And we ended up putting them on the contrary, a company intranet where people go to do things like check their schedule, or look at their pay stub, I mean, places people actually went through, right? That's found, we found it was massively effective. Oh, yeah. Other thing that we did with them was experimented with actually using low cost paid media to reach associates. So we geo fenced some of their stores. And I don't know if you might know about geo fencing, but you basically can send communications to the mobile phones around a very small geographic area. So just riding around their stores. And we knew that people who came in went to the store every day, the same mobile number that that was an employee, so we're able to actually send them communication on their phone, like these videos, and actually reach them that way, as well. So there are there are more and more innovative ways to reach employees these days than just like a newsletter or an email. Okay.

Joelly Goodson :

Yeah, that's where I was going with it. So thank you for clarifying. Those are great ideas advertising internally, right. I've been extremely well, thank you. I appreciate you elaborating on that. So how can brands avoid common missteps along their purpose journey,

Chip Walker:

asking why it's not enough. That was one of the secondary ideas we had for the title of our book was like asking why is not enough? Yeah. But well, we liked it. Our publisher wanted something I think that was a little bit more SEO friendly. So that's what's called expat brand purpose. But anyway, but that's an important one knowing that it's not enough. Sometimes the purpose is that I call it the wrong altitude. And by that, I mean, a company will come in and say, Our purpose is to always be better than our competitor or our purpose is to provide the greatest value every day to our customers. Should you be doing those things. Absolutely. But it is not your hire. purpose. I'm

Joelly Goodson :

so glad you said that because I get that all the time when I talk to clients.

Chip Walker:

Right, exactly. I think sometimes they get a little taken aback because they're they think that we're saying don't do that. And I'm not saying don't do that you absolutely should do right by your customers and hopefully be better than your competition, but higher purpose operates at a level above that.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, I love that. You just said that. Because that is Yeah, that's a great example. So who is your favorite purpose brand? And why?

Chip Walker:

You mentioned I think you mentioned Tesla. Oh, yeah,

Joelly Goodson :

yeah, no, definitely. I talked about Elon Musk. Right? So

Chip Walker:

yeah, cuz I worked in like a lot in luxury cars. And they disrupted the category several years ago, and transformed it. And it's funny because everybody working in luxury cars, when they first came out, we're really just waiting for them to fail, saying they just don't get it, this is gonna be funny. Wait till they fall on their face. Because they broke all the rules, I think what Tesla did is that they kind of changed the reason you want to buy a high end car, which is really hard to do before it was either about performance or status. You either bought like a BMW for performance, or a Mercedes for status. Those were big drivers in the category, being ecologically friendly, was really a different breed of car. That was things like a Prius. And in some ways antithetical to the whole luxury space. A lot of people who bought ecologically friendly cars wouldn't be seen in a BMW, right? Ilan musk gave Tesla performance It was a high performance car, but it made it eco friendly, which are two things that didn't never went together before. And it would never have occurred to the old car industry to try to put those things together because they were supposedly opposites. And in so doing, he made the whole thing a status symbol. So I don't know how he did it. But that's transformed the automobile market and sort of speeded its transformation towards sustainability in record time. Oh, and by the way, he became a multi billionaire.

Joelly Goodson :

In the process.

Chip Walker:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I just, it's just a remarkable of a remarkable thing. So that's one of the reasons it's one of if not my favorite kind of purpose oriented story.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, that's a good one. My 14 year old son loves Ilan Musk, too. And every time he sees this cars or anything about him, he's a big fan. So it's a good brand to look up to. Right. Right.

Chip Walker:

Not to mention SpaceX. Right. Yeah. different. Different thing. Awesome. Yeah, for sure.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, so before you go, cuz I know you have to rush off here. We talked earlier at the very beginning about how you are on the podcast circuit, you're probably repeated a lot of those questions over and over again. So what is one question that nobody has asked you that you can answer right now? Not to put you on the spot or anything? But has there been a question that no one has asked you that you wanted them to ask you?

Chip Walker:

I feel like I've been asked every question.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, I got. I'm gonna throw it out there right now, just because, okay. Okay. So what's it like working with Scott Goodson?

Chip Walker:

What's it like working with Scott? No, I kind of sometimes feel like Scott's like a brother. But he's like a brother, I'd like to hit over the head. And I'm guessing he would like to hit me over the head every like five minutes. Oh, yeah. I really, I adore working with Scott. He's a real lateral thinker. So he will come at problems and issues just from out of left field just from a way that nobody else would have thought of it, which I really enjoy. And which which I really like. So I think we complement each other. So from that aspect, I mean, as I said, He's a real lateral thinker. I'm usually the one who kind of is grounded and is more probably more strategic in the big picture strategy sense. And Scott will come at something particularly like creatively in a completely different way.

Joelly Goodson :

From my mom, have you met my mom? Yeah, no, no, she's the artists in the family. So he definitely gets his artistic creativity from her and then writing a book together. That must have been interesting journey.

Chip Walker:

Oh, yeah, it was it was we have very different writing styles. So trying to get that kind of in line, I tend to want the chapter to tell a story and make exact sense. And he's also wanting it to have some magic in there. And I think you need both right. So in that sense, I think we were actually pretty good writing partner. So we kind of developed a routine where Okay, I would outline it, he would take a pass through that I'd come back and take another pass through and before you know it, we had a chapter that made sense, at least I hope well,

Joelly Goodson :

you know what, I was just gonna say it obviously work because the book is great. So congratulations. And so speaking of which, if anyone is interested in getting the book and I highly recommend everybody gets the book. Where can they find it? Yeah,

Chip Walker:

I mean, the usual suspects I mean, amazon.com is obviously got it. You want to visit our publisher, you can buy it there. It's called Cogan, Kogan page comm, KOGA and PAG calm. If you want to see links to either of those, you can visit our books website, which is simple. It's just activate brand purpose one word.com. So any of those ways

Joelly Goodson :

if people want to connect with you, are you on social media? What's the best way for them to reach out to you

Chip Walker:

I absolutely am on My Twitter handle is at chip Walker NYC so it's chip Walker one words NYC it's my Twitter handle. I'm also you know, I guess as part of the over 40 crowd I still answer email. So easy way to get me if you want to it's just simple chip at strawberry frog one word calm.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay great and is your real name?

Chip Walker:

It is not my actual real name is Ernest Braxton Walker and I come from a long line of them. It's a family name, which is you know, it's funny because it says, like, I might be rather aristocratic, but I'm actually closer to being white trash.

Joelly Goodson :

Okay, well trip, Ernest. It's been such a pleasure talking to you. And I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule and the circuit to come on here and share this information with us. It's been great.

Chip Walker:

Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, I really appreciate it. Well, thank you again. And I look forward to meeting you next time in New York, which is hopefully going to be soon.

Chip Walker:

Absolutely. I look forward to it, too. All right, I care.

Joelly Goodson :

And there you have it. I really hope you enjoy the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. But most of all, I really hope you had some fun. This show is a work in progress. So please make sure to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to. And if you want to learn more about the branding badass, that's me. You can find me on social media under you know it, branding balance. Thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.