M. Johnson and T. Misiaszek

Apr 20, 2023

Branding That Means Business

How to Build Enduring Bonds Between Brands, Consumers & Markets

PublicAffairs 2022

Today I talked to Matt Johnson about his book (co-authored with Tessa Misiaszek) Branding That Means Business: How to Build Enduring Bonds Between Brands, Consumers & Markets (PublicAffairs, 2022)

Too often companies look down the road, trying to future-proof their business when it fact they should be clueing-in on the fundamentals of human nature to stay aligned with the eternal verities of their consumers. So argues Matt Johnson, pointing out for instance our desire to belong (leveraged by Airbnb) or longing for happiness (leveraged by Disney, among others). This episode covers a lot of ground. It races from companies trying to authentically co-create their brands with their community of consumers, to whether there is such a thing as a down-to-earth luxury brand (there is, e.g. Supreme), to how Hallmark got caught up in today’s polarized politics. Perhaps my favorite question to ask: is there a brand out there trying to associate itself with an emotion like anger, fear or disgust? (You’ll have to listen to this episode to learn Matt’s surprising answer!)

Matt Johnson is a speaker, researcher and writer specializing in the application of psychology and neuroscience to marketing. He holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Princeton University. Besides running the neuromarketing firm Pop Neuro, Matt contributes to Psychology Today, Forbes, and the BBC and teaches at both Hult International School of Business and Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). His latest two books are Blah Blah Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo and Emotionomics 2.0: The Emotional Dynamics Underlying Key Business Goals.

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Dan Hill

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit this site.

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