Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on April 23, 2018

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Better Brand Experience Through Brand Education with Justin Wartell

justin wartell on brand

“Experience is the residue brands leave with people after the product’s gone.” Justin Wartell of Monigle knows a thing or two about brand experience. In working with brands as diverse as FedEx, Quiznos, Mass General, and the Denver Broncos, this brand builder knows that it all comes down to answering the big questions like “Why do we do that?” We discussed brand education, experience, and more on this on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Justin Wartell

With more than 10 years building hard-working brands, Justin Wartell is the “Why do we do that?” person—asking questions that encourage clients to think differently about how brands are built and managed. Justin’s expertise is in insights, analytics, strategy and experience, and he’s done extensive work around the world in mapping experience journeys. He spends most of his time helping clients’ brands to work harder while leading key practice areas at Monigle.

Justin’s experience is deep in health care but goes beyond; brands he’s helped build include Northwell Health, UCHealth, the Denver Broncos, Adventist Health, FedEx, Partners HealthCare, Sherwin Williams, Massachusetts General Hospital, One Main Financial, The New England Journal of Medicine, Quiznos, and Tenet Healthcare. Prior to Monigle, Justin led Interbrand’s retail and consumer branding business, the second-largest office in Interbrand’s global network.

Episode Highlights

The brand sophistication spectrum. When working with new clients, Justin starts by testing out the answers to some critical questions. (1) Do these organizations use the ‘b-word’? (2) Do we have a clearly defined understanding of brand? (3) Is there clarity across the organization?

Brand experience is vast. How do you get your arms around it? Once again, it comes down to definition and shared understanding. “We have to have a shared definition. It’s the residue brands leave with people after the product’s gone. You can buy detergent at Whole Foods, Walmart, and Target but the experience is different for each.”

The role of brand education. Branding is hard. And the work doesn’t stop once you launch a new initiative. That’s why you have to consider brand education. Brands have to consider why this is necessary and provide people with avenues for sharing and connecting with the brand in their work.

How do you brand the Denver Broncos? Echoing what the Minnesota Vikings’ Steve LaCroix said when he was on the On Brand podcast, Justin said you have to make the brand real for all of the fans who never set foot in the stadium. “How can you propel the energy around the brand? Really, the Broncos brand brings people together — it’s that community-first mindset.”

What brand has made Justin smile recently? As a busy brand builder who spends a lot of time on planes and in airports, Justin is always looking for special brands to take home to his family. He shared a story about a remarkable interaction with a Lush Cosmetics employee at the airport in London. Lush — if you’re listening, we’d love to have someone on the On Brand podcast!

To learn more, go to monigle.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community … Tyler Adams gave us a shout on Twitter for our recent episode with branding legend Denise Lee Yohn. Thanks for listening!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my new book Brand Now. Discover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Pre-order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!



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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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