Choosing Your Customer with Jonathan Byrnes


October 4, 2021

jonathan byrnes on brand

“In the old days, branding was a very broad thing. Today it’s picking your spot.” Jonathan Byrnes knows a thing or two about building a profitable brand for the long haul. He’s a Senior Lecturer at MIT, founding partner of Profit Isle, and the author of two books and numerous HBR articles. He’s also my guest this week on the On Brand podcast. Enjoy!

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Jonathan Byrnes

Jonathan Byrnes is founding partner and chairman of Profit Isle, a highly successful MIT spin-off SaaS software company that helps organizations increase profits by 10–30 percent using its profitability analytics and management process. A widely followed thought leader on profitable growth and innovative customer-supplier relationships, Byrnes is a frequent speaker and writer who has advised over 100 companies and institutions. He earned a doctorate from Harvard and has been a Senior Lecturer at MIT for 30 years. In addition to his popular HBS column, “The Bottom Line,” he is the author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, an Inc. Best Book for Business Owners and Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive.

Episode Highlights

Branding today … “All you had to do was maximize revenue and minimize cost. In the old days, branding was a very broad thing. Today it’s picking your spot.”

First things first. Throughout our conversation, Jonathan stressed the importance of choosing your spot. “Look where you’re actually making money,” he notes. Unless, of course, your competition is Amazon. “If you’re in a space with Amazon you’re doomed.”

According to Jonathan, one of the best things you can do is … “Add your CFO into the branding mix.” This can provide a critical and profitable perspective.

What brand has made Jonathan smile recently? Irony alert! “This is going to sound funny but Amazon. They perfectly meet my needs.”

To learn more about Jonathan, check out his new book Choose Your Customer on his website or (where else?) on Amazon!

As We Wrap …

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 book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. 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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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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