Connecting Brand Strategy to Business Strategy with Jeff Swystun


July 1, 2019

jeff swystun on brand

“A brand story should be built on a good narrative.” Jeff Swystun has built his career helping brands tell their stories. His career alone is storied with time at DDB and Interbrand. He’s also author fo the new book Why Marketing Works. We talked about why branding, marketing, and stories work this week on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Jeff Swystun

Jeff Swystun is a consulting CMO working with leading brands and brands that want to lead. Prior, Jeff was Chief Communications Officer at DDB Worldwide and Chief Marketing Officer at Interbrand. A prolific speaker and writer, Jeff has appeared at over 100 conferences in over 25 countries.

He is the author of The Brand Glossary; The Brand Marketers Report; Best Global Brands; Best Canadian Brands; and Best Chinese Brands, and the new book Why Marketing Works. Over 100 publications have featured Jeff including The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, Fast Company, Rolling Stone, and Managing Intellectual Property. He is a marketing expert for CNBC, USA Today, Toronto Star, and BNN.

Episode Highlights

“The tighter the brief, the better the result.” Measuring branding and marketing efforts is a challenge. And, all too often, it’s a challenge saved for the end of the process. Jeff reminded us that goals and metrics should be baked into every good creative brief.

Why do we need another marketing book? Jeff posed this very question as he considered writing a book. However, a trip to the local farmer’s market seeing vendors literally taking their wares to market served as a catalyst. This led Jeff to unearth classic marketing stories including the origins of Gillette and Nabisco, which he uses to illustrate the seven timeless principles in his new book Why Marketing Works.

“Brand strategy brings business strategy to life.” Jeff shared this quote which was a staple during Jeff’s time at Interbrand. Another great quote Jeff reminded me of …

“Our business is furious plagiarism,” Mark Twain once said. In the spirit of my fellow Midwesterner, I’m going to plagiarize this quote.

What brand has made Jeff smile recently? “I love what LaCoste has done lately.” Jeff shared the story of how the iconic brand first broke into the American market and how they’re redefining their brand in the modern era by building awareness for endangered crocodiles.

To learn more, go to swystuncommunications.com.

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!


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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