Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on April 15, 2019

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Taming the Brand Experience Beast with Darren Coleman

darren coleman on brand

“Building a brand is everyone’s job and it’s challenging. It can feel like moving a mammoth.” As the Founder and Managing Consultant at Wavelength Marketing, Darren Coleman helps brands throughout the world like Johnson & Johnson and Pepsi build standout brand experiences. We discussed how to tame this beast and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Darren Coleman

Darren Coleman has over 20 years brand marketing experience spanning Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Japan. He counts Johnson & Johnson, BUPA, Maybank, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Ooredoo and PepsiCo are amongst the brands he has helped. Darren is frequently invited to deliver keynote talks at international conferences, moderate panel discussions and roundtables, sit on expert panel boards and comment on brand-related issues in national and international media.

He holds an MA in marketing (University of Nottingham) and PhD in B2B services brand marketing (University of Birmingham, UK. He’s the Founder and Managing Consultant at Wavelength Marketing. Wavelength specialises in helping services brands retain relevance through experiences they build. Darren has published Building Brand Experiences: A Practical Guide to Retaining Brand Relevance, with Kogan Page for global distribution and his book will be translated into Korean in 2020.

Episode Highlights

Brand experience vs. customer experience. Some of my favorite episodes of the On Brand podcast have explored the definitions we use as brand builders. Darren kicked off the show by noting that we use these two terms — brand experience and customer experience — interchangeably when they’re actually two very different things.

“Customer experience is what it says. It’s what the customer experiences.” Brand experience is about your context, your brand, and how you bring it to life.

“Brand building, for the most part, is a slow play.” Darren pointed out that many today are looking for quick results, even with branding. “An ROI perspective is problematic for brands.”

Who are some of Darren’s favorite examples? Virgin Atlantic (“Their CMO is passionate about the brand”) and Singapore Airlines.

Building brand experience is everyone’s job. And HR doesn’t always know that. “Getting everyone on board is challenging. It can feel like moving a mammoth.”

What brand has made Darren smile recently? Virgin Trains! Darren recently had a bad travel experience that they managed to recover. This too is part of developing a compelling brand experience.

To learn more, connect with Darren on LinkedIn and check out the Wavelength Marketing website.

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 new 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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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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