In this week’s episode of The CEO Warrior Podcast, Mike Agugliaro interviews Thom Johnson, who has been a marketer for businesses for more than thirty years. During the podcast, Mike and Thom discuss using media to effectively communicate your marketing message.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What are the big problems you see in marketing?
  • Can experts really save people time and money?
  • What types of messages should be utilized in good media strategy today?
  • How do you show trust in your brand?
  • What is the difference between brand, marketing, and direct response?
  • Does brand and brand messaging change? Why, and how often?
  • How does someone evaluate his or her brand?
  • How does having a story around a brand empower it?
  • Talk about the difference between a brand and a logo.
  • How do brands evaluate effectiveness versus its competitors?
  • How do I keep my brand in the face of everyone who should be seeing it?
  • How do you use focus groups to evaluate brands and marketing?


Key Lessons Learned:

Good Communication

  • A lot is driven by anecdotal rather than strategic thinking about message delivery.
  • A good communication platform incorporates two approaches:

1) Brand Messaging

  • Identify a unique benefit or comparative advantage in your category that resonates with consumers and that you can deliver on.
  • Develop a message in an interesting way.
  • Find the ways to communicate that to consumers as a promise.
  • When consumers check your promise and find that it’s true, they trust you.
  • Trust is the cornerstone of any great brand.

2) Retail Messaging

  • There is a parade of consumers who are buying today.
  • The key is, ‘How do I capture the consumer who is buying today?’ This is usually built around incentives.
  • There is a difference between having a ‘reason’ to buy and an ‘incentive’ to buy. This is the difference between branding your product and doing retail messaging around it.


  • Stay true to your heritage and the unique benefit of the comparative advantage that makes you stand out against the competitive influencers in your category.
  • Even though brands evolve and take on new characteristics and elements, it typically shouldn’t be a shifting thing.
  • What are the things you deliver to a consumer?
  • If consumers check out your promise, and it’s not true, then you have destroyed the opportunity to build a life-long relationship.
  • Hang on to the heritage and drive the thing that drives the thing that makes you stand out in a competitive field.
  • As a business owner, your brand is the most valuable thing you own.

Evaluating Your Brand

  • Be conscious of what the competitive field looks like.
  • The essence of a great brand is defining what it is and what you deliver on.
  • It has to resonate with consumers. If not, then you have lost the opportunity to engage with them, even if it makes them distinctly different.
  • What is motivating the consumer to transact in these categories?
  • Is your brand a ‘fad,’ or is it sustainable product?

Stories Empower Brands

  • A story is something that engages a consumer on an intellectual and emotional level.


  • Logos capture the essence of the brand that people can relate to, and becomes the shortened version of the brand and story.
  • A brand story is something the consumer can purchase in the logo, and is a way to connect to the brand.

Brand Stewards

  • This is the cornerstone of great brands. It has to be earned every day.
  • The brand manager is there to protect the brand and the way its formulated and delivered, as well as way the consumer and trade partner perceive it.
  • Be one thing to the people you want to do repeat business with, and not all things to all people.
  • Don’t dilute your brand.

Brand Evaluation Versus Competitors

  • The way to evaluate is via recurring income.
  • What percentage of transactions consumers have in the category do you control? This is your brand power.
  • One of the metrics is how many category providers does it take to achieve 70% share of the category volume.

Action Steps

  • Understand how consumers are transacting in your business, as this will define a lot of activity you should be looking at.
  • Sync your message to how the transactional process is occurring.

Focus Groups

  • There are two approaches when doing research:
    1) Quantitative approach (numeric)
    2) Qualitative approach (emotional)


The 5 Buying Styles

1. Penny Pinchers

  • These are driven solely by price.
  • The strategy is to present pricing at the margins you are most comfortable delivering.
  • If they say no, move on, as you won’t match their strategy of buying at the lowest possible cost.

2. Conscientious Consumers

  • These buyers are penny pinchers with brains, as they can be moved up incrementally on the buying scale if you can demonstrate enough benefit.
  • They will self-identify by asking what they will get for the extra money.

3. The Buyers of the Best

  • They don’t care about price, and only care about benefit and feature.
  • Always talk benefit and point out how the product or service makes life easier.

4. Brand Loyal

  • Brand loyal and tends to do the same things over and over.
  • Show the buyer how what your selling matches up well with what they currently have.

5. Swayable Shopaholics

  • This buyer wants to learn everything.
  • They get into specific things such as technology specs.
  • The strategy is to listen, as they will tell you the specs they are looking to buy.
  • When they get what they want, they will transact immediately.

Final Thoughts

  • Always determine what your brand is.
  • Ensure you communicate it concisely and precisely to your consumer base.
  • Be a great steward of your brand and protect it at all times.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review in iTunes!

Links to Resources Mentioned
Johnson Media Group
952-215-0015 ext 101
What are the 5 buying styles and how can you strategize for each? Find out w/ Tom Johnson @CEOwarrior

Are you on top of your branding? These are the tips you need to hear w/ Tom Johnson @CEOwarrior


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