Smart Agency Podcast: The #1 Digital Agency Podcast for Social Media, SEO, PPC & Creative Agencies

Are you establishing genuine connections with your target audience and clients? Have you developed a compelling brand narrative that resonates with your audience to cultivate a dedicated following? Our featured guest today played a pivotal role in shaping the iconic brand identity of Red Bull, which has become a benchmark for creating captivating content. He shares Red Bull’s strategy for creating engaging content, the initial missteps he addressed regarding staffing decisions and much more. Learn from his diverse experiences in the agency space and his insight into creating brand fandom.

Geoffrey DeStefano is the founder and CEO of Brand Programming Studios, a strategic and creative content studio that bridges the gap between entertainment and marketing. Geoffrey is a seasoned professional with experience in both the advertising/marketing and entertainment/media industries. He shares insights from his time at Red Bull's media and creative agency during the brand's growth in North America. He discusses transitioning from the advertising business to the television industry and working on popular shows like Mad About You and Friends.

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

  • Keys to compelling brand stories.

  • Creating true connections to develop brand fandom.

  • Boosting agency performance through better leadership.


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Red Bull’s Playbook for Creating Engaging Content

Geoffrey left the ad business to work as a studio executive on shows like Mad About You and Dawson’s Creek when an old friend contacted him about an ailing agency that needed his expert advice. At that agency, he helped turn things around and became part of the team that made Red Bull a brand that pushed the limits by doing things differently.

One of the things they discussed when trying to establish Red Bull as a rebel and unique brand was leveraging entertainment content. They truly excelled at content creation, with a strong focus on pushing the limits and doing things differently. Years later, Red Bull has become a leader in the marketing space creating engaging and unique events that serve as content generators.

Red Bull's approach to content creation has set a strong playbook for other brands to follow. With Red Bull Media House, a separate entity focused on producing and distributing content, they’ve been able to monetize its marketing content, a strategy that has proven to be successful for the brand. By leveraging entertainment content for the brand, Red Bull has engaged with consumers in a meaningful way and created a strong connection with its audience. With this, they’ve been able to build a loyal fan base and establish itself as a leader in the industry by thinking outside the box and taking risks.

3 Keys to Crafting Compelling Brand Stories

Brands can tell wonderful stories that resonate with their audience and create a lasting impact. How can you guide them to discovering these stories? For Geoffrey, there are three very important aspects:

  1. Talk to clients about giving their marketing a sense of purpose. It has to be informative, engaging, or entertaining or no one will pay attention to it.

  2. Influencer marketing is like word of mouth on steroids. It may not be seen as authentic as when it first exploded but it’s very effective and there’s a way to do it right. As a brand, don’t give up control of how your product will be presented, and make sure to search for influencers who line up with your brand.

  3. Driving fandom. Fandom goes way beyond just liking a brand. It has to do with creating passion and loyalty for that brand. Building fandom through brand passion involves creating a strong emotional connection with consumers. If you can find a way to create the level of fandom that saved brands like Apple and Jeep, you’ll have an audience that can get you through hard times.

Personal Interaction as a Powerful Tool to Create Connection

Personal interaction is a key component in building relationships and fostering loyalty in business. It is particularly relevant in the agency world, especially in the context of building and maintaining client relationships.

This is where a podcast becomes a powerful tool agency owners can use to create a personal connection with clients and prospects. By sharing insights, thoughts, and expertise through a podcast, they can showcase their personality and expertise, allowing clients to get to know them on a deeper level. This personal connection can lead to stronger relationships and increased loyalty from clients.

Once you’ve established yourself as an expert, you won’t need to pitch. You’ll be invited to projects and assess whether or not your agency would be a good fit with the brand but you won’t be asked to compete for the company’s attention.

Boosting Agency Performance Through Amazing Leadership and Trust

Agencies go through several inflection points while growing their teams and clientele. At some point what worked before won’t be as effective and you have to adapt. When he came in as an expert consultant to help Red Bull grow as a brand, Geoffrey noticed a need to improve communications and how the team was staffed.

If you’re having similar problems at your agency, look at your leadership team and see what you need to fix to ensure strong leadership at the top and set the tone for the entire organization. By ensuring that the leadership team consists of top performers, the rest of the team is more likely to follow suit and excel in their roles.

Geoffrey focuses on two main issues:

  • Effective communication. As he spent some time at the Red Bull offices, he noticed everyone spent their day emailing each other. This is a creative business and interaction is a very important part of sparking that creativity. So he shut off the email services for 48 hours to incentivize communication in their open-space office.

  • Trust as a form of empowerment. Geoffrey believes in giving people reign to innovate. This motivates people once they feel free to create and grow beyond their skill set. It’s not about giving up control but rather giving people the space to develop and grow.

Trusting Your Gut to Weed Out Toxic Team Members and Preserve Morale

As human beings, we have innate instincts that can guide us in making decisions in difficult situations, which can apply when it comes to hiring and managing employees. Trusting your instincts and being able to act on them can prevent toxic individuals from negatively impacting the team and the organization as a whole.

Geoffrey encourages agency owners to use their instincts to stay vigilant and proactive in addressing issues within a team. One or two individuals with negative attitudes can bring down the morale of the entire team. As a manager or leader, it is crucial to recognize when someone is not the right fit for the team and take swift action. Delaying the decision to remove a toxic team member can lead to bigger problems down the line.

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am MDT