A Popular Presentation That Went Nowhere

Two years ago, I gave this presentation at a conference in New England (click here).

It's one of the most popular presentations I've ever given.

It's also a presentation that went absolutely nowhere. No business for me. And not a lot of action from the nearly 20,000 folks who read through it or heard the presentation in person, based on what I've been told.

So the outcome was unpopular.

My thesis of what constitutes a brand is as follows:


If I give a presentation that does not align with the DNA of a company, it's not likely that the ideas will take hold, is it? Even if the recipients of the message must change, how can change happen unless you address three issues?

  • DNA of the Company.
  • Actions of the Company.
  • Customer Expectations.
For instance, maybe you cater to a 61 year old customer. Some pundit tells you that you must "get younger or you are dead". How do you get younger?
  • Your DNA has been developed to do everything to please the 61 year old customer. The DNA will reject an online marketing effort to speak to a younger customer - it's not developed for that, is it?
  • Your actions consistently cater to the 61 year old customer, right? Your merchandise is designed to speak to this customer. Your participation with the co-ops yields an algorithm-driven 61 year old customer. Your online marketing efforts lead to a customer sourced by Google who visits your website and says "oh, this is for old people" and then bounces.
  • Anything you do to change is met with resistance from your 61 year old customer, who has high expectations for how you will serve him/her.
As a presenter, I had to learn that I have to address DNA / Actions / Customer Expectations if I want change to happen. If I don't address all three, change won't happen.