Beyond the Brand

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast talks with NACS Show keynote speaker Scott Stratten about how to stand out from the crowd.

November 21, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Stop Spending So Much Time Marketing Your Brand,” hosts Jeff Lenard and Stephanie Sikorski of NACS discuss branding with NACS Show keynote speaker Scott Stratten, president of Unmarketing.

“Whenever someone sees your logo, what do they think?” Stratten asked, reminding listeners that customers don’t see the logo—they see the stories behind the logo. “Classical marketing does its job of driving awareness, … but once I walk into a store or download an app, … that’s when the un-marketing takes over.”

Stratten pointed out that “if the employee’s a jerk, I don’t care about the color palate, I don’t care about the beautifully designed or redesigned logo—all I’m going to think about is that jerk in the store, or the poor selection in the store. The branding doesn’t matter if the actions don’t follow through.”

With no two customers interacting with your brand in the same way, it comes down to the history of their experience with the brand. “We’re constantly re-writing that brand story with every visit,” Stratten said. “In every great experience or lack thereof, we’re redefining our brand, which is actually good for legacy brands … because for older or larger brands, employees don’t think they affect the brand. They just think they’re a cog in a giant wheel.”

Training employees to interact with customers to support what the brand stands for can be key to building that brand equity with customers, which can be essential when something goes wrong in an experience. “It usually has its origin in the store, and if it doesn’t get addressed there, the customer may escalate it online,” Stratten said. “But this presents an opportunity for stores … to take someone who was angry at your company and make them a better fan than they were before the problem happened because you solved the problem.”

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps, and at Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 60,000 times in 80 countries.

For complete coverage of this year’s NACS Show, check out this month’s issue of NACS Magazine or visit