Bridging the Brand Activation Gap with Mitch Duckler

“If your brand was to go away tomorrow, would anyone miss it?” Awkward silence. That’s because, for the most part, very few brands today are truly indispensable. Mitch Duckler is out to change that. The author of the new book The Indispensable Brand and founder of Full Surge was my guest this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Mitch Duckler

Mitch Duckler is author of The Indispensable Brand, and a founder and managing partner of FullSurge, a brand and marketing strategy consultancy based in Chicago, Illinois. He has more than 25 years of brand management and management consulting experience, at Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Vivaldi Partners Group, and Prophet, where he co-led the brand strategy practice area. His client base includes Fortune 500 companies and numerous world-class brands, such as Boeing, Deloitte, and General Electric. Mitch is a faculty member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) School of Marketing.

Episode Highlights

The trouble with brand strategy. It has to work at both the 1,000-foot level and the 10-foot level. Mitch shared some of his favorite tactics for bridging this brand-activation gap across the three phases of experience — pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase.

Who is a truly indispensable brand? I had to ask. “Starbucks is a brand that’s indispensable even though you can get coffee elsewhere.”

What can you do to make your brand indispensable? Start with the “journalist questions” — what, how, why, and who. Mitch recommends using these lenses to identify what’s truly unique about your business and your brand.

What brand has made Mitch smile recently? Peloton! Mitch shared how the brand took something as pedestrian (pun intended) as stationary biking and turned it into a social movement.

To learn more, go to and connect with Mitch on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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!