How Culture Impacts Brand Building with Amber Naslund

amber naslund

“This is a cultural shift. Not an operational shift. You have to understand people first.” As the SVP of Marketing for Sysomos and co-author of The Now Revolution, Amber Naslund understands the impact people — both internally and externally — now have on brands. Before Amber joins us in Iowa next month at the Social Brand Forum, I wanted to take a few moments and chat with her about the role that company culture and social intelligence plays on building brands today.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Amber Naslund

Amber is the SVP Marketing for Sysomos, a global leader in social intelligence. She’s a dynamic communications strategist with deep experience with and passion for the emergence of social business. Her professional expertise spans nonprofit management, corporate communications, marketing, professional services, and social business strategy. She’s successfully run multimillion-dollar fundraising campaigns, built and led executive communication and professional services teams, and launched and grown international brands.

As an entrepreneur and executive, she has advised Fortune 500 companies – like L’Oreal, American Express, AMD, Dell, Avaya, CDW, Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola – as well as their executives on social business strategy and new workforce culture.

Amber is also the co-author of the best-selling social business book The Now Revolution. She delivers dozens of keynote speeches on corporate culture, social business, and communication at industry conferences and private events every year.

Episode Highlights

Amber’s favorite definition of a brand? “The emotional after-taste you leave people with about your company from Ze Frank.” At the end of the day, your brand is defined by the ideas and emotions you leave your audience with. This is complicated with the abundance of information available today.

The modern consumer’s impact on brand building. “There’s more information available — from reviews to consumer generated content.” Amber was quick to remind us that the power of conversation now rests squarely in the hands of consumers thanks to social media and digital technology. “There are points of information in so many different places. Often they’ve decided already by the time they make it to your doorstep.”

How this music major came to marketing. Before embarking on a leading career in marketing and social business, Amber was a music major. “It serves me really well. I solve problems very differently than an MBA. I see big pictures. It’s served me well as an executive too.” Speaking of executives …

What are the biggest challenges leaders face in understanding modern consumers and a new approach to building brands. “There’s a generational gap when you compare executives with marketing practitioners. With executives and social intelligence you have to explain what could go wrong before what can go right. Executives care about the bottom line.”

How can social intelligence help brand builders? It can help you answer what you want your brand to be. “Does the brand we’re trying to create align with what other people see in us?” It’s all about that emotional after-taste.

What brand has made Amber smile recently? “BarkBox. Everything they do is on brand.” That’s all we have to hear on this podcast.

To learn more about Amber you can check out her blog at You can learn more about Sysmos at Remember, you can also see Amber in Iowa next month at the Social Brand Forum. Register now and save $100 using promo code ONBRAND.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our listeners …
Recently Mary Tamaki-Green gave us a shout on Twitter about our recent episode focused on employee engagement featuring Siegel+Gale’s Thom Wyatt. Thanks for listening!

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.

Last but not least …

  • Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS.
  • Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to iTunes and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast.
  • OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out.
  • And don’t forget that this podcast is brought to you by our Brand Driven Digital events series, learn more about the industry leading Social Brand Forum and our other trainings and workshops now.
  • Save $100 by using promo code ONBRAND when you register for the Social Brand Forum.

Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!