Why Content Brands Trump Branded Content with Andrew Davis

andrew davis on brand

“You have to tell a story no one has ever heard or offer a simple twist on a familiar theme.” Marketing speaker and best-selling author Andrew Davis is on a mission to change the way that marketers market and publishers publish. One audience at a time. From content brands to branded content and everything in between, I couldn’t wait to chat with Drew. 

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About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis’ 20-year career has taken him from local television to The Today Show. He’s worked for The Muppets in New York. He’s marketed for tiny start-ups and Fortune 500 brands. His latest book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, is one of Amazon.com’s Top 100 Marketing Books.

He’s produced for Charles Kuralt and MTV. He even produced a documentary film called Roadside Ambition: The amazing true story of one small town with two huge balls.

In 2001, Andrew co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where, as the chief strategy officer, Andrew and his team helped companies like Putnam Investments, Breville, and TomTom. They built digital strategies for publishers like Rodale and Meredith. For more than a decade, Drew has led the charge to change the way publishers think and how brands market their products in a digital world.

Episode Highlights

Ok. Let’s talk about the Muppets. “I actually learned a lot about business and marketing from working with The Muppets.” This was during a less prolific period for Jim Henson’s famous puppets so the biggest assets that could be profitable were licensing the characters themselves. Things have changed since then as The Muppets are now owned by Disney, who Davis refers to as “masters of the moment of influence.”

ClaimYourFame_1-BowtieAnd Charles Kuralt? “He challenged us to tell a story no one has ever heard.” We both confessed to being huge fans of CBS Sunday Morning and that style of storytelling. Davis’ love of the form influenced his newest project, the Claim Your Fame podcast — a mashup of NPR-style production and stories with marketing content. You can listen to the first episode here. Like CBS Sunday Morning, which he referenced as “appointment television,” he hopes that this new monthly podcast can be “appointment content.” He is also hoping to …

Create a ‘content brand’ as opposed to ‘branded content.’ What’s the difference? “Content brands are created for an audience, while branded content is created for a business.” ShopLocket does a great job of this with The Blueprint. “A content brand creates an actual asset.”

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Speaking of partnerships … “You have to think about them strategically. Ask yourself who has your next customer as their current customer? How can you create content for them?” Most of us get sloppy when it comes to establishing a partnership strategy.

We also discussed his forthcoming book, Town, Inc., which will examine why some towns prosper while others fail. Many times it relates to the branding, stories, and successes from the areas businesses and industry. Origin stories can be a powerful part of your brand DNA, including your sense of place.

What brand has made Andrew smile lately? Trunk Club, which delivers a box of new clothes to guys who don’t like to shop. “I’ve never met my stylist but she always includes a handwritten note.”

To learn more about Andrew Davis and his work, follow him on Twitter and visit YouveBeenDrewed.com (where he has free inspirational videos for you!) and AKADrewDavis.com.

A Few Final Reminders

A big thanks to a mentor of this podcast with a new resource that you should know more about. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert has done it again. In addition to being a digital marketing thought leader, speaker, and best-selling author he’s now created a new online resource indexing all of the great marketing podcasts out there — it’s called Marketing Podcasts and you can find it at MarketingPodcasts.com. If you like marketing and podcasts you need to check this out.

Last but not least …

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