7 Questions with #MDMC19 Breakout Session Speaker Deb Gabor


Twitter chat 2 Deb Gabor 21. Can you share more about you do at Sol Marketing as the CEO?


I am the Zookeeper and Chief Strategist. I create conditions of Irrational Loyalty for companies that want to be the best brands in the world (Laughs). But seriously, I am the strategic and “spiritual” leader for my company Sol Marketing. I developed and steward the methodology we use to ignite client brands. I also do a lot of boring CEO stuff that’s not that interesting for folks here.  


2. Can you tell us more about your bestselling book "Branding is Sex"?


It’s a how-to guide in plain in English for building or reigniting your brand for leaders and marketers in any company of any size in any industry – B2C or B2B. 


For the record, it’s not about SEX. It’s about making your customer the hero of his or her own story. In 7 chapters you learn: how the most successful brands in the world nail their brand using the Brand Values Pyramid and the Three Essential Brand Questions brands must answer. In addition it discusses in detail how you should build your brand for one archetypal Ideal Customer to ensure you have relentless focus for your brand. It’s very practical.  


3. Can you share a bit about what your new book "Irrational Loyalty: Building a Brand That Thrives in Turbulent Times" and when we can buy a copy?


Think of United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Uber, and other companies whose tribulations made front page news. Poor business decisions, corrupt cultures, or just plain bad luck can lead to major PR meltdowns, sending once-loyal consumers fleeing in droves. 


But there’s a right way to handle controversy and come out stronger on the other side. So by using recent high-profile brand implosions, I demonstrate how top companies that break their promises inevitably suffer. Likewise it dives into the routes the more agile organizations have taken to full recovery after letting their customers down. 


The book goes on sale March 11. But I’m launching it at SXSW Interactive 2019 if you want to get your hands on a copy there. 


4. Can you give us a sneak peek at what you will be sharing in your session "The Branding Masterclass, Uncensored: Tapping Into Your Brand's Core DNA To Create Legions Of Irrationally Loyal Fans"?


I’m doing an hands-on workshop in which every attendee will be able to create the strategic foundation for their brand, or one they’re working on. Attendees will learn how to hack Maslow’s Hierarchy for fun and profit, how to create your own ideal customer archetype, and a answer the three important brand questions. If you take nothing away from this chat, then learn to define your brand by making it about your customers. You can do that by asking the three brand questions: 


A. What does it say about someone they use your brand? 

B. What is the SINGULAR thing someone gets from your brand they can’t get ANYWHERE else? 

C. How do you make your customer the HERO in his/her own story? If you answer these three questions, you’ve done half the hard work! 



5. In your opinion, why does branding matter?


A brand gives you focus. It helps you articulate how you are remarkably different then other offerings in a saturated or commodity category. Branding is the shortcut for your values and beliefs, which are a magnet for drawing to you customers who share those. A brand delineates what is ultimately the “you-ness” of your offering. It’s what makes a Mercedes Benz not a Tesla. 

Good, powerful branding, enables you to create conditions in which customers are so loyal to you that they’d think they were cheating on you if they were to choose an alternative, which is also how I define Irrational Loyalty. 


6. What is the biggest mistakes brands make when defining their brand?


Making it about THEM and not their customers. A brand is about your customers. Brand or be branded. Put your customer into your brand story. Make it about getting THEM “laid.” 


Go look at your website. If the first word is WE or the company name, you’re doing it wrong! Correcting this can open up new conceptual territory immediately. 


7. This will be first time you are speaking at MDMC, what are you most excited about? Who are you stoked about seeing?


I speak all over the world, but rarely in the US, and rarely for Marketers. I’m excited to get to meet other marketers and learn from the top thought leaders in their fields.  I also love STL! I’ve been to events in STL recently and really enjoyed my time there. As for other speakers, I’m pretty psyched for Darrell West from the Brookings Institution. I’m also intrigued by Isaac Irvine from GoDaddy.com. Their brand has undergone some tumult in the past few years.