Catch Kevin Perlmutter on the #PirateBroadcast
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Russ Johns 0:03
Welcome to the #piratebroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let's get this party started.
It's another beautiful day for a #piratebroadcast. I just want to welcome you here. #Piratebroadcast is here to interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings, and to kind of discover along the way, about the journey where people are going, and also create a little empathy and understanding and in what people are experiencing these days. Today we have someone that has a high degree of understanding and the emotional intelligence and the branding and the marketing field. I just want to have a conversation with Kevin and bring him on and make sure That we have have something to share with the Pirate community.
If you're joining us, please like it subscribe or you know, do all the social things. We know that we're out there and we can actually share this good word. It also, if you're watching the replay, just drop comments in, I'd love to come back and respond and react and answer questions. Then also, Kevin, is available on LinkedIn. Go connect with him. He's out there in the world. I'd love to have you connect with with Kevin and tell them Russ sent you. That's underway. Kevin. Good morning. How are you today?
Kevin Perlmutter 1:39
Good morning. I'm doing fantastic. Thanks for having me on.
Russ Johns 1:42
Oh, it's a pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I just wanted for those that don't know you give us a snapshot of what you're doing here. How did you evolve and a little snapshot of your journey about how you arrived here quickly and then we'll break it apart into The show,
Kevin Perlmutter 2:00
Certainly. Well, I'm a brand evolution strategist and my distinct focus is on emotion. I've been helping brands evolve for over 20 years. I've done so at a global brand consultancy inter brand. I worked at a Sonic branding, music studio, I lead strategy, I lead innovation, and I lead practice development like customer experience, practice development, and also more recently got into behavioral science, and really understanding the power of emotion and what makes people tick. And in early 2019, I decided to go out on my own for the first time in my career and launch my own company, limbic brand evolution, and limbic brand evolution is all about helping create stronger connections with people that brands want to reach.
Russ Johns 2:53
Well, That's quite an evolution. Let's break Get down a little bit because this subject fascinates me. And the emotional attachment to things, people buy with emotion and they justify with logic, right?
Kevin Perlmutter 3:12
Russ Johns 3:12
Social media is really it's kind of like a dopamine rush all day long. That's also a piece of the emotional attachment to what we're doing. Do they like me? Will they like me? Can they like me? All of these things that go into to branding in the subtleties that we don't even see and hear in the actual marketing effort. It sounds like you have a deep experience in the marketing and branding experience overall. What possessed you to go down this path in your career Early on?
Kevin Perlmutter 3:51
Well, I started in advertising, and I left that over a dozen years ago and I really just felt that was happening at a time when experience was so much more important than advertising. How people do
Russ Johns 4:05
Say that again, experience is more important than advertising or,
Kevin Perlmutter 4:09
yeah, definitely how people experience your brand is more important than what you tell them your brand is all about. It was happening at a time when people were starting to use iPhones and starting to share on social media, their experiences, and people were starting to learn more about the companies based on other people's experiences rather than just their own. That really got me fascinated by this idea of focusing on customer experience, and I have to go very deep on that. Then as I said before, more recently, I started learning about behavioral science, I started learning about the fact that 95% of the decisions we make are happening instinctively, instantly in our subconscious, and every once in a while. we'll kick out of this Decision through the rational part of our brain and we'll start to overthink it and and rely on additional information.
What's really happening is that people are taking in a ton of stimulus at every minute. Yhey are constantly making judgment calls. Then I started correlating that to other data. There's data out there that says emotion is the largest driver of loyalty in the customer experience. When how somebody feels after an interaction with your brand, has the strongest influence on whether or not they're going to come back for more whether they're going to tell their friends it was a great experience or a bad experience. They influence behavior. That became a focal point for me. I started getting obsessed about it, fascinated by it, learning more about it, and truly realizing that since the dawn of advertising, everybody's saying: let's focus on on the emotional The emotional part of a brief but they haven't been really haven't really been doing it as well as what's talked about. I wanted to go into that field, I want to be distinct in that field and have an opportunity to help CMOS and brand leaders get smarter about it and turn emotional insights into a competitive advantage.
Russ Johns 6:19
I know that one of the examples I always have enjoyed looking at is the the contrast between the way Apple creates an experience and they happen to build computers versus the PCs have a great PC and they talked about the PC not the experience of the PC.
Kevin Perlmutter 6:44
Russ Johns 6:45
That's an example that I can think of off the top of my head. Do you have some other examples that might be top of mind for some people? like Nike is a good one: just do it. It was one of the the emotional attachments just To motivate people, are there some others out there that you're really
Kevin Perlmutter 7:05
Well what those brands are actually doing for people? Is they're bringing them into an experience. They're thinking about experience design. And they're focusing on what I believe is the most important question, which is how do you want people to feel? They're thinking about that question at every stage of the journey with their brand based from from the moment they think about what their brand stands for in the world, all the way through the individual interactions and touchpoints and experiences. They're constantly thinking about how do I want people to feel and if you do that, and you respond to what people's desires are, what people's needs are unmet needs, subconsciously unmet needs, their frustrations.
You're going to open up opportunities to reach them in ways that really go about making Their life better. In my business, I believe. And the sort of the foundational principle of everything I do in business, for brands is based on a belief that brands should exist to make people's lives better. Either they're doing that or they're not doing that they're doing that as a company from their foundation or they're not doing that or in the individual experiences that they have. I was going to conversation with someone recently, who asked me what my feeling was on the difference between brand purpose and brand strategy, because brand purposes getting a lot of . Sorry,
Russ Johns 8:38
A lot more attention.
Kevin Perlmutter 8:39
A lot more attention lately. Yeah, brand purpose is getting a lot more attention lately. A lot of times people think about brand purpose and they think about brands that are going outside of their core to do things for the world, which is super important. Brands that have an environment, environmental purpose or something that's outside or almost extracurricular. I actually believe that brand purpose should be rooted in why a brand exists in the world. Everything they do should emanate out of that purpose.
They should align themselves around that purpose. That gives them the flexibility to serve people in ways that are incredibly important, and even make adaptations to the way they serve people based on new environments and new situations that emerge in the world. Like what we're going through right now. is changed things dramatically for people and created a lot of stress for individuals and businesses. There are some businesses and brands that are are leaning into their purpose to know how to handle the situation.
Russ Johns 9:44
Well, I think that you bring up a great point because brands that have a purpose and know their purpose and a very clear on their goal and their mission, their purpose, I believe would have a better influence. In the market, when there's a lot of tension, a lot of confusion and a lot of change. In that change, if they stay true to their brand and their purpose, then it gives them a solid foundation to work from. Whereas a brand that is just trying to sell some products that isn't really purpose driven, I think has a much more difficult time understanding where they need to go because they don't have a foundation. Is that a safe assumption? Or is that
Kevin Perlmutter 10:38
I completely agree with you and there are two sides of it. You just described one side incredibly well, which is what is the brand all about? What is the focus what makes them unique and desirable, what is their purpose in the world. The other side of it is understanding their customers and their customers needs and frustrations and where they could make a difference in their customers lives. connecting those two is incredibly important. I actually refer to that in my business as limbic sparks. Limbic sparks happen when your audience is emotionally motivated, what you're all about.
Thinking about what the customer's needs are, what the brand is all about finding those intersections is a great way to navigate challenging situations like the ones we're in now. It means you're thinking about what you can do in the world, to make people's lives better based on your understanding of what they need.There's been a lot of talk recently, a lot of people like to throw around the expression the new normal, and and I'm honestly not a big fan of the new normal. I don't believe we're anywhere close to a new normal. This is a fluid situation.
Russ Johns 11:45
Kevin Perlmutter 11:46
I've been using the expressions new now. The new now is when brands are able to look at the situation on a moment to moment basis, assess what's going on and figure out based on what They do best how they could make people's lives better. It doesn't mean that they're going to constantly change what their brand stands for. Or it means that they're going to adapt to serve customers in the best ways that they can, at this moment, given current information, it means that they're going to look at their employees and understand that their employees lives have changed, they're underneath says they're, they're dealing with things at home that they weren't dealing with before they're very distracted. Taking care of your employees in the situation based on their new now is an incredible way for them to feel more connected to your company to serve it better, and also to feel comfortable that they can have a job and take care of the things going on in their personal life.
Russ Johns 12:48
I think that ties back to the purpose of the company if your purpose is to make sure that everyone in your environment from the from the employee to the customer To the end user to anyone that's influencing or being influenced by your brand is taken care of in a in a productive way. I think that really speaks volumes to the companies that can understand and actually amplify those purposes across the, across the environment that we're living in right now.
Kevin Perlmutter 13:23
Russ Johns 13:23
I think it's really important for us to understand that one of the things that I'm really passionate about and learning more about is exactly what you're talking about the emotional piece, but also how you use story or you use information to share that in a way that touches the emotional piece of the of the end user.
Kevin Perlmutter 13:23
Yeah, it's, great that you bring that up because I also have a little bit of a struggle with the difference between emotional and rational benefits. People like to separate the two. What's rational for some is emotional for others. It really comes down to what is it that people are most in need of and that changes over time there have been. First of all thinking about the new now in the situation that we're in, there are some shifts in consumer behavior based on instinctive means that people have. People want to have a sense of assurance and security. People want to know that they have control over their situation, people want an emotional release, so that they can just unwind a little bit and those three pieces of data comes from a behavioral scientist named Will Leach, who does a lot of research on this subject.
The implications of that is that as a business owner, as a brand leader, you need to recognize that people have changed. They want safety, they want contactless interactions, they want more virtual and digital experiences. They're more cost conscious at the moment. That's led brands to actually create new ways of interacting with people that solve new emotional challenges that have emerged. For instance, Planet Fitness had you know, like many other gyms released online exercise and workout videos so that people stay fit while they're at home and not in those environments. Audible as a brand, a free a lot of free downloadables for students who wanted
zoom. I mean, zoom is incredible because I mean, like, how many of us were on zoom five months ago, a lot in business, but now the world is on zoom. What they did first, which is absolutely amazing. The first thing that they did was they opened up their platform to schools, and possible for educators to connect with their students. My wife is a third grade teacher and within a week of not being able to go back to school, she was able to get on zoom. Since then every single day she has a two o'clock meeting with her third graders
Russ Johns 16:09
Kevin Perlmutter 16:09
And does individual exercises with smaller groups.
Russ Johns 16:12
That's so awesome
Kevin Perlmutter 16:13
It addressed new needs one last one, which is one of my favorites is I've never heard of the brand wall hair clippers wall that has hair clippers before. I was having an emotional challenge. I was starting to look like Ralph macchio in the chuck kid a few weeks ago, and I found that wall actually has on their, on their website, instructional videos on how to use hair clippers to to have a great haircut and I don't think I have a great haircut right now but it's better than what I had two weeks ago.
Russ Johns 16:47
I think I'm doing okay,
Kevin Perlmutter 16:48
I think either way as well. It's definitely working for you. But what I'm what I was psyched about is that I was able to purchase this and feel comfortable that I wasn't going to mess things up too badly.
Russ Johns 17:00
Kevin Perlmutter 17:01
That was an emotional,
Russ Johns 17:01
I think it's that emotional attachment is that outreach? That I think, their purpose is to help you.
Kevin Perlmutter 17:09
Russ Johns 17:10
I think that's the strong message. I want to just give a shout out here to some of the individuals that have joined us today. Kevin.
Michelle, she's an amazing rock star. She's a pirate as well. You need to know her. Douglas, thank you so much for being here. It looks like your looks like a bass player. musician. Thank you. I love that. I'm a musician as well. Thank you for being here. Douglas. Alba. Thank you so much. Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Oh, thank you for being here. This is very cool. Be blessed y'all. Amen to that. Also, yes, music. Fantastic Kenyatta. She's another bass player Kenyatta is a bass player. She's here in Arizona.
Kevin Perlmutter 18:00
Shout out to all the bass players
Russ Johns 18:01
from Wisconsin. Good morning, everyone. She's in the pirate community. We act and respond on an instinctual level at a subconscious level brand emotion is crucial, great discussion. Michelle, you're an amazing individual that I know believes in that. It's so wonderful to have you here. Stu, Many claim brand building takes too long. What is your response? That's a great question.
Kevin Perlmutter 18:33
Great question. I'd love to answer it.
Russ Johns 18:35
Kevin Perlmutter 18:37
Brand building takes takes long if, when you're trying to go out there with a company with a brand, and you need to establish it over time, part of the length of time that you may be referring to Stu is the investment that you make and how fast you can get it out there and how many people can get exposure to it, but if you're referring more to the side of Creating brand strategy that is the foundation for what you're all about as a company and how you're going to connect with your customers there any length of time that it could take, I've actually found that in the work that I'm doing, focusing on emotion, and really focusing on the emotional motivations of the brand and the emotional motivations of the audience and creating those limbic sparks in the center.
I've created an approach to it that is far more efficient than some of the experiences I've had in the past. When we were getting paid by the pound for the amount of information we provided to a client, the investigation can cut right to the heart of what makes people tick, and help to create stronger connections. So yes, brand building can take a lot of time. But if you do it well and efficiently, and you cut to what matters most to people, it's going to go more quickly.
Russ Johns 19:53
Well, I think there's two points to it. Stu, to your point, to your question, I want to ask Kevin, in kind of preface it with saying this is that a lot of what a brand becomes is what people say about the brand. The component that you need to begin with is going back to what we were originally talking about Kevin, and I believe this is knowing what the purpose and the people you serve. The emotional attachment in the environment you're serving is the first piece of the puzzle. Once that's out there in the world, then people will react and respond to it either in a positive way or a negative way. Then that's, that eventually becomes your brand is it? That's kind of how I see it.
Kevin Perlmutter 20:44
Russ Johns 20:45
I've seen it. It's like you take the data to build the foundation and once the foundation is plant planted in place, people, you bring your community together and your community will define the brand
Kevin Perlmutter 20:59
I think you're absolutely right on that. It goes back to a fact that I stated already. Another one that I'm about to mention. One is that emotion is the largest driver of loyalty in the experience.
Russ Johns 21:09
Kevin Perlmutter 21:09
How it's going to impact how much they come back for more and how much they remember. Another one rooted in data that was published in the Harvard Business Review is that your brand, your customers are 50 52% more valuable to your brand, when they're fully connected at an emotional level, versus when they're highly satisfied. Some brands are going for that holy grail of highly satisfied and they're actually missing the mark. If you're not fully connected, you're not getting that 52% extra value from them. That comes from increased purchases. Being a customer longer coming back for more telling their friends about it forgiving you in the experience is bad. If you have a strong brand that connects with people at that level, your your business is going to grow faster.
Russ Johns 21:59
Is that another way of saying that having a wonderful, amazing relationship with your with your community is important.
Kevin Perlmutter 22:09
I think it really is I you you need to know who your people are. You need to know what makes them tick and how you're going to serve them and whether you're a huge global company or a smaller brand and a town I mean, like, what's going on in local communities right now I live in a town that has a wonderful Mainstreet district and all around the country right now local is getting lots lots of props. People are loving their local businesses right now because they're, there. they're working really hard. They're trying to survive. They're reaching out to the community. Their restaurants are feeding first responders. These are the businesses that sometimes we take for granted because they're right outside of our of our homes. Right now. They're the ones that I want to support.
Russ Johns 22:57
Yeah, Kathy shine In from Southern Nevada Cathy's amazing part of the community here. I struggle sometimes Kevin and helped me understand this because we have so much data right now data tells us part of the story a lot of the time, and sometimes it's how we interpret data, to actually make it meaningful.
Kevin Perlmutter 23:27
Russ Johns 23:29
That's kind of a science and an art at times. It's like, okay, some indicators can tell me that, okay. Let's just take social media as a general platform and say, Okay, well, I can have a lot of users and out of those users, some people will like me, or some people will be attracted to what I'm doing, or they'll react and respond to what I'm doing. Then the other part of me is like saying, if I Forget about the numbers and build the community and develop the relationships. I'm gonna be much better off.
It kind of goes back to Kevin Kelly's philosophy of 1000 true fans. it's this idea I don't necessarily need a, like Lulu mon, they're very specific in their brand that they have their very focused purpose in their audience and their community. they're not necessarily Nike, however, they have a very dedicated audience that like their material, they like their clothing line. those kinds of things I think about and how much does that process go into the brand building that we are talking about with Stu, because I think it's important. it goes back to the purpose and I'm not really sure it's like, okay, what's my purpose
Kevin Perlmutter 24:54
Russ Johns 24:54
What's my Why? It's like what's my why, right. It's like, I gotta go. got to think about this. It's like,
Kevin Perlmutter 25:02
Russ Johns 25:02
Why am I here? What am I doing?
Kevin Perlmutter 25:05
It's so important. You talk to you started the conversation with, with data. There's so much data out there. Data isn't always accurate. Sometimes it's asking the wrong questions or measuring the wrong things
Russ Johns 25:20
It's only as good as the questions you ask.
Kevin Perlmutter 25:23
Sometimes it's actually not measuring the way we're actually going to respond. As I said, I've done a lot of work with with behavioral science type research and neuroscience based data. When you're working with a typical survey questionnaires about what people want in life and how they feel you're not always getting their instinctive and accurate response, and it's not necessarily then predicting their behavior in the right way. If you ask people rational questions, you're going to get rational well thought out politically correct answers if you use research tech techniques or questioning techniques to tap into people's psyche and subconscious.
You start tapping into their intrinsic motivations. By understanding what they really truly care about, either by asking the right questions or using behavioral science, research techniques that tap into the subconscious, you're gonna find things out that'll it'll change. It'll change the way you go about understanding them. It'll change your predictions of what the future holds, and the ways that people respond to different things. It's fascinating. You have to be inquisitive and know what questions to ask to get to the right answers.
Russ Johns 26:40
Yeah. How is this experience made you feel Kevin?
Kevin Perlmutter 26:45
Well, #kindnessiscool, and you've been great. I'm really excited to be here. I'm enjoying getting to know you and I feel like I'm on the couch.
Russ Johns 27:01
It's fun and this is the reason why I do this is because I've always been curious, you know, you drive down the warehouse, you're you driving in any industrial part of town and you see these buildings, these nondescript buildings with brands on them. That it's moving America, it's moving the culture, it's moving the community, they're creating something that is useful in industry, or, in life. It's like, I wonder, how did that happen? What do they do? Who do they serve? What do they make? all these things, and it's a kind of the same thing.
It's like, bringing a conversation like this to the table, I think is so important for people to understand it. There's so many dimensions to our life and so many things that people do that bring value to the world. That we can never underestimate the importance of everyone in the community in the world. We all have gift, we all have a message, we all have something that we can bring value to. When you appreciate the fact that we're all in it together, and we're all working together in this in this direction, we're all part of the same puzzle. Have a little empathy have a little kindness. So,
Kevin Perlmutter 28:19
Yeah, and I truly believe that the businesses and brands that appreciate the words you just said and lean into that, I think they're going to be remember going forward, I think there's going to be a, you know, a shake up of brand loyalties. Coming out of the situation that we're in right now. There are going to be brands that emerge that are going to be fan favorites and some that will fall back based on their actions or lack of action.
Russ Johns 28:43
Absolutely, absolutely. If you had to list something, what's your superpower?
Kevin Perlmutter 28:50
What's my superpower? I'd say it's understanding what makes people tick and understanding how to apply that to the way that their brands could become. more appreciated for what they're all about.
Russ Johns 29:03
It's alignment of philosophies.
Kevin Perlmutter 29:06
It's alignment of philosophies, and it's helping bring out the best in the brand. Connecting with that with the people that would most appreciate it.
Russ Johns 29:14
I love it.
Kevin Perlmutter 29:15
I feel like it's really time for for business leaders and brand leaders to get serious about emotion. If they do and if they think about questions like how do you want people to feel and let the answers be their guide? They're going to go a lot further as a business.
Russ Johns 29:31
Yeah, yeah. I can't agree more. Well, thank you Kevin. So much for being here. I really appreciate you and the time you've been here. We got a couple more people. Stu Yes, it took time. He's there are caught. Thank you. Cheers everyone. Hello to all Gabriel. Always amazing Gabriel if you're not connected to Gabriel, always good Wednesday. Life is wonderful in the world is beautiful place because of people like Russ Johns. Thank you, Gabriel. Love you, brother.
Kevin Perlmutter 30:03
Russ Johns 30:06
As we always share on the #piratebroadcasts #kindnessiscool. #smilesarefree, and you #enjoytheday.
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