You are Treating Your Brand the Wrong Way | Interview with Nicola Mendelsohn

You are Treating Your Brand the Wrong Way | Interview with Nicola Mendelsohn


– Creativity matters everywhere, if you’re running for mayor in your town or if you’re running Coca Cola. (humming boom) (waves whispering) – Hi everyone here we are in Cannes, and I am with the
incredible Gary Vaynerchuk I am so excited we have
been trying to do this for the longest longest amount of time, and he’s rocked up today in
a spurs kit which my kids are absolutely going to love. Everybody knows everything about you, you are a serial entrepreneur, you set up that first business, a lemonade business age seven. Now chairman of VaynerX,
the ad agency VaynerMedia and we’re actually going to
talk today about authenticity and how brands can create real
and meaningful connections with consumers and I’m
hoping you’re gonna share some of your top tips today. So welcome to the Facebook
space, thank you for coming. – Thanks for having me. – So let’s get straight in so tell me, we’re talking about
authenticity in a brand. What does it mean to you
from a brand communication? – you know it’s, this is
an interesting question, I have a pretty for this
world a pretty left field point of view on this, and
my point of view is we need to achieve relevance I’m
looking at 11, 12, 13 faces right now and what Pepsi or
BMW or Coca Cola or Facebook means to all these people
is actually different, and so for me authenticity
gets very close to relevancy. Because when you’re a big brand
there are so many variables in your world, there’s so many
things that you are doing. You know some people may
drink a Cola to get a burst of energy, others it may be
a reminder of spending time with their grandmother and
I think we’re so literal in today’s brand and marketing world. We’re so stuck on
sentences, and adjectives, and we spend so much
time on subjective things that don’t matter to the
consumer on the other end. So my perspective is
much like a human being, you and I are going to
act differently as humans in this interview than if
we were with our family. Than if we were on a weekend in Las Vegas with our best friends, than if we were presenting
to 5,000 people. People are always like Gary
you’re a little bit different than when I see you on video, I’m like yeah I’m on stage
to 7,000 people versus I’m here with you there’s
different versions, and I think people struggle
in ad land to understand things that are multidimensional, and so for me authenticity
is actually being comfortable in the 74 to 7,400 variations
of how you show up, and so I think that we are,
that human beings, executives. Are limiting brands
ability to be authentic because they want it to be so literal and so safe and so PR’d and
so approved by the queen bee. That I think we live in a
very non-authentic world and I think the reason
humans continue to scale in popularity is they’re a focus group of the audience, they’re
an executive group of one. And I think one of the
reason real celebrities are struggling and have lost
share is they do have PR people they do have big deals with movie studios that they’re scared of breaking, and so I think anyone
that can actually show all the versions of themselves will win, and I think right now
the creative industry a isn’t set up to make enough creative. B has way to much b to b DNA
in it to actually show up authentic, and this is not schizophrenia, this is not throw up against
the wall and see what sticks. This is not being scattered,
this is being true, and so I think authenticity
has a far more at its end, there’s always something
that delivers at the end. A piece of content or creative and I think it’s being far
more wide than it’s been over the last 80 years. – So who is doing it well,
which brands would you point to, go nailed it. – One of the things that
I don’t do very well is pay attention to what
other people are doing. So this is always a tough question for me. There is something that’s,
you know I thought Wendy’s did a really good job
over the last couple years of engaging at scale
which then lead to a voice that gave them a lot of freedom. But the reality is I know what’s going on in the Vayner world obviously,
I know what’s going on in the broad sense but I
spend almost no time auditing what other brands are doing, and plus if we’re talking
from a brand standpoint, well has to be reflected
in business results. There’s a ton of people that
are going to win awards today that business is declining dramatically and I struggle with that. Because the point of that
creativity is to drive a business result in this context. Or get people to vote,
or inspire a movement or cure a disease, what’s
the point of output if you’re not getting the end result? You know I don’t know whose doing it well, I would say whoever’s
doing it well is definitely has business results, and definitely has a breadth of execution. – Okay so you’ve been with businesses and you’ve taken businesses from you know, very small to very big do you
think there’s different stages where authenticity and
creativity matters more? – No I think it always
matters, as a matter of fact right now watching everybody pay attention to all the sound right
behind us, and to me, and this is not a joke this is very meta. I have so much empathy especially as DRock and producers in my world
have come into my world. The amount of empathy
I have for people that are incredible at their skill set and what they think about
is so important to me. At the same token I genuinely
live in a world where I think that the person
that’s consuming this on the other side kind
of enjoys the helicopter or the boat or the
microphone because it’s real, and it’s not that my
point of view is right or production companies points of views are right or wrong I just think that I’m fascinated by this notion and we’re living in the
meta of it right now. First of all to answer
your question directly because I wanted to
clearly make that point. Creativity matters everywhere, if you’re running for mayor in your town or if you’re running Coca Cola and I think if you look
at what’s happening. Look there’s a lot of
politicians I desperately don’t agree with but in their authenticity of being crappy they get an audience, and I think we have to learn
from that across the board. – Now earlier this year you
set up another new business, The Sasha Group all focused
on small businesses, now what one piece of
advice would you give to a small business out
there that’s looking to find its voice or its personality? – That’s a great question,
lean into your founder whether she or he is
introverted or extroverted. Because they either are extroverted and charismatic enough
to drive your business and you’re a small company
and you need something. Or they’re introverted
buy they actually know their craft very well and
thought they may not be the most dynamic on film
they may be incredible in podcast form educating
people how to do refrigeration or how to sell tires
or whatever it may be. So lean into your founder and
make as much creative output as you can for the platforms
that are dominating the mobile device. The Facebook and Instagrams,
the Snapchats and LinkedIns the YouTubes of the world is
where the world is now playing, and making content in written, audio, or video form for those platforms
is imperative for an SmB. We were getting tens of
thousands of inquiries at VaynerMedia from SmBs
and we couldn’t take them on because we’re too expensive for them. Because the business I built
is to service big brands. But I came from SmB and I almost felt, almost like a hypocrite slash you know the reason I named it
directly after my dad Sasha is ’cause that’s my roots
and I thought we were ready to help that world, and it’s been very. I would tell you honestly,
it’s been far more fulfilling helping these small companies, I mean there’s a nail business in Toronto that was in deep, deep, deep trouble. Because their main
distributor was about to, they thought they might cancel them and sure enough a year later they did. But we helped them build a
direct to consumer business through leaning in to their founder, I mean I give advice that
actually I watch happen. We leaned into the founder,
we made a ton of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter content and
the business is up three x in revenue, you have to
understand I lived it. Taking my dad’s business
from three mil, four million to 60 million do you know
how life changing that is for a business? I bought my car at a
garage sale for 500 bucks. My brother got a Lexus
it changes when you build a business like that,
so you know we’re doing incredible work with Chase and Budweiser and all this great stuff, but
when you’re helping an SmB and look let’s call it what it is. Being at the Facebook
pavilion, my point of view from the outside, the small
and medium sized businesses of the world have figured
out Facebook far far more than the biggest brands in the world. Because the biggest brands in
the world deal with audacity and fake and SmBs can
only live in the truth because if they live in fake
they go out of business. – Okay so any favorite
you’ve mentioned a few, any favorite platforms or
tools that are really good for helping these businesses
to build their connections? Podcast, YouTube, Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn has exploded
in the last six months, LinkedIn acts like Facebook
did six, seven years ago. Organic reach on LinkedIn is
shocking, so there’s that. Instagram story ads is
the most under priced ad in the world, buying
Instagram swipe up story ads that take you exactly to
where we want you to go, for two to three or four dollars CPMs and they’re actually being seen? Unheard of so those are some of the things that I’m excited about. – Okay and what about your own channels, your own podcasts–
– I’m dominating, yeah. It’s going great.
– You’re own social. How are you learning to express, not that I think you have
any troubles with this but how do you think you’re
learning, or tips that you can give about how you
express yourself personally and what you’re able therefore to transfer into the brands which
you can communicate for? – Look the single thing I’m
most proud of sitting at Cannes is there’s not a human here,
not one that makes more creative output than I do on a daily basis and collective period,
that is an audacious but factual statement, there
is not one person here. That makes more content than I do and I’m a CEO of a
company, not a creative, and in that you can
imagine a world where me and my team are producing 40
to 100 pieces of content a day across all these platforms,
there’s a practitionership that allows me, I mean
the amount of mistakes you know it’s funny I have DRock here ’cause he’s on the text
chain with me and my team. We change our mind seven times a month, I constantly shit on my
own self once a week, I emphatically on Monday
say all about this and literally next Tuesday
go if we every do that again we’re finished I mean this is real life, this is the truth–
– you’re testing and learning with yourself. – At a scale that is unseen right now, and should be replicated by everyone. Which gives me much better
insights to what the consumer is reacting to, and then
obviously I’m a human with a certain kind of flavor
so that doesn’t math to Doug the same exact way so there’s
macro things that we see that we deploy and then
we see how it plays out, it’s never literal from me to I’m a human, I’m a 43 year old man
there’s a lot of things that don’t navigate. But there’s a lot of truths
that we navigate that we test and learn there and that we scale, so it is the ultimate test lab. – Okay so you, a few
bold statements there. But I can say you are the
only person in all the years, and I’ve interviewed a lot of people. That has ever walked in
with your own microphone. ‘Cause you’re literally
just blogging and recording and observing the whole time. – And listen when I hear that
sentence my brain goes to charlatan, self-promoter,
audacious I mean that, and I’m saying that
because I want the audience to understand when you’re
innovating you’re gonna be misunderstood, when we decided three and a half years ago to film everything. I knew that that wasn’t gonna
be so easy to navigate life, I mean this is, at least this
setting is somewhat normal. How ’bout in your normal
day to day when you’re just going to a normal meeting
and you’re being filmed? People are gonna cast judgment and I don’t want to come across that way. It’s just that the value
of content at scale is the cost of entry for
success in my opinion of this next decade and
yeah that’s why we do it. – So you have famously
predicted many trends that have some true so we couldn’t be here with the helicopters,
planes, boats going on. What is the next big trend
that you’re looking at? – I think that Alexa and
Google Home is going to be a major major factor over the next decade and I implore since were
here, I always think Zucks has some secret lab when
he’s working on this. ‘Cause I can’t imagine Facebook
not entering this foray, the attention of the end
consumer’s everything. – You’ve tried portal. – Yes I have I have you’re right I have, and to that point that’s a solid counter. I think that voice
activated decision making is going to be a big deal
because consumers care so little about privacy and so
much about saving time and nothing saves you
more time than sitting in your living room deciding
you want to go to a movie and it is far faster for
me to say Alexa Portal, Google Home, whatever Microsoft’s got and whatever some Chinese company’s got. Alexa, what movies are playing? That is faster than grabbing your phone and searching Fandango, and in that speed and getting your answers
will be enormous disruption over the next decade so
I’m extremely bullish on voice activated devices. – Okay we’re outta time
you’ve got a million places you’ve gotta go to but we
have our Facebook tradition of the quick fire round don’t
overthink it just say it. – Do you guys normally play
awesome music right now? Do you post produce that way? – You’ll post produce that and put it in and then we want fire and fireworks and everything in the background, so first one Cannes or California? – Cannes, man I really
don’t like California. (laughing) – I mean you’re honest. – I love California’s social
point of view on the world. – American Football or Baseball. – American Football. – Tottenham Hotspur or Tottenham Hotspur? – Both. – Okay good answer.
(Gary laughing) Cardio or weights? – Cardio.
– Okay. Podcast or Vlog? – Oof. You just literally asked me
what child do I love more? By the way real quick
on that every parent has a favorite child.
– That’s not true! – This is absolutely true.
– You’re gonna kill me with my four kids, it’s not true.
– It is, four kids I promise you, you may not wanna know this but your mom definitely has a favorite. I’m sure all four of you
actually know who it is. Like for example in my family
everyone knows it’s me. – Whose interview is this? (laughing) – I will go with Podcast,
I like making decisions I think that audio is passive consumption and I feel like even a lot
of people who watch my Vlog actually only watch it with the
audio while they’re driving, working out so I will go
with we are in the rise of the next decade of audio. Because we’ve got faster,
technology’s caught up. We wanna consume information
but having to pay attention to the video versus listening while I do something else, not as valuable. – Okay and just for the record
Gabby, Danny, Sam and Zach. I love you all equally
don’t listen to this man– – It’s Gabby, it’s Gabby.
(laughing) – Final very important
question, Cola or lemonade? – You know what’s interesting,
Cola and this is funny with a lemon in it.
– That’s cheating. – I only–
– that’s cheating– – No it’s not cheating,
what’s amazing about what you asked, actually let
me be even more transparent. I’ve stopped drinking Cola as
much over the last five years, but I’ve kinda re picked it
up in the last six months because I’ve missed it. I only drink Cola with
lemon and lime in it, only. I actually dislike, so much
so I don’t like regular Cola anymore, fresh lemon and
lime not when they spice it. I need to do it, the little pieces and then I bite the actual
lemon and eat the whole peel and everyone freaks out. It’s a whole to do.
– These were supposed to be the don’t overthink
it, most people just go Cola or lemonade, not Gary. One message that I take
out more than anything, is experiment, experiment try it. Don’t be afraid be more authentic, more creative things will happen and crucially more
business results will come. Thank you for being with us. – Thanks for having me.
– I really appreciate it. (wind rushing)

100 thoughts on “You are Treating Your Brand the Wrong Way | Interview with Nicola Mendelsohn

  1. TIMESTAMPS:
    00:55 – What does brand authenticity mean to you?
    3:50 – Which brands are communicating well?
    5:00 – Are there stages where creativity and authenticity matter more?
    6:20 – What is one piece of advice you would give to a small business trying to find its voice?
    9:00 – What are your favorite platforms?
    9:50 – How do your personal social profiles help you bring value to big businesses?
    12:25 – What are some of the next big trends?
    13:45 – Facebook rapid-fire Q&A

  2. This help vindicate my actions this year and trying so many different strategies for our business! Nice video!

  3. This is GREAT! Thanks for sharing all of your experience, knowledge and advice @GaryVee

    Greetings from Mexico!!!

  4. That moment when you hear Gary say "I think that most people watch my videos just listening to the sound when they're driving or doing something else.." and you wanna yell from the bathroom "That's not tru…. wait. I'm washing my hair right now and just listening to Gary…." hahahah

  5. Why are you wearing that shirt Gary? I liked you until now!

    Spurs are literally the epitome of failure

  6. I dont know if he ever reads his YT comments, but hes one of the most authentic people ive ever watched!
    His videos literally dragged me out of my depressive, dark times and kicked my ass to get two jobs and work my ass of for my dreams!
    Im always really skeptic about all of these big people on social media, but hes my real inspiration.
    Love what hes doing and im hoping to be relevant enough to talk to him in person in future.

    Love from Germany <3

  7. Gary, cant talk about growth and success when your wearing that B.S. shirt.The epitome of mediocrity.
    Stay congruent. 😎

  8. well it's a play for dollars. we have to cater to make sure the ad spend ROI is highest. but if we focus $$ as capital instead of people as the true capital then we lose out more than we can even measure. trust costs a lot.

  9. @garyvee I love your videos but why are wearing a Tottenham shirt! I had to hide the video and just listen to audio

  10. I actually was just listening to the video right now (as a podcast) while I was making breakfast for my sister 😂😂

  11. I mean man I got chills when you said someone Is enjoying the helicopter and the boats
    Hell yeah I am enjoying it…
    Cause I have never been to sea my entire life so I enjoyed it man
    I think you observation is great about people

  12. This is sooo much value! Thank you again Gary👍 what your talking about here is exactly what I'm building towards with my channel. I try to add an authentic, creative side to all of my videos. Even if it's not a popular subject, I would rather be awkward and unpopular while being creative/authentic than be trending and unpopular while being just another trend on the wagon.

  13. GARY IS THE MANNN! I AND IS THE BEST Have taken all of garys advice and jumped out of my comfort zone and am 1 year on youtube and to follow my progress my next live we be later tonight and i would really love the support it would mean so much feedback so please hit subscribe and check it out please :

  14. Gary I really enjoy the knowledge you generously share. Its food dor the brain. If you get a chance check out my little E4 on my YouTube. He love to dance wherever he is. Though I might as well share it with others cause to me it really means something as well as my boy. Hopefully it puts some smiles on peoples faces

  15. Gary I'm an arsenal fan, I like you and your content but that shirt bro. Well I guess you said you like losing lol.

  16. I swear I hope Gary v is right. Putting out content, It feels like I’m damaging my brand before it’s even a brand if that makes any sense. I’ve notice the mysterious ppl succeed

  17. Tottenham Jersey???

    Can I send you a brandnew FC BAYERN MUICH jersey?

    ***Just making sure, you look good bro 😉

  18. New to YouTube but I have really good content. Check out my beats. Hope you show some love/ like and subscribe.

  19. It's really amazing to see people catch on to things you're truly saying. I respect and admire the fuck out of your patience. Thank you for being you. Love from New Mexico!

  20. GARYVEE IS THE MAN!!! Ive taken all of his advice and he has encouraged me to case my dreams of becoming a YouTuber! I post weekly videos and would love some support! Please hit subscribe and check it out!

  21. I couldn't agree more, helping small and middle sized businesses is super fullfilling:))) even though it gets very hard when it comes to mindset especially exchanging old ones to new ones but still it's possibly and that's what I love about it:))) we think and work with small and middle sized businesses in Austria fast future forward:))

  22. Team Gary Vee,
    Not many things save time as you claimed about the Alexa voice. It creates a new slow of status quo. You’re a phenom but time can’t be saved especially with a lazy procrastinating America and not to mention ISPs going down, people yelling for Alexa at the last minute, items are sold out, and you’re just “SCALESMAN” (a salesmen with good production who scaled up) acting like Seinfeld acts about comedy. Except it’s all just sales. You go home laughing at how simple it really is.

  23. Feel free to use “SCALESMAN” at your next speaking venue. You know the place where 7,000 listen to you, but you really benefit about 17 of them for success.

  24. The best inspiration man on earth today and yes Gary iam putting out content being a Doctor, after watching ur videos an dur videos are my morning fuel 🙏👍

  25. Loved and agreed with what you said here my man. Being your authentic self and letting that come through in your branding is so key. Thanks for this great interview!

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