The Marketing Secrets Apple & Tesla Always Use: Rory Sutherland | E165 | Transcription
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I think the NHS could create massively greater patient satisfaction by deploying certain behaviours and techniques like one. Will... Will Riesseathaland, he is an author, columnist and the Vice Chairman of ArgoVuk. One of the largest marketing companies in the world, he's an ad man. Stories are the PDF files of human information. They're the vehicle we use for storing information and the vehicle we use for sharing it. You want to improve how people feel. Psychology is a better area for exploration than rational improvement. Don't make the Giorgio Star faster, make the journey more enjoyable. And that's one of the cleverest reframings you can do. The Uber Map is a psychological moonshot. What bothers us about waiting for a taxi isn't actually the duration, it's the degree of uncertainty. And if you have a map which shows you where the taxi is, you're basically relaxed. You can genuinely perform magic. In perception, what is the seat covering for the Teslettes? It's called vegan leather. No, actually, to be honest, we would have called those plastic seats back in the day. If it makes things feel more valuable, is it a con? Without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett and this is the Dye Over CEO. I hope nobody's listening. But if you are, then please keep this to yourself. Rory, first of all, thank you for being here. As someone who built a marketing business and has worked in a similar industry to you for a huge portion of my life, you're someone that I've always looked up to. And even young members of my team here cite you as being an inspiration on an ongoing basis for the work they're doing just broadly on these new platforms like TikTok. Because the principles and the psychology and the rationality underneath much of your work is really, really timeless. So thank you for being here. That's a great honour. Oh, no. And we'll get into some mutual fanboying later. But no, I mean, one of the great insights, I think, which I hope helps motivate everybody working in our industry and related industries, is that when you create perceptual value, you are creating value. Value can be created in the mind every bit as much as it can be created in the factory.
Understanding Value Creation And Perception
The concept of how we value things (02:07)
And I think there was an unfortunate story about marketing that treated it as kind of optional extra. It was the fairy dust on top of the real intrinsic value that resided in a product or service. And I completely dispute that. I think we value things according not to what they are, but what they mean. And what they mean is context dependent. It can be massively transformed by storytelling, framing, recontextualization. And you can absolutely use psychological mechanisms to make things more valuable, more enjoyable, more precious. That's one important one. I might make the additional point, which is, to be honest, overambitious, but I make it anyway, which is that actually perceived value is a very environmentally friendly form of value to create. Because you can generally create meaning and imbue a product with meaning with a lot less carbon consumption that is necessarily involved in making the product three times bigger or five times faster. And my argument would also be if we're looking for breakthrough 10x moonshot improvements, it's actually much easier to find psychological moonshots than technological moonshots. Making a train 10 times faster. It was possible in 1840, 1820. Very difficult to do now to a point of just dangerousness or extraordinarily difficult engineering problem. Making a train journey 10 times more enjoyable, that's still durable, in my view. Give me an example then. What's the example that always comes to mind for you of where someone has managed to put tremendous moonshot style value on something, a brand potentially, just with marketing and advertising? But what I'm always very fond of is I think the Uber map is a psychological moonshot. And it's based, I mean, the story, which may or may not be true, is that one of the founders of Uber was inspired by watching Goldfinger. And when he saw Bond effectively following Goldfinger using a tracking device, there was a scrolling map in the dashboard of the DB4, which showed him where Goldfinger's car was. So he could trail it while remaining out of sight. Then what was extraordinary about that was that it was based on a very clever insight into human psychology, which most of us ourselves aren't really aware of, which is the, we would say, and we'd confidently say we believe that I hate it when a taxi takes a long time to turn up. I like it when a taxi turns up quickly. So a rational person or an engineer would react to that by saying what we need is a predictive algorithm so that taxis tend to be available in areas where we predict heavy demand so that we can serve as customers more quickly. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with that. It may be a very worthwhile thing to do, although it's worth saying that it requires quite a lot of scale in order to achieve that. But the real insight with the map is that deep down, you know, somewhere in the amygdala, what bothers us about waiting for a taxi isn't actually the duration. It's the degree of uncertainty. In other words, is he here yet? Maybe he's parked around the corner. What if he can't find the house? Maybe he's already left? Was the person on the phone lying? And so that period between booking a taxi and waiting for it to arrive was one of general high stress. Now, what's interesting is you could reduce that stress, I admit, by getting the taxi to turn up very quickly, or at least you reduce the period of stress, but the stress would still remain. On the other hand, if you have a map which shows you where the taxi is, you're basically relaxed. Okay? Instead of going, "Oh my God, you know, where is he? I'm sure, you know, maybe he's already left. I'd better go and stand out in the rain so he doesn't miss me or get impatient." You just look at the map and you go, "Oh, look, he's stuck at those traffic lights. I'll have another pint." Okay? Now, what's interesting is that the quantity of waiting is the same with or without a map. You know, in pure quantitative measured SI unit terms of time and duration, no difference. The quality of the waiting is totally transformed. It's almost taking it from a system dependent on trust. How much you trust that particular firm? How have they performed in the past? Do they sometimes lie to me? Have other taxi drivers sometimes lied to me to a system that is almost completely trustless, or I don't need to trust you because I can see for myself? And I suppose there's also an element of trust which, okay, was provided historically in London by the knowledge. And the knowledge was an interesting thing because I occasionally debate this, which is, "Was the knowledge really about knowledge?" In other words, we don't need black cab drivers to study to this level of detail. Now we have the technology of the sat-nav. And pure utilitarian people go, "Why on earth am I paying premium for a black cab driver to learn all this stuff?" When he could simply buy a Tom Tom for 300 quid and stick it on the dashboard. And there's some argument for that, okay? The only other point is that you have a very high degree of trust. One of the great things you could say about the knowledge is it sunk cost. It's commit, it's proof of commitment. You're only going to actually go through that process if you're pretty serious about being a really good cab driver. Also, it provides you, if you think about it, if you've spent what, a year and a half, two years scuttling around London on a moped with one of those clipboards, rehearsing for your sessions of the knowledge, okay? You'd be a bit of an idiot effectively losing your taxi license day one, wouldn't you? Okay? You know, it's, you know, in other words, it is to something, it's rather like medieval guilds. They required extraordinary stringent conditions of entry into the guild, but that was what ensured honesty. Because the cost of being thrown out of the guild, given the effort you'd put into actually being admitted in the first place, was therefore made it not worthwhile to cheat. You also see something in your book about how making a process more difficult can sometimes make it more attractive to consumers. So, I mean, he's known sometimes as the IKEA effect, which is that certainly, Camprad, who's the kind of owner and founder of IKEA, believes that the fact that you assemble the furniture yourself contributes to its perceived value. In other words, you've committed something of yourself to its assembly and creation. You might also argue it destigmatizes low prices, okay? So, I'll give you an example of that. There's a very big difference between cheap strawberries and pick your own strawberries. Now, pick your own strawberries are cheap, but there's a narrative as to why they're cheap, which is I put into some of the effort into the harvesting of the things, and I have to go out into a field and pick the things myself. Cheap strawberries, by contrast, may create some degree of uncertainty because you look at the market and go, "Well, if these strawberries were really good, why wouldn't they charge full price for them? What's wrong with this?" And so, quite often, you know, sometimes you have to make things more expensive to make them trustworthy, oddly, okay? You know, you can be too good to be true, that consumers won't necessarily trust something that's cheap unless there's a narrative around it as to where the cost savings are made. I mean, I think a lot of, if you think about low-cost airlines, okay, they spent quite a lot of effort talking about what you didn't get. You don't get a meal, okay? You have to pay to check in your luggage. You don't get it originally with easy jet. You didn't even get preallocated seating, okay? It was, you know, effectively like a bus. You had to book online. You couldn't book through a travel agent. And those constraints, to some extent, were there to make it believable to the consumer that there was a legitimate form of cost saving going on. Now, if you'd said, if you launched EasyJet, you'd said, "We're just as good as British Airways, but we're half the price." The untrusting consumer is going to ask, "How are you doing this, okay? Does it mean you're not servicing the engines or the pilots are all on day release from prison or something, right? You're going to start having doubts." So interestingly, sometimes negative stories around a product can be used to offset the negatives which a consumer would tend to imagine. If IKEA had ready assembled furniture, which wasn't sold in a warehouse, it was sold in a kind of posh, heels-style, emporium, we'd think there was something a bit iffy going on. So, there's also the wonderful IKEA effect, which is the effort of actually going to an IKEA and navigating the maze makes it more or less impossible for you to go home empty-handed. You have to buy some tea lights at the very minimum just to validate your trip. Now, I suppose the earliest manifestation of this, although it's sometimes called the IKEA effect, was a very famous marketing case study for Betty Crocker Cakes, where they had a cake mix where you just added water, put it in the oven, created a cake. And it didn't sell very well, and a psychologist came in and said, "There isn't enough effort involved in this to make it feel like cooking." And so they added the slogan, "Just add an egg." The addition of the egg, although it actually imposed a cost and a small degree of effort, suddenly made the product much more popular. Now, the idea would be that now it was actually cooking. You were preparing something for your family. You weren't just cheating, perhaps. I mean, it's an interesting debate because we don't fully know that this wasn't tested to an absolutely robust level of academic certainty. But nonetheless, it's a very popular anecdote within marketing that sometimes the counter-intuitive, I think that's all you need to derive from it. All you need to derive from it in business decision making is sometimes the counter-intuitive approach might be better. And I was thinking then about these modern meal delivery companies. So you have, obviously, on one end super-convenience, you have Uber, Uber Eats, etc., delivery. And then you have this middle ground of where we'll send you the ingredients and tell you how to put it in the pan. So that'd be a good stir or hello-fresh. Exactly. But you just got to put it in the pan and mix it. And I want to only take you 10 minutes or so, which I think is probably appealing to the same sort of psychological desire to feel like you cooked. It's a very strange thing because one of the founders of Gooster actually met me shortly before lockdown. And I couldn't really make sense of the product, okay, at first. And this, by the way, really interests me because Bill Gates once said of technology that the problem we have with technology is people don't know how to want the things we can offer them. And one of the things that increasingly fascinates me is products which an economist would call them an experience good, where it's only really possible to perceive their value by actually using them. I have to admit, when I was presented with Gooster and Hello-Fresh, I thought this is kind of dumb. I've got a card of a account. I can order things from Sainsbury's for clicking collect. I've got, well, my wife more accurately has got 20 or 30 cookery books of various kinds. All I have to do is bigger recipe from a cookery book, effectively order the necessary ingredients, follow instructions, cook at home, job done. Why on earth would I want a box with pre-selected ingredients and the right ratio arriving with a recipe card? But anyway, I met this guy and he said, "Well, I'll send you a free box." Now, I'm not so ungrateful and nasty human being that I go, I don't want your stinking box to free food. And I think it was actually towards the beginning of the pandemic anyway. So I wanted to entirely show that food was going to remain abundantly available. So I said, "Sure, absolutely, I'm delighted." The other thing is I probably ordered a Gooster box for the only reason we stopped was actually we had our kitchen replaced and had a period where none of them. But pretty much every week, my assistant, Anna, who's in the next room, has also had a Gooster the majority of weeks for two and a half years ever since experiencing it. You asked me to explain this. I mean, this is what's so glorious, which is I can't quite explain why once experienced this is such a compelling benefit. It possibly is the fact that because these ingredients in the right ratio and have a limited shelf life, it forces you to cook them. And therefore, it forces you to cook what ends up being a restaurant quality meal at home with not too much effort. In, by the way, a reasonably healthy quantity as well. One of the problems with takeaway food is if you want variety, you end up with completely excessive quantity, don't you? You end up either keeping the stuff in the fridge or with an extraordinary amount of food waste. Because unlike a restaurant where they think, well, if you give them slightly too little food, they might order a pudding or something else. In takeaway food, you don't get a second chance to top them up. So the great paranoia, I think, of all takeaway restaurants is not putting enough quantity in. And so you do end up with a restaurant quality meal at the price of a ready meal, which you have cooked yourself. That's very logical. Give me the un-tillogical. Was there some surprise and delight in? Genuinely, I just got one product, which is the greatest example of a product which genuinely kind of creates massive contradictions in my own mind, which is the crooker. I don't know if you've got one of the instant boiling water, effectively. Oh, yeah. I've got one over there. Yeah. If you want the story of the crooker, by the way, I'll tell your listeners, because it's fascinating. There were two people, I think, at Unilever, who their brief was effectively to invent kuppa soup. And they did it very successfully. They produced what is a powdered form of soup. And one of them said, "Right, job done. We've created the kuppa soup. Buy the kettle, pour the water on. You've got a nice mug of soup. Job done. I'll go back to the day job." And the other Dutch guy basically felt, "No, I've only solved half the problem here, because you still have to wait for the kettle to boil." And for whatever reason, I mean, he must have been a kind of compulsive inventor. He became obsessed with solving the second half of the kuppa soup problem, which is, "How can we create boiling water faster?" Which was technically off brief, but nonetheless, for some reason, absolutely preoccupied him. And so he effectively ended up creating what is a Dutch company, "Kukka." No. Okay. Half of me, perhaps the more puritanical, rational half, is going, "You've just paid not quite a four-figure sum, but a very large three-figure sum for a very fast kettle." And the other half of me is going, "I wouldn't go back." I don't know what your relationship is with your kukka, but I find it difficult now, going back to a kettle, having experienced instant tea making, instant soup making. If you want to poach an egg, you can fill a pan with boiling water instantaneously. You don't have to wait for that to cook up. Suddenly, of course, you discover new and complementary uses for boiling water. But that all seems very logical to me. That makes perfect sense. Yeah. I mean, the only thing is, I think you've got a lot of products, which are much, much easier for you to defend or understand or appreciate in retrospect than they are for you to write a check for in advance. Right. I've got a lot of... And that's a marketing problem. The electric car, by the way, is... I mean, one really interesting question I always ask about any technology, which I think is a question that's asked too little. People ask, "What are the unit sales of this technology and how fast are they growing?" Actually, any new technology grows very slowly to begin with. It's a sigmoid curve. Nearly anything significantly new starts off fairly niche. Yeah. And the reason is that the two driving forces of human behavior are habit and social copying. And therefore, when you've never done it before and none of your friends do it, doing something is much more difficult to do. I mean, I'm old enough to remember the time when the majority of my friends said, "I don't understand why you'd want a mobile phone." Okay. I mean, I can actually remember when I used a mobile phone on Oxford Street in 1989, two people shouted abuse at me from passing taxis. It was like a brick. It was a social statement. It was my phone. We had company phones and we signed them out for the day. But just the act of using one of these things in public would expose you to a general opprobrium. And it's impossible for anybody now to think back on that because I don't think anybody knows anybody without a mobile phone. The example that comes to mind for me, and it's also to do with a crooker.
Recursive Trends (18:56)
I didn't call it a crooker. I just call it the tap. But yeah, instant hot water and instant cold water is music. And a friend of mine told me the story of standing with the HMV, I think it's HMV CEO looking out on the shop floor at all these people buying CDs. And he said to him, "We'll always have a business because people love music." Now, what he got wrong is he was right that people love music. But they don't love getting in their car, driving in the rain, and then getting a plastic piece of plastic, which they can then get damaged very easily. They can only carry a few of them and driving it back to the house. People loved music, and he only really found that out. Well, they didn't really like CDs. Yes. I mean, I might make a point by the way that in terms of it's, if someone has a design sensibility, in terms of its proliferation, the CD laughably named "Jule Case," the plastic hinge case in which the CD came was probably the nastier, single, manufactured item in everything from environmental terms to just usability. The fact that it opened with a horrible sort of cracking snap. Now, what's interesting is that vinyl has made a resurgence, but I don't see any sign of a CD resurgence any more than I see. There are few weird people who are back into cassettes on there, but I think that's fairly nichey. I mean, that's kind of like, like, lemography and photography. It's one of those sort of weird countercultures. I just about understand, it's slightly weird when my daughter asked for a gramophone player for her birthday, because I'm kind of going, I was born in 1965. I spent my whole life trying to get rid of the nuisance of physical music to effectively something akin to Spotify, and now you're weirdly reverting to this thing. It made no sense to me. Possibly there's an element that if you're really devoted to a particular band, you want to spend money and signal your devotion in some physical form. I don't know what's going on there fully. I think is that not just a case of scarcity? Well, I suspect one of the curses of capitalism is that is recursive fashion. So Jeremy Bulmore, who's now, I suppose, in his late 80s, wonderful guy who was the creative director of Jay Walton Thompson, he was a director of WPP for many years. He made the point. By the way, as you get older, you realize much more of this. Here we go again, because you have greater chronological context in which to appreciate it. But he made the point that when he was a child, all cheddar cheese came with a rind. So most cheese you buy in a shop was cut from a wheel, and it would have either some sort of wax or or else rind or sometimes it's cloth on the exterior. And someone then started selling rindless cheddar and they charged a premium for it, you see, because, you know, brilliant, I don't have to pay for the rind and I don't have to cut it off. What a wonderful convenience. And then memories being short, and obviously some people being born before they can remember cheddar with a rind anyway, about 25, 30 years after that, people started introducing farmhouse artisan cheddar with the rind left on and they charged a premium for that. So you do have this peculiar thing where... That's all marketing though, isn't it? Because what you're saying, that's the real cheese. It's part the human near failure so that what's different attracts our attention. So undoubtedly we disproportionately pay attention to things which are new or seemingly different. And we're novelty seeking to a great extent. The story, though, if I buy that artisanal cheese, the story for me, especially if being artisan is this is the real cheese, in my head I immediately go, that supermarket stuff is just fake processed, but the rind signals that this I'm paying for real cheese. Well, I mean, we can look at the interesting, exactly, it's a recursive trend. And of course, in fashion it happens all the time. The most bizarre fashions including flares and Afghan coats have sequins and made a massive comeback. And the truth is that when they come around a second time, the context is different, so they mean something different. You see the same with brands like Fela, like these old brands have exploded. Fela's an example, but it became when I was 10 years old, but if you bought Fela, you had no money and you were... When I was 20, if you have Fela, you were the coolest person. Burberry had that as well. They went from being, oh, if you're wearing Burberry, you are a bit of a roughy, you're a little bit rough as a person, to this kind of, I guess it was a branding exercise where Burberry then became really cool again. Part of the term for this is sometimes counter-signaling. It was a bit like hipsters drinking Pabs Blue Ribbon, I think it's called, which is a historically downmarket blue collar American beer.
The brain's marketing function: Signalling (23:42)
It was downmarket of Budweiser and the other, you know, and calls and so forth. And this is a really interesting thing in human behavior, sometimes in marketing itself, but also in how humans market themselves. Because I think one of the conclusions we've got to come to, and we have to admit, and which the better understanding of will be, I think, central to understanding how we solve things like the environmental crisis and indeed over consumption, is that the human brain itself has quite a large marketing function. You know, it has an accounting function, it cares about the efficient use of resources, it has, you know, all kinds of kind of algorithms and heuristics that are kind of in many cases innate and built in. But it also has a marketing function, it very much cares about image and status. Effectively, what something you do means to other people. Now, one thing that is common to lots of animals is signaling. You know, the most common example is the peacock's tail, elk, sandlers, things you do, often costly things you do to demonstrate that you can do them. - Forrearies. - Okay. And, you know, in many cases, forrearies in London, of course. You know, I mean, the extraordinary thing when you think about it is having a Ferrari in central London is about as deranged a car choice as you can imagine, okay? But the very fact that it's impractical and ludicrous is almost what gives it meaning, okay? As I said, you know, if this is a very mischievous sentence, but if people were attracted to people who drove expensive vehicles, okay, then they'd find lorry drivers more attractive than Ferrari owners in many cases, because the truck is actually more expensive as a vehicle or a really luxury motor coach. But the motor coach actually has a practical function, which diminishes its signaling value because if you want to show that you really have resources to spare, nothing beats waste, indiscriminate waste, shows that you really have resources to spare, you know, or you pursue things that are disproportionately scarce. The real interesting thing with humans, though, and I don't think there's a case where animals do this is they also practice something called countersignaling, which is showing that you don't have to try because you're confident enough in your other attributes, okay? So an example of that would be in academia, a professor who's aspiring to get a let's say a named professorship or tenure will go around in a suit, okay? A tenured professor who has job security for life will go around dressed like a tramp. You know, if you've won a Nobel Prize, my hunch is, once you've won a Nobel Prize, I think famously George Stiglitz used to actually turn up at the world bank with no shoes on, okay? Now interestingly, you do that, it's a bit like that old joke, why do dogs lick their own balls? Because they can, okay? And to some extent, people do what they can get away with. So, you know, the classic example is, you know, people who play in very fashionable bands can afford to be extraordinary scruffy, because what effectively Liam and Noel are saying is that our presence in this band renders us so unbelievably cool and sexy that we don't even have to make an effort on the sartorial front. I've seen this in my own life. It's funny to just do the journey of my career in the last 10 years. The example I'd give is in my early career speaking on stage, I would try and dress really smart and wear a suit. Now, I think it's much better that I present myself in the tracksuit bottom, in the tracksuit that I would wear, like going around the house when I speak on stage. A, because it's more akin to who I am, B, because I can. And C, I think the psychological thing that I'm not admitting, because it might make me seem like an asshole, is it's actually more of a status play to not wear a suit and to not show off. And the same applies for Lou Vuitton, like early part of my first five years of my career, when I was just about getting some money, I buy these designer brands like Lou Vuitton. Now, I genuinely think if I hold a Lou Vuitton bag, it makes me look bad. So I've like rid myself. And when I walk in some, I say to my manager, because I've just got the one left that hasn't managed to break yet, I say, can you hold that? Because I don't want to be associated with that level of signaling, if that makes sense, I guess. No, and the argument is that you know, you're famous enough now that you no longer need fashion brands to accord, you know, in fact, the very fact that you were trying, given your fame to actually signal your success through fashion, would probably be counterproductive. It would stress you are insecure or trying too hard. And so that thing of we do what we can get away with to signal what we're capable of. So it's a very oblique form of state of signaling. It might be very valuable environmentally counter signaling might be something you need to harness. In other words, it's cool, you know, it's cool to own less. Yes, because I don't have things. I don't have a watch. I don't have, as I said to you, I have an electric bike, which you've just seen. I have to be fine. I do have a nice car that they drive me in sometimes. But other than that, in terms of my own possessions, it's really all about utility and not buying it in excess. And I actually think that's a really good point that that can be leveraged to try and help the environment, which I think that's happening. There's a very interesting thing happening, which is in electric cars. And I was speaking to the marketing director of Skoda. They produce something called the Eniac, which is actually, it's similar to the Volkswagen 9E4, but it's very, very good electric car. And one of the things they're noticing, I migrated from a Jaguar to the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Quite a few people on the Mach-E Forum are actually ex-luxury car owners. And quite a few people, the Skoda marketing director was telling me, that quite a few people who'd gone to the Skoda Eniac could actually come from, for example, Audi, Jaguar, fairly premium cars. So there is a thing that actually having the electric car, even in a less leather-clad, wall-lut infested form, that's now the status component. It's not the brand of the car. It's the fact that it's electric. Tesla's the same. I think Tesla is a big, I don't give a fuck, in a weird way. I think it's a big, for me, it's a, the journey, honestly, would be you'd get a lamb, if you were insecure, and this is what you're into. You'd get one of those really fancy brands. And then the next step is saying, do you know what? I don't give a fuck, which is what you see going on in San Francisco with the billionaires and the CEOs and the VCs. I'm going to be a Tesla person now, which is I care more about the environment and other things. And I don't really care if you think that. It's still a premium brand. I mean, it's be honest, because let's face it, any Tesla is probably less than three years old. And actually, most people don't buy cars from new ever or only once in their life. It's not fancy, but it's not particularly fancy. I mean, there's a wonderful piece of a little alchemy in it, of course, which is the invention of the phrase vegan leather. Oh, really? If you think that the reason I broke the book, alchemy is partly to elevate the status and centrality of marketing in business success, that actually what you are is effectively a product of how you make people feel. Ultimately, that psychological, it's not technological. And therefore, if you want to improve how people feel, psychology is a better area for exploration than what you might call rational improvement. Don't make the Eurostar faster, make the journey more enjoyable. Put why far on the trains serve better food, okay? To cheap away actually to compete, okay? Strangely, engineers see it as cheating. You see, if you have an engineering or a finance background, you see psychological value as invalid. But the vital thing about psychological value is where is it's very difficult to perform magic in the world of physics or engineering. You can genuinely perform magic in perception. Now, what is the seed covering for the Tesla? It's called vegan leather. Now, actually, to be honest, we would have called those plastic seats back in the day. In my childhood in the 1970s and 80s, we've got it. It's got plastic seats, okay? Now, I'm sure that vegan leather is better than the plastic seats, which you'd find in a voxel viva in 1977, okay? I'm sure it's better in all kinds of ways, breathability, you know, cleanliness, whatever. But nonetheless, calling it vegan leather, in other words, I'm doing this for the planet rather than plastic, which is, in other words, what you're doing there is you're making it a choice not a compromise. And that's one of the cleverest reframings you can do. And aspirational choices. And indeed, yeah, no. And so, you know, I look at things like range anxiety and I get that psychological, okay? What's that? Okay, range anxiety is a big obstacle to electric car purchase in the UK in two, in two, two levels, okay? One, it probably, well, three levels. One, it means that cars tend to compete on their range, which in a sense is further emphasizing a negative to the consumer. Because if electric car advertising is all about range, okay? People start to see range as more of a problem than it is. Secondly, it makes the batteries bigger, the cars heavier and more expensive than they probably need to be. So it's interesting because so often, I think, the obstacles to technology adoption are really psychological hurdles, much more than technological hurdles. This is why I think marketing is so fascinating because there are these products exactly like gusto or hollow fresh, which once you experience them, 50% of people become a convert. But the real marketing challenge is, well, that's fine. That's great. But how on earth do you convert people in the first place? And that's a very interesting case where after the pandemic, and this is, I think, the value, I think there's a multiple value to having occasional disruptions in life, one of which is that businesses become much less risk averse when they're facing a crisis. It's a necessity as the mother of invention. But consumers also have a narrative for why they're doing things differently. I mean, in a way, if you looked at the whole path of human history, the 1930s in the United States, i.e. the decade immediately after the Great Depression, was probably the period of greatest innovation in terms of human welfare in everything from cars, aircraft, etc. It was an extraordinary period of innovation. And yet it came on the heels of this total economic disaster. And I think there is something there in that idea that it's almost like annealing when you make a samurai sword, you actually bang the thing while it's cooling, that actually some periods of disruption that some degree of variance and instability in economies is possibly long-term healthy. I mean, I'm a huge devotee more so than you. I know you've got a very intelligent approach to flexible working, which is... Yeah, that's what I wanted to talk about. Yeah, but it was interesting that given the fact that the whole promise of the internet, really, I think this is in a Douglas Copeland book called Microsurfs, where one of the geeks who features in this Douglas Copeland book, it was written in the 90s, I think.
technology making location irrelevant (34:43)
But he makes a very interesting comment, which is the whole purpose of what you might call Silicon Valley technology is to make location irrelevant. In other words, it's to make where you are irrelevant to the performance of a particular function. And by the way, there are negatives to that. There were great positives in my childhood to the fact that what you could do was constrained by where you were. So when you left the office, you couldn't meaningfully work, because your computer was on a desk. You photocopied in the photocopier room, you met in the meeting room, you wrote things at a keyboard where you were determined what you were doing. And so a certain focus arose from that, which I think has been destroyed by the mobile phone to some degree, which technically lets you do anything from anywhere. I find myself on holiday and day three worrying about what I'm going to order from a car do when I get home. I go, actually, you shouldn't be doing this. Another thing it probably does, by the way, is it encourages to over plan. And I'm a big believer, like I booked a holiday in July and August. And I'm trying to say to my family, no, no, we're going to land in Chicago, we're going to leave from New York. What we do in between those dates, we're going to leave open until the very last moment. The other great problem the internet allows you to do, I think, with your holiday is to plan it down to a kind of granular level of detail, which is actually an imical to having a good time. A good time often requires spontaneity. My wife and I discovered New Mexico, who in South America, we knew it existed. We discovered New Mexico more or less by accident. We were on a driving holiday and we got stuck in El Paso and needed to get somewhere else. So we said, well, let's try this, you know, let's Los Alamos. I've heard about that, right? Fairly favors. Let's go and have a decade. Absolutely gorgeous, and we've been that back five times. We discovered it effectively through serendipity. So there aren't downsides to this. You can do anything for anywhere, but it is a bit weird that, you know, trillions of dollars invested in the capacity to obtain effects remotely hadn't made a dent in the commuter at all. Now, I'm, by the way, I'm totally open to people who say entirely, you know, Airbnb has gone effectively remote forever, fully remote forever. Now, bear in mind, as a company working as a company, the entire company is going to be 100% remote working now. There are two interesting things going on there, one of which is if you're Airbnb and your slogan is be at home anywhere. Okay, it's a bit counter cultural to demand that people, why weren't you at your desk? Okay, there may be an element of Henry Ford to it. You know that Henry Ford partly created slightly impactful, but not entirely, created a two day weekend for his own workers, because he thought if it actually spread, then it'll be worth people's own cars. If he could increase the salary for factory work and give people two days of guaranteed leisure, then you had people who could both afford and make use of a car. And with Airbnb, if you think about it, they stand to be fairly major beneficiaries of working from anywhere. So doing it with their own staff, there was a rumor. I'm not sure it's true. So for God's sake, don't sue me on this. There was a famous rumor that Unilever created at dress down Fridays. Okay. And to be honest, I think it's a conspiracy theory. I don't think this happened if it did all credit to them. And the idea was if we could create a social norm where people went into work in Chinos and, you know, sweatshirts on a Friday, we get one extra day of laundry because you dry clean a suit, but you launder a Chinos or you launder, you know, Polish, you know, you launder ordinary white shirts, but you launder cotton jackets and, you know, casual clothes. So the argument was it was actually a laundry maximization ploy by either PNG or Unilever. Not sure that's true. It would be very clever if it were. But Henry Ford undoubtedly did write about this that creating leisure was part of his strategy for selling cars. Now that's interesting because most businesses nowadays don't have that vision to say, actually, we don't necessarily have to optimize what we do for imagined static human economic behavior. We can actually change the way people behave. We can change what things mean. We can change whether something feels cheap or expensive. We can make feeler a really cool brand. You know, and this is why, you know, I wrote the book Alchemy partly saying we have a kind of culture and business, particularly in the finance function of business, which doesn't, which refuses to believe in magic. Now, I'm not saying magic is easy or that everybody can do it all the time. It's certainly not that easy. But you shouldn't discount it because there are vegan leather, the Uber map. There are magical solutions out there. I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. What's this one? A heel. That's a heel. So do I need to mix it with water or do I just drink it? It's um, no, no, no, no, no, no, you wouldn't put it in the water. Don't put it in the water. Yeah. Can we'll give you a separate glass if you want? It is a nutritionally complete. It's a meal and a drink. That's fantastic. This is a, this is an interesting brand actually for many of the reasons we've been talking about. So this is the last year, the fastest growing e-commerce company internationally. And think about what, what they're doing. So Hewlar nutritionally complete convenience. It's basically, I think that- It's certainly delicious by the way. Delicious. It's not mess quick. I'll say that. So it's not like, you know, raving delicious, but- No, should it be because we wouldn't believe it. A man. If you made it too tasty, we wouldn't believe it's medicinal properties. It's exactly like the weird taste of Red Bull, which I was- So two lessons are magic is possible in psychology, even if it isn't in physics. And the second lesson is sometimes the opposite of a good idea is another good idea. In psychology, you can actually, you know, there's Dyson and there's the Henry. You know, they're both strong vacuum-theaner brands in entirely different directions, if you like.
making something bad to give it value (41:07)
And the point I'm making is that I think that high school maths encouraged us to believe that there's a single optimal answer, which comes from resolving a trade-off. Economics always assumes trade-offs. I want to show you this grenade bar. It's in the drawdown. So this shows how, what you're saying about that, the opposites can be two good ideas, because this company, run by another one of my friends, both these companies run by my friends, has taken the complete opposite approach. They are a protein bar, right? Yeah, I bought them, actually. It's amazing. This is good as a chocolate bar. And I'm going to probably tell a lie here, but I believe they are the fastest growing chocolate bar, or the most bought chocolate bar, in the UK. Now, they are a protein bar and they focus entirely on taste. And they've just sold to Mon delays, I think, for several hundred millions, so the founders are very, very wealthy now. Good reason. They went for taste, and they won. These have gone for much of the opposite, which is really, really focused on being nutritionally complete and healthy. And I've sat in the... It's not repellent. It's not, it's absolutely not, it's not. Quite the opposite. I would drink this perfectly contently. But it tastes good enough for you to trust it. If it tasted even better, I would stop trusting it. And having sat in the room with the CEO and the founder, they brought in these bars that tasted like this, what tasted good. And there was a small compromise to the nutritionally complete part in these new bars. And the founder and the managing director said, "No, we'd rather have bars that taste worse and protect that nutritionally complete sort of philosophy than to have it taste really good." And an interesting piece of psychology is that diet coke has to taste slightly more bitter than standard coke. For you to believe it. For you to believe it. In other words, it's kind of... In other words, you have to have that slight little bit of extra bite, because otherwise it doesn't feel like a diet drink. Or you could say about Red Bull, you were saying about... Well, the interesting note, there's a lot about Red Bull, because it's this mysterious thing which is so counterintuitive in that, you know, it tastes nasty than coke, it costs a lot more than coke, and it comes in a much smaller can than coke. And part of that is I think it's not a drink, it's a medicine. I mean, the whole marketing behind it, it's a drug, it's... And actually, the promise of psychoactive powers is delivered much better by high price and weird taste. And small portion. You wouldn't really... I mean, okay, if you're an extreme case, there is a case where they discover that drugs that upwork for relatively minor conditions, by which I... Let's say, asthma, okay, also work for certain rare cancers. And apparently when they do this, they exaggerate the side effects, because you feel that if it's to be tackling a much tougher challenge, which is cancer, you would expect greater side effects. I mean, what you wouldn't want is an oncology treatment, which was pineapple flafers. And so there's this weird thing which is you can... You can do things which kind of make sense, which is we want this to taste as nice as possible. And you can end up being logically wrong, rather than the logically right. Yeah. And I think that distinction is really useful, because... I'll give you an example actually. Nearly all pharmaceutical companies make the pills as easy to take as possible, okay, as small as possible, and as few needed as possible, and so forth. And when we heard this, both Dan Arielli and I, who are on I think a Zoom call at the time, said, "Oh, dear." And they said, "Well, it's logical. We're designing a drug. We produce the drug. How can we make the drug?" And we said, "Well, when you make something very small and very easy to take, you also make it very forgettable." And we actually said there, "Are you sure we shouldn't add a degree of difficulty? Should you actually require people to grind the drug up, mix it with water?" Because there are several reasons that the more effort you put into the preparation of the drug, we'll probably boost the placebo effect, okay? But the second thing is you'll also create a ritual, which means you'll remember whether or not you've taken it. Whereas if a pill is literally, you know, you have these pills where the biggest problem with treating the condition is not finding the medication. It's patient compliance. And we said, "Maybe if you had a bit of a daft ritual around this, where you had to actually grind it in the pestle and mortar and add something, you'd find much higher levels of compliance and a boosted placebo effect as well." Really interesting that this idea that friction can create value, but it also can engrain something in your routine. The other thing that I think about a lot sometimes- By the way, some travel websites deliberately make the search procedure artificially slow. Because you value the results more highly. If you've had a screen that says, "We're now searching easy, jet-prettage airways," allertalia, da-da-da-da-da. And then 15 seconds later, after a sort of flurry of activity on the screen, it delivers you your holiday results. You attach more significance to those results and are more likely to go through and book that if it just goes bang and gives you an instantaneous result. Well, I think you did a thorough job, so I trust you more. If I see you've done- that you've searched 50, I go, "Okay, well, I don't need to do that myself." You've looked at them all for me. Yeah. That's really interesting. I now feel scammed. Well, interesting. This is a sort of philosophical question, which is, "If it makes things feel more valuable, is it a con?" So, okay, I mean, if you take this whole question of how we perceive value, you wouldn't disagree with the fact that the nature of a restaurant, and how it's designed at the surface adds to the appreciation of food. Well, if it's too quick to deliver me my meal, I think they- Well, that's a very interesting point. Yeah, absolutely right. So, the way in which the food is presented affects your appreciation of the food. Now, my argument is, your job as a business person is to create as much perceived value as possible. And if you- okay, now, I was talking to Jay Rayner the other day, and just be clear on this, you cannot create a great restaurant with rubbish food. Okay? Okay. That's not going to happen. But once you reach what you might call table stakes in terms of food quality, the things that make a restaurant great are often what you might call tangential to the food or the meal itself. The magic. And it's- it's atmosphere, decor, you know, theatre, who the other diners are. It can be all a matter of different things. And so, just as I think you're wrong- running a restaurant where you say the food is the only thing that matters, because you could serve Michelin-starred food in a restaurant that smelled of we, and nobody would enjoy their meal, even though the food was objectively superb. I think the worst thing you can do in both environmental terms and in business terms is to create under-appreciated value.
Scarcity of product (48:14)
It's to go to the effort of manufacturing something without actually working out how to allow people to realize how great it is. Scarcity and packaging. One of the things that I'm quite- I saw one of my favourite brands the other day do a trip around their warehouse showing the warehouse. And on one hand, I loved seeing the warehouse. I loved seeing the craftsmanship that goes into it. And then they panned across to this big rail. And I saw the item that I buy, and I saw like a mid- like thousands of them. Yes. And I remember thinking, oh, fuck. And it made me reflect on what Apple do by just laying out like one of the products on the shop floor and how much more that makes me think there's tremendous value because I just see one iPad and one phone and one watch. There is a kind of genius to that. The ancillary products, they will show in some sort of bulk when they- If you're buying mouse mats or something, they don't mind having 10 of those. But the mainstream products, there is one of them and the rest of them are kept out of sight. Yeah. Which is very interesting. brands don't do that enough, I don't think. There is also an interesting question about the tour of the warehouse, which is, you know, how much do you want to let people in on the reality? Yeah, because it can be like, it can kill the magic to a certain point, depending on what's going on in that warehouse. It all depends. I went out and when we worked with La Perla, the famous Italian- Of course. Yeah. You know, lingerie brand. And I flew out to the- they were a client of us. I flew out to Italy to their warehouses and I read the story of Golden Scissors, the original founder who would make all of the lingerie with her hands and golden scissors. And I saw these women who all have a- Another woman standing over their shoulders ensuring perfection in the garments. And my biggest thing to the CEO of La Perla at the time was like, "Oh my God, you've never told the story of Golden figures. You've never filmed this process. You're now just competing on the high street against these sort of cheaper lingerie brands, who are selling at £30. You're selling at £150 and no one knows why. No. Because you just haven't told- You've not sort of- It's what you said about- By and large lingerie is a failure in the substantial product. It's not like you're getting- No one sees it. This is the- No, no, no. So no one sees the craftsmanship. I had no awareness of that either. There you go. And it's not- I'll tell you what happened to La Perla. They went bust. And when I got- When I seen in Italy, just the unbelievable- The fact that all of the people hand- They never told that story. They never told the story. On a slightly more prosaic basis, I always- Every time I meet KFC, I always tell them to tell people that Colonel Saunders effectively founded KFC when he was 65 years old. You know, he had a convoluted career, but he had spent about eight years perfecting this recipe for chicken. And it's an extraordinary story. You know, the fact that a multinational corporation was created by someone in there, basically at retirement age. And my argument is, I can't explain entirely why, but it just makes me think of the thing differently. Knowing the foundational story behind it. Can I tell you a really secret- A really easy way I found to do exactly that. To instill any product with a- A parent sense of huge value in historical- Yeah. Like story is just by naming it after a person. So if I named- If I have salad, if I have Italian uh, spaghetti sauce, which I've just made in a factory, and I called it, I don't know, La La Belize. Yeah.
You immediately think of a family history that must have been attached to that product and years and years of iteration from this family. And it was so good that people now barred on Masson Tesco. And I think that's- For me, it's such an interesting example, where just by calling it after someone who sounds Italian, yeah, implants this whole- You know, this- The story of heritage. What do you think about personalization? And when I say personalization, I really mean the- The surface level personalization of- Tickling someone's ego by- Yeah, I always talk about Starbucks. I'm just writing your name on the side of the couple. There's share a coat campaign where they- Put your name on a- That was our connection. That was only an Australia who- Oh wow. instigated that brilliant idea. But um, it's- Very interesting thing personalization, because it's one of those things you have to be very judicious about. You know, it can be spooky, okay? And you know, there are companies that get it worryingly wrong, by essentially playing back to people things that they shouldn't know or didn't need to know. Oh yeah, I've had that. And so it's often one of those things, which I think is interesting, because it's best done obliquely. Spooky example. So if you know something about someone, in a personalized letter, you say, you know, you may be the kind of person who recently did this, rather than saying, you did this. And it can be spooky, and it's one of those very interesting things, where knowing how to play it, is really, really critical. I'm going to give an example, where I think someone played it wrong, because I was thinking about- Go on. Yeah. So one of the- This is maybe slightly different, but I registered for a gym on the other side of the world. I won't say the country, because they might listen. On the other side of the world, right? And 30 or 40 minutes after registering for the gym, I got an email from the CEO, saying, "Hi Steve, I've just seen you've registered for our gym." "If there's anything I can do while you're in town, please let me know." Now, on one hand, people might think that's great, and that's lovely of them to do, but I don't know how that individual got my details. So I gave it to an iPad, on the front desk, to a nice Indonesian lady. Right. And then the CEO, who's a British person, is clearly, what else did they see of my details? Did they see my password? Did they see my bank details? So it just kind of- It hurt me. It- It was- I was a bit shook by it. I was like, "How in 35 minutes since I put that details into the iPad?" "Has the CEO in the UK emailed me?" "E- Email, just- "Has emailed my manager?" And then I'll give you a good example, which is I flew to India. I got to a hotel in India, and as I went into the room, they had a chocolate Taj Mahal, and they had my company logo, social chain, and a small rice paper sticker on the thing. And I thought that made me feel special. Yeah. One of them made me feel like they'd invaded my privacy a little bit, and the other one would make me feel really special. And I took my phone out, and I do loads of Instagrams about this hotel and this Taj Mahal rice paper sticker, that cost two dollars. So you're right, there is a fine line there. I mean, it's very interesting, because there's all- You've also got to be very, very alert to cultural differences, so that Germans have a paranoia about data protection and privacy, which is an order of magnitude greater than that you find in, say, the US, where I think most people in the US kind of have the mentality that the horse has already bolted. It's too late. Everybody already knows all this stuff. So leaving aside things like medical data and stuff that is, you know, naturally expected to remain secret. It's because I thought with a machine, it's funny, because when you put your details into computers and like log in forms and registrations, you assume they're going into some volts. It never occurred to me that, because you'd self inputted it, you'd assume that effectively it was anonymous. Yes, and it was going into some vault in a computer. Yeah, that was encrypted and secure. So to get an email, 35, I go, "Well, these people sing all my data, I've got my phone number, he's got my passwords." And that was just to felt like a bit of a- And what's interesting is you've found it unpleasant. Another person, otherwise demographically identical to you, would be cool with it. Yeah, they thought it was- Yeah, great customer service. Generally, it's probably a caution. The people who work in marketing are less likely to be sensitized to positive, possible negative interpretations of what they're doing. Because people who work in marketing are high on openness. I'll give you a lovely example of this, which I better not name the client. But it was simply, there was a special offer by a credit card company. And the envelope sent out just said "final reminder" in red, because the offer was about to expire. Okay? And we thought it was reasonably cute. You're going to open a letter with "final reminder" on it, and it'll tell you that you've only got 10 days left to enjoy this particular discount. And a significant minority of people went bananas with this. And the reason was, do you know what they said? To a Londoner, this is incomprehensible, okay? If you live in London or you live in a large city. Now my postman thinks I don't pay my bills, because they'd received a letter with "final reminder" on the outside of the envelope. Now, most people in London don't really know their postman, and they certainly wouldn't worry about their postman going around and gossiping about them, because in a place like London, there's a left of anonymity. If you live in a small country village, totally different matter, because the postman drinks at the same pub as your friends.
How to deliver a product to the world (56:37)
Oh, yeah, of course. And that's one of those cases where nobody working on the thing had had any consideration, because Londoners wouldn't be bothered by that. Equally, I suppose someone who shares a doormat with five other people might be bothered by that. Let me give you, let me, I want to get some advice from you then. So I'm launching a brand soon, and it's an apparel brand, and we've been working very hard on it over the last year or so, maybe a bit too hard on it. When it comes to delivering that apparel brand to the world, and making it, it's actually an extension of this podcast, so it's called DOAC, Derivosia. What advice would you give me as it relates to delivering that product to the world, to make sure that it is inherently valuable, and that people, you know... One piece of advice in any form of detail, two forms of advice, actually. And by the way, I think marketers spend too much time focusing on the addition of positives, when a lot of time needs to be spent on the removal of negatives. One thing is, answer the phone, okay, and do not hide your phone number. I find that... So what seems to happen in most e-commerce is you have what you might call the sales area, which is everything that happens up to, and including, a point of purchase. And everything there is glorious and attractive, and slick, okay, assuming, by the way, you don't have a weird question to ask. But I would argue, one, what then happens is, if something goes wrong with your experience, either the delivery of the experience, or you need to cancel something, as soon as you deviate from that very narrowly preconceived, sort of purchase funnel, you enter a world of pain, okay? And the two things which are, I think, grossly under-invested in, in terms of e-commerce, are one, giving... What what tends to happen is, once the marketing job is done, because the person is clicked by, the responsibility for that customer is now handed over to people whose metrics are anything but customer satisfaction, their cost reduction. How can we make sure that nobody phones us up? How can we make sure that every phone call is as brief as is feasibly possible? And how can we minimize the cost of delivery and distribution? Now, one of the things, I think, is a grotesque mistake that most e-commerce providers make, not all of them, but many, is not offering you a choice of delivery careers, for example. Okay? Now, I know why they do that. They want to put everything through one delivery career so they can maximize their rebate through volume, economies of scale. Actually, I think, you know, I think many... Two problems happen there. One, if you don't get to choose how your items delivered, if anything goes wrong, you blame the company, you don't blame the delivery company, or yourself. If I chose and have it delivered by Royal Mail and it went missing, I blame Royal Mail. If they insist that I have it delivered by, you know, without singly, out UPS, DPD, whatever, and it goes wrong, I blame them. Secondly, you know, people have various preferences. You know, you're liking for Evry, used to be called Hermes, okay? Very is enormously, depending on which postcode district you're in, because if you have a very good local driver, it's incredibly good. And if your local driver is off sick, it's a disaster. In some cases, okay? And by not respecting the fact that the person is paying for the delivery, should choose who delivers it, yeah, strikes me as a fundamental failing, the business of hiding the phone number so that anybody who has a problem is effectively treated like a second-class citizen. So you have this very characteristic thing, which I think is a problem with e-commerce, which is when it goes well, it's miraculously good, okay? But the second anything out of the ordinary happens, you enter a world of pain, you know? And I think that is, that's a fundamental failing. This is a customer service point, the importance of customer service, right? A few people, I mean, self-digists do it pretty well, okay? Other things I'd do is I would offer a kind of Amazon Prime equivalent, where if you pay a few pounds for delivery, you get free delivery for a year. That seems to me a fairly obvious and brilliant idea, because why should loyal customers pay, you know, in order to be more for, you know, delivery than one-off customers do? I think, you know, I think you can make an effort around how the thing is delivered and packaged and presented, which some people do well, and some people don't bother to do it at all. - What do you think the secret is there to doing a good job with packaging and-- - Possibly there's a little bit of costly signaling involved. I mean, if you order something from Selfridges, the inside of the box is actually yellow with the Selfridges logo on a kind of shiny backdrop, and there's a little bit of tissue paper, okay? So you're never left, that will have a halo effect on your perceived value of the product, by the way. You know, I know we don't like it, but actually packaging is, to some extent, packaging is where a product first becomes a brand. It's where it first takes on a personality and identity, you know, kind of an implied target audience. And so in this thing, now the interesting thing is how are you going to-- What's your stick? Do you have, for example, scarcity? Is the clothing available earlier than the-- - Yeah, so limited runs. We actually sold some before, when I did a tour of the UK, and you had to come to the tour to buy it, and every single night on the tour, we did nine nights, three nights at the London Palladium, took it up in another country, sold every single night, every single item to the point that we sold the ones on our backs, and we gave them away. But every single item sold out, and every single size on the tour. So this is like the second drop of it. Everyone's well aware that the first run of it all sold out. We have a very limited line-- we have a limited amount of items again this time. And I think the key thing with this release is we've just agonized over the story of the piece. So it's like, it really looks more like art than it does clothing. And we've worked with artists, and there's this big movie that I'm releasing with every single item to explain the meaning of the piece.
Why business are focusing on the wrong thing (01:02:59)
And then we've put a lot of effort into the packaging, the unboxing experience. So it is limited. It'll honestly probably sell out in the first day. And I don't even think we're going to make money from it, but that's not really why I do it. It's more because I just love the process. But-- - Well, you probably will make money. I mean, merch is-- - I'm just really not bothered by making money from it. It's not the thing in my life. It's the same with a tour. Like, I spent every penny I could on the bloody tour, because it wasn't really why I was doing it. There's probably more of a wider brand play. - Yes. - To doing it. Which is like, it's bringing our audience closer to us. So it's maybe a lost leader in terms of the financials, but in the broader engagement to-- - No, I mean, this is actually the great curse of a lot of modern business, given the title of your podcast, which is that people generally over-obsess about things which are immediately quantifiable, and under-invest in things which are valuable, but hard to actually put a figure on. - Yeah, exactly. And so things like engagement or loyalty, of course. I mean, it's worth noting that customer loyalty is much, much slower to measure than, for example, conversion. And so the extent that money is invested in performance marketing or the bottom of the funnel, relative to, let's say, wider brand fame, it's a widespread problem in the whole business world, which is that the money is necessarily being spent in the channels it is, because it's more effective there, but simply because it's more of, it's easy to prove that it has an effect. The truth of the matter is, the world will always be too uncertain for us to know who our customers are in advance. And therefore, since 97% of the potential customer base aren't in market at any given time, and therefore won't be uncovered by search or remarketing or whatever, spending money on the 97% of people in advance ahead of times is still a very effective thing to do. The reason people do too little of it is that it's hard to quantify. - On that particular point then, having worked in the advertising industry, this is a conversation we have all the time with clients, which is, you'll meet a certain type of client who's very, who's, they're religious about the bottom of the funnel. If I can't track it, and I don't know exactly, I won't do it. - I won't do it. - And you'll sometimes meet the opposite, which is someone who just loved to spend on brand. And I don't necessarily think-- - They're both wrong. - I don't think they-- - Yeah, I mean, Mark Ritz, very good marketing professor, always talks about the importance of bothism. And he says, "It's vitally important that when I actually speak about the importance of brand marketing, that you do not interpret this as denigrating digital marketing. In fact, I go a bit further and say, the bottom of the funnel in many respects is the thing you have to optimize first, because there's no point in actually, if there's a bottleneck at the bottom of the funnel, if there's some constraint or a problem or a failing, if you have very poor conversion, okay? There's no point in spending money on advertising, because you'll just introduce more people to a disappointing experience. - You're wasting money. - So you've got to get the back end, and I would argue the first thing, in theory you should optimize, if you're being an absolute purist, is repeat purchase. Because having gone through the expense to acquire these customers, and actually that's the metric that always fascinates me, because we were talking earlier about electric cars. And I said, "The question about electric cars isn't how many people are buying them, okay? It's not what percentage of the new car market in the UK in July were plug-in vehicles." Now, only question worth asking really in the long term is, does anybody who buys an electric car go back to buying a gasoline car? Because if the answer to that is hardly anybody, then okay, you don't know the exact shape of the S curve, but you know the growth is gonna be pretty spectacular. And so the thing to understand, I think, in a market is to what extent does your product actually convert someone to something? And then the lifetime value of that. You'd start with repeat purchase, then you go to conversion, and then you'd work your way up. But what tends to happen is that, when people are obsessed with quantification of everything, okay, it's worth noting, by the way, that all big data comes from the same place, the past, all right? So there's a limit to how much big data, particularly if you've had some major event like a pandemic in between, how much big data can actually tell you about the future in any case? As David Oglevey famously said, "You're not advertising to a standing army, "you're advertising to a moving parade. "People are coming in and out of market all the time." And so you're absolutely right, you get some people who are just fame junkies, and by the way, I suppose there are brand categories where that's appropriate. If it's sold through retailers, you know, in other words, if it's mostly sold in the physical space, you might argue to an extent, you know, for let's say a Burger King or a McDonald's, that's not a totally crazy position. Although it is now, because suddenly they've got to think about delivery and whether people order through the app or order through an intermediary, 'cause it has a major bearing on their business. But at the same time, yeah, I mean, the tragedy is this idea, this false dichotomy between brand advertising and what you might call performance or digital marketing, as if you have to be in one camp or the other. - Where is the balance though, and how does one go about? Is it just intuitive? Is it just a-- - There are figures on this, so if you look at the work of Les Benet, for example, in Peter Field, the ratio shifts a little bit, but generally they'll stipulate a figure around about the 60/40 mark in favor of what you might call brand mass media expenditure. - Because they have a mutually beneficial relationship. - I've got to be fine, I'll make the bottom of the phone. - The first 20 years of my life, I spent in direct marketing and actually, you know, because direct marketing was unfashionable, we spent a lot of time denigrating advertising spend, because they got much bigger budgets than us, not necessarily rightly, but they were also much more indulged than we were, because they didn't have to prove effectiveness down to the same sort of level of statistical significance. But we came to realize pretty quickly that actually, first of all, there's nothing harder than direct marketing a product that nobody's ever heard of. And that every time, just to give an example, every time American Express went on television or advertised big in mass media, the response rates to direct mail would not quite double maybe, but they'd increase pretty significantly. - You had to work less hard. - And you had to work, it's that wonderful phrase which comes from a book by, let me get his job right, his name right. I think it's Matt Johnson who's just written a book called Brands That Mean Business. And his wonderful line is, having a great brand means you get to play the game of capitalism in easy mode. - Yeah, that's interesting. - And what is true is, is fame to some extent brings a load of benefits which aren't necessarily sales related. So for example, you can cock up and your customers will be more forgiving, okay? Take the example of Apple, I mean, on a couple of occasions Apple has produced products which had fairly major flaws which might have proved pretty fatal to lesser brands. The famous phone where if you held it in the wrong way, it didn't make phone calls, for example. And given the reality distortion field around the Apple brand, people have passed over those incredibly rapidly. And so there are, people in less price sensitive, that's not easy to measure by the way as well. It's very easy to measure the extent to which something has an effect on sales, but the effect to which something has an effect on price elasticity and the extent to which you can command a premium. - Because it's a great brand. - Because it's a great brand. It's harder to measure 'cause you don't have the counterfactual. When you sell something, the counterfactual is that you assume that you wouldn't have sold it otherwise.
Personal branding (01:11:00)
But if you sell something for a high price, you can't in fact determine that without your advertising, you wouldn't have sold it for that premium price. So it's to some extent, this quest for perfect measurement to reduce marketing to a kind of Newtonian physics is a bit of a false God. - Fame, you talked about fame there. Fame can also be applied in the topic of personal branding as well. Obviously social media has allowed us all now to build up personal brands. You've got the Gary Vaynerchuk's of the world who have built, you know, their companies are famous because they've branded a person. - That, Ogilvy, and within your marketing here, what kind of shift have you seen in the desire for people to become brands themselves and how valuable do you think that is? - I think advertising always had those personal brands. And if anything, it's slightly diminished actually. - Really? - A campaign magazine always did a very good job of making sure there were 30 or 40 sort of famous names within the business. - That just happens in a different medium now, right? It happens on LinkedIn. - Yes, I agree. I mean, you know, so, I mean, one of the greatest things, for example, there's a wonderful, wonderful guy who now must be, I don't want to name his age, but he's passed retirement age called Dave Trott. You probably know him from-- - Yeah, I know Dave Trott. - Okay, he'd be a brilliant interviewee, by the way, on the show. - Fantastic. - Fantastic. But what has been absolutely fantastic is that, you know, he's a glorious advertising mind. I mean, just an absolute ornament to the industry. And he, through Twitter and through blogging, has had a completely new lease of life and influence to a completely new generation of people. And has been hugely valuable as a teacher. And what's interesting about that actually, is that, of course, he does that unpaid. And one of the things that is complicated about this new world, okay? You know, the most valuable thing I often do in the course of a working week is either to give something away, or to put somebody in touch with something else. Neither of which, you know, that kind of barter. Neither of those things is in any way monetizable, is it? - Well, reciprocity would say otherwise. - I know, I suppose you've just got to rely on a high degree of reciprocity in some respect. I mean, it always bothers me about this, which is that we're in a business advertising, which is paid by the hour, which is a terrible way to pay for ideas. Because the value of something has no relation to the time devoted to its inception. And it is genuine. I mean, I always joke about this. The most valuable thing I probably did was almost accidentally my working life, which was to go to the government's behavioral insights team. And as a sort of fanatical vapor, I'd been a longtime smoker and had been able to quit for the first time successfully by switching to vaping. It took me a little while, but once I'd made the switch, I'd never gone back. And I went to the government's behavioral insights team and I said, "Look, these things are coming over "from both Japan and the United States, "they're electronic cigarettes. "I think there are two things you need to be alert to "in psychology, one of which is that "because they actually replicate the habit of smoking, "not just the nicotine, "they are a major kind of, "what you might call a gateway drug act. "They're a major source of harm reduction at the very least. "It may help people to quit. "The very least it'll help people to shift to something, "a much less harmful delivery device." - Versus patches. - Versus patches and guns and things like that, which didn't replicate the behavior. And then the second thing I said is the second thing you got to be alert to is that because of peculiar human psychology, half the people in the, what you might call the health and anti-smoking lobby will be fanatical about banning electronic cigarettes. And all credit for the behavioral insights team under a guy called David Halpin, I think they went to the camera and government and said, "Favor here, can we have a light touch "on vaping regulation, please?" And various parts of the EU have gone for much stricter regulation, there were some countries which are more or less banning it. The US has banned dual for some reason. - Yeah, on that point of personal branding though, do you think building a personal brand is important? - Yeah, very interesting. I mean, you have a personal brand, whether you like it or not, but that's one really important point about branding, which is that everybody, you know, and that's by the way, why I think marketing is so important because it's not, the brand is not the heated steering wheel of the marketing world, you know, the optional extra that you can do without but it's quite nice to have. People are going to perceive you in some way regardless of anything you do, okay? They're going to form an impression of you, they're going to form an impression of what you're worth, what kind of business you are, you know, and they will use all manner of kind of inferences and heuristics to arrive at this conclusion. And in many ways, I suppose, this is why I argue that marketing isn't an optional extra, it's an essential because the worst thing you can do is build a great product and fail to present it in a way that is convincing, appealing, attractive or which confers status on its users. - And the same applies for your personal brand. - And the same, yeah, the same applies, you're going to have a personal brand, whether you like it or not. So you might as well try and have a good one. I think it probably is true to say that the personal brand requires sacrifice. You know, that old saying that strategy is the art of sacrifice. But wait, not totally true, I think there are win wins, you know. - It is the sacrifice of a personal brand. - But well, I suspect, you don't need to suspect you've got a personal brand. - Yeah, you have to have weaknesses as well as strengths. Now, interestingly, for example, one of the things that we, part of my personal brand, is I'm not a CEO, I'm no aspiration to be a CEO and I know enough about myself to know I would not be good at that job, okay? There are certain forms of ambition and aspiration, which, you know, constant with a personal brand that I have are basically avenues that are closed to me. I'm not very good at administration. I'm very bad at making difficult decisions. - Self-awareness is a personal brand strength. - Yes, but I'm, you know, where I'd be useful.
Why do you think you successful (01:17:25)
I'd be useful at making oblique or unusual suggestions. I'd be useful at getting people to consider the same thing in five different ways or promoting a counterintuitive thought. I might be useful at suggesting somebody, you know, I've got a fairly good personal roller decks, you know, before you run off and do this on your own, why don't you talk to this guy at this university who's been studying this for the last 15 years? - When you think about why you were successful in your career and why, you know, you're very, very well known in the industry and people speak very highly of you. Why in hindsight do you think, as you look back and connect those dots, you were successful? - I think, and by the way, this is also an argument for, you know, ethnic cognitive, all kinds of diversity. I really, really love the advertising and marketing industry. I think it's a source of endless fascination. I think it's much, much more economically important than is recognized in the contribution it makes to innovation, to progress, to human flourishing actually. So I tend to take a fairly positive take. The only thing I'd say is I've always had half one foot out of the industry. I haven't entirely bought in, you know, I half bought into the awards culture, let's say, but retained a degree of skepticism. You know, I half buy into purpose, but in other words, I haven't become ideological about anything, to some extent I'm ideological about not being ideological. You know, the human psychology is immensely complicated, okay? Even at the level of the individual. At the level of individuals interacting with other individuals, it is immensely complicated. I don't think it's something you can generally pronounce confidently about. All you can do is start by asking better questions and perform better experiments, I think. And I think that to some extent, why entrepreneurs are so essential in innovation. Bit of it, a bit of it is that one disadvantage big companies have in innovating is that it's very difficult to get the timing right. And if you think about it, while one big company has one shot at an idea, 15 entrepreneurs will launch at 15 different times, and one of them will get the timing right just by the law of averages, okay? So the timing is one issue. But the other issue is that maybe the really innovative product requires some component of nonsense. I don't mean nonsense, but I mean nonsense. You know, there's a degree of either sort of counterintuitive or seemingly illogical quality to them. - I wanna know about you though. - Okay. - Why you were successful. So you said that sort of maintaining unconventional thinking and it actually struck me because when you said you went to this bug convention, giving yourself another point of reference to inspire creativity out of the box, out of the industry thinking is quite clearly a huge advantage. - Yeah, curiosity is probably the kind of table stakes in this business. If you're generally curious. - What else about you though? - Can I, I'll hand it again. - I'm quite, I'm quite good at the spiel. - Yes, I'm quite good at my feet, which I don't know where that came from. The Grey Up In Wales is a bit of a bonus. - You say the spiel, what do you mean? - Well, you grew up in Plymouth, okay. Now without disparaging people in the southeast of England, okay, in the west of England and in the Celtic French, people talk not just to convey information, but to prove they're good at talking. There's a kind of musical quality to Celtic Irish Welsh conversation, which is it's a form of kind of, regardless of the actual information it contains, people enjoy seeing it done really well. - Why do you think people enjoy hearing you talk? 'Cause I would agree, I think that you're a very, very good talker. - Oh, one thing, by the way, which, now seem Taleb, very interesting on this. The seem Taleb always says you should mumble or you should speak very fast. And his argument is that if you make it slightly difficult for people to comprehend what you're saying, either by speaking very fast or by speaking slightly and distinctly, they pay more attention to what you're saying. - I think there's an interesting thing just from hearing you speak today, where you're very engaging speaker because when you introduce a point, you introduce it with a compelling, slightly ambiguous story. So even you'll start it with that. And then the next sentence leads me up to, you're almost making me a promise of what you're going to reveal to me in that story. And then you deliver upon that promise by telling me a story. And certain, I have, I see a lot with people when they're speaking. And also there's other things like your tonal fluctuations. So if you, and also you're you're supposing, but your tonal fluctuations actually do keep that face. - That may be a Welsh thing, by the way. - Maybe so. - I don't have a Welsh accent, but some people have said, I've kind of got Welsh intonation. - I've sat here with authors before and they're so smart, but honestly, I just can't, I can't stay with them because it's always like this, the whole tone of the conversation is like this. So you just really, it's fun, it's really, you know what I mean? - Yeah. - And it's just that it's so, but you, but, yeah, see? You can't accuse the Welsh of not adding a little bit of musicality to. - Well, there you go. It's just interesting when you look back in hindsight, 'cause I genuinely believe having spoken to you today, your delivery of ideas and stories, and it's funny that I even use the word stories, is such a huge part of why you've been able to rise above the crop. And I actually think about it with myself. It's all good having talent and genius and smarts, which you have and a lot of people have. But then the ability to equate it and to articulate it in a way that's captivating. I think the stories are the PDF files of human information. - Yeah. - Okay. So they're the vehicle we use for storing information and the vehicle we use for sharing it. It's a universal format, like the PDF file. You know, it doesn't matter what hardware the recipient's got, they can read the file, okay? - Just a bit again. - Okay. - So you said, you introduced a really compelling idea that I'd never heard before. I think they are the PDF file of human information. I think, what? And then you have me. And by, a lot of people don't do that. A lot of people don't introduce the first concept in the sentence as being something slightly ambiguous and unusual, which inspires curiosity via engagement. So it's an interesting, it's probably a habit that you have, but I think it's a very useful one for people to try and learn. - So I was a classicist at university, whether I learned it a bit, I've been doing, I'm a big fan of classics in schools, by the way, because I think, first of all, I don't think you can actually decide as an English speaker which language you should learn in advance. So learning a language which allows you to learn other languages more quickly may be the best approach for modern languages, ironically, is to teach dead languages. And German might be an alternative 'cause that at least teaches you how language sort of works. - Didn't you say something actually in this book about this, about how making something ambiguous is actually sometimes more effective because? - Yes, the idea that Trump was quite a valuable deterrent. I'm not sure that they would have invaded the Ukraine if Trump had still been present, because this comes down to the realm of game theory, which is that being irrational, in some senses, is actually an intelligent strategy because no one's quite sure what you're gonna do in response. That once you're rational, you're predictable, and once you're predictable, you can be hacked. And so having some element, this is where probably the need for human temper and anger arises, you see. If you had someone who would never lose their temper and lash out even at some risk to their own safety, okay, you could dick around with them almost endlessly, couldn't you? If you had someone who was 100% docile and would just roll with all the punches and would never lose it and would never retaliate, simply because it wasn't rational to retaliate against, say, unsuitable odds. I mean, there probably were people like that, but they didn't have many descendants, I think, from a Darwinian point of view. - No, you're right. - And actually, entirely rational people wouldn't have spawned many descendants because their behavior would have been too predictable, it would have been very easy to trap them. - I just think there's a broader point here, which is, I mean, it's central to advertising as well, which is people overlook the importance of communication in overall outcomes. And even when I sit here with people that can speak well and tell stories well and convey ideas well, I don't even think half the time they realize that that's such a huge part of their brilliance. Over the course of a lifetime, imagine. Imagine the opportunities you'll create, the ability to sell yourself, the ability to push your ideas forward, whether they're right or wrong, the ability to inspire others. And I honestly think-- - Well, actually, one of the things that's most painful to me about watching the dragons den is, now, I occasionally watch Shark Tank or whatever the American equivalent. - I'm okay to do it. - Now, Americans have this tradition of show and tell, don't they, even when you're at primary school, you have to go up and give a talk about something. And generally, I find most Americans are pretty good at giving an account of something. - 100%. - And one of the painful things about the Brits on dragons den is sometimes, I can see the people have actually what is a pretty good idea. But they're telling the story from the wrong end of the telescope. - Completely. - Completely, this is actually painful to me because you have this fantastic idea. Now, you know, okay, okay, slight down ethical. But in a few cases, I just go, look, if you just invent a story about how you came up with this, okay. Now, apparently the whole eBay story about Pezzes was never really true, you know, that his girlfriend wanted to trade Pezzes. But they felt they needed a foundation myth for how eBay got started, you know. And I bet I wonder if it's actually true that Uber came up with a map when watching "Dolce" - Oh, I see it all the time in the den. - You see all these wonderful stories of-- - Come up, just come up with a, you know, a great story. But also the way in which they, the ability to generate perceived value through narrative is their greatest weakness. And I'm watching this, I'm going, this is just painful. You know, I mean, actually schools should be teaching this. - Yeah, that's what I'm saying. - Yeah, because I mean, it leads you to worry, you know, are there people out there? And by the way, I'm sure this is, you know, this is true. There must have been people out there who had extraordinary inventive skills whose complete lack of marketing skills effectively meant they died in obscurity. - Just even their complete lack of simple communication skills. - Yeah. - Like not even marketing is maybe step two, but just being able to tell someone else like an investor or a potential co-founder about their ideas in an inspiring way that will galvanize them and get them to join the mission. Yeah, I honestly, I think the most important skill in the world that you could, you know, give gift to a child or anyone is just the ability to communicate effectively, tell stories, and which is ultimately what we call sales. - Yeah. - And you do it when you're meeting a girl in a nightclub or whether you're inspiring employees or investors or you're building a personal brand or you're talking to customers, the ability to understand how to keep people in. - Well, I have an idea I want to propose to the government. I mean, I think that if we take marketing thinking and alchemical thinking, we can also deploy it within politics and government and public sector decision making. Yeah, I think the NHS could actually create massively greater patient satisfaction by deploying certain, you know, behaviors and techniques just for their meaning, not for their objective medical value, okay? But. - Like what? - Well, I'll give one example. I think you could actually reframe waiting time for an operation in some cases as preparation for the operation. So if that time can be put to good use actually losing weight in my case, if I had to have invasive surgery, okay? If they said, okay, the operation's in six weeks, that means you've got six weeks to lose so many stone. And this is how we're gonna do it. And so the time has actually spent improving the odds of the operation rather than just waiting. Secondly, you could probably borrow a tip from Uber and you could continually remind them of the date, remind them of milestones, so they didn't feel that part of the reason they're terrified of it being six weeks away is 'cause they think it's gonna shift by another six weeks. You know, it's a bit like there's a very big difference been waiting for a parcel to arrive which you can track and waiting for a parcel to arrive that you can't track. - Yeah. - So you know, making things sort of trackable in some sense to reassure people, I think there are a lot of psychological things, you know, just as actually, Dishum in Geniously, if you have to queue for Dishum, they come out and make you chai, okay? And they serve chai to the waiting queue. Now, that's very clever because that act of generosity inspires reciprocation, so you're much less likely to quit the queue. I think another one I do is I'd reduce student loans significantly if people had worked for one or two years before they went to university. I think that could be a major, major game changer because at the moment-- - Why, why did you do that? - Okay, right. What happened, okay? This is one of those invisible effects which nobody notices. When I went to university in 1984, okay? Okay, you know, I had a private education, not a pretty good one actually, and I went to Cambridge in 1984, okay? Then, if you had a degree from let's say, a Russell Group University, it was sufficient to get you a reasonably good starting job, but it wasn't necessary. What happened when we expanded higher education was a degree became necessary, but not sufficient, okay? And so, you have a bunch of people who might be better off or happier going straight into the world of work, who are now required to get a degree in order to start work at a kind of level in which they can reach positions of reasonable reward, okay? Now, it wasn't like that. You could go into, you know, well-paid work without a degree in 1987. You can't do that now, okay, very easily. Now, I think if you reserved a whole load of university places or you discounted university places for people who'd worked somewhere first, some of these people may well find out that they loved the business so much they wouldn't bother going to university at all, but you'd also create a social norm where there was nothing weird about not going to university before you started work. So you'd break that assumption that university automatically comes straight after school. But a third requirement would be if we're going to educate people, it's not a totally crazy requirement of them to make them prove that they can actually function in the real world with other people, because I'm not sure. I was a bit sad that Kenny Badenach was just knocked out at the conservative leadership thing because A, she didn't have a degree in PPE from Oxford, which is a positive in my book, but also she worked in McDonald's. Now, I'm not sure, genuinely, that in terms of tacit knowledge, understanding of the world, I'm not sure that I wouldn't have been better off with one year less at Cambridge and one year more working at McDonald's. I'm not, you know, we forget this. We have this extraordinary narrative that education ends to people's human capital, okay? And that somehow the second you start work, you become just, you know, you learn nothing. This is completely the opposite of my experience. You know, I learned just as much in my first three years at Oglevy as I did at three years in university. The idea that working isn't educational and that there's, that the only way you can add to human capital or value is by putting people through these incredibly artificial, sort of, oblique intelligence tests, which aren't really very good. - You're looking at a dropout, so I-- - Well, no, no, no, I mean, the interesting thing, the interesting thing, which must be true statistically, and it must be true simply because, simply because of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, is that the average Harvard dropout is almost certainly much richer than the average Harvard graduate, because even Zuckerberg and Gates on their own would make that a statistical necessity. - Yeah, yeah, and I would not be surprised to hear that because I think it also points to another characteristic that those individuals have that is conducive with success.
Conclusion/ Final Thoughts
The last guest question (01:33:43)
We do have a closing tradition on this podcast, which is the last guest writes a question for the next guest. - Yeah. - And this guest has written a question for you. Now, their handwriting is not good. So this is, I've been staying at this for about 15 minutes, trying to figure out what it says, but here we go. If I asked you at the age of 16, who in the world you would have liked to be, what would you have said and has your answer changed? - Probably not, it probably would have been someone like John Cleese. I venerate comedians. The comedian, John Cleese of the Monty Python. - Okay. - And faulty towers. It probably would have been someone like that, I think, because I venerate comedians because they bring this extraordinary fresh, I gotta use a fancy epistemology. You know, their way of perceiving the world is in, and this is why I'm very much against politically correct sort of political activists trying to effectively censor comedians, because what you're allowing there is for a group of people who have an incredibly narrow, unsophisticated and moronic epistemology to legislate on people who have a spectacularly sophisticated and nuanced and complex sense of perception. It's completely the wrong way around. Comedians should be able to ban political activists for being boring in a healthy world, not the other way around. - So yeah, I venerate comedians to a particular degree, I think. - So your answer would have been to the comedian. - Yeah, I think it would have been some kind of comedian. I would have, you know, whether later on it might have been the not-the-dunacock news team. I didn't know who he was at the time, but John Lloyd, who is behind a great deal of, actually very successful advertising, but also behind a great deal of very successful television comedy, has to be considered one of the all-time greats. - And has your answer changed? - No, not really. No, I still venerate those people. I'll sit down with YouTube and watch, you know, three hours of Bill Burr and four hours of Dave Chappelle. Dave Chappelle, by the way, you know, in terms of delivery is, we're talking about that whole business of how you speak. I mean, I just sit there in awe, you know. And so, no, those are the people, those are the people who I kind of can't help but venerate. - First of all, I just want to say thank you. It's been a really inspiring conversation. - It's a pleasure, absolutely. - And really, this book is really great. It's really challenging in all the right ways, but it's based on so much truth and experience that I really believe that it's one of those essential books for people that are working in these industries, or just in really any industry, because if you're in business, the principles within this book are so applicable to so many things that I feel like it's a really essential book. So thank you for writing it. Thank you for being here today. It's been a real honor to speak to you. And yeah, continue being yourself, because I think the world needs a few more people like you than that think in the way you do. So thank you so much, Rory. - I'll keep trying. Thank you very much and keep up the good work. It's been fantastic and an inspiration. - Thank you, Rory. - Quick one, as you might know, crafted one of the sponsors of this podcast and crafted are a jewelry brand, and they make really meaningful pieces of jewelry. The really wonderful thing about crafted jewelry is it's super affordable. It looks amazing. The pieces hold tremendous meaning, and they are really well made. I think I've worn this piece for almost a year. It hasn't broken, hasn't changed color, 'cause it's really, really good quality, and it costs roughly 50 quid. People will be surprised when they hear that they'll probably assume that all of my jewelry is like solid gold and costs thousands and thousands of pounds. But what's the point when you can achieve the exact same effect from a piece of jewelry that's high quality and costs 50 quid? That's why I buy crafted.