Brian Solis is the award-winning author of The End of Business as Usual, as well as a principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a prominent blogger and a keynote speaker. To get to where he is today, Solis worked in technology marketing and data-based development, but he challenged the conventional roles of those industries.
Solis spoke to Behind the Brand host Bryan Elliott about his beginnings in marketing and public relations. “Being a technologist, I was always frustrated with…the lack of positioning around what the technology was,” he explains. “It was always about features and speeds and fees, and not necessarily about how that technology would benefit an organization, a customer or what have you.”
He jumped in and began a different approach — really thinking about how the brands in question can help. He tells Elliott that he always looked ahead and challenged traditional pillars of marketing. “I was just someone who was passionate about technology. I could translate that story into the benefits of whomever that technology was for,” he says.
At a certain point in his career, Solis decided that he needed to back off from marketing and instead document everything he had learned to help companies and organizations be more engaged with their consumers or communities.
Solis talks about the success of Pinterest and how everyone is flocking to the network now even though it’s almost three years old. “At some point the founders of [Pinterest]…saw a different path. They saw a different way to provide something to customers, and they went after it. And that’s what it starts with…” Pinterest identified demand and tried to solve a problem — what Solis calls “pragmatic marketing.”
It’s no question that businesses need help in this area. “[Think about] Circuit City, Borders, Kodak. No one’s safe right now. You’re not too big to fail, and at the same time, you’re not too small to succeed,” Solis says.
The overall theme of Solis’ interview seems to be how brands can remodel and reinvent the design, presentation and experience of a product so that the consumer or community is the primary focus.
Watch the full Behind the Brand interview above, and tweet your questions to @BryanElliott, or leave them in our comments section below.
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