Understanding Your Brand: Why the Intangibles Matter

GUEST: Kyle Duford, Executive Creative Director of The Brand Leader

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You have your ideal customer persona nailed down. You know the problems they have and why they should choose your company over your competitors to solve them. You’ve spent a great deal of time learning what they think about your product.

How much time have you spent learning how they feel?

My latest guest, Kyle Duford, Executive Creative Director of The Brand Leader, has spent his career learning about it. He joins the show to simplify the intangibles of a brand into something you can master, too.

What makes a brand

The intangibles

Often, people get tripped up on branding because it seems so amorphous and hard to pin down. After all, we’re dealing with human emotions.

A brand is the intangibles. You can’t smell it. You can’t taste it. Yet, it exists: It’s the personality, aura and emotional resonance to your company.

“Brand is the emotional connection between a consumer and your business.”

Kyle Duford, Executive Creative Director of The Brand Leader

Kyle shared a thought experiment for thinking about these intangibles: Just imagine that you asked a thousand people to describe an airline if it was run by Nike. They’re all going to be pretty close to each other, right?

That’s because Nike has a personality that you can map onto anything — thanks to their crystal clear brand.

The experiences

If a brand consists of intangibles, then it may seem like this discussion on branding will veer off into some weird abstract, postmodern content — but just because it’s more qualitative than quantitative doesn’t mean it’s not worth focusing on.

The intangibles are all informed by experiences.

If you’re into Harleys, like Chad, then you know the sound, smell, culture, and fashion that, literally, come along for the ride. You understand the experience. Experiences create the brand.


It goes without saying that the pandemic fundamentally changed much of how we do business. Every industry — though, some more than others — had to adapt to their new reality in creative ways almost overnight.

When it comes to branding, the smart companies took this downtime as a chance to reset and adapt — not just to their present challenges but to potential future challenges as well.


Making the intangible tangible

The next time you interact with a customer, take some time beforehand to put yourself in their shoes. Sure, you want to make sure that you are prepared to serve their needs, but it’s worth taking the time to think about how you’re making them feel when you do.

Controlling the experience

Think about the last time an employee asked you if they could help at a Home Depot; that’s an experience that crafts a lasting brand and the best part is it’s repeatable. What experience can you deliver in a systematic way?

Being human

The world is hopefully coming out of the pandemic, but its effects will last a long time. Not all of those effects are bad, though. This period was a global reminder of how much we need human connection in all we do.

“Coming out of the pandemic, people desire human connection. Brands can be the vessel to allow those connections.”

Kyle Duford, Executive Creative Director of The Brand Leader

The question becomes: How can you make your brand provide it?

Now that you know how to craft your brand, are you ready to learn how to establish a repeatable sales process or build the right team? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.