HOW TO DO MARKETING LIKE A LEGEND

Tips on how to do marketing like a legend with Christopher Lochhead

  • A marketing legend breaks or takes new ground. They do not compare themselves to the past. They create the future and they educate the world about how they see that future.
  • Legendary category leaders like Netflix build a moat and they do it with data.
  • Competition by definition is a comparison game and compared to existing products and services in the market category that we are now going to compete in. The legends never compete.
  • Number one, what makes us radically different? Number two, what problem or opportunity do we see that no one else sees? Once you connect those two things, you then build this thing called a point of view.
  • I'm here to tell you, products do not speak for themselves. One of my favorite expressions is “position yourself or be positioned.”

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Doug Morneau: Well. Welcome back listener to the episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today in studio joining me fellow Canadian, now ex-pat living in the Santa Cruz, California area in the US, Christopher Lochhead. He is a co-author of a book, a HarperCollins instant classic, called Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets. He's also the author of a book called Niche Down: How to Become Legendary by Being Different, a book which I had a chance to read earlier this year and really enjoyed the book. Christopher is a three-time public company chief marketing officer and an entrepreneur. In addition, he co-hosts a podcast called Legends and Losers as well as Lochhead on Marketing, which is now a top-rated podcast on iTunes.

Doug Morneau: Fast Company calls Christopher a human exclamation point. The Marketing Journal says he's one of the best minds in marketing and The Economist I think hits it right on the head and says that he's off-putting to some. At 18, he was thrown out of high school. With no other options, he started a company. After 30 years, he is now mostly retired. He is a kickass speaker. He's a surfer, a ski bum and a proud adviser to One Life Fully Lived, living happily ever after in Santa Cruz, California. I'd like to welcome Christopher to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast today. Hey, Christopher, super excited to have you on the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast. Welcome to the show.

Christopher L.: Doug, it's great to be here. It's great to hang out with you. It's always fun to talk to legendary Canadians.

Doug Morneau: There we go, a couple of Canadians, a couple of marketers. You're a legend with your two podcasts, number one on Amazon and an author as well. Hey, congrats.

Christopher L.: Thank you. It's a little trippy. I'll tell you. It's a very bizarre thing when you wake up one morning and you get a note from a friend of yours and says, “Hey, do you know your podcast is the number one business podcast in Apple right now?” I'm like, “What? You've got to be crazy.” It's a little trippy, but here we are.

Doug Morneau: I'm a fan of your podcast and I shared with you before we got talking, I've only read one of your books. I've read Niche Down and really, really enjoyed the book and had just listened to your most recent episode about being a first mover or category creator with Eddie Yoon. I loved the whole conversation about data flywheel. I think that's a whole topic that most people have no idea even exists when they're looking at building their business and going into the marketplace.

Christopher L.: I think you're right, which is why we wanted to write about it and talk about it. Between us girls, Eddie and I are writing a book together and that HBR article that inspired that podcast episode was us exposing some of the data science research that we're doing for the book. Here was the insight. As you know, I've been working on category creation, category design for a long time. I think it's probably the most important secret black art in business. As part of that looking at what attributes do the companies that design and ultimately dominate categories, what are some of their key attributes and try to really understand them.

Christopher L.: We talked about it a little bit in my first book, but Eddie, you and I believe, is probably the world's leading authority on category. He's written more for HBR on category than any other person on Planet Earth. I think that makes him the man. I am honored to call him a dear friend. Anyway, what we decided to do was look at category queen and category king companies and look at key attributes. There's one that starts to pop out. We talked about it in my first book and I think it's even more important now. That's this thing you mentioned the data flywheel and the aha essentially goes like this.

Christopher L.: If you look recently, by way of example, Disney enters the streaming category with Disney+ as an affront on Netflix. There's been a lot of debate. “Are they going to be able to catch Netflix or will they beat Netflix and this and that and the other? One of the things that is not talked about very much in that discussion is, A. first of all, Netflix is the category queen. They designed and now dominate that category. It's very hard to unseat a category queen or king company with a frontal assault. That's Point A. Point B, part of the reason for that, legendary category leaders today build a moat and they do it with data. If you think about Netflix as a great example, every time you or I consume a piece of content on Netflix, that transaction goes into a big data science database, right?

Doug Morneau: Yup.

Christopher L.: It allows them to know a lot more about Doug and it allows them to customize things for Doug, right? Legendary Joe Pyne, the author of the Experience Economy, says, “If it can be digitized, it can be personalized.” Netflix has more data and information about more people and their consumption habits than anyone. They're almost 20 years into this thing now or maybe they are 20 years into it. Look, is Disney going to be successful? Yes, of course. They're Disney. If you have kids, you're probably going to subscribe to this thing. I get that. They have amazing content. That's important.

Christopher L.: What they don't have is a data flywheel that is anything comparable to Netflix. It's why Amazon is Amazon. It's why Facebook is Facebook. It's why Google is Google. The question becomes, “Okay, it might be obvious for a tech company or a software company, but how does a tech-enabled company, if you will, because I think those are the only two choices, you're either a tech company or a tech-enabled company today, how do you create a data flywheel that you monetize in your business?” I think that is an incredibly powerful question.

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Doug Morneau: When I look at from the venture capital market, often you're looking at sometimes these ridiculous valuations of some of the tech startups and people go, “How can this work? They're not making any money. They're giving the product away.” It's like what they want is the data. You said it earlier that we're at a point now where data is, if not, more important than money is pretty closer more valuable. These companies that like you said can be first movers and acquire these data on their users, have this market intelligence that nobody else can get access to.

Christopher L.: Look, the more Eddie and I have dug into it and we did some research here which we can talk about if you like because you can't talk about data without data, but Eddie and I have come to a place where we do believe, Doug, data is more valuable than cash. The reason for that is data is a lot more monetizable than cash. If you look at it today, I don't know exactly what the prime interest rate is, but it's 2% or 3%, is in that range, right?

Doug Morneau: Yup.

Christopher L.: That's what you get on your money. Of course, there are other ways to monetize money, I'm not an idiot, but if you just take interest as the baseline. Amazon's ability to monetize the data about us is extraordinary. When you begin to think of your product or service as a data platform as opposed to a product or a service and when you believe what I believe, which is data is coming to everything, you name something that's not going to have some data connection to it's some sense around it, I can't think of very many things, but maybe you can. The big aha around this came with Tesla.

Christopher L.: Tesla's mindset is they don't sell cars. They sell a platform. In their minds, there's no difference between an iPhone and a Tesla. It's highly customizable per the quote from Pyne and every customization, every sensor, everything is tracked on that. Just like Netflix knows everything about your consumption habits, that's what a Tesla really is. When you say, “Okay, wait a minute. Now, that Tesla throws off all this data about the driver, that data is monetizable in all kinds of different ways. The research that we did for the book and published in HBR looks at The Fortune Fastest Growing Companies list.

Christopher L.: We established criteria for category queen/king companies that do have this data mindset, this data flywheel approach and we put them in a bucket and compared them to other comparable fast growers. Then, we at their value that is to say market cap or valuation. The aha is that category dominating companies with a data flywheel are valued five X more than comparable high growth companies.

Doug Morneau: Well, that's a good reason to pay attention to that.

Christopher L.: Well, hey, if that doesn't get your attention in your business, am I allowed to swear on this podcast?

Doug Morneau: Feel free. Let it rip.

Christopher L.: Yeah, I don't know what the fuck's going to get your attention if that doesn't, like hello. I also think frankly, and there's a lot of discussions now in the investor world whether it's private investors, venture capitalists, or public investors in the public markets, they're beginning to understand that, a, the company that designs this space is best positioned to dominate it. In my first book, we did some data science research around that and found out that the category queen company earns 76% of total value created in the category as measured by market cap. Now with this brand-new research, we also know that high growth companies that are category queen, category king companies with a data flywheel when compared to other fast growers are five X more valuable.

Christopher L.: If those data points don't elucidate the fact that if you're in business today, the game is, “Can we design and ultimately dominate a giant category that matters and take two-thirds of the economics?” That's the game.

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Doug Morneau: Wow. That's amazing. That's not a common conversation I'd have at a business event or talking to other business owners. Everybody is still focused on moving the widgets and not looking, like you said, at the backend and companies, like you said, like Amazon and now like Tesla. I live in the Vancouver area and our insurance companies come up with this brilliant idea that they're going to put tracking devices in vehicles and monitor your driving habits. Then, we'll reward you with insurance rates based on your habits. I was listening to your podcast, and of course, like you said, Tessa already has that. People will need to spend $2,000 or $3,000 outfitting their vehicle and creating all these tracking systems. Someone like Tesla's got that inherently built-in.

Christopher L.: Well, that's right. The other thing that's going on here in the United States, there's State Farm ads about this. I think there's Geico ads about it. There's a lot now. This is a thing, right? On one hand, I get it because if you're a safe driver, why should you pay the same rates that an unsafe driver pays?

Doug Morneau: Yup.

Christopher L.: Right? You should get a discount. That makes all the sense in the world. At the same time though, make no mistake, when you do that, what you're doing is you are trading your data for a discount.

Doug Morneau: Absolutely. I was thinking, “Okay, fine. I drive the Tesla to get my cheap insurance and then I drive my sports car that has no tracking because I don't want them to see how I drive.”

Christopher L.: Well, you're talking to a guy that has a 500-horsepower SUV and a 668-horsepower Shelby Cobra. You can go fuck yourself if you want to monitor my driving. By the way, I've never been in an accident. Well, actually I should say this. I've never been in an accident that I caused ever.

Doug Morneau: There you go.

Christopher L.: To say I drive aggressively is probably putting it mildly. But [crosstalk 00:12:25]-

Doug Morneau: Just listening to your podcast and following you as an author, I think we probably have similar driving habits. I say to people, more people pray when they're driving with me than pray in church.

Christopher L.: Exactly. I'm somebody who's on a mission to both educate and eradicate people who drive slowly in the left-hand lane. If I become president or prime minister or governor, the first thing that I'm going to do, if you're driving slow in the left-hand lane and there's a person behind you for more than 30 seconds, that is 12 months in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Doug Morneau: We can have a whole conversation about that. I like your approach. I want to shift gears. Because you've got this 10,000-foot view of the marketing world and we talked about before, you've been there, done that, it's not theory. You're not saying, “Hey, this is where I think things are going or this is what's working.” Where do you see the major shifts coming in the marketing world? For our listeners that are in business, they're going, “Okay, fine. I hear.” I'd recommend listeners, “Let's go listen to Christopher's last podcast about the date flywheel and all the contents there.” In terms of moving forward, where do you see the major movements for business owners?

Christopher L.: Well, the first thing I'd say, Doug, is I think it's the most exciting time to be an entrepreneur, to be a marketer or to be a business leader of any kind.

Doug Morneau: I will second that for sure.

Christopher L.: I think the opportunity for creativity, I think we have a technology-enabled niche happening where you have these incredible companies and all these micro-niches. You and I were joking before we got started about these axe-throwing bars.

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Doug Morneau: [inaudible 00:14:15]

Christopher L.: That's a whole new niche right there, right? Another one of my favorite ones, the last little while I heard about this restaurant who they looked at a very unique problem that nobody had looked at which is, “How do I eat sushi on the go?” If you love sushi and I do and you ever try to eat it on the go, it doesn't really work. If you're trying to eat it in the car and they have those plastic things and then there's soy sauce all over your crotch, it's terrible in the car. Even if you're going to go like eat it on a park bench or whatever, it's not like a sandwich, right?

Christopher L.: The company I'm talking about is called Sushirrito and they're the world's first sushi burrito. They solved a problem that nobody ever thought about, which is, “How do I eat sushi on the go?” Well, you wrap it up burrito style and ta-da, the Sushirrito is born. That's a whole new category. They distinguished themselves from every other sushi restaurant because they're not having the conversation that most marketers have which is, “Our sushi is better than their sushi.”

Doug Morneau: That's right.

Christopher L.: Right?

Doug Morneau: Yeah.

Christopher L.: They're having a conversation that says, “Our sushi is different than their sushi,” and now you have a choice between regular sushi and the Sushirrito. The first thing I'd say is, we're at a point in time where the combination of just pure human creativity coupled with the fact that it's never been more cost-effective to start a company, the technology enables things that have never been possible before, even for the smallest of entrepreneurs with the smallest amounts of money, all the way up to people who are trying to build the next Google or Facebook.

Christopher L.: The first thing is just the general environment that we're in, I think, is highly conducive to entrepreneurship if you're willing to go for it, particularly because of the technology. The second thing I'd say is there's always been this debate in marketing about, well, the art and the science and all this sort of stuff, right? Well I think we're at a point in time where the science part of marketing has never been more precise, has never been more powerful. We can post an ad on the internet and spend a very small amount of money and see if people respond. We can do this thing called AB testing.

Christopher L.: We can have an idea, deploy that idea, see what response we get and try a bunch of different things, track those things and the things that get traction we invest in and the things that don't, we don't. Our ability to do that for a very small amount of money is incredible. I think the data side is powerful. We talked about the data flywheel. I think the CMO of the future is a data maniac and it loves analytics. I think a lot of people are over-focusing on it. I think we've got to do all that stuff and we also have to be strategic. We have to be creative. What headhunters tell me, Doug, is the number one skill that CEOs are looking for in CMOs is the ability to create and design categories.

Christopher L.: I think the other big aha here is when most people say marketing, there is an undeclared, undiscussed assumption that what they mean is we are going to enter an existing market category and we are going to, and I say this word very much on purpose, compete. The basis we're going to compete on is better, faster, cheaper, bigger, smaller, etcetera. Competition by definition is a comparison game and compared to existing products and services in the market category that we are now going to compete in. Well, the big aha is that's a fool's game. The legends never compete.

Christopher L.: Legendary entrepreneurs, legendary creators, legendary marketers of any kind, whether you want to talk about Pablo Picasso or Sara Blakely at Spanx, they don't do that. They proactively position themselves. Category design fundamentally is about radical differentiation. Legends want to be considered the first to be pioneers in a new area and want everything that comes after them to be compared to them. They're the standard. I think we live at a magical time in marketing where the blend of what I would call data science and analytics and high creativity around designing categories and brands and then the campaigns and points of view that support those categories and brands has never been greater.

Christopher L.: As a marketer, as a former CMO myself, I love living at this intersection of strategic creativity that you can't focus group and deep data analytics and trying to find that magical balance between the two.

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Doug Morneau: Well, like you said, it's faster and less expensive than ever in the history of the world to go out there and test an idea, a concept and to get access to the data. I don't hear lots of people talking about getting access to third-party data. I'm using a tool now that lets me test subject lines, and when I write six, eight, 10 subject lines, it'll compare it to a million pieces of known data. It'll give me some feedback on how to reword that. It's looking at historical data. It's not my data, but somebody else's created that database. Those tools are available for entrepreneurs to use instead of sitting and scratching your head going, “So Christopher, what do you think our subject line should be?”

Doug Morneau: Well, what you and I think is two people and they're going, “Here, we've got a million pieces of data that say that you should change this word or change that word and have a higher output.”

Christopher L.: That's right. I think it's just very exciting because on one hand we can be analytical, we can be very market aware to your point. You can test these things. That gives you a sense of where the market category is now. That's very valuable and important. It's critical for lead generation and pipeline building and community building and all the good shit. The other seminal question is, “Well, who's creating that demand? What has to happen to get somebody to Google something?” I think there's been a massive overfocus on how do we capture demand and I'm not suggesting that a focus on capturing demand is a dumb idea. It's a smart idea. However, it's the person who's able to create that demand.

Christopher L.: This magical intersection of creativity and strategy around, how do I design a category with a provocative engaging point of view to educate the world to think about things in a massively different way so that I'm the company and/or the person setting the agenda and the space that I care about and at the same time, how do I meet the market where it is and then using a data analytical approach and then pull them forward on the category a point of view agenda that I have that? that to me is a fascinating discussion. As a marketer, I love engaging both sides of the brain deeply.

Doug Morneau: How do entrepreneurs that have been in existing business make that shift or start to go in that direction? You're not obviously not going to say, “Hey, I can't be that category leader. There's already somebody there, so I'm competing.” I guess there's two issues. What changes do you need to drive that direction? Then the second one is, are you looking at your competition fairly? I had heard a guy speak, his name is Rasmus Ankersen and he had a book called Hungry in Paradise and he talked about Lego and Lego being the category killer in building blocks. Year after year after year after year, they made money and they're the top level.

Doug Morneau: Their new CMO came in and said, “We're changing our view of our competition. We're no longer competing the big blocks. Our competition now is Apple. The kids' attention now is not just going to be in the toy box. They want electronic devices. How are we going to compete?” They go off and they create a tool where the kids can take a picture of what they built and they can upload it to a game and now they can be interactive. How do companies make that shift and look at where the marketplace should be going?

Christopher L.: This is all about radical differentiation and it's all about the distinction between comparison and choice. The fool's trap is the comparison trap. The biggest fool of all probably is Pepsi because when they run these idiot ads with Steve Carrell on them talking about Pepsi comparing it to Coke, if I say to you, “Hey, Pepsi tastes better than Coke, Pepsi's more refreshing than Coke. Pepsi's cheaper than Coke. Pepsi's better than Coke. Pepsi is more interesting than Coke,” what's on your mind?

Doug Morneau: Coke.

Christopher L.: These morons have been doing this for fucking decades. Their entire marketing budget is actually an add-on to Coke's marketing budget because the entire conversation they have with the category is in the context of Coke. The other example I love of this is if you watch any ad on TV for a local car dealership, you see moron marketing in action. “Come on down this weekend. We will not be undersold. We have more GM trucks. We've got red ones and blue ones and we got the best service and the best price. Come on down this weekend. Don't take it from me.” The stupidest phrase in the history of marketing, “Don't take it from me as you're our customers.”

Christopher L.: The whole thing is a comparison-shopping argument as opposed to evangelizing the unique thing about their dealer. There is nothing unique. When there's nothing unique, you have a stupid conversation that says, “Compare us on price and availability and service,” right?

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Doug Morneau: Although you wouldn't create something unique. I have a buddy of mine who's managing a big GM dealership and he's in my Rotary Club and I went over and had a tour of their plant and looked at what they're doing and he talked about sales numbers. I said, “Hey, can we take a walk to your mechanical shop?” He walked through and he said, “See a mechanic over there? I said, “Yeah.” He said, “He's the number one Cadillac mechanic in Canada.” I said, “That's cool.” I said, “Are you using him as your main marketing focus?” He went, “Why?” I said, “Well, I'm going to buy a Cadillac. I'd like to have it serviced by the smartest guy in Canada. That's your marketing piece, not the fact that you sell Cadillacs. The fact that you've got the smartest guy in the country working here. If I want to buy your Cadillac, I want to have it serviced by the smartest guy in Canada.”

Christopher L.: I would agree with you. That's an absolute differentiator, but it's probably not enough. All I'm arguing is that differentiating on price, availability, and service and location, those all tend to be the things that car dealers compete on is an invitation to be compared. Steve Jobs-

Doug Morneau: How do you deal with it? How do you do that if you're Coke or you're Pepsi or you're a car dealership? In those examples, what do you do to, to move the dial and stop saying, “Hey, we're better than Coke. Take the Pepsi Challenge.”?

Christopher L.: You got to get three things right. We call it prosecuting the magic triangle, product, company, and category. You do have to have a differentiated product. You can't put whipped cream on dog shit. There's got to be something about what you do that's unique. You got to find that thing and you got to connect that thing to something, an opportunity or a problem that matters to a customer. Then, you've got to be able to execute on it. I'll give you a simple example. Recently, I had a conversation on The Lean Startup Podcast with Chris Guest who's an awesome guy.

Christopher L.: He was talking to me about a category, a queen company that he loves Dyson. They're an incredible example. Sitting here in my studio, I have a Dyson fan. Well, they reimagined the fan because there's no fan in the fan. By the way, it doesn't just blow cold air. It blows hot air. They reimagined it from a product point of view. Then from a category point of view, they said it's not a fan. It's a fan-less fan. They did the same thing with vacuum cleaners. They thought about a vacuum cleaner in the context of, “What's the problem the vacuum cleaner is trying to solve?”

Christopher L.: They had this aha that said, “Well, on one hand, the problem is clean the floor, but there's a problem with how we're currently solving the problem and that is the vacuum cleaner has a bag and the bag is disgusting. There's all this crap that gets blown into the air as a result of the design of the vacuum and the existence of the bag.” They create a new category of a vacuum cleaner, a niche down, a niche with inside this broader category they call the bagless vacuum cleaner. They get product, company and category right. Today, if you're going to buy a high-end vacuum cleaner, there's a very good chance you are buying a bagless vacuum cleaner.

Christopher L.: The answer to your question is start off in a couple places. Number one, what makes us radically different? Number two, what problem or opportunity do we see that no one else sees? Once you connect those two things, you then build this thing called a point of view which is you go to the world and the example of Dyson, to quote the Big Lebowski, they have a conversation about bags in vacuums and they say, “This aggression will not stand, man,” and they make the existence of the bag, the enemy. They're not competing with a competitor in a traditional sense. They're competing with the old category design of what people think a vacuum cleaner is.

Christopher L.: When they evangelize via a point of view that there's a new category, a niche of vacuum cleaner that is bagless, they educate the market as to the value of that and they literally change what customers value by redesigning the agenda, the spec, the priorities that people look for when going to purchase a vacuum. My point is to start off with where you think you can be radically different and connect that radically different to a problem that you care about and evangelize the shit out of that. Legends educate the customer to think in new and different ways. That's how agendas get said. That's this thing called a point of view.

Christopher L.: You figure out what makes you radically different. You figure out a unique and interesting way to look at a problem and then how you tie it all together is you create a radical point of view about that. Then you as the entrepreneur, you as the CEO, CMO, the executive team go out to the world and you begin to evangelize the problem and therefore the solution in a unique way. When you're able to do that and get it to tip at scale, bam, that's how you get Airbnb, or on a smaller business basis, that's how you get seven or eight locations Sushirrito.

Doug Morneau: It's interesting because you know what you didn't mention was the price because obviously the Dyson, we've got a couple of them. They're more expensive, but then they went to this. If they got rid of the bag first and the second thing they went after was, “We're not going to have plugs. We're going cordless.”

Christopher L.: That's right.

Doug Morneau: Again, there's number two and now everybody's playing me too and playing catch up.

Christopher L.: The mistake that most people make is they think Dyson is competing on product innovation. Now they are. They're a legendary product company, absolutely legendary, all-time, but they're doing something that most people don't realize they're doing. That's why I call it a secret black art. They are not marketing in any traditional sense of the word. They are creating the market. They're establishing the agenda. They're not just building features and capabilities. They're also doing meaningful market education. When you do that and you evangelize the difference between a cordless product and a core data product, people get it.

Christopher L.: Here's the thing, we live at a time, Doug, where most entrepreneurs, most marketers truly think like they believe in the availability of air, they believe the best product wins. I'm here to tell you, products do not speak for themselves. My favorite example of this, all-time, I would argue that the two greatest inventions and/or discoveries, depending on how you want to think about them, are fire and the wheel. Do you know how long after the invention of the wheel it took for people to use the wheel for transportation?

Doug Morneau: Nope.

Christopher L.: 300 years.

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Doug Morneau: Wow.

Christopher L.: The wheel was originally invented for pottery. It spun the other way and people sat with it in between their legs and they made shit with it and they still do. Then about 300 years in, Doug, a couple of legendary entrepreneurs got a bottle of Jack Daniels and a big bag of weed and they started to think about this and somebody said, “Hey, man. What if we tilted this thing and use it for transportation?

Doug Morneau: That's funny.

Christopher L.: Here's my argument. If you believe what I believe which is the wheel is probably the most important product ever created and that legendary product couldn't speak for itself, the ultimate use case for that product did not reveal itself for 300 years. I don't care how legendary your product or service is. If you don't tell people how to think about it, they're not going to get it. Products don't speak for themselves. One of my favorite expressions is “position yourself or be positioned.”

Christopher L.: If you ask people who the greatest boxer of all time is? everybody says the same thing and the reason they all say Muhammad Ali is because Muhammad told us that. He said thousands of times, “I am the greatest.” He was positioning himself.

Doug Morneau: Well, another product that I thought was quite interesting because a lot of people talk about being a better product and you're saying the better product, I don't think the better product wins always either. If you look at the example of this author talking about Nokia versus Apple, Nokia had a phone, you could drop, had good battery life, you could run over it with your car and Nokia's position was, “Well, no one's going to buy an iPhone because it costs three times as much. If you drop it or breaks and the battery life sucks.” Well, we know what happened to Nokia. They had a better product and Apple came and ate their lunch because they created a different category.

Christopher L.: That's absolutely right. They changed the definition of what, at that time we call the mobile phone. The truth is pay close attention to what things are called. In the beginning, they were called wireless phones. Often, new categories are described by what they're not, bagless vacuum, and then what they are becoming clearer. One of these that I love of course is Henry Ford. In the beginning, his category is called the horseless carriage.

Doug Morneau: That's right.

Christopher L.: You've got to meet the category where it is, engage them with a provocative engaging point of view, “What do you mean horseless?” and then take them from where they are to where you want them to be. If he starts off and says automobile, everybody says, “What are you talking about? I don't even know what the fuck word you just said.” Pay close attention to what things are called. Often in the beginning, new categories are described by what they're not and then they morph over time. We go from a wireless phone to a mobile phone and today we have a smartphone.

Christopher L.: My guess, I could be wrong, but my guess is five to 10 years from now, the word phone will be gone because as we know, that thing that we carry around today is actually the greatest supercomputer ever. There's probably a new name because the phone is like 1 millionth of the functionality of the thing.

Doug Morneau: It's probably the simplest application on the phone.

Christopher L.: That's right. You can record and edit a podcast on your phone. Well, we're far away from a phone.

Doug Morneau: I heard Kevin Harrington speak at a couple of events I was working at and he had said, “For those of you who are afraid to create video because you don't have all the right equipment,” he goes, “You have more technology in your pocket, in your iPhone now than I had when I started creating infomercials, so there's no excuse.”

Christopher L.: There's more technology in your pocket now than there was 10 years ago on the freaking space shuttle.

Doug Morneau: I remember going to NASA taking the kids. We had been in a cruise at Galveston, Texas and we were down there. We're coming back. Having that conversation about, “Hey, your scientific calculator had more computing powers than they sent the first man up in the moon.”

Christopher L.: Entrepreneur, Tom Siebel, was on my podcast a little while ago and he's written this great new book called Digital Transformation. He makes the statement that the next 10 years are going to blow away the last 10 years in terms of innovation. If you start to go through the list of truly breakthrough innovations that are going on right now, there's never been a list like it in human history, whether you want to talk about drones or 3D printing or genomics. Of course, the cloud itself continues to have a profound impact. The fact that a little girl with a 3D printed hand throughout the first pitch at a San Francisco Giants game last year.

Christopher L.: You're like, “What? What are you even talking about?” We're now using sensors and big data science to fight wildfires and stop human trafficking. There's just an extraordinary breakthrough that's going across multiple industries with exponential technologies, right? Fundamentally, that's what opens up the opportunity for all of us as entrepreneurs and marketers.

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Doug Morneau: I don't know if you're into Tim Ferriss or not?

Christopher L.: You know what? I really like him and I respect and admire him. For some reason, I never quite get into his podcast. I'm not quite sure why. I try, but I don't quite get all the way there. I met him. He's good buddies with my buddy Mike Maples. Anyway, I do love him, but for whatever reason, I don't consume very much of him.

Doug Morneau: I've read some of his books. I don't listen to a lot of his podcasts, but I definitely like some of his writing and I think his whole radical idea of a four-hour workweek. That was his way to compete with business books. There's a question that he had in his book. I'm going to ask you the question. What's some of the bad advice that you hear? When you're out speaking because I know you do lots of high-level stuff, what's the conversation you hear in the background that just makes you want to go over and slap someone?

Christopher L.: How long do you have?

Doug Morneau: Pick one. As a marketing guru, what's the one thing, just the worst?

Christopher L.: I think we've been on a couple of them. The first one is this belief the best product wins. If you listen to entrepreneurs, you listen to the Google founders, they'll tell you it was the algorithm that did it. Look, I am in no way shitting on legendary products. We need breakthrough products, but a product cannot speak for itself. This notion that the best product wins and that what we need, we heard this thing in Silicon Valley for a while now, “We need product CEOs.” We do, but that's just part of it. That's one.

Christopher L.: Here's another one that makes me crazy and it's been a big idea over the last 10 or 15 years, product-market fit. I think product-market fit is one of the most dangerous ideas in the history of business. Here's why. It tricks entrepreneurs, creators, inventors, and marketers into thinking what there is to do is to invent something and fit it into a market when in point of fact that's not what any legend did. All the legends, the reason they're legends, the reason we respect them, the reason they created in some cases, many billions of dollars of value and in the case of companies like Amazon, Apple and Google, and Microsoft, these companies are all flirting with $1 trillion in value is because they were unique. They were distinct.

Christopher L.: They broke and took new ground. If product-market fit makes people think that you're trying to fit into a market, legends create the market. In most cases, breakthrough innovations focus group very poorly. Look, we just saw this with the launch of the Cybertruck. The number of people that laughed is just gigantic. Is it going to be successful? I don't know, but the thing that pissed me off about all the criticism is where are all the people saying, “You know what? Congratulations guys. You're trying. You are trying to break and take new ground.”

Christopher L.: When was the last time somebody tried to reimagine the truck? It's been fucking decades. Look, do I like the way it looks? Do I think it's going to work? I don't know. Do I want one? No, but I applaud them. I take my hat off them because they're doing what legends do, which is break and take new ground. If you focus group the Cybertruck, probably more people don't like it than do like it. This idea of product market fit can lead to people going down a rat hole that says, “Okay, we'll build a prototype of our new carbon regulator. We'll focus group it and show it to a bunch of people. If the dogs eat the food, we have a winner. If they don't, we have a loser.”

Christopher L.: They think that it's about getting people to like a product. They forget this giant step that the legends taught the world how to think about a problem or an opportunity in a completely new way. When they do that, then they're open to a whole new kind of solution. The big aha around this, Doug, is that the empires of the future do not fit into the categories and paradigms of the past. Product market fit by definition is backward looking, not forward looking.

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Doug Morneau: Well, I love that example because you know I love reading and following a lot of what Elon Musk has done. I look at things like PayPal today and how he envisioned moving currency electronically. It wasn't 300 years ago like the wheel, but it was a long time ago. Like you said with the electric car, we're looking at buying 100% electric car and people are going, “Well, the batteries die and this happens and that happens.” Well, somebody needs to go first. Good for them for making an effort. Maybe there's not the environmental impact that they want because of the costs or the exposure mining lithium, but if you don't take steps towards that, you're never going to solve that problem.

Christopher L.: They're having a whack at it.

Doug Morneau: To your point, good for them. I look at product innovation, the thing that always makes me laugh is what I get a shipment from Amazon or somebody I've ordered online, I laugh at those plastic bags full of air that come in the boxes. Could you imagine trying to do a category fit for, “Hey, let's see if the market wants to buy plastic bags full of air for shipping containers”?

Christopher L.: Exactly.

Doug Morneau: Somebody is making millions of dollars filling plastic full of air, so that Your stuff doesn't bounce around in the boxes as we're shipping it.

Christopher L.: The examples are everywhere. Another one of my all-time favorite examples is Picasso. In the beginning, he starts out painting landscapes and pretty ladies and whatever. It's only when he starts using bright colors and boxes and taking the boob and sticking it where the ear should be and doing all this very radical stuff. His career started to change. In the beginning, people look at it and they go, “What is this? This is garbage. This looks like a piece of crap. This looks like the work of a drunken child.” He says, “No, that's where you're wrong. This is a new category of art called cubism.” If you Google him and you read his Wikipedia page, I think it's the second sentence that says, “He's the founder or the father of cubism.”

Christopher L.: Here's the aha, that category makes the brand. Everyone goes, “Oh, Picasso is the biggest brand in art.” Why? Because he was the pioneer of cubism. When cubism became hot, he became hot. The reason we know the “Picasso brand” is because of cubism. Legends break or take new ground. They do not compare themselves to the past. They create the future and they educate the world about how they see that future. When enough people agree with them, a whole new category tips, and ta-da, you become the most famous painter in the world. You build Google. You build Airbnb. Like my friend Eric Yuan at Zoom, you create a whole new paradigm of communication and $20 billion in value in roughly, I think it's eight years.

Doug Morneau: Wow. That's cool. Not a day goes by when I'm not on a Zoom call with somebody.

Christopher L.: They changed the whole game. They've stopped traveling. I've seen a report recently, Doug, that says 40% of American knowledge workers now telecommute at least part of the time. I don't know about you. Somebody invites me to an in-person meeting. I'm like, “What are you talking about an in-person meeting?” There has to be a really good reason. I love hanging out with people and I get it. Sometimes, what there is to do is sit down and be in a room, absolutely. We can have people from all around the world on a call right now and have an incredibly productive meeting. I have collaborated with people and done meaningful work with people that I've never met in person.

Doug Morneau: That's the same with me.

Christopher L.: You were talking about my podcast producer Jamie Jay. He's been perusing my podcast for two years. We've never met in person ever. I talked to him twice a week on Zoom.

Doug Morneau: Nope, I get that. Most of my clients I've never met. They're someplace in the US, someplace in Europe, we can have a conversation. Actually, to be perfectly honest, like you, I like meeting people and breaking bread and having some wine and having a good dinner, whatever, but I just feel a lot more productive. Face-to-face meetings take a lot of time. People are, “What do you mean you never met your client?” I said, “Well, all I need to do is serve them, provide what they need and make sure that they've got my right wiring information, so they can send money. I don't need to meet face to face.”

Christopher L.: When you do, it's super high impact, super valuable. To your point, you go out, maybe you have a nice dinner. I recently met some folks that I've been working with for a while that I've never met in person. The other thing that's interesting about technology today is it's not uncomfortable when you meet them in person. You already know them. There's that one moment we were like, “Oh, he's a little taller, a little shorter, a little this, little that than I might've expected.” There's that little moment and then poof, it's gone. The reality is if you've been doing meaningful work using the technology, you're already in a deep relationship. Bam, it's as though you've known each other for years because of the technology.

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Doug Morneau: That's the other good thing about Zoom because it's a videocall. You get away from people on their social media profile pictures of them when they were 25 and a football star and now they're 55 and they look a bit different. You meet them. You're going like, “You look a lot different than your profile picture.”

Christopher L.: I will tell you. My profile picture is recent. That's how shitty I actually look.

Doug Morneau: No, it wasn't a comment on your profile. I want to wrap up and ask you two more questions and then I'll let you go back to helping people solve the marketing problems. Number one is, who's one guest you think I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Christopher L.: That's a great question. Maybe it's because her book is right in front of me, Lee Hartley Carter. She wrote this great book called Persuasion and she was on my podcast. The book has come out this year. The reason she popped to my mind I think one of the most unthought about, unworked on areas of marketing is language. They are a, I forget exactly what they call themselves, but they might call themselves a strategic language firm. They spent a lot of time thinking about words and the impact they have. I have long believed, Doug, that a demarcation point in language creates a demarcation point in thinking which creates a demarcation point in action, usage, purchasing, and consumption.

Christopher L.: Her firm specializes exclusively in that. Her book Persuasion is all about that. They worked with political campaigns. They worked with major brands. One of the conversations I think lacking in marketing and business is a conversation about how we use language to shape categories and thinking. When I say to you, “Oh, in our town, we have too many winos and bums,” that makes you think one thing. When I say to you, “Oh, in our town we have too many homeless people,” that makes you think a whole other thing. It's very hard to be against a law called The Patriot Act, right?

Doug Morneau: Yup.

Christopher L.: It's very hard to be against a law called The Clean Air Act. There's a strategic reason that people buy preowned vehicles as opposed to used cars.

Doug Morneau: That's right.

Christopher L.: Right?

Doug Morneau: Yeah.

Christopher L.: If you start to play with language and pay attention, this is why I think category design and points of view are so important because language frames thinking. I think Lee is an incredibly smart gal. I think her book is very powerful. I think those of us entrepreneurs, those of us marketers need to think a lot more strategically about language. You know the reason Marc Benioff was able to almost single handedly create the cloud was he reimagined the language around the current category. What I mean specifically is he named what SAP does as on-premise software. It was the creation of on-premise which was functionally and technically correct.

Christopher L.: Then, he imbued on-premise with negative meaning that sets up a conversation about the cloud. That's a strategic choice of language. I think most of us in business are sloppy with language. Anyway, that's one big idea I have for you. She's a great gal. I'm happy to make an introduction if you like.

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Doug Morneau: That would be absolutely amazing. Now, the most important question of the whole day is, how do you want people to reach out and connect with you? It goes without saying that they should subscribe to your podcast in iTunes, but how do you want them to connect with you deeper?

Christopher L.: However they want. Of course, most people who interact with my stuff, I never get to communicate with or meet or anything like that. That's cool. If you want to read the books and listen to the podcasts, that's fantastic. If you want to reach out more, I'm at lochhead.com, two Hs, and you can email [email protected] and that will get to me. Of course, I'm on social media and LinkedIn and all that good stuff if you want to go to those places. What I would tell you is I bust my nuts to respond to everybody. I can't get to everybody anymore. We hit a point where responding to everybody is really hard, but we work hard at it, myself and my assistant Candy who I lovingly refer to as Candy Dandy, she's one of my absolute favorite people on the planet.

Christopher L.: We try super hard to respond to everybody, every tweet, every email, every LinkedIn and all that. I try to get to as many of them as possible personally, lochhead dot com and then all the other sort of ways to touch base, hang off there or just email [email protected] dot com and I'll do my best.

Doug Morneau: That's really cool. Now, did you pick [inaudible 00:52:09]? Did you choose the language blackhole as a deterrent for people to not email you or is that just-

Christopher L.: A little for sure, but my wife Carrey actually came up with the idea and it's partially on that, but it's mostly on the fact that, when you and I send an email to a person or a company for the first time, it just enters a black hole and we're very used to not getting a response.

Doug Morneau: I like that. I'm thinking, “Hey, I might take creative license and add an email address some people will go.”

Christopher L.: By all means. Mostly, it was meant to be funny.

Doug Morneau: It's like, “Oh yeah. Wow. Fuck, it's in the black hole. Who knows?” That's brilliant.

Christopher L.: That's my incredible gal, Carrey. She's amazing and she's got a very quick and fun sense of humor.

Doug Morneau: That's great. Well, hey, thanks so much. Great to chat. Great to actually talk to you and posting me just listening to you. I still had a chance to listen to you, but there was a little bit of interaction back and forth. I appreciate your taking the time and being so generous.

Christopher L.: Doug, thank you. It really is my pleasure and bless you.

Doug Morneau: Thank you. There you go, listeners. That's another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast and we had a Canadian and US legend on the podcast today, Christopher Lochhead and he shared a ton of value. I hope you've gotten some good notes. We'll make sure the show notes are transcribed. I'd highly recommend subscribing to either of his podcasts and picking up his book. I've really enjoyed following Christopher for a while. He was introduced to me by, as he mentioned, his producer, Jamie Jay. Love what he's doing. I look forward to your feedback and comments on the blog once it's published. Thanks again for tuning in. I look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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