Marketing 101

I just gave a talk to a large marketing class at UCSC. My presentation outlined the specific process we use to identify the authentic core of a brand concept. I didn’t end up where I’d planned, however. As I looked out on my audience of sleepy, disinterested, somewhat cynical, young college students, I began to wonder why I was even there. Somewhere along the way, I left my script and started thinking about all the great young entrepreneurs I’ve met, like Greg Steltenphol who started Odwalla, Freddy Shilling who started Dagoba Chocolate and Josh Onysko of Pangea, They were about the age of the students in this class, when they started their garage manufacturing operations. I wound up encouraging the group not to think like marketeers but more like fearless entrepreneurs with crazy ideas. The question and answer session was lively and fun. The students were interested, enthusiastic seemed full of a sense of the possibilities. Amazing what a few good stories can do.