Episode 2: Your Leadership Secret Weapon

Updated Jan. 12, 2022 Published Nov. 8, 2017 21 Min. Read

russ perry show banner

Your Leadership Secret Weapon

How does a business create emotion and leverage feelings around their product or service?

Watch Episode 2 of The Russ Perry Show to learn how brands like Apple and Design Pickle use “feelings” to craft a user-experience that turn a customer into a #1 fan and lifelong brand advocate.



Subscribe to catch the latest episode, released every Tuesday at 11:30 am PST!

Enter your email address and name to download
this week’s Action Guide

Each week we release an Action Guide filled with relevant exercises from the latest Russ Perry Show episode to help you expand in all core areas of your life: body, being, balance, and business. This week’s Action Guide will take you through the 5 layers of emotional significance to help you bring feelings into your business. Download it below! 

BONUS: No need to take notes – we transcribed the episode for you! Click here to download the PDF version or keep scrolling!

Welcome to the Russ Perry show. I’m excited to have you here. Sorry we’re a little bit late, I was actually on another webinar training system. But we’re here, we’re good, and today we’re gonna talk all about feelings. I know. It’s gonna be a little bit of an emotional conversation. But I’m gonna be sharing a lot about how we use feelings in our marketing and as well how we use feeling inside our business to slay the competition. So buckle in, get your sparkling water or whatever it is you need, and this is the Russ Perry Show.
Alright, we’re back, we still need to get our monitor over here, I’m sorry I looked over here this is where, this is our production side of everything. But we are back for our 2nd consecutive episode of the Russ Perry Show. And last week we had a conversation around facts and feelings. And if you missed it, well you definitely should go check it out but I will recap the frame of the conversation ’cause it’s super important in our topics that we’re going to be covering for probably the next few episodes here. Now the equation that is kinda been thrown out there is that our results, or our fruit in anything that we pursue is a combination of our facts times our feelings, raised to the power of how much we’re able to focus. So the core piece that we’re gonna be talking about today is this first element around our feelings.
And feelings aren’t necessarily a conversation that you have inside a business, in fact for most of my professional career, feelings were something that we would try to do as a marketer, I’m gonna try to evoke feelings with my target audience I’m gonna try to evoke a feeling with the prospects or clients that I’m having, but we wouldn’t talk about them inside the company. And what I learned after I closed my agency was feelings are just as important to be an external piece of your conversation and how you approach your marketing and your branding, but it’s also important to have a feeling foundation inside your business. So we’re gonna start today, our first half of the conversation will be about feelings outward, and how do we leverage feelings in an external way that allows us to get people hooked into whatever we’re doing and frankly gets them to like us.
Now I wanted to share with you, as we get started, this beautiful artifact. We see this on the camera? I know for some of you watching this, you might be, this might be older than you. This is, ladies and gentleman, the first generation ipod. It had a really cool touch wheel. It had buttons that you could press, and it had a screen here that was one color. Like gray. It was an LED screen, you can get the shot of the massive amounts of ports here, it’s not really focusing on it’s alright. We had a fire wire, an audio out and a hold button. But let me tell you what this is in case you don’t know. This is an iPod. This was the first iPod ever made and actually at this time that I worked for Apple is when they released it, I actually worked for Apple twice and both times they had epic product launches, once with the iPod, and once with the iPhone.
The reason I show you this today, is because this is a classic textbook, case study in how to market with feelings. ‘Cause if you rewind back to when this was launched, I’m not clear on the exact year, I think it was in 2000 maybe, I don’t know I’ll have to go back and look on that, if you’re watching this live, you can quote in the comments. The iPod was nothing new from a technological standpoint. This thing, the technology to play mp3s and to play music, had been around for years. In fact there were Rio players and I think Microsoft had a product too, the Zune, I think that might have been out, maybe that was after the iPod, but the fact is that this thing from a technological factual standpoint was nothing.
But what they did and what Apple did, which is they’ve done many, many times, after the fact, is that they created emotions and they created feelings around what it could mean to have your entire song library in your pocket. That you could take it with you when you travel, when you work, when you do all of these things in your life that you could literally have the soundtrack to your life playing, with you. So, Apple, by in far is one of the best case studies for feelings and they did it again with da-da-da, now this is a little bit of a brag here, with their new iPhone 10.
So their new iPhone 10 right here, is again, from a technological standpoint, it is not rocket science. It’s a touch screen. There’s some high def cameras on it. There’s no buttons which is been around for a long time with some phones. Actually take that back, there are buttons. So there’s a little bit of a contradiction there. But again, Apple has taken a product, and created an entire emotional wrapper around it.
Now how this applies to Design Pickle and how this applies to the way that we’re approaching business every day, is the same approach that we’re having with graphic design. We are not necessarily doing anything outrageous, we’re not necessarily doing anything outlandish with how we approach graphic design. You use our service at Design Pickle, and you get to match with a designer, and then you work with your designer. Granted there’s some financial models that we do differently, but it’s all about the feeling and the emotion and the experience that we’re providing around this very core basic product and experience and service.
Graphic design has been around a long time and there’s a lot of people who do it in a lot of different ways. No different than this iPod, the technology to play mp3s had been around a long time, and there was a lot of different ways that people were designing experiences around listening to your music digitally. All that Apple did was took a better way to experience this both on the hardware side and then on the software side with iTunes. We’re doing the same thing. We’re taking a product to service of graphic design, and providing a better hardware experience, how you communicate and work with or build by your designer, and then a software experience in our custom apps that we’ve developed, as well as the support and the messaging systems, our slack app, all the things that go into it.
So when you’re looking at feelings as far as your own business and how this would apply to you, really take the same analogy. What is your core thing that you’re doing? What is the core product that probably isn’t necessarily unique, it’s not necessarily cutting edge, first to market, person doing it. If you’re doing servicing hub spot or if you are doing photography, or if you are a brick and mortar store or a gym or whatever it might be, there are hundreds, if not thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people who are doing the exact same thing as you. So your core product is the same. But your feelings and your emotions and the experience that you create around all of that, that is going to be the difference maker with your success in the marketplace.
Apple didn’t succeed because it innovated on the hardware side. Yeah, it’s a slick product, it’s cool, I like having this thing around, same with the new iPhone 10, very cool, very slick, works really well. What they did is they created a massive amount of feelings in the experience with interacting, buying with, receiving, on packaging, even just for me being like, “Oh cool, I wanna show it on the Russ Perry show.”
So in your business and in the deliverable that you are creating or the service that you’re doing, there’s your core piece, and then there’s everything else around you, that is going to be going into the feeling part of how it is people interact with you and how it is people buy, receive and how you deliver the work it is that you’re doing.
So this is the first half of the feelings conversation today. It’s the external feeling piece. Now the next layer of this conversation which I’d love to have at a later date, but these shows aren’t gonna be an hour long, is gonna be branding, and all the other pieces around customer service, and we’ll unpack that at a later time.
But here in just minute, we’re gonna take a quick break, we’re gonna talk about another lens that you can look at feelings inside your business. In particular, how we’re actually doing two specific things every single day to make sure we’re keeping feelings at the core of what we do.
But before we start that conversation, I wanna again promote our video series, soon to be podcast series, now that we’re gonna be updating it, called Originals. Head by our director of experience, Alex Guevara, where Alex goes out and finds original and creative people in all walks of life and kind of unpacks the keys to their success as well as how they’re disrupting their industry. So here’s a quick commercial on that, definitely check it out, originals.show, and we’ll be right back with the 2nd half of the conversation.
– [Alex] Originals season two is on it’s way. Starting December 15th, join the conversation with creative minds behind brands like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Digital Marketer, Ambitionally, and Y Travel Blog. Eight new episodes you don’t want to miss, coming out every Friday starting December 15th on YouTube. Subscribe now to never miss an episode.
– Alright we’re back, I’m getting set up here. It was a short commercial, probably good for you guys. I can’t get this pulled out. Anyway, we’re talkin’ about feelings today. And feelings are literally the secret weapon inside your business. If you were not leveraging feelings externally with the emotions and how you’re connecting with clients and how you’re sharing your story on a personal, real level, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Most likely, in your industry, everyone’s doing the opposite. They’re communicating with facts, they’re communicating with figures, they’re communicating with benefits, how can I help you? Well let me tell you. I have this really cool electronic product and it can hold 1,000 songs and it has a data connector that’s called fire wire and guess what? This is a screen that you can see in the sunlight or even in, I don’t know if it was back lit. That doesn’t connect with people on an emotional level.
So feelings from an external and a marketing and a branding standpoint are a huge way for anyone to get a leg up in the industry. When I had my creative agency, we did branding strategies for B2B tech software startups, we were 100% taking the Apple feelings strategy in our brand. We would go to the cloud storage company we’d work with, Spring CM was their name at the time, probably still is their name, but at the time we worked for them, and we went to them and we said, “Hey, let’s be fun. Let’s have emotion in the way we approach our identity in the colors we use and the way we talk about ourselves.”
So that’s branding and the feelings and that conversations we could go on and on and on. But there’s another way you can leverage feelings as a secret weapon inside your business. I was in Thailand last week as well, at a friend’s conference this past weekend and I presented on this topic, and when we got to the feelings inside your business, there’s really two ways that I, that we are using feelings to build a better company from the inside out.
The first is that we and I as a leader have massive amounts of significance, in everything that I do and every decision that I make. Now this is gonna seem probably obvious to some, but this is my family. This is my daughter Maddox, this is my daughter Reece, this is my daughter Reece again, this is actually Maddox when she was about two years old, so she’s grown a lot now, she’s in 7th grade. Then I don’t have, sorry Mika and Page, I don’t have pictures of my other family, I’ve got some back here you can see. I grabbed some we were running just a little bit late.
The point is, every decision I make, starts with the significance of what these photos symbolize. My family. The people that rely on me to create value in this universe and in this world, that then I can take that value which is transmuted into the the form of money and investment and time freedom and then invest that into them. So significance starts with you. Significance starts with you being clear about why it is you’re waking up every single day to do whatever it is you’re doing.
I have been dealt a hand of significance that might be very similar to you. Perhaps you’re married, perhaps you have kids. It doesn’t matter though, you can find significance with a significant other, without a significant other, with kids, without, as a divorced parent, as a parent who’s never been married. Significance is all around us. Now let’s say you don’t have a family currently. That’s okay. I have another layer of significance that matter dramatically to me, I gotta turn off this passcode here when we’re doing the demos. And this is the Design Pickle team.
So you can see here, we have a ton of people that wake up every single day, to support you the client, if you’re watching this, as well as our team and everyone around us. Right now we have over 110 people working at Design Pickle. Full time. The significance beyond my family then goes to my team members. Goes to Janett sitting over there, goes to that team I just scrolled through and showed you all around the world. I know that the decisions I make are mattered to their lives and that to me is a huge responsibility, but it’s also an incredible, incredible opportunity, and motivating for me to wake up every single morning knowing that I am gonna be able to impact them.
Then the significance here gets even larger. And then then becomes our clients. How can we affect them and how can we impact their lives every single day? Now if you saw last week’s episode, you saw a clip of Gary V. kind of rippin’ on the traditional design establishment. This will probably be a theme throughout many episodes of the Russ Perry show simply because it’s a chip on my shoulder, but a couple weeks ago when I was in Thailand, there were two designers tweeting back and forth a bunch of shit talk about Design Pickle. Well over the period of about four hours, as they’re takin’ cheap jabs at us, and oh their work looks terrible, what are you gonna get? I should just send my work to Sally the front desk lady at design, while they were tweeting back and forth, we completed over 470 design jobs.
That was 470 ways we were impacting the lives of someone else. Now to me, that’s significance. What’s not significant? Is hiding behind a keyboard like a fucking poser an unemployed graphic designer and not actually helping people, and attacking others in your same industry who are actually trying to make a difference. When I see competitors pop up, I don’t get pissed, I get excited, because guess what? They are trying to help people in a new and different way. No different than if there’s a new pizza shop that opens up, great, these trying to provide warmth and food and meaning and getting a place where people can take their families for dinners and create that family connection, there’s significance in the lives, and there’s significance starting with me, and then my Design Pickle team, and then my clients.
Now then there’s the 4th layer, which is probably a lot of the people watching this video right now. And that’s everybody else. So my next layer of significance to that 4th market, who’s not a Design Pickle client, maybe it’s an old friend from high school, or hey mom, how’s it goin? How was episode one? Sorry I cuss sometimes on the show, that 4th layer, now I’m trying to create content like this to provide significance into your life. So that I can connect with you and that I can be able to deliver value in a different way that’s not related to graphic design. So there’s that one layer of feelings that we have in our business and we call that significance.
The next layer is where we actually, let me get my, I lost my brightness on my iPad here, I was scrolling and I turned it down, in a about a week or two, we’re gonna actually have a bit of a different set up with a, I’m not gonna be like holding up the iPad to the screen, so that will be exciting for us, but there’s another layer of significance that you can have inside your business, and this one actually is hidden by a very, very corporate term called mission, vision, values.
Now there’s a lot of you out there probably who have been involved and worked in corporate America, who are like Russ, come on man, mission, vision, values? Like, that’s so corporate, that’s what GE does, that’s what Intel does, that’s what Kraft does, in the Kraft macaroni and cheese department. But I’m here to tell you that mission, vision, values are your Trojan horse for having a company that’s governed by feelings. Let me explain.
Our vision is to change lives through creativity. Why do we have that vision? Because it’s emotional. I can stir emotion, and if I change your lives through our graphic design service through software we built, through anything else, this show, then I am now interacting with you on an emotional level. Changing lives is not a factional thing, it’s emotional. So we have that first vision statement, to change lives through creativity, as our emotional banner that we run every day.
Now next goes to our mission. What’s our mission? To be the most helpful creative company in the world. Helpful is an emotion. If I am walking across the street and I drop something, I’m jogging, something falls out of my pocket, and someone comes to me and says, “Hey, excuse me, here you go.” I am now triggered emotionally with gratitude, with thanks with connection. So we have our vision and we have our mission. Again emotional, emotional.
Your mission becomes more practical though. It’s the day to day ways you’re implementing things inside your business. It’s how you’re creating the value that you’re creating. So to be the most helpful, creative company in the world, currently we provide a really helpful graphic design service. We’re building really helpful software, like jarhq.com. We have our slackbot that you can use, which is another helpful thing. We have integrated ways we’ve included stock photography into our service, ’cause that’s helpful. But ultimately, the helpful is the emotion.
And then finally we have our values. Our four core values, which I’ll show here, hopefully I don’t kill the screen here again. Can you see it? Alright. So our core values here, I’ll read them off, are friendly, smart working, truth and service. These are the emotional guideposts as we work together as a global team. So how do I have feelings all over my business? I use instead of generic feelings, I come to our core values and I say, “Was this friendly? Are we being smart working? Are we standing in truth? Are we leading with a servant’s heart? And these core values become my, you know, squares of the box in which we operate in. And those squares of the box are all emotional terms.
We don’t see in here, profits, we don’t see anything in here about customer service response time, we don’t see any of that because those are facts and you’re never gonna guide humans who are emotional creatures, who consume emotionally, who make decisions emotionally, who show up every day to work emotionally, you’re never gonna be able to lead them and guide them and grow them unless you have the emotional framework, AKA the values in place, that you can refer back to that aren’t what Russ Perry feels, they’re not what you feel, they’re not what you feel, you feel, you feel, it doesn’t matter what you feel, it’s what the business feels and how the business is gonna operate emotionally.
So, we’re gonna wrap this up today, no cool Gary V. video clip today, although I had like 10 minutes with him that we were talking about Design Pickle, I’ll probably show some more later, but I wanna just remind you guys that feelings are going to be your secret weapon as you look to outmaneuver the competition, as you look to connect and expand your markets and as you look to build high performing teams.
They are the thing that is so overlooked inside of businesses and we see a lot of businesses because of the nature of our work. But if you can harness feelings, both from an outward marketing branding perspective, and then from an inward perspective, finding significance in what you do, as well as guiding yourself and your team with the mission, vision, values, you’re going to have an unstoppable, unstoppable framework for growth and expansion.
So this wraps up episode number two of the Russ Perry show. I thank you for being here, if you’re watching this on the replay, follow, subscribe, you can go to designpickle2d.wpengine.com/show to see our episodes as well as get signed up for a list to get notified when we launch new ones. We will see you next week at 12:30 Mountain Standard Time. 11:30 Pacific time, ’cause we’re, time zones we don’t observe that in Arizona. Thanks again and we’ll talk to ya next week!

Related Posts

Feeling a little stuck?

Subscribe to our newsletter!

The How is a newsletter that was created to inspire. Striking examples of graphic design, tips on breaking design process bottlenecks, and opportunities to engage with a wonderfully creative community are all included.

Simplify the way your design work gets done.

We’re an all-in-one platform with a built-in global design workforce, trailblazing the path to easier, faster, and more efficient creative.