On Wednesday, KPCC's Crawford Family Forum team and I kicked off the first installment of "DeBord Report Live." We had a great crowd and a great guest — Sasha Strauss, Managing Director of Innovation Protocol, a strategic branding firm based here in L.A.
You may have heard Sasha on "The Patt Morrison Show." You may have watched Sasha in YouTube videos. But you haven't lived — or I hadn't anyway — untill you've seen Sasha do his thing live. We covered A LOT of territory in our 90-minute conversation, punctuated by Q&A sessions with the audience — and a few table-turners, where Sasha interviewed me (my beat-up 1998 Saab and my 15-year-old Brooks Brothers suit evidently say quite a lot about the Brand That Is Me).
You can listen to whole thing here. Advance warning: Be prepared to turn down the volume at times! By the end, I think you'll know a lot more about social media, how brands rise and fall — and about where Sasha is coming from as a person who believes that brands are deeply emotional and ultimately about more than mere commerce.
Before I joined KPCC, I spent some time working in marketing and advertising. It's safe to say that I've never seen anyone who can match Sasha's passion. But it goes beyond that. He's not just great at talking about branding, he's great at understanding the universe of brands and their human implications.
He is in other words a rare person in business. Very rare. And I was honored to have him as my first "DeBord Report Live" guest — not least because "DeBord Report Live" is a brand I'm trying, with the help of the Forum, to build.