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DeBord Report Live with Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol



The DeBord Report Live's first guest: Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol. He's taller and I have the much older suit.

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.


Better Brands: How the Apple Store completed the brand experience

Apple's New iPhone 4s Goes On Sale

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple Store customers look at the new Apple iPhone 4Gs on October 14, 2011 in San Francisco.

Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol will be joining me at the first DeBord Report live at the Crawford Family Forum, this Wednesday, March 21, from 7 -8:30 p.m. (RSVPs are being accepted right now!) In preparation, I'm running a micro-series of posts about branding, Sasha's speciality, all this week. 

In honor of Apple's announcement that it will pay a dividend to investors for the first time since 1995, and also buy back $10 billion in stock, the Apple Store and its role in the Apple brand is my subject. What was it that made the Apple Store different — and what is it that's enabled the retail outlets to generate such loyalty,  go along with booming sales and foot-traffic for Apple? 

Simple genius, that's what. The Genius Bar, in fact, the Apple Store's in-house tech-support resource. Hard to think of an Apple Store without the Genius Bar now. But that wasn't always the case, as David Aaker pointed out earlier this year at Harvard Businss Review blogs:


DeBord Report Live: Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol at the Crawford Family Forum

The DeBord Report is going live! On Wednesday, March 21, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Crawford Family Forum, I'll be conversing with the always lively Sasha Strauss, the Managing Director of Innovation Protocol. We'll be talking about the "New World of Branding Strategies," something Strauss knows plenty about. RSVP early to reserve a seat!

If you're interested in a preview, you can watch Strauss in action in the video above.

You can also listen to Strauss here and here — he's appeared often on "The Patt Morrison Show." In both segments, he discusses something that's near and dear to me: the auto industry.

Leading up to the event, I'll be writing a micro-series of blog posts about branding and some the issues the practice is now facing.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.