Let's Think Outside the Bun, with Greg Creed - former CEO & CMO of Yum! Brands
Play • 1 hr 3 min

Hear from The Godfather of restaurant marketing himself, Greg Creed, former CEO at Yum! Brands and CEO/CMO of Taco Bell where he spearheaded the famous “Think Outside the Bun” campaign. Another small feather in his cap…. Running the Dove brand for Unilever. 

Most recently he’s co-authored a book with Ken Muench called R.E.D. Marketing: The Three Ingredients of Leading Brands - Relevance, Ease, and Distinctiveness.

Greg is chock full of marketing wisdom and experience, and has the street cred to prove it - during his tenure as CEO at Yum! Brands the company saw tremendous sales and profit growth. He boasts an unconventional but refreshing leadership style that starts with people, brands, and cultural relevance. 

All at once, Greg is relatable, down-to-earth, humble, self-deprecating, and brilliant. He cites his greatest achievement as building a culture where people felt valued, empowered, and courageous. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did! 

Some of Greg’s top beliefs and advice (a true gold mine here): 

The two most important assets in a company are not measurable -- brands & people.
Although the value of a brand and its people are hard to quantify, Greg believes they are the key to having a strong balance sheet. To him, successful CEOs look past the numbers on a P&L and understand the crucial role People & Brand plays. 

 Prioritize SOBO - sales overnight and brands over time. Greg says the very Best Marketers can do both. If you don’t build the sales overnight you won’t be around long enough to build the brand over time.

Brands must always be Reinventing & Transforming.
A brand is never standing still, it’s either moving forward or backward. Norms within the restaurant industry are changing, so companies need to evolve and grow to stay relevant. Greg says that any successful transformation is rooted in a good team experience and that taking care of and supporting your frontline employees should be priority number one.

Marketers need to be courageous.
And you “can’t be courageous in the absence of fear.” An example, his launch of Doritos Locos Tacos. Being courageous also means not always adhering to a strict process. "I know organizations need processes to make things happen... But, I believe people fundamentally think that if [they] just go through a process, big ideas will come out at the end. And I've never seen that to be the case".

Create an emotional response, not an emotional connection.
To Greg, brands forging a long-lasting emotional connection with their consumers is almost unattainable. Instead, your goal as marketers should be to elicit an emotional response from your guests. "Do I want you to love Taco Bell? No, not necessarily. But, when you go to Taco Bell, does it make you feel happy? Do you get a smile?".

Be Distinctive, not Different. People get too hung up on functional differentiation… Replace differentiation with distinctiveness.

• Connect with Greg Creed on LinkedIn
• Greg's Book - R.E.D. Marketing: The Three Ingredients of Leading Brands

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