January 14, 2020

Building a Beloved & Dominant Brand

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Brand Strategist and agency principal David Lemley thrives at the intersection of culture and the outdoors and proves meaningful impact isn't relegated to Manhattan. David helped put the Pacific Northwest on the map as a thought leader in design, working with brands that are ambitious, fearless, and out to change the world. He believes a brand should inspire deep and meaningful connections with real people and enthusiastically do good.

Everybody Brands podcast David Lemley Brian Sooy

A Conversation with David Lemley

David Lemley has had a creative and strategic hand in shaping some of the world’s most iconic brands including Starbucks, REI, Pampers, and Nintendo. As the Founder and Chief Strategist of Seattle-based Retail Voodoo, David is on a mission to help better-for-you brands win customer’s hearts, minds, and souls. He partners with marketers, investors, and founder-owners to unlock the power of their brand’s promise to engage consumers, spark innovation, identify opportunity, and drive exponential growth.

“Your brand is not your logo and the act of getting your logo imprinted upon 10,000 ballpoint pens is not branding. That is logo application. That's called activation.  Branding is all the “thinky think” and all the planning and the integrity with which you run your business and decide what you're going to make.  The art of branding is being mindful and intentional about the way you're going to promise.  You’re going to make it in a way that you're going to keep aiming at the guiding principles. And once you have that crystal clear, it also helps inform what you're going to make, what your offering will be, what it should cost, who's who you want to talk to. All of that is branding and then after you know that, then you get into marketing, planning, and activation.” — David Lemley

David Lemley published his first book, Beloved and Dominant Brands: The Brand Ecosystem that Drives Better-for-you Brands from One of Many to Category Prominence, a highlight of the very first model David and Retail Voodoo uses in their brand strategy development process.


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Some of the questions David and Brian discuss include:

  • In an age where people care more about “what’s in it for me,” are you finding that consumers are still really tied in with the “Why?”
  • Based on industry and a culture perspective, how do you define branding?
  • What are some of the myths that you encounter around branding?
  • What do you tell someone who doesn't believe their brand is a valuable business asset?
  • How can businesses and brands do a better job of using stories to keep promises?
  • As you listen, you’ll learn about a mutual colleague whom David counts as a major influence on his thinking and interviews in Beloved and Dominant Brands.

Listen online or in your podcast app:

Connect with David Lemley and his work at:


Connect with podcast host Brian Sooy at StoryBrand, LinkedIn, and Amazon.

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