9 Questions for Carol Phillips, President of Brand Amplitude and Notre Dame Marketing Facultymember

Posted by Jim Nichols on October 30th, 2008 at 12:00 am

Carol Phillips, President of Brand Amplitude, is one of the people I most admire in marketing. Her instincts for helping brands better define their audiences and craft powerful brands through insights-based research have helped countless brands win in their respective categories. She sees things in data and consumer feedback that other miss entirely. As we enter an era where marketing dollars may well be less abundant for a while, it's more important than ever that we unearth the facts and perceptions that will help our brands win. With that in mind, I asked Carol to give her thoughts on branding and segmentation in our dynamic digital marketing environment.

I have no business relationship with Brand Amplitude, nor does our company Catalyst:SF. I just love the things she says.

1. Can you tell us a little about your professional history?

Now that I am teaching college marketing, I realize how much of my career happened before time began. I started at Leo Burnett in the late 70's, before Millennials were even born.

So much has changed. What did we DO all day without a computer? (I am really not sure). I am very proud of the fact that I am still here practicing marketing. I advise my students that the job you will end up doing hasn't been invented yet, so go study Theology or Theatre, not what BMW did 5 years ago. The elevator version of my career is market research (what we called Planning before there was Planning), Account Management for 5 mega-sized agencies, a brief dot com venture, Director of Communications for Whirlpool, and now President of Brand Amplitude. It is all going so fast.

2. What excites you about what you do for brands?

What I do for brands is help them understand who their best customers are, what they love about the brand, and how to use that insight to get more customers like them. Increasingly, this means I get to think about brands in the context of culture. The best brands don't even seem like brands, they are a type of cultural

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