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Seven Lessons Happened on the Way to the Hall of Fame

I was so thrilled to be inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame on May 11 alongside my colleagues and friends Jon Iwata of IBM,  Gary Briggs of Facebook, and Professor Jerry Wynd from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.

Each of us gave a short TED-style talk on what we had learned in our career,  and how we see the future of marketing evolving.


I shared seven lessons that I happened to learn on my way to the Hall of Fame.


1. Spend your life with a person/people you love and trust.  I met Warren Buffet a few years ago,  and he said the most important decision in your life is who you spend it with.  Nothing is even close.  I could not agree more.

2. Run your life and business with purpose. I believe in this so much I wrote a book on it.  I have found it is the best way to grow a lasting business and organization.  I have also learned it is very helpful to develop a behavioral framework with your team on what it means to lead with purpose;  that makes it sustainable.

3. Get out more. I wish I had done this even more in my career.  Leaders need to be focusing more on the future,  what is around the corner.  One of the best things I did at P&G was to get out and visit Google when they were a startup—it resulted in an employee exchange that the Wall Street Journal found so significant they put it on their front page.

4. Move fast, be decisive.  Have you ever said that you made a decision too quickly?  Or too slowly?  I bet more the latter.  I have just completed a 2.5 year project researching how startups can help legacy companies renew themselves—making faster decisions is at the top of the list.

5. Live with health, joy and resilience.  These three things are the key to a happy life.  And they are all in our control.  One thing I like to do is yoga on the beach—what is your favorite healthy,  joyful activity?

6. Have great bosses. I have been fortunate to have many.  One of my best was Herbert Schmitz at P&G.  He gave me big goals and then encouraged me to move fast and not be afraid to fail.

7. Be a great boss. This is also within our control,  and there is nothing higher leverage than this.

My favorite memento from my long career at P&G was a book my team made for me when I was Global Marketing Officer.  They did it for my 50th birthday,  and it was a collection of meaningful—and humorous—memories, pictures,  and principles.  If your team made you a book,  what would be in it?  What would you like in it?

Thank you to the AMA New York for this incredible honor. Congratulations to Jon, Gary, and Jerry.

A special thank you to my P&G colleagues who surprised me at the event. And thank you to Tim Armstrong and Aol for sponsoring the dinner and being there to support me.


Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Life Philosophy, Marketing, Speaking Events, Uncategorized

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A Day With The Chicago Bulls

I had an awesome morning in Chicago with the Bulls organization in their Advocate Training Center. We talked brand purpose, marveled at the championship trophies, and got in a few dunks. All around great day. Thanks for having me, Chicago Bulls!

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Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Marketing, Speaking Events, Uncategorized

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Deloitte Next Generation CMO Academy

It has been an inspiring few days at the Deloitte Next Generation CMO Academy. The CMO Academy was hosted on the beautiful campus of Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.

deloitte cmo

It was a perfect setting for learning (check out the picture of the campus) with an incredible agenda. The academy was quite an experience – designed to help these bright next generation CMOs become better leaders. The Deloitte team is filled with smart, fun people who are very generous with their time and expertise. But, I must say, the 5:30 a.m. kick-boxing class was a bit challenging!

The title of my talk was Got Courage?  The Essential Ingredient for an Evolved CMO.  I spoke to the CMOs about why courage is so important now, and had them take a leadership self-assessment. Here are three elements we focused on during the session:

  • Do you actively learn from outside influencers, other companies, startups to challenge your culture, how you work?
  • Do you recruit leaders who challenge convention, have a track record of courageous behavior?
  • Are you genuinely interested/passionate about the end user/consumer?  Do you think of her when you make decisions?

At the end of the session, six teams had to summarize their learning in a song – with help from a professional musician. I was asked to help judge – it was great and hilarious! We picked the “Grey is the new Black” as the winners – they did a hip-hop song about how we live in a world of ambiguity and we need courage!

I also had the opportunity to sit in on a few sessions. I loved the thought leadership session on How Brands Can Catalyze Movements.

Thank you Deloitte for another wonderful experience!

Check out some tweets from the event below:







Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Life Philosophy, Marketing, Speaking Events, Uncategorized

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Our Favorite Super Bowl Ads: Suzanne Tosolini


Our team took a look back at the best Super Bowl ads in history. Here are Suzanne Tosolini‘s two favorite spots:


The Super Bowl is a brand’s opportunity to do what TV does best – tell a story. TV allows brands to tell that story using the dramatic devices of film to make it engaging, distinctive, and memorable. Great film means great production. These two brand stories are my Super Bowl favorites:


VW “Darth Vader”


Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”

Every time I watch these ads, I notice something new.  They each touch me emotionally in very different ways. The two spots use very different dramatic devices, but both are among the very best Super Bowl ads of all time.

Do you agree with Suzanne’s picks? Are there other Super Bowl ads you love? Join the conversation on Twitter.

Check out Matt Carcieri’s picks here. And Selina Yoon’s favorites here.

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Our Favorite Super Bowl Ads: Selina Yoon


Our team took a look back at the best Super Bowl ads in history. Here are Selina Yoon‘s top picks:




Coca Cola’s “Hey Kid, Catch!” – After a tough game, Mean Joe Greene is given a Coke by a child who looks up to him. It communicated so much: have a Coke and everything will be okay. Mean Joe was portrayed as a nice, relatable guy. This was so effective for the Coke brand. It moved people’s hearts and their love of brand got bigger.

Snicker’s “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry – Betty White”  – This ad communicates how Snicker’s delivers on satisfying your hunger in a humorous, relevant way to the Super Bowl audience. I loved it.

Budweiser is a perennial favorite of mine. I think we are conditioned to look for what Budweiser will do each year for the Big Game. So many popular phrases have come out of Budweiser Superbowl spots and that is powerful. (“Wassup!”) Budweiser = football culture = American culture

Apple’s “1984” – It was such a memorable 60 seconds that told a powerful story of revolution in technology. Apple history cannot be told without this iconic ad that led to a break-through for the brand. And the ad worked — I bought a Macintosh shortly after it was launched!

Do you agree with Selina’s picks? Are there other Super Bowl ads you love? Join the conversation on Twitter.

Check out Suzanne Tosolini’s picks here. And Matt Carcieri’s favorites here.

Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Marketing, Uncategorized

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Fortune’s Breakthrough Brands 2017

Fortune Magazine just released its list of Breakthrough Brands for 2017. Topping the list were Airbnb, Instagram, and Slack. Check out the feature here.


As part of the Breakthrough Brands cover story, I sat down with Fortune to talk about How To Build a Breakthrough Brand. Check out that Q&A here.


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Brands We Are Thankful For

The Jim Stengel Team has an attitude of gratitude this week. And before we sit down with friends and family to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, we decided to take a moment to list the brands we are thankful for, the brands that make our lives better.

And now, we present to you, the first annual Team Stengel’s Brands We Are Thankful For:


I am thankful for…

Amazon which enables me to be a smart shopper by offering extensive crowd-sourced reviews.

Amazon Prime which helps me easily get the things I need when I need them without fail.

Apple which has seamlessly connected my life at home, at work, and on-the-go.

Bonobos which has made shopping faster, easier, and more customized for me.

Graeter’s which stands for family tradition and connection, and is a weekly tradition that connects our family.

Houzz which is a great resource while I am designing my new home.

Kroger which enables me to get healthy, natural foods delivered by smiling faces every single time.

Lipton Tea which enables me to tackle life each and every day.

Nespresso which has made my morning coffee routine at home a fine art.

Petfinder which enabled me to find the best dog on the planet.

Sephora which offers me a unique shopping experience and opportunity to test products before I buy them.

Snapchat which keeps me laughing with my kids no matter where I am in the world.

TripAdvisor which exposes me to honest feedback when I am travel planning.

Twitter which enables me to keep a pulse on the world.


Which brands would YOU add to this list?

Categories: Business, Marketing, Uncategorized

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Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

Cannes Lions Logo
We’re back in Cannes this year for another invigorating, inspiring, and exciting week at Lions Health and Cannes Lions. I’ll be sharing the biggest learnings throughout the week on my site. You can follow along here.

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Brand Building with a Purpose: LLS Fundraiser Recap


Last night, I had the opportunity to talk about the future of brand building and leadership with an intimate group of people. The event was hosted at Venue 222, a hip, urban space nestled in OTR, one of Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhoods currently experiencing a major revitalization. It was the perfect setting for engaging discussion about purpose and community.

Cindy Tripp hosted the event as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cindy is part of the LLS Woman of the Year Campaign as a way to give back to an organization that made a big impact on her life. In 2011, her mother was diagnosed with Leukemia. A few months later, her daughter was diagnosed with the same disease. The comfort and resources that LLS provided Cindy made an impact on her and gave her a reason to give back to the next generation of families who will have to experience the same nightmare. The research LLS will fund will benefit the future.

Those who attended were there to support Cindy and LLS while learning about leadership and brand building. At the beginning, we went around the room with introductions and we learned most had a personal connection to the ugliness of cancer. It created a strong sense of community that brought an energy into the room. It was a great reminder of how companies can create strong organizational energy by building a sense of community through a common purpose.

My wife Kathleen and I were proud to support Cindy and LLS in honor of my hero, my inspiration, my brother Bob.












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A Soapbox for Purpose

Method_South view

I’ve always been a big believer in higher ideals, guiding behavior in business and in life. I was a strong advocate for building purpose in brands during my time as Global Marketing Officer at Procter & Gamble. I wrote a book about it, backed up by a major study with Millward Brown Optimor. And now I spend my life helping clients find and live up to their ideals. But I’ve never been more inspired than I was last week to see a purpose truly come to life. The team at Method has lived and breathed purpose since Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan started the company in Northern California. They truly exemplify what it means to live up to their higher ideals.

I first came across the Method team during my days at P&G during meetings with Target.  I, along with many others, thought Method was Target’s private label. But once I got to know the team and what they stood for, I was immediately hooked. These are people against dirty (Method’s shortcut version of its purpose) in every sense of the word. Adam and Eric were roommates who wanted to find a cleaner, healthier way to clean their dirty apartment. That meant cleaner ingredients, environmentally friendly products that truly cleaned the dirt and grime that guys build up. And from there, Method was founded on a beautiful purpose: to be a catalyst in the happy, healthy home revolution.

Method’s purpose has been the center of their business model since the beginning. These are green products that you can use without gloves or a mask as you clean your home. Adam even once drank a bottle of soap to prove it. Recycled materials are used to create chic bottles that look beautiful on the sink of a modern-designed home. And now they’ve taken that higher ideal a step further. Actually, much bigger than just a step: they’ve set a standard for all businesses, across all industries.

Last week the collaboration between the Method team, Gotham Greens, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and many others, came to life. They cut the ribbon and officially opened a factory in Chicago, the “South Side Soapbox,” and I was honored to be a part of the momentous occasion. This is the first new factory in the South Side of Chicago in more than 30 years. The large empty tract at the intersection of East 111th and I-94 is now illuminated with a colorful wind turbine. The 225-foot-tall turbine overlooks the Dan Ryan Expressway, welcoming drivers to Chicago. The awnings over the parking lot are solar panels, so half of the power needed to run the manufacturing plant is self-generated.

The Soapbox is the only factory in its category that is LEED Platinum certified. And the Method team didn’t just stop there, in an effort to “build a cleaner clean,” they built an urban garden on top of the manufacturing plant. The two-acre greenspace will have the productivity of 40 acres. It is the largest hydroponic factory roof garden in the world and will grow 500 tons of fresh produce every year. Talk about going green.

This project was an unreal spirit of collaboration with the community and other likeminded businesses. The factory is a true demonstration on how to do business a different way – a good way. And it’s a win-win-win for Method, the community, and our environment. And it was very special for me to see a higher ideal come to life.

As you go about your workday, think about your company’s purpose in this world. Are you making a difference? Does your purpose drive every business decision you make? Purpose isn’t just a feel good story to keep you and your team motivated, it truly is good for business: Method has been the fastest growing company in its category for the past four years. That shows the power of a higher ideal activated.

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