A Top 25 Business & Marketing Podcast
Jeff Beer - Fast Company and Editorial Passion for Marketing

June 15, 2021

Jeff Beer - Fast Company and Editorial Passion for Marketing
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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! In this episode, host Ryan Alford talks with Jeff Beer, Staff Editor at Fast Company covering marketing branding. Ryan and Jeff discuss Fast Company and Jeff’s editorial background along with the evolution of social media marketing.


Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! In this episode, host Ryan Alford talks with Jeff Beer, Staff Editor at Fast Company covering marketing branding. Ryan and Jeff discuss Fast Company and Jeff’s editorial background along with the evolution of social media marketing.

In this episode, Ryan and Jeff discuss:

  1. Writing for Fast Company
  2. Marketing Trends
  3. Social Media Marketing Evolution
  4. Social Platforms: Discord, Tiktok, Clubhouse
  5. Brand Creativity

You can learn more about Jeff Beer by visiting his LinkedIn or Instagram account @jeffcbeer 

This episode was inspired by: https://www.fastcompany.com/90635684/inside-discords-risky-push-to-position-itself-as-the-anti-facebook

If you enjoyed this episode of The Radcast, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe and share the word if you love our podcast, so we can keep giving you the strategies to achieve radical marketing results! You can follow us on Instagram @the.rad.cast | @radical_results | @ryanalford |

Transcript

Jeff [00:00:00] My former colleague had brought in to combine with that was the audience being the North Star.
More recently, my colleague Nicole Laport and I wrote a cover story for the most innovative companies issue on LeBron James’s company, the Springhill Company, and how they built this hub of real purpose driven around the idea of empowerment.
To me, that exemplifies what every brand should be looking for in how they create content or what they should think about creating content for their audience.

Ryan [00:00:33] Tik Tok, the next YouTube or always somewhat niche. 

Jeff [00:00:39] Oh no, not niche! Whether it's the next YouTube or not, it's a monster. 

Announcer [00:00:47] “It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?”

Ryan Hey, guys, what's up! This is Ryan Alford. Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast. I got a good one today, folks, being in the industry, marketing and advertising and business. But right at 20 years, I'm going to age myself and it's my birthday, 44 years old, Jeff Beer.
But as staff editor for Fast Company, a long admired publication and media giant. I'm really excited to have Jeff Beer, who is a staff editor with them. 

What's up, Jeff? 

Jeff  [00:01:30] Hey Ryan, thanks for having me. 

Ryan  [00:01:32] Yeah! love it, man. We interview a lot of people who are in business in general and in marketing, etc. However, you are the first that I can recall who is just as deeply ingrained in the business and writing sides, as well as the story side of advertising, marketing, and branding, which I know you do for Fast Company, and I've enjoyed reading your stories behind the scenes. I'd read a few not knowing they were yours until I met you. 

But thank you so much for coming on. 

Jeff [00:02:08] Yeah, of course Thanks. Pleasure to be here. 

Ryan  [00:02:12] Let's start right down the path. Our audience is pretty diverse in business and marketing. Let's start by talking a little bit about Fast Company and what you do there, interspersed with some of your background and what brought you there. 

Jeff [00:02:38 Yeah, sure. Anyone who isn't familiar with Fast Company is just a business magazine that sort of sits in between hardcore business magazines like Forbes or Fortune and tech magazines like Wired. I think Fast Company has been around for like twenty five years, last year they celebrated their 25th anniversary. It’s always been in that in-between space. We definitely skew our audience. We skew younger and more diverse audiences than a lot of our business publication competitors. We have a tagline for our organization called The Future of Business, which, I believe, points us both in the direction of discussing how global corporations are pushing the envelope as well as how small companies are doing it, whether through their products or the way they're affecting culture and society. So, when you think about the future of business, we talk about and cover climate change and how business has a massive opportunity there. In a lot of ways, we talk about racial equality and injustice in relation to business, because I think we talk about technology and business together in terms of culture generally. It's not in a vacuum. It's not just, how is the stock price? How is the growth?
These aren't the only things that matter. And there's a lot of nuance and different aspects that go into it. Therefore, I cover marketing and advertisements, which I enjoy because I do not necessarily have a background in business; I enjoy it because I believe marketing and advertising are the places where people meet business, where business meets culture, and where a business tells you who it is, not just what it does. I find that kind of fascinating, like why are you a Pepsi guy and I'm a Coke guy, why is your dad a Ford guy and your father in law, a Chevy guy. There are these emotional attachments that sometimes happen because of the quality of the product, but a lot of times it's about that connection, all things being equal. So I find that fascinating. 

Ryan [00:05:21] You have to be a curious creature. I always think about the best editors or writers who like to uncover some of these things. So to cover all of these things, you must have a fascination or a natural born curiosity about you. 

Jeff  [00:05:37] Yeah, I think so. I've always been a pretty voracious reader and wanting to know how things work, but for example, in journalism, I got my story writing for snowboarding and skateboarding magazines. As such, I was in those worlds many years ago. Those worlds were brand-centric, like back then, I could tell if you were wearing XYZ shoes, hats, I could tell what kind of music you liked. I could tell all that based on the brands that you were wearing. And that's true to a certain extent today. But I think that the idea of these weren't team sports, these were cultures that were very brand centric. And the brands came from within those cultures. As I grew up, I started to wonder why I gravitated towards Volcom, for example, or Vann's, rather than what I didn't really like. I can't remember anyway. I found that curious. And that got me into business journals, which wasn’t planned. I'm from Toronto. My wife got into NYU grad school and we moved to New York. I talked to the editors of Advertising Age about this background, why I thought brands were interesting, how they talk to people and how much money was spent on it and why. And that got me in the door there. It was back in 2006. Since then, I've mostly covered market advertising, but with a few detours along the way. 

Ryan [00:07:42] I've always been fascinated by guys and girls like yourself, who cover the industry as long as you have. I've been in the industry too in application of it. Based on what you have learned to date, do you feel you could write a book about it or do you feel you could run a marketing department at this point? I always wonder how its application is being absorbed versus whether it is just the topic of the day? 

Jeff [00:08:32] Well, I think it depends a lot on the person. And I personally have no ambition to run my own marketing company. But I do think that having an arm's length relationship with anything when you're covering something and having the perspective of not being in it. Like your livelihood depends on the work you're doing for your clients, mine is about reporting what's going on. When I was at trade publications, a lot of the goal there is to be a mirror to what's happening in the industry. You're basically a law historic. If you're starting out, you can really get a sense of what's going on in your industry and see what's been covered in the past. If you've been covering these things for a while, you start to see cycles. The trends are the same, but there are approaches that work regardless of what the trend is. You start to see approaches from brands and stuff that are successful no matter what that platform is. I may not have that vision, but it is interesting. I think about it in a way of what that relationship is, because I have had colleagues like my first editor Scott Donaldson. He wrote a book back in 2000 about the emerging of the advertising world and the entertainment world. Another former editor, Jonah Bloom, went on to be a president of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners. There are plenty of colleagues that have gone on like that. My editor who hired me at Fast Company Trusts Etsy, was with Kennedy for years.
So there have been plenty of jumps. But I think It does provide you with an unofficial master's or Ph.D. in this industry that you can't get otherwise. It was interesting to speak with one of my former colleagues, one of their workers, when we met up, and there was a guy who had gotten his start traditional way through an advertising agency, educational agency, and media career, and I was like, so what's he bringing from journalism to the actual day to day? And he had an interesting point. He said that my perspective has traditionally been along the lines of, what's the best for the client, which is great, what's the best for the client? What can I do to help the client? That's the main goal. That's the North Star. So he said what my former colleague had brought in to combine with that was the audience being the North Star sort of consumer. This was a number of years ago. But, I hope this is somewhat commonplace now. To someone who had worked in advertising for a number of years, that was a fresh perspective for him to bring to the table. 

Ryan [00:12:14] There are several things you went right down a couple of passes that we tell our clients all the time, as I tell my clients, like you hire me to understand your consumers. You don't hire me to make you happy. That is the dynamic. And ironically, we're doing this right now, the Radcast which is a media entity and it creates content in a way. A lot of agencies or brands are creating media companies within themselves. There is, I think, a fascinating cross pollination going on there with the media itself, etc., so there are a few things there that are definitely hot and heavy at the forefront. 

Jeff [00:13:02] It's my dog I think, knocking on my door. 

Ryan [00:13:05] Oh, we've had cats on the show. We've had Christopher on the show and his cat jumped on something. The cat’s name was Been. We've had many animals. We welcome all animals on the Radcast list. 

Jeff [00:13:22] It's interesting. I think you're right about the brands as media companies. That was a common sort of phrase, sort of a conference circuit for a number of years. What it really comes down to is that a lot of brands will say they want you to be their eyes and ears for what consumers and what people want. But, you know, by some of the work, it's apparent there's a difference between the clients and the brands that say it and the brands that really mean it. And sometimes they say they want you to be that person, but they actually want you to be the person who makes them happy. Sometimes that's clear in the work. I've had plenty of conversations with agency folks where they talk about difficult clients that, you know, it's all good, ambitious and optimistic at the beginning of a relationship. Obviously, they're under their own pressures. Some brands struggle to navigate that because, ultimately, I believe many are wary of trying new things - either individually or collectively. And having that lack of control can be discombobulating for a lot of people. 

Ryan [00:14:50] We try to cross that bridge before we even get to it. Our fucking name is radical. You didn't hire radicals to do it the way you are always doing it. It doesn't always work Jeff, but we at least try to cross the bridge before we even start the battle of the war. Let's talk a little bit about you. I would love to hear about some of the best stories you've written most recently, perhaps your whole career, but definitely the Fast Company stories, and anything else that really stands out, whether it's the most recent or even your lifetime stories, some of your favorite stories are these. 

Jeff [00:15:32] Yeah, sure. I'll say I've written a number of them over the years. I've built up a number of different stories. However, I enjoy writing about Patagonia, because I think it's a company with few exceptions, no matter how you feel about it, it's a company that puts itself out there and knows what it is, both through its supply chain to its films. The way I got into the company was through film work covering marketing and advertising, however, I've written a few features with them and spoken to one of the founders a few times. It's a fascinating place, the way they've been able to push themselves in both directions. And they're sort of the apparel industry and the outdoor industry when it comes to sustainability and also quality of content. So those are there. There were a couple of features there. Two years ago, we featured Yvon Chouinard discussing how climate change and business do not mix, and how he balances running a business with improving the planet. And he is just a fascinating guy, in 80 something years old. My colleague Nicole Laport and I wrote a cover story for the most innovative companies issue exploring LeBron James' company, the Springhill Company, and how they've built this company that's truly purpose-driven, whether that's through marketing or the films or TV shows they produce or the podcasts or they're treated as a separate entity since it's an NGO. But the initiative is much more than a vote; it's just a fascinating group of people. Obviously, LeBron and Maverick Carter are the faces, but the way the team runs, Maverick Carter and even LeBron to a certain extent are very much part of the team day to day than you would think, and all the people they have there are very interesting and talented. And that was just a great story to be able to dig into.

Ryan [00:18:10] Getting to work with entities as big as Patagonia, as big as LeBron James, and I use the word entity, means working with a brand and a person. But LeBron James is a brand. What kind of interaction do you end up having when you have stories with names and brands like these, directly with them or, perhaps, as a part of that, Maybe follow up after you write the story. Do you ever hear back from them or get comments? I'd love to hear that perspective, though. 

Jeff [00:18:48] Yeah, I know for sure. We'll take the LeBron story, for example. It was a tough way that he was in the middle of this covid NBA season and we were writing that. So how we put it together was, we basically talked to everybody else first. We then spoke with Maverick Carter, who was also incredibly busy, but we did manage to schedule several sessions with him. And then we had one session with LeBron, one hour long zoom call for that story. And they're usually open to things like these. I think it depends on the off season because I've had things that were much smaller than this feature story that they made LeBron available to talk about. A few years ago, I talked to him about the nature of his investment in Blaze Pizza, as an entrepreneur, but that was like off season and it was a little easier. So they're definitely available.  And I think sometimes it depends on the story. Sometimes you get good things, sometimes you don't. This was the most innovative company's story. So I was writing about what they're doing and how they are and more importantly, trying to show some insight to our readers of how they do what they do. So I know they were very appreciative of that. And they spread it on their social media and all that, which was great. But, other times, we may be disappointed, not with this story, but, you know, other stories. The way I cover things varies from straight reporting about, let's say, Brand X doing something Y and here it is and here's the context, to more analytical coverage about somebody doing something and my opinion is there as well, and that's usually when I get the emails. But to be fair, I do try to be as fair as possible. It's almost like if you and I disagreed on a sports team but we don't hate each other at the end of that debate. We just fundamentally disagree. That's kind of how I try to approach or try to be respectful and fair. And usually I'll get emails which I didn't expect. But maybe next time we do so. I remember doing some sports reporting when I was just starting out, and one of the pieces of advice I got from someone covering news was, if you criticize a player, coach or team, you have to show up the next day no matter what. If someone wants to get in your face and or have a conversation about what you said about them, you need to be available. You can't hide behind. If someone emails me or calls me about anything I write, I'm all ears and more than happy to explain my position. But yeah, it does happen. That's cool. That's part of it. 

Ryan [00:23:00] What's the balance for you and Fast Company, when it comes to covering LeBron James, the Patagonia's stories versus maybe the lesser known. I know it's the future business sense that sometimes crosses the path of the nobodies versus the somebodies, but what's the balance of that from a store? Because you are a media company and big names sell, to be honest. But at the same time I am curious to know the decision process in the evaluation of big name stories versus context and all of those things. What are some of the variables that we would know that go into those decisions? 

Jeff [00:23:59] Yeah, that's a good question. I think what you said is exactly right. Obviously, the magazine is one thing. I'm just going to separate two things. For the magazine we have six or seven print issues a year. So this is sort of a tentpole of the brand that comes out. But the regular cycle of our coverage is online right now. So the magazine is somewhat different because now, I believe, almost every issue is anchored by a program like most innovative companies, most creative people in business, innovation by design, etc., and this applies to them as well. Our goal is to report on and reflect what the big brands and companies are, what they want to know about them, and at the same time, we want to point the spotlight at some of the smaller players that are doing great things that bigger players and everyone else can learn from. I'm trying to think of a specific example in ad marketing recently. While it's obviously a bigger company now, I've been writing about their content for four years. But like Yeti, for example. They are a cool brand. It's big in the cooler space but it's not Pepsi. So five or six, seven years ago, you know, they were creating these really cool little films about a cooler. I mean, you could just look at a cooler and be like, how do we market this? I think these people told incredibly emotional, beautifully filmed stories about the outdoors, people like hunters or skiers or all these different cross-sections of the people who would use their product that exemplify what every brand should be looking for in terms of content they create or how they should think about creating content for their audience. It's not necessarily about the actual thing, though. That's obviously a core thing, but it's about who they are as a company and as a brand. And in that case Yeti was about exploring and being the most you can be outdoors. So they were telling the most compelling, interesting stories of their sponsored folks or just people they knew to illustrate that possibility. I think you try to find that balance between reporting on the big guys and also using the smaller guys as inspiration for everybody else. 

Ryan [00:27:13] Now, I like that. It makes total sense. And it's kind of how I think of Fast Company in general without even hearing you reinforce certain things. I think of it as inspiration. Yes, it is about the future business, that makes sense. But for me, maybe the business inspiration is kind of where my mind went when I think about Fast Company. So it makes total sense and it aligns at least with my own mental image of the brand. 

Jeff [00:27:46] That's good. 

Ryan [00:27:47] That's good. What are some of the trends that are sticking out? What are the things that are boiling over? I mean covering ads, marketing, branding, creative, everything you do, are there things that are like coming up over and over again? I mean maybe even going past some of the up and coming stuff or just some repetitive weather platforms? I know we discussed brands as media companies, but I am curious if there are just things that keep bubbling up and are only on your periphery every day. 

Jeff [00:28:30] Oh, yeah. There's different I mean, TikTok is big and if someone wants to do an NFT, that's ridiculous. But fine. 

Ryan [00:28:46] But I mean, is it TiktTok going to be the next thing? I mean, it is a raging video platform that started with teenagers. And now you've got adults too!

Jeff [00:29:07] I think that, to me, the tools are one thing and then there's the approach to this multimedia world. I think our entire media budget is completely fragmented. And you've got all these different places where you should be. In terms of brands, I think it's interesting to see a lot of what it seems like you're watching, you're seeing how they're experimenting with these different platforms which is great. I think what really makes them successful, in my experience, is those who are aware of who they are and how they want to put themselves out there. I do not mean this as a cookie-cutter approach, but you can go out and find the best people who are the most proficient in each platform, whether it be tech talk, discord, snap, and so on, and who play well with others. But first you need to know what you want your voice to be in those areas. And I think that sometimes you've got brands that are almost like a person. Like, imagine you're on LinkedIn and Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and you're still you. But how you behave or how you communicate is a little different on each platform. I think the ones that get that and have that consistency become a big thing. Brand consistency is something that I'm finding. Whenever there's a screw up or someone does something just completely off, tone deaf or whatever, it's usually not consistent with what they're doing elsewhere.  I think it is just weird for this company to be one voice on Instagram and then have a completely different one on Snapchator or TikTok. I think nowadays the consistency idea extends to the political parties a company donates to where it shows up in society. If I'm sort of blocking voting rights bills in Georgia and then putting a black square on my Instagram to say, I support all, you can’t do that anymore. You can't sort of do one thing on one hand and another thing on the other. I mean, obviously companies do, but I think it's unless you're more visible than ever before. So I think that consistency across all the platforms and just company behavior, how it treats its employees, and knowing who you are is something that we're seeing a lot more of. 

Ryan [00:32:14] Let me get unscripted. I think most of this is unscripted, but I know you cover these things. I want to see if you'll play along with me because you cover them. So I know you're probably forming somewhat of an opinion on these platforms. Can I do a speed round of platforms and what seems to be overriding perspective? And you give either one or five words or less kind of responses. Are you game?

Jeff [00:32:49] Yes

Ryan [00:32:50] Here we go. I'm going to start with the platform and then I'm going to give you kind of a yin and yang of what seems to be the prevalence. OK, clubhouse! Rad or Fad? 

Jeff [00:33:08] You know what I'm going to say Rad Fad, because…

Ryan [00:33:18] I can handle some contacts in the clubhouse!

Jeff [00:33:21] OK, I think that it is super interesting, but it could be a bridge app too. I mean in the short time, it's become sort of a fad around fad.
Twitter comes up with spaces. Discord came out with stages, discovery or whatever it's called, basically an audio, a clubhouse challenger. So what happens to the clubhouse when you have these other platforms that already have a scaled user base that is much bigger? And I think that the idea that clubhouse brings is super interesting and I don't think that'll go away necessarily. I do think it'll be interesting to see what happens to the clubhouse itself. People said the same thing about SNAP, so all bets are off. But I think that pragmatically, if all these bigger players are recreating your product, you could be in trouble. 

Ryan [00:34:35] Alright. So it's a gateway drug. It's marijuana, and you might do some heroin. That's not what you said. That was just my interpretation. Do you think Facebook is on the way out or still growing, still evolving. That will be my third one with you. 

Jeff [00:35:07] Unfortunately, I'm not a fan. I think  it's true and It's so prevalent. It's hard to see. And I don't mean this from a major brand perspective. I think you go anywhere you're in South Carolina and the East Coast, the amount of small businesses that rely on Facebook as their public window to the world is staggering. I do think that it will evolve, not from their own volition, I think it's still going to be around and it will be forced to evolve by regulation and because it's not going to evolve on its own right away.

Ryan [00:36:00] Would you hold them a little bit of an outlier , because they're owned by them on Instagram..

Speaker 1 [00:36:10] From a business behavior and sort of data privacy, I would lump WhatsApp and Instagram. And with that as a consumer product, I think Instagram is much healthier particularly with the younger audience, though I was just reading this morning that Gen Zs are disproportionately on TikTok. Instagram is much less popular. But I think Instagram is cooler as a product, but it's all part of the same problem as a company. It's a complicated one 

Ryan [00:36:47] Since you just brought them up. Is TikTok the next YouTube or always somewhat niche. 

Jeff [00:37:00] Not niche. Whether it's the next year or two, it's a monster I think. They're introducing shoppable posts so that'll be really interesting to watch. I just think that it's such an interesting thing they thought was a really great story. I think there was a story by Shelly Banjo on Bloomberg called, How TikTok Chooses Which Songs Go Viral. I recommend everyone to read it. It basically tracks Magon Stallion track and how savage it became. And spoiler alert, it wasn't organic but it's fascinating just how vast and how tenacious their ground game is in promotion and manipulating the defeats. It's pretty crazy. And just the fact that everyone from middle school and up is obsessed with it now. So I think it will be a monster 

Ryan [00:38:21] Do you get in the vortex? I call it the vortex. The TikTok vortex. Do you get stuck sometimes?

Jeff [00:38:28] I actually use it that often because I know I'm going to be like 

Ryan [00:38:31] At times that you thought it was two but 27 minutes later. 

Jeff [00:38:37] Exactly. And that should tell you right there. Right. Is that niche? No way! 

Ryan [00:38:43] What else am I leaving out? Any other good ones? What else is hitting your radar? The clubhouse has just been like at least in my genre. I do a ton of personal branding and everyone that seems to do that and the big brands are coming. You're starting to see more of the transition. Every coach and marketing guru and everything else is kind of all over the clubhouse or has been in the last six months. But it's just a fascinating platform to me for sure. 

Jeff [00:39:22] I would throw discord in there. 

Ryan [00:39:24] Yeah. Discord. 

Jeff [00:39:25] Because I think what makes it really interesting to me is how there's no feed or likes or the familiar metrics or behavior of other social platforms. And they don't have advertising. But I think that's coming especially with the new audio and video features. They certainly work with brands for their presence on that platform but I think for this audience, I think it's also one of the more interesting ones, because I think brands will have a lot of trouble trying to break through or use it effectively in a lot of the same ways that Reddit was challenging, with its complexity and sort of passion among the communities, and in the kind of general vigilance against BS. 

Ryan [00:40:32] I like that. I need to write that down. That's much more eloquent that I've been able to come up with a culture that is kind of what we're discussing. 

Jeff [00:40:43] You got to be there. I mean, Going back to something I said, I think actually the idea of discord and how you show up there is about who you are as a brand and how you present yourself. And I think you can't just jump into something, whether that's a social app or a social cause, without putting in work or having the ground game first and then having sort of that cultural permission to be there. I talked to a lot of CMOs that talk about that. Not long ago I was chatting with someone at Ben and Jerry's and you have this ice cream brand from the whitest state in the US. And they are doing things that you would not necessarily expect from that company and its ice cream. It's fun. They're tweeting about anti-racism but at the same time not just tweeting, this is a company that has teamed with organizations. There was one recently where they successfully lobbied to shutter a site like a dilapidated jail in St. Louis that had been used to house people who couldn't afford bail. And they think they're basically partnering with organizations that are doing the groundwork before they're doing the broad media supporting stuff. Anyway, I think that also plays into how you show up on some of these platforms, like don't be doing it. Can't be superficial completely. 

Ryan [00:42:41] That brings up a good one. For me, I have a lot of people on this show. In our discussions, we have talked a lot about purpose marketing, purpose branding, and their importance. However, I have also heard from other people who are in Ecom and kind of the Amazon base and those kinds of things that there is an argument brewing among marketers, not in public. Yes, you can't be a sleazeball brand these days, like you said, there's so much transparency, but there is the argument about the importance of having your purpose out there, and not having those things, and then people won't buy from you. The more you think about it, and certainly when you consider it, you know, when you consider the board, you consider the purchases, the more you answer that question. But there's been this prevailing perspective that you have to have your purpose. You have to talk about your purpose to have it out there. But at the end of the day, either in the light of the shopping center, you're buying that gum and they're not making sure that you are involved with BLM or something. What’s your perspective on that?

Jeff [00:44:03] One hundred percent. I hear you. And I think that is a completely valid discussion. I do think that it's not a zero sum game regularly. I wouldn't even go back to saying you need to have a purpose, I just think you need to know who you are. if you're not certain about a social issue and that's not something you want to be publicly out there, that's fine. But I think your brand can have a purpose. We want to give people the best damn gum they've ever had. We want to have the coolest packaging on that shelf that shows we're creative. There's like one of those things where if all things being equal, the convenience and the price. A lot of things are commodified that way. The price is the exact same. When I was growing up, this was like if there was a funny ad, something made me laugh and I remembered it, or perhaps it's the packaging, there's something that makes someone choose the one next to them over you, or vice versa. And if the price in the convenience store is the same. What is your deal? What are you giving people? When you're in those sorts of commodified areas, who you are and how you show up is sometimes the only thing that separates you from your competitor. So what is that? And it doesn't have to be way up front with climate change or whatever the issue is. It could be if a company treats its employees awesome. I just think that there's so many areas where your price and convenience and you can talk about that all day long. I work really hard to get it better, but I think that if that's the only thing,  you're basically a private label. 

Ryan [00:46:49] That's right. If you have built your brand that doesn't mean anything to anyone. I think that's what comes back to power.
And then I have this discussion, Gen Zs and millennials are changing everything because they're not turning into our parents. They're going to care about the purpose and all this. And then I see the progressive commercial that's like don't become your parents. And I'm like, are they just going to become parents? Are they really going to care about it forever? I don't know. 

Jeff [00:47:20] Yeah, that's a good question. I don't know. 

Ryan [00:47:24] We tackle every day being consumer driven and working with brands and things like that. It's always a fascinating discovery. Is it the mindset of today or is it the mindset for forever? 

Jeff [00:47:37] Yeah. Hey, if I had the answer, I'd probably be in a better tax bracket. 

Ryan [00:47:45] Jeff, as we close out here, what's the future for Jeff in Fast Company? Aare there any passion projects on the horizon or things that you want to mention?

Jeff [00:48:02] I think of that to be hopefully a gainful employment. I just want to keep progressing and improving as a journalist and a writer. I think that a healthy imposter syndrome is good for self motivation. I've always been a printed word guy and over the last year we've been sort of experimenting with a video series called Brand Hiddenness of the Week. And that’s pushed me out of my comfort zone. And so I'd like to keep improving and pushing it there. 

Ryan [00:48:41] I watched them all. I saw some of your recent ones with Mountain Dew and I almost called it hotter now, but hit or miss, I enjoy it. You're listening. You need to check out Fast Company's Instagram page, Hit or Miss, Jeff does a great job with those. I actually did enjoy quite a few of those. I didn't know you did those. 

Jeff  [00:48:59]  My editor  Lewis is a genius. He's great. As I mentioned, we will have an issue in the fall, but I am currently working on it. A series called Brands that Matter where we look to highlight brands big and small that succeed in setting out a lot of things. Our conversation was about defining who they are and their values, and then embodying those through their products, policies, and marketing. So that'll be interesting. It is the first year for that. So that'll be fun to do.

Ryan [00:49:38] Have you picked them all out? If not I might send you a couple. 

Ryan [00:49:46] That's sweet. Well, where can everybody keep up with all things like Jeff Beer, Fast Company, etc.. 

Jeff  [00:50:01] I'll keep it easy. You can visit Fast Company at fastcompany.com and I'm on Twitter as Jeff C Beer. 

Ryan  [00:50:08] Jeff C Beer. You're funny on Twitter. I have been reading some of your stuff and you fit in well with the Twitter crowd for sure. That's what I'm saying in a good way, for the most part. Trolls drive me crazy, but when it comes to business and perspective, that's in a positive light. I have enjoyed hit or miss and if you haven't read Fast Company, just Google, Jeff Beer Fast Company, you'll see all of his stories on advertising, marketing, branding, creativity, everything. It's really great work. And we really appreciate you coming on, Jeff. 

Jeff  [00:50:51] I appreciate you having me. Thank you very much Ryan.

Ryan [00:50:53] Hey guys, you know where to find us, theradcast.com, you will find all of our content, all of the videos, all the highlights there. You can find anything and everything, Instagram marketing, Fast Company, you can find all the hot highlights there and we're at Instagram, the.rad.cast. And you'll find me on all the platforms as Ryan Alphord. We'll see you next time on the radcast. 

Jeff Beer

Staff Editor at Fast Company