Flip the Switch

131: Developing Personal Brands to Build Bigger Communities w/ Preston McClellan

He’s considered a bit of a social media ‘OG’.  For seven years, Preston guided players on the PGA Tour to create their own brands and communities, an effort that grew the greater PGA audience from 20 million to 60 million followers in 5 years.  Now, as a co-founder of Golf Space Collective, Preston and his team guides golf properties on all things digital. 

This episode hits on why building a personal brand is important, the impact that personal brand has on team and league brands or any business and why human connection is critical to form a community over an audience.  


2:50     A Social Media OG, @Preston

4:33     Launching Memphis Athletics accounts

6:56     Building a Following on the PGA Tour

9:31     The Incentive to Building Player Brands

13:09   Growing Players’ Social Media Game

16:16   Putting Emphasis on Human Connection and Personal Brands

21:28   Frameworks for Personal Branding – Just Get Started

29:07   Audience vs. Community and Creating Brand Advocates

35:05   Connecting with Younger Fan Bases

38:24   The Netflix Impact & ‘First Swing’

44:38   Showing Human Emotion and Personality


For more information on the topics covered in this episode:

Netflix “First Swing” trailer

Justin Welsh’s LinkedIn course

Golf Space Collective 

GSC Instagram

To connect with Preston: 

Twitter | LinkedIn | Email 

Read More
Flip the Switch

130: Storytelling and the Science of Cool (Part 2) w/ Troy Campbell

In the second half of this two-part episode, we’re diving into why Disney uses portals, the principles of meta-modernism and why something is “cool” with Dr. Troy Campbell. Campbell is the Chief Scientist at On Your Feet and his research and career has centered around the intersection of scientific minds and artistic hearts and how to create and capture original and powerful ideas and make amazing things.  


3:29    The Importance of “Portals”

11:19   The Science of “Cool”

18:12  How to Break the Norm

23:01  Meta-Modernism


To learn more about Troy’s research on the intersection of Scientific Mind, Artistic Heart, check out:


Start with Science – Netflix

Team Science: Building Better Science Activists with Insights from Disney, Marketing, and Psychological Research

Check out other topics referenced in this episode:

Metamodernist Manifesto by Luke Turner

Read More
Flip the Switch

129: Storytelling and the Science of Cool (Part 1) w/ Troy Campbell

In the first of this two-part episode with Dr. Troy Campbell, we’re breaking down the principles behind storytelling and what makes something “cool.”  Campbell is the Chief Scientist at On Your Feet and his research and career has centered around the intersection of scientific minds and artistic hearts and how to create and capture original and powerful ideas and make amazing things.  Part one hits on why Nike ads are simple to make and how brands like Disney borrow stories.


3:52    Troy’s Career Thesis: “Scientific Mind & Artistic Heart”

6:11    Marvel Isn’t Appealing to Everyone

10:19  Egocentrism 

14:04  Nike Ads are Simple to Make

16:58  Borrowing Stories From Others

22:50  Multi-Narrative Storytelling

25:46  Defining Your Story to Tell Multi-Narrative Stories

31:20  The Destiny Narrative


To learn more about Troy’s research on the intersection of Scientific Mind, Artistic Heart, check out:


Start with Science – Netflix

Team Science: Building Better Science Activists with Insights from Disney, Marketing, and Psychological Research

Read More
Flip the Switch

122: Inspiring Impactful Change w/ Guido D’Elia

To orchestrate a compelling game day experience for all fans requires thinking more like a play caller, an offensive coordinator, rather than simply directing a run of show.  In this episode, David Millay and Katie Rudy sit down with Guido D’Elia, a consultant in strategic communications and college athletics game day experience.  As Penn State’s Director of Football Branding and Communications, Guido was the mastermind behind the “Penn State Whiteout”, an experiment that has resulted in one of the greatest game day experiences in college football. Through insights from the Whiteout, we unpack how to deeper engage your fans and strategies for successful change management.


Show Notes

3:47      “Offensive Coordinator” Show Calling

8:33      The Need for the Whiteout

11:30    Selling before Social Media

13:48    Communicating the Vision & Benefits in Change Management 

18:26    Expanding the Whiteout Stadium-wide

20:45    Holding Back on Change

23:11    Applying the ‘Playbook’

29:11    Combating Falling Attendance Numbers

32:56    The Pain Points in the Fan Experience

37:32    The Impact of Parking

40:19    Making the Perimeter Something That Happens

45:09    Perfecting the Current Experience

47:55    The Ramp Up to Kickoff 


For more information on topics covered in this episode:

ESPN College Game Day feature: The Origin of Penn State’s Whiteout

America’s favorite family outings are increasingly out of reach


Read More
Flip the Switch

121: How to Incite Loyalty and Increase Customer Retention w/ Ed Frame

It’s 5x cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one and increasing retention by 5% can increase profits by 25 – 95%. Yet so many companies still prioritize customer acquisition over retention.  In this episode, David Millay and Katie Rudy sit down with Ed Frame, CEO and Founder of Exemplify CX and discuss his 7-phase approach to Customer Longevity, converting buyers into repeat customers and brand advocates.  


Show Notes

2:35      About Exemplify and the Retention Funnel

3:59     Working Backwards – The Ideal Customer Experience

7:49     The 7 Phases of Customer Retention

11:32   Solving a Problem – Known and Unknown

16:15   Creating a Tangible “Unboxing” for Experiences

20:43   Overcoming Buyers’ Remorse

23:42   Giving Customers More 

25:49  Driving Customer Loyalty

29:19  Inciting Loyalty through Social Media

32:45   The Cost of Retention vs. Acquisition

38:28   Cultivating Brand Advocates

41:08   The Value of Service Recovery

43:43   Hot Takes 

46:30   Parting Advice


For more info on topics covered in this episode:

Connect with Ed on LinkedIn 

Learn more about Exemplify | 7 Steps to Customer Longevity 

Read More
Flip the Switch

120: The Simple Science Behind Successful Marketing Strategies w/ Phill Agnew

Today’s guest is Phill Agnew, a senior product marketing manager at Buffer.  After struggling as a marketer in his early career, Phill discovered behavioral science and started applying psychology principles to improve his work. From distinctiveness, social proof, primacy effect and framing, Phill developed the Science of Marketing course and The Nudge Marketing Podcast to help others understand how to boost their marketing strategy.

This episode explores key strategies to apply in each of the sales funnel phases – awareness, consideration, acquisition and retention. 

2:42    Breaking Down the Nudge Marketing Podcast

5:08    The Framework to the Science of Marketing Course 

6:58    Awareness and Countering the Sea of Sameness 

13:23  Consideration and Social Proof

16:37  The Scarcity Impact

23:19  Reciprocation in Acquisition

31:59  Choice Overload and Simplifying Decision-Making

39:19  The Pratfall Effect and Highlighting Your Flaws

47:30  The Replication Crisis

49:57  Phill’s Parting Advice on Consumer Psychology


For more on topics covered in this episode:

Follow Phill on Twitter | LinkedIn

Subscribe to the Nudge Podcast

Subscribe to Phill’s Newsletter

Check out The Science of Marketing course


Dr. Robert Chaldini – Influence at Work

Pret a Manger’s “Random Acts of Kindness” 

Sweden’s Speed Camera Lottery


Read More
Flip the Switch

118: The Parallels Between Rabid Fandoms and Religions w/ Jodi Eichler-Levine

Taking a non-traditional exploration of fandom, today’s episode features Jodi Eichler-Levine, who studies the parallels between classic religions and fan cultures.  After learning of Jodi’s research from her a Twitter-trending analysis on “Disney adults” or “Disney-files”, David and Jodi take a deeper dive into the principles that Disney has utilized to create evangelists of their brand and the strategies and tactics brands can adapt to their organization to inspire their own fanatics.  


Show Notes

3:52    The Foundation of Jodi’s Research

6:00   The 3 Parallels

7:28    Story

12:11  Core Memories with Disney

14:41  Transitioning Into the Story Through Theme Parks

16:00  Ritual

19:43  Creating an Environment for Individual Rituals

22:41  The Emotions of Being a Fan

25:56  Merchandise and Souvenirs as an Amulet

30:20  Community and Collective Effervescence

33:07  Creating a Environment for Community 

34:33  The Magic in runDisney Races

46:52  The Diversity of Disney Fans

49:39  Journeying to Marceline, Missouri, Walt Disney’s hometown 


For more information on the topics covered in this episode: 

Follow Jodi on Twitter and check out her website

Once Upon a Time – the Twitter thread that started it all 

“The Gospel According to Disney” by Mark Pinsky

Disney Pin trading

Read More
Flip the Switch

117: What Drives Customers to Buy w/ Katelyn Bourgoin

Before the “driveway to driveway” customer journey begins, there’s the whole buying process.  What prompted the customer to consider your brand, product or service? What motivated them to complete the purchase?  

This week, we’re jumping into the psychology behind why people buy with Katelyn Bourgoin, CEO of Customer Camp.  Katelyn and David hit on the journey before the journey, the four key trigger events that lead to purchases and solutions companies have created by truly listening to their customers.


Show Notes

0:00    Introduction

2:30    The Golden Nugget – Review Mining

5:54    Customer Camp Background

8:55    Marketing Takeaways from an Old School Alarm

14:21  Building Trust with New Customers

17:54  Creating “Instagrammable” moments

20:33  The Trigger Events

28:47  Understanding Who Customers Are and What They Want

35:34  Targeting Customers on Jobs to be Done

45:13  The Biggest Misunderstanding – We Aren’t Rational


For more information on topics covered in this podcast:


Follow Katelyn on Twitter and subscribe to her newsletter

Clay Christensen | The Theory of Jobs to be Done

Other Flip the Switch podcasts referenced – 

Ep. 115: How the Savannah Bananas Create the ‘Greatest Show Possible’ w/ Jesse Cole

Read More

Lessons from Leaders: How Jesse Cole and the Savannah Bananas Create the ‘Greatest Show Possible’

If you don’t know by now, we’re big fans of the Savannah Bananas.  

Inspired by Walt Disney and P.T. Barnum, Jesse Cole had a vision and has turned an independent collegiate summer baseball team into a global phenomenon. 

That vision is projected everywhere, from the ownership group (Fans First Entertainment) to the mission (“Fans First, Entertain Always”). The dancing players, Banana Nanas senior dance team and experiments like Dolce & Banana underwear have captured the attention of fans around the world, with  500K+ followers on Instagram and 2.7 million followers on TikTok.

This week, we welcome Jesse back to the podcast to discuss his newest book, Fans First: Change The Game, Break the Rules & Create an Unforgettable Experience. Jesse has 5 Es to building a Fans First organization, which he illustrates through dozens of stories about fans and from fans.

What Jesse understands above all else is, “The first fan is yourself.  You can’t create fans until you are a fan of what you do.”

Here’s how Jesse and his front office have become fans of the Savannah Bananas:

Eliminate Friction

What is it: From the start, Jesse strived to eliminate the macro friction of “baseball is boring.”  Fans are entertained from the second penguins guide them to park in the parking lot, through the player pre-game parade, promotions every half inning and a dance party with the players when they leave.  On a micro level, the Bananas attack the little things – ticket fees, convenience fees, shipping fees, buying concessions, standing in line.  Even the necessary pains, like paying invoices, they make it fun.  

How to approach it: Start with the things that drive you crazy as a fan – parking prices? Ticket fees? Concessions prices?  Make a list and just start tackling it one-by-one.

Entertain Always

What is it: In sports, we talk about the “driveway to driveway” experience, but the Savannah Bananas look at the 7 stages.  The first stage is the first impression fans have – navigating your website, what’s on your social media, the messaging in your confirmation emails.  The team sends videos to celebrate ticket sales and sends you a driving playlist to psyche you up for the game.  The last stage is the last impression – which is not pulling out of the parking lot.  It’s how you communicate with them after the game. Hint: It’s not an email with a postgame survey.  

How to approach it: Think about the different stages of your fan experience.  Take it one stage at a time.  Start with one item that you could “plus up” that will have an impact on the fan experience.  

Experiment Constantly

What is it: The Savannah Bananas are not afraid to try anything. They put their rivals’ logos on toilet paper in their restrooms.  They sell Dolce & Banana underwear.  Every game has 5 – 10 experiments.  With every experiment, they measure how the fans are responding to it, what are they doing, what’s working, what’s not and they learn faster.  What’s critical is how they learn.  They don’t learn by surveys, they learn by observation.  2 years ago, they took a picture of the grandstand every 30 minutes to track fans’ behavior, which led to the 2-hour Banana Ball game.  Every single night, a Savannah Bananas staff member goes undercover.  They park with the fans, walk in with them, eat with them, stand in line with them and report on their experience that night.

How to approach it: What’s the worst parking location, the worst seat, the worst food section in your venues? Go experience that for yourself. Become an undercover fan and figure out the friction points, the frustration points and the Fans First moments. Tackle the friction points one-by-one. Fix one concessions stand at a time, improve one gate flow at a time.  Take it step-by-step.

Engage Deeply

What is it: With such an emphasis on personalized experiences, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or stuck on how to deliver a unique, heartfelt experience for everyone.  Start by doing the unscalable – call a fan and thank them for a purchase, send a fan who is battling an illness a motivational video. From there, try and find ways to make it scalable.  One of Jesse’s other favorite references is from Darren Ross who runs the Magic Castle Hotel – “Listen carefully, respond creatively.”

How to approach it: The Bananas believe in the mindset of Andy Stanley, “Do for one, what you wish you could do for many.” Make one phone call / email / text to a fan per day to thank them for a purchase.  If fans comment on social media that they are coming to the game for a special occasion – first visit, birthday, anniversary – find a way to make that memorable for them. 

Empower Action

What is it: The Savannah Bananas staff are all empowered to create Fans First moments.  If you follow Jesse on LinkedIn, he continuously shares these stories, from his nightly walks on plussing the experience with his Director of Entertainment to one of his ticket staff noticing drain covers could use a Bananas face lift. If you are clear with the vision, then trust your staff to execute it.  If they go overboard with it, that’s great. It’s better to push them and rein it back from there.

How to approach it: We emphasize this all the time, lead with purpose over task.  Define your vision and how your staff can contribute to the execution of it.  Allow them to create experiences for your fans that align with your vision.  

Jesse often cites one of Walt Disney’s quotes, “Money doesn’t excite me. Ideas excite me.”  

For even more ideas than we could possibly share in one email, check out the full conversation and purchase Fans First for your summer beach read, book club or team idea generation session.

Read More
Flip the Switch

115: How the Savannah Bananas Create the ‘Greatest Show Possible’ w/ Jesse Cole

Our only three-peat on the show, we welcome back Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas.  In previous episodes, David and Jesse have jammed and brainstormed, but in this show, we unpack the Bananas’ 5-E-Framework that has propelled their Fans First model into a global phenomenon.  What the Bananas lack in detailed processes and metrics, they make up for in intentionality, in-depth knowledge of their product and fans and the impression they leave through every step of the in-person and virtual experience.  


Show Notes

4:04    Fans First: The Savannah Bananas Story

5:08    Capturing the World’s Attention

10:47  Balancing Attention and Intention

12:49  The 5 E Framework 

13:16  Eliminate Friction – What Hurts the Most

20:01  Make the Small Bets

21:52  Entertain Always – How You View Things is How You Do Things

23:43  The Last Impression

29:34  Experiment Constantly

33:11  Collecting Data and Feedback

35:48  Undercover Fans

38:11  Engage Deeply

45:19  Empowering Action

49:23  “The First Fan is Yourself”


Want more from Jesse Cole and the Savannah Bananas?

Fans First: Change The Game, Break the Rules & Create an Unforgettable Experience
Find Your Yellow Tux: How to Be Successful By Standing Out

Connect with Jesse: Twitter | LinkedIn

FindYourYellowTux.com |  Business Done Differently Podcast

Follow the Savannah Bananas: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | YouTube

Check out Jesse’s other appearances on Flip the Switch:

Episode 14: Fans First

Episode 44: A Culture of Experimentation and Innovation

Read More