Rohit Bhargava Answers Your Questions

PNI_InterviewSeriesIn an earlier post, some Twitter pals asked Rohit Bhargava of the Influential Interactive Marketing Blog some questions that anticipated his book launch, PERSONALITY NOT INCLUDED (PNI).

His answers are now here, in bold below, for your edification.  Rohit’s a smart fellow, worth listening to here (and following, on Twitter @rohitbhargava, and at his blog).

In addition, be sure to read all the other PNI-related interviews (55 in all!), which are linked to the picture that accompanies this post (or just click here, lazybones).  I haven’t had a chance to look at them all yet, but knowing Rohit he gave each interview its due.

Brian briguyblock @TDefren Ask how a company bests selects leaders and idea people to define a company’s archetype?

There are really two ways this happens, intentionally and accidentally.  The intentional way is to either select someone based on their role and seniority or their ability within the team. 

The other way is through what I call in the book “accidental spokespeople” – who are individuals that are standing for a brand and start to take on an official capacity even though that is not what they were (originally asked to do).

Ronna Porter Ronna @TDefren Q for Rohit: Multiple personalities are a fact of corporate life – how do you balance them for the sake of corps & customers?

I think the vast majority of these multiple personalities come from getting into the details of what a company does. To a degree, a marketing person will always share a different point of view to a global manufacturing coordinator.  Many of the internal disagreements that happen in a business are the result of these tensions between different groups. 

Still the idea of personality is that it is a way to consistently demonstrate what your brand believes, no matter what particular subject you are talking about.

Kyle Flaherty KyleFlaherty @TDefren What signs should an established brand look for to signal they need to shift in order to ‘rediscover their soul’?

The greatest sign to pay attention to is a lack of customer loyalty.  The other reason would be if employees no longer have the same belief in the brand as they once may have.

Connie Bensen cbensen @TDefren What is the single most important thing you can do to give your brand personality?

I feel like I’ve put this into a lot of the interviews today, I but I would have to say the single most powerful thing is removing their “employee silencing policy.”  This is what it sounds like, the requirement within many companies that employees not talk publicly about anything.  Unfortunately, this is a big factor in a company becoming faceless and the best way around it is to allow these employees to share their voices.

These are good questions.  Kyle Flaherty, in particular, raises an interesting quandary:  what signals should a C-suite executive look for, internally, as evidence that the culture is ready to shift towards a new openness?

And, Rohit, here’s question #5: How the heck did you manage to write a book, grow your family, serve as a lecturer at a zillion conferences, deal with clients, blog (of course), and generate almost 500 tweets in just the last few months alone?  What suffers the most, in such flurries of activity?

The only real answer I can come up with to this is to sleep less … a long night of sleep for me is 5 hours.  Probably not healthy, but as a former colleague of mine often said – I have plenty of time for sleep when I’m dead.   Oh, that and learning how to write and type real fast.

Good luck with the book launch, Rohit!

Posted on: April 2, 2008 at 10:38 am By Todd Defren
One Response to “Rohit Bhargava Answers Your Questions”


  • Mike Marn says:

    Interesting answers. In a way, the issues are all quite closely related. For example, I think leaders largely choose themselves; those who best grasp the overall importance of the company’s positioning (or to use common jargon, those who “get it”) are most comfortable with it, and most likely to speak out. And when those are the people speaking out, a company would be crazy to hide them behind that “employee silencing policy.”

    Choose the right positioning, and the “right” people will show themselves–assuming you have them in the first place, of course!

    Thanks, Rohit and Todd — I’m a new fan.

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