So can you imagine how excited I was when I discovered Marty had developed a certification for branding.
It’s called Level C. A series of live, interactive workshops designed to guide you toward true brand mastery.
I attended Level 1 back in October (and passed.. phew), and have already booked for Level 2 next year.
Level 1 is focused around the content of The Brand Gap.
Over the 2 days we worked in teams through exercises to disrupt an industry, guided by Marty himself.
This was worth its weight in gold, and helped me to truly understand the principles outlined in the book.
First we came up with a disruptive idea, using an “assumption reversal” process to create a new business model.
From this we created the tagline and trueline. Then the name, logo and website (in sketch format — see photo above) before developing a touch point that would disrupt the industry.
Our team disrupted the automotive industry.
Our first assumption was that you need to take your car to the garage, so we made the garage come to the car.
We also assumed you need to call a mechanic when the car breaks down, but what if they knew when it needed fixing or servicing and came out automatically without you needing to call?
So we developed AutoMate, the only mechanics that keeps you moving. An online subscription car servicing business that comes to you when the car needs servicing.
Our innovative touch point was an in-car dash cam that keeps you updated on the status of your car, which doubles up as a little friend. He’s your Auto Mate.
Imagine a cross between Amazon Echo and Wall-E. It’ll alert you when your cars going to get serviced, or when somethings wrong.
After each stage we presented back to the group. See the sketches below to see what we presented to the team at this point… Doing this allowed you to see and understand how others think and solve different challenges.
And all along the way Marty is giving valuable feedback.
Through the whole weekend we’re guided through slides and a supporting manual that you get to take home.
There’s a lot to take in, and you’re tested on it at the end…
First exam I’ve done since school, and I honestly felt sick doing it. Thankfully I passed… phew!
In the evening after the first day we all had dinner with Marty on his 72nd birthday (where I was interviewed), which was a great chance to meet and mingle with the others who attended (was great fun!).
You’re also added to an Alumni group on LinkedIn so you have a pool of knowledge to tap into at any point.
It’s not cheap, but it’s a rare opportunity to learn from a living legend and a master of branding. How incredible is it that he’s doing this?!
After level 1 you come away being able to call yourself a Certified Brand Specialist. After level 2 a Certified Brand Strategist. There’s 5 levels in total taking you up to CBO, Chief Branding Officer, a position that’s been known to pay $500,000+ per year.
It’s an awesome way to stand out from the competition, and prove your excellence and understanding around brand development.
I’ve come away feeling much more confident in my ability, and have the added value of proving to my clients that I know what I’m talking about.
I enjoyed it so much I booked for Level 2 the moment it was announced last week (to take level 2 you need to have passed level 1).
Level 1 will be returning in 2020, so you can do the same.
To learn more about Level C directly from Marty and his business partner Andy watch the video below.
… and if you’re a fan of Marty Neumeier, check out my podcast interview with him here.