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Brand Journalism With Guillaume Lacroix — Season 1 Episode 3


19 May 2020 • 25 min read •

The Loomly Team

Guillaume Lacroix, the CEO of Brut, a leading short news video platform, joins Julie Slater this month to discuss innovation in content creation and distribution. Brut features news stories that spark conversations and represents a fresh way to approach short-form video content. It’s delivered mostly through social media like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. That’s the distribution side, but Brut is also an innovator in content creation, partnering with brands to develop network news content.

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Podcast Transcript

Julie: Welcome to The Brand Moat, the podcast, where each month we bring you inspirational stories from global brand leaders who share how to build your brand and future-proof your business. I’m Julie Slater. I start every episode with big ideas and wrap up each show with key insights so you can focus on taking action.

And in case you’re wondering, why do we call this show the brand moat? Well, just like a castle, your moat protects you from outsiders and the competition. When the idea is applied to your company, it helps you maintain your competitive advantage. Your moat may be a feature, some tech magic or marketing secret sauce, but we think your strongest moat is your brand.

This podcast is all about that. This month. My guest is Guillaume Lacroix, the CEO of Brut, a leading short news video platform from France that has expanded into the US. Brut represents a fresh way to approach short form video content. It’s delivered mostly through social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and features, news stories that spark conversations.

That’s the distribution side, but Brut is also an innovator on content creation, which is huge for any brand. Brut partners with brands to develop network news content. This is a new frontier with old school media outlets. There was always a church and state separation between the advertising and marketing people, and Brut is creating a new model.

Here’s my conversation with Guillaume Lacroix. Welcome to the program, Guillaume.

Guillaume: Thank you.

Julie: I wanted to ask you if you could tell me when you started Brut, if you could give me in a sentence or two. What your elevator pitch was for it and how, how did things change, I guess, for your elevator pitch from the beginning and then maybe to now? Years later?

Guillaume: We started in November, 2016 we are the very little idea of what we were doing when we started, so, so my inevitable pitch would have been something like, we’re going to produce. Video on social platform in order to give, to ruse to people, to understand the news and to spark conversation.

Julie: And would you say that that would be the need you’re filling to help people understand the news.

Guillaume: Yes. I mean, that’s exactly the need with we in, I think, you know, news cycle is a very subjective thing, and when it comes to younger generation, I think they just don’t see themselves in the new cycle and the topic that really do matter to them. They don’t see it in the, you know, in the news or within the legacy media coverage.

So I think the need we are covering is double. The first one is that we do address and we do cover the topics that really do matters to millennials and gen Z. Plus we do it in a way which is understandable for them. We do it the way they would do it, which is a huge difference with TV.

Julie: How do you make it more understandable for a younger generation?

Guillaume: So I think that the biggest revolution in term of media consumption is conversation.

You know, you have to understand that social network or social platform, a place for conversation. It’s not a, it’s not just a place where you can push content and distribute content. I mean, the content has to spark conversation.

And when you have that in mind, it’s very different from just creating content that you push. So the first revolution would be conversation. Like how do you spark conversation and you know, and meaningful conversation. Not a debate. It’s very easy to spark a debate, but a debate is a zero sum game. So I’ll use spark a meaningful conversation.

I use pocket through education. I would say so. You know, both generation. And actually I’m the same. They hate to be told what to think. So don’t tell them what to think. Just provide them with facts, with tools to understand an issue, and then let them go into a meaningful conversation. So conversation is a big part of it.

And the second thing is, you know, we all have learned to produce content through like the. The past five or 10 years through social platform, uh, through stories and everything. So it’s a huge shift in term of storytelling because the way we have learned like intuitively to create content. If you don’t speak that way, if you don’t create content that way for our generation, it feels odd or it doesn’t feel authentic.

So you need to figure out, I’ll use spark a conversation and you need to figure out how to feel authentic. And that’s what we figure out, I think.

Julie: And then what do you do? As far as when the conversation. Starts happening. What if it gets, you know, social media is a great platform for a lot of hate and negativity. What if something really starts brewing? Do you get involved in that at all? Do you delete comments? Do you let it flow?

Guillaume: It really depends on the type of topic you discuss. If you look at the US but it’s the same, pretty much everywhere on the planet, you are in a very polarized country. So if you go into polarizing topic and in a very polarized way, you’re going to have this kind of outrage.

In the case of Brut, we try to, once again, not to point a finger and to, you know, provide way of understanding of an issue in order to spark a conversation. So what happened most of the time if someone you know, become like a little bit intense, I will say yes, we do have tools to moderate, but more importantly, the community of people is going to moderate, like strong, you know, extreme language and everything.

But we have very, very few of them on our platform. And right now we have around a few hundred million uniques a month watching at least the brood video across the club every month. And we have very, very few eight-week comment and everything. I mean, you can provide news, which is not the new cycle. You can provide news about people who are actually doing things to improve the situation.

So when you solution driven, when you more positive than the new cycle is, you don’t get that kind of stuff. Not that much.

Julie: Well, I think it’s difficult though. Sometimes you can post something. Just my own experience on social media. You can post something about what a beautiful day it is outside and someone will make it political and say, Oh, I hate so-and-so.

Guillaume: Yeah. Actually the community of people, which is with following Brut is doing it for us. We have all the tools we need to moderate obviously, uh, comments and everything. Especially cause we are one of the media in the world that generate more conversation, more comments per video. So we do have all the tools to moderator that our community is very involved in moderating too.

And you know, the other thing is like, there’s a huge difference being between people being anonymous and people being under their own identity. So when you are on a platform where you can be anonymous. Yeah, you can. You have what’s kind of outrage, but it’s really not what we’re looking for. And the thing is, the truth is, you know, it works.

If you prove polarization, if you aren’t organized people, if you try to heat up the conversation and everything, you will get cakes. But we’re not in their business. We are in a business where we try to create value to people were following us every time this year, good content. Every time they see a good content they need to say.

Oh, I didn’t see it that way. I didn’t know about it. It makes sense. So it gives me like, um, a new way of thinking about this issue that may be easing the new cycle, you know? And when, when you have these, uh, positive way of doing things, once again, you have very, very few bad comment.

Julie: Do you feel like the negative news cycle is a reason why your company came about? And. Is that something they are trying to fight?

Guillaume: I don’t know if they’re fighting the negative news cycle, but I think one, you know, if it’s pretty straight to the SIM, maybe.

Julie: From such a negative.

Guillaume: I don’t think it’s a question of distraction. I think once again, the new cycle is something very subjective.

So why the news channel news cycle? Why should it be the new cycle. You know why? There’s no reason. We surveyed extensively our community of people. We did like a massive survey. It was past the free month, and we find out something which is very interesting. The first thing that came up was, we don’t see the topic that we do care about in the public space, in the media space, in the legacy media world.

And you know, keeping in mind that 70%, seven zero, 70%, sorry for the French accent, uh, 70% of our communities on the 35 and they are complaining that they don’t see stories or coverage on things that really do matter to them.

Julie: What would you say right now are the things that matter to them.

Guillaume: Okay. So there’s two things cause it’s set of values that works across the globe and locally varies entertainment and sport.

I would say very small. Local, like India would be Bollywood in cricket and the U S will be a football and and rap or hip hop, you know, caricature.

But it’s true when it comes to the set of value, there’s a set of value that works across the globe for millennials and gen Z. Power, accountability, fighting any kind of discrimination, woman empowerment, social good social impact, anything solution-driven and especially for generations who think their parents failed miserably.

Handling them. If you planet and the environment, and you know, we need to understand that for voltage generation and it’s even more true for the younger one, the system of values have shifted. They don’t see the world left and right. They look at the set of values and you know the question they’re asking, like, are you contributing positively to that set of value?

Yes. Good guy, no bad guy. And then you can start the left and right discussion, but it’s a big change in the perception of the world. It’s something we’ve seen extensively for the past three years, and actually it’s one of the reason why we were able to grow so quickly in Europe, in India, in Asia, in North America, is because that set of value works across the globe for millennials and gen Z.

Julie: I would think for any brand, it’s really a big thing is to keep up with the latest interest in trends and, and not be focused on, well, you believe people are interested in is really getting out there and understanding. Your audience. Correct.

Guillaume: Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a question of being data driven too.

So, you know, a lot of people right now are talking about the media fixation of brands where the brands needs to become a media. What does that mean? It means that as the media, if you are data driven, you’re going to serve to the people things they already know. They like. Like, you know, we have many tools today.

There’s plenty of software to monitor a social network and you know, interactivity and everything where you can see that people like dogs. Okay, so you’re going to feed them with dog story. What’s the point for me, a media, uh, as to serve two people things they have no idea they’re going to like, or they know they have no idea they’re going to be interested in, but because you’ve built a strong and trustworthy media brand, they’re like, okay.

I know this media brand, I trust them. They are coming up with that type of story. I have no idea. You know, maybe I never heard of it. Maybe I’m not interesting. Let’s watch, you know, because of the media brand. It may be interesting. It’s, you know, it’s really what you need to work on. And when you’re data driven, you don’t do that.

And you know, when it comes to brands, I think that. You know, we are working with brands a lot in Europe and we are starting to do it very successfully in the US too.

You know, we’ve seen one thing younger generation, they love brands and the hate advertising.

So when you compare to maybe 20 years ago, they don’t really care where, you know, where’s the source of news come from?

It can be from a brand can be from the press agency. It can be from your team on the field can be from an individual. You know, what do matter right now is a wood speaking. Do I trust the people who are speaking? So do I trust this media brand? And when it comes to brands, they should really focus on what are their values, what do they stand for, what are they, what, what’s their, and the identity.

And as soon as, you know, I spent 20 years on TV. On TV. You spend your time thinking like, okay, I’m targeting like a, you know, woman under 50 and what are they going to like? Anything. As soon as you start to think this way, you did. Because basically if you try to think about what other people like, you will never come up with something like very authentic.

In my TV business and my movie business before, we were very successful because basically we were doing stuff we wanted to do and we believed in and it’s what we are telling our team. Our journalist team. So you know what? Forget about the audience. Forget about the 13 million daily active viewers that we have in.

Would you like the video you’re doing right now? Would you have this discussion tonight with your best friend around the table? Are you proud of that video? Will you share it with your friends? If so, you know what? It’s a great beginning, but let’s forget about the audience for a second. The audience is super smart right now.

Very well educated. They have a, you know, they can see. Uh, bullshit coming from very far. They’re very good at understanding that. So let’s focus on us. What type of content are we going to put up there? Then, you know, does it make, does it make sense? Does it provide value to the people who are following us?

And it’s true for a brand is true for a media brand is true for anybody.

Julie: But don’t you think that knowing your demographic is very important? Like you were saying, forget about the audience, but, but it would be different to be talking to someone 21 or someone 60.

Guillaume: No. Yes, yes, of course. I agree with that, but what I’m saying is that to a point, I know that my demographics are mainly gen Z and millennials, so I have mainly people under 35 watching my content.

Actually now we become, we becoming some being in some parts of the world that we have everybody watching, but still. I think once again, you need to come back at the content creation. If you start thinking on a what a 60 years old is going to like versus a 21 you dead cause you’re going to compromise, you’re going to, you know, you, you, there’s one thing I’ve learned consistently through my young career.

You never compromise on substance. Never. The day you start compromising on substance because you have been following marketing, because you are following targeting demos and everything: tt’s the beginning of the end.

Julie: So you would say if you’re, when you’re building trust, it’s really about being truthful in what. Your passion is and what you’re trying to put out there, perhaps?

Guillaume: Yes. And the other thing is the frequency. And you know, in repetition, meaning that when you want to build trust, what you need to do is you need to make sure that every time someone is going to see you, media, brand new brand, every time you going to create value, every time they’re going to say, Oh, that’s smart.

Oh, I didn’t see it that way. Oh, okay. It’s a new insight or it’s a new way of thinking about that issue and you know, and, and if you’re able to do that over and over and over again, you’re going to build trust.

We started in France. In 18 month, we became the third most trusted source of news in France. In 18 months.

And we are just, we are just beyond two huge legacy media. We’ve been there for like. 100 year. So it’s really a question of, it’s all the factor that we described earlier. It’s like, do you cover things that really do matter to your audience? Do you do it in a frantic way? Do you, do they feel like you never compromise?

Do they think you are of brand integrity? And it goes like when we are working with brands, if we don’t align with the brands, we just don’t work with them and we keep a lot of brand integrity. Thanks to that.

Julie: And Brut. It’s such a pioneering company. Why are you the person to lead it?

Guillaume: In 2016 at some point, I grew so frustrated with the TV network. I sent a long text to my partner saying, you know what? Let’s not wait for the network. There’s so many people on social platform right now. Every day, just let’s go there and let’s start to do.

You know, I was saying, never compromise on substance. Let’s not compromise. Let’s do exactly what we want to do. Let’s spark conversation. And it picked up incredibly.

So I guess it’s, uh, why me? Uh, because what I’ve done before led me to that place where I have the great partners. I have the knowhow and the expertise on, on video. And I just, you know, at some point, I had a need.

I didn’t see people doing it, so I went for it. And our business plan was after a year of Brut, we want to do 20 million video views a month after a year. Uh, we did that in six weeks. Wow. Was incredible. Within a year, we, we climbing to the top five U S publisher on Facebook, and now we are the fastest growing media on Snapchat in the U S we went to India.

Within a year we became the biggest English speaking media on social in India. So it’s just been an amazing ride. I know that for many of the few hundred million people watching our content across the globe every month, I know that Brut is, for most of them, the only source of news, they don’t read the press, they don’t watch the new channel. They don’t listen for the radio.

Julie: So you have a position to be in.

Guillaume: Yeah, you’re very, you have a lot of influence and it means that we do have a huge responsibility to them.

Julie: How do you vet out fake news?

Guillaume: That’s our job. We have journalists, we have a huge news team, so that’s our job. But it’s a tough job actually.

And so you need to make sure, and we are a very new venture. We’ve built an incredible amount of trust within our community, but we know that it’s something we need to reinforce every day and we need to walk on because it’s a, yeah, it can be broken very easily, but once again, when it comes to booth, we don’t jump off on any new cycles story.

We only do a story when we think we can add value. So it means we have time to verify. We have time to fact check, and then we go into the story. It makes a lot of difference.

Julie: I’ve also read that you want to be, you want Brut to be the Netflix of news. How do you plan on becoming that? Or do you feel like you already are.

Guillaume: What I meant by that. Any statement, you know, when these

Julie: Those quotes come after you later,

Guillaume: You know what? I’m fine with it. I could say, I would love to be the Spotify of news. What I’m, what I mean is when you look at the global market, you should want to watch series all across the globe. You have Netflix and some of new players now coming.

If you want to listen to music, you have Spotify. When it comes to news, you don’t have a global brand. Simple. So we want to be that global brand. We post like 50 to 60 stories, a video a day across the globe. Alpha of what we do works everywhere in the world. So we are really a global media in a sense where we are addressing two billions million at the same time, and we’ve become very good at making sure that a French story is going to resonate all over the planet that are India and Japanese. North American. Mexican. African story is going to resonate all across the globe and it always come back to value and authenticity.

Julie: Do you feel that short form media now is really the super power of branding because of some, you know, so many younger people like social media is their entire life.

Guillaume: You know, it’s not, I’m not going to answer exactly your question, but I’m always amazed.

I’m always amazed when I have people saying, you know, young people, they don’t have the capacity of sticking to something. I absolutely don’t believe that. I think the issue with attention is when you put your attention on something too many times and you are disappointed.

If you’re not disappointed what, but what you sing, you’re going to keep on watching. I mean, even as a attention crisis, why do people binge watch Netflix? Why? Why do they spend eight hours watching their favorite series? You know, it’s, for me, it’s really, once again, it’s a question of content. If your content is great, if we work, uh, Jeffrey Katzenberg is launching Cribby, he has a very extensive record of eats.

So it’s going to be very interesting to see. My bet is if the content is as great as it could be with a guy like Jeffrey Katzenberg running Cribby, people are going to watch. The only thing, it’s a question of usage. Short content is really for social platform. A long content is ready for TT. It’s just a different usage and a different destination.

Julie: You can really get a lot of content just being on your Twitter account. How. Much does it matter for your brand if people get their information from Twitter or actually on your site. And do you watch those numbers? Is the whole idea of getting them back to the site or is your Twitter feed enough content?

Guillaume: Okay, so do we have five hours? So there’s plenty of issue in that. No, I don’t want to drive traffic to my website or to my app is not the point. I want to activate my community through the website and through the app, but I don’t expect them to go to my website or to my app to watch my content because the usage is not there. There’s 2.2 billion people using Facebook. It’s like a billion using Instagram.

Julie: Unlike the other brands you would say it’s not necessarily about the numbers on your actual website because you’re really building the brand elsewhere.

Guillaume: Yeah.

Julie: [Would you call what you’re doing with Brut brand journalism and how different is that from sponsored content?

Guillaume: The one thing we’ve learned with our community is they love brands. They hate advertising, but if you come up with strong, interesting stories about the brand, they like, they’re going to love it. The question is, who is speaking. So in that case, Brut is speaking. So when we endorsed brand and where we are saying to brands, you know what?

We think what what you’re doing is interesting. So yes, we’re going to do a Brut story on it. It works as, as well as a purely editorial piece. We have the same type of engagement and the community is fine with it as long as it’s very clear that it’s made with a brand. So. I don’t know, like sponsor branded and everything, you know, there’s a lot of name for that.

I think they are the only thing we’re doing at Brut, and it’s different from a media agency. The only thing we’ve been doing at Brut is brand stories. So if we think that in order to tell a client story, we need to tell it blue, then it’s blue. If the clients is coming saying, you know what? I want it pink then sorry, you know there’s no pink, it’s going to be blue. You don’t want, you don’t want blue, fine. We don’t work together. And it seems harsh, but you protect your brand integrity.

Julie: And you were doint that from the very beginning, even though you were a startup?

Guillaume: Yeah. Yeah. From the very beginning. And we look here to our investors on board. Totally agree with that strategy.

And by the way, we are, we are working with pretty much everyone. There’s some people we don’t align with who we are. There’s some people want to use us as a. Good washing or greenwashing. So we are, you know, we are paying a lot of attention to that. We investigate to make sure we are not forced into communication plan and these kind of things. And we keep our integrity this way. And I think that the, our community feels it.

Julie: Do you then try to portray a neutral area in politics and how difficult is that.

Guillaume: I’m not very comfortable with that conversation for two reasons. When you say the world’s nonpartisan, or when you say the world neutral in the US it means something very specific.

It’s not the same thing in Europe. So, and it’s not the same thing in India actually or in Asia. So that’s why that conversation is like, I’m kind of lost in the translation space there. What I, what I should say is. The point is not, I mean, I don’t know if it’s being neutral. The only thing I know is, you know, when you have a polarized country, when people are not speaking to each other, when it’s this antagonized, what we’re trying to do is to come up with a way of telling people, look, let’s visit this subject.

It may seem simple, but most of the time it’s super complex, so let’s explore this complexity. Let’s get educated on that topics, and you know what? Make your own mind start to speak. Spark comes, start the conversation, and we take it from there. I always taking the same example.

When you take a plastic pollution, for instance, you’re like, okay. So we should absolutely go from the plastic bottle to the glass bottle. If you do that, you’re going to antagonize Norfolk itself because the self, the black, the poorest region of the world, they don’t have the money to recycle. Glass. The other thing is because of the weight of glass bottle, when you’re going to ship the bottle across the globe, the carbon footprint is going to explode.

Um, plus extract exam to do glass bottle is one of the most polluting things ever. So what I just sum up in a few seconds is when it comes to plastic pollution, glass is not that simple. Yes, it can be a solution, but it’s not that simple. I’m a very strong believer. In the collective intelligence of, of the people.

You know, when I started in TV, sometimes TV people were very condescendence with the audience. Like, you know, let’s feed them content and you know, they’d be fine with it. I think today people are smart. They are super well educated. They know, you know, they have access to so much information. So you can really, you know, tell them, look.

Everything we facing me now, it’s complex. So you need to take STEM, you need to explain where you are. You need to provide education tool to people, and then, you know, we need to empower people. Don’t tell them what to think. Give them the tools to understand the situation and to make up their own mind.

Julie: I mean, that’s kind of, it’s such an interesting way to think about politics with the glass bottle and the plastic bottle as there’s so many different sides and everything we do affects another area.

Guillaume: That’s kind of pretty much all the things we are facing right now are a complex conversation. And actually we look here cause being a global media, we are facing this kind of cultural differences everywhere on the planet. You know, there’s one thing I should add. The social platform always, you know, say that they are open platform.

Well, they have to decide what’s hatred like in a country. Is it a, the government that is not supposed to be, what elected is it the people were revolting against the government, whereas the ways we hatred, I think one of the reason why Bruce has been so successful across the globe, it’s because. The kind of values, like I wouldn’t say we are mission driven, but we are value driven and those value resonates across the globe for younger people.

And it’s, you know, so to go back to your earlier question, why me? I think one part of the answer is because I’m French and you know, and in the type of value that we do have in France, actually like the humanism. From the revolution and everything, even though it seems a bit, um, uh, too much to save those kind of things.

But I think it’s true. I think that those values right now are something so important to our generation that, you know, we have a, actually Brut made me very optimistic. You know, we are telling stories about so many people were actually doing things to improve the situation. Uh, that’s, you know, I’m, I’m very optimistic

Julie: We can use a lot more optimism. Let me tell you what are the greatest lessons brands can learn from what you are doing with Brut?

Guillaume: One of the lesson that the big lesson is like. If you want to talk to people on the 35 you need to go through social and you need to go through conversation. So it means, and it’s a revolution for brands. It means that some people are not going to agree with you.

Some people are going to be against you brands, and you know what? That’s life. But the ecosystem of brands, so far as been, I’m controlling my communication and as, and I want to make sure that everybody agrees. Well, at least I’m under the impression that my communication is like so controlled and perfect that everybody agrees and I won’t take any risk and everything.

We live in a world right now where, because of social platform, because people have a voice, well, you’re not going to agree with 100% of the people. So for me, it’s the biggest thing that brands have to accept today. They need to realize that social platform are an incredible tool to be in a relationship with their customers.

So some of the customers are not going to be happy. They hope that most of the customer and customers are going to be happy, but it’s, it’s a healthy conversation to have and it’s a conversation that this should absolutely spark with their customers. And you know what? There’s a way to value at starting a conversation.

Like sometimes the conversation doesn’t start well. Yeah. And, but the thing is, because you, at least you, you went there, you try and with a piece of content on, you know, I have one example out of a, I don’t remember if he was friends or India. We did. Um, we did a piece with a client about recycling. It was basically how do you recycle beauty product?

And we took a young woman who were demonstrating. How to recycle. And with that particular brand, the video was a huge success. We had like five, 500,000 view within the first hour. I think we ended like around eight to 9 million views, which, and we are like 95% positive sentiment. It was, it was incredible.

And, but within the first hour, we had maybe 200 comments focusing on, not at all recycling, but animal testing. And very harsh comment, very bad comment for the brand. And you have two ways of, you know, you have two ways to react. Either as a brand you are panicking and you say, Oh, we have to take the video down.

There’s so much bad comment. Or, and that’s what the actually the client, they did very, I think it was very clever. It’s like, okay, we have an issue when we are talking about recycling. We have a part of our customers, or at least a part of the audience that corrupts with animal testing. So it’s something we need to address.

So now they are addressing this issue. So. My two advice will be, don’t be afraid of the conversation. And once you spark a conversation, follow up, listen to what people have to say and we address it. You know? And it’s, it’s a, it’s a very powerful tool. Most of the time when you saying to people, you know what?

I heard you. You were right. We were doing something wrong. So we’ve, we are fixing it. We trying to fix it. And you can even go to them saying, you know what? You’re right. We agree. But it’s tough to do and it’s tough to do for all of his reason. Once again, when you empower people, when you educate them, I think it’s a very healthy way to grow your business.

Julie: And it seems like that’s a great, an example of how viewer engagement actually helps sponsors build trust. Maybe with. People who really trusting them. Yeah.

Guillaume: You know, when you look at all the brands, we have exploded on Instagram, you know, all of those platforms, Snapchat, whatever, you know, all those digital brand. Basically what they’re doing is they are talking everyday with the clan saying, Oh look, we have an issue. We don’t know how to do that. Oh, we do that very badly. Sorry. Well, you know what? We try and we tried to fix it, but it doesn’t work.

Julie: And not being defensive, I would think as a big brand tactic. Yeah. Being honest and listening to other people’s comments.

Guillaume: Yeah. And you know, and when you want to build trust with several step, the first step is. There’s an issue. We are part of the problem. We know we are trying our best. The second thing is repetition. Make sure that not only you are saying it, but you are doing it.

And the, the first thing is being accountable. You need to be able to say, you know what? You know today we were so many CEO CMOs saying, you know what? In 2040 we’re going to be 100% sustainable. Okay. Nobody believes that. But if you say, you know what? That’s a huge issue. We need to shift the way we do things.

We working on it, and let me take a free example that are core to our business and we’re going to work on risk-free example with three topics and six months from now we can show you the type of impact we have, right? This is, you know, this is what has to be done by now.

Julie: Being transparent.

Guillaume: Of course, yes.

Julie: So the podcast is called The Brand Moat. And there’s an important question to ask is how should our listeners use short form news media as a brand moat to defend their brand against competitors?

Guillaume: So yes, the way I see it, and I’m speaking as a founder, if you, I mean, I hope that if you created a company or if you are in a position when you can decide what type of communication you can do with the company, it means that you are in a position of power that you do believe in the company.

The first thing is. Stop trying to think about how to please people. Just do what you feel is right and short form video content on social is great to build that, to build that trust and authenticity as long as you’re true to yourself. And it’s pretty much free marketing. If the content is great, people are going to share, people are going to talk about it.

And it’s the way we grew from zero to 1.5 billion views a month across different, across different platform because it’s free marketing and we, we almost never paid for that. So if you really focus on, okay, every time I’m going to speak as a brand, I want to make a defense. I want to make sure that I’m going to create value, not for me, but for the customer.

And you know. I think social is great cause it’s, it’s, it’s the same for TV. It almost feels like thanks to social TV people understood. They actually do have an audience. They don’t have a marketing department. They have two people were reacting in real time to what they’re doing. So for a brand is pretty much the same thing.

So, you know, so short social content, video content on platform, it’s a great way to. Talk to your customer to try to spark conversation. So yeah, we’ll say what, define what type of conversation you want to have. Be authentic, true to yourself. Don’t compromise on value. At least the value of the company.

Don’t try to position your company as something it’s not, you know, position it as something it truly is. And then go for it. And you know, it’s being an entrepreneur. The only fact that you are starting a company, you never know where you’re going to go, but something’s going to happen and you’re going to grow from that.

You’re going to learn a lot. And, and if you true to yourself, you know, you make it, define your conversation, be true to yourself. Don’t compromise on what you are and just go out there and start, you know, start speaking to people.

Julie: That’s a lot of great advice. Thank you so much, Guillaume, for being on The Brand Moat.

Guillaume: Oh, you’re very welcome. Thank you for the invitation.

Julie: That’s our show. Hope you enjoyed it. Listen to us on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. This podcast is brought to you by Loomly, the brand success platform that helps your team collaborate, publish, and succeed all in one place. Check out and start your free trial now. Thanks for listening. I’m Julie Slater.

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