So You Want to Create a Category?

Category creation is the ultimate form of B2B brand differentiation. Think Salesforce and CRM, HubSpot and inbound marketing—these top-tier brands are the leaders in their category because they were the champions of it from the very beginning. It takes a lot of work to get there, however, and not all brands are made for category creation.

This episode features three expert marketing execs who also happen to be veteran category creators—Chip Rodgers of WorkSpanGabi Zijderveld of Affectiva, and Bernd Leger (now at Mimecast). Tune in to learn the ins and outs of category creation, like how to engage with analysts to build credibility, how you know you’re on the right track, and how to manage competitors as a category leader.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The stories behind multiple B2B category creation initiatives
  • Why analyst relations are critical for creating a category
  • How marketers can successfully bring a new category to life

The Need to Fail, Cars That See, and Defining Market Needs

Renegade Thinkers Unite recently moved to! As a subscriber, you should have received an email with the subject line ‘Activate your Email Subscription to: Renegade Thinkers Unite’. It may be buried in your inbox, or even the spam folder, but if you click the link in that email, you’ll continue getting notifications when each week’s new episode is published, only now it’ll be to

The Need to Fail, Cars That See, and Defining Market Needs

CES never fails to be a revelatory experience, but this year marked a significant step closer to one of humanity’s longest-held dreams (or at least, one of Drew’s longest-held dreams): A Jetsons-style flying car! A key component of these tech-driven marvels is an astoundingly impressive “LiDAR” system—think radar detection, done with laser technology. In simpler terms, a new way for machines to see things. Granted, the implications are much broader than a flying car, but it provides an interesting way to demo this new system.

On this episode of RTU, Drew speaks with Louay Eldada, CEO and co-founder of Quanergy, the company helping cars “see”. They chat about the range of potential uses for such powerful tech, and the why to market it, they had to first understand the problems that people need solved. Don’t miss this tech-heavy episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite, recorded at CES 2019.


Louay shares various ways Quanergy can creatively solve problems! You won’t want to miss this episode!


Subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcher – or Podsearch

What You’ll Learn


A virtual wall – an effective way of protecting the border


Quanergy is proposing the creation of a virtual wall on the border of the United States and Mexico. Currently, a physical wall is being proposed to the country. Louay points out that this kind of barrier could disturb the environment. Quanergy has targeted the United States government as its audience to market their technology to, speaking with politicians on both sides of the border protection debate. Using LiDAR, Quanergy creates a dome of protection by setting its giving computers eyes to monitor the border area. LiDAR uses its “eyes” to see anything coming to the border and can allow authorities to be dispatched to the area. A virtual wall addresses the issue of protecting the border but does not create more problems as a physical wall could.

Quanergy’s is a leader in effective technology marketing

Quanergy tells and shows customers what they need. They allow customers to observe the product, so they know they want it. Quanergy provides a vision of what customers can do, and how they can solve problems. This creates new markets for its technology.

Quanergy’s technology, LiDAR, is marketed to many different industries. Each market has its own experts, so Quanergy uses partners to improve solutions. For example, Quanergy partnered with 6-Watch to help create a virtual surveillance partner for Boston’s police vehicles. 6-Watch was an effective partner because the company is well connected in the law enforcement space, helping Quanergy break into that market with its technology.

Creating a culture where it is okay to fail

Louay says if your company doesn’t run into things that don’t work, then you are not trying hard enough. Everything is not feasible until someone does it. If a problem is worth addressing, try until you find a solution. Louay creates a company culture where failure and bad news are okay. This gives his employees the ability to take risks and be creative. In order to lead a company where there is the courage to take risks, Louay says he must have an open door policy to hear about issues and ask what can be done solve problems, what have the employees learned and what can be changed. This culture of risk being okay has helped propel Quanergy to the frontline in LiDAR technology as well as marketing technology.


  • [1:13] Louay’s inspiration and Quanergy’s technological core
  • [2:23] Technology for a flying car
  • [6:08] Reasons and opportunities for attending CES
  • [8:08] A virtual wall – an effective way of protecting the border
  • [11:30] A CEO’s take on marketing
  • [14:10] Quanergy’s most effective marketing
  • [17:58] The importance partnerships
  • [19:24] Biggest lessons to share with other entrepreneurs
  • [20:53] It is ok to fail!

Connect With Louay Eldada:

  • Louay’s bio on Quanergy’s website
  • Connect with Louay on LinkedIn
  • Follow Louay on Twitter

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Renegade Thinkers Unite is moving!

As of last week, Renegade Thinkers Unite has moved to, and will no longer be published on As a subscriber, you should have received an email with the subject line ‘Activate your Email Subscription to: Renegade Thinkers Unite’. It may be buried in your inbox, or even the spam folder, but if you click the link in that email, you’ll continue getting notifications when each week’s new episode is published, only now it’ll be to

Here’s the great episode on the keys to effective communication that was published on Friday:

115: Breaking The Curse of Knowledge, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Comms

Have you ever read through healthcare plans in an effort to sign-up? They’re generally pretty important, but given how jargonistic and dense they are, they can be a real snooze-fest. That’s where Jellyvision comes in. This week’s guest, Bob Armour, is CMO of a company that creates a software named Alex that helps people make sense of their healthcare benefits and select the best plan by communicating with them in plain english.



The efficacy of Alex speaks to a few types of effective communication, but a big portion of it, ties to how Jellyvision helps companies communicate with their employees. Whether discussing a new campaign, product, or in this case, health benefits, effective internal communication is absolutely crucial. If done well—and in this episode, Bob shares some tips for success—employee communications can help make employees love their jobs, treat their customers well, and advocate for the company. Check out the full interview to learn more!

This episode is extremely relevant in today’s market. Be sure to listen in!

Subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcher – or Podsearch

What You’ll Learn

What it takes to communicate effectively with employees

Jellyvision’s software, Alex, communicates with employees on healthcare. It talks to the users about demographics and needs. Alex creates the illusion that someone is truly listening behind the screen and reacting in human ways. In employee communication, you need to really listen and react in a human way – customized, with a personal response.

Bob also says that to succeed in communicating with his customer’s employees about benefits, his program must strip away the jargon associated with healthcare, insurance, and 401ks. Employees need to make the right decisions, but they have to understand what they are talking about to make a decision. By speaking in a simple way that employees can understand, they can make better informed decisions.

Employee engagement: how to succeed and measure success

Bob shares that Jellyvision helps its clients market Alex internally to their employees. Clients are provided with resources such as pre-written emails, collateral for signing up, and content to help them effectively communicate with employees. Jellyvision helps HR departments focus on what employees have to gain by using Alex, not just a message of “you should sign up for benefits.”

Jellyvision helps customers measure success with its software. It isn’t important to Jellyvision to just sell Alex. They want to know how many of their customers’ employees have been helped by the software. Bob encourages listeners to align their company’s marketing efforts with the goals they are hoping to achieve. For example, Jellyvision chooses to measure how helpful they were as employees signed up for benefits.

The Do’s and Don’ts of employee communication

Bob says to be straightforward and to use humor in employee communication. Put the details somewhere else where those who would like to read more can access them and dig in, but don’t clutter the main message. Be helpful, and don’t be boring or condescending. Avoid using jargon at all cost. Your own employees are also a meaningful tool in crafting a measure to communicate with others. They can offer feedback on whether wording is confusing or relatable.


  • [2:19] All about Bob Armour
  • [11:44] What it takes to communicate effectively with employees
  • [17:14] How Jellyvision works with HR departments to make sure employees see Alex
  • [26:38] How Bob advises customers to measure their employee engagement
  • [31:07] Your own employees feedback in crafting your message is huge
  • [34:36] What not to do when communicating with employees

Connect With Guest:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Not Dead, Just Moving – Please Re-subscribe

Dear Subscriber:

As you no doubt figured out, for the last two years The Drew Blog has exclusively featured the show notes from each weekly episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite. Feeling orphaned, we finally decided to merge it into a special location on which already contains all of the back episodes.

Now before you call 911, there’s still a way to keep getting your weekly dose of Renegade Thinkers Unite. And it’s easy as a Sunday morning. Except you’ll have to do it tomorrow. That’s when the email to subscribe to an RSS feed from will show up in your inbox. Just click accept and it’ll be just like normal when on Friday AM, an email from yours truly brightens your morning. Or not. Your call. [We hope you enjoy this moment of power.]

Thanks in advance for your continued dedication to The Drew Blog (some of you have been with us since 2007!) One other note, if you’re also a subscriber to The Cut, our monthly newsletter, don’t worry, those will keep on coming until you tell us otherwise.

Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.



Copper, Blue + Pink: An Artful Name Change / Rebrand

If you took every tech company logo and stacked them by color, here’s what you’d see: some red, some shades of black, grey, and white, some green. But all those stacks would be in the shadow of one color: blue. Samsung, Facebook, Lenovo, PayPal, hp, Dell—the list of blue logos goes on and on.

So what did Morgan Norman, CMO of Copper (née ProsperWorks)? He went pink. With a dash of creative, and a spritz of data analysis, Copper went bold and rebranded in a major way. But—a rebrand isn’t just a name and a color. The new mentality has to fill up every nook and cranny of the company, employees need to buy in, users need to be kept informed. On this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite, Drew Neisser talks with Morgan Norman about the keys to a rebrand, some common hurdles, and more about B2B marketing.

Tune in here.

Subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcher – or Podsearch

What You’ll Learn

Why a company name change?

Before its company name change, Copper was a very successful business. It was not looking for a different name to boost sales or to pull itself out of a slump. However, there were still various reasons to change its name. ProsperWorks was a hard name for people to remember. It was even harder for people to say. Prior to its name change, it was in 110 countries, and the name ProsperWorks was hard to translate. Studies were also showing that customers were consistently misspelling its name. All of these reasons culminated in a desire to explore new company names.

Just a coat of paint, or a complete overhaul?

When ProsperWorks changed its company name to Copper, it did not just change its name – it changed its entire brand. Morgan explains that every bit of product was overhauled, from customer interactions and existing content, to its brand and the company’s roadmap of where it wanted to go. He said that with the new name, the brand changed to revolve around relationships.

How Copper used a relaunch to generate interest in its brand

Copper used its relaunch to help generate interest in its brand in several different ways:

  • They launched a new advertising campaign: CRM Minus the Bad Stuff. Their ads were enough to make the public curious enough to finish the story by finding out more information on the product.
  • Copper utilized billboard ads. They ran 2 at a time in San Francisco near the airport. This captured the audience of people flying in. They also put a human face to CRM.
  • They produced massive amounts of content about the company and its new name. The name change was surrounded by information on the company.


  • [2:30] Who is Morgan Norman?
  • [5:52] Why ProsperWorks changed its name to Copper
  • [7:31] Which came first: the name change or the URL
  • [12:24] Why the name Copper instead of Copper CRM
  • [15:43] Why Copper chose pink in branding
  • [17:46] A complete overhaul: from name to product
  • [21:34] Internal involvement before a name change
  • [27:25] The launch of Copper’s new name
  • [30:18] How to use a relaunch to generate interest in your brand
  • [35:22] Top lessons from name changing
  • [38:47] Key metrics that matter in marketing

Connect With Guest:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Recession Proof Your B2B Marketing

Shakespeare once wrote, “To thine own self, be true.” In that spirit, RTU host Drew Neisser did something a little out of the ordinary.

Now, some people might consider talking to yourself for 30+ minutes to be a little crazy, but not Drew Neisser. In one of the most unusual Renegade Thinkers Unite episodes to date, Drew interviews none other than himself.

On this episode, the dynamic duo of Drew and Drew continually push the conversation to exciting territories. The discussion touches on key insights Drew has learned over the course of his 300 CMO interviews, the challenges 2019* will bring for marketers, and more. Don’t miss it! 

2020 Update: To read Renegade’s 6 smart lead generation tactics during a downturn, check out our special report on B2B demand generation.

Catch Drew’s insights here.

Subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcher – or Podsearch

What You’ll Learn

Employees are a key part of marketing

You need to have dedicated employees on board with your brand and with your product. Employees purchasing what you’re selling as a marketer is highly linked to the success of a product. If they are behind the product enough to purchase it, they are likely to understand and promote it. If the employees buy the brand story, they can be tremendous advocates. They can share their real experiences and use social proof to spread the word about your brand in a cost-effective way. Especially in a downturn, employees buying in with a brand and sharing content is key. It’s free media, and you can’t live without it.

How to prepare your B2B marketing plan for the recession

Drew shares that it is vital to prepare a B2B marketing plan for the recession. Great marketers will shine during the recession, but weaker marketers will not survive. A smart marketer will recognize a good strategy and will work on all communication channels, marketing to employees, customers, and prospects alike. Drew tells the audience to prepare for budget cuts in preparation for the recession. Figure out what part of the budget will drive demand generation, because those dollars spent will yield successful business results. These parts of the budget can be defended, but defending the portion of a budget focussed on building one’s brand on will be at risk. Drew shares that a B2B organization needs to have a brand health tracking study in place before a recession, so that if a budget cut arises, marketers can still know how their brand is performing.”

Why you should secure customers before the recession

With a recession, all companies will likely experience  budget cuts and potential losses. Drew explains that businesses should think about securing customers as the recession draws near. Focus should be put on keeping current customers happy. These current customers will also have problems linked to a recession, so Drew says to be prepared to answer how your specific product or service can help customers grow their business even in an economic downturn.


  • [1:02] Renegade Rapidfire
  • [12:19] Why talk about the recession now?
  • [15:37] Why employees are vital in marketing
  • [17:51] What smart marketers will prepare for with a recession in mind
  • [24:28] What marketers can do in an economic downturn to make them different
  • [28:42] Other CMO’s opinions on what should be 2019’s focus

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Connect with Drew