In the latest episode of our G&S podcast, Building Brand Gravity, principal and incoming CEO Anne Green interviews Coldwell Banker Chief Marketing Officer David Marine, who shares insights on two decades of experience at Coldwell Banker, thoughts on the concept and evolution of branding, and smart advice for those looking to build a career in marketing. Click to listen here.

Coldwell Banker is currently celebrating 117 years since its founding in 1906. For the most recent 22 of those years, CMO David Marine has worked to advance and elevate this iconic brand’s commitment to long-standing values, constant innovation and a drive for excellence. In his role, he oversees the core brand and all components under the Coldwell Banker umbrella, including franchise, luxury, commercial, and Coldwell Banker Realty (the brokerage offices owned by parent company Anywhere).

David's connection to Coldwell Banker is deep-rooted and informed by a diverse range of roles. Starting from product development, he embarked on a path of exploration into various marketing facets and positions, affording him a well-rounded perspective as he ultimately stepped into the top marketing spot. In reflecting on his success story, which could be dubbed "Growing up Coldwell Banker," David underscores the pivotal roles of curiosity, personal initiative and mentorship in his growth.

“The idea of taking initiative and taking control of your own career…If this is something you want, put yourself out there and go do it. Don’t wait for it to be handed to you."

Exploring the Essence of “Brand”

In their podcast discussion, Anne and David explore how the meaning of the catch-all term "brand" has evolved significantly in his mind across his career. In his early years, David might have described "brand" as "something like a multinational corporation, a huge entity that commands universal acceptance." Today, thanks in part to the transformation of our digital-first landscape, he acknowledges how a brand can be any person or organization, large or small.

The NBA, for example, started as its own dominant brand centered around the league itself. "Now,” David observes, "many players are taking control of their own brand and making it into something. They're monetizing it." They curate their own messages and images, fully embracing the power of self-presentation. 

Coldwell Banker: Standing the Test of Time

The emotional value of “home” is instilled deep into the Coldwell Banker brand. As David aptly puts it, "Our agents aren't just selling objects; they are selling the American Dream."

David underscores the significance of staying grounded in the essence of your brand message, despite shifting priorities, technologies and tactics. This is especially critical when guiding a well-known brand that is over a century old.

Using an example from the world of comics, David references Superman and its various iterations – from live-action films to cartoons and comic books, reflecting a huge array of storylines and “translations.” Despite these transformations, the story remains the same.

“It doesn't matter if the vehicle of the story has changed over time; at its core, it's still the same story and it always works.”

 

Embrace the Slightly Uncomfortable  

When it comes to professional and personal evolution, David’s closing remarks serve as a guiding light. When you truly believe in something as a marketer and individual, willingness to embrace the unknown opens a door to transformation.

“Always do something that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable; not totally uncomfortable because that's not a good place to be, but slightly uncomfortable. That's when you know you're continuing to push things. That's where you explore new territories, and that's where you learn.”

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