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Karl Speak  

Executive and Global Brand Management Expert; Co-author of "Be Your Own Brand" and Founder of Brand Tool Box, Ltd.

Karl D. Speak is a global expert known for his pragmatic and unconventional approach to using brand as a leadership platform for gaining customer loyalty and employee engagement. Karl’s innovative work on corporate brand strategy, personal brand and internal brand building has been implemented in companies in 23 countries.  His best selling book, Be Your Own Brand, is translated into 12 languages and has sold over 80,000 copies. In January 2011 a revised and expanded version of Be Your Own Brand was released to leverage the global success of the first edition and the growing popularity of personal brand.

Brand Tool Box, Ltd., the company he founded over 27 years ago, is the global leader in developing and implementing internal brand-building programs.  It is a unique professional services organization melding world-class brand expertise and organizational development best practices to help organizations build and nourish customer-centric culture alignment.  As an accomplished presenter, Karl speaks to many different types of audiences around the world. His energetic style and wide-reaching knowledge of brand make him a favorite speaker with corporate audiences of marketing, sales, and executive teams.

Through Brand Tool Box, Karl has implemented his contemporary approach to brand management and internal brand building with a wide range of corporate clients. Clients such as 3M, LeadingAge, American Express, AT&T, BASF, BMW, Cabela’s, Cargill, Consumers Energy, EDMC, FedEx, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Mosaic, Motorola, Securian, Skandia, Sony Corporation, St. Jude Medical, Syngenta, Target Corporation, The Scotts Company, The Wall Street Journal, Toro, and Walgreens have benefited from Karl’s consulting and internal brand building programs.

Karl also serves as an “expert witness” in legal cases involving matters relating to brand.

Karl holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Minnesota. Karl teaches in the MBA programs at University of Minnesota, Saint Thomas University, and has been guest lecturer at University of Westminster in London, Capella University, ESADE University in Madrid, among others.

Karl’s boardroom experience includes being a board member of Mesa Holdings, VocalEssence, MAP and serving as the chair of the board of The Design Management Institute.


Sales Audiences

Are Your Sales People Selling Products or Your Company’s Brand?

Many corporate strategies now focus on growing the top line. This is requiring expanding the customer relationship to support selling a larger suite of products or establishing a new solutions-based relationship. Karl addresses this issue head-on with practical advice on selling the “how” and not the “what” of an organization. Sell brand first, product transactions will follow.

Are Your Customers More Loyal To Your Salespeople or Your Company?

Karl will show your audience that it doesn’t have to be either or, but by embracing the Power of Brand Alignment both brands can flourish in a way never imagined.

Are You Taking Advantage of the Power of Positive Perceptions?

Most salespeople and customer service professionals focus on what they accomplished during interactions, not the perception they left with the customer. The perception left today sets up the on- going relationship and context for the next interaction. Karl’s popular and straightforward message on perceptions will be an eye-opener for individuals, no matter how long they have been working with customers.

Are Your Salespeople Leveraging the Power of Their Personal Brand?

When you understand brand on a personal level its power increases dramatically. Whether as a sales training tool; a personal development tool; or a leadership development tool; brand can bring big new insights into everyone’s relationship-building skills.

Executive Audiences

The Practical and Relevant Guide of Brand for Executives.

After almost 30 years of working with executives of organizations of all sizes and virtually every industry, profit and non-profit, Karl knows how to make brand real for executives. Karl boils down the topic of brand into the four things that an executive needs to know about brand.

Growing Through the Power of Customer-Centric Leadership.

Highly engaged employees and high performance teams are energized not by what the organization does, but by the difference they make for a customer. Karl shows audiences how the Power of Brand Alignment is the framework that will focus employees on the things that matter most to customers. Higher levels of customer engagement drive higher levels of employee engagement and vice versa.

Professional Audiences

Professional Service Client Loyalty = Personal Brand +Firm Brand.

Karl has an energizing and practical message about the Power of Brand Alignment for professional services firms.

Women Audiences

Women Business Professionals: Use the Power of Perceptions to Catapult Your Career.

Karl has spoken to a number of different women’s groups inside organizations and in public forums. In his highly engaging style he helps audience members understand how not to be held prisoner by how people perceive them, but use the power of perceptions to get credit for their strengths and build relationships that will take their career to the next level.


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