Marketing Lessons From An Ex-Marine

When Marines get rifle lessons, they learn the acronym BRASS: Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze, Shoot. Casey Jones, who has been both a Marine and VP-global marketing at Dell, discusses how those military lesson make sense when it comes to marketing. No surprise: he thinks marketers do a lot of shooting without aiming. Jones offers a lot of good advice, including this:

Breathe: Set aside time every week to focus on what your brand is communicating. Relax: Remember that the brand will not fail if you pause for a moment to focus. It may fail, however, if you continue to waste marketing shots that are off-target.

He also recommends that all messaging briefs contain these four elements:

  1. A clear definition of the target audience
  2. A clear statement of the audience’s current mental and emotional perceptions of your brand.
  3. A short statement of the “desired” perceptual state — one that is reasonable given your budget.
  4. A clear list of the minimum points you must communicate in order to achieve your goal.

The bottom line: Don’t forget to breathe, relax, and aim.

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

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