Conversation with Author Soon Yu


"Your Role Is to Make Sure That Your Consumers Are All In for Your Products"

The Resonance Test 10: Soon Yu

May 23, 2017
by Toby BottorfKen Gordon

Soon Yu is, according to his seven-year-old son, “really goofy, and he drinks way too much Coke.” He’s also an acclaimed speaker and author who trains his vision on what he calls the Iconic Advantage. In the latest vintage of The Resonance Test, our Toby Bottorf gets Yu to unbottle his opinions on the elements of iconic branding, finding untapped value in one’s brand portfolio, the differences between management consultancies and design firms, and learning to own iconic benefit. He also analyzes the reasons Bottorf digs wearing Adidas Sambas. Tune in and hear Yu say:

• “If it means that our cash cow is gonna basically get milked away and die, that’s OK.”

• “If you can capture the essence of how an Audi makes you feel, then you can design an entire experiential system focused on delivering that feeling throughout the experience journey that consumers have with the product.”

• “Becoming iconic allows you to reach the highest form of branding there is... It goes to what you believe. And when you get into the belief system, and you own it, you are given so much more credit for being trustworthy, for being relevant to ‘me,’ and for being meaningful to ‘me.’”

• “If you really drive iconicity, you’re actually going to be more profitable.”

• “When you have a brand you love… you don’t want to sit on the fence on that, you want to be all in… Your role is to make sure that your consumers are all in for your products. They don’t want to fall out of love with brands they love—they want to stay in love.”

Host: Pete Chapin
Editor: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

The Resonance Test 10: Soon Yu
filed in: brand

About the Author

  • Bottorf Toby
    Toby Bottorf
    VP, Service and Experience Design

    Toby joined Continuum to establish a digital design capability, and is now a VP in service design, leading teams to design solutions for complex human and technical systems. His work builds on a career in UX and interface design.

    Recent work includes Audi on demand, a premium mobility service; the design of a client communications tool for a financial services company; and the strategy and experience design of a digital coaching platform for a leading American health insurer.

    Toby holds a master’s degree in communications design from the Institute of Design (IIT) and a BA in art from Yale University.

  • Ken Gordon
    Ken Gordon
    Chief Communications Specialist

    Ken makes EPAM Continuum’s work visible to the necessary people. He creates superlative content, works with colleagues to do the same, and employs social networks to share it widely.

    A card-carrying humanist, Ken co-founded QuickMuse, the improvisational writing website, and JEDLAB, the Jewish education community. He has written for, the New York Times, and many other pubs.

    Ken has an English degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MA in English from the State University of New York at Albany. He framed both diplomas long ago, but can’t seem to find them now—a fact he considers all-too-human.