Picking A Fight You Can Win: How The President Of K-Swiss Built a Brand That Can Compete With Nike & Adidas

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This is a podcast episode titled, Picking A Fight You Can Win: How The President Of K-Swiss Built a Brand That Can Compete With Nike & Adidas. The summary for this episode is: On this episode of the Marketing Swipe File, DG sits down with Barney Waters, President of K-Swiss. They discuss the overlap between B2B and B2C marketing. (Is there still a difference?) Plus the key to understanding people, what makes for great writing, Barney's favorite books and how he resurrected the K-Swiss brand to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas.

Dave: Hey, what's up, everybody? Thanks for listening to another episode of The Swipe File. Barney, what do you think of the name The Swipe File, by the way? Do you like that name?

Barney Waters: Yeah, I'm down with it. You give me no time to really think of a snappy answer, so I'm just going to agree with you and nod.

Dave: All right. So The Swipe File. Okay. So thanks for coming back for another episode of The Swipe File. I'm super excited today because I have one of my... It's crazy how the internet and marketing works, because this guy has become one of my favorite people, so much so that I have asked him to be a mentor, and then just keep dropping the ball on a bunch of other stuff. And he's busy and I'm busy, but it's okay. And I figured that one way we could do it was through this show. He spoke at HYPERGROWTH last year. We actually just published his talk on Drift Insider earlier this week. I don't know when this episode is going to go out, but Barney Waters is, I think, one of the greatest brand marketers out there. And the cool part is, here at Drift, and Seeking Wisdom, and The Swipe File, we always... We're in B2B. We do B2B Sales and Marketing Technology, right? But my whole thing with this podcast is we want to bring you the best marketers in the world. And Barney has nothing to do with sales and marketing technology, right? He runs marketing today at K- Swiss. And we'll dig into his background and everything. But Barney, I'm going to shut up. And thanks for coming. I appreciate it.

Barney Waters: Yeah. Dave, thank you so much for having me. And I've been a fan of Drift through the podcast. Again, B2B software, it makes me want to fall asleep at the wheel, being in the sneaker business. I love the podcast, and I learned a ton from you too. And you guys inspired me. And I was reading the books that you guys talked about and all sorts of things. So that's how this sort of relationship developed. So I'm getting as much from you guys, as you mentioned, you were getting from me.

Dave: I think, to me, that lesson... And I've already told you, it's humbling to hear you say that, because it's amazing. But the change for me has been like... I think you can find marketing inspiration everywhere. And I think the biggest mistake that I see a lot of marketers make is," Oh, I am this type of marketer. Therefore, I'm only going to look." My favorite thing is following you and actually a couple people on your team on Instagram, and seeing like," Oh man, they did an exclusive release with this person." What would be the equivalent of that for us? And try to take that into the B2B world, which is so much fun.

Barney Waters: And you know why? Because the triggers, and people's buying motivations, and things of that nature is all the same stuff. And you mentioned earlier about having B2B software, I used to be in the software business. I worked for Lotus in Boston, in Cambridge, right there by the CambridgeSide Galleria. So I was in software marketing. That's what I moved to America to do. So I was in the software business. So I learned a ton through Lotus. And a lot of what I learned was about understanding job functions, and the people that the function, or the role of the person you're marketing to, and to custom fit your value proposition based on who you're talking to. So in other words, one size doesn't always fit all. And all of those lessons I learned in the software business from really great people I work with, apply exactly to sneakers. And people often ask me, how did you go from software to sneakers? Well, the reason I was able to do at this, because the skill set's the same and the principles are the same. It's not a whole different set of skills you need to have. You need to flip your head in terms of the industry, but the underpinnings of the approach can be the same.

Dave: This always happens to me. There's a hundred things I want to unpack from that. But what you said was actually a lesson that I learned really when I started at Drift. So I don't know if I shared this with you, but I'll share it for the show, which is when I joined Drift, I was hired as the first full- time marketing person. And I think I was... I don't know, that was three, four years ago. 28 years old, when I thought I knew a bunch of stuff, right? And specifically, I had only worked in SAS, in technology. And so I was following all these VC blogs, and reading about SAS metrics, and LTV to CAC, and all this other stuff, right? And I thought that that's what I needed to learn if I wanted to be good at marketing. And then, I got connected with David, DC, our CEO and my boss here at Drift. Literally, the first week on the job, he was like," I want you to forget everything you know about marketing." Because he saw an opportunity to basically kind of rewire my brain. And so he's like," I don't care if you ever get good at math, at LTV to CAC, and all the SAS stuff. I want you to focus on understanding people, because if you can understand what motivates and moves people, you will be able to do anything in your career." And I've always considered myself a writer. Words have always been my thing. People in my family have asked me to be the one that sends the email or whatever, right? But I never gave that credit in marketing. I always was just like," Oh, it's just words, right?" Somebody else can do words. But now I've realized that words are everything. And what I learned through David is he put me on all these classic copywriting and direct response marketers like David Ogilvy, Gary Halbert, Claude Hopkins, Eugene Schwartz, Robert Collier Letter Book. There's more books than I can mention. And that was so eye- opening for me because a similar, that lesson that you just mentioned, what I learned was... The book that really did it for me was... Because the book was written in 1924. It's called Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. The book was written in 1924. And this guy wrote a book almost a hundred years ago. And every line in that book, you could apply to marketing today.

Barney Waters: Right. Yeah.

Dave: That was the thing for me that changed. It really is just about understanding people.

Barney Waters: Well, yeah. And when you talk about software, from my experience in the software industry is quite often... And this was the old days, but the technologists ran those companies. They have the power with the programmers and whoever's the most techie. And they had no respect for the marketers. But when you sell software solutions, in the old days, you would sell it to the CIO. So you would need to talk features and functions. But more and more, actually the person who's driving the need is a head of marketing or a head of sales. So if you can't speak in that language, you're going to miss out. If you go and talk features and functions to them, you're going to go right over their heads. So you absolutely need the marketers to bridge that gap.

Dave: Take me inside of your world. So, well, first, you went from Lotus. Did you join Puma right after Lotus?

Barney Waters: Yeah. I went to Puma, in Boston. Yep.

Dave: So I have so many questions that I want to ask you there. So number one is how did you go from Lotus to Puma? Did you know you wanted to get out of tech, or were you sitting there one day and you're like," I love sneakers. I want to go do this"?

Barney Waters: No. I'd always fit into youth culture and all the fun stuff. But I'd followed into Lotus in the UK. And it was an amazing company. It's still probably one of my best work experiences. And I moved over to headquarters in Cambridge. And then we got bought by IBM, by the way. So working for IBM is like working for the government. And it's like...

Dave: I've heard that.

Barney Waters: Lotus was a cool, young company, successful. And IBM was the government. So it kind of killed all the culture and the vibes. And I knew some people who worked at Puma and it was just a dream of mine. But visa- wise, because I was English, I was sponsored by IBM. So I couldn't work anywhere else. And until I got my green card, I became a free agent. And that's how I managed to get to Puma. Now, when I interviewed at Puma to people I know, got my foot in the door. When I interviewed, I was almost saying," Look, don't look at the IBM stuff because that's not really who I am. I'm really this cool guy who likes sneakers." And they're like," No, no, we like you because of that stuff. Because we've got lots of people who love sneakers, but we need some people who know how to grow brands and do it the right way."

Dave: It's like all the things you thought made you uncool at one company, made you the cool guy at the other company.

Barney Waters: Exactly. So they're like," No, we want people with some formal..." I said... Because I'd been to IBM Management Training in Armonk, New York. I've been on the IBM campus and done the management training. And they loved that. Puma was like," We need some of that because right now, we're growing like wildfire. We need to put some formality behind the things we're doing." So it was really just a unique time. And for me to be able to kind of apply that and switch industries, and looking back, it's just so lucky. And there was a guy called Tony Bertone, who was the CMO of Puma at the time. And he was, I think, he was 30 years old. And he was just this genius creative. And he's really the one that kind of championed me to get my foot in the door. And I'll always appreciate him giving me that opportunity.

Dave: What do you... This is such a funny question actually, can you tell me about what is marketing at Puma, at K- Swiss? And I want to get into some of it later, some of the amazing stuff you've done at K- Swiss. But in my world today, it's website traffic, it's leads, it's meetings, it's pipeline, it's close one, right? Even though we do all this brand stuff, ultimately what we're looking at, the senior leadership team is looking at how many leads and revenue is marketing generating. We have a hundred sales reps, how do we feed them?

Barney Waters: And I lived that same world. So in my Lotus marketing days, it was all about lead generation through seminars and events. And it was like keeping the pipeline filled for the sales agents. Absolutely, that was the world I lived in. When I went to Puma as the North American Marketing Leader, I would take the global strategy that Tony Bertone would create and I'd execute that locally. So there, I was now looking at the whole marketing mix, PR, a lot of advertising. Back then, it was a lot of magazine advertising, a lot of outdoor, some TV, and sponsorships, and in- store, things like that. So definitely, a wider swath of marketing there. And then coming to K- Swiss... Actually, first of all, it was a brand called Palladium, which K- Swiss sort of acquired this old French boot brand. And that was a brand rebuild, was really from everything. That was brand ID. That was the shoe box, the website, the brand positioning. And then coming to K- Swiss has really been primarily, I think, about brand repositioning to kind of bring an old brand back from the dead to modern relevance again. I think branding and brand positioning and giving a brand a purpose has been the focus. So as my career has gone on, I've gotten from hyper tactical all the way to, really, 30,000 feet. But I will tell you that even when I'm doing 30, 000 feet, I'm still also very involved down to the tactical level because I think these days, you have to be.

Dave: What does that mean? Give me an example of something tactical you've done today or this week.

Barney Waters: Yeah. I mean, everything. Instagram posting. I'll go on to the social channels and reply to people. And people say," When is this available in men's?" And if I see it, I'll be the one to answer. I'm down to carry shoe boxes around and set shoe display walls up in the office. Yeah. I inaudible it any other way.

Dave: I love that. That's what I love about it. The thing I was going to ask you is how do you know... Okay, so in that role, right? You kind of shift from a Lead gen to very much in the branding side of things. How does somebody know that you're doing a good job? We hire somebody new at Drift in a Demand Gen role, right? You can basically be like," Okay, well, they've been here for three months, how are leads doing?" How do you set yourself up to show the management team and whoever else that what you're doing is working, or what does that even need?

Barney Waters: Well, ultimately now, my KPIs is really the revenue number and the profit goal. That really gets a lot simpler the higher you get, because now I'm running the brand. So as the President of the company, that's all that really matters. So it doesn't matter how you make it.

Dave: It's like, you're going to have one chart. It's like, are we selling more sneakers or not?

Barney Waters: Did you hit the number or not? I mean, that is the truth of it. It gets a lot more simple, in some ways, when you get higher up. You either made the number or you didn't. You either were profitable or you lost money. And that's how you're judged. That's the harsh reality of it. But in the old days, when we would do magazine advertising, that was always the dilemma. How do you measure the effect of a beautiful ad or double page spread in a magazine that looks killer and has someone great in it wearing your sneakers? How do you know if... There was no way to measure direct response then. The beauty of it now, with all the digital technologies, is you really can. So it's very tangible, that you can look at engagement rates, response rates, selling online. You can measure it to the minute, based off of what you do. Has there been a response? And so all of those measurements in marketing still apply. And we do measure those in terms of success. And then ultimately, the key gauge for us is sell- through, which is... When you sell shoes, there's two elements of selling in the sneaker business. Sell- in, which is a retailer buying shoes from us. And sell- through, which is a consumer buying it from the retailer. So sell- in is only half the battle. It's got to then sell- through. And so sell- through is by far, the more important gauge of success. Did someone go into that store and pick the shoe off the shelf?

Dave: Do you have other metrics that you measure, as far as the reach and voice of your brand? Do you care about... And there's so many different ways that people do it, which is bringing in focus groups and unaided awareness and all that stuff. Are you measuring brand from that perspective too?

Barney Waters: Yeah. I mean, I think you can do that. We don't do it very often. So you'll do that on like... Those are far apart, but when we took over, we did that initially.

Dave: Sorry to interrupt, but why? Is it expensive? I've never done any, that's why I'm just fascinated by it.

Barney Waters: I think it's a lot of effort and a lot of money to give you a few keywords. So in other words, let me give you an example, we went out when we first started working when my staff took over K- Swiss, and asked people. We went to people in Germany, Japan, the UK, America, and thousands of people, and spent a lot of money. What is the words that you associate with K- Swiss? And number one was" white", because we were always a white leather shoe. We were known for white sneakers. And the number two word was" Don't know".

Dave: Oh, good.

Barney Waters: Yeah, exactly. And that actually does say something, which is they know K- Swiss, but they don't know what it means. They can't come up with anything.

Dave: So they don't have an opinion on it, right?

Barney Waters: Right. You don't stand for anything. It's what it tells you. So in other words, those are really big conclusions, like okay, people think you're white sneakers or they don't know anything about you. It takes a lot of time and energy to get those two little nuggets that can have a big effect on how you steer the ship, but you don't need to do that every month.

Dave: All right. So you've been in the sneaker world, right? And I think some days I go home and I'm like," Man, I have a tough job." There's literally 7, 000 other software vendors in this space, right? I think you have a toughest job, which is sneakers, right? Sneakers are basically a commodity. And I know some of these answers, but I want you to tell him on this podcast for me. What did you do to come in and make people care about K- Swiss? And from that, are there kind of some Evergreen lessons that you could apply to any industry that have helped you think about how to make something stand out? If I had said to you," Hey, Barney, make a sexy campaign out of this water bottle." Are there kind of some elements to that?

Barney Waters: Yes. So number one is why should anybody care? Why does the world need you if there's already Nike and Adidas? So you have to answer that question. And the reason is, is you have to be the only someone that does something. Okay. Otherwise, why you need it. And we're in an industry with a massive, successful competitors that make amazing shoes. So what am I bringing to the table? And that is true of any business or any industry. And when we looked at it, Nike was an athlete brand, and really own this idea of" If you want to run fast, if you want to jump high, then Nike is the brand for you." And in fact, Puma still, I think, sponsors Usain Bolt, fastest man in the world, Jamaican sprinter. And nine out of 10 people would always tell you that he's sponsored by Nike because they just assume he's the fastest guy in the world, he must. Right?

Dave: Wait, where you at Puma when that was happening?

Barney Waters: Yeah, probably, or just afterwards.

Dave: That'd be the most frustrating thing in the world. You're like,"He's with us."

Barney Waters: Yes. I'm dead serious though. Why? Because you assume it, right? If you see a car that's red and it's like fastest car on the highway, it must be a Ferrari. So in other words, don't make a fast red car and expect to be first. Try to do something different. And I think Adidas had struggled a long time as the perennial number two Sports- branded sneakers. And so they sort of drifted toward rappers, and they did Pharrell and Kanye, and said," Hey, look, the youth culture heroes are shifted. And they're no longer just the athletes. They're now the entertainers and the rappers." And kids aren't just thinking," I want to grow up and play for Man United or the Yankees." They want to be Kanye. So I also couldn't win at that because Puma and Adidas are competing of who can sign the rappers for the most money. And these are multi, multi, multimillion dollar deals. I think Adidas just signed Beyonce. Little K- Swiss has no chance. So at that time, we also realized that there was another shift, which is the young people were aspiring now to be entrepreneurs and to be CEOs and to be bosses, and to create their own companies and to take their own future in their hands. And this is all because social media and the internet have empowered them and enabled them to do this. Whereas Michael Jordan used to be the ultimate male superhero, sort of suddenly it became Steve Jobs. It was like," Wait a minute. How did that happen?" What was it about Steve jobs? Well, because he was smart. He was successful. He was confident. And so Elon Musk is the cool guy now, and Mark Zuckerberg. And so we figured," Shit, this is who young people are trying to be." And if you talk to young people, no one's trying to run the fastest mile or be a rapper. Most people you speak to nowadays who are young are trying to be like DG.

Dave: Yeah, right.

Barney Waters: They want to be entrepreneurial successes in business. They want to be smart. They want to earn money. They want all of this. And so I'm thinking, why are we all still talking about who can run the fastest with sneakers? So we created this platform Sneakers for CEOs or Sneakers for entrepreneurs. And that is how we kind of approach this almost impossible market and found an open lane for ourselves, and said," We could potentially be the best at this. And let's just start there." And that's kind of what we've done.

Dave: That story is like... just bottle it up. That's why we do this podcast because that is a story, that's like the time- tested lesson, right? You could apply the way that you kind of flip that problem on its head, to any product, any business, right?

Barney Waters: Absolutely.

Dave: The limiting belief is like," Oh, sneakers, okay. People use sneakers to jump and run and walk." It's like," Well, no, it says a lot more about you as a person." I think that the clothes that I wear and the things I do speak about who I am. And I think that feels like the campaign that you crack the code on.

Barney Waters: Yeah. I mean, it's picking a fight you can win, is what it comes down to. And I'll give you another quick one. So before this, I worked at a brand called Palladium, and it was an old heritage boot brand. And it was a chunky boot with a rubber bottom and a canvas upper. Great boots. And again, it was this idea of the principle of contrast. And I can't remember what book that came out of. It was... I don't remember. But this idea of take your biggest competitor and apply the principle of contrast against what they do best. Okay. So in the boot business, Timberland is the biggest, strongest, best boot brand. And so they were our competition. And Timberland, their strength is the outdoors, hiking the outdoors. Their logo is a tree. And the guys getting out of a kayak in the white mountains of New Hampshire, and he's camping, and he's got the Timberland boots on and the plaid shirt. So we positioned Palladium around city exploring. Okay, so concrete. So we said," Okay, most people actually live near a city than they do a forest. And most people, when they wear boots, are wearing them in the city." So we're making, we said," Palladium is engineered for city terrain." And it was taking Timberland's strength of the forest and applying a principle of contrast and saying," Hey, if you want to go and be a woodsman, then Timberland's the brand for you. But if you're actually spending your days in the city, we're engineering our boots for city terrain." So everything around our brand was concrete. And in fact, we had this thing called" The No Tree Rule", where no one was allowed to put a tree in any of our advertising imagery, nothing, to really clearly differentiate us against our biggest competitor. And it crushed. It was great. And in fact, Timberland ended up doing a lot of stuff. And even to this day, you'll see them doing urban exploring, city exploring, and really taken a leap from that book.

Dave: The principle of contrast is such a good example. That is a... I don't know if it comes from Robert Cialdini's book Influence, but any of these guys that have talked about this, thinking fast and slow, that's a psychological principle that everybody has. And it's the reason why price anchoring and all that stuff works. It's amazing to see how that actually plays out from a marketing perspective. The famous example of that from old school nerdy copywriting book is the Doyle Dane Bernbach campaign, which is Avis number two, and Hertz was number one. So Hertz was the number one rental car company in the world. And Avis was like," Okay, well, what are we going to do? We're going to say,'We make a faster rental car experience.'" They embraced the fact that they were number two, and so they came out with this whole campaign that told the world," Hey, why should you go with us if we're only number two? Well, because we're number two, we have to try harder. Our cars will never be dirty. They'll always have a full tank of gas. You'll always have amazing service because we can't afford to do anything but treat you best because we're not winning." And that campaign was amazing.

Barney Waters: Yeah. There you go. So sometimes what you don't do is as powerful as what you do do. And in terms of putting a fence around who you are, to give yourself the correct positioning, to be in an open lane, and to sort of position yourself against a stronger competitor. Actually, we took some influence from you guys on podcasting and we run our own podcast here now. In fact, I'm sitting in our podcast studio. We turned one of our offices into a podcast studio. Well, again, our biggest competitor now is Nike. And how do you compete against this massive company? Well, you could do some things that a massive company couldn't do. So transparency to who we are, is an advantage we can play, as by being a small company. So having access to us and by us podcasting and bringing you inside K- Swiss, is something that would be very hard for Nike's team to probably do with all the management layers and rules and regulations. So again, we've used our small size as an advantage versus a disadvantage, by leaning into this idea of," Well, we could be more transparent than our competition and let you learn who we are by bringing you inside K- Swiss." So we created a YouTube show called Inside K- Swiss, and we created a podcast called CEOs Wear Sneakers, where you get to know who we are and who our team is, and get access to us, as one of our advantages.

Dave: It's a way of like, you have this big brand, Nike, which is obviously an amazing brand, but they kind of have to be anonymous, right? The fact that you run this brand and you're responding to people on Instagram, and then you're the person that they see on the podcast and on YouTube, people are going to give your brand actually a chance because they start to like you and know you and know the story behind things.

Barney Waters: Yeah. And I think there's an expectation these days that consumers want to know who they're doing business with and who they're giving their money to. Who are you? What are your values? Who's working there? Where do you make your shoes? All these kinds of things are way more important now than they used to be, so I think transparency is becoming a bit of an expectation. And Drift, you lead in a way in this, for sure.

Dave: I think of it as like, transparency is the one way to disarm anybody, right? And that is true at home with your family, at work with people on your team. If you can be real and authentic and be human, that just levels the playing field, right? The easiest way to sell something is to actually show your face and be real, and let people know," This is me. I do stutter. I do make mistakes. And I do have typos in sometimes my writing and stuff. But that's because I'm a real person just like you. So, hey, can I get a chance to talk to you about that?"

Barney Waters: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's important. But again, why we're doing it is somewhat strategic too, in that it can be taking a competitive disadvantage and making it a competitive advantage, which is the sort of the lesson underneath it, I suppose.

Dave: All right. So let's wrap up and I want to do a new little... I just came up with this idea, okay. I want to do this with all the guests in the future. But since this is a Swipe File podcast, I want to talk about what is in your swipe file. So where do you get inspiration from? You've talked about listening to our podcasts or whatever. But outside of that, who are the people that you follow and listen to that you get ideas from?

Barney Waters: Well, I have a crazy commute. So I take the train for most of it. So I do listen to a lot of podcasts. So if I can certainly talk a little bit about what I listened to there, a couple of tips. Well first of all, I think Business Wars on Wondery is really good. And they do a great job about sort of two big brands competing against each other. And they do a series. It's a Wondery series called Business Wars. I love that. I think the 30 for 30 podcasts are fantastic. I love those. If you're into the streetwear industry, the Business of HYPE by HYPEBEAST is really good. Obviously, my podcast, CEOs Wear Sneakers, where I interview young entrepreneurs, is inspiring because of the great people we get to come through here. And then I also listen to sort of sports and politics. I like politics, though it frustrates the hell out of me. So I listen to The Daily. Colin Cowherd, I listen to. So I think I try and get as wide a swath of input as I can. And I think that's the key, is I'm trying to bring sports, some fashion, some business, politics. And I think the wider and the more you have your ear to the ground of what's going on, the better you can pick and have a feel for how to tweak your messaging to resonate. I mean, we're in a world now where it's all about storytelling and getting attention. And the way you get attention is by doing great storytelling that isn't about features and functions, and trying to find these moments and blow those moments up to be as kind of conversational as you can, in a social world. That's kind of what it's all boiling down to now. And so I think you could equip yourself to do that by really understanding everything that's going on with your consumer and your industry.

Dave: The more you know about everything, the more hooks you'll have and the more creativity you'll get, because you're not just inspired by what other sneaker companies are doing or what other software companies are doing, you can find inspiration from everything, right? Okay. Last question. You have a young DG joins your team and you have to give me one book that you want me to treat as my kind of inspiration sheet of music, whatever. What book would you give me?

Barney Waters: Oh, goodness. Well, I'll tell you that one I've read recently. I've read Radical Candor. I think it's a really great one. Especially for me. It's something I have not been good at, and it's definitely a weakness. So I think that's really important. I think Grit's a good one, in terms of my philosophy of what I look for in people. And there's another one called The ONE Thing, that's pretty simple book about just, if you chase two rabbits, you won't catch it either. So it probably comes down to like, focus on the things that will make the biggest difference. Let's be open and really honest with each other about what's going on. And, grit is appreciated more than smarts in this environment. And I'd say that. I would say the most influential book I've read recently is the Power of Now, because on a personal note, I think that's the most transformative book I've probably ever read. It's really just about focusing on the moment versus worrying about the future or concerning yourself with the past.

Dave: You're the second marketing leader type person that I look up to, that has recommended that book. And I've never kind of... I think I'm going to have to get it. Easy to read?

Barney Waters: Easy to read. I mean, it's definitely in depth. I did the audio book. And he's a spiritual leader with a German accent, so probably should have got someone else to do the reading. But I think if you are in a business, if you are highly driven, want to be successful, you're in a space like we're in, you're probably a certain type. You know what I mean? Which means you're probably overthinking, overworking. Your head's spinning. And this book's about, how do you calm it down? And sort of addresses a little bit of mental health. I've always struggled with anxiety, which means I'm always thinking about, worrying about what's coming next, which I think has made me very driven and made me very good, but it comes at a price. It's just like your mind's always worrying. And I think the Power of Now is really about tuning that down and living in more in the moment, which I think has been personally really helpful for me.

Dave: I need all those things. I'm on Audible right now. I'm going to...

Barney Waters: Yeah, that's whole nother conversation between me and you on this, because I love this book.

Dave: Yeah. I like what you said about like... I think the same way. And I do think it's a gift and a curse. The gift is my mind is always going and I'm like," Oh, new idea. Next. Next" But I do have a hard time being like," I'm here."

Barney Waters: Well, and listen, everything that you just described was positive stuff. The truth is the human brain will more... Usually, if it starts worrying about things, it usually tweaks towards negative stuff. And that when you start worrying, that's when you got to take a look at it.

Dave: Yeah. All right. Well, Barney, look, I could talk to you for hours, but I'm going to go jump because I got to go pick up my daughter on time, which is always good. So look, Barney, like I said, you've been a huge inspiration to me. And I'm just excited to have had you on the podcast. So you're @ barneywaters on Instagram, which is where I follow you, and a bunch of other places. So if you liked this episode, go holler at Barney. And by the way, if you're not in Drift Insider, yet you should be, because we actually just published Barney's talk from HYPERGROWTH. Which is kind of a joke because Drift Insider is free, and we charge tickets for HYPERGROWTH, and now it's free for you. So if you miss Barney's talk at HYPERGROWTH or just want to go see it again, if you go to drift. com/ insider, you can go and check it out. And it's a hundred percent free to you. And it's a killer talk that our team has been buzzing about. I got a bunch of good tweets about it today. So definitely go check it out if you liked this conversation. Barney, you're the man.

Barney Waters: Thank you so much. HYPERGROWTH was amazing, by the way. And I'm equally as inspired by you and DC, and what you do on the podcast. I appreciate it. Keep it going.

Dave: Thank you, man. Hey, thanks for listening to another episode of The Swipe File. I'm having a lot of fun doing this podcast. And so, because it's fun for me, I hope it's fun for you. And it would mean the world if you could leave a review. Reviews really help. And so go leave a review. Go to Apple Podcasts, leave a review. Let me know what you liked about the show, didn't like, want to hear more of. And also if you're not already subscribed, make sure you go subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify. The show is everywhere that you get your podcasts, probably where you're listening right now. But if you want more content like this, if you want to go a layer deeper, join me on Drift Insider. It's drift. com/ insider. We're teaching courses. We're sharing videos. And we have exclusive content for people just like you in marketing that we do not share publicly. So go and check it out, drift. com/ insider.


On this episode of the Marketing Swipe File, DG sits down with Barney Waters, President of K-Swiss. They discuss the overlap between B2B and B2C marketing. (Is there still a difference?) Plus the key to understanding people, what makes for great writing, Barney's favorite books and how he resurrected the K-Swiss brand to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas.