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Moving Your Brand Out of the Friend Zone
Available Now

Unlocking Sustained Success
Elevate Your Brand Beyond Consumer Friendship

You know that moment when you’re vibing with someone, but they just want to be friends? We’ve all been there, feeling the sting of unrequited affection. But what if I told you this same heartache happens between brands and consumers?

Dive deep into the world of brand-consumer dynamics, discover how to transcend the “Friend Zone,” and ignite a love affair between your brand and its audience. Don’t settle for just being “liked”—let’s aim for love, passion, and unshakeable devotion.

Get ready to evolve your marketing game and turn your customers into unstoppable advocates.

It’s time to rewrite the rulebook, think differently and make your brand relationship with your customers truly unforgettable!

As seen on...

The New York Times
Cheddar News

About the author...

Meet Doug Zarkin, a dynamic Chief Marketing Officer driven by an unwavering passion for teams, talent, and culture. With a profound skill set encompassing team leadership, talent development, brand revitalization, and sustained business growth, Doug’s journey exemplifies his resolute commitment to sparking transformative change. Guided by his distinctive “thinking human” approach, he crafts resonant brand narratives that resonate across diverse verticals and formats, leaving a lasting impact.

Doug’s career is punctuated by remarkable achievements, including co-founding Grey Advertising’s pioneering Youth, Entertainment, and Lifestyle Marketing Firm. There, he engineered integrated marketing platforms that ignited exceptional growth for iconic brands spanning sports, hospitality, fashion, beauty, CPG, automotive, entertainment, and QSR. His visionary role as Director of Marketing at Avon Products, Inc. gave birth to the successful “mark.” Brand, recognized with the Best Executed Launch Strategy by Women’s Wear Daily. As Vice President of Marketing at Victoria’s Secret PINK, he elevated it into a formidable cross-category national brand. Continuing his trajectory, Doug’s pivotal roles at global giants Warnaco and Kellwood further solidified his branding and marketing expertise.

As Chief Marketing Officer for Pearle Vision at Essilor Luxottica, he orchestrated a monumental brand transformation. Shifting Pearle Vision’s focus from discount-centric to a care-focused omnichannel brand experience resulted in spectacular growth, earning him a coveted spot on multiple “Top Marketers” lists, alongside multiple Effie and Clio awards. Notably, the challenges he addressed at Pearle Vision have been immortalized in a Harvard Business School case study on brand rejuvenation. His exceptional track record and innovative thinking establish him as a trailblazer in team dynamics, brand evolution, and strategic business growth.

For those seeking an authoritative voice and unparalleled insights in building brands that transcend the ordinary, Doug Zarkin’s guidance is invaluable. Discover the art of reshaping brands for enduring triumph through his compelling journey and expertise.

2023 Crains New York Business Notable Leaders in Advertising Marketing and PR
Doug Zarkin awards
Building a successful brand is the dream and aspiration of every marketer. Many play the game but few actually win. One of the few is Doug Zarkin […] a master brand builder. Doug’s unique blend of intelligence, experience and “heart” makes him one of our industry’s most powerful and influential leaders and a marketer extraordinaire.
Bob Liodice
Bob Liodice
Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
Doug has impressive capacity to engage with students from diverse backgrounds and experiences which positions him as an outstanding mentor. He has much to offer as an educator and a leader in brand building.
Anuj Mehrotra
Anuj Mehrotra
Dean, School of Business
George Washington University
Doug is an inspiring and focused leader. His marketing savvy, energy and focus not only inspired both our teams, it kept everyone on task to deliver the best possible output.
Norm Yustin
Norm Yustin
Managing Director
Doug is a mastermind at branding, messaging, and strategy. He is a quick, strategic thinker and at the same time very strong with executing.
Lori Caden
Lori Caden
Caden Concepts
Doug is a proven brand and business builder that emphasizes the importance of the how as much as the what. His track record of results speaks for itself. His leadership style and results are an inspiration!
Melissa Grady Dias
Melissa Grady Dias
Doug’s approach to building brands and leading people reflects a true appreciation for thinking human. He knows how to break through the competitive clutter and create true brand love.
Logan Stout
Logan Stout
Keynote Speaker
Best Selling Author

About the Book

Friendship Is Fine,
But Love Transforms!

Remember those moments when a connection seemed promising, yet it ended up stuck in the “Friend Zone”? We’ve all experienced that sting of unreciprocated emotions, that shift from potential romance to mere friendship. Surprisingly, this heartache isn’t confined to personal lives—it echoes within the dynamic realm of brands and consumers. Often, marketers remain unaware until it’s too late. But why would nurturing a friendly bond with customers be problematic? Isn’t a trusted brand-friendship a worthy goal? Superficially, yes. Yet, if your brand’s aim is the Friend Zone, you’re aiming low. Being a customer’s pal is fine, but it’s not remarkable. Beyond lies untapped potential—LOVE.

Your brand needs more than casual acquaintanceship in the instant gratification and influencer saturation age. It craves a fervent, abiding connection that defies convention. Transcending the Friend Zone entails more than earning “likes.” It’s about forging enduring emotional ties, turning buyers into vocal advocates who sing your praises. This isn’t just a strategy; it’s a marketing evolution.

Are you poised to transform customers into your brand’s fervent champions? Ready to surpass fleeting “likes” and delve into unwavering devotion? Bid farewell to mediocrity and embark on a journey that redefines brand triumphs. If you’re seeking strategies that renovate relationships, catapult your brand to the spotlight, and cultivate lifelong loyalty, then you’re in the right place.

I’m here to unveil practical strategies, reshape your outlook on branding, and guide you through a world where passion, love, and steadfast loyalty reign supreme. Say goodbye to the surface-level “Friend Zone.” Embrace an arena where your brand transforms into an experience, an emotion, a lifelong alliance yearning to flourish. Are you prepared to etch your brand into memory as an unforgettable force? Your voyage begins now.

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Moving Your Brand Out of the Friend Zone

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Doug Zarkin