Jason Friedman

Jason Friedman is the Founder and CEO of CXFormula, which specializes in helping fast-growing entrepreneurial companies gain a competitive edge by enhancing customer experiences. Recognized as Ernst and Young’s New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year in Business Services, his portfolio includes work with prestigious brands like Foot Locker, Adidas, Nike, W Hotels, Universal Studios, and Disney. Before diving into the world of customer experience, Jason built various business ventures, including shoveling snow and building elevated beds for fellow college students, which he grew into a million-dollar business.

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  • [0:00] Jason Friedman, an entertainment industry expert, on designing captivating customer experiences and brand stories
  • [2:03] How the entertainment industry generates the ultimate customer experience
  • [6:46] The role of creativity in customer experiences
  • [12:05] Guiding and nurturing the customer journey 
  • [21:28] Examples of generating customer loyalty with products
  • [26:53] Lifetime value: why you need to create memorable moments with your customers
  • [34:00] What are the fundamental components of affiliate programs?
  • [38:01] Jason’s experience touring with Fleetwood Mac — and what he learned from it
  • [46:56] Common brand storytelling mistakes — and how to avoid them
  • [56:41] The customer experience as a collaborative process

In this episode…

The entertainment industry has gained a reputation for crafting memorable encounters through shared experiences. From tailgating at concerts to capturing moments in photos and videos, everyone’s journey is unique. What can brands learn about the customer experience from the entertainment industry?

Having worked alongside Fortune 500 brands, celebrities, and artists, customer experience entrepreneur Jason Friedman maintains that it’s not about creating an interesting product or service. Instead, you must demonstrate interest in your customers’ wants and needs to personalize their experiences. When positioning your product or service in front of your target customers, guide their journeys by focusing on the desired end results and the feelings associated with those objectives. Jason equates customer personas with fictional characters, stating that you must learn about your customers the way actors study their characters. 

In the latest episode of What The Teck? Rolando Rosas invites Jason Friedman, the Founder and CEO of CXFormula, to speak about creating next-level customer experiences. Jason shares how to convey a compelling brand story, why the customer experience is a collaborative process, and how to generate customer loyalty.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:00

It’s more important today than it’s ever been before. Are you trying to be interesting? Or are you trying to be interested? That’s what’s going to be the differentiating factor between you and everybody else if you don’t want to be one of everybody else. Jason Friedman, an expert in the entertainment industry, designing better experiences helping businesses tell their story better. So we do all this courting, right? I call this the relationship paradox. Remember, when you first dated someone trying to impress the other person? Six months, three years, maybe you get engaged, you get married, the courtship typically stops? What does it look like once that stranger says yes. And they become a customer, a friend, a loved one, we put our attention elsewhere, paint the picture, I believe in IDEA was has four components. One, your client rates to your client renews three, they return and four. I’ve been saying this for 30 years. This is the controversial part.

Rolando Rosas 1:00

Welcome to What The Teck?, your gateway to business strategies and tech secrets, shaping today’s workplace. Let’s welcome to the show, Jason Friedman. Hey, man. I’m pumped that you’re here today, you and I had a chance to chit chat a little bit prior to this. And so you said a lot of stuff in our little pre podcast to chat about some of the folks that you’ve been around with. And those names like I said Public Enemy. If you’re I guess over 35 You know who Public Enemy is? They were everywhere. They were quite ubiquitous. They were a big name act. You also mentioned Fleetwood Mac, as well as Peter Gabriel, you know, a lot of the acts from 80s and 90s. Our big our big again, because people are into nostalgia. Tell us a little bit about that. Because people who have not been on a tour with these big name acts, or been around them and just seeing them on TV. What’s that? Like when you’re around people that are of that caliber? In the entertainment industry?

Jason Friedman 2:03

Yeah, man. It was a crazy time. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work. It’s lots of crazy. And is

Rolando Rosas 2:15

it crazier than what the what the the papers and some of these acts? You know, like, you know, the stuff that they do isn’t as crazy or even crazier,

Jason Friedman 2:24

I think it’s way crazier. Like you think about like when you go to your favorite musical concert, right? Whoever it is for you, right? It’s like, you’re so excited to get there. So are they and there’s 1000s and 1000s of fans, and like, everyone’s excited, the energy is off the charts. People are present, they’re there, they get their hours and hours early in anticipation, they tailgate, they hang out outside, they stay after the show’s over and hang out. It’s, it’s an experience, right. And so this was like, you know, I use this analogy of like, again, dating myself a bit like the Karate Kid, right? It’s like you like learn to wax on wax off paint the fence and the floor. And all of a sudden, you’re like learning this skill of how to be this like, you know, champion karate fighter while doing all these tours and, and all these theatrical experiences that I had over those years, you got to understand, like, what do you have to do to get an audience to show up early? How do you get your customers to show up early and be so excited about your business or your product, your service, your program, whatever it is, that they get there early, and they can’t wait to start. And then they want to stay afterwards. And they tell everybody, they post everywhere. And when they’re there. They’re there. They’re present, they’re engaged, they want to remember it so much, because it was so awesome that they’re taking videos and photography of it. They’re like texting friends about how amazing it is during the experience. And afterwards on their way home. They tell everybody that they know how awesome like, I just had a front row seat to like learning this and seeing the results of it, and then said, wow, like, what if I had to unpack this and really figure out like, what were all the pieces of that I did that and I started doing with businesses over the years. And the experience that we all have in most businesses pales in comparison to anything you saw when you’re working with, you know, Peter Gabriel’s, and so on and so forth.

Rolando Rosas 4:11

Is that just because is that because the experience is not a live experience? You know, I’ve been to I’ve been to Fleetwood Mac at the Madison at Madison Square Garden. And that was unbelievable. I went to a Genesis concert when I was in Rome at an outdoor concert with them. Incredible. Is that just because the the human element is not there? Or can you actually bring that to the online space when customers are interacting or through a store? Have

Jason Friedman 4:40

you ever watched a video on Netflix? Yes, that and your family room on the couch and you just like you spent two hours we’re like totally into the movie four hours. And maybe it was so good that you’re like oh my god, have you ever seen blah blah blah. You have to watch it to a buddy or you know a significant other or whatever. It doesn’t have to be live shared experience like in Peru. person live experience with lots of people doing it together is awesome. But then the question is why? Because we’re doing it with other people. And we’re having a shared experience. How do you do that online? There’s lots of ways to do that online. Right? I mean, you and I are having one right now, we’re in completely different places in the planet, where, you know, we had different mornings we both showed up here, and now we’re having a shared experience. And some people are gonna be watching this after we’ve recorded it, right? And they’re gonna be having that experience. And maybe they’re gonna write you a note and tell you Wow, this was awesome. Like, he’s a cool guest or never have some weirdo from theater back on your show again, like, right? The jury’s out. We like

Rolando Rosas 5:35

weirdos from theaters we’ve had we had, we’ve had a number of I’ll call them creatives, right people that have been in that space. But it’s, it’s interesting, because not all of us are creatives. And I heard the founder of kind. Daniel, I can’t remember his last name. But it’s Daniel Daniel from He’s the founder of kind. And he basically, he was talking to Gary Vee. And he said, there’s really three kinds of people that he sees, there’s the pure creative inventor, right? That’s very clear, I don’t even have to tell you who that is. There are those that are managerial operation types. And then there’s the entrepreneur. And for us that are entrepreneur and managerial types, we do need a little more insight into the creative, inventive space people that have that that’s what they do. One of my neighbors, they’re, they’re in a band, and you know, they’re very creative, they’re creative. If we were had a bar graph, the creative for them is really high. That’s off the charts. Yeah. You know, sometimes those folks maybe struggle a little bit more on the managerial operations and the entrepreneurial side. But that’s why we I love creatives, I want to hear what are we missing for less non creative types?

Jason Friedman 6:47

So first of all, I’m gonna argue like now Daniels, a billionaire. And I’m not things that are probably really awesome that I don’t know, right? I’m gonna give him all the props in the world love them on Shark Tank, I want to actually go here, the Gary Vee episode. So maybe be so kindly send me a link so I can find Sure. But here’s the thing, I don’t agree that entrepreneurs and managerial types aren’t creative. I don’t think creativity is limited to a type of person, I think we all are creative in some way. And our art is our art. So maybe you’re creative in thinking maybe you’re creative and design painting, whatever writing, maybe you’re creative and how you operate things. And you bring a level of creativity to systems and processes and working within those. I don’t know what that is, but but I would say this, like, no matter what your business is, and no matter what your role, we are all if you have a business, you have customers, and you also happen to have employees. And if you really care about the happiness and the success of both of those parties, your employees and your customers, then it pays it’s kind of incumbent, it’s important for you to actually pay attention to the results they’re having. And that the how they feel about the interactions with your business. Right? And so like, you don’t have to be creative to like, look at the data and just see like, are they having results? Like how many people like if you have an online course you mentioned online, so I’m just gonna use that as the example for the moment. But how many people come into your online program, you have a course. And they actually start? Not as many as you think. And how many people actually get to the end and completed with success? Less than you think like only three to 15% Max have success with most online courses. That’s the average

Rolando Rosas 8:37

say that whoa, hold up. My slow brains got to process that again. Because yeah, you hear you hear a lot of people throw out it just due course and glitter. Say that again? The only my little brain? Yeah, actually Profasee That number again,

Jason Friedman 8:52

yeah, only three to 15% match. So if you have 100 people that take your course, and 15 people actually get a positive result at the end, or even complete the

Rolando Rosas 9:03

course. Oh, my God, why is that so low? Or is that just the way it is? Well,

Jason Friedman 9:08

I think it’s so low, because a lot of people say that’s just the way it is. It doesn’t have to be right. So here’s the phenomenon that happens, right? So the phenomenon is that we need new customers to come into our business in order to sell them to be in our course. Right? And so we put all this energy towards the sales process, the marketing that goes out there, and the marketing is messages and whatever you’re gonna put out there Facebook ads, and Google and Tiktok and Instagram and all the things that you’re doing there, your websites, your YouTube videos, your podcasts, whatever, we’re building an audience, right of prospects that hopefully, they like they’re moved to some way or that they feel like we’ve got something that will help them solve a problem or create a transformation in their lives and so they decide they want to buy until we do all this cool We’re doing right I call this the relationship paradox. Like remember, when you when you first dated someone you found like, you had your first date? Like you obsess, where should we go? What time should I meet them? Like, what should I wear cologne? What outfit Should I wear? You know, when we’re on a date? Like how, how deep? Should I go in questions? Should I? What should I tell? What should I not tell? Do I kiss them? Do I not kiss them? How soon after, do I text them or follow up or what’s too soon, and you obsess over all these details, you even need to get feedback from others. And let’s say that the date goes well, right thumbs up, and then you’re gonna go out on a second date, it’s a little bit more relaxed, because there’s a little bit more familiarity, but you still care so much, right? Because you’re trying to impress the other person. It goes on to become more and more familiar, maybe it’s six months here, you’re exclusive now and, and it’s nine months and a year and three years, and maybe you get engaged, you get married, the courtship typically stops. And that’s true of many of us, not all of us, some of us has figured out how important date night is, and how important it is to keep cording the ability to ortant to us. But most of us take our energy once that stranger says yes, and they become a customer or a trusted relationship person, a friend, a loved one, we put our attention elsewhere. And in the case of our customers, we got them as a customer great, they’re gonna go through our course, let me get the next batch in. Right. And if you want to win, you have to have a healthy obsession of helping your customers get results, like your energy, your research, how many of us have a customer success budget? We don’t we have a marketing budget and advertising budget, a meet in a social media budget, a sales budget, but we don’t have a customer success budget. Tell

Rolando Rosas 11:45

me what that looks like you said you Okay, so let’s say I’m buying into this, you know, I’m I want to be upset. I want those customers to have a relationship beyond the courtship phase. What does that look like? You know, if I want to do something in that regard, and I’ve never done, you know, our business has never done that before. Yeah,

Jason Friedman 12:05

I mean, so, my, our program, right, we have this program that you mentioned, the kinetic customer formula, right? So what we do, we believe that your customers start out with potential, right, so if you go back to physics class for a second, I’m not going to get too nerdy. But there’s two types of energy, there’s potential energy, which is energy that could do work. And then there’s kinetic energy, which is energy that is doing work, its energy in motion. And so we take our prospects with potential that become customers with potential, and we want to convert them into engaged customers that have momentum that are moving through the pathway towards success, right. So so that’s we teach people all sorts of ways to do this throughout the program. It’s a formula, it’s repeatable, it creates consistent results time after time. But where you start is at the end, right, you have to begin with the end in mind. And so the first thing we want you to do, and this kind of goes back to our theater experience, right? It’s like whenever there’s important words that need to be said, that create consistent results, like you go to the show, and you have like actors on stage, and you get a standing ovation. That’s not an accident. Everything’s been choreographed and scripted, and put together to get that result to elicit that response, to have the audience feel something that makes them jump up in their seats, start clapping, furiously, whistling, screaming and getting so excited, because they were transformed, they were moved. And so how do you do that in your business, when there’s something important that you want to have happen over and over again, you script it. And so where we want you to start at the end is your customers just completed your program, your course your experience, your service, and it was amazing. rewrite the script of what they would say if someone said, Tell me about your whole journey with Rolando is program. And so that person would would sit down with that person, and they would kind of like, go back and flashback and say, what were the highlights? What do I remember. And so if you have an amazing onboarding experience, which I hopefully will go back and talk about in a minute, because it’s one of the most important moments. It’s like, I was feeling nervous, like I decided to buy this because, like, the messages that they shared the stories that they shared with people just like me that were able to get those results. It gave me a level of confidence that I’ve never had before. Like

Rolando Rosas 14:23

call that social proof. So if you’re saying I hear you saying messages, see that on some websites, where you have either testimonials or social proof where somebody said yeah, I took the course and you know, became a bazillionaire or I bought this product and I actually lost weight. I’m just asking. That’s

Jason Friedman 14:41

superficial. Like that’s really not like that. No, like it is social proof. But like like you have to unlearn what you think social proof is please educate me that’s why you hear so so just stay with me for a second right okay, really me so so I’m I’m I’m feeling like wow, like the way that they shared this, I see myself and these other people. And so I decided that, you know, kind of against my, my, my normal that I’m going to take a leap, and I’m going to try it. Well, like the way the program started was refreshingly different. They didn’t give me all this information that they thought I needed, they gave me just what I needed, they helped me feel good about my decision. And amazingly enough, like, within the first two days, I actually had a win, like, I got a result in two days, like, I was like, wow, like, I made me want to do more. And as I kept going through the journey, I kept like uncovering different things. And I started picking up speed, and the way they supported me throughout, like, I’ve never felt so supported my entire life, you know, fade out, fade in, I’m at the end. And like, everything that I wanted to achieve, and more has happened, like, you have to do this program. Like, if you have X, Y, and Z, you have to do this program. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make. That’s not social proof, like I lost 30 pounds. Sharing their journey. That’s what makes it different. Okay.

Rolando Rosas 16:09

All right. So the journey, the journey that somebody has, that’s unique to them, versus, you know, I lost 30 pounds taking the supplement is going to be more effective at connecting with future customers, those that are potentially looking at your product or service. Sure.

Jason Friedman 16:27

So we call that script, the ideal customer script, when you write that, you create a roadmap for the things that have to happen along the way. And you start to see where people have perhaps seen friction, or obstacles or difficulties put in their path along the way with other programs, products or service, maybe not even in your niche, right, but they found those. And then the next thing that we need to like really think about is like, what really is an ideal result is the ideal result that they lost 20 pounds, I would argue that it’s not. Right. So this is the controversial part, right? I believe an idea was all has four components. The components are one that your client raves about their experience with

Rolando Rosas 17:12

you interesting to

Jason Friedman 17:15

your client renews their subscription, or their ongoing membership. Three, they return to buy more products and services. And four, they recruit other potential customers into your business, like actively go out and grab them for you. Because of the experience they had. It’s how they feel at the end, that puts all that emotion, it’s not the 20 pounds, it’s the confidence, it’s that they want to go out and live their life more fully. Because they lost 20 pounds. The 20 pounds is the how it’s not that it’s not the result. So

Rolando Rosas 17:50

if I were to if I were to deconstruct that, let’s just say weight loss, I mean, yes to because it’s applicable to so many people, and they can relate to that, right? It’s, you know, I took this supplement, and I lost 20 pounds, but the support I got from Rolando’s program, and his team was over the top amazing. And they held my hand through the process. And I was able to do things I didn’t know I could do before. Something like that.

Jason Friedman 18:20

Almost, we’re close, right? Okay,

Rolando Rosas 18:21

I’m just, I’m just playing devil’s advocate for people that are, maybe haven’t done this before.

Jason Friedman 18:27

Roll it out me throughout me, the one piece that’s missing is how I felt. So and so the key thing there is like, you know, I lost 20 pounds. And that was my goal going in this. But I didn’t realize that what I really was searching for was this feeling of confidence that I I’ve never had in my life, like, the way that looks for me is I go out with my friends more. And I don’t sit at home on the couch, wishing that I had gone out with my friends because I couldn’t find something to wear that when I posit, I there’s a million things that I can’t wait to wear. So I look for opportunities to do more things because I feel good in my skin. Hmm.

Rolando Rosas 19:04

So what you’re saying is, you know, you had said a word for me, it’s important to try to be able to craft this narrative, his feelings and connecting to those feelings, because people and I had a guest last year, his name was Tim Ash. And he said to me, you know, the primal brain makes decisions that are not logical, and most of us operate with a primal brain all the time. And that really is tapped into the emotional feeling side, even though you know, I know that this thing is good for me and I should do it. And everybody says it’s a good thing. I’m gonna go with the thing that feels good or, or the emotion that’s evoked by the thing like you’re talking about the confidence and everything else is what drives the decision to make buy or do or take an action.

Jason Friedman 19:58

Right so it Yes, 100%. And here’s the thing like, like people it’s want versus need, they want to learn, lose 20 pounds, like, that’s what they think. But what they need is more confidence, like there’s no block and all of their life, and you can’t sell people what they need, you have to sell them what they want, right. And so in the beginning, you’re going to be talking about people that lost 20 pounds, 50 pounds, 60 pounds, but in the messaging and the stories that they’re going to share, it’s going to be like, what the bigger when was this, and they’re going to show you they’re going to land the plane as to what their it’s like the before and after, right, we’re using weight loss. But it’s not just the before and after of of the amount of pounds loss, it’s about the feelings and how their life has shifted, right? Relationships are better, the sun is shining more, it’s all of those things. But that really becomes true, like you start to notice other things when that happens. And that’s not just limited to weight loss, right? This is any business, every business.

Rolando Rosas 20:59

Can you do this with a commodity product? So now we talked about weight loss, that’s very personal to a lot of people. And if you’re marketing, there’s some concepts you can take away from that, you know, with the service that you’re providing. What about products? Let’s say, you know, you sell a commodity product that’s ubiquitous. Yeah. How can someone how could a business make that commodity seem way more in touch and, and grab people’s attention rather than just oh, that’s throwaway product?

Jason Friedman 21:28

Well, let’s, let’s use an expensive one for a second. And let’s let’s use a BMW who was like a 330. Yeah. room right. Let’s get even. Let’s get even fancier. Let’s use an M three. So it sounds a little throaty, right, let’s go, you want to go buy a BMW, you just got a big bonus at work like massive bonus. You you want to go drop all that cash on a brand new car. And you know

Rolando Rosas 21:56

that before you go there, somebody somebody agrees with you some of that you’ve heard before. Boy,

Jason Friedman 22:03

love it. Love that. Love that. I appreciate it. What’s it, like, that’s a fun part of this journey. That I’m actually going to tell somebody about, like the experience I had of being a guest on your podcast, you’re making it fun. You’re making a challenge. You’re making it personal. To me, I do a lot of podcasts interviews, this is at the top

Rolando Rosas 22:28

men make me blush, and I don’t even I’m not even light enough to blush.

Jason Friedman 22:34

You can we can all blush. Right? And maybe it’s because you’re doing a solo on your partner distance today. That can be we don’t know. Right? Right. But it’s been a good experience, because you are you prepared for them. You thought about what it would be fun, and you thought about how to make it special. Anyway, let’s go back to the other three, okay? If I go to dealership, a, and I asked for the M three, and I give them the specs, and they give me a price. And it’s whatever the price is, let’s say it’s $100,000 just for a round number, then I go to dealership to I don’t know if I said one or two a b, whatever. So the second one, and they give me the same car for the same price. How do I choose? It’s a commodity then I’m it’s like, if one gives me a little bit a little bit of more of a discount, or, or throw some extra like floormat ticket or something like that. It’s still a commodity. Why would I choose one dealership over the other? And that’s the question. What, what would they have to do for me to feel that this is the place that I want to do business with. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that I had to be in a situation where I’ve done business with them before in the past, or that I know them, like they had the opportunity to earn my trust, and have me feel like this is the place I want to be very quickly. Right. And that starts out by setting expectations and explaining what the journey of being a customer with them looks like, and probably sharing successes. And if I’m smart, like I went out and did my homework beforehand, and I probably have seen lots of reviews and things like that. And I’ll know more about the different dealerships. And maybe I was referred in by somebody else. And maybe their referral was so powerful because they shared that whole journey. And my decision is going to be made based on those kinds of things. It’s not going to be made on the price of the product because it’s the same, right? So like in today’s world, if you want to truly differentiate your business, it is the experience that you create, or let your experience that your your customers have. That’s what’s going to be the distinguishing factor the differentiating factor between you and everybody else. I like to think of it as a fingerprint. Like we all have our own unique fingerprint. That’s how they identify us versus everybody else. If you don’t want to be one of everybody else. It’s time to be mindful of that. And man, I’ve been saying this for 30 years like this is not something new Every time I say it, ironically, I say the same thing. Second, I say, and it’s more important today than it’s ever been before, I might say that it’s more and more true, there’s more information than we could possibly digest, AI is making it even easier. And so like for other people that compete, and that it just leveled the playing field even more. So if you want to win, it’s about the feelings that your customers have, and obsessing over them having success and removing as much friction and obstacle that’s in their way of getting that result getting that success. That’s how you’re going to win.

Rolando Rosas 25:37

You will, you know, there’s there’s so much that happens. I mean, there’s so much to unpack what you what you said, you know, I think for folks that go into traditional marketing role, right? Even in today’s you know, information age where there’s information all over the place, the classic marketing techniques are still with us, which is, you know, what’s the value proposition? You know, where are you in the price range, you know, give some good customer experience or a service. And, you know, you therefore, you know, that completes the flywheel, right. But this is something that’s not part of that and an MBA. I don’t I don’t believe it’s, you know, an everyday class that’s taught about starting at the end, what’s the journey? What’s the feeling like, you know, when you when you, when you’re thinking about what, what, where you want to end up with the customer, you want raving fans, you know, if you said something to me that I jotted down, the last time we talked that you’re going to have raving people, they’re just gonna say it in a good way, and give you a five star review. Or the opposite way. They really hated it. And they still gonna talk about you. Which one do you want? That’s