Executive Briefing

The Scott Sternberg guide to building emotional brands

How to get people to care about what you’re doing, from the founder of Band of Outsiders and Entireworld.

Scott Sternberg
Scott Sternberg / Photos courtesy

How to stand out in an endless grid of brands? A few steps beyond the obvious — make something that people need, provide great value, differentiate, distribute, etc. — is, for many, the real dream: Creating a brand that customers feel an emotional connection to.

Scott Sternberg has done this twice, launching two beloved fashion brands: Band of Outsiders in 2004, “slightly askew preppy” menswear with a cult following that included many Hollywood stars, and Entireworld in 2018, a direct to consumer e-commerce play that became one of the stars of the pandemic — best known for its comfy, colorful sweatsuits — and then closed late last year.

I often think and write about the importance of “world building” in today’s mixed-media reality: Brands have more control than ever over where and how consumers experience their point of view, from digital feeds and properties to packaging design and retail merchandising. And with that comes many new opportunities to build emotional texture.

Sternberg, who’s now consulting for brands and starting to direct commercials, is one of the best world builders I’ve met. We spoke recently about how he approaches creating brands and campaigns that customers connect with emotionally.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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