The Difference

The podcast for big brand executives exploring one big question: In the digital age, why do some brands thrive while others struggle to survive?

A Show From Brain+Trust Partners

Brain+Trust Partners is a strategic consultancy of peripheral visionaries helping busy leaders make more sense of customer behaviors and data to drive results.

Inertia is one of the most insidious forces in any organization. The more choices there are – technologically, strategically, or operationally – the more likely a team is to dig its heels in. The team at Brain+Trust Partners helps break that inertia, providing executives with insights and recommendations to help them succeed, whether it is in creating a new or more efficient process, mapping a path to customer-centric tactics, or developing a strategy that empowers your team to take more risks. They believe that digital transformation isn’t a side project, it’s the entire job, and it happens based on people, process, and technology — in that order. Learn more at

Your Hosts: The Brain+Trust Founders

Scott Monty was the global head of social media at Ford Motor Company and has worked with clients including Walmart, Google, IBM, Reebok, American Airlines, and T-Mobile. He has appeared in the media in places like NBC, NPR, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, while The Economist ranked him #1 in their list of the top 25 Social Business Leaders.

Tim Hayden served as head of marketing at Zignal Labs, a realtime media intelligence platform, founded the consultancy TTH Strategy, and worked as head of the mobile program at Edelman Digital in North America. He’s founded multiple agencies and tech companies serving some of the world’s leading brands, including CafePress, Dell, Bacardi, AMD, ExxonMobil, Hilton Worldwide, and Kraft Foods.

Christopher Barger built and led digital programs at IBM and General Motors and authored the bestselling book The Social Media Strategist (McGraw-Hill, 2012). He is a recognized leader in content marketing, brand reputation, communications strategy, influencer relations, executive positioning, and customer service. He’s worked with PlayStation, the World Health Organization, the Almond Board of California, and HP.

Featured Episode: "Terrible Brand Crises & What Should Have Happened Instead"

The Difference is the show for big brand executives exploring one big question: In the digital age, why do some brands thrive while others struggle to survive? In this episode, co-hosts Christopher Barger and Jay Acunzo share stories of brand crises both hilarious and tragic and break them down to spare parts.

"The Big Struggle: Putting Strategy Over Tactics"

Scott Monty shares some eye-opening stories behind-the-scenes during the early days of social media at Ford, and a larger theme emerges that affects every brand executive.

"Autonomous Vehicles: The Missing Piece"

Christopher Barger and co-host Jay Acunzo dive into autonomous vehicles and try to separate hype from substance.

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