In 2008, I was working as part of the leadership team for an experiential marketing agency. We created larger-than-life product launches, PR stunts, sponsorship activations, and mobile tours. The goal was to create brand experiences that drove impressions (eyeballs) through earned media.

Many of our activations were successful. Some even went viral and won awards. But they were neither scalable nor sustainable. I became disenchanted with this type of interruption marketing. I thought there had to be a better way forward.

So, I launched a blog called 9 INCH marketing. The goal was to write and discover 50 marketing axioms. I was searching for a game changing concept in business.

DISCLAIMER: Sadly, there is nothing personal with the 9 INCH reference. Nine inches is the average distance between the stem of your brain and the top of your heart. Those nine inches are personal to 85% of the people reading this post.

Don’t believe me?

Then grab a paperback book and spread your hand out. Stretch your fingers as wide as they’ll go and place your fingers along the spine of the book. The distance between your thumb and pinky is exactly nine inches. Or if you live outside the US, Libya, or Myanmar. . . it’s exactly 23 centimeters.

I refer to those nine inches or 23cm as the “longest and hardest” for any marketer, given the ultimate goal of winning the hearts of your customers.

Back to my blog. I finished the series of 50 marketing axioms. One of those posts highlighted a concept I called a Purple Goldfish.

That post would be the spark that ignited my purpose. It became the impetus for starting the Purple Goldfish Project. The project was an ambitious attempt to crowdsource 1,001 examples of Purple Goldfish.

1,001… what the hell was I thinking?

It took more than 27 months to break the thousand mark. The result was the first book in the Goldfish Series in 2012.

That same year our family moved from Norwalk, CT to Cary, NC.

BANG! As Mike Michalowicz has coined, I started to pursue my …

B ig
A udacious
N oble
G oal

Being the single income in our family, I cashed in over $100,000 in my 401(K) and left my agency role as EVP and Chief Solutions Officer.

I embarked on the journey of being an author and speaker. My “BANG” was to change the paradigm of business. To challenge leaders to think about the customer they had as opposed to focusing on chasing the prospect they wanted.

I wanted to inspire organizations to think beyond the transaction and do the little things to honor the relationship. To focus on providing an experience that would win customers and influence word of mouth.

Ten years, 11 colors, 17 books, 600+ speaking engagements. . . and my focus remains the same. I work with organizations that want to create a differentiated experience that wins the hearts of customers and employees.

What’s your B.A.N.G?

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at