tmb steve bast





Prior to starting Nucleus Marketing Lab in 2005, Steve Bast gained experience in the world of marketing from three valuable perspectives. He worked as a department head in brand planning and research for the Phoenix office of Cramer-Krasselt, which at the time was one of Arizona’s leading integrated marketing firms. Next, he was a Brand Marketing Director at Cold Stone Creamery where he led R&D and helped ideate, develop and name numerous products that are still sold today. And lastly, he was Professor Bast for a short time, having served as a faculty member at Northern Arizona University, where he was named an Educator of Influence in his first semester.

Born in upstate New York but raised in upstate Arizona (with stops in Colorado, Michigan and Germany), Steve holds a graduate degree (MBA) from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He has been named one of “40 Under 40” notable business professionals by the Phoenix Business Journal. Along with Nucleus Marketing Lab, Steve has a small ownership stake in Glendale Arizona’s Stir Crazy Comedy Club.

Steve is married with two sons and lives in the Moon Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona—the nation’s largest capital city. In his spare time, Steve enjoys decent cover bands, interesting biographies, a little bit of woodworking, coaching youth sports and cruising his very old boat around the lake. He is trying to learn piano. Emphasis on trying.


I proudly attended…

The Department of Defense Dependent Schools System, plus public schools in Colorado, Michigan and Arizona.

Most people don’t know that…

I make pretty good chocolate chip cookies.

I like to play bar games…darts, shuffleboard, etc.

I have a weird thing about not having stuff in my pockets. Except for black Chap Stick which I always have in my pocket.

At my funeral reception, they should serve…

Some good Reuben sandwiches and beer…stout or amber ideally.

And the playlist should be…

Bruce, Bob and Billy (Springsteen, Seger and Joel that is) plus some Tom Petty, Barenaked Ladies, George Strait, Van Morrison, Chris Stapleton and Rod Stewart.

When I go to the movies, I like to eat…

Milk Duds. They are an extremely under-rated candy.

On the weekends, I can be found…

On the sidelines of a youth sports field, watching or coaching my kids.

Detailing a car. I find it relaxing and believe in taking good care of things you own.

My top pet peeves are…

Cirque Du Soleil. At the risk of sounding extremely uncultured, I just fundamentally don’t get it.

Starbucks. I would rather have gas station coffee than their stuff.

Actors that insist on using the word ‘film’ instead of ‘movie.’ Get over yourself.

Long rants about politics on Facebook, NextDoor or pretty much anywhere.

Anyone who struggles with punctuality.

I am a huge sucker for…

Christmas music.

My favorite book of all time is…

Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta.

Personal mantras I follow…

Do the best you can with the time and resources you have.

You will always be 100% successful if your goal is to find something to complain about.

If you are going to put your name on something, you should be proud of it.

Things I’ve always wondered…

Why flight attendants insist on calling plastic cups and napkins “service items.”

Why so many college-educated people can have such a hard time figuring out a logical, non-biased playoff format for college football.

I wanted to work in marketing because…

During Halloween when I was a kid, I thought it was wrong that candy manufacturers labeled ridiculously small versions of Milky Way bars “Fun Size” when to me it would be a helluva lot more fun to have a full-size version. Since that time, I vowed to bring ethics to the business. Plus I just find it to be a fascinating field that is the collision of business and liberal arts, right brain with left brain.

I like being part of the Nucleus team because…

I once heard the CEO of an airline give this business advice: “Don’t be afraid to take risks and surround yourself with good people.” And I wouldn’t trade our people for anything.

My favorite quotes from clients are…

Other than the one in the previous question, here are two favorites. Note that neither have a ton to do with marketing, at least directly.

“I always try to be generous in tipping servers, drivers and bellhops. I figure they probably need it more than I do. ” My client Charles said that once when we were traveling on business in San Francisco.

“We all have a profound and unlimited capacity to love.” My client Paul told me that once when we were talking about being Dads.

Marketing mantra that I follow…

Perception Precedes Persuasion. It’s even on the back of our business cards.

If I worked retail, it would be at…

That place The Container Store. I am unapologetically neat and organized.

My hometown…

Had zero stoplights when I first moved there. Now I think it has five. It also has a drive-thru liquor store that also sells archery supplies. You can’t make that up.

Before I leave this Earth, I want to:

Learn to play piano with my first song being “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne.