Authenticity Is King Because Branding Bores Everyone
Today, any brand has a potential army of credible, unpaid spokespeople that are willing to work on its behalf. And this army is the exact same group of people who are willing to work against it.
This is the new world of what I call the “post-positioning era” of branding. In the post-positioning era of branding, what you say about your product or service matters almost nothing at all, and what I, the consumer, can do with it matters completely.
The new conditions of brand success:
1. Deliver a kick-ass product.
2. Be honest.
Arts Discount-Ticketing Strategies
Pricing and marketing arts event tickets isn’t easy. When faced with the need to “put butts in seats” it can be tempting to do whatever it takes. In this article, I hope to give you some explanations on why some discounting strategies would be a better choice than others, and help you avoid some short-term successes that could lead to long-term problems.
Picture this. You’re a big supporter of a large cultural music venue, so when you receive an email from the institution that tickets have gone on sale for an upcoming concert, you pick up the phone and buy your tickets (or better yet, buy online). You get your confirmation that you paid the listed price, and since the concert isn’t until a month from now, you go about your business.
Article by Ron Evans, Groupofminds.com. Read more.
$100K of Free Branding Advice, in Just Three Words
There is a moment during every branding presentation I give when I offer something enormously valuable--for free. I tell clients to write down what is essentially the formula for successful branding employed by the best brands in the world. With their undivided attention and pens in hand, I summarize this formula for them in three words: Unify. Simplify. Amplify.
This is how the world’s best brands tell their stories effortlessly. Apple. Virgin. Lego. Dyson. Prada. They all apply this formula. But the good news is that this can work for any brand, old and new, large or small-- when designing a new brand identity or refocusing an existing one. This is how it works:
What Is Your Brand Against?
Companies understand that to be successful they and their brands need to stand for something. This results in bold and principled declarations to the world: "At Acme Amalgamated, we're committed to X. We believe in Y. We care passionately about Z." Unfortunately, in the end, it all starts to sound like generic ad-speak.
Here's a modest suggestion: If you really want to show the world what you believe in and stand for, how about telling us what you stand against?
Recently, my agency StrawberryFrog launched a new campaign for smart car that was rooted in this kind of oppositional thinking. We understood that the smart car brand stands for some pretty good things: efficiency, economy, reduced environmental footprint. But put way, it sounds rather dull and predictable.
By defining instead what smart is against — over-consumption, excess, thoughtless behavior — we began to craft a statement with more of an edge
65 Terrific Social Media Infographics
As you know, infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge. They present complex concepts quickly and clearly, and communicate ideas in an easily understandable fashion.
Last year, I assembled a collection of 35 infographics that told the story of social media at that time. That post proved to be so popular that I wanted to update it, including images that are still relevant and adding newer visualizations that illustrate more recent knowledge and insights into the social Web. Since social media marketing is a relatively recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans, it’s imperative for marketing professionals to gain as much understanding as possible about how people leverage social media for everyday interaction. These snapshots communicate essential information to help marketers make sense of the social networking space and how people are using it in their everyday lives to communicate and share information and ideas.
No Right Brain Left Behind
No Right Brain Left Behind is a speed innovation challenge, calling on the creative industries to concept ideas that can help the creativity crisis happening in U.S. schools today.
In collaboration with Social Media Week 2011, teams from creative industries will have 5 days to concept ideas. On the last day of the week, ideas will be submitted virtually to this site, and an expert panel will pick 3 winning ideas that are to be featured by our media partners. The best ideas are to be piloted in 2011 and 2012.
We are inviting teams of various sizes from advertising agencies, innovation companies, design consultancies, and communication schools. Ideas can be in form of tools, applications, or products, or whatever else we have not thought of.
If adapted, this will be a yearly challenge where creative industries will spend one week out of the year, responding to a burning crisis.
Turn That Frown Upside Down
I recall the first rehearsal of a play I once worked on, where the director impishly warned cast and crew, "This show is going to flop." Despite this caution masked as irony, we slaved away. We rehearsed weeks on end during the dog days of August in a musty, mouse-infested theatre. Of course there was no air conditioning. Actors quit but new ones were hired. People fell ill, but the show endured. We never quite escaped that first rehearsal forewarning. The show did indeed do a massive belly-flop into a pool of scant audiences. There was not a single review.
But what do you do when you get reviews and they aren't the kind you want? It's torture to agonize over a production that ultimately doesn't get the kudos and press praise you know deep down it deserves. Do you disregard the criticism and soldier on? Or what about another familiar situation—when drama offstage proves to be more salacious than the drama on? Do you ignore the gossip or revel in it? Some clever souls—perhaps a tad perversely—turn these frowns, be they mixed reviews or offstage hearsay, into a bold marketing scheme.
Drip-fed up: Why Don't Theaters Get Twitter?
Here's the first of a little series I enjoyed recently:
What starts as a mildly satirical vignette moves up through several gears in a journey to the centre of the sun – without losing that mild satirical sting. Some of you will dismiss this as trivial and silly, and of course you will be right. And if you've just scrolled through it having linked to the account above, I hope you enjoyed it. But you won't have got the best out of it. Rather than being gobbled up, it's designed to be drip-fed on alongside all your other tweets from Stephen Fry and Barack Obama and that guy who wrote that show you once saw.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Seeks New Audience Online
As Thomas P. Campbell begins his third year at the helm of the cultural ocean liner known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he hears fewer comparisons between himself and his illustrious predecessor Philippe de Montebello, who served as director for 31 years. But the game of “Would Philippe Have ...?” remains irresistible at times, as it was in December, when Mr. Campbell seemed to be everywhere at Art Basel Miami Beach, the contemporary-art bacchanal that Mr. de Montebello virtually ignored.
User-Led Innovation Can't Create Breakthroughs
The user is king. It’s a phrase that’s repeated over and over again as a mantra: Companies must become user-centric. But there’s a problem: It doesn’t work. Here’s the truth: Great brands lead users, not the other way around.
The Apple and IKEA way
Take Apple. One evening, well into the night, we asked some of our friends on the Apple design team about their view of user-centric design. Their answer?
Blog: I Like Older People
At virtually every discussion I have with board members of arts organizations (and many discussions with other arts managers as well), the desire to attract younger audience members is a primary topic. The issue is typically introduced by someone commenting negatively on the age of most current audience members: "Our audience is too old. Everyone has gray hair. Our audience members are likely to die away. We need a younger audience. How do we get young people to come to our performances?"
Latinos in #Twitterlandia
Many Latinos are gathering on Twitter via hashtags. How do marketers connect with them?
In an earlier column, we observed that Latinos not only index higher on Twitter than any other ethnic group, but also self-index higher: that is, we tend to self-identify, self-organize, and self-categorize more than other folks. The tool of choice for all of this self-indexing is the Twitter hashtag - select words and phrases preceded by a hashmark (for example, #twitterlandia - an actual hashtag on Twitter) that make individual tweets more searchable.
You Are Not Your Target Audience
Putting aside for a moment whether we should call them “target audiences” or not, it’s always good to remember that, as a nonprofit communicator or fundraiser, you are very rarely the kind of person that you are trying to communicate with. Even if you match the demographics, the fact that you are employed by your cause sets you apart in major ways from those who are not. Therefore, what you personally think about your fundraising letter, or your e-newsletter’s design, or what so-and-so wants to put on your nonprofit’s Facebook page is not nearly as important as what the people on the receiving end will think about it.
To Groupon or Not to Groupon
Hundreds of websites like Groupon, LivingSocial, Eversave, and BuyWithMe sell discount vouchers for services ranging from restaurant meals and museum visits to spa treatments and skydiving. Best known is Chicago-based Groupon: although only two years old, Groupon touts a ten-digit valuation and purportedly rejected a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google.
To consumers, discount vouchers promise substantial savings — often 50% or more. To merchants, discount vouchers offer possible opportunities for price discrimination, exposure to new customers, online marketing, and "buzz."
Music Groups Turn to Fans to Underwrite New Works
When the Bay Area flutist Meerenai Shim ran out of interesting music to play with her chamber ensemble, she did not content herself with repeating existing repertoire. She commissioned a composer to write something especially for her group instead.
Ms. Shim, 34, who makes a living teaching and performing chamber music, started a fund-raising campaign to pay for the commission using an online financing Web site, Kickstarter. The aim was to raise $5,000 for a composer, Daniel Felsenfeld, to write a 10-minute trio for flute, cello and piano. Within six weeks, Ms. Shim had amassed $5,290 through contributions ranging between $15 and $250, from 130 donors.