Archive for June 2009
Word has it that Yahoo is going to debut new branding in the fall, courtesy of a newly-hired CMO who has a newly hired coterie of her favorite branding gurus. There's nothing surprising about this news: one of the first things new top marketers usually do is hire new vendors to reinvigorate or change the brand. It's what they do.
Creating an enduring brand is a huge challenge in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. It’s similar to raising a child: it requires focused attention, intuition, and a lot of patience. It also requires a desire to change and adapt. Our natural instinct, however, is to shelter our brands, like our children, from the knocks and bumps that come in life. We want to keep our arms around them, keep them safe and under our control.
Traditional influence has followed a systematic top-down process of developing and pushing “controlled” messages to audiences for decades, rooted in one-to-many, faceless broadcast campaigns.
Sometimes people ask me why, say, McDonald’s or Coca-Cola or Nike bother to advertise at all. We’ve all heard of them, right? We’ve all decided whether or not we like them. So why waste the money? Here is my answer: Because the simple-sounding issue of salience is very important. And as backup I offer the abrupt return to popularity of Michael Jackson’s music.
To explain the present and divine the future, Amazon's founder and prognosticator-in-chief, Jeff Bezos, often turns to the past. Fond of historical analogies, Bezos has compared the dotcom boom and bust to the 1849 gold rush, the advent of electricity to today's broadband-infused Web, the printed book to a horse, and the Kindle reader to a car. Perhaps his trippiest simile likens the impact of the Internet on business to the Cambrian period approximately 550 million years ago, after the first multicellular creatures crawled out of the primordial ooze. That's when we experienced an evolutionary big bang, which engendered both the greatest rate of speciation the world has ever seen and its greatest rate of extinction. "What's very dangerous," Bezos summed up, "is not to evolve."
Consumers are bombarded with more messages than ever before. Refining and clarifying your target segment is becoming evermore important as mass-messages are falling upon deaf ears. Specific, tailored and relevant messages, combined with consumer engagement and empowerment are elemental in the new marketing era. Less and less are market leaders dictating consumer needs through “push” advertising. By way of digital networking and publishing tools, consumers are creating consumer needs. To identify the key forces driving this marketing shift, we synthesized insights from over 40 industry professionals.
Blogs, Twitter, Facebook: these outlets are supposedly cheapening language and tarnishing our time. But the fact is we are all reading and writing much more than we used to...
Mike Masnick on techdirt points us to some dangerous and incomplete thinking from Judge Richard Posner on his blog. Posner is not just trying to mold the new world to old laws – which is issue enough – but is trying to change the law to protect the old world and its incumbents from the new world and its innovators. He is willing to throw out fair comment and free speech for them. That is dangerous.
While Professor Joe Plummer and I may not see eye to eye on everything (see my post on the definition of engagement), there is one thing we definitely agree on: an enterprise can achieve optimal results only when its business and its brand are aligned to work in synergy. When business and brand are out of synch (as happens all too often), the return to the company and shareholders is compromised.
Consider this: conversation is to selling what cooking is to eating. Process. Not ingredients, nor consumption. How, not what. You wouldn't know it from the hype and confusion that surrounds the social media space, though. Conversation is an absolute good, an ideal that, once achieved, spins off numerous lesser benefits. It's a synonym for selling. If only our businesses talked to consumers more often, the brands would be strengthened, and the bottom-lines improved.