Archive for May 2009
The Internet was always fast. Google made a point during its rise to prominence to detail -- to the millisecond -- just how quickly it delivered a search result. And, as we all know, the Web has gotten even faster.
“We thought we’d update the logo a little.” “It’s not a new tagline. It’s just a catchy phrase that we are using instead of the tagline.” “We thought the icon would make a great decorative element.” “We are thinking about creating a new name for the organization.” “We developed a new product so we created a new brand for it.” “We created a different tagline for each audience. Pretty clever, huh?” “We were getting so tired of the old logo.” “It’s more fun to present the brand in a wide variety of colors.” “There was no room for the icon so we left it off.” “This is a funky stylized version of the logo targeted at younger audiences.” What is it about marketers that cause them to want to create something new all of the time?
Companies are working fast to figure out how to make money from the wealth of data they're beginning to have about our online friendships.
To extend or not to extend? With apologies to the Bard, allow me to suggest that is the question -- for marketers. The lure of sales growth combined with lower advertising and promotion costs makes brand extensions an attractive move, but success is not guaranteed. For every brand extension win (iTunes), there are countless failures (Google print ads, Hooters airline, Bic underwear ...) Brand extensions are risky - but by following the methods of successful extenders, marketers can increase their chances of a win. Looking at what drove recent brand extension success stories, we find the questions of why, what, and how have been carefully considered.
For more than 100 years brand marketers have largely focused on push - a mix of tried-and-true tactics that include paid and earned media. However, that was before the Attention Crash, which is changing the economics of digital marketing. The endless supply of content is taking a toll. It has forced consumers to make hard choices about where and how they spend time. Today people are browsing less and going deeper into a small number of sites. The exact mix of destinations change. What they have in common, however, is that they are all useful.
Today, everyone knows we have to be smarter about how we spend marketing dollars regardless of whether we're increasing, decreasing or holding steady. But with an ever-changing media landscape and our country in an economic slump, the question becomes: is now the time to focus on short-term success, or do we wait patiently with a long-term vision in place?
I read last week that Sprint is in talks to outsource its network, and it kind of got me wondering what would be left if it did. A company name. A logo. A marketing budget. Everything else would get done by someone, or some thing else.
Unlike the ironic sentiment often expressed when quoting (or, as in this case, vitiating) Shakespeare's Richard III, I am not suggesting that attention is unimportant. I am, however, suggesting that businesses obsession with attention is misplaced, at best. And the fact that major industries have evolved to feed this obsession, simply adds to the problem.
Today's reality consists of multiple media channels, new technologies and consumers who have a short attention span. Traditional communications are no longer sufficient for creating loyal fans or bringing the brand to the forefront. This new reality demands a new approach to engaging consumers; this is where corporate social responsibility (CSR) as branded content comes in.
There are no rules about creativity. Which made constructing our list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business a tricky task. We looked for dazzling new thinkers, rising stars, and boldface names who couldn't be ignored. We avoided people we've profiled in the recent past. We emphasized those whose creativity addresses a larger issue -- from the future of our energy infrastructure to the evolution of philanthropy to next-generation media and entertainment. So read on. Enjoy. Quibble. Complain.