It seems that I am not the only person fed up with the term cloud computing. This term, which the Wall Street Journal, among others, struggles to define, may become one of those annoying trend labels, like Cyberspace and Web 2.0, that the tech industry will look back upon with some embarrassment.
I think I've finally got the answer, and I can thank two smart CMOs for coming up with it independently of one another (you know who you are): Your brand is what's going on when you and your customers aren't looking. That means that branding is how, when and why you and your consumers choose to see and talk about it.
What's a brand? You realize that no two people, let alone two marketers, agree on the answer. It's a word, a metaphor, an analogy, a concept or some sort of thing with an existence and personality dependent on whomever is doing the defining, where they're doing it, and what they hope to accomplish.
Google’s SVP-Product Management Jonathan Rosenberg has published a manifesto explaining Google’s commitment to open systems. The post — otherwise a paean to the virtues of openness — contains a crucial caveat about the proprietary platforms that provide 99% of Google’s revenue.
If you’re reading this, then social media is a part of your life, just like the juice you steal through the wall socket at the local cafe. Your very lifestyle, and odds are your profession, depend on it. You might think you know how it works, because you work on it all the time. You test, tinker, and tweak it. You profess, pitch, and present it. Your social media is always on, and you’re always on it. But to really know what it means to you, you would have to turn it off. And I suspect it wouldn’t take long before you realized how deeply embedded it had become in even the most banal habits of your daily routine. Which is why, when it comes to social media, usability only scratches the surface. Sociability is where it’s really at. Sociability, in which the emphasis is on the social over use and utility, is equivalent of usability for the social web.
The folks at Blackcoffee have been inviting folks to complete the thought, “A Brand Is…”. I was so fascinated to read the range of responses that I decided to take a closer look. I wanted to see what common themes emerged among people’s definitions of “Brand” and what we could learn from them.
I just came back from Denmark where my client, Better Place, received the INDEX Community design award for creating a complete electric vehicle services system. It was an amazing ceremony and the Danish organizers ran a flawless design gathering both in content and in spirit. I truly enjoyed it! However, I returned a bit conflicted after talking to many designers and participants from across the globe. There is a feeling of confusion around INDEX's definition of design, and how it reflects current trends in the design world. Over dinner, Chris Bangle, the former chief of BMW's design group, expressed concern whether any bright idea for solving a social problem, is by definition "design." At a different event, industrial and furniture designer Hella Jongerius suggested to me that a different object--itself an award winner--had 'too little' design. Or does 'design' imply something new or different than before?