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Archive for October, 2007
I found a great article at Buzzoodle for creating marketing buzz around the internet. Check it out:
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PLEASE use the comments on this post to let us know if any of these are great, bad or we missed any great ones that people should use.
?Very cool, thanks Ron, you da man!
No matter what religion you are faith is the cornerstone. You believe in God without seeing or talking to him/her. That?s faith at its finest. After all scientists will tell you there is no proof of God. But yet we still have faith.
We go to worship and pray for an afterlife that will bring us happiness and peace. I have faith and I have never seen or spoken to God (and I mean God has never spoken directly to me). ?
Branding is a lot like faith. It?s hard to see, touch and feel, but its there. It secretly brews within its target market base and flourishes. It protects your company, grows and takes on a life of its own.
It?s very hard to prove that branding is doing its job for a company. There aren?t many proven vehicles that say you made so many sales based on your branding efforts. But those sales are coming from branding. Trust me, branding is there and doing its job?.?Just have faith.
An avid Apple user, Nick Haley made his own commercial and posted it on YouTube:
So how did Apple respond? They flew Nick and his idea out to LA and produced his idea professionally. That?s pretty cool and speaks volumes about Apple.
The result, some pretty great PR and an overall feeling of connecting to their customer base. Apple rocks!
Alex Rodriguez is going to leave his mark in baseball history as probably the greatest player that ever lived. Check that, the greatest regular season player that ever lived. A-Rod is a proven loser. This is a fact. His brand image is bad, very bad.
Here?s the problem; A-Rod is perceived to be greedy, conceded, egotistical, choker, dirty, poor sport and many other bad adjectives. He?s been on 3 teams that have all failed miserably in the playoffs.
A-Rod can do it all. Except win the important games. Ask yourself this. If you owned a company and had a salesperson that could bring in all the best clients but when it came time to sign them he choked would you keep him? And would you pay him insane money?
A-Rod?s brand is confusing. If I were him I?d get myself a new agent, PR firm and branding consultant. They?re not doing a good job. He should be beloved, not hated. Your personal branding is very important when you?re a sports star.
I know Boston fans cheered ?don?t sign A-Rod?. That?s pretty strange since he?s the ball player he is. He?s a jinx. He?s a team divider. He?s bad news and whomever signs him for the 300 million he?s looking for is destined to be the next loser.
In my search for a good video conferencing company I came across a company called AccuConference. Whenever I need to purchase a service I like to do my due diligence so a review of the company?s brand identity and website is the first place I start.
The logo makes sense from a visual perspective. It connects people together via video conferencing or teleconferencing. It?s not the most creative logo but it suits the purpose of being literal. The next thing I look for is a tagline. Unfortunately there is no real tagline here. Just a description of their services.?
Next I look at the company?s website. It?s somewhat cluttered but pretty easy to navigate. I don?t like how long you have to scroll but that?s not a horrible thing. I really like the use of their corporate blue and yellow as it makes their branding appear seamless and natural. That?s right on point from a branding perspective.?
Now I?m looking for an offer or a call to action. They do have a sign up button on the homepage which is nice. I also like the live chat feature. That demonstrates a dedication to service which is a major part of the branding for any company.??
From a branding perspective this video conferencing company looks like it could be a good one and someone I will call for our needs. I hope they can deliver on their brand promise and ultimately provide the type of service they claim they do. If so we could be partners for years to come.
So for the first time in NFL history a real meaningful game will be played off
The players aren?t happy. The coaches aren?t happy. The reporters don?t seem to be happy. Most people aren?t happy about this move. I?m not even really sure the Brits even care, we?ll see.?
But here?s where it gets interesting. The NFL wants to extend its brand outside of the US. American Football is just that. It?s American. So is the NFL falling into the ?wanting to be everything to everyone? category?
I think so.
As a fan I want Football to be ours. I don?t want to share it. To me it?s the greatest sport on earth.?But let?s look at it?from the opposite thinking. Soccer has tried desperately and persistently to try and make Americans like its sport. It?s failed. Americans in general do not and will not ever like Soccer.
I would rather get a root canal than watch a Soccer game.?
So will the NFL be any different? Who knows? I don?t like it because I like being able to explain what holding means to my English relatives. I?m selfish with the NFL and their branding.
Follow-up, the Brits booed the end of the game. So much for the NFL outside the US.
PeaPod is Stop & Shop?s food shopping home delivery division. I?ve used PeaPod for many years. Most of the time they show up when they are suppose to and bring the items that I order. Clients of PeaPod pay more for each item because of the convenience of home delivery. Something I appreciate because I?m very busy.
Today I got my delivery from PeaPod and there were quite a few items missing. I called PeaPod to let them know and to ask where they were. I spoke with customer service and they called the driver. I was told he was busy and would call back.? Now I had my first real branding crisis. How would PeaPod react?
I got a follow-up call from customer service about an hour later (that was good, I was impressed). She told me that their dispatch department would call me back with a time they could bring my missing food back.?About a half an hour later I got a call from Tracy at dispatch. She said my missing food was no where to be found and that I needed to call customer service for a credit.
My response is why do I have to call them? It?s not my fault that PeaPod has lost my food. Why make me (the customer that gives PeaPod $400/month) do any work at all? ?
I think Tracy was taken back by my stern tone on this matter and she agreed to take care of it for me. A lot of other customers would not have been so vocal and thus taken on the responsibility. How would those customers feel about PeaPod moving forward??
A few minutes later I got a call from customer service and we set up a new time for delivery of the missing items. If Tracy hadn?t tried to pass the buck this would have been a flawless customer experience for me. Not only would they have corrected their mistakes but I would have appreciated them more because of the care they took.?
Make no bones about it. Every touch point your customer has with your company represents your brand. With the advent of Social Media clients can now make their voice heard instantaneously and to a large audience.
This blog is read by thousands per day, you do the math. ? Remember to tell your employees that even if something is outside the scope of what they think their job is it?s not outside the scope of the brand. In other words just do it!
Let me ask you a simple question. When was the last time you did any real effective branding research within your customer/prospect base? I don?t mean customer satisfaction surveys. I mean branding research.?
The kind of research that reveals how your customers/prospects feel. What turns them on and off? Where are they going to find products and services like yours? How does your brand stack up against your competition? What?s your brand image? Is that in line with your brand identity? Can you tell me your positioning? What?s your value proposition?
If you answer I don?t know to any of these questions your brand is in trouble. Many company?s don?t do research because of the investment. I say the investment saves you money, time and aggravation.
Don?t mess with your brand. Invest in Branding Research.
Jacoby just stole second, yippee! Free Tacos for everyone in America on October 30th from 2-5. Do I want a Taco? Ah, no. Rob Savage CEO of Taco Bell, you’re brain dead!
The BIG propaganda PR and branding campaign from Taco Bell just came through. Will this change consumer perceptions about them? I think not. It will however lead people into Taco Bell for a free Taco. Wow, Taco Bell?s marketing department are geniuses?. Some people call that a loss leader. I call it silly and poor branding. Giving products away for free and silly PR are meaningless in the big scope of things. It smells of desperation and hopelessness. Taco Bell should have considered something else.
How about this campaign? For every stolen base in the World Series Taco Bell will deliver free tacos to all homeless shelters across the US. Now that?s a campaign to sink your teeth into. Now you?re getting great PR and branding plus you?re contributing to the neighborhoods you serve. Something with meat in it!
So Taco Bell, take your damn taco and run to the border!
p.s. Did anyone see the interview with CEO Rob Savage after the stolen base? He sounded like a used car salesman. Even the interviewer said “hey, you’re really sounding like a salesman”.
The Bionic Woman is the newest ? oldest TV show to be brought back to life. Like many guys my age I had a pretty sizeable crush on Jaime Sommers. So my anticipation for the new Bionic Woman was well, high.?
The first thing I asked myself was why didn?t they bring back the Bionic Man brand first? He was after all the original bionic. Plus he had the great music: Nah nah nah nah, nah nah?you know the rest. And shall we not forget that spring type sound when he ran or jumped. Bringing back the Bionic Man should have been the first thought.?
That being said we are stuck with the Bionic Woman. ?I?ve watched every episode so far. It?s okay but here?s where it falls way short. First off and this is gonna sound bad but here it is. The new Jaime Sommers is well?not hot enough. Yup, she?s kind of plain Jane looking.
I think Lindsay Wagner (the original Bionic Woman) is still hotter doing those Sleep Number Mattress commercials!?
Hot isn?t everything though. She needs to be believable for the branding to take hold. And the new Jaime Sommers is not and frankly can?t act either.
So what we have is no 6 Million Dollar Man, a plain Jane bad actress and a boring show. ?Here?s a thought. Change the station to Pushing Daisies. It?s the most creative, fresh show to hit TV in a long time. And for God?s sake if you want to save the Bionic Woman bring back Steve Austin!
During my adventures of pissing competitors off (especially preachy know it alls) I came across a 4 part post from someone named Skyon on Brand Autopsy?s blog. ?When I read something really good I like to share it. This is really good. And the authors name is Skyon and that?s just fun to say.?
Skyon calls him/herself a Master Marketing Pick Up Artist. That?s yucky, change that immediately. I actually watched that show The Pick Up Artist this year. And although the geeky guys were transformed they lacked the ?staying power? for a long lasting relationship. But that?s the only thing I can suggest to Skyon.?
Here are all 4 parts of his blog post:?
Really, read these posts, they?re really interesting and right on the money.?So Skyon anytime you?d like to write some posts for BIG just give me a holla. I like your fresh thinking.
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I just got off the phone with Verizon. They wanted to deduct a $1.00 per phone line with a new business plan because I?m a good customer. Really? Somethings amiss??
A normal response would be great! Let?s do it. But not when it comes to Verizon. I asked many, many questions. Why? Why would Verizon give us a break? She said I don?t know. But it?s the same plan. I said are you sure? She put me on hold.?
Now I?m worried. I?m thinking this is some scam that will come back to bite me in 6 months or something. Or it?s some trickery and my bills will go up. It?s anything but Verizon being nice.
She came back and said it?s a dollar less per line. I said I?ll keep paying the extra buck because I don?t trust Verizon. She laughed and hung up.?
You know you have branding concerns if the company you do business with can?t even be trusted to be on the up and up.
First let me say that all my designers and creatives that work for Brand Identity Guru are Apple/Mac/iPod/iPhone users. They?re part of the Apple cult and branding?for sure. Not me. I?m running a business so I?m a PC guy, sorry.
But I really like the new?branding campaign from iPhone. I like the campaign not because of the features that they are promoting. I mean really, what phone doesn?t have a built in camera for God?s sake. I like it because they are bringing in the regular Joe. They are building the perception of ease of use and one stop shop.
The ad spots feature a ballet dancer and a construction worker. Both non creative or especially business savvy types. I like it. Makes sense and I think they?re really going to expand into new markets because of it. They won?t isolate their current cult following because of it. Seems like a natural progression for them.
And it further differentiates from the geek types that rely on better programming features. That?s me?.geek type. I use the Sprint Mogul:
Which kicks the iPhone?s butt all day long. But it?s not as cool for sure! But then I don?t care about uploading music as I use my phone for business. So in conclusion, if you?re not a geek type like me go out and buy an iPhone. It’s cool.
This will be the first branding tip in a new category we’re adding called Branding Tips (original huh). Here’s a tip for those that are on tight budgets. I know it’s not going to sound like we’re reinventing the wheel here but it’s still seldom done.
Develop an e-newsletter, compile a list of emails from customers and prospects and email to that list regularly. Duh! But look around at your competitors. Are they doing it? I can’t tell you how many branding agency websites I visit that don’t have an e-newsletter. How dumb. Why wouldn’t you want to communicate with clients and prospects on a regular basis?
E-newsletters are very inexpensive to set up and run. Even if you’re not computer savvy most of the e-newsletter companies are WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). Which basically means all you need to know is how to write in Microsoft Word. Here’s what you need to do:
- Purchase and e-newsletter service or hire a branding company (like us) to get you ready for your e-newsletter
- Add a sign up box to your homepage that says Sign Up For Our Newsletter Here:________________________
- Compile a list of all your client and prospect emails and add them to your email service
- Write a beneficial (to your client base) article on a monthly basis and email it out.
- Sit back and sign new clients
- Send thank you letters of praise to Brand Identity Guru for recommending this tip and making you a fortune
That’s branding tip 1. Hope you enjoyed it!?
p.s. There are many different views and grey areas for spam. I will leave that up to you to decide. But here is the definition of spam:
The word “Spam” as applied to Email means Unsolicited Bulk Email (“UBE”).
Unsolicited means that the recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent.?
Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content (like an e-newsletter).
A message is Spam only if it is both Unsolicited and Bulk.
While reading the Brains on Fire blog the other day I came across a posting about Sonic Fast Food. I thought it was a smart fun post and wanted to share it with my readers.
I?m sure you?ve seen these Sonic TV commercials with the two guys that sort of ramble on about random stuff. They?re pretty funny. Anyway, it seems that people have started to make parodies about them and post their own videos on YouTube.
So instead of getting all ?You?re infringing on our copyright? about it Sonic decided to use it to their advantage. They?ve come out with their own YouTube video to challenge these people who are spoofing on them.
This is really a smart branding move. They are really showing how in touch with their audience they are.
Check it out, it?s funny:
So I?ve been watching this Ford advertising campaign unfold. A lot of folks don?t like the fact that Ford fibbed about why they were giving out a car for a week. They say it?s deceptive.?
I say relax already. Who cares that Ford said they were doing marketing research. The vehicles were given in good faith and there was no bias. But I have questions.?
Out of all the vehicles that were given out to regular folk how many liked the switch and how many didn?t? You can?t go boasting and not support any facts. Were 80% of the people surveyed satisfied? I want to know.?
And B, once they found out they were duped so to speak would they really consider a switch to Ford? I know Ford?s doing it for the TV commercial impact but there is one really important thing to consider:?
Ford sucks! They?ve completely ruined their dominant brand over the years and have no real identity anymore. What is Ford?s brand identity? I couldn?t tell you. I know their brand?image is that of a broken down company that makes inferior products. ?
What Ford needs to do is take two steps back and ask the hard questions. Who is Ford? What differentiates Ford? What makes Ford better? Then build your brand accordingly. Stop coming up with gimmicks, roll your sleeves up and go to work.
You know, the American way!
Anytime we get bashed by some unknown twits we make a nice post. This time we got bashed by Billy Ivey at Ivey McCoig an ?advertising, design, research and branding collaborative in famous Franklin Tennessee. Apparently they are a collaborative of two, bone-head Billy (maybe he designed their logo)?and Ted McCoig.?
First let?s look at who is bashing one of the nations leading branding agencies: A company from Franklin Tennessee. Is that part of the US? Not sure about you but I?m not buying many things from Franklin Tennessee. Moonshine maybe?
Molasses? I?m certainly not buying world class ?advertising, design, branding research and branding?.?? ?
Secondly talk about a lack of positioning for a so called branding company:? Advertising, design, research and branding collaborative?can you be more general? Talk about trying to be everything to everyone. Yikes, do you make and sell widgets? At Brand Identity Guru we specialize in just one thing: Brand Identity.?
Thirdly would you hire a creative firm with such an uncreative name like??Ivey McCoig?, nice way to position? C?mon, show some creative thinking, just your last names? Shoot me now! Am I hiring creative types or a law firm? Couldn?t you find any creative names that positioned you in the market space of Franklin Tennessee (seems like you’d have a blank canvas)??
Fourthly, look at their website. It looks like a junior designer worked on it. And their logo reminds me of that alien Marvin the Martian from Bugs Bunny.
I mean really a light bulb going off for a logo, geez, I wonder if that?s been done about 10 million times??Next time stick to bashing fresh out of college art majors, they?re much easier to look better than.
Arguably one of the greatest rock bands in history has reunited for a 2007 tour. The Van Halen brand is king in the rock world. Sure you have Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, The Who, The Stones, the Boss etc. but Van Halen; well they are close to my heart.
Check?them out on YouTube:
I grew up listening to Diamond Dave and the bunch. I?ve seen them countless times until?Sammy Hagar. That?s when I went into a great Van Halen depression. I gave Sammy a chance twice. I was under whelmed.??
Now Diamond Dave is back with Van Halen and they are the hottest brand and rock show going. Their shows have sold out within minutes of going on sale.
I?ve got my tickets for the November 6th show and just can?t wait. I can guarantee that I won?t be blogging on the 7th??Van Halen, the king of rock brands!