Category Archives: Branding

The Peace Symbol Is 50 Years Old

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Memorial Day made me think about peace…

The peace symbol first appeared 50 years ago in Britain. The year was 1958.

Demonstrators wanted an image that could be carried by marchers in protests against nuclear weapons. This idea was brought to life by London textile designer Gerald Holtom. The Naval semaphore sign language symbols for N (nuclear) and D (disarmament) were combined.

It filled a niche. Anyone could draw it, and before long millions of people did. Over time, it evolved into a piece used by countercultures of all kinds. Hippies adopted it as an overall symbol of peacefulness.

In the late 1960s, the image began to appear on every sort of consumer product. The symbol is enjoying new popularity in nostalgia jewelry.


Indiana Jones Still In Shape

 

Dr. Jones did it again – he led an adventurous mission full of excitement and solved the puzzle.

There was enough humor, good architecture, nature scenes and special effects in this movie to keep my mind occupied. Harrison Ford was amazing like always and very talented Kate Blanchett’s character – a power hungry military goddess,- very entertaining.  I can see why audiences far east do not applaud to this movie – they represented the bad guys.  The desire to find magic power/treasure and ultimately gain control over people’s minds has motivated leaders for ages, and still does.  We will see world superpowers clashing for years to come.  This movie may motivate students to read and study history.  Knowledge IS power – we can choose to use it for evil or to help others around us.


Seth Godin is A Purple Cow

I registered for all my college marketing classes with great enthusiasm as I was dreaming of becoming a marketer some day. I learned a lot, but my enthusiasm often disappeared as the semester unfolded. Why?

In my experience there were two kinds of marketing instructors.  First, marketing researchers who had not left the building for about 10 years and seemed to live in the past.  They liked to talk about 4 or 5 Ps of marketing, gave me a solid foundation in marketing vocabulary as well as taught me how to analyze case studies.  Secondly, corporate refugees who gained their knowledge of marketing working for big Fortune 100 or 500 companies. They had real life experiences and often times knew how to push products and services to the masses.  They were well respected by the rest of the faculty for that.

I lost my enthusiasm in my marketing studies by mid semester with both types of instructors as I did not learn how to brand and market small business products and services.  I was not interested in stories about big companies with huge advertising budgets.

Of course they were able to buy attention from consumers. In addition, I saw creative individuals getting below average grades in class as they did not do well at multiple choice tests.

Then I heard of Seth Godin and felt relieved. He announced that the “TV- Industrial Complex” that had lasted a half century, was broken and It was OK to be bored with traditional advertising and push marketing. It wasn’t just me.

The main idea in Seth Godin’s book “Purple Cow” is mastering the art of becoming remarkable as the New Era of marketing is NOW. Remarkable ideas that spread, win. Remarkable companies, that stand out, win.

Tips on turning your idea/product into a Purple Cow:

– Is your product/service more boring than salt? Come up with 10 ways to change it.

– Think small. Think of the smallest conceivable market, and describe a product that overwhelms it with its remarkability.  Go from there.

– Outsource, if necessary.

– Build and use a permission asset. Once you have the ability to talk directly to your most loyal customers, it gets easier to develop and sell amazing things.

– Copy. Not from your industry, but from another industry. Find out what they do remarkably well and copy.

– Identify a competitor who is generally regarded at the edges, and outdo them.

– Find things that are “just not done” in your industry and do them.

– Ask “Why not?”

Seth Godin is definitely a Purple Cow amongst marketers as he is not afraid to do anything mentioned above.

Who would make the best small business marketer – Clinton, McCain or Obama?

As a small business marketer, I tried to imagine how senators Clinton, Obama, and McCain would fit in my role. They have demonstrated that they are all good marketers when it comes to self-promotion. Which one would be the best small business marketer?

I can’t imagine Senator Clinton in a role of a small business marketer, but I think that she would make a good spokesperson for a non-profit organization. She knows the federal rules and regulations as well as good ol’ Washington D.C. marketing techniques. She could utilize her skills and experience to approach mature individuals and professional associations in order to raise money for worthy causes. Young feminists would be listening to her message as well.

Senator McCain would make a good “my story” marketer. His war stories would appeal to baby boomer micro or lifestyle business owners who are not very tech savvy . He could share his memories and seal the deal in between.

Senator Obama has the biggest potential to be a web savvy small business marketer. I can see him being successful at creating and delivering marketing messages to/for professional services firms. He is a very good speaker who does not get into too much detail (tactics), but understands his audience and can win over younger decision makers.

Meatball Sundae

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“Meatball Sunday” stirred up most of my beliefs about successful marketing. I enjoyed Seth Godin’s book and I wonder if I ever tried to fix Meatball Sundaes for my small business customers.   Maybe we as marketers try to cover up Old Marketing with whipped cream and put a cherry on top?

New Marketing leverages scarce attention and creates interactions among communities with similar interests. In other words: if you want your product to be successful, you need to build a community around it.  In addition, every product or service becomes a form of media through storytelling and interaction.  Dreamers, be aware – the triumph of big ideas will continue. Forget the command-and control approach to the creation and spread of ideas.

The important part of New Marketing – permission marketing is not up to the person sending marketing messages. Permission does not exist to help the marketer. The moment the marketing message ceases to be anticipated, personal, and relevant – doors close in front of the marketer.   Permission exists to help the consumer, and can’t be sold or bought.  In a market where everyone is a critic, there is a constant need to create products and services that appeal to and satisfy critics.

“Meatball Sundae” focuses on 14 trends no marketer can afford to ignore. It explains what to do about the increasing power of stories and shortened attention spans.

———Gotta get me some of that New Marketing. Give me blogs, e-mail, YouTube videos, MySpace pages, Google AdWords…I don’t care as long as it’s shiny and new.

When Did You “Yahoo” Someone?

Well, Mr. Microsoft was rejected by Ms. Yahoo, how sad……It could have been a marriage of convenience for different reasons. Microsoft fell asleep behind the wheel while developing Windows software and finds itself now playing catch-up with companies successfully reaping the profits of web advertising. Yahoo has tried a little bit of everything to compete against Google. I think that Mr. Microsoft is too calculating and systematic for Ms.Yahoo who has major mood swings.  Ms. Yahoo is very social, trying to flirt with everyone while Mr. Microsoft is more of a nerd who likes to stay at his computer.

The two of them could mesh their software resources and come up with new services, for example in the emerging market for video and mobile.  It would be a challenge to mesh their corporate cultures.  Can you imagine a nerd with a hoola hoop? What will future bring?

Things worth branding

Is your company offering a service or product that provides an experience or lifestyle? Would you like to create  a stronger bond with your clients?  Would you like them to think about you or your company when you are miles away?

Here are some things that you can brand:

  • Email signatures
  • Bookmarks
  • Fax sheets
  • Flyers
  • Information handouts
  • Mouse pads
  • Stationery, business cards
  • Notepads
  • Online training centers
  • Portfolios
  • Postcards
  • Pens, pencils, mugs, t-shirts, vests, tote bags
  • Posters
  • PowerPoint shells
  • Sticky notes
  • Telephone recordings
  • Training manual covers
  • Websites, blogs
  • Your car
  • Evaluation and suggestion forms
  • Bulletin boards