Feel a little like you’re losing control?
If you’re a brand manager, it’s not surprising, according to a recent HBR Working Knowledge piece, "A Brand Manager’s Guide to Losing Control." According to the piece, there are 4 major trends working against having control over your brand - each of them a cautionary tale in how consumers behave in a media-saturated world. (The authors characterize the trends as The Age of ___…..yeah, whatevs.)
The lesson in all of this? Be aware of the power of the consumer and plan for a world in which your brand isn’t entirely under your control. It’s worth a read.
80% of leaders say their brands offer a superior customer experience. Only 8% of customers agree. Meanwhile, marketers are tortured by the fact that the number one way people learn about and buy from their brands is the hardest one to control: word-of-mouth. In today’s world of new realities it doesn’t pay for brands to stand by, continuing to trumpet their “creative messaging.” After all, 74% of people advocate for brands by describing their experiences with them.
Brands that break through are brands that take action… brands that are more than nouns. Brands must see themselves as verbs. That’s the premise of my new presentation that I just presented at the CSE Expo in Toronto, Canada. In the presentation, I outline five major principles that we have found at Jack Morton drive the high performing experience brands with which we work and a few examples (some our work, some the work of others) that showcase each principle.
So beyond the five principles and the examples, here are a few key questions to ask that can put you on the path to “Brand As Verb” nirvana:
1. Taking Action: Is your organization spending more time thinking about what to post next, or what it should do that’s actually worth posting about?
2. Turning Negatives Into Opportunities: What’s the worst element of your brand’s customer experience as it currently stands? If it’s impossible to change the core of what makes it negative (like KLM can’t eliminate middle seats), what other type of value could your organization add to overcome the negative?
3. Outside In Thinking: Is your organization’s leader one of the 80% that believe you’re delivering a superior customer experience? Get out of your echo chamber by assembling a customer advisory board or fielding some primary research to give you and your colleagues a dose of reality.
4. Helping Advocates Advocate: Many brands say they want advocates, but what could your brand reasonably expect advocates to talk about? Consider realistic advocacy scripting exercises and what experiences you need to create that truly deserve to be talked about.
5. Conversationally Led Planning: What conversations are already underway that you could be part of in an authentic, ‘on the way’ spirit? Before you let your brand’s product introductions (or lack thereof) drive your marketing or editorial calendar (again), consider letting consumers drive what you do next.
If you had to add a section of “Brand As Verb” standards to your “Brand As Noun” brand guidelines, what would they be? What do you want consumers to know, think, feel and do as a result of an experience with your brand?
When it comes to your trade show program, are you always striving to win? Do you have a sense of how well you’re doing? We’ve developed a rate-yourself scorecard to help you figure out where you stand. Just give yourself 1 to 5 points in each category (with 5 being the highest), add up your score, and see how you did!
20 points: You are a star and are obviously doing things right. We can help you get extra credit.
15-19 points: No reason to panic – but there’s some room for improvement. With a little help (ideally from us), you can move to the top of the class.
10-14 points: Course correction required. Reboot and rethink. We can help your exhibit experience resonate with the people that matter most to your brand.
0-9 points: It sounds like your overall trade show program needs to be reevaluated. Call Jack – we can help!
To see our 7 Ways to Win the Trade Show Game whitepaper on SlideShare, please click here.
It’s a truism that a company’s brand is its “most important asset.” But brands have never been more fragile. The reason is simple: consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos.
This is worth a read…
Information overload - a myth? What role does experience play in consumer decisions as brands potentially lose potency and the hunt for information on products becomes increasingly accessible and simple?
What do you think?
92% of company executives believe that they have a “brand problem” when it comes to attracting top college talent. Short of putting beer bongs and all-you-can-eat wings and pizza in the lunchroom, what can they do to attract the best? A recent Harvard Business Review blog piece pointed to 4 priorities based on a survey of 15,000 Millenials:
What do they care about the most? Hate to disappoint you, but it’s not about your mission. in fact, it’s not about you at all - it’s about them. What is the cultural fit going to be like, and what is the potential for their careers and work/life balance that you offer? So really, they’re interested in the experience and you’d do well to demonstrate it to them in the rush, er, recruitment process.
What do you get when you cross a bunch of curious go-getters and red lipstick graffiti on the office restroom mirror?
Answer: WONDER TOURS!
Wonder Tours had its inaugural New York adventure last month following a mysterious trail of messages that led to a secret chain of unfolding events. In the face of the OTT smooch-fest of Valentine’s Day, Wonder Tours offered Jack NY employees the chance to experience the ultimate UnValentine’s. They just had to be seduced by a dash of lipstick first…
For those self-acclaimed lovers of the unknown, Wonder Tours branded cars awaited, taking them to Brooklyn’s Made in NY Media Center where, over a few glasses of wine, they learnt about the unemotional side of lust and love with the dirty secrets of internet dating apps (algorithms and all), before going head-to-head in the techy Emotional Arcade. Next stop: bottles of champagne, food to share, and heart-shaped balloons and lollipops. A surprising night of inspiration, learning, and good old drinking! To thank the lovers of the unknown for daring to join the first tour, a single red rose at their desk brightened up their UnValentine’s hangover.
Check out all the action at the official Wonder Tours Instagram page, here.
Why Wonder Tours? Why so secretive?
We find inspiration when and where we least expect it. Every employee is invited to join Wonder Tours, but they must first make a brave leap into the unknown. By not knowing what they’ve signed up for, they can’t make any pre-determination as to what they might find! Wonder Tours is on a quest to fuel curiosity and broaden creativity.
Global imagery company Digital Globe have activated their crowdsource platform Tomnod to enlist the help of the world to help find lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Within the first hour Monday afternoon, the Tomnod map had 60,000 page views with more than a thousand tags. Ten minutes later that was up to nearly 2,000.
The combination of epic meaning, the crowd and technology is a very powerful thing. Lets hope some good can come of it.
I came across this article “Free iPhone app uses visual recognition technology and crowdsourcing to find similar products for sale online” on the front page of The Guardian website today.
Now, I distinctly remember being sat in a bar with a colleague of mine 3 years ago and saying something along the lines of, “wouldn’t it be cool to build an app that uses visual recognition technology and crowdsourcing to find similar products for sale online”.
Now, I didn’t read that article today and suddenly think that someone in that bar must have overheard me, stole this ‘genius’ idea, managed to secure VC funding and then has spent the last 3 years in a garage on the outskirts of silicon valley coding away to make it into a reality and in doing so has potentially re-imagined the future of mobile commerce. But I did wonder, “why the hell didn’t I do it?”.
Then I realised it’s because I’m a Creator not a Mobiliser. You see, according to Idris Mootee there are 4 key stages to successful innovation in design thinking* and these stages all require a very different type of personality. He states the following:
Create > Mobilise > Refine > Execute.
Everything starts with an idea, and there is no question that every organization needs new ideas to remain competitive in a rapidly changing world. There are people who can come up with ideas without really working at them; they see possibilities everywhere. There are also others who, by looking at data and making sense of even disparate data, come up with new ideas. Creating is more than being creative. It’s about seeing beyond, about seeing the possibilities.
Many great ideas have died on the vine because they weren’t picked up or never gathered enough momentum to push them forward. Perhaps the person championing the idea couldn’t convince others. On the other hand, some people are good at making things happen; they have developed the ability to sell others on an idea and to get their support for the idea’s implementation. They tell great stories and understand organizational dynamics. They can mobilize.
Refiners often play the devil’s advocate role, asking the challenging “What if?” questions. Refiners’ talents for analysis and attention to detail are often undervalued because they tend to challenge both the Creator and Mobilizer. But those responsible for developing an innovation further should beware: Don’t implement a new idea until you have listened to what the Refiners have to say.
The dustbin of business history is filled with great ideas - but they’re in the dustbin because they were poorly executed. Whether it was due to a lack of follow through or a lack of team cohesion, the execution failed - and execution is important because it is the difference between being successful and not. Individuals must execute – on their assigned roles, and the team must execute by bringing the innovation to market exactly as planned. In the end it’s all in the execution.
*SOURCE: Idris Mootee, Idea Couture.
So next time you see that great idea that you never did anything about being heralded as the latest, greatest innovation, now you know why. It’s because you just don’t have all the right attributes to see the idea through to the bitter end. You’re just too busy creating to be executing and mobilising. Or then again you might just be a lazy polymath, in which case there’s no hope.
In collaboration with the international children’s rights group Terre des Hommes, Dutch digital agency Lemz went online with a lifelike, digitally animated persona named ‘Sweetie’ in a bid to track down child sex predators.
What impressed me most about this project was the ability to proactively police and identify suspects through using publicly available online circumstantial evidence, including handles on Skype and profiles on social networks.
The project generated seriously impressive results with awareness raised among over a billion people globally and helped in tracking down 1000 potential offenders from 71 different countries.