Stumbled on a cave, and naturally had to explore.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
BP - pollution.
Enron - stolen money.
Firestone Tires - car crashes.
Possible associations. All 3 mean something to their customers and prospects that is not what the companies would chose for it to mean. The brand is in the customers' mind. It is influenced by the company's activities even more than messaging. Who someone or something is, regardless of intention, is what brand is.
Any person, or group of people (a company) that disappoints you through their actions will never fully win back your trust through marketing messages. The soul of a company, the filter through which their decisions and actions are made, is the closest to the brand the company itself will ever get, and those decisions and actions are as close to branding as they can come.
Marketing messages are ideally a reflection of a company's soul. If the heart of the company is sick, then the best marketing messages can do is confuse and conceal it. A company that hurts people for instance, can only try to distract from this reality through marketing; being who you say you are is required, especially in the age of the internet. If a company's heart is healthy, and the marketing doesn't reflect that, then the marketing is broken. The impression the customers and prospects have of a company is "the brand" out in the world. This may differ significantly from what the company intends. Truth can be changed, but truth is truth whether or not we want it to be.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I produced "Snowman Holiday - Mr. Bear 6" (also lent my voice) and it screened last night as a selection at the Flapper's Comedy New Media Film Festival. Me introducing my work:
and during the screening:
Saturday, January 7, 2012
There has never been a mass market for good journalism in this country. What there used to be was a mass market for print ads, coupled with a mass market for a physical bundle of entertainment, opinion, and information; these were tied to an institutional agreement to subsidize a modicum of real journalism. In that mass market, the opinions of the politically engaged readers didn’t matter much, outnumbered as they were by people checking their horoscopes. This suited advertisers fine; they have always preferred a centrist and distanced political outlook, the better not to alienate potential customers. When the politically engaged readers are also the only paying readers, however, their opinion will come to matter more, and in ways that will sometimes contradict the advertisers’ desires for anodyne coverage
(from Clay Shirky).
Friday, January 6, 2012
For years Google didn't run any ads on TV, in magazines, radio or anywhere. Probably for at least the first 5 years of their existence. This was a deliberate choice. They knew that their search engine was getting better and better. Tomorrow it would be better than it is today, and next week even better than tomorrow.
So since the first time someone used the search engine would set that person's first impression, they reasoned that it was better for someone to use it for the first time in the future than it was today. Better to have them not come today, but come tomorrow. Even better for a first time user to come next week than tomorrow. So the further in the future you came to use them for the first time, the more you would like it.
Advertising, asking people to come today, would lead people to have a not-as-good expeirence their first time. So, they didn't advertise and counted on, preferred, that people come later, when they were better, more ready for the audience.
Many things improve with time, get better with each iteration. If something you are doing is such a thing, consider not advertising. While getting a crowd to show up on day one might feed the ego, pacify investors or otherwise sound like a good idea, a better idea may be to be glad people haven't come in droves today. Keep working to delight those that may come tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and so on. No advertising is sometimes the best advertising.
Monday, January 2, 2012
An idea can't be owned...sort of. The expression of an idea can be copyrighted, and a logo or name used in commerce can be trademarked and a process (like how to make something do something specific) can have a patent. I imagine a Patent Attorney Fairfax could help you with the third despite the utter lack of prepositions. Something like a business process gets even foggier since then you could be getting ownership of a whole sequence of things. It would be interesting to try to patent the process by which your cells fucntion, and try to charge royalties to the whole of the human race for their metabolic processes. Wonder if Business Patents Fairfax would help with that...if I buy them a preposition to use in their name.