Friday, June 26, 2009


What do college students think is the most critical in their world? A new survey by SurveyU found:
81% think education is very important
68% consider child endangerment/abuse prevention critical
The next most important are: rape prevention (65%), civil/human rights (65%) and cancer (62%) round out the top five, with drunk driving prevention (61%), genocide (59%), domestic violence (57%), AIDS (57%) and environment/conservation (54%).
Poverty does not appear -- although one could argue that poverty is an issue that intersects many of these issues.
Most interestingly, GenY -- the generation where access to global information is the most ubiquitous (there is no "time before web" in their memory) -- they are most interested in issues related to their own lives, their own community and their own country.
Marketers and communicators must learn to navigate in a global world where personal takes precedence. We have the technology.... but do we have the will, the patience and the savvy?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

the power of brand

We often talk about brand personality -- the character of the product, organization or service.
Building brand is about creating a poignant (and positive) experience with the brand. Disney is all over that. Coke cuts through the heat with icy cold refreshment. The i-phone is the fastest, most powerful and totally cool smart phone (the blackberry, the business phone -- not so cool but reliable).
The experience of using the i-phone or blackberry affirms the brand. The i-phone is slick, cool and operates with the flick of a finger. The blackberry is clunkier, and uses a key board.
If I close my eyes and imagine... the i-phone user is wearing designer jeans and t-shirt and the blackberry guy has a suit. The i-phone user is smiling and flicking, the blackberry guy is frowning and thumbing. This all affirms the brand experience.... notice, the logo was never mentioned.
Here's an interesting study.
Elizabeth Loftus studies false memories -- memories which actually create the brand experience. A group of people were shown a photo of Bugs Bunny in front of Disney Land shaking hands with people. A photo shopped image, as Warner Brothers and Disney rarely share their brand icons.
Then they had the participants carry out different tasks. Later they asked the participants to share their members of a trip to Disney Land. 30% remembered shaking Bugs Bunny's hand.
Brand is made up of a complex mix of personal experience and marketing messages.
When your brand is in the hands of a variety of stakeholders, building a consistent experience can be challenging. If your marketing message is creativity, but your presentation is linear and lacks interest, the marketing message will be lost. Each individual in your organization carries your brand message -- what brand experience do they give?

Monday, June 8, 2009


How many weeks until the holiday season?
Not enough!
Integrated marketing efforts for the 2009 holiday season should be well mapped by now... but many organizations are still putting their plans together. As we continue to receive requests for holiday programs that include print, mail, web and e-mail, I was wondering how many dollars were lost each year simply because the planning was not in place.
I just read an article this morning analyzing the decline in retail revenue. The author implied that while there is decline in some markets, when studying the numbers, it appears that retailers with a strong brand, solid investment in marketing and adherence to brand promise are actually gaining in the current market.
As we assess our marketing results, we need to be very careful not to use declining economy where our own strategic plan and marketing spend has been weak. We haven't seen a significant drop in client's revenue -- with the exception of clients who have decreased their spend.
Interesting, eh?