The Golden Rule – Marketing Style

I just read the article referenced below and it is resonating with me.  This is one of those moments when I say to myself–it is so obvious that it wasn’t obvious.  And to a thinker like me–that is saying something.  The article is titled:  10 Mistakes Brands REALLY Need to Stop Making on Facebook  by Carly Stec  for HubSpot.  I hope you will take a few minutes to read it.  My “Ah-ha” moment came after reading it and thinking about the parallel between brands and humans.

As social media progresses, we are learning that we need to humanize the brand.  If we as marketers communicate from the brand’s point of view, in the brand’s voice, within the same behavioral expectations as humans, then we will not make most of these mistakes. Think about it.  If you have to deal with a friend or co-worker who is: unoriginal, provides way too much content, engages only one-way, is inconsistent, has poor timing, ignores complaints and is trying too hard, you would not want to engage with them, right?  So why would our customers, who are inundated with brand messages and have many other alternatives,  spend their precious time with an ego-centric entity?

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Brands = Humans

Isn’t it that simple?

Do You Label At First Sight?

A colleague of mine, Heather Schuck, founder of Glamajama, Author, Speaker, and Momtrepreneur, posted a great article to her Facebook page titled “Be a Brand, Not a Label“.  It is written by Mark Ecko, founder of several hundred-million dollar global fashion and lifestyle companies, and published in Inc. Magazine.  

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In his piece, Mark talks about brands and labels.  As a branding fanatic, it got me thinking deeply about the difference between the two, and how they are often lumped together incorrectly.  So I am going start my rant, I mean discussion, with labels.  

You see, I hate labels.  Labels to me are superficial.  We are labeled by others throughout our days and lives to categorize where we belong (or not) and these judgements are many times made based on very little accurate information.  We walk into a room and are immediately sized up by others:  We are single, married, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a professional, old, young, attractive, overweight, gay, straight, rich, poor, and on and on and on.  These “labels” wish to categorize us without any knowledge of the “brand” who is behind the label–which is our unique selves.  As Mark states brilliantly:

“It takes hard work to understand, grow and nurture the anatomy of a brand.  You can’t do it on the surface and you can’t slap on a Band-Aid when you lose direction or mess up.  You have to dig deep and poke around with a scalpel–because your brand is not skin deep.  Labels are skin deep, but a true, authentic brand is made of blood, bones and organs.  A brand has a heartbeat. The anatomy of a brand is defined by its authenticity.”

Because a true brand is a living entity, we as consumers can connect to it.  We connect to human brands and non-human brands.  The brand connects emotionally to us.  Whether it is fulfilling a need, or helps us re-live a childhood memory, or makes us feel a part of something, we choose authentic brands over superficial labels.  

The most important brand of all is our personal brand.  Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly creating our brand.  Some of us are doing it more intentionally than others.  Think about it.  If you are a Graphic Designer for a leading Ad Agency, and you create fabulous graphics for a brand that is wildly successful, you might tend to label yourself “As the creator of ABC Co.’s trademarked logo.”  But in reality, you are a fabulous Graphic Designer who through your innate talent, schooling, and professional and life experiences, was able to create the amazing logo for ABC Co.  YOU, your brand, created the logo, not your position, or label.

So what’s the bottom line here?  Let’s stop labeling at first sight.  Let’s get to know the brand.  And let’s be mindful about creating our own brand.  Make it intentional–not just a by-product of what you do.  Let your passion come through and be the leader in developing your brand.  And be a brand, not a label!

Market Like It’s Your Job!

The Tweet Heard Around The World

When thinking about last year’s Super Bowl 47, most people will remember the power outage, and would agree that its occurance changed the game. Football fans would say that when the lights came back on, the momentum shifted away from the 49ers, ultimately resulting in a win for the Ravens.

But for marketing geeks like myself, we would say that when the lights came back on, the social media momentum had shifted dramatically to Oreo, resulting in a major win for the brand.

It was the tweet heard around the world.

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It took the agency 360i less than 10 minutes to execute this brilliant campaign.  They saw the opportunity caused by the blackout, and immediately their team of creatives and executives, on hand to capitalize on a moment like this, started brainstorming.  Within a few minutes they landed on the idea, and the art director brought it to life.  The simply magnificent, “free” 43-character message went viral within minutes, ultimately receiving over 10,000 retweets in the first hour and 20,000 facebook likes.  Many would argue that this timely, on-brand tweet gained way more brand recognition than the $4 million paid commercials.  Luck = Preparation + Opportunity, right?

This year, most of the big brands are setting up social media command centers (Yes! Really!) to follow in 360i’s path of preparedness and increase their chances of being mentioned in the tens of millions of Tweets about the game and halftime show.  (Last year there were 24 million).  I anticipate seeing lots of social media noise, me-too’s and fails, with a few shining moments by brands that truly understand SoMe and more importantly, THEIR customers.

Top 10 Midwest-based PR firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates and Infegy, a social media monitoring and analytics firm will be monitoring the millions of Super Bowl social media conversations and will be providing updates on the LE&A facebook page and the SoMe winners will be posted at www.lambert-edwards.com/superbowl on Monday morning.

Apple’s 1984 commercial and Oreo’s 2013 tweet were marketing game changers.  I anxiously await Super Bowl XLVII for this year’s halfbacks and hashtags, and hopefully being able to write about a NEW game changer on Monday.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME MARKETING???

Super Bowl Infographic

I QUIT!! GoDaddy Style

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We all remember Steven Slater’s epic resignation from Jet Blue.  After a passenger confrontation that broke the proverbial camel’s back, Slater picked up the intercom and delivered an expletive-filled rant prior to grabbing a few cold beers and leisurely sliding down the emergency chute.

In the following days, he became somewhat of an American hero to all those who envied his, ummm, guts.  In this economy, who can fathom up-and-quitting their job, let alone in such grand fashion?   Something about burning bridges, right?

So in typical GoDaddy style, they are attempting to trump Steven’s on-time departure by broadcasting a woman’s “take this job and shove it” message during Sunday’s Super Bowl.  The kicker is that the media has been tipped off, and has been heavily promoting the fact that someone in America will be quitting their job during the big game.  I anticipate that many unpopular bosses will be watching with anxiety as they wait to see if THEIR employee is the one giving public notice.   Hopefully CareerBuilder or Monster will jump in and do their part to supply the jilted employer with a replacement before the end of the 4th quarter!  (Now THAT would be some awesome real-time marketing! I am very curious to see if either employment site jumps on this fabulous social media/brand opp.)  But this is tomorrow’s topic–how social media will be a big part of Sunday Funday!

GoDaddy has been working with the job-quitter to set her up with a website and I imagine she will get some great exposure to help launch her new adventure.  But I hope she remembers about karma and bridges.  Sometimes there IS such a thing as bad publicity!

Would YOU be next year’s job-quitter?  Let me know in the comments below!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME MARKETING???

THROWBACK THURSDAY–SUPER BOWL STYLE

For today’s post, I decided to get nostalgic, and look back over the past 30 years of Super Bowl Commercials and choose my top 12.  Thanks to the internet, I was able to watch over 100 commercials to narrow the list down to my favorites.  They vary from funny to tear-jerking.  You will most likely remember most of them.  So take a trip down advertising memory lane and view the commercials by year–except for my absolute favorite, which I saved for last.  Which is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments below!

 Image  1973:  Noxema:  Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett

Image  1979:  Coke:   Mean Joe Green

Image  1984:  Apple:  1984

Image  1984:  Wendy’s:  “Where’s The Beef”?

Image  1991:  Diet Pepsi: Cindy Crawford

Image  1993:  McDonalds: Jordan vs. Bird

Image  1995:  Budweiser: Frogs

Image  1995:  Pepsi: Diner

Image  1996:  Budweiser:  Clydesdales Play Football

Image  1999:  Monster.com:  When I Grow Up

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 3.41.16 PM  2006:  CareerBuilder Monkeys

And finally my favorite!!

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 4.13.52 PM  2002:  Budweiser 9/11 Tribute

HERE’S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A BIG-SHOT MARKETING BOSS!

For Frito-Lay.  For one day.

For the seventh consecutive year, Frito-Lay has put its marketing trust into the hands of you and millions of your closest friends.  For its “Crash the Super Bowl” promotion, 4000 aspiring film makers, copy writers, students and advertising fanatics tapped into their creative minds and shot their best commercial for Dorito’s.  The pool was narrowed down to the top 5, and now YOU get to decide who wins some serious cash and beaucoup bragging rights! The bottom 3 finalists win a cool $25,000 each. The second place winner receives $50k, and the BIG WINNER gets $1,000,000!  All finalists will nervously party it up at the big game in beautiful North Jersey, anxiously waiting to see their fate. The top 2 will also work on the set of the major motion picture The Avengers: Age of Ultron, in London and get the thrill of watching their ads played during Super Bowl XLVII.

As with any contest, there is always the emotional favorite.  Chris Capel spent eight years working at DreamWorks as an animator, contributing to nine feature films — and then, last year, he got laid off. But now he says maybe that layoff was a blessing in disguise, because it gave him time to go back to his original dream of directing films, which in turn led him to enter this contest with his entry called “Office Thief”.  You can see all five finalists, and vote for your favorite once per day using the following link:  Crash the Super Bowl.  Comment below with your vote and/or via twitter #marketlikeitsyourjob #doritos or facebook .

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Do you remember last year’s finalists?  Here they are:  Fashionista Daddy and the Winner:  Goat For Sale.