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9 Tweets for Smarter Branding from BrandSmart 2015

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 | 0 comments

I’ll admit it; I often think that conferences are more an excuse to get out of the office, glad-hand and drink (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that) than to really learn and discover anything new. I was pleasantly surprised, then, at the substance-over-style affair that was BrandSmart 2015 his past week. Yes –full disclosure here – I had the privilege of moderating a live Branding Roundtable (which I typically do in print every month for Branding Magazine), and leading a discussion with the luminary likes of Scott Davis of Prophet, Tim Simonds from the Kellogg School of Management, Bob Domenz of Avenue and Julie Springer from TransUnion.  But not only...

3 Little Words for Branding Success

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 | 0 comments

  I recently interviewed Bob Domenz, CEO of Avenue, a B2B brand strategy and activation firm, as part Branding Magazine’s Branding Roundtable on Rebranding. One of the questions was “What are the most common causes of failure in rebranding?” The first three causes he proffered certainly rang true: First, “not having the direct involvement of the CEO and leadership; Second, not deeply involving the customer and customer insights in the process. [and]   Third, approaching the rebranding initiative as just a logo and advertising change.” But it was the fourth that grabbed my attention, both for its economy of phrasing and its simple truth: “Fourth – and most important –...

7 Hot Branding Issues, 23 Experts: Branding Roundtable 2014

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 | 0 comments

  Earlier this year I launched The Branding Roundtable for Branding Magazine, to provide an industry forum for deeper discussion of key topics. Each of the seven issues to date, featuring from three to 16 branding experts from around the world, has produced a fascinating trove of insights from the hundreds of years of combined professional experience represented. Here are just a few highlights (and I encourage you to read each Roundtable in its entirety): Brand Co-Creation: Branding Roundtable No. 1 Scott Davis, Chief Growth Officer, Prophet [Co-creation means] engaging and partnering with all of the stakeholders, internally and externally, that will ultimately either have to bring the brand...

6 Keys to Building an Effective Content Shock Absorber

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 | 0 comments

It’s been almost a year since Mark Schaefer shook up the content marketing world with his “Content Shock” post, which, he said, sought to “demonstrate in simple economic terms why content marketing — the hottest marketing trend around — may not be a sustainable strategy for many businesses.”  His is a basic supply and demand argument:  too much content for too few eyeballs with too little time, compounded by too great an expense for no-longer-free content creation (never really was free) and distribution (used to be sort of free, socially). Now, I’m not here to argue his argument’s merits, or jump on the sometimes defensive-sounding anti-shock bandwagons.  I’d simply...

5 Reasons Brand Strategists Should Start Out as Copywriters

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 | 1 comment

In a faster, more integrated marketing world, a brand strategist needs to take on many roles, marshal multiple talents and be able to bridge the difficult divide between a concrete strategic foundation and the inevitably amorphous (read: human) communication required to bring any brand fully to life.   Unfortunately, even as brand strategists expand their skill sets beyond the traditional realm of insights development, one talent seems to remain underrepresented in brand strategy resumes:  conceptual copywriting.  Allow me (the copywriter-creative-director-turned-brand-strategist) to make a case for why branding firms should recruit and develop strategists out of the creative ranks. Your strategy is the big idea: it takes idea people to...

3 Ways to Keep Emotional Branding Honest

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 | 0 comments

  Research Suggests Your Most Creative Thinkers May Be Delivering Less-than-True Emotion (or Anything Else) Two “current” trends in branding and advertising – emotional branding and storytelling – are hot , at least in part, because they are supposed to help marketers make more honest, human connections with an increasingly skeptical and self-empowered consumer audience. But an older TV spot makes me wonder just how emotionally honest the current marketing environment is (not to mention “Just how new is this whole emotional branding thing, really)? And new research takes it a step further – how emotionally honest can we be? The “older” (2007) TV spot is VW’s “Driving at Night”...