July 13, 2011 by Chuck Kent
I came across a very revealing blog post recently in BtoB magazine, by Ginger Shrimp, the Marketing Director at SAP , entitled “The Proper Care and Maintenance of Creatives.” Even though I have been one of those creatives for my entire career, I took no offense at what might seem an entirely condescending attitude toward me and my conceptualizing kin. Rather, I understood it completely.
Dude, You’re An English Major Making a Ton of Money – Lighten Up!
I have long wondered why my fellow creative laborers, former English and art majors and such, don’t remain awestruck that we got into an incredibly challenging, often fun and improbably lucrative career. Why do we maintain the pretense that our very commercial art is more art than commercial? In a consumer society, is there any sin in selling stuff?
What I do not understand is why marketers, and the agencies that serve them, have not only tolerated but actually nurtured the industry dynamic of creative people as les enfants terribles.
Yes, It Pays to Be Able to Come Up with The Big Idea
Now, please do not get me wrong. As a writer and creative director I believe there is enormous business value in cultivating creative talent that can pluck memorable, persuasive, business-building ideas out of seeming thin air (after all, where do ideas come from? If everybody knew, my company and all our competitors would be out of business.) But why the attitude? And why does everybody seem to enjoy the posture of “Oh, we’re the serious business people and you’re the wild and crazy creative types.” Ultimately you get what you ask for in business (or at least you cannot complain when you do). Why can’t all of us on both sides of the client-creative divide harness ourselves to the proposition that we’re all business people here, we are all about selling stuff – and that that’s a great career all around?!?
Four ways marketers can make the most of their creative relationships
I have three suggestions for everyone on the client side, from CMOs to brand managers, to improve the productivity of their creative relationships:
1. Create real relationships with your creatives. Creative people are supposed to be your interpreters to the world at large – but unless we create some real human linkage, we’re not going to be able to use our talents to express your vision
2. Make creative people mutually responsible for strategy. The strategy IS the idea; leverage creative people’s insights from the outset, invest them in the direction, and be mutually responsible as a team to seeing it executed at the highest level.
3. Keep creative briefs brief. We’re in the business of message distillation, and kitchen sinks don’t distill well. Confining yourself to a single page of essential direction is a good discipline.
4. Learn to critique rather than criticize. Provide specific, actionable input. If your only comment is “I’ll know it when I see it, “ odds are that you won’t.
Four ways creatives can earn the trust of their clients
OK, I have a few suggestions for creatives, too, things which many of you already do, no doubt, but which an amazing number of us ignore:
1. Be a strategic thinker. Let me repeat point number two above: The strategy IS the idea. The creative is “just” how the idea gets expressed. If you’re not invited into the strategic process, insert yourself.
2. Learn to listen, and repeat what you’ve heard. Clients and creatives are like a bad marriage, each side feeling that the other just doesn’t hear or understand them. Listening not only improves the spot-on quality of your work but also the quality of its reception.
3. Go above and beyond. There may come a time when you’ve got the one perfect idea and that’s all you’ll show the client; but you better damn well make sure you’ve pushed your exploratory limits far enough that you’re willing to risk making a client feel like you’re a prima donna forcing them into a creative corner. Better yet, push yourself to offer options and have a strong rationale for your recommendation (but never, ever show something just for filler).
4. Bring ‘em the talent, spare ‘em the attitude. I once worked for the late, and justifiably legendary, Phil Dusenberry at BBDO who, based on talent alone, had more right than most to be a huge pain in the ass than anyone I’ve ever met in this business. Yes, he was incredibly tough. Demanding. His critiques could be brutal (even when nearly whispered in that voice that you had to lean over to catch… “Chuck… frankly… it sucks.”) But he was also brilliant, not just in being able to generate big ideas, but sell also them. A huge part of that came down to this: while his philosophy was “it’s all about the work,” he let the work do the talking and left out the I’m-just-too-cool-a-creative-guy attitude. (I also experienced him as a guy with a big heart in a supposedly heartless business… but that personal experience is the stuff of another post).
Why does this all matter, from a purely business point of view? As I opined in a previous post, “Can You Trust a Brand that Doesn’t Trust Itself,” it’s hard to create external brand trust if the internal brand stewards all along the line – including clients and creatives – don’t trust each other.
So, what do you do to create trust with your creatives or clients?
Category: "brand trust", advertising, marketing, trust, UncategorizedTags: advertising, BBDO, brand managers, brand trust, brand truth, chuck kent, CMO, creativity, Ginger Shrimp, marketing director, SAP, trustability | Comments (3)
July 1, 2011 by Chuck Kent
Building brand trust is widely accepted as key to building a brand’s success – the latest Edelman Trust Barometer, mentioned in a previous post, declares that “Trust is now an essential line of business” – and businesses take great pains to create and nurture that trust at every consumer touch point. But what happens when the brand stewards don’t actually trust, or even much respect, each other?
How can you create brand trust if you don’t trust your brand communicators?
A recent survey out of London notes that 73% of CEOs feel that their own CMOs “lack business credibility,” largely because they feel their marketing leaders focus too much on the latest marketing trends – especially social media – and not enough on the latest company numbers (or at least not enough on the ROI of their various marketing initiatives).
How can brand stewards build trust in each other?
This survey is actually not news; I’ve observed the dynamic for years, in many clients across many categories, and not only between CEOs and CMOs. There’s also a lack of trust between CMOs and their agencies… and anyone who’s worked in an agency probably has a trove of examples of how little trust there can be between account people and creatives.
I believe that Edelman’s conclusion on consumer trust can be applied to internal trust issues as well: “Trust is a protective agent and leads to tangible benefits; lack of trust is barrier to change” In short, when the brand team doesn’t trust itself, it defeats itself.
Of course, there are also many exceptions to the above, and I invite you to share your examples here. Over the years, when I’ve seen things work it’s typically because the majority of brand team members, from the CEO and CMO to the agency’s junior copywriter, at least tacitly agree to:
1. Set expectations
2. Accept mutual accountability for producing positive business results
3. Be not only demanding but also supportive
Out of this can come not only better brand communications but also a better internal brand environment, the kind required to deliver the positive brand experience that builds consumer trust – and better bottom lines.
A question to CMOs and their marketing teams:
What are you doing to build internal trust in your marketing efforts?
Category: "brand trust", advertising, B2B advertising, branding, marketing, social media, trustTags: advertising, advertising credibility, brand managers, brand trust, branding, CEO, CMO, marketing director | Comments (1)
June 10, 2011 by Chuck Kent
A recent news piece highlighted neurological research showing that the Apple brand “triggers a reaction in the brain that’s not unlike that of religious [devotion].” Good news for the folks at the Holy C (Cupertino)? Perhaps. But also perhaps a red flag, both for Apple, long-term, and for a branding industry wherein everyone tries to be Apple.
The danger in trying to set up products or services as demi-gods with legions of devoted worshippers is that religion is just a mechanism for living out a faith, and consumers can “get religion” – that is, buy in to the feelings of euphoria, worshipful expressions of praise, the social (networking) support and even a new lifestyle – without ever having real faith (or, in brand terms, trust). To paraphrase a well-known parable, they are like consumers which plant themselves in trendy retail aisles, sprouting up quickly and in great number, but never taking root, soon fading away under the brighter sun of some other new product offering. This applies more to “wish we were Apple-like” brands than to those few, like the Mac-maker itself, which have consumer cults grow up around them over time.
Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t good for business to have adoring throngs literally worshipping your products and tithing 10% of their income to your company coffers (although it worries me for our culture overall that such temporal, and temporary, attractions – even those as compelling and high-quality as Apple offers – can today elicit the same kind of response once reserved for considerations of the cosmic and eternal… but that’s another post entirely). What I am saying is that brands that don’t try to create religious fervor are less likely to see that fervor wane, and more likely to create something of lasting value.
Three Ways to Keep Consumers from Losing their Faith
1. Don’t create a brand religion in the first place. It’s all fine and good to use the popular, pseudo-religious jargon of branding: brand evangelists, brand passion, true believers, conversion rates and the like. But rather than trying to create a religion, invest in creating a relationship of trust among equals: honest, value-based, respectful (especially of intelligence).
2. Do create an exceptional brand experience starting with a believable, valuable brand promise that can be lived up to day in and day out.
3. Seek the truth, and it shall set you free. Uncover the simple, positive truth about your brand – or rework the core offering until there is a simple, positive truth to share. Don’t overpromise, or indulge the power of story so far that it strains credulity. The truth, effectively shared, is self-evident. You don’t have to keep “selling” it, just share it (and watch others share it for you.)
A Sadly Humorous Case in Point
on the Downside of the Religion of Marketing and the Marketing of Religion
If you’d like an amusing/distressing real-life example of the downside of hyper-religious
over-marketing, and its effects on true believers, listen to Jen Lee’s Moth Podcast, “Targeted” available currently on iTunes and elsewhere on the web.
Category: "brand trust", marketing, religionTags: Apple, brand evangelism, brand evangelist, brand loyalty, brand managers, brand personality, Brand Promise, brand religion, brand strategist, brand strategy, brand trust, brand truth, branding, Jen Lee, marketing to millennials, The Moth | Comments (0)
February 23, 2011 by Chuck Kent
When I was a young copywriter at BBDO New York, a creative director once remarked, while looking over my paltry petty cash report, “Damn, you really do teach Sunday School, don’t you?” Yes, I did. I still do. And I find that what makes me a good teacher for kids is also what’s behind my success as a copywriter, creative director and brand strategist: a simple approach to conveying the simple truth.
Ah, simplicity. It’s quite the hot topic – or should be – with anyone in the business of building and promoting brands in an age of ever-increasing complexity. There’s even an annual index to track which sectors and brands are best delivering on, and profiting from, the promise of “simple is good”: The Global Brand Simplicity Index, from Siegel+Gale.
Because my company, Creative on Call, happens to operate from a similar, anti-complexity positioning (which I appreciate them buttressing with some really extensive, expensive research), I’d also like to paraphrase some of Seigel+Gale’s key findings:
• Simplicity pays at the cash register: Consumers report a willingness to pay a premium for products and services that make life easier
• Simplicity pays in the stock market: The leaders in their simplicity index significantly outperform leading market indices
I also like their conclusion as to how brands can achieve the benefits above: “Clarity and transparency pay. Brands that communicate simply and provide outstanding customer experiences can differentiate on this basis, charge a premium and gain customer loyalty in the process.”
The only thing I’d change in that statement is to say that such brands can “earn a premium.” One great advantage of marketing out of simplicity and the simple truth is that rather than selling your benefits they become self-evident. Consumers can then better self-select and “sell to themselves,” purchasing with a sense of a brand having earned their business rather than simply charged for it. And once consumers sell a brand to themselves, they naturally start selling it to others – the heart of true, and truly contagious, brand evangelism.
The Simplicity Index can teach us all a lesson, useful in marketing or in Sunday school:
Communicate simply (distill the brand promise to its most memorable essence).
Provide outstanding customer experiences (make that promise come alive).
Category: advertising, branding, marketing, marketing researchTags: brand evangelism, brand evangelist, brand loyalty, brand managers, brand personality, Brand Promise, brand strategist, brand strategy, brand trust, brand truth, brand valuation, branding, chuck kent, copywriting, Siegel+Gale, Simplicity Index | Comments (2)
February 14, 2011 by Chuck Kent
As Valentine’s Day is upon us, it seems only fitting to diverge a bit from our usual focus on brand trust and brand truth to consider another bit of marketing-speak currently in vogue: brand passion.
I suspect that the emergence of this term is largely a matter of competitive coinage, a point of differentiation for branding gurus in a marketplace of ideas already crowded with brand personifications. Last year a consumer insight firm with the decidedly un-sexy moniker Netbase introduced The Brand Passion Index, presumably to better excite its own prospective customers – and I think they do an interesting job of it. Here’s a graphic from their latest blog post, showing which champagne brands are getting the consumer love:
What do the French Know About (Brand) Passion, Anyway?
The consideration of brand passion has some academic backing, too, including a recent study from France (I am trying my best to avoid a stereotypical “where else” reference here), which defines brand passion as “…the enthusiasm, the infatuation or even the obsession of a consumer for a brand”. Like the interpersonal passion, the brand passion construct is made of three dimensions: cognitive, emotional and behavioural.”
Here is the French model (no, not that kind of French model) used in the research:
Their exceedingly dispassionate conclusion?
“This research also indicates that brand consumer relationship characteristics (trust and identification) may have an influence on brand passion. Specifically, results indicate that brand passion is highly influenced by brand global identification and also by brand trust but to a lesser extent. Moreover, contrary to [previous studies] we do not find any significant link between consumer’s extraversion and brand passion. We also demonstrate that brand passion can influence brand commitment and positive word-of-mouth, but not willingness to pay more for the brand.”
Passion Gets You Hot, But Trust Keeps You From Cooling Off
I find it interesting that even in the realm of “passion,” trust is a key player, which suggests to me that discussions of brand loyalty, brand passion, etc. all need to start at the same place if brands want to establish relationships that will last beyond the first blush of consumer lust:
1. Start with the simple truth about your brand, and stay true to it.
2. Show your consumer the kind of “love” you want to get in return, in the quality of your products and service.
3. Communicate with consistency, and genuine ardor (to stretch the analogy with true interpersonal passion, how many relationships have turned loveless because one partner wants to jump straight to the business at hand while the other needs a little listening and talking time first?)
This Valentine’s Day, all of us “brand romantics” will do well to remember that while passion ignites many a relationship, it takes honest, hard work to keep one going.
Category: branding, creativity, marketing, marketing researchTags: advertising, belief, brand evangelism, brand loyalty, brand managers, brand passion, brand personality, Brand Promise, brand truth, branding, chuck kent, consumer cynicism, copywriting, marketing director, Valentine's Day | Comments (1)
February 9, 2011 by Chuck Kent
One of the simplest, and perhaps most popular, definitions of a brand is “a brand is a promise.” Of course, how that promise is kept, or not, shapes the brand experience, which in turn builds, or tears down, brand trust.
Does More Brand Experience Leading to Less Brand Trust?
It’s that matter of brand experience that made me take special note of the emerging markets section of Edelman’s new Brand Trust Barometer. As I noted in my last post, “Is Your Cup of Brand Trust Half Full or Half Empty?,” while institutional trust is up globally, overall it’s barely past the 50% mark. But take a look at the state of trust in business in emerging markets like Brazil, India and China:
Emerging markets are seeing business trust levels up to 81%! Compare that to the U.S., where trust in business declined to just 46%, or to other developed markets, like France and the UK, where trust is similarly low (forming a group that Edelman aptly calls the “distrusters”). Finally, look at how emerging and developed markets view media, our key brand messengers:
Promises, Promises – We Need a New Brand of Promises
Where trust in business is high, so is trust in media, and visa versa. I can only conclude that in emerging markets – let’s call them “inexperienced markets” – it is the pent up desire (hope) for access to trustworthy brands and information that drives the higher marks. In developed markets, that hope seems to have been squashed by… what else, experience.
Now, I realize that such is the sway of the human heart over the head – as creatures of spirit as well as intellect, we march hopefully toward new horizons, ignoring unknown dangers and disappointments in favor of our desired outcome. But hearts get broken all the time, misused in unfaithful relationships. So it seems to be in the marketplace – inexperienced consumers go starry-eyed to the altar of brand trust and loyalty, lured by brand promises but too often disappointed by a faithless brand partner. As a result they become less likely to believe the next partner’s promises, and trust erodes.
What Will It Take to Maintain Trust Within Emerging Markets?
This all suggests strongly that companies doing business in emerging markets – particularly companies coming from a developed-market mindset – cannot rely on early-stage consumer trust to last. They need to develop a new brand equation. Although I have always subscribed to the basic brand marketing formula of
I think that equation should now be amended to
Experience has the multiplier effect here, raised to an ever-expanding power via the multitude of opportunities and ways to experience a brand and the limitless, seemingly uncontrollable consumer determination of those experiences.
Product quality and performance, as well as brand messaging about the same, are all certainly part of the mix; but as Don Peppers commented on the aforementioned post, trust and customer service are inexplicably linked in any new calculation of how brand experience impacts brand trust:
In today’s age of e-social connections, I think trustability is becoming one of the most important basic ingredients in customer service. A truly trustable brand is one that you’ll be able to rely on — one that won’t trick you into paying more than you need, or buying more than you can afford, or settling for lower quality than you really want. As customers connect with each other, word will be getting around faster and faster about just which brands and companies are genuinely trustable. And which aren’t.
But will players in emerging markets be able to avoid the trust-and-loyalty-liquidating habits that businesses acquire in developed markets? And what concrete steps do you recommend business operating in emerging markets take to capitalize on and maintain the current high levels of trust? Please add your thoughts.
Category: advertising, branding, content creation, marketing, marketing research, online marketing, social media, UncategorizedTags: advertising, belief, brand evangelism, brand loyalty, brand managers, brand trust, branding, chuck kent, consumer cynicism, Edelman Trust Barometer, free coffee, social media | Comments (2)
January 10, 2011 by Chuck Kent
Copywriters, art directors and graphic designers all have illusions of creating a timeless campaign, tagline, brand identity or ad (can anyone say “Lemon” and not conjure up what I mean?), something that will outlive our careers. But the digital age is giving a whole new meaning to the notion of “timeless,” and even “immortality,” as discussed an interesting piece in yesterday’s New York Times, “Things to Do in Cyberspace When You’re Dead.”
The article deals with the personal implications of the “digital afterlife,” and describes trying to preserve and control one’s digital legacy. It mentions posthumous Facebook status (turning your page in to a memorial), “digital estate-management services” to archive literally every bit of your online life, and even a symposium/trade show event called “Digital Death Day.” And while this is all directed at individuals, it makes me wonder about the possibly damning implications of a digital afterlife for brands.
We gleefully cede control of our brand messaging and reputations daily in pursuit of consumer engagement and user-generated content – and we do it all in a very large medium, the Internet, that we can neither truly control nor certainly ever erase. In short, nothing dies on the Internet. So, beyond the challenges of online brand management in the here and now, how do we plan and provide for our brands’ futures?
In the past it was relatively easy to reposition a failing brand – you flooded the airwaves and print media with new images and messaging, completely replacing the old messaging which, save for museum archives and antique shops, was largely out of the consumer’s reach. But in a new world where every iteration of your ads, every tweet, every product description or review may well be forever searchable, accessible, and part of (the confusion around) the consumer conversation, how will you manage, let alone drive, necessary brand evolution?
I have three suggestions for aiming your brand toward the Virtual Pearly Gates rather than the Eternal Digital Inferno:
The 3 Keys to Brand Heaven in the Digital Age
1. Find the Simple Truth About Your Brand
Don’t confuse brand positioning with brand posturing.
2. Always be honest
The best way to keep your future brand story from being contradicted by its past is to keep it a true story all along.
3. Cultivate a culture that supports points 1 and 2
How many times have you heard it: Your people are your brand. Make sure they understand your promise, care about it and are just as rewarded by delivering it as are your customers are by receiving it.
Category: "brand trust", branding, marketing, online marketing, social mediaTags: advertising, advertising credibility, brand evangelism, brand evangelist, brand loyalty, brand managers, Brand Promise, brand trust, brand truth, branding, CMO, coffee, digital afterlife, online marketing, online privacy, social media, Twitter, youth marketing | Comments (2)
January 3, 2011 by Chuck Kent
The new year inevitably brings new resolutions for self-improvement. But what about brand improvement? What are you doing to get your brands in better shape for the new year? I have three simple suggestions for any brand manager, marketing director or CMO – but first, a word about the inspiration behind them.
Change Your Brain, Change Your Brand
In a New Year’s Day op-ed piece in The New York Times entitled “This Year, Change Your Mind,” renowned neurologist, psychiatrist and author Oliver Sacks makes the case that we can do more than merely trim down or shape up our flabby bodies – we can actually give our brains a workout to create new cognitive capabilities, new mental capacities. He speaks of “Neuroplasticity – the brain’s capacity to create new pathways…” and cites several remarkable examples of how individuals overcame significant deficits, such as blindness or strokes, and got their brains to perform in altogether new ways – in fact, often in ways unavailable to those of us with “normal” brains.
It all makes me wonder why we don’t spend more time challenging ourselves to stretch our brand brains, to challenge set brand positioning or entrenched brand heritage and see what else our products and services are capable of achieving. With that quite literally in mind, I encourage you to explore the reaches of your own “brand plasticity” in each of these three ways.
Brand Brain-building Exercise #1:
Make the Brand Champion Joust with New Challengers
If you have brand responsibilities, whether as a seasoned CMO or a brand-new brand manager, you likely see yourself as the brand champion within your organization (or you certainly should). Of course, champions can become as set in their ways as anyone else – so find some new blood in your organization and throw down a gauntlet. Look outside the usual marketing and sales suspects to find deep thinkers in other areas and challenge them to challenge you. Ask them to examine your assumptions, your programs, your new plans. Make yourself defend your own thinking, fight for your own positions. It may feel terrifying or exciting – either way, like all exercise, it can only make you and your brands stronger.
Brand Brain-building Exercise #2:
See How You Look in the Marketing Mirror
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain share, a good, clear look in the mirror can provide critical impetus and information. The best marketing mirror is your customer – and you get the best reflection when someone else stands in front of him or her for you. So contract someone a little off the usual path – not a researcher, but perhaps a journalist, writer or artist (or, as with some of my favorite project teammates, researchers with artistic bents, such as stand-up comedy and photography). Ask them to conduct a series of personal, one-on-one conversations either face-to-face or on the phone (and emphasize the free-wheeling nature of a conversation, rather than the point-by-point checklist of an interview). Have them ask permission to videotape or record the sessions. Then watch. Listen. Appreciate your customers as individuals, rather than as research subjects, and you’ll gain a new appreciation of what your brand truly is (or can be) in their lives.
Brand Brain-building Exercise #3:
Put Some Real Art into the Art of Branding
Once you’ve challenged your preconceived notions with internal and external stakeholder input, go to one more invaluable, yet often ignored, source for fresh perspective: art. It doesn’t matter if you choose music, painting, sculpture, dance, poetry or any other art form. The important part is that you jump out of your usual corporate rut and dive in to the extra-rational tools humanity has developed to better understand itself. Whether you chose to appreciate art, create it, or both, you with surely stretch your own brain and, in so doing, equip your brand brain for surprising new growth.
Category: advertising, branding, creativity, marketing, UncategorizedTags: 2011, brand managers, Brand Promise, brand trust, brand truth, branding, CMO, copywriting, corporate communicaitons, marketing director, New York Times, Oliver Sacks, resolutions | Comments (2)
December 10, 2010 by Chuck Kent
Question of the day: can artlessness in brand communications (in this case, a profound lack of creativity and sensitivity) erode trust in a famous art brand?
A “Formerly Favorite” Institution
The question arose yesterday when I opened an email from one of my (formerly) favorite art museums. The subject line: “Last Chance to Adopt-a-Dot for Christmas Delivery.”
Adopt-a-Dot? A dot? Give me a break. Granted, I may be hyper-sensitive to the emotional cluelessness of the over-used-and-abused “adopt-a-_________” naming convention… after all, I am the father of two wonderful girls who we adopted from China, and, like so many other parents of families formed through adoption, I recoil at the casual (and particularly, the commercial) use of the word “adopt.”
We as adoptive parents work daily to reinforce the permanence, preciousness and equal human value of our familial bond, only to have it continually trivialized by “adopt-a-highway,” “adopt-a-species,” “adopt-a-turkey,” and even “adopt-a-demon”… or any of the countless, inane misuses found among the 24 million plus Google search results for “adopt-a- __________“ (oh, did I forget to mention “adopt-a-microbe?”). But to have an institution that purports to reach out to children and families demean adoption by the use of “Adopt-a-dot” strikes me as thoughtless at best.
Their pitch is to get people to donate $10 for a dot, a round metal pin representing one of the museums “six iconic colors.” Huh?
What’s the Branding Point(illism)?
Don’t get me wrong – this is a wonderful, first-class museum with some of the world’s greatest artworks made available to the public, often for free. Among my favorites is a masterpiece of pointillism. Those “dots” come together in the most amazing way – and appear to be what little conceptual inspiration there is behind the Adopt-A-Dot campaign. The promotion gets all the more questionable when the museum attempts to stretch the “idea” to encompass other works beyond pointillism,or to apply their dot-ty idea generically (the dots are personified by first-person commentary, such as this raison d’être from the Gold dot: “Because I add a decorative flair to sculptural works rendered in steel…”). But there is no connection to actual adoption. No one is adopting a dot to care, protect and nurture it, let alone make a home with it or pledge heart, soul and the entirety of one’s earthly substance to its well-being.
I can only presume that this revered institution, like so many other unoriginal marketers (Adopt-a-Shark!), wants to misappropriate the emotional connection implied by human adoption. Get emotional! Get connected! This is your baby! Send money!
A Lack of Brand Truth = A Lack of Brand Trust
At bare marketing minimum, this lacks any sense of brand truth, failing to connect with art’s inherent mission of observing and conveying the essence of the human condition. At worst, it makes me want to further ignore that mailer about an expired membership – after all, can one really trust an art brand that is so artless?
What do you think? Please leave me a comment below (right after all those tags… look hard… it’s there…)
Category: "brand trust", adoption, advertising, branding, cause-related marketing, creativity, marketing, UncategorizedTags: adoption, adoptive dads, adoptive families, adoptive moms, advertising credibility, brand managers, brand personality, Brand Promise, brand trust, brand truth, brand voice, branding, Christmas promotions, copywriting, creativity, direct marketing, museum marketing | Comments (0)
November 30, 2010 by Chuck Kent
NOTE: This is one of our periodic “leave a comment, get a coffee card” posts. If you are one of the first 10 to comment, we’ll send you a $5 Starbucks coffee card (it’s the next best thing to actually sitting down over a cup and swapping stories).
I am a copywriter by trade – possessed, like most copywriters I know, with pretensions toward art beyond the commercial – so I couldn’t help but smile when I read the following in this morning’s New York Times:
“… the One Club for art and copy in New York will salute the top 10 campaigns of what it calls the Digital Decade… A feature shared by the campaigns [according to the club’s president] is their use of new media and new technologies for great storytelling…”
Gather Around the Digital Fire
Great storytelling. It’s been the common thread through human communication ever since we gathered around fires to hand stories from generation to generation. Even now, amid all the hype around digital media, it turns out that even the most amazing technology isn’t an end in itself, but “just” a conduit, a medium, a stage upon which we must still present compelling human stories. (A brief digression: if you haven’t heard a great story lately, check out my favorite storytelling site, The Moth)
More than anything, great story telling is what our clients are looking for these days. When we get calls for content creation, it is inevitably because, although a prospect has followed all the SEO rules, they’ve not yet found their unique point of view, voice or story, that very human weaving of motivating facts and unmistakable feelings.
The other interesting aspect of the NYT article is the part I left out of the quote above: “…their use of new media and new technologies for “great storytelling” that rivals the stories told by ads in traditional media like television and print.” Wow. Story envy, with the new digital kid on the block looking up to her more traditional elders, all because they still know how to tell a tale that gets to the head and heart.
Perhaps today’s to do list includes figuring out your social media strategy, tweaking your new home page or looking for an app developer. That’s great. But before you make a move on any of those projects, answer me this: What’s your story?
Here’s one, relatively early (2001-2) example from the One Club honorees, one of the first digital breakthroughs, from the series of BMW online short films by famous directors (or, as the article notes “… a series of shorts – or long commercials…):
Category: "brand trust", advertising, creativity, marketing, social mediaTags: advertising credibility, brand evangelism, brand managers, brand personality, brand trust, brand truth, CMO, coffee, corporate communicaitons, digital advertising, digital media, free coffee, marketing to millennials, Millennials, One Club, online advertising, online films, online video, social media, stories, storytelling, The Moth, The One Show, youth marketing | Comments (4)