The Client Side
Ideas, thoughts and stories from the frontlines of marketing. Dedicated to brand and customer champions worldwide who are making a difference from the client side.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Principles of Brand Leadership
Scott Bedbury is someone I’d like to meet. He wrote a great little book called A New Brand World: 8 Principles for achieving brand leadership in the 21st century.
Who is Scott? He was the brand architect behind Nike & Starbucks. No question these are two phenomenally successful brands (both are personal Lovemarks).
A New Brand World is not a new book, it is actually a few years old but remains relevant. Scott takes on the challenge of breaking down the mystique behind successful brands and reveals how they break through to become legends.
These are likely not the key takeaways Scott would officially list as his "big" points, but are a few items I remembered:
· Every brand has a genetic code. Successful brands crack the code then communicate one clear message internally and externally.
· A creative brief should be no longer than two pages maximum. Never more than two pages, one if you are really good.
· Creative people need special handling. There is a discipline to generate great creative ideas that are aligned with client expectations. The trick is to be a bit like a sheepdog, directing them to an opening where they need to go, then get out of the way and let them take all the credit.
· Use emotion to transcend product-only relationships with customers
Here is an article written by Scott from the Fast Company archives: Nine ways to fix a broken brand.
If the world is now truly Six Pixels of Separation (thanks for coining that one Mitch), I hope Scott reads this and leaves a comment here in the future.
Monday, May 29, 2006
I came across this post from Rohit Bhargava on text messaging today and thought he listed a few interesting text message ideas geared to a better customer service experience.
Rohit stayed at the W New York Times Square and seemed to like how they used text messaging to enhance his stay.
I also stayed at the W New York Times Square a few weeks ago but don’t remember the text service being offered to me. Then again, I was not there on business. I was just another silly tourist, blinded by the lights and not paying attention to anything in particular. But, I would have liked to check it out.
Any other useful text message ideas you’d like to see?
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Bad to Good
Client side friend Sulemaan Ahmed of Sears Travel came clean on One Degree last week about a moment of panic with a recent email campaign. It seems a few more emails were sent than anticipated. For background, here his the post.
Sulemaan pointed to restraint as his first move in handling the situation. And it was a smart one. Anyone who has seen Swimming with Sharks will give credit to the notion that cooler heads prevail. Apologizing was his second smart move.
When we take it upon ourselves to own up with our customers, you’d be amazed how readily the majority embrace the fact that we have acknowledged and apologized.
Transparency brings the brand to a human level. Accountability, in the form of an individual who is willing to take the heat and work to resolve the situation is the right approach – internally and externally.
We are all human and humans make mistakes. Technology is facilitator to bring mistakes to a very wide audience, very quickly. However, technology also provides a real-time way to make things right again.
Part of my response to Sulemaan’s posting on One Degree was the following:
“It is incumbent upon us as marketers in this space to continue the conversation even when we wish we could run and hide. Responding to issues with honesty and transparency to our customers/consumers on the rare occasion when it this happens demonstrates leadership inside and outside the organization.”
(Yes, I did just quote myself. This is not ego-mania at work, just full disclosure that that exact phrase was posted previoulsy on One Degree as a comment. I’m not a fan of the “double post”, so there is my own transparency at work.)
From the client side, I think Sears turned something potentially bad into something good. Kudos.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Overheard in Montreal
Back to CMA National Convention in Montreal for a minute. I heard a number of attendees asking similar questions out of the thought provoking presentations. The questions were along the lines of “what can I do?” or “how does new marketing apply to me?" and "where do I start?”. Some of the comments went as far as to claim "it's all hype".
Well, there are no quick and easy answers. The easiest path is to ignore change and bypass the things that challenge us. It is easier to just keep doing the same old stuff we know, isn't it?
As with most things, taking chances and learing with small wins is a way to get into the game. It's about picking opportunities and trying out something fresh. The only way to know what applies to your situation, and separate hype from hope, is to "just do it". Call it a pilot project and see where it takes you. As the small wins pile up you'll find you are helping to build a foundation for future success.
From the client side, I'd rather be critiqued for trying something new than not doing anything at all. I heard someone say once that luck is a lot hard work. And I believe that. Go get lucky.
CMA National Convention Defines "Next"
What an appropriate time to begin my blog, right on the heels of the Canadian Marketing Association's National Convention in Montreal last week.
This year’s theme was “Next”. It lived up to it’s billing and delivered an exciting glimpse at the road ahead. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Keynote speakers (in order of appearance) included Ron Swift, Kevin Roberts, Dr. Martha Rogers, John Gustavson, Heather Fraser, Max Lenderman, Steve Levy, Joseph Jaffe and Sally Hogshead.
Two keynotes that stood out were Kevin Roberts (Emotional Rescue: Winning in the Attraction Economy) and Joseph Jaffe (Life After the 30 Second Spot: Energize your brand with a Bold Mix of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising). If you have a chance to hear them speak anytime in the future, jump at it. Both were highly relevant and revealing with fantasitic examples of what “Next” really means.
From the client side, there was so much to learn and some great takeaways. Ideas and inspiration were in no short supply. The only disappointment was missing Mesh 2.0 held in Toronto at the same time.
The whole event teemed with energy. I’ve always liked Montreal and last week I liked it even more.
I thought I would have had a more compelling first post but, about one minute after securing the name "The Client Side" for this blog and feeling quite smug, I followed a link off Jaffe Juice and found The Third Way blog.
Description: "Straight talk on advertising from the client side". So much for my originality!
The Third Way seems to be a great resource, however, the focus here is a bit different. I'd attempt to explain it more right now, but I'll let subsequent posts tell the story.
If there are other client side blogs relating to marketing, new media, advertising, customer relationships and data driven communications send a comment and a link.