Monday, August 31, 2009

under new management...

The pub down the road from me is under new management again.

Routinely every 6 months or so some new management come in re-arrange the furniture, change the menu and post a sign outside saying 'under new management'.

It might be news for the new managers but for the rest of us it's become boring.
Particularly because; although the management may be new it's the same 20 regulars stood at the bar every day, hogging the pool table, the juke box, swearing, falling over and being generally offensive.

New clientele would be a more interesting statement than new management.
But the new management never have the balls to do anything about that.
It's just a different wrapper.

Friday, August 28, 2009

gurus of marketing #785 Anthony Soprano

Sitting on your hands costs sales and customers.

The world is not waiting for us figure out what to do.
Sart doing something.

Even if it's the wrong thing then there's learning, and you won't do it again.

“The wrong decision is better than indecision”.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

OK is not enough

Yesterday at G HQ we were discussing products and/or brands that seemed like a good idea at the time but never made it for one reason or another, and OK Soda came up.

For younger readers, a bit of history.

The Coca-Cola Company did international market research in the late 80s and found that 'Coke' was the second most recognisable word across all languages in the world.

The first recognisable word word was 'OK'. No-brainer for the Coca Cola people.
Who could pass up the opportunity for numbers 1 AND 2?
World domination would surely follow...

So to take advantage of this opportunity OK Soda was born.
The subsequent soft launch in 1993 was supported by marketing targeted at the 'slacker' generation (late Gen X/ early Gen Y) ie young people who didn't pay much attention to advertising.

And if advertising often aims to associate a 'feeling' with the brand,  then how postmodern clever-dick to associate with the feeling of disillusionment with the products of 20th century capitalism.

Despite the cool package (see pic) and one of the most arch tag lines in the history of advertising:

'Whats the point of OK Soda? Well, what's the point of anything?

It didn't fly and the project was canned 7 months later.

Ahead if it's time, maybe.
The environment wasn't quite ready for pessimism, defeatism and parodied self-indulgent.
If it were to launch today however....

In typical postmodern paradoxical circular-irony, there would indeed have been a market for these fictional anti-products used as part of the promo for the Sex Pistols movie 'The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle some 13 years earlier, had they been made commercially available.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

cockney reject

Close but no cigar.

The East London cash machine that displays it's instructions in alleged 'Cockney rhyming slang'.

Problem is, in proper cockney slang the rhyming word is never said.
ie 'cash no receipt' would read 'sausage no receipt'.

Nice try but ultimately pony from the posh boys in the pr department ;)

There's precious few cockneys in east London anymore, anyway. They all live in Chelmsford or something.

Thanks and finders fee to Spinning Around.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

shine on me

Perhaps the greatest long lost nugget of post-punk and, without any doubt, way way way ahead of it's time.

The undisputable champions of the total look; Boys Wonder.
Fusing punk, mod and pop; celebrating 'Britishness' and it's diversity in their greatest non-hit, Shine On Me.
Hard to credit that this was some 6 or 7 years before Britpop.

Boys Wonder didn't fit with the NME or MTV or Radio 1 back in 1987 so never got the mass media exposure, and ergo record company moolah, that would have seen them break.

By the time that the conditions were right they had already morphed into acid-jazzers Corduroy and Blur et al rolled in and stole the thunder.

Today it would be a different story, the web would have allowed them to find their audience (and them find each other) much quicker.

Mediocre careerist popsters take note: You now do not need to compromise. You do not need to rely on mass media for exposure, or the opinions of some student NME journo.
Or the bloody X Factor.

'If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there' Will Rogers

Still, pump up the volume and stick on yer eyebrows. Let's rock.

Finders fee to downwithtractors.

post purchase reassurance

This is about helping people feel good about their decision to buy your product or service.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?. There are millions feeling the same as you all around the world.

Or maybe you are just Totally Wired? Then you are part of a more select club.

People like to know they have done the right thing, and knowing that others like them have done the same is a good starting point. Sometimes inclusive, sometimes exclusive.

Always remember. You are a unique individual. Just like everybody else.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

dilated peoples?

Well, this UK anti-drug driving tv spot is really cutting it with it's 'target' 'audience'. Just a cursory read of the the comments tells all.

I'm looking forward to the spoofs, no doubt featuring car loads of either black kids, asian, ginger, big noses or whatever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

madchester rave on

The full story of the infamous Tevez poster that launched a million conversations.
Market to situations not demographics.
And a social object to boot
Pure genius.

UPDATE: 21/08
Sadly, I've been asked by Man City representatives to remove the video from You Tube.
Ho hum.

Friday, August 14, 2009

today your love, tomorrow the world

Some marketing lessons from Da Bruddas - Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy (also Marky, Ritchie, CJ and Elvis - for the benefit of completists..) - Ramones.

First up, Ramones’ approach to songsmithery contains some lessons for creating online content, says Michael Aagaard on copyblogger:

1. Eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the substance – the heart and soul of the message you want to convey.

2. Captivate your audience in a nanosecond - Make every headline catchy and simple enough that your readers can’t help but read on.

3. Never lose focus on your audience - Giving the audience an awesome experience is your main priority.

4. Blow self-obsessed smug corporate speak to bits - with razor-sharp relevant content.

Good stuff.

Michael also adds 'Throughout their 22-year career, the Ramones never lost focus on their fans..'

Not strictly true, Micheal. And here is the other lesson.

Between 1980 and about '83 Ramones released 3 mainly duff albums using 'pop' producers - Spector, a bloke out of 10cc and even Dave Stewart (pseudo wierdo out of Eurythmics) - in a desperate, and ultimately fruitless, attempt to capture the mainstream audience that had temporarily paid attention when their sugary sweet cover of 'Baby I Love You' had bothered the top 20 charts in 1980.

During this period, slowly but surely, they started to lose the fans that loved them for the no-nonsense 3 chord rock'n'roll that made their name as, sadly, the much coveted mass mainstream pop audience failed to buy in.

Normal service was resumed, and lessons learned with 1984's 'Too Tough To Die', which ditched the so-slick production and returned to the buzzsaw rock'n'roll. And slowly the fans came back.

Ditching the key distinctive elements of the brand that make 'you' look and sound like 'you' is is a risky strategy.
Other people are far better at being other people.

And, compromising your product or service, overstretching the brand in the hope of appealing to everyone, means you might end up appealing to no-one.

Gabba gabba hey.

some things are meant to be together

This was a sponsorship/partnership waiting to happen.
Now it has. Madmen and Playboy.

The vintage car articles are of particular interest.

HT brandDNA

potential H-bomb

The Archies, bubblegum cartoon popsters of 'sugar sugar' fame, in a more angry mood. Awesome.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ch-ch-cheque this out...

USAA, a small US bank and insurance company (outside of the top 20) are updating their iPhone app with a cheque deposit function.

A customer snaps both sides of the cheque with the iphone’s camera then the app pings the pictures to USAA and your account is credited.

“We’re essentially taking an image of the [cheque], and once you hit the send button, that image is going into our deposit-taking system as any other [cheque] would,”
Wayne Peacock, a USAA executive vice president.

Full article from New York Times

guy kawasaki on the art of innovation [vid]

The ten steps for innovation, as eloquently described by Guy Kawasaki at Cisco Live last month.

The ten steps:

1. Make meaning - Look to create meaning first, money will follow.
2. Make a mantra (not a mission statement)
3. Jump to the next curve - take big leaps, optimisation is not revolution.
4. Roll the dice - make it deep, intelligent, complete and elegant
5. Donʼt worry, be crappy - get your thing out there, use user feedback to finish it.
6. Let 100 flowers blossom - the users will decide how your product fits into their life.
7. Polarize people - don't try and please everyone.
8. Churn, baby, churn - test and learn, test and learn
9. Follow the 10-20-30 rule - pitching with power point, we all know this one.
10. Donʼt let the bozos get you down - see devil's advocate.

There's a key chart towards the end around value, which i've reproduced for future use.
The more unique (ie innovative) your offering directly corresponds to the amount of value it can create for you (and the recipients).

HT freshnetworks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

why spotify will fail by bloke from 1938media

I must say I pretty much 99% agree with the fella from 1938media.

I want to own the music that means something in my life.
It's part of who I am.

Spotify is just like commercial radio, but on-demand. Thats it.

Like Bob Lefsetz said: 'We don't have a piracy problem, we have a music problem'

hang the dj...

Even in the days of the single channel unfragmented, unconverged media landscape, they still wanted to block dem ads...

via greg verdino

Monday, August 10, 2009

facts don't spread (or sell), stories do.

The Wicked Sick Project....
The wacky Oz yoof-ness of this makes me baulk a bit but you can't argue with the result.
These gentlemen bought a bmx bike on ebay, reposted it with a story that matched the worldview of the customer and it sold for 5 times what they paid.

It's the story that sells.

HT to Ciaran in the G office.

unintentional branding

The Washington Post reports that even the notorious Nigerian email fraud scammers are feeling the pinch in the credit crunch.

One of said scammers, Banjo (24) speaking about Americans is quoted "They don't have money. And the money they don't have, we want."

Had to chuckle at this.

'Nigerian officials dispute their country's prominence in online fraud, noting that scam networks rely on agents around the globe. But 419 [named for a section of the Nigerian criminal code] is cemented in Nigerian popular culture. The scammers, known as "yahoo-yahoo boys," are glorified in pop songs such as "Yahoozee," which gained even more fame after former secretary of state Colin L. Powell danced to it at a London festival last year.'

Or will they be 'bing-bing boys' now?...

Brands spend squillions of pounds/dollars on advertising and 'brand building' but more than ever brands are appropriated by forces outside of their control.

HT to slashdot and Hugo Guzman

the devil's advocate

Just started reading The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley of IDEO fame. On the jacket there's a quote from Seth Godin '...there's a nugget on every page'.

This is true, so far.

In the intro Tom talks about 'The Devil's Advocate'.

This is the person WE ALL KNOW, who - in new idea development sessions - says 'Let me just play Devil’s Advocate for a minute…' and then proceeds to be the force for negativity that manifests to crush new concepts and potentially innovative ideas before they have even had a chance to grow.

Tom says 'This person represents a subtle yet toxic danger to your organization’s cause, greatly diminishing the chance for innovation with their negativity and naysaying.'

Get this person out of the room, immediately.

Monday, August 03, 2009

business model for musicians

So it goes on. The music industry continues to find itself in a well documented pickle. Never fear. Bands, Artists, can still be a success, without big record companies, by following this simple plan.

Step 1.
Make something that touches peoples lives in some way. Make this objective you're number one priority. Remember, it don't mean a thing if it don't mean a thing. And It's not just the music. It's as much about how the rest of it resonates. Malcolm says ideally a mix of sex, subversion and style. OK Radiohead have none of those and they have done ok, but there's always an exception.

Step 2.
Find your audience. There's no shortcuts here. Organise your own gigs, club nights, events or whatever. Try and hook up with 2 or 3 other bands/artists working in broadly the same area as you. Once there are 3 bands you have a movement. Assuming each band has about 4 members and each member has 5 mates, then you should have a crowd for your gig of at least 60 people. To the outside world, and particularly the early adopters, it now looks like something is going on. If it's controversial, even better. If you are any good, it will start to snowball.

Step 3.
Remember step 1. If your product is worth it, then your fans will start to spread the word. Now is probably the time to have some music online that the fans can start to distribute for you. There's plenty of tools online for this. but don't get hung up on that. Keep focused on being amazing, and give people the opportunity to opt-in at every touch-point, so you can build your fan club.

Step 4.
Make some stuff for fans to buy. Ideally physical objects that cannot be easily replicated digitally. And make them limited editions. True fans will want to support you and will pay for stuff. Just not mp3s.

Create a movement, play for the true fans, give them stuff to buy, if you are any good the masses will soon find you.