Month: October 2015

Un-Conference 2015 highlights

The Un-Conference 2015 highlights

The Un-Conference is a fantastic format – small, competitive, fun and full of smart, smart people. I’ve spoken at two and enjoyed both very much. The promo for next year’s event has just been released and it features some great moments from the last event in Miami. Here’s what happens when a bunch of senior marketers get in a huddle to talk through the strategic challenges they’re facing. 2 days in 3 minutes.

How does a brand outgrow its defining characteristic

How does a brand outgrow its defining characteristic?

Twitter was built on 140 characters. Even though the limitation was serendipitous, it remains a defining characteristic of the brand in the minds of many. Concise thinking, hash-tagged to provide simple, global connection – there’s the Twitter value equation in a little under half the consigned quota. But the question Carl Miller asks is a good one. What happens when the idea that defined you starts to work to inhibit you?

Changing the brand context

Changing the brand context

There’s a tendency to see disruption and innovation as huge moments of significance that shake the status quo to its core. Ultimately though neither is about that at all. It’s often about having the courage, vision and confidence to (gently) do big things. And to do them when and where they were least expected.

Brand accuracy – transparency vs disclaimers

Brand accuracy – transparency vs disclaimers

Disclaimers are everywhere. From the websites we visit to the products we buy and the ads we watch, the terms under which consumers read and receive are carefully wrapped in legal bubble-wrap to protect brands from liability. In an age of transparency, such disclosures seem prudent and very much in keeping with the demands of today. You know where you stand. The terms for what you are getting are laid out in explicit detail. Or are they?

Brands, commodities and branded commodities

Brands, commodities and branded commodities

If you’re a marketer, commodity status is a bad thing for your brands. It indicates that your product or service is undifferentiated, that it rises and falls with the market and that it carries no inherent value beyond that. That’s fine when things are going well, and supply cannot keep pace with demand – it’s not so good when the dynamics are reversed. I explain how and why perceived brand value degrades to commodity status here.

What CMOs can expect from a rebrand

What to expect from a rebrand

Every company that rebrands does so with high hopes. Their expectation is of course that this will mark a new chapter in the life of the business. Given how much is being invested, that seems more than a reasonable goal on their part. But is it realistic? How much change can a company expect to see through a rebrand, and where? This article by Laurent Muzellec and Mary Lambkin from some years back lays out some evergreen principles and reminds us that no two rebrands are the same in terms of the results they generate.

The number 2 brand in a market

How to succeed as the number 2 brand

Everyone strives to win, but what happens when you compete in a market where you are, and can never be more than, number two? If you’re Pepsi, for example, or Bing, how do you find the energy to continue to build out a business that will stay where it is, behind a massive incumbent? How do you do that without becoming uninspired, distracted or stuck?