Tag Archives: Brand

Feedback

Positive feedback equals recognition, reward, motivation and satisfaction.

On the other hand, negative feedback means something’s wrong.  The current method or strategy isn’t working.  The plan isn’t rolling out.  A new course needs to be charted.

One hears a lot about positive feedback and the need to feel “loved”.  Articles abound that theorise the need for positive reinforcement as a route to engaged staff and teams.
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“Come fly with me…”

Being remarkable and memorable involves deliberate steps.

Change the scheme.
Alter the mood.
Interrupt the routine.
Be unexpected.

Need an illustration and example? Watch how this (now famous) airline steward does just that during the usually mundane cabin announcement before the tragic experience that’s air travel in the now times.

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Beer Brand Eats Own Young!

I’m not going to pretend that I know the exact thought process behind this, but from what I see here it looks like the beer parents of one brand are eating their own young.

In this case, the parent is XXXX Gold, a grand old staple of the Aussie beer fraternity.  The young is a new brand on the market in XXXX Summer Bright, Lion Nathan’s Cerveza-styled entry to the market.

Lion Nathan launched XXXX Summer Bright nationally earlier this month with a campaign that included outdoor (having been tested in several Australian geographical markets over the past year).

Here’s the Summer Bright campaign…..

Summer Bright 2010 outdoor

And here’s one of at least 5 billboards I saw yesterday on a cross-town trip.

XXXGold 2010 outdoor

The creative executions are vaguely similar but it’s the media choice (outdoor) which is the factor proving my headline most strongly.
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Unexpectations

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If you want to change (or even reset) the way people think about your brand and what you offer, you won’t do it by telling stories that are expected.  Communicating the same idea as always doesn’t change behaviour, invite new actions, craft positive experiences or create deeper engagement.

At all.

You need unexpectations to do that.

I got a late call up to goal-umpire my son’s under 13 AFL match at the weekend.  I’ve never done it before (it’s a high pressure job and I like to keep Saturdays a bit calmer) but, ever the willing helper, I jumped in there with my white flags and did the job.  It didn’t take long for the controversy to follow.

The goal umpire’s job (expectedly) is to call if the ball goes through for a goal or a behind.  When a goal is scored in AFL, the goal umpire is supposed to get quickly to a spot exactly in between the posts, stand very straight, leave a little pause for suspense and then shoot both cuffs with elbows bent, followed by a choreographed waving of both white flags.  This tells the opposing goal umpire that a goal’s been scored and both cards are compared at the end of the game to make sure the scores match.

It’s expected that this will all be done with an impressive level of sequence, poise and steely seriousness.

During this particular under 13′s game, where there’s no salary cap and all the players have day-jobs (i.e. school), I concentrated on getting the main thing right and was less worried about the formalities, which is to say calling the goal, casually shooting the cuffs and waving the flags without necessarily thinking about whether it was the right way (which I didn’t know anyway), just that it was seen.

As a result my actions invited the attention of the officials and evoked a response.  It wasn’t positive but it was a response all the same (elbows bent).  I’d raised their unexpectations.

The goals (and behinds) were still scored and recorded.  The opposing goal umpire’s tally matched mine.  I wasn’t less professional than the other umpire though I certainly had more fun.  It was the expectation that I’d act like all the other goal umpires that attracted the attention and response of the officials (and one or two of the crowd).  I’d cut through by being unexpected.

The next time you’re crafting or telling a story about your brand, wanting to cut through and attract attention, you could probably do a lot worse than bringing an unexpectation or three into the mix.

“Made ya look” marketing

That’s a term I use to describe marketing done by (mostly) small businesses using footpath characters.

It’s when you’re driving along and, almost out of the blue, you see a gorilla, or a Santa, or a horse, or just a couple of guys wearing sandwich boards, waving their hands, maybe holding a sign up and almost pleading for your attention.

Today I was making good time on the road when, out of the blue, there’s Big Bird waving like a mad thing and holding up a sign for the lighting shop he was standing right out front of.  Wasn’t a great Big Bird, might not even have been Big Bird, but that’s what I saw.  Gave them a honk (it was something like 30 degrees and I felt sorry for him or her in that suit), got an acknowledging wave and then continued on.

Are they relevent to the business?  Mostly not, except maybe for Santa around Christmas time.  Do you see the sign and the business name?  Mostly, unless they’ve used the wrong gauge permanent marker.  Can you help looking though?  Definitely not and that’s my point.

See if Big Bird hadn’t been standing out front of that light shop, I wouldn’t have bat an eyelid.

Big Bird got my attention though and next time I’m thinking about buying lights, I’ll be remembering that spot, because Big Bird made me look.

If you don’t have a “made ya look” in your marketing arsenal, you’d better go find it or create it.  Or else you risk losing out  in the memorability stakes.

Inspiration is right in front or behind you

Inspiration is one of those things that’s always looked right on through or around.

Sometimes it’s our rational left brains brains that get in the way, dismissing it as folly almost as quickly as it’s discovered.  Sometimes it’s the simple distraction of other tasks that need doing.  In marketing communications & strategy, that often translates as trying the same thing over and over, because it’s familiar or had good outcomes in the past.  In business it can be doing things easy that cost less and have outcomes equally as boring or the same as your competitors or worse still, taking expedient shortcuts in creating memorable customer experiences.

Inspiration can create the most unique differences in a brand, a marketing strategy or tactic, or the way a new venture is created and yet, for all there is in the world it’s all too often missed.  It needn’t be so hard; all that’s needed is an open and inquiring mind.

I read a fantastic example of drawing inspiration from the most unlikely place just today in an article on the new Toyota sports car concept unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo auto show.  Evidently, the chief engineer has admitted that the colour for the car was inspired by a Japanese monkey’s bum.

Now who knows what lead a chief engineer to look on in amazement at a monkey’s butt and think that it’d be a good colour for a car, even to provide the pop for a concept car.  Or the pitch he made when asked by the top brass before sign-off “so, what inspired that colour?”

None of that’s the point though.

The point is that, no matter how well-hidden it is or how far removed from what you thought you were looking for, inspiration can come from anywhere if you keep an open mind.