::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Everything is changing! Mass production is now mass customization. Differentiation rules. Marketers must understand emotions, social patterns, and media consumption in order to design the next generation of products and messages. Advertising is dynamic communication. It's not easy keeping up. Fortunately, we love this shit.
I came across this service that monitors brand conversations online. It reports the good, the bad, and overall buzz. Andiamo! Systems claims to measure your brand's buzz so you don't have to. They use keyword tracking find conversations relevant to your selected word. You can track your brands or your competitor's brands. You can track your brand through a dashboard that they provide.They system is currently priced at $275 per month, but will go up at the beginning of 2008. That's not a bad deal for big companies. They are also working on an agency version that will allow agencies and PR firms track their clients' brands. click here to watch a video demo
As more and more bloggers write and influence behavior it is important to understand the conversations that are happening about your brand. We are in the business of perception and too many businesses are out of touch with how they are perceived. This service is interesting. I'd like to see where it goes.
Google just announced plans to take on the energy crisis. They plan to spend millions in the development of renewable energy that is less expensive than coal. The project is appropriately called, Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal.
The simple goal: To produce one gigawatt of electrical energy cheaper than one gigawatt of coal.
Google will start with a multi million dollar investment in people. They plan to hire engineers and energy experts to begin the research process. Google is confident that the problem can be solved in a few years. If Google can create their cheaper gigawatt they will be officially in the energy business. They company is already becoming carbon neutral and they encourage green experimentation at all levels. I believe they will succeed. read more
It started off as a music video. It was picked up by the social media community and passed around. Then it was revealed that it was a piece of communication from AXE. Clever? Underhanded? This is an example of mixed media gone wild. It's a stealth teaser campaign on steroids thanks to social media.
Silky Kumar, an Indian pop artist in the making, came out with a song called "Scent of Desire". The well produced video was played heavily on MTV and developed an following. It was passed around Facebook, Myspace, Orkut and other conversational media. The artist gained popularity.
Then a blogger wrote that Hindustan Unilever Limited, Unilever's Indian operation was behind the Silky Kumar act. The video has no product mentions or specific branding, but HUL is creating a "Scent of Desire" product for AXE. Now that everyone knows the song it will be easier to market the product. Clearly some will be turned off by the campaign, but the product should succeed. Here is the video that started the ongoing conversations about "Scent of Desire". read more
Web 2.0 has become a buzz word for the internet after the dot com bust. In the past five years new companies focusing on connecting people have emerged. Myspace, Youtube, Flickr, you know the rest. Nokia made a nice little viral piece, incorporating their current phrase "Connecting People." It's a bit cheesy but it gets the point across.
We were allowed to choose any product in home and garden or appliance for Rick Boyko's Brand Campaigns class. We chose a home product, literally. Cargotecture is an innovative concept that combines sustainability, architecture, beauty and functionality. The trade deficit with China has created a surplus of unused shipping containers. These containers are modified and made in modular buildings with flare. They can be used as studios, work spaces, mobile medical buildings, homes, or apartments. Cargotecture is owned by a group of architects and designers who started a company called HybridSeattle. A company in London used a similar concept to create a riverfront complex near the O2. The cargo homes are not available to the masses due to highly regulated zoning and permit laws in the U.S., but that may change in the near future as demand continues to increase.
The G-Phone, as it has been called around the blogsphere is creating iPhone-like buzz. Rumors have been flying around the net for months about Google's move into mobile devices.
What makes the G-phone exciting is the open Linux based platform. Open source is truely revolutionizing the digital world. The Widgetization of mobile devices is here. The end result will be truly customizable mobile applications that are in complete sync with the online experience. There is no company on earth better equipped to make the net mobile.
On Monday, November 5th, Google is expected to officially announce the G-Phone and the entourage of partnerships that will make it possible. HTC, T-Mobile and Verizon are just a few of the possible players. The new phone could be here as early as the first quarter of 2008. Google's stock is already trading over $711 per share.
Google recently made a dent in the directory assistance category with 1-800-GOOG-411, a free automated 411 service. Google has a simple focus. They make it easier to manage information. The G-Phone is in line with their core competency. I predict some growing pains, but ultimately a success. I'd buy the product for historic value alone. Who wouldn't want a first edition G-Phone?
*The G-phone is more of an open source concept than an actual product, but who knows. A Google branded phone is a possibility.
Why do some clients change perfectly good creative work into some unrecognizable thing lacking soul? That's one of the hardest lessons any creative person will ever have to learn. The truth is as simple as it is complicated, for publicly traded companies that is.
Imagine that you are the brand manager for a major brand that is part of a larger publicly held firm. You are asked to create the strategic platform for the new direction of the brand. Your company has suffered losses in the last few quarters based on speculation and the actions of the person who previously held your position. Your stock is going to go up or down based on your plan. You have to increase sales, improve the brand's image, and not frighten already fearful stockholders who determine your (company's) worth. What you do will effect the company's entire brand portfolio. You're agency just pitched some groundbreaking work and you're excited. The problem is that stockholders don't want a cool campaign, they want assurance that the next quarter will be better than the last. Your job, reputation, and your company are on the line. What do you do?
Who's really in control? That's the million dollar question. The answer varies from company to company. Private companies can often move faster because they don't have to answer to stockholders. They do have stakeholders, however. Everyone who buys their products or uses their services has a vested interest. Large public firms often get caught up in pleasing the owners of their financial products, who don't necessarily own physical product. Private equity firms alleviate some of these problems, but they come with their own money driven agendas. Mass communication and message customization are creating a fast economy where survival depends on the ability to adapt quickly. Sprinting is just as important as jumping, dodging and marathon running, but you have to know your sport. Understanding who's judging the game is a vital issue. Sometimes it's the stockholders, sometimes it's the "consumers," or some combination of factors.
We understand the importance of the consumers, but sometimes fail to recognize the economic and political factors that effect strategic decision making. To learn more about market fluctuations and brands, check out investopedia.com. They are a Forbes company. They have many tutorials and feature a powerful simulator that lets you trade stocks, options and other financial instruments in current market conditions. Use the simulator to invest in brands that you like and watch how volatile the market can be. It will give you a good understanding as to why some decisions are based more on numbers and others on people. Sometimes a bigger logo is what the stockholders want. There is a way to meet half way.
I consider myself a creative, learning as much as I can about the business behind the brands. I need to understand business like business people understand business. If I am going to be successful in the fast economy, I have to double dip. I urge people in the business world to learn as much as they can about design and creativity. Interdisciplinary programs are being being created at major universities around the world. The shift is already well under way. The walls are coming down. Don't let them hit you on the way down.