BUILD YOUR BRAND OR LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE

Let’s start with this: your brand is not your logo or your color palette. It’s the perceptions and feelings people have about you, it’s what people say about you to others. Your brand is a relationship first, not a font. To earn that relationship, brands must have meaning, purpose and saliency. 

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How Private Equity Firms Increase Returns By Being Brand Driven

In Q4 of 2017, Apple dominated the smart phone market driving 51% of the category’s revenues on just 19.3% of total units sold. The next largest share of revenue was Samsung at 15.7% on 18.6% of total units shipped.1 The moral of this little financial comparison? Apple can

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A Brand-Crushing Content Strategy

There are some obvious rules for good content, like make it useful and relevant. Give me something that makes my life better. Or entertain me, make me cry, laugh or ponder. Teach me something. Whichever direction you take, you have to deliver value. If I sacrifice my time to engage with you, you better do at least one of those things because if you’re not, you are wasting my time. I mean, who chooses to engage with content so they can spend time viewing a self-aggrandizing ad.

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The Elephant In The Conference Room

A type of cognitive bias, confirmation bias is a challenge for businesses that often negatively impacts performance. Smart C-Suites know this bias well. Confirmation bias is the human tendency to search for, favor, and use information that confirms one’s pre-existing views. Confirmation bias eliminates challenge and free thinking becoming negatively endemic by encouraging accepted conformity in decision-making

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9 Reasons Your Brand Should Tell Stories

For CMO’s today, options for building your brand are changing before your eyes. These days, leading brands are thinking like publishers, creating editorial calendars, hiring chief content officers and curating their asses off. This is all good and well, but curated content simply won’t deliver the benefits of creating original, emotive content that tells stories. While a good content strategy most often includes curated

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Creativity And A Propensity For Self-Torture

Whether writing words or pushing pixels, anyone wearing a creative hat in advertising is in the business to create. We’re in it to fulfill our love of commercial artistic expression for the gains of our clients, our agency and ourselves. We suffer the other 70% of our agency activities because we know the next opportunity is coming. We thrive on the anticipation of the next chance to create. It is our addiction and we will suffer just about anything for the next fix.

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Beware Of The "Minimum Viable Product"

You’ve heard the term, MVP, or “minimum viable product”? It’s big in the lean startup community. Around since 1999, the term was coined and defined by Frank Robinson, and thrown around a lot by Steve Blank, and Eric Ries. Ries defines MVP as “…that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” It seems to be the early stage tech mantra these days. But be wary, the MVP can be a trap.

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The 10 Keys To Building a Lasting Brand

Our psychological relationships with brands and the resulting brand equity is one of those amorphous concepts that’s always been hard to quantify. Nevertheless, successful marketers know the benefits of a strong brand are undeniably real. A brand is a company’s most enduring asset. Properly nurtured and leveraged it has tremendous financial value. A powerful brand can enhance valuation, improve transaction

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It's Over, John

Dear John,

I was kind of surprised you called after all we went through. As much as I hated to admit it, I missed you. When we first hooked up, it felt so good, like we could be together for a long, long time. As I did the advertising campaign that put you on the map, I would like nothing more than to leverage that success and be a part of building your business. I am good at that and flush with ideas. It’s what I do. 

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10 Mobile Marketing Insights Gleaned From Judging the MMA Smarties Awards

First off, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is a champion for transformation and innovation in mobile marketing. Its members include a wealth of global heavy-hitters the likes of P&G, Walmart, Ford and MasterCard. More than 800 companies from fifty countries around the globe. Many see the MMA as the global standard bearer for best practices. 

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Online Creativity And The Rise Of The Machine

The creative imperative in advertising is to do work that compels an audience to engage and to remember. Being memorable is how brands are built. Getting digital media noticed among the daily barrage of online impressions begs for work that breaks through. Work that is unique and consistent over time. Data surely can help brands do smarter work. But for true creative originality, for the big idea, humans are required.

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Trump 2016: A Rebranding Challenge

Hey, it’s Donald. Love him or hate him, he is what he is. And actually, that just might be his advantage. While the masses may associate his brand with “You’re Fired” or his celebrity status or being a real estate mogul, Trump actually has few personal brand attributes that, with the right spin, the American public just might be into.

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Telling The Truth And Brand Equity

Brands are living, breathing things. They require shaping, nurturing, and maintenance over time. Done well, a strong brand has the power to build a business and sustain it well into the future, and can make its owner rich along the way. Brand equity, as opposed to brand value, has power beyond the balance sheet. Brand value is the financial difference between net present value of future cash flow between a branded versus unbranded product.

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Not Getting Great Work From Your Agency? Maybe It's You

Contrary to popular convention, advertising agencies can be a tough place to realize creative aspirations. Though if your agency is good enough, the odds that you will satisfy your creative passions improve, if only slightly. If your agency is really, really good, you might even tell a bad client or two to get lost. A rare treat indeed. And if, just if, your agency is even better than that,

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Content, Consumers, Brands And Creativity

While it won’t go away anytime soon, the days of brands curating and sharing content as their primary method of engaging customers is waning. There’s no denying that providing relevant, useful content is a way for brands to consistently gain trust and establish leadership. And a good piece of content is eminently sharable. But now that everyone has jumped on the content band wagon, and with the massive amount of content available for sharing, curating alone is simply not enough.

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The End Of The Line

P&G may have cemented “The Line” in marketing vernacular back in the 60’s but it’s long since time to let it die a respectful death. “The Line” was intended to divided the realm of awareness or brand focused marketing and that of interest and/or behavioral-focused marketing such as direct marketing, collateral, POS and promotion. One was a long-term capital investment in the brand, and the other a near-term expenditure designed to

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Apple And Me, Are We Growing Apart?

 

After watching Apple announce the less than auspicious iPhone 5S, I got to thinking. Apple,.. a brand with which I have had a long and happy relationship, has over the years given me everything I wanted. I liked being associated with “think different”. The rebel in me approved. I like their commitment to aesthetics when it came to design, hardware and software alike. 

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Be Creative Or Be Invisible: Branding In The Digital Era

In the days before digital, marketers were relatively comfortable with the delineation between response and awareness. Awareness was required for consideration which led to preference, then conversion. And it was clear what channels did what. Justifying that big creative idea and big budget to build awareness was a challenge and its benefits not always immediately measurable. It was an investment for marketers with vision and patience, and CEOs who “get it”. 

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Right Or Wrong? Well, Yes And No

Rolling Stone’s cover featuring the “rock-style” portrait of Dzhokar Tsarnaev has filled the web with controversy and heated opinions on both sides. As an ad guy, a lot of people have asked me my thoughts on the cover. And the truth is, I’m conflicted. Clearly, no one who has committed such atrocities should be celebrated or glorified in any way. Boston is my home town, and I had many family members and friends who were way too close to the blast. 

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