Archive for the ‘Carroll’s Blogs’ Category
1. Any tweet that starts with “Top 5…”. Can’t we find another gimmick to grab attention?
2. Incomplete thoughts with a link. If I have no idea what you’re talking about, I’m not going to take the time to click your link.
3. Anyone that sends more than ten tweets a day. Come on, be a little selective.
4. Avoiding brevity by overuse of acronyms and abbreviations. Kind of misses the point of having a 140 character limit.
5. Tweets that use every technique in the Twitterverse to show they’re charter members of the Twitterclub. HT@CarrollRay 4 RT of bit.ly/Xtms8F #FF
I saw a TV commercial this morning for Lord & Taylor. I was so struck by the campaign line, “OH MY LORD & TAYLOR”, I couldn’t decide which angle to take for this blog. I did a little research and found a few Web links referring to the campaign, showing behind-the-scenes filming of the campaign, etc. If I hadn’t HEARD the TV spot, the entire thing would have passed by without notice and I would not be writing about it now.
But in the TV spot, unlike the references I’ve seen online where there is no punctuation, a critical pause was inserted into the narration. And instead of ending the spot with “Oh my, Lord and Taylor”, the woman breathlessly exclaimed “Oh my Lord, and Taylor.” Wow. by moving the comma back by just one word, they entirely changed the meaning and the brand. With one pause, they changed the campaign, invoked the Son of God and messed with the company brand. The Lord & Taylor name is so well known, they won’t be harmed by the interpretation, but I would love to know how this decision was made. Did they agonize over it in the boardroom debating the merits and dangers of this interpretation of the phrase, or did the art director just like the way it sounded while editing, without giving full consideration to what he was doing?
Maybe it’s just me, I am a brand geek after all.
Politicians grasp the concept of branding. However, like much of what they grasp, they have misused and abused the practice.
Here are the parts they get. Anyone running for President must:
- carve out a unique position which will separate them from their competitors.
- develop a simple, memorable phrase that effectively communicates their brand.
- design a distinctive look that builds on their brand message.
- communicate their brand with every opportunity.
Let’s just look at this last election to see how it worked out.
Brand Position: The first black U.S. president who would stand for the disenfranchised and change the way things were done in Washington.
Brand Personality: Peace, love and understanding.
Brand Slogan: Hope and change.
Brand Logo: The O shaped flag, looking like the sun rising over the horizon, communicating the dawning of a new day.
Obama even understood the need to extend his brand once he was elected. The overall brand remained, but has been tailored to individual campaigns to meet his tactical objectives. He’s had many. Like the “Health Care for All” campaign and the “Win the Future” campaign, and his current “Pass this Bill” campaign. These all fit neatly under his “Hope and Change” brand.
So, that was the winner. Let’s look at loser of the last election.
Brand Position: War hero who is not afraid to stand up to power, whether they be North Vietnamese prison guards or the Washington establishment.
Brand Personality: A fearless fighter.
Brand Slogan: The Maverick
Brand Logo: A military patch, complete with a military star, and looking like a World War II fighter coming directly at you.
In 2008, consumers (voters) chose the brand that was most closely aligned with how they were feeling. We were tired of fighting, we wanted a change.
Now, to all of you presidential candidates, here’s what you DON’T get about branding.
THE BRAND SLOGAN IS A SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU STAND FOR, NOT YOUR ENTIRE PLATFORM! There needs to be more substance to your brand than simply repeating the words “Hope and Change” or “I’m a maverick”.
IF YOU DON’T LIVE UP TO THE PROMISE YOUR BRAND MAKES, WE WILL COME BACK TO BITE YOU! If you campaign on “Hope and Change”, and what we really get is “Hopelessness and the Same”, people will remember and we will hold it against you.
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BRAND YOURSELF, NOT THE OTHER GUY! If politicians spent more time clarifying, building and reinforcing their own brand, and less time trying to brand their opponent, this country would be in much better shape than it is. It may be unsettling when they repeat their own slogan over and over again, but it’s downright nauseating to see them do the same to the opposition, no matter which side of the isle.
“Racist tea bagger.”
“The party of No.”
“Tax and spend Liberal.”
Some people believe we need a businessman to run this country because of their ability to work within a budget. I say we need a businessman who not only understands finance, but understands how to live up to the brand that they create.
In my other life, I’m a volunteer firefighter and an EMT. In Emergency Medical Services, the Golden Hour is the term we use to describe the time we have to get to the scene, stabilize the patient and deliver them to life-saving interventions. The clock starts ticking at the moment of trauma.
In branding and marketing, we have a clock too. It starts the minute an individual takes any action (such clicking a link or dialing a number) and continues until they receive the reward for their action. Let’s call it the Golden Minute. The actual time varies but the point is, once you’ve motivated a prospect to take action, you need to know that their clock is ticking and you have very little time to deliver. Here’s a personal example.
The first thing I do each morning is clean out my emails. I read the ones that are relevant to me, and delete the rest, most without ever opening. This morning, one email managed to get past the Carroll filter. Upon opening the email, I saw links to white papers and articles that were of interest to me. I decided to download one called “10 Ways Social Media Monitoring Enhances Your Brand”. I clicked the link, and the invisible clock started.
tick…………. tick…………. tick…………..
Immediately, a form popped up with all of my personal information pre-populated. My name, email address, address, phone number. Some of the information was old and the fields were editable, so I went ahead and made the changes. I then clicked the CHANGE button.
The form refreshed and now wanted me to provide my email address again. But this time the CHANGE button appeared as a CANCEL button. ???
tick… .tick…. tick….tick….tick…..
Having no other choice, I clicked the CANCEL button, which brought me back to the beginning.
Giving it one more chance, I found some small print at the bottom of the page where it said “Until you click the confirm email address link in the email we sent you, you will not receive any more bulletins from xxxxxx.” So, I went back to the original email and looked for where it said that.
I could not find what they were referring to anywhere.
I closed the email and hit delete. My clock had run out. I had invested as much time as I could and I needed to get on with my day.
Everyone has this internal clock and it moves faster for some than for others. Marketers need to be aware of this when planning promotional programs. Getting the customer’s interest is important. Getting them to respond, and give up their contact information is very important. But unless you deliver what they came for, quickly and simply, you will have wasted the opportunity you worked so hard to create.
If you’ve read my blogs, the recurring theme is the importance of clear, concise communication. So just for fun, take a look at this sign that’s hanging in a local diner. It seems there might have been an easier way to say they’re open every day from 6AM-2PM.