Monday, August 30, 2010

Creating a loved brand by telling a story: Tether

From the YouTube description of this clip ...

Stanley Hainsworth has been creative director at Nike, Lego, and Starbucks—all brands that have become iconic through good design. He just finished designing the new Gatorade bottle, too. Hainsworth clearly has a remarkable eye for style, but he insists that the key to creating a brand that attracts fans, that people love, is telling the company's story.

Hainsworth says that companies like Apple have a persona. "You could describe what Apple is as a person, because of the personality they've created," he explains. "So when we work with tech startups, the first thing we have to figure out is their story—what sets them apart in the marketplace."

Now at the helm of Tether, his own design studio and retail space in Seattle, Hainsworth keeps looking for new challenges. "When I left Starbucks, people thought I'd want to work someplace really hip, like Diesel or Apple. I told them I wanted to work with Microsoft and Wal-Mart—two great American brands that have never told their story well. They both have incredible stories, if you think about the startups that they were at the time—it's unbelievable. Bill Gates, what he went through, and his story: it's never been told well. They've never used it to their advantage. They've become a product company with no soul."

"Great companies read your soul," says Hainsworth. "They give you something you didn't even know that you needed."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Smoking Gun of Sales and Marketing Alignment

The Smoking Gun of Alignment » Crandell’s Corner
Boards and CEO, regardless of their domain expertise, are puzzled as to how to measure marketing. When asked what metrics they use the most frequent response is leads. Yet when probed, it’s not really leads, it’s inquiries. Both groups then lament on how marketing cannot produce quality “leads” and when asked how they fix the situation, the most frequent response is to replace the CMO. The response was the same for those CEOs that rose through sales as well as marketing ranks.

... a great post by @ChrisCrandell

Monday, August 02, 2010

The 8 Success Criteria For Facebook Page Marketing

Executive Summary

Brands are jumping on the Facebook bandwagon to reach customers. The Society of Digital Agencies reports that more than 45% of senior marketers worldwide named social networks and applications their top priority for 2010. Yet despite the urgency, most brands lack a strategy. Altimeter Group conducted research, and gleaned input from 34 vendors, agencies, and experts, to determine success criteria and develop a roadmap for Facebook page best practices. We found Eight Success Criteria for Facebook page marketing, and then tested the maturity of 30 top brands across six industries.

Our heuristic evaluation revealed that brands fell short half of the brands we reviewed (14 out of 30) did not fully leverage social features to activate word of mouth, the hallmark behavior of social networks. Within this immature landscape, a few brands were on the right track to successfully harnessing Facebook page marketing. Brands like Pampers, Macy's, Kohl's, and AXE increased engagement and activated word of mouth through advocacy and peer-to-peer interactions, or solicited business call to actions that result in transactions. Brands need to stop experimenting in Facebook on their own customers. The criteria and findings in this report provide brands with a roadmap towards Facebook page marketing success.

Facebook: A Platform Marketers Cannot Ignore
Consumers are adopting Facebook at staggering levels. Facebook touts a staggering 500 million users worldwide. Engagement is ripe, with 50% of active users logging on in any given day, connecting to an average of 130 friends.3 Average internet users are spending more time on Facebook per day than on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia and Amazon combined. The attention of consumers has shifted marketers must take action. Consumers lean on each other to make decisions bypassing brands. Consumers trust their friends and family more than other sources of information about products and services, according to a Nielsen study. Another study reports that 60% of Facebook users are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a fan (Chadwick Martin Bailey). As consumers make decisions directly with each other on Facebook, brands are left out of the mix. Confused, brands need a roadmap or risk experimenting on their own customers. Seventy percent of brands indicate that they planned to increase spending on offsite social media investment, including Facebook in 2010, according to an eConsultancy study.

Yet despite the urgency, brands lack a pragmatic approach. Rather than spin their wheels and waste resources experimenting on customers, brands need guidelines for Facebook page marketing success.

The full report is embedded below and contains references to Nielsen and other relevant survey statistics.