The American Marketing Association reached out to several branding and marketing people and firms (including yours truly) and asked what we’re seeing and how we’re adjusting our approach to our work amidst the pandemic. You can see the quotes here. It’s an interesting time. Like all of you, I’m sure, I’m hearing stories from agencies whose business has fallen off a cliff, and some with an increase in activity. Three Over Four is feeling incredibly fortunate and grateful to be in the latter category. I’m not sure what to attribute it to, but client work has increased since COVID-19 really heated up in the U.S. Personally I’m wary of anyone predicting the future. Augie Ray, as he so often does, […]
Don’t you love the surveys like this one that pit congress approval ratings against things like lice and (worse) replacement refs? (Congress looses in a landslide in case you were wondering. You may now thank me for not using the phrase “Spoiler alert.”) They’re funny because they use the device of surprise. When you say something unexpected or place an element outside its usual context it makes us uncomfortable or jarred, and we laugh. The other response to an unexpected element is revulsion. Like the way a body works to expel a virus. It’s working against the system. It doesn’t fit. Kick up the heat to try to kill it, ‘cause it’s gotta go. This is what’s happening to marketing […]
Let’s get to the simple side of complexity. Try this on for size, fellow branding geeks. Branding happens in three stages: What you think you’re gonna get What you actually get What you’re gonna do about it Building a brand is about asking and answering three questions: What do I/we do well? How I/do we do it differently? Why does it matter? And managing a brand is about one thing: Inspiring a shared vision. Will that work? cute little milk / CC BY 2.0
Branding (not product branding, but that enterprise-level notion of name and reputation we’re still wrestling with) is dying because we’ve run it into the ground. If you asked anyone or anything to wear as many hats, mean as many things, or be a placeholder for so many musings as contradictory (think tactics promoted as strategy), impertinent (think one-size-fits-all-contexts theories), and importance-inflated (the genocide in Rwanda is an element of a brand? Really?) as we ask of branding, it’d die too. From sheer exhaustion. It’s not the years (to paraphrase Indiana Jones). It’s the mileage. Branding started as a notion of something you could control. If you had the resources to overcome the complexity of making fires and casting iron, you […]
Paul Hawken could have used his time at the Denver Sustainable Industries Economic Forum to talk about anything. And he covered a fairly wide variety of topics. But what stood out was his reminder that “people want to play in the fun sandbox.” That sustainable solutions to business and our world should be joyful. Think of the innovation that’s going on in this space, he challenged us. The amazing technology. System-changing ideas. Massive shifts in the status quo. The wondrous problems about to be solved. The human spirit and joy behind it all.