Branding as we know it today is dying. These aren’t just whispers from the fringe but discussions in mainstream journals ranging from Wired Magazine to the Harvard Business Review. And though they all agree that it doesn’t work anymore, what they disagree on is the solution, with options ranging from customer experience to brand ambassadorship to micro-branding to, of course, sustainability. But these all fail to strike at the root of the problem. Is ethics the saviour of branding? (via zoescaman)
Cite Arrow reblogged from zoescaman
Changing Role for Brands

via peterspear:

“Brands are no longer merely peddling products; they’re producing, unearthing, and distributing information. And because they do, the corporation becomes not just economically important to society, but intellectually essential as well.”

— Alexander Jutkowitz “The Content. Marketing Revolution”
http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/07/the-content-marketing-revolution/

Cite Arrow reblogged from peterspear
Interesting idea to see how the combination of financial incentive + social shaming may nudge people into action… or at the very least shut that one guy up who goes on and on about his app idea. 
springwise:

Service challenges users to put money where their mouth is
Procrastination can turn those with optimistic big ideas into a ball of self-hate when it stops them realizing their dreams. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of negative reinforcement to scare people into bettering themselves. That’s the premise of Go Fucking Do It, a platform that motivates people to achieve life goals and deadlines by forcing them to pay up if they miss their targets. READ MORE…

I stumbled upon a recent paper, How can social pressure influence behavior when norms are heterogeneous? that explores the various dimensions of peer influence from “respect seekers” to “approval seekers” and how nudging these drivers can create behavior change. Also, if you’re into geeking out, check the wealth of further reading in the resources section of the abstract. 

Interesting idea to see how the combination of financial incentive + social shaming may nudge people into action… or at the very least shut that one guy up who goes on and on about his app idea. 

springwise:

Service challenges users to put money where their mouth is

Procrastination can turn those with optimistic big ideas into a ball of self-hate when it stops them realizing their dreams. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of negative reinforcement to scare people into bettering themselves. That’s the premise of Go Fucking Do It, a platform that motivates people to achieve life goals and deadlines by forcing them to pay up if they miss their targets. READ MORE…

I stumbled upon a recent paper, How can social pressure influence behavior when norms are heterogeneous? that explores the various dimensions of peer influence from “respect seekers” to “approval seekers” and how nudging these drivers can create behavior change. Also, if you’re into geeking out, check the wealth of further reading in the resources section of the abstract. 

Cite Arrow reblogged from springwise
Felix Salmon on BuzzFeed

via peterspear:

“BuzzFeed is an interesting type of media company. Historically, media companies have been in the business of selling individuals to advertisers: you put together some kind of a product that people love, and then bundle that product with advertising. But BuzzFeed is different. It starts the same way, by building products that people love. But then, instead of inserting advertising into that product, it then sells advertisers its expertise at building such things.”

Felix Salmon on BuzzFeed— Medium (via matthew)

Cite Arrow reblogged from peterspear
Feelings, Briefs, and the Future of Storytelling

I’ve been knocking around the city with some brilliant minds over the last 48 hours thanks to an event called The Future of Storytelling Summit. Unlike the many marketing conferences full of marketers talking to marketers, this event attracts artists, directors, internet people, musicians, writers, oh and some marketers. And while the agenda is amazingly diverse, I have found myself attracted to a specific theme. 

"Emotion trumps everything." said Robert Wong, CCO  during his discussion, which touched on the brief and the creative process. And as the conversations have flowed from narrative to format, politics to policy, I keep hearing about feelings — how we measure them, how we tinker with them, how we focus on them. 

Two years ago I wrote a couple of posts about putting emotions back at the center of our creative processes by having the courage, as Planners, to write this stuff into the brief. And as I made new friends over the last few days, I had a few moments of clarity from people who have to create briefs and ultimately work that relies on emotion being articulated with precision and conviction. 

Yesterday I met a guy who runs a company that makes video trailers for books, which in of itself is super awesome. He has two people on staff who are the book readers. Because the video team will rarely if ever read the book they have to produce a trailer for, these readers (or de facto Planners) have to write a brief that can synthesize the book, and most importantly, capture the feel of it. So he said that the brief has all the typical stuff — the concrete “what” of the deliverable — but then they have a section which is all about the emotions they need to evoke in the trailer. There’s a section of the brief where they include other stimuli, including references to photos, other videos, music etc that the trailer should feel like. 

Today I got chatting to a woman who works in sonic branding. Wha? Supercool. HBR reported earlier this year that “cognitive studies show that relevant sounds and musical cues can truly influence people in ways marketers want. According to research presented at the 2012 Audio Branding Congress, congruent sound cues can increase the speed of a visual search for products (a key for success in both online and retail settings), as well as improve the perceived taste of food.”

So we talked about the process. Similar story as the book trailer guy. Their brief is normally two pages, includes the functional deliverables but then has a whole section on what they need people to feel. But hers goes even deeper, she said, because one-dimensional emotions don’t relay enough for composers and musicians to create something with. So they add in layers of emotional stimuli and response. 

I learned a TON about affect theory yesterday thanks to MIT professor Rosalind Picard who is gloriously clever and among loads of things, is the Cofounder of Affectiva, Inc., which delivers technology to help measure and communicate emotion. And having that perspective added much-needed dimension to today’s chat about what goes into a sonic branding brief. 

It would be reductive to say my mind is spinning with all of this but as I head into a few weeks of planning, brand, and global creative meetings, I’m excited to sit down with my ECD, heads of experiential, and production to figure out how we can focus on emotion-centered briefs and succinct, powerful, courageous briefings. 

springwise:

Market research firm rewards consumers for attaching product feedback to barcodes
Social media is an incredible tool for businesses to see what consumers are saying about their products, but the comments are often unorganized and difficult to collate. In the past, innovations such as OpenLabel have let consumers attach their opinions and information to product barcodes to alert other shoppers. Now Japan’s Research & Innovation startup is using a similar technology to help businesses tie consumer opinions to their products. READ MORE…

springwise:

Market research firm rewards consumers for attaching product feedback to barcodes

Social media is an incredible tool for businesses to see what consumers are saying about their products, but the comments are often unorganized and difficult to collate. In the past, innovations such as OpenLabel have let consumers attach their opinions and information to product barcodes to alert other shoppers. Now Japan’s Research & Innovation startup is using a similar technology to help businesses tie consumer opinions to their products. READ MORE…

Cite Arrow reblogged from springwise
Much of the poor research out there is the product of individuals who lack proper training in survey research and statistical analysis. As a result, many are applying statistical tools with a somewhat limited understanding of the underlying assumptions required—and what to do when those assumptions are not met. It’s akin to a self-taught weekend mechanic trying to work on an Indy car. You may want to seek a second opinion, in some cases. Also, make sure the researchers helping you understand your business so that they make their findings and recommendations actionable. "Ways To Spot Bad Research"
http://www.cmo.com/articles/2014/9/3/_4_ways_to_spot_bad_.html (via peterspear)
Cite Arrow reblogged from peterspear
Pinterest is the Prettiest Visual Search Engine

… and they’ve only just begun. 

Over the last year or so, when the topic of Pinterest has come up (for clients or during internal discussions), I’ve noticed the site elicits an interesting response. There’s the eye-rolling, “only if you’re planning a wedding” comment and there’s the smarter, more sincere “they’re positioned to become the most powerful search engine” response that you’ll find here and here and from the mouths of very clever people. I favor the latter and warm to the people that tow that line much faster. 

I’m a Pinterest user. Have been for a long time. I worked on a fledgeling start-up a few years prior to Pinterest’s quiet entrance to the Web and in my darkest moments, kick myself swiftly for never having stayed the course and built the thing. (This is where we all remind ourselves that anyone can have an idea, it’s the doing it, the not talking it to death, and the having more $$ to pay developers part that makes the difference). I digress. 

I check Pinterest a few times a week and have boards for vacations I’ve envisioned and actually crossed off the list; for looks that inspire me from the runway shows that I regularly check when I’m in a wardrobe rut; and yes, I have the dream house board

I’ve watched as comments quickly fell by the wayside and hearts stopped being super important to users and apparently the UI team. Messages made a come back a couple of months ago although I personally haven’t seen people really using it. The shared and private boards still seem a tad fringy. I haven’t made connections on Pinterest really. For that, there’s Twitter, Instagram, blogs and email. 

But it’s the search thing that is the most compelling. The site has had a few little updates this summer, prioritizing the search bar itself and adding a suggested search term carousel. They call it guided search

So why am I bothering saying and writing what pundits who get paid to do this have? Because I haven’t seen the conversation about Pinterest in client circles evolve as fast. And there may be come caution and burnout after Google+ and Circles, I get it. But I do think it’s worth monitoring the logged-out experience pretty closely over the next few months, from a content optimization and content marketing perspective. 

for Planners e’rywhere “You should focus on being more interested, than more interesting.” John W. Gardner (via beingblog)
Cite Arrow reblogged from beingblog
We are overly enamored of information when we need to be focused on meaning. Susan Fournier. Boston University. (via peterspear)
Cite Arrow reblogged from shoutsandmumbles