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Archive for January 9th, 2009

image by andrew testa

image by andrew testa

Welcome to episode #2 of our weekly series now, where I feature a handful of my favorite posts, articles, studies or websites discovered via Twitter. (Or as I like to call it: It’s Friday and I have too much work to do before the weekend to actually write a meaningful post.)

To start us off, via @armano (David Armano) is this incredible FEED piece by Razorfish’s Garrick Schmitt and Malia Supe on brands that are getting it right:

When we think back on the relationships we have with brands, it seems that the ones that run deep are the ones where we are emotionally or rationally invested in the brand. Whether it is a running shoe, a favorite beer or even a hotel chain, there are some brands that matter to us and that we choose time and time again. The reasons for our loyalty differ and in some cases the relationship is built over time through experience while in others it is love at first sight. But for today’s marketers creating loyalty or even preference with consumers is a difficult task – one that is increasingly challenging.

The sheer number of brands vying for attention is overwhelming.  Old brands, new brands, celebrity brands, corporate brands and even country brands are all hawking products that in many ways are very similar to products we have already seen and may already have. Marketers keep trying to drive differentiation for products (that are often at parity) with messages we have all heard before.

Digital has also made marketing more complex. For one, it has splintered broad, traditional and easy to navigate channels into micro channels or micro interactions that are built for people not advertisers and their ads. Digital has also fundamentally changed how we view media. It is no longer a channel but rather an entity in itself – something we don’t just watch or read but create, participate in, or share with others.

And lastly, influencers are everywhere – disrupting the most holy of conversations – the one between consumers and the brand. These influencers are impossible to control (much less influence) because they are everywhere and everything and they aren’t necessarily consumers – they are media, other brands, products, design, culture — all the fluid forces that surround the world in which the brand lives.

So what’s a brand to do? (read the entire post…)

That one’s going to be tough to beat, but let’s give it a shot. Let’s see…

Via @guykawasaki: Advertising Age’s “The difference between building a business and building a brand.” A pretty interesting take on brand valuation through market share:

What’s the most reliable measure of the power of a brand? It’s not making the Interbrand list. The most reliable measure is market share. Powerful brands dominate their markets.

In the U.S., Tabasco has 90% of the hot-pepper-sauce market. Campbell’s has 82% of the canned-soup market. TurboTax has 79% of the income-tax software market. Starbucks has 73% of the high-end coffeehouse market. The iPod has 70% of the MP3-player market. Taco Bell has 70% of the Mexican fast-food market. Google has 68% of the search market.

When your brand dominates a market, it is in an exceptionally strong position. In a mature market, a dominant brand is highly unlikely to ever lose its position. (Think Kleenex, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Budweiser and many other dominant brands.) […]

You can’t dominate a category if you expand your brand into many other categories. You can only dominate a category by keeping your brand focused. (Read the entire post…)

Via @conversationage (Valeria Maltoni), Hello Viking’s Tim Brunelle argues against growth:

I’m beginning to think we’ve reached a point where advertising as it is currently practiced has become an exercise in futility—not unlike some aspects of the current credit crisis and the bailouts. Is there an apt metaphor in the unraveling credit markets to describe what’s happening in advertising?

[…] We have reached a saturation point here in the U.S. where more messaging growth doesn’t mean anything more than more advertising. I sense the budget-holders might agree. Noreen O’Leary’s recent piece in Adweek, “Ad Industry Preps for Pain in ‘09,” notes, “Even the quadrennial stimulus of the Olympics and presidential election couldn’t boost spending this year in the world’s largest ad market.”

What’s needed are fewer ads, and greater “development,” which I define as relationships, community and consumer empowerment. As Daly points out, “If economists really believe that the consumer is sovereign then she should be obeyed rather than manipulated, cajoled, badgered, and lied to.” (Anyone hear echoes of Howard Gossage and David Ogilvy?) In other words, let’s cut the growth of blunt messaging and focus (i.e. limit) our persuasive efforts towards developing more robust conversations with our audiences. (Read the entire post…)

Via BryanPerson, by way of @Armano: IBM’s social computing guidelines. Great little document for any company to look at when considering developing Social Media guidelines for their own employees:

… We believe in transparency and honesty. If you are blogging about your work for IBM, we encourage you to use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for IBM. Nothing gains you more notice in the online social media environment than honesty—or dishonesty. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be judicious in disclosing personal details. (Read the full document here…)

And finally @marenhogan’s (Maren Hogan) brilliant discovery of the latest technology in Social Media. This is going to be HUGE! Check it out.

Honorable mention:

Cory O’Brien’s Lifestream

Via @shannonpaul: Google Reader for Beginners

Via @nicheprof: Plurk vs. Twitter

Via @Armano: “What is Online Authority, really?

Via @karllong: “New rules for building brands…”

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