Archive for the ‘brandbuilder’ Category

One particular question from last week’s Q&A session struck me as worthy of its own blog post. It was this:

You’re very active in social media, speaking engagements/traveling, etc. How do you go about scheduling your day/s — balancing work and family life? – Kristof

What about your scheduling and what are the most interesting activities of your day to day life? – Robin Clerk

You ask, I answer.

Just… whatever you do, don’t share this video with anyone. These are trade secrets I am only sharing with you, so shhhhh…

If the embedded video doesn’t play for you, you can watch it here.

One final tip: If your teenage son asks you for a video camera for Christmas, think twice before obliging him. You might just create… a monster.

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This week, instead of writing dissertations about brand management, social media operationalization, leadership or smart business, why don’t we open things up to your questions? Here’s how we’ll do it:

1. Think of something clever to ask.

2. Post your question in the comments section or shoot a video and link to it in the comments. (Do not send me questions via email. You can double down and send them to me via Facebook or Twitter, but if you do, link to them here. Let’s keep them all in one place.)

3. Starting Tuesday, I will start answering your questions right here on the blog.

Let’s give it a shot and see how things go. If this works well, we’ll make it a regular feature on the blog.

I look forward to your questions. 🙂

PS: If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

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Okay, let’s start answering your questions.

In no particular order:

Q1. Neicole Crepeau

Social media is another marketing “channel” but different. Of course, we want an integrated approach. I’m curious, when adding social media marketing to your marketing mix, what traditional tools and best practices would you apply to your social media strategy planning? And what new tools or techniques would you suggest using?


If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

Q2: Andra Watkins

I wonder why your dog isn’t on the cover of your book.

Ok, seriously.

It seems to me like Twitter is dying. How long do you think it has? What do you think will replace it?

I ask this question because you and I ‘met’ there. It used to be the place for me to be able to go and make connections with people I wanted to know, something Facebook and Linked In don’t lend themselves to as easily.

Congratulations on your book and on all of your success Olivier.


If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

Q3. Yvonne

I am very new to social media in terms of using them to “Build your Brand”. I have created a FB page for the company and am reading posts on Twitter and LinkedIn on a daily basis. My question is, how do I use social media to become an international luxury brand…we are currently a locally “Branded” company…or is social media the wrong route to build a luxury brand?

I appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback!! I always enjoy your posts!! Yvonne


If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

More videos are on the way.

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Q4: Dino Dogan

How do large organizations like Disney and Coke reconcile their brand’s image with their reality. As in, polished and pretty on the outside but socially unsustainable and even irresponsible on the inside.

And Im asking this from the perspective of leaders. I assume you’ve had dealings with leaders of many large organizations who want to present one image to the public whilst not matching that image internally.

I imagine having a polished image while being far from polished must take a tremendous personal tool on these people. The incongruence of it must wear on them. Or are they completely oblivious?

Moreover, Im more interested in your observations of people in these positions. The observations you’ve made to yourself without sharing them out loud.

Im asking you to share them out loud 


Q5: Cristian

Nice idea Olivier. I have a few questions I’d like to hear your thoughts on if I may.

1. What do you feel are some of the reasons that led to Pepsi dropping to the #3 spot in the cola wars recently. Do you feel “Pepsi Refresh” had something to do with the tumble, or do you feel it had more to do with other factors in their strategy and overall marketing vision for the brand?

2. How important do you feel social intelligence is when ideating social media strategies, marketing, and overall thought leadership?

3. What did you want to “grow up to be” when you were a kid? Does you current career path somehow connect with it?


Q6: Rob Frappier

Hi Olivier! Great idea for a blog series.

My question relates to “reputation scoring.” In the past, Reputation.com CEO Michael Fertik has written about the development of personal digital scores “that use our online information to rate our health, employability, financial index, romantic connection and so on.”

We’ve explored the privacy ramifications of this development, but I’m interested in your perspective on the social commerce aspects of a unified digital reputation score. Will companies like Klout find long-term success by quantifying social media influence?


Q7: Alastair Banks

Hey OB,

Hope you’re well. I would be interested in your thoughts on various types of monitoring software. Are they worth investing in and if so do you have favourites.

Look forward to seeing you for Likeminds again this year and hopefully getting my copy of the book signed


Q8: Chef Chuck

Hello Olivier, My name is Chef Chuck working on a brand name, Chef Chuck’s Cucina food line out of Italy. We have five companies wanting to use my name Chef Chuck’s Cucina as a testimonial, with me on the label. Very new and exciting for me can you give me a few pointers on how to spread the word wide and far, that these products are coming to America ?


Q9: Waqas Ali

Hi Olivier,

Want to know what’s on your regular reading for brand-building and web2.0 stuff? Other than sites like Mashable and TechCrunch.

Secondly, why you haven’t selected Tweet & Facebook Like button on your blog? Is there any specific reason?


Q10:  Jeannie Walters

Bonjour, Olivier!
I would love to know your assessment of the best way to “audit” social media success. I’ve seen it done many ways, and lots of times it seems success is ill-defined. How can you really evaluate if social media is working within a defined time/format?

Bonus question: have you read all those books behind you in the video?

Hope to see you in Chicago soon!


Q11:  Rick Rice


I’d be interested in your thoughts on the importance of the employee audience for marketing / branding campaigns and what you would measure for ROI on that part of a program.

A: 11

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GenJuice just released its list of Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors, and… through either a) divine intervention, b) a computer glitch, c) a case of mistaken identity or d) a perfectly aimed envelope containing about 300 Pesos, I somehow managed to find myself in 81st place, squeezed between President Obama and American Apparel CEO Dov Charney.

My initial reaction, as you can well imagine:

  1. Wow.
  2. What the hell is going on over at GenJuice? Have those kids lost their minds over there? Did the computer go crazy? What the…

… But as it turns out, the process was completely scientific (as in completely human) and 100% legit. How did GenJuice come up with the list? By asking their audience. So there you go. Don’t blame dimpled chads and glitchy polling booths for this one. From the brains at GenJuice:

Who do you look up to? What movers and shakers take your aspirations to new heights because of everything they achieved? GenJuice spoke with young adults around the world to find out the people they most admire.

Today’s young adults have access to so many research and communication tools and resources thanks to technology, but one thing remains certain: mentorship is an irreplaceable asset for personal and professional growth. This is precisely why GenJuice spoke with young adults and compiled our first Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors. You will find pioneers in policy, technology, entertainment, media, and more.

The result was GenJuice’s list of a 100 most desirable mentors, and through some strange twist of circumstance, my name came up. To get us started, let’s take a quick look at my favorite co-listers in the top 20:

Not a bad start, but it gets better:

… and hotter:

(Update: Congrats to Natalie for now being ‘Academy Award Winner Natalie Portman!’ Well deserved.)

… and now things start to get really interesting:

Unfortunately, the editors of GenJuice stopped posting profile photos outside of the Top 20, but let me list a few more names I plucked out from the back of the plane just now:

21 Chris Anderson (Curator of TED)

23 Steve Jobs (from, you know… Apple)

33 Nelson Mandela (not to be confused with Morgan Freeman, and vis-versa)

40 Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park)

53 Colin Powell (Former Secretary of State)

58 Jack Dorsey (Twitter)

65 Bill Clinton (you know… THE Bill Clinton)

67 Sanjay Gupta (CNN)

80 President Barack Obama

81 Me (owner of Chico the chihuahua)

85 Bono (U2)

94 Brian Solis (who kindly wrote my foreword)

96 Annie Leibovitz (who inspired me to be a photographer)

98 MC Hammer (who inspired me to wear parachute pants)

100 J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter author)

Wait a second… I’m on a list alongside Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Bono?!?!? (Not to mention the delicious Academy Award Winner Natalie Portman.)

Best day ever. Thanks, GenJuice!

PS: I think my consulting fees just went up at least $0.03 per day.


… Oh by the way, did I mention I have a book coming out just in time for my spring European tour? You can pre-order it now and everything. I know, crazy:


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And here its is. The Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization book cover. Looks like the entire series by Que (Pearson) is changing the look of its business books to this format, which I actually like. The cover is clean and to the point, which makes it easy for its readers to find on a shelf. As fun as pretty conceptual covers may be, the goal here is to get this book in the hands of as many businesspeople as possible. So… no Chico and no orange this time around. Don’t worry though, there will be more.

By the way, #SMROI part of a series of books that focus on many different facets of marketing, communications, business management and social media know-how, so look for other covers just like this one in the business books section of your Barnes & Noble bookstores soon.

A few more little details of note –

A kind word from Chris Brogan:

And a pretty fly contribution from Brian Solis:

Won’t be long now. March will be here soon enough. 🙂

In the meantime, feel free to pre-order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble today:

And yes, this is just the first of many little sneak peeks. Stay tuned.


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I am very proud, a little surprised, and frankly a bit humbled: The BrandBuilder blog made Social Media Examiner’s 2011’s Top 10 list of social media blogs. Proud because I don’t often make Top 10 lists, and I think this is the second time I have made this one. Surprised because this blog isn’t devoted entirely to social media topics, and the competition was fierce: 300 Nominees, many of which attract a lot more readers and attention. Humbled, because some of the other nominees and finalists are pretty solid professionals. (I’d better start upping my game a bit.)

The other 9 to share the badge:

Brian Solis: Brian is one of the web’s leading social media evangelists and his blog is required reading for businesses. He’s interviewed Katie Couric, for crying outloud! Who does that? Katie interviews you, not the other way around. (Unless you’re Brian.) His latest book Engage is kind of a must-have for anyone working in the social business space. One of the smartest and nicest guys in the business too.

TopRank: This popular blog, the brainchild of Lee Odden, provides exceptional social media advice and should be one of your daily destinations.

Convince & Convert: Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert provides outstanding content for businesses seeking to embrace social media. Jay is a second-timer as well. The discussions on his blog are usually pretty rich in insights and opinions, which is always nice.

Six Pixels of Separation: Mitch Joel offers consistent and thought-provoking content delivered with personality.

Social Media Explorer: This blog, from Jason Falls, provides excellent perspective on the current state of social media and should be a regular stop for serious social media marketers. This is the second year Jason has made our list..

Spin Sucks: Gini Dietrich’s blog takes a look at social media from a PR perspective, and does so with intelligence, insight and refreshing common sense.

Danny Brown: Danny Brown writes the truth. His blog is one of my favorite reads in the internet.

The Anti-Social Media: For something completely unique, check out Jay Dolan’s satirical blog on the state of social media.

BrandSavant: This unique blog from Tom Webster combines a great intellect with with common sense, giving it an edge.

I want to thank the Academy… Wait, no. Wrong speech. It’s only Monday.

Now that I’ve had my 15 seconds of shameless self-congratulatory back-patting, let me suggest that you try to find the next batch of voices that will influence your business thinking and perspective on social media and social business. The 10 of us aren’t really the best of the web. There are others who write amazing stuff and do amazing work, and you should strive to discover them.

Let me give you four more blogs you might want to check out (I don’t want to overwhelm you by making the list too long):

Geoff Livingston’s blog

Maddie Grant’s blog (Social Fish)

Gradon Tripp’s blog

Valeria Maltoni’s blog

Happy reading, and thanks for dropping by.







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A few years ago, fellow Corante alumn Lois Kelly asked a question on her Foghound blog:

“If James Lipton, host of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” BRAVO television program, were to interview a marketing or business person , here’s how he’d probably adapt his famous 10 questions that he asks at the end of the show. How would you answer them?”

It occurs to me that although this blog has been around since around 2005, I still don’t know all of you all that well. In the interest of getting to know each other better, I thought the first business day of 2011 might be a good time to dust off Lois’ idea and use Mr. Lipton’s format to get us started. I will go first, for good measure:

What is your favorite marketing/business word?


What is your least favorite marketing/business word?

It’s a tossup between “no” and “utilize.”

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally about marketing/business?

Turning people on to ideas, products or causes you know they will absolutely love.

What turns you off about marketing/business?

How often people’s lack of professional integrity, absence of empathy and dishonesty tend to be rewarded.

What’s your favorite curse word when you see really bad marketing?

What the f..ck?!

What sound or noise do marketers/business people make that you love?

That electrically-charged moment of silence when the light bulb blinks on inside their heads.

What sound or noise do marketers/business people make that you hate?

The sound of bullshit.

What profession other than marketing should marketers attempt – to become better at marketing?

That’s a tough one. Product design. Customer service. Combat Photography. Just about anything that teaches someone to understand people and connect with the world.

What profession should marketers never try?


If marketing heaven exists, what would God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Ah. You again. I’ve been looking forward to this.”

Your turn: Either answer in the comments section or post your Q/A on your blog. (Don’t forget to link back so I will see your answers.)  Looking forward to learning a little more about you. If you tweet a link to your replies, fell free to use the #TBBQA tag.



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