Great Marketing: Giorgio Loves Sonic

Awesome video here that’s all over YouTube & Reddit.

There’s already been heaps of commentary on it (over 2,800,000 search results on Google), so I’m not going to add much to the analysis, but I absolutely love the result. Here’s a singer who’s gaining huge buzz because of his creativity and skill, and a brand that’s on the receiving end of some apparently well deserved love. It will be interesting to see if Sonic capitalise, and if they stuff it up!

Great Marketing: Small Gift = Big Shift

Companies tend to look for the big kills in Marketing Warfare. Campaigns are based around mass marketing efforts. Even social media campaigns are about the numbers. Yet the best marketing examples are often those one to one encounters that impact individuals. Those are the ones that start the first whispers of true ‘word of mouth’ results.

 

I experienced a great example of that that yesterday. My wife and I had dinner at a restaurant in Melbourne’s Hardware Lane. We’ve never been there before. Hardware Lane is a tiny stretch of narrow lane packed with restaurants and tables. On a cool Thursday night it was buzzing.The restaurants had their boards out, and every waiter was a sprinkler, pitching their tables ahead of their competitors’.

As a precinct, this lane is a small fish. Perhaps 100 meters long, 8 meters wide. But already, their point of difference was strong. Individual attention for every customer, from every restaurant. Even after we had eaten, we wandered the length of the lane, and staff from each restaurant were happy to talk and spend time with us describing the history of the lane and their respective restaurants. In a busy environment, this is all too rare. It was fun, friendly and exactly what a restaurant district should be.

However, the restaurant we ate at, Max Bar & Restaurant, went above and beyond. My wife’s meal, while fine, wasn’t exactly what she expected, and was an enormous serving size. She left a fair amount on her plate. The waiter was very concerned. Even after she told him she was happy with the meal, he still offered to replace it with another. She declined, and 2 minutes later he returned with a couple of glasses of Kahlua and a further apology.

That’s what good marketing is. Going above and beyond. Taking the little steps. Enabling and encouraging staff to make the calls that turn customers into advocates. And on the larger scale, creating a competitive environment that supports the overall customer experience.

If you’re ever in Melbourne, I highly recommend Hardware Lane and Max Bar & Restaurant.

Isn’t technology awesome :)

I’m stating the bleeding obvious here, but I wanted to celebrate it publicly! I see that Tin Tin is coming out in 3D CGI animation. It looks incredible, and kids will absolutely love it. And that’s my point… children of today are going to be impacted by a great story that began as a comic strip in January 1910.

If it wasn’t for the vision (and, let’s face it… the funding) of people like Steve Jobs to give this new CGI technology credibility via the seminal Toy Story series, maybe millions of kids wouldn’t get to enjoy this author’s great work.

As ‘the old folk’ we must continue to embrace the new frontiers of entertainment content invention, because there are so many brilliant stories to tell from our past, and this new tech is probably the only way we are going to engage future generations in that past.

The true beauty is that as we further improve our technological wizardry, it will become easier and easier to bring to life these stories with the feel and style their authors originally intended.

 

Brand Power personified

Red Bull. You know… that energy drink company.

Actually the Mobile Network company…

Will that be a hard proposition for the great unwashed to grasp? I think not

In the not too distant past, marketers (including me) would have questioned the extension of any strong brand into differening categories. Words like “Dilution” and “Compromised Focus” would surface with rational, expert arguments to back them in. But times have changed (how often and how frequently is that phrase used now??)… the average consumer is now completely comfortable with this. Look at the Branson empire… Music, to Airline, to Money, to ??

The defining ingredient is the BRAND. What the brand stands for. In Branson’s case he was the crusader for a better deal for us, his friends. He created an ideal that we easily connected to any product bearing his brand.

Red Bull is enjoying exactly the same halo effect. Red Bull Mobile will succeed with a healthy niche of Red Bull afficionados purely based on the fact the BRAND is in sync with their personality.

So if you are building a company around a product, consider carefully what your brand is saying about you. Is it compelling? Does it add value to someone’s life, even in a simple fun way? If it dissapeared tomorrow would anyone care?

These indicators will define your company’s potential for real growth.

But it can’t work for everyone… I’d love to see a bank in its consumed arrogance attempt to introduce cool surfboards or their own mobile network. The results should be hilarious…

Creative Techniques: Just The Facts, Ma’am

New research proves the web now contains a piece of research to counter every other piece of research on the web.

 

OK, that might not be entirely accurate, but it’s probably pretty close. The deluge of ‘facts’ that pour from the web astounds me. Every day sees a new piece of research proving this or disproving that. It’s impossible to keep up with the flood, which often results in people accepting every new pronouncement as gospel. Actually checking facts goes out the window, and a “hey, suchandsuch.com said this, it must be true” attitude creeps in.

When you’re working creatively, you’re usually problem solving in some form or another. Designing a new chair, creating a marketing campaign, building a plan to arrest a profit slide, even sculpting an abstract. Something is not the way you want it to be, and you’re changing the situation.

Problem solving needs a good understanding of the problem, and that means data. Even sculpting an abstract to evoke an emotional response needs an understanding of how people react. Even if you believe it’s 100% gut feeling, it’s not. You make your artistic decisions based on a conglomerate of all the experiences you’ve had. That’s data.

So what’s the easiest way to work with the flood of data that normally accompanies a problem? Let’s say you need to work through a marketing issue. You’ll get business history, marketing background, case studies, a zillion opinions from everyone involved and a quadrillion bits of ‘research’ from various sources. You need the data, but you need to qualify.

My advice? Don’t do it alone. Whether you work solo or in a team, speak to other people. Gain some perspective. If you have the resources, assign people to filter the data for you. It must be cut into manageable, relevant chunks. if it’s an artistic vision, find out how others interpret emotions compared to you. Do they see things differently?

I’m not saying change your thinking to fit the data. I’m simply saying what I’ve said before in earlier posts. Understand what is around you so you know what you’re working on. However, don’t get sucked into working with the sort of poor data that floods the web (hey, don’t read this blog without getting a second opinion elsewhere), and don’t feel that you have to go it alone. Find a mechanism to get rid of the rubbish and boil the good stuff into something you can use. In advertising, it’s sometimes called the one word brief. We try to find a single word, or short phrase to sum up the brand and how we want it to be perceived. Then, we have a strong foundation to work with. Something easy to understand.

Understanding will leave to revelation.