Many Made The Mistake Of Taking the Brand Out Of The Innovation Equation On The Fuzzy Front-End. Are You One Of Them?

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Companies make many mistakes in their innovation journeys and often they go down the same path again and again and wonder why that is the case. The four main reasons among many are:

1/ They think it is all about creativity and coming up with more ideas.

Coming up with ideas is easy. Coming with good ideas is not difficult. Coming up with more ideas is not helpful. It is the quality of ideas and once ideas are being exhausted, it is time to perform the more difficult job of sensemaking and mapping. This is where most people fail and have no ideas of what and how to do next. They lack a framework…
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With The Emerging Of The New “Object-Culture” – Meanings Are Sought Through Social Identities, Visual Information and Interfaces / Interactions

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There are objects that I love for many different reasons. They range from my Leicas to my JBL speakers, LV bags, Prada shoes and Mac computers. Objects that are highly functional can also be highly personal … expressive, reliable and artistic. Designers, brand marketers and product development executives often have to deal with the philosophical dilemmas such as subject vs. object; humanity vs. nature; function vs. style; and simplicity vs. complexity. Every time we come up with an innovative product design or experience we need to consider all of these things.

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When does the…
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We Have Proved Once Again That Brand Marketing Can Drive Social Change, Further Customer Engagment And Build Brands. And Won A Gold Award For Best Financial Service Marketing.

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Aviva Canada just announced winners to Aviva Community Fund with half a million dollars payout to programs across the country. This is the second year of a very successful campaign created to use brand to drive social change. The Aviva Community Fund, a unique competition designed to lead, empower and support positive change in communities across the country, was first launched in 09 when we presented the idea to the client.

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The idea is an open source idea platform for people to submit and decide how to use the money to drive real social change and provide positive impact…
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Brand Talk on Love, Sex And Emotion. Marketers Love Drinking Their Kool-Aid.

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Can a company/brand create such powerful emotive connections to make customers love them? Your advertising agency will be quick to say yes. I am not sure. I can imagine a few scenarios that it happens but is is very uncommon. Marketers like to convince themselves that you can buy ‘love’ and that’s the ultimate goal for great marketing. What's that book name "Lovemark"?  That's an example of advertisers drinking their own Kool-Aid. Yes, many customers can have a level of enthusiasm because we provide them with a great customer experience, is that love? That’s what I want to write about.

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My Next Book Will Be Called “The Authenticity Gap”. I May Not Get Many Serious Readers. How About “Authenticiy Without Commitment”?

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The Authenticity Gap – that should be the title of my next book. Well, I don’t think I have time to write another book, it takes me almost 5 weeks last time. I guess I will need at least 8 weeks. But no. May be a blog post, it takes only 15 mins. I do like the name, but I guess it won't sell well. May be "Authenticity Without Commitment", this is a far better title, I think I can sell 200,00 copies and sell a lot of seminars. Will get sponsorship from BP for sure.

Marketers have been talking about authenticity and brands for a long time and have been trying to be authentic, they are using the wrong tool. And…
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Brand Naming – Does The Old Rules Still Apply?

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I took this picture a few weeks ago in NYC while visiting a client. I really like the name "Permission To Ger Dirty". Guess what? It is laundry store. I am not 100% sure but will send someone to check it out.

Brand naming – does the old rules still apply? Or brand naming strategists need to learn some new tricks? There are always two schools: one is find something that is cool, aspirational and doesn’t have to mean anything. Like FlickR, Google or Blackberry; or something that is relevant to a category or reflect what the product actually is such as PayPal, Facebook or Playstation etc.

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Finding words that are actionable,…
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By The Standard Of The Late Leo Burnett, Many Of Today’s Big Agencies Should Have Taken Their Founders’ Name Off The Door. Here’s A Tribute To The Loney Man Who Spent A Lifetime Behind His Typewriter To Come With The Big Ideas.

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This week I was invited to speak on branding and marketing to group graduate students who are studying towards a master degree in branding. I shared part of my Advanced Branding Masterclass material, which covers the future of branding in the world of social technologies and connectivity. Their instructor (an advertising veteran who had a long agency career including Leo Burnett) raised a very interesting point, 20 or 30 years ago advertising agencies were in the business of selling “ideas”, today many are becoming audio and video factories. And he realized that our success is all about ideas. That is very true, who are the creators of “ideas” these days? Idea Couture is exactly about ideas, not only communications but strategic ideas…. be it brand, product, service, interface,…
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What Is Social Branding? What Makes A Brand Social? What Do You Need To Do To Become A Truly Social Brand Beyond Just Getting Into Facebook And Twitter?

Picture 7I remembered talking to a group of senior marketing executives two years ago, the topic was “Branding 2.0 Is to get social” and many were scratching their heads and weren't sure what I was referring to. To answer the question "what's social branding?” we need to understand what branding is?  People involved with a collectivity of brands so as to benefit from the meanings they add to their lives. People will look for signs to represent meanings even if we take brands away. If a brand does not have vital consumer meaning, may be it is not worthwhile investing in its leadership both financially and organizationally. So where do they get these meanings?

Picture 17 Where do these meaning comes from? Brands and consumers are…
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Brand Obama, Apple and Coca Cola, What Do They Really Have In Common?

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This is a special day in history. Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and the America's first African-American president today, it is a big day. The last 16 months, we learned that Obama had not only vision for America, but possessed the commitment, intellect, strength, character and political brilliance to rise to the top leadership. He is wonderful lift of the human spirit against seemingly insurmountable odds – an inspiration for young people all over the world. Obama's popularity and inspiration will impact the next generation significantly. 

The world is eager to see a great leader in action. Many hope that Obama will address the global climate crisis, by furthering the efforts already made to unite America and the world in working…
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