Wednesday, March 28

Why I Wrote My Second Book

I never knew I was a writer.  Never considered myself good at it.  And in fact, my first few months at Johnson & Johnson were all about honing my writing skills, which quite honestly were sorely lacking.  So who would have thought I'd write a book ... let alone a second book.  The Experience Effect for Small Business.

But it was in the process of writing my first book that I found my voice, and that's why I started writing a blog.  When the first book was launched, I missed that process of writing so I took to crafting a daily message and hence my blog was born.

Something very interesting happened along the way that I never would have expected.  People started asking me, at speaking engagements and over social media, how to apply it to their small business.  Small business!  I'm a big brand kind of guy!  Many people said, "I'm not a brand, but I do have a business."  Obviously I quickly corrected them on the brand part.  We are all a brand, whether we say it out loud or not.

And so it came over me ... small business owners don't generally have the marketing training that comes with starting out at the big consumer products companies.  Like Johnson & Johnson where I started and got a lot of learning under my belt, as they say.

As we look to recover from this economic mess that we are in, it's probably going to be the entrepreneurial spirit and small business that will re-shape our economy.  That and digital marketing.  So I decided to translate all that I have learned in big brand theory into small business marketing.  I decided to write a second book all about how to create an incredible brand experience if you are a small business owner.  The Experience Effect for Small Business.

The principles are the same.  It's the budgets and the team resources that are so vastly different.  But what seems obvious to so many of us is new territory for most small business owners.  I hope that my perspective helps.  Entrepreneurs are the key to our future, and I consider myself one as well.

The Holmes Report ran an excerpt from my book if you'd like a peek.  Or you can take a bigger look at it on Amazon.  In any event,  I have so enjoyed the writing process and am already working on the next one.  Personal branding.  The Personal Experience Effect if you will.

What's your experience?  Exactly.  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect series
Professor, NYU

Tuesday, March 27

Revitalizing Brand UK

The Queen of England made a surprise visit at a young couple's wedding over the weekend.  They knew she was going to be in the area, so they invited her ... having no idea that she'd actually make an appearance!

Now this is a bit out of character for their Queen, who doesn't normally reach out to the public in this manner.  But it should be no surprise when you step back and notice the supreme effort that the Royal Family and England is taking to revitalize its brand.

It started with Kate and William and the wedding of the century that continues on through every dress she wears and every smile he flashes.  They are the new Royal Family and they are boldly making a statement that they are looking to make some changes.  With full support from the Queen and with full engagement from their countrymen.

Now let's not forget that it's an Olympic year as well, with London putting on a huge celebration for the country and the world.  It's a huge brand investment, one that no one can take lightly, and they need all hands on deck to get any kind of ROI.  Industries, brands, and careers will be shaped by these English Olympic games and it's a huge opportunity to re-invent the UK brand.  Just like its predecessor in Beijing.

But we all know that marketing is a team sport, and good results don't happen over night generally.  Every element has to be working in sync in order to get the kind of reinvention you're looking to create.  Including an impromptu visit from a stately Queen who is trying to do her part, in her Diamond Jubilee no less.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

Monday, March 26

Mad Men, The Lost Opportunity

Last night was the season premiere of Mad Men, 17 months in the waiting.  And although the show didn't disappoint necessarily, the advertising sure did.  This was a big pop culture moment for brands, and no one took advantage of it.  I was quite surprised, especially after the Newsweek edition this week with all the 60s inspired print ads (admittedly it's much easier to produce a dedicated print ad than a tv spot).

During our live Twitter chat at #MadMedExp, we were all counting out the brand mentions and waiting eagerly for a big brand moment.  It never came.  There were no brands woven into the plot as in seasons past, and no inspired creative to create instant buzz.  Where was the big clothing partner, Banana Republic, and Estee Lauder for that matter, when we needed some "period" advertising creative?  We needed something interesting, period.  Such a disappointment from an advertising perspective.

I will do a shout out to Miller 64 though, the new low calorie beer.  Love the logo, which does rather coincidentally have a 60s feel to it.  The campaign, which has several executions, is quite contagious.  Love "blood, sweat, and beers!" and the song that declares "we live a life of balance!"  A nice change-up in the beer category.


The other insightful advertising moment came from Clorox, again with a campaign of multiple executions around "bleachable moments."  Love the pun.  I especially liked how the brand offered a real portrayal of Dads, not the stereotypical comic version.  The hook is real and relate-able, that's for sure.


Sigh ... these spots could have been on any show, and in fact have been on many of them.  In my book, if you really want to maximize a touchpoint, you create something dedicated to it that really connects with your consumers.  That can't happen every time for sure, but there are moments of opportunity where a brand can really score.  Last night, the only score was by Don Draper.

Best in show?  Two part award for best moments:
- quote of the night:  "since when are clients right?" (when Don wouldn't defend the team's creative)
- Joan, the whole night!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

Friday, March 23

Social Sharing

I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion yesterday at "The Social Consumer" Conference held by BDI here in New York.  The topic that the organizers asked me to lead was all about how to organize your teams to create social media success.  Not the sexiest of topics, granted, but timely enough for sure.

What I quickly learned from the conference, however, was not really about how to organize teams but more about how to share information.  I always say that marketing is a spectator sport, and we can learn so much by watching each other's activities.  And that was really what the discussion ended up being all about.   Sharing, and team work.  I guess marketing is a team sport as well.

Social media is new to us all ... none of us can really say that we are expert in something so new that changes so frequently.  So all we can really do is learn from each initiative and apply it to the next.  The conference attendees were so eager to share and to learn and to talk freely about the challenges they face in developing social media programs.

It was refreshing to say the least because I would say that ten years ago marketers were much more reluctant to share information.  We worried more about proprietary thoughts and our ideas being "stolen."  With social media it doesn't really matter anymore because things move at lightening speed ... at the speed of life as they say.  So we have no choice but to share just to keep up.  Keeping things close to the vest generally means being out of the loop.  Sure we have to hold our brand assets as confidential, but it's nice to share our experiences and to learn from them with each other.

So while we started out by talking about how to organize our teams, we ended up just sharing and talking about how we can share better, which is an internal organizational issue as well.  Social sharing ... a topic well worth the price of admission.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

Thursday, March 22

Mad Men Premiere

This is certainly not the first television hit about the advertising industry.  I grew up with Darrin Stevens, and attribute much of my fascination with marketing to him and his 60's office.  And let's not forget about "30 Something," back when I was 30 something.  So it should be no surprise that with the style and plot line of "Mad Men," that we'd have another television hit about marketing/advertising on our hands.

But it is a bit of a surprise, because no one could have predicted that it would become both the cultural and marketing phenomenon that it has.  It started out slowly, just like how the episodes run.  But then when the promotional sponsorships started kicking in, so too did the audience.  Then the awards and accolades put it over the edge.

The new season is about to premiere, after a 17 month hiatus.  Most brands would worry that they'd lose their audience in that amount of time, but not Mad Men.  Their audience is salivating at the chance to view the cast of characters, and their audience is also gobbling up every morsel of pre-hype that it can.

Like the now traditional tie-in with Banana Republic for the clothes and the incredible coverage from Newsweek this week ... featuring a cover story and a whole line up of vintage advertising throughout the publication.  Estee Lauder even did a Mad Men cosmetics collection.  Did you know that fan-demand made the creators re-do the opening music, to keep it more in line with the period?  It's near hysteria ... OK, that's a little over dramatic, but in a world of no-appointment television it's fun to have a new event to look forward to, and to watch live as it unfolds.  No spoilers here.

Which is exactly why I am hosting another pop culture Twitter party to follow the marketing during the Premiere ... at #MadMenExp.  We've been doing it for all the pop culture events so far this year, so why not this one?  It's a blast to follow along and comment on all the marketing, especially when the marketing is just as much a part of the show as the show itself.  Like with #SuperBowlExp or #OscarsExp.

So join us Sunday night, 3/25, at 9:00EST on AMC and tweet along with the show to comment on all the advertising, promotional tie-ins, product placements, and historical brand mentions.  America is obsessed with Mad Men and we are obsessed with marketing.  Or at least I am.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

Wednesday, March 21

Top Chef & Healthy Choice

I love when an idea turns into a brand and then that brand grows and evolves.  It's marketing magic.  And that's exactly the case with entertainment property Top Chef from Bravo (another brand unto itself).  We have a cultural fascination with chefs, and I'm a restaurant foodie right up there with the rest of 'em.

I was a Top Chef fan from season one, and although I now view it more from afar, I have enjoyed watching it grow from city to city and from theme to theme, along with some of the products they introduced along the way.

The latest to catch my eye is a partnership with he brand Healthy Choice.  It's no ordinary partnership.  It starts with an online webisode competition from prior season "favorites" to create new entries under the Healthy Choice brand promise.  And then those foods are offered for sale as part of the Top Chef Healthy Choice line at retail called Cafe Steamers.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

Partnerships are always interesting in marketing because you have t
o ask yourself, "what's in it for each brand."

For Top Chef it's more than just more online entertainment ... it's a brand extension into actual live products that are sold at retail, making the brand that much more real.  Turning reality tv into reality food, under a well known brand name to give it some package goods merit.

For Healthy Choice it's audience expansion, as it looks to pick up new users who are part of the Top Chef franchise but may not have ever tried Healthy Choice before.  It also gives the brand some flavor creds, I would imagine, as it  works to compete in the healthy frozen food category which may not always have been known for its taste.  Having winning chefs make your food sure sounds delicious. 

A win-win for each brand, and a major evolution of the Top Chef franchise.  The best part?  Each brand's consumers also win (making it a win-win-win) as they now get new ways to experience their favorite brand, potentially increasing consumer loyalty.  Something I call "The Experience Effect." Score!

Gotta give it a try.  What's your experience? Jim. 

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, "The Experience Effect" series
Professor, NYU