Monday, December 31

Marketing Predictions for 2013



The folks at PRWeek asked me to make some "predictions" for the trends we might see in marketing next year.  As a lover of marketing, I was obviously thrilled to oblige.

Give it a read by clicking here.

Happy New Year!  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Friday, December 28

2012 Biggest Marketing Moments


There's no doubt that this was a big year in marketing:  we saw consumers take control, we witnessed a big jump in stunts, and we saw social media take on deeper and deeper engagement.

Since it's the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to do a year-end countdown of what I consider to be the biggest marketing moments of the year.  From 10 to 1, it's definitely been the year of the brand.

10 - Pinterest Interest:  2012 was the year of new social media sensation, Pinterest.

9 - The Olympics Best in Show:  we can't talk about marketing this year without talking about The Olympics.

8 - Fifty Shades of Grey:  the book sensation became a brand.

7 - Kraft Mac & Cheese and The Old Birds:  the ultimate in giving consumers control ... of social media.

6 - The NYPD Brand:  a tourist pic gave a big boost to the brand that is the NYPD.

5 - Bodyform Responds:  the UK women's brand gives quite the response to a Facebook post.

4 - The JCP Experience:  the brand had a year of ups and downs, that's for sure, as much of their new business model played out in social media.

3 - Revitalizing Brand UK:  the country gets a branding make over, and I even witnessed some of it myself this year.

2 - The Fiscal Cliff:  as we approached the end of the year, our favorite politicians and media personalities actually branded our government's inefficiency.

1 - The New Political Advertisement:  An election year is always a big marketing year ... but this year we saw a lot of the drama go online.

So that's my take on this year's biggest marketing moments, what are yours?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Thursday, December 27

2012 Favorite Blog Posts


Every year I do a review of my favorite blog posts ... no scientific analysis, just my pick of my favorite topics of the year ... those that put a smile on my face.  Here we go, hope you enjoy my list for 2013!

10 - When Marketing & PR Collide:  I hosted a really fun roundtable discussion about careers in PR which became a top 10 read for The Holmes Report.

9 - New NFL Uniforms:  even professional football players can have body issues!

8 - Middle Age:  IMHO, the best piece of advertising of the year.

7 - Ten Things That Make Me Happy:  the show from Bravo is a true take on personal branding, just as I write my third book on the topic.

6 - Anti-Aging Jeans:  pull your jeans down, take ten years off!

5 - More "Reality" in Advertising:  new legislation ensures proper brand communications, and it totally fascinates me.

4 - 9/11, Pay It Backward:  a real moment of moments, that put some new meaning behind the day.

3 - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:  they finally "got it right," with the inclusion of Donna Summer.

2 - Should A Brand Have An Opinion?:  when a brand makes a political statement, isn't it just targeting?

(drum roll please)

Now for my favorite blog post of the year ... it just might surprise you!

1 - Drugs Over Timeline:  one of the most effective uses of Facebook timeline and an example that I constantly reference as the most creative piece of marketing of the year.  In fact, my team is probably sick and tired of hearing me talk about it!

Agree, disagree?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

PS - just for fun, here's my list of favorite blog posts from 2011.  My what a difference a year makes!

Wednesday, December 26

An Entrepreneur Holiday



Happy Holidays!  The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve can be the most relaxing of the year, there's no doubt about that.

But for entrepreneurs, it can also be the most productive.

Here's an article I wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine that explains why.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Friday, December 21

Merry Christmas??



I witnessed a very interesting cultural phenomenon when I was in London this week.  Everyone there says,  "Merry Christmas."  Signs in all the retail stores say, "Merry Christmas."  Rolling electronic signage on the sides of businesses say, "Merry Christmas."  All the sales clerks and basically everyone you run into says, "Merry Christmas."

I have to say it took me off guard at first.

Here in the States, we've evolved to "Happy Holidays" to recognize our cultural diversity and so as not to assume anything.  I've gotten comfortable with "Happy Holidays."  It fits us.

Now I'm a big fan of Christmas, huge in fact.  We put up five Christmas trees in our house this year, and we have an ornament collection that makes me so happy.  We celebrate Christmas with fever!  Honestly, not from a religious standpoint, but from one of family and home.  That's just the way we are.

So for me when someone says "Merry Christmas," it means "have an amazing time with your family and friends during what is the most delicious part of the year."  That's just me ... I know that it means very different things to other people, which is wonderful.

And I'm not commenting here at all if we should be saying "Merry Christmas" to each other ... because of who we are as a culture "Happy Holidays" makes much more sense.  But I did like hearing folks say to me "Merry Christmas" because every time they said it I pictured my family.  Memories of my cute little kids on Christmas morning popped up in my mind.  I don't get that same warm fuzzy with "Happy Holidays."

The point here is that it's wonderful to view and participate in other cultures ... without judgement ... with love and respect, and to learn something from it.  I can't wait to visit another part of the world next year at this time and see what the experience is like.

Whatever you call it ... and I love you for it ... enjoy the balance of the year with your family and friends.  Rest, relax, unwind, and partake ... it's what the season is meant for!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Thursday, December 20

Liberty London


I had the retail experience of my life yesterday while traveling in London.  I'm a big retail aficionado, so it's hard at this point to find something that impresses ... and that feels really different.

Several of the concierges at the hotel told me that I simply must go to Liberty London.  I was familiar with the brand, mostly from the flower prints known famously.  But I was not familiar with the retail store.

It's a wow!  Beautiful skin care and cosmetics department, but honestly not game changing and the Christmas shop was just ok ... not differentiating at all.  Feeling a little underwhelmed, I headed to the lower level for the men's department.  Boom!  Room after room of different styles and lines that were unique to me along with some familiar names.  I could have spent hours there ... and several paychecks.

Feeling a bounce in my step I then headed to the home section where the selection of accessories was the most eclectic mix I had seen in years.  With prices that didn't discourage, all wonderfully merchandised to pick up and investigate.  I didn't really get to the women's handbags section, but it looked like it had an incredible mix of brands (high and low), again all merchandised for easing browsing.

It all just felt so ... London ... which was just what I needed.  I really needed a shot of something tied to the city and the culture, not the same as what we can get at home.  I'm coming home satisfied!

Liberty London is a must see, quintessential London.  And BTW, the sales help were amazing which is such an important part of the brand experience.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Wednesday, December 19

Christmas in London



It's going to sound odd to say, but I've never been anywhere except home for Christmas. That's where Christmas is, to me.

So you can imagine my feeling out of sorts to hear that I have to spend the week before Christmas in London.

I can hear the collective "whaaaahhhh," but in all my professional years I have never had to travel during the Christmas season. And as someone who uses the week before the holiday to finish the finishing touches, it's quite unsettling.

So here it is December 19th and I'm in London.   And you know what?  It's gorgeous!

Christmas in London is ... Christmas!  Just like in NY but oh so different.  So ... London. As it should be.

The shopping ... none can compare ... although it's all been voyeuristic since I've been busy with work since the moment I got here.   I did grab a moment to go to Liberty of London - quite the cool London retail experience.  Flowered shirts to die for.


I will be home for Christmas, that's for sure.  But now London holds a special allure for me as part of the holiday experience.  Perhaps I can do it someday for pleasure and really capture the essence of it.

Happy Holidays!  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Tuesday, December 18

Wear a Belt

To me, nothing makes a better personal statement than looking like you consciously put together an outfit for the day.  You don't have to try super hard, but looking like you've but some thought into it can help make you look far more interesting ... and advance your personal brand.

And guys ... there's a really easy way to do it.

Wear a belt!  Unless you have the body of a gym rat and a 30" waist that perfectly holds your pants up, then you need to wear a belt.

First of all, it can complete a look with minimal effort.  Match it to your shoes, throw on a watch, and you've done enough accessorizing to get you through your day.

Secondly, it take can pounds off of your look.  There's something about the visual break along the waist line that draws attention away from a little extra baggage.  And here's a tip:  the fatter the belt, the thinner the waist.  A thick belt with a larger buckle can do wonders to slim you down and age you down as well.  Throw in a little creativity with a cool buckle or an interesting pattern on the leather and you are well on your way to some personal style.  With minimal effort.

But don't wear it too tight ... keep it looking natural and effortless.  Such a better statement that having pants that are hanging off of you.  Keeps you looking grounded and fitted ... perhaps even fit.

Do it today ... you'll see the difference in your look!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

Monday, December 17

VH1 Divas 2012




Last night VH1 aired their "Divas" concert, and I have to say it was really good to see this "brand" come back.  When it first hit (a long time ago), it was an instant hit.  The show would feature a few big female musical acts each year, as a way to raise awareness and money for music education programs in public schools.  Every year the brand grew with promotional sponsors, online content, and even retail displays.  I was doing a lot of marketing for Johnson & Johnson at the time, and the show was a great way to reach women.  We loved it.

But then it seemed to have faded, at least in my eyes, and it fell off of our radar.

Well this year it came back, and hopefully back to stay.  There were some decided differences, though, which I found quite interesting from both a pop culture and marketing perspective.

First of all, the pace of the show was frenetic.  Not just a few acts, but what felt like dozens, each gracing the stage for a song or two.  More indicative, I believe, of how folks consume music "these days."  A little of this, a little of that ... all at a speed of a pulsing beat.  And not all of the performers were super well known.  I guess you don't have to be a famous icon to be a Diva anymore, which is fine.  The VH1 Divas brand is a great way to market talent, both old and new.  Also a great way to re-invent your brand, witness Miley Cyrus.

There was also a host ... and it was a guy, Adam Lambert.  Now he's a self-proclaimed Diva in his own right so there was no disconnect.  Other guys were on the show too, like Pit Bull.  So I guess it's no longer a requirement to be female to be a Diva.  Elton John set that stage when he appeared with Tina Turner on the show back in the day.

Finally the commercial breaks were often branded content in support of the show ... brands that created "custom" advertising to work within the show.  The brand has become a marketing tool for its sponsors, and they are maximizing the impact.  All good in my book, it's for charity anyway and it pays for all the production of this great show.

The best part?  For those of you who know me ... the tribute to one of the original Divas, Donna Summer.  You can watch that here if you'd like.  Fitting for a number of reasons, including the theme which was dance music.

Sure, VH1 Divas is a marketing machine ... for the performers and for the artists ... but it is good to have the brand back.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU