Friday, May 31

Yes and No



Not sure if you have participated in any Twitter chats yet, I highly recommend them.  You get to "meet" people you would never otherwise come across, and you get to hear thoughts and opinions you might never have heard expressed.


Last Sunday, I stumbled upon #SpiritChat.  Now I am not a religious guy nor do I consider myself extremely "spiritual," but I do have values that I hold near and dear.  I was curious enough to click and was immediately fascinated by the chatter.

Admittedly I didn't stay on for long, but long enough to get a little nugget.

The group question was about saying "no" to people and how hard that can be.  We constantly aspire towards "we" which means a continual state of "doing" ... for family, friends, co-workers, bosses, clients ... doing, doing, doing.

It is VERY hard to say no, and there often seems like there are no limits to it.  "No" rarely comes up in the conversation.  I in fact find myself telling people that it's not ok to say "no."  "Maybe" is ok, "let's talk about it" is perfectly acceptable, but an outright "no" is generally not cool.  But it does get hard to keep up, that's for sure.

So I get it, and the group on Sunday got it too:  it takes a lot of courage to say "no."

What I find even harder, though, is to say "yes."  Saying "yes" to yourself, that is.  Taking care of yourself, making sure YOU are ok.  Whether that's keeping that doctor's appointment, or slowing down lunch to make sure the food is healthy, cramming in a 20 minute workout to keep the blood pressure in check, stopping to read a magazine .... things we should be doing for our mental and physical health.

For some, it's a day at the spa.  Whatever it is, it's about putting yourself as a priority once and awhile.

That is equally, if not more, courageous because it's counter culture and appears to be selfish.  Our culture prompts us to give back, pay it forward, and to put others first.  And we do.  But every once and awhile we need to say "yes" to ourselves.  Mostly so that we can be ready, mentally and physically, all the rest of the time to do for others.

I found the chat fascinating, and not what I expected from a #SpiritChat on a Sunday am.  Ahh, once again the power of social media.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

Thursday, May 30

Where Does Your Brand Live?

My friend Mike Brown of Brainzooming wrote a fascinating blog post the other day that really captured my attention.  Partly because I am obsessed with strategic tools that we marketers use to identify a brand positioning, and partly because I'm putting the finishing touches on my newest book which is all about personal branding.

Mike poses the fill in the blank statement:  My brand sits at the intersection of _________ and __________.  Now in my mind this works for a big national brand, a small business brand, or a personal brand.  Ahh, the magic of marketing.

It's a meaningful exercise because it teaches focus:  you only get to pick two brand attributes.  Two features/benefits if you will.  And that's what I love about it.  Focus.  I find marketers have a HUGE struggle with focus, yet it's the most important thing that we can do.

Consumers can't possibly remember much about your brand, so to get them to think of you in two dimensions is quite a feat.  The other thing I love about this is it also gives a brand a chance to show two different, almost opposing features.

My brand?  I said "inspiring" and "creative."  Or at least that's how I like to position myself ... but isn't that what a "positioning" is supposed to be?  How you want your "consumers" to think about you, when they think about you.

What's your brand ... what's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

Wednesday, May 29

Tracking Your Competition

While we all have the best of intentions, many pretty basic duties of a marketing manager often fall by the wayside.  There just isn't enough time in the day to get to all of the priorities.

Which is why I believe a gentle reminder of some of the fundamentals is okay every now and then ... whether you are operating a big brand and this all comes second nature or you are a small business owner and none of this is obvious.

Here's the 5th in my Entrepreneur series about building the brand experience.  This one is about tracking your competition ... a marketing must-do.  Hope you enjoy it and learn again from one of the basics.  You can click right here!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

Tuesday, May 28

Marketing the Jersey Shore Back



I'm a big believer that everything can be a brand.  Scratch that ... everything "should" be a brand.  Even cities and towns, especially tourist destinations.  Take a look at what Vegas is doing as a brand.  Classic marketing.

So you can imagine how happy I was to see what the New Jersey Shore is doing from a branding perspective to bring itself back for the summer season, post Hurricane Sandy.  It feels like the "campaign" started about four weeks ago, as many of the towns started to have local festivals to get the locals back engaged.  What followed was a social media stream of people reporting how great the shore was looking, how their house was all in order, and how much they were looking forward to the summer.

Then the news reports started coming in of boardwalks nearing completion, the Governor visiting the regions, how merchants were gearing up for the floods of tourists.  The "opening" of the shore for the floods ... of tourists.



Next the advertising campaign struck up a swell to get people to start thinking about the shore again.

Now comes Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.  So where does The Today Show do its live broadcast?  The Jersey Shore, complete with guest appearances (including the cast of Jersey Shore) and the start of their Summer Concert Series with the band Fun.  Fun!

All tying together quite nicely, just like a rebranding campaign should.  Makes me want to go down for a visit, completely putting Hurrican Sandy aside.  Exactly the point.  My daughter went "down the shore" and said she could really feel a nice vibe!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

Friday, May 24

#AdvertisingIs


Yesterday marked the 90th Anniversary of one of the most iconic of advertising agencies, Mad Men style, Y&R.  Y&R is a sister company of my agency, Cohn & Wolfe, so I am particularly proud.

The agency did quite a cool "event" to celebrate the occasion by posing the question #advertisingis via Twitter hashtag and asking folks to give their answer.  Fun.

Even more fun is that each tweet got compiled into a massive collage which then got broadcast onto Times Square.  Not bad in celebration of an agency's anniversary!

The responses have been fun too.  Ranging from snarky little comments (it is Twitter after all) to light hearted memories to inspirational thoughts on the industry and the creative process.  It's a fascinating way for an agency to promote itself, by engaging in a dialogue that appeals to industry professionals as well as to consumers for that matter.  There are not a lot of agency "brands" that could do that, but the iconic Y&R certainly can.

Great fun.  Give it a follow and add your comments too!

What's your experience ... or better said #advertisingis?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

Thursday, May 23

Dairy Queen & Graduates

How far is too far when it comes to using touchpoints?

I say all the time that almost anything can be a touchpoint, almost anything at all.  And I've seen many in my day, including some that are pretty out there.  Like the mesh "screen" inside a men's urinal.  Oh boy.  Literally.

Or the hanger that comes from your dry cleaning.  That one makes sense.

My fascination with unusual touchpoints dates way back, I have to say, to the first time I saw a Calvin Klein ad on the side of a popcorn bag at the movie theater ... advertising a fragrance.  I thought to myself, "how smart!"  Indeed.

But even I'm not sure about this one ... Dairy Queen is offering this year's graduating class a down-loadable ad that can be printed and applied to the top of the graduation cap.  It's for Dairy Queen's Orange Julius brand and offers up the phrase, "Orange you glad I graduated?"  Actually, kind of cute!

I'm not sure how much traction this will get, but I thought it worth mentioning.  Worth downloading?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

Wednesday, May 22

TOMS Expands

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I recently held my last graduate level class at NYU for the Spring Semester, and the students presented their final project.  It required them to take every principle that we had covered in class, and apply it to one of their favorite brands.  They basically had to pick a brand and dissect its marketing plan and brand experience.



The team picked TOMS … good choice.  For the TOMS brand, the team had to decipher the:
        - Brand definition
-           - Functional and emotional benefits
-           - SWOT analysis of the business