Laura Pasternak + Michael E. Zimmerman
June 1, 2011
Here’s a simple multiple choice question most branding consultants can’t answer: Which of the following are good reasons to rebrand your organization?
a) We’re tired of hearing our own positioning statements and we fear the brand is getting stale
b) Our logo has been around for decades, and besides, we’ve brought on a new management team
c) The competition just updated their position and we’re afraid, if we don’t change, we’ll be left in the dust
d) A change in strategy will help us better leverage our offerings or meet evolving needs in the marketplace
e) All of the above are good reasons to rebrand
May 18, 2011
We recently reread Adam Morgan’s classic Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands can Compete against Brand Leaders. First published in 2000, Big Fish was ahead of its time. Eleven years ago, there was no Google, no iPod, no YouTube, no Facebook. Yet, Morgan spoke in brave new terms about taking on the market leader with unconventional, mind-share-grabbing techniques – like viral marketing...
May 10, 2011
Long before blogs, before desktop publishing, before offset printing, before movable type… we communicated through manuscripts and scrolls. Back then, writing mattered. Authors were philosophers, historians, poets and scholars. Today, not so much...
April 27, 2011
As the NBA championship game approaches, we find ourselves musing, once again, on the relationship between branding and roundball...
April 20, 2011
Great brands, like great basketball teams, are built on cooperation and a commitment to mutual success. And both can be shattered by the actions of just one player. In basketball, five individuals work as one unit to drive a 9-inch ball down a 94-foot court and place it through an 18-inch hoop, ten feet in the air. Each player has a chance to excel – to be the best at his game – but in the end, what sets winning teams apart is their ability to work together, carefully executing plays that orchestrate fluid exchanges between players to create an opening for one player to make the shot.
April 12, 2011
By using features, advantages and benefits, marketers focus the buyer’s attention on very different things. Features focus on the product by pointing out facts; but facts alone are seldom compelling. Advantages focus the buyer’s attention on the product in terms of the competition, but such comparisons are only useful if the buyer is familiar with the competitor. (And who wants to focus the buyer’s attention on the competition, anyway?) Benefits explain the value of a product or service in terms of its ability to meet the buyer’s needs. They focus the buyer on himself, and self is what matters most, to most people. Yet despite the obvious differences between features, advantages and benefits, many people still have difficulty sorting them out. One helpful mnemonic is to associate them with three classic television ads…
April 5, 2011
On April 17, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary the publication of Rosser Reeves’ seminal book Reality in Advertising, which detailed the theory of USP (“Unique Selling Proposition”). Today, Reeves' simple theory is misunderstood, misapplied, and stretched almost beyond recognition, as marketing consultants drive clients to the point of inaction, demanding that every product be unique, or at least have a unique position. Maybe it's time for a simpler approach to positioning...
March 24, 2011
On March 1, 2011, a popular public relations website posted an article based on previously published research, claiming “70 percent of local-business owners market on Facebook.” The headline was shocking, the content equally bold, and the dialog that followed typical of the hype surrounding social media.