Monday, January 25, 2010

A New Look at Brand Marketing Principles - Part Four

Hello and Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend - I spent half my day yesterday grocery shopping and the other half immersed in football.  Well, a tradeoff of football and reading a very good book.

I hope you've enjoyed this series of posts thus far.  As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed the article when I read it the first time and as I've been writing, I find that I have absorbed more.  Repetition is truly a great teacher in this instance and while I'm excited for the next batch of posts coming your way after this series is complete, I will be sad to see this end.

But, we've work to do yet. So, I'm wiping the tears and bringing you this next thought:

Think 365 Not 360

We're all pretty familiar with the 360 concept.  I cut my marketing teeth at American Express in the storied days of when direct mail was king: every campaign consisted of two pieces mailed six weeks apart with the same message and offer.  These sequential, one dimensional messages are not as effective and we're in a more sophisticated time where multiple related ideas are relayed in multiple and sometimes interactive channels.  So, these days, direct mail is accompanied by text message, banner ads, Facebook apps, SEM, SEO, twitter and a host of other marketing tools (insert your favorite here).

The article says that all this is well and good but that these tools need to have some sort of foundation or structure to be a part of every day life.  The argument goes that brands need to provide entertainment while providing utility constantly.  It's a tall order but if there are no touchpoints in this age of constant touchpoints, the brand will quickly lose "top of mind" status with the customer.  Brands need to do more with more.  

Here's a practical example: Lady Gaga.  I know it's a weird choice but consider that she has leveraged and extended her huge popularity beyond Warhol's 15 minutes by re releasing albums with different covers and new tracks, never wearing the same outlandish outfit twice, walking around for days at a time with a teacup/saucer and completely changing her concert design.  She's masterfully fought for and stayed in public consciousness by maintaining a conversation with the public across multiple touchpoints.

Want a fun practical example?  Please watch this TMobile commercial from early last year.  Cell phones have gone from being those huge monstrosities used by the elite to being ubiquitous.  Everyone has a cell phone these days though they are all not made equal - see iPhone).  I love that TMobile leveraged the flash mob concept to make a tool of everyday life into something fun and dynamic.  I think the commercial does wonders for the brand.  If you don't believe in the power of that one commercial, shortly after that aired, 13K people gathered in London's Liverpool Street station in a copycat sort of move engineered by a group on Facebook.  Here is an article from the Telegraph describing the scene replete with naked dancers.

Fun stuff.  

My one quibble with the article on this Think 365 Not 360 is actually in its wording.  I think the point is Thinking 365 While Thinking 360.  To me, it's not an either or.  We must be engaged in meaningful brand conversations all the time to reinforce our brand message and utility to the consumer.

What about you?  What's your favorite example of a brand that thinks 360 degrees 365 days of the year?  I would love to hear from you on this score.  Send an email and let me know your thoughts!


Parissa Behnia

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