Posts Tagged ‘branding’

When I make a statement like that I mean that people (and by extension business entities of all sorts) have memories longer than your current message/campaign. They remember your position on an issue that affected your industry and they remember how adversity and prosperity were handled when they arrived at your doorstep. These are not the things of messaging and campaigns. These get to the core of your corporate integrity. This is what resonates with other people.

The actions taken when these events occur do more to define a business and its leadership than any campaign. Examples both good and bad would include Tylenol and BP (British Petroleum). Tylenol’s initial troubles were met with taking their product off of the shelves. They put people ahead of profit. (It only made business sense, so don’t think they were overly altruistic. Although others later would fail this test. See:Firestone) BP’s handling of their massive oil spill in the gulf was not something anyone should emulate. If anything, their recent spate of commercials trying to reinvigorate tourism to the gulf remind people of their lack of responsibility. People in that area that have already had to close their businesses because of the spill have nothing to smile about.

So, when events conspire with, or against, a business, they may wish to bring the marketing team in to consult instead of just hiring spin doctors. Evidence of responses are recorded more thoroughly now than ever before. Choose wisely grasshopper.


Most people who spend an adequate amount of  time on the Web indulge in some form of cyber stalking. (Even if it’s themselves to see how they show up in results.) For me it takes the form of places I’ve formerly worked or consulted at.

That’s why I was disturbed when idlly scanning just such a site recently. This company was a start-up and has had financial difficulties. They have pretty much stripped marketing of anything strategic, including the CMO.

Their redesigned web site is smartly designed, but still confusing to the uniniated consumer or business. (They go after both.) But the real faux pas is that they list a Blog section with the subheadings of PR and Industry News.

This is not the way to leverage the New Web Dynamic. It is merely trying to repurpose and rebrand old Web site tropes.

Whoever uses your product or service is in charge now. As a business you need to prove your worth in order to initiate transactions. You do this by giving back before you’ve even entered a dialogue. That’s what your Blog content does. Then it allows comments to encourage the start of a dialogue. Navigate this carefully and the result is not just one customer, but potentially anyone who is interested in the subject.

People don’t want PR shoved down their throat on a website. PR needs to do it’s proper job by appearing as news-related items on news oriented media. Likewise, don’t try to tout a section of your site as a newshub. Savy people know it’s just you shilling someone else’s PR. Redirect them to a proper newshub. (Even if it’s one hosted by you. Keep it a related, but seperate brand, and it will work more effectively.)

If you expect business generation from the Web, then you can’t be lazy about it. Work it properly. Keep up with the latest practices. Take advantage of every Web strategy available and don’t skimp by calling something a Blog that isn’t.

Mr. Obama won the vote of hundreds of marketers, agency heads and marketing-services vendors gathered here at the Association of National Advertisers' annual conference.
The title says it all. He took advantage of new media and everything the Internet had to offer. He was consistent and built a sterling brand. It’s truly a case study for anyone interested in brand building.
The other night during the final Presidential debate John McCain thought he was being witty by remarking that he was not President Bush and that if Obama wanted to run against him he should have done so 4 years ago. The problem was that Obama was just begining to build his brand as a keynote speaker at the Democratic convention. He kept after it the entire time and managed to parlay it into becoming the party’s candidate this year.
John McCain should have been working on his personal brand at that time as well. And, he kind of was, because at that time he had flip-flopped on his brand as cultivated by the 2000 primaries. Now he was busy getting cozy with the people that smeared him then and kissing up to people he had rightly dismissed in an effort to line up the 2008 candidacy. His brand changed and has never really recovered because it keeps changing right up through this year. 
Obama has built a solid base and keeps expanding. His use of marketing channels to connect to new groups of Americans and get them engaged in the political process is something future politicians will no doubt emulate in an effort to become as successful as he has.
Now let’s see if all of this effort will pay off in Nov. 

I came across this and thought it dovetailed rather well with objectives that marketing tries to achieve. Read this article and check out some of the related links. See if it doesn’t spark a brainstorm on how to garner similar results in advertising, branding and PR.

How to Persuade People With Subconscious Techniques

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Persuasiveness is one of the most important skills anyone can learn because it is useful in countless situations.At work, at home, and in your social life, the ability to be persuasive and influence others can be instrumental for achieving goals and being happy.Learning about the tricks of persuasion can also give you insight into when they’re being used on you. The biggest benefit of this is that money will stay in your pocket as you realize just how sales people and advertisers sell you products that you don’t necessarily need. Here are several techniques that work on a subconscious level.


  1. Framing. When someone tells you “Don’t think about an elephant” you find it difficult to comply; by just mentioning “elephant”, the image pops into your mind, regardless of the context. This is a classic example of framing. [1] Framing is frequently used by skillful politicians. For instance, politicians on both sides of the abortion debate cite their positions as “pro-life or pro-choice” because “pro” has better connotations than “anti.” Framing subtly uses emotionally charged words to shift people towards your point of view. To frame a persuasive argument, select words that conjure images (positive, negative or neutral) in the minds of your audience. Even with other words nearby, a single framing word can still be effective. Another example is illustrated by the difference between saying “Having a cell phone will keep me out of trouble” and “Having a cell phone will keep me safe”. Ponder which word is more effective for your message: “trouble” or “safe”.
  2. Mirroring. Mirroring is the practice of mimicking the movements and body language of the person you are trying to persuade. By acting as the person listening does, you create a sense of empathy. You can mirror hand gestures, leaning forward or away, or various head and arm movements. We all do this subconsciously, and if you pay attention you’ll probably notice yourself doing it. Be subtle about it and delay 2-4 seconds between the other person’s movement and your mirroring. Mirroring is also known as “the chameleon effect”.[2]
  3. Scarcity. Scarcity is frequently used by advertisers to make opportunities seem more appealing because they have limited availability. The assumption is that if a product is scarce, there must be a ton of demand for it! (Buy one now because they’re selling out fast). Be aware that this is a method of persuasion to which you are frequently exposed and take it into account when you make your purchase decision.
  4. Reciprocation. When someone does something for us, we feel compelled to return the favor. So, if you want someone to do something nice for you, why not do something nice for them first? In a business setting, maybe you pass them a lead. At home, you might offer to lend your lawnmower to a neighbor. It doesn’t matter where or when you do it, the key is to complement the relationship.
  5. Timing. People are more likely to be agreeable and submissive when they’re mentally fatigued. Before you ask someone for something they might not readily agree to, consider waiting until they’ve just done something mentally taxing. This could be at the end of the work day when you catch a co-worker on their way out the door. Whatever you ask, a likely response is, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow.”
  6. Congruence. We all try, subconsciously, to be consistent with previous actions. A technique used by salespeople is to shake your hand as he is negotiating with you. In most people’s minds, a handshake equates to a closed deal, and by doing this before the deal actually closed, the salesperson is more likely to actually close it. A good way to use this yourself is to get people acting before they make up their minds. For example, if you were out and about with a friend and you wanted to go see a movie but the friend was undecided, you could start walking in the direction of the theater while they are considering it. Your friend is more likely to agree to go once he or she is walking in the direction you set.
  7. Fluid speech. When we talk, we often use little interjections and hesitant phrases such as “ummm” or “I mean” and of course there is the ubiquitous “like”. These little conversation fillers have the unintended effect of making us seem less confident and sure of ourselves, and thus less persuasive. If you’re confident in your speech, others will be more easily persuaded by what you have to say.
  8. Herd behavior. We constantly look to those around us to determine our actions; we have the need for acceptance. We are far more likely to follow or be persuaded by someone we like or by someone who we see as an authority. An effective way to use this to your advantage is to be seen as a leader — even if you don’t have the official title. Be charming and confident and people will place greater weight on your opinion. If you’re dealing with someone who isn’t likely to see you as an authority (such as a superior in the workplace, or your significant other’s parent) you can still take advantage of herd behavior. Casually praise a leader who that person admires. By triggering positive thoughts in that person’s mind about a person they look up to, they’ll be more likely to associate those qualities with you.
  9. Man’s best friend. To give people the impression that you’re loyal, and to inspire them to be loyal to you, put up a picture of you with a dog (it doesn’t even have to be your own dog). This can make you seem like a team player, but don’t go overboard; putting up too many pictures can make you seem unprofessional.[3]
  10. Offer a drink. Give the person who you’re persuading a warm drink (tea, coffee, hot cocoa) to hold while you’re talking to them. The warm sensation of the drink in their hands (and their body) can subconsciously make them feel like you’re an emotionally warm, likable and welcoming person. Giving them a cold drink can have the opposite effect! In general, people tend to feel cold and crave warm food or drinks when they’re feeling socially isolated, so fill that need in order to make them more receptive.[4]
  11. Break the touch barrier. Whether you’re closing a deal or asking someone on a date, touching them (in a subtle and appropriate way) can improve your chances by subconsciously activating the human desire to bond. In a professional it is usually best to ‘touch” someone verbally by offering reassurance or praise as a physical touch can be interpreted as sexual harassment. In romantic situations, any soft touch from a woman will usually be taken well; men will require further reading in order to avoid making a woman feel uncomfortable.[3]



  • There are several things you can do to make yourself seem more dominant, like wearing an all-black outfit–as some judges, police and clergy do–or maintaining a neutral face, but there are times when being dominant (or neutral) isn’t necessarily more persuasive. If you’re a salesperson, you might prefer to relate to the client, rather than intimidate–but if you’re a supervisor, giving people a more dominant impression might mean getting your way more often.
  • Use the same techniques you fear–from a sales person–on the sales person to turn the table and intimidate him/her. For example when you are out to buy a car: lead the conversation. Ask questions that you know the answer to, like “So car sales are down, huh?” and “Man, I bet you guys need to move these 08’s with the 09’s already on the floor.” This will encourage the sales person to work harder to close the sale. Remind them that their income is not what it once was, without coming out and saying so.


  • Don’t persuade anyone to do something that isn’t conducive to their well-being.
  • Be careful using persuasive techniques in friendships. Sometimes a decision needs to be made, and it is OK to convince others to ‘buy in’. However, if you do this too often, people may interpret this as you being controlling, or manipulative, both of which can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  2. (PDF)
  3. 3.0 3.1 – 9 mind tricks to get what you want
  4. (PDF)

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Nikki Finke, on her Deadline Hollywood blog, mentioned a possible financial deal involving Ashton Kucher and the William Morris Agency. Now this wasn’t Kucher coming over to be repped by WMA. No, it was getting into business with them by creating a third financial entity. Said entity would have no operations, but would allow them to buy into all forms of entertainment. Essentially becoming a mini-conglomerate. (Think GE-Universal-NBC as an example of a huge conglomerate.) Now Kucher backed out of this deal, but that’s not the point.

The point is, agencies that were always about just representing talent in the entertainment industry, are now using those assets and intelligence gathered from them to step into a bigger arena. Is this a conflict of interest? Possibly. Is there some flexible morality at work here? C’mon, this is Hollywood, when isn’t flexible morality at work. Could this lead to confrontations with some of their clients’employers? Possibly.

Here’s the real problem. This is not the first time this has happened at WMA. (I’m not sure if Nikki has reported on that. Probably not. This seems to be the first time it’s involved a celebrity and that was more likely to be news worthy.) They have been packaging business interests for some time now. If they really want to grow the business it’s the next step in corporate evolution. It’s how they’ve approached it that’s caused the consternation.

These guys broker deals. It’s their core competancy. It’s their brand. They’ve approached this like it’s shady and don’t want to answer questions about it. That’s bound to give exactly the wrong impression. Embrace it as a logical extention of deal-making. Make your clients want to give you intelligence in hopes of creating something like this with you. More and more, talent is becoming business-savy. They watched as mediocre talents like Merv Griffin, Dick Clark or (more contemporary) Ryan Seacrest made media empires for themselves. Be seen as king-makers, (which is what you do when a client hits big anyway) instead of back door dealers.

This is what happens when sales is all that exists in the marketing segment. The void leads to speculation instead of embracing a new status quo.

The big turnaround in the marketing industry in the last couple of years has been to make it a legit business application. It has to justify its existence by directly attributing how much money it brings in vs. the amount spent. The idea was that marketing was being phased out because nobody could quantify it before.

Well, guess what; now marketing can be phased out becuase it can be quantified too much. Marketing has a big load to carry and part of it is not quantifiable. How does Brand enter into the picture? It’s not the sort of thing that you can pin exact dollars brought in by. But, in turn, do you dare ignore it because you can’t? (That’s a rhetorical question to those not already in marketing. YOU CANNOT IGNORE BUILDING A BRAND AND MAINTAINING IT.)

What about the crazy out-of-the-box thinking that we always hear marketing has? How many people can an extraordinary campaign bring in? What makes an extraordinary campaign? This is in that 50/50 part of marketing. There is a time and place for out-of-the-box thinking and there is not. That’s what the CMO is to ascertain. Market research is then what validates a campaign. (See Wendy’s ‘red wig’ commercials to see an example of what happens when the wrong decisions are made on all phases of this.)

Marketing has room to be more like the other departments of business, and it should, but it also has to never lose sight of why it was needed in the first place. Creativity. You can ROI that right out of the picture and when you do you can see the marketing department follow suit soon after.