IMC Intuition

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Archive for December 2010

It’s all about the Brand

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Communication World magazine, published by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) published an excellent issue this month entitled, The Global Brand Nexus – well worth the time to review by any type of  organization because the understanding of brand and the model of how effective branding is achieved has changed over that past 10 years and will continue to evolve as we enter into the Web 3.0 era.

 In A whole new world Stephen Cheliotis and Lizzie Carr present a four step process for evaluating global brands:

  • Step 1:  Internal brand audit
  • Step 2:  External brand audit
  • Step 3:  Target consumer group identification
  • Step 4:  Vision and positioning

They present case studies from global brands like McDonalds and Gossard that show how brand audits were successfully used to implement local solutions while maintain the look and feel of the global brands.  In my experience, positioning statements are a frequently  missing, yet crucial link in the process.

Mark Schumann, ABC tells us to make sure your internal brand resonates with employees in his article The ties that bind.  He quotes from James Lynch, VP of Communications for American Express, “A brand is the company’s DNA…it’s that simple and that powerful.  But a company cannot only wear its DNA on its sleeve to its customers and the public.  It must also ensure its DNA is alive and well among its employees.”

Brand used to mean a clever logo and tagline along consistent look and feel of all of the company’s visuals.  Marty Neumeier tells us in his book The Brand Gap that “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.”  Yes, visuals are important, but it is the company’s employees that deliver the product or service, not the logo.

CW Editor Natasha Nicholson interviewed author Nigel Hollis, author of The Global Brand about the challenges and opportunities associated with global brands.  One of his responses that I know I have found to be true is, “Don’t assume that worked at home will work abroad.”  Read the whole interview:   Thinking locally, thriving globally

I spoke with Natasha this past week and let her know what a great issue this was (it also includes a special Asia/Pacific report primarily on mobile marketing/communications), and she said, “Thanks! it was a very challenging issue to put together!”  No doubt.  It was excellent.

 Links in this post:

 International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) – http://www.iabc.com/

Communication World magazine – http://www.iabc.com/cw/

 The Brand Gap- http://www.thebrandgapbook.com/

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Thinking about The Mesh and the Business of Sharing

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The Mesh by Lisa Gansky

My copy of The Mesh by Lisa Gansky

I finished two excellent books this week, Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh* in print and Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man on CD.  

What’s a Mesh business model?  According to Gansky, a mesh business has four characteristics (p. 16):

  1.  The core offering is something that can be shared within a community, market or value chain, including products, services and raw materials.
  2. Advanced Web and mobile data networks are used to track goods and aggregate usage, customer and product information.
  3. The focus is on shareable physical goods, including the materials used, which makes local delivery of services and products-and their delivery of services and products-and their recovery-valuable and relevant.
  4. Offers, news and recommendations are transmitted largely through word of mouth, augmented by social network services.

A comprehensive list of mesh businesses, hot ideas and lots of other cool stuff is located at her website:  http://meshing.it/

What do I think?

I live in the B-to-B industrial  world, and  I really see this or some form of this trend coming to US industrial manufacturers quite simply because we are all so lean, we must learn to share and scale knowledge.  In addition to the effects of the Great Recession, manufacturing is experiencing a great brain drain as Baby Boomers retire, and Gen Y workers are attracted to new economy careers.

Two things in the book really stood out for me – Lisa’s marketing mantra:  define. refine. scale.; and her concept of upcycling as opposed to recycling, in other words, “…designed to be repaired, upgraded, and ‘upcycled’ at the end of its life.”  I work for an Aftermarket manager who has always believed this, and his dedication to upcycling – which by the way, is never as simple as producing new products – has always been an inspiration for me.  My hope is that more OEM’s catch this spirit because I think it is the future engine of real revenue growth.

 Interested in reading this book?  Send me your mailing address, I have one book that Seth Godin sent to me and asked me to share!  ryan.beth@gmail.com

 *”Copyright © Lisa Gansky, 2010.  From The Mesh, published by Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.”

 Frank McCourt

I grabbed the CD to listen to during my commute after being memorized by Angela’s Ashes. Although never as poor as Frank, I share many of his childhood demons.   In Teacher Man,  Frank continues his memoir covering his adult years teaching.   At the end of his career, he tells his students that the reason for education is not to pass, not to get into college, but to travel the continuum from Fear to Freedom.  It’s so true.   Certainly for those of us who didn’t grow up on Sunnybrook Farm. 

This idea makes my business book addiction seem, well, noble!  Read the book or borrow the CDs from the library – my favorite upcycling location:  http://www.amazon.com/Teacher-Man-Memoir-Frank-McCourt/dp/0743243773

The Most Challenging Part of the Holidays

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I spent most of this morning on my calendar, fitting in all of my business/professional dates and activities, and all I can say is, while I love the time off, working everything in is a huge challenge.   Is anyone else having this problem?

Written by Beth Ryan

December 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm