July 30, 2003

Beyond Branding

When I read Gonzo Marketing and The Cluetrain Manifesto a couple years ago the ideas presented seemed so right but so out of reach. Gonzo and Cluetrain took what marketers were missing online and gave us a whack on the side of the head. The ideas in these books have continued as conversations on the net (where and how they started) and I think we're on the brink of a real marketing transformation.

The evidence is more apparent every day. For the past few years at work I've had this feeling of the kid in the back of the class with an idea waiving his hand but chickening out at the last minute because he thought no one would understand where he was coming from. "These people only know the old paradigm. How could I possibly get them to understand the new. It's so foreign to them." Perhaps Cluetrain and Gonzo led me to believe this too much.

But as I see things like Up2Speed playing a dominant role in shaping online marketing and advertising and I hear things like "community of trust" and "connecting buyers with buyers" in my 35 year old company's strategy meeting .... really making something out of our company's 'noble purpose,' "Bringing people together to advance their lives" I feel like the sales job is going to be a heck of a lot easier. People are starting to get it.

Which brings me to the title of this entry and a new book coming out in the fall, Beyond Branding. While I've only read the website, this book looks like it encompasses what I see as true branding. All companies brand, whether it's the image they wish to portray or the reality of the organization. The book includes a whole slew of authors coming from various branding backgrounds and talks about "a long term, people-centric view that stresses substance over hype. [It] will help to restore credibility and trust for brands. It will re-affirm the mutual commitment of the employee/employer relationship. It will give power to the consumer. And it will stress the pre-eminence of the genuine shareholder over the speculator." With sections on Authenticity, Transparency and Brand Ownership, this looks to be a good addition to the latest in ideas on the transformation of marketing.

(thanks to Ton for the Beyond Branding link)

July 29, 2003

Pardon the Intermission of the Intermission

Wow, it's been a while since I've done any heavy blogging. I've been going through the blogroll, catching up. Seems that Tribe.net is the new social networking site of late. Looks to have potential, and I like how it specifically aims the wants (i.e. seeking a job, posting a job). I've joined several tribes, which I'll eventually add to the blogroll.

The reason blogging has been light is I've been spread all over the place. Literally. Okay, not literally because that would be quite disgusting. But I've been traveling like a madman. I was in San Francisco the beginning of the month and from there headed to Sonoma for a client convention. In San Francisco I learned that I had been accepted to participate in a strategy workshop for my division at TMP with Earnst & Young which was quite an honor. I had to hop back on a plane to Boston the day after getting back from my trip out west. But it was well worth it. It's got me quite pumped up about the direction of my division and my interest is piqued at some of the things going on at Monster. If you read this blog regularly you know what my passions are ... and that's about as specific as I can get. Back from Boston I had a full week at work last week catching up but am back on the road this week in Chicago where I'm working with our office here. I really like Chicago. And really like the people in this office. Smart, hard working, passionate. It's a nice environment. I'm fly home tomorrow night but heading to a friend's bachelor party on Friday. Get back Sunday afternoon and leave sunday evening for a BIG client meeting in Vegas and finally am finished up there and back home next Tuesday evening. Whew.

Needless to say, you can tell why blogging has been light, and will probably continue to be so. The traveling has been exhausting, but fulfilling. Especially since fun has been mixed in and even the work places ain't to shabby. Not to mention some good things going on at work.

July 21, 2003

Back from my trips, but lots of catching up to do. Does anyone know any franchise owners who blog or blogs relating to franchisees?

July 15, 2003

I'm back, but back out. Back from San Fran but now in Boston for business. All day business. So continue to expect things to be lite around here. But in the mean time check out this blog on Social Software in Business.

July 07, 2003

Blog vacation here, but blogging away about our trip on my (and maybe Amy's) other (new) blog.

July 05, 2003

Off to San Francisco for vacation until next Sunday. And a blog vacation too...

July 02, 2003

Bulg? Bowleg? Blob? Bloop?

These are some of the options one gets when he or she searches for "blog" on Merriam-Webster online. The Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary is out, and it doesn't appear to have "blog" in it, at least according to it's free online site. There's probably no connection to m-w, but it's starting to drive me crazy that online spell checkers don't have "blog" in their dictionaries.

Pop Ups Annoy -- Really?

"A recent PlanetFeedback survey that found pop-ups lead all ad forms in levels of annoyance and distrust-even more so than spam." Too bad the same study shows publishers get more $$$ for the ad unit and it generates more $$$ for advertisers. What about long term focus?? What are publishers and advertisers doing to their brands who use these tactics??

July 01, 2003

San Fran or Bust

Amy and I are heading to San Francisco on Saturday. It's the first time I've been there since I was 4. And being that I was 4, I don't remember much about it.

We snagged a terrific deal on Hotwire at the Mark Hopkins Inter-Continental on Nob Hill. Don't have much of a plan except that we get in Sat. night and leave for Sonoma Thursday morning for a client convention. Looking through Fodor's, I definitely want to hit North Beach and Chinatown. And I'm sure we'll end up in the Wharf. But if anyone has suggestions on what to see, I'd love to hear them.