P&G thanks our agencies while poking fun at ourselves

June 30, 2008

I came across this interesting site from P&G thanking our agency partners as we won Advertiser of the Year at Cannes.  Honestly at first I wondered if this was an officially sanctioned P&G effort but it appears to be.  I need to find out who did this internally to applaud them since it does a good job of not taking ourselves too seriously, while still talking about Brand Purpose through our efforts like HERO/Proctecting You, Protecting Futures. Check it out at: http://www.thankstoallouragenciesforhelpinguswinadvertiseroftheyear.com/


My 100th post – need your feedback

June 29, 2008

So I didnt notice it but last week I wrote my 100th post here on Hard Knox Life.  I think that is cause for a little bit of celebration if I do say so myself!

But it is also probably a good time for self reflection and getting the feedback of the community.  I would love to hear your feedback on what you like about Hard Knox Life.  Any particular areas you would like to see more of?  I have a few thoughts of mine own so I’ve included a poll to get the feedback of the community.  Please case a vote by clicking the link below (unfortunately WordPress won’t let me embed the poll)


Do you know What Teens Want?

June 27, 2008

At BrandWeek’s “What Teens Want” Conference, my friend Tina Wells from Buzz Marketing Group just did a great presentation on teen trends.  In the presentation she covers what’s hot in music and technology, while also giving a comparison on why The Hills is performing better than Gossip Girls with teens.  Most interesting to me were the 6 key teen trends she highlighted including:

  • Wharholism: Teens & their 15 minutes of fame
  • Massclusivity: Teens want exclusive products designed for the masses
  • Technoholics: Youth thrive off new technology
  • Global Mobiles: Teens are globally connected, while the world is big & portable
  • Insta-Messengers:  Teens consumer content instaneously and want immediate communication
  • Transculturism: Merging and converging of cultures

Another stellar video from Nike

June 27, 2008

Nike does it again with their Director’s Cut of “Take it to the next level” from Guy Ritchie.  The original video was good but this extended version is just stellar

Have you thought about your User Experience

June 26, 2008

Lately I have been thinking more and more about the concept of User Experience and how it applies to design…especially digital design.  Well leave it to David Armano from Logic + Emotion to point out an amazing example of User Experience courtesy of the Google guys.  Google sums it up beautifully with their aspirations and ten key principals.  Click below to read their full UX promise Read the rest of this entry »

How Should Brand Managers Think About Twitter?

June 25, 2008

I have been meaning to write about Twitter for awhile now, but every time I got around to it, the site seemed to be experiencing either extreme fandom (like around SXSW) or extreme hatred (with all the site outages).  Well it seems like things have calmed down a bit at the moment so I was finally about to put my thoughts together.

Let’s start with a little Twitter 101

Now first, if you haven’t heard about Twitter yet, David Armano provides my favorite summaries with the two below graphics about the service (click for larger images):

Now with Twitter 101 out of the way, the real question is why should you as a Brand Manager care about Twitter.  I’ll be the first to admit that I held off embracing Twitter for awhile.  I just couldn’t see the value of a service that was about listening to updates on what my friends were doing.  But I ever since I caved in a couple of months ago, I have been a true Twitter fan and advocate for why it matters for marketers.

Twitter is about conversations

For me, I have found Twitter to have three big values for marketers.  They are: 1.) Customer Service/Community Management, 2.) Consumer Research, and 3.) Personal Learning.

Customer Service/Community Management:

Some of the smartest people in the industry are talking about why Customer Service is the new marketing and I couldn’t agree more.  After all, as the title of Blackshaw’s new book says “Satisfied Customers Tell 3 Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000.”  What is great about Twitter is that it can put this customer service in the hands of the Brand Manager without you having to go through your Customer Service Department.  Zappos is an amazing example of this as their CEO and almost 200 other employees are on Twitter, monitoring the community around the brand.  The powerful of this is that consumers know they can engage directly with management AND employees can actively monitor any mentions of the brand.  This can create some remarkable customer service stories, all because of using Twitter to directly connect with people.  Brands like Jet Blue, and H&R Block understand this…so have you checked if your brand’s Twitter name is available?

Consumer Research:

The power of monitoring conversations is the consumer research that you can find in the every day conversations.  Sometimes this will lead to Customer Service/Community Management opportunities like the above.  But just as often, the conversations will be able to serve as your own mini-focus groups.  Through a site like Summize, you can plug in your brand name and get alerts whenever a person mentions it in Twitter.  Likewise, if your Twitter brand has enough followers, you can start using it for proactive consumer research, asking polls and questions of the audience to help influence your decision.  You could instantly tap into the collective wisdom of your biggest brand fans to help influence decisions.  Talk about cultivating a powerful relationship with your users.

Personal Learning:

Finally, Twitter creates an amazing personal learning opportunity for marketers and brand managers.  Every day we are nose to the grindstone in delivering the business.  We are running from meeting to meeting, worrying about shipping the next case or getting a qualified copy score.  This unfortunately can leave little time for personal learning besides the occassional reading of BrandWeek or AdAge.  There are tons of conferences we would love to go to but little time and travel budget holds us back.  The beauty of Twitter is that these don’t need to be barriers to your personal learning any longer.   Through hashtags you can monitor anyone on Twitter who is talking about a conference, be it SXSW, Mix08 or TED.  Or some innovative conferences (like Chicago New Media Summit) are even creating their own Twitter profiles.  This allows you to monitor the entire conversation around a conference from the comfort of your office.  This is how I experienced the Resource Interactive iCitizen conference this past May and it was truly great.  You are able to listen to the conversations, find out which speeches were worthwhile and then download the presentations on SlideShare.net.  Talk about convenience of personal learning on your own time.

So those are my three reasons why Twitter should matter to a Brand Manager today.  What do you think?  What would you add to the list?

PR / Influencer Marketing done the right way

June 24, 2008

Have you heard about the BK Crown Card? Worth its weight in free burgers It is a great example of Public Relations and Influencer Marketing done the right way.  The premise of the program is simple: if you have the card, you get a lifetime of free meals at Burger King.  And with only 12 cardholders in the world, the BK Crown Card is the ultimate “status symbol”…more so than an AMEX Black Card could ever hope to be.

The program has been around since 2006 but recently got a PR bump when Hugh Laurie (star of TV show House) claimed to be a BK Crown Card carrying member.  The key word in that sentence is claimed since unlike Jay Leno, Jennifer Hudson, or Robert Downey Jr, Hugh wasn’t a card member.  But thanks to the PR buzz from his claim, he is now.  Ahh the perks of the rich and famous…