Taking Tequila Shots on Sunday

July 6, 2008

I’m not talking about the Patron variety of tequila shots but instead the mini-book “Tequila Shots” by word-of-mouth and brand identity agency Brains on Fire.  I came across these guys thanks to John Moore’s “Three Reads” over at Brand Autopsy.  Since it was a lazy Sunday, I spent the morning taking Tequila Shots to see what the style of this agency was all about.   Here is what caught my eye from the quick read:

  1. This book is a stellar way to show the company culture…both to potential clients and to new employees.  You instantly get a feeling for the pulse of the place.  I love the line “if your work is your calling and not just a job, you will embrace it in everything you do.”
  2. I love their concept of Marketer-in-Residency.  It’s a way for the agency to give their clients access to some of the “smartest thinkers and doers in marketing.”  This is a brilliant way to bring fresh blood into the agency on a short term, while giving individual marketing practioners access to the overall structure of an agency.  A similiar structure has worked for years with Venture Capitalists and their “Entreprenuers-in-Residency” programs so why not agencies as well.  Very cool idea that I think a lot of agencies (and even companies) could learn from.  I could see myself really enjoying something like this…
  3. “The growth & development of people is the higest calling of leadership.”  More people need to think this way.  If people around you succeed and grow, you will be successful as well.
  4. Courageously Honest – I love this insight.  Some people call it being blunt….courageously honest is another way to put it.  There really shouldn’t be any gray zone in work.  Ideas are either good or bad.  Marketing either works or it doesn’t.  More people need the courage to be honest…it is pretty refreshing when they are.
  5. “If it ain’t fun, we must be doing it wrong.”  First, I love the picture of the bulldog that goes along with this quote.  But I love the idea even more.  More people need to have fun with work.  I am a huge believer of work hard, play hard, have fun.  As a Brand Manager, this is the type of relationship you need with your agency.  Unfortunately not enough people act this way.  Judging by the number of drinks in this mini-book, I think these guys know the definition of fun.

Take a tequila shot for yourself by downloading the book here.  Great, quick read if you have the chance.  This agency is one I’m going to be keeping my eye. 

P.S. –  If someone from Brains on Fire happens to read this post, you made the classic mistake of misspelling Procter as Proctor in John Moore’s biography on your site 🙂  Might want to change that.  Just practicing courageous honesty and all to point it out.

If you liked this post, please take the time to subscribe to Hard Knox Life through a RSS Reader.

A Day in the Life of A Brand Manager – 6/5/2008

June 5, 2008

Back on Thursday, April 24 I wrote my first Day in the Life of a Brand Manager post. Today seemed like a good day to do the next one in order to show just how different and varied the life of a Brand Manager can be:

Thursday, June 5, 2008:

5:30 AM – The bugle alarm clock sound of the Chumby came way too soon. Early start for a long day ahead. Let the dog out, check the blog real quick and then did a quick workout to wake up.

6:40 AM – At my desk but 10 minutes late for a multi-country conference call on marketing capability. Luckily I’m just playing a listening role and watching the webcast so no one notices.

7:30 AM – Conference call wraps up and time to give my agency a call to go over a couple of pieces of creative from the previous night. Read the rest of this entry »

A Day in the Life of a Brand Manager – 4/24/2008

April 25, 2008

When I started writing this blog, one of the things I wanted it to do was give a peek inside the day to day life of a Brand Manager. The thinking is that it would be helpful for aspiring marketers, students, agencies and anyone else that would like to get inside the head of a BM. I’m hoping to do this type of post every once in awhile so you can see the variety but here is Day 1: Read the rest of this entry »

Jaffe thinks the creative function should fade away?

April 14, 2008

“Why don’t you all just fade away.” – Rex Manning, Empire Records

 I couldn’t help but think of this quote from my favorite movie when I finished reading Joseph Jaffe’s latest blog post on “Is it time to phase out the creative function“.  In one of the more provocative posts I have read in a long time, Jaffe basically calls the creative function out and argues that their time has passed them by.  Jaffe argues that in today’s world, “creativity is just way too imporant to be left to a single person, a dynamic duo, or a department anymore.”  He goes to state what I think is the most important part of his argument:

“I’d begin by losing the word ‘creative’ from any job title and thus, any walking silo.  Every–and I stress every–single person involved in the process of engaging surprising, delighting, empowering and converting consumers has to be creative.  Any less will just result in failure.”

Last week I wrote about how there is a difference between being a Brand Manager and being a Marketer.  This is one of the points that Jaffe was getting to.  In the old world, you could just be a Brand Manager and rely on your creatives to come up with brilliant marketing campaigns.   But in order to be the best Brand Managers in the future, you will need to be a brilliant Marketer as well.  You need to embrace that breakthrough ideas could come from anywhere…the consumer, the agency and even the client.  You cannot just sit comfortably in the background with the thinking that the ad campaign you approved will be the solution to everything.

Now to be clear, Jaffe isn’t arguing that creatives should fade away, but instead the creative function as currently defined should. Read the rest of this entry »

Shopper Marketing and Digital Marketing are one and the same

March 31, 2008

Over on The Hub, I came across a great article by Stuart Armstrong on where retail will play in the marketing mix.  Armstrong writes:

“Which means that the future of marketing—the convergence of retail, the emergence of digital media networks and the cellphone as the linchpin—is not really the future at all. Because, as Geoffrey Frost noted, in a nod to science-fiction writer William Gibson’s famous quote, “The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

I find this point on convergence/emergence really interesting.  While P&G has placed increasing importance on Shopper Marketing, it is an area that is still in its infancy.  The same holds true for experts in digital (not interactive…but digital).  Digital experts are learning the world of not just interactive (ie traditional media applied to online) but also social media, mobile, consumer generated media and everything else that is digital today. 

The case can be made that the worlds of retail and digital are going to collide and they are going to collide very soon.  But I’m not sure if many clients OR agencies are recognizing this fact.  If you look at the major agency holding companies, most of them have their digital shops AND their shopper marketing shops.  Likewise you arent going to find many marketers that have spanned the world of both digital and shopper marketing during their careers.  Sure many have taken traditional brand / mass media backgrounds and layered on shopper marketing.  And many have done the same thing with digital. 

But it is only a handful of marketers that have thought how to take a traditional background and layer on expertise in both shopper AND digital.  It made sense just a few years ago when they were seperate worlds.  But these worlds are now converging and we all need to change…we need to change fast.  We need to understand that consumers can now become shoppers at any moment.  They no longer have to step into a store to shop.  It can happen online, on their cell phone or even on Xbox Live.  Those transactions taking place outside of traditional retail might be small now but that wont be the case in several years (ask the music industry about how fast iTunes made that happen).  Sounds like now is the time to start thinking about how shopper marketing and digital expertise are going to play together.  Will your brand be ready?  Your agency(s)?  You?

Weekly Round-Up 3-19-2008

March 19, 2008

Lots of great stuff around this week.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Is the Agency Model Broken?:  I’ve had this debate/discussion with several of my agency friends.  I’ll write more on my opinion this weekend but great post to get you thinking.
  • The conversation at AdAge goes digital: I was really interested in how Twitter exploded at SXSW the other.  It seems that things are going the same way at the conferences this week.  This stuff interested me enough that I am going to give Twitter a shot to see what all this buzz is about.
  • Give Up Owning the Brand:  Love this.  Great advice for brands when thinking about Youth Marketing.
  • Facebook about to pass MySpace in worldwide traffic:  Very interesting.  “Facebook continues to close rapidly on MySpace’s visitor total: At 100.7 million uniques in January, Facebook is now just about 8% smaller than MySpace’ 109.3 million. A year ago, MySpace’s worldwide lead was nearly 4x.”