Lessons in Charitable Giving and Cause Marketing for Digital Millennials

December 19, 2008

Great presentation from the folks at Resource Interactive on how Millenials approach the concept of helping others.  As Brand Managers think about cause marketing programs, they should consider these facts:

  • 87% of Millennials (defined as 16-29) agree that  my priority is to look after my family, charity begins at home.
  • 50% of Millennials agree that regularly donating your time to help others in need is a sign of success and accomplishment.*
  • There are four types of Millenials when it comes to their views on “giving”: 1.) Consistent Givers, 2.) Uber Givers, 3.) Not There Yet, & 4.) Spirit Givers
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What Hard Knox Life readers want to see

July 8, 2008

The other day I put up a poll on Hard Knox Life asking you the readers what you’d like to see me write about.  As you can see from the below, people are pretty evenly interested in the areas I have been covering.  Talk about Marketing Innovation was at the top of the poll, followed by more information about Brand Management overall.    This should really help me focus my writing so I really appreciate the feedback.  

Also, I just found out the PollDaddy works with WordPress.com.  So I am going to be adding more polls over the next few weeks.  What questions do you think I should ask?

Marketing Innovation including digital, social media, etc

Brand Management 101

Opinions of current marketing campaigns

What daily life is like for a Brand Manager

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.

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Accidental Branding is a must read for Brand Managers

June 10, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a new book called Accidental Branding that outlined how 8 entrepreneurs had built their brands.  The book’s author, David Vinjamuri, contacted me after that post and offered to send me a full copy of the book to read myself.  After finishing up the book this past weekend, I am glad I took him up on the offer.  Accidental Branding isn’t your typical marketing or business book.  That is probably what made it such a refreshing read.  Instead, the book is more about story telling.  Vinjamuri reveals upfront the six tips for Accidental Branding that he discovered by studying entrepreneurs.  Then instead of rehashing these tips again and again, he insteads dives straight into story telling.  In a sense, you can see the teaching side of him come out in these stories as he walks you through his encounters with entrepreneurs like Gary Erickson of Clif Bar.  The stories are what makes this such a great read.  Vinjamuri really gives you an inside peak into not just the brands, but also the people behind the brands.  These stories are really inspirational, especially for those of us doing branding at major CPG’s.  I think sometimes we forget the hard work and labor that entrepreneurs do to build a brand from the ground up.  They arent blessed with million dollar marketing budgets or deep consumer research departments.  They have to build the brands from the ground up and their consumer research comes from being a consumer themself.  Accidental Branding provides an insider’s look at these journeys, providing an extremely entertaining reading along the way that every marketer will enjoy.

TAG Records might just be the answer the music industry is looking for

April 11, 2008


Yesterday saw a major announcement from TAG Body Spray (owned by P&G) and Island Def Records to start a new joint record label called TAG Records.  On their website (hosted on MySpace), the deal is described as follows:

Two titans in the industry, Jermaine Dupri and Island Def Jam Records, have partnered with TAG Body Spray to start TAG Records. The trio has come together in an effort to give up and coming hip hop artists the opportunity to make their mark. Jermaine will continue his already long streak of helping young talent become stars by acting as President of TAG Records. The first guy to have the chance to make it big will debut in May 2008 when his inaugural single hits the airwaves.

The deal was orchestrated by David Caruso and Robby Wells at Acme Brand Content Company, a new marketing shop in NYC that is already making waves with big ideas like this.  In full disclosure, the agency founders are old friends of mine but they are also some of the sharpest minds I know in Branded Entertainment.

I’m a firm believer that deals like this are the future of the entertainment industry.  Read the rest of this entry »