July 31, 2015 · 8:04 am
Image: cc Angelica Portales Flickr
Let’s be real: there is very little about Facebook that is authentic. And now that extends to birthday greetings, too.
Authenticity is the basis for all our communications, it is how people judge the message and the messenger. Was that an authentic greeting, or did it contain snark? Is this sales person just pushing product or is she/he giving me good advice? Continue reading →
March 28, 2013 · 9:48 pm
Courtesy of photographer Ryan Haddad
Sometimes people get so wrapped up in tactics that they try to make one tactic fit all strategies. Two articles and a phone call this week reminded me of this. And, also, a project I am currently working on, but more about that later.
The first article is a plea on Search Engine Watch asking Can We Please Stop Hyping Social Media as the Marketing Messiah? Not only a fitting title for the week, but a reminder that using just one lens to view our goals blinds us to other possible, and Continue reading →
February 7, 2013 · 9:40 am
Actually there are probably more than 5 reasons to not use service provider email addresses. You know what I am talking about. These are the email addresses we all get “FREE!” from our cable, telephone, or other service provider. The email addresses we might have for personal or small business use.
It’s a BAD IDEA to use those email addresses. Here’s why: Continue reading →
October 8, 2011 · 10:16 am
First off, I never personally met Steve Jobs, but like many people, I did have brushes with his genius.
When I first joined Tektronix in 1985, my desk came with the typical desktop terminal with connections to the Internet through UNIX servers from Gould and VAX. This was standard for technical employees, but not particularly useful for marketing employees outside of sending email. So I ordered a Continue reading →
February 3, 2011 · 7:24 am
OK, here’s a story about the importance of using myths, or stories, to market product. Yeah, I know, the idea of Las Vegas as a myth is not exactly a big “eureka!” moment, but it does demonstrate that even in a fantasy town marketers need to be reminded of the importance of the myth in the marketing process.
The New York Times ran this article about using stories to sell sake in their Dining and Wine section, but it really belongs in their Business section.
Las Vegas “whales”, as big gamblers are known in Las Vegas, come to town on Chinese New Year to celebrate and they celebrate in a very big way. Part of the celebration is showing, and enjoying, their success, and that involves having the best of everything, including the best food and drink. In keeping with that theme, Las Vegas restaurants look for something special and expensive to serve, something that is not easily found anywhere else in the world, and at the moment that product is sake.
Sake suppliers and restaurateurs have rediscovered that a great story sells higher priced product, so they now have stories about all their sake. Some stories parallel Hollywood movies:
- strains of rice that were thought extinct until small batches were discovered and saved with new growing techniques – Jurassic Park
- the prodigy sake brewer (yes, sake is brewed, like beer) raised from a young age to become a master and carry on a tradition – Kung Fu Panda
- the ancient sake company, around for over 800 years, that is saved by the new owner – The Santa Clause
Yes, these are ridiculous movie comparisons. But that’s the point, they develop and use the myth to enhance the product. When myth is not enough, there are special names evocative of Asian philosophy and poetry: Ice Dome, Devine Droplets, Ancient Beauty.
There is really nothing new here, the Las Vegas crowd is just applying standard marketing techniques to create and enhance brand image in a commodity market. Rosser Reeves invented the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in the 1940’s to help focus attention on finding the most important product attribute and then build the myth on that attribute. Patent medicine peddlers of the 1800’s crowed about all the ills their miracle would cure and regularly cured someone in the crowd of their infirmities.
We can all take a lesson on this and look at how we market our most mundane products. There is always something special about “our” product and we can find the myth that supports our brand over all other brands.