Marketing | The Brainzooming Group - Part 26 – page 26
7

Whoever is going to disrupt your market isn’t like you, which makes them really hard to identify right now. Number 1?

They may not even be in business yet.

That’s a big difference, but it’s not the only one. Here are fourteen other ways whoever is going to disrupt your market isn’t like you, since they:

2. Don’t care about preserving anything about what’s made your brand successful.

3. Are happy to get a small share of the market at a premium price with a dramatically different offering.

4. Are happy to get a bigger share of your market (since it’s related to their market) at a really low price.

5. Don’t have any qualms about introducing a product/service and price point combination that’s really tough to compare to anything else your market has been doing.

6. Make decisions and move really quickly because the stakes are so much lower for them.

Download Disrupting Thinking

7. Can get away with using some, but not all, of the marketing mix to beat you at your own game.

8. Compete really effectively by looking at a couple of things (or maybe even only one thing) in a radically different way.

9. Don’t have to fund their new venture out of the dollars coming from your market.

10. Have figured out a different entry point into the customer model in your industry.

11. Don’t (or aren’t) going to look like you in very fundamental ways – size, structure, scope, etc.

12. Don’t have to have a complete offering since they’re appealing to a different market segment.

13. May have glaring weaknesses compared to traditional competitors (i.e., “you”) in areas traditional competitors think are really important but customers are willing to overlook.

14. Will not be focused on delivering the same benefit package you are.

15. Are fine with putting together parts and pieces tried and thrown out by others to compete in new ways.

And for everyone who points to Apple as the great disruptor, this story from Forbes points out that just as yesterday’s category owners can be disrupted, so can today’s seemingly invincible players.

Start looking for your disruptors. And start looking for who you are going to disrupt, because you’ll be just as hard to identify for them.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4

At keynote presentations I do, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What exactly does The Brainzooming Group do?” In the hope of inviting further conversations about how we can be of assistance to all of youin delivering results that are quick and on-strategy, today’s Brainzooming post is the answer to this frequently asked question.

What The Brainzooming Group Does

While it can be challenging to classify what The Brainzooming Group does in a neat category, we describe it as helping smart organizations improve their success by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. What’s that mean? We work with organizations who understand the value and importance of looking at their markets and customers in new ways, but struggle with how to do it. Often that’s because they’re almost “too smart” about what they do.

With organizational experience comes a strong understanding of customers and processes. Unfortunately, organizational experience can also create a sense that “everything workable has been tried, and there’s nothing we haven’t thought of previously.”

That’s when it gets dangerous for organizations.

We DON’T take the very typical consulting view, however, that the way around organizational resistance to change is ignoring what employees think and developing strategy largely outside the organization only to sell it back in afterward.

Where and How We Deliver Results

The Brainzooming Group uses our tested methodology, incorporating strategy, creativity, and insights-oriented tools, to deeply involve the organization, its people, and their knowledge to develop very implementable strategies.

Some of the typical engagements where we work with clients using our technique include:

  • Cutting through too much data to arrive at focused insights.
  • Identifying the best branding moves or account targets to drive growth and profits in your business.
  • Shortening the thinking time needed to prioritize ideas so you can begin implementing immediately.
  • Determining the best strategic options when your market is moving away from your business model.
  • Quickly creating the plan to get a stalled initiative moving.
  • Jumpstarting your strategic or creative thinking with loads of new possibilities in a 60-minute phone call.
  • Providing additional marketing horsepower when you have too many deliverables to deliver.
  • Unlocking how social media can really deliver on your business objectives.

We’re adept at delivering results that are quick and on-strategy in these varied situations through techniques allowing individuals with varying perspectives to see the future and its possibilities in dramatically new ways. It’s an intense process, but it’s also intellectually stimulating and, in contrast to most strategy discussions, quick and fun!

Strategy Doesn’t Have to Be Drudgery Really!

As we’ve discovered, people enjoy thinking strategically about their organization and customers when it’s productive, efficient, and stretches the organization in positive ways.

That’s the experience we’ve delivered hundreds of times for organizations across a wide variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, business-to-business, professional service organizations, education, and not-for-profits. Sometimes our work is on a large scale (as with the nearly hundred participants for the Google Fiber in Kansas City brainstorming effort we created). In other cases, it might only involve a few executives.

We tailor the end product to the organization’s needs, but it usually involves an understandable roadmap and detailed implementation plan to guide our client as it moves forward. Increasingly, we’re also involved in supporting the plan’s implementation as well.

Let’s Discuss What Your Needs Are and See If We Can Help!

Thanks for letting me share what’s tough to squeeze into a 15-second elevator speech!

If you’d like to ask questions, talk, or explore how we might be able to aid your organization in your planning and strategy efforts, we’d be honored to learn more about the opportunities and challenges you’re facing.

Give us a call at 816-509-5320 or email at info@brainzooming.com to explore how we can get your organization’s brains (and results) zooming! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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21

Business branding (and by business branding we mean the entire brand promise and experience, not just a name and a logo) is an undercurrent throughout Brainzooming blog content.  Brand strategy is central to our treatment of social media, marketing, communications, business innovation, and competitive strategy.

Since business branding is not a part of Brainzooming blog’s standard content line (strategy, creativity, innovation, and social media) though, it can feel as if brand strategy gets short shrift here. In fact, a blog visitor asking about our coverage of business branding prompted today’s compilation post of selected brand strategy content.

These sixteen articles on brand strategy provide an overview of our business branding thinking on various topics.

Defining Brand Strategy

Adjusting Your Brand Strategy

  • Bad Strategy and Economies of Scale – It can seem like the right move to remove small elements of the brand experience when you have a scale-driven cost savings opportunity, but what’s the brand loyalty impact when customers notice?
  • Creative Thinking for Brand Extension Ideas – Brand extensions can be tricky, but this simple strategic thinking exercise can help in thinking through how other brands’ extension strategies can prompt new directions for your brand.
  • Untangling Your Brand Attributes for Greater Value – Over time, brand attributes can become too bundled and undermine customer value perceptions. When that happens, it is time to rethink ways to deliver branding benefits and value.
  • Strategy in a Full House of Brands – When you have acquired a whole array of brands through M&A activity, making them all fit into one house of brands can become crowded.

 

Addressing Brand Challenges

Incorporating Lessons from Others

What Other Branding Topics Are of Interest to You?

Are there branding topics you’re interested in learning more about here on the Brainzooming blog? Let us know, and based on the broad branding experience on our team, we’ll tackle your questions! – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

I love seeing an integrated marketing communications effort (or any type of integrated program planning) play out successfully. When a program displays strategic integration, it makes it easier on the audience to get the message let alone its efficiency for the message sender in delivering the message successfully.

There’s a recent case in point, as newly ordained fashionista Jessica Simpson made an appearance on the NBC program “The Biggest Loser” last night, doing makeovers for a couple of contestants. “The Biggest Loser” episode was right before the new Jessica Simpson fashion-oriented NBC competition TV show, “Fashion Star.” While I didn’t get to see TBL, I heard a lot about it Monday night when Cyndi was watching “The Voice” and “Smash,” also on NBC. And on “Fashion Star,” the integration continued with Macys, Saks, and H&M buyers bidding on designs that are magically available in their stores today for the public to buy.

What an example of great strategic integration.

But how do you make sure you’re planning for all the steps you need to address to successfully integrate a marketing effort?

A 15-Step Checklist for Integrated Program Planning Success

Considering what might have had to happen to make sure Jessica Simpson appeared on “The Biggest Loser” as a lead in to her new “Fashion Star” reality TV show provides a great checklist any of us can use when developing an integrated plan. Here are fifteen steps for successful integrated program planning the people behind “Fashion Star” would have had to consider:

  • Evaluate the need for and benefits of an integrated effort.
  • Develop a preliminary plan with the flexibility to incorporate integration opportunities.
  • Sell-in integration’s value to stakeholders who may have to be convinced.
  • Develop a timeline so you can look for and plan seemingly far off integration opportunities.
  • Research what other efforts provide adjacencies (timing, geography, process, etc.) to your effort, in addition to thinking through other intriguing strategic integration possibilities.
  • Act with enough time to modify plans already in place within your own organization or with potential integration partners.
  • Reach out and build relationships with parties responsible for potential integration opportunities.
  • Secure agreement to integration activities with other partners.
  • Anticipate external situations and the context when the integrated program will roll out.
  • Create story lines to make the integration make sense to audiences.
  • Coordinate resources across all involved parties.
  • Take necessary steps with all partners to prepare to implement the integrated effort.
  • Manage the coordinated activities so any unforeseen challenges to the integration effort won’t derail it.
  • Promote the integrated program so all target audiences are aware of and understand it.
  • Implement the integration and perform any follow-up.

What do you think? What type of checklist do you use when developing and implementing an integrated marketing communications effort or managing other integrated program planning?

Fifteen steps might seem like a lot, but I’d invite you to use this checklist when you’re in the planning phase to make sure you maximize any integrated program planning opportunity. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding the strategy options they consider as we create innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

I’m back at the Enterprise Center of Johnson County covering Blogging for Business with a particular focus on creating fantastic blog content during the sold-out two-hour presentation. We had a great time at the October blogging for business presentation at Enterprise Center of Johnson County, and we’re covering comparable social media content today.

For all the time we spend talking about creating fantastic blog content, maybe it’s also worthwhile to point out that not every organization needs a blog as part of its business strategy today.

Surprised I’d say that?

Well, it’s true, and here’s the list.

Top 10 reasons your organization DOESN’T need a blog . . . TODAY

10. You have as much business as you need or want.

9. You really have nothing intriguing to say to customers, prospects, or other audiences you are trying to reach.

8. Your customers, despite the fact they’re patrons of your organization, don’t care about anything you have to say.

7. You suspect your target audiences aren’t reading blogs.

6. Your website isn’t part of your lead generation strategy.

5. You’re not planning to integrate blogging into your overall online and business strategy.

4. You’re not willing to produce regular content.

3. You can’t stop yourself from writing only about your company.

2. Your senior team doesn’t support a blog and/or will demand edits compromising the value of your blog content.

1. You’re going to delegate primary social media content creation responsibilities to an intern.

Still Think You Don’t Need a Blog?

If you can go through this list and still think your organization would not benefit from blogging, you’re either:

  • Passing up great potential opportunities today (if you were agreeing with numbers 5 through 10) AND/OR
  • Not taking full advantage of your organization’s ability to develop and share fantastic blog content (if you were agreeing with numbers 1 through 4)

In either case, even if you still think you don’t need one TODAY, it’s highly likely you’ll not want to pass up these opportunities much longer.

So maybe you should get started on creating a fantastic blog today, after all! – Mike Brown

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download 6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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9

In the comments to last Friday’s post about deciding whether to ditch a blogging schedule, Jeffrey Henning asked what factors I’d considered in leading to the conclusion that a daily blog strategy still makes sense for the Brainzooming blog. It’s a very valid question, although one of a strategic nature about our business that I typically wouldn’t address here. However, since Jeffrey asked, here’s a sampling of the factors we considered with our daily blog strategy and our conclusions on each of them.

5 Reasons to Not Ditch Our Daily Blog Strategy

1. Strategic Brand Messaging

We’ve incorporated versions of a phrase referencing we “blog daily on strategy, creativity, innovation, and social media” in a variety of business descriptions personally and about The Brainzooming Group. The phrase says where we focus (both in content and as a business) and how actively we are engaged in these areas. Since we have made a daily blog strategy part of The Brainzooming Group promise and our strategic brand messaging, it is important to live out the promise.

2. Proof Point to the Brainzooming Process

We don’t sell the idea of “creativity when you feel like it.” We sell the Brainzooming process and our creativity exercises and techniques as the way to be creative when feeling creative is the last thing on your mind, but the first thing on your to do list. If we were to only blog when we feel like it, there would be a major disconnect and no credibility to a fundamental proof point for our brand.

3. A Point of Differentiation

There are many organizations claiming to do aspects of what we do in helping companies develop more innovative strategies. Consistently publishing Brainzooming with a daily blog strategy demonstrates our tenure, experience, plus our focus on continually creating and expanding our strategic innovation techniques. When another firm throws up an online site with a few pages and a “check back here” message on a blog, I like our advantage in winning a potential client as they compare who really specializes in strategic innovation.

4. We’re Doing What We Recommend

While The Brainzooming Group isn’t focused exclusively on social media strategy for clients, social media strategy development and implementation has become a significant part of what we do.  If we recommend being a consistent social media presence as a key to success, it’s important we carry out what we recommend, gaining new strategic learnings to benefit our social media strategy clients.

5. Our Readership Is Growing at Triple Digit Rates

We’ve just reached two years for the Brainzooming blog on a single WordPress platform, so we now have stable year-over-year comparisons in Google Analytics (another reason in itself to maintain our schedule). The original article on why you should ditch a blogging schedule suggested a regular schedule “sucks the life force out of your blog.” To the contrary, the Google Analytics metrics show unique visitors nearly doubled in the second year on WordPress while visits from search were up more than 650% in the same period. We reached readers in 179 countries last year. Those metrics don’t even consider audience growth from email subscriptions and the RSS feed. If the audience is continuing to grow at those rates, it’s important to continue fueling it with regular content.

The Only Significant Challenge to Our Daily Blog Strategy: Time

The time demands along with it becoming more challenging to remember what I have and haven’t already addressed in the Brainzooming blog makes it seem like I’m ready for a new creative adventure apart from the blog. Since the Brainzooming blog started, I’ve hardly ever picked up the guitar, painted a picture, or even drawn much. Four years concentrating on a single creative outlet is a long time for me to stick with one form. That frustration does have me considering a variety of other alternatives. So far though, none of the alternatives considered delivers the same advantages as regular, daily publishing.

You Have to Make Your Own Decisions

As I wrote Friday, you have to answer your own question about regular or even daily blogging. The answer that’s right for you or your organization has to make sense with what you’re trying to achieve. What are you thinking about publishing to a regular schedule? Does it make sense for you?  – Mike Brown

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download 6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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6

YouTube is ruining Super Bowl advertising!

I wrote that statement during the 2011 Super Bowl along with a few reasons why, but never turned it into a complete blog post. After taking part in Max Utsler’s sports media class at The University of Kansas last week as Max discussed his ongoing research on Super Bowl advertising and after watching this year’s Super Bowl advertising, the pieces I needed to fill out the blog post fell into place.

So let me say it again: “YouTube is ruining Super Bowl advertising.”

What do I mean by that?

As my dad, who spent nearly all his career selling television advertising at a TV station in Hays, KS, is quick to remind me, a good television advertisement has:

  • A simple, understandable message
  • Creative that supports the message
  • Repetition of the message in some manner, either within the ad or through repeated airings
  • Clear information on how to take action on the message

In the days when the only place to see a television ad was on television, advertisers strayed from this formula at their own peril. Successful television advertising routinely delivered on all four – even very memorable Super Bowl ads.

What’s Happening to Super Bowl Advertisements?

Fast forward to the dramatic changes taking place with Super Bowl advertising in the age of big dollars for TV spots and free space on YouTube and other social media channels. Here’s what’s happening:

  • Super Bowl advertisements need to be seen many times online (i.e. on YouTube) after the Super Bowl (and increasingly before) to justify the upfront investment.
  • There’s a presumption (largely true) that people will only invest time to watch Super Bowl ads online that are entertaining.
  • It’s easier to craft a potentially entertaining Super Bowl ad which minimizes the advertiser’s message in favor of heavying up on cinematic storytelling, visual engagement, emotional triggers (humor, lust, drama, etc.), and suspense.
  • The frequent result is a crop of Super Bowl advertising with only tenuous connections to simple, understandable, repeated messages and clear calls to action for Super Bowl advertisers.

Because of these dynamics, we now have a slew of poorly done “television ads” for the Super Bowl that:

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Brainzooming blog post, I received a true appreciation for these disconnects when viewing 2012 Super Bowl advertising with a group of people in a home party setting. Super Bowl advertising which depended on subtlety to carry the day didn’t. That’s why the H&M ad with David Beckham worked; it got its simple message (H&M, David Beckham, Bodywear) across clearly and multiple times in 30 seconds.

But here’s the flipside of YouTube ruining Super Bowl television ads.

The good part of these dynamics is that advertisers are now taking a sponsorship strategy to their Super Bowl investments. This sponsorship strategy link is what clicked for me in Max Utsler’s class the other day at The University of Kansas. Max discussed all the things advertisers are doing to showcase Super Bowl creative as they try to activate their “sponsorships” through multiple channels to maximize the ROI from Super Bowl advertisements.

With a sponsor’s view of the Super Bowl, smart brands are getting the full advantage from their investments. YouTube viewing is an important foundation to these increasingly integrated marketing communications and brand strategies.

As was discussed on #SocialChat last night, there are still many integration opportunities brands aren’t seizing in social media. If H&M had featured a Twitter chat with David Beckham as a follow-on to its commercial, I have a feeling my laptop computer would have been ripped from my hands by some of the women in attendance!

This represents a huge integration opportunity for Super Bowl advertisers next year to go beyond simply asking people to watch their Super Bowl ads online. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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