I’ll be presenting a Brainzooming workshop on internal branding strategy at the Brand Strategy Conference in New York, April 6-8. The workshop, while drawing on material from my Fortune 500 work, springs from multiple conversations at the 2015 Brand Strategy Conference. The discussions focused on when employees should be brought into branding strategy decisions.
The executives asking about and offering opinions on the topic tended to believe it was okay to advise employees about branding strategy decisions immediately after introducing changes to customers.
I was horrified by this viewpoint coming from senior executives because it is so strategically misguided.
3 Keys to Engaging Your Internal Brand Team
One alternative to letting your employees know about a new direction in branding strategy after your customers is to view employees as an internal brand team. With that change in perspective, you introduce possibilities for engaging employee in shaping branding strategy. Even without revealing specifics to employees in advance, purposefully involving them in developing branding ideas opens up opportunities to familiarize employees with the direction and insights leading to a new branding strategy.
27 Content Creation Opportunities for Conference Attendees
His question prompted this list of 27 ideas for both what to blog about from a conference and for other content creation and sharing opportunities your audience might find valuable.
In generating the list, I thought back to the two most recent events I’ve attended in Las Vegas: the Specialty Equipment Market Association event with tens of thousands of attendees and the Social Media Strategies Summit, which is a tremendously intimate conference by comparison.
What to Blog About at a Conference
Create a blog post featuring the top quotes from the conference.
Profile specific presentations as blog posts.
Record video interviews with presenters and attendees that your audience should know more about.
Go the conference with a specific list of questions your audience would like answered and record short video interviews with the right presenters or attendees answering the questions.
Get permission from presenters or conference organizers to link or share specific presentations with your audience.
Put together a series of photos of key slides or infographics from the conference that your audience will find beneficial.
Feature the top trends or future developments in the industry that your audience needs to know about and understand.
Give a behind-the-scenes look at the city or venue where the conference was held.
Provide your tips for attending the conference if your readers were to attend in the future.
Review a book one of the presenters wrote.
Spend your evening in your room and write a daily recap of the conference that is ready before any other online source.
Live blog presentations and share “raw” notes throughout the day.
Share links to pertinent articles and blog posts from presenters.
Complete a conference “scavenger hunt” with fifteen or twenty meaningful items from the conference that would be of benefit to your audience. Examples might include: Biggest insight, Most valuable presentation, A Speaker You Need to Learn More About, Most Intriguing Quote about the Future, etc.
Ask a presenter if he or she would guest blog for your audience.
Transcribe your written notes and publish those in one or more blog posts..
Other Content Creation Opportunities for Conference Attendees
Tweet conference presentations using a hashtag that you have let your audience know ahead of time.
Turn video interviews you completed into a podcast about the conference.
Video your impressions throughout conference (a daily end-of-the-day video) and put together a recap video from that.
Do a Periscope video of a keynote presentation.
Put your top photos of presentation slides into your own presentation with notes and make it available to your audience.
Capture big ideas from the conference and share those.
Visually capture your conference notes (if you have the capability to do that), and share those with your audience.
Create a Pinterest board of products (or speakers, or exhibitors, etc.) you thought stood out at the event.
Interview exhibitors at the event and string together one-minute product and service overviews your audience would find helpful.
Curate content that other attendees are creating about the conference.
If you have multiple attendees at the event, create a mini-content marketing strategy to make sure your people are deployed across the event (instead of all in the same sessions), grabbing the content you’ll want to share with your audience later.
Remember, before pursuing many of these ideas, you want to make sure you get the proper authorizations and copyright permissions, whether those need to come from the conference organizer or the presenters. – Mike Brown
Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBookto help your knack for generating creative ideas yourself and with your team members! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org call us at 816-509-5320to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.
Super Bowl 50 featured the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos facing off against one another, with the Broncos coming out on top, 24 to 10. Despite NEVER being a Broncos fan, I was rooting for Peyton Manning to take the Denver Broncos to victory (although we did have a Panthers fan in the house) . . . Now, Cooper Manning will be the son at the Manning Thanksgiving table without two Super Bowl rings . . . . Maybe for the first time in many years, I was more excited about the football than the advertising. I am not sure if I am the only one but I am SO OVER all the hype for Super Bowl ads. In any event, here are my take aways from the Super Bowl (and we all know you have to have a good take away ratio to win the Super Bowl!
We had a Panther fan in the house.
Super Bowl 50 Winners
Lady Gaga set the new standard for singing the Star Spangled Banner, whether at the Super Bowl or ANYWHERE else. And to all the people going, “Remember Whitney Houston,” I say, Gaga Number 1, Whitney Number 2 . . . Hyundai scored early with Kevin Hart using the auto’s Car Finder technology to keep an eye on his daughter and her date to make sure the boyfriend stayed away from any precarious tunnels. I guess Car Finder is the modern father’s best substitute for a chastity belt . . . The Doritos crowdsourced Pregnancy ad introduced a new paternity test (the baby goes after Doritos just like dad does) and introduced (whether intentionally or not) a pro-life message.
The Skittles and Steven Tyler ad worked. I wanted to see it again, and I had already seen it . . . While there were various #SuperBowlEXP tweeters bashing it, I gave shout outs to Toyota for getting more product mentions in its Prius ad than all other Super Bowl ads combined. It was a smart use of repetition and tackling challenges to product perceptions. All that, plus it featured an OJ Simpson mini-series tie-in and was capped off by another ad after the game’s finish. Of course, as my wife asked, “Where is Jan from Toyota in all this?”
Super Bowl 50 Losers
Pizza Hut featured an early ad for its Garlic Knots. That product name perfectly sums up what my stomach would be like if I ate that stuff . . . There were questions about why the advertisers seem not to understand the value of integrating social media and digital with their $5 million thirty-second advertisements. A hashtag is easy to cook up (unless you are Bud, which put a space in a hashtag a few years ago on a Super Bowl ad), and a hashtag is just scratching the surface . . . I completely missed the PayPal ad. I then Googled it to watch it online and missed it again. PayPal should have featured PeyTon in its ad . . . By the way, did you see the Papa John guy catch up with Peyton as the game was ending?
When it came to the Half Time Show, I’m not sure what connection Bruno Mars had to Coldplay, but Bruno Mars was actually enjoyable to listen to by comparison . . . By the second half, the ads seemed to be mostly snoozers. With commercials about constipation, diarrhea, and toe nail fungus, one #SuperBowlEXP tweeter asked, “When is this shit going to stop?”
Fun Facts from Super Bowl L
A word to the wise advertiser: there’s a place between no spoken copy (Acura, PayPal, Budweiser) and too freakin’ much spoken copy (RocketMortgage) where a $5 million Super Bowl ad actually works . . . Of all the Super Bowl MVPs, Joe Montana is the only one I have had a brush with greatness with previously. When he played for the Chiefs, we saw Joe and Jennifer eating at a local restaurant for a late lunch. One other time, Joe Montana came in for take-out at a restaurant where we were enjoying a Friday night happy hour . . . Thanks to all the tweeters who corrected me on thinking it was Denis Leary in the Snickers / Marilyn Monroe ad. Yeah, you were all right, it was Willem Dafoe. But I still contend it would have been funnier with Denis Leary . . . The whole Puppy-Monkey-Baby thing, contrary to what Mountain Dew would want you to believe, represents three things that need not have ever been combined in a Super Bowl ad. Same as with chronic pain, opioids, and constipation. And BTW, OIC missed a cool sponsorship opportunity. Constipation should have been the official NFL sponsor of all False Start penalties in the Super Bowl . . . It sounded like Peyton Manning changed his trigger call from “Omaha” to “WhatThe” at one point during the game . . . It took Avocados to get Scott Baio, cramped airplanes as torture chambers, and the infamous is it blue/black or gold/white dress into the Super Bowl. Good job.
Finally, the Super Bowl Babies ad was interesting the first time, but I am not sure it had as many legs as the NFL tried to get out of it. Of course, that may be sour grapes because the sad fact is all the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Babies are 45 years old.
Well, there is always next year for the Chiefs, and for some better Super Bowl advertisements, with maybe a classic advertisement SOMEWHERE in the mix. Here’s to next year’s LinkedIn-sponsored, Super Bowl LI. – Mike Brown
Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBookto help your career strategy as you embrace greater creativity and appreciation for ideas of the talented team members surrounding you! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at email@example.com call us at 816-509-5320to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.
Rather than playback the various innovation strategy stories Pat McGauley shared, here is a sampling of quotes and points he made that stood out as great thought starters:
Not all innovation strategy inside a company is created equal.
Pat’s innovation team was responsible for product and packaging innovation. He reported that packaging innovation was more difficult to develop than liquid innovation. Based on comments he made regarding working with retailers on in-store shelving, product innovation may have been easier because it might lead to a fight for shelf space. Packaging innovation, on the other hand, could require making the case for a different shelf entirely.
Not all innovation teams are created equal.
Pat formed two innovation teams. One focused on near-term innovation strategy and the other on filling the three-to-five-year innovation pipeline. While the two team approach was designed to keep the longer-term team from getting pulled into today’s fires, it presented challenges. The long-term innovation strategy team became too disconnected from current activities shaping the future environment its innovations would face. Both teams, however, were detached from the brand teams to minimize the pull toward shorter-term brand priorities.
“If you have a whole room that thinks the same, you don’t need all those people.”
He was speaking to the choir about the need for diverse participation and varied inputs to trigger ideas. Their global innovation team went to Korea in 2015 to look for inspiration.
How you frame the question shapes the innovation strategy opportunity.
On a market segmentation chart, Pat was making the point that there are multiple ways to grow from innovation. Sometimes it’s grabbing share from competitors in your category. In other situations, it’s grabbing share from substitutes for your category. The chart drew the distinction between these “share of beer” and “share of throat” opportunities. That’s an intriguing categorization you could apply to many businesses to point innovation opportunities in different directions.
“Sometimes a company needs something that the consumers don’t need.”
In covering a few innovation failures, Pat talked about Anheuser World Select. As he put it, “Anheuser-Busch needed an import beer, so we created a fake import.” The company had become enamored with trying to solve the problem of not having an import, but consumers had access to import beers. They didn’t need an inauthentic version from Anheuser-Busch.
“Renovation is putting new coats of paint on big brands.”
Pat credited InBev (which merged with Anheuser-Busch in 2008) with introducing the idea of renovation to the organization. The innovation team spent 15% of its time on core brand renovation to enhance competitiveness.
A leading company shunning innovation is “like someone hugging a block of ice.”
You can hang on to a block of ice (representing a core capability) and refuse to move away from it, but eventually the block of ice is going to melt and disappear. Pat pointed to Jeff Bezos as a CEO with a contrasting perspective. He is always on the lookout to disrupt Amazon before the next Amazon does it.
Lackluster innovators can catch up quickly.
One chart depicted (I think) growth factors in the beer market from 2012 to 2014. In 2012, competitor innovation accounted for just 5% of growth in the beer market; Anheuser-Busch was the overwhelming leader in innovation-driven growth. By 2014, competitor innovation represented 35% of beer industry growth. – Mike Brown
Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBookto help generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org call us at 816-509-5320to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.
Suppose you are a marketing professional or a non-marketing leader wanting to go deep in learning about what digital marketing should be doing for your organization’s success. Further, suppose that with fourth quarter coming, professional development budgets are tight – or maybe non-existent.
If this describes you, AND you are in and around Chicago, Kansas City, Austin, Miami, Raleigh, Atlanta, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, here is a fantastic learning opportunity.
Heck, if you are in Reykjavik, London, Paris, Berlin, or Amsterdam, the same opportunity is available to you, too!
Digital Learning and the Realtime Marketing Lab Tour
The Realtime Marketing Lab 2015 Fall Tour is an international touring digital-social-online marketing event where you can find the newest ideas to address your digital marketing challenges. Through a variety of brief, focused talks from award-winning industry experts, you’re go deeper into how C-Suite networking, social storytelling, social word of mouth marketing, lead generation bootstrapping, advanced digital marketing, and sophisticated LinkedIn B2B messaging secrets can deliver results for your business.
The format for the Realtime Marketing Lab 2015 Fall Tour involves a day’s worth of high quality, thirty-minute presentations delivered via an amazing team of award-winning industry experts from around the globe. Rather than sticking to coast cities, the Realtime Marketing Lab tour brings intimate learning and networking opportunities to multiple metro areas across North America and Europe. For a limited time, you and a business associate can both attend for what is the already incredibly low price of $99.
If you are in the heartland of the United States, I especially invite you to attend the September 23, 2015 Realtime Marketing Lab tour stop in Kansas City. I will be presenting that afternoon on “Making Social Strategy Understandable – Even for the C-suite.”
The Realtime Marketing Lab Tour in a City Close to You
Interested in learning more and registering for this exclusive offer?
You can use these links to see who is speaking at each of the Realtime Marketing Lab stops and register to attend.
Clementine was a beautiful and unique looking cat. She resembled the original Gremlin in the movie of the same name. After our last “my cat” passed away in 2010, Clementine attached to me. She was the first one I’d typically see in the morning. She hung out with me when I got ready each day. She’d be in the home office as soon as I was, jumping up on the desk to see what was going on, and typically to take a nap. During my last milestone birthday, Clementine was the only one in the house who spent time with me. She frequently provided the only greeting I’d receive when coming home, especially when it was a late flight returning from a business trip.
The Director of Enthusiasm
One day, I think it was on Twitter, I posted something about Clementine being in the middle of things on my desk. Someone (I SO wish I could remember the person), said it was obvious Clementine was our “Director of Enthusiasm.” Trust me, I am not the kind to think of giving a cat a title. But I started referring to Clementine as the Director of Enthusiasm (or “DOE”) on Facebook when posting funny pictures of her; she became a mini-celebrity. Clementine was not in Grumpy Cat’s league (although people thought she had a grumpy look despite being anything but grumpy). Her social media presence, however, added a lighter and more personable stream of content to our brand. People seemed to be interested in her; when I went to events, I can’t tell you how many questions I’d receive asking how the Director of Enthusiasm was doing.
Because of all the time she spent with me the last few years, her passing has hit me hard.
The weekend is usually my main blogging time. Quite honestly, I was NOT in a mood for writing this weekend. I wasn’t in a mood for doing much of anything other than reading the incredible comments on Facebook about how much Clementine meant to people. Those comments created both incredible joy and many tears. I guess it’s all part of working through the emotions.
Anyway, that break from writing this weekend means a blog hiatus this week. I’ll be at a conference through Friday, concentrating on learning, so not trying to get the blog written will provide focus. It will also offer an opportunity to reflect and get to a happier place since for the foreseeable future, I’ll have to generate my own enthusiasm.
Because while The Brainzooming Group might have a DOCAP (Director of Creativity and Purring) in the future, there will never be another Director of Enthusiasm. – Mike Brown
There was a Brainzooming posse in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday as Marianne Carr and I attended ConfabuLarryum, the Lawrence festival of creativity. In just its second year, Ben Smith’s brainchild increased its attendance 4x to more than 5,000 adults and kids.
What a fantastic event celebrating creative thinking skills of all kinds!
The only disappointment was I didn’t get to spend any time with the incredible array of activities and demonstrations. With a noon time slot to speak, I stayed in the auditorium to see the presentations before mine, getting a read on the audience, the room, and what content would work most effectively.
My response was that’s clearly a challenge in a school environment where we are grading kids on their academic performance and monitoring all their actions and behaviors for conformity to expectations. Talk about a recipe for teaching children to edit their creativity and curb their creative thinking skills! It takes a full-blown creative rebel to survive creatively in that environment. And that survival will likely be VERY rocky because a student putting up enough of a fight to hang on to their own creative thinking skills and instincts will be going dangerously against the grain.
How about establishing a grade-free zone to cultivate creative thinking skills?
My spontaneous idea and response to her question was to create a grade-free zone in the classroom. This would be a spot where children could go to experiment, imagine ideas, and explore their creative thinking skills without ANY grading or correction.
Thinking about it, the grade-free zone might be a physical location in the classroom, a condition (i.e., a certain day or days), a situation (i.e., a child could call for grade-free zone time to create), or maybe all three of these.
Even though ConfabuLarryum WAS a grade free zone filled with all kinds of creative outlets, I heavily edited my workshop presentation before starting, inserting stories that weren’t part of the presentation when I walked in the building and taking out a number of pieces.
I guess being grade-free is harder than it initially sounds.
What do you think of the idea, and how would you approach helping students to stop editing their own creativity? – Mike Brown
Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBookto help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at email@example.com call us at 816-509-5320to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.