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Going for Gold: The Olympics and Branding Special Issue – July/August .BIZ Builder Magazine


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In this special issue of .BIZ Builder Magazine, we explore two timely billion-dollar topics—both of which are widely misunderstood: “The Olympics & Branding.” Exclusive features range from an …

In this special issue of .BIZ Builder Magazine, we explore two timely billion-dollar topics—both of which are widely misunderstood: “The Olympics & Branding.” Exclusive features range from an interview with GE’s Olympic Sponsor President Peter Foss and an article by UTA’s Laurence Vincent revealing Hollywood’s branding secrets, to a list of Top brands on Twitter and a “How-to Branding Guide” for business.

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  • 1. .BIZ BUILDER BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS WITH INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS July/Aug 2012 Branding Issue THE OLYMPIC BRANDING GAMES - GOING FOR GOLD?In This Issue:Olympic Gold - GE Grows Its Corporate Branding FAQ: What Can Olympic TeamsGlobal Brand as London Yes, There Is More to It Than Teach Business Leaders?2012 Olympics Sponsor You Think
  • 2. Get to Your Destination Smarter & Quicker with JetBlue + Enter to win a free JetBlue flight* CorporateCommunications Investors Agency Investor Management Media Relations Crisis Television Communications Print Public Relations Advertising Measurement Mobile Digital & Evaluation Marketing Join, the destination for marcom business knowledge. Register now - its FREE. Plus, youll be entered to win a free JetBlue domestic travel voucher ($600 value). JetBlue Airways offers flights and tickets to more than 75 destinations. * View details on
  • 3. Welcome .BIZ Builder Vol. I, Issue 2 JULY/AUGUST 2012Welcome to this issue Snapshot. Published by: CommPRO.bizContent with convenience. Editor-In-ChiefIt’s our calling card and our commitment to you. Brian PittmanWe’re here to serve and to help you become more Chief Creative Officer / Designersuccessful. One way we do that is by making it EASY Todd Fabacherto consume and share the latest, greatest content Publishercovering what’s new and what’s working to grow your Fay Shapirobusiness using integrated marketing andcommunications. Chief Strategist Bruce MerchantThat’s why we’re offering the latest issue of .BIZBuilder Magazine in manageable bites. Whether you’re Contributorsa reader, partner, contributor or even advertiser, we .BIZ Channel Partnersthink you’ll find our issue preview “Snapshot” to be a • Critical Now: From Critical Mentionquick and engaging way to consume and share the • Social Video: From Latergycontent we bring together for the thousands of • Digital Visibility: From Zog Digitalmembers of our growing community • PR ROI: From PRIME Research .BIZ BloggersIn this edition, we explore two timely billion-dollar • IR Therefore I Am - Gene Marbachtopics—both of which are widely misunderstood: The • Social Media Zone & The Pulse - VickiOlympics & Branding. Exclusive features range from an Flaugherinterview with GE’s Olympic Sponsor President PeterFoss and an article by UTA’s Laurence Vincent .BIZ Blog Contributorsrevealing Hollywood’s branding secrets, to a list of Top • Marco Bertini, London Businessbrands on Twitter and a “How-to Branding Guide” for Schoolbusiness. • Mark de Rond • Christina Houghton, Siegel+GaleEnjoy! And share!! • Michele Adelson, The Phelps Group • Laurence Vincent, UTA • Joey Sargent, BrandSprout • Donetta Allen: Hunter PR • Mark Brock, Wray Ward Brian Pittman, LLC 222 East 34th Street Suite 1201 New York, NY 10016 View our Media & Sales Kit
  • 4. Click here to learn more about branding issues thatmatter to you.
  • 5. 7 TableContents of Olympic Infographic: The Evolution of Olympic Coverage in Print, TV and Social Media {4 - 5} Olympic Gold: GE Grows Its Global Brand as London 2012 Summer Olympics Sponsor {6 - 11} U.S. Olympic Hall of Shame: Hard Charging Olympic Athletes Who Have Faced Charges {12 - 14}16 London’s Burning: Controversy Heats Up Over Protecting the Olympic Brand {16 - 18} What Olympic Teams Teach Business: The Truth about High Performance Organizations {20 - 23} Olympic Fashion Flubs: Lessons from Ralph Lauren, Roots and Stella McCartney {24 - 26} How to Be a Winner: P&G’s Winning Sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games {28 - 31} What Hollywood Teaches Business: How to Find Your43 Brand Story {33 - 37} Social Media Cocktails? Aligning Your Brand with Relevant or Popular Conversations {38 - 40} Busted! Five Brand-Busting Myths Exposed {42 - 44} Brand Engineering: The Science Behind the Art {46 - 49} Brand Ambassadors Needed: How to Build a Brand Through Social Media {50 - 52} Olympic Buzz: McDonald’s Demonstrates Owned-Media56 Prowess on Eve of Olympics {54 - 55} What’s Your Brand EQ? A Questionnaire {56 - 58} Branding FAQ: What You Must Know {60 - 62} Funny Business: Buzzwords That Hurt Brands {64 - 65} Twitter Winners: Most Engaged Brands Online {67 - 72} BONUS BRANDING GUIDE: How to Work with a Branding Agency (and More) {71 - 82}
  • 6. Olympic Gold GE Grows Its Global Brand as London 2012 Olympics Sponsor Brian Pittman’s exclusive interview with GE Olympic Sponsorship President Peter Foss“Any company must carefully align partnerships, while helping to reinvent GEsponsorship opportunities with its as a truly global brand. “Before thecorporate values—and recognize it’s all Beijing Olympics,” Foss illustrates, “theabout growth at the end of the day,” says Chinese thought GE was GM and that wePeter N. Foss, President, Olympic were in the car business.”Sponsorship and Corporate Sales at GE.“If you can’t find a link to driving Not only has GE’s brand awareness incompany profits—don’t do it!” warns China skyrocketed since the BeijingFoss, who in addition to coordinating Olympics in 2008, but GE has alsoGE’s global Olympic Sponsorship also ramped up its Olympic sponsorshipmanages the company’s Sales Force initiatives—and the London SummerEffectiveness program. Olympic Games are no exception. Here, Foss shares key metrics underscoring“In our case, GE’s values are all about GE’s Olympic sponsorship ROI, what he’sintegrity and so are those of the most looking forward to in the LondonOlympics,” he explains. What’s more, the Games and his quick tips for businessescompany has driven hundreds of billions seeking greater visibility via marketingof dollars in infrastructure projects and sponsorships of any size or type:sales abroad through its Olympic 6
  • 7. Why did GE decide to sponsor the In terms of return onGames? investment, GE’s generalGE’s partnership with the Olympic awareness prior to theGames aligns with our global growth Olympic Games was lessstrategy by opening doors to new sales than 10%. After theand marketing opportunities in all of the Games, it was countries. GE is uniquely suited tomeet the infrastructure needs required to big areas of potential growth outside ofstage the world’s largest sporting event, the U.S.—but we just weren’t knownas well as the healthcare needs to there. The biggest interest was in Beijing,provide quality care to the athletes. Our because China was a big market for GE.continued investment in the Olympic We were doing close to $5 billion a yearGames is part of our commitment to there. They thought GE was GM and thatdeliver world-class infrastructure and we were in the car business. We sawhealthcare solutions that leave a Olympics as a brand that we couldsustainable legacy to future generations. saddle up and ride in with. We are proud to be associated with the It was a great way to build relationshipsOlympic Games, as the values of this with key individuals in China as they builtglobal, trusted brand match GE’s. Our up the Olympics and announced theysponsorship provides funding for were spending $50 billion on it—doubleathletes that would otherwise not be what was normal. Beyond that, otherable to participate in the Olympic infrastructure projects were more likeGames. We are very proud of that. $200 billion—including transportation, power, water, lighting and all the thingsWhen did GE’s sponsorship begin and we do as a big infrastructure company.what were the goals?We announced our sponsorship in 2003, We realized the head of the Olympicand it was at same time NBC was organizing committee in China wasbidding for 2010 and 12 broadcast Liu Qi, and that party secretaries andrights. As part of that, we went in as GE mayors served on committees, as well. Ifto put in a bid to be a TOP (The Olympic we built a strong relationship with them,Partner) Program Sponsor. This started we could demonstrate our capability andwith the 2006 Olympics in Torino and ability to be a good partner onthen in Beijing, Vancouver and London. infrastructure projects. They were goingThose were the four in our first package. to start at a given time and we needed to deliver.The thinking was the company wasbecoming more global. When I started, That gave us a great opportunity. We got95% of sales were in U.S., but it was to know them and ultimately built greatprobably 60% ten years ago. There were relationships with them. GE’s general awareness there prior to the Olympics 7
  • 8. In China, we saw a +31% ground: our revenue team (sales), our PR rise in favorability after team, our marketing team, and our the Olympic Games. In hospitality team. Canada, we saw a +92% rise in favorability after How do the Olympic values align with the Olympic Games. GE’s? From a brand value perspective, wewas less than 10%. After the games, it have a code of ethics in the companywas 50%. That was good for us. We also and the spirit of the letter is that integritydid a lot of advertising in the country, comes first of all. The Olympics valueswhich helped. are all about striving for truth, integrity, spirit, team building and sportsmanship.Next came the announcement that the There is nothing there that doesn’t alignSummer Olympics were to be held in with our own values. Integrity is numberRio. That was another great opportunity one for us. One strike and you’re out.for us as an infrastructure company togrow into a thriving economy. We are How have you leveraged the power ofnow signed up through 2020. So overall, the Olympic rings to enhance GE’sit has turned into a very nice opportunity brand?to build stronger relationships in areas of We have Brand Tracker studies thatthe world that are important to us. show our brand awareness grew by 1/3 from 2005 to 2010. We also look atCan you touch upon what GE provides things like unaided awareness aroundthe Olympics? specific campaigns. For example, we ranOur Olympic Green program in Beijing ads and launched initiatives tied toand also in London includes providing healthcare around the Vancouver gamesmore energy efficient sport lighting, —and awareness of GE as related toelectrical infrastructure and more. We healthcare certainly grew.also built health clinics for athletes withdiagnostic imaging equipment. So, it We integrated efforts across traditionalruns the gamut of all of our product media, digital and PR to drive results. Aslines. The IOC actually said “GE stands a result, we saw significant impactfor ‘Generally Everything.’” across key brand measures in China (2008) and Canada (2010). Specifically:We were their first infrastructure sponsoras opposed to consumer companies like • In China, we saw a +31% rise inSamsung or Visa. Those companies’ favorability.interests were a year out from the gamesbeing held—but we are there on the • In Canada, we saw a +92% rise inground to help with infrastructure the favorability.moment the host city is announced. Weimmediately put four teams on the 8
  • 9. What has been the commercial impact functioning trauma center and operatingof GE’s involvement in the Olympics— room) and more.any hard metrics?Well, we placed GE technology in all In London, we have:competition and non-competition venues 120in Beijing, Vancouver and London. GE’sinvolvement with the Olympics helped us infrastructuredefine commercial process to more Projectseffectively address large-scale projects. Notable projects include a fullSpecifically, we created a centralized range of diagnostic imaging equipmentteam to respond to all Olympic-related for Polyclinic (hospitals for athletes andinfrastructure opportunities and to work Olympic officials), three Jenbacher CHPacross GE’s diverse lines of businesses. engines installed in the Olympic Park energy center, 120 EV charging stationsIn Beijing, we saw: installed to support London 2012 electric 400 vehicle fleet, GE lighting technology infrastructure across a number of the Olympic venues (Olympic Main Stadium, Aquatics, Projects Basketball, Field-Hockey, etc.), and a Notable projects included a partnership to re-lamp Tower Bridge with wind farm outside of Beijing to energy efficient LED technology. Thisprovide renewable power for the games, resulted in a 45% energy savings overa rain water capture system for “Bird current street lighting applications.Nest” stadium (main stadium), and a Beyond that, legacy projects include GElighting and electrical distribution for donating £4.8m of advanced healthcaremultiple stadiums and arenas. equipment to Homerton Hospital— including fetal monitors, incubators andIn Vancouver, we saw: magnetic resonance scanners, to Homerton University Hospital in 120 Hackney, East London. infrastructure Projects Also important was that we were able to showcase GE’s contributions to customers from around the world. ForNotable projects included a range of example:diagnostic imaging equipment for twoPolyclinics (hospitals for athletes and • In Beijing, we hosted over 2,500Olympic officials), CT, MR, X-Ray, customers.Ultrasound, ECG and Healthcare IT, aMobile Medical Unit (MMU) in Whistler • In Vancouver, we hosted over 1,000(an 18-wheel trailer that served as full- customers 9
  • 10. • In London, we will host values—and recognize that it’s all about approximately 1,300 customers growth at the end of the day.You also oversee corporate sales— We looked at Olympichow has the Olympics sponsorship sponsorship as a way tocontributed to sales force create revenue. But weeffectiveness? also learned that it helpsOne way to answer that is to look at our with brand building.“Decathlon Challenge,” which was aninternal program to help drive sales with I don’t understand some sponsorships.our team and distributors. It involved a We get two to three calls a week forseries of training contests tied to sales. things that don’t fit. I don’t get it. WeResearch showed that this program don’t do it if it’s not a fit. The Olympicshelped drive $190 million in revenue were our first global sponsorship—andgrowth in 2007 and 2008). we’re a 140-year company! So, be careful.What’s your advice to otherbusinesses regarding picking big I don’t understand things like puttingevents or even smaller community your name on a stadium. What does thatevents to sponsor? do for you? If you are Citibank naming aI think when you consider a sponsorship, baseball field, maybe that helps becauseyou have say, “What is my strategy for you’re reaching consumers. But if we putgrowth and how does this help me?” our name on a stadium, they wont’ beAny decision should be based on how buying a jet engine tomorrow. Thesuch an opportunity helps your company consumer piece at GE is less than fourgrow revenues. If you can’t find a clear percent of our business-and it’s all aboutlinkage—then don’t do it! light bulbs and appliances. It’s small, so we wouldn’t pursue a sponsorship likeFor us, we could measure things like: 1. that.Revenue (we were selling goods thathelped build venues), 2. brand Where are you getting the most onlineawareness, and 3. client and prospect and media buzz as related to GE’srelationships. All of those fit into our sponsorship of the Olympics?strategic objectives. A few weeks ago, we launched a “Healthy Share” Facebook application asIf you are a consumer company like part of our movement to integrate healthCoke, it’s different. You get involved with in a consumer way. This is part of ourit just for the exposure and brand “Healthy Imagination” program. Thebuilding. They are 80% non-U.S. in focus is fitness and using the games toterms of global revenues. And their last inspire people to improve their healththree CEOs were all international. Again, based on athletes’ experiences. As partyou must align with your company of this program, we developed 10
  • 11. challenges people can take to be like the measures body composition to seeathletes. For example, soccer player which side has more muscleAlex Morgan provided a program where development. He had that done earlier inyou can stretch and do things he does in the fall.his training. This program has beengenerating a lot of media buzz. We did How is golf like business?the activation at Rockefeller Center, I have played golf since I was eight yearswhere Olympic swimmer Summer old. I am a big proponent of golf andSanders hosted a class to take her believe in getting youth involved in it. It’schallenge. a lifelong sport and teaches great core values. It builds character andWhat are you most looking forward to emphasizes integrity and honesty. Golf isduring the Summer Olympics in a game where there are a lot of judgmentLondon? calls you have to make. Nobody isThe Summer Olympics offer so much to standing there telling you what to do andsee and do. I try not to miss swimming, how to do it every step of the game.for starters. It has become so exciting, Being a student of the rules of golf helpsfrom seeing Mark Spitz to now, Phelps you in business and life, I think. What… They are extraordinary. That will be you learn about sportsmanship, honestythe hottest ticket in town. I enjoy that. and judgment carries through your life.Watching Usain Bolt run is also alwayscool. Track and field is never boring. Final parting words about the value ofBeach volleyball is fun, like a party. And GE’s Olympic sponsorship?it will be held at a neat place, in the The biggest pieces I take away from thishorse parade area. I will even go watch are that we were a “stodgy old industrialtable tennis one day. company” that never sponsored anything. We looked at it as way toWhat are your thoughts about golf create revenue—but learned it helpsbeing back in the Olympics, starting brand building. Also important are thewith Rio? legacy gifts we leave in Olympic cities.I’m very excited about that—golf is Those things make me feel the bestimportant to me. I’m not good enough to about our Olympics involvement. We arecompete. I play on weekends. I live in proud of not only being a greatCharlotte and there is good golf here. I company, but also a good on Saturday and Sunday mornings View on CommPROwhenever I can. Brian PittmanWe are a marketing partner of the PGA is a partner attour and our player just won the U.S., where heOpen (Webb Simpson). He’s involved in focuses on editorial andan extension of our health initiatives. He content while helping towas scanned by our DEXA machine that build the community. 11
  • 12. U.S. OLYMPIC HALL OF SHAME: Gold Winner Tonya Harding, Conspiracy and Domestic Violence (2x Wiener)World-class brands often want to bebigger, stronger, faster. They always wantto be better. For better and worse andoccasionally for best and worst, the twofrequently get together to do business.Before, during and immediately after majorsporting events—none more major than theOlympic Games—these whirlwindpartnerships between winning brands andmedal winners are formed in the face offierce competition due to the mutual drive to Silver Winnersucceed. Unfortunately, they are often Kobe Bryant, Sexual Assaultfueled and fail by the mutual need for speed. Charles Barkley, Aggravated BatteryThe sponsoring spokespeople dash for thecash while their golden glow still attractsclients, kudos and cameras. By Larry Thomas, President, Latergy
  • 13. Hard Charging Athletes Who HaveFaced Hard Charges    Bronze Winner Marion Jones, Dope Jennifer Capriati, Dopey Michael Phelps. Doper Every now and then, the athletes “foul out”—leaving the brand to serve the penalty for guilt by association. Here are a few US Olympians who looked like winners crossing the finish line (or hitting the jump shot), but who lost their way (at least temporarily) when the crowds dispersed. You can expect the volume of falls from grace to rise along with the popularity of online video and social media. Even IF a seemingly disproportionate amount of pampered athletes subscribe to the “It’s not wrong if you dont get caught" theory, more will be caught—on camera—and their reputation and earning potential will drop like a puck at center ice. Whether via strip search or stripped medal, brands that align themselves with athletes gone bad can no longer sever ties, apologize, pull commercials, hire a new spokesperson and wait for “it” to go away. In the socially fueled, video- centric, long-tail-wagging world we live in … 13
  • 14. ...content never sleeps. And even if it If Phelps acquires goldoccasionally falls off pace, it never fades and stirs national prideaway. Even if you pull the video from TV again this summer, he’lland all things digital, the visual be back. Nothingassociation of your brand with a golden generates gold like aboy or girl in handcuffs lives on via good comeback video clips of sporting events, talkshows and conversations. Old news is agony of defeat. The associationold news until someone Googles it. between a brand and an athlete has long made marketers ecstatic and nervous atIn due time, a fine product and swift the same time. We know that theaction will help the public forgive and euphoria from a quick spike in brandforget both the brand and the athlete. recognition and market share can endKellogg’s knows that, so they quickly quickly with one failed drug test, onedisqualified the smoked fish in hot water violent episode or one corny flake of aand went back to the serial cereal kid with a fondness for water (pipes).business. Unfortunately for the snap,crackle and pop family, the relationship It may not end it forever. If Mr. Phelpshasn’t crossed the finish line yet. acquires gold and stirs national pride again this summer, he’ll be back. After all, nothing generates gold like a good comeback story. When Michael dives back into the swimming and business pools this summer, he will be going for more than just gold (or is that just more gold?). The moral of the story: Be wary of whom you run (shoot and swim) with, because branding is a marathon—not a sprint. And, the players are in the public eye and mind long after the race is over.    Watch Video on YouTube View on CommPRO  Whether driven by quarterly results or Larry Thomas is president ofone quarter of a second, participants in Latergy, a video servicesboth worlds compete fiercely for fame boutique that providesand fortune. The breakneck speed and multimedia content strategy,the thrill of victory occasionally lead to production, distribution andhasty decisions and, ultimately, the measurement services. 14
  • 15. Londons Burning:Controversy Heats Up Over Protectingthe Olympic BrandBy Marco Bertini, Assistant Professor of Marketing,London Business School
  • 16. The Olympic Games in London are Licensing rights refer to the use ofofficially kicking off, providing us the Olympics logos and trademarks on itemsopportunity to witness the world’s most ranging from stamps and coins to t-prestigious sporting event. As Olympic shirts and stuffed animals. This year inathletes descend upon London, local London, Adidas emerged as a Tier Onebusinesses are finding ways to capitalize Partner, allowing the sportswearon the moment. company to receive marketing and licensing rights in addition to other perksBut there’s been debate around some (game officials, volunteers and staff willcompanies many say are overstepping all be donned in Adidas sportswear).their bounds, using the Olympic symbols Other tier-one partners for this yearwithout permission. For instance, include BMW, BP, British Airways, BT,Bloomberg BusinessWeek interviewed EDF, Lloyds TSB.Dennis Spurr, a butcher in Dorset whodepicted the Olympic rings as sausage But once the sponsorships and licensinglinks and was confronted by officials rights are in place, it’s important tofrom the Olympics. And The Daily Mail examine the flow of revenue.reported that London’s cake stores arebeing told not to use any Olympic logos Where Does the Money Go?on cakes due to copyright. The revenue from the principle sources is allocated to: The International OlympicLondon is one of the premier cities in the Committee (IOC), National Olympicworld. It has its own recognizable appeal Committees, International Federationsand brand. Thus, it would make sense and Organizing Committee for thethat others would try to capitalise on it. Olympic Games (OCOG).So what’s the big deal and is it really allthat harmful for local companies to use In the case of the Sydney Olympics, thethe Olympic logos in a creative way? major beneficiary was the host city OCOG, which used the funds to stageTo fully understand this issue, let’s first the Games. Historically, 50 to 60 percentlook at the economics of the Olympic of the revenue from broadcast rights andGames and points of profitability. international sponsorships, plus 100 percent of the revenue from ticketing,How Does It Work? domestic sponsorship and licensingBy almost any measure, the Olympics rights, went to the OCOG.are big business. For instance, the 2000Sydney Games generated $2 billion in Of the remaining revenue, the IOC kept arevenue from five sources: broadcast portion to cover its administrative andrights, international sponsorship, operational costs and allocated the restticketing, domestic sponsorship and to the 205 National Olympic Committeeslicensing rights. of the IOC’s member nations and to the 17
  • 17. International Federations of the sports of This is a brand name the IOC wants tothe Olympic Games. make sure grows in stature. But this is complicated in that the brand isWho is Responsible to Monitor and “borrowed” to host cities. That is, theControl Logo Use? IOC “owns” the brand in a sense, but theOf the five sources of revenue, the IOC – host is the one who manages it in thea non-profit organization based in running of the event.Lausanne, Switzerland – is responsiblefor negotiating and managing the I can understand that local Londonbroadcast rights and international businesses feel some sense of sharedsponsorships, while the host city’s ownership. After all, the Games are heldOCOG is in charge of ticketing, domestic in their town and they paid their share forsponsorship and domestic licensing. the construction of the infrastructure. But irrespective of this feeling, the factAccording to a report in The Guardian, remains that the Organising CommitteeLondon already has a range of legal has final ownership of the brand. Theprotections in place, but the IOC since store owners will likely still benefit fromthe Sydney Games in 2000 requires an the increased traffic in London from Julyadditional layer of legal sanction. In fact, through August. But those running thethere are laws in place that are meant to event have the obligation to make sureprevent non-sponsors and non-licensed (a) their name is represented accuratelybusinesses from employing images or and positively, and (b) that the rights ofwording that might suggest too close a those corporations that have paid goodlink with the Games. money to be formally associated with the Games are respected and upheld. So as you marvel at the Olympics this year, you might also think about all of the strategy that is behind the scenes. And while many might become frustrated with the IOC’s strict regulation, you can’t deny that they’ve kept the Olympic brand shining – year after year.The Danger of Non-LicensedBusinesses Using the Olympics Logo View on CommPROThe Olympics are no different than anyother business. Most companies spend Marco Bertini is a professorgood money on building their brands. of marketing at LondonWhile few would question the right of Business School. He focusesthese businesses to protect this asset, on consumer/managerialthe same has to be the case for the decision-making, and theGames. behavioral aspects of pricing & promotions. 18
  • 18. What Can Olympic Teams Teach Business Leaders? By Mark de Rond, Ph.D., Author, “There Is an I in Team: What Elite Athletes and Coaches Really Know About High Performance”Over the next few weeks, the world’s crews of four are forced to race eachbrawniest athletes will lock horns in other. After the first race, two rowers,pursuit of sport’s biggest prize: an one from each crew, swap places. TheOlympic title. The world’s number one race re-starts, with the goal of isolatingTaekwondo star, Aaron Cook, won’t be the effect of a single rower on a crew in aone of them. Controversially, he was real boat on actual water. The processpassed over in favor of world number 59, continues until coaches have sufficientLutalo Muhammed, in only the latest of a data on each oarsman’s ability, and theseries of high-profile selection disputes relative speed of different combinationsin the Great Britain camp. of rowers. This “seat racing” should deliver an objective ranking of the bestTo avoid just such confrontations, boat movers.selection decisions are typically basedon the most objective grounds possible: While peerless on paper, seat racing ishaving athletes compete against each not always straightforward in practice.other for a place on the team. A good Occasionally A beats B who beats Cexample of this is rowing, where two who in turn beats A, which leaves 20
  • 19. coaches with more questions than Also, teams are characterized byanswers. Sometimes, oarsmen and paradox: They mobilize tensions that pullcoaches choose to downplay objective members in contrary directions. Theresults as they push for inclusion of an most obvious are cooperation andathlete who, by virtue of his social skills competition, where individuals continueis considered able to raise performance to compete for resources, reputation andlevels overall for the crew. After all, it is career prospects with others, even asthe combination that matters. effectiveness hinges on coordinating with them. The temptation is often toThe lesson to business: Teams in downplay – or disallow – competitivesports and business benefit from variety. tensions for the sake of harmony. TheIt matters greatly to have differences in assumption is familiar: The better peopletalent and in personality, and even in pay get along, the better they will perform.within teams. It is only by combiningindividual differences that one creates a But studies show that harmony is moregenuinely effective team. likely the consequence of, not condition for, performance. Few things bond moreWhat else can we learn about business strongly than a shared accomplishment.teams from sports? Following are threelessons based on my extensive fieldwork What to do: The best way to build awith teams over the past 15 years, and team is to set them a work-relatedrecent results from the experimental labs challenge and give them something toof Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, feel good about collectively. In addition,Chicago and Cambridge: don’t try to weed out rivalry in the interest of harmony. This is only likely to1. High performance teams are drive it underground. As a result, people will continue to compete by belittling thenot easy places to be. efforts of those around them.We glamorize teams, but life on theinside often feels “slightly off-balance”for much of the time. It is important not 2. The best team is often notto confuse what things “feel” like with made up of the best individuals.what they really are like, given there aretwo natural causes for this: What this means is that we may sometimes sacrifice competence forFirst, the individuals you work with are likability. As alluded to in the seat racinggood, but the qualities that make them example, it occasionally makes sense toso can make them difficult to tolerate as compromise on technical skill if whatteam members; overconfidence can be one gets in return improves the overallalienating, restlessness exhausting, performance of the team. As a recentintelligence intimidating. study points out, if people are actively disliked, their technical competence is 21
  • 20. often irrelevant to team selection. Unless Studies of hospitalthey can be put to work on their own, teams are replete withothers are unlikely to seek them out for examples, often with graveadvice or to share information. consequences. In one study, a team of researchers phonedWhat to do: Focus on finding the right 22 nursing stations, pretendingcombination of individual high to be a hospital physician andperformers – not only in terms of skills asking for 20mg of a new drug to bebut also personalities. There is evidence given to a patient. They were keen tothat levels individual performance are find out how many nurses wouldstrongly influenced by social context (or administer the drug that had not beenwho else is in the team). You wouldn’t approved for use there, that was twicewant a team of lovable fools, but it can the recommended dose, and that hadpay dividends to select a socially gifted been ordered by physician unknown toindividual over one more competent to the nurse. In 21 cases, researchers hadallow the team to handle disagreement to intervene and stop the nurse frommore effectively and raise their overall overdosing the patient. In this case,level of performance. nurses self-censor by deferring to authority.Finding the right combination may relyon objective performance data. Despite In my experience, the Abilene Paradox isthe availability of such “analytics,” it is alive and well, and teams the worse forunlikely the optimum combo is found by it. I wish people would spend as muchusing numbers alone. Characteristics money and effort making theirsuch as how people react under organizations psychologically safe aspressure, how they respond to failure they do on getting people to work inand how they behave when not being teams. I suspect that if one gets thewatched are important but unlikely to be former right, the latter will comecaptured by numbers alone. naturally. People are pack animals – their desire to work together only stymied by3. Problems in teams can arise their fear of being “found out.”not because there is conflict—but What to do: Ask yourself: How safe isbecause there isn’t any. my team psychologically? How likely is it that team members self-censor for fearKnown as the “Abilene Paradox,” team of being considered negative, incapable,members self-censor for fear of being needy, unsupportive or unintelligent, andseen as negative or subversive, as how do you know? Many teams sufferlooking silly or incompetent, or for fear of from lack of safety. As a team leader,destroying any existing team spirit. might you be the problem? Would it be worthwhile bringing in an external facilitator to find out? 22
  • 21. and worry about.Further, might it be useful to implement a“donkey question” rule, where everyone As we watch the world’s finest, there isis expected to ask at least one “donkey one final lesson to be had: Sportsquestion” a week, or the kind of question teams have clarity of purpose missingto which the answer probably should in most organizations. Individuals knowhave been obvious, just to make sure all why what they do is important, what’sbases are covered and all assumptions expected of them and when, and howsmoked out. what they do matters to the rest of the team. To get this right in our own teamsRemember that when team members may well be our most difficult, yet alsoprovide explanations of why things are most rewarding, challenge. the way they are, these explanations are far more useful in clarifying what View on CommPRO matters than what happened. People use facts selectively. Their Mark de Rond, Ph.D., is explanations for team a Fellow of Darwin performance can differ College at the University strongly. These variations of Cambridge Judge are useful because they Business School. He has can help shed light on consulted execs at IBM, the things they care KPMG, Shell and others. Champions of Integrated Marketing Communications IMC 1 2 3 23
  • 22. Olympic Fashion Catapults Brands to International Success - or Sinks Them:Business Branding Lessons from Ralph Lauren, Roots and Stella McCartney By Christina French Houghton, Associate Strategist, Siegel+Gale Hideous. Just strengthens the case for Scottish Independence! I bet that Stella McCartney Britain is neither great nor united. Olympic pajama suit isnt flame proof and would go oooosh if you got the flame near it!! 24
  • 23. One of the most widely televised events provider of Team USA’s Olympic the world, the Olympic Games, For Lauren—whose clothing is alreadyprovides unprecedented visibility for regularly emblazoned with the Americanathletes from Argentina to Zimbabwe. flag—this project is a natural (andThese performers promise to create immensely successful) task. The boldmoments of great national pride—or, red, white and blue color paletteembarrassment—on a global scale. leverages American pride, which is synonymous with Ralph Lauren. As aIn this environment, presentation is result its brand visibility and sales soar.paramount. Enter the crème de la crèmeof couture. Every two years, top fashionhouses are tasked with creating theircountry’s national uniform. And just likethe athletes who wear them, theseuniforms are scrutinized through the lensof national pride and achievement.In the best of cases, designing anOlympic uniform can create a uniqueopportunity for a brand whose coredesign principles are already aligned Roots, a Canadian apparel company, has a similar history of success. Like Ralph Lauren’s ties to American culture, Roots’ rustic aesthetic, replete with emblems of canoes and iconic Canadian wildlife, fits perfectly within a Canadian self-image of being in touch with the natural environment. Though it took two years for the brand’s owners to secure the contract to clothe the Canadian Olympic team, the effort paid off. Roots’with the essential tenets of a national distinctive jackets, first created for thecharacter. Take Ralph Lauren, for 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, drewexample, a brand that has long been the widespread attention and praise. This STEEEELLLLLLAA ... the GB flag is RED white and blue, NOT AAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! blue, grey and blue ... 25
  • 24. global visibility—prompting the likes of designing for an Olympic team one mustPresident Bill Clinton, Prince Charles channel the pride of her nation and allowand actor Robin Williams to don Roots the small, creative flourishes to livegear—helped catapult the brand to within a national rubric of success. Ininternational success. other words, do not “interpret” your country’s beloved national flag in such aYet, this charge can also present way that prioritizes aesthetics oversignificant hurdles. Stella McCartney national symbolism.recently unveiled her designs for theBritish Olympic team. Even Regarding her recently unveiledthough her brand is beloved Olympic kit, McCartney said shein the UK and abroad, wanted to take the iconic imageBritish citizens reacted to of the Union Jack andher work with outrage. The “dismantle” it to “make it moreIndependent hailed fashionable.” Unfortunately,McCartney’s designs as this approach led to herarguably the “worst kit in embarrassment.history” and Facebook fansberated McCartney in a With Ralph Lauren designing forpublic forum. With the ease Team USA and Prada for theof information-sharing Italian Sailing Team, many topenabled by social media and the brands appreciate the internationalInternet, news of the brand’s perceived visibility the Olympic platform delivers.failure has been broadcast far and wide. As long as these designers find an alignment between their brand essenceThe different reception that these brands and the esprit du corps of the nation forhave received begs the question: What which they are designing—as their mostrisks do designers run when they important priority—the relationshipengage in this kind of international between high fashion and the Olympicchallenge? Why have Brits reacted with Games can be brilliant indeed.such ire to Stella McCartney’s designs? The lesson is clear, national pride shouldTo find an answer, one could look to the not be underestimated. When brandingheart of the criticism, which stems from national icons, proceed with care.McCartney’s creative interpretation ofthe Union Flag. I would argue that this View on CommPROreproach brings to light a sort ofunspoken rule: namely, that winning a Christina French Houghton isbid to design Olympic gear does not an associate strategist atgive fashion houses artistic license to Siegel+Gale, where she solvespush creativity to its limits and present branding problems for some offresh, unexpected designs. Rather, when the most interesting companies worldwide. 26
  • 25. BrandingChampionP&G’s Winning Sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic GamesBy Michelle Adelson, Chief Brand Officer, The Phelps GroupCorporations invest millions of marketing rolled out through TV, spread virally bydollars in sponsorships in an effort to consumers, reinforced at point-of-impact awareness and brand perception. purchase in retail and in the end, realizedA prime example is how brands hope to through corporate social glory and consumer affinity with the The result is a truly aligned campaignOlympic Games. However, to drive that is consistent, recurrent at eachmaximum return for such sponsorships, touch point and most importantly,companies must connect their brand to credibly ties into P&G’s brand DNA.the sponsorship in a relevant andmeaningful way. So how exactly do youdo that?Proctor and Gamble’s sponsorship of theLondon 2012 Olympic and ParalympicGames highlights the best practices ofintegrating a brand with a sponsorshippartner.Consistent MessagingP&G began with a consistent message The campaign story includes 28 athletesthat ties to the overarching brand and from Team USA and breathes new lifealigns with each of its product groups into the company’s longstanding positionwhile emotionally connecting to the core that has transcended generations toaudience of moms (or “mums,” as they support moms for the past 175 years.say in London). From there, an The creative platform reinforces P&G’sintegrated campaign was developed and banner philosophy as a Proud Sponsor 28
  • 26. of Moms and expands it to include not or being mothers themselves, the “Thankonly the mothers of Olympic athletes, You, Mom” message traverses thebut those around the world and in the product brands while connecting at thefuture. “Thank You, Mom” acknowledges corporate level.the critical contribution of the mothers ofathletes and celebrates their enduringefforts to raise young Olympians. Thecampaign is a continuation of one P&Gfirst launched for the Vancouver 2010Winter Games, with plans to run through2020. Since it was first unveiled, P&G’ssponsorship has evolved to a largerinvolvement with more athletes, deeperalignment with its brand promise andfurther assimilation into its portfolioproducts. The Olympics are seamlessly woven into the message. P&G Beauty’s line of products including Secret® and CoverBrand Alignment Girl® use messaging that reinforces power and confidence, common themes that resonate with women and athletes. The range continues with Duracell’s® commitment to powering devices and powering athletes through messages of motivation that will display in the Olympic stadium. P&G illuminates components of its sponsorship in a natural progression across its brands in a way that doesn’t feels forced, while staying true to each product’s offering.Looking at the brand platform, therecognizable identity that mirrors anOlympic medal is prevalent andconsistent across all consumer touchpoints, providing an evocative iconicrepresentation that allows consumers toconnect with a now familiar symbol.Drilling deeper into the product lines, themessage prevails as the overarchingbrand communication. Since many ofP&G’s multi-product consumers share acommon admiration as having mothers 29
  • 27. The “mom” story has both a unique andemotional angle and P&G invites Social Media Engagementconsumers to explore each brand’sOlympic story as it comes to life.Through a dedicated section on itswebsite, consumers can understandhow products help moms in theireveryday lives. This connection links toretail where the P&G-Olympicspartnership is center stage in storeaisles. P&G showcases the sponsorshipthrough impressive activations includingdramatic displays, in-storedemonstrations and more than 600 Speaking of emotive, P&G launched theOlympic-themed products on shelves foundational component of itsthat provide strong visibility for P&G. sponsorship, “Thank You, Mom,” around Mother’s Day with a two-minute film called “Best Job” that was shared online and via YouTube. The film profiles mothers in different countries helping their children along their collective journeys to reach the pinnacle of health, talent and athleticism at the Olympic Games while engaging in practices that require P&G products, such as washing the dishes and doing laundry. “Best Job” was repurposed into formats appropriate for television spots and viral sharing and has been viewed by almost 13 million consumers around the world.A notable example belongs toPampers® and its limited edition TeamUSA printed diapers and wipes. The at-retail experience engages consumersand sparks an enduring kinship to theconnected brands. The company haspartnered with its top retailers to executethe installations through to the end of theGames and P&G has placed close toone million displays nationwide, thelargest retail campaign in its history. 30
  • 28. P&G further empowers consumers toshare in the sentiment and thank theirmoms with a Facebook app that has • Develop a brand, messagingbeen used to honor more than 30,000 and communications strategymoms and counting. There is also a that aligns core values:charitable component where the Connect your corporate valuescompany commits to helping moms with the values of yourraise the next generation of athletes sponsorship partner.through the creation of its P&G/TeamUSA Youth Sports Fund. Consumers are • Relate to your audience andinvited to support through social connect emotionally:engagement, donations and participation Sponsorships should be treatedin brand programs from products such as general campaigns withas Pampers®, Tide® and Gillette®. creative platforms that resonateThrough its sponsorship of the Olympic with your core audience toand Paralympic Games, P&G has been ensure your partnerships matterfaithful to its brand promise of to them.supporting the work and promoting • Be consistent and integrate:respect of mothers everywhere. That’sbecause it: For maximum impact, integrate one core message across all • cohesively connects to your consumer touch points to allow your message to break target audiences, through and be memorable. • aligns its products, Explore multiple channels from retail, online, social, public and • and integrates the Olympic community relations. message with authenticity and eloquence. View on CommPROThe seamless implementation inspires Michelle Adelson isthe audience to root for moms and for Chief Brand Officer atthe awe-inspiring Olympiads we’ll watch. Santa Monica-basedWe feel that much more connected with integrated marketingP&G’s brands for the goodwill and communications agencymaking our lives that much easier. The Phelps GroupTips for Leveraging Your Sponsorship: 31
  • 29. WhatTeaches Business How to Find Your Brand Story By Laurence Vincent, Director of The remember watching the second World Brand Studio, UTA, Author, “Brand Real” Trade Center tower fall on the television and “Legendary Brands” newscasts of 9/11. Nearly everyone raised a hand. Yet, Dr. Fraser pointed out I am cursed with a career-limiting visual that our memory never happened. impairment. It’s called eye rolling. Lately, People will tell you they can remember this malady has embarrassed me where they were standing and what they whenever someone tells me they help were doing when that terrifying footage brands tell stories. When the phrase appeared on their televisions moments “we’re in the brand storytelling business” after the first tower fell. The fact of the rolls off their tongue, my eyes roll away matter is that footage of the second to the corner of the room. tower falling wasn’t broadcast on any television network for nearly 24 hours. Curiously, I do believe that brands tell stories. I just think most people who talk The mental magic that compels us to about brand storytelling don’t know what layer familiar personality traits onto a it means. The simple fact is that story is total stranger or remember things that how consumers connect brands to their didn’t happen in our personal history is lives. If your eyes are rolling right now, the same machinery that empowers let me explain. brands to tell stories. A brand tells a story by providing an archetype of a Our brain is a strikingly effective character we feel we know, and computing device that works hard to providing experiential cues that push our help us understand our world by narrative minds to complete the story. artificially closing gaps in our knowledge. When information is missing, There are nearly always three stories it makes a best guess. The guesses cued by a brand: create linear order that allows us to follow the story. Expert witness Dr. Scott Brand Story 1: Fraser illustrated this phenomenon in a The Origin Story 2012 TEDxUSC speech when he asked The first story cued by a brand is a how many people in the audience could pseudo-historical story of the brand 33
  • 30. itself. This is the story of record—the about the brand they inevitably constructorigin of the brand, it’s recent behavior a story that borrows from the larger(i.e., new product introductions or narrative genre of chocolate. They speaknewsworthy events) and its reputation. of indulgence, decadence, sweets,Mention Hewlett-Packard in Silicon passions and romance. Godiva hasValley and tech nerds will play back the positioned itself to tell the story of itsorigin story of inventors in a garage. competitive field.They will recount the controversies ofthe brand’s recent history. The story of But the category story can also be usedrecord is backward looking, and it’s not as a fulcrum. Sometimes, a brandalways accurate—but it’s a story, and it deliberately plays against theoften resonates with audiences because conventions of its category. Forof our fondness for nostalgia. example, Virgin America rarely tells the conventional story of airline travel. It Action item: Ask yourself if instead frames its story in the vernacular of club culture. Every cue leads you to someone were to tell the recall the story of a sexy disco. You are history of your brand, what greeted with house music, mood lighting, premium amenities and sexy would it be and who are flight crews. Each cue sets expectations the pivotal characters and based on a story in another category— plot points? What feelings which constructs a differentiated story for the Virgin America brand. does it evoke?Brand Story 2: Action item: Ask yourself ifThe Category Story your customers engaged inThe second story is the story of the a conversation with othersbrand’s category. For example, it’s hardto think about Godiva without thinking about your brand category,about chocolate. This strong association what genre of storieswith the story of the category has would they tell? What roleallowed Godiva to extend into adjacentcategories such as spirits. Despite its would your brand play inpoetic references to the naked lady on the narrative, if it appearsthe horse, when you talk to consumers at all? 34
  • 31. they embody deep-rooted beliefs andBrand Story 3: foundational values.The Consumer Story Some years ago, I interviewed a womanThe third story is the story of the who described her loyalty to a fashionconsumer. Many psychologists use brand. She said the clothes made hernarrative therapy to re-script a patient’s feel she was getting closer to the personlife. It works because each of us live in she wants to be, using words likewhat author Neal Gabler refers to as The “successful,” “sophisticated” andLife Movie. Our life story is unfolding “smart.” She had connected with theevery minute—some of us have multiple brand when she was in college, butlife stories. These include our own couldn’t afford to buy it often. As shehistory, but they also include our progressed in her career, she made apossible self—the person we hope to be. habit of occasionally splurging to buyMost of us think of the future when we clothes from this label. The act ofthink of our self-concept, and a majority purchasing, wearing and saving up forof us envision a positive outcome. We the next cycle (or paying off the lastaspire to be someone and that aspiration cycle) were all part of her story. Theis wrapped up in a fictional story that we brand was an extension of her identity,hope to make very real. To keep that and it was a symbol of the person shestory from fleeting, we seek cues from aspired to that we’re on our way. Notsurprisingly, brands are often involved. Action item: Ask yourself ifWhen a woman slips into a pair of you were to psychoanalyzeChristian Louboutin heels, she has cued your best customer, howup a story about herself. The same can would your brand factorbe said of the scientist who insists uponusing Molecular Probes in his into their life story?groundbreaking research. The brandsare linked to a part of a personal identity Brand Story 4:—a story about who that person is and The Community Storywhat they value. Those brandssometimes cue a story that we might There’s a fourth story that’s becomingconsider to be rather shallow and much more relevant. In 2004, Jamessocially conspicuous, but just as often Twitchell wrote a humorous and 35
  • 32. insightful piece for the Journal ofConsumer Research entitled “An English Action item: Ask yourself ifTeacher Looks at Branding.” there is a communityTwitchell opens with a story from his around your brand? If so,college teaching experience, and his what’s the story thathorror at how students linked theirknowledge of brands to missing lines connects that community?from nineteenth century poetry. He How does the communitysurmised that “brand stories havebecome modern sagas,” a collective contribute and share theunderstanding rooted in a story that story?“picks up and discards subplots andcharacters as it is being continually problems of such a culture (clearly, it isreformed for new audiences.” wasteful and intellectually shallow for starters), but it may prove to be more fairJust a few years after this piece was and democratic that what has comepublished, social media exploded and before.”the never-ending brand epic found anew channel in which to morph and Why It Matters: Show, Don’t Tellconnect with audiences who, in turn,evolve the narrative yet again. Last year, McCann Worldgroup released “The Truth About Youth,” a fascinatingBrand narratives are an epidemic cultural study of more than 7,000 young peoplecurrency—a shorthand that represents around the world. This new generation ofattitudes, beliefs and values of consumers value community, justice,communities of people. and authenticity above all else. They crave “brands of substance” that areTwitchell notes that, “The ability to enter wrapped in a meaningful story. Mostthese communities depends not on important, they want their brands to belucky birth, skin color, religious affiliation, credible. If they aren’t, 90% of thoseor a host of other attributes usually surveyed said they would make a pointinstalled at birth but a desire to consume of telling friends about “unjust” behaviorboth objects and their fictions.” He from a brand.closes with a warning and a ray of hope:“I have glossed over the obvious This finding alone takes me back to my 36
  • 33. eye-rolling disorder and leads me to themost important lesson of brandstorytelling: Brands are naturalstorytelling devices, and brandmanagers can bring the brand story tolife by serving up cues that tease thestory out in the consumer’s head.However, the story must always be oneof truth, not fiction. Suggest a storythat’s pure fiction in order to misleadconsumers, and I guarantee yoursuccess will be short-lived.Some brands may extend theirstorytelling prowess into motionpictures, television and immersive onlineexperiences. These can be brilliantchannels for the brand’s story to takecenter stage.But even these stories must be based ona foundation of credibility. It has toconnect with what the consumer valuesand what the brand actually stands for. A best advice that has been doled out tobrand exists to set an expectation. It storytellers everywhere for centuries:gains value when experiences with the Show, don’t tell.brand meet or exceed this expectation.The degree to which any brand can View on CommPRObecome a rock star storyteller will vary,but the story roots of every brand are Larry Vincent heads Theendowed from the moment of creation Brand Studio at Unitedand brought to life through actions, not Talent Agency. He isshowmanship. author of “Brand Real.” See his presentationUltimately, the best way to make that titled “On the Subject ofstory known is to follow the oldest and Brand Narrative” here. 37
  • 34. Social Media Optimization:The Cocktail Party AnalogyAligning Your Brand with Relevant or Popular ConversationsBy Jeff Herzog, CEO & Founder, ZOG decide thatDigital TM social media really “isn’t forSocial media is evolving and Social us” or that its notMedia Optimization (SMO) is becoming a the right time tonew business requirement. This process allocate more budgetto improve the effectiveness and to social media.visibility of online content ensures yourbrand is visible when prospects are When in Doubt, Take a Cueinterested in your product or service. from a Cocktail PartyBy optimizing for technical and strategic Success in social media is similarcomponents for networks, content, to succeeding at a cocktail party. Ifimages and video, brands see increased you sit around yammering abouttraffic referrals from social networks, yourself, anyone unfortunate enough tohigher engagement and are able to enter your sphere of influence will makeobtain valuable consumer data in the a polite exit. However, if you look nice,process. A large part of SMO is aligning listen intently to others and then steeryour brand with relevant or popular the conversation to what others areconversations online; essentially, the interested in, you’ll likely be a hit. Thegoal is to be the conversational hit of the logic behind social media optimization isproverbial cocktail party. very similar to the latter.Where Do Brands Go Wrong? In social, a brand’s audience is interested in discussing themselves andToday, most brands suffer from what we topics of interest to them. Mostcall the “me syndrome”—devoting much consumers arent interested in companyof their online content to talking about changes that do not directly affect them.the intricacies of their own business. Themore time brands spend doing this, the It’s Not About “Me, Me, Me”easier it is to lose perspective on thecontent that will be successful. When A big part of SMO isthis happens, brands fall into the “me understanding who yoursyndrome” trap. They often come across customer is, and thenas flat on social media platforms, then aligning your brand 38
  • 35. conversation in such a way that it adds —gas prices—and recommended thatvalue to what they care about. Shifting we create content around that topic. Toyour outreach approach to a more accomplish this goal, we createdconsumer-centric perspective is the first content in the form of a widget, whichfoundational step to begin to credibly was designed so that it could spread speak in the social environment. organically. This widget allowed This allows your consumers to see the least expensive message to be gas prices in their area. heard and embraced. The content is designed for an individual in a brand’s prospect demographic to If you’re derive value from it, and perhaps even reading this as share it or forward it to a friend. This a dominant aligns the brand to say, “We know you’re consumer packaged concerned about gas prices, we are good (CPG) brand like listening to you, and want to help ease Coca-Cola, or as a famous the burden on your pocketbook, by celebrity like Lady Gaga, then creating content you may find useful.” chances are youre probably not going to need SMO to increase and The more value a brand can add and engage your fan base, because your show they’re listening, the more likely a fans are likely already brand fanatics. consumer will want to do business withBut if you’re like the other 98% of that brand. Conversations beginbrands in the space, working to be relationships—and relationships growheard, or are a “lower involvement”, then chances are you arelooking to increase these success Cocktail Talkmetrics. As a Facebook user, how oftendo you “like” (and also want others to There are several other simple ways toknow you’ve liked) your utility company align your brand with popular onlineor your favorite brand of dish soap? conversations. They require the ability to sift through libraries of social data toBuild Simple Tools to Allow better understand the online behaviorsConsumers to Interact with Topics of and preferences of your demographic.Interest  Again, this is like a cocktail party: While all participants have a central connector, We were tasked to align an auto there will always be many sub-groups or insurance client with popular conversations at each party. content topics to increase their popularity in social This knowledge allows brands to media. To do this, we leverage content in two ways: identified a trending theme 39
  • 36. • identifying conversations that are a sharing, in line with popular natural fit for your brand; and conversations, and still created to be • identifying ways to insert your relevant for the brand. Companies that brand into popular or timely utilize these themes, even those in “low- conversations. involvement industries,” will be able to see vast increases in keyword ranking,In the case of identifying conversations social post engagement, qualified traffic,that are a natural fit for your brand, it’s and social impressions.likely that a cable company, for example,will want to talk about new shows, The beauty of the SMO cocktailseason premiers, and newly released party strategy, when donemovies or programming available “on correctly, is thatdemand.” These topics are both brands can berelevant, as well as a logical way for a the hit“lower involvement” brand to insert ofthemselves into conversational topics. the party,When looking to leverage popular or makingtimely conversations, a brand must have newthe ability to act quickly to capitalize on friendsthese opportunities. Examples of this (qualifiedare: potential customers), and • producing content around trending establishing online topics or news (on social themselves in new platforms or news outlets); or circles (to gain • producing trendy content, additional visibility). including photo and video memes. These topics, trends and memes might not be central to your core View on CommPRO content themes, but they do allow you to insert your brand into Jeffrey popular conversations, that in-turn Herzog is increase your exposure to new CEO of audiences and send traffic to your ZOG Digital TM, a brand by driving additional visibility. search & social marketing technologyQuantify the Results company in Scottsdale, AZ.These content themes are created insuch a way that makes them ripe for 40
  • 37. 5Myths ExposedBrand-BustingBy Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, Principal,BrandSprout LLCWWith business moving at an ever-accelerating pace, branding is both a hottopic and a moving target. In spite of the required to find the intersection where a brand comes to, not all “conventional wisdom” is Myth 2: Branding Isaccurate. Let’s debunk some majormyths about branding to clear the way Expensivefor a more focused and fruitful approach Looking at the huge brand advertisingto branding your business: investments of companies like Coca Cola, Visa and Ford, I can understand why many think branding is expensive.Myth 1: A Brand Is a Promise The truth is, it doesn’t take millions toWhile a brand promise—the essence of build a brand. Even the largest brandswhat a company offers its customers—is started small. Unrelenting dedication toan important element of brand strategy, branding helped themthe idea that a brand is a promise falls grow. Their big budgetsshort. Promises get broken, forgotten are a result ofand sometimes are made without any successful branding,intention of being kept. That’s hardly the not a catalyst for it.kind of relationship you want with your The real price of acustomers. strong brand is notInstead, a brand is an intersection. It’s monetary. It’s athe point where brand promise meets commitmentcustomer permission, where perception to investmeets reality. The nexus depends as more thanmuch on your customer’s willingness tobuy into your brand message as it doeson your carefully crafted brand vision. Abrand does not become great on its cash.own. Stakeholders all need to accept thebrand promise. Dialog and agreement is 42
  • 38. Companies that create strong brands understanding what makes your brandfocus time and energy on: unique, what customers expect, what• Understanding customers and value you offer and how it’s delivered. markets Design follows strategy, communicating• Delivering brand value in every brand attributes and messages that have interaction been established through a thorough process of evaluation and discovery. A• Consistently reinforcing brand cohesive brand image helps express a messages company’s positioning, establishing a• Embodying the brand in all aspects of framework for aspirational themes the business associated with its value proposition.How you interact with customers andemployees, the products you offer andhow you deliver services are critical Myth 4: Rebranding Fixesstrategic decisions. Integrate these Everythingelements into your business and you will I’ve been involved in a lot of rebrandingestablish a firm foundation for your projects over the years, and it’sbrand before you spend a dime on interesting to see the reasonsadvertising. companies cite for making a change. Often, rebranding is seen as a quick fix for larger business issues. It’s not.Myth 3: A Logo Is a Brand Rebranding signals change within aAs the most visible element of a brand business, but it doesn’t create change.platform, a logo represents but it is notthe brand. Logos and brand identity are Organizational evolution must alwaysimportant because imagery can invoke come first or the rebranding effort will failan immediate visceral response, creating for lack of substance.a strong connection with customers. The time to rebrand is when yourWhile a consistent and appealing “look organization has adopted fresh ways ofand feel” can cement brand awareness, thinking. Changes such as an updated logo design is only a piece of the business model, entering new markets branding process. and dramatically improved product Before you start designing offerings are fundamental shifts that logos, sites, packaging, ads logically lead to a brand makeover. or point of sale displays, Resist the temptation to rebrand remember these things because sales are down or competition are all just ways of is heating up. Rebrand when your illustrating what your response to these challenges requires brand stands for. Creating you to show the market that your a brand image first requires 43
  • 39. company has changed and your brand is In response, companies must connectevolving in a positive way. with customers, listening and responding in new ways. Successful branding cultivates relationships built onMyth 5: We Control Our Brand influence and authenticity, using brand advocates for social proof andThe days when businesses controlled responding to issues that might havetheir brands are over. been ignored in the past.Organizations used to unilaterally define The social voice can be powerful,their brand messages and dictating making brands accountable forwhere those messages appeared. unpopular policies and poor decisions.Customers shared brand experiences, At the same time, passion for smallbut companies essentially controlled the brands can turn into a groundswell ofmessage. support, catapulting new businesses toTechnology—and social media—turned the forefront of their industries.the tables, giving power to the people In this environment, companies mustand making brands more dynamic than accept that the era of control hasever before. Customers can be vocal evolved into a tide of influence. Moldadvocates or detractors of a brand, customer perceptions by carefullymanipulating messages and shaping shaping brand messages and activelybrand perceptions on their own. managing things you can control, such as how your company interacts with customers and the way in which you respond to problems. Your brand has a life of its own. It will grow and change over time as the market shows you what resonates with customers and what does not. Embrace this feedback, using these signals to continually improve the essence of your brand. View on CommPRO Joellyn Sargent is principal of BrandSprout LLC, a consulting firm that turns daunting business challenges into success stories. 44
  • 40. Brand How to Master the Science Beneath the Art By Mark Weiner, CEO, PRIME ResearchA common misconception is that branding is a purely creative endeavor based onclever phrasing, brilliant visuals and edgy disruptive execution. While creativitycertainly plays an important part, successful branding is as much science as art; andthe required science—which can be called “brand engineering”—actually enhancesthe creative process by focusing resources on those branding opportunities with thehighest potential.Brand engineering is a systematic, target audience–based process of developingbrand, issue, or corporate positioning based on research. Here’s how to get started:Brand Engineering: Questions You Must AnswerThe science of branding requires a systematic process by which brand marketersaugment the creative process. The optimal branding strategy-development processmust enable the marketer to reach the following decisions: 46
  • 41. Engineering • Who is the most profitable target audience? • What motivates the target to act? • How well does our brand proposition match the target audience’s priorities and reality in terms of credibility, relevance, sustainability and you’re your own profitability? • How well does our competition or opposition perform against the same criteria? • Does the brand strategy align with the objectives of the organization? • Is our branding consistent across all channels? • Does the brand resonate as strongly among internal audiences as well as it does in the marketplace? • Do we understand our audience, our brand and our competitive environment well enough to bring our brand alive in communications, logo and creative?The Branding Engineering ProcessThe answers to these questions, the subsequent brand decisions and the eventualperformance evaluation are most reliably and successfully achieved through a brandengineering research process consisting of five stages, the first of which drives therest: 1. The initial step in brand engineering uses qualitative research. This research comes in the form of a focus group to generate a multitude of propositional attributes and benefits—branding opportunities—including future options as well as current approaches. Once the list is developed, the group decides on which possibilities are the most likely to succeed, selecting twenty-five or so to test through quantitative research. 2. The second step is the survey stage. This stage is one in which the twenty- five attributes and benefits of the brand are scientifically tested using a survey to interview no fewer than three hundred but no more than one-thousand respondents. 47
  • 42. 3. The third step is a formal analysis designed to explore the three or four major drivers revealed during the second step. This is done to uncover the derivation and intensity of the prospect’s needs, and to get a clear picture of the competitive environment.4. The fourth step in the brand strategy development process is to conduct a content analysis of traditional, digital and social media originating in those media with the highest penetration among the target audience. The purpose is to determine the extent to which the three or four winning brand attributes are delivered by your company and your competitors. Smart brand planners give the highest priority to those attributes that are important to the target audience, viewed as favorable aspects of the sponsoring company, and are not associated favorably with competitors.5. The fifth step is evaluation to drive incremental learning and continual improvement. Similar to Steps 1-4 in miniature, evaluation should be continuous and consistent to ensure that past decisions remain effective in the constantly evolving marketplace. Periodic pulse- checks provide useful input for tactical execution to ensure that investments made in branding continue to yield positive results over time, versus competitors and in light of best-practice. Attributes important to Attributes not the profitable associated with competitors customer Opportunity Credible attributes for your brand 48
  • 43. Once research uncovers your brand landscape, invest your tactical resources onthose activities that deliver the best return on investment.Branding MythsWhile people speak of “branding,” its definition, application and understanding are notuniversal. In such an environment, there is a danger for conventional wisdom to takehold without question. Avoid the following traps when you approach brand investmentdecisions: • It’s better to be approximately right than absolutely wrong: The resources for even the biggest companies are limited, but smaller organizations are more severely capped in their branding efforts. This reality may suggest that one dispense with brand engineering altogether but even a limited approach is better than nothing. •Beware of overly simplistic brand measures: A recent wave of distilled market assessment led markets to believe that one can quantify brand performance with a single question. While the answer may provide a simple pulse-check, it cannot tell the market what can and should be done as a result which is, after all, what everyone needs to know. •Don’t skip steps: Focus groups can be helpful and inexpensive but, at the end of the day, they represent only the opinions of a dozen or so strangers. The focus group is a way to test hypotheses, explore brand possibilities and to learn about how the consumer thinks about your product, service or brand. Follow the focus group with quantitative research to ensure reliable and projectable intelligence to avoid risk and optimize returns. • “Branding” doesn’t equal “Advertising:” The truth is that branding weaves itself throughout the entire organization, not just across the traditional marketing mix— including advertising, price-promotions, social and digital, in-store and trade promotions, and public relations—but spanning accounting, shipping, and every dimension which touches the customer either directly and indirectly.Given the importance and disproportionate amount of resources devoted to marketingand branding in light of an extraordinarily disruptive period in marketing history,branding serves as both a sword and a shield…it pays to get it right. View on CommPRO Mark Weiner is the CEO of PRIME Research, a global communications research and consulting firm based in New York City He is the author “A Contrarian’s Guide to Marketing and Communication,” published by John Wiley & Sons. He can be reached at 49
  • 44. Brand Ambassadors Needed!How to Build aBrand Through Social Media By Donetta Allen, Social & Digital Media Practice Leader, Hunter Public Relations 50
  • 45. Consumers are showing they are willingto engage with the products, companies From time to time, humor and a well-and brands that influence their day-to- timed social media response can alsoday purchasing decisions. A survey by turn critics into fans, which will in turnLab42 found that more than 30 percent help build a brand. Recently, Smart Carof Twitter users follow 1-5 brands on the smartly responded to this critical remarkplatform, but just 10 percent don’t follow on Twitter: “Saw a bird had crapped on aany brands. Another survey by HubSpot Smart Car. Totaled it.” Smart Car tookshowed that of Facebook users who that comment, did some calculationsfollow brands, more than 50 percent and responded with an infographicfollow between 2-5 brands, with another about how much bird crap it would20 percent following between 5 to 10. actually take to total a Smart Car. This response, as covered here, cleverlyClearly, social media is an increasingly reminded consumers about the Smartimportant part of building a brand. It Car’s Tridion Safety Cell, a key safetyoffers an opportunity for brands to feature for the automobile.participate in conversations about theirservices that consumers previously had When introducing a new brand in 2012,only among themselves. When choosing it would be irresponsible to not includeto build a brand through social media, social media in the launch plan, asyou’ll need to embrace the idea that you consumers expect to find your brand inare entering an on-going dialogue, not a multiple places. For more establishedmonologue, with your consumers. brands, consider pairing the launch of a social media program with a new adIt also lets you further build a personality campaign or public relations program.for the brand that has been established When you decide to embark on a socialthrough advertising or years of service. media program to help build your brand,Known for your customer service? Utilize whether internally or with the assistancethat when building your social media of an agency, consider these steps toplans to connect with your customers. establish a social media presence:Brands like Comcast and JetBlue havefound consumer relations success in 1. Listensocial media as they troubleshoot The first step is to listen to your mostconsumer problems through Twitter. active consumers. Spend the time to search for your brand on various socialBrands who embrace social media also media platforms and see what theseknow that ongoing communication with brand ambassadors are already sayingtheir core fans can turn a fan into an about you. “Conversations amongambassador. These fans elect to interact members of your marketplace happenwith your brand, which means that whether you like it or not,” says expertpaying attention to their comments, their Seth Godin. “Good marketinglikes and dislikes is critical. 51
  • 46. encourages the right sort of Think visually and gather photos, videosconversations.” and other suitable content for theThe takeaway is to find these existing platform. Also, identify upcomingconversations and then to enhance and holidays that would be brand-contribute to them as you build your appropriate to mention, as these providebrand through social media. an opportunity for brands to participate in general conversation or make a2. Choose a Platform statement. The recent Oreo Pride cookieThis initial listening phase will help you is a prime example. And finally, considerdetermine which platforms you should a few key things that consumers areutilize to help build your brand through looking for from brands, such as deals,social media. While it can be tempting to contests and product information, andstart with a Facebook page since it’s the build some of these into your plans.largest platform, there really is no “onesize fits all” program for brands. 4. Share the NewsIf you’re finding that people are Once you’ve established a presence andconstantly posting pictures about your created a content plan, you need to letproduct, then a visual strategy focusing your consumer base know that you areon Pinterest and Instagram might be now on social media! Tell everyone youright for your brand. If people often know and ask them to help spread therecommend your brand while shopping, news. Add social media buttons to yourperhaps Twitter or FourSquare are the website. Send out a notice to yourright places for your brand. You might existing e-mail distribution list andfind that one platform is enough for your consider a limited media buy on theconsumers, but many find that two or platform to help drive awareness duringthree platforms are helpful for creating a launch. You’re on your way to buildingstrong branded social media presence. an engaged community that will help build your brand for the future!3. Create a Content PlanWhile actually setting up a presence on View on CommPROsocial media sites is relatively easy, youshould put some serious thought and Donetta Allen is a partnerplanning into the strategy behind the and social/digital mediacontent that you will be sharing on the practice leader at Hunterplatform. Determine the tone of voice Public Relations, a New(fun, playful, serious?), style of speaking York City-based marcom(eloquent, txt spk, punny?) you intend to firm that partners withuse and the visual strategy (photos, many of the nation’s mostgraphics?). iconic brands.As you outline your brand content,consider the story your brand will tell. 52
  • 47. Click Here to Learn More
  • 48. Olympic Buzz McDonalds Demonstrates Owned-Media Prowess on Eve of London Olympics By Dave Armon, President, Critical MentionMcDonald’s will score Olympic-size buzz hell does my Quarter Pounder within mainstream media and on social Cheese look better in the ads than itnetworks as an official sponsor of the does at the restaurant?” Within three2012 Summer Games. The juxtaposition short weeks, more than 6 million peopleof the world’s largest McDonald’s knew the next to athletes with zerobody fat could make for some interesting For those who have not clicked on theTweets. But if a recent owned-media Play button, you missed hearing a foodsuccess from McDonald’s Canada is any stylist explain how pickles must beindication, the brand is well prepared for moved so they are not hidden underthe challenge. sesame seed buns, and that syringes are employed to make mustard and ketchupIn late June, Hope Bagozzi, marketing drip down a seared beef patty in just thedirector for McDonald’s Canada, right way to get mouths watering.uploaded a video to YouTube thatanswered a question that had been It’s no secret that mega consumersubmitted by a Twitter user: “Why the brands like McDonald’s draw plenty of 54
  • 49. criticism. Social media has giveneveryone a megaphone, so it’s brilliantthat Bagozzi and her team seized theopportunity to transform the doubt of apotentially cranky customer intocredibility for the brand.Companies like Howcast and eHow havebuilt successful web businesses aroundanswering common questions through Critical Mention’s  Syndicaster video, with some of the webisodes platform is used by a third of all U.S.generating thousands of views. network television affiliates andKudos to McDonald’s for figuring out 200+ newspapers to aggregatethat a journalist-style video produced by video from professional reporters ina brand can be entertaining and shared the field and citizen journalists. Onlyamong friends and foes alike—especially the newsroom has the authority towhen the crowd suggests the topics that review, edit, title, tag and publish theare tackled. content, so we think this brand-safe approach to video curation will workWe think brands of all varieties—from well with companies and PR firms.not-for-profits and small businesses to  the biggest global B2B companies and You’ll be hearing more in cominggovernment agencies—will start asking weeks and months about how we’retheir employees, customers, online rolling Syndicaster out so moresocial communities and other enterprises can start acting likeconstituencies to contribute video. media companies. We look forward to seeing what crowd-sourced media tricks McDonald’s has ready to roll at London’s Olympic Park.   View on CommPRO David Armon is the president of Critical Mention, and a self- described “media exec embracing disruptive technology and the social web.” Follow him on Twitter:Click to View Video @daveyarmon. 55
  • 50. What’s Your Brand EQ? EAn Engagement Quotient Questionnaire for Business QBy Sam Ford and Emily Yellin,Peppercom Strategic CommunicationsMost businesses are built on interacting Brand: a name, term, design, symbol, orand connecting with their customers. any other feature that identifies oneBut even the most audience-centric seller’s good or service as distinct frombrands can become disconnected from those of other sellers.*the audiences they seek to engage—often because customers have been Brand engagement: a term looselyreduced to mere data points on a spread used to describe the process of formingsheet. an attachment (emotional and rational) between a person and a brand.**That’s bad news. It’s often the rootcause behind failed marketing Brand Engagement Quotient: acampaigns, communications initiatives subjective, non-scientific guideline of athat produce low engagement, and company or client’s brand engagementbrands that just fall flat. Ultimately, levels based on a self-reportbrands with low brand engagement questionnaire (see next page)quotients (EQs) lose customer loyalty,and eventually, market share. *Source: **Source: 56
  • 51. Test Your Brand: The among marketing, communications, sales, customerEQ Questionnaire service, and other front-facing parts of the company to make sure all are in sync with the entireHere is our checklist of questions to help experience your audiences haveyou diagnose how well you are keeping with your company?your fingers on the pulse of youraudiences: ➡ Does the question, “What serves our audiences best?” regularly ➡ Do you regularly go beyond talking factor into your calculations of about audience data or ROI? segmentation profiles, and actually observe and talk in person with the people you are seeking to engage? ➡ Do you rely on anything more than What’s Your Brand EQ? results from surveys and focus groups, and data from other So how did you do? Here’s a quick company-controlled situations, to answer key to help you gauge whether monitor how your customers feel your brand’s engagement quotient is up and what they say about your to speed: company? ➡ Do you shop for and use your own All Yeses — Congratulations! You are products or services on a regular your customer. Your company is so basis? customer-centric that you could probably teach us all a thing or two. ➡ Do your online monitoring efforts Keep it up.  consist of anything beyond tracking mentions of your 1 or 2 Nos — Youre on your way to company and its products and being customer-centric, but redouble services? your efforts and pay attention to the places where you could improve. ➡ Is everyone in your company talking daily in your meetings 3 or more Nos — You might have about what your audiences might the best intentions, and lots of good think, or how they might feel, and reasons why you cant become more factoring that into every business customer-centric now. But your decision? customers are going to bail if you dont change course soon. ➡ Do you have regular internal conversations and collaborations   57
  • 52. Tips: How to BoostYour Brand EQ ✓Repeat This is not just a one-time activity.If you didn’t score all yeses, don’t worry. Only if you consistently considerHere are three steps to start the simple every communication andbut concerted effort needed to address business decision from yourthat: audience’s perspective, will you be better able to engage them. ✓Listen and Make sure everyone at your company Collaborate becomes an advocate for your key audiences, and communicates that Pay attention to conversations attitude to them. Then, watch the ROI of that you don’t control or prompt. all this effort grow, as your customers Become a regular part of the become not only more loyal but also online and offline communities your strongest advocates in the that your audiences join. Foster marketplace. two-way communication, not just one-way marketing pushes. View on CommPRO Engage and be pro-active about their needs, not just reactive to their complaints. Sam Ford is Digital Strategy director at Peppercom Strategic ✓Go Native Communications and author of “Spreadable Don’t only go out in the field with Media: Creating Value your sales team, sit in your call and Meaning in a center, or query people about Networked Culture.” what they think about your latest campaign. Get out of your company’s bubble, and spend real Emily Yellin is a former time in the places your key NYT contributor and audiences inhabit. What is author of “Your Call Is everyday life like for them? What (Not That) Important to do they care about, beyond your Us.” She partners with company? And how do the Peppercom on products, policies and messages Audience Experience. that you see from the company’s perspective look and feel to your target audiences? 58
  • 53. By Mark Brock, Director of Public Relations, Wray WardCorporate Branding FAQ Yes, There Is More to It Than You Think 60
  • 54. Unfortunately, many companies— the alignment, or lack thereof, of theseregardless of size—don’t see corporate elements is a true measure ofbranding as complicated. Their thinking effectiveness with corporate branding.seems to be, “Develop a logo, standardPMS colors, brand standards manual, Q. How are vision, perceptionand a statement of vision, mission andvalues … and voila—you have a brand.” and culture defined and why is alignment important?As important as these elements are tobrands, this is not the stuff from which Vision is a statement from executivestrong corporate brands emerge. This management of an organization’sFAQ sets the record straight and arms essence at the highest level; it is bothbusinesses with a better understanding aspirational and attainable. Perception isof what branding is—and how to go how the organization is viewed by its keyabout building a great brand: stakeholders—primarily, its customers. And finally, culture is the actual day-to-Q. What is the stuff that great day environment of a company as experienced by employees. Only whenbrands are made of? you align vision, perception and culture do you achieve a strong corporateA team of researchers from Harvard brand. Misalignment of these factorsexamined this question in a study causes confusion in the marketplace andpublished several years ago. They a weak or negative brand image.examined a large number of globalcompanies to determine how greatbrands are achieved. Two conclusions Q. Why is alignment soemerged from the study: Companies difficult?with strong brands perform better thanothers, and effective branding is the Again, the visual elements around aresult of the alignment of three factors – brand – logo, colors, brand standardsvision, perception and culture. manual – are relatively easy. You provide good input to a creative team, theyQ. What did this study develop options and you select the one that wins the beauty contest. For anconclude about vision, executive team to articulate a vision andperception and culture? then assure that perceptions by the marketplace and culture within theThe conclusion of the study was twofold organization all align requires a level of– that these three elements (vision, introspection that can be extremelyperception and culture) are critically difficult. Most difficult of all is when animportant to a corporate brand and that organization determines that vision, 61
  • 55. perception and culture are not aligned. they have been held. The best way toThe issue then becomes how does the assess these capabilities is through caseorganization formulate and implement histories. Past work, particularly in thespecific business plans to address these strategic area, will help you determinediscrepancies. whether you have the right partner.Q. Can organizations take Q. What else is important inthemselves through a an agency partner?branding process? If an agency has the intellectual goods and case histories to back it up, then it’sMuch of the hard work has to be done a matter of chemistry and the organization itself. If an Chemistry is essential because the rightorganization is not willing to do the work agency will serve as the lead facilitator,required and is reluctant to face up to its encouraging input from all levels of theweaknesses, then it should probably just company and from the marketplace.pick a new logo and issue a brandstandards manual. If an organization is They will encourage the free flow ofwilling to go deeper, then assistance ideas, but must also be confident whenfrom the right outside partner can be helping you face reality and put a stakequite valuable. The key is finding the in the ground on a brand position. Inright partner. terms of pricing, look for an agency that will spend the time upfront to assessQ. How do you define “right your situation, including all availablepartner” for a branding research. Each situation is different, and a cost proposal should be based on anprocess? understanding of your situation and the work at hand. Beware of packaged, one-First, find a partner that has the size-fits- all approaches.intellectual capacity to understand thenuances of a corporate brand. You willwant a partner with strong creative View on CommPROgraphics capabilities, but it;s equally ifnot more important to find a partner that Mark Brock is director ofwill be a strong advocate for deeper PR for Wray Ward, aanalysis, including the potential for Charlotte-basedmarket and internal research. Look for marketing firm where hean agency that is not afraid to question communicatesfalse assumptions about your corporate brands.organization, no matter where thoseassumptions originate and how long 62
  • 56. Funny Business 24 Buzzwords and Phrases That Give Finance Brands a Bad Name Every business has its own jargon, idioms and expressions. Some industries—high- tech is a good example—even leverage jargon as a brand-building exercise. But s o m e t i m e s , j a rg o n c a n backfire—as it did recently when a Saturday Night Life skit showed what 4GLTE, 3G, HTC and all those smart phone acronyms sound like to the uninitiated. The world of finance is no exception. Ever wonder about some of the things bankers, venture capitalists and the purveyors of private equity say? Well, wonder no more. Herewith is a reference guide for a number of expressions you’re likely to hear—and a translation for each: View on CommPRO By Gene Marbach is Group VP at Makovsky & Co., and chief blogger on IR Therefore I Am. He has nearly 30 years of experience in investor relations, corporate communications, and journalism. 64
  • 57. When they say… They mean…Business plan Glossy book containing liesAssumptions More lies in support of main liesProjections Numerical liesNiche market Too small for anyone else to care aboutFirst mover advantage See aboveOn plan We lost moneyAhead of plan We lost less moneySlightly below plan Just about overAngel investors Rich friends and family members we put the arm onMezzanine finance The penultimate group of suckersIPO The ultimate group of suckersEntrepreneur Person suffering from tunnel visionLimited downside We’ve about hit bottomExit strategy We’ve identified suckers to off load this venture onLong selling cycle We haven’t found a market yetR&D phase Product doesn’t work yetVolume sensitive High fixed costsCommercialization phase We actually have a productAcquisition strategy Nothing we have works, let’s buy somethingMajor opportunity We need money fastStrategic buyer The greater fool theory at workProfessional The previous guys were idiotsmanagementStrategic advisor Someone who leaves when the money runs outGame changer For what game? 65
  • 58. 13,450,619GlobalADSource kKNOWMORE ads spanning 5 media and 57 countries PRINT 8,590,271 VIDEO 2,202,359 INTERNET 1,146,262 OUTDOOR 779,313 AUDIO 732,414
  • 59. By Vicki Flaugher, Social Media ZoneWho doesn’t love Twitter? It’s the (e.g., Tweetgrader, etc.), we dugperfect vehicle for harnessing your deeper for a sampling ofonline brand ambassadors. That’s companies across industrieswhy the top brands truly engaging ranging from sports and retail, toon the #1 micro-blogging site are media and more. We were happyso innovative, imaginative, and to find more than a few B2Bseriously customer centric. What leaders in the mix. We thenwe found in researching leading reviewed these picks by Twitterbrands by Twitter engagement was engagement and an assortment ofimpressive—and we believe the metrics, including online sentiment,best practices exhibited by our top using the Sysomos MAP (Mediapicks will impress you, too. Analysis Platform). Finally, we threw in a few surprises. No matterRather than just pull a list of the industry, they are all world-leading brands by number of class winners! !Twitter followers from existing tools 67
  • 60. 1. Cisco Systems B2B Twitterer of 2010 Returns The numbers may not seem atmospheric, but 131k+ is nothing to turn your nose up at —especially for a B2B brand. What we like most about @CiscoSystems is that it’s completely connected and engaging across all possible social media channels. The company has multiple Twitter accounts, uses a conversational voice, and can work a mean hashtag conversation. As a communication and network devices company, Cisco interacts on all levels. It replies instantly to comments, uploads videos, and always retweets. Making it to Mashable’s Top Brand list doesn’t hurt its place in the spotlight, either. Cisco is a B2B winner, and we need more of those! 2. NBA Taking It to the “Net” @NBA now ranks #21 on Tweetgrader’s Top 100 Most Powerful Brands on Twitter, placing it above even The Wall Street Journal. Over five million followers and an impressive volume of retweets, thank you’s, and answering of questions makes this a highly engaged Twitter handle. What’s more, it is on 29k+ group lists, created by Twitter users who want to stay in touch with their favorite brands and peeps. The league is certainly also scoring big on Facebook. We saw almost 14 million fans on its page and tons of pictures, videos, mentions of charitable activities and requests for engagement. Instead of going dark during after last year’s lockout and this summer’s offseason, the NBA is doing a full court social media press—and we like that spirit. 68
  • 61. 3. Mashable Representing the Geeks Let’s face it: 3 million followers, a #8 listing on Tweetgrader and a totally integrated social media presence are tough to beat. Mashable is also rocking the Google+ scene and its Facebook page is overrun with fans. We saw over 943k on one account, with several additional accounts falling under the same brand umbrella. Mashable unfortunately doesn’t engage that much on its stream, which can come across more like a news ticker tape. But streaming news links and a massive library of 100% sharable information makes up for it and proves that “Sharing is caring!”4. E! Online Taking the Oscar in Tinseltown Tweets E! Online enjoys 4.6 million followers and is #10 on Tweetgrader’s list. We like the entertainment media group for its humorous banter. It shares personality-fueled comments and keeps us updated on the latest fashionistas with a fresh, cheeky approach. It’s a style junkie’s RSS feed that just keeps giving. If it’s happening, rest assured that E! Online is tweeting, posting and commenting about it. We give it points for being so well connected. Other stats bear mentioning, too: E! Online enjoys an 88% female audience, a high 33% of which is over 30. For captivating an oft-neglected audience online, @EOnline takes the Oscar. 69
  • 62. 5. Breaking News Worldwide Mobile Connection @Breakingnews features instant news updates from all over the world, and is pretty enticing. The fact that it enables users to grab live updates via social feeds and AP sources on their mobile devices is even more awesome. At #6 on Tweetgrader’s list, with over 4.3 million fans, this site is marrying mobile with social in a way that epitomizes what engagement is all about. Most traditional news sites tend to focus on presenting volumes of content and less on one-on-one engagement. We like the brand’s use of high-powered retweets to share the spotlight. Add in a decent following of 185k on Facebook and a global focus, and we’ve got a winner!6. Whole Foods Market Organic and Connected We’re fans of landing pages. When you click Whole Foods Market’s Tweetgrader listing (at #19, with 2.7 million followers), you are taken to its Twitter social media landing page. Every Whole Foods Twitter account is there for your engaging pleasure! We think it’s impressive that Whole Foods actively engages with customers, too. Sure, its peeps tweet out “fresh now” specials. But they also discuss micro-niche foodie concepts with a mad passion. Best of all, they enthusiastically respond to people talking about, around, and to the brand. Whole Foods Market walks its talk about being “real and fresh”—both in its store aisles and on Twitter! 70
  • 63. 7. Etsy Crafty Community Fun Before you dismiss this massive, largely female, community of homemade crafters and artisans as niche, realize that @Etsy ranks #31 on Tweetgrader’s list with 1.6+ million followers. And, according to its Twitter reach and engagement numbers, it also gets shared by dedicated retweeting grassroots fans. Nearly all of Etsy’s tweets are direct responses to fans and followers! The sense of an online, homey gathering place for crafters to sell their wares and goods is a big part of what works on the site and via its Twitter handle. It’s definitely more than a crafting corner. It’s a model for bringing together buyers and sellers online!8. Ustream Video Power to the People Social media has turned traditional media on its ear. You may not like the run-n-gun style of some people’s live-streaming video work, but millions of social media users are fans. Exhibit A: @Ustream. You can’t get more engaged than your entire content funnel consisting of live, crowdsourced material, can you? With 1.5 million followers and the #32 position on Tweetgrader’s Top Brands list, Ustream is just getting started. Its Twitter feed announces live shows to engage followers, and constantly retweets live updates from Twitter followers about being citizen journalists and moviemakers. We love the grit, the live action, and the digital-savvy evident here. 71
  • 64. 9. Lennar Homebuilder for the Twitterverse We peeked at NetProspex’s 4th annual Social Business list for an overview of the companies with the highest number of employees plugged into social media tools like Twitter and LinkedIn. That’s where we found @Lennar, a surprising gem of social media engagement. You wouldn’t really expect a homebuilder to have 100k Twitter followers. Nor would you expect it to rank #2 on the NetProspex list —but there they are at the top. A leading Fortune 500 company, Lennar is engaging on all cylinders.10. Solazyme Engagement with a Sense of Mission A Twitter following of 10k is respectable for a niche manufacturer—especially when you consider that many B2B manufacturers aren’t even on social media. Add in the fact that the majority of Solazyme online followers are digitally connected males under 30 expressing a 94% positive sentiment rating about the brand, and it becomes clear that @Solazyme is an innovative contender. Solazyme turns plant sugars into renewable oil and is the #2 manufacturer on the Inc. 500, with $38 million in revenues. 72
  • 65. SPECIAL SECTIONWorking withBranding Agencies:Three Guides to Help You Target theRight FirmFinding the right branding agency canbe like finding the proverbial needle inthe haystack. Worse, if you pick thewrong one, you’re sure to get prickedwith more than just a pricey tab for amuddled corporate image. That’sbecause winning brand strategies don’tcome cheap—and failed once can costyou even more in a ruined corporatereputation. So how can you take thefrustration and pain out of the process?For the answers, we went straight to thesource and asked three agencies thatspecialize in branding for their advicegeared toward helping SMBs and bigcorporations alike find the RIGHTbranding agency—and get the most fortheir branding budget. Following is ourcompilation of their best tips andcounsel. 73
  • 66. Planning for Success:Five Steps for Finding a Great Branding Agency By Natalie Perkins, President, Clean aspects, from your tagline to your staff to Design, Inc. your physical space. For example, the brand for Apple is so much more than a When considering branding or silhouette of an apple with a bite taken rebranding for your company, whether it out. is for a product, service or part or all of your organization, you first must There are lots of great design firms out recognize that the process is much more there, but only a true branding agency than just designing a logo, as some can help you sort out your brand. To find people assume. a great branding agency: A logo is simply the visual representation of your brand. A brand exists in the mind of the target and encompasses all 74
  • 67. 1. Ask about their strategic Great branding agencies start their process. creative process only after they thoroughly research their clients. Any A lot of research and intelligence firm that meets with you and cranks outgathering happens before an agency can a logo immediately afterwards is failingstart its creative process. This input is to do its job effectively.key in building a foundation for anyexcellent branding. Three buckets of 2. Discuss branding stories.information must be filled: Most clients go through a• Target: Who are your current rebranding process once or twice customers? Why did they select you? in their entire careers. A branding Are they the right customers for the agency does it all day, every day. future? Your agency should propose Experienced branding agencies have a research to talk with your current breadth of branding experience across a clients and prospective clients to gain myriad of categories. Get them to tell a deeper understanding. you stories about how they have handled• Competition: Who are your primary situations like yours. Inquire about the and secondary competitors? What is strategy. Don’t just fall in love with great their brand positioning? Your agency looking logos – have them talk about the should do a competitive positioning brand behind the identity. matrix and a design and messaging Depending on your situation, ask them audit to help you stand out. For to share branding examples for other example, working with a recent client, clients in similar situations. Is your desire we uncovered that four of six to rebrand driven by a merger? A new competitors were using an almost competitive threat? A decline in sales? A identical shade of blue. Naturally, we sense that your brand has become recommended using red. stale? Share your story with them, and• Your brand: Your agency should talk request that they relate an example from with key stakeholders to get their their own experience of how they have insight on where the brand is today solved a similar challenge. and their vision for the future. We conduct one-on-one in-depth interview 3. Be sure what you want is with folks who play a vital role in the what they do. success of the brand. Stakeholders can include marketing and sales staff, Know the deliverables of what you corporate leadership, board members want before you get into the and influencers who have a realistic engagement. A logo redesign alone will view of the brand today and in the require changes to your business cards, future. signage, website, email signatures, promotional items, social media sites, trade show booths, advertisements, and 75
  • 68. much more. A good branding agency will industry category matters little if theybe able to help you determine what will prefer casual conversations while yoube impacted by a rebranding and how want formal to coordinate a synchronized brandlaunch. Talk to the agency about what standards drive how they work. If your companyIn order to avoid confusion and be has a different perspective, your workingsuccessful, your brand transition must relationship likely will be more stressfulhappen quickly so that the audience than it has to be. Find an agency thatdoes not receive a mixed message from shares your values and style for bestyou. Old and new logos in the market at results.the same time look sloppy. When an agency meets all these criteria 4. Look for brand architecture for you, what should be a reasonable expertise. expectation of what it will cost you in terms of time and money to roll out your Rarely do brands live alone these new branding? This depends on the days. Sub-brands, line-extensions, scale of the branding needed. Brandingparent brands, sister brands, umbrella should be customized to each client’sbrands and all other members of the needs, and there is no set of industrybrand family will be affected by the standards. The process can take asbranding engagement. Get your little as 12 weeks and cost as little asprospective agency to talk about their $25,000, with projects going up fromexperience in dealing with brand there.architecture. Talking about branding is sexy, but it canIt is an interconnected world, and be difficult to achieve. Know what tobranding agencies know how to assess expect realistically and understand howand organize all members of the brand it will impact every aspect of yourfamily. This roadmap provides the promotional and marketing efforts. Thisframework for how all the brands come information alone may determine when ittogether and their relationships to each is best for you to embark on a positiveother. An experienced branding agency branding campaign.knows how to put the brand architecturetogether. View on CommPRO 5. Review its culture. Natalie Perkins is A bad personality fit between president of Clean you and the agency will cause a Design, Inc., a branding disastrous branding outcome, no matter and design agency thathow talented the latter are. The fact that creates competitivethey have experience working in your advantages for brands. 76
  • 69. Picking afor in a Branding AgencyEight Traits to Look Winner:By Christine Olivas, Associate director ofClient Services, Off Madison Ave.In today’s fast-paced and highlyinteractive marketing ecosystem, brandstrategy has gained a reputation as asuperfluous—even outdated—exercise,especially for smaller and mid-sizeorganizations. With marketing budgetsnot as large as they used to be andan increased emphasis onmeasurable results, theseorganizations can thumb their nosesat investing in an exercise that seemshypothetical—or, at best, not ascentral to their core key performanceindicators. And with companies moreconscious than ever of a need to createand sustain relationships with their endcustomers, a process that is largelyfocused on building internal consensuscan appear esoteric. With all theseforces at work, it seems that brandinghas gotten a bad rap.However, it’s precisely because themarket is so crowded thatdifferentiation through brandwork is so crucial. Withconsumers being exposed tothousands of marketingmessages a day and every organizationrushing to have a “presence” on onlinemarketing channels, it’s more difficultthan ever to stand out from the crowd. Aclearly articulated brand that both 77
  • 70. encompasses what makes your make the brand and its communicationsorganization different or unique and stronger and, ultimately, more genuine.serves as a commitment to provide valueto everyone who interacts with your II. A time-tested, comprehensiveorganization is the key to creating long- process that leverages explorationterm growth and viability. with and evaluation of both internal and external stakeholders. ByIn this sense, brand strategy is not a reviewing all existing research,stand-alone set of words or visuals; it is determining any gaps, perform anya marriage of your business plan and missing research (often including internalmarketing positioning that will translate stakeholder interviews) andto greater return-on-investment. In fact, consolidating and analyzing all of thiswith each brand interaction, a layer of data, the agency will gain key qualitativesustainable and distinct emotional and and quantitative insights that form thefunctional value is communicated, and foundation of brand positioning.the relationship between the consumerand the brand grows in a much more III. The ability to truly tailor brandmeaningful and concrete way. And while positioning and creative to reflect thenegative messages about your brand uniqueness of each organization. Evencan easily surface—and spread—via though it’s not evident at first, a lot ofnew media, so too can the positive agencies take a cookie-cutter approachsentiments that your target audiences to creating the fundamental assets afterhave as a result of consistent and a branding exercise instead of trulymeaningful interactions with your brand. pushing to develop words, colors, layouts and that express theKnowing then that branding has become fundamental essence of a brand—andmuch more than just an isolated “brand fuel distinctive, memorablepromise” or creative concept, choosing communications and brand interactions.the right branding agency is crucial. Any IV. A focus on the internalagency responsible for helping todifferentiate you in the marketplace and communications aspect of brandwork,create consistent engagement with your with a process that has beenaudiences must have: successful in garnering internal adoption of the brand. Ultimately, the organizations that bring the most valueI. The (passionate) belief that the to their customers are the ones that “livebrand isn’t just what you say it is; it’s the brand” in every aspect of their day-what your customers say it is. The to-day operations and whose customersdays of pushing out a one-way message are brand evangelists. Whileare gone, and great branding agencies organizations need to share in theknow to harness – and leverage – user accountability for the adoption of brandpreferences, behavior and sentiment to positioning, the right agency can play a 78
  • 71. huge role by following a collaborative VII. The willingness to hold youprocess that treats internal stakeholder accountable. While we tend to onlyviewpoints as crucial and providing think of agencies as professionals weconcrete, actionable strategy for rolling hire to serve our needs, the bestout the brandwork—and keeping it alive branding agencies will truly understandgoing forward. your organization—and push you to honestly and comprehensively articulateV. The view that “marketing is a three- who you are and what makes youlegged stool”—and ability to apply different. Once they’ve done that, theythat concept to brandwork. Without an should continue to push you tounderstanding of how customer service consistently and genuinely articulate thatand operations both impact the ability to story to your employees, your customersdeliver on marketing promises, an and the people who are hearing aboutagency runs the risk of making promises you for the first time.that your organization cannot keep orthat sharply conflict with certain realities VIII. Last but not least, it’s crucial for ayour customers or employees face when brand agency to be able to provideinteracting with your business or compelling examples of start-to-finishindustry. work that helped organizations across industries create meaningfulVI. Expertise in—and/or a deep experiences for their targetunderstanding—of cross-channel audiences. Being able to see a brandimplementation. Today, many promise or a brand launch campaign inorganizations, particularly larger ones, isolation can help demonstratehave both a brand agency and an competency, but case studies fromimplementation agency. The idea is that clients who saw high degrees of internalthe brand agency drives overall strategy adoption, fostered loyalty andfor differentiation in the marketplace, differentiated in the marketplaceusually including creative concepts and because of brandwork that was bothcampaign strategy, and that the comprehensive in its development andimplementation agency “translates” this strategic in its implementation willoverarching brand across channels. This produce a much higher degree ofpresents an obvious challenge in a world confidence that the agency in questionthat has become increasingly interactive: can help you articulate your brand.If the brandwork is not done inconsideration of the way target View on CommPROaudiences consumer information—andwith digital best practices in mind—it will Christine Olivas leads client services and account planningnot be relevant or drive return-on- efforts for Off Madison Ave, aninvestment, and it may actually cause integrated marketing and publiclack of brand cohesion. relations agency. 79
  • 72. Getting Your Money’s Worth:Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring a Brand AgencyBy Rodger Roeser, Owner, The Eisen 1) Do you have a budget set aside forAgency the work?Hiring a “branding” firm can be tricky, 2) What type of branding do you need?because so many firms claim to offer If you’re serious about hiring a branding“branding.” From large multinational firm, do your homework, but don’torganizations to the local copy shop in window shop if you’re notthe strip mall, they all offer branding genuinely ready to get started.development services. I’ve seen printers Have a timeline inoffer branding, advertising agencies, and mind of when youyes, even those pesky PR firms claim to expect to hire, andoffer branding. If you’re in the market for the timeframe toa branding company, read this so you complete thecan ask better questions, ensure the necessary work.firms you are looking at are properlyvetted and you find the right one for you.Before even embarking on this journey, acouple real simple questions to ask yourteam—again, don’t waste these firm’stime, they already have clients to serveand have work to do: 80
  • 73. Understand that almost all branding your fancy, or what may be similar tofirms have their own unique your type of business.methodologies and programs, so theyare not all the same, but the outcomes DON’T generalize. Remember, compareoften are. It’s not critical to get into the apples to apples in work product—justdetails, but rather understand the end because a firm did the branding forproduct you expect to receive. “How” Budweiser doesn’t mean you have thethey go about making their magic is far king of beer’s budget. According to theless important that the outcome. most recent study I found, the average cost to develop a brand for a business orAnd yes, it does cost money, so before product ranged from a low of $30K to asasking a branding firm to understand high as several hundred thousandyour business, be certain you dollars, and obviously for thatunderstand a bit about theirs, so you can investment, be certain you’re gettingask the right questions and get the right more than a pretty new logo.firm. A few simple do’s and don’ts toensure you get your money’s worth: DON’T expect to speak with current or past clients. And, while you certainlyWhat NOT to Do “can” ask for references, be mindful, brand development is highly sensitive and in many cases, highly confidential,DON’T ask to see the firm’s work so don’t be surprised if you won’t beproduct. That’s a pretty dumb request speaking to any of the agency’s clientele.and shows you’re either not serious or Sadly, I have seen clients get a logoyou haven’t done your homework. “refresh,” the work equivalent of addingInstead you can simply go online and another touch of color, and spendingreview some firm’s work product before tens of thousands of dollars to do so—you meet face to face so you have a simply because the client lacked claritygeneral understanding of the type of of exactly what and most importantly branding they provide. why they wanted to brand. Don’t invest See what your money that way; the greatest logo catches in the world still doesn’t sell the shoe— it’s the brand behind the shoe. 81
  • 74. gives you a specific offering that you canWhat You MUST Do “own,” so that may be shared and understood with your target publics.DO ask specifically what type ofbranding and brand development the DO ask the firm how the branding canagency specializes in. My firm, for help your business. A good agency willexample, specializes in brand explain how having everyone on thedevelopment and the creation of brand same page can make a serious positiveconversations for professional services impact to an organization or product.companies. While we “could” provide Understand costs clearly up front, andbranding for a consumer packaged exactly what you’ll be receiving for yourgood, there are better firms for that. investment. Often times, testing and validation of brand concepts is notDO have a clear understanding of included in the agency price, but iswhat “branding is” and convey that rather an add on with an outside firm.understanding to the potential agency. So, ask who will likely be doing theBranding can be many things. It’s critical concept testing and if refinements arethat when selecting a branding firm, that necessary, what would the additionalyou have a clear understanding of work look like.exactly what you need. If by “branding”you mean, “Make me a logo and design Finally, DO give clear direction as tosome letterhead,” then I’m here to tell what you’re seeking to that’s not branding, and you don’t When hiring a branding firm, you’reneed a big branding firm. You need trying to clearly define your business,Kinko’s. Spend $99 online, not $99k with which will then affect virtually everya big branding firm. Branding is the aspect of your business, what you wear,whole of who, what and why your how your deal with customers, even yourbusiness or product “is,” it is its very décor. I truly believe that almost every“essence” and it’s critical that your firm branding firm is very good at what theycan capture that and develop key RTBs do, they have outstanding amounts of(Reason’s to Believe) based on specific research and data and experience thatconcepts showing the benefits of the allow them to provide quality work thatbusiness or product, and wrap an entire can be tested and validated. Hire onetheme and conversation around that. that fits with you, give clear direction and then, watch the magic happen.If the logo is blue, why is it blue? Whatdoes that mean. What archetype is your View on CommPRObrand, and what specifically does it Rodger Roeser is the ownerstand for and try to emote and convey? and founder of Cincinnati- based public relations andA good branding firm will be able to find marketing firm, The Eisenthe “freeze dried essence” of your brand Agency.and what truly makes you unique and 82
  • 75. Watch for the Mr. Magazine™ Minute on CommPRO.bizComing soon!