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brand experience Archivos | Allegro 234

brand experience Archivos | Allegro 234

Only entrepreneurship overcomes the crisis

By | What we think | No Comments

Politicians are still trying to understand the crisis, some big companies are launching innocuous campaigns, bankers are crying because they didn’t deserve this situation… Should I continue the list? Probably I could, but that’s not the point.

In this social network we use to talk about branding, about brand experiences… about us!… We could isolate branding issues from our current situation, however, it would look at certain point, something between naïf and unconscious.

Reality, which is neither the Big Brother nor Code Lyoko, is showing us that to overcome the crisis, we do need as individuals certain specific behaviours (remember what Dr. Utterson said when he talked about the online and offline worlds… both are real).

Going back to the first sentence of this post:

  • Today’s politicians (from the left, center or right) learned how to manage a country as if sea captains had learnt to sail in calm waters
  • Some big companies used to be managed under the SYA (Save Your Ass) policies. So, everything coming from them seems to be decaffeinated
  • Bankers follow the patterns designed by the Chicago’s boys or the ones that are fashionable, and teach how to overcome a crisis produced by others

All that I mentioned above have something in common…. All the people involved behave as bureaucrats. This is not bad, however, it is not enough to overcome a crisis.

Both bureaucrats as well as employees are needed to make the world work, and probably, they are better prepared to manage stable situations than other kind of people.

Today’s crisis is a point of inflection. It cannot be solved with old formulas because, probably, we are not going to go back to same old habits…. And they have no idea of what to do.

What is the connection of this with brand experiences?

During a long period of time I was thinking of differentiating between big brands from those ones that we finally fall in love with (it’s a way of saying):

  • Big brands belong to big companies, they have deep coverage, and we are aware of their existence. e.g.: GE (one of the brands with highest economic value worldwide)
  • Brands that we finally fall in love with could belong to big companies… or not. They are focused on their tribe. We are aware of their existence if we are familiar with the tribe… and we would love them if we live deeply their experience one time after another

And here comes the point… The brands that are loved have another key characteristic: they were created by an entrepreneur and his/her soul is still alive in the company.

Entrepreneurs think about brand positioning because they want to give strategic intention to their promises. However, before that, they bring to the brand experience two other things:

  • A call to action idea that is permanent, based on their value agendas and make the difference over time
  • They are the story behind the scene that personalizes that brand experience

We can love or hate those people… Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and/or Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA). But for sure, they do not go unnoticed.

These people are not complaining about limitations, regulations,… They are creating new rules. They rule their way of living!

Still looks that there is no connection… Hmmmm

The message in the bottle

Let’s merge both ideas, crisis and entrepreneurs…

  • Entrepreneurs are people who have a dream and the ability to make it come true
  • Entrepreneurs are not afraid of crisis because they live in an eternal one
  • Entreprenuers are inflexible with their ideas and flexible with their implementation
  • Entrepreneurs never surrender
  • Crisis forces to change habits
  • Crisis are solved by braves (a politically correct way of saying ‘crazies’)
  • Crisis requires flexibility and speed
  • Crisis usually keeps in our minds (self-fulfilling prophecy)

To overcome this crisis that we are “enjoying” now, we do need to create new kinds of experiences. Those experiences must be aligned with new behaviours, with new value agendas. Brands are not going to be what they were because we are not going to live the way that we were living up to now.

Only somebody with a soul of an entreprenuer (also if he/she is an employee) is able to understand this and do something… Actually, they are doing it!

Finally, perhaps it’s time to pay attention to the entrepreneurs and the brand experiences that they are creating because they are the ones who are going to change the world.

Period!

Quantity vs Quality to build an online brand experience

By | Envisage, Staging, What we think | No Comments

For a couple of weeks, I was in a rush and only updated my status in Webjam, continue with some conversations here and in LinkedIn, invite people in Facebook to read/re-post old things that I revisited and thought they are still relevant (at least for me)… So, I’m back!

During this period of time I was also thinking (at least for a couple of hours a day) and paying attention to social networks, communities… and specifically, I was looking at our interaction…

graph_pgina_1

To give a framework to my thoughts let me present some figures:

  • Brand 3.0 members @Webjam: 500
  • Brand 3.0 newsletter subscriptors @Webjam: 200
  • Brand 3.0 members @LinkedIn: 4,200
  • Brand 3.0 fans @Facebook: 160
  • Allegro 234 members @Allegro234: 200
  • Allegro 234 fans @Facebook: 160
  • Allegro 234 followers @Twitter: 500
  • Cristián network @LinkedIn: 1,500
  • … Xing, Inusual, Marketing LATAM, Digerati, Libellus,…

So, I’ll talk about interactions between a good number of people (it’s not a direct sum…. some people belong to several networks at the same time)… Let say 4,500 approx. Fair?

We use to talk, and this began with Adam and Eve

It’s interesting to see two issues:

  • The quantity of people in Facebook and Twitter talking about Facebook and Twitter
  • The recognition as a new paradigm that we are talking

Adam and Eve talked… Actually they also mantained several dialogues with God, situation that could be considered as the first online virtual dialogue… They also talked with a snake…

The points are that neither them, nor us (in our offline life) use to talk about the tools that we use to be connected… At least in my case, when I use the phone I don’t establish dialogues about the terminal that we are using, or when we are drinking a beer with friends we don’t talk about our vocal cords… The other point is more complex and perhaps a psychiatrist and/or psycologist is able to explain it better… We were, are and probably will be gregarious; so, by default we are rational dialogical animals (we also smile… which is an unique characteristic of human beings).

Activity generates dialogue, sometimes deaf

As Alberto mentioned in WOW 2.0 and yesterday in the iBGC ’09 (Bilbao, Spain), activity is essencial in social networks to produce dialogues. I agree with this, however, in some cases (more than you can imagine) activity generates activity. Period.

Examples:

  • LinkedIn group: Somebody begins a discussion. After few days you can see 10 comments, but most of them are not considering the other comments, or even worse, the comment is used as a way for self-promotion, to show how smart is the one who is writing that post… From a dialogue generation to a deaf dialogue
  • Facebook wall and Twitter: In a normal day… from 100 Twitts and or FB wall comments, four are related and could be considered as a sort of dialogue, 20 are RTs’, other 20 are emoticons… and the rest, God knows what the hell they are

Activity could generate dialogue if it mantains certain relevance. And if this dialogues are generated at corporate level, they should be carefully thought. Dont’ you think?

Brand experiences are built on dialogues… Alleluia!

For companies, dialogues help to build their brand experiences… Alleluia!…

This is not new. Actually, almost every experience is based on dialogues. The experience exist because we talk about it. Social networks allow us to tell more people, more easy and more quickly the sort of experiences that we are living.

But, before social networks, we also talk about our experiences… and now, for those companies that still do not have their own social network, people are talking about that experience…

Control is a pre-Methuselah historic illusion. To try to control dialogues is futile; we can only observe and give some intention.

Personal branding in a world where brand are something personal

A side effect of paying attention to social networks has been to see all the efforts to build, sell, promote… personal branding.

We wish to be different, unique, cool… Following an online process to improve our personal brand (I would say “personal brand” because it’s understandable, actually, we should say personal image) looks, at least, funny… If we all follow the same process we will become a sort of “Mini-me” of others.

You can build your image online promoting activities that generates good dialogues. And to do that, you have to be honest and show you as you are… and not as the manual suggests that you should be. No? (Canadian question)

‘Dialogus interruptus’ are unproductive

Yesterday in one of the valuable Twitts that I read, there was one from iBGC ’09 so interesting when one of the speakers defined Twitter… He said: “Twitter is a sort of dialogus interruptus”…. He was right!

‘Whatever interruptus’ is unproductive by default… Babies aren’t born, ideas don’t see the light, dialogues aren’t generated.

Experiences are based on dialogues, on fluid dialogues… And fluid means:

  • You talk, he/she talks
  • You talk and wait (I deleted several people who I began to follow because their comments were like SPAMs)
  • The dialogue evolves
  • You feel great because something interesting (and perhaps new) is co-created

The law of diminishing yields

The day has 24 hours and there is no plan to change it. Neither hours of 120′, nor days of 36 hours. Pregnancy takes 9 months (at least till now)…

We have certain time to read, to interact, to talk… certain time to work, to think… certain time to enjoy with our family, friends… Time is a scarce resource… As talent, knowledge, creativeness.

We have  a real limitation to belong to an infinite number of social networks and seriously participate on them.

The message is simple: “Become relevant, create activity, generate dialogues, be passionate… and before all that, please, consider that on the other side of the cable there is another person”… That should be a great experience!

I’m learning this!… It takes time! 🙂

It’s the economy stupid! … Thinking about brand valuation

By | Envisage, What we think | No Comments

Bill

I begin with a phrase that Bill Clinton said in a debate to George Bush … “It’s the economy, stupid!”And so it seems … Since the’90s, the brand valuation was something that started to grow rapidly. Possibly this had much to see with the rankings made by Interbrand and presented annually in Newsweek. It is clear that these rankings are done with public information and therefore have their limitations. They are not all they are and the value is an approximation. Only that!In a meeting that took place a couple of years ago, with companies that value their brands and that are within the Fortune 500, the next question was done: What decisions have been taken now that you know the value of your brands? … And the answer was: “No”.
moneyIn recent years, having directed more than a hundred brand valuations, I dare say that the outcome serves for a little… mainly to a transaction in which the brand is involved. Moreover, there are at least two risky situations:
  • It must be done many assumptions that have to be maintained over time so that the results are comparable
  • Part of the calculation uses variables that are beyond the control of the company (and with a brand experience that “per se” is a chaos to continue adding uncontroled factors… you know!)

 

The value of the brand gives us an idea about the value of the relational capital of the company, part of its intangible assets, and therefore, part of the total value of the company. It is a part of the whole explanation.

What is interesting in terms of branding is that the best results of this kind of assessment are byproducts of the process and not the result itself.

For several reasons, I do not go into the valuation models (which are less than what it’s said):

  • I am not an economist
  • It is not the point of debate
  • It’s more boring than what I’m writing here and now

In any case, returning to the process, we can decide which actions to take to generate greater demand on my key customer segments, or what elements should be improved in order to strengthen our brand (reducing risks) against my competitors … And in all this, the value isn’t necesary!

So the questions are:

  • For what do we value the brands?
  • To establish a common language in the company (with the risk that if others understand me, I would give more tools to discuss what I do and I don’t)?
  • Is it necessary or is merely a matter of fashion?
  • Would not it be better to think of models like the balanced scorecard that allows us to make decisions? (speak of it in the coming days … promise!)

Ice spheres for a unique drink experience

By | What we think | No Comments
icesphere

Taisin, a Japanese company, has introduced that creates ice spheres. The issue is that they discovered that spheres of ice are preferred by serious on the rocks drinkers because the reduced surface size means that the ice melts at a slower pace, keeping drinks from getting watery to quickly.

iceball3

 

Bartenders in Japan consistently take home top honors at global competitions because there is an intense devotion to making simply the best drink, of which perfect ice looks like an obvious component.