Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Marketing 2.0: It's about what others do with what you do


I've been intrigued lately by the notion that "Marketing 2.0 isn't about what you do, it's about what others do with what you do."

So every marketer, down deep, must become something of an enabler. Today's consumers use brands as a steppingstone to their own self-expression and self-fulfillment. A good example of this is the new campaign Flip video "Do You Flip?" campaign as well as a new creative project by my friend, Peter Lloyd. It's a musical CD called "Cover Me."

Peter is a writer, author and singer-songwriter. Recently, Peter took 10 songs that he wrote and recorded on his own, and asked 10 friends to perform each of their songs on their own. "Cover Me: The songs of Peter Lloyd performed by friends and family of Peter Lloyd" came about. Peter asked me to illustrate the cover you see here. I thought "Cover Me" is a great example of this notion that success in marketing is all about getting other people to do something with what you do. In other words, the question is what will people want to do with the website you created, or the television commercial you developed? It's part of being in the age of dynamic engagement. On "Cover Me," each performer took the original Peter Lloyd song, and re-corded it with their own "special sauce." In other words, Peter's songs "enabled" the singers to channel their own talents and create something entirely new from the original iteration. IN the process, Peter's creative ideas became a form of "social objects."

As a marketer, you need to seriously ask yourself "is what I'm creating right something other people will want to do something with?"

If you're interested in the "Cover Me" CD, which is a very fun listen, go to www.gocreate.com. Would make a nice creative gift for the holidays.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiven


Great Thanksgiving. Back to work. Several large projects on the table, critical week in the development of both.

Off we go...

Have a good one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving wishes and Petri dishes


Has Purell become the new accessory for people with places to go, people to meet and hands to shake? Sure seems so lately.

Here's to a healthy, happy and germ-free Thanksgiving for all.

I hope you enjoy the cartoon.
Best,

-GK

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trip Down...


This cartoon was sparked by a high school reunion I attended in New Jersey. The event was a lot of fun and reminded me of the many good people I was fortunate enough to share my early years with. The experience got me thinking about how time plays with our memory and how our perspective can change over the years. That night I saw former teammates on the football team, former crushes and a handful of people who brought a smile to my face even though I couldn't immediately recall their names(that's why you wear your name tag!). Life's funny that way. My wife was also a member of our of graduating class which made the evening even more special. The night reminded me of a very funny episode of 30 Rock where Tina Fey(Liz Lemon) goes to her class reunion in Pennsylvania, and Alec Baldwin tags along and poses as a former classmate, Larry Braverman.

Here's to all my classmates at Woodbridge Senior High School!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Boom Books


Another hectic week comes to a close. New biz pitches. Large projects building steam. Speaking of big pitches, the Phillies secure a spot in this year's World Series and wait to see who is still standing between Yanks and Angels.

It's amazing what winning can do to a city's psyche.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blender video up and running...


It's been a busy month for event seekers and creative opportunists. In addition to the Creative Convergence Summit in Philadelphia, we held our first Big Idea Blender in Ardmore, PA at Milkboy Coffee. A lot of fun. A lot of excited, open-minded people riffing on what they do. If you want to see some photos along with the entire video of Blender presentations, go to http://bigideablender.wordpress.com. There's been a lot of talk of doing another somewhere around town. Actually several new people looking to get involved and collaborate in some fashion. No shortage of ideas. I didn't think there would be with a group like this.

Enjoy the video. Post your comments. Share with someone who would like this kind of stuff. If you like it enough and want to play along, let me know.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

kopius kick in the pants


Have you ever felt like your brain was stuck in a particular gear, or a certain staleness had entered your gray matter? It's pretty common. I think when this happens, there's nothing like going to a conference or mixing with other creative people for a while. This past week I attended the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit in Philadelphia (world's longest summit title), and served as a panelist at a workshop on creative ideation for the Philadelphia Ad Club.

As an audience member at the Summit, I got to sit and listen to other people talking about innovation, creativity and their process, and found it interesting that it can be very stimulated to hear someone share how they do exactly what they do every day, along with the challenges and successes they experience along the way. I have to admit, I did have a feeling going in of "I pretty much know all I need to know to do what I do, but let's see what others have to say about it." Bad habit. But we all do it. Even those who rail against it.

As a panelist at the Ideation Workshop for the Philly Ad Club, I had a chance to meet two very cool(very different) people who make a living coming up with new ideas and helping others find new ideas for their business. The worst thing would have been to sit next to two people who were clones of me, or approached things in the same manner I did. Or used the same facilitation approaches. They didn't. Which made it very valuable for me. Sarah Rottenberg from Jump Associates and Steve Mapes of Impact Unlimited are knowledgeable, passionate, friendly and fun.

That's why I love working in creative fields like advertising, brand marketing and innovation. It's the people. I mean who else walks around with a Tupperware container full of juicy, colorful magic markers, stickers and Post-Its? It's the diversity of people, opinions and personalities that gives us something new to always learn, and our mind some different place to go. By getting out and putting myself in different mixes of people and events, I must say my brain was really alive and was pushing neurons in places they haven't been, soaking in colorful points of view, and coming out of the haze with some fresh points of view around social media, how to deal with clients and how to beat the bureaucracy associated with team collaboration. For someone who reads a lot of books about the industry, innovation and creativity, I find there's nothing like getting out there, talking to people, listening to other people speak and speaking yourself. We all have a lot to learn and share, and doing so live and in person with other people is a rare and valuable treat. Thanks to all those who allowed me to do both.

Good stuff.
More soon.

(Photo: Sarah Rottenberg, Jump Associates, Steve Mapes, Impact Unlimited, me)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Something bubbling on the horizon


In just a few weeks, the Big Idea Blender will be coming to Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

It's summer so most of us are still at the beach catching a wave, finishing up a trashy novel or sitting down to a slice of boardwalk pizza.

As we reach the final double digits of August, many of us are beginning to think about what we'll be doing once Labor Day is behind us. We'll start to focus again on the mission at hand.

It'll be time to shake off the sand and start reconnecting to the mission. Your mission. Whatever it may be.

On September 16th, you'll get to hear 10 people who have connected themselves to a mission talk about the experience. During our Open Mic Night, 10 presenters will take the stage and describe first hand the exhilaration, frustrations and utter jubilation of what it means to be an entrepreneur. What it means to take your personal passion and put it before the world.

More soon.

Don't forget. Save the whales. And save the date. Wednesday, September 16th.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big Idea Blender: September 16th


We've all wondered how great business ideas happen and even more important, how do they get one off the ground? Now there's a chance to find out how others are making big ideas happen. Think "Night at the Improv" meets "American Inventor."

The Big Idea Blender is an experiment kicking off on September 16th at 7:00pm at Milkboy Coffee in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Big Idea Blender is variation on a theme, in all honesty. It takes its inspiration from events like Google's Ignite, TED Conference and IdeaBlob.com by Advanta. It hopes to bring together entrepreneurs and creative business thinkers to share ideas, frustrations and victories all in the a hope of inspiring the assembled group of people to greater heights.

It follows the format of "an open mic night for entrepreneurs" and uses a rapid fire five-minute presentation style to keep things moving and the juices flowing. If you're interested or know someone who is, let me know and I can fill you in. The goal is to sign up 8-10 presenters for the night, and we've got the first two in place, so please make contact soon if you're into hitting the stage.

Our hopes are that this grassroots, coffeehouse style of event makes it easier to do it more often and get more entrepreneurs on-stage to share their stories with other like-minded trailblazers. The event is free but you need to register, and delicious Milkboy coffee and noshables will be on sale all evening.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sticky idea for a Sunday


If you come up or come across any sticky ideas this week, please send them along to kopiusnotes, and we'll talk about them.

I'll see what I can come up with this week.

An idea that's being knocked around is a Big Idea Blender in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The day is September 16. A wednesday. It's something of an open mic night for entrepreneurs and creative business people. It's a great event to get inspired and inspire others. There will also be a freestyle "tablestorming" brainstorm at the end.

More soon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How's your collaboration?


-How well do you and your colleagues work together?

-How well do you brainstorm?

-How do ideas flow within your organization?

If you are interested in a white paper that can help you and the people you work with work better, let me know. It's called Better Brainstorming in the Idea Economy. I'll gladly email you a copy. I'd be interested in your feedback.

-g

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Empowered Health and Living Brands


Talking with a colleague of mine last week, our conversation led to an interesting
place, one that continues to stick with me:


EMPOWERED CONSUMERS POWER BRANDS.

That was it. The simplicity of the idea caught me off guard. But it made a lot of sense.

It cleared a lot of what I've been thinking about lately with regard to brands, and why some win and some lose. Brands like Apple, Whole Foods, NIKE as well as Dell and Scion (build your own) underscore a powerful concept at work today. Brands that are able to empower their customers and make them feel a part of the brand, are more successful than those brands that don't.


Let's face it, successful brands have a way of putting the consumer in a position of power that ultimately power the brand beyond its competitors.

I call them Empowered Health & Living Brands. These are any brands in any category that give consumers information, education and confidence for the purposes of making their life better and more enjoyable. The above brand, Vitasana multivitamins, talks about "adding a little life to your life." While the ad was done a few years ago during the height of the growth of natural supplements, the tactic still rings true today.

Powerful brands get that way by empowering consumers.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Unique Selling Proposition


Let's face facts, without a clear and compelling selling promise, your offering is bound to get lost in the sauce.

This week, the team brainstormed names for a new service one of our larger clients is launching. It represented a potentially great new service at the retail level. The team was juiced and ready to create the future.

After an initial round of naming, we started to hit on richer, more interesting names that seemed to have one thing in common. They had a powerful and distinctive promise "baked" right into the name. The benefit of this is that the new names did much of the heavy lifting in the mind of the consumers. They didn't have to work hard in their head to figure out what benefit the company provided. A great name is literally a conversation starter. It moves a consumer instantaneously ahead which means the name has a much greater chance of being seen, noticed and acted upon.

If you're developing a new product or company name, make sure the names you consider work hard right from the start. They telegraphic the values and promise you wish to communicate. Words matter and so does their meaning in the marketplace. Choose wisely.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A little down time


















Time to disengage.

Happy Fourth of July...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shoestring Creative Solutions


A stack of Monopoly money. A pair of googly eyes. Actors playing it over the top.

Geico adds to its Gekko, Cavemen and celebrity sidekick series with a stripped down, dumbed down solution around the money you could be saving with Geico.

Genius or just annoying?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Put me in, Coach


I had an interesting encounter yesterday. I had my first assessment done by a professional leadership coach. The assessment was designed to measure the types of energy I project at work and in my life.

Anabolic, good. Catabolic, bad. Very bad.

The strange part was that the coach was someone I met at one of my workshops. She had recently become a licensed coach and thought it would be good to lead me through her process.

I found it very interesting. I took an online test, and followed it up with a two-hour phone conversation to go over my assessment results.

I found out some very helpful things about the energy I generate at work, home and in my life. I definitely need to look at some specfic areas and relationships, including the expectations I set for myself. In particular, I tend to project certain types of energy at times that may be undermining my own progress and the way I interact with others.

The two-hour follow up phone conversation was very intense and pretty complex. Honestly, I don't know if I gave her what she was looking for, and I'm not sure what the exercise told me about my skills as a leader. The one thing our encounters made clear to me was that for a guy, I can be pretty high maintenance.

Who knew?

PS If anyone is interested in getting an Energy Leadership assessment done for themselves, let me know and I'll put you touch with my friend. She's very good, and a great listener.

Why they don't return your calls

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Notworking


I heard something on MPR this morning about the experience job seekers are having at job fairs. What they were saying underscores once again how traditional methods of doing things today are not necessarily the way to get things done moving forward. The report stated that very few of the companies at the fair actually had job openings. Most of the companies at the fair were there selling products that were meant to help job seekers find a job.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

humans vs the hype



This brandtoon to the left was inspired by a recent article I read in Communication Arts. It was written by Baba Shetty, a strategist at Hill Holliday, and talks about what he describes as the "hype cycle" of new technology.

In a nutshell, the hype cycle is the progression of any new technology from "hot new thing" to "been there done that" disenchantment. Or as Mr. Shetty describes it as, "either the recommendation of a technologcial approach just because it's fashionable or the dismissing, out-of-hand direction that's judged by the cognescenti as being all too common."

Net net, the piece poses the question about how new technology tools (toys) might play into the way we plan our work, and suggests that the best interactive experiences always have less to do with technology(or the hype around it) and more to do with what makes us human.

Amen, brother.

Thoughts, anyone?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Marketing 2.0

The Activation Economy

Activate interest, involvement, affinity, affection, loyalty, awareness, empowerment, energy, adventure, ambition, confidence, comfort, competition, value, health, engagement, enthusiasm, professionalism, romance, anger, pride, patriotism, individualism...

Marketing 2.0 is about activating a connection with people. What connection are you activating with the work you're doing?

Disruptive Brands

Friday, June 12, 2009

face the enemy

Ideas that stick


My name is Gary...Hello, Gary!

Okay, I admit it. I have a problem and I blame it all on 3M. I have this thing about Post-It Notes and their private label pool partners from Staples called "sticky notes." I'm constantly writing things down on those little yellow (sometimes orange) sticky notes and putting them everywhere. My computer. My office walls. The dashboard of my car. My forehead(don't ask).

I believe there's nothing more exhilarating than reviewing the work of a group I'm facilitating. To do this, I often ask the group to rapid fire their ideas on a wall via Post-Its. As a creative facilitator, I encourage people to think out loud by writing everything down and putting it somewhere you could it see...move it around...combine it...evaluate it.

So if you're working on project with your group, have them gather around a wall and begin churning out ideas or pieces of ideas, writing everything down on Post-Its. Just beware. Creative thinking can be addictive. Once you've done it and see the value in writing everything down on those little sticky squares, you'll start taken a pad with you everywhere you go.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Breakfast of Chumpions


1. Bridge traffic
2. The price of gas
3. Clients that don't answer emails
4. Clients that answer emails, then cut your budget
5. Car salesmen
6. Negative people
7. People who overpromise and underdeliver
8. Drivers on cell phones
9. Self-proclaimed "social media" experts
10. Male enhancement radio commercials

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Theme Machine


I've been spending a lot of time dissecting the book, Brand Digital by Allen Adamson. It really brings into focus the importance of branding and the branding mindset in today's digital age. Or has Allen puts it, "digital amplifies the things that have always been true of branding."

One of the things Allen touches on is the importance of a Brand Driver. That "one idea" that serves as a launch pad or platform for every idea communicated across every channel. For instance, in the book Adamson refers to brand driver's such as Johnson & Johnson's "having a baby changes everything," GE's "imagination at work" and HP's "Personal computers are personal again."

Adamson calls it a "brand driver," but I've come to know it as a "brand theme." A brand theme is the backbone of all marketing communications and internal activity, yet it's stretchy and elastic enough to wrap around the entire brand. Which is why I believe that ad agencies need to get better at developing meaningful and original "brand themes" for their clients, and get beyond cute and clever "one-off" ads and taglines that sound more like prom themes. Ideas that work okay in the moment but are cast aside in a matter of months because they quickly lose relevance.

Is your brand wrapped around a clear, compelling and memorable brand theme? Is your brand theme built around a powerful and actionable consumer insight capable of generating hundreds of great ads, commercials or websites?

"Serious Care Starts Here" for a prestigious University Hospital, "Life is Looking Up" for Verizon Yellow Pages, and "Spontaneous Cool" for a brand of apparel for the NFL all were brand themes that gave the client and agency plenty of room to run. They were brand themes that spoke directly to the audience and gave the brand something to talk about. A conversation to own and involve people in.

Therefore, we're no longer makers of ads or designers of websites. We are
theme machines. Methodically crafting emotional blockbusters that become the calling card for the brand, and serve as a underpinning for all digital and traditional work.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tom's Toon


A fellow cartoonist friend of mine, Tom Fishburne, is a brand manager for Method in the U.K. and is a famous "management cartoonist"(tomfishburne.com). Here's a recent cartoon of Tom's that captures the sentiment of a lot of people.

Thought I'd end the week before Memorial Day with someone else's cartoon for a change.

Enjoy. And enjoy the holiday.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Marketingeze Made EZ


Ah, the "agency capabilities presentation."

Such a fun ritual.

Who are we? What do we? Why are we different? Who have we done this with before? The bigger question in the room would be, "is the prospective client willing and able to pay for what we do? Do they even value what we do?"

A former ad agency colleague of mine had a favorite catchphrase when negotiating with prospective clients in the pitch mode, especially when the agency was asked by the prospective partner to "put together some ideas to see if we like what we do."
To them, GD would always intone to the team: "No romance without the finance."
Funny.

I have to agree. Spec work is pure evil. Nonetheless. We had a couple good client meetings/presentations this week. Good rapport. Excitement in the air. All signs point to "yes" around the chance to do compelling work for them.

What closed the deal? Must have been the agency's elevator pitch.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sound the Brand Alarm


I saw this in the hallway of the hotel I was staying in while in Stockholm. At first glance, I read it as "brand alarm," and thought "I'm not sure what it means and why it's there, but what a great way to capture the feeling many marketers are experiencing these days." Upon further inspection I realized there wasn't an "A" after the "D" so it was actually brand-larm. Nonetheless, how cool would it be for clients to have one of these at their disposal? Branding companies could be like a firehouse.

Think of it. Whenever a client had an emergency with their brand, they could sound an alarm that would ring, alerting branding professionals to the problem(how many times have we heard about clients needing to "put out fires?)

This would certainly come in handy these days, when most marketers are smelling a little smoke and could use help figuring out where it's coming from.


Monday, May 11, 2009

The Virtual Brainstomer

Welcome to an experiment.

Virtual Brainstormer is an extension of a workshop I did in December. I called the program Better Brainstorming in the Idea Economy. It's a culmination of probably a dozen years of traveling all over creation, brainstorming for pay for consumer products companies.


This is the first video of what I hope will be many. Some generated by me and my troupe. Some generated by others.


I hope you find it helpful.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shout™ is a stain remover, not a brand strategy Part 2


Absolut has never been a brand that's needed to shout at anyone. It created its own brand of cool with an iconic bottle and its own language(Absolut whatever). It aligned with creative thinkers, artists and cultural icons and created an aura that's lasted over two decades.

This is me several months back in Stockholm, Sweden. While working on a project for Absolut, I had the opportunity to visit the Ice Bar. A bar where literally the bar is made of ice and you drink Absolut from glasses made of, well, ice. A marketing gimmick or totally unique touchpoint that lets people engage the brand in a memorable way? All I can say is that I came back with an amazing story to tell and a shared experience that has transformed me into an evangelist for Absolut. Literally and figuratively, a cool way to experience the spirits brand. When brands get it right they don't need to shout to be heard.

Who else is doing something that projects the brand in an unexpected way? Who else out there is demonstrating the inherent value of creating shared experiences, and not simply shouting at people?

Cheers.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shout™ is a stain remover, not a brand strategy


Back in the day, selling was all about shouting. Shouting messages via television commercials, radio spots and splashy print ads powered by heavy media buys. Through sheer exposure and merciless repetition, brand messages would seep into the brains of the masses. Trouble is, it's not about mass media anymore. Nor is it about one-way selling. No, marketing isn't about selling, it's about sharing. Sharing information, opinions, important conversations, and tools that let people live more empowered lives.

In his article in Businessweek in 2007, "It's the Conversation Economy, Stupid," David Armano tells us that "one of the engines that is driving '2.0' growth is the fact that communities are forming around popular social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Ning, Twitter---the list goes on and on. These platforms facilitate conversations. Conversation leads to relationships and relationships lead to affinity. Brand affinity, as companies such as Harley-Davidson have proven often drives communities to form around them."

In other words, if your brand isn't a conversation, it's just more noise. Therein lies the problem. Based on what I see in advertising and on various websites, most brands couldn't carry on a conversation with a consumer if their lives depended on it. Just more buzzwords and worn out marketing-eze. Imagine for a minute that these brands were people you met at a cocktail party. You'd probably excuse yourself to the restroom in a matter of minutes.

Further on in his article, David Armano(darmano.typepad.com) proposes that all marketers should think of themselves as "conversation architects." A professional whose job it is to know the audience, build empathy and create conversations that can live on their own.

Gary Kopervas, conversation architect.


I like the sound of that. Now you try it next to your own name.

But remember, no shouting.




Friday, May 1, 2009

Get Your Sock On

Hey, another week in the books. Welcome the weekend with a big, wet, sloppy kiss or an awkward handshake (choice is yours). It's been another week of new business pitches, cranking on projects and follow up phone calls. These days weekends have really become a time to decompress, disengage and recharge the battery.

Go on. It's time. Shut 'er down, go home and enjoy yourself. Let's do this again on Monday.

G

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Activate or Evaporate

videoWe talk a lot about "brand activation" and being brand activators in the digital age. Question is, what does it mean? it means getting the right people in the room, pulling a problem apart in every direction like you see here, and then putting together what we discover into new ideas that activate interest, activate involvement and activate interaction. Here's a little glimpse into a recent activator session.

In today's environment, you have two choices. Activate. Or evaporate.

Seek new ideas, seek the next new promise or product, and let your Sharpies™ do the talking.

g


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Convergences


So, doing anything really unique at work?

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Running the regulatory gauntlet


Two things that aren't easy:

1) being green
2) getting product claims through FDA regulatory (See cartoon)

-gary

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunny and 80


It's sunny and in the 80s today. Time to leave the cave and get out.
Blogging can wait...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Can you keep a promise?


My 17-year old son wrote this note when he was five years old. I recently dug it out of an old scrapbook.

I will behave.
I will behave.
I will behave.

12 years ago, my wife asked him to sit down and write this after some mischief he got into. Perhaps talking back. Or acting up in school that day. He took out a pencil, and did as my wife asked. At the time, he was doing something that brand marketers do every day: creating a brand promise. A brand promise is an agreement or covenant between brands and the people it wishes to start a relationship with. "The ultimate driving machine," "Diamonds are forever," "When you care enough to send the very best," and "Made from the best stuff on earth." These are more than simply well-penned taglines. They're promises that companies can build a business around. They're the rock upon which you build your brand church.

Here's the catch. In order to be successful, you need to actually keep your promise. Today. Tomorrow. And for years to come. In fact, I've always subscribed to the definition that "a brand is a promise made consistently over time." You can't "claim" to be a brand, you must "demonstrate" you're a brand over time. You do this by creating a powerful promise that you know you can keep, and is deemed valuable by consumers.

So the question boils down to this: "how well can you keep your promise?" If it's an authentic promise that grows out of the DNA of your company, it'll probably be easier to keep. And besides, in today's digital branding world, a brand is only as good as its ability to keep the promises it makes. For in today's Age of Transparency, if a brand doesn't keep its promise, it's only a matter of before it makes the rounds on the Internet in blogs and chat rooms.


What does my son's note have to do with the creation of enduring, beloved brands? Simple. If you make a promise today, you should be able to keep it years from now. That is the essence of what makes a brand great. In my son's case, he is planning to attend his senior high school prom in a couple of weeks. A prom that includes a long weekend "after party" at the Jersey Shore. My wish is that by reminding him of the promise he made, he'll remember to live by it during his Prom weekend.

Hey, it was worth a shot.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Units and measures and metrics, oh my


Attended a panel discussion last night around the growth of online video in marketing. Units, metrics, measures delivered by people from Hulu, Tremor Media, WebMD, Point Roll and Digitas Health. Lots of talk around CPMs, CRTs and ROI.

I still have a headache this morning.

One encouraging note for me was that across the board, all the panelists reinforced a single idea: online media and the use of video are only as good as the content you create and the value that users attach to it. In other words, powerful brand stories, narratives and entertaining content drive the day. Another key point is that it's not easy to monetize the "next big thing" in video. Or as someone put it, "how do you monetize Susan Boyle or Paul Potts?" If you haven't seen these two from Britain's Got Talent fame, go check them out on YouTube. Their videos were viral blockbusters. Great stories of personal triumph, too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Finding the right wave


Sure, it's scary out there. Just ask my son standing on the beach at the Jersey Shore on this particularly gray day. It's alot like many of us feel right now about our business.

You can sit on the shore and wring your hands some more, or you can pick up your board, double-knot the string on your bathing suit, and get out there.

On the bright side, there are fewer surfers out on the water, so choosing a wave isn't as difficult as it usually is. It's less crowded right now, make it work for you.

So, what wave can your brand ride?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Leading edge of indecision


Down economies are bad for a lot of reasons. But one byproduct that keeps rearing its head lately is indecision. Frankly, when times are bad, the headscratchers, fencesitters and handwringers come out in force. There's this wicked inertia happening. It's been really hard to get anyone to make a decision and as a result projects are at a standstill (and worse, projected revenue from these projects are in jeopardy). I can easily understand why(limited dollars and resources), but frankly, it's the last thing you want to have happen when you're trying to build momentum and dig your way out of a hole. I think small teams that develop an actionable strategy, fill-in the right resources around it and then think creatively to get things done are in a better position to win. We're involved in a couple projects right now where out of necessity, small groups of client and agency teams are "hunkered in the bunker" collaborating aggressively, blending strategy and creative, and making decisions around projects that I personally think stand a great chance of being successful. More importantly, any one of these projects could serve as the first step in putting together a "string of wins" that could instill confidence in any team, and keep the momentum moving forward.

Do you have any ways of overcoming indecision within a group or a company that could help any of us?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Life happens fast. Take Kopius notes.



Like most people's lives, mine has gotten more hectic every day, and right now feels pretty top heavy with the demands of things to get done, places to be, work to complete, ideas to sell, pdf's to download, kids' games to watch, new contacts to make, checks to cut, and morning alarms to ignore.

Kopius Notes is my way of capturing the stuff that goes on in my day, in my life, and in my head. Along with the stuff that normally gets scribbled into my Moleskine notepad.