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Below are the most recent posts from across the Corante Network.

updated: January 18, 2007 - 3:23 PM

Dove's Campaign for Pro-Age

- WonderBranding: Marketing to Women

Dove Word is out that much-beloved Dove will launch the next phase of its Campaign for Real Beauty next month with the release of Dove Pro-Age, a collection of personal care products for the Boomer market.

According to a report in MediaPost, “Dove Pro-Age puts a more upbeat spin on the traditional "anti-" used to describe anti-aging products. It will target pre- and post-menopausal Boomer females, or women who might be growing age-conscious.”

While the line of 15 products will stand out with distinctive maroon packaging and ingredients often used in higher-end brands, the price will remain in the affordable $3-15 range.

What I can’t wait to see is the ad campaign... and the life it takes on via the Dove website.  Considering the surprising number of comments I’ve received on my post about the death of Revlon’s Vital Radiance, the Dove collection (backed by savvy marketing and merchandising brilliance) is sure to be a hit.

Category:

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #207: January 18, 2007

- NevilleHobson.com

Content summary: Coffee with crayon in Second Life; discussions prompted by listeners - a journalist who doesn’t care about reader feedback, engaging all employees within an organization, dealing with podcast catch up, the goal of the Microsoft/Edelman Vista blogger campaign; Terry Fallis podcasts his new novel; Dan York introduces his new blog and reports on RSS auto-discovery and the US social media presidential campaign; Marriott CEO starts blogging; IBM erases employee blog post and then puts it back; Skype founders launching internet TV service; Watson Wyatt starts social media practice; new FIR podcasts posted: interview with Lionel Menchaca, Direct2Dell, and ethics Skypecast; the music; and more.

[Messages from our sponsors: Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir. Online meetings made easy with GoToMeeting: try it free for 45 days - use promo code “Podcast”.]

Show notes for January 18, 2007

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 54-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Concord, California, USA.

Download the file here (MP3, 25MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon).

In This Edition:

FIR Show Notes links
Links for the blogs, individuals, companies and organizations we discussed or mentioned in the show are posted to the FIR Show Links pages at The New PR Wiki. You can contribute - see the home page for info.

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at fircomments@gmail.com; or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

So, until Monday January 22…

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)


© 2006 - visit the author for more great content.

Category:

Edwin Louis Cole on drowning

- acleareye.com

“You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”

Pickclick That quote sounds obvious, but obviously it's not.  Check out Zimmerman's Pick-N-Click-Ads.  This just blows my mind!  Here's some of the agency's web copy found under the link called "Strategy:"

"We've assembled a team of advertising professionals, each with over 25 years of automotive advertising experience, that have mastered the art of marketing strategy down to a science. Now, we're opening up the lab to you! Simply decide which of our focused strategies you'd like to employ and pick and click your way to sales success!"

Did you read that GM, Ford, VW, Audi, et al.?  Success is simply a "pick and click" away! 

Category:

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #207: January 18, 2007

- a shel of my former self

Content summary: Coffee with crayon in Second Life; discussions prompted by listeners - a journalist who doesn’t care about reader feedback, engaging all employees within an organization, dealing with podcast catch up, the goal of the Microsoft/Edelman Vista blogger campaign; Terry Fallis podcasts his new novel; Dan York introduces his new blog and reports on RSS auto-discovery and the US social media presidential campaign; Marriott CEO starts blogging; IBM erases employee blog post and then puts it back; Skype founders launching internet TV service; Watson Wyatt starts social media practice; new FIR podcasts posted: interview with Lionel Menchaca, Direct2Dell, and ethics Skypecast; the music; and more.

[Messages from our sponsors: Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir. Online meetings made easy with GoToMeeting: try it free for 45 days - use promo code “Podcast”.]

Show notes for January 18, 2007

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 54-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Concord, California, USA.

Download the file here (MP3, 25MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon).

Listen to this podcast now:

his Edition:

FIR Show Notes links
Links for the blogs, individuals, companies and organizations we discussed or mentioned in the show are posted to the FIR Show Links pages at The New PR Wiki. You can contribute - see the home page for info.

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at fircomments@gmail.com; or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

So, until Monday January 22…

Category:

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Ethics Skypecast: January 13, 2007

- NevilleHobson.com

Content summary: A special episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report features a Skypecast conducted on Saturday, January 13, addressing ethics in public relations and organizational communications with a focus on new media.

Show notes for the Ethics Skypecast:

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 55-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA; Wokingham, Berkshire, England; and several other points around the world including Nigeria, Hungary, and Canada.

Download the file here (MP3, 25.4MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon).

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at fircomments@gmail.com; or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)


© 2006 - visit the author for more great content.

Category:

FIR, crayon, and coffee

- a shel of my former self

Neville and I had our crayon shirts on this morning as we joined the first “coffee with crayon,” which will take place in the crayonville offices in Second Life every Thursday.

I counted about 20 or so participants talking about transparency, ethics, and disclosure, along with some general fun and socializing. It was 6 a.m. for me, but I had a cup of real coffee as my avatar sipped the virtual stuff. Join us next week.

image

Thanks for the snapshot, C.C.!

Category:

On the Subject of Generational Nonsense (Part 3)

- Ageless Marketing

When my daughter Stephanie was 7, she looked up from the comics one morning at breakfast and asked me to listen to her as she read the Calvin and Hobbes strip. It seems that Calvin was complaining to his imaginary tiger friend that “they” don’t name a generation “until you get really old – like 20.” Stephanie then said with a quizzical look on her face, “Daddy, I don’t understand....

Category:

20 Common Mistakes of Eager Leaders

- Brand Autopsy

Did you read the BusinessWeek sidebar article where Marshall Goldsmith, superstar executive coach and prolific author, shares common mistakes made by eager leaders? I did and I found them to all be thought-provoking. I also found the complete list inside the BusinessWeek website.

These 20 mishaps are culled from Goldsmith’s newest book, WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON’T GET YOU THERE. Good stuff. Enjoy …

20 Common Mistakes of Eager Leaders.Winning Too Much. The need to win at all costs and in all situations—when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.

2.Adding Too Much Value. The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.

3.Passing Judgment. The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.

4.Making Destructive Comments. The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.

5.Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However.” The overuse of these qualifiers, which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”

6.Telling the World How Smart We Are. The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.

7.Speaking When Angry. Using emotional volatility as a management tool.

8.Negativity. The need to share our negative thoughts, even when we weren’t asked.

9.Withholding Information. The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.

10.Failing to Give Proper Recognition. The inability to praise and reward.

11.Claiming Credit We Don’t Deserve. The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.

12.Making Excuses. The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.

13.Clinging to the Past. The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.

14.Playing Favorites. Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.

15.Refusing to Express Regret. The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.

16.Not Listening. The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.

17.Failing to Express Gratitude. The most basic form of bad manners.

18.Punishing the Messenger. The misguided need to attack the innocent, who are usually only trying to protect us.

19.Passing the Buck. The need to blame everyone but ourselves.

20.An Excessive Need to Be “Me.” Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they exemplify who we are.


*** NOTE: The following list was compiled and written by Marshall Goldsmith. ***
SOURCE: BusinessWeek article (sub. req'd) | Jan. 8, 2007

Category:

Marriott CEO blogs to engage with customers

- NevilleHobson.com

If you want another example of what a blog can potentially do for an organization’s outreach to its customers, look no further than Marriott on the Move, the new blog launched this week by Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO of hotel and hospitality company Marriott International.

In his introductory post on January 16, Marriott writes about what he hopes to achieve with his blog and concludes:

[…] Bottom line, I believe in communicating with the customer, and the internet gives me a whole new way of doing that on a global scale. I’d rather engage directly in dialogue with you because that’s how we learn and grow as a company. So tell me what you think, and together we’ll keep Marriott on the Move!

So far, nearly 50 people have told Marriott what they think through leaving comments.

There are a couple of things about this blog that are quite interesting.

First, the ‘About’ text makes it a welcoming place:

The purpose of this blog is to give you a forum to interact with Bill Marriott. We believe Marriott is more than just the world’s largest lodging company with nearly 3,000 hotels around the world. […] This blog allows us to hear from you and build on the community that we’ve nurtured for 80 years. We are delighted you have decided to visit us, and we will do our best to make it a valuable experience for you.

No heavy legal hurdles about rights and responsibilities and conditions for commenting.

Then there’s Marriott’s post itself. Lengthy and polished. My first thought was whether this was the result of some editing before it was published. Probably, but I believe the words are all Marriott’s rather than a ghost-writing job as this item in the Washington Post’s story about the blog indicates:

[…] He is dictating his entries into a tape recorder. A transcription will be placed on the Web, and audio of the entries will also be available. Though chief executives in other industries have blogs, some have been criticized as being just more corporate PR. But Kathleen Matthews, Marriott’s spokeswoman, insists: “This is going to be Bill Marriott’s blog. It’s not going to be the corporate blog. He’s going to decide what he wants to say.”

It’s early days of course, with only one post so far, but the approach to this blog by Marriott’s communicators looks to be a good one in terms of it being a means to develop effective engagement with customers in the long term.

The other example I mentioned at the beginning of this post? That’s FastLane, the GM corporate blog, where GM vice chairman and chief blogger Bob Lutz is on record with this statement about his company’s blog:

[…] We’re learning on the run, but now we have an unfiltered voice, a direct-line of communication. It has become indispensable.

Add Marriott to the list of CEOs with blogs who start out with ‘it can be done’ as their watchword.


© 2006 - visit the author for more great content.

Category:

The Package Speaks for Itself

- John Winsor

Pom I came home from a trip last night and stopped by my local Wild Oats to get some dinner. Being thirsty, I looked around to find something healthy to drink. While I drink a lot of green tea/juice mixes, I never know what brand I drink. They all look the same.

Well, last night, POM's Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea. Instead of the typical juice bottle POM comes in a glass. Two thoughts came to mind when I saw the glass. If you're old enough, you'll probably remember the Flintstone jelly jars. I have a fond place in my heart for the jars. Second, the glasses scream recycling. Not the kind of recycling you're probably thinking about - throwing it in the recycle bin. The recycling I'm talking about is really reusing.

While the unique POM package might have gotten me to buy the tea for the first time the great taste will keep me coming back for more.

Category: branding sustainability

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Ethics Skypecast: January 18, 2007

- a shel of my former self

Content summary: A special episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report features a Skypecast conducted on Saturday, January 13, addressing ethics in public relations and organizational communications with a focus on new media.

Show notes for the ethics Skypecast:

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 55:33-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and several other points around the world including Nigeria, Hungary, and Canada.

Download the file here (MP3, 25.4MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon).

Listen to this podcast now:

comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at fircomments@gmail.com; or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Category: for immediate release

updated: January 17, 2007 - 10:23 PM

Bill Marriott Joins The Blogosphere

- The Social Customer Manifesto

What do you do when you run one of the most-recognized hotel chains on planet Earth, and learn there's a better way to connect with customers and employees? If you're Bill Marriott, you start a blog. Marriott:

"I'm venturing into uncharted territory as I launch this blog. A year ago, I didn't even know what a blog was -- until my Communications team began telling me about all the blog traffic on travel and tourism. Now I know this is where the action is if you want to talk to your customers directly -- and hear back from them. Soon we'll add an audio version of the blog. That's how I'm most comfortable: telling stories and listening.

Blogging will allow me to do what I've been doing for years -- on a global scale. Talking to the customer comes easily to me. I visit 250 hotels around the world every year. This year I'll be traveling once again to China where we have 27 hotels, 16 under construction and many more in our development pipeline. At every hotel, I talk to associates, from housekeepers to general managers, to get their feedback. I call it "management by walking around." Like my parents, I value the input from our associates at all levels. I make lots of notes -- and my best ideas almost always come from our people in the field."

t on.

(hat tip: david gammell)

Category: newvoices

How to make an anthropologist nervous

- This Blog Sits at the

Gawker Recently, Gawker took aim at blogger cliches. 

  • Best ever!
  • not so much
  • OMG (Oh my God)
  • I just threw up a little bit in my mouth
  • yo!
  • seriously?
  • What's next, x?
  • um
  • wait for it
  • x made my eyes bleed
  • x is the new y

I have used some of these myself.  And I am glad to be reminded that I'm using remaindered language, with "best used by" dates nearing expiry.

Gawker readers commented on the advisory.

Gina Tapani says,

Oh, crap.  This means I actually have to think of original things to say now."   

Fuzzy_Duffel_Bag says,

I think I just shit in my pants a little. 

MattGaymon says,

This post made me throw up all over myself. 

Twizzlers for President says that the "X is the new Y" formula is

fun to use nonsensically, as in 'sweatpants are the new Kiera Knightley.'

What's odd is that many of the 85 commentators exhibit a cliche of their own. Many of them use those kooky, little monikers that became so fashionable in the internet world in the 1990s.

Thus we get comments from Worker #3116 and Karen UhOh, RayGunn, Little Mintz Sunshine, girlgeorge, smashteroid, and supastah.  (Only 15 of the 90 comments use the most literal choice: the author's name.) 

Here's what makes an anthropologist nervous.  At the very moment these people gather to participate in Gawker's snootiness, they expose themselves to snootiness.  (There is one magnificent exception, one that takes the smart-aleck formula and raises it to new heights: The Assimilated Negro.)

But how long can it be before Gawker blows the whistle on the banality of this naming convention?  When do they turn in their readers?  Would they dare?  Yo, just how much journalistic integrity does Gawker have? 

Category: anthropology of contemporary culture

FIR Interview - Lionel Menchaca, Direct2Dell: January 12, 2006

- NevilleHobson.com

In this edition of For Immediate Release podcast interviews, Shel and Neville enjoyed a 37-minute conversation with Lionel Menchaca, Digital Media Manager at Dell, the global computer systems manufacturer and vendor.

Our conversation included discussion about Dell customer service and addressing customer needs; the background behind the Direct2Dell blog; Lionel’s role with Direct2Dell and the role of the blog as part of broader customer engagement goals; keeping a finger on the pulse of the blogosphere; launch, evolution, experiences and learnings from Direct2Dell; plans for further developing customer engagement; advice for companies thinking about a corporate blog.

About our Conversation Partner

Direct2DellLionel Menchaca is the Digital Media Manager for Dell’s official blog, Direct2Dell He is charged with managing and expanding the reach of Dell’s blog, which currently attracts thousands of readers and serves well over a million page views per month.

Beyond the blog, he is part of a team that is responsible for coordinating digital media activities across the company. These initiatives all have one thing in common: to provide Dell’s customers a way to interact or communicate feedback to the company. He also serves as a technologist to help define the tools that enable the company to monitor and engage in conversations in the blogosphere.

An avid fan of computers and technology, he has over 15 years experience in the industry, most of which he has spent at Dell serving in a variety of technical and product roles. He has also worked at game developer Origin Systems.

He has a degree in Archeological Studies from University of Texas and lives in Round Rock, Texas with his wife Aileen and two children, Louis and Mia.

download for immediate release podcast

Download the conversation here (MP3, 17Mb), or sign up for the Interviews RSS feed to get it and future interviews automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as the free Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon. To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the twice-weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, sign up for the full RSS feed.

If you have comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future interviews, email us at fircomments@gmail.com; or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Podsafe intro music - On A Podcast Intrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)


© 2006 - visit the author for more great content.

Category: for immediate release

FIR Interview - Lionel Menchaca, Direct2Dell: January 12, 2006

- a shel of my former self

In this edition of For Immediate Release podcast interviews, Shel and Neville enjoyed a 37-minute conversation with Lionel Menchaca, Digital Media Manager at Dell, the global computer systems manufacturer and vendor.

Our conversation included discussion about Dell customer service and addressing customer needs; the background behind the Direct2Dell blog; Lionel’s role with Direct2Dell and the role of the blog as part of broader customer engagement goals; keeping a finger on the pulse of the blogosphere; launch, evolution, experiences and learnings from Direct2Dell; plans for further developing customer engagement; advice for companies thinking about a corporate blog.

About our Conversation Partner

Direct2DellLionel Menchaca is the Digital Media Manager for Dell’s official blog, Direct2Dell. He is charged with managing and expanding the reach of Dell’s blog, which currently attracts thousands of readers and serves well over a million page views per month.

Beyond the blog, he is part of a team that is responsible for coordinating digital media activities across the company. These initiatives all have one thing in common: to provide Dell’s customers a way to interact or communicate feedback to the company. He also serves as a technologist to help define the tools that enable the company to monitor and engage in conversations in the blogosphere.

An avid fan of computers and technology, he has over 15 years experience in the industry, most of which he has spent at Dell serving in a variety of technical and product roles. He has also worked at game developer Origin Systems.

He has a degree in Archeological Studies from University of Texas and lives in Round Rock, Texas with his wife Aileen and two children, Louis and Mia.

download for immediate release podcast

Download the conversation here (MP3, 17Mb), or sign up for the Interviews RSS feed to get it and future interviews automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a such as the free Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon. To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the twice-weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, sign up for the full RSS feed.

>Listen to this podcast now:

comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future interviews, email us at fircomments@gmail.com; or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Podsafe intro music - On A Podcast Intrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Category: for immediate release

Leo Burnett on marketing

- acleareye.com

"Fun without sell gets nowhere, but sell without fun tends to become obnoxious." Here's a great example of "plaid branding" using an upcoming Super Bowl ad, courtesy of our friends at AdPulp: K-Fed's "Rappin' Patty" On Superbowl Sunday The Wall Street Journal (paid sub. req.), in what may be a first for the paper, is running a piece on K-Fed.Nationwide Mutual Insurance has tapped Kevin Federline, soon-to-be ex-husband of pop star Britney Spears, to star in its 30-second Super Bowl spot, a move that guarantees the insurer acres of free publicity. The spot, which will run in the game's third quarter, is set up to look like a rap video featuring Mr. Federline, wearing a baseball cap and wireless headset. Among the lyrics he raps: "Ain't got no more time for Miss BS; and PS, now I'm rappin' patty. Yeah number one. With a shimmy shake too...lovin' that special sauce from me." As the camera pulls back, the punch line is revealed: Mr. Federline is seen working the drive-thru window at a fast-food joint. "Life comes at you fast. Be ready with a Nationwide annuity and you could be guaranteed income for life," a voiceover intones.

Category:

Interesting times

- Johnnie Moore's Weblog

I think we've barely scratched the surface of how networks could change the way we live our lives.

David Weinberger lists a few fascinating projects that use web technologies to enliven our politics. David says

Lots and lots going on, building an infrastructure of facts and relationships that is direclty valuable, but, perhaps even more important, will be the source for mashups and visualizations we haven't yet thought of.
Update: Jake Shapiro has some good coverage too.


Technorati tags:
Trackback URL: http://www.johnniemoore.com/mt/minotaur.cgi/1529
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Category: sunlight foundation blogs & networks politics

Thought for the day

- Johnnie Moore's Weblog

I quite often hear people calling for more more action and less talk.

Strangely, they have never done so in mime.


Trackback URL: http://www.johnniemoore.com/mt/minotaur.cgi/1530
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Category: facilitation

Airline Customer Follies, Episode #7,325

- The Social Customer Manifesto

United Airlines (via Joseph Jaffe):

"United - The Thinking Airline - has decided to drop snacks on flights less than 2 hours (which PS equals about 5 hours when you factor in travel and wait time)

According to the geniuses at United, they figure this move will save them $650,000 this year. I guarantee you they'll LOSE more than $650,000 with passengers that choose alternative airlines in the process."

American Airlines (via Mary Trigiani):
"Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, is a heavy piece of melodramatic fiction. Or so I thought. Then I was stranded two weeks ago in O'Hare Airport. I realized about six hours into my 18-hour ordeal that one of the themes of the book -- the decline of the railroad industry -- was coming to life before my very eyes. Only this time, it was an airline."

On the other hand, Shel Holtz calls Southwest one of his favorites.

Category:

Meet The Influencers

- the brand builder blog

Dave Armano, over at the super smooth Logic+Emotion blog points us to a fascinating piece written by Nilofer Merchant and published over at Marketing Profs about influencers and the mechanism by which they... well, influence others - and each other. Here's a bit from the piece (Five Ways to Develop a Dialogue with Key 'Influencers') that kind of sets the stage for the entire discussion: When you want to buy a new BBQ, whom do you ask? If you want to know which smartphone to buy, what blog do you read? And if you're looking for a school in which to enroll your child, whose advice do you seek? Those people you're calling, emailing, or reading—they're special... the alpha crowd: They are influencers. Not just one person or type, influencers are many people who form a unique profile. Parts of that profile are common across the entire group of influencers, and many are specific to the category we're talking about. So, the school advice might come from the BBQ expert, but probably not. In this Web 2.0 era of ready access to information everywhere, anytime, we've got a new class of people to whom business and marketing people can and should pay attention. Those of you old enough to remember, there was a time when you couldn't Google up information to find out what the opinion makers and advocates were thinking. Amazon didn't exist, so we couldn't see what others worldwide thought of a book and learn of its sales ranking. Instead, we had to go to places like churches or synagogues, grocery stores and book clubs, and ultimately hang around with neighbors to find out what "the news" was. That's because influencers were active, engaged members of local communities. They've always existed—opinion makers and opinion leaders. What's different now? Today they have a much bigger bullhorn available to them—it's called the Web. Where they once talked to 100 people in a month, they can now reach thousands or tens of thousands with a single click, comment, or ranking process. (...) These alpha influencers are the key to other customers' awareness, consideration, preference, and purchase. They advocate, rank, sort, evaluate, and ultimately create marketplace adoption. They come in the form of users, developers, channel partners, and press people. Many PR people have thought of influencers as "their audience" or writers, but influencers are way more than analysts and writers. They are ultimately the tip of the market. (...)Influencers are key conduits of information. (...) Influencers know many people and are in contact with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people in the course of a week. They have a powerful multiplier effect, spreading the word quickly across a broad network when they find something they want others to know about. (...) Four in ten have a connection to a professional association. This is a sign of their restless intellectual interests. Influencers continuously take input from what they see, hear, read, and keep turning it over in their mind for new insights and ideas. They are sometimes entrepreneurs. Influencers and alpha consumers are people who place importance on values: enduring love, knowledge, authenticity, stable personal relationships, learning, and freedom. When you can get them to pay attention to your offer/product/solution, you have the opportunity to shape the market. Read the rest of Nilofer's article here. He discusses ways in which companies can start a dialogue with influencers and reap the rewards of having an open line of communication with them, which is a good primer if you're new to this type of business thinking. David's piece on Logic+Emotion continues the discussion a little further. (Good stuff.) And the graphic is pretty cool to boot. (I guess I'm somewhere between a 3 and a 2, which is good to know.) Have a great Wednesday, everyone. PS: If you're in Greenville, SC tonight, be sure to swing by NGL's little shindig between 6pm and 8pm. (They're celebrating their move to their swanky new offices @ 16 north Main Street.)

Category:

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