Tag Archives: strategy

who am i? (behind the scenes of a Personal ReBrand)

who am i?

why am i here?

Rebranding Strategy:

1) Background

MyBrandedLifeTM is a blog. It has been around for nearly 2 years. It used to be a fairly serious journal of a young advertising hopeful, which evolved into a snarkie tongue-in-cheek commentary on life in advertising. It has a readership of 500 – 600 locals every day, the most views for any given post being 2 000 in one day (ie. very niche & can thus afford to ‘be specific’). Currently the author is going through a series of major life-changes which have forced her to reassess ‘why she even bothers’.

2. Competitors

The author has no real direct competitors, but loads of indirect competitors, including ‘real life’ which threaten to take away her readers. The author’s innate ‘sense of optimism’ also competes with her ‘snarkie insight’ in a never-ending ‘internal struggle’, except the author knows that nobody likes to read ‘positive, uplifting garbage’.

3. Unique Selling Proposition

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To be continued.

first idea bounty winner

i wrote about idea bounty a while back. i think i gave it an extravagant write up. best thing since sliced bread etc. well it seems they walk the talk, and have just paid up $2 500 to a planner at BBDO Paris. which makes me feel a little jealous. half of me – the half that’s been exploited for my ideas by market research companies for the past 4 years – didn’t believe they would actually pay up. but now that i see they do, i’m on top of their next brief quicker than you can say “Mow The Lawn!”

also, here’s a super cool interview with the dude who won.

See? Your good ideas can make you rich.

See? Your good ideas can make you rich.

why is vodacom’s Summer Loving ad such a success?

All the boys and all the girls want to If You Seek Amy.

"All the boys and all the girls want to If You Seek Amy."

because deep down inside, every woman wishes she was Sandy, and every guy wishes he was the character that John Travolta played. Danny? deep stuff. consumer insight 101. makes me want to reconsider what strategy means to me. sometimes i think strategy – a process put in place to safeguard a brand’s image – can inflict some sort of body dysmorphia on the brand it’s supposed to be working for.

i’ll bet the vodacom meerkat was right on strategy, even though it destroyed a nation’s hopes and dreams, stole our collective democratic innocence and obliterated our basic understanding of what separates right from wrong. sometimes i think we should do a little less thinking and building of complicated charts and do a little more feeling. a little more basic observations. a little more ‘duh’.

How to tell if you’re in control of strategy ie. strategy is not in control of you:

Place the word ‘duh’ behind your observations / positioning statements / SWAT analyses / consumer promise. if the sentence makes sense, then you’re in control of strategy, not the other way round. for example:

Statement 1: Everyone wants to be Sandy and Danny in Grease. Duh. Brilliant. Makes complete sense.

Statement 2: Consumers do not know what they need until you tell them they need it to assauge their lack of brand alignment with target focus of the specified demographic that the product fulfills like no other. Duh. Makes no sense at all.

You could hide the lack of sense making in a strategic diagram or chart. This is a dark art. Does anyone know who the hippest strat chart producer is at the moment? Success of your chart depends very much on whether your powerpoint producer is flavour of the month. my advice to you would be to insist on working with ‘the Timbaland of .ppt’ and accept no less. there is no point in compromising when it comes to charts. you’ve got to ask yourself whether you want to play in the big leagues or not.

Does this make you feel alive? Blame it on the boogie.

Does this make you feel alive? Blame it on the boogie.

CiBiPi - i think ive found the name for my new electro label.

CiBiPi - i think i've found the name for my new electro label.

My brain is round and swirly like a shell. I am smart, you should do everything i tell you to do.

My brain is round and swirly like a shell. I am smart, you should do everything i tell you to do.

I have used a lot of green because i love animals.

I have used a lot of green because i love animals.

This last chart contains the secrets to the universe. Do not let it get into the hands of those who cannot control their powers ie. Sylar.

This last chart contains the secrets to the universe. Don't show Sylar.

wow. totally got distracted by some riveting charts. i was thinking of blowing a few of these up to A2 and getting them block mounted in my house. anyway, well done to whomever made the decisions on Summer Loving. that police lady shaking her boobies was the best thing to happen to my TV since i stopped watching TV way back in the late nineties.

anybody feeling a hostile vibe from the ANC these days? have they got collective piles?

not sure about y’ulle but i find it weird that the ANC is sueing the new party because of some lame name issue. i mean it’s not like the ANC has consulted anyone on it because if they did they would see that anyone can use the word ‘congress’ because it’s a free country. did someone run an online name check on CIPRO’s site? do we have to spend tax payer money on this? namechecks only take a few days. because i’d really prefer it if the ANC spent money on recovering all the money their departments have lost over the past year. ANC just seems like one of those CEO wives who doesn’t know how her husband makes his money so she spends it all and then next thing they’re eating dog food out the can.

of course the flip side of this is that the ANC giving all this attention to the new party which is cool, because at least people will finally see that all the ANC does is make a lot of noise about how everyone’s out to get it, and maybe people will consider voting for the new party because of all the free PR the ANC’s been giving it. looks like the new party’s smarter than anyone anticipated. great launch strategy. who’s the planning team on the new party, anyone know?

Heard the ANC is using new media to reach the tech-obsessed generation.

Heard the ANC is using fancy new media techniques.

srsly though guys, does anyone still have faith in the ANC?

even after everyone walked out on it? even after they keep saying all this dumb stuff in the media? even after that fat guy who works for them fell off a chair in the middle of the internet? not really feeling the ANC vibe anymore. they used to have this cool brand that was all about liberation and equal rights and now i’m getting some desperate whiffs of Microsoft. next thing you know they’ll be making cheap MP3 players and really bad ads for them that employ cheap slow motion techniques and squirting.

desperate never comes across as cool. voting for the ANC would be like dating one that ex boyfriend who tells you how he’s gonna kill himself without you. it’s just lame. it’s icky. you wish they would find someone else to obsess over so you can get on with cancelling your relationship on facebook.

The new ANC letterhead. Wonder which design agency they used. I like the bold use of colour. Shows theyre an organisation thats not afraid to innovate.

The new ANC letterhead. Wonder which design agency they used. I like the bold use of colour. Shows they're an organisation that's not afraid to take design risks.

***************************SO IN ANY CASE*******************************************

would love to sit down and have a bit of a brainstorm with the new party. you know, throw around some ideas for where they see their brand going. get some mood boards up, maybe do a few logo options. i’m thinking something with a concept behind it, something that will clean up at all the awards shows. maybe we do a spot UV, maybe we do some injection molding. wonder if they’ve given any thought to what kind of impression they want their business cards to leave. i’d imagine it to be something like ‘Don’t worry, we ain’t going Zim on you, all the smart ANC people have joined us, it’s gonna be fine’ would be a good vibe for them.

don’t mind taking the job on proactively either, as long as they don’t mind me entering it into the D&AD Oneshow Loerie Eagle Awards. I mean, screw the rest of the awards shows, that’s the only one that really counts.

Sneak preview of the new ANC packaging. As you can see, they have tweaked the logo a bit, to appeal to Generation Y no doubt. Digging the new font, too.

Sneak preview of the new ANC packaging. As you can see, they have tweaked the logo a bit, to appeal to Generation Y no doubt. Digging the new font, too.

book review: Design – a Tom Peters essential

my mom bought me this book. she doesn’t work in design and never has so she is forgiven. I’ve been reading it to get some outsider perspective on design for a job I’m working on.

Even though Tom believes design is at the heart of business, he doesnt seem to think people judge a book by its cover. Which is why he designed it himself. In PowerPoint.

Even though Tom believes design is at the heart of business, he doesn't seem to think people judge a book by its cover. Which is why he designed it himself. In PowerPoint.

The Economost calls him ‘The Uber-Guru’, so he must be worthy of some sort of worship. His writing, not so much. The content is not that bad – his sentiment is actually good. He elaborates on Design being the new currency, the only point of differentiation in business these days. Which is true.

But the fact that every second word is either bold or in italics serves to only emphasise my slight stigmatism.  It’s filled with little boxes that says things like “We are A-L-L designers”. Tom likes to spell things out. To help you see what I mean I have taken some photos.

I think what Tom is trying to do is emphasise the word all. He really means it.

I think what Tom is trying to do is emphasise the word "all". He really means it.

Just in case you thought it said Things that make me rad. R-A-D.

Just in case you thought it said "Design is why I get rad. R-A-D."

Take note all you young uns who spell this word L-U-V.

"Take note all you young 'uns who spell this word L-U-V."

Tom also uses quite a few inverted commas, which results in me wondering just what it is he R-E-A-L-L-Y M-E-A-N-S.

Is he referring to something else by putting dreams in inverted commas? Is this a code? What could dreams stand for? Is Tom being ironic? After a good 10 minutes thought along these lines, i finally turned the page. Defeated.

Is he referring to something else by putting dreams in "inverted commas"? Is this a code? What could "dreams" stand for? Is Tom being ironic? After a good 10 minutes thought along these lines, i finally turned the page. Defeated.

If someone asked me who I was, I would naturally think they were referring to who I am these days. But now Toms pulling a fast one on me again - should one be thinking about who one was, or who one is yet to be, when one is asked the question, Who are you? Have I been answering this question wrong all along, telling people I am a writer from Cape Town when I should be telling them about one of my other lives as a slave in borneo? Will anyone ever really know the answer to this question?

If someone asked me who I was, I would naturally think they were referring to who I am - these days. But now Tom's pulling a fast one on me again - should one be thinking about who one was, or who one is yet to be, when one is asked the question, "Who are you?" Have I been answering this question wrong all along, telling people I am a design writer from Cape Town when I should be telling them about one of my other lives as a slave in borneo? Will anyone ever really know the answer to this question?

The following page stopped me in my speed-reading tracks. My twitching eyes were drawn to a US Marshall’s sheriff badge. What could that possibly be doing in here? I wondered. And then I read the words underneath the badge.

Design cops! What a brilliant I-D-E-A! I feel inspired. I suspect they might do the kind of job a Creative Director might do, but its the cop part Im so down with. Im considering getting a badge for my boss to wear.

Design cops! What a brilliant I-D-E-A! I feel "inspired". I suspect they might do the kind of job a Creative Director might do, but it's the cop part I'm so down with. I'm considering getting a badge for my boss to wear.

I don’t think I could with good conscience recommend this book. The layout and design alone might take your genetic predisposition to epilipsy and turn it into a thriving condition. I do, however, appreciate Tom Peters’s passion for and belief in design as the way forward for business, even though I wonder why a designer wasn’t employed to make the book walk the walk. Hell, what am I saying. They probably did have a designer, but he was just so damn scared of those design cops that this was the best they could get out of him once they’d managed to coax him out of his lift shaft hidey hole.

twitter users, as defined by Jeremiah Owyang

“Twitter is for the highly engaged, early-adopter, pro-technology user. This is the ‘influence’ community, meaning they will shape the direction of others in each of their respective lives. It’s highly likely that these users participate in other forms of online publishing and communication like blogging, Facebook, or use mobile activity. In short, it’s the ‘coolkids’ of the webspace, and yes, that includes John Edwards.”

as you may be able to tell, i’m spending a lot of time on Jeremiah’s site. for the full article, click here.

night time brainstorm at the office

we got our grasses in to help us brainstorm a new product the other day. it was for an alcohol brand, and to get people thinking with their senses as well as just their brains we got all sorts of fruit flavours, savoury flavours, scents and visual stimulation and just put them out everywhere. we also got crayons and pencil crayons and pastels and paint and lots of paper and even some glitter glue.

ruth sticking stuff up

we got to taste 2 new products – as of yet nameless and without a brand, which is kind of weird, a bit like engaging with a person who has no name. well not really. then we got to brainstorming what we would call it and what we thought it tasted like and what our ideal drinks would taste like and what kind of bottle in would come in. we had some sushi breaks and drank more wine and ended up taking the best of everyone’s ideas and combining them to create… durn durn durn… our collective ideal drink. it sounds like a nightmare to execute, but it turned out surprisingly well, even though it was a bunch of consumers designing a drink. it’s rather refreshing to do this kind of thing with people who don’t work in advertising and brands every day. their thinking is generally clearer and just quite simple. which is exactly what we aim for but tend to spend so much time mucking around with. some pics of the evening:

2 of our lady grasses and priscillaconsumers getting involved with a fantasy brandmore consumer creativitypriscilla, ruth and shirley

Intern Jackie and Portiamy scribblesportia's scribblesserena on the swing (yes we have a swing)for the cameracleaning up at about 10.30 pm