The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
In my brand consulting work I have witnessed two:
1. Great marketers are decisive.
They understand the importance of action and do not risk outcomes with a slow moving reaction. Decisive action is often an ally in gaining a competitive advantage in your marketplace.
Napolean was very clear on the importance of action on the battlefield – “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”
Let me further make my point on decisiveness with a quote from John F. Kennedy – “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen. “ Indeed great marketers make things happen.
2. Great marketers see comfort zones as a dangerous place.
They stay in evolution mode, constantly working to be better stewards of their brand. They welcome situations of challenge. Look at the resumes of leading marketers – they actively chose positions where they find challenge.
For 50 marketers that are focused on a path to great marketing, The Blake Project and Branding Strategy Insider have designed a uniquely powerful experience around brand strategy. We call it The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World.Read More
Like intention, authenticity and energy cannot be faked. If you’re telling a story you don’t believe in, your audience will sense it instantly. They’ll feel it and act on that feeling, even if they can’t justify their feeling in words. The good news is that they will pick up just as instantly on your genuine enthusiasm and conviction. You don’t need to stand on your head or shout or sing to show that your passion is real. You just need to let yourself feel it instead of suppressing it. Authentic energy is contagious. If your story truly excites you, and you let that excitement show, it will resonate with your audience.
How do you convey energy or enthusiasm for a product if the product’s not so great, or if you’re number three or four in the market? Unfortunately, for many businesspeople, that’s reality. But it’s not an in- surmountable problem. The trick is to find something about the product or service that does excite you, even if it’s something as small as the color of the item or the look of the service’s website. Then focus on the aspect of your story that makes you feel genuinely enthusiastic.
One of the most high-octane advocates of telling to win that I know of in any business is Mark Burnett (pictured on his show The Voice), who pioneered reality television. Since 2001 Burnett has been nominated for forty-eight Emmy Awards— for series such as Survivor, The Apprentice, The Contender, Martha Stewart, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, and The MTV Awards. Because Mark has turned personal enthusiasm into career rocket fuel, I wanted him to discuss this element of the tell with my UCLA grad students.
Burnett was even more emphatic than I’d expected in stressing the role of passion in the telling of business stories. “Our success or failure is determined by our level of energy,” he said flatly. “I tell my people, ‘Much more than our creativity, our level of energy inspires the people around us.’ ”Read More
Change is hard. That’s why the future can look so much like the past. And why brands and the marketers who manage them often lose their edge. For those marketers who see comfort zones as a dangerous place, we have designed a very unique experience around brand strategy.
No Attendees. Only Participants.
The best pathway for learning is through participation, Not observation. The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World will challenge your thinking about brands and brand management. And will put you in a unique competitive-learning environment on a team of 10, competing and learning with other marketers from around the world.
October 16th and 17th, this small, progressive group of brand marketers will gather together with legendary marketer John Sculley and the Senior Partners of The Blake Project to create a one-of-a-kind learning and networking experience dedicated to all aspects of building successful brands for the 21st century.
Intensive, fun and illuminating, The Un-Conference will equip you with the insight, tools and techniques required to release the full potential of your brand in a new era where consumers drive and own the conversation about brands.
Taking out-of-the-box Out of the cliché’ pile
After too many marketing conferences blurred together I asked myself where is the brand differentiation in the marketing conference space? Problem solved. Unlike every marketing conference offered today and any you have ever experienced, The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World is founded on an out-of-the-box concept that centers on creating the highest outcomes. Your outcomes. Breaking free from yesterday’s marketing conference format is the only way to get there.
Consider this:Read More
Lovemarks theory is based on a simple premise: human beings are powered by emotion, not by reason.
This is the essence of the Lovemarks argument. If you want people to take action—whether for something momentous, like voting for a president, or seemingly mundane, like buying one brand of facial tissues over another—you need to appeal to their emotions.
Neurologist Donald Calne perhaps said it best: “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.”
How can we create the kind of appeal that makes people feel inspired or laugh or cry? First, we must realize that brands don’t just get it by asking. They start by giving love, demonstrating that they love the people who buy them. The sea change comes when brands stop thinking about their customers as “them” and start thinking about “us.” When marketers make this change, they start rewarding their customers every day with brand experiences that have special resonance in three key areas: mystery, sensuality, and intimacy.
Of all the potential aspects of emotional resonance, perhaps none is more important than the sense of mystery that comes from great storytelling. Annette Simmons, an expert in storytelling, puts it precisely: “When you tell a story that touches me, you give me the gift of human attention—the kind that connects me to you, that touches my heart and makes me feel more alive.”
Stories have huge value in business as well. They look in the right direction: at people. You cannot tell a story without characters and emotion and sensory detail. Even the dumbest chicken-crossing-the-road jokes have it. And stories capture us faster than the most elaborately produced annual report.
Sensuality is another aspect of emotional engagement that too many brands ignore. Lovemarks ask, “What does our brand smell like, taste like, look like, sound like, and feel like?” These are not easy questions, but the best brands find answers. If they are not in the food or perfume business, most marketers don’t immediately think that taste or smell are relevant. But taste and smell are surefire ways to stretch your brain about your brand. Walk through any mall in America and you can smell Hollister from a mile away (you can hear it at a slightly shorter distance), it is also the only store that actually invades the corridor space with its red-tiled porch. Hollister gets sensuality.Read More