Virtual Reality is Changing Business

Posted by Denis McInerny on May 5, 2017 9:56:37 AM

Virtual reality is already having a big impact on marketing in 2017...

The demand for virtual reality experiences is growing — companies like Facebook, Samsung, & Google are largely invested in the future of the technology. With the rise of Mobile solutions, widespread use of VR isn’t dependent upon top-of-the-line head-mounted displays (HMDs for short). Thanks to the accessibility of smartphones, average consumers can now get in on the VR fun — and marketers should be paying attention.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Brand Identity, Brand Strategy, virtual reality

Less Logos: The Shift from Brand Logos to Brand Stories

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 26, 2017 6:27:39 PM

Less Logos: The Shift from Brand Logos to Brand Stories

On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs, the legendary boss of Apple computers, addressed the students of Stanford University: “I am honored to be with you at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.”

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Topics: Brand Identity, Brand Story, Brand Development, Brand Strategy

Brand Marketing’s Double Bind: To Stand Out, Brands Must also Fit In.

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 18, 2017 4:00:46 PM

Brand Marketing’s Double Bind: To Stand Out, Brands Must also Fit In.   

At its core, brand strategy is all about highlighting the differences that define the unique value of an organization, its products, and its services.  Yet branding is not only about being different.  Branding also involves a degree of what we might call sameness:  While striving for difference, brands must conform to norms that make them accessible and familiar to target audiences.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Brand Writing, Digital Marketing, Brand Identity, Brand Development, Brand Strategy

Does Your Brand Pass the Swag Test?

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 11, 2017 6:02:28 PM

The Swag Test:

To evaluate the impact of your brand, consider the swag test.  Offer potential or existing clients a hat or some other bit of wearable swag that bears your brand.  Would they wear it like a John Deere hat?  If you don't have the necessary swag, don't worry. The following questions also work as a useful thoughtg experiment: 

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Topics: Differentiators, Brand, B2B Branding,, Brand Identity, Brand Development, Branding

Why Brand Value Can Matter Most When it Doesn't Seem to Matter at All.

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 11, 2017 5:03:49 PM

Shakespeare's Juliet famously argues that names don't matter:  "What's in a name?  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In other words, calling a rose by any other name--whether a "dandelion" or "doughnut"--won't change the way the flower effects our sense of smell.  Juliet's line presents a classic take on the arbitrary character of names.  Names are nothing more than human inventions that refer to real things.  As such, names obviously don't change the reality of things themselves.  It's common sense.

Then again, what we call a "dollar bill" is more than a piece of paper. The Mona Lisa is much more than a bunch oil paint smeared on an old canvas.  While names are aribitrary, they are not trivial.  Things are things, but names and labels shape how we experience the meaning of these things. I don't know about roses, but a car by another name can be in fact feel much sweeter.  

So what's in a Brand?  A lot.

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Topics: Automated Sales, Brand, B2B Content, B2B Brand Writing, Brand Style Guide, Brand Identity, Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Automotive Industry

What Band is Your Brand?  Pop Icons Provide a Language for Brands.

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 7, 2017 3:28:54 PM

 

Brand Archetypes are nothing new.  That's the problem.  They need a refresh. 

Marketers have long used mythical archetypes to fashion brand stories.   Mythic archetypes appeal to the values of audiences by explaining how a brand enables participation in a heroic story.  For instance, in an article for the Content Marketing Institute, Bryan Rhoads explains that the archetypal “Overcoming the Monster” story line follows a prototypical “David vs. Goliath” structure that places customers as the quintessential “underdogs” in a fight against a “larger evil”: 

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Topics: B2B Brand Writing, Brand Voice, B2B Branding,, Brand Identity, Brand Archetypes, Brand Story, Brand Development

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