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

Differentiating Brand Voice in an Age of Excessive Exclamation!!!

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 21, 2017 7:16:16 PM

Excessive Exclamation Points?!!!  Who? Me?  

I recently received a note expressing concern over my “overuse” of exclamation points: “You might want to reconsider your tendency to overuse exclamation points.” Overuse?  Overly emphatic?  Me?  OK.  Fair enough. Still, I requested an explanation. I wasn’t offended by the feedback.  I was just curious about the commentary.  I sensed a big discussion behind the advice. Alas, I received no reply. 

So I began to think about the meaining of my reader’s feedback.  I "might" want to reconsider my overuse of exclamation points?  Was this a complaint?  A soft recommendation?  Sarcastic criticism?  

At the end of the day, the use of exclamation points is about communicating tone.  And tone is largely a matter of taste—as in “there is no accounting for…”

For my part, when it comes to issues of usage and style, I tend to be rather pragmatic: Whatever works, I say!!!  

Still, tone is hard to determine in online communication.  But then that's the whole point: Communicating tone in digital media requires content writers rethink the traditional rules and tools of style--including the use punctuation to project meaning and tone.  Effective brand writing across digital channels is a complex issue, one that requires more than placing a ban on multiple exclamation points. Here's some issues to consider...

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Topics: Content Strategy, B2B Digital Marketing, B2B Brand Writing, Brand Voice, B2B Content Writing, Digital Marketing, B2B Branding,, 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

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

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