Posts Tagged ‘new’
In a recent post (that began with our anticipation for the start of Mad Men season 6, which by the way, was as good as we wanted it to be), we talked about the importance of going beyond the â€śclickâ€ť (or â€śLikeâ€ť) to develop brand stories that create authentic engagement with customers.
There is no longer (if there ever was) a linear path between awareness, acquisition, loyalty, and retention.Â With our access to information, all of these decisions and actions are happening in real-time, so we need to keep customers (and potential customers) engaged all the time.
The brands that best go â€śbeyond first clickâ€ť have done more than good social media. They have changed the core of how they approach marketing. They plan and execute a content strategy – thinking like creators, rather than like advertisers. They are creating content that builds a single brand story, across all platforms, in the real and digital worlds, in a way that appears seamless to the consumer.
Those that are braving this new approach have had a lot to overcome.Â In our last postÂ we noted the organizational challenges.Â But building a content strategy is also challenging for how marketers think about their business.Â Â Advertising goes in campaigns, and there are planning and review and revision and execution times. Â Content doesn’t – content is 24/7, a relentless beast that needs to be fed consistently.
To feed the beast, marketers have to live with imperfection and uncertainty more than ever before.Â They need to be making new, relevant and interesting content all the time, every day, related to what their brand stands for, and what their brand is doing. Â When faced with creating content, we all wonder what to say, and how to make sure what weâ€™re creating is good enough. The real challenge with a content strategy isnâ€™t so much that the beast needs to be fed, itâ€™s more about overcoming the fear of our ability to create, uncertainty about what works, and doubt about whether anyone is listening. The cool part about this new world of content strategy is that we have the opportunity to see over time what people find compelling, what breaks through and what might actually motivate customers to act.
There are FIVE THINGS to think about when cooking up food for the beast:
1.) You are making content so people will not only engage with it but share it, and that means it has to have value for them – so make it FOR them rather than ABOUT you.
A great example is the latest from the Dove Real Beauty campaign:
2.) Variety is more important than consistency â€“ you never know what will get peopleâ€™s attention.
3.) Some of the most engaging content is not professionally produced â€“ the bar is high for whatâ€™s compelling, but lower than you think for how itâ€™s made.
4.) Creating something quickly that reflects/comments/plays off of current events can make your brand relevant, even when a connection isnâ€™t obvious.
5.) And most importantly, donâ€™t try to do everything yourself â€“ the best case scenario is to involve your customers in creating content about your brand, and then finding ways (and confidence) to use what they create.
The book on best practices in content strategy is being written right now by brands that are brave enough to open their minds to what and where great content can come from.Â One of the best examples of content strategy as marketing strategy is coming from GoPro. Â Yes, they create cameras â€“ a product that lends itself to storytelling a bit easier to content than foot cream or socks. Â But they recognize how valuable content is, whether they create it or their customers do. Â Instead of shying away from that “non-premium user-generated stuff”, they encouraged it. Â They are engaging their customers to participate in building the story of the brand, which is therefore building their brand authentically based on how customers use their products (rather than a set of proof points and details, like we might see in an ad campaign).
The content beast is here, and here to stay as one of the primary ways to authentically connect with your customers, cut through the noise and go beyond the â€śclickâ€ť.Â Itâ€™s up to you to decide if your brand is willing to feed the beast, even if it requires an approach to marketing that is a little scary, and a little uncomfortable. What can you do in 2013 to build the story of your brand through content that will engage your customer, rather than simply trying to persuade them through advertising?
Deirdre Davi, Sterling Strategy
Our own Debbie Millman is set to give a riveting talk at theÂ Type Directors Club this May!
Debbie’s presentation, On Failure (or how the worst moments of your life can turn out to be the best – and visa-versa) is a funny and heartbreaking tale of making it (or not) in New York. The presentation begins in early 2003 when a good friend sent Debbie Millman an email with a subject line that read: Begin drinking heavily before opening… click here to read more and get your ticket to the event<<
The first use of “lipstick on a pig” was in 1985 when theÂ The Washington Post quoted a San Francisco radio host remarking “that would be like putting lipstick on a pig” in reference to plans to refurbish Candlestick Park (rather than constructing a new stadium for the San Francisco Giants). In more recent days, it’s an often used line among US politicians (in fact Dick Cheney called it “his favorite line” in a speech made in Colorado).Â Regardless of the situation, per Urban Dictionary, it refers to trying to make something or someone look appealing or attractive when it quite clearly will not.
Is perhaps a fresh coat of paint the new lipstick?
Iâ€™m talking about the â€śnew Americanâ€ť, American Airlineâ€™s rebranding effort in the wake of the USAir merger. Per Americanâ€™s site, â€śweâ€™ve changed our look on the outside to reflect the progress we’ve made on the inside, revealing our new logo and the refreshed exterior of our planes.â€ťÂ The problem is, theyâ€™ve revealed the â€śnew Americanâ€ť with a coat of paint (and a new website), without having done anything to remedy the product and service problems of the â€śold American.â€ťÂ Â Yes, I know itâ€™ll take time, but they boast about all of their new planes, and I have yet to see one.Â And while their website says their flight attendants will have new uniforms, it says nothing about providing a better service experience. In fact, flying from San Francisco to New York last week, my experience of the â€śnew Americanâ€ť consisted of a laughably old plane, torn seat pockets and cranky, disinterested flight attendants.Â Nothing â€śnewâ€ť here.
While I could muse for a while about the deplorable state of air travel in the US, thatâ€™s not what this is really about. Itâ€™s about misuse of brand strategy as â€ślipstickâ€ť or a â€ścoat of paintâ€ť â€“ assuming that if you say you are great, people will believe you. Brand strategy is meant to direct what you do (and what you donâ€™t do) and how you do it.Â A brand is most powerful (and credible) when it is baked into all touchpoints – when itâ€™s real and tangible for your audience. And itâ€™s just so much more powerful when your strategy is the â€śresponseâ€ť you get from your customers after exposing them to the strategy in action rather than something you tell them in words or visuals.
And since we were on the subject earlierâ€¦ Go Giants!
Sara Schor, Sterling Strategy
We’re proud to introduce…
Sterling Brands was brought in to develop outstanding premium packaging graphics that elevate the new HĂ¤agen-Dazs Gelato line without compromising the master brand.
Inspired by iconic Italian premium products outside the frozen dessert category, Sterling designed a sleek black and gold pack that exudes super-premiumness. Sterling maintained HĂ¤agen-Dazs’ existing base photography style to highlight the authenticity and thoughtfully crafted indulgence that goes into HĂ¤agen-Dazs’ ingredients, which are truly like no other.
We’re happy to announce that our design for HĂ¤agen-Dazs Limited Edition Ice Cream was recently featured in the Brand Packaging Design Gallery!
NestlĂ© Dreyers challenged sterling to redesign the HĂ¤agen-Dazs brand portfolio to be more relevant to todays consumer, while maintaining its aspirational and super-premium equity for any, discerning ice cream fan. Â See how we rose to the design challengeÂ Here.
Click Here to see all the great designs featured in the gallery.
Tune into the podcast thatÂ Creative Bloq named one of their 10 Favorite Design Podcasts!
This week, Debbie welcomes Jake Barton of Â Local Projects — Airing this Friday at 3pm!Â Click here for this and all 2012 season’s episodes.
Jake Barton is founder and principal of Local Projects, an award-winning media design firm for museums and public spaces. Barton is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces, and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content.