Monday, 25 April 2011

Old Spice "Woman": Short-Term Laughs, Long-Term Gain ?

Can your Brand DO standup comedy?

Getting people to laugh is probably even harder than getting them to buy. To me “to make someone laugh is to disarm them.” Deciding to buy is as much a release of tension as laughing, especially when people aren’t buying on the basis of need alone.

People may watch a comedian expecting to laugh, but they still need to be disarmed and won over. It’s a competitive environment, just like business. What does a comedian say after he leaves the stage with the audience cheering? “I killed ‘em out there.” What does a great salesman say after a fantastic quarter? “I made a killing in the market.”

Brands have to do more than just meet expectations; they have to penetrate the built-in resistance to commit. That energy and insight has to be supplied by the performer, not the audience.

Good branding and design, like good comedy, is often the art of sacrifice. You are defined by who and what you’re not for, thus freeing you to excel within the audience that gets you.

Innovation, like comedy, is a messy, often counter-intuitive business. It’s an iterative loop of creation, feedback, revision, rejection, and creation again. Used correctly, research fuels the understanding that leads to real breakthroughs. In the wrong hands, it all but assures the death of originality.

So, I killed some frogs here, but if one more good idea sees the light of day, perhaps they did not die in vain.

When it comes to innovation, the customer is rarely right. At least, they’re rarely right about what they want next. Businesses run on process, and the traditional market research process of concept testing is indeed an efficient process: Nothing kills ideas faster than concept testing. That doesn’t mean research has no place in innovation development; the key is to use it to understand, not to evaluate.

A comedian doesn’t ask the audience what the next joke should be about, he has the skill to tell them. Great comedians are tremendously astute observers of human beings. They know how people think, what experiences we have in common, and how to direct (or misdirect) our attention. They have to be ahead of their audience, but not so far ahead that they baffle us instead of amusing us. Similarly, the best market research is aimed at understanding how customers interact with a given product category, not asking them what should come next.


Atul Sikrai

Chief Mentor & Founder

Brand Daigonal.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Topsy-turvy, hurly-burly Tactics!

The normal business process is to have a product, start looking for prospects, and make the sale. Guess What? Normal businesses also don't work very well!

Let's turn business upside down!

If you would really love to have a radical change in your business, you are going to have to make some radical changes in your methods.

One definition of insanity that I feel is especially appropriate for business owners to understand is, "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting to receive different results."

If you continue to run your business in a "normal" way, you will always be limited to "normal" results.

If you want to have "exceptional" results in your business, you are going to have to put "exceptional" methods to work for you.

If you are like 99% of internet marketers I know, I will venture to bet that you have a web site & product and that your biggest problem is building the traffic to your site. I will also bet you aren't making very many sales!

What happens if we turn this process upside down?

What happens if we choose to find the prospects a relationship with them...and then find a product that they Dream about?

Everybody online appears to have a product. How many of them have an audience?

It is kind of funny...I always have people coming to me that they have an awesome product they want to sell to the world. They just can't get anyone to visit their site.

I rarely ever have anyone saying, "I have too much traffic and I just don't know what to sell." When they come to me. I can guarantee you that those people are the easiest people in the world to help.

If you have the traffic, all you have to do is ask them what they want. Then, find it for them.

If you have a product, we have to figure out a way to get traffic to your site, set up the sales process, and start making sales.

I am not saying this isn't possible. We do it all the time. What I am saying is that it is the wrong way to do business on the net.

Let's turn it upside down.

Instead of starting out with a product, let's start out by figuring out what it is that you are passionate about. What is it that is exciting in your life and that you have experience and skills in?

What is it that gets your fire burning? Way too many people have decided to just follow the pack instead of being creative and coming up with their own ideas.

Since the rest of the pack seems to be slowly moving away into oblivion (Over 95% of internet sites are losing money), shouldn't you make a change of direction?

Once we figure out what it is that you love, let's decide where you can find other people just like you.


Atul Sikrai

Chief Mentor & Founder

Brand Diagonal.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Whacky Brand Dressing

Revamping one’s brand does not only maintain a good image, it also repairs a damaged one. As written, no matter how bad your reputation gets, you can always turn it around.

How, then, could you revamp your brand? Here are a few suggestions.

Boost your promotions campaign. Aside from improving your packaging, have some “widgets” or extras to go with your products. You could use “more for less” campaigns. Make buying your product more exciting for your customers by giving free items or services for every purchase.

. Improve your product availability and compatibility with other products. Make sure your product doesn’t get overlooked by enhancing your point-of-purchase advertisements. You can also try tying up with another establishment so you could both endorse each others’ products along with your own.

    Building brand presence by getting product to market faster with little to no investment or inventory risk. 
    Accelerating the ability to gain additional shelf space or enter into new channels or regions. 
    Delivering valuable and steady royalty revenue increasing cash flow and operating income. 

It is no surprise that academics and professionals alike are calling for new approaches to marketing, because the old approaches are inadequate to the challenges. New forms of media are showing up all the time. Consumers are faced with a turbo-charged range of choices, and an array of new technology is available to support marketing decisions and programs.

Marketing is still about identifying needs so that people line up to buy. The change is in how consumers learn about products and services and receive the messages. We are entering a ‘post-mass media’ marketing world.

1. Learn everything about your customers. Understand them at a deep level. Know what motivates them. Know what they aspire to and what they fear.

2. Stand for something important to your customers. Let them know that you share their values.

3. Interact with your customers as if they were your partners. Respect them. Listen to them. Collaborate with them. Co-create new products and services with them.

4. Grow with your current customers. Identify how you can meet more and more of their needs. It is much less expensive to sell a current customer one more thing than it is to gain a new customer.

5. Innovate. Don’t rest on your laurels. Anticipate your customers’ needs. Give them something that they would really appreciate but perhaps had never conceived of before.

Happy2Help you to create Brand People shall Love.

Atul Sikrai

Chief Mentor & Founder

Brand Diagonal.