I’m currently sorting out a brake issue on one of our vehicles. One mechanic says one thing, the other another. Initially I got pretty frustrated because I was taught that a vehicle part can only be in one of three conditions:
My two mechanics differ on the interpretation of #1 and #2.
It reminds me of an old saw:
In my case, the same rule applies:
The same rule of thumb applies to marketing as well:
Let the communication service buyer beware.
You’ve all seen the bell curve: early adopters on the skinny left, the majority in the fat middle and the gatekeepers on the skinny right.
We’re surrounded by brands that focus on the left for positioning and profit, and when the market becomes too crowded and profits too marginal in the middle, their R+D teams are sent back to the left in an effort to discover or reinvent an opportunity that they can capitalize on for a while. Think Apple.
Another path of thinking is to work the middle – positioning yourself as the category savior, expert, discount solution, used alternative and so forth. Every mall in the world is filled with these brands.
On the far right are the companies that serve the fringe brand loyalists, making vintage car parts, tube for analogue amplifiers, restoration companies, art galleries and museums.
As our economies and communications become globally intertwined, I’m seeing more and more opportunity for innovative thinkers to fill an interesting niche along the full marketing continuum – including crowdsourcing for concepts and local craftsmanship communities.
Like a city going through urban renewal, it’s amazing to see what is be accomplished around us that ten years ago no one could have predicted. Like the American maker movement driving Detroit’s renaissance.
Placing a car into a fish-tank full of gold-fish is a nice idea.
Doing so digitally is how it’s usually done these days.
Putting a brand new car into an aquarium full of gold-fish in a busy mall takes a bit more money and far more audacity.
Audacity doesn’t win you a brand war or skirmish, but if done right, it can get you on the short list of brands that people take notice of.
Audacity is best followed by brand integrity and an opportunity to experience some of the stuff that can help assure them that your brand really is different because your culture really is different in ways that are aligned with and support thier professional or personal paths.
Better people make better communities - and run better businesses. Had I understood 1/2 this stuff in my formative I would have been a much better person, employee and employer.
While I’m not a fan of reposting, these lessons on life by Andy Rooney are worth sharing. Mr. Rooney was an American radio and television writer who was best known for his weekly broadcast "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney," a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011.
“1. The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
2. When you're in love, it shows.
3. Just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.
4. Being kind is more important than being right.
5. Never say no to a gift from a child.
6. I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in any other way.
7. No matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
8. Sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
9. Simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
10. Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
11. We should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.
12. Money doesn't buy class.
13. It's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
14. Under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
15. To ignore the facts does not change the facts.
16. When you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
17. Love, not time, heals all wounds.
18. The easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
19. Everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
20. No one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
21. Life is tough, but I'm tougher.
22. Opportunities are never lost; someone takes the ones you miss.
23. When you harbour bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
24. I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
25. Keep your words both soft and tender because tomorrow you may have to eat them.
26. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
27. While everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
28. The less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.”
And my favourite:
29. “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
Because of my depth an breadth of experience people think I can come up with better ideas faster than those with less experience. As a result I get a lot of requests to turn a project around in a few days rather than a few weeks.
Here’s a little creative process argument breakdown you can use with your clients to help them understand why two weeks can make the difference between good + great creative (money + talent aside).
While the client billable and non-billable hours for the crisis version (three good options) and the 2-week version (a dozen good options distilled down to the best two or three) are about the same.
The bottom line:
Crisis clients who only “know what they want when they see it”, usually don’t see it in the first session and ask for multiple rounds of revisions (that they don’t feel obligated to pay the agency for).
I sell in the 2-week versions of my work the first time round 95% of the time (often with-out even being in the room)!