Capitalist Pig-gy Bank

Check out the Capitalist Pig, a piggy bank for evil, money-hoarding capitalists to stay focused by listing or drawing object(s) of desire on the blackboard surface of the bank. And the value for money doesn't stop there, this piece of wonder comes with four sticks of chalk.

It's £13 from Giftlab.

From Cool Hunting

Brand Heaven and Brand Hell - Where is your brand?

David Armano's nifty depiction of the ladder up to Brand Heaven and the ladder down to Brand Hell.

From Brand Autopsy


Skydivers spell Honda as part of campaign

I wonder if this worked?

19 skydivers spelled out the word Honda in three minutes and 20 seconds for UK’s first live tv promo, inspired by the car manufacturer’s new advertising strapline: “Difficult is worth doing”

From NOTCOT.org


How to Pickup a VC

From Guy Kawasaki's Sun column:

Many entrepreneurs ask me what is the best way to open a pitch to potential investors. I'll answer that question at the end of this posting, but first let me tell you the ten worst opening lines that you can use:
  1. You say: "I'm bright and ambitious." Investor thinks: "That's a relief because I usually invest in stupid and lazy people."

  2. You say: "I'm a blue sky thinker." Investor thinks: "You have no business model, and you don't know how to ship."

  3. You say: "I don't know much about your firm, but I thought I'd contact you anyway." Investor thinks: "You're a lazy idiot--why are you wasting my time?"

  4. You say: "I love to think of new ways to solve problems." Investor thinks: "Is this a high-school science fair?"

  5. You say: "I have lots of great ideas, but I have trouble figuring out which one to try. Let me tell you about a couple." Investor thinks: "I want to know which idea you're going to kill yourself trying to make successful, not which ideas have crossed your idle mind."

  6. You say: "I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur." Investor thinks: "I've always wanted to be a professional golfer. So what if you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?"

  7. You say: "I'm sure you are aware of the growing need for security. Web 2.0, Open Source, whatever." Investor thinks: "If you're sure I'm aware, why are you telling me you're sure I'm aware."

  8. You say: "If you sign an NDA, I'll tell you my idea." Investor thinks: "You are clueless. How can you not know that venture capitalists don't sign NDAs?"

  9. You say: "The last time I contacted you, I..." Investor thinks: "I'm going to fire my secretary for putting this clown on my calendar again."

  10. You say: "My goal is to build a world-class company." Investor thinks: "How about you ship and sell the first copy before we talk about world-class anything?"

Now you know what not to say. Here's what you should say:

"This is what my company does..."

It's that simple. What you're trying to do is get potential investors to fantasize about how your product or service will make a boatload of money. They can't fantasize if they don't know what you do. And they don't want to be your friend, mother, or psychiatrist until they understand what you do, so cut the crap and explain what you do.


The Made To Stick authors need to wake up and grow up

If you haven't read Chip & Dan Heath's column in this month's Fast Company yet, read it here.

I liked Made to Stick a lot. I thought it was informative and practical. But the stock of the authors of the book just dropped through the floor. They are a policy consultant and a professor - and this academic view of the world came shining through in their column.

Basically, they call out a tactic they're calling "Stigma Marketing" - using embarrassment and/or shame to sell a product. They use Visa (when using cash stops a free-flowing checkout line) and Wisk Laundry Detergent (Ring Around the Collar) among others. And they call for "marketers" to stop tolerating such "icky" behavior.

This is a ridiculous, elitist and naive point of view. This is marketing - the job of marketing is to sell something to someone. In most cases, the customer doesn't really NEED the product, so you have to convince them they need it. What they call "stigma" is another man's "defining the pain in the marketplace."

Funny, they didn't put Apple in the "badly behaved" bucket, even though they employ "icky" marketing to put a stigma on PC users. I guess they must believe PC users ARE, in fact, dorky, suit-wearing, pudgy, clueless people? Their article only looks at the less sexy CPG and credit card industries? "Creams and detergents" solve a problem that is, frankly, unpleasant. Bringing up unpleasant realities to market a solution to those realities is not "icky" its marketing.

And by the way...when people discuss the latest pop business tomes, and Made To Stick (or Tipping Point, et al) comes up, and you hear a resounding "What! You haven't read Made To Stick?!?!?" - isn't that too a stigma?

If you still want to, check out Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, it does have a lot of good concepts.

Branding is a part of marketing but it is also the other way around.

Interesting post today about branding.

Key takeaway:
Company branding is not just a logo. It’s all about perceptions, how your customers or clients view your company and the products and services you provide.
I think this is true, and I BIG TIME believe branding is more than a logo, here here! But I also think the definition is incomplete. The real reason for branding, more specifically having a strong brand, is future sales. I hadn't thought about it in this way until I read Think Two Products Ahead - the book makes a very clear case for this reality (yes, I said reality). Bottom line, brands are important, they are the emotional tie to the customer, they are the perceptions, etc. All of the above are true. But the reason brands exist is to drive future sales.

Thanks to Beyond Madison Avenue


Ladies may love Cool James, but they don't love Sears.

You just know this isn't going to work out well...

While its bad for Sears, because I don't think it will work and it seems completely off base from their, well, base. But what are Benetton and LL Cool J thinking? I understand they may not be at their peak either, but Sears?

More at Marketing Daily


Car Brands That Don't Deserve to Live


Harsh but interesting thoughts on which of the big auto brands should stop wasting their time and pack it in. I have to say, they have a point. Check out the article and interactive bar chart at one of my favorite business magazines, Conde Nast Portfolio.

Hershey's House Parties - A Lesson in Tapping an Offline/Online Groundswell

When experiential marketing, or WOM, or buzz, or whatever you want to call it works...it can work big time. Take Hershey's who has been having Bliss house parties. According to PROMO, looks like they're working - more than 129,000 people have attended the parties, plus 22,000 digital photos and 15,000 blog entries. Yowsers.

I'm just finishing up Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Good book for the most part, but they don't talk about the offline component that much - how an offline event like Hershey's Bliss parties can drive blog posts galore and social network buzz.

Check out the stories at CandySnob here and here.


Prominent Turkish Businessman "Rethinks Capitalism"

"Adam Smith is probably dead. Maybe it's time to revisit Karl Marx."

These words were uttered by a Turkish businessman named Ishak Alaton, who is the chairman of $800 million conglomerate, Alarko Holding.

Why is it that some businesspeople decide to turn against the very ideals that helped them build their fortunes? Is it guilt? Is it an attempt to limit what others have now that they have theirs? I'm curious why Mr. Alaton didn't come to this Marxist revelation while he was less wealthy? Nothing like someone building their fortune one way, then telling the world how they should live their lives.

Regardless, I think people would be well served to read (or re-read) Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. It seems to me there are some universal business truths that still ring true today.

From BusinessWeek Turkey
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Top 10 YouTube Brands


1. Nike - "Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold" - Viewed 22.6 million times

2. Pepsi - "PEPSI (Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink - We Will Rock You)" - Viewed 14 million times

3. McDonald's - "Fast Food Freestyle" - Viewed 11.8 million times

4. Coca-Cola - "Diet Coke+Mentos=Human experiment: EXTREME GRAPHIC CONTENT" - Viewed 8.5 million times

5. Unilever - "Dove Evolution" - Viewed 6.7 million times

6. Disney - "Internet is for Porn" - Viewed 3.3 million times

7. Budweiser - "Banned Super Bowl 2007 Bud commercial" - Viewed 2.1 million times

8. Microsoft - "Microsoft Surface Parody" - Viewed 2 million times

9. Ikea - "Banned Commercial - Swedish Midsummer" - Viewed 1.5 million times

10. Toyota - "Top Gear: Killing a Toyota Part 1" - Viewed 1.1 million times

Source: Custom Communications