Thinking Outside The Cup

Speaking of entertainment as a branding vehicle...
Surprise! Starbucks barista-in-chief Howard Schultz is making a big, bold push into the music business. He aims to transform the record industry -- and turn Starbucks into the world's biggest brand, period.  Read More
Fast Company, Alison Overholt, Issue 84, July 2004, Page 50

Sales and Marketing 2003: Sell Me The Money

We used to love sitting in meetings, sipping cappuccinos, and talking about "the brand," too. In 2003, it's time to jump into the trenches with the great unwashed: your sales people and your company's prospects.  Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Tom Barnes, February 4, 2003  

Using the Business Case to Close the Deal

Marketing executives invest a great deal of time and money building the brand, only to see it diluted at the most critical point—in front of the customer. Depending on how your sales force executes—the process they follow, the questions they ask, the messaging they use—the brand equity you work so hard to create will be either reinforced or undermined by their actions.  Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Jonathan Sharp, July 20, 2004

Trading Up

Middle-market consumers, in the United States and around the world, are trading up to New Luxury products and services that deliver higher levels of quality, taste, and aspiration than conventional ones. Because New Luxury goods sell at premiums of 20-200% over standard midprice goods, they deliver higher profits. They also sell in much higher volumes than superpremium products.

Read More

Where Are the Women?

By now, plenty were supposed to be in the corner offices. It's not working out that way. In many fields, men still rule, while women often choose more nuanced paths that keep them from reaching the top. But who are the real winners? Read More
Fast Company, Linda Tischler, Issue 79, February 2004, Page 52

The Company as Magazine

This one is for you Woodman. And Scott, what's the status of "7 Magazine" anyway?
Imagine that your company is a magazine. To be a little clearer, you're still in whatever business that you're in, but there's an important magazine component to what you do. Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Chris Maher December 17, 2002

Top Six Sales Guide Mistakes

Most companies spend their marketing budgets generating market awareness, but spend precious little equipping their sales force with the knowledge to sell. And in today's economy, selling is anything but easy.  Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Gwyn Finnell, February 11, 2003

Selling ROI: Beyond The Numbers

If you are in marketing or sales, chances are it isn't because you aced linear systems in college. Truth is, math intimidates many of us, and so the attention around ROI can be daunting.
What gets lost in the math phobia is that selling ROI does in fact require very human, very relationship-driven, qualitative skills. These skills are far more important than the financial formulas that are so alien to most of us. 
Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Tom Barnes April 13, 2004

How Women Buy

What women want is the eternal mystery, and we can’t all tweak our product lines to fit a woman’s top ten desires (true love, regular pedicures and sculpted upper arms, among others). So, if you want to reach women with your wonderful widget, and they don’t yet realize that they need your widget at all, what do you do?

The buying mind of a woman is a sophisticated and powerful tool. Marketers should try to tap into the characteristics of her buying mind that will guide her to thinking that what your company provides is, indeed, what she wants. Here are those characteristics...
Hey, it's quicker than a trip to Venus.
Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Andrea Learned and Lisa Johnson, July 23, 2002

The Trouble with Segmentation

Despite bigger and better data warehouses, fancier analytical tools, and a growing body of data-mining knowledge, companies continue to struggle with the concept of database segmentation. For now, segment profiles in most companies remain simply good bed-time reading.Put these suggestions to use, and your CFO will leap out of bed. Yikes! Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Stephen Shaw August 6, 2002

The One True Secret of Email Marketing

With years of combined experience, we've discovered quite a bit about what works, and what doesn't, in the email marketing arena. More than that, we've also divined the true secret of marketing via electronic mail.

Scootch up your chair and lean in close to your screen. Here's the single great truth of email marketing: It's the content that counts. Pay the most attention to what really matters: the words in your message, and the words on any web pages the email links your customers or readers to. Seems obvious, eh? Unfortunately, that's not obvious from the way most companies do things. Read More

MarketingProfs.com, Ann Handley and Nick Usborne, August 20, 2002

Cool Quote - 7/29/04

"If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trademarks, and I would fare better than you."
- John Stewart, Former CEO, Quaker

The Brand Connection - The Link Between Corporations and the Executives that Lead Them

In this day of celebrity brands, and branded cities, it is not only becoming common, it is becoming essential, for senior executives to build and communicate their personal brands to expand both individual and corporate success. To develop and implement communications plans that nurture corporate brands, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of branding. Read More
MarketingProfs.com, William Arruda, 8/27/02

Making Brand Promises You Can't Keep

Just as you don't like to be let down or mislead, neither do your customers. Although it may be tempting to make claims of greatness or leadership to stand out within a cluttered marketplace, it will not lead to long-term success and customer loyalty if you can't deliver.
If you lie to your prospects and customers you cannot hide. In the end, you will lose and your competitors will gain.
Read More
MarketingProfs.com, Tony Bombacino, September 3, 2002 

A Question of Value

"What's the value-add?" "I just want to add some value." This question and comment are ubiquitous in business conversations all over the world, and are abstract enough that they apply to myriad customer situations and interactions. When you hear these questions/comments, you should then ask: How do you define value? What does it mean to "add value?" How do you know if you're successful? And finally, what do you do if you know that the value attributes are changing and/or migrating?   Read more

MarketingProfs.com, Michael Perla, October 1, 2002


"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence...Keep interested in your own career, however humble;it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time...Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth...With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Read all of Desiderata

Leadership - Honeywell CEO Interview

Larry Bossidy, ex-CEO of Honeywell and AlliedSignal, has been presenting an unfashionable message—execution matters. David Creelman  of HR.com spoke to Mr. Bossidy about why he thinks execution should be your top priority and what it means for human resources.

Read the full interview.

What To Do With What You’ve Got: Using Testimonials Effectively

We know the value of securing customer testimonials. But once you have them in hand, it’s what you do with them that really counts.
Read full article from MarketingProfs.com

Cool Quote - 7/29/04

"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."
- James Crook


Commentary from Greg Woodman: Sport Style(Fashion)  Entertainment ( Music) away from Mass Market (where did the mass go---I guess he thought CBS and Life Magazine still existed) says McDonalds guy about NEW direction…see below.  They need Janice to explain local marketing to them…..
CMO Larry Light Calls for Move to 'Brand Journalism'
June 16, 2004;
AdAge.com; Hillary Chura

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Declaring that mass marketing no longer works and that "no single ad tells the whole story," Larry Light, McDonald's CMO Larry Light said the company was moving to 'brand journalism' techniques. 

McDonald Corp.'s chief marketing officer, said McDonald's has adopted a new marketing technique that he dubbed "brand journalism."

Speaking at the AdWatch: Outlook 2004 conference at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Mr. Light described the concept as one marking "the end of brand positioning as we know it." He went on to say that effective marketing should use many stories rather than employing one message to reach everyone. In effect, he declared that McDonald's was abandoning the universal message concept.

Big idea"Any single ad, commercial or promotion is not a summary of our strategy. It's not representative of the brand message," he said. "We don't need one big execution of a big idea. We need one big idea that can be used in a multidimensional, multilayered and multifaceted way."

He went on to define brand journalism, which he also referred to as a brand narrative or brand chronicle, as a way to record "what happens to a brand in the world," and create ad communications that, over time, can tell a whole story of a brand.

Mr. Light said the fast-food giant wants to deliver its "I'm Lovin' It" message in four cultural languages: sports, fashion, music and entertainment. To branch out, he said, the company is using many platforms and has shifted the advertising budget. Two-thirds of that budget was once dedicated to prime-time broadcast TV. Now, only one-third is, he said.

Ideas from everywhereThough McDonald's has a bevy of advertising agencies, the bulk of its work comes from Omnicom Group and its agency DDB Worldwide, as well as Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide. The company, however, has said it wants ideas from everywhere and is not limiting that to roster ad shops or their U.S. operations.

He said that when a company executes a major shift in strategy, it should do so with a bang rather than a whisper -- and that is why the first "I'm Lovin' It" efforts used hip-hop music not usually associated with the worldwide chain.

"If [companies] are going to declare a new direction, close the door on the past and announce your future. Don't be subtle about it," said Mr. Light, who was the architect of the "I'm Lovin' It" idea and has overseen McDonald's improvement in fortune over the past year. Analysts are uncertain to ascribe the improvement to the advertising, store design, better menu driven by new salads, the rebounding economy or other factors.

$577 million ad spendMcDonald's spent $577 million in measured media last year, compared with $572 million in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

How We Keep Score in Life

Savvy selling requires the wisdom to occasionally look beyond improving our selling skills and strategies to see the bigger picture, to put our careers in the overall perspective of our lives. After all, who wants to have on his tombstone, "John Doe, Great Salesman"? Please don't think me morbid for raising this, but I can't help thinking of what author Ed Brodow says in Beating the Success Trap: Life is like a long weekend -- it really will be over before you're ready. The trick is to enjoy your journey.

Read the full article.

The Brand Called You

Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of Me Inc.

Tom Peters, Fast Company, Issue 10, August/September 1997, Page 83


Cult Brands

The BusinessWeek/Interbrand annual ranking of the world's most valuable brands shows the power of passionate consumers
Click here to read the article.

Business Week's 100 Top Brands - 2004

Business Week's ranking of the top brands. Interesting to look at this list versus the Superbrands list. The question..although there are models, can a brand be quanitified? We know strong brands matter and have financial implications. More importantly, how do you replicate it?

"An orange…is an orange…is an orange. Unless, of course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist…”
Brand Equity = A set of assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service.  The effects of a strong brand: 
Product related effects: High perceived quality, high purchase rate, positive brand association, confidence increase, positive attitude, purchase intention

Price related effects: Larger market share that is less affected by price increases, key player in setting the price 
Communication related effects:
Positive halo effect that can positively bias the evaluation of brand marketing, repetitive ads are accepted more positively, strong brands experience increases in purchases when advertising increases

Channel related effects: Much higher chance of acceptance in a distribution channel, better shelf space, stores feature well-known brands to convey a high quality image  

Source: Aaker, David A. (1996). Building Strong Brands. Pg 7, NY, NY: The Free Press 

Superbrands 2004

First came the supermarket, then the supermodel, and thanks to BRANDWEEK, the Superbrand.
For the Airwalkers out there, the top brands are: Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Adidas, K-Swiss, Converse, Vans, Asics...in that order. Ahhh...what might have been...
Click here for the Superbrands of 2004 report Published June 21, 2004

Greetings & Welcome to hypermediate!

This is the first of I hope many posts to the hypermediate web log. Those that helped found the marketing services firm, hypermediate, back in 2000, know what the term meant. hypermediate means, "to being buyers and sellers together at a rapid pace." While the company is no longer around, the idea and the participants are.
However, the purposes of this blog are broader. The hypermediate crew is notorious for sharing articles and learning with each other - both professional or personal subjects. Most of use saved them in a binder we lovingly called "The Book of Woo," named after our boss. We're extending this idea online.

Primarily hypermediate will focus on marketing, capitalism, entrepreneurship, brands and business. However, it will also discuss personal and professional philosophies. So hypermediate in this incarnation is really about the bringing together of ideas and the people around those ideas, at a rapid pace.  We'll see where it goes.
Those of you reading this already know who you are. Hopefully we will find and invite others into this discussion. Those that strive to live, love and learn. Those that wish to constantly challenge themselves. Those that have twisted senses of humor.