Knowing who you are as a brand

I love Monocle. I was first “introduced” into it a fair few years ago as a magazine with a fresh look, manga cartoons and a passion/steadfast support for print in an increasingly digital media landscape.

I’ve since seen the company stretch its brand in many different directions – retail and coffee shops, clothing and fragrance partnerships – but always retaining the essence of quality and curation. It’s always had a very clear view on what it was about and always sought to (re)emphasise it with any new venture.

In the latest print edition of the magazine (focused on the media landscape) its editor, Tyler Brule, answered a few questions about it. But the one below really caught my eye. In a world dominated by stories and a belief that social is a must for all companies, Tyler offers a very interesting view about why Monocle chooses to not have a presence in social. I especially like the notion that “good brand are a little bit mysterious and shouldn’t reveal too much”. Always leave space for people to fill in the gaps.

It also reminds me of the (I think) Steve Jobs thought that “Strategy is as much about what you do, as about what you don’t do” (paraphrased as I can’t actually remember the proper quote).


The uber-boss talks Twitter

My CEO, Ronan Dunne, has been talking about Twitter and it’s value to him and to the company as a whole.

Whilst I don’t necessarily believe that every company needs to be on Twitter for O2 I think that it is a necessity given the business and category we are in.  I am pleased we have that level of understanding, C-level buy-in and commitment to it.

Here are the words from the big man:

Flippin’ virals

August_goviral1-600x437I have to admit this has long been coming.  I saved it when I saw it but then never actually posted it.

I have somewhat of a difficult time with virals as I alluded to here and here. But when someone posts something like this my blood does somewhat boil.

The problem is that viral is a consequence rather an action.  The best one can do is create something that has inherent value – whether through knowledge or entertainment – and if it’s good and worthy it will be shared.  It matters not if it is filmed on HD, SD or an old reel to reel tape.

And it is this basic point that annoys me about the question because it is trying to put the technology ahead of the content (again) and the viral element isn’t the technology.  The technology is merely a conduit, a facilitator to both capturing it and sharing it but it’s not what makes it a viral.

Rant over, onwards to Xmas parties!

Squeaky Baum-time and marketing

Unless you’ve been living in another planet or in a remote spot in the arse end of the Amazon, you will have heard about the exploits of a certain Mr Baumgatner and Red Bull.

Last Sunday night I, and millions of others, watched in amazement as Felix jumped out of a capsule that was a hell of a long way up (128,100 feet which I have no idea how high up it is but because I live in England they’re still not very keen on the old metric system).

That evening and throughout this week I’ve seen many blogs, tweets etc etc extolling the virtues of this event and declaring it the Dawn of New Marketing.  Now, whilst I was impressed by the sheer size of the event, how it was executing and how daring it was, I can’t fully agree with that point of view.  I think it is simply to early to tell if this worked or not.

My issue is that I didn’t really see it as a Red Bull event. I saw it as a piece of brilliant human exploration – the moon landing of my time – but I’m no more inclined to buy it as a result.   Ultimately this is what this activity should be measured on.  Did, in the weeks following this activity, sales increase for Red Bull?  And if so by how much?  And once you understand that, you can assess it against the opportunity cost of not doing other, more ‘traditional’ activity. Was the juice worth the squeeze?

I don’t know.  Right now and from my own perspective, no.  However I’m prepared to be proven wrong and for my preconceptions to be unfounded – only time will tell.

In the meantime I leave you with what that crazy bugger Baumgartner saw when he jumped out

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