Branding. It's a tough game. As a communications agency, we've considered slipping into the "imaging" business only to pop back out since GOSH not only is it tough, it's ridiculously subjective. "No, no, no, not the right color, tone, vibe, historical reference." TOO frightening for our stomachs. But, we get it, and that's important in our business. Let the other brains do that heavy lifting...
And as a communications agency we know good commercials when we see them. They are engaging enough to do 2 things:
1) Not make us want to flip the channel...
2) Give us enough good content to actively look forward to seeing them again...
Now, if a commercial meets this criteria it's a good one in our books, and definitely worth the trillions of dollars brands spend to produce them.
Take those E*Trade commercials that feature those cute and somewhat surely kids. LOVE THEM. Can watch them over and over again. I never get sick of them. Ever. If I was going to do my own trading, I'd have to go with that brand. I'm hooked.
So, Miss Lohan, I know you have your own brand to protect, and protect it you should (!) but lighten up on E*Trade. No offence, but have you really been that damaged by the commercials? Really think about it, compare it to past debacles and you may find it's not that bad after all.
2010 has come in like a freight train for me and mine. In our world things have changed, and maybe they've changed forever. Since we are media centric the dwindling of the press, one magazine and newspaper after another are folding (if you haven't noticed), has certainly put a new pressure on finding ways to get our clients covered. The regional media tour has been turned on its head. If your client doesn't advertise they had better be worthy of a spread... Forget about the friendly morning show perk. BUT are we feeling down and out? Of course not. Because when we say we're creative and agile, we mean it. So that's where the freight train part comes in. We're on a roll!
In a new media landscape a good pr agency had better be able to work in a few worlds all at one time. You had better be agile, for real, and ready to carve a path that is at once strategic and a bit on the edge. That's what we do. And when I say we, I mean WE. The team at BBC is top notch, incredibly smart, incredibly dedicated and a lot of fun to be around.
Now I'm plugging "us" but why not, why shouldn't I? This team is hot!
I'm launching a new business that was birthed out of my agency experience. The business is web-based and will offer people a place to share ideas and receive gifts, etc., for their participation and time. We developed it because we saw an opportunity and more than that felt connected to this concept (details to come!). But here's the thing: what the heck to name this new platform?
Just how important is a name? Brand Building was named by my ex-partner/owner (originally we were a division of Toth Brand Imaging). He felt strongly that our name should "say" something. I wasn't too keen on the name, but since he was the boss, I went with it, and I'm glad I did. The name really works for us and has given us a powerful way to express who we are and what we do.
When we played around with the name for this new venture, some "interesting" ideas came to light such as “cake”, “up and loop” (which is pool spelled backwards, and I don't want to tell the crazy ideas we had around that iteration). Usually, names take FOREVER to find. So, you can imagine how thrilled we were when our own brilliant Laura Thomas came up with "24/Savvy." Watch out guys, if you want great ideas for living your life (and great products to help you do it for free!), then we're your destination.
As a communications agency that does a whole lot of things that could be called marketing (and always has, even when it wasn’t popular), I started thinking about changing the way we positioned ourselves. Should we be a “marketing” agency? With the advent of WOM and the launch of our Consumer Engagement Marketing division and the various ways in which we help our clients build their brands, not only through awareness but also via business development strategies, it just seemed a natural evolution. Until I started really thinking about it… In the IMC process, the agency lineup generally includes advertising, pr, digital, cp and media buying. Not marketing, so much. To re-position your company as a marketing firm might just make it difficult to pitch yourself. Today, specializing might be the best thing to do. But specializing doesn’t mean you have to only do one thing, not really. If you are a communications agency you can add in business development when needed, or brand alliances, or even online viral marketing and content ideation. If you’re a media-buying agency you can come up with brand building platforms that reach well beyond what is considered your scope of work. Advertising agencies are definitely dipping down into digital in way they haven’t in the past. It’s all a big mix, which makes the case that a “marketing” agency could encompass all of these things and have a great place to live. But, I still think it just might be a case of all things to all people, but still a master of none…
Just a thought. We’re sticking with communications, albeit pr on steroids.
My agency recently did a presentation for a potential client and it was a new experience for me. Generally, we are in the business of selling. If we aren’t selling ideas to clients we are selling stories to journalists or bloggers. That’s just the deal and if you don’t like it, then you’re definitely in the wrong business. Now understanding how best to sell is an art unto itself. I recently had someone tell me I needed to study up on this, and “they knew what they were talking about because they had been trained by Martha Stewart.” She has been selling her concepts quite successfully for years so they probably do know a thing or two about selling. Guess I’d better brush up.
But that’s what was so interesting about this meeting we recently had. Three of my top VPs were leading the presentation and I have to say, there wasn’t a lot of selling going on. I’d never experienced this before because I tend to be verbose and a bit loud (I’m Italian, though you wouldn’t know it, everyone thinks I’m Swedish). Yet here they were, quietly making a point, a good one, and everyone was really connecting with the presentation. I’m sure this sounds like a “duh” moment. Yes, Val, you don’t have to be loud to make a point. But it was an eye opener. So, I’m going to try it. Speak softly but carry a big stick. Where there’s a “calm” will there’s a way. Ok, enough. But you get the point. Keep it real and keep it relaxed…