Category Archives: Brand Strategy
(From Lippincott) Long-term plan for the brand including a determination of key audiences and an understanding of what those audiences need to know about the brand and experience.
Protests against oppression in Turkey are in full swing. And if you are willing to listen, the New Young Turks can teach your organization two great lessons:
Here is the first lesson: The protestors -who are young, highly educated, highly skilled, internet-savvy, white collar employees- demonstrated that in this day and age no mess, no corruption, no restriction could be and will be hidden. Regardless of the geography and culture you operate in, the Gen Y is the future of your organization. These young people value collaboration, group thinking, collective decision-making, equality, mutual respect and being recognized. If your organization does not genuinely believe in and practice these values, expect to face tough times soon…
The second lesson is far more interesting… While clashing with brutal Turkish police, protesters organized open yoga sessions and an open library at Gezi Park. They cleaned up the park… They formed a semi-professional chorus, organized tango nights and classical music recitals. In the middle of complete chaos, without a leader how did these people self-organize? How come they were able to distribute free food? Who ordered them to organize free walk-in clinics? Was this protest an international conspiracy? Here is an even more intriguing question: Why did they self organize? Actually, the answer is far simpler than you might think. Carol Pearson says: “A shared purpose individually vitalize and collectively galvanize people.” Below is a wonderful story from Seven Life Lessons of Chaos – Timeless Wisdom From the Science of Change, an absolutely must-read book. See how life is all about self-organization…
Wilfred Pelletier, a Native American from an Ojibway community north of Lake Huron, says his people aren’t into organization; there’s no need for it “because that community is organic.” Pelletier gives an illustration of how his unorganized people nevertheless get things done.
“Let’s say the council hall in an Indian community needs a new roof…. It’s been leaking here and there for quite a while and it’s getting worse. And people have been talking about it. Nobody organizes a committee or appoints a project leader.” Nothing happens, in fact, until “one morning here’s a guy up on the roof, tearing off the old shingles, and down on the ground there’s several bundles of new, hand-split shakes – probably not enough to do the whole job, but enough to make a good start. Then, after a while, another guy comes along and sees the first guy on the roof. So he comes over and he doesn’t say, ‘What are you doing up there?’ because that’s obvious, but he may say, ‘How’s she look? Pretty rotten, I guess.’ Something like that. Then he takes off, and pretty soon he’s back with a hammer or a shingle hatchet and maybe some shingle nails or a couple of rolls of tarpaper. By afternoon, there’s a whole crew working on that roof, a pile of materials building up down there on the ground, kids taking the old shingles away-taking them home for kindling – dogs barking, women bringing cold lemonade and sandwiches. The whole community is involved and there’s a lot of fun and laughter. Maybe the next day another guy arrives with more bundles of shakes. In two or three days that whole job is finished, and they all end up having a big party in the ‘new’ council hall.”
Who was responsible for deciding to put a new of on the hall? Was it that first guy on the roof, a single isolated individual, or was it the whole community? ”How can you tell? No meeting was called, no committees formed, no funds raised. There were no arguments about whether the roof should be covered with aluminum or duroid or tin or shakes and which was the cheapest and which would last the longest and all that. There was no foreman and no one was hired and nobody questioned that guy’s right to rip off the old roof. But there must have been some kind of ‘organization’ going on in all that because the job got done. It got done a lot quicker than if you hired professionals. And it wasn’t work; it was fun.”
Chaos theory would answer that the “organization” in Pelletier’s roofing project was self-organization. It began with chaos-all that disorganized talk beforehand about the leak. The first guy on the roof was a bifurcation point that became amplified. The feedback between the first fellow and the next one who came along started a cascade that coupled the community together around the project and then the system got the job done.
As the above story demonstrates, you don’t need a central planning department for everything. All you need to do is to gather interested and capable people around a common goal and give them permission. Allow people to self-organize and witness magic taking pace within your organization. As I was writing this paragraph, the #duranadam movement has started and it is spreading organically all around the world. No need to look for conspiracy. Just watch the short below video and see how movements start!
Did you know that private label brands (PL) have been around for almost a decade? Back in 1928, the Swiss introduced the PL concept and since then it has been spreading like wildfire. Actually, we should point out that PL is not only spreading but also “evolving.” We are witnessing a quiet renaissance, which deserves to be analyzed. This is the first installment of a series of essays on private label branding.
Did your key project fail to deliver expected result? Did your organization undergo a massive restructuring process, yet nothing has changed? Did your city spend a fortune to brand itself, but in reality nobody has cared? Don’t feel bad, because you are not alone: Turns out 75% of organizational change projects do not yield the promised result. Let’s start with the root cause of this problem. Then we will discuss how to fix it.
I remember vividly what a high-ranking military officer once told me: “If you give three orders to a soldier, he’ll forget two of them, while mismanaging the third.”
He meant his soldiers are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. But was that it? Could it be that simple? Then, I tried to remember the last time I gave detailed instructions to someone, who followed them exactly to the letter. To my surprise, that has never happened. People accomplished their tasks, but never anyone followed my instructions like a robot. Turns out they never should! Here is why…
I am an immigrant living in Canada. Years ago, I decided to move here, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. If you are like me, which means if you are someone who enjoys observing and analyzing his surroundings, then living abroad is great fun. As an outsider, sometimes you see things that the locals simply won’t. Purely based on my personal observation, I think Canadians often have difficulty explaining what makes them unique. They intuitively know that they are special, but they can’t put it into words. Have you ever wondered why?
It’s blasphemous to think that Harlem Shake could have anything to do with innovation… It’s disrespectful to waste your precious time with such nonsense. I must be on drugs. But… I am not! Believe it or not, Harlem Shake meme teaches us something fundamental about the change process that takes place in biology. And that insight is the road map to corporate innovation. How? I am glad you asked…
Previously, we analyzed the Czech Republic’s new promotional logo, which did not receive a warm welcome. Unfortunately, the campaign failed to convey unique and compelling messages to the three major audiences of any place branding campaigns: Visitors, potential investors and the locals. We think this campaign did the expected: Promoted “the stereotypical Czech Republic.” However, successful branding requires us to disregard the stereotypes and instead look at the archetypes of the place. In Roman times, it used to be called the Genius Loci: the protective spirit of the place. Our article ended by asking the following questions:
- Why is Czech Republic the home to Bohemia?
- Why the Velvet Revolution took place here?
- Why the 1968 Spring happened in Prague?
Is place branding a money trap invented by evil advertising agencies? Is it a fool’s gold for destinations? Has any place ever benefited from so-called place branding? How about this frightening stat?: 86% of place branding projects fail within a year of introduction. Is there a way to break this curse? Let’s figure out the root cause of the problem first.
“A problem is the thick outermost layer of a fantasy.”
About six months ago, Canada launched a tourism campaign called “Know Canada”, targeting Americans. We discussed why the strategy of the campaign was wrong. Here is the key argument: The campaign is based on facts, whereas “purchase decisions” are based on emotions. We also debated that the campaign was addressing to the wrong part of our brain, its cortex. Finally, we concluded that the campaign did not explain the “Canadian archetype”, and for that reason would not be really successful. Well, turns out that we were not alone thinking that the campaign was not good. The Canadian Tourism Commission asked Canadians to submit home videos of their first-hand experiences in their country, in an initiative dubbed “35 Million Directors”, the citizenry responded with 65 hours of video. The result is a two-minute film from DDB Canada that’s made of user-generated clips that were voted on by Canadians called “Canada Shared by Canadians.” The result is… truly, and archetypically Canadian. See it yourself.
The Los Angeles Lakers is one of the greatest franchises in the history of modern sports. They won the NBA championship 16 times and missed the play-offs just five times! I have always admired the “championship-or-bust” mentality of this organization. After a couple of “relatively” unsuccessful seasons, the Lakers decided to assemble a “super team.” They signed four future-Hall of Famers, and hired a magician coach. They were expected to be uber-dominant – to win it all this year. Be that it may, the Lakers have lost 21 of their first 37 regular season games! They also lost all 8 of their preseason games. So, the super team won only 16 of its last 45 games. Clearly something is not working, and I think it has nothing to do with basketball. Just like in the Raptors’ case, this is an “organizational” issue…