Posted in Uncategorized, tagged benefits, BP, brand character, brand personality, Branding, gulf coast oil spill, Mark Mathis, mark on marketing, Mark on Marketing blog, Marketing, ME&V, personality, strategic communications on July 26, 2010 |
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Every brand has a brand personality. Just like people, brands can be boring, exciting, interesting, fun. BP realized it didn’t have a much of personality—or should I say, the CEO didn’t have much of a personality.
Meet Darryl. He volunteered for this assignment (builds credibility) and he says, “I’m responsible for overseeing BP’s claims process.” The ad is warm, honest and not over-hyped. You like Darryl and you trust him.
We have a need in all of us to anthropomorphize (humanize) inanimate objects to facilitate interaction or understanding. The weather seems less of a threat if we call it ”Mother Nature.” We name our cars and coax our computers and talk to them like people.
If you only advertise transactions and price, you cannot expect people to think more about you than they do about a light bulb. If you don’t ever communicate that personality, then you are the wallflower of brands. Pillsbury isn’t much without its doughboy. It helps define the brand character in human ways.
People want to have a relationship with your brand. If you don’t have a likeable personality, you will never be able to participate in all that media—and especially social media—has to offer. Why would you ever “friend” someone (or something) you don’t really like? What kind of person is your brand? And, would people like that person?
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged benefits, Branding, branding lines, business, differentiation, Focus on the family, mark, Mark Mathis, Mark on Marketing blog, Marketing, ME&V, personality, positioning, strategic communications, super bowl ads, tim tebow, TV, video on February 15, 2010 |
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My first job was delivering newspapers. Today, I’m delivering a much different story. The Internet isn’t killing newspapers. News is killing newspapers. The medium is not the message. I believe our news appetite has changed and newspapers have not realized the shift in tastes.
A Pew Research Center study shows that newspaper readership has fallen from 34% in 2006 to 27% today. But even more profound is that 34% (up from 25% in 1998) of people are ”newsless” (people who get no news on a typical day). And 51% of Americans say they are now “news grazers.”
The problem is that we are now information-rich and time-poor. So our sorting skills and news-relevancy sensors are much more sharpened. We want to ”search” the information that is relevant to us and discard the rest.
So think about the last time you searched for car accidents? Did you search for bank robberies in your area? What about jury selections? Searched for the city council minutes recently? People will always need an arbiter of content, but newspapers will need to rethink news if they want to survive.
What can save newspapers? The same thing that sells any product: clear differentiation and targeted benefits.
So what are newspapers to do?
- Rethink what is news. Target the audience and give it what it wants.
- Strip out all that is on the Internet (such as stock listings, national sport scores, ag markets).
- Become hyper-local. No national or international news unless a local hook exists.
- Embrace citizen journalists. ABC ran a story about the East Coast’s winter storm. It featured Flip camera video stories from citizen journalists. The citizen stories were much more interesting than the ABC reporter’s, who obviously never got a household ready for a snowstorm.
- Shorter articles. More bullets. More pictures (but not more pictures of the mayor, we all know what he looks like). More easily consumed charts and graphs.
Newspapers need to refocus on the readers. Just like any business needs to focus on its target audience. It’s time to hone the news menu for the audience’s new tastes.
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