brand strategy tarot cards

    Brand Strategy Card Number 2.

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    Let’s face it, Google has supplemented our brain power like no other tool in the world. Its mission is something like “organizing the world’s information so it’s one click away.”  Every directory ever published, every map, and phone book have passed into oblivion thanks to the genius of Google. And businesses know this because consumers know this. 

    Tarot Card number 2 is a snapshot of the Google results page above the fold (what can be seen without cursoring down) following a search of your brand name. When someone searches for you on Google, with what are they presented?

    If an established brand, consumers are likely to see a large box on the right side of the page with company incidentals — what Google and the algorithm have gleaned, e.g., owner, headquarters, inception date, picture/logo, stuff like that.  On the left side of the page is information more controlled by the user — typically beginning with copy from meta tags and labels associated with the home page.  Other copy is hopefully scraped from paragraphs about what the brand Is and what the brand Does (Is-Does) often included there are some other organizing subheads like: About, Careers, Location. This area can be a mess of copy and bullet — not the best presentation of a brand and its value.

    One can’t organize their brand’s Google results page because it is part machine driven and part human and coder driven. And in many cases the coders don’t even work for the company.

    As all earthlings use Google many times each day, the ability to organize and synthesize your search results page is a key to brand building and brand management.  

    Peace.

    (There are 6 Brand Strategy Tarot Cards. Brand Strategy Tarot Cards is a diagnostic offering of What’s The Idea? For more information write Steve@WhatsTheIdea.com)

     

    Brand Strategy Tarot Card Number 1.

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    I am working on a presentation called Brand Strategy Tarot Cards.  My intent is to turn over 6 cards of branded content and do a reading. A reading of what these 6 fairly common pieces of content convey about the brand.  I’ve been playing with what the 6 cards are, but now will lock them down. 

    Up first is brand or company Name. The name is spoken more often than not by consumers so the aural version is important. Therefore the first Tarot card will not be a card at all, but spoken words. “Pass the What’s The Idea? please.” “Hey, would you get Whats The Idea? on the phone?”  Of course, there are full spoken names and shorthand names. Coca-Cola and Coke, are famous examples.

    After I evaluate the communication value of the name, we can turn over the first Tarot card which will be the packaging of the name — including the logo and tagline, if there is one. We’ll assess what the logo does to convey or reassert the name and then look to see if it conveys or furthers any particular meaning or value. When first introduced what meaning did the Nike swoosh bring to the brand communication for instance.

    Lastly, we’ll evaluate the tagline. Has it resonated? Has it changed every few years? Is it an advertising tagline? Many times, when the name is bad and the mark not particularly meaningful, the tagline carries the water. It’s a bail out tactic for branding. A startup I worked at used the meaningless name Zude. The logo was colorful, original typography but to consumers it was meaningless beyond color and playfulness. The tagline “Feel Free” was broadly grounded in the product functionality (a drag and drop web authoring tool) but kind of meaningless without a communicative name and mark.

    Fort Tarot Card number 2, tune in tomorrow.

    Peace.

     

     

    Selling Brand Strategy.

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    Selling brand strategy is not easy. First, you have to explain what brand strategy is – “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.” Then you have to share the organizing principle, because without a framework an organizing principle is just a concept.  “One claim and three proof planks” is the What’s The Idea? framework.  What’s a claim?  That’s easy. But proof planks? That needs a little ‘splainin’. 

    So let’s say you get a marketer to understand the organizing principle of claim and proof planks, now what? Well, you have to convey that the companies most in need of these services are those chaos.  And who wants to admit to that? And if not in chaos, at least companies that are disorganized. Same problem. Few will admit to it.

    What marketers will admit to is wanting to make more money. They will admit to some inefficiency and perhaps agree they need to identify more customers. But chaos and disorganization? Not too likely.

    One of my biggest challenges is showing companies how they present themselves to the world. How they are perceived by the unknowing public. And in doing so to make sure the findings are not accusatory. To that end, I’m working on a free test for business and brand clarity. I call it Brand Strategy Tarot Cards.  If you’d like to participate in the test please write me at Steve@WhatsTheIdea.com

    Peace.

     

    Brand Strategy Tarot Cards.

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    tarot cards

    I have a neat idea for a “What’s The Idea?” promotion.  (Disclosure: What’s The Idea? is an open source company, believing strategy frameworks should be open and shared.) The promotion is called “Brand Strategy Tarot Cards”  but the idea needs a little help from friends and friendettes, as Rohsaan Roland Kirk might have put it. So feel free to weigh in.

    The promotion offers a free 1-hour brand strategy assessment to help marketers better understand their current brand position – or lack thereof.

    In a traditional tarot card reading, three cards are turned over. In a Brand Strategy Tarot Card reading, I will turn over 6 cards. But they won’t actually be cards, they’ll be pieces of marketing content. 

    Here are a couple of content types I’m thinking about:

    1. Press release boiler plate (first sentence and About paragraph). 
    2. Website Homepage and About page copy. (We’ll use the home page if About is the same as boilerplate.)
    3. Text from a CEO speech or introductory sales presentation.
    4. Most famous ad or blog post. 
    5. LinkedIn posts or last company Tweet.  
    6. Company mission statement.

    My intent is to turn these content pieces over in front of the CMO, one at a time, read them aloud and interpret them in real time. At the end of the reading, aggregate observations will be shared and if I’m able to see a pattern, a meme-able brand position will be offered.

    So planners, any thoughts as to other brand strategy tarot cards I might use? 

    Peace.