What can a red nose do?

What can a red nose do?

What can a red nose do? It can build a brand. A red nose is the visual hammer for Red Nose Day, a campaign started in the U.K. and has now moved into America. The Red Nose Day fund is a program of Comic Relief, a non-profit that raises money for children living in poverty. Hundreds of charities do similar work, but most don’t become as well-known or raise as much money. The difference? A visual hammer that drives the brand into the mind. It might be a simple or silly thing like a pink ribbon, a yellow bracelet or a red nose. Three visuals that have built powerful, relatively-new non-profit giants.

iPhone was first, but so was Motorola.

Motorola invented the category of cellphones. Nokia brought cellphones to the masses. BlackBerry invented the keyboard phone for email. Samsung brought better designs. iPhone invented the touchscreen internet device. What is really striking about iPhone compared to other cellphone brands is the consistency in their design and simplicity of the naming. Each phone has the same look and each new model focused on one or two major improvements sure to generate lots of buzz.

The Fro-Yo Wars Explained

Frozen yogurt is a popular summertime treat and personal favorite of mine; it is also a category that has experienced tremendous growth with new brands branching out in all directions. Like a tree that branches out as it grows, categories grow and diverge over time. What was once one category ends up diverging into multiple categories. And many times the original leader fails to keep up. Here is my recap of the Fro-Yo wars.

NEW BOOK: Visual Hammer

My father's theory on positioning was revolutionary, but it had a weakness. Invariably, positioning strategy was expressed verbally. You looked for a verbal hole in the mind and then you filled that hole with your brand name. The best way into the mind is not with words. It’s with visuals. They can play a more important role in marketing than words because visuals hold emotional power that words alone do not. Emotion is the glue that sticks memories and brands into the mind.

Social Media is a Tactic not a Strategy

It’s the headline of our times “Brand X Moves to Social Media.” It’s the hottest trend in marketing with executives from the corner offices at Coca-Cola to the front lines at the local barber shop talking up Twitter, Foursquare, Groupon and Facebook. Since the Great Recession hit, we have been forced to do more with less and what better way to accomplish this than with social media. Compared to traditional advertising, a social media campaign is cheap. But is it effective? It all depends.

Crazy for Consumers? RIM is insane.

What is RIM doing wrong? Why don’t people appreciate RIM’s BlackBerry brand, profits or growth? Because they are fighting the wrong battle. They are focused on the wrong target. BlackBerry has been chasing the consumer instead of chasing its less-sexy business customer. Why it is that companies that have great success and profits with business clients feel the need to ditch them for the fickle, finicky and thin-margined consumer?