Happy Birthday America! We are celebrating the Fourth of July holiday in the United States today! I'm also using today to kick-off my new Visual Hammer of the Week series. It should be no surprise that this week's selection for Visual Hammer of the week is the Flag of the United States of America.
Laura’s Ries’ Pieces Blog
Captcha boxes are annoying and customers hate them. But companies need them to stop the bad guys. Or do they? Could a branding and research opportunity replace captcha and still stop fraud?
A company makes a major mistake when it develops a verbal strategy without considering what visual hammer might help hammer that idea into consumers' minds.
In 1990, Audi hired my Dad to help them revive the brand in the U.S. after the 60 Minute segment that nearly destroyed the brand. I remember the case well and was curious about what his exact ideas for Audi were so I dug up a copy of his report. Al’s advice: "Don't try to fight a bad perception......
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.
While the gridiron battle between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots was close, the advertising battle on the tube was not.
The Super Bowl battle for commercial success might better be described as a mixture of the old classics, the new stuff, the overly sexy and the over the top.
Tim Tebow is the hottest story in sports. While the Green Bay Packers are charging ahead with an undefeated record, everybody is talking about the Mile High Messiah and Tebowing. How did this happen? What can you learn from it?
Steve Jobs was a rebel who didn’t go about life or work in the normal way. He dropped out of college, was a fruitarian for a time and was often called an arrogant, obnoxious, weirdo. Being a rebel, however, wasn’t the secret of Steve Jobs. In our youth-obsessed culture, rebels are a dime a dozen. Steve Jobs was a technology genius. But being a technology nerd wasn’t Job’s secret either. Silicon Valley is filled with brilliant technology nerds. Steve Jobs was a design genius. He was obsessed with creating tools that were not just good but beautiful. But being a design genius wasn’t the secret of Steve Jobs either. The world has many great rebels, great technology geeks and great designers. What made Steve Jobs so unique was his supremely-gifted marketing ability.
Netflix owns movies-by-mail. They might make a lot of money today, but are not the future. Netflix has wisely bet on streaming as its future. And they have wisely made an aggressive move to be first in the mind in order to dominate the new streaming-video industry. But Netflix made a critical error by using the same name on its new streaming business as it does on its existing mail business. It might be logical to take a trusted and loved brand name and extend it from one business to the next. But it doesn’t make marketing sense. As time goes, each business will compete and clash with each other. What Netflix needed was a new brand name for streaming not mail.
In a down economy with consumers pinching every penny, you would think that sales at a retailer synonymous with "cheap" would be up, not down. Yet sales at Walmart have been down for two years in a row. So how does the world's largest retailer defend its position in the mind? Advertising. Massive advertising that reminds consumers in a memorable way what the Walmart brand stands for.