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.

Political Branding – 2016 Preview

Political Branding – 2016 Preview

Running for President of the United States means building a brand that at least 51% of the country is willing to buy on Election Day. Not an easy task in a country as large and diverse as America. Too narrow a focus and you won’t get a majority vote. The key to winning an election is to find a key issue narrow enough to stand for something but broad enough to be appeal to several constituencies.

Super Bowl 2014

Unless you were a Seattle fan, the 2014 Super Bowl wasn’t a super game to watch. The puppy bowl was more competitive. So that left a lot of pressure on the commercials to deliver some much needed excitement and entertainment. A few spots delivered but most were not very memorable. One thing that continues to make the difference between failure and success is the use of a consistent visual hammer.

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.

America’s Visual Hammer

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.

Google Today, Gone Tomorrow?

What’s a Google? It’s a search engine. Want to find something online, you Google it. After domination of a category like search, the question business leaders and investors always have is, What's next? What's next is usually taking the incredible success of the mother brand and extending it into new areas. As well as gobbling up lots of other companies and rebranding them with the same brand name. If you know me, you know what I’m going to say next. It is a mistake.

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.

McDonald’s Goes Above & Beyond

McDonald’s moved at lightning speed and initiated a voluntary recall of its popular Shrek glasses that contained trace amounts of a toxic metal. While the spread of the tainted-glassware story certainly posed a problem for McDonald’s, the glassware itself wasn’t all that dangerous. Many companies would have used this evidence to counter-attack critics. Many companies would have also shifted the blame to a supplier. McDonald’s did neither. In its response, McDonald’s went above and beyond.

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