pivot

Pivoting can be a start-up’s smartest move or the last nail in its coffin.  For every Twitter (which started as a podcast subscription network before its founders realized that iTunes would quickly overtake them, so they turned their attention to microblogging), there’s a Color (a photo-sharing cellphone application whose founders tried unsuccessfully to pivot into […]

V22 say no used
10.27.14

just say no

From What Great Brands Do:  To be great, you need to say no.   I thought of this insight when I read a recent Businessweek article by Lindsay Rupp, “J. Crew CEO Drexler Says Retailer Will Sit Out Athletic Trend.”  J. Crew Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler is quoted as explaining the decision, “Where we thought […]

V13 personal dialogue

From What Great Brands Do:  Emotional brand-building requires you to develop a personal dialogue with your customers on the issues that are most meaningful to them. Remember, when connecting with customers, it’s WIFM — what’s in it for me (the customer)?! other #WGBD quotes: you have nothing worth communicating what business are we really in? […]

aaker on branding

–  the book:  Aaker on Branding:  20 Principles That Drive Success –  the brain:  One of the definitive voices on branding, David Aaker.  Dave has published more than 100 articles and 15 books on branding, brand strategy, and brand management, including Managing Brand Equity and Building Strong Brands, two texts that have served as my […]

brand logos thumbs up

James Surowiecki’s column in The New Yorker last week, Twilight of the Brands, seemed to suggest that brands are dying.  He argued that the usefulness of brands has decreased given that “consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos.” His observations about […]

avoid selling products

Yep, you read that right.  Great brands actually avoid selling products.  Great brands know that people make purchase decisions based on how products make them feel or the identities products help them experience or express — so they seek to create emotional connections with people and use product features as mere support for that emotional […]