In our business creating brand alliances for our clients is an excellent skill set. It's even better if we get a bonus or a percentage of any funding that is changing hands. In some cases, creating strategic brand alliances can not only help two brands promote themselves through a mutually beneficial arrangement, it can virtually keep them "alive" financially. How do you make the right connection? In our world of consumer goods we look for two brands in non competitive categories that could enhance each other. For instance, a brand with a sexy, luxury halo brings cache to a more stalwart mass brand, while the heavy earner brings the cash. In this case, strategic messaging is critical to creating the "right" story so both get what they want: money AND position. In our world we try to keep as flexible and forward thinking as possible. The best way to make an alliance is to allow yourself to be creative. You'd be surprised what brands can make great partners.
I just saw Alice In Wonderland, the film, and though I have not read it in years I think I may have missed something.
I was looking forward to seeing Alice peek out of a doorway too small for her newly big self and glimpse a verdant vista, hedges and lawns and brightly colored flowerbeds. Of course in this well done but not surprisingly creepy Tim Burton version, verdant anything was kept at a minimum. And then there was the big-time creative license TB took with the various creatures and overall timeline. To be expected? Probably. That's TB for you.
Here's the thing... AIW is a classic, and as a fairly strong brand you can do what you want, the song remains the same, so to speak. So, Tim Burton could borrow elements from Carroll poems, insert them in the story line and voilà! It works, no matter how random. Like I said, that's a strong brand for you.
So, how did AIW become such a strong "brand?" First, I think the story tapped into a place we all go at one time or another, our dream life. It did a nice dance with our various inner selves, the ego, id and all that, and then produced an adult parable masquerading as a child's fairy tale. But here's the important part, it gained followers. Maybe not so many at first, but the cult gained momentum overtime, as cults do.
Brands, steal a page from Carroll's fable - make it mean something, stand by it and never lose heart. Even Tim Burton can't mess up your version of the truth...
When I was growing up the tiger brand belonged to a gasoline. You knew with that gas in your car you were going to tear up the road. Oh, it also belonged to Tony the Tiger; your cereal was going to make you feel GGGRRREEEEAAAAT! Then, there was the scary "Eye of the Tiger" song, part of that frightening swath of bad movie soundtracks that I hope will never be resurrected.
Anyway, today, the “brand of tiger” belongs to the man, Tiger Woods. But is his brand out of the woods? Will it ever be fully reconciled with its former self? Of course not. It will never go back to its elusive, excellent former position. But, the brand just might emerge better than ever. Here are 2 scenarios...
1) Tiger comes clean and owns up...
In this scenario we meet Tiger the REAL man. This is Tiger the humble, the guy who slipped off his pedestal (it's darned hard to live under child star scrutiny). This is Tiger who did what a lot of guys do but did it married (a really BAD idea, guys). Tiger, what WERE you thinking... Anyway, he can say sorry, he may never get his wife back, but a humbled, chastened Tiger could be good for his brand and others. For instance, the American car industry, “We were too big for our britches, give us a chance, we're ready to do it right...”
2) Tiger, bad to the bone and loving it!
In this scenario Tiger owns up to being an undercover bad guy. Yep, that's right. I was wrong, but being wrong can feel so right. And not only that, I'm good. Actually, the best in the biz, so get out of my way, let me get back in action. I'll show you guys how it's done. A fast food chain my be a good brand partner here. Yes, this is totally bad for you, but that crazy saturated fat tastes good doesn't it, so WHO CARES!
Tiger most likely you'll have to do a bit of both.
My recco? Just play good golf buddy.
Everyone is talking about the economy. For those of us in business we’ve seen how it has affected our bottom line. Some definitely more than others… We’ve fared very well, but we’ve had our moments. Adjusting, and quickly, can mean the difference in making it or breaking it. But, how to adjust? For our company it has been about strengthening our core competency as we simultaneously look for more inventive, if not more revenue generating ways, to do what we do.
I’ve mentioned the concept of transaction quite a bit in the past few months, and for a good reason. It’s one thing to let people know your brand is out there, but it’s another thing altogether to encourage them to buy the goods. As a communications agency we must be focused on spreading the good news about a brand, but I see our role evolving to include the actual “pushing” of product. I believe that our clients will increasingly care about how our work is truly impacting sales. And as an industry it will be increasingly important for us to show how we are enhancing the bottom line. One reason why I am in love with our work in the social space, and why our Consumer Engagement Marketing team continues to push the envelop for this initiative, is because when it is all said and done, generating more revenue for the client (and being able to prove it) will definitely impact our bottom line.