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Slide #39: Plan for content you don't create.

Very wise words indeed.

I'd add to that:

"Plan for media you cannot buy."

Great slides, Paul. Thanks for sharing.

What's the audience for this? Great presentation for clients (to get them on board), what about something a little braver for practitioners?

Thanks Chi-chi. Good point about the media.

Tim - I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. It's not for practitioners really. The audience for Deepspace is a broad mix of people including students, clients, agency types and freelancers/consultants.

Lover your stuff -- mostly, Paul. About the brand definition -- really good, from the perspective of the business. Problem is, you really have to see it from the perspective of the individuals, as a collective, to truly know your own brand. The subtle differences aren't all that subtle. The subtle differences are the clues: the whiff of smoke before the flash fire, the lapping of water before the sinking, the metal scraping before the dead stop. That's business braille.

Neat, clean, simple thought. For the audience that you described - a broad mix of people including students, clients, agency types and freelancers/consultants - it captures the prevailing intelligence perfectly. But, as Tim said, I think practitioners are the ones who really need to understand this through and through. Many agencies, traditional and digital, don't GET that campaigning may get them one-off clients and good money, but if they don't commit, they'll soon cease to exist because it is all about the people and people want stories - they want commitment, they want to be surprised, they want to be involved. Too many agencies don't walk the talk!




We talk about these things at my blog every single day, and I agree with a lot of what you said. I do take exception, however, with "audience" being an old, outdated term and "community" being its replacement. I think the outdated term is "consumer" and the replacement is "audience." In the media industry--especially in active media like print magazines and the Internet--the words audience and community can be used interchangeably. But I prefer audience. Take "Meet the Beckers," a hush hush content marketing play from Audi (details here: http://www.postadvertising.com/post/2008/09/29/Car-Personalities-Meet-the-Beckers.aspx ). The initiative treats a potential Audi buyer as a member of an audience rather than a consumer to be marketed to. The production values on the show are high and there is much more attention paid to entertainment and value than to messaging and selling. On the other hand, there is no community here, and I doubt there will be. I'm not sure it would be possible for there to be. Not all effective marketing in the post-advertising age treats the audience as a community.

Exceptional work. I'd like to hear your presentation.

I like your concepts: 1. brand coherence must transcend messages and media, 2. brand includes product, 3. marketers should expect, encourage and incorporate fan content, etc.

On slide #4, I have often heard of one's brad referred to as one's "promise". While it manifests itself in what people say, feel and think, there is also an element of expectation. While buying and before drinking your 2nd (or 200th) Coke, you have a set of expectations which result from your prior experience with the product, friends who have consumed it, its advertising, packaging, etc.

Paula - Thank you for your note. Glad you "mostly" love my stuff. ;) Completely agree with you on knowing what people truly think about your brand and being able to catch the subtleties that are missed by most people. Great reminder for us all to really do good research and not make assumptions.

Anjali - Thank you as well and yes, many practitioners need to step back and look at the bigger picture. Hard to convince most of them of in the current economy, but you're absolutely right that many don't look at it the right way. As for people wanting ALL of the things you listed, well, I think that's debatable. It very much depends on your brand / category / industry.

Asi - Haha. Many thanks and you're far too kind.

Jeremy - Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I have to disagree though. "Audience" assumes people want to hear and will pay attention to what you have to say. As if they're just sitting there, waiting for you to perform or entertain them. It also can create the notion that the brand doesn't have to consider what people want and it can just get on stage and say/do whatever it wants. Furthermore, it refers to calling the people you're marketing is directed toward as a "Target Audience" which is even worse - as though you're going to assault them with your performance / message / etc.

As for "Community," I'm not talking about social media / social networking sites / features / tools. I'm talking about how you view the people you're directing your marketing towards. In a new model, if you think of these people as a "Community" you want to be a member of, it changes how the brand behaves. The brand has to consider how what it says and does will be received by the community rather than just getting on stage and performing, assuming people will just want to pay attention.

Feel free to disagree again, but I really do think "Audience" is the wrong way to look at people.

Michael - You're absolutely right that the brand needs to consider their marketing messages as "promises" to people and that these set expectations. Jet Blue is a brand who has shown us exactly how not to do things lately by "promising" a "Happy Jetting" experience, but then charging people for blankets and pillows, not to mention two of their pilots getting in trouble for assaulting a cab driver. Thank you for taking time to comment.

Paul... Thank you for sharing.


Love the presentation. Curious as to how this aligns with Space's position on branding: "Overcommitted to business evolution, we upgrade our entire logo and identity system every 150 days"

Is this more your POV or Space's?


Pedro - you're welcome. Thanks for taking time to leave a note.

Adam -

Thank you for leaving a comment and asking about space. And thank you more for being respectful and thoughtful with your challenge to how this aligns.

As the disclaimer over on the lower right says, "all views expressed on this blog are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views of his company, clients, co-workers, friends, nor family."

That said, in this case, they align perfectly, in more ways than one. First, consider the word right in front of "business evolution." It says "Overcommitted." Our commitment is to remaining relevant and evolving. Second, space has always encouraged and supported our people to freely think and share their thoughts - both internally and externally. That was a big reason for why I moved here and accepted the job just over a year ago.

I think the place you may be thinking it doesn't align is from the word "commitment." Commitment isn't about having the exact same look, logo, tagline or message every single time, year after year after year. It's about being true to a set of core values or a core idea that never changes.

If you look at the history of how we've talked about space150 and what the ideas and values are behind each version, the core of them is true again and again. The look changes. The words change. The business cards, web site, banners, note pads, etc. change. But our values and core idea don't. If you were to create a brand molecule for space, it'd be very coherent.

As for helping companies define and refresh their brand, it's the same way. We help them find what's at their core that they can forever stand upon and then bring that out in the work we do for them.

Thanks again for the question and keep up the good work over at C+M.

hello paul,

i have read the 'building lasting brands' post and your notion on core principles. i had been writing about this, too, lately, but from a different angle... i thought my little 'core principle' wordle was something that i happened to make up - in terms of a fused communication/corporate strategy. but after following the link that got me here...

i really like the presentation a lot!

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