People toss around the terms "thought leader" and "social media expert" lightly these days, but Brian Solis is one of the few people who actually lives up to those names. In The End of Business as Usual, Solis shows how the widespread use of social media is fundamentally changing the business environment.
Are you placing your brand in a “bad neighborhood?” The other day, I was contacted by a BBC reporter, Daniel Nasaw, working on a story about highway naming. At first I thought he had contacted the wrong person, but it turned out there was logic behind his query. The core question, sparked by a move by Virginia to allow corporate sponsorship of highways and bridges, was whether a brand should associate itself with a potentially unpleasant experience. Do motorists, frustrated and angry as the creep along in a traffic jam, think positively of the brand that sponsored that stretch of road? Or does the brand become associated with anger and frustration? […]
Most companies think about extending their brand to maximize their exposure and value. That’s why we have HUMMER cologne (at least while the vehicles were in production), and Purple Oreos. In many cases, these brand extensions makes sense: if a brand’s primary product has entered a phase of slow or low growth, extending the brand to new products may invigorate the whole line. And sometimes a brand extension is more of a statement. A costly fragrance with your product’s logo likely won’t generate massive revenues, but it may enhance the primary product’s image as a luxury item. And where would Coke be without Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and its other siblings?
Sometimes, though a tight brand focus can be the key ingredient for success. I’m reading Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business by Nancy Lublin, and she provides a personal example of keeping a brand tightly focused. […]
Marketable business ideas often have two key characteristics: simplicity, and a way of categorizing products, brands, or companies. The Boston Matrix, for example, launched armies of strategy consultants who neatly fit businesses into buckets labeled, "cash cow," "star," "dog," etc. Kevin Maney's book Trade-Off has those characteristics as well.