Today’s fastest growing, most profoundly impactful companies are using a completely different operating model.
These companies are lean, mean, learning machines. They have an intense bias to action and a tolerance for risk, expressed through frequent experimentation and relentless product iteration. They hack together products and services, test them, and improve them, while their legacy competition edits PowerPoint. They are obsessed with company culture and top tier talent, with an emphasis on employees that can imagine, build, and test their own ideas. They are maniacally focused on customers. They are hypersensitive to friction – in their daily operations and their user experience. They are open, connected, and build with and for their community of users and co-conspirators. They are comfortable with the unknown – business models and customer value are revealed over time. They are driven by a purpose greater than profit; each has its own aspirational “dent in the universe.” We may simply refer to them as the first generation of truly responsive organizations.
To win in the marketplace, someone has to create and deliver exceptional products, services, and experiences, and planning won’t get us there. the emphasis on People is all about making. “Makers” are people who have skills (as opposed to credentials). They think by doing: experimenting, testing, and learning. Within these high performance cultures management has evolved into something more akin to mentorship. The thinking goes, if workers are capable of making decisions about their priorities and workflow, what’s left for the manager is skills development, knowledge sharing, and helping with roadblocks – the Montessori method gone corporate.
Rory Sutherland knows how to save marketing. A very good article published in Wired where he discusses important business and behaviour issues. The human is far less a rational calculating machine than a kind of anxious, moralising, herd-like, reciprocating, image-conscious, story-telling game theorist. While facing an influx of data presented to us in everyday situations, we adopt cognitive short-cuts.
#1 The mere availability effect – mental proximity #2 Habituation and defaults – “If nothing bad happened last time, do what I did last time.” #3 Social proof and contagion – herd heuristic #4 To a game theorist customer loyalty is not irrational
His recommendation: It is not to the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates that we should look for the next great revolution in economic life, but rather to thinkers such as Daniel Kahneman, Robert Kurzban, Dan Ariely, Robert Trivers, Gerd Gigerenzer, Timothy D Wilson and John Tooby.
A great presentation “the conversation starts from within’ about remarkable communication. And that it has to be built into or around the product. It’s increasingly difficult to compensate average, undifferentiated products through remarkable communication. A new generation of brands built around remarkable new services. In different fields Tom Himpe gives inspiring examples.
The term “archetypes”, as it is used in marketing today, has its origins in Carl Gustav Jung’s theories. He believed that universal, mythic characters— archetypes—reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Archetypal images represent fundamental human desires and evoke deep emotions. There are 12 archetypes which symbolizes a basic human need, aspiration or motivation. In other words, an archetype is a human type in its purest form: the classic hero, outlaw, ruler, etc. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits.
Media neutral model
A single idea or thought is spread across the different touchpoints. This is believed to be more effective as the same idea is represented in various media, which reinforces the impact on the consumer. This is illustrated in the media neutral planning model. The main question here is ‘what is the right media mix?’.
Transmedia narrative – a story that unfolds across different platforms. Question here is ‘how do we create fans who talk and share their experiences with their friends and social networks’? The model underneath illustrates that thought. Although the consumer experiences the brand narrative in a non-linear way, as a planner you still need to know (in a linear way) what to communicate when and how. That is the challenge.
Kevin Lane Keller’s well known Customer-Based Brand Equity Model shows the process of building strong brands. Powerful brands create meaningful images in the minds of consumers (Keller, 1993), with brand image and reputation enhancing differentiation and thus potentially having a positive influence on buying behaviour. Branding in consumer markets has been shown to increase a company’s financial performance and long term competitive position.
The Brand Asset Valuator of advertising agency Young & Rubicam measures Brand Value by applying four broad factors:
Differentiation Differentiation is the ability for a brand to stand apart from its competitors. A brand should be as unique as possible. Brand health is built and maintained by offering a set of differentiating promises to consumers and delivering those promises to leverage value.
Relevance Relevance is the actual and perceived importance of the brand to a large consumer market segment. This gauges the personal appropriateness of a brand to consumers and is strongly tied to household penetration (the percentage of households that purchase the brand).
Esteem Esteem is the perceived quality and consumer perceptions about the growing or declining popularity of a brand. Does the brand keep its promises? The consumer’s response to a marketer’s brandbuilding activity is driven by his perception of two factors: quality and popularity, both of which vary by country and culture.
Knowledge Knowledge is the extent of the consumer’s awareness of the brand and understanding of its identity. The awareness levels about the brand and what it stands for shows the intimacy that consumers share with the brand. True knowledge of the brand comes through brand-building.
Differentiation and Relevance taken together say a lot about its growth potential (“Brand Vitality”), while Esteem and Knowledge determine the current power of a brand (“Brand Stature”).
A Survey based on the Brand Asset Valuator is conducted annually containing data about 20.000 brands, based on the opinion of over 230.000 respondents in 44 countries. The model is about building, measuring and managing brand equity.
Brand Equity model (Brandt and Johnson, 1997)
“Brand equity is the unique set of real and/or perceived distinctions attached to a brand by customers…. Brand equity lives only in the hearts and minds of customers.”
The Brand House model consists of three elements:
the brand dream (the ambition of the brand), the brand promise (the emotional promise of the brand towards the target group) and the brand values (representing the character of the brand).
I found on the internet the Brand House of the Dutch Tourist Office (VVV). Promise: “You feel enriched by the ‘local color’. When you come into contact with the tourist office, at the office, on the website or at one of the many ways in which the tourist is present, you experience the value. You’ve received something extra that is rooted in the pride of the city or region and knowledge of the locality.
Dream: “Everyone enjoys his free time in the Netherlands. Netherlands is beautiful and has a lot to offer. The tourist office is very aware that the Netherlands, is more special than many people think. Within the Netherlands there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whoever you are and what your needs are. But you must know how to find. The Tourist Office is there to make that dream a reality for all Dutch and all others.