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Fred Wilson is a blogger (www.avc.com) and businessman I admire greatly. He blogs daily and share his knowledge without second thought.  He’s probably the most prominent VC on the east coast if not the county.  In a recent speech given at MIT, he mentioned that on his first ever test there he had gotten a zero.  About MIT he said, and I paraphrase, “When you go to MIT to go from being the smartest kid at your school to being the dumbest.” Anyway when asked about his nil test score his professor the response was “You didn’t understand the question.”

Here’s the thing about brand planning. The ones who get it right aren’t the ones with the best methodology or framework. They are the ones who understand the question. The problem is that question always changes. Yesterday I posted brand strategy is not Chaos Theory.  But if the question changes for every brand strategy, isn’t that a bit chaotic?

A generic question for all brands might be “What value or behavior does the brand provide that best meets the needs of the customer?”  Doesn’t seem like a bad question. But, per Fred Wilson’s professor, it’s the wrong one. Only when you are waist deep in a brand, customer care-abouts and brand good-ats can one ask the real question. It will be a business question, tempered by consumer insight, and help you pass that first and last test.

Happy hunting!

Peace.

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Fred Wilson VC from Union Square Partners and a blogging hero of mine was quoted today on AVC as saying “…it hasn’t been that easy for a seller to be creative on social networks. Posting a link to their shop on facebook, or tweeting or pinning their latest item is fine. But doing that over and over quickly gets boring for everyone.”

Social networks are template based mediums. You know what else is a template based media? Broadcast advertising: TV and radio. And they tend to suffer a similar fate. So how do advertising agents break the broadcast template? I think we try to make it twitch-able. (A twitch being a media move from one device to another in search of clarification.) Shazam is something that can do this. Twitter too. But no one has done a great, breakthrough job with these technologies in broadcast yet. It’s coming.

So what’s the Idea? Send me your thoughts (steve@whatstheidea.com) so we can break out of this broadcast boredom cycle.

Peace.

 

 

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phil jackson quote                                                Andy Weissman, Union Square Partners

I read this quote yesterday written by Union Square Partner’s Andy Weissman. It was mentioned by Fred Wilson in his blog AVC. The point of the quote was that venture capitalists are most effective when they provide a framework for decision-making to funded companies. Having worked at a start-up with a very special product, but no framework, I can empathize. The start-up went under but the lesson stuck. It stuck hard. A billion dollars hard.

My business, What’s the Idea?, a brand and marketing consultancy, is dedicated to providing frameworks to companies –start-up or otherwise – who understand the need for business-winning structure. For business winning decision making. I’ve written scores or marketing plans; the ones that work adhere to a brand strategy framework.

Yogi Berra said “If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there.” To that I will add, if you don’t arm your players or employees with a framework they will have a hard time performing. Peace!

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