brand strategy tarot cards

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“Hope is unfortunately a terrible marketing plan” is a lovely quote from Nancy Johnson, of the North Dakota Soy Bean Growers Association.  Another terrible marketing plan is “stasis” — taking out last year’s marketing plan and adjusting the line items for inflation.  A marketing plan needs to move to stay alive. Just like sharks.

Hope springs eternal, but marketing is about control. Controlling the product or service. Controlling the price. The distribution. And the promotion. If you are not monitoring and affecting all four annually, you are living in Hopesville.

I would also add to that, if you are not tracking all four Ps (product, place, price and promotion) vis a vis a brand strategy, you are skiing in untracked snow without a destination. You are skiing yes. But you are not organized in your efforts.

If you’d like to see where your brand tracks are leading, take me up on my Brand Strategy Tarot Cards offer. 

Peace|

 

 

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I offer a fun brand exploratory to client prospects of a certain size called “Brand Strategy Tarot Cards,” in which I turn over 5 pieces of company/product content and do a reading. One such piece is the boilerplate – the copy on the About section of the website.

Here is a sample from a successful insurance software company, with the name changed to protect the innocent:

At Insurance Plus, we specialize in Property & Casualty software and services. It’s our focus and our passion. We’ve been doing it for over 25 years and we do it really well.

Over the years, we have used our deep insurance industry experience and sophisticated technology expertise to envision, develop, and deliver the most comprehensive core systems and data solutions devoted exclusively to commercial, personal and specialty lines of business.

We continually bring new thinking and new functionality to the market. We’ve forged deep relationships with our customers and keep them ahead of the technology curve with innovative solutions and a content library that has no equal. Over the past years, we’ve acquired companies to add to the list of solutions to better serve the market and our customers.

The lede of this About section boilerplate can be found in quote marks in the post headline. (The Really is mine.)

Beyond the fact that they are in the property and casualty software business, the only real information here is they are 25 years old and have bought other companies.  That’s it. The rest is marko-babble.

Branding is about pouring value into a product or service vessel. And doing so in a way that consumers can play back.

Many companies are starved for brand strategy. It’s tragic.

Peace.

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I have decided to work on the What’s The Idea? website, expanding it to include a number of offerings, real and in Beta. Here’s a list of the first few offerings to be included — some of which are also memes on the web.

Return on Strategy (ROS). Unlike return on investment where expenditures on tactical marketing dollars or project dollars are measured, return on strategy links revenue and value to strategy.  With ROS, attitudes, perceptions and dispositions are weighed against behaviors and sales to determine drivers of market success.

Brand Strategy Tarot Cards. In the brand strategy tarot card reading, client companies come to the meeting with 5 pieces of content.  Serially and in real time each piece of content is turned over and read.  Learnings and gleanings are shared with the marketing team until all five pieces are revealed. The reading ends with a summary of brand strategy and a view into the brand future.

Brand Strategy Workshop. This three part workshop walks attendees through the key stages of the What’s The Idea? brand strategy development framework. This hands on, participatory workshop allows attendees to more fully understand brand strategy by experiencing the discovery, boil down and synthesis process that results in powerful brand ideas.

Posters Vs. Pasters. Born out of social media research, Posters vs. Pasters is a quick-draw research tool used to arrive at consumer and market insights. It is a wonderful early stage brand planning discovery tool. At last count the market was make up of 92% Pasters, 8% Posters.

Twitch Point Planning.  A Twitch Point is a media moment during which a consumer changes his or her media consumption in search of clarification or greater meaning. Often changing devices or apps. Understanding, mapping and manipulating these twitch points in a way that moves users closer to a sale is the goal of Twitch Point Planning. Think customer journey with real weigh points.

Stay tuned. And all inquiries are welcome.

Peace.

 

 

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tarot cards

I have a cool idea for a “What’s The Idea?” promotion.  (Disclosure: What’s The Idea? is an open source company and believes strategy frameworks should be open and shared.) The promotion is entitled “Tarot Card Assessment.”  The idea needs a little help from my friends and friendettes as Rohsaan Roland Kirk might have said. So feel free to weigh in.

I plan on offering a free 1 hour brand strategy assessment to marketers understand their current brand position – or lack thereof. In a tarot card reading, three cards are turned over.  In a Brand Strategy Tarot Card reading, I will turn over five or 6 cards. But they won’t actually be cards, they’ll be pieces of content. 

So here are a couple of ideas as to what types of content we’ll look at, just to get the ball rolling:

  1. Press release boiler plate. (With more time, I’d ask for the boiler plate from the past 6 years. It changes and these changes are quite telling.)
  2. Website Homepage and About page copy. (The About page often reflects the boilerplate.)
  3. Text from an important recent CEO speech — either to analysts, industry group or media.
  4. Most famous ad. 
  5. The latest 10 Tweets.  
  6. Company mission statement.

My intent is to turn these content pieces over in front of the CMO, one at a time, read them aloud and interpret them in real time. At the end of the reading, aggregate observations will be shared and if I’m quick enough I’ll provide a meme-able brand position statement. 

So planners, any thoughts as to other brand strategy tarot cards I might use?

Peace.                

 

 

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