Archive for September, 2011

Recession Marketing and E-ink

We don’t have to wait around for the official NBER ruling to sense that a new recession is already here.  Or, perhaps more accurately, the last one never really ended — it just got less worse.

The new recession won’t hit marketing like the last one.  There will probably be two major differences.

First — marketing spending will not take a big hit.  In fact, it may increase.  Based on my informal conversations with people around the industry (one advantage of being the president of the NYAMA is that I get to speak to a lot of people) is that this downturn will accelerate changes already underway.  In general budgets will not be frozen like 2008/2009.  Rather, there rate of shifting spending will increase.

Second — Mobile is finally taking off, thanks to the iPad, the Galaxy and, perhaps, the Kindle Fire.  And what is interesting is that they are all taking very different routes to their success (assuming Fire doesn’t miss).

The promise of these technologies has been tantalizing for years.  I worked with E-Ink when it was an MIT start-up that used pager technology to create changing in-store displays.  Our project was to help increase visibility of their company and technology.  One of our ideas was for a dress to be made out of E-Ink.  Another was for the cover of the New Yorker to be in E-ink. The ideas were right but the timing was wrong.  Then came the Kindle and changed all of that.

The possibilities of mobile marketing are only beginning to be explored.  Digital is mobile is social is digital.  I suspect that the turmoil this will create in the marketing world will be tremendous.

L’shana Tova

L’shana Tova to all who are celebrating the Jewish New Year’s.  Here’s a video for us

Okay, and now the marketing twist.  Branding + Religion = Branded Nation by James Twitchell.  About half an hour after watching the video and sharing it with friends, Twitchell’s book just popped into my brain.  The book’s subtitle:  Marketing Megachurch, College Inc and Museumworld

Branded Nation by James Twitchell

Coherence, Not Consistency

Brands are built through coherence.  They are built through the sum of many parts that fit together but do not duplicate or needlessly repeat each other.

McDonald’s tells different stories to different audiences.  Together all of those individual stories add up into a large narrative of the brand.  They call this “brand journalism” at McDonald’s. It is coherent, not repetitive and not contradictory.  And that is very very large part of the success of McDonald’s for the past 7 years.  If they had stuck to the advice of consistency they’d be a niche brand.  Today they are a mass brand, telling many relevant stories.

One of the most consistently repeated myths of branding is the need for consistency.

“A rose is a rose is a rose” Gertrude Stein

From #19: The Law Of Consistency:  “Limitation combined with consistency (over decades not years) is what builds a brand” Al Ries and Laura Ries

Could you imagine Steve Jobs telling everyone at Apple: “our brand is going to same the same thing for the next 2 decades even as we move away from the iMac and introduce the iPhone and iPad.  Technology is dynamic.  Business is dynamic.  People change.  But we’ll just say the same thing over and over and over again.” 

A simple solution is that the next time you see the word consistency, think coherency instead.

Get More! Pay Less! A Public Service Announcement for Marketers

No, there is no advertising on this blog.  However, from time to time I do run public service announcements for non-profits.  Today’s public service announcement is to everyone the TriState marketing community from the New York American Marketing Association:

Not yet a member of the NYAMA?  Sign up now for a special offer:  a $20 Gift Card at Amazon and a waiver of the $30 application fee.  You can sign up at

New York American Marketing Associations

But wait!  There’s more!  With your NYAMA membership you’ll be able to save 20% on membership at CRUNCH (the gym, not the Capt’n).

And if you join now…you can get the membership rate on upcoming events like the one on Social Media on September 20th or the monthly NYAMA networking event on Monday, September 26th.  Because when you attend the events, you’ll have opportunities make connections with other NY area marketers.  Connect with new people and reconnect with people you know.

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