Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
So, I'm going to put More Than A Logo on pause until its 4th birthday, May 24th, while I evolve it to be more digestible, collaborative and inspiring for both myself and you guys, my awesome readers :-)
Thanks for understanding!
Posted by Nicole Armstrong at 12:56 PM
Monday, March 18, 2013
My personal brand purpose is to help organisations, around the world, make meaning and live it every day. But over the last few months I've been pondering how organisations can best make meaning today.
To clarify, when I say ‘make meaning’, I’m referring to creating significant, well-intentioned moments for people, which delivers on an organisation’s brand promise to create long-term trust and demand for its brand(s).
What I've come to realize is that meaning doesn't come from language – carefully selected words to create branded statements or tag lines, which can be overturned and made irrelevant with one slip. Take for example RBS during its 4 day process failure, an incident that caused serious consumer doubt in its Helpful Banking ethos; or Toyota, in 2010, with its massive recall due to clutch-failure, making its ‘Moving Forward’ line irrelevant. These examples prove that what we were taught growing up - actions speak louder than words - still remains true. But meaning doesn't come into full form through action alone, rather it involves interaction.
To create meaning, it involves doing something for someone, which isn't a passive experience. Rather, it’s very much an involved experience, and this is clearly an expectation for people today and even more so for those of tomorrow.
Clay Shirky's quote in reference to his 4 year-old niece going up to the TV to try and swipe away an advert, says it all:
“Media that's targeted at you, but doesn't include you may not be worth sitting still for”
But this concept is not new, rather, it goes back to the days of Benjamin Franklin where he said:
“Tell me and I will forget; Show me and I might remember, Involve me and I will understand”
So for organizations to make meaning today, they need to create interactions with its customers that both adds value to their lives and delivers on the brand’s promise to establish long-term demand and trust.
Monday, November 26, 2012
…think about how you can make people’s lives better.
Last week, I went to a Contagious lecture called Brand as Interface. This means, in this cluttered world, where every brand is vying for a piece of your time, brands need to work harder to justify the time they want in peoples’ lives.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, to satisfy our client’s objectives we need to put the customer at the heart of the solution, creating a valuable exchange. How can we do this? Let me explain through an example:
The Red Tomato VIP Hungry Button, is a button you push and it automatically orders your desired pizza from Red Tomato, a pizza company in Dubai.
The objective was how can we get people ordering more pizza?
Rather than going to the old standby offer - buy one get one free, etc., they looked at the barriers to ordering a pizza. Instead of looking to gain more market share, they looked internally at their customer journey first, and realised there was a significant language barrier when people were calling to make their order. The realised that in Dubai, with people from so many different countries with many different accents, the typical call to order took something like 9-minutes. The barriers were too high to order pizza regularly.
Taking this insight, they created a button people register online with their mobile number and favourite order. Then when they're hungry for a pizza, all they have to do is push the button and within 30-minutes their pizza is delivered.
They distributed the button to their existing customers, passing out about 3,000 buttons, which resulted in around 97,000 requests for the button after hearing about it. This simple solution increased deliveries by 500% in only 4 weeks. And it only cost the business $9,000 to make!
A simple solution, with massive impact, because it provided meaningful value to their customers, while also meeting the business' objectives.
So next time we get a brief from a client to do a promotion pushing more product, get more people to do ‘X’, etc, lets take a step back and look at what’s preventing people from doing what the client wants them to do, and start thinking of the solution from here, looking for the desired outcomes first, in relation to the customer, and then devising the solution.
So, I challenge all of us, when we’re in the shower, cycling or walking into work, lets think about what we can create, on behalf of our clients, to make people’s lives better.
Friday, November 23, 2012
48 Sheets, Facebook pages, TV commercials, mobile apps, Pinterest boards, etc. are not questions. Rather, they may be the answer...maybe!
To get to the answer, we need a specific question - a question based on a business specific challenge/opportunity/etc. (i.e. our NPS is low, our conversion rate a low, retention keeps declining, our call center calls are doubling, we're losing margin, we have a random group of people who have found a new use for our product, etc.), while centering it around the customer's needs - what's the outcome/result we're trying to achieve for the customer.
It's important to map out the customer's journey in relation to the client's objectives to determine the task. Mapping the journey begins to identify gaps, pain points and other opportunities the organization to can solve to enhance to person's experience, providing them with genuine value. Once you have a particular gap identified, you can begin to frame your question/task. And only at this point can you start to explore the types of technology and/or platforms you can leverage to solve this question.
So, the next time you think your brand needs an app, ask why? What am I really trying to achieve here? Maybe an app isn't the right solution, maybe there's a more effective and meaningful solution at the heart of my actual objective.
The same goes for agencies - the next time your client asks for a Pinterest idea, etc., ask why before saying yes. Determine the root business challenge they're trying to solve. Then say yes to solving that question, which may result in a partnership program, a bespoke community, a new product, who knows what it could be, but at least you can be sure your client's objectives are being met with the consumer's interests and needs in mind, resulting in an effective, insight driven piece of work that matters.
Posted by Nicole Armstrong at 5:00 AM
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Last week, my flat was robbed, and to my surprise an interesting brand related observation came about.
To anyone whose home has been broken into, I'm sure you will agree it's an awful feeling - knowing someone has riffled through your things, without any consideration of the personal value you have for your possessions, picking and choosing what to take based on what they think will sell the fastest and for the highest price.
It's a horrible experience, but I couldn't help but think, "what an interesting way to gauge spontaneous brand value!"
In my case, Apple and Tiffany were clear winners of high spontaneous brand value.
The scene was strange to me, with a Louis Vuitton speedy bag, Chanel earrings and an external hard drive laying on the bed, along with my Tiffany silver key necklace on top of the chest of drawers. What wasn't there made the scene even more bizarre - surprise surprise my MacBook and iPad were gone, along with all my heirloom jewellery. Then after a couple hours of the initial shock, I realised the robbers took my empty Tiffany boxes, but left the actual Tiffany necklace on the chest of drawers!!
Wow! Talk about the power of well branded packaging! It proved to have higher spontaneous brand value than the product itself!
The famous Tiffany blue and it's iconic boxes are imbedded in people's minds around the world as a symbol of high value products that even my robbers, who are clearly not very bright, leaving Chanel boxes, let alone the jewellery, behind, assumed high return on theft based on the packaging alone - no matter what's inside, the blue box told him it's worth something.
This made me realise there's an interesting way to determine/measure brand value - ask your ideal consumers to take what ever they think has the greatest value (which would be first to sell and for the greatest amount) on first sight, from a selection of you and your competitors' products.
This then tells you if all your marketing initiatives are adequately adding up to a strong positioning and perceived value in your market.
Even though I could have done without this experience, it's always best to look for opportunities. This is why I'm going to see how long I can go without a computer, relying solely on my iPhone for all my personal computing needs, hence this post has been written on my iPhone this afternoon :)
Posted by Nicole Armstrong at 8:47 AM
Monday, September 3, 2012
Lately, I've been working with a number of organisations on how to leverage social media to help define their brand. And what I've come to realise, is that most brands are not using social media intelligently. Rather than thinking about what role they want social channels to play in delivering the brand's promise, while satisfying key business objectives, they begin yelling, trying to out-post the competition. Sadly, this results in either upset followers, who then unfollow those brands or, worse, they become jaded and skim over anything those brands have to say, as followers become conditioned to believe that it's another meaningless piece of branded content.
Brands need to smarten up, and have more realisations like the one my client had last week, where they said, 'for too long we thought social media was a free place to post all the stuff we didn't have budget for...but to do it right, it requires budget, focus and effort' - Amen!
So, rather than trying so hard to engage with consumers, which results in a ton of meaningless content pushed onto people, let's be more precious with those moments to engage. What do I mean by this? I'm talking about Precious Posting - engage with purpose, less often and with greater impact!
Treat engagement on social channels like a beating heart...if your heart beats too fast, it's unable to push an adequate amount of blood through your body, making it work harder and, over time, causes stress to the heart which may lead to heart failure down the line. But if your heart stops completely...well, we know what happens then. So really, you should have a steady heart rate with adequate pauses between beats, allowing each beat to be strong enough to push the right amount of blood through your body.
This works the same for engaging with people online. If a brand pumps out tons of 'engaging' content everyday, followers eventually just skim over the content because it becomes overwhelming. Then the brand works even harder to get its message heard/experienced for little to no impact. On the flip side, if a brand isn't present on social channels, it won't appear on people's radars one bit, making the brand irrelevant compared to its competition, who is present.
So, what's the happy medium?
It's to engage with followers when the brand actually has something to say. Don't post anything that doesn't serve a purpose. It must engage with followers in a way that is useful to them and contains a singular message, so not to confuse or overwhelm them. Then, during the times you aren't doing anything new and noteworthy, stay quite. Continue to create meaningful content, but on a significantly lower frequency.
With Precious Posting in social media, brand's are able to put more energy towards creating truly remarkable moments of engagement, during periods that are important to the organisation and the followers. This results in greater standout among the competition, because rather than just pushing out lots of average content, your brand will push out one amazing thing, that is relevant to your followers, capturing their attention and stimulating the domino effect of organic reach as they share the cool thing your brand just did.
So before you decide you need to be in social channels, ask yourself why? And what role can your brand play in this space? If you decide it's the right place for your brand, be considered with your engagement and only post when you have something of merit going on to maximise your impact.
Make each post precious!
Posted by Nicole Armstrong at 12:47 AM