Archive for January, 2008

Best Quote So Far

January 31, 2008

Re the product launch discussed earlier, we’ve gotten substantial traction with both traditional press and bloggers. I won’t cover it here – that’s work, not blog-life – but my favorite comment to date is here.

Why do I like it? Because of the frankness of the line “If Hoover’s doesn’t F#*% this up, Hoover’s Connect could be a viable alternative to LinkedIn.” That kind of honesty helps us know what the stakes are…thanks, Alarm:Clock!


V-Day for Geeks

January 31, 2008

OK, don’t tell my wife she’s getting this for Valentine’s Day.


ThinkGeek continues to impress with their smart marketing for smart masses. Notice that you can purchase an extra transmitter box…in case you want the hearts to light up when you’re near something other than a person. Between that and the great Valentine’s gift guide for other options, everyone – even the lonely geek – should be able to celebrate V-Day.

Update to “I can haz cheeseburger in a can?”

January 31, 2008

This guy bought, cooked and ate one. High on Digg right now so don’t be surprised if the link goes down. I am fascinated by this


Update: I didn’t mean to imply that I was high on Digg, just that the link was. But I would have to be high on something to eat a burger that looked like that.

Bulldog in a china shop

January 31, 2008

No point to this post, just my love of mixed up metaphors. My mother was fond of the phrase “burning the midnight oil at both ends.” I recently had a conversation about how my passion for doing the right thing for customers led me to be a bit pushy at times. The phrase that came to mind was “bulldog in a china shop.”

To quote John Prine, “When the world was flat as a pancake, Mona Lisa was as happy as a clam.”

What’s your brand theme?

January 31, 2008

There’s probably a more marketing-y word for it, but it occurs to me that the successful brands have recurring themes.


When I was at Dell, it was comparative value. Even a high-end, high-margin box was positioned in terms of being more value for the money than the competition. Of course the big lead driver was the low-end box in the FSI (newspaper inserts for the acronym-averse). Dell products that don’t offer superior value for the money don’t succeed.

If I had to sum up the theme I get from all Apple products, it’s “I get pleasure from using this.” Flipping through photos on an iPhone is a sensual experience (no, not that kind of photos), made more so by the interaction with the touchpad. Apple products that stray from that (think Newton, but there have been others) don’t succeed.

OK, there’s a lot of talk about personal branding, ‘brand you‘, etc. Career Warfare covers that extensively. Think about the fact that Apple, Dell and other companies inevitably fail when they stray from their major brand themes. Then apply that to personal branding.

Can you succeed by straying from your personal brand theme? Or are you better off figuring out what it is and pushing it as far as you can go?

Your personal brand theme is the result of many choices you’ve made, choices as basic as “do I keep promises or not”, “am I nice to everyone I meet or just people that I think can help me.” But don’t confuse that with thinking your brand theme is a choice. It’s not. Dell doesn’t just choose to go high-end with XPS. Instead, they choose to start making a series of different choices than they have before. It’s more like turning over a new leaf and less like flipping a switch.

Everything goes as planned

January 30, 2008

Testing the new product and everything is copacetic. A couple small bugs that are getting stomped now, nothing more

Is Bill Hicks Right?

January 29, 2008

Can marketing create value? Bill’s timeless rant, Adbusters…a lot of folks sure think it can’t.

If you know a marketer who creates value – or if you are one – let me know about it.

I can haz cheeseburger in a can?

January 29, 2008


Some products sell themselves. Others are packaged well enough that it’s OK if they sit on the shelf for eons.

I see a great novelty gift if nothing else…

Nothing goes as planned

January 29, 2008

Doing user testing for a product launch tonight. So far, no workee. Our President is on a panel tomorrow speaking about this very product.

So tonight I’m thinking about the right spin for “the product doesn’t work and that’s a good thing.” Is that creating value? Well…if I can pull it off, our fearless leader will find value in it