My Mantra

Helping brands and leaders be more influential
by embracing their humanity and personality.

Archive for June, 2011

Marketing From Hell

IMB_Hell_GrandCayman Tomorrow I am going to Hell … literally. There is an area on Grand Cayman Island nicknamed "Hell"  thanks to some black limestone formations that (as legend has it) caused a local at one point to explain that "this is what hell must look like!" As you might expect, the area has been turned into a tourist destination, where the star attraction is a Post Office which specializes in letting you send a postcard home directly from Hell (with official postmark included).

Imagine for a moment that you had the challenge to create a destination based on a normal natural phenomenon like these limestone formations. Sure, a catchy name like "hell" would certainly help … but your real goal isn't just to create a memorable experience – it is to create a shareable one as well.

How many tourists do you think visit Hell and DON'T send a postcard home? Not very many. Part of the fun of going there is sharing it with friends and family back home. In Hell, they don't have signs asking visitors to please join a neglected Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. Their marketing is built into the experience itself – and it works because of it.

The next time you are considering some method of desperation marketing to get your customers to talk about the experience you offer, remember that the ideal solution might be to find a way to make word of mouth an inherent part of how people interact with your business. The result could be creating something as shareable as going to hell and back in an afternoon.

5 Strategies For Naming Your Business

Earlier this year, an issue of Fast Company magazine featured an interesting article by Chip and Dan Heath talking about the art of brand names. They focused on Lexicon, one marketing agency with a track record for creating iconic brand names like Blackberry and the Colgate Wisp. The process they uncovered is part science, part serendipity – but it wa…Read More >>

10 Big Brand Lessons From The Corporate Social Media Summit

10 Big Brand Lessons From The Corporate Social Media Summit

Yesterday I spent the day at the Corporate Social Media Summit, a big gathering of some of the best minds in leading social media efforts on behalf of large corporate brands. The event was put on by the team at Useful Social Media – and that indeed was the theme of the day as panelists offered real case studies, answered…Read More >>

The $1 Million Specialization Question

The $1 Million Specialization Question

Of all the small business marketing issues that I have spoken with colleagues or clients with, there is one that seems to come up with regularity. This so-called million dollar question is around the tricky topic of whether to specialize or talk about your services or products more broadly. On the plus side, if you make it publicly known that…Read More >>

How Australia Uses Social Media To Celebrate Immigrant Experiences

How Australia Uses Social Media To Celebrate Immigrant Experiences

Australia has a unique problem that almost no other country in the world would be able to understand. With a population of just under 20 million people, the country is one of the few places on Earth that anyone might be able to describe as underpopulated. The vast distances most people must travel to get from their home countries to…Read More >>

How To Stand In Your Customer's Shoes (Without A Focus Group)

How To Stand In Your Customer's Shoes (Without A Focus Group)

About two months before I turned in the final manuscript on my first marketing book, it was available for pre-order on Amazon. You could see the cover and the writeup about the book, and unknown to anyone who might have visited that page – the book wasn’t even finished yet. I admit, I did pre-order a copy, mostly out of…Read More >>

Trend: Why Your Second Life Might Matter More Than Your First

If you could have chosen a completely different path for your career, what would you have done? For generations, asking this sort of question was usually an exercise in idle daydreaming. Yet imagine if you lived in a world where you didn't have to choose. Where the alternative career path you never chose could still a part of your life…Read More >>

5 Steps To Surviving A Brand Crisis

5 Steps To Surviving A Brand Crisis

Late last year a crippled Carnival Cruise ship was brought into port with thousands of disgruntled customers. Their vacations were ruined, they were stuck at sea and the media was having a field day covered their plight and the potential downside of the entire category of cruising. If you were Carnival, what would you do? If you are lucky, you…Read More >>

Why You Should Buy Your First 5000 Twitter Followers

Why You Should Buy Your First 5000 Twitter Followers

In 1987, Patrick Dempsey starred in a movie that gave geeks everywhere hope that they might have a shot at being popular. The movie was called Can't Buy Me Love, and the somewhat far fetched storyline was that a geek paid a popular girl at his high school $1000 to pretend to be his girlfriend. Over the course of the…Read More >>