Content Marketing & Curation Archive
“Started by a woman, in a time when women didn’t start companies.”
These are the powerful first words that introduce the story behind a brand you probably forgot you have in your kitchen right now. Kikkoman is the #1 best selling soy sauce brand worldwide, in a category filled with syrupy competitors that can rarely lay claim to any sort of cultural heritage – much less one than is more than 300 years old.
In an effort to tell that story, a year ago Kikkoman commissioned Academy Award™ Nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker to produce a short documentary film about the heritage and family creed that has inspired Kikkoman since its beginning. The documentary tells the powerful story of Shige Maki, wife of a slain samurai warrior who escaped Osaka to the city of Edo (today’s Tokyo) in the early 1600s.
Settling in the village of Noda with her son, they learned the craft of brewing shoyu – or soy sauce. As author Ronald E. Yates wrote in The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with a Japanese Soul, “behind every bottle of Kikkoman, there’s a Kikko-woman. The remarkable, resourceful, Shige Maki.”
Today the heritage of the company is told through these powerful videos and the modern day translation of their longtime family creed: Make Haste Slowly. In a world that doesn’t seem to do anything slowly anymore, Kikkoman’s approach stands out. Even their marketing strategy is slow and steady. The videos were produced more than a year ago, and still have barely a quarter million views – a low number considering the ubiquity of the brand.
Yet that understated approach may be part of the appeal. Like many others, I discovered the videos through serendipity and now am writing about them thanks to the power of their storytelling. This is the opposite of a Super Bowl ad. We live in a media landscape where big budgets don’t necessarily lead to capturing mass attention, thanks to “advertising blindness.” Fighting back, many marketers have turned to content marketing as a potential solution to capture the attention of overloaded consumers (a topic I have written about the challenges of before).
The theory behind content marketing is simple: provide solutions or utility through content, and the customers will pay attention because you are providing something valuable instead of promotional. Yet the other thing we know about consumer behaviour is that emotional responses to stories can drive powerful behaviours and beliefs. Solving a problem sometimes isn’t as memorable as sharing a powerful story.
And that ultimately may be the most important lesson that Kikkoman’s story and video can teach us. In a world filled with brands desperate to solve problems and brands dedicated to using shock and awe to capture eyeballs … perhaps the only way to really stand out is to quietly tell a great story.
The carpet in my living room this weekend was covered with hundreds of tiny rubber bands. The bands are part of an addictive new toy kit called Rainbow Looms that let kids create their own woven bracelets out of these small rubber bands. Invented by a Chinese immigrant dad of two teenage daughters, the product has been on the market…Read More >>
Today I launched ePatient 2015 – 15 Surprising Trends Changing Healthcare, my newest book focused on the future of healthcare. It might seem like an odd project for me to launch – being a marketing guy. This is the unexpected story of why and how I did it (along with my co-author Fard Johnmar), and why the book might be…Read More >>
The greatest collection of human stupidity ever amassed sits on the Internet … and you probably encounter it every day. When you go online today, there is some great content – and a deluge of bad, useless or otherwise idiotic content. It is common knowledge that content creation online is exploding and that much of it is not very good….Read More >>
There is a trick that only a handful of the most entrepreneurial wedding videographers know. Thanks to advances in the speed of video editing technology, the process of editing has gotten much faster. In response, a select group of talented videographers now promise that they will shoot your wedding, and edit a video version of it that you can play…Read More >>
If there was a balloon made of KoolAid, I probably wouldn’t be able to resist popping it. KoolAid – aside from being a sugary drink that is deliciously bad for you, is also an analogy many of us use to describe a situation when everyone is blindly agreeing with an idea without questioning it. This type of balloon was in…Read More >>
Last week a wonderful piece of curated content marketing advice from 36 experts was published in advance of the largest global event dedicated to content marketing – Content Marketing World (CMW) in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10th. To create this collaborative book, my friend Lee Odden and his team reached out to a group of speakers from CMW to gather…Read More >>
There is a creation myth that we often hear when it comes to content marketing. It tells us that in order to provide value with the content we produce, we need to create answers to questions. We need to create continually updated events, articles, videos, or images. Create, create, create. But creation is hard. Not everyone is a great writer….Read More >>
There are all kinds of ways to judge the quality of a conference. Some people look at the venue, or the number of attendees. Other look at the list of speakers, or the keynote presenters. Across the dozens of events I attend every year, I have seen or used almost all of these metrics myself. But yesterday I discovered a…Read More >>
In the 1987 cult hit film Mannequin, a chronically unemployed artist landed a job decorating a department storefront window after saving the owner’s life. His partner is a mannequin who comes life at night – and together they create storefront window displays that get people stopping in the streets. It’s a tale of fantasy, but what if there was a…Read More >>