From a proposal I recently received from a freelance writer:
Full qualified and certified injury therapist practioner, have experience in report/document writing.
Was honoured when training for my top marks in knowlegde and presentation.
My layout are easy on the eye fro the read so as not scare them away sell what you reading to them.
All content will be original and fully checked for gramma and spelling errors.
if you have anymore question please contact me further
Or this, from the same job (different writer):
I have been a writer for over 3 years. My topics and style varies. depending on the subject which are Copyscape-proofed.
These are pretty stark examples of incongruous messaging. The point of this post isn’t to point and laugh at poor writing (I’ll save that for you’re your Facebook). Rather, it’s to point out an overt example of off-brand messaging: the talk and the walk don’t match up. I think marketers fail in this way all the time.
Even me. I used to have an office in an industrial park. It was clean, simple, and (most importantly) cheap. Most of the business we were doing was with out-of-town clients, so it didn’t matter much. Until we started getting attention from bigger local clients. We’d go through the whole proposal process, up to the point the clients would come to our office. Every time, we’d loose the job after they visited our office. It wasn’t nice enough. Which seems silly, because the “niceness” of our office has no bearing on the quality of our work.
Except that my office was as off-brand as the proposals above. I was running a design studio. Our website was gorgeous. Our collateral was perfect. Our proposals were meticulously crafted. But our office? It screamed “whatever.” The office showed that we didn’t care about that aspect of our presentation. It was off-brand. And when you’re selling branding and aesthetics, those “superficial” things aren’t superficial anymore.
Recently I was talking to a large, reputable organization about their marketing and communications efforts. When I mentioned that I’d want to ramp up their social media efforts to help build connections with younger members, they got a little uncomfortable. They pressed me for information. How would I use social media to grow their membership?
I explained that social media requires patience. There isn’t a direct do-this-to-get-clients technique with social media. It’s a communications channel that requires an authentic approach. No hard sells. You slip in your message sparingly. Only 20% of the communications should be self-serving.
But how, exactly, would I grow their membership with social media?
I left feeling a frustrated. I was talking to people that had expressed frustrations in building their membership, but they only wanted quick-fixes. What can we do to get new members tomorrow? They had ho interest in building a genuine, long-term, brand.
What this means in social media is sharing what is valuable to your audience, not what is merely valuable to you… Adding another social media channel to your network will not make an anti-social brand more social. It will simply increase your efficiency in alienating more people with greater speed.
That organization I was talking to? They had key questions about their brand that were unanswered. But they were too concerned with tomorrow to bother thinking about next year.
Lego has undergone quite a change. Legos used to be simple he says in the video. Now Lego is anything but simple. Instead Lego has chosen to focus on cross-branded sets, like Harry Potter and Star Wars. The kits that used to allow for – and encourage – creativity, imagination, and experimentation now build one thing only. What’s on the box.
Unfortunately no one seems to have told Lego’s marketing department about the dramatic shift in the product design. Ads that are passed around the internet lately contrast strongly with the actual product. It’s hard to find a better example of disingenuous advertising.
As someone who grew up adoring Lego, this change really saddens me. As a parent whose child is nearing Lego age, I’m nervous about buying Lego for her.
A 1981 ad that captures the Lego spirit.
A recent sampling from the Imagine campaign.
Some more recent examples of Lego selling imagination. (Simpsons, South Park, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
Examples of the current product. How does the product compare to the ads?
I had set this aside months ago – when I first saw it – so that I could do a proper write it up. Unfortunately Armin Vit at Brand New beat me to it, writing it uptwice(!) a couple of weeks after I first saw it. Nevertheless, this rebranding project is worth sharing, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate it as much as I did.
Moving Brands has really pared down its original case study from what I saw up there, which is a shame. That’s not to say I don’t understand – it kind of blew up for a while there, and the brand manager at HP probably had a few sleepless nights over all the hubbub. This kind of work is usually kept pretty close to the chest, and I’d guess HP is feeling a little exposed.
Nonetheless, the work that was available is really, enviably nice. Here’s a small handful of shots that I grabbed before they disappeared. Hopefully if someone from either HP or Moving Brands sees this, I won’t get into too much trouble.
Possibly the best overview of practical corporate branding I’ve ever seen, this book takes your typical “a brand is a promise” lines and gives them real meaning. The exercises in this book are a great starting place for any company wanting to examine its brand. Marty Neumeier has also published Zag, a similarly brilliant look at differentiation, which should also be compulsory reading for anyone thinking about brands.
When one of your senior executives has to quickly produce an apology video, your brand is in real danger.
Along with many of you, we’ve seen the video showing one of our couriers carelessly and improperly delivering a package the other day. As the leader of our pickup and delivery operations across America, I want you to know that I was upset, embarrassed, and very sorry for our customer’s poor experience. This goes directly against everything we have always taught our people and expect of them. It was just very disappointing.
As an aside, if your name includes “III” or “the third”, you may come across a little pretentious when you speak to the masses.
This video, which appeared shortly before Christmas, is Fedex’s response to this video, which shows a Fedex driver throwing a box over a short fence, apparently while the recipient was home.
But that last video has nothing on this video of another misbehaving Fedex driver:
It’s probably time for Fedex to give some serious thought about how they can start delivering a better customer experience. A brand that doesn’t really understand how important it is to deliver that experience is a doomed one, especially with the voice that today’s consumers have.
This is the manual for brand identity projects. Not only is it widely acclaimed in the industry’s leading magazines like Communication Arts, but I’ve also seen concepts from this book adapted to the processes of many leading design agencies. Anyone doing branding work should be using this book.
Industry specific jargon aside (this would build a brand, using a unique brand identity), he has a good point. Except that store brands are already doing this. Here’s an example of Walmart’s Great Value packaging, designed by Elmwood:
Is there anything about this photo that looks authentic? The backdrop is clearly Photoshopped in, and something looks off about the kids and Paul – though that could just be poor photography. If your brand is going to put out stuff like this, why bother?
When Jay-Z’s Rocawear brand yanked its “Occupy Wall Street” shirts over criticism about profiting off a social movement (with no plans to donate anything back to Occupy Wall Street), the lesson was clear: Those capitalizing on OWS must tread lightly or risk major PR blowback.
Nice profiteering Rocawear. The whole article focuses on a wine conglomerate that has recently filed a Trademark application for “Wine for the 99%”. As Brandchannel adroitly points out, the wine industry profits heavily off of undocumented immigrant labour:
The problem is that the wine industry—especially the low-end segment—is a huge beneficiary of undocumented immigrant labor. In fact, the California Association of Winegrowers president once estimated that up to 70 percent of those employed in California’s wine industry may be undocumented. The 2010 comments by the CEO of Wine Group competitor Bronco, were sobering. A May 2011 New York Times investigation begins “Nearly every drop of Napa County’s world-class wine is produced by migrant labor.” While new federal regulations are in place to increase fines for such hiring practices, a lawsuit suspending implication of the law for the time being.