Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Stone tablet, anyone?

Rubylith, amberlith, marking up type, Rapidograph pens, FPO, stat cameras, using hot wax or rubber cement to create hard mechanicals. Does any of this sound familiar? If you were an art director orgraphic designer prior to the rise of the almighty Macintosh, it does. And you look back on those days witha certain fondness, but no desire to go back.

Yep, we've come a long way, baby. These days the designer's lingo includes TIFF, JPG, GIF, CSS, HTML, Flash, Pixel, DPI, CS. Yes, we sure are fancy now. But here's a term that never becomes obsolete: IDEA. As in “The Big.” Whether runes carved in a rock or the latest browser window, the idea is what cuts through the clutter. It's what sets you apart. Without it, all the acronyms don’t matter.

The process still starts the same way it did back when: What are we trying to say? Who are we talking to? What can we say that no one else can? How can we say it that will reflect our unique personality? Say it with a smoke signal if you like; the right idea, the right message, to the right audience always works. It did then and it does now. Now, who stole my t-square?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Picture YOUR Business Succeeding

At BrightBlue, we like stories – and we like Marketing. Here’s a True Marketing Story about how a small business in a little town in mid-America benefited from social networking. There's a photography studio in a tiny town called Halstead in central Kansas. Halstead’s original claim to fame dated back to 1955 when the movie “Picnic,” was filmed there. Now they have a new reason to be famous; a photography studio called Creative Reflections Photography. This photography studio specializes in high school senior photos. These are not your ordinary senior pictures – these photos are stunning. The kids’ personalities and individuality are captured in all sorts of unique ways. When the kids from Halstead, Kansas started posting their senior pictures on Facebook and MySpace, kids from other areas noticed. They started asking where they got their pictures taken. Then word spread...and spread. Now high school seniors are driving from surrounding states to get their photos taken at Creative Reflections Photography in little Halstead, Kansas. Take a look for yourself at

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Twitters & Tweets

I was recently roaming on the internet, doing the modern version of free association and found this article from BusinessWeek: How Companies Use Twitter to Bolster Their Brands started in 2006 as a way to microblog in short, up-to-the-minute bursts. Today, it has somewhere between 1-3 million users

The article discusses how technology, the internet, Twitter and other instant, worldwide communication ports actually enable control of the brand by consumers. People who use and read "tweets" tend to be influential, so positive and negative experiences of products and services can be read by hundreds or thousands of people.

The article gives companies suggestions as to how to use Twitter to monitor customer tweets in order to gain positive customer experiences and, thus, positive chatter out in the cyberworld. What I took from the article, though, is how now -more than ever - customer service and appreciation is important for its own sake. The world is your market, and the golden rule still applies. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - or risk getting your @$$ tweeted about it.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Tuning in to your creativity

I've spent the last few hours of driving time listening to a CD of Steven Snyder and his presentation "Mind Matters - Brilliance, Passion, and the Nature of Mastery." One of the analogies he made resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you. He likened humans to a radio, with a frequency knob and a passion volume knob. In order to have complete focus you must have your knobs adjusted just right.

The frequency knob, at its lowest, is the same as being comatose. Turn it higher and you get to deep REM dream sleep. The next level is a subconscious state where you are aware you are dreaming. The frequency at its highest brings you to the conscious level.

Snyder calls the subconscious state the "HeartMind" state, the place where the mind of creativity and imagination lies. And he refers to the conscious level as the "BrainMind" level. In this awake state, logic and reasoning takes place. Snyder says that the "BrainMind" state should work in harmony with the "HeartMind" state.

Now you need to turn up the passion/volume knob.

Couple this harmonized "BrainMind/HeartMind" with the passion volume turned all the way up: The result is "Complete Focus.

How often do you have your passion and frequency knobs tuned just right? When you do and can reach this complete focus state, trust me, ideas start flowing. Creativity is about freeing up your mind and tuning into your passion.

What can get in the way of reaching this perfect passion and frequency balance? First, you must avoid multi-tasking. When you are multi-tasking, you are preventing harmony between the conscious and subconscious minds. The flow of information gets diluted because of the various distractions. Multi-tasking results in the inability to truly focus.

The second obstacle of complete focus is not feeling the passion. Snyder suggest you “Fake It til You Make It!” Kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you act passionate about something and start saying you are passionate, then you will begin to believe it. The result? True focus and creativity.

(Note that BrightBlue Marketing is not faking it!)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

What's your brand?

If you don’t know who Chris Brogan is, allow me to introduce you. He’s a social media consultant (guru) who advises businesses, organizations and individuals on how to use social media and social networks to build relationships and deliver value.

I’m an avid follower of Chris’ blog where he recently published a free eBook, Personal Branding for the Business Professional. At just about 15 pages, it contains everything from strategy advice to things to consider to over 100 tactics and ideas. Good stuff.

As a marketer who deals with branding companies and products, the eBook was a good reminder to think about how I brand myself – particularly now that there are so many places and ways to present yourself beyond face-to-face - blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

As Chris says, ”A personal brand gives you the ability to stand out in a sea of similar products. In essence, you’re marketing yourself as something different than the rest of the pack.” Do you need this? I don’t know, but in all likelihood you don’t want to be mixed in with the pack.

Obviously personal branding goals will vary by individual, but I think you’ll find some good nuggets in the eBook. If nothing else it might prompt you to ask a few more questions and get thinking about it. And I promise it’s not all questions, you’ll find some answers, too.