Ferris Bueller was right, "If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." We all need to take time to stop and look around.
This is a blog about brands, technology, ads and ideas that I find interesting and would like to share.
Over a decade ago Fast Company published a seminal article, A Brand Called You. In it they talked about the importance of personal-branding: "We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our
most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You."
Think about your personal-brand in the same way that a marketeer at P&G thinks about a brand, it advised, "When you look
at your brand's assets, what can you add to boost your power and felt
presence? Would you be better off with a simple line extension --
taking on a project that adds incrementally to your existing base of
skills and accomplishments? Is it time to move overseas for a couple of years,
venturing outside your comfort zone, tackling something new and completely different?"
I have often talked to juniors trying to start out in the advertising industry about really understanding their "brand" and what makes them different and interesting compared to other graduates, Fast Company say:"Start by writing your own mission statement, to guide you as CEO of Me
Inc. What turns you on? Learning something new? Gaining recognition for
your skills as a technical wizard? Shepherding new ideas from concept
to market? What's your personal definition of success? Money? Power?
Fame? Or doing what you love?" Sometimes it goes quite OTT and more than a little cheesy, but it was actually smart stuff and well ahead of its time.
It got me thinking. I have never sat down to write a marketing strategy for "Me Inc", but I am conscious that your reputation matters and I guess that my "brand" (i.e. me) is fairly active in multiple spaces and places both on and offline
So if it's all about a "brand called You," I have a question about job titles.
This year started for us with an addiction to The Mighty Boosh, then Gavin and Stacey, then Entourage, then The Wire and now thank god, a new (well, new-ish) HBO televisual feast to see us through the long, cold winter nights
I wanted to share some thoughts I had about Obama and Long Tail Politics.
When it came to the Democratic nomination battle, I thought that Hilary and Obama were the perfect political Big Head and Long Tail analogies. Think back to the start of the year when Hilary had the large Democratic fundraisers seemingly tied up and was clearly the party establishment favourite, Obama
instead looked away from the Big Head and towards the Long Tail. In January
2008 through his smart use of the socialized web, Obama broke US
fund-raising records. He raised $32m in a single month. (Hilary raised $13.5 million) $28m of Obama's total came directly
through online contributions, another record and 90% of it was in denominations of
less than $100, while 40% were donations under $25. Unheard of.
addition to harnessing the financial might of the Long Tail, Obama was
also harnessing the grassroots mobilization might of the Tail via technology. Through Central Desktop software "precinct captains" were managed
online. These volunteers were responsible for getting out the vote and
spreading the campaign message. Social Media enabled supporters to connect out to other supporters and
take actions either individually or together. Marc Andreessennoted: "the Senator was personally interested in the rise of social
networking, Facebook, Youtube, and user-generated content, and casually
but persistently grilled us on what we thought the next generation of
social media would be and how social networking might affect politics."
Obama also opened up a conversation. I remember getting an email from his campaign team entitled Feedback: "Your
feedback is crucial. Whether you've been involved heavily or just a
bit, been a supporter since the beginning or are new to this movement,
your feedback will inform the planning for the next phase of this
extraordinary campaign: Your work, your passion, and your stories have
defined this movement and have been instrumental in our success -- and
as we move into the next stage of this race, your input is more
valuable than ever. What was successful? What wasn't? How can our
campaign organization improve moving forward?" Can you imagine any UK political leader or party asking for genuine feedback in that way?
But what was so extraordinary was in the final weeks of campaigning Obama's team showed just how savvy they were with their purchasing of a 30 minute "Obama Infomercial" on US primetime. Classic Big Head rather than Long Tail behaviour. But it worked 33.5 million people watched. And look where we are today.
So what can we learn from all of this?
The Long Tail and Social Media is critical, but in order to succeed you have to balance that with classic Big Head engagements tactics too.
Old world ways as well as new world.
Its a lesson for brands as well as politicians.
It worked for Obama, the 44th President of the USA!