Monday 26 October 2009

Do you fear the fire or enjoy the warmth?

MsMarmitelover runs an underground restaurant that had plans for a couple of Harry Potter themed nights. Small scale stuff really and no threat to a major brand. Until that is, somewhat ironically, a big brand waded in to assert their rights.

The result, somewhat predictably, is that this operation has had more publicity than it could have dreamed of and even I am now thinking of setting something similar up in my local area.

What has the brand gained? Er, nothing really. What has MsMarmitelover gained? Loads!

The brand needed to assert its right to prevent the problem getting bigger of course. Or did it?

Imagine if the brand did nothing and just watched stealthily what happened next. A tacit 'product development' focus group would result leaving the brand still able to assert its rights down the line and giving them valuable insight they might not have thought of.

By showing their hand too early they squashed the idea and will now never really know the value of the idea. Meanwhile MsMarmitelover gets to enjoy loads of free PR and develop a competitor.

That means, assuming brands do this lots (and they do) and that good ideas occasionally result (and they do), that somewhere they have just willingly dumped revenue.


Monday 5 October 2009

Why Taxi Drivers are smarter than Publishers

Mashable's post about magazine publishers trying to add value by putting up walls instead of focusing on, er, adding value got me thinking. Setting up a Magazine Hulu is crackers. Here's why.

Taxi drivers may have their faults but as a brand they deliver. They are the editors of the roads.

And publishers are the cabbies of content!

Taxi drivers are the best source of information both in terms of navigating on my behalf to deliver me to my destination (a real-time location) AND in terms of entertaining me along the way (gags, knowledge, stats, tips, op/ed, gossip etc).

Publishers (aka Editorial brands) are the best source of information both in terms of navigating on my behalf to deliver me to my destination (a trusted source of trusted answers I seek) AND in terms of entertaining me along the way (good user experience, relevant adjacent extras: gags, knowledge, stats, tips, op/ed, gossip, offers, deals, events etc).

If a taxi driver adds value to my journey they get a tip.

If a Publisher adds value to my journey they get data, attention and if they are lucky, subscription revenue.

So the trick is to get me into your taxi, add value and try to monetise that value.

Taxi drivers get you in as fast as possible. The tip meter starts the minute we connect.

Publishers are still trying to figure out how to charge people for getting in.

Publishers are focused on the wrong problem: it's not about controlling access, it's about adding value.


Definition of Purple

I am a fan of Seth Godin and so I just had to share this as literally, the best definition of what he means by Purple

Why is it Purple? Well as CV's and resume's go this is easily one of the most original but also, the guy used his skill to do it.

What would your resume or CV look like if your skill permeated it?