fail

Please Treat Your Brand Better Than This!

 

Tishman Speyer | this brand is in the shitter

So some genius over at Tishman Speyer really felt that the ‘out of order’ sign on this urinal needed to be accompanied by the logo of the company (Tishman Speyer). Here are 3 things I took away from this…

1) When you’re putting a plastic bag over the urinal- It already implies that the urinal is out of order.

2) I don’t think any positive associations or outcomes can be expected with the Tishman logo & brand being present on the “out of commission for  weeks” urinal. A simple text only signature at the bottom of the note saying “Management” would have sufficed. Take a cue from social media announcements that are all text.

3) I now associate Tishman Speyer with feces.

4) Ok, I lied I have 4 things to say…Lastly…not to nitpick, but who put up the urinal stall walls? They’re grossly off center.

Keep your brand out of the restroom… Unless that’s your business!

#EpicFail  ? | The New Uber Logo 

Not to hate on something new, but there were so many things that were right about the old Uber logo.

I keep remembering all the times I was waiting for my Uber and seeing the old “U” emblem on the dash of the car approaching the curb and feeling really happy that my ride had arrived.

With so many people being exposed to this piece of sophisticated, artful, dare I say Iconic branding, what would prompt Uber to change it?

Could it be an erroneous need to be able to ‘Google’ their logo for different times of the year, or customize by geography?

The video Uber sent me via email right after I downloaded the app update with the new icon said the changes they made revolved around the atom and the bit, and how Uber is about creating services the way humans look at things.

Here’s the thing, that’s not what humans appreciate.  Most humans value brands that have a decent corporate culture…how they treat employees & customers, how they treat women, and most importantly how they offer a fantastic service or product (which Uber does).  Maybe even how the company gives back to society. They don’t give a crap about bits and atoms.

The dictionary definition of Uber is “Outstanding” or “Super.”  If the company wants to be more than about ride sharing and wants to take a Google / Alphabet approach, the name Uber has that built into it already.  No need to go into atoms & bits.

As it relates to looking good in the media, let’s face it- Uber has stuck their foot in their mouth a couple of times. The Uber brand has always been an unapologetically ‘good at what they do’ brand that brought utility, affordability, convenience and a bit of style to getting around town.  But the ‘unapologetically’ part doesn’t always do them any favors. Another company (Airbnb) just got burned taking a dig at libraries.   Hey I get these companies are worth a lot of money, but here’s where it becomes an issue.

The problem at Uber like at many companies starts when a senior executive (usually a tech) fails to recognize their own limitations and the expertise and talents of the creative team around him or her.  Not everyone is a Steve Jobs (and don’t forget he had Jony Ive).

You don’t see great brands like Apple, Coca-Cola or Facebook doing this.  Why? Because by consistently being about something over a long period of time has its benefits.  When other companies catch up in terms of technology and price, it’s your brand (and how it resonates across all customer touch-points, along with the quality of your product) that distinguishes you in the market.  This is why it’s so important to know early what your brand is about and stick with it.

There are some tech CEO’s who recognize their own limitations and trust the instincts of the genius design & creative teams they went to painstaking lengths to hire. Then there others who think they know better themselves.

Which one do you think Uber’s is?

Startup Marketing Mistakes | Ignoring Brand

So I’ve worked at my fair share of startups.

I’ve worked at a lot of people’s fair share of startups.

That’s why we created a web series called The Startup.

One of the more recent ones that I worked at was an app startup that was really ahead of its game about 5 years ago, but not so much anymore.

To be fair, this Startup was run by a young engineer fresh out of school.  I should have known there would be stormy waters ahead when he spewed off nuggets like ” Marketing is not Brand” or “Marketing should not control the website”.

No real thought had been put into the brand as evidenced by the name of the company or its products.  All creative had to come from the design team whose time was tightly managed by the CEO, who was the SME on marketing.  Sometimes getting a piece of creative would take weeks, maybe even months.

Fun times.

So when I recently saw this interesting Infographic on ‘Types of Marketing’ by a company named SideQik it reminded me of that startup experience.  Most startups and businesses think of marketing in these terms…but at the same time they miss the one key ingredient that glues it all together…

This ingredient is what Media 11:11 is all about… Crystalizing a company’s brand promise & value proposition.

A well thought out brand, cascaded down to comm strategy, product development, pricing & customer care becomes relevant and creates emotion in the desired target audience.  Companies need to make sure that all 4 P’s are tightly aligned with the brand promise & positioning.  Otherwise, what the heck are you going to say in the vehicles listed in the infographic below?

Infographic | SideQik | 1 of 4Infographic | SideQik 2 of 4Infographic | SideQik 3 of 4Infographic | Sideqik 4 of 4

This is a problem with many of The Startups we’ve come across recently.  By solely focusing on ROI, CPI and CPA and not giving proper thought and resource on what you want to say, how you say it, what customer problem your brand solves or even how use of your product or service will improve the customer’s life, you’re never going to hit optimum numbers for those KPI’s.

A very wise man once told me that the role of marketing is to sell hope.

If you don’t have your brand message nailed down before you go to market, you are going to fail when the going gets tough.  People need to understand what you’re about, what end-benefits your brand delivers from the very beginning.

Good examples in market today…

  • T-Mobile positions itself as the “Un-Carrier”… every product, service, communication they launch supports this notion.
  • Verizon is the network.
  • Facebook connects you to what matters.
  • Apple is at the intersection of Technology  & Arts to unlock their customers’ creativity.

Focusing on brand at the beginning will keep you in the game when the novelty of what you do wears out and the competition catches up.

 

 

#TakeABreak ! Episode #2 of The Startup is on FunnyOrDie.com

Hi everyone! We’re proud to announce that the 2nd episode of The Startup is now on FunnyOrDie.com The Startup.

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The Startup features Parvesh Cheena from Outsourced and A to Z, Peter Shinkoda from Falling Skies, Sonal Shah from Scrubs, James Kyson from Heroes, Aurelia Scheppers, Linc Hand, Bryan Coffee, K. Harrison Sweeney, Zabeth Russell, Christopher Meehan and Eric Mark.

Watch Episode # 2 of The Startup today! Check it out! http://bit.ly/TSUEP2