Love is a word that gets thrown around a lot and sometimes loses its meaning. I love my job. I love my car. I love my phone. I love my new "insert material item here". It's so easy to get wrapped up in on our day-to-day lives and careers and our material possessions. Sometimes we need to be reminded about what's truly important.
When it comes to our jobs, we don't work so hard, or care so much, or obsess over deadlines and deliverables to simply be a labor output. To simply get the job done.
We do it because we have people in our lives that we'd do anything for. We want to make their lives better. We want to make our parents proud. We want to build a foundation for our kids' future. We want our dogs and cats to have amazing lives. We do it so the world is a better place - even if we can only see the impact with our immediate loved ones.
We were recently asked by a potential client to describe Nebo’s approach to innovation. Our answer should sound pretty familiar to anyone familiar with our brand:
We believe in putting the user first. Of course, part of our job is to stay on the cutting edge of trends and technology, but we’ll always be more interested in solving problems and making the world a better place. If pushing the envelope or breaking new ground helps us create a better user experience, we’re all for it, but innovation in and of itself shouldn’t be a goal.
With that said, we spend a lot of time examining some of the world’s biggest brands. We’ve talked about Coke and Tesla and New Belgium and extracted lessons from the decisions they’ve made, both good and bad. But when it comes to innovating in the name of better serving users, it’s important to understand that you don’t need a massive budget. Your brand may not have the R&D funding of Apple or Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with simple, effective ways to better your business.
On a recent trip to my vet, I realized how the small, locally-owned practice was the perfect example of how user-first thinking can make a big difference.
By now, we all know that media is converging. We know that the most successful digital marketing strategies combine the power of owned, paid and earned media. These efforts mutually strengthen each other, and they rely on each other. With so much overlap, it can be difficult to determine which efforts fall under which categories, especially at full-service agencies that include teams for PPC, SEO, design, development, PR and social.
Some items fit neatly into the spectrum. Design is owned. PPC is paid. PR is earned. But what about SEO? Is it paid? Nope. Is it owned? Kind of. Is it earned? That, it seems, is the question.
Football in America wasn’t always the colossus it is today. It wasn’t that long ago that baseball dominated the headlines and little boys grew up wanting to play sports like soccer and basketball. In the eyes of many, football was barbaric and violent. It was unrefined. It was American machismo at its worst. In his book Brand NFL: Making & Selling America's Favorite Sport, Michael Oriard writes that things came to a head in the early 90s during a string of incidents involving female reporters being barred from the locker rooms or, worse, harassed by the players once inside.
It became a national conversation—one that went far beyond the chalk outlines of an NFL field. It was an American problem. Sexism, hyper-masculinity, and male superiority were running rampant through our culture. At least that was the narrative. And the NFL found itself in the crosshairs, pegged as the root, or at least the worst offender, of this callous mindset.
The NFL had its life-long supporters, but they were growing older. The opportunity to earn a new generation of die-hards was in front of them, but they'd have to start treating football not as a game, but as a brand. And brands need sculpting. They need PR. They need a story.
First came Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season. Then came Cyber Monday, where consumers finally started embracing online shopping, albeit through their employers high-speed Internet connections. And now, we have the prequel nobody asked for, Grey Thursday.
Many people are slamming retailers for opening their doors on one of the biggest holidays of the year, keeping their employees away from their families. But you also have to wag your finger at consumers who are taking the term “Door Busters” literally, pillaging store shelves in hopes of procuring the last Tickle Me Elmo Doll or FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey Pet (and no, I didn’t make that last one up, folks). There are fights, arrests, vandalism, hospitalizations and other tragedies that lead to a bloody start to the holidays.