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Articles written by
Brian Easter
July 6, 2015

The Secret to Effectively Market to Millennials

Trying to figure out how to market to millennials is the new "is it the year of mobile?" conundrum marketers are fretting about. How can brands get these seemingly uninterested, disloyal hordes of potential customers to fall in love with their brand? How can brands create messaging and ads that move them from awareness to consideration to intent to become mindless brand loyalists willing to buy whatever breakfast cereal the global conglomerate releases this year?

June 1, 2015

Why Your Brand Should Be A Force For Good

Business is simple. Buy low, sell high. Find a market opportunity and serve a need. Create the right processes, hire the right people, and utilize the best technology. Boom. You’re off and running. Work hard to keep your competitive advantages. Stay ahead of the competition. Hire the right agency. Retain the best employees. Listen to the right consultants. Stay true to your mission statement. Perform a SWOT. Listen to more consultants. Revise your business plan. Evolve your brand and mission. Continue to stay ahead of the competition. Try to not get swallowed up by the next disruption. Read business books. Hire your competitor’s employees. Buy a smaller, but more agile competitor. Think about selling. Layoffs? Restructure. Hold the fort. Listen to your attorneys. Listen to your finance people. Strategize.

It’s not simple.

April 22, 2015

No. You Can't Buy Me Coffee

Our story begins with me at an industry event. I’m shaking hands, I’m smiling, I’m swapping business cards with people. I’m trying to represent the brand. I’m trying to meet potential new hires. I’m trying to learn from my industry peers.

Networking is networking, some like it, some don’t. I don’t particularly like it, but it’s good for the company and I can handle it.

Sadly, tragedy strikes my inbox within days of the event. It explodes with dozens of emails from all too eager salesmen offering to buy me a cup of coffee. And of course they’ll also introduce me to their yadda yadda service or their whatever-the-hell product. It’s not a sales pitch, it’s coffee among friends. They want to bend my ear, run something by, have a chat, pick my brain, they want to take me out.

April 14, 2015

Defining "Brand" in the Experiential Age

We all know what a brand is, right? Real quick, before you read below—what’s your definition?

It’s a little harder to define than you think. We all have an inkling, an instinctual understanding. But actually defining it is a bit of a challenge.

Oxford Dictionary defines brand in the following manner:

A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name: 'a new brand of detergent’

This seems limiting and doesn’t really reflect the power and potential of the word.

According to Wikipedia,

“A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others.”

This still seems to miss the mark and is way too narrow as well.

Seth Godin came up with a better, more evolved definition back in 2009:

"A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer."

That feels a lot better. However, that was nearly six years ago. Does it still stand up?

March 26, 2015

Is Machine-to-Machine Marketing the Next Big Thing?

Picture this. You’ve just polished off your last bottle of white wine. Your refrigerator takes note and places an order for you. The next day when you arrive home from work, a fresh shipment of sauvignon blanc awaits you on your doorstep.

This is the inevitable future we’re learning to expect. The Internet of Things. Smart Objects. Digital Twins. A world full of interconnected apps and devices that have the ability to make decisions for us — without us.

Need flowers for Valentine’s Day? Your phone will order your wife’s favorite lilies based on her stored preferences and your recent order history. Want to watch the new Will Ferrell movie? Your smart car will pre-order movie tickets and popcorn based on your current location, traffic, and travel speed.

No one will complain about outsourcing the mundane decisions of life. But will the end of human-driven purchasing decisions spell the end of marketing as we know it?

As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast.

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