Last week saw a flurry of personal activities but no blog entries so I wanted to briefly summarize a few key points on interesting webinars on a host of topics.
One webinar featured Barry Libert, the CEO of Mizanga, a company that specializes in on-demand social software solutions. Barry gave the keynote address (via webinar) on Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign for the igreen webinar series 2009. President Obama mastered the art of social media by creating communities of interest for his campaign to gain feedback in real time. He focused on the needs of others and not himeslf with the slogan “Change we can believe in”, versus Senator McCain’s approach of “I’m the change agent”. This translates directly into the broader business world by reminding us that the best way to connect and stay connected is to build communities of practice and nurture a loyal group of “fans” who are actively encouraged to interact with each other and the company. Barry summed-up the whole appraoal of social media in the web 2.0 world as moving from leadership technologies to followership and “socialship” technologies.
Another webinar was sponsored by John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing. John chaired a panel discussion on Small Business Branding that included Aaron Weiss from Market Splash, Karen Post from The Branding Diva, John Moore who authored Tribal Knowledge, and Sam Horn who is an Intrigue Consultant. Some of the memorable points from this session included:
- A brand is a “brain tatoo” that describes what a market feels, thinks, and expect of you. It is the sum total of all you do regarding touch poins and communications you have with your customers.
- A “beneficial brand” wins customers. Do people talk about your brand word for word.
- A brand is a strategy that conveys your “brand DNA”. It has four elements: Purpose (reason); Points of Distinction (what and who you are); Personality (attributes); and Promise (the emotional delivery to your customers).
- A brand helps you break-out so that you do not blend-in with your competitors.
- If there is no risk involved then you will not have a unique brand. You may need to be unfomfortable to be competitive.
- Strong brands have mindshare more than marketshare and they can charge a preminum price for their products and/or servcies.
- “Brand buzz” will be created if the core message of your brand can pass the eyebrow test. If you can tell someone your brand tagline and they raise their eyebrows, then they will be intrigued to find out more.
- Make your brand visual to be distinct. Create a “visual icon”. You must carefully determine and project what your brand looks like, sounds like and feels like in the real world.