hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

February 19, 2007

Punk Marketing

UPDATE (February 20, 2007): Apparently, there is a "boycott" of this Punk Marketing book via Punk Stinks (via a comment on Try this on for size).

Know what it looks like to me? A lame attempt at a fake site with a fake boycott to hype the book.

Genius. And of course by genius, I mean idiotic, because I'm being a punk marketer.


Um. I just stumbled upon Punk Marketing.

Where exactly to begin? The irony is so thick in here I can barely see my hand in front of my face.

Punk Marketing.

This is either going to be the greatest idea ever, or it is a sure sign of the apocalypse.

Hoping for the former. Assuming the latter.

I feel ookie. Does anyone else feel a little woozy?

Wait wait wait. Deep breath. Deep breath. Maybe it's supposed to be ironic. You know, as in two well-seasoned marketers writing a marketing book and getting it published by HarperCollins (chez punk, indeed) to tell us how to break the marketing mold with punk ferocity.

"According to the definition on page 13 of the book by same name, Punk Marketing is 'a new form of marketing that rejects the status quo and recognizes the shift in power from corporations to consumers.'"

*Cough* Excuse me. Give me a second.

I mean, they're already selling tchotchkes in advance of the book.

Oy. I feel like I've been riding the merry-go-round too fast, too long. I seriously feel ill. But I'm sure it will pass.

I've purchased the book. A pre-order. So, I'll withhold judgment until I've read the book. Even though I won't, apparently, withhold bias or criticism, site unseen.

It's called "hypocritical" for a reason, gentle reader.

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Punk Marketing

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February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day logotype massacre

What? You haven't heard? The marketing and design worlds are abuzz with rampant theories about the Google Valentine's Day treatment, this year. I, for one, ove the Googe Vaentine's ogotype.

(UPDATE: Dennis Hwang, the Google Doodler (the guy responsible for all the celebratory logotype tweaks), tells us we're seeing things. Or not seeing things that are there. Or something. I say it's Sunkist all over again.)

Google Valentine's Day logotype

Not to be outdone, Yahoo! gets into the mix with an animated treatment.

Yahoo Valentine's Day logotype

And of course, Microsoft melts my heart with this incredibly romantic iteration.

Microsoft Live Search Valentine's logotype

Hugs and kisses to Techcrunch, Boredworkers, and Ethan Neuenswander for giving me the greatest love of all: something about which to complain.

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Valentine's Day logotype massacre

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February 12, 2007

37signals Sunrise Now Highrise

Well, well, well. We (and by that I mean "I") have been waiting with bated breath for 37signals Sunrise to launch, ever since Sunrise was announced back in 2005.

Sunrise was to be the customer relationship management (CRM) tool that brought the simplicity of Basecamp to CRM. And it was coming soon. We were all so excited. Back in 2005.

Well, "coming soon" is relative. But now in 2007, now there is a little glint of hope.

And while 37signals Sunrise is no longer Sunrise. (Too bad, because it worked nicely with their naming convention.) We do get the feeling that this announcement is a little more real than not.

Now, 37signals is calling it Highrise.

My breath remains bated. This thing could solve a lot of problems.

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37signals Sunrise Now Highrise

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February 08, 2007

You've got to be kidding me

I started a post over on More than a living entitled "You've got to be kidding me." My premise was that anytime you hear yourself saying "You've got to be kidding me" to a corporate request that there is something disingenuous about that request.

Be wary, I advised.

But the thing I didn't delve into over there--because the focus is less on marketing and more on meaning--was the brand conflict of "You've got to be kidding me."

"You've got to be kidding me" is a signal that the request is out of whack with the central brand idea. That there is a conflict. That there is something rotten in Denmark. The request doesn't match your preconceived image of the requestor. Intuition causes your hackles to raise.

You see, as I've mentioned time and time again, brands live in the mind of the beholder. You don't own them. You can't control them. Employee or customer. The brands live in hearts beyond your grasp.

You can only hope to influence the brand in that person's mind. Nudge it a bit. Change course slightly.

And because of this, brands don't accept jarring leaps. They only accept smooth transitions. They only accept controlled changes. Baby steps, my friend, baby steps.

Remind me to take you through my dissertation on "The Inherent Lessons of Successful Brand Extensions as Seen through Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk."

Oh, I'm sorry. Where was I?

Ah yes, how "You've got to be kidding me" is your Spidey sense telling you to run. For a ridiculous example, let's take Grandma's brand.

You hear: "Grandma switched from Lipton to Tazo tea because she's been drinking Tazo at Starbucks." Your response? "Oh. Zzzzzzzz."

You hear: "Grandma got arrested for tagging the speed limit signs because she fell in with a 'bad element' that hung out at Starbucks." Your response? "You've got to be kidding me."

"You've got to be kidding me" is your intuition telling you that the brand is stretching too far. Or, worse yet, completely taking advantage of you. Betraying your trust. Sullying your emotional relationship.

"You've got to be kidding." Listen to it. It's a compass for your brand decisions.

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You've got to be kidding me

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February 01, 2007

Accentuate the negative, eliminate the positive

We, in marketing, tend to live in a very Pollyanna existence. Walking around in our rose-colored-glasses. Constantly amazed by how great we are. How great our products are. How great our company is. How great we are to be imparting this knowledge to our customers. And finally, how lucky those customers are to even subsist in the same universe as we.


Alas and alack, this sticky sweet realm of positivity can get old. So sometimes, for the sake of our sanity and our creativity, it's important that we take some time to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive.

I know where you're going. Where do all marketers go when they want to get negative? Competitive analysis. (Paul "Scrivs" Scrivens, CEO of 9rules, has a great post on this entitled "What don't they do well?")

I mean, those idiots over there don't know what they're doing, right? Their product is bad. Their customers are confused. Their execs don't know what they're doing. And their brand is completely in the toilet.

Silly competition.

You know what? The idiots over here don't know what we're doing either.

So, why not take that negative microscope and turn it upon yourself? Get really negative about your company and your products. Get mean. Treat yourself like your competitor.

Why is our brand in the toilet? Where are there gaps? Where have we made mistakes? Where are our weaknesses? Why does everything we say sound both trite and officious at the same time? What would it take to make a customer walk away? What don't we do well? Why do we suck?

Better yet, expand that realm of negativity and ask your customers why you suck.

You'll be surprised at how refreshing it is.

How much do I suck? Tell me.

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Accentuate the negative, eliminate the positive

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