Archive of: August, 2016

  • Are you too old for content marketing?

    Content marketing, a young person’s game? Pah!

    Well according to JWT Singapore, Content Marketing is a young person’s game. They are soon to launch JWT25 their new content marketing division based on the average age of its workforce “25” and that content will be produced within 25 days. Ageist or what?

    I am 52 years old (just wish I could swap the 2 and the 5 round hey!) and over double the average of the JWT25 employee. Although I’ve got more grey hairs and wrinkles than they have, I’m physically fit and I still play 11 a side Sunday League Football. Okay, so I may not be as agile as Team JWT25 and they’d just bypass me on the pitch, but the concept of how content agility relates to age is just wrong. JWT25 was set up to respond to clients seeking a fast, effective, high quality snackable video service for the lowest cost.

    But when it comes to the professional experience of the JWT25 young hotshot, I have nearly 8 times theirs and have been doing this concept based branded content stuff called “advertising” for 31 years against their 4! As a juxtaposition we’re thinking of launching BZ56 as the average age of our advertising agency is a whopping 56! This makes us old enough to grow beards but wise enough not to wear them, and our female counterparts, far more qualified as agile content practitioners for the following reasons: -

    1. We have a much deeper understanding of brands
    2. We have a much deeper understanding of what brands are for and how they work
    3. We have a much deeper understanding of how brands relate to corporate culture
    4. We know how to make brands charming and engaging
    5. We have a much deeper knowledge of what it takes to have branded ideas serve valuable commercial purpose
    6. We are much quicker to spot bad ideas and divert creative attention to more productive matters
    7. We are more entrepreneurial and able to spot an acorn idea whose potential would go unrecognised by less experienced eyes
    8. We are more likely to appreciate the difference between content marketing and an all encompassing content strategy

    A vast amount of branded content appears to serve little or no purpose, certainly not to its intended audience, and content marketing is to the internet what cosmetic micro beads are to the world’s oceans, an increasing pollutant. If this gimmicky JWT25 works it will not be because of youth, but talent. Agile content production is a good idea and content marketing could benefit from a few agile principles. For example, user stories could be a useful discipline. User stories done well ensure that audience goals and motivations are the principle driver of output. Agility and empathy go hand in hand, and content marketing is in dire need of more empathy.

    Empathy is the ability to step imaginatively into the shoes of another person. “How can I use creativity to make my audience’s life better or to capture its imagination?” is a question that is not being asked enough judging by the output of most content marketing programmes.

    Empathy improves with age! And we’re with you on this Phil Adams from Blonde Digital, so write that out 25 times JWT Singapore!

  • Brand Britain, does it matter?

    Is Brexit Brand Britain fit for purpose?

    Some 900 million people watched Danny Boyle’s idiosyncratic opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics and Britain welcomed the world. The spectacle called ‘Isles of Wonder’ started from the Industrial Revolution to the birth of the web and Britain presented itself to the world as a nation secure in its own post empire identity, whatever that actually is?”

    ‘whatever that actually is’ has become a question of considerable contention and “Isles of Wonder” has been transformed in to “isles of wondering what’s going on” since Brexit and the vote to leave the EU. And as Britain begins the daunting task of forging new trade agreements outside the sanctuary of the EU, it must address how to sell itself to the world. The question now is whether ‘Brand Britain’ matters?

    Brand Britain does matter as it creates a viewing portal for people to look through when it comes to decision making i e.‘Do I want to invest in Great Britain?’, ‘Do I want to buy British brands?’ or ‘do I want to move to Britain?’ These international brands are not made and destroyed overnight.

    If the UK’s political establishment doesn’t make a decisive move to protect its global reputation it could risk watching it fade away. Brand Britain needs to be managed like any other brand or it will start to become problematic for British companies and its people, and investors might choose Germany or France instead as potentially more stable propositions.

    When David Cameron resigned as prime minister after the failure of his Remain campaign, Britain’s politicians were preoccupied with their own fortunes. Following Cameron’s resignation, the country has been putting its house back in order, but not quite as expected. Theresa May, Cameron’s successor surprisingly appointed Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Although he will not have total responsibility for negotiating the UK’s extrication from the EU, Mr Johnson, the former and notoriously undiplomatic Lord Mayor of London, will be at the forefront of how Britain positions itself to the world following Britain’s exit, which is risky. Mr Johnson needs to be totally on the ball and extremely effective to avoid any embarrassing blunders or faux pas. With Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon manoeuvring for a second Scottish independence referendum, ‘let’s build a great Brand Britain’ isn’t making it any easier.

    Defining self conscious Britain’s identity has never been straightforward. In 2008, the Labour government came up with the idea of creating a ‘statement of values’ to represent the country and introduce a tagline similar to France’s ‘liberté, egalité, fraternité’. When the Times challenged its readers to put forward suggestions, what it got was trademark British ridicule. One suggestion put forward was ‘Dipso, Fatso, Bingo, Asbo, Tesco’. The winning entry however was ‘No motto, please, we’re British’.

    Britain has long felt uneasy about how to portray itself and we were a nation struggling to know what our identity was. Even before the Olympics there was the emergence of the ‘Chav Culture’, ‘Binge Britain’, ‘Broken Britain’ and ‘has multiculturalism failed?’

    London 2012, with its opening ceremony and masses of volunteers demonstrating a sense of warmth helped instil self belief and every Brit felt extremely proud – the brand did a great job. However all the equity built to communicate how creative, warm, welcoming and united we are has been massively affected over the past couple of months.

    Even though previous attempts to characterise Britain may have failed, the GREAT Britain campaign launched by the coalition government of 2012 to encourage visitors, students and investors to the country has endured. The GREAT did a really good job, but does it do that great a job now?

    The campaign still has mileage and there is an opportunity to evolve it. ‘Great’ is still good, and it is still valid, but it’s then about demonstrating how we’re still GREAT. GREAT Britain was a pretty solid brand, but is there an opportunity to retain the level of prestige of that campaign but share more of the UK’s voices?

    Does Britain still look that great overseas after the turmoil of the past few two months? Maybe the shockwaves of Brexit have not been as seismic as we first imagined? but there was definitely a moment of shock and disbelief at the referendum result which was short-lived. With regards to the US they’re preoccupied with “The Trump” ’making it all the way to the White House.

    In EU however, there is a growing sense that other nations can capitalise on the UK’s state of flux. 4 weeks after the referendum result, Berlin senator Cornelia Yzer claimed more than 100 startup businesses in London were seeking to relocate to Germany’s capital. And one city that may gain is Amsterdam, where there is little concern over the UK.

    Britain appears to overestimate the amount of concern the rest of the world gives about it and needs to figure out its own problems before worrying about the rest of the world. So whether it lasts depends on how the exit itself is managed,.

  • From near zeros to gilded heroes

    Team BZ support Team GB

    Team GB Rio 2016

    The Rio 2016 athletes’ epic medal haul this weekend is a strong indicator of the continuing value of Team GB as a commercial brand post London 2012.

    On sensational Sunday Andy Murray, Giles Scott, Max Whitlock and Justin Rose gave Britain its greatest ever day at the Olympics leaving Team GB second overall in the Rio 2016 medal table, sealing a 20 year transformation from near zeros at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics to 2016 gilded heroes. It also sealed the team’s transformation into a commercial brand. Much of the value of the Team GB brand stemmed from being the hosts in 2012, but post event, what does the Team GB brand actually mean?

    Communicating the value of the Team GB brand without massive financial support and with the build-up to the Games being blighted by social and doping scandals was a difficult task. How do you engage a nation to come together in support of Olympic athletes and will them on to do their very best?

    The concept of home nation support is part of what is classified as marginal gain and the more the team feels supported, the greater the contribution to the success of the athletes. For proof of the concept just look at this weekend’s epic achievements. Fans throughout the UK stayed up late cheering on their heroes as Team GB edged ever closer to winning the most medals since the London 1908 Games, when it scooped an amazing 146 medals, 56 Gold, 51 Silver and 39 Bronze. Harnessing all that goodwill is welcomed and on everything from Facebook Live to Snapchat and Experiential to CRM maximising a budget that will always come second to sports performance.

    Messages of support have been used on all the branding in the Olympic Village and in the team house in Rio, so if an athlete walks into their room and sees a poster with 100 messages of support, it bridges the gap between fan and athlete.

    Throughout the Games the team is streaming a daily show live from the British House pop-up, featuring interviews with medallists. In comparison to other interviews, each is done by one of the celebrity ambassadors working with the team making it a bit more fun and frivolous. Live-streaming also happened on Twitter’s Periscope prior to the Games and both athletes and ambassadors manage Team GB Snapchat. Instagram and YouTube round off the online engagement as externally the brand benefits from live results beamed to Ocean Outdoor’s screens across the UK.

    Having a such a robust fan engagement strategy is impossible without the brand partners to amplify those messages. Although the Team GB sponsors list this year isn’t as big as London 2012, changing the way it works with Adidas and Nissan by creating sponsorship activations that are focused on the fans location is the key difference. For example, having a partnership with DFS sofa retailer might seem odd for a brand associated with athleticism, however, the majority of people watch the Olympics on their sofa? It’s about turning things on their heads and doing things from a more interesting angle and making sure it’s of higher quality rather than pumping out inane stories every week just for the sake of it, and of course taking pride in the content and the quality of the Team GB brand.

    Today nearly 90% of schools in the UK are still teaching modules based on Olympic values, a programme that was set up as part of London 2012. ITV will turn off all seven of its channels for one hour Saturday 27th August to encourage the nation to take part in what is being billed as the ‘UK’s biggest sports day’ which is proof that the legacy is alive and well.

    The biggest challenge for Team GB is to keep up the momentum and relevance once the Rio games come to a close. Investment needs to go into those digital platforms which provide the team and its partners with an opportunity to continue engaging with a nation that is so interested in the team and its athletes.

  • A new brand on the grapevine

    Secret Vines… The best unkept secret!

    Secret Vines Logo

    Secret Vines is a dynamic new wine import business with a very clear proposition – To bring the world’s best artisan and boutique wines to the tables of the UK consumer market and to be totally open and honest about their source. Having the word “Secret” in the brand name was cleverly considered, not to infuse secrecy and keep things hidden or under wraps, but to suggest that the majority of boutique wineries are very little known in their native countries, let alone the UK! However with the support of Secret Vines they will effectively become the best unkept secret in the wine industry!

    BZ were engaged by the directors of Secret Vines to develop a brand with real meaning that would sit well with both consumers and suppliers, and within the very tightest of timeframes. To reassure suppliers, the logo needed to evoke reliability, trust and professionalism and convey that they were engaging with a newly “established” and reputable UK wine import and distribution company. From a consumer perspective the logo needed to evoke warmth, openness, approachability and not be too high brow and aloof in order to engage with lesser wine savy people and help build confidence. At the same time the brand also had to appeal to the buyers from hotels and restaurants.

    The Secret Vines logo is made up of six circles representative of a symbolic case (6 bottles) of Cabernet Merlot meaningfully arranged to form a bunch of grapes. There are two glasses which form the midrib of the left and right leaves which represent the two directors and both red and white wine. The midrib of the larger central leaf is represented by a keyhole with an accompanying key with a bottle in the handle and an ‘S” and “V” to form the teeth, poised ready to unlock the secret vines.

    A modern, clean, fresh san serif typeface was selected to imply openness whilst the carefully crafted tagline “Discovered & Delivered” was set in an italic serif typeface to instil an element of trust and reliability. Gold as the graphical colour was selected to introduce warmth and an established look. To enhance the brand style warm, rustic support images were selected to induce a more natural, organic, artisan feel.

    Secret Vines Leave Behind

    The directors of Secret Vines first visit was to the wine regions of South Western Australia and New Zealand. A leave behind was developed to entice wineries to register their interest in becoming a select partner online whilst the main e-commerce site is being built in the background. The main site is due to launch towards the end of September this year.

  • Help your business reach new heights

    Business Development and Sales – What’s the difference?

    Business Development v Sales

    Business Development and Sales are two completely separate job roles that assist in growing businesses, but how they actually achieve growth is entirely different.

    What is Business Development?
    Business Development incorporates everything designed to expand a company in existing markets or grow into new ones. Business Development Managers are solely tasked with researching, prospecting and qualifying leads before handing them over to the Sales Team to develop further and close the deal.

    What is sales?
    Sales is all about “closing”. A Sales Representative’s primary objective is to take the deal across the finish line and close the sale.

    So why the divide?
    There are two main reasons:-

    1. The increased difficulty of reaching buyers
    2. The benefits of specialisation.

    Reaching a buyer requires a greater amount of effort by smarter people and a lot of research to develop a lead. So it makes no sense whatsoever having someone with a set sales target who is good at closing deals taking on that role. That’s why so many companies have divided the sales cycle into specialised areas of responsibility in order to maximise output and efficiency.

    Closing a sale is no easy feat either! And having your top Sales Reps spending time researching companies and hunting for leads when they’re best selling just doesn’t make good business sense. Prospecting and qualifying is neither a fast nor simple process. So separating prospecting from selling allows each team to focus on their individual task, instead of dividing their time between two different and time consuming objectives.

    When it comes to every day activities there is very little crossover in Business Development and Sales. However, the two need to be perfectly aligned.

    When should Business Development Managers pass on leads to Sales?
    There are several different frameworks for qualification:

    1. BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline)
    2. ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money)

    Business Development Managers should also be experienced enough to know:-

    1. Whether they’re talking to the key decision maker
    2. Whether the company could use your product
    3. Whether the lead’s problems can be solved by your product
    4. Whether the lead needs a solution in the near future
    5. What kind of budget is in place

    So how should a Sales Development call differ?
    A Sales Rep should pick up where the Business Development Manager left off, with the objective of getting a deal signed.

    Sales calls can cover a wide range of things:-

    1. Demonstrating how your value proposition applies to your prospect’s business plan
    2. Comparing your product to your competitors’
    3. Setting up a trial of your product, if applicable
    4. Product demonstrations
    5. Price breakdowns
    6. Implementation plans
    7. Contract terms

    Separating and clearly defining the two roles of Business Development and Sales will allow each to focus on what they do best, and help your business reach new heights.

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