Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Repost

I'm not going to do this every Friday, but I've decided that on days when I don't have anything new to say, I have enough older content that some of you may not have seen, so I'm reposting a favorite of mine from last February. Enjoy.

You might be wrong

You never know. In fact, in most cases you can't know until you do something.

Some of the most successful marketing and new product ideas could have been killed for one logical reason or another.

Apple's board of directors thought Steve Jobs was wrong in 1984 and tried to kill the most successful commercial of all time. After all, it mentioned the brand name only once and didn't even show the product.

Focus groups hated Absolut Vodka's bottle design because it didn't conform to the norms of the category, yet six years after its introduction, Absolut became the best-selling imported vodka.

At one point, Fred Smith couldn't find anyone to invest in his new delivery company, Federal Express, so he went to Vegas and won the $27,000 he needed to keep the company afloat.

So while all the people who know better are telling you, "you might be wrong." Just remember this: they might not be right.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Enough already

Okay. We can stop now with the guy-walking-from-left-to-right-through-a-continuous-series-of-scenes-all-in-one-take-as-he-looks-directly-at-the-camera commercials.

Unless you're a brand named Old Spice, it's time for a new technique du jour.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just my type

Last April, I wrote a post about a treasure in my backyard, the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. It turns out I'm not the only one who took notice of this gem in the tiny town of Two Rivers (Pronounced "T'rivers" for those of you not from Wisconsin).

Target and its designers have partnered with the Hamilton to produce a line of clothing using the museum's extensive collection of vintage type and images, bringing it much needed visibility and revenue.

This is why I like Target.

Target demonstrates on a regular basis that design and affordability are not mutually exclusive. They're large enough that they could focus solely on squeezing every penny out of their operations, suppliers and employees, running on a foundation of less for less as Walmart does.

I'm not naive enough to believe that Target doesn't have tough negotiators and doesn't work very hard to keep costs down. It's just that somewhere in their DNA there's an appreciation for good design.

Thankfully for us, it's not either/or. It's yes/and.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Listen to the music

If you're wondering why the AARP would start an 18 channel internet radio station, you only have to go as far as Milwaukee's Summerfest to find the answer.

Along with contemporary artists like  Girl Talk, Jason Mraz, Guster, Maroon 5, Ben Harper, Fuel, The Black Keys, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Meat Puppets, the "World's Largest Music Festival" also showcases a ton of boomer friendly acts.

Peter Gabriel, Buddy Guy, Hall and Oates, Meat Loaf, Max Weinberg Experience, REO Speedwagon, George Clinton, Styx, Taj Mahal, Loretta Lynn, Blue Oyster Cult, Jayhawks, Paul Rodgers, Peter Frampton, The Spinners, Kansas, Leon Russell, The Flaming Lips, America, Toots and the Maytals, and Todd Rundgren are all playing feature slots on stages throughout the festival grounds.

AARP, an organization of which I am now a member, is populated with people who came of age during the summer of love. Their ranks are filled with Deadheads, Beatlemaniacs, and Disco divas. As such the channels are not all Sinatra and Doris Day (although you will find them there).

AARP knows as well as any organization that people do not adopt the attitudes of the demographic they're moving into. They bring their attitudes and behaviors with them. Just because I'm an AARP member, doesn't mean I'm all of a sudden going to move to Boca, buy a Cadillac DTS and start eating dinner at 4 in the afternoon.

If you want to stay relevant, pay attention to the people who are moving into your brand family and be ready to evolve.