Out of Bounds.

Posted by truecreek on July 20, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Seth tells it like it is.

By Seth Godin.

Sometimes people push back on posts of mine they don’t like by telling me I’m out of bounds. Somehow, they say, I’ve crossed the boundary of what I’m allowed to write about. They are angry that I’m now writing about something outside my defined area.

I’m usually taken aback by this, because I didn’t realize I’d actually agreed to any boundaries.

dont do it!Brands run into this all the time. Consumers give them boundaries. Nike isn’t allowed to make a computer, for example (unless they partner with Apple). It turns out, though, that marketers decide to believe in these boundaries a lot more than consumers do.

A beautifully made product or service (one that we agree with) gets a lot of slack, regardless of its source. Virgin is a great example of this. Branson can market cola and airplanes with the same brand, largely because we like what he makes. In Korea, there are a few massive brands that are ‘allowed’ to market anything they like, from dishwashers to cars. Google is allowed to market the very cool new Squares, of course.

The real problem is that when marketers believe they are going out of bounds, the work they do tends to be lousy. Starbucks attempt at chocolate, for example, wasn’t as good at being chocolate as their coffee is at being coffee.I think that’s because the marketers at Starbucks feel they have permission to care about coffee, but chocolate is merely an extension, an additional profit center, not a passion.

I’m not arguing for carte blanche craziness with your brand. American Express can do travelers checks and credit cards and could have done PayPal… but no, they probably shouldn’t launch a line of whiskey any time soon. I am, however, arguing that once you have permission to talk to someone, finding new products or services for them is a smart way to grow.

Three-Quarters of the World’s Messages Sent by Mobile.

Posted by truecreek on March 24, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

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eMarketer

Worldwide communication in the future will be done through mobile devices.

According to TNS Global, 74% of the world’s digital messages were sent through a mobile device in January 2009, a 15% increase over the previous year.

In emerging markets, the trend is even more dramatic; nine out of 10 messages are sent via mobile.

Some of the growth can be attributed to mobile instant messaging. Thirteen percent of all mobile subscribers used the feature, but 41% of smartphone users did so.

Other increases in mobile usage can be attributed to the abandonment of fixed-line telephones.

“As mobile devices slowly take away usage share from fixed services in developed markets, in emerging markets consumers are more likely to by-pass fixed communications altogether and go straight to mobiles,” said Sam Curtis of TNS.

As for developed countries, the PC e-mail remains the most popular message method, but its use is waning.

In Japan, 40 out of 100 e-mails sent are from a mobile device. In North America, 69% of those using e-mail on their mobile phone use it daily, high compared with 43% worldwide.

The trend will increase, TNS says, as smartphones such as the popular iPhone enter the marketplace and gain share.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Posted by truecreek on March 18, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | 2 Comments to Read

Today, I got on an elevator with two young people.  We had a twelve floor trip to the lobby ahead of us.

Immediately after entering the elevator, their respective blackberrys just seemed to fly out of their respective pockets and voila!  There it was…The Blue Screen Of Death.  Or in this case, “The Blue Screen of I Don’t Want to Have Anything To Do With You.”

You know what I’m talking about.  Why do people find it necessary to go to such lengths to avoid all contact with another simply by opening up the device and clicking away.   I mean, what are you really reading that is all so important?

I have a suggestion.  The next time you get on an elevator and are face to face with another human, try this:  Put those things down.  Heck, don’t even bring them out.  Say hello.  Join us all in some light banter.  Open up.  Make us laugh.  Do something that differentiates  you.  Speak up.  Look us in the eye.  Tell us a quick story.  Encourage us.

Just don’t pull out your damn device and lose yourself in the light.

It’s just not sociable.

It All Starts With a Great Logo.

Posted by truecreek on February 12, 2009 under The Work | Be the First to Comment

When you’re thinking about starting a new company, don’t forget about the impact a great logo will have for your new brand. As we all know, your brand is much more than just a sweet logo, but it’s a great way to get things started.

From a creative standpoint, so much of what you will be doing in the future to communicate with your customers will flow right out of that design, so make the investment and be sure to get it right from the beginning.

Several years ago I met Pete, one of the designers in The Creekbed and owner of one of the finer design/brand studios here in DC. He’s one of the best in the business these days and I’m proud to say he’s part of the team.  He’s produced award-winning logos for The Grammys, Rouge at the MGM Grand in Vegas, True Creek and so many more.  Take a moment to look at some of his eye-catching work below.

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