Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Visit to Las Vegas

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to visit with a good friend. It had been more than twenty years since I had last seen him, and it was a much-needed visit for many reasons. One, he was, and is, a really good friend that gives me good advice. Two, visiting with him reminded me of the good personal traits I have learned from him - having a sense of style (still working on this one), keeping things in perspective, and always being able to laugh at any situation. Finally, I had the honor of visiting a brand he is associated with that is functioning successfully in the Vegas area - Insert Coin(s).

It's a concept that should make sense, but was totally new to me. It's a video lounge, capturing all walks of life - gamers, club heads, hip-hopers, and the curious ones. It has been a long time since I highlighted brands, and I think I need to return to doing this to analyze brands and introduce new ideas to the world. For this one, it's personal, because I have the best wishes that this business thrives and prospers, for my friend. But on an objective note, I think it is a good concept, nicely situated in an area that will allow for a good stream of potential customers.

For those in the club and bar business, never stop innovating, and never forget that people always need a reason to get out. I am sure many of the patrons of Insert Coin(s) grab their keys, which are sitting on a video game console, and head to the venue to play video games and socialize. Yes, we are social animals, and Insert Coin(s) is a prime example of how to build brands - social brands - from the brick-and-mortar perspective.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Behind the Brand.....Behind the Curtain

This is just a random reflection on the state of advertising and marketing today. While I have been impressed with the transformation the industry has made to become more quantitatively focused, I have failed to see any evidence of correlating spending with revenue outcomes. I think it is more aligned with the functions of a given business, but I don't know if it can claim any causal power to improving the outcome of an organization, as it once did in the past. In a way, better data has pulled the curtain back on the previous false claims of many regarding the measurable benefits of advertising.

I think of all the "experts" in the industry and how their value in the marketplace was all driven by their confidence in what they produced for a client. That's was about it - confidence, or arrogance if you may. And I ponder if the confidence was worth it in the long run. Sure, they have the experience and the financial benefits of good selling of ones' self, but how has that distorted their sense of value? How can confidence help them in a world that doesn't value confidence more than it values sound data and information?

We live in a different era than the days of OZ where verification was too complicated and costly to examine each time your ran across someone making a claim of being a difference maker, in similar fashion to how we came to conclusions in the sciences centuries ago. The experts have quickly become artist, and certain genre of artist at that.

The best way to not allow your audience to get behind the brand - behind the curtain - is to not hide behind it. Just saying.