Tag Archives: public relations

Does your Brand have a Brand Song?

18 May

Very few companies have kick ass accessories (Manchester). Many Companies have great tag lines (Nike). Loads of companies have Jingles (AIRTEL). Almost all companies have a recognizable Brand Logos (Apple).  Now ask yourself this question:

How many companies do you know which has a Brand Song?

I got thinking about this during my Organizational Behaviour class last Saturday. Thinking about it for some time, I connected the thought process to the brand I was working with previously – BODYFUELZ. BODYFUELZ has great products & accessories, no tag line and no recognizable brand logo. The name in itself is the brand logo. And it definitely dint have a brand song. Come to think of it, I find very few companies have brand song.

In the lingo of tourism marketing, a nation has a brand song which is used to woo customers both from abroad and domestic. For India, the national anthem is a great brand song. It is one of most loved brand song ever made. The minute you hear the national anthem, a sense of pride swells into your heart. You connect yourself o India. And if you have heard it enough, as foreigner, you would know the Indian anthem anywhere. It’s a beautiful song.

Even, Vande Mataram , though not the national anthem, is a brand song in its own right in connecting it to Brand India ( thank you Lataji & ARR  for taking it to the world)

The big point is this: If a nation of billion people can be moved with a great national anthem, usher in patriotism and loyalty, why can’t an organization have a great brand song?

When are you going to get a brand song for your company and its brand portfolio?

A great brand song:

  • Immediately connects the customer, the employee, the stockholder to the brand and its attributes.
  • It is a great differentiator
  • Will make the customer feel part of an elite group whose products they use which has a kick ass brand song.
  • Builds brand loyalty
  • Gives the customer a sense of pride in owing the product
  • It also gives you a chance to go viral

Brand Song, Social Media, Word of Mouth:

Do you need a Bharth Bala or ARR or Black Eyed Peas to get you a great company Brand Song? Fo-fo… Not at all! You can get a great brand song from your customers. Better still; go ask the whole world to make you a great brand song. Go Open Culture.

All you need to do is to ask them. Nicely.  Politely. And you better be sincere about it.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Create a separate webpage in your website inviting people from all over India/world to contribute to a great brand song. You will have budding artists, visual communication and music students, potential bathroom singers, husbands, housewives, your own customers, someone from Somalia may upload a brand song for you if you give them the opportunity.  This is crowd-sourcing
  2. Ask them to upload their brand song in YouTube and pull it to your website and invite people to vote for the brand song.
  3. Use public relations not advertising to spread the word about this campaign.
  4. Invite famous people (see if you can get ARR or Chitra) to judge the brand song.
  5. Invite comments from other people about the brand song.
  6. Recognize and honour the brand song maker by putting up their name in your website, press releases.
  7. Not many people want money, they want to be respected for they do. Acknowledge them for their effort. You may pay them but see if you can give them a platform to showcase their talents.
  8. Next, short list and give exclusive access to your customers and ask them to choose what the song they like. This is interactivity. No point in having a brand song which your customers hate.

Done? Then, produce the song yourself. Again, you don’t need celebrity artists to make it for you. Go to colleges which run visual communication and media courses and invite students there to make that brand song for you. I know of many engineers working in big software companies who are weekend music makers with their own band dying to get a chance to be part of something like this, so find them and ask them to make it for you. You are not going to pay them a bomb here; instead they will thank you for the opportunity.

Finally, unleash the Idea Virus (as Seth Godin so eloquently puts. Thank You Seth!) :

  • Release your company brand song in your website.
  • Go ape in Youtube/vimeo/metacafe
  • Create ring tones and pass it on to your company employees and customers and request (not ask, mind you) to spread to others. They will. You know why? Because they built that song. You made them part of the process. You recognized their value and contribute. Heck! You even made them feel great!  So, why won’t they spread the song?

Spread the song and the brand name spreads.

Journalists love the juicy stuff and will start writing about your company and what the company has done in newspapers and websites. Treat these journalists with respect. Give them the info what they need.

You are not done yet though.

Go to the bloggers. Ask the bloggers to review the brand song in their posts.

Go for barter system here. Exchange your product or service for their review. And if you tell me that you don’t have anything to give them, stop reading this post, get to your R&D and make a kick ass product and then follow the thoughts above.

Finally, use social media, facebook fanpage, twitter, social bookmarks and take it to greater heights. But like Jeremiah( my mentor cos of who I fell in love with social media ) says – Always have a social media strategy when using these tools.

So, who says you can’t have a Brand Song?

[If you like my thoughts here, i would greatly appreciate it if you spread it around with your twitter/facebook/orkut /linkedin account. Thank You, Very much]

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Review : cottonworld Print Ad, Website and Social Media

22 Apr

Love the new Cottonworld ad which features Ashish Hemrajani, the guy who runs Bookmyshow.com

Why I like th ad?

  • No celebrity.  Real success story. I never really like or believe celebrities are good for brand building unless it for a cause.
  • Check the ad. Look at the tag “comfort zone”. Check out the cop – “Comfort is about being yourself…” The tag line, the copy is in complete sync with a simple ad about the guy wearing a very stylish and yet simple dress.
  • Then you have couple of lines on his success story. You immediately associate the brand with being casual, entrepreneurship, and success and yet are simple and down to earth.
Big Iea : You can be simple and look great and be successful at that .

Simple ad. Great execution.

Big Thought : Makes me want to buy cottonworld dress

My next stop: www.cottonworld.net

Love the website. It is clean white, has great content and again syncs completely with the brand core message (or the latest campaign theme): Casual, celebrating entrepreneurship and success and yet simple and down to earth.

The website features some great success stories of people who follow their heart in did what they wanted to do.

Great ad shots as well!

Kick Ass thought: Someday I would love to be featured in their website

My criticism:

The “club cottonworld” page has very little info on what it is all about. 5% off on any purchase? Conditions apply (as always ) ? Dint really get the idea of it. I wish the website had more info on the loyalty program.

I then moved on to their Facebook fanpage.

As far as I can see, they have a good fanpage running. You have customer testimonials and some good interactivity. But I thought , more can be done to increase the interaction between the brand and the customers.  Maybe they just started the fanpage.

The twitter page is nothing much to write home about.  I see 5 tweets  as I type this post.

Conclusion:

  • Great Print Ad
  • Clean website but wish it had more info on the kind of clother available, price range etc .. ( suggest dell website which has a similar theme on entrepreneurs )
  • Nice fb fanpage
  • But I felt that there is no clear Social Media Strategy in place. It is good to have a fanpage but bad to have it just for the sake of having one without a clear strategy. In the long run things will get blurred. So , they need to have a vision for social media .

If you like the post or the brand, may I request the reader to share it with others? You can share it it twitter , facebook or delicious

Cisco’s Social Media Journey

11 Mar

loved this presentation from CISCO .. Great stuff.. Great ppt and great info on Social media

Advertising Vs PR :Chevy Beat Vs Tata Nano

5 Feb

Saw the Chevy Beat today! Not really a looker as I assumed it to be. Once again realize that TV and Print Ads is shit load of crap info with glamour which they call “Creative”.

The Beat looked all great, peppy and big in Tv and Print Ads. I went Gung-ho with my friends saying – “Beat is gonna rock the Indian roads “and all that jazz. Until I saw it today!

The Beat looks small. It is only the ads which make the car look big, compact and awesome. The Print and TV advertising is also very misleading.

Consider Tata Nano. The biggest viral campaign was set when Mr.Ratan Tata said “an Rs.1 lac car”. And, made it frenzy when the car was launched and Mr Ratan said “A promise is a promise”.

Then Nano went for a publicity blitzkrieg. It looked small, so-so cute and really vulnerable when it was shown in TV and newspaper articles. When it was released and when you see them today on Indian the car looks really cute, formidable to ready to handle the curves and bumps of the Indian roads and more than that. The car:  Under promised and Over-delivered.

Best part: Not a shred of advertising money spent on Tata Nano. It was purely viral, tact public relations and what Seth Godin will call “an idea virus: a purple cow”.

Big Takeaway: If you want to launch products then I suggest that you have great or rather an Outrageous Idea. A viral theme and get into Publicity than Big Money Advertising. The era of mass advertising in gone guys…

Aint gonna have my heart beat when I see the Beat now.

Now majority of Journalist depend on Social Media for story research

1 Feb

I have always favored Public Relations, Digital PR and Advertising over traditional forms of advertising. While  social media picked speed in the west , India took its time. Today, India is absorbing social media and internet at break neck speed.

It is then heartwarming to see this report by Cision and Don Bates of The George Washington University’s Master’s Degree Program in Strategic Public Relations which found that an overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories. Among the journalists surveyed, 89% said they turn to blogs for story research, 65% to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and 52% to microblogging services such as Twitter. The survey also found that 61% use Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia.

While this report is based on journalist out of US, I am not sure to what extent PR people  use social media and digital pr tactics nor do I have any info on how journalists consider to use social media, websites, twitter and other digital platforms to search and research on their news.

Linkedin Hires India’s first Employee

16 Nov

Good News. Linkedin hires country manager for India http://ping.fm/Uh5as

aaah! clarity finally.. In my journey

15 Apr

You know .. I just figured how i am gonna drive business in my company. Havent even informed Ryan yet. You know .. Ryan , Business Head for BODYFUELZ – my boss.. So he had asked me this question the other day – Vikas , how are you gonna drive business in this company ?

Been mashing up my thoughts for a quiet a while now . Actually a month . Close to a month …

Well , when i did figure out I kinda had this englightment inside me . Like this – “Boom! thats It ! This is what i want to do . this is what i should be doing. this what i am good at . Or i could be good at but not yet there.”

So ahem .. here is what  I would be doing with my future . At least the discipline I gonna dedicate my career.

I will put it in points just in case i read this blog couple of months from now when i need direction.

– Economics + Digital Media : I am trained economist. Rather : trained to understand economics. So no matter what others think ,  I tell ya folks,  Economics is so KOOOOl! Seriously it is .. It makes you compare and understand and figure out how a consumer spends or how he/she is likely to spend, with the money earned. It is fasicnating. It is human drama and it is has all the ingredients to make it a pot-boiler.

Now if I marry economics to digital media , you have a Blue Market Career. Fancy words, fancy titles .. you know the drill!

–  Social Media Communitions : You have heard of social media marketing but this is new. Social Media Communications is the package of social media technologies , corp comm and public relations. I haven tried it yet but something tells me ( it is the guts i say , MIND IT!) that this concept is gonna rock.

–  E Business : Get the word right . It is not e- commerce. It is E- Business. Watch this space to know more on what is the difference between the two.

– Connected Marketing : Word of Mouth, Viral  and Network hubs. String them together and you have a great campaign. Figure out a way to convert that to sales. Man, you will rock the boat!  You know,  I actually wanna rock my life, my relationships and my company once in a while .. Shake out the toxins and bring in fresh air. It will do good.

Word of Mouth : This is repetative. But I love this concept so much  that it needs to be revisted in my list.  If i can crowd source, buzz market, social network, tech process, thought lead, create hubs and start a wom plague then connect with a sale. I get done more with less.

heads up : Digital Branding is here to stay . What it lacks is a  Jermiah kind of a guy who will walk the talk and talk the walk. I mean , who is will  talk about it ( become a thought leader… ) and walk the talk ( …and show how it is done) . I am gonna be that guy or die trying . I am no technologist . I dont code. I observe  ( i am a buddhist by practise you see..) and i will be the “watcher” and then make my move from behind the scenes .

What will happen in future with these ideas ? Dont know.  Dont care.. but this is me now ..