Here is one reason why an agency’s work is tough (amongst the 4 million other reasons why.) Clients have no benchmark. They try to win the argument to satisfy their ego, not for the benefit of the brand. No matter what case studies, no matter how similar the case studies are to their brands they will always say, “Oh, the situation is different.” No matter how strong the data and how robust the research, your research methodology will be called into question. Not because they want to know the answer but because in front of the boss, it will make […]
I wrote an email to a new client the other day to follow up on a few things. In order to understand the inner workings of the company there were a few questions I asked. Interestingly, the answer came back “The boss decides” in each of those questions. I get a sense the answers were given grudgingly too. I have been in the working world long enough now and have my fair share of bosses. Good, bad and downright evil. Here’s the thing. Regardless, as a staff we have the moral responsibility to inform the boss if we disagree with […]
You say you want to be different. To be noticed for the real you. You want to be the only one in my life and you want my loyalty. Yet, you are so afraid to change for me. How can I see you differently if you continue with the same old, same old? If you say you are refined and cultured, then dress like one. Talk like one. Act like one. Is this the conversation your consumers are saying to your brand? Who is the real you?
You want to do big things. Have the biggest project. Launch the best product. It’s easy to understand because it’s good for your ego. It’s good for your pride. It’s good for your resume. You get bragging rights. Here is a suggestion. Don’t worry about doing big things. Focus on doing small regular things, things that you are expected to do and do them damn extra-ordinarily well. That will make you a hero. Write a well thought out brief. Back up your proposals with facts and figures. Clear your emails on time. Communicate in a clear and concise manner. Know […]
People often talk about what keeps them up at night. They worry about things. And the stress keeps them awake. Here’s another take. What wakes you up in the morning? Ever thought about what gets you up and puts a spring in your step? That. That one speck of reason that makes you say, “Here, it is going to be a good day because it’s another opportunity to pursue the hell out of this project of mine!” Ignore the things that keep you awake at night. The stress, the “I forgot this”, the “I should have done that”, the “why […]
You are sick and you don’t know how to treat yourself, you go to a doctor. You want to build a house but you don’t know how, you see an engineer. You want to know your future and can’t see it, you see a fortune teller. Know what you don’t know. Then you seek the answer. When someone gives you the answer, don’t pretend that you know the answeror that it is not the answer. Come to me if you don’t have answers. If you do, then why waste your money, time and effort? Mine too. What answers are you […]
Starting a business teaches you a lot of things. Chief of which, it teaches me to filter. A filter enables you to do the things you want to do, take the direction you want to take. You need to manufacture your own filter to be self sufficient and self determining. Let certain things go through and block off others. How are you focusing today?
You want to quit your job. You want to start on an idea. You want to do a lot of things. You want. And all that remains is a want. Worst if you belong to the category of, “I don’t know what I want”, “I don’t know where to go”. I think you know what you want. You know where to go. Ignorance is a good excuse. It’s a good excuse for failing in the future. Because in the future, you can say in the past you did not have the information and the direction to decide. No whatever is […]
You run to the gym, you exercise. You eat healthily. Well, at least you think you try to eat healthily. You take your nutritional supplements. Good job on working on your physical health. How about your mental health? What do you feed your mind? No, not your brain. I am not talking about reading to be more knowledgeable. Your mind. That one name that seems to refer to an anatomy except you can’t point to one place to say this is your mind. In fact, the Chinese calls the mind – Xin. Which also refers to the heart. Except it […]
I recently got a deck for a brief that has got 5 points on the objective sheet. Out of the 5 points, 2 were objectives and 3 were strategies. Are you confusing objective and strategy? Come on. After so many years as a marketer you must surely know the difference. Otherwise, please ask someone who does. Be a little more humble and perhaps good hearted people will teach you a little. Or you will just rot in your own ego. You can continue to swim in your pool of ignorance. The price is someone may just name you as the […]
I have come to a point where I believe no matter how much of an expert you are in any field; you will be challenged by people who know less than you know. For whatever reasons that tickle their fancy. If you are a lawyer? They are better in law than you. If you are a doctor? They are better in medicine than you. People employ all sorts of experts – lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, actuaries, architects, can I add brand consultants? But they will choose to be more of an expert than the people they pay good money for. If […]
Contacted and connected are two different things. All those big numbers and “Likes” you have on your Facebook are a great way to tell your boss you have done your job. But being able to be contacted by the millions isn’t the same as being able to be connected to the individual. If your brand is building a relationship, then the depth of the one affinity to your brand is perhaps the best measure. There is no button for that one person who is so connected to your brand to click. Don’t worry about the breadth of masses; focus on […]
We see other brands do crazy things and succeed – we think, “Wow, would be nice to pull that one off.” But how many times do you think what it took to get that crazy idea to ship? The approvals, the dead dendrites and axons and parched esophagus. To reach the stage of being envied by others, someone has to suspend their cynicism. Maybe that person is you. In the movie “Contact”, Dr. Ellie Arroway when confronted by an executive who accused her proposal as being less science and more like science fiction she said this: Ellie Arroway: You wanna […]
You use a hammer to knock in a nail. You use a screwdriver to turn the screw into the wood panel. You use a M200 if you want to shoot someone 2 kilometers away. To stir fry Chinese style, wok is best. So, what you use depends on what you want to do and what you want to achieve. Interestingly, some marketers do not do this when they deploy their media plans or marketing efforts. You can use a screwdriver to knock in a nail. Heck, you can even use your shoes to do that. It’s just that it may […]
Sampling can be used for many reasons. You want someone to try your brand. You are new and you want to introduce yourself to potential customers. You want people to get used to whatever your product is. Be it something people ingest, something people slap on their face, gel their hair or add to their food. Problem is when you sample, how many are you giving away for free? Is it in enough frequency that it creates a habit? Is it in enough quantity that your brand starts to wedge itself into the life of your potential customer? Free samples […]
You can do what you love so long as you also play the role you are supposed to play. If you are a CEO then be sure that you know what the role of the CEO is. If you love fishing more than being a father, so long as you play the role of a father, you can fish all you want. We all have major roles in our lives. We have to play those roles and play it well. Otherwise the system falls apart. Are you on the right stage today?
Someone once told me, “We do all the thinking, you just need to execute”. Wow. Such bold words. But I did not dare to challenge him in terms of quality of thinking. After all, he is by societal standards a successful businessman. Whether it was built on solid thinking or not, I am not sure. One thing I do have expertise though is that he doesn’t have very strong brands. So, he may be proud to have a solid business, he is far from having solid brands. And maybe, just maybe it’s this ‘thinking’ he is so proud of that […]
It is easy to oppose things. All you have to say is you disagree and bring to boil some facts to back up what you think is correct. For plans to make a splash there must be a common platform we can all spring board from. We can make splashes by struggling in water. But one of us will drown. We need to find a common platform we can both dive in synchronicity. Perhaps even afford a perfect 10 in that attempt. Are you tearing my truth to live your lie?
One day my colleague and I were at the reception of a company. After waiting for our appointment for 15 minutes of so, we were told by the receptionist that we were not allowed to sit there. Surprised, we asked where else can we sit then? She politely told us she has two meeting cubicles she can settle us. Interestingly, these cubicles are situated at a very important department. Within our earshot we can hear people discussing prices of goods, ETA of containers and discussions I would consider confidential. What shocked us was we witnessed a shouting match between two […]
When you do not start to execute your plans, it could be you are too frightened. You need to have a healthy balance of enthusiasm and risk. Otherwise, you start to create excuses why you cannot ship. You will always need the extra information. You will never be ready. To be ready – do, feel, and apply. Which means to execute, learn and reapply – that’s the one way your small company can grow. I am frightened to give you this advice too. But I will do it anyway. It’s the only way we can sail new lands. The map […]
You plan for your brand. But what are you planning for yourself? It is easy to do a brand plan. Any fool can do one. But to do a life plan? That’s a scary one. Maybe you don’t need a life plan. What you need is a “why” plan. Plans are for the faint hearted. Why is for the bold. It’s easy to create a plan and hide behind it, but frightening to find out why. What is your why?
It’s always good to be a little unsure. It allows us to feel our vulnerability. Plus it allows us to leave some space for learning. And some space to make mistakes we can correct. When you are too right, too experienced, too smart, that’s when you do not make any mistakes. Hence, miss a good learning opportunity. But someone who is too whatever has no need for this learning. Add too rich, too easy, and too visionary. You miss an opportunity to see how close you are to building six sides of a coffin you live in. I will be […]
To reach your destination your desire has to be bigger than your goal. If you aren’t there, you really need to review your desire. How much fire in the belly do you have? Is your mouth louder than your mind? Commitment isn’t a word. It’s a vow. One grows out of eye-bags soaked with tears, drenched with sweat and signed in blood. Here’s the thing, your desire cannot be the sole focus of your life. Otherwise, you bleed to death. How loud is your mind talking?
People often ask me why is this blog not just about marketing and brandingsince Roar Point is a branding consultancy? The obvious answer is that wouldn’t it be utterly boring if it were just to be about branding and marketing. That’s one. Secondly, branding and marketing is about people and people are interesting. What we do touches life and we should be rich like life too. You don’t need to be obsessed with your work to be an expert. I doubt a solid tumor oncologist is obsessed with sarcomas, carcinomas and lymphomas only. He may actually like wine, be interested […]
Whatever that they are doing, do you have to do something in response? That’s the natural reaction isn’t it? Someone does something especially an adversary; we are programmed to do something. Sometimes doing nothing is the most difficult thing to do. Perhaps the wisest thing to do is to follow the plan you have put forth. A focused and disciplined trudging of the march may yield you more distance than chasing after the little mosquito that bit you. The closest a brand can get to the concept of “wu wei” is to stick to your orbit. What is the nothing […]
Does balance always have to mean 50:50? How then do you measure work-life balance? Some people are willing to pay the price of career success – whatever that means to each individual – by putting in the hours. They may not seem to have work-life balance, to you. But that is the price they are willing to pay. To accuse your boss of not providing you work-life balance is highly unfair. Bosses are not here to provide work-life balance. For one simple reason, bosses don’t know what is your balance. And your balance may not be the same as the […]
Very often you get into a meeting and someone comes out with a brilliant idea.Everyone will agree that it is a good idea to pursue and make it happen. Then what happens? People who are more enthusiastic about the idea will usually run and get everything ready. They will look for wood; they will search for the matches. All ready to start a fire. The rest stands and watch. Which is nothing wrong, really. What makes it not so right is when decision makers back down, not knowing how to balance enthusiasm and risk. Unsure of the future, they prefer […]
By getting out from the pillars of mediocrity. By giving reasons to do. Not excuses to escape. By stealing time from hidden minutes. By sacrificing near term gratification. By audacious faith in your dreams. By focusing on the next step regardless of how tedious. Inspiration doesn’t appear. You find it in discipline. Have you been waiting in vain?
Stop creating excuses for your mediocrity. I am overworked. I don’t have enough time. My work-life balance sucks. I need some rest. I hate my job. I am not doing what I love. I don’t know what I want. I hope my boss understands me. I wish I have more money to pursue my dreams. This is not easy. You don’t lead my life. My situation is different. There are too many demands on my life. I am stretched beyond my limits. I wish I can quit now but I need this job. I am just buying time. If only […]
You want to convince people of what you believe? Good. No one cares about the cost, the course and the craze you may have in your concern. To get them on the road with you, hop on your wagon of destiny, they must understand your cause. If they understand the cause, they will cycle, walk and run along if they have to. You won’t need to provide the wagon. What are you transporting with today?
You cannot be asking for more and more information and just feel good about it. People will think that you are an information junkie. Addicted to figures but not action. Unless you are doing something with the information, don’t bother asking for it. Figures, data, market intelligence only means something if you act upon that information. What are you going to do with the data?
Is your positioning statement more a statement than a position? How are you taking that position? Why are you taking that position? What adjustments are you making on that position? Interesting isn’t it? You write a positioning statement and suddenly when you are asked to take a position – which means to tattoo your chest with your cause and climb to the top of Vinson Massif and shout it out – you hide behind the statement. And you churn out the banal and mediocre. Dump that GPS. Take a position and defend it with excellence. When are you revealing your […]
Of course, some brands want to own a word. Some brands want to own a statement. Others a phrase. Some look at successful brands and think I want to be like them. Nothing wrong with that so long as you continuously reveal yourself. What does that one word, phrase or statement mean to your brand? Then what does that one word or phrase or statement mean to your consumers? How will it transform their lives? What does it say about them when they associate with you? How will people justify their social intercourse with you? That is meaning before marketability. […]
I suppose you can. Just that it won’t be much of a conversation. There won’t be any depth in it. According to dictionary.com, a conversation is an “association or social intercourse; intimate acquaintance.” Quite intrinsically, to have an “intimate acquaintance” you will need to undress your superficiality, and practice a nudity of honesty. I met someone who introduced himself as a “Conversation Strategist.” That kind of translated into “manufactured social intercourse” to me. How enjoyable is your brand’s fellowship with its consumers?
You can think of a heartbeat as life. You can think of a heartbeat as time. Brands touch lives. Some are more evident. If you are a medical or nutritional brand it is clear the impact you make. If you are an automotive brake pad manufacturer, it’s clear to you but it may not be for the end user. In fact, brands change lives. Then what does life mean to your brand? When you define that, will it add more depth to your brand’s personality? Your brand’s tone and manner? Add authenticity? What difference will your brand make?
Because you are full of excuses. You choose the things you like to do first and you pursue the hell out of them. Whether they are important or otherwise. Because you refuse to confront the fact that you are lazy. You choose to do all self gratifying activities and say you deserve it. Who decides you deserve it? You? Good. Then it is you who decides how much time you have too. Fair? Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Everyone is busy. Some are more productive than others because they know what to do when the pillars of excuses […]
It’s not that analysis is not important. Synthesis could be more important to you. To analyze is to break data down. To synthesize is to combine data and create some useful information from which you can plan and act. Yes, I know we need to analyze. You use the word analyze like it will make you sound smarter. But all your analysis will not bring any worthwhile information until you combine it with other pieces of information you have. Stop separating and start mixing already. When will you be kneading the dough?
Ideas come and go. Everyone has ideas. Being able to execute it is what makes a difference. Forget about asking for opinions. No one knows your dreams and fears. Only you know what you want to pursue. Only you know what matters to you. How are you chasing it? You walk into a restaurant, it kicks off an idea in your mind how to make one like that and make it better. You think that idea is going to bring you fame and fortune. It stays an idea. You buy a great product and think, “Wow, if I put this […]
When was the last time you googled your brand name followed by the word “sucks”? Like this – (brand name) sucks. Try a few variations too. Like “I hate (brand name),” “Boycott (brand name)”, “I will never buy (brand name) again.” Ignore your sweaty palms. Go on. Yes, now. What did you find?
Rituals formalize important events in clans and tribes. It adds meaning to the status of the member in the clan or tribe. In some parts of the world, the coming of age means the teenage boy has to tie vines to his ankle and jump off tall trees, head down first. We pay to do this. But for the boy, once he succeeds, he is considered an adult. And with it all the rights and privileges that comes with being an adult. Weddings and funerals are also rituals to signify certain journey in one’s life witnessed by the clan. These […]
Robert Dunbar, British anthropologist proposed that there is a cognitive limit to the number of people we as humans can maintain a stable social relationship with. Meaning we know each other well and how each of us are related to one another. I suppose you can say, ‘hold a meaningful relationship.’ That’s my way of interpreting it. That number he proposed based on his research is 150. Other anthropologists like H. Russell Bernard and Peter Killworth have suggested the number can get up to 290. How does that relate to your social marketing efforts? There is no point in having […]
Let’s just say Facebook now has a “Love” button, will people click your brand’s “Love” button just as much as they “Like” it? It’s easy to ‘like’ something. For like, people do not jump in head and heels into you. Love is different. Love is asking for a dedication. Like? That’s just something that delights. There is no need for a relationship with you just to like you. To love you, that is different. It’s nice to have a lot of likes. It’s great to have a lot of love. Facebook or not. What will make people click your “Love” […]
My late Pa used to say “穷则变，变则通” (Qiong Zhe Bian, Bian Zhe Tong). It is to mean, being poor forces you to change, by changing you find solutions. But I would translate it this way, “Poverty forces creativity, creativity builds solution.” Are you welcoming deprivation?
Ya, it’s a different category. Times are different. If we are in the (x) segments, that’s what we will do, but I am selling (y). But that’s in a different country. We have done that before. It didn’t work the last time. We don’t have that type of budget. You are crazy for suggesting that. I buy into it, but my colleagues/boss/management/BOD won’t. No point. Let’s not waste our time. If you do not try, how would you know? Oh, wait. Because you just know. Yup, I understand. Lucky for us, Christopher Columbus didn’t say he just knew. Leonardo Da […]
My kids now have toys bought from hyper huge toy shops. He has toy guns that looks and functions like real guns equipped with magazines and reloads and all. Wow. If only I had those when I was younger, I would not have to make what looked like guns from wood and berries for bullets. Our ‘grenade’ was made from mud. It hurts like mad when it landed on you in close distance. Sure, my parents could have bought us the plastic cowboy six shooters. But they were considered a luxury then. Surprisingly, when there is water rationing. We all […]
Loyalty can only be earned. It is not a card. It is not a membership. It is definitely not a program. A loyalty program may in fact detract your team from building brand loyalty. Loyalty involves delighting consumers with your brand experience, earning their trust and gaining their respect in the way you treat them and do business with them. You forge a relationship and you work hard at keeping it. Like any relationship. Most loyalty programs out there seem to me more like discount plans, points collection system and “here let me bribe you” scheme. To use the word […]
Cards are supposed to make us feel exclusive. Some where in a time past, it stopped being exclusive anymore. Everyone is giving everyone a card. A membership card, a discount card, a “I don’t really feel exclusive” card but let’s just do it because everyone’s doing it. And it seems even some marketers are still doing it for the sake of giving a card. If the idea is to make your consumers feel exclusive, why can’t you do something inclusive? Which means something simple that your consumers enjoy without having to climb a hill of sword and down a sea […]
We have all heard of share of wallet, share of stomach, share of throat, share of cabinet even. I am sure your brand has its own version of share you measure. How many brands measure share of smiles? How much joy have you brought your fans? Share of tears? Were you there when they needed you most? How can our brand be there in times of need? No, no, it’s not about replacement card in 24 hours. Think harder. Share of faith? How much do people trust us versus the newspaper man? What share are you measuring?
What if you have got it all wrong? All this while you thought you have been branding your products or services. You did everything right. Your brand image is spick-and-span. Your brand values are immaculate. Your brand identity is spot on. Gosh, everything is so right. People dream of being you. But in fact, 30,000 (or whatever the number may be) people are branding you. These 30,000 people are helping you brand your brand. You see, when they put you on, use you, drive you, drink you, slap you on their faces, make a call on you, etc. They are […]
There was a time when companies put in policies in order to safe guard the interests of the company. Most notably these policies are put in because it needed to ‘protect’ itself. From what, sometimes as consumers we do not know. I guess it could be from being exploited by a group of consumers. You know those who make use of the no questions asked refund policy? But as competition grows and your services and products become comodified, policies like that can be detrimental to your company building a relationship with your consumers. Are your policies defined by how easy […]
Or introspecting? How much time do you need to pause, introspect and think what worked for you and what didn’t? It’s the easiest way to learn. You do not need a lot of time. All you need is five to ten minutes, ideally at the end of the day. Just to ask yourself a few questions. What did I do that worked? What shouldn’t I have done? Who helped me and I should thank and show gratitude? A sort of Naikan Therapy if you will. It will help you learn and improve tremendously when done consistently. Everyday you are walking […]
Of course it is. Who’s going to remember? So what if they remember? What do you have to lose? Even if you lose what do you lose? The price of success is the risk of failing. It is OK to fail. I can give you a lot of quotes about failing. Stories about people who failed and became successful later. You will say you believe in it. But you won’t embrace it. You risk your ego being bruised. That’s why you fear failing. You will say it is OK, you will speak like a hero but you won’t believe it. […]
By curing you and your organization Can’t-Do-titis. It’s a huge disease that infects CEOs all the way down to product executives. You know the people who see the gas tank as being half empty instead of being half full? The one that says, cannot, should not and would not? Yea, that disease. The chronic inflammation of the Can-Do attitude. No COX-2 inhibitor is ever going to help this condition. Opportunities knock every time. It wants you to be the hero. The richest person. The Idol. But each time it knocks, your can’t-do-titis answers the door. How? Who’s answering the door […]
I don’t know. My pea brain is trying to think how does one measure commitment? Doesn’t matter if it is the measurement of your commitment to your goals or your brand’s commitment to its consumers. How do you do that? Quite logically you may suggest some kind of scale to measure – time and effort. But how do you measure things like Soul? Authenticity? Laughter? Care? Such things that makes you, you. Such things that makes your brand more loved than the brand that sits next to yours on the shelf? How do you measure these things that turn evangelists […]
When you fail to execute the ideas you have and a million reasons why you cannot and should not execute it? Are they backed by rational reasons or emotional excuses? What if people think lesser of our brand if we did this? How will we find the resources to launch this? This isn’t really our target is it? Should we revisit the objective? You can cook up a million excuses. But your lovely competitor who is winning his battle with resistance is shipping. With it, she will have a ton of learning she will use to better her next course […]
Take that space between perceiving something and letting the words come out from your mouth to criticize and make it more productive. Create something. Give yourself reasons to make something. Even if it is something small. Everything big usually comes from something small. It’s easy to say, “This is not nice, it is not tasty, it is not right.” What is difficult is to say, “This is what I did, how do you like it?” and be vulnerable. Ignore the need to pretend you are adding value by criticizing. Instead pick up a pen and start writing. Or a brush […]
Proven can be phenomenal. Old can be outstanding. Mundane can be magnificent. Simple can be sexy. Expected can be exceptional. (Courage + Effort + Talent) x Imagination = Astonishing What’s your twist?
Death is usually a wake up call for a lot of people. I know when my Pa passed away a little more than a year ago; it was a big wake up call for me. I was just thinking. It’s the same for brands too. Brands come and go. Brands are born, they grow old, they grow big and they die. That’s why, one of my favorite exercise for brainstorming session is writing the brand’s obituary. It really forces you to think what will be the cause of the brand’s death. Death is a good awakening for a lot of […]
Awards are good. It is an affirmation for the hard work the team has put in. Especially if the award is results based. Brands who win awards must think and introspect. When is an award not good for your brand? It is when the award breeds complacency within your team. Thinking they have arrived. Whether won or bought or scammed. If the award is easily obtainable, does it still carry any prestige? I am not sure. Some people like to be associated with these. Are people capable of being proud of something so easily obtainable? Do they not feel empty […]