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You were always on my mind September 30, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, strategy.
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6 comments

In a meeting yesterday as I sat dreaming up ideas to make my wealthy clients even more money, someone blurted out “We need to ensure they stay top of mind” which I didn’t like at all. It sits alongside “the big idea” and “single-minded proposition” as a decidedly 20th century approach, and the reality is none of the brands people really want to be have anything to do with being top of mind.

The top-of-mind approach in fact is a challenger brand’s mentality. If you aspire to be top of mind you’re clearly not winning in your category, and you’re likely spending a good deal of time and energy just trying to compete. It’s the same as making a case for a piece of work focused around time with brand, while never pausing to consider just how much time is spent without.

The trick to both of those things is that the brands that are really thought of as top of mind, the Apples and Nikes and what have you, aren’t top of mind at all. In fact if they were to become top of mind, it would be a step back in some ways.

Those brands transcend any notion of “mind” and instead ingrain themselves in culture. I don’t just think of Apple when I’m shopping, and I don’t just think of Nike when I see someone run. They are the brands everyone else wants to be because nobody pauses to think about them.

So don’t bother with top of mind. Save that for the guys in second place, they don’t know any better anyway.

image courtesy of Esparta with thanks to compfight.

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On to the next one (Commented on “Gary Vaynerchuk”) September 24, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, digital strategy, social media, technology.
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Seems everything is moving so fast right now, I’m finding it hard to take the time to write. So instead I’m trying to read more, comment, and where I can bring those comments back onto this blog. I wish WordPress had a Disqus plug-in for their hosted sites (which is what this one is) as that would mean we could continue the larger conversation wherever we were, unfortunately they bought a Disqus competitor, so that is unlikely.

Your friend and mine Gary Vaynerchuk posted a video saying social media wasn’t the “seasoning” to the changes going on, it was the steak. I have a slightly different take on this, which I commented on. Watch the video then see below.

I feel like the “steak” is made up of so many things though, of which social is a part of.

Or to put it another way, we’ve operated under the guise of the Internet being, well, the Internet, and “social” being a part of that.

The reality is the web is *inherently* social, and given every business must have a presence online, every business is now missing something core if they don’t have a social aspect to what they do.

In the ridiculous growth that we’ve seen the web go through, I think we’ve confused maturity with expansion. We’re still figuring out exactly what this beast is, but I think we can assume bringing people together and giving them something to do is not going to go away.

So, here’s to the steak. I wonder what else it comes with? =]

Originally posted as a comment
by davidgillespie
on Gary Vaynerchuk using DISQUS.

This is an echo of something I said to Fred Wilson last November which he re-blogged here, which is itself an eho of a post I made last October. Social media is not part of the web, it is the web. The sooner we all realise that, the sooner we get onto the next thing.

And as a fan of buzzwords and technology, I always love the next thing.

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He just sits and listens to the people in the boxes September 15, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in technology, Video Games.
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OK, so here’s an idea for a campaign. I don’t care who does it, I’d just love to see it in action, so if you work on Nintendo or a major cereal brand, listen up.

We’re long past a place where kids are interested in putting together dinky little toys made from plastic parts in cereal boxes, but there’s something there about the notion of the prize inside which i don’t think is going away. I’d like to see Nintendo collaborate with someone for the next big Pokemon release. Except rather than put a toy in the box they produce a series of cards which trigger an augmented reality game when placed in front of a camera.

Let’s say I have my cereal and I get a card that displays Pikachu. My friend gets his cereal and he gets a card with…well…one of the other ones on it (Pokemon was more my little brother’s set). When I put just one card down in front of the camera, I can interact with my character, and perhaps get additional cards or items in other boxes or products that allow me to do different things to them (in a less kinky fashion than on the example below – it’s just for effect people).

When my friend puts his card next to mine though, our Pokemon proceed to fight. Now, as in the game proper, I can play (read: place) additional cards down that give me character different attacks and abilities. So instead of just playing cards or controlling it on a screen, I can physically interact and play with my friends while needing to purchase product from someone to expand the available repertoire of moves available to my character.

The downside is it would be horrendously expensive to produce, the upside is of course that it would be effortlessly cool.

Even if only for me.

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I’ve got big ideas, I’m out of control (Commented on “A VC”) September 9, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in conversation, philosophy, work/life.
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Fred Wilson has an interesting short piece up this morning on failure. After reading it, I left the following comment:

I was doing a review of a (young but brilliant) guy on my team recently, and as we were discussing the feedback he said to me “You know, the thing I worry about more than anything is making mistakes.”

I looked at him blankly and said “That is like fretting that the sun might come up tomorrow. Guess what? It’s going to happen! Don’t worry about making mistakes, worry about things you can actually have a positive impact on. If you spend your time worrying about the possibility of mistakes you’re not going to get anything done.”

Now, being Australian (living in Canada atm), there’s a fair amount of a “no worries” attitude that is ingrained in us, but Fred I think you hit on something really crucial about the States – the fact that success is rewarded and if you fail you are encouraged to give it another go; as fortunate as I feel to be from Australia we don’t have the latter as part of our psyche. I’ve benefited from tremendously from growing up in Hong Kong among other places, and I think a willingness to get it wrong is one of the best things any society can have in its DNA.

It’s probably also the reason I’m a long way from home right now :)

Originally posted as a comment
by davidgillespie
on A VC using DISQUS.

Now, I adore Australia and it will always be home. We do have an odd relationship with success and failure though, born no doubt from a myriad of cultural sources others I’m sure have written long and eloquently about, and which I don’t want to get into right now. Instead I’ll just say, as I did the other day when someone asked me what this blog was about, I said “big ideas”.

“Are they the right ideas?”

I laughed and said “That my friend, was never the point.”

So, here’s to the big ideas today. Wherever they lead us.

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This is for everyone out in the real world September 3, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, social media.
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2 comments

There was always something about the idea of influencers I didn’t quite get, as if someone interested in being one somehow popularised the term, and it became self-evident based on that. It was easier for me to believe the audience tuning in to American Idol were environmentally pre-disposed to engaging in that type of content than it was to accept mass stupidity had somehow infected the entire known world. Mind you, that may still be the case…

Never the less, your friend and mine Katie Chatfield has a stunning piece up about this, citing research suggesting the important thing is not key influencers changing behaviour en masse but rather easily influenced people influencing each other in an interminable cycle. The main deck she references is below, but go visit her and say hi, she is a bit of a genius after all.

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