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THREE READS|November 29

ONE | Ad Agency as “Brand Navigator”
Kevin Roberts (of Saatchi & Saatchi Lovemarks notoriety) is grasping with managing a behemoth advertising agency against nimble, social media-adept boutique agencies.

According BusinessWeek
, Roberts has come to believe following the Lovemarks ethos isn’t enough for businesses to create loyalty beyond reason with their brands. Roberts contends businesses “… are desperate for an uber-consultant—a brand navigator” who “… devises an overall message, then subcontracts the work to the relevant people–interactive shops, direct marketers, and so on.”

Hmm … isn’t this just outsourcing the marketing function? The role of a Brand Navigator sounds to me a lot like the role of a company’s Marketing leader. >>READ MORE

TWO | Print is Dead
Joe Wikert blogged about it. Because I trust Joe’s views, I bought it (and I’m digging it). Joe Gomez’s PRINT IS DEAD is a very provocative book about the impending digital change that will wreck havoc in the traditional publishing world. There is nothing new in Joe’s thesis. What’s new is how Joe explains the real reason why we’ve formed emotional connections with the printed page. Joe writes,
In the end, we may be in love with books, but it’s words that have truly won our hearts. It’s words that whisper into our ear and transform us, that make us believe in other worlds or new emotions we didn’t know existed; it’s words that keep us company in those planes, on subway trains, or our comfy couches. It is words, not books, paper, papyrus, or vellum pages that transform our lives.

Preach on Mr. Gomez. Preach on. >>READ MORE

THREE | Confessions of a Starbucks Barista
The curious marketer inside of Alex Frankel caused him to go undercover and spend time working as a front-line employee with admired brands like UPS, Starbucks, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Apple store, and the Gap. He shares his thoughts about the branding of company culture in “PUNCHING IN: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee.” It’s an interesting read.

Sample a bite-size chunk of his book with an excerpt that appeared in the Brown Alumni Magazine. This excerpt shares Frankel’s impressions of Starbucks while spending time as a Barista there slinging drinks. Early in his stint, Frankel became cynical about the Starbucks “heavy-handed culture-building” employee training approach. >>READ MORE


  • Dan Schawbel says:

    I don’t think print nor broadcast are dead, but that social media is a new channel that will help both of them.

  • Kenyatta says:

    I truly worry about the creative professional. There has to be some integration with standard business concepts to rebuild value for creative professionals. The innovative changes in the marketplace, the complexity of consumers, and the market demands for performance have totally challenged the relevancy of advertising. Now is the time for creative professionals to make the shift to become “sensory brokers”, where they create solutions that appeal to consumers’ senses like sight and sound to connect the minds of consumers with their client’s brands.In other words, move the profession of advertising closer to science than an art.Does that sound stupid?

  • Josh says:

    I’ve had the chance now to read a couple snippets from Frankel’s book in magazines, and have come to the conclusion, that service companies need to be on-guard all the time. Much like Starbucks has the snapshot to evaluate customer perception of service, Frankel proves that there is ever-increasing transparency in how companies treat their employees.I’ve caught the aroma of Starbucks’ faux-ness a couple times in talking with some former and present “partners.” Two things usually result in these conversations: the partner is disenfranchised, or has the aura of being a cult follower. Examples of this: espousing Howard Schultz’s world-view of employee benefits, saying that Starbucks is good for local coffee companies (it impassions the community to ‘support local business’), waxing on about the importance of snapshot conformance.While I like Starbucks’ product, I’m not always sold on authenticity, which is why I appreciate John and Paul’s conversation about reinventing the Starbucks business model by empowering local branches to make decisions. (A chalkboard on the side of the oversized espresso machines aren’t enough to showcase the local personality)