Seduce us or excuse us – 11 ways to bring your brand up to date

We’re fed up with boring old school advertising. We don’t want your information and rational explanations. We wanna dance, laugh, feel and love. We do not want be treated like idiots!
James Dean knew how to seduce people while looking pretty darn boring. But face it. He’s dead and would be pretty out of date now!

Information is all over us. We’re accessing it everywhere faster than ever. The more shit we get our hands on the less we wanna mess with, so you’ve gotta stand out.
Future brands don’t buy media they create brand dramas that build value and generate SEO equity – only then will you reach your future friends (aka. target group). Future brands tell stories.Future brands rely on drama and constant innovation – totally integrated.

Here are eleven bullets of love that you can load that brand gun of yours with: (or a crash course in modern branding)

1. Social currency

As social networks spread all over the world the opportunity to spread your brand globally is bigger than ever. What you’ve gotta do is get your head around your own brand values and think hard…think harder than ever before…what – can – you – give – to – me – that – builds – ME – among my peers. Yes. You heard right. You’ve gotta turn your mind around. It’s not about you winning. It’s not about you getting things. Give and you shall recieve. After all, we’re only humans deriving straight from a slimy fish or something. We only wanna fit in. And your brand can help us do that.

2. Creative excellence

People around the world are savvy. We’re accessing information from all around the world on the fly. We’re evaluating it on the fly. There’s no room for flaws. Get your business right when it comes to design, ideas and creativity. Only then will we support you! If you need some advice – talk to Mr Steve Jobs.

3. Value

You might trick us into falling in love with you. But in order for us to stay married you’ve gotta give us value for our money. A well known brand had a problem with too many calls to their call center. People complained about their products. This had led to a meeting where the management team were discussing how to develop the call center so that they could serve more people. A friend of mine were in the room and said “Why don’t you make your products better instead” – bang on target. Tomorrow there’s no room for errors. You’ll end up in price comparison engines, your page rank will drop or at least be associated with the wrong things, you’ll have protest groups on Facebook etc. Provide us with a true value and we’ll stay in love.

4. Open source

If you’re looking to race against the best you’ve gotta drop your pit stop times. With this blurry talk I mean – don’t get stuck in a big ass back-end system that won’t let you change things fast and cheap. Go open source as soon as possible. Drop everything else and run for it!

5. Know your target audience better than you know your mother in law

We’re not runners anymore. We’re not car lovers any more. We’re not mac fans any more. We’re not Nike lovers. We’re not adidas lovers. We’re everything! We want to be the best in everything we do. We don’t settle for less.

6. Join the conversation

Your brand is out there – everywhere. And you’ve gotta do your best to be part of it. Did you hear that – be part of your own brand. I mean it.
The blue dot is your brand!
Your brand is no longer built primarily on what you tell people about it. It’s built upon what other people say about it. Given that’s a truth I think it’s time for you to step into the crowd and start listening.
Note – start listening!

7. Linkonomy

Page rank – the one formula you should learn in school
This one is simple. As long as Google rules the empire – make sure people link to your site, your content and your domain. There’s no other way you’ll be seen. Ah…you probably have to link to them too 😉
@deeped commented that page rank is not all that simple to explain to companies. That’s not really my intention. But it’s a great point though. The guys over at SEOmoz, the best site on SEO, posts a great piece called Search Engine Ranking every two years. The survey includes the Top 5 Ranking Factors, the Top 5 Negative Ranking Factors, the Top 5 Most Contentious Factors and the Overall Ranking Algorithm. It’s a must read.
This year the Top 5 Ranking Factors were:

  1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links

    73% very high importance
  2. External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)

    71% very high importance
  3. Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)

    67% very high importance
  4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag

    66% very high importance
  5. Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)

    66% very high importance

Head over to SEOmoz to read the full survey.
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8. Usability

Curiosity used to make us ask for directions but not anymore. No matter if we’re talking online usability or how to direct people in a subway – lead us to the good shit now! Loading times no! Confusion no! Simplicity yes! Hospitality yes!

9. Kick Lucifer out of the basement and trade your media money for content

If you lead a large brand you probably have one budget in your safe. Then a couple of hundred meters down in hell you’ve got a big bag of media budgets waiting to be blown up. Ever thought about what that money can do for your brand online if you build things by the book (seo book that is)? Cut your media money by half and move that half over to the equity side of your marketing mix – online content. Built right, written right and distributed over the right social networks it will do ten times more for your brand than any 30 second commercial will ever do.

10. Make us laugh

Is there anything better than a refreshing laughter? It’s a trip. It’s a drug. It makes us fall in love. Never ever forget that. If you’re a CEO or a Marketing Director representing a brand that creates boring, no good, sleep ‘pilling’, price fighting commercials. Report yourselves to the next mission to Mars – cause we don’t want you on our beautiful planet!

11. Finally drop the following word from your vocabulary:

Control. You don’t need it and you can’t have it.
See you out there!