July 2018

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Welcome Back, Blackberry! By Douglas Spencer President, Spencer Brenneman, LLC @DouglasWSpencer I remember my first BlackBerry, it was my first big promotion. I was one of the new marketing leadership team members formed by the new CMO. At our first team meeting, he informed us all we would be getting Blackberrys--the phones, not the beepers (yes, this was a long time ago.) “Why?” I asked? So young, so naive. Thus began my 10-year arranged marriage to a device that tried so hard to do so much but only did a few things well. To its credit, what it did well, it did really well. In a word, it did texting well. No, not what we think of as texting today, but what email was back

NOW AVAILABLE: Do They Care? The one question all brands should ask themselves, continually. What's the common denominator that all strong brands share? That question lead to another question and the title of a new book by Spencer Brenneman, LLC President Douglas Spencer. Do They Care? The one question all brands should ask themselves, continually. will quickly help founders, senior executives, and branding, marketing, and human resources leaders understand how their brands can earn the care and devotion of those integral to their success. The book focuses on employees, customers, media, and the community at large as well as how caring can falter during mergers and acquisitions. Do They Care?concludes with some tough questions for readers around how much they themselves care about what they do. Do They

Brand Construction: A Literal (and Figurative) Guide by Steve Thomas Spencer Brenneman, LLC Copywriter We love telling our clients that successful businesses start with brand. No, not because it sounds pretty (it totally does though, right?), but because we know that businesses who understand their brand at its core understand its potential for growth and success. Put another way, your brand is a foundation—the starting point that supports successful construction of a business and all the decision making, strategies, and hard work that go into it. But what’s in a brand, and how can you encapsulate your passion into a framework that can guide decisioning? Branding construction has two important facets that turn an idea into a business foundation: passion and business goals. One

by William Coughlin Guest Post Providing an informative and efficient user interface (UI) experience is a key component of your organization’s brand. Similar to any consumer or B2B experience, people have ongoing and competing demands for their time—make their website visits positive, and you are setting yourself up for repeat business and more satisfied customers. When it comes to UI and brand, most B2B companies are faced with the challenge of needing to explain an abundance of information, so displaying this in an efficient manner is extremely important.     UI and Brand: Overview UI combines interaction design, visual design, and information architecture, all of which need to support each brand’s identity to the degree it can without compromising usability.  Consumers have become familiar with

Creating a luxury brand is no easy feat. It's often a challenge because provenance—the story, or the heritage, behind luxury brands—can’t be made overnight. No matter how much a company invests in the branding of their luxury clothing line, Audrey Hepburn isn’t going to wear it. Coco Chanel, on the other hand, can produce any number of pictures with Hepburn wearing their clothing. However, despite the challenges, there are plenty of examples to show that a luxury brand can be made from the ground up. For example, Toyota created the Lexus brand to compete with Mercedes and BMW and in the early 1990s. Just 20 years before, Toyota cars had been the but of jokes for their perceived poor quality. Nobody

A few months ago, I overheard a friend talking about something called, “View.” Whatever it was, he was in love with it. Something about cutting the cord and an alternative to SlingTV. Thus begins our cautionary tale of product naming. A few weeks later, in my semi-regular rant against cable, I texted him for more information. “What is this ‘View’ of which you spoke?” “No, it’s PlayStation Vue,” he wrote, “but it has nothing to do with PlayStation. It’s incredible.” Never assume everyone knows what you know. It seems that I was not the only one in the dark about PlayStation Vue. As Jared Newman writes in his TechHive CORD-CUTTER CONFIDENTIAL, Sony’s streaming TV service earns high marks from users but is struggling nonetheless. Newman walks

Storytelling and your brand: Three points to consider Storytelling is a much more powerful way to help people understand what you’re all about than simply explaining "This is what we do; here's why you should buy." Plus, as consumers expect more from the companies with whom they do business, storytelling is the key to getting through to them. At Spencer Brenneman, LLC, we are helping a European company introduce its product to the U.S. market. Storytelling will play a central part in how we position the offering in a way that is relevant and competitively differentiated from the other choices consumers have. So, what makes storytelling good in the marketing context? First and foremost, stay true to whom you are as a brand.

Storytelling is not: “Our product does X, and you should buy it because Y.” Storytelling is a much more powerful way to help people understand what you’re all about other than simply explaining "this is what we do, here's why you should buy." As consumers expect more from the companies with whom they do business, storytelling is the key to getting through to them. At Spencer Brenneman, LLC, we are helping a European company introduce its product to the U.S. market. Storytelling will play a central part in how we position the offering in a way that is relevant and competitively differentiated from the other choices consumers have. Can you swap out your name with your competitor’s and still have it

It's not fair to judge a change in a brand if you don't understand the brand strategy and the data behind the change. However, Douglas has some judgments on the BMW decision to expand the Rolls Royce brand.