Marketing | Environment | Culture

Tag: Beute (Page 2 of 5)

People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes and writer of its Digital Rules column, recently wrote about the “weak and uneven” economic recovery.

In doing so, he identified seven principles on which the companies that have succeeded throughout tend to excel:

  • design
  • speed
  • cost
  • external communication
  • internal communication
  • purpose

Each was well-illustrated with examples of companies succeeding by excelling in that aspect of business performance.

Sunrise, purpose, motivation, motivational, marketing, inspiration, inspiring

Motivational poster-style image representing "Purpose" grabbed from my Flickr photo stream so I'd have a colorful image in this post

The last one – purpose – really caught my interest because he highlighted thoughts of a guy I’d not read before – Simon Sinek.

The very best companies know why they do what they do.  They have a purpose – a reason for existence that transcends profit.  Driven by purpose, they create a movement and consequently get the most discerning and loyal customers.  In today’s crowded global marketplace customers ‘don’t buy what you do,’ says Sinek.  ‘They buy why you do it.’

This idea has fascinated me for a while and represents the most fundamental step in building strategy.  It seems so obvious and so simple, but it’s often overlooked and infrequently re-visited.  More often, we’re thinking and acting farther down the line at the tactical level.

Sinek’s “Start With Why” philosophy, of course packaged and sold as a book, isn’t revolutionary.  But the message is always timely and he gives it a fresh spin.

I’ll also add that I gave Sinek a “Like” on Facebook and will soon have motivational musings popping up in my News Feed.  Examples:

  • The difference between those who do and those who don’t is that they don’t believe it when they are told they can’t.
  • Assumptions can be dangerous because our behaviors are governed by our assumptions.
  • Those who lead are the ones who can clearly communicate their vision and those who can clearly communicate their vision are the ones who lead.
  • Leaders don’t complain about what’s not working, they celebrate what is working and work to amplify it.

Feels self-helpy, but I appreciate positive ideas communicated in well-crafted form.

A couple links:

Karlgaard’s Recovery’s Seven Secrets

Sinek’s “Start With Why” site, including video of his great TED speech

Shallow Analysis: PETA’s Circus Protest

In a way, this functions as a follow-up to the previous post about a marketing tactic employed by the Zeitgeist Movement of Colorado.  As in that case, the ideas marketed here lie outside the mainstream.  Unlike the Zeitgeist folks, the organization at work here is extremely well funded and celebrity fronted.

We experienced today in Colorado Springs the same thing many have experienced in cities across the country – a protest of the cruel “entertainment” that is Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which happens to be coming to town.

Protesting is PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  As the elephant’s sign reads: Circuses are No Fun for Animals.  The message is directed toward elementary school children and delivered on public property.

Here’s a shallow analysis.

PETA Circus Protest Colorado Springs Elephant Cruel Cruelty

PETA Circus Protest - Colorado Springs - Elephant

How it’s executed (approximately):

  • PETA gets Ringling Brothers tour schedule
  • PETA precedes the circus, city to city
  • PETA distributes material outside a local elementary school in each city
  • PETA alerts the local media in advance of protest
  • Local media swarms, story’s a good “talker” that elicits strong opinions
  • Conversation ensues

This execution is nicely focused.  They’re timely and topical with the elephant costume, signs, coloring books and more.  Preceding the circus with this message should influence the buying decision.

Commercials to get people to the circus have been running heavily on television here for at least a week; the circus is due in town in a week and a half.  As school’s wrapping up, kids may be talking about the circus.  Parents are probably in active consideration of whether or not to cough up the $100+ it costs to take a family of four to the circus.

There’s no question that this is effective in drawing attention to PETA and to the circus.  What is in question is what kind of attention does it draw – what kind of conversation does it start?

PETA Circus Protest Colorado Springs Cruel Cruelty

PETA Circus Protest - Colorado Springs

This strikes me as a case in which the discussion is limited to the organization itself, rather than to the specific topic and its related issues.  Alignments are basic:

  • People who believe animals are grossly mistreated and need a human voice for justice and protection
  • People who think animal rights people are moronic nut jobs and are perfectly satisfied with the status quo
  • People who take issue with directing the message toward young children outside their schools

Meanwhile, just how humane or horrific is the treatment of animals within the circus?  What are the consequences of training of large, wild beasts to perform unnatural tasks for our amusement?  What amount of money or entertainment value justifies any form of mistreatment?  The discussion never gets this deep.

Instead, it’s more basically about PETA – simply a love ’em or hate ’em alignment, plus a faction against their tactics in general.  It’s provocative.  It’s a continuation and refinement of their guerilla tactics.

This is not necessarily a bad outcome for PETA, especially if you subscribe to the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” philosophy.  Their name passed thousands of lips yesterday.  Because of the timely and topical nature of their message, some share of those people whose attention they got may have “converted” – evaluating the “circus is cruel” message and tending to accept or agree.

In conclusion and a bit from left field:  the difference between zealotry and simply spreading the word is defined by whether or not we agree with the message.

Link: local story at NewsFirst5.com with a couple dozen comments

Positive Outcome from Dubious Marketing Ploy

A note on a dubious markeing ploy …

I’m “friends” with Colorado Governor Bill Ritter on Facebook.  I’m not sure how or when this happened, but, as a positive consequence, I get some useful info about goings-on at the state level.  Because of this “relationship,” I was treated to this in my Facebook News Feed yesterday morning:

Zeitgeist Movement Colorado tags Governor Bill Ritter on Facebook

Zeitgeist Movement Colorado tags Governor Bill Ritter

Like many of his 4,868 other “friends,” I watched the video out of curiosity alone.  “We are all connected” … sounds interesting!

As it turns out, the Governor appeared nowhere in this video, which was a fascinating production – particularly the audio mix.  Among those who did appear, probably without their knowledge or permission, were Bill Nye the Science Guy, Neil deGrasse Tyson (PBS), Carl Sagan and Richard Fenynman.  The video became repetitive, running about 2:00 too long.

Obviously, the tagging of the Governor by a member of the movement was a tactic to get attention – a “spray and pray” effort to cast a message as widely as possible by whatever means available with the hope that a target will be struck.  The downside: this runs against new, targeted, permission-based marketing principles.  The lamentable upside: it actually works …  I’m writing about it right now (!?).

So what is this Zeitgeist Movement that made its way into my consciousness by way of a dubious marketing ploy?  They seem to have semi-laudable but wildly impractical goals/ideals.  They call for a “sustainable social design” built on a “resource-based economy.”  Those are nice-sounding phrases.  It’s all based on the life’s work of industrial designer and social engineer Jaques Fresco.

I say it’s “laudable” because their critique of the status quo is harsh, highlighting the ugliest things about the way we live, work and “prosper.”  Also laudable are emphases on: world as singular organism, humans as singlular family, dependence upon healthy environment, natural processes, and the scientific method.  Per their intro video, they endorse the “humane application of science and technology to social design and decision making.”

I judge it “impractical” because it seeks a complete and fundamental redesign of all the world’s social and economic structures; its coming to pass seems wholly impossible given human nature.

In hindsight, I’m glad my Facebook News Feed was “hijacked” by a fallacious video tag.

They’re “out there.”  They’re disconnected in nearly every way from mainstream thought.  They’re imagining an experience, even existence, here on earth completely unlike what it is today.  I expect that this separation from mainstream is a primary reason they resort to such tactics.

A positive outcome: they reminded me of something valuable.  We owe it to ourselves to consider every now and again how our fellow human beings are thinking and dreaming differently.

I never endorse such tactics, but I always endorse thinking, dreaming and listening.

Here’s their US homepage:  Zeitgeist Movement

Here’s a video introduction:  Zeitgeist Movement

Giving Them Away for Free

I produce a Flickr photo stream.  I periodically go through it to delete photos at which no one has looked.  Right now, there are about 2,200 photos up.  I set up a little widget here in the left column that randomly grabs and displays a photo from the stream.

Over the couple/few years I’ve been putting up photos, I’ve received eight or ten requests from proper publishers seeking permission to use one or more of these photos.  Several of them are web-based guides.  One was a publisher of lake, river and stream maps.  One was a publisher of books and videos about weird and interesting things across this great nation.

I’d forgotten about that last one … until yesterday.  I received a box in the mail; I could tell it contained a book by its size, dimensions and weight.  I figured it was a book about Google Analytics that I ordered a few days ago.  Instead, it was Weird Colorado!

Weird Colorado, Weird U.S., Weird US, Mark Sceurman, Mark Moran, Charmaine Ortega Getz

Weird Colorado

My brand new, hardcover copy is personally inscribed with thanks and appreciation from “my pals,” Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran.

The Weird U.S. series has been around for years.  In addition to national and state-focused books, they’ve produced videos that aired on the History Channel.

Weird Colorado is written by Charmaine Ortega Getz.  At some point, they scoured the web for photos for inclusion in the book.  They came across some of mine.

They emailed to request permission to use my photos from Picketwire Canyonlands and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.  These areas were included for ancient rock art, sub-oceanic history, dinosaur footprints and fossilized plants, animals and insects.  They ended up using two of each (pages 46, 47 and 59).

These four photos are not among my most “interesting” according to Flickr; I’m glad they were useful to someone.  Here’s one of them – detail of a fossilized tree trunk at Florrisant Fossil Beds NM:

Fossilized Wood at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Fossilized Wood at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Though every photo in my Flickr stream is copyrighted, they’re free for the taking from a technology standpoint.  All sizes of every photo are available, from thumbnail through original size (approx 3,500 x 2,600 pixels).

I suppose I could try to track people down and attempt to recoup my share of any commercial gains.  Instead, I’m giving them away for free.

I tag every photo extensively to help people find them.  It’s fascinating to watch analytics on photo views and traffic sources.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • It’s produced 100% from personal passion
  • It does me no good to hoard them, hide them or lock them down
  • For those who use them, I expect they’ll remember where they got them and perhaps link back or let me know
  • Legit publishers will request permission and provide appropriate photo credit, acknowledgment and linking (and sometimes even the finished product!)

Related hopes include:

  • I hope people will enjoy some of the images as much as I do
  • I hope people will connect through imagery with the beautiful and interesting things in the world around them
  • I hope people will be inspired to go outside and maybe shoot some photos

My photo stream is generally outdoors-oriented.  Photos go up in specific groups or sets based on a trip, an outing or a shoot.  They’re always dated and tagged.  They’re up in reverse chronological order.  (Related music note: I strongly favor albums over singles).

I’d love for you to use an image as a desktop background or any other application you see fit.  Please share with me if and how you use an image.

Here are some of my most viewed and most commented photos: 

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/ethanbeute/popular-interesting/

Here is Weird U.S. at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_U.S.

What I Want in a Purchase

Says what it is.  Does what it says.  Solves your problem.  Exceeds your expectations.  That’s all I want in a purchase – how about you?

I really love to hike and to climb mountains.  I don’t do it as often as I would like, but I appreciate every opportunity I get.

Several times in fall or spring, I’ve been out in conditions in which snowshoes would have been a serious benefit.  I’d casually surveyed the market for several months, never quite serious enough to commit to a purchase.  A friend recommended the MSR Lightning Ascent.

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe 22" Orange

MSR Lightning Ascent

It’s a serious product.  Cut from aerospace-grade aluminum.  Lightest in its class.  Heel lift to support steep climbs.  A “total traction” design with teeth around the entire frame.  In short, it was designed to serve my purpose in an exceptional way.  I also expected to have the shoes for decades, perhaps handing them down to my son should he want them.

I probably would not have dropped the full retail price ($260-300); I wanted them, but did not need them.  I did, however, find a pair at one of the finest little shops in downtown Colorado Springs, Mountain Chalet.  End of season – $105 off.  Um, OK.

Picked them up and took them out the same weekend for a visit to Horsethief Park and a climb to Sentinel Point with Matt Payne (side note: check out 100summits.com – a website he built from pure passion and no web design background to speak of prior to initiating the project).

The MSR Lightning Ascent performed beautifully on hard pack, soft snow, deep powder, ice, steep slopes and all else we encountered.  Though only about 3 miles to Sentinel Point, the elevation gain is about 3,000ft.  Much of that gain is in the last mile and a half.  The heel lift proved to be an extremely valuable feature.

Approaching Sentinel Point, west side of Pikes Peak

Approaching Sentinel Point on the west side of Pikes Peak

Said what it was.  Did what it said.  Solved my problem.  Exceeded my expectations.  That’s what I got in the purchase.

Worth noting: they have a similar similar design at a lower price point in the Denali Ascent and Denali Evo Ascent.

Here’s a photo set from the hike.

iPad to Save Magazine Publishing?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, present an idea at Ad:Tech San Francisco.  He’s also the author of The Long Tail and Free.

Anderson seems to have a strong vision and strong voice for what’s going on and what’s happening next.

Chris Anderson Wired Magazine AdTech Ad Tech iPad publishing

Chris Anderson sees a future for magazine publishing; it's all about the tablet.

His idea involves Wired, Adobe, Apple’s iPad and a healthy future for magazine publishers like Conde Nast (Wired, Vogue, GQ, and loads more).

He’s presented this idea for a few months now, so I won’t belabor it.  Instead, I’ll share my version of it in bullet-point form.

  • The tablet is the “third great platform” (PC > phone > tablet)
  • The tablet is permitted by the movement of of storage and computing/processing off the local machine and into “the cloud”
  • The web lowers barrier to entry and eliminates scarcity so competition is wide open
  • If the tablet goes rich and dynamic, traditional media may once again be able to deliver their skills in a commanding way
  • Wired/Conde Nast is working with Adobe to establish new publishing process
  • They’re seeking the efficiencies of digital, but with the pricing of analog – need a new economic model to survive, tablet era provides opportunity to create new model
  • Magazines provide the height of production value – layout, design, photos, etc
  • HTML and browsers limit the reproduction of this rich experience online – the magazine is lost in translation
  • At present, Wired magazine and wired.com are produced and sold by two separate groups
  • In a new future, digital can be designed and sold in parallel with print, simultaneously
  • Same thoughts, same people, same process
  • Print, portrait and landscape displays all laid out at once
  • It can be made to be worth paying for, not “less than print” like HTML/browser reproduction, but actually more
  • For the first time ever, Anderson sees a 21st century magazine business

I don’t have the knowledge, foresight or even interest to judge whether or not the tablet will, in fact, become the third great platform.

I support the production values argument, but the web has proven “good enough” for most people.

I also feel strongly that new economic models for publishers based in yesterday’s media must be developed.  So many people take such great pride in not watching TV, not reading magazines and not subscribing to newspapers.  Example: “I just get my news from Google.”  Meanwhile, a disproportionately high portion of their media consumption online is provided free by television-, magazine- and newspaper-based publishers.  This can’t go on forever.

So: good luck to Anderson, Adobe and Conde Nast – I wish healthy futures for all content producers, especially ones pushing forward production and display.

HP Slate (their tablet) versus Apple iPad: engadget

Verizon and Google team to make tablet: gizmodo

Another take on his keynote speech: Mobile Marketer

Chris Anderson’s blog: The Long Tail

Chris Anderson on Twitter: chr1sa

Video Demo of Wired Magazine on iPad

iPad Billboard high over Union Square, San Francisco:

Apple iPad Billboard over Union Square, San Francisco, California

iPad Billboard over Union Square, San Francisco

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2021 ethanbeute

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑