The How. What Motivates You?

I don’t know how to classify this post. It’s half about motivation, and half about big ideas, branding, and marketing.

I’ve had this thought in my head for a while. It sort of derived from reading an article by Derek Sivers, which you can read here.

What marketer doesn’t know Seth Godin? As much as I respect his big ideas, there is not a lot substance in a lot of them in my opinion. Now that’s just a matter of what influences and motivates me.

I feel anyone can throw out big, somewhat obvious ideas. Few can execute those ideas effectively.

This weekend, while doing some blog reading, I came across a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s been the keynote speaker at conferences, and has been in the media quite a bit. I’ve never heard of him before this weekend. On the surface, when watching some of his keynote speeches, he seemed to me to be full of ideas like Godin. He talked about the need to love what you do and to be genuine. That way, the story you tell is rock solid, and your audience will be engaged. Plus work won’t seem like work since you’ll be loving what you’re doing. So I thought; great Gary, but how?

I was intrigued enough to check out some of his Wine Library TV videos. And there it was. Gary practicing what he preaches. To me, that smacked me in the face with motivation–to see him execute his big ideas in a big way. To see first hand his genuine love of wine and how he describes flavors when tasting, even someone like me with a small interest in wine can’t help but suddenly get the urge to indulge in some.

Maybe it’s the way I’m wired. I relate to execution (the how) rather than lofty ideas.

Tropicana, what were you thinking?

Funny. My wife mentioned to me a few weeks ago that Tropicana’s new packaging makes it look like a cheap generic brand. I didn’t think much of it. Until I went out grocery shopping. Standing in front of the OJ section, and being a loyal Tropicana customer my entire life, I found myself staring in a trance like state in search of my favorite OJ. What my wife mentioned to me didn’t register right away. It took me a good 30 or so seconds for it to click. That’s right, they changed their packaging, and my wife is right, it looks horrendous.

And others agree:

Working in marketing, I know the arrogant reasoning that goes into these rebranding decisions.  Maybe “arrogant” is harsh, but here’s how it happens. Someone is bored with the look, and decides to change it. “Everyone’s tired of the look,” they think. They don’t take into account that they are around the product and brand all day long. The customers, whether the marketer likes it or not, don’t ponder branding all day long. With something like simple OJ, it’s a quick emotional tie/recognition. Nothing else. Customers interact with the brand when they see it on the grocery shelf, and when they pop open their fridge.

Working in web marketing and merchandising, if I got a dime for everytime I heard “the site is stale, it hasn’t been updated in a while” I’d be a multi $100 aire. Now I’m not stupid. Depending on what you’re selling and the market, fresh content is essential. What I oppose is the thinking that customers spend 24/7 on the site and “get tired” of seeing the same thing. WAKE UP CALL!!! A lot of your visitors are there for the first time, or come back weekly (not hourly). I’m NOT taking down the bestselling product because I’m bored of looking at it!!! And I’m fully aware of the power of personalization and dynamic content–this isn’t my point.

Perhaps some snob at Tropicana got sick of looking at the straw in the orange image. And didn’t consider their loyal customers’ bond to the image.

I’m not done!! Tropicana’s failed new design is artistic, yes. But art doesn’t always sell. I want OJ damnit, not an ego enhancer.

Categorized as branding