Need help growing
your brand?

Call Lee at 212.253.7500

or email lee@digobrands.com

Tag : eric yaverbaum

7 Things Challenger Brands Do Differently

The following post is an excerpt from Digital@Speed, authored by digital marketing guru Mark DiMassimo. Visit the official website here to download your free copy today.

Apple. Virgin. Southwest. JetBlue. Crunch. Snapple. Groupon. BlueFly. Zappos. The Motley Fool. What do these brands have in common? They’re challengers, and successful ones at that.

They’ve mastered the art of zagging where others have tended to zig. They’ve taken on the goliaths of their industries and come out on top. The truth is, it’s a challenging world out there, and every marketer these days needs to be a successful challenger or go down.

Market leadership doesn’t create an exception. Look at Citibank and IBM, for example. By becoming their own best competition, they’ve looked like ready challengers, reinvented their businesses and continued to grow.

Here’s what challengers do differently:

1) The top dog is INVOLVED. Intimately.

Some folks think the reason they got degrees and big titles was so that they could independently run their own empire. Some of these people are actually pretty smart. But nine times out of ten, this attitude will do them in.

A boss is not a meddler to be avoided. If you were playing chess, you wouldn’t leave your Queen in the background and try to fight it out endlessly with your lesser pieces. Or would you?

Forget the org chart. Every player on the board is on your team. Use them!

If you want to make things happen @speed, you want the least distance between you and your boss. And you want to access the power your boss has to smooth situations and to make good tactical decisions into great strategic initiatives. Plus, you want the power to change things that you’re not personally responsible for, because changing those things will make all the difference in your ability to create success. So, you bring your boss in as a collaborator and ally. As much as possible, you lead hand in hand. It’s the challenger’s way to use every last person.

2) The advertising conversation and the business conversation are THE SAME CONVERSATION.

Don’t separate what you’re doing from why you’re doing it, even for a moment. You never want to be the one saying, “But we failed with work that was on the strategy we were given!” That is a level of responsibility, but it’s the wrong level.

You want to be responsible for the success of the enterprise. You want the brand and business to reach its full potential. You want to use not just your authority but your influence. Because nothing beats being a part of something great and you don’t want to leave that to chance.

In this context, great advertising is advertising that works for the business and brand. It brings the business strategy to life. It creates the connection that reflects the intentions of the business while both suggesting and fulfilling its promise.

This is where experience meets selling meets branding.

3) The work is seen as the ultimate weapon for conquering the competition.

Where is the unfair advantage to be found? You are not in a position to outspend. You’re not going to break the law. Or trying to change it to favor you. But you can pack more power into the product, the packaging, the service, the story, the propaganda. You can be smarter about the technology, the testing strategy, more ingenious and industrious about the optimizations.

You can win it in the marketplace of ideas. So, do that.

4) The brand is seen as a precious asset and the ultimate defensive fortification against copycats and commoditisers.

Challengers build unique brands and they value them above all else. Customers are intensely loved, but they come and go. Employees are highly valued, but the sort who are attracted to a challenger business can only be held by a great brand. A unique culture and point of view is often the only thing to hold onto in the perfect storm of growth.

A brand is armor and a full tank of gas. A brand is everything. And you only need a business to build one!

5) The VISION of the top dog drives the advertising.

Steve Jobs met every other week for intensive sessions with Lee Clow, the creative chairman of his advertising agency. In the most successful challenger businesses, the vision for the brand and advertising comes from the top. No question about it.

That kind of courage and purity of vision can’t be bought. It can’t be outsourced. No committee could sustain it. For a business that has its founder to get the full advantage of that fact, the vision must be owned and driven from the top.

6) The vision of the agency and the vision of the client are complimentary and synergistic.

The mutual inspiration society should include client and agency, vigorous discussions, sharing inspiration, lots of choices, and plenty of going back to the well.

The most sophisticated team wins.

7) Decisions get made in meetings, not just in between.

In big, bloated bureaucracies, meetings only ratify decisions that are made elsewhere. Which is why most people in those places feel that there time is wasted in meetings. Because it is.

But you don’t have time to waste. So you’re not going to protect your own ego or anyone else’s by pretending for a second to agree with what you don’t. You’re going to have real conversations. In front of whoever is there. And when some people complain about that and they try to negotiate with you to stop the open, inclusive, challenging, passionate dialogue, you are going to say, “I understand how you feel. And, no. Absolutely not. Because that would be replacing occasional discomfort with the endless pain of mediocrity and failure. Which you wouldn’t tolerate for long… you’d be gone. So, no! Let’s just agree to be respectful to each other, to put the good of the work first, and to say exactly what is on our minds.”

 

7 Habits Of Highly Affected People

The following post is an excerpt from Digital@Speed, authored by digital marketing guru Mark DiMassimo. Visit the official website here to download your free copy today. 

Great brands are like great individuals. Authentic. Idiosyncratic. Unique.

But most brands, like most people, fall into bad habits. And the bad habits cost them dearly. To help you avoid them, here are the Seven Habits of Highly Affected people.

1) Trying to be cool. The coolest clients never brief in “cool”. They focus on relevance.

2) Falling into The Aspiration Trap. Usually, you’re not the target audience. Neither is your Hamptons-dwelling agency head. Remember: it’s about the target’s aspirations, not yours.

3) Briefing from the Trend Report. Great brands create trends.

4) Management Fads. Quality is not job one! Professional management has buckets of specialized concepts. They don’t belong in great advertising, even to professional managers.

5) Believing: “You don’t get it because you’re not the target.” Your job is to get it or you shouldn’t be signing off. Period.

6) Wishful Thinking. Advertising can be a tool for leadership. More often it is a reflection of corporate denial. Advertise the target’s wish, not the company’s.

7) Mistake execution for ideas. It’s easy to fall in love with something beautiful, novel, funny, poetic, witty, or profound. Do fall in love. But first make sure there’s a powerful, convincing idea in the middle of all the artistry. If you’re in the right sort of place, your job depends on it.

Most brands have fallen into one or more of these habits. That’s why great brand change agents will always be busy.

 

Valentines Day 2013 — Has Technology Rewired Our Hearts?

Eric Yaverbaum, Huffington Post

WBEZ Radio in Chicago has been promoting a Facebook app which encourages listeners to “make babies” so they can create a ‘next generation’ audience for the show in the future. Part of the approach includes going where millennials are going anyway. For dating. For friendship. For communication. And I guess for making babies?
(more…)

Public Relations

Every campaign at DIGO is vetted by top PR talent, professionals who have been responsible for building such brands as Progressive, IKEA, Domino’s Pizza, George Foreman Grill, Tibet, H&M, and Investools, among others. Thanks to our long-standing, integrated partnership with Ericho PR, we can offer a powerful combination for brand ideas: buzz, ink and airtime. As a result, our clients receive a disproportionate amount of meaningful exposure for their investment.

DIGO Brands Your Downtime

In this world of screens, one might be tempted to put on a blindfold from time to time… but that can lead to bad trips. Instead, DIGO has devised new technology for agency initiative OFFLINING. New OFFcovers give your Attention Deficit Disorder a rest, and given as gifts, they send a wry hint to your screen-compulsed loved one. Coming soon for sale to the Offlining.com site, you’re reading about them here first. OFFLINING was founded by Mark DiMassimo and Eric Yaverbaum in order to you gently nudge yourself occasionally away from the screen. To read more visit www.OffliningInc.com.

 

DIGO Brands The Huffington Post


by Ronit Herzfeld
The Huffington Post
February 10th, 2011

Last week my friend “Julie” and I finally went out to dinner. I had not seen her for a couple of months and we were particularly excited to have a chance to spend some quality time together. No sooner did we sit down at our table than out came her Blackberry. I felt a twinge in my chest, but held my tongue. A few minutes later, I was sharing some exciting news with her and heard that irritating text sound go off. She immediately reached out to check the message and began to respond. I suddenly felt invisible; it was as if I didn’t exist. When she finished, I asked her if there was an emergency or something critical that she needed to attend to. She said yes but gave me no further details. A few minutes later her text went off and she responded again. At that point I requested that — unless there was a life or death issue, I’d appreciate it if she turned her phone off. I could see how hard it was for her to let it go. It was clear to me that there was no emergency, and that my otherwise very sensitive and caring friend was at the mercy of this little gadget. We are all aware of how helpful, expedient and efficient our various technological devices can be. But what is not so clear is how they may be affecting our minds, our attitudes, and our relationships.

To read the full article click here.

 

DIGO Brands the Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
November 22, 2010

Offlining Inc. wants you to unplug from the computer and reconnect to flesh-and-blood family and friends. Not all the time, just some of the time. Like, during major holidays. The company was created after co-founders Mark DiMassimo and Eric Yaverbaum, two plugged-in New York businessmen, “looked up” one day and became reacquainted with the things they had been missing while going online — kids, wives, birds and nature in general, according to the company website. To read more click here.