Netflix: Building a World Class Brand

Netflix: Building a World Class Brand
Earlier this month I facilitated a two-day marketing team offsite for a technology client that went public about a year and a half ago. The company is in the midst of building their 2016 marketing plan so the CMO wanted to bring together her large, geographically diverse leadership team in one location for team building and brand...

The Making of a New Logo

The Making of a New Logo
Argentum will be launching its new website and logo later this month. In the interim, I thought it’d be fun to give a sneak peek at our new logo and the logic behind it.My hypothesis has always been that the Argentum Strategy Group logo was derived from the atomic structure of silver. There are a few reasons I suspect this:1. The...

Startups: 5 Easy Creative Partner Hiring Tips

Startups: 5 Easy Creative Partner Hiring Tips
Reaching out to friends and colleagues for creative resource recommendations is a great starting point for any agency search, whether you’re a start up or not. But unlike larger, more established companies, startups don’t often have the resources to hire an agency, so a friend’s positive recommendation might very well be the only assessment...

Top Five Agency Pitch Mistakes

Top Five Agency Pitch Mistakes
Many of my clients ask me to help them identify and hire agency partners like creative agencies, digital firms, media buying agencies and web design companies. I’ve developed a process that makes efficient use of my clients’ and the contending agencies’ time, and it typically culminates in individual 60-minute meetings between...

Favorite Tools: Breakthrough Marketing Plans

Favorite Tools: Breakthrough Marketing Plans
While I have little patience for business books, I frequently refer to Breakthrough Marketing Plans, by Kellogg Professor Tim Calkins, and I often suggest that my clients purchase a copy (or two). Both Tim and I spent 10 years at Kraft Foods in brand management, and Tim’s book essentially teaches the Kraft methodology that we learned there for...

Defining Your Target

Defining Your Target
A lot of the companies we meet have not clearly defined their target customer. Some make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone in the hopes of not leaving any potential revenue on the table. Other companies have a general sense of their target, but have never taken the time as a team to sit down, define, and gain consensus on the common...

Maximizing Your Brand’s Word of Mouth Potential

Maximizing Your Brand’s Word of Mouth Potential
A few months ago, we went to hear Professor Jonah Berger talk about his book, Contagious. The book is a useful primer on how to make your product/service more likely to receive word of mouth (WOM) advocacy from your customers. Having spent time consulting for Procter & Gamble’s groundbreaking WOM group, Vocalpoint, we know the importance of...

Defining Your Competitive Set

At the core of every positioning statement is the reason a product/service/brand is different and better than its competitors. Because of this, how you choose to define your competitive set is a critical piece of developing a compelling positioning statement. Here’s a quick 3-minute video of how to strategically approach defining your own...

Cage Match: Positioning v. Elevator Pitch

Cage Match: Positioning v. Elevator Pitch
A while back, we taught a workshop for the Accelerator participants at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship about positioning statements and marketing plans. In the attached video segment, you can see how we helped the entrepreneurs differentiate between positioning and an elevator pitch, and to understand when and...

Time to Add a Marketing Strategy Resource to Your Team?

Time to Add a Marketing Strategy Resource to Your Team?
I recently had lunch with Ankur Gopal, an entrepreneur who whose B2B technology company, Interapt, is growing rapidly. It was exciting to hear about what he’s been learning as his business grows, and when our discussion turned to marketing, he asked me two great questions: 1. TIMING: How will he know when it’s the right time in his...