Chris Richards

marketing | branding | tech | startups

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Whose brand is it anyway?

With shows like Mad Men romanticizing the lifestyle of the ad industry, brands and the processes that go into creating them have been pushed to the forefront of pop culture. Even more telling of our current infatuation with brands is the growth of brand loyalist generations in millenials, Gen Y and Gen Z. Check Instagram’s top photos and you’re bound to find dozens of consumers showing-off the latest brand name clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories to thousands of followers. Brands are everywhere. They exist to please and serve us. But, that leaves me wondering: is a brand only what the Mad Men tell us it is? Or is it something more? And, who actually owns a brand?

A company’s brand: the look, feel, and message it conveys, has always been essential to its overall success. But, what is it that takes a traditionally “good looking” brand and elevates it to something more? And what is it that makes some theoretically great looking brands fail so miserably? The answer: the brand users.

Tim Hill, in Branding Magazine, describes this notion as the definitive concept of the third age of branding. He says, “This third age of branding puts the human firmly front and centre in determining a brand’s real-time equity. We are the people that enable those global superbrands to shine, and we allow those who fail to deliver to fall into irrelevance.”

Along the same lines, in his definitive novel The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeiers goes on to dispel some important myths about what current-day branding is not, and why business owners should pay particular attention to their end users.

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New Google Chrome Ad Connects with a Familiar ‘Ding’

Amazing new Google Chrome adI just saw one of the best, most memorable ads for Google products that I’ve ever seen. This one, more specifically for Chrome, hit a very personal chord with me. Take a look.

Not only did the ad have a focused and relateable narrative, but it made great use of Google products in real life. The things on display, like G-chat and video calling, are staple means of communication for most people I know. At my age, most other young professionals have G-chat running all day as a way to stay connected with their other office-working friends. Personally, I use it to chat every day with colleagues and work partners.

So, it’s no surprise that what struck me most about this commercial was the connection it made by demonstrating Google’s products and their tiny nuances. The pleasant “ding” of a chat being received is one of the most recognizable sounds to me, and using that sound during the commercial immediately grabbed my attention. I was instantly reminded of the feeling of excitement when waiting to receive a chat message from my girlfriend as we were studying across the world from each other. The “ding” symbolizes a connection to someone else, and their use of it during the ad is sure to connect with anyone else who has used Google products at all. To me, the tiny “ding” is very personal, and it elicits a response that’s probably not too dissimilar from an iPhone’s phantom vibration.

Whether other people feel that strongly about a small sound doesn’t really matter either, because the rest of the ad is so well done that there’s something relateable in there for everyone.

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Study: 9 out of 10 dentists recommend this post

Came across this funny picture on Tumblr today and laughed. Toothpaste marketing is ridiculous. Wasn’t it always the joke that dentists shouldn’t want toothpaste to work well, or they would all be out of business?

Personally, I recommend the toothpaste that’s on sale.