Seeing with New Lenses, Doing Small Experiments, and Inspiring Talks

Apple March 9 Event Emoji RecapMaking Sense:

Understanding the difference between delivering against the same outcome every time and different ones and dealing with modular components are at the core of modern brand management. It maps back to classic models of how we communicate “Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect?” What happens when Apple is the brand? The impact goes beyond the form — to the function.

  • Solving the Impossible: Systematizing Brand Management – Part 2. Percolate: Every system needs an operating framework, and here I believe P&G was pretty aligned with our pyramid. Their ultimate goal was to build a discipline that could help create, grow, and nurture brands in a constantly improving manner. To get there, though, they realized they needed to commit to a series of organizational changes.
  • Conversations with Apple's Brand. Asymco: One could argue that during these three decades, the organs the brand was engaging in conversation shifted from the mind to the heart and then to the glands. Those glands which release hormones and are directed by non-rational neurons. The evidence of the conversation would be in resulting products causing pupils to dilate, breaths to be quickly drawn and skin temperatures to rise. The brand therefore has managed to move from a rational, to a neurological, to an endocrine response.
  • How Apple Will Make the Wearable Market. Stratechery: […] interaction with one’s physical environment is the only function of a wearable (although I do think it is the most profound and the chief reason to be bullish about the Watch). The wrist is an obvious place for notifications and brief interactions, especially (and perhaps counterintuitively) ones we want to ignore and dismiss. This benefit though, is cumulative over time […] The big prize is being to the physical world what the iPhone is to the virtual one: the best possible way to interact anywhere and everywhere.

Making Do:

Grappling with misunderstandings in language, entertainment choices, and  our use of data because we continue to use default thinking to drive action.

  • Jennifer Cownie: The Brains Behind #YourMum. Work in Prowess: Wait, so you didn’t even mean to call it #YourMum? So the theory that Penguin wants us to make filthy #YourMum jokes to bolster their brand visibility is a crock, and really, someone just found an old project you worked on and said “yeah, this’ll do”?
  • Where Are the Spandex-Clad Men? Nancy Duarte: The particular gig’s organizers claimed they didn’t have any budget for speaking fees. Supposedly the quality of the audience was as valuable as the fees themselves. I rarely waive my fee, but I accepted that their “gift” to me was a pass to the conference. Well, I couldn’t stay for the event, but they wouldn’t transfer the pass to my colleague and co-author. She had to pay the full fee. I struggle to believe this event couldn’t pay me for my brain but could pay other women to show their bodies.
  • The joyless world of data-driven startups. @Zambonini: I think of chaotic systems whenever I see that common financial disclaimer and truism, “Past Performance is Not Necessarily Indicative of Future Results”. Of course it isn’t. Almost everything changes all the time. A statistic or data point is a tiny speck floating in a sea of ever changing context. People change, attitudes and behaviors change, tastes change, the economy changes, our minds, bodies, relationships and priorities change. The Observer Effect describes how something can change just by the process of measuring it.

Making It:

Seeing with new lenses, doing small experiments, and inspiring talks are all good examples of convergence.

  • Wendy’s GoPro Driven Ride with Lettuce–this is how food producers should roll. Crisisblogger: Thanks to the now almost ubiquitous GoPro, we take a ride with romaine lettuce from the farm to the Wendy’s table. It’s short, entertaining and doggone effective marketing. […] Farmers, processors, distributors and retailers–take note. People are watching. The way you do things matters more than ever. And it will be seen. Either by you, or by some hidden camera that creates a viral video.
  • The “Hack” Mindset for School-Wide Change. Getting Smart: Just like designing a product, where a team creates dozens of small, quick and cheap prototypes on the path to developing the optimal product, a nimble and iterative approach is also the most effective way to create meaningful change in an organization. We design small experiments to learn what works, what doesn’t, and why. We listen carefully to feedback and change our course based on what we learn. We celebrate “small wins” to build momentum for larger experiments.
  • 5 Oscars Speeches that Inspire Social Action. @RED: “When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I'm standing here and so I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird, stay different. And then when it's your turn and you're standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”