Archive for the 'Misc' Category

Web principles for creating customers

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Do your brand programs increasingly depend on user-facing websites to create customers and build brand relationships? If so, the web principles recently adopted by the BBC (no slouch in the communications department) may be useful.

A while back Tom Loosemore included the principles on his blog. While these are obviously intended for a media organization, they provide a solid framework for any company.

These web principles can serve as brand-building principles. They can help you build a web fabric to join with customers, explore mutual interests and solve mutual problems. The focus is on advancing the customer, not tooting your own horn.

The BBC’s Fifteen Web Principles

1. Build web products that meet audience needs: anticipate needs not yet fully articulated by audiences, then meet them with products that set new standards. (nicked from Google)

2. The very best websites do one thing really, really well: do less, but execute perfectly. (again, nicked from Google, with a tip of the hat to Jason Fried)

3. Do not attempt to do everything yourselves: link to other high-quality sites instead. Your users will thank you. Use other people’s content and tools to enhance your site, and vice versa.

4. Fall forward, fast: make many small bets, iterate wildly, back successes, kill failures, fast.

5. Treat the entire web as a creative canvas: don’t restrict your creativity to your own site.

6. The web is a conversation. Join in: Adopt a relaxed, conversational tone. Admit your mistakes.

7. Any website is only as good as its worst page:
Ensure best practice editorial processes are adopted and adhered to.

8. Make sure all your content can be linked to, forever.

9. Remember your granny won’t ever use “Second Life”: She may come online soon, with very different needs from early-adopters.

10. Maximise routes to content: Develop as many aggregations of content about people, places, topics, channels, networks & time as possible. Optimise your site to rank high in Google.

11. Consistent design and navigation needn’t mean one-size-fits-all: Users should always know they’re on one of your websites, even if they all look very different. Most importantly of all, they know they won’t ever get lost.

12. Accessibility is not an optional extra: Sites designed that way from the ground up work better for all users

13. Let people paste your content on the walls of their virtual homes: Encourage users to take nuggets of content away with them, with links back to your site

14. Link to discussions on the web, don’t host them: Only host web-based discussions where there is a clear rationale

15. Personalisation should be unobtrusive, elegant and transparent: After all, it’s your users’ data. Best respect it.

BBC logo: courtesy BBC
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More on the Noka brand integrity issue

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Chowhound, a popular food site, has a long discussion, comments from the author of the DallasFood report, and some PR jousting.

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Brand trends for 2006

Friday, January 27th, 2006

I’m starting this blog at the end of January, so I guess I’m technically still eligible to make some brand predictions for 2006. Here goes:

  1. Brands will shift from silos of indoctrination to flat networks of community. Giant crashing sounds are heard.
  2. Brands realize that they are much more than a subset of advertising. Google’s conquest of the ad business sharpens this perception.
  3. Brands come to their senses and admit that they’re much more valuable as innovation tools than as stylized sales stimulants.
  4. Gravity wins. Brands move from top down to bottom-up.
  5. Brands embrace Joy’s Law with a twist: whatever your company, customers will have more and better brand ideas than you do. Companies tap into customer initiative and intelligence.
  6. Brand loyalty changes gears. It’s no longer “loyalty to the brand.” It’s now “loyalty through the brand,” to values mutually held by companies and customers. More crashing sounds.
  7. Brand platforms emerge as category killers, offering new customer value far beyond traditional product footprints.
  8. Brands discover their patron saint: Dionysus, master of the edge. Revelry ensues, accompanied by art, music, drink, drama, lust and assorted mayhem. Brand classes in grad schools are swamped.
  9. The term “branding” disappears, unless you work with (and smell of) cattle.
  10. The brand team rises to new prominence within the corporation, tossing aside their old role as communicators. They emerge as value innovators, helping companies deliver more/new/better value to customers.
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