AT&T wants you to use less wireless data.
Last week The New York Times reported AT&T is considering communications programs that encourage you to do so. The initiative is intended to reduce the burden on AT&T’s network, due to the explosive popularity of Apple’s iPhone. Before changing consumer rate plans based on actual data usage, AT&T would inform consumers on how their data consumption affects performance of the entire network.
There are many factors that affect how consumers make decisions about product brands. As practitioners in the brand strategy and naming field for over 40 years, we understand the nuances of what drives brand choice. One thing that’s highly important is the right product name.
Average Americans aren’t the only ones fretting over healthcare issues. Brand health is becoming one of the hottest topics in the CMO community. Two forces are driving the sudden interest in metrics and “brand dashboards.” Managers are growing more metrics-focused because of the rising use of online media in the total marketing mix.
Seems Disney is considering a Dennis the Menace meets Chucky refresh of Mickey Mouse. (See “After Mickey’s Makeover, Less Mr. Nice Guy,” the New York Times, November 5, 2009.) It seems risky, but millions of us contributed to DC Comics’ success when they let us see the dark side of Batman.
Food marketers have latched onto the idea that having only a few ingredients will make their products appealing to consumers “Marketers such as Starbucks discover that simple sells,” USA Today, October 28, 2009). This is as bad as using readability formulas to judge whether a document is understandable.
Judging by the standing-room only crowd from government, academia and the private sector at last week’s Center for Plain Language Symposium in Washington DC, transparency is again a major focus in government. Siegel+Gale was the exclusive sponsor of the Symposium entitled “Achieving transparency through plain language” on October 30, 2009, which featured an impressive roster of speakers on information design, plain language initiatives in government, and clarity and transparency in financial communications.
In today’s data-driven world, we are constantly bombarded by graphics—charts, maps, stock indexes, and PowerPoint presentations—that try to convey valuable information. Whether we are in business, marketing, medicine, or law, we need to know how to read and interpret this onslaught of graphics, as well as how to express ourselves in the language of graphics eloquently and effectively.
“Our mission is to conduct all of our businesses with four key values in mind: respect, integrity, communication, and excellence. All business dealings must be conducted in an environment that is open and fair.”
I for one have had enough…and not just because I can’t remember, much less explain, the difference between mission and vision.
Yesterday, Target Stores ran a very interesting two-page ad in the nation’s major Sunday newspapers. It showed five customer e-mails that were essentially complaints about Target’s customer service and provided five very clear, action-oriented responses.
Little did I expect to find a nugget of simplification in an article about Henry Paulson and the distribution of TARP money, but that is exactly what I found in the October 2009 issue of Vanity Fair. It seems that while homeowners were asked to read and sign dozens of pages of legalese to get measly home mortgages, the CEOs of the nation’s major banks signed a lightly populated two-page commitment to borrow billions.
Is our brand on Twitter?
If you haven’t been asked that question by your company’s CEO yet, here’s betting that you soon will. For those unfamiliar, Twitter is a popular “micro-blogging” service that has captured the excitement of everyone from Oprah and Richard Branson to your next door neighbor.