Killing Your High Score | ZAPSOCK

Have you ever played Pac-Man?

Donkey Kong?

Super Mario Bros?

I’m sure you have some sort of game on your smart phone where the objective is to achieve the highest possible score.

In some of these games it is the only objective.

Have you played the helicopter game?

All you do is fly for as long as you possibly can.

The game is programmed to continue indefinitely as long as you don’t crash.

When we play these games, we tend to beat our high score a little bit more each time.

Just a little bit.

Is it because we are getting better?

Sure!

Is it because we are learning from our past mistakes?

Absolutely!

But I think there’s more.

I have found that it is human nature to subconciously give up once we have reached a predetermined threshold, or “high score.”

We find it is okay to achieve this same score.

Even coming up short, as long as it is within an unspoken proximity, is acceptable.

Beating the high score by the smallest margin is, in our primitive ape brain, a fantastic achievement worthy of the highest honors.

Killing the High Score

When you are developing a new brand, are you trying to eek your way past the “high score?”

Are you satisfied creating something that falls short, but within the acceptable range?

Or do you seek to kill the high score?

Slaughter the status quo?

Google didn’t create a search engine that was on par with existing algorithms, they established an empire.

When you search for something on the interwebs, you don’t “Yahoo! it”, you don’t “Ask Jeeves” and you definitely don’t “Bing it.”

No matter which search engine we are using, we “Google it.”

We don’t “MySpace our buddies,” we “Facebook them.”

You want to be the next Sergei?

Or the next Zuck-meister?

Don’t do what they have already done.

Don’t crash the helicopter in the exact same spot each time.

Destroy the high score.

Drop a frickin’ nuke on it.

Hyper Niche Flat Tops | ZAPSOCK

This is probably one of the worst names for a post ever.

There is absolutely no seo value.

It doesn’t even make sense.

But I like it.

Those were the first words that came to mind when I saw this barber shop.

Senior rates.

Flat tops.

Senior rates is good for the location.

Hemet, CA has a high population seniors, so that makes sense.

Seniors come in every other week to get their hair cut and they only have a half a head o’ hair.

Makes sense.

But flat tops?

I haven’t seen someone with a flat top in a while.

You know how they do a flat top?

A giant flat comb and clippers.

Vóilá!

So is this guy a genius or stuck in the 90’s?

I say he’s a genius.

Where else would you go to get a flat top?

Have you established your brand this way?

Goats in Trees | ZAPSOCK

Goat in Tree
Goat eating in tree in Morocco. Courtesty of W. Houston.

What in the world is going on here?

A buddy of mine is a military photographer and I saw this picture that he took in Morocco on his Facebook page.

Apparently these goats love to eat these trees, so they just climb right up there.

All of my life I had held the belief that goats don’t climb trees.

No one had ever taught me that, I just knew it.

Until today.

Keeping an Open Mind

What are you doing with your brand?

Are you doing what all the other goats do and graze in the pastures and eat trash?

Or are you climbing the trees that no one else thought possible?

Just because no one has ever done it with their brand, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

If you can think it, you can do it.

You just have to get creative and work a little bit.

Do You Have a Brand Plan? | ZAPSOCK

Yesterday I posted about utilizing scheduling tools for content.

However, this won’t do you any good unless you have a plan.

Everyone is always talking about a plan.

  • Your business plan.
  • Your diet plan.
  • Your workout plan.
  • Your planning plan.

There is a reason people will sell you this horse-puckey.

You need a plan.

What is your plan for your Brand?

What are you trying to accomplish?

Right now I want to focus on Messaging Strategy.

  • What type of message will you send out?
  • How will you send it out?
  • What channels will you use to publish and syndicate your message?
  • What platforms will you use?
  • What type of format will you use and how often will you send it out?

Create your plan. Stick to it.

Email me your plan and I will review it for you.

No strings attached. I’ll do it just because I am that awesome.

LikeButton.me | ZAPSOCK

LikeButton.me

Have you checked it out yet?

It is really a great way to monitor how people are sharing your content on Facebook!

Add your site’s URL. It will show how many people have shared your site.

You can see which posts were the most popular.

If you have a brand monitoring strategy, this must be a part of it.

Death of an Antenna Ball | ZAPSOCK

I’m Old School

I’m not that old, but I am from an old school generation.

I still remember the times when we didn’t have the internet in the home. We didn’t even have a computer.

The most high tech devices in our home were:

  • Our top loading VCR
  • The 8-bit NES
  • My dad’s work pager

Oh yeah, my mom had a word processor. In fact, she was able to sell her services as a typist. Now everyone’s a typist.

Antenna Balls or Antenna Toppers

Whatever you want to call them.

I guess a ball would be a topper but a topper wouldn’t necessarily be a ball.

What does this have to do with anything?

Antenna balls were awesome!

I remember when you would see half the cars on the road with a 76 antenna ball. The sign for the gas station itself was a ginormous antenna ball!

I don’t remember if you had to buy them or if they gave them away free, but it was one of the most genius forms of increasing brand awareness.

Then everyone jumped on the band wagon.

Then came the death of the antenna ball. Cars don’t have antennas anymore. Radio isn’t analog anymore.

So what will the next “antenna ball” be?

Will it be your idea?

Brand Development 2.0 | ZAPSOCK

I don’t want to make this a long post.

I haven’t posted in a while.

I had lunch with my good friend Tyler Jorgenson a little while back and he inspired me to make some changes to my site.

Instead of being a small business marketing consultant, this blog is now about Brand Development 2.0.

Why?

Because I love branding. I am passionate about it. That is what Tyler inspired me to do. He told me that you have to do what you are passionate about.

Brand Development 2.0 is all about creating your brand in this new era of social media, tablets and instant gratification.

It is about listening to your customers.

It is allowing them to define your brand. Not you.

You were given two ears and one mouth. You should be listening to your customers twice as much as you are speaking to them.

Being a Brand Leader | ZAPSOCK

Have you read the Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier yet? In it Mr. Neumeier says that your brand is not what YOU say it is, it’s what THEY say it is. (THEY being your consumers.)

It’s the same with leadership. Just because YOU say you are a leader or your business card says you are, does not make you a leader. Just because you have thousands of followers on Twitter or on your super-spiffy NING network, that does not make you a leader. You may be the CEO of a corporation with over 10,000 employees and you might not be a leader. You are only a leader if your followers say you are. If your followers love you and respect you, only then are you a leader.

A leader attracts others with kindness and self-sacrifice. This attraction is magnetic. It is atomic.

A true leader will always put his followers’ interests before his own.

Are you a leader? If you can answer that definitively, you most likely are not.

So then, what are the characteristics of a true follower?

Epic Branding Fail | ZAPSOCK

Al and Laura Ries authored one of the greatest texts on branding that I have read. It is called, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.” The 22 Laws are great guidelines for anyone who is thinking of starting a business, has recently started a business, or is currently involved in a business- yes, everyone. Here I just want to talk about the first two laws. You can find all 22 laws in the book or at the Ries’ website here. The following is taken from the website:

“1. The Law of Expansion: The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope. Trying to be all things to all people undermines the power of the brand. The strength of brands lies in becoming synony-mous with a single category. Brands that spread themselves across categories lose brand focus, identity, and ultimately market share.
2. The Law of Contraction: A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus. By narrowing the focus to a single category, a brand can achieve extraordinary success. Starbucks, Subway and Dominos Pizza became category killers when they narrowed their focus.”

So what do you think I thought the other day and saw that El Pollo Loco is now serving Sirloin Steak? That’s right. El Pollo Loco, who originally only served grilled chicken is now serving steak. For those who don’t know “Pollo” is “chicken” in Spanish. El Pollo Loco means “The Crazy Chicken.” So why would a chicken restaurant serve steak? As my father said after I told him about this, “That must be one crazy chicken if you can get sirloin steak from it!”