Jeff Lebowski is ... the Dude. Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper. Maecenas sed diam eget risus varius blandit sit amet non magna. Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor.

More >

Powered by Squarespace
  • The Big Lebowski (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray Book + Digital Copy]
    The Big Lebowski (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray Book + Digital Copy]
    starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman
  • The Big Lebowski (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
    The Big Lebowski (Widescreen Collector's Edition)
    starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston
  • The Big Lebowski - 10th Anniversary Limited Edition
    The Big Lebowski - 10th Anniversary Limited Edition
    starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston

links for 2009-05-22


Marketers Zero in on Utilities to Navigate the Attention Crash

For more than 100 years brand marketers have largely focused on push - a mix of tried-and-true tactics that include paid and earned media. However, that was before the Attention Crash, which is changing the economics of digital marketing.

The endless supply of content is taking a toll. It has forced consumers to make hard choices about where and how they spend time. Today people are browsing less and going deeper into a small number of sites. The exact mix of destinations change. What they have in common, however, is that they are all useful.

This habitual shift is resetting the way marketers think. To remain relevant today brands realize they increasingly have to create valuable utilities that consumers pull. These need to seamlessly integrate into the hubs where consumers are investing their shrinking attention.

Kraft, for example, circumvented the Attention Crash with the iFood Assistant, a database of 7,000 recipes that can be accessed from the iPhone. Even though it is clearly Kraft branded and costs 99 cents, the app has remained one of the top paid lifestyle programs on the iTunes store for nearly six months. (Kraft is an Edelman client but we didn't develop this app.)

IFood Assistant

Utility, however, isn't just about the iPhone or mobile applications. Others are successfully building relationships via rich iGoogle widgets and/or games that consumers find downright irresistible. So, the business case is simple enough. However, the economics are disruptive.

As more marketing becomes utilitarian in nature, marketers will need to invest in not only in developing "high concept" applications but also marketing them. It's very similar to Hollywood where studios spend millions on big-budget blockbusters that have no guarantee for success.

Consider, for example, the typical iPhone application. iPhone development costs range from $20,000 for the basics, up to $150,000 or more, according to Forrester Research. That doesn't even include the budget to promote the application.

Unfortunately, this is the new reality of the digital age. Still, the economics and benefits of utility marketing are very favorable when compared to TV advertising - and more marketers will therefore shift their dollars. Success, however, is far from guaranteed.


Iconography Dominates in the Age of the Attention Crash

Blackberry Storm icons via the Gadgeteer

This idea didn't occur to me when I started and this blog five years ago and named it Micro Persuasion, but in all honesty it could have. It's been percolating in my subconscious for a long time. In the digital age - where every second there is something new tugging at our attention - we are influenced more than ever by tiny little icons. And there's no sign of the trend abating.

It used to be that in the old days only brands could afford nice logos. However, today almost everyone and everything has an icon. These little logos say a lot about a brand's persona and what they stand for. However, icons are not just for products and services anymore, it's for individuals too.

I don't know about you but I make decisions about the digital tools/services I use and the digital personas I choose to follow on Twitter or Friendfeed not just based on their attributes alone, but their icons. I bet that I am not alone. Icons also influence the mobile applications we choose to put on our handhelds, the sites we bookmark (because of their favicons) and the apps we run on our desktops.

For all of the conversation around personal branding and social media, there's not nearly enough attention paid to the art of iconography. With that here are some of my favorite icons and how they influence me...

Scoble - I have been following Robert Scoble for years. However, ever since he became the Incredible Hulk on Friendfeed (thanks to Thomas Hawk) he cried out to be read even more closely. Unfortunately Scoble just changed his icon back to the old one but I wish he hadn't. In fact, he should take the Hulk icon leverage it everywhere!

Evernote - Evernote is one of those products I want to love. However, I am constantly picking it up and putting it down. However, every time I see the elephant icon in my dock or on my phone or look at the t-shirt that they sent me long ago (pictured below), I realize that Evernote has so much promise because, like an elephant, it never forgets. That keeps me coming back. (In fact, am composing this post with Evernote.)

Wearing my Evernote T-Shirt Today

Seesmic - Every time I look at this icon on my desktop it cries out to be clicked. There's no doubt that the icon is a draw, even though I find the desktop application to be slow. Still the cute icon encourages me to be patient that the service will be just as speedy as the cartoon.

Seesmic Logo by Leah Jones on Flickr

What icons influence you? And how?


links for 2009-05-15


links for 2009-05-06

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 1072 Next 5 Entries »