What I think
Simply put, I believe that the most valuable asset to a business is brand equity. And I believe it comes down to a 3 step process.
1. Discovery – The process of discovering market opportunities of a particular company, organization, brand, or individual.
2. Building – The process of creating and developing brand identity.
3. Communicating – The process of delivering, presenting, and sharing your brand.
Great brands start with great ideas, and discovering opportunities in a market is about finding successful ways to bring these great ideas to life.
I believe in building brands through engagement and interaction. Brands are more than a logo. They are more than a name. They are more than a banner ad.
Brands are experiences.
Marketers rejoice! All of the work put into bringing a brand to life is meaningless unless you can communicate with your customers. With new and emerging media, we now have the ability to target consumers on a greater level than ever before. The result?
Brand communication messages tailored to extremely targeted segments, and ultimately, greater opportunity to manage perceptions and build equitable brands.
Devin Smith Scholarship Foundation
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Content Marketing Consulting
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Author: Zak, Posted On: May 20th, 2012, In: Brands, Marketing, Passion, You
Everybody has a personal brand. Quite simply, your personal brand is how others view you in comparison to the rest of the world. Fortunately, many people are well-aware that their personal brand exists and, for the most part, have a pretty good understanding of what their personal brand looks like. However, what so many people do not realize is that they can actually control nearly every aspect of their brand.
Think about your personal brand in today’s economy. With reports of the average number of people applying for a single job ranging from the low teens to upwards of nearly 1000, companies can certainly afford to be picky. So, here is my question; how do you distinguish yourself from the other job seekers?
Author: Zak, Posted On: April 20th, 2012, In: Brands, Collaboration, Create, Engagement, Passion
This was a question I answered on a “tell us more about yourself”-type form at MPLS.TV. I remember thinking something along the lines of, “hmm…that’s a pretty vague question,” but you know what? I think about this kind of stuff all the time and it was refreshing to have the opportunity to give my thoughts on the matter to people who were genuinely interested in the answer.
Here is how I responded:
“My take on creativity is that it’s a process, not a product. It’s the journey you take to accomplish a goal or come to a conclusion. And to me, that means that everyone possesses creativity. The people who are labeled as creative’s, are the people who have the balls to express their creative side publicly…mad props to them. Whether you’re creativity lies in art or in business, express it. Shit’s better with creativity.”
Author: Zak, Posted On: March 19th, 2012, In: Brands, Communities, Core Customers, Engagement, Passion
As social beings, we are interested in exploring other people’s passions. Whether we share a passion with someone, or we are simply comparing ourselves to others, we tend to listen to those who convey an authentic passion for something. A good example is professional sports. Think about the die-hard sports fans you know. I’m willing to bet that at some point you have been interested enough to have a conversation with that person about why he or she is so passionate about their team. It is the desire to discover why a person is so passionate about something that drives our curiosity and prompts conversation.
This inherent interest in what others around us are passionate about is not limited to interpersonal interactions. In fact, we frequently interact with the brands that we have overlapping passions with. These are brands that have established themselves as advocates within the communities that they share an interest and passion with.
Author: Zak, Posted On: February 29th, 2012, In: Brands, Content Marketing, Digital Media, Marketing
As consumers of media, particularly digital media, we are constantly exposed to an overwhelmingly large quantity of content. The vast majority of this content is content that, as individuals, we don’t have much interest in. Whether the source of the content not credible, the content is low quality, or the topic of the content is simply not of interest, there is just more content than we care to view. Some studies have suggested that individuals may consume as little as 10% of the social media content that they’re exposed to through their networks.
Obviously, this presents some challenges for brands hoping to engage in digital content publishing. If content from a media consumer’s personal network is being ignored, then how can brands expect their content to be consumed?
Maybe even more importantly, if that content is consumed, how do brands foster the ultimate objective of brand engagement?
A Bit About Me:
I was recently given a piece of really great advice from a family friend and branding expert. He said, “everyday you should do something for your job, something for yourself, and something for others.” This really resonated with me, but it got me thinking about the idea of being fulfilled. I think the key to being fulfilled is finding a passion.
When you’re passionate about what you’re doing, whether professionally or otherwise, you tend to find that all three of these things manifest themselves naturally. I also believe that passion yields authenticity and transparency and thus, demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to a task, a brand, a cause, or whatever the object driving the passion may be.
I want to challenge people to think about brands as more than something that exists to make money. I encourage you to think about what a brand really is. Think about brands as people. Brands as places. Brands as causes. Brands as experiences. Even brands as trends.
Where you might find me when I’m not working:
- Scuba diving
- Watching scuba diving videos
- Watching National Geographic or Discovery channel
Content Marketing Consulting
Position: Founder & Principal
Description: CMC specializes in strategic digital marketing, with a focus on leveraging content as a medium for brand communications. In other words, we bring digital marketing strategies to life through innovative content. Our clients include consultants, small to medium size businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
Devin Smith Scholarship Foundation
Position: Vice Chair
Description: The Devin Smith Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2011 to remember and celebrate the life of Devin Smith by supporting high school students who demonstrate many of the same unique, creative qualities that Devin Smith embraced. The foundation provides higher education scholarships and social support to high school students in the Twin Cities area.
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